Saturday, February 28, 2009

Calamari With Butter, Lemon & Garlic


Well, you can't go wrong with butter, lemon and garlic combination for this grilled calamari. They were simply delicious and I would definitely make them again. You can either have them with some baguette or steam rice. Lovely!

Recipe adapted from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros

Calamari With Butter, Lemon & Garlic

Ingredients

1 Kg (2 lb 4 oz) Calamari (preferably baby calamari)
100 g ( 3 1/2 oz) Butter
Juice of 1 1/2 Lemons
3 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
Lemon Wedges, to serve

Method

To clean the calamari, pull the tentacles away from the body. Remove the transparent bone from inside the body and rinse the body well under cold running water. Holding the tentacles firmly with one hand, squeeze out the little beak and cut it away, leaving the tentacles whole. Rinse the tentacles. Cut the body into rings about 3 cm (about an inch) thick, leaving the tentacles whole (if they seem particularly large, cut them in half). Pat dry.

Heat the butter in a saucepan and, when it sizzles, add the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and let it sizzle for a moment to flavor the butter but not burn. Stir in the parsley and remove from heat.

Heat a ridged chargrill pan (griddle) to very hot (it should be just about smoking). Scatter with about half the calamari in a single layer (you will have to do it in two batches) and cook it over the highest possible heat. When you see that the calamari has darkened in parts on the underside, turn over with tongs and cook until the other side is darkened (take care that it doesn't burn though, or it will taste bitter). Move it around in the pan with a wooden spoon and let it cook for a couple of minutes more, then add it to the warm butter in the saucepan while you cook the next batch. Season to taste if necessary and serve hot, directly from the pan, with lemon wedges.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Cauliflower With Cumin And Asafetida


I love this simple side dish. They are lovely with some steamed rice and curry too. Well, the original method for the recipe is to cook on a stovetop. Since, I am cooking the curry and to save time, I decided to bake it in the oven instead. Guess what? The result was fantastic!

Recipe adapted from Madhur Jaffrey's Indian Cooking


Cauliflower With Cumin And Asafetida


Ingredients

600 g Cauliflower, break into smaller florets
3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
Generous pinch of ground Asafetida
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
85 g (3 oz) Red Onions, peeled and cut into very fine half-rings
1 Fresh Green Chili, finely chopped
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp Ground turmeric
1/8-1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
3/4 tsp Sea Salt
2 tsp Lemon Juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 450˚F (230˚C). Toss all the ingredients together, except the lemon juice. Pour into an ovenproof dish and bake for about 25 minutes or until all the cauliflowers are cooked. Mix in the lemon juice before serving.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jam Shortbread


How did I miss posting this lovely shortbread that I made during the recent Valentine's Day? They were for my son to bring to school, to share with his friends. This shortbread was so tedious to make, and they kept breaking up. However, they turned out great. Well, on the next Valentine's Day, I ought to choose something that's easier to bake, especially for a novice Baker like me:)

Recipe adapted from Apples for Jams cookbook by Tessa Kiros


Jam Shortbread


Ingredients

100 g (3 1/2 oz) Butter, softened
100 g (3 1/2 oz) Caster (Superfine) Sugar
200 g (7 oz/ 1 2/3 cups) Plain (All-Purpose) Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 Egg, Lightly beaten
A few drops of Vanilla Extract
About 200 g (7 oz/ 2/3 cup) of your favorite Jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 170˚C (325˚F/Gas 3). Have a 30 x 40 cm (12 x 16 inch) baking tray ready - you can line it if you like, to help you lift out the shortbread when it's cooked, but it's not absolutely necessary.

Put the butter and sugar in a good-sized bowl and work them together by hand or with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the flour and baking powder and work them in. Add the egg and vanilla and knead them in until it is all compact and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour until the dough is firm enough to roll out.

Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half on a lightly floured surface so that it will fit into your tray. It should be 2-3 mm thick (about 1/8 inch). Fit it into your baking tray, making sure that it is a fairly even thickness all over. Spread the jam over the top, as if you were spreading it over a slice of toast. Roll out the other half of the dough and fit it as exactly as possible over the bottom one. If it is difficult to lift, roll it loosely over your rolling pin and carry it that way. It isn't essential that all your edges are exact; you can break off a bit from here and patchwork it in there. It will taste the same.

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the shortbread is golden in places. The edges will start to turn golden brown first, followed by the top. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes in the tray. Lift out of the tray, using the baking paper.

Cut into shapes with a cookie cutter; or just into squares or diamonds. Or you can leave it in one place and keep cutting chunks out of it as you go past. It will keep in a biscuit tin for 5 or 6 days.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


Here is the reason why I baked this lemon bread (or cake). It all started when I brought my son and his two friends to Starbucks for breakfast about two months ago. All they wanted was the "signature" (yeah, my son must mention the word "signature") hot chocolate and lemon poppy seed loaf. So, I got each of them a hot chocolate drink and a slice of lemon loaf! Before I knew it, they wanted more and more of the lemon loaf... I think I must have ended up buying an entire whole loaf that day! So, I told my son, since he adores the lemon loaf so much, I shall attempt to bake it for him one day. He innocently asked if I have the recipe for it, and I replied of course! Well, I did not have it then! LOL!

Two months later, he still remembered my offer and asked if I was still going to bake the loaf for him. So, as a good mother, I had to quickly search for the recipe and fulfill my offer to him. I found a simple version of the recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum in Joy Of Baking. So, here is the recipe for a fantastic Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. Enjoy.


Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Ingredients

3 Large Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup (60 ml) Milk
1 1/2 Cups (210 g) All-Purpose Flour, sifted
3/4 Cup (150 g) Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Grated Lemon Zest
3 Tbsp (30 g) Poppy Seeds
13 Tbsp (184 g) Unsalted Butter, softened

Lemon Syrup

1/4 Cup (60 ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup (65 g) Granulated White Sugar


Method

Preheat oven to 350˚ F (180˚C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2 1/2 inch) (20 x 10 x 7 cm). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the paper. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds until combined. Add the softened butter and half the egg mixture and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about one minute. This aerates and develops the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating about 30 seconds after each addition. This will strengthen the structure of the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You may have to cover the bread with buttered foil after about 30 minutes if you find the bread over browning.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar and lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.

When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with about half the hot lemon syrup. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert onto a greased wire rack. Brush the remaining syrup onto the bottom and the sides of the loaf. Reinvert the bread so it is right side up and then cool the bread completely before wrapping. Store at least overnight before serving to allow the lemon syrup to distribute throughout the loaf.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Chicken Wings With Orange Tomato Glaze


Okay, as promised here is the recipe for the baked chicken wings and enjoy :)

Recipe adapted from Apples For Jam by Tessa Kiros

Chicken Wings With Orange Tomato Glaze

Ingredients


12 Chicken Wings
110 g (3 1/4 oz) Light Brown Sugar
375 ml (13 Fl oz/1 1/2 cups) Fresh Orange Juice
185 ml (6 Fl oz/3/4 cup) Tomato Passata (Pureed Tomatoes)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
* 1 tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika

Method

Preheat the oven to 160˚C (315˚F/Gas 2-3). Put the sugar, orange juice, passata, soy sauce, paprika and Worcestershire sauce in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Spread the chicken wings in a baking dish just large enough to fit them in a single layer and pour the sauce over the top. Bake for 2-2 1/2 hours, basting and turning the pieces over every now and then, until the chicken is crispy and sticky and the sauce is a thick glaze. Serve warm, or even at room temperature.


Monday, February 23, 2009

Eggplant Dip


I made this yummy and luscious eggplant dip yesterday morning, so that I can have it with some flat bread while watching the Academy Awards' Oscar Red Carpet show. It's so nice to watch all the stars dolled up for this prestigious event. Most of them look pretty outstanding! Looks like the one shoulder strap outfit is making a come back this year! I have a couple of the one shoulder tops and a dresses too. I'm so excited, I'll definitely get them out and wear them soon:)

Oops! Looks like I am getting distracted here. Anyway, I have also baked some chicken wings and I'll get around to post them tomorrow morning. Well, have a good week ahead!

Eggplant Dip

Ingredients

6 Medium-Sized (700-750 g) Eggplants (Aubergines)
5 Cloves of Garlic
3/4 to 1 Lemon, juiced
1 tsp Cumin
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 Tbsp Tahini (Sesame Paste)
2 Tbsp Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
1/4 of Red Onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt to taste

Method

Preheat the oven to 205˚C (400˚F). Clean and dry the eggplants. Pierce the eggplants with a skewer or toothpick all over, and place on a baking tray together with the garlic. Baked in the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the eggplants are soft. Peel the eggplant skin off and reserved all the pulps.

Combine the eggplant pulps, garlic, lemon juice, Tahini, olive oil, sea salt and process in a food processor until smooth. To serve, spread the eggplant mixture on a small plate, top with cayenne pepper, onion, Parsley and drizzle some olive oil. Or you can just mix everything up! Serve them with some warm pita bread or any flat bread.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Macarons


Hey, I guess I'm joining the French Macarons frenzy too! Almost every food related website have pictures and recipes for them! They look so cute and adorable. This lovely tiny cookie is for all the sweet tooth lover out there. It was fun for me to make them, not perfect but I find them way too sweet for my liking. Anyway, at least all of us at home did try a couple of home-made macarons. As for me, after having one macaron, I had to drink my black coffee, 2 cups of them! LOL!

Btw, there are many basic macaron recipes and I'm not sure which one is the best. I got my recipe from Seriouseats.com

Recipe adapted from Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme by Dorie Greenspan

Bittersweet Chocolate Cream Ganache

8 oz (230 g) Bittersweet Chocolate, preferably Valrhona Guanaja, finely chopped
1 Cup (250 g) Heavy Cream
4 Tbsp (2 oz/60 g) Unsalted Butter, at room temperature

Method

Place the chocolate in a bowl that's large enough to hold the ingredients and keep it close at hand. Bring the cream to a full boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. While the cream is coming to the boil, work the butter with a rubber spatula until it is very soft and creamy. Keep the butter aside for the moment.

While the cream is at the boil, remove the pan from the heat and, working with the rubber spatula, gently stir the cream into the chocolate. Start stirring in the center of the mixture and work your way out in widening concentric circles. Continue to stir-without creating bubbles-until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Leave the bowl on the counter for a minute or two to cool the mixture down a little before adding the butter.

Add the butter to the mixture in two additions, mixing with the spatula from the center of the mixture out in widening concentric circles. When the butter is fully incorporated, the ganache should be smooth and glossy. Depending on what you're making with the ganache, you can use it now, leave it on the counter to set to a spreadable or pipeable consistency ( a process that could take over an hour, depending on your room's temperature) or chill it in the refrigerator, stirring now and then. (If the ganache chills too much and becomes too firm, you can give it a very quick zap in the microwave to bring it back to the desired consistency, or just let it stand at room temperature.)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Maxfrut


Why am I posting about popsicles at this time of the year, you are probably asking? Well, this is no ordinary popsicles that you get from your local grocers fridge which I would like to share with you. These are gourmet fruitcicles by Maxfrut. All their products are made from 100% whole, real fruit and NO artificial coloring or flavoring. Best of all, they are only 70 calories per bar.

Now, I think you might be wondering how good are these fruitcicles then? The child in me had me bravely indulging on 7 varieties of Maxfrut's fruitcicles, namely pineapple, mango, lime, melon, raspberry, bumbleberry, and watermelon. The verdict? Simply delicious and the whole experience did not leave me feeling too guilty afterwards!

So, if you're around the North Shore, why not go check out their Flavor Lab for some fruitcicles. At the moment they are selling their products right at their lab, which is located on 127 Garden Ave, North Vancouver.

You can also browse their website for more detailed information on their products and the availability of their product in your area. Here are some pictures taken recently at their premises and a few taken at home. Enjoy.:-)




Friday, February 20, 2009

Cucumber Salad


This is a Thai cucumber salad recipe. They are a great accompaniment for deep-fried fish or prawn cakes. The salad is sweet, sour and spicy.


Recipe adapted from Thai's Fabulous by Karnjana Leder

Cucumber Salad

(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

Dressing
1/2 Cup Vinegar
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 tsp Sea Salt

1 Cucumber, halved and thinly sliced
4 Shallots, thinly sliced
5 Thai Bird's Eye Chilies, chopped

Method

Mix the dressing ingredients and bring it to a boil. Set aside to room temperature.

Place sliced cucumber, shallots and chilies in a mixing bowl. Mix the dressing over the cucumber mixture. Marinate briefly and serve with deep fried fish cakes, prawns or even fried chicken.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Fried Glass Noodles


Well, I must admit sometimes I like to fry a big wok of noodles for the weekend. So, my family can have them the next day and I can really "sleep" in and I mean it! LOL! To be honest, I rarely have leftover food because I simply don't enjoy eating them again, but a few types of fried noodles or even fried rice is still good the next day.

Anyway, if you like dried shrimps then you can soak about 3 Tbsp of it and make sure to drain them well. (If not, those shrimps would pop all over you!) Fry them separately in a moderate heat with 2 Tbsp of Oil and mix into the noodles together with the prawns and bean sprouts. Do try my recipe:)

Fried Glass Noodles

Ingredients

350 g Dried Glass Noodles, soaked and drained
300 g Peeled Prawns, deveined
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
3 Medium-Sized Leeks, sliced
4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of sea salt and a dash of white pepper
600 - 650 g Bean Sprouts, washed and drained
3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
3 - 4 Tbsp Peanut Oil
Sea salt to taste

Method

In a moderate to high heat, fry the prawns with 2 Tbsp of oil in small batches. Cook until they are pink in color and slightly charred. Set aside.

Using the same oil, lower the heat and cook the garlic until they are golden in color and set aside.

Then, cook the eggs until they are set and mash them lightly with the spatula and set aside.

Turn the heat on high and add the remaining oil. Mix in the leeks and cook briefly for about 5 minutes. Then add in the glass noodles, garlic, eggs light and dark soy sauce. Give it a quick stir.

Then add in the prawns and bean sprouts. Stir quickly and season with sea salt and ground white pepper. To serve, top it with some chop scallions. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Banana Bread


I'm just wondering, how many versions of banana cakes or breads can one have?? I guess, the more the merrier? The banana bread is so soft, full of flavors and simply delicious. This is one of my favorite recipe and they are so easy to make. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros

Banana Bread


Ingredients

125 g (4 1/2 oz) Butter
180 g (6 1/2 oz) Dark Brown Sugar (I used 150 g)
350 g (12 oz/ 3 Or 4 Medium) Ripe Bananas, Mashed
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
250 g (9 oz/2 Cups) Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
3 Tbsp Warm Milk
A Pinch Of Salt

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F) and butter a 30 x 11 cm (12 x 4 inch) loaf pan.

Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and then whisk in the mashed bananas. Add the eggs, vanilla, cinnamon and a pinch of salt and whisk in well. Sieve in the flour and baking powder and beat until smooth. Mix the baking soda into the milk and stir into the batter.

Scrape the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes, until the bread is crusty on the top and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool.

Serve warm or cold, plain or toasted with butter, but allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container; where it will keep well for several days.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Strawberry And Rhubarb Tart


First of all, I would like to thank Hani for taking your time to write to me. I appreciated your kind words and I'm more than happy to share this lovely Strawberry and Rhubarb Tart recipe with you. Well, you can fill the tart with a bigger pastry shell and you can find the pastry shell recipe over here. So Hani, I hope you'll try to bake them and enjoy:)

Strawberry And Rhubarb Tart

Ingredients

1 (9 1/2 inches) bake blind
3 1/2 cups Fresh or Frozen Rhubarb, cut into smaller chunks
120 g Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp Corn Flour
A pinch of Sea Salt

Glazing

100 g of your preferred Jelly/Jam (I used Grape Jam)

Method

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, salt and corn flour and cook in a moderate heat for about 10 minutes. Leave it to cool.

In a small saucepan, bring the jam to a boil, then lower the heat and keep stirring until melted and leave it to cool.

Scrape all the rhubarb mixture into the cooked and cooled pastry shell with a spatula. Arrange the strawberry slices on top and brush with the cooled jam on top of the strawberries. Serve immediately.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Spaghetti With Meatballs


Okay, you can't go wrong with Spaghetti with Meatballs for sleepovers! I knew they would love them. This is yet, another good recipe from Tessa Kiros, Apple for Jams cookbook. They were brilliant!

Spaghetti With Meatballs

Ingredients


40-50 g (1 1/2-2 oz) Soft Crustless White Bread, Torn into Chunks
4 Tbsp Milk
400 g (14 oz) Minced (Ground) Pork And Beef
2 Tbsp Chopped Parsley
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Small Red Onion
About 4 Tbsp Light Olive Oil, For Frying

Sauce:
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled And Squashed A Bit
400 g (14 oz) Tinned Diced Tomatoes
3 or 4 Basil Leaves, torn


350 g (12 oz) Spaghetti
30 g (1 oz) Butter
Grated Parmesan Cheese, to serve

Method

For the meatballs, soak the bread in the milk in a small bowl, squishing it through your fingers so that it breaks up completely.

Put the mince in a large bowl with parsley, cinnamon, cumin, the bread mixture and 1/2 tsp of salt. Grate in the onion (it is easier to do this holding the whole onion and then keeping the unused half for another time). Mix everything together thoroughly, kneading it with your hands as though it were a bread dough. Form about 25 small meatballs the size of large cherry tomatoes, rolling them between your palms so they are compact and smooth. Keep the made ones on a plate while you finish rolling the rest. Depending on their age, kids might like to help you with the rolling.

Heat the light olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs in batches, making sure they are golden before you turn them. You should be able to shuffle them by holding the handle of the pan and giving a good flick with your wrist. If not, use tongs to turn them.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Heat the oil in a large saucepan which will eventually also hold the meatballs. Add the garlic cloves and, when you can smell them, add the tomato. Season with salt, add the basil and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Break up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as you stir from time to time.

When all the meatballs have been fried, add them to the tomato sauce and stir in about 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) of water. Simmer uncovered for another 20-25 minutes, until the meatballs are soft and there is a fair amount of thickened sauce to toss into your pasta. Taste for salt, adjusting if necessary.

Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water; following the packet instructions. Drain, return to the cooking pot and gently but thoroughly toss the butter through. Serve the pasta in individual bowls with a good ladleful of the tomato sauce, a few meatballs and a scattering of parmesan cheese on top.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Pancakes


Okay, these are not the typical thick and fluffy pancakes. I wanted to make something different for the kids; the pancake recipe is from Tessa Kiros, Apple For Jams and guess what, it was a HIT! They all loved the thin and soft pancakes with maple syrup, cinnamon sugar and best of all "WHIPPED CREAM". As for me, I have the pancakes with some maple syrup and top with some lovely pomegranates seeds. Delicious!

Pancakes

Ingredients

2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tbsp Caster (Superfine) Sugar
100 g (3 1/2oz) Plain (All-Purpose) Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
250 ml ( 9 Fl oz/1 cup) Milk
Butter, For Frying

To serve:
Freshly Whipped Cream
Caster (Superfine) Sugar
Lemon Wedges
Maple Syrup
Ground Cinnamon

Method

Whip together the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Add the flour and baking powder alternately with the milk, whisking well until it's smooth. Cover and leave to stand at room temperature for at least half an hour.

Melt a little butter in a non-stick frying pan - just enough to coat the bottom. When it's sizzling, add a small ladleful of batter. Tilt the pan so that the batter swirls out and around to thinly cover the bottom, mingling with some of the butter. Fry over medium heat until the underside is nicely golden, using a spatula to lift up the edge to check. Loosen the side with the spatula and flip the pancake over. Fry until the new underside is lightly golden, then slide out of the pan onto a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest of the batter, adding more butter when you need it. The first pancake is often not so great, but once you've got the hang of it and have got the pan temperature perfect, they'll work well.

Put out bowls of whipped cream, caster sugar, lemon wedges, maple syrup and enough cinnamon for everyone to help them self to their own favorite topping. Make cinnamon sugar by mixing 3 tsp of sugar with 1 tsp of cinnamon, and that's lovely with a squeeze of lemon juice over the top.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Açaí Energy Bowl


Okay, as promised earlier, here is my Açaí bowl recipe. I'm sure many of you must be wondering what is Açaí, right? In fact, I have received a few emails regarding the product. Well, you can learn more about Açaí from Sambazon. They have all the information, a few recipes and a blog too! Go check them out!

Açaí Energy Bowl

Ingredients

2 Packets (100 g) Original Açaí
1 Banana
2 Tbsp Natural Yogurt
2 or 3 Splash of Soy Milk
Extra 1/2 a Banana, sliced
A handful of your favorite Granola

Method

Blend the frozen Acai, banana, yogurt and soy milk. To serve, top with slices of bananas and granola.



Friday, February 13, 2009

Brownies


Well, I have made the brownies for my kids and their friends. Since, today is a holiday for their school, my son has invited a couple of his friends for a sleepover. So, I have decided to bake some goodies for them. This one is a simple brownie recipe from Tessa Kiros, Apples For Jam cookbook. I have only used 300 g of sugar because the recipe calls for Semi-sweet chocolate, and to me, they should be sweet enough. Guess what? I was correct!

Brownies

Ingredients


350 g (12 oz) Butter
300 g (10 1/2 oz) Dark (Semi-Sweet) Chocolate, broken up
60 g (2 1/4 oz) Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, sifted
6 Eggs, separated
350 g (12 oz) Caster (Superfine) Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
200 g (7 oz) Plain (All-Purpose) Flour

Method

Preheat the oven t 180˚C (350˚F/Gas 4). Butter and flour a 29 x 39 cm (11 1/2 x 15 1/2 inch) baking tray that is at least 3 cm (1 1/4 inches) deep. Put the butter in a medium-sized pan over low heat. When it begins to melt a little, add the chocolate. Stir frequently with a wooden spoon until all the chocolate it has melted and the mixture is smooth. Don't overheat it or the chocolate might seize up. Remove from the heat and whisk in the cocoa powder, then leave it to cool a bit.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. In another large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla until creamy, then fold in the flour. Add the cooled chocolate and butter, mixing well, and then fold in the egg whites until everything is thoroughly mixed.

Scrape out every drop into your tray and put in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until a skewer poked into the center comes out clean. Don't overcook it though; the brownie should be quite moist in the center with a crusty top and edges. Leave it to cool completely.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Super Açaí Smoothies


I have heard so much good things about Açaí berry supplement, especially as a source of antioxidants and energy boosters, but I never thought much about it. So, recently I was invited by Ben and Suanne of Chowtimes to check out a new and fancy frozen yoghurt place called Qoola at Denman St, Vancouver. (They were invited for a soft opening at Qoola) The frozen yoghurt was good until the name "Açaí" was mentioned and Qoola açaí bowl was fantastic!

Okay, when I saw packets of frozen Açaí at Wholefoods, immediately I knew I have to try them. Today, I'm posting smoothies with blueberry recipe. I had one glass of it for lunch and they really fill me up! Btw, I'll be posting my Açaí Bowl recipe during the weekend.



Super Açaí Smoothies
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

1 Packet (100 g) Pure Açaí
1 Cup Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk
1 Cup Frozen Blueberries
1 Banana
1 Tbsp Honey
Some Fresh or Frozen Blueberries for garnish

Method

Mix all the ingredients and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Deep-Fried Red Fermented Bean Curd Chicken Wings


Wow! What a long name for a simple fried chicken! LOL! I just don't know how to simplify the name. I guess, the name or the title is not important, as long as they taste good, right? And of course, the chicken wings are tasty, juicy in the inside and crunchy on the outside. Hmm, that sounded like a commercial for fried chicken! :P

Deep-Fried Red Fermented Bean Curd Chicken Wings

Ingredients


1 dozen Chicken Wings
3 pieces Red Bean Curd
3 Tbsp Red Bean Curd Sauce
3 Tbsp Corn Flour
2 tsp Garlic Paste
1 Tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine
1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1/2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tsp Sugar
Oil for deep-frying

Method

Marinate the chicken wings with all the ingredients for about 4 hours.

Heat the oil on a high heat and fry the chicken wings in batches until golden brown and slightly red in color. Drain on a paper towel and serve immediately.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Lemon And Almond Cake

I simply love this cake. So, light, lemony and nutty! I baked the cake with prepared paper cases instead of the spring-form tin. This is a great recipe and it is adapted from the Tessa Kiros cookbook, Twelve. I'm a huge fan of hers and you'll see many recipes from her books throughout these couple of months or maybe years?

Lemon And Almond Cake

Ingredients

125 g (4 1/2 oz) Butter, slightly softened
125 g (4 1/2 oz) Caster (Superfine) Sugar
3 Eggs, separated
125 g (4 1/2 oz) Almonds, finely ground
60 g (2 1/4 oz) Plain (All-Purpose) Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
Juice of 2 Small Lemons
Grated (Yellow) Zest Of 2 Small Lemons
Icing (Confectioners') Sugar, to serve

Method

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Whip the butter in a bowl with the sugar until it is creamy. Add the egg yolks, one by one, and mix well between each addition. Whisk in the almonds, the sifted flour and the baking powder. Add the lemon juice, the grated zest and whisk together. In a separate bowl whip the egg whites to soft peaks and fold them into the batter.

Butter and flour a 20 cm (8inch) spring-form cake tin. Scrape the batter into the cake tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, until the top is lightly golden, and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Let it cool slightly before opening the side of the cake tin.

Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with icing sugar.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Salted Vegetable Soup


Okay, this is another simple soup recipe to prepare at home. The soup is prefect for a cold weather and sometimes I would add an extra block of tofu just to soak up the saltiness of the salted vegetable. They can be a meal by itself or have them with some steamed rice.


Salted Vegetable Soup
(Printable Recipe)

Ingredients

1 Packet (250 g) Salted Vegetable
1 Block (500 g) Medium Firm Tofu, cut into cubes
4 Slices Ginger
2 Tomatoes, quartered
2 Pickle Plums
6 Cups Chicken Stock
Sea Salt to taste

Method

Soak the salted vegetables for about 15 minutes. Drain and cut into smaller pieces.

In a large pot, add the chicken stock, salted vegetables, ginger, tofu, pickle plums and tomatoes. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes. Season the soup with sea salt if necessary. Serve immediately.

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