Saturday, February 20, 2016

All you need to know about Tiramisu and Sponge Fingers

Newest videos, everyone...I'm still baking!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Fixin' Supper

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One of my favourite things to do is to put together a nice old-fashioned supper. I find cooking to be both creative and relaxing in equal measure!  

Now, it's really fun to cook without a recipe, especially meats, fish and potatoes. Today, we had roast chicken legs, roast potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings. I'll get to the fantastically easy puddings in just a minute.

To start with, I pureed a little olive oil, a small purple onion (peeled and halved), half a bulb of garlic (both peeled), lemon zest, some fresh-frozen rosemary, salt, black and white pepper, chilli flakes, honey and yellow mustard. The puree was creamy and white, and then I just used it for the whole chicken legs and the potatoes. You can probably tell by the list of stuff that I just walked around the kitchen and picked spices to put in together!

You just can’t go wrong with chicken if you put:
·         Salt and pepper
·         Something sweet
·         Either onion or garlic
·         Something green (Italian herbs)
·         Optional: Something sour (Lemon zest or balsamic vinegar)
·         Optional: Something spicy (Cayenne pepper, paprika)
·         Optional: Sauce. Meaning tomato, mustard, Worchestershire or soy

The secret to good roast chicken of any cut is something sweet. It took me awhile to figure out that the best black pepper chicken must have honey in it – the flavour just POPS with the honey, but without it, it tastes flat. Same with grilled salmon. Or battered fries. Or most savouries for that matter – a light pinch of sweetness goes a looooooooooooooooooong way. Plus, sugar causes caramelization and there’s nothing more appetizing than golden-brown, succulent and not-burnt meat.

Like this guy

And this guy

But not this guy. He's a 1-inch wide miniature saltdough sculpture titled "My Ex Boyfriend"
 #recipefreed #artimitateslife

Since everything was in the oven at 230C (that’s 482 Fahrenheit), which is about the ideal temperature to roast chicken it, I thought I’d try popovers. After looking up some recipes, Yorkshire Puddings looked like a good idea. So I reduced the recipe to give it a test (we ended up finishing two eggs worth of Yorkshire Pudding)

One Egg Yorkshire Pudding

·         Fat/drippings
·         1 egg
·         50gm milk
·         35gm flour
·         Seasoning to taste

·         Rub fat generously onto a non-stick muffin or bun pan, and heat the pan in the oven. It should be sizzling hot but not smoking. Be careful of the smoking point.
·         The simplest method would be to pop everything in the blender and WHIZZ. Make sure there are no lumps and that the batter is full of air.
·         Test the pan for sizzling hotness by drizzling a drop of water. Work with extreme haste to distribute the batter and pop everything into the oven (230C) for twenty minutes. It should be in the center.
·         DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR until the puddings are well browned. It should be about 2- minutes.
·         A one-egg batch makes 12 perfect small Yorkshire pudding. Eat’em FRESH. *nom nom nom*

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Moist, Dark Chocolate Cake (And Cupcakes!) Recipe

This is one of my newest cake recipes that I developed from a friend's one-bowl quick cake. The recipes I share are those that I make over and over again because they are absolute favourites! After years of experimenting with chocolate cake recipes, I've finally found one that I can safely say is easy and, without fail, incredibly moist. Do give it a try!

Pan: I always use a Hamilton Beach Silicone 9" Bundt Cake Pan, greased slightly with vegetable oil, because it works perfectly for a no-fuss dessert cake that always turns out gorgeous and ready to serve. Besides a bundt pan, you can use two 8x2 or 8x3 round cake tins to make a layer cake. And, as you can see, I've even made cupcakes!

Oven Temperature: 160 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dry Ingredients

All Purpose Flour
2 cups

Granulated Sugar*
1 cup


Baking Soda*
2 tsp

Cream of Tartar
1/2 tsp

Wet Ingredients

Water, Boiling Hot
1 cup

Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder*
3/4 cup + 2 tsp

Instant Coffee
1 to 2 tbsp

Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 tbsp*

2 eggs

100 gm

1 cup

Vegetable Oil*
1 cup

  • For a sweeter cake, use 400gm/500ml/2 cups granulated sugar. Otherwise, the cake will have a light bitterness reminiscent of dark chocolate.
  •  Sift the baking soda to prevent lumps
  •  If using cocoa powder that is not alkalized or Dutch-processed, omit the cream of tartar. For example Hersheys cocoa powder is not alkalized but Van Houten cocoa powder is. 
  • 1/2 tbsp is equivalent to 1 1/2 tsp
  • Substitute yogurt with same amount of buttermilk or {milk+ 1 tbsp lemon juice/white wine vinegar}
  •  I usually use Malaysian-made palm oil

1) Preheat oven and prepare cake pans according to instructions on page 1.
2) Whisk dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. If necessary, sift to remove any lumps.
3) Whisk (or sift) the Dutch-processed cocoa powder and instant coffee in/into a heat-proof jug. Pour in boiling hot water and whisk until there are no more lumps. Cover and set aside to cool completely.
4) Add vanilla extract, eggs and yogurt to cooled cocoa mixture. Whisk well to incorporate.

5) Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients. Add all the vegetable oil and half of the cocoa mixture, stirring well for 3 minutes by hand (or 1 1/2 minutes on medium speed in a stand mixer) to develop the structure of the cake batter.
6) Incorporate the rest of the cocoa mixture in two additions, beating (20 seconds on medium speed in a stand mixer) until well mixed between additions.

7) Pour all the cake batter into pan/s and bake for 55 to 60 minutes (20-25 minutes for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Rotate halfway to ensure even baking.

8) Cool cake on wire racks completely before unmolding from the pan.  

You can embellish your cake in any way, but for the cupcakes pictured above, this is what I did:
  • Dip the cupcake in chocolate ganache
  • Sprinkle with grated white and dark chocolate
  • Top with halved or quartered fresh strawberries
  • Drizzle with more ganache!