Monday, February 28, 2011

Romeo and Juliet Cake

O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo? Probably this is one of the most famous lines in  Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet story. But have you heard of a Romeo and Juliet cake? If you google Romeo and Juliet cake, you probably wont find many listed under the search. I have used the recipe here , thanks to Talitha of Chocorango. There is a unique combination here in the cake that calls for grated parmesan cheese to be used in the cake and guava paste as topping or filling if you like. In South America, the combination of cheese and guava paste is also known as Romeo and Juliet, i do not know why..maybe because we never have thought of cheese pairing with guava and yet they make a perfect couple. There isnt any guava paste available in my place here so i make the my own guava paste instead. The recipe for the guava paste can be found here. I only made half of the recipe for the paste..just enough for this cake.I do not know whether if i have made the guava paste correctly, the color of the guava paste is quite different from those store bought ones available in overseas. The guava paste has a strong flavour of guava but i find it a little bit too sweet for me.  As for the cake, i could have overbaked it causing it to be a little dense, a little aroma of the cheese but if you eat that with guava paste, then you wont get to taste the cheese flavour. Thanks also to HTC( Have the Cake) for organising this Romeo and Juliet cake for this month so that i have the opportunity to know the cake and the new discovered combination.

Recipe from Chocorango
3 large eggs
200gm sugar
200gm flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1tbsp baking powder ( i used 1/2 tbsp)
20gm grated parmesan cheese ( i replaced with 30gm parmesan powder)
200ml milk
40ml oil

300gm goibada cubed ( guava paste)

I used my home made guava paste and did not any in any water cos that's already spreadable.

1.Preheat oven to 350F.Grease a 22cm round tin. Sift the flour, cornstarch and baking powder and set aside.
2. Beat the eggs with sugarfor 10minutes on high speed. Beat for 2 minutes more on low speed. Fold in the sifted ingredients.
3.Mix in 1/4of the batter with oil and milk.
3. Fold in the remaining batter and add in parmesan cheese.
4.Spoon into the pan and bake for 25minutes. Let cool on rack. Cover with guava paste/goiabada.
 ( i baked mine at 160C for almost 50mins)

I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #4- Love is in the Air ( feb2011) hosted by Cuisine Paradise and also linking to HTC ( Have The Cake).

the paste after cooking

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cassata Blueberry Cake

I made this cake for a little meet up with some very close school mates during Chinese New Year. All of us have known each other since primary, we went to the same tuition classes, we cycled to school together, we were girl guides and after finishing our secondary school, the group sort of got separated; some went to Form 6, some to KL, Singapore and Australia. Nevertheless, we still keep in touch with each other very often and make sure that we do not lose contact with anyone. We are now communicating even more, thanks to facebook!

I made the sponge cake in the morning itself and after it has cooled down, i put in the fridge for easy slicing later. The blueberry filling is quite easy to make, not complicated and this is not the creamy blueberry type of filling. I should describe it almost like gelato type and it's best to eat them chilled . Sorry for the photograph, the one showing the sliced cake is in total poor quality. All of the photos that i took on that night were very blur.I did not know what happened until i saw them in my computer. I must have clicked on the wrong mode or something and didnt bother to check the photos then , i guess i got too carried away with the conversations going on at the dinner table that night.

Sponge cake recipe ( pls refer to my Mango Mousse Cake , for a 10inch cake)
- Slice the cake into 2 equal slices and put them into a sponge ring

Ingredients for filling:
10oz full cream milk
2.5oz sugar
30gms gelatine powder
4 egg yolks
10oz blueberry pie filling
5oz non diary whipping cream
3oz diary cream
some fresh blueberries

1. Gently boil full cream milk, gelatine powder and sugar over a pot of simmering water until gelatine melts.
2. Let the gelatine mixture cool down and add in the egg yolks. Stir until smooth.
3. Add in the blueberry pie filling. Set aside.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the non diary whipping cream till soft peaks and add in the diary cream and continue whipping for another minute.
5. Bring in the blueberry filling (3) and fold in the whipping cream to combine. Throw in some blueberries here.
6. Pour half mixture onto the 1st piece of sponge, add the 2nd piece of sponge and top with another layer of the blueberry filling. Chill the cake until the filling is set.
7. Remove cake from cake ring and decorate. Chill cake before serving.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Nyonya Curry Chicken

This is one of the best curry chicken i ever had..infact i love the many versions of curry chicken; be it indian style , chinese style or malay style. I learnt this from a relative of mine but as we know, home style chinese cooking doesnt really have a proper recipe or exact amount of what to put in so i just tried my best to cook like hers..knowing what the ingredients are. This is a replicate version of her nyonya style curry chicken, very aromatic and i know one of the ingredient that makes it so aromatic is the kerisik, that we call pounded toasted grated coconut , we can easily get this from the wet market or supermarkets. Together with the coconut milk, this curry chicken is wonderfully fragrant. You can always adjust the amount of coconut milk if you prefer less creamy may think this is a bit unhealthy dish but to have this once in a while, it's really no big deal.

 1 small whole chicken, (mine approx 800gm after cutting into pieces)
 2 star anise
 1 cinnamon stick
 150gm thick coconut milk
 50gm kerisik
 80gm chilli boh ( chilli paste)
 2 blades pandan leaves, knotted
 6 tbsps of cooking oil
 salt and sugar to taste
 chicken seasoning powder ( optional)

Pounded ingredients:
big onions - 100gm
small onions/shallots - 50gm
garlic- 30gm
kunyit- 1 small piece, thumbsized
lemongrass - 2 stalks, white parts only
dry prawns - a small handful
belacan -  about 1"x1"

1. Pour oil into a wok over low fire and saute pounded ingredients until fragrant.  Add in chilli boh and continue frying , this process takes about 10 minutes.
2.Add in star anise and pandan leaves and cook for 3 minutes
3.Add in the kerisik and the chicken. Keep tossing and stirring, adjust to medium-high fire and pour in some coconut milk or add a little water if you find it too dry and cook for a few minutes, add in the balance of thick coconut milk, stir them around and let simmer until chicken is tender.
4. Lastly, add salt and sugar to taste. You can also add in some chicken seasoning powder here.

I am submitting this post to 3 hungry tummies for the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Event

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Nutty Banana Bread

When i saw Britanny from les reves d'une boulangere making this banana loaf , i knew that i wanted to make this too. I think i was somehow got captivated by the picture shown on her nutty. I've checked thru the ingredients and realised that there's an italian oo flour was used here but according to brittany, we can subsitute this with normal plain flour. So I have used self raising flour here in replacement of the plain flour and the italian oo flour. Simply delicious, the taste is is quite similiar to the banana cake but it's not oily and not too sweet. This banana bread is a lighter version compared to banana cakes , dont expect it to be very rich, it's not and yet full of banana flavour and moist. Thanks brittany for the recipe. I used pecan nuts and also added in some oats and lots of wheatgerm into it for added texture. Love that!

1 cup plain flour (  i used 1/2 cup )
1 cup Italian oo flour ( i used 1 1/2 cup of self raising flour)
1 tsp baking soda ( i used 1/2 tsp baking soda)
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 heaped tbsp greek yogurt or natural yogurt( i used  plain yogurt)
1tsp vanilla bean or extract
3 ripe medium-large bananas, mashed
1/3 cups crushed walnuts or almonds + 1/4 cups crushed walnuts or almonds ( i have used a combination of pecan nuts, oats and wheatgerm)

1. Preheat oven to 160C. Line a loaf tin. Sift together the flours, salt and baking soda, set aside.
2.Mix the egg,sugar, vanilla and vegetable oil together using a whisk until combined, when whisking try to lift so that some air is incorporated for lightness. Pour into flour mixture and stir.
3.When just combined, add in yogurt and mashed bananas, stir to combine.
4. Fold through desired 1/3 cups of nuts and pour into baking tin. Now sprinkle 1/4 cup of nuts on top of loaf mixture. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Leave in tin for 10 minutes before removing from tin.

Linking this post to Seasonal Sundays

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Sandwiches

Happy Valentine's Day!! I decided just to make something simple for this day, heart shaped sandwiches. I woke up quite early this morning to get this ready by breakfast..some white and wholemeal bread filled with ham and cheese, some with egg mayonnaise, some with marmalade and strawberry jam and decorate. Get a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut out bread, cheese and the ham slices. Actually these are some leftover ones that i saved for photographing later in the morning.

Have a lovely day today with your loved ones, your family and your dear friends. Well, even if you are single, unattached or your friends might be busy, there's no problem, you can always celebrate it on your own..there're no strict rules that says that we have to celebrate it with someone, ha! Most importantly, we still got to love ourselves! Have fun everyone and lots of hugs and kisses from me!

This post will be sent to Aspiring Bakers #4 - Love is in the air ( Feb 2011) hosted by Cuisine Paradise this month.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mushrooms Wholemeal Pizza

hi everyone, thank you for all your wonderful CNY messages. I had quite a peaceful and relaxing new year , most of the time i was in my house lazed around and watched tv except for meeting up with some really good buddies whom we knew each other since primary. I thought it would be a complete bake-free week for me but no, last minute i decided  to bake a cake to bring over to dinner at my friend's place. I will post that up later .
Coming back to the pizza today, i've made the pizza base using a combination of wholemeal flour and bread flour, the result is a slightly rougher texture. But i  find that upon eating the slice of pizza,  i could hardly differentiate whether it's a wholemeal or plain white pizza base. But the mushrooms fillings were delicious! I've made this base ahead and kept it in the fridge for 2 days before actually making the pizzas. After the dough has risen, i baked the dough at 160C for about 10 minutes, let it cool and put in the fridge.If you're making the pizza right away, just cook the fillings over a pan, spread them over the pizza base and bake until cheese is melting and base is slightly puffy around edges. I used a varity of mushrooms here for the filling plus some dried oregano , i do not have have an exact quantity of the fillings, just go as you wish.

Basic wholemeal thin pizza base ( from 500 pizzas and flatbreads)
Ingredients ( makes 3 12 inch pizza base) i made 1/3 of the recipe

115gm( 4 oz) plain flour
125gm( 4 1/2 oz) strong white bread flour
125gm(4 1/2oz) wholemeal flour
5ml (1tsp ) granulated sugar
5ml ( 1tsp) easy blend dried yeast
5ml (1 tsp ) salt
22ml ( 1 1/2 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil
225ml (8 fl oz) warm water

1.Combine the flours.Mix 225 gm( 8 oz) of the flour with sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl of standing mixer. Set aside. Combine oilve oil and warm water. With paddle attachment, slowly stir in the water and oil into the flour mixture until well combined. Mix in the remaining flour.
2.Change to dough hook attachment and knead on low for 4 -5 minutes, until dough comes together as a ball and is smooth and elastic. If knead by hand, turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 mins.
3.Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean cloth.Set aside in a warm spot for 1 1/2 to 3 hrs, until dough has almost doubled in volume.
3.Once dough has risen, divide the dough into 3 equal portions, shape each portion into ball, and flatten to form a disc. Using fingers or rolling pin, stretch out each disc to 12inch round, which is very thin- about 2mm ( 1/2 inch). i used fingers to stretch out the disc but i didnt manage to get to the edge of the 12inch pan, therefore it was not as thin as it should be.

portobello mushrooms, button mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, white beech mushrooms,, some dried oregano, grated mozarella cheese

some tomato paste to spread onto the pizza base.

1. Preheat oven to 160-170C.Heat olive oil in a pan , add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and continue cooking for 10mins and mushrooms are tender. Add in dried oregano.
2.Spread the filling over the tomato paste and sprinkle with some mozarella cheese. Bake for 5-10minutes until cheese is melting and base is puffy around edges.

This post is linked to Seasonal Sundays

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Dear friends,

I'll be taking a short break and will be back by next week. See you all soon!!