Archive for Eye Candy

My coffee affair: Macademia Brownies


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As featured in  TastespottingFoodgawker


I’m going to stick to the recipe I know works, the one I got from Bakerzin’s Dessert Book by Daniel Tay, founder of Bakerzin. Those brownies are so heavenly moist, chocolatey, perfect sweetness and keeps well in the fridge. I still have a bag of fresh macademia nuts bought from the market a few days ago, sprinkles of chopped macademia creates a whole new flavours with touch of nuttiness to this perfect chocolatey bites.

Perfect for my morning coffee and afternoon tea!


Reposting recipe

MACADEMIA BROWNIES
Ingredients:
* 325 gr all purpose flour
* 5 gr baking powder
* 150 gr cocoa powder (I use Droste & Van Houten)
* 225 gr cream cheese
* 860 gr sugar (a bit too sweet for me, I use 660 gr only)
* 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
* 10 gr salt
* 450 gr unsalted butter (softened)
* 400 gr eggs
* 300 gr chopped macademia
* butter for greasing


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Cooking Direction:
1.) Preheat oven 180C or 350F
2.) Sift flour, baking powder, cocoa powder into a bowl
3.) Separately mix sugar & butter till fluffy, then add
vanilla essence, salt & cream cheese till well blended
4.) Fold eggs into cream cheese mixture, then gradually
fold in flour mixture. Add chopped macademia nuts
5.) Lightly grease the pan you’re going to use
Level the batter and bake for 20-25 mnts
(for shallow square pan I use baking sheets)
6.) Unmould & cool brownie. Top with warm chocolate melt
and sprinkles of chopped macademia


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** Recipe Source: Just Desserts by Daniel Tay


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Kumquat Salsa Asian Style

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Beautiful bright orange with soft even tone, smooth firm skin that looks so promisingly juicy and sweet inside. These fruit has always intrigued me since the first time I found it. But how do I eat it? I tried peeling that firm oval skin once, only to find a slippery pulp inside. Maybe I should squeeze it, I wondered. Hey, nothing comes out. Only later after a thorough search on the internet, I understand that one should eat kumquat whole – skin, pulp and seeds.

Having been familiarized with unique flavours of kumquat, I toyed with many ideas how to make this an interesting dish. It has interesting flavours after all. One day I put them in my hot ginger tea with honey. The flavours is just beautiful. I love it. This would go great with pan fried fish steak. Hmmmm…. Mike’s gonna love it for his lunch today.


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Lucky me, the kitchen had some fresh fillet of weaver fish. Perfect! Can hardly wait to experiment with new menu. I went straight to work on the kumquat salsa. Then marinate the fish. By 1pm lunch is served. Just beautiful as I had in mind. The kumquat salsa complements the pan-fried fish fillet perfectly……



Pan Fried Weaver Fish
just marinate in salt, pepper & lemon. Leave about 1 hour.
Quickly pan fried in olive oil or butter until it turns nice brownish color. Ready to serve with the salsa


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Then I saw some recipes of candied kumquat (will make that next week), kumquat cheesecake – sounds interesting, must try soon – lamb tagine with kumquat (instead of that bitter taste dried lemon) – a definite YES!

I am submitting this recipe for BloggerAid Cookbook Cuisine
supporting their vision of alleviating world famine.
If you’re interested to find out more about this event, click here


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Scrumptious Strawberry Cheesecake

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My kind of strawberry cheesecake –
as featured in TastespottingFoodgawker
(This image is also submitted for CLICK Photo Event)


Another baking trial day. Just a quick fix of sweets, I didn’t feel like following a complicated recipe. I just want something perfect to go with my fresh sweet strawberries bought from the market yesterday, along with fresh strawberry jam as a quick subs in case I need to make any sauce or glazing.

Guess what, it’s so perfectly silky and melts in the mouth. The smoothness creamy cheese blends in nicely with the sweet strawberry. I think I fall in love…


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STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE

Ingredients:
* 4 pcs of eggs
* 1 3/4 cup of sugar
* 24 oz cream cheese
* 1 tsp vanilla extract/crystals
* 2 cups of cracker crumbs for cheesecake
* 1 stick butter, melted
* 1 cup sour cream

Cooking Directions:
1.) In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter.
Press into a 9-10″ springform pan, pushing about an inch
of the mixture up the sides of the pan.
2.) Mix cream cheese, eggs, 1 cup of the sugar & vanilla.
Beat for about 20 minutes
3.) Pour filling into pan. Bake for 40 minutes at 325.
4.) Cool in oven for 35 minutes with door open

FOR TOPPING:
1.) Beat together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar & sour cream for
about 10 mnts until it gets fluffy.
2.) Pour over cooled cake and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
3.) Cool cake completely before slicing and serving.


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Thanks to all my food buddies for the support, I am also submitting this image to CLICK Photo Event – Red for January 2009, hosted by Jugalbandi.


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For more information & participation have a look HERE

Allspice Cookies ~ Speculaas


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We ran out of biscuits to go with our afternoon tea.  Apparently there’s a cookie monster at home who keeps gobblin down all the cookies.   Ah well, it’s time to start baking something different anyway after the last successful Gruyere Crusty Loaf.   This is by far the easiest cookies  I’ve ever baked.  Only the first attempt and they turned out beautifully crunchy with that pleasant allspice aroma – Indonesians call it  “spekkoek”  spices.


ALLSPICE COOKIES

Ingredients:

* 250 gr cookie flour
* 100 gr granulated palm sugar
* 125 gr unsalted butter
* 1 tbs ground allspice (spekkoek powder)
* 2 tbs milk
* 1 cup chopped cashews/almonds

Cooking Directions:
1.)  Whisk butter and palm sugar until completely  soft & fluffy
2.)  Prepare sifted flour, ground allspice & baking soda
Add butter-sugar mixture
3.)  Fold in chopped cashews/almonds
4.)  Using roller pin or hand, flat dough into surface
5.)  Cut into desired shape with cookie cutter
6.)  Place on silicon sheet & bake 150C for abt 30 mnts
7.)  Once baked, cool on wire rack.  Store in a tight container


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** Recipe from NCC Community


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Crusty Loaves with Gruyere Cheese


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As a true coffee junkie, I am constantly on a search for recipes of breads/cakes and other savouries to go with it. Although, in my opinion, the best match for morning coffee is cheese bread. This is such a wonderful loaf to bake. I was so excited when I prepared the starter dough the night before, wondering what wonderful taste & texture it would be like. I found the recipe from  HERE,  referred by Temperance on her Bread Baking Day#16. The starter puffed up very nicely overnight. Proofing took most of the time of the entire baking though, baking process only took about 30 mnts. So short, for such a rewarding result.

That morning my entire kitchen is wafting the smell of freshly baked cheese bread. The use of gruyere cheese – which I added a bit of mozzarella and drizzles of garlic oil, is just puuuurrr-fect!!! It’s melting beautifully, moist in the inside, crusty on the outside. Guess who loves it the most….. Mike 😀

This recipe is definitely going to be on the menu very often….

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CRUSTY LOAF STUFFED WITH  GRUYERE CHEESE

Ingredients:
(i) Starter
* 1 1/4 cups unbleached Bread Flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
* 1/2 cup cool water

(ii) Dough
* all of the starter
* 1 cup + 2 tbs to 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water*
* 1 tsp salt
* 3 1/2 cups unbleached Bread Flour
* 1/2 tsp instant yeast
* *Use more water in winter time

(iii) Filling
* 2 1/2 cups grated Gruyère cheese, or your preference
* 1 tbs garlic oil (optional)

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Baking Directions:

1)  Starter: Mix the 1 1/4 cups flour, salt, yeast, half cup of water.
Cover & rest overnight

2) Dough: Combine the risen starter with second one,
water, salt, flour & yeast. Knead until elastic.

3) Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover,
let it rise for 1-2 hours, till it’s nearly doubled in bulk.

4) Gently deflate the dough, stretch it into a 4 inch thick,
about 9″ x 12″. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

5) Roll it into a log, pinching the seam to seal.
Place the log, seam-side down on a lightly oiled surface.

6) Cover & let it rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till puffy but
not doubled in bulk. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

7) Gently cut the log into four crosswise slices, for mini-breads;
or cut in half, for two normal-sized loaves. Place on silicone sheet.
Spritz with warm water, immediately place them in the preheated oven.

8) Bake for 20 – 35 mnts or until the cheese is melted & loaves are
a deep golden brown. Cool on a rack.

Recipe from: HERE

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Submitted for a food event
“Bread Baking Day #16: Cheese Bread”
Hosted by Temperance ~  For more information & participation, have a look HERE


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Rosewater Panna Cotta

 

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Rosewater. Ancient’s most romantic herbs used in various recipes during the Arab Empire to make sweet drinks and desserts or for seasoning savory dishes. I just love the idea of making sweets using rosewater. The sweet scent of  rose beautifully lingers on a little longer in the mouth after the the food has gone.

I love it!

Today, I decided to cook up a simple dessert with divine flavours of rosewater. Rosewater is a rare thing to find here in Inner Mongolia, but I managed to buy a bottle a few weeks ago. I’ve kept it for a while and now it’s the perfect time to make one. After last night’s simpe birthday party at home, left me with some ingredients, enough to make panna cotta – plus there’re lots of red roses for my photo props.

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ROSEWATER PANNA COTTA
(makes 6/7 pcs)

*  100 gr caster sugar
*  500 ml heavy cream
*  100 gr sour cream
*  4 tbs rosewater (dillute in 1 cup of water)
*  10 gr gelatine powder
*  sprinkles of vanilla crystal

1.)  Heat sugar, vanilla & rosewater + water in a pan
2.)  When sugar dissolved, add gelatine. Careful not to boil
3.)  Whisk it until gelatine dissolves completely
4.)  Add heavy cream. Cook through
5.)  Pour mixture into panna cotta moulds
6.)  Let it cool – refrigerate for 4/5 hrs until set.
7.)  Drizzle with rosewater syrup

 

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THIS POSTING IS SUBMITTED FOR  “SUGAR HIGH FRIDAY” hosted by SUSAN.
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Tea Time Donuts – ala JCO


* as featured in Tastespotting *

Long long time ago, I’ve tried making donuts and been getting inconsistent results. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it’d be a complete disaster to a point that I cringed even on hearing the word ‘donuts’. It was my final decision, never to make donuts ever again. Ha! Until yesterday I was still convinced that baking donuts would be a complete waste of time.

Then I read Dita’s donut posting, followed by other foodie bloggers who’ve tried NCC’s donut recipe. Hmmm, this sounds like a fail-proof recipe. Maybe I should give it a try. Even without shortenings, my donuts were puffed up nicely with evenly light yellow color. Ooooohhh, this is soooo cool. So there I was, nicely cuddled up among fuzzy cushions in the sofa, watching the storm brewing in the evening sky outside, then droplets of rain spattering on the living room window. Warm donuts and a hot cup of tea in my hand. Yummmmm……

TEA TIME DONUTS – ala JCO
Ingredients:
DOUGH 1
* 850 gr flour or japanese ‘Komachi’ flour
* 30 gr instant yeast
* 10 gr gsalt
* 600 ml water

DOUGH 2:
* 200 gr flour or japanese ‘Komachi’ flour
* 10 gr salt
* 60 gr milk powder (I use milk flavoring)
* 125 gr sugar
* 100 gr eggs
* 125 gr shortening (I use butter)

Cooking Direction:
1.) Mix dough 1 until smooth with a mixer, cover & rest for 90 mnts
2.) Mix dough 2 until smooth. Knead dough 1 & 2 together    
     until smooth for 10 mnts. Cover and rest for 15 mnts
3.) With a roller pin, roll the dough abt 1 cm thick. Rest for 10 mnts
4.) Cut with donut cutter, remove the hole bit.
     Move to a tray with baking sheet & rest for another 10 mnts
5.) Deep fry in low heat until it turns light golden yellow.
6.) Cool on cooling rack, decorate with toppings.

** Recipe source NCC

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