Saturday, December 31, 2011

Chocolate Cake With Icing


Well, as we prepare to bid farewell to 2011, I’d like to end this year with this post, the classic Chocolate Cake With Icing recipe. The cake is slightly dense, chocolaty, and it’s perfect for chocolate lovers. Try a big slice with your favorite cuppa, be it tea or coffee.

To all my readers, a very happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year 2012! Wishing all of you a fantastic new year ahead! Cheers!

Recipe adapted from Apples For Jam By Tessa Kiros (pg 311)

Chocolate Cake With Icing

Ingredients


180 g/6 ½ oz Unsalted Butter
50 g/1 ¾ oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken up
30 g/1 oz Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 Large Eggs, separated
180 g/6 ½ oz Caster Sugar
125 g/4 ½ oz All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Sea Salt
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
3 Tbsp Milk

Icing
80 g/ 2 ¾ oz Unsalted Butter, softened at room temperature
60 g/ 2 ¼ oz Icing Sugar
30 g/ 1 oz Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 Tbsp Milk
2 Generous tsp Golden Syrup

Method

Preheat oven to 350˚F/180˚C.

Butter and flour a 9 ½ inches/24 cm springform tin.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then add chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla and stir until melted. Remove from the heat.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until they are creamy and stiff.

In a large bowl, whisk in the egg yolks until they are foamy, then beat in the sugar. Add the chocolate mixture, a bit at s time. Then sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Add the milk and mix until smooth. Fold in the egg whites, and gently mix until they are completely incorporated into fluffy but dense mixture. Scrape the batter into the tin and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin before moving to a serving plate.

Make the icing: Whip the butter with the icing sugar until fluffy. Whisk in the cocoa a bit at a time, until it is completely incorporated. Then add the milk and golden syrup and whisk until very smooth. Spread it over the top of the cake with a spatula, using swift smooth stokes.

Serves 8

Monday, December 26, 2011

Bacon Toasts


Bacon Toasts are great for dipping into soup, soft-boiled eggs, and as a snack by itself. Try making it!


Bacon Toasts

Ingredients

6-1 ½ inches thick Baguette toast (from 1/3 of a Baguette/about 5 to 6 inches lengthwise)
6 Rashers of Thinly Sliced Smoked Bacon

Method

Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Wrap the bacon over each toast and place on a baking tray and bake for about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn the bacon toast at least once and bake until the bacon is slightly crispy and the toast is golden brown in color.

Serves 2

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Roasted Eggplant Soup


Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Trust you are all having a great time with your family and love ones :-)

This Roasted Eggplant Soup is just the perfect hot fix for a cold winter evening. It's creamy, satisfying and simple to make. I like to serve this soup with a couple of crispy and slightly salty Bacon Toasts. I will post the bacon toast recipe next.

Roasted Eggplant Soup

Ingredients

2 (About 950 g) Medium Eggplants, cubed (1 inch)
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
¼ tsp Sea Salt

4 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Large Yellow Onions, peeled and finely shopped
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped


1 Large Potato, peeled and diced

2 Tins/Cans (794/28 oz)) Diced/Chopped Tomatoes

4 Cups Chicken or Vegetable Stock
A handful Fresh Coriander, chopped

1 tsp Ground Cumin

¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
Sea Salt

Freshly Ground Black Pepper



Method



Preheat the oven to 450˚F.



Toss the eggplants with ½ tsp cumin, sea salt, and 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large baking tray. Roast in the oven for about 30 to 35 minutes or until soft.


Heat the olive oil in a large pot; add onion and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook the mixture until soft and translucent but not brown in color. Then turn the heat on high and mix in the eggplants, potato, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, and paprika. Sauté the mixture for about 3 to 5 minutes, and add the chicken or vegetable stock. Then bring it to the boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes.



Allow the soup mixture to cool slightly before you puree it with a handheld blender. Bring the soup back to the boil and season with some salt and pepper. Serve warm with some crusty bacon toast.

Serves 6

Friday, December 23, 2011

Garlic Cheese Bread


This Garlic Cheese Bread is another ideal accompaniment that goes very well with many starters, such as soups and salads.


Garlic Cheese Bread

Ingredients


1 (14 inches) Baguette
1 (200 g) Fresh Mozzarella, halved and thinly sliced
3 Tbsp Garlic Butter, softened at room temperature
1 Tbsp Chopped Basil Leaves
Sea Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Aluminum Foil

Method

Preheat oven to 400˚F/205˚C.

In a small bowl, mix garlic butter, basil, and season with salt and pepper.

Put the baguette on a chopping board, start from one end, and, cut almost all the way through, at about 1 inch intervals. 




Spread the garlic butter mixture and insert cheese in between the slits. Then sprinkle some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper on top of the bread. Wrap the bread in an aluminum foil and place it on a baking tray.


Bake the bread for about 22 to 25 minutes or until the bread turn slightly crispy and the cheese is melted. Serve warm.

Serves 4

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas


I love this fantastic Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas. It's packed with nutrients, smothered with pan roasted tomato salsa, and topped off with cheese. You can prepare the vegetables and salsa ahead of time. Just cook the quesadilla before serving. Try these simple fajitas and enjoy.


Roasted Vegetable Quesadillas

Ingredients

Roasted Vegetables
8 (6 to 7”) Flour Tortillas or any variety
1 Pack (380 g) Shredded Tex-Mex Cheese Blend
Pan Roasted Tomato Salsa
Lime wedges

Roasted Vegetables
2 Patty Pan Squash, diced~about ¾ inch

1 Green Color Zucchini, peeled and diced~about ¾ inch
1 Yellow Onion, peeled and diced
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and diced ~about ¾ inch
2 Scallions, roughly chopped
10 Small Button Mushrooms, quartered
½ tsp Chili Flakes

1 ½ Tbsp Olive Oil

Sea Salt To Taste


Freshly Ground Black Pepper





Method





Preheat the oven to 450˚F. In a large roasting pan, combine patty pan squash, zucchini, onion, pepper, scallions, mushrooms, chili flakes, olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until all the veggies are fully cooked and golden in color.


Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Place a tortilla in the pan and spread a layer of salsa on one side of the tortilla. Then scatter some roasted vegetables and top with a layer of cheese.

Fold the tortilla in half and then carefully flip over. Continue cooking, pressing down lightly with a spatula, until its other side is golden brown, crispy, and the cheese has melted.



Slide the tortilla onto a plate lined with greased proof paper or paper towel, and repeat with the remaining tortilla, salsa, roasted vegetables and cheese. To serve, cut each quesadilla into 2 or 3 wedges with some lime wedges and additional salsa, if desired.

Serves 4

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pan Roasted Tomato Salsa


Pan Roasted Tomato Salsa is a great dip. It's packed with the wonderful aromatic flavors. Made with fresh ingredients, namely, tomatoes, Ancho chili, onion and seasoned with lots of chop coriander, and freshly squeezed lime juice. Yummy!

Pan Roasted Tomato Salsa

Ingredients

3 Dried Ancho Chilies, washed and dried
4 Ripe Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and quartered
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1 Yellow Onion, peeled and quartered
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Coriander

Seasoning
Freshly squeezed Lime Juice (about ½ lime)
¼ tsp Ground Cumin
¼ tsp Smoked Paprika
Sea Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Method

Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron pan on medium to high heat and roast the chilies, tomatoes, garlic, and onion until golden brown in color, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and mix in the coriander and blend to a coarse puree. Season the salsa with lime juice, cumin, paprika, sea salt and pepper.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Banana French Toast


This healthy Banana French Toast is made with multi-grain bread, mashed bananas, eggs, cinnamon and soy milk. There's no sugar added for this recipe. Just try to use very ripe bananas. These decadent toasts are a great way to get your kids to eat multi-grain bread. They won't even notice it!

Banana French Toast

Ingredients

2 Ripe Organic Bananas, peeled
2 Large Organic or Free-Range Eggs
1 /4 tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Sea Salt
½ tsp Vanilla Paste
2 Tbsp Organic & Unsweetened Soy Milk
4 Slices Bread (preferably multi or country grain)
1 ½ Tbsp of Coconut Oil or Butter

Maple Syrup, optional
Berries, optional

Method

In a large plate, mash the bananas and whisk in the eggs with a fork. Then add cinnamon, salt, vanilla paste, soymilk and whisk until well combined. Dip the bread slice, one at a time, turning once, for 1 to 2 minutes. Then transfer the bread to a plate. Repeat with the remaining bread and egg mixture.



In a skillet over medium to high heat, melt about ¾ Tbsp of coconut oil or butter. Place the bread slices and cook, turning once, until brown in color. Transfer to a plate, and repeat with the remaining coconut oil or butter and bread slices.

Serve warm with maple syrup or some warm berries.

Serves 2

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Baked Potato With Cheese And Bacon


The good old Baked Potato With Cheese And Bacon, it's an irresistible comfort food for me. Topped with extra crisp bacon and everyone will just love it! Serve it up for brunch or as a side dish for dinner, just remember to warm it up before serving.


Baked Potato With Cheese And Bacon

Ingredients

4 (700 g) Medium Yellow Potatoes, peeled and cubed, about ¾ inches

1 Large Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped
6 Streaks Smoked Bacon, diced
½ Cup Chicken Stock
250 g Shredded Cheese (such as, Applewood Smoked Cheddar)
¼ tsp Smoke Paprika
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Sea Salt to taste


Method




Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, a little salt, and bring it to a boil. Let it boil for about 9 to 11 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 400˚F (205˚C). Lightly oil or butter a baking dish.

In a large saucepan, cook the bacon until the fat is rendered, until slightly crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and set aside-reserved 1 ½ Tbsp for sprinkling. Pour the rendered bacon fat in a bowl for another use.



Meanwhile, heat the saucepan over medium heat with one tablespoon of the reserved rendered bacon fat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the mixture is sticky and slightly caramelized. Then, add the potatoes, smoked paprika, black pepper, sea salt, and chicken stock. Give the mixture a good stir, season with sea salt if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat. Then add the bacon and 200 grams of cheese to the potato mixture. Pour into the prepared baking dish and scatter with the remainder 5o grams cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and light golden brown in color. Sprinkle the reserved bacon before serving.

Serves 4

Monday, December 12, 2011

Chocolate Marshmallows


We all know that kids everywhere just love marshmallows. However, this kiddie snack elevates into a fantastic festive treat for everyone when dipped into melted chocolate and rolled with crushed roasted nuts. For the upcoming holidays, these Chocolate Marshmallows makes an impressive gift too!


Chocolate Marshmallows

Ingredients

200 g (about 12 to 14 pieces) Marshmallows (any shape)
1 Bag (250 g) Bittersweet Chocolate Chips
200 g Roasted Nuts (such as Hazelnut or Pecan), crushed

Method

Line a tray or large flat plate with parchment paper.

Spread the crushed nuts on a flat plate.

Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the top bowl. Remove from the heat and let the chocolate cool for a few minutes. Drop the marshmallow in one at a time, turning them around so that they are completely covered. Remove with a skewer roll in crushed nuts to coat evenly.


Return them to the lined tray, and let them set completely in the fridge for about an hour and served chilled or at room temperature.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sausage Roll Bites


Try making these Sausage Roll Bites this holiday season. Tasty snack made with chicken, smoked bacon, roasted peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, and diced mozzarella ball. Absolutely delicious and best when served warm. Pretty sure everyone will love it!


Sausage Roll Bites

Ingredients

2 (400 g x 2) (12 x 15 inches) Pre-rolled Puff Pastry
2 (about 550 g) Skinless and Boneless Chicken Breast, diced
4 Streak Smoked Bacon, diced
3 Sun-dried Tomatoes, chopped
2 Roasted Red Peppers, diced
2 Sprigs (10 leaves) Fresh Basil, julienned
½ tsp Sea Salt
Generous amount of freshly ground Black Pepper
1 Large Mozzarella Ball, small diced
2 Egg Yolks, whisked (egg wash)
Sesame Seeds, for sprinkling

Method

Preheat oven to 425˚F. Line a large baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine chicken breast and bacon and process in a food processor. Mix in the tomatoes, peppers, basil, sea salt, and pepper. Give a quick pulse and make sure all the ingredients are well combine. Divide the chicken mixture into 6 portions.

Cut the puff pastry lengthwise into 3 pieces (4 x 5 inches). You will have 6 pieces in total. Fill chicken mixture in center of each slice of the puff pastry. Spread the mixture evenly and top with a layer of diced mozzarella. Brush the pastry edges with egg yolk, roll up the filling into a tight cylinder and press the two ends together. Using a sharp knife, cut about an inch bite size pieces. Repeat with the remaining pastry and filling. Brush lightly with egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Bake until golden brown, about 16 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool slightly and serve immediately.

Makes 60 Sausage Roll Bites

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Vegetable Chow Mein


This is my favorite home-style Vegetable Chow Mein or fried noodles recipe. Delicious stir-fry noodles with cabbage and bean sprouts, tossed with some seasonings. All ready to be enjoyed in less than 20 minutes! Another simple fried noodles dish that's just a perfect quick lunch time meal. Enjoy.

Vegetable Chow Mein

Ingredients

1 Packet/300g Chinese-Style Noodles blanched and drain in a colander
2- 3 Tbsp Peanut Oil
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
½ (about 4 cups) of a Small Cabbage, shredded
1 Packet/454g/16oz/1 lb Bean Sprouts, washed and drained

2 Tbsp Light Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Dark Soy Sauce, preferably Dark Caramel

1 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 tsp Sugar or Maggi-brand Seasoning
2 to 3 Tbsp Water
1 tsp Sesame Oil
Freshly Ground White Pepper

Sea Salt to taste



Method

In a large wok over medium heat, mix in the oil and cook the garlic until light golden in color. Toss in the noodles, cabbage, and give it a good stir. Then add soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar or seasoning, water, and sesame oil. Turn the heat on high, stir well and mix in the bean sprouts. Continue to stir-fry until all the ingredients are well mix and the bean sprouts are just cooked, and adjust the seasoning with pepper and sea salt.

Serves 4

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pineapple Energy Balls


I have another fantastic energy food to share with you today, Pineapple Energy Balls. They are slightly sweeter than my other energy bar recipes. However, there's no added sugar because the dried pineapple itself had been sweetened with organic cane sugar. Tastes so good and my kids just love them, even took some to school to share with their friends!


Pineapple Energy Balls

Ingredients

6 Large (110 g) Medjool Dates, pitted and chopped
1 ½ Cups (240 g) Dried Pineapples, chopped
1 Cup (80 g) Unsweetened Shredded Coconuts
1 Cup (120 g) Raw Almonds (without skin)
1-Cup (140 g) Raw Cashew Nuts
A Pinch of Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Orange Juice

Method

Combine chopped dates, pineapples, coconuts, cashews, almonds, and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse and process all the ingredients together until the texture is coarse. Then add the orange juice, a quick pulse, or until it reaches a dry but moist dough consistency. Scrape the dough mixture into a clean bowl, roll slightly heaped teaspoonfuls of mixture between your palms into compact little balls. Put them on the tray and into the fridge for an hour or so to firm up. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs