Thursday, October 12, 2017

Meringue Cookies




Was given some egg whites and thus whipped up some meringue cookies!

Ingredients
1 egg white (~30g) : 50g sugar
(I usually do 10-15% less sugar, better to use caster sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract


Method
Preheat oven to 100C (220F)
On low speed, beat the whites until soft peaks
Add sugar slowly, while still beating
Increase to medium speed and beat till stiff peaks form.
Rub some meringue between index finger and thumb to feel for sugar crystals. The sugar should be fully dissolved, giving a smooth feel. If meringue feels gritty, continue beating until smooth.
Pipe/ spoon onto parchment paper.
Bake in oven at 95C for 1.5 to 1.75h.
Meringue is cooked when it lifts off the parchment paper easily.


Cinammon Sugar Monkey Bread



When the husband asks for it, the husband gets it! :P

This recipe was taken from Sally's Baking Addiction cos most of the videos I see start with ready-made cookie dough or bread dough. This one makes the bread from scratch.

Ingredients

Dough:
1 pkg active dry yeast (11g)
1/4 cup warm water (for proofing the yeast)
11/4 cup warm milk (250ml)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted (75g)
1/4 cup sugar (30g)
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour (550g)

Coating the dough balls:
1/2 cup butter (110g)
11/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Drizzle over dough balls before baking:
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (55g)
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Glaze:
1 cup icing sugar (120g)
3 tbsp heavy cream/ milk (45ml)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


Method
Dough

  1. Dissolve yeast in warm water (check for proofing) for 2 min
  2. Add milk, melted butter, sugar, eggs, salt and 3 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. Beat on high using a dough hook.
  3. Slowly add remaining flour until a firm dough is formed. (Total of 5 cups)
  4. Turn dough onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic (5min). Dough is ready when it is smooth and it springs back when poked.
  5. Form dough into a smooth ball and place into a large greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight (or 2 hours in a warm place until double in volume).
To assemble & bake:
  1. Generously grease a bundt pan (I used a springform bundt tin) or any baking pan.
  2. Press dough down to allow air bubbles to release.
  3. Cut/ or pinch dough into small pieces, to roll into balls of about 3cm across.
  4. Coat all the dough balls with melted butter and then roll the balls in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Dump all the balls into the greased pan. *At this point, chopped nuts can also be added to the layers. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise again for another 45min.
  5. Prepare the drizzle mixture by melting the butter together with the brown sugar. Add vanilla extract once all the sugar has melted into the butter. Drizzle into the bundt pan. (Or, alternate drizzle with dough balls) 
  6. Preheat oven to 180 degC and bake for 30-35min or until golden brown on top.
  7. Allow to cool for 10-15min before inverting it out of the pan.
To serve:
  1. Whisk all the glaze ingredients together and pour over bread before serving.
  2. Serve warm.

Chocolate Mousse (No Egg)



An easy favourite of the boys. 

Ingredients
200g semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup whipping cream
1 tsp sugar (adjust to taste, depends on how sweet the chocolate chips are)
1/4 cup water


Method
Boil the water and dissolve the sugar
Add to chocolate chips and allow it to sit for about 30s
Stir to melt the chocolate chips (Microwave in 20s bursts if the chips do not melt)
Stir until smooth
Leave to cool till room temperature

Whip up the whipping cream until soft peaks
(Note to self: Freeze bowl and sit bowl in ice while whipping to get the cream nicely whipped).
Add about 1/3 of the whipped cream to the chocolate and fold it in, until well mixed.
Add the remaining whipped cream and fold until well mixed.
Spoon into serving cups and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.
Serve cold

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Rum Balls (and No-Rum Balls)

Back: Cocoa coated Baileys Ball
Front: No-Rum Ball

Made some chocolate cupcakes and realised that they were too many and boring to eat. Wanted to turn them into rum balls, but there was no rum at home, so used Baileys Espresso Crème instead. Also made some "non-alcoholic" ones for the small fry, with vanilla essence (though the essence I used was Trader Joe's Pure Vanilla in Bourbon lol!) added.

As I was making, I realised that rum balls were the original cake pops!! They seem to be done the same way, except cake pops seem to use more cake in the mixture.

Ingredients (makes about 10 balls)
50g chocolate cake, crumbled up
100g semi sweet chocolate chips
25ml cream (or milk)
30g butter
1 tbsp Baileys/ Rum/ Vanilla essence (Add to liking)
Cocoa powder/ chocolate rice/ rainbow sprinkles for coating

Method
Warm up the cream in 30s blasts in the microwave (twice should do it)
Pour over chocolate chips and butter
Melt the chocolate chips and stir to get a smooth mixture
Add the liqueur to the chocolate
Pour over crumbled cake and mix well
(Should get a thick, viscous mixture. Add more cake if texture is too runny)
Leave mixture in the freezer for 5-10 min to firm up (20 min in the fridge)
Roll into balls and coat with whatever coating.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake




Kieran's favourite
This is a recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson's Nutella Cheesecake. Kieran only likes his cheesecake with an Oreo crust. He doesn't like the digestive biscuit crust, so I hide the other biscuits in a mixture of oreos and digestive biscuits (and some times marie biscuits)

Ingredients (serves 4-6)

Mixture of digestive biscuits, oreos, marie biscuits making up 125g (more oreos for a darker crust)
32g butter (melted)
200g Nutella
50g chopped nuts (I use whatever nuts I have on hand)
250g (1 pack) Philadelphia cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 tbsp icing sugar (I taste the mixture first before adding this in)

Method

  1. Blitz the biscuits  and nuts in a food processor, add butter (if using mostly digestive & marie biscuits, then add 1 tbsp of Nutella into the mix).
  2. Pour the sandy mixture into a springform tin (or a regular tin lined with aluminum foil, leave extra foil on the sides to lift the cake out easily when serving). Press the mixture down with a back of a spoon. Leave in fridge to chill until ready to add cream cheese mixture.
  3. Beat cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth, then add the remaining Nutella to the mixture. Continue beating until combined.
  4. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the prepared cookie base. 
  5. Scatter some chopped nuts over the top (I skip this for one half usually cos the boys won't eat it once they see the nuts). *optional: can also drizzle some chocolate sauce and top with chocolate chips.
  6. Leave in fridge overnight.
  7. Serve straight from fridge for best results.



Almond Florentine



This is a super easy recipe cos the florentine powder comes as a premix from Phoon Huat.

Ingredients
100g slivered almonds
50-60g florentine powder (depending whether you want a thin, crispier biscuit)

Method
Mix the items together
Spread the mixture out onto a tray lined with baking paper
Bake at about 180C for about 6 min (Watch the last minute)
Cool and break into smaller pieces
Store in airtight container.

Cranberry Spice Chutney




Original recipe from Costco

Ingredients:
4 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup water
2 cups sugar (I used 1 3/4c and it was still fairly sweet. Can reduce further.)
2 cinnamon sticks (I added another 1/2tsp of ground cinnamon)
6 whole cloves
1 tsp salt
2 tart apples, peeled, diced
2 red or Bosc pears, peeled diced
1/2 cup crystallised ginger, finely chopped or 1 tsp dried ground ginger

Ingredients in the original recipe that I left out:
1 small onion
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup hazel nuts, toasted, skinned, finely chopped

Method:
In a deep 6-quart saucepan, bring cranberries, water, sugar, cinnamon sticks, cloves and salt to boil, over medium heat.
Stir frequently for about 10 min, until cranberries start to pop (hear popping sound).

Once cranberries begin to pop, reduce heat to simmer. Add diced apples, pears, onions and raisins, and continue stirring frequently until mixture thickens (another 10-15 minutes).

Remove from heat. Stir in chopped hazelnuts and crystallised ginger.
Cool to room temperature.
Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves before serving at room temperature or cold.

note: I didn't boil the cranberries first. I simply added everything into the pot and started cooking.
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