Monday, October 25, 2010

Mini Cheesecakes with Macerated Berries


Have I told you that I have a thing for cream cheese? No matter it's on the icing or filing for the cake. They are so delicious. I should have made this couple weeks ago when my oven broke down but the idea just came up after everything is fixed as they are not baked but refrigerated overnight. However, this dish is on my must to do recipe list and I always spoil myself with sweet treat on Sunday afternoon. 

The advantage of making mini cheesecake, of course that all the hard work is done well in advance, this is suitable for those who plan for party or special occasion on the day after.  

Mini Cheesecake with Macerated Berries

100 g Sweet Biscuit Crumbs
90 g Toasted Flaked Almonds, lightly crushed
90 g White Chocolate, chopped, melted
60 g Unsalted Butter

2 teaspoons Powdered Gelatine
250 g Cream Cheese
90 g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated Orange Zest
2 tablespoons Orange Juice
125 ml Cream, whipping
1 Egg White, at room temperature

1. Lightly grease a 12 hole standard muffin tin, Line each hole with two long strips of baking paper in the shape of a cross to hep remove the cheesecake.


2. Put the biscuit crumbs, almonds, white chocolate and butter in a bowl and stir until just combined.


3. Divide the mixture among the muffin holes and use the small cup (anything that slightly smaller than the muffin hole) to press it over the bases and up the sides, smoothing with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.


4. To make the filing, put 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl and sprinkle with gelatine. Leave gelatine to sponge and swell.

5. Beat the cream cheese, sugar and orange zest in a small bowl with electric beaters until light and creamy. Beat in the orange juice until combined. Stir in the gelatine mixture.


6. Whip the cream until soft peaks form. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white with a clean whisk until soft peaks form. Fold the cream and egg white into the cream cheese mixture. Spoon into the prepared crust and refrigerate for several hours or overnight or until set.


Macerated Strawberries

250g Mix Strawberries and Blueberries
1 tablespoon Caster Sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely grated Orange Zest
2 tablespoons Orange Juice

Cut the strawberries and blueberries into small pieces. Combine the berries with sugar, orange zest and orange juice and refrigerated for several hours


To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the muffin tin and top with few berries


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Churros with Dark Chocolate Dip


What is your comfort food? This Churros dips in Dark Chocolate Sauce is definitely falls under one of my comfort food category. I love sweet and fried food, guilty!. Who needs San Churro while you can make your own and indulge yourself for rich late night snacks or breakfast snacks?

Here they are for the one who has sweet tooth like me.

Churros with Dark Chocolate Dip

110 g Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
30 g Butter
150 g Plain Flour
1/2 teaspoon finely grated Orange Zest
1/4 teaspoon Caster Sugar
2 Eggs
Vegetable Oil, for deep frying

1. Combine 110 g Caster Sugar and Cinnamon. Spread mixture out on a plate

2. Put the Butter, Flour, Orange Zest, Caster Sugar, 170 ml Water and pinch of salt in a sauce pan. Stir over low heat until the butter softens and forms a dough with the other ingredients. Continue to cook for further 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the dough forms a ball around the spoon and leaves a coating on the base of the pan.


3. Transfer the dough to a food processor and with the motor running, add the eggs one at a time. Do not over work, if the dough is to soft, return it to the pan and cook, stirring over low heat until it is firmer. Spoon the dough into a piping bag fitted with 1/4 inch nozzle

4. Heat the oil in a wide sauce pan. Pipe 8-10 cm lengths of batter into the oil, a few at a time. The easy technique is to pipe with one hand and cut the batter off using kitchen scissors in the other hand

5. Cook the churros for about 3 minutes or until puffed and golden, turning once or twice. Drain on paper towel. While still hot, toss them in the sugar cinnamon mixture and serve at once


Dark Chocolate Sauce

2 Tablespoons Corn Flour
500 ml Milk and 2 Tablespoons, extra
200 g Dark Chocolate
Sugar, to taste

1. Mix the corn flour and 2 Tablespoons to form a smooth paste.

2. Put the chocolate and remaining milk in a sauce pan and whisk constantly over low heat until just warm. Add the corn flour paste. Whisking constantly, cook the mixture until it just begins to boil.


3. Remove from heat, add sugar to taste and whisk for 1 minute.  Serve with the Churros


Monday, October 11, 2010

Sugar Cane Prawns

(Adapted from "Little Vietnam- Nhut Huynh")


Last Weekend My hubby took me for My 29th Birthday at Coda, Flinders Lane. I had Prawns on Sugar Cane as appetizer, it was super delicious even though it can be messy at times as their version is bit different from this one I made. 

I was flipping through my recipe book when I got home and very thrilled to find this recipe in "Little Vietnam" by Nhut Huynh The juice sweetness from the Sugar Cane brings the lovely flavor. The sugar cane itself is also available from the Asian Groceries. 

The good thing about cooking this recipe is I can play around mix and match with the dipping sauce, e.g Fish Dipping Sauce, Hoi Sin Dipping Sauce or Lemon and Pepper Dipping Sauce. For now, I settled for Fish Dipping Sauce. Hmmm I'm craving for some more.. 

Sugar Cane Prawns

500 g Prawn Meat from Raw King Prawns
2 teaspoon Caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 small Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped Coriander roots (from about 1/4 bunch)
1/4  small Onion, finely chopped
Few Drops or a pinch  of Thai Chili Powder
2 Egg Whites
400g Canned sugar Cane, drained
Vegetable Oil for Deep Frying

1. Mix All ingredients, except sugar cane and oil in a mixing bowl. Transfer to food processor to form a smooth paste. Cover with cling wrap and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes


2. Meanwhile Cut sugar cane into 6 cm


3. Roll mixture into 3 cm balls,then place in rows along a greased baking tray. Inset a Sugar cane piece into the top of each prawn paste ball, then gently place the mixture around a sugar cane.

4. In batches, place them on an grease metal steamer then cook, covered, over simmering water for 6-8 minutes or until firm and cooked through.


5. Heat Vegetable Oil for deep frying in a wok over medium heat, then fry prawns on sugar cane for 1-2 minutes, turning until the prawn mixture is golden all over. Drain on a paper towel


6. Serve Immediately with bowl of your favorite dipping sauce to the side. In this case, I made Garlic Fish Dipping Sauce 

Garlic Fish Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup Fish Sauce
1 small Clove Garlic
1-2 Fresh Chillies, finely chopped

Mix All ingredients in a bowl and serve.


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Deep Fried Quails with Spicy Salt

Deep Fried Quail with Spicy Salt

This dish is the ultimate hubby's favorite meal.. Well, He loves everything fried.. Correction, We love anything fried.... Very guilty indeed..

To be perfectly honest, cutting the quail is not my favorite thing to do. I feel very sorry for the little quail deep inside of me but I must admit too that I really love the outcome of the deep fried quails. It is so irresistible.

Fresh Quails are best for this recipe because once frozen, quail can become quite dry and bland. Tenderness and Succulence are the main characteristics of this dish

Deep Fried Quails with Spicy Salt

4 Quails
1 teaspoon Spicy Salt and Pepper (see below for recipe) 
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Light Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Shaoxing Rice Wine
2-3 tablespoon Plain Flour
Oil for deep frying
1 Spring Onion, chopped
1 Red Chilli, chopped

1. Split Each Quail in half down the middle and clean well. Marinate with the spicy salt and pepper (see below for recipe), the sugar, soy sauce and rice wine for 2-3 hours in the fridge, turning frequently. Coat Each quail piece in the flour

2. Fill a wok one-quarter full of oil. Heat the oil to 190˚ C. Reduce the heat and fry the quail for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove from the wok and drain on paper towels


3. Soak the spring Onion and Chili in the hot oil (with the heat turned off) for 2 minutes. Remove with wire sieve or slotted spoon and drain, then sprinkle over the quail pieces. Serve hot

Deep Fried Quail with Spicy Salt

Spicy Salt and Pepper

1 tablespoon Salt
2 teaspoon Ground Sichuan Peppercorns
1 teaspoon Five Spice Powder

1. Combine the Salt, Sichuan Peppercorns and Five spice Powder.


2. Dry fry over low heat, stirring constantly for 2-3 minutes. 

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Steamed Pandan Cake

Steam Pandan Cake

What do I really need at the moment? Comfort food such as this Steamed Pandan Cake. This cake brings back my memory the day I first came to Australia 13 years ago, My sister used to buy pandan cake every week in asian grocery, even though the cake they sold didn't really cut it but it was always making me homesick every bite I had. Most of home made pandan cake is cooked with fresh pandan leaves, which doesn't turn artificial green color and leaves the chemical flavor. 

Well, Here's also another story, If you read my previous post on Meringue with Mocha Bailey Cream, you will have heard about my devastation on my blew up oven.  I was planning to bake a pandan cake in the first place but when I was about to put them in the oven then I found out that the electric element on the oven was split into half. I can not waste of this beautiful pandan batter and I immediately remember that I once read the recipe about Steamed Pandan Cake, this was the time I should try that!

Steamed Pandan Cake

60 Pandan Leaves
75 ml or 1 table spoon Coconut Milk
7 Egg Yolks
125 ml Vegetable Oil
225g Plain Flour
300g Caster Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
8 Egg Whites
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar 

1. Greased very lightly 23 cm Round Chiffon cake Pan

2. Snip Pandan Leaves into short lengths with scissors, then blend in a food processor for few minutes until reduced to grassy pulp. Transfer pulp to fine sieve and squeeze for juice. Measure out 115 ml of juice (if not enought, make up difference with water) into a bowl, add coconut milk, egg yolks and vegetable oil and whisk until smooth. Set aside


3. Sift plain flour into a large bowl. Add sugar, baking powder, salt and whisk well to blend, then add egg yolk mixture and whisk until smooth


4. In  a clean grease free bowl, beat egg whites with cream of tartar at hight speed until soft peaks form. Gradually beating until stiff peaks start to form. Fold egg whites into batter in three additions, folding just until incorporated. Pour batter into pan, level surface with spatula, and steam for 55 to 60 minutes.


The above picture is the emergency procedure I had to do due to the broken oven. I wish I can provide you with a better image. 

5. Invert cake onto a rack and leaves to cool upside down in the pan. Cut around edge and base with thin bladed knife to release cake from pan. 


This recipe also works for baking as well. I made lots of baked pandan cake in the past and this was the first time I ever made the steamed version. This is one of the yummy, moist, soft cake. YUMMY!! 


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