Monthly Archives: December 2011

petit chocolate cake – Sumana’s best friend

chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese frosting

Sumana getting her "high" and really got (sugar) high not long after

Giving dous (Sumana) chocolate is quite a dangerous thing to do. The after effects would either have her running amok in the streets – sometimes without her shoes, attempting to give herself a new hairstyle, or simply talking non-stop the whole time.

This time when her ah-dang zzz baked her a 3 layer petite chocolate cake with chocolate cream cheese, she was so happy, she went around our house and kept kissing and eventually ‘kidnapped’ our soft toy gingerbread man and brought it home. hmm.

I wonder what she will do the next time. ūüôā

Recipe from http://www.masterchef.com.au/four-tier-chocolate-layer-cake.htm

Advertisements

Julia Child’s Apple Tart

Apple tart

Ingredients:
Partially-cooked 9-inch tart shell
9 apples (i used 6 royal gala and 3 granny smiths)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
seeds of 1/2 vanilla pod
1/4 cup granulated sugar (or to taste, depending on sweetness of your apples)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Apricot glaze:
1/4 cup apricot preserves, forced through a sieve
1 tablespoons granulated sugar

To make applesauce, peel, core and roughly chop six apples. Toss apples in a large heavy saucepanwith lemon juice and 1.5 tablespoons of sugar. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for about 20 minutes until apples are tender. Add in apricot preserves, vanilla, sugar, butter, and cinnamon . Turn up heat and bring to a boil, gently crush apples with wooden ladle, stirring constantly until thick.

Preheat oven 200 deg Celcius. Roll out pastry into tart tin and partially blind-bake tart shell for 12 minutes, covered with baking paper and pressed down with beans. Remove beans and paper and bake for another 3 minutes or until slightly browned.

Peel, core and thinly slice remaining three apples. Toss in lemon juice and 1/2 tablespoon sugar.

Spread the applesauce in the partially-baked tart shell. Arrange sliced apples in an overlapping layer or concentric circles.

Bake the tart in the upper third of the oven for about 30 minutes or until the top is lightly browned and the apples are tender. Slide tart onto a cooling rack. Mix the preserves and sugar together in a small saucepan over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes until glaze is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Brush apricot glaze on the sliced apples topping. Serve warm or cold.

Pasta e Fagioli

= Pasta e Fagioli

¬†Comfort food at its best ūüôā
 
Ingredients (did not measure, use more or less according to personal liking)
 
borlortti beans freshly released from their pods
san marzano tomatoes
basil
cloves of garlic, crushed, skin-on
carrot, diced
celery, diced
onion, diced
garlic, finely chopped
vegetable stock
whole wheat spaghetti, broken into 1 in pieces
parsley
shredded parmesan
 
  • In a baking dish, pack tomatoes with garlic cloves and basil and drizzle with olive oil. Season and bake in a low heat oven (less than 150 deg C) for a few hours.
  • Heat¬†olive oil in casserole, add in succession with a minute or two in between, onions,¬†carrot, garlic and celery. Add borlortti beans.¬†
  • Add a ladle of vegetable stock. Remove the skins of the roasted tomatoes and add to the casserole. Add a clove of the roasted garlic and reserve the rest. Pour in vegetable stock, boil and simmer for 20 mins or till beans are just tender.
  • Blend half the soup.
  • Boil water in another saucepan and cook pasta till just before al-dente. Drain and add to the soup. Add parsley,¬†taste, season and add additional stock if neccessary (as pasta will continue to absorb water as it cooks further).
  • Ladle into bowls and garnish with parsley and shredded parmesan.

(Strawberry shortcake) Blueberry Pie

Blueberry Pie

Remember the (Singaporean) childhood cheer/rhyme? – “strawberry shortcake blueberry pie…(after which this is followed by whatever rhymes and captures your creativity)”?

There’s no strawberry shortcake, for now. but heheh. Sorry, can’t help but get reminded of this.

Anyways. during a sleepless (and hungry) mid-night awake call, I was watching (and made even hungrier) Food Network’s “Unique Eats” featuring the pie shop “Four and Twenty Blackbirds” in New York, run by 2 sisters who bake what looks like the most delicious fruit pies. I don’t normally like my fruits cooked, so this is quite an unusual like.

So, of course I had to ramble on and zzz was also inspired to make his first pie effort and ta-daa! a delicious blueberry pie ūüôā

Recipe adapted from here
For the Crust:
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
5 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons ice cold water
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

For the Filling:
600g fresh blueberries
1/4 to 1/3 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 egg, beaten, for egg wash
2 tablespoons sugar and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, for topping crust before baking

To make the crust, in a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt.  Add cold, cubed butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture.  Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture, some butter pieces will be the size of oat flakes, some will be the size of peas. Stir together the ice cold water and vinegar.   Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the water and vinegar mixture.  Use a fork to bring to dough together.  Try to moisten all of the flour bits. Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks.  Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

To make the filling, wash blueberries.  In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch.  Pour the sugar mixture over the fruit, and gently toss together with.  Stir in the lemon juice.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius.  Place a rack in the lower third of the oven, and place an aluminium foil on the lower rack, just below where you’re going to place the pie.  This will catch any pie drippings without making a mess of your oven.

Remove one of the pie dough disks from the fridge.  On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 11-inch round. Gently lift the dough from the floured surface and center in the 9-inch baking dish.  Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.

Roll out the top crust just as you did the bottom crust, moving the dough across the floured surface every once in a while.  Remove the bottom crust and fruit filling from the fridge.  Gently pour the fruit filling into the pie dish. Use a cookie cutter to cut shapes of dough and place on top of fillings, overlapping slightly while leaving holes so the juices and steam can vent.  Brush lightly with beaten egg and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Place pie in the oven and bake at 200 degrees Celcius for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven heat to 180 and bake for 45 to 55 more minutes.  Remove from the oven when crust is browned and golden, and the juices are bubbling.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours before serving.  Place covered in the fridge to store.  Pie lasts up to 3 or 4 days.

Plat du Jour 2.0

Roasted Chicken Thigh with Greek Herb Sauce and Roasted Peppers with Olives
Cuisses de poulet r√īti, sauce Grecque aux herbes et poivrons grill√©s aux olives

Roasted Chicken Thigh:
2 chicken thighs, seasoned in juice of half a lemon, olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper.
Roast in a preheated 200 deg Celcius oven for 45 mins or till skin is browned and slightly crisp.

Greek Herb Sauce:
Half cup of Greek yogurt
Half a cucumber, grated.
2-3 tables of fresh mixed herbs – cilantro, mint and/or dill.
Mix all ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle paprika if desired.

Roasted peppers:
Roast peppers in 220 deg Celcius oven until skin is charred (about 45 mins). Place in bowl and cover to steam. When cool enough to handle, remove skin and seeds. Tear into slices, garnish with pitted black olives, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.

Plat du Jour 1.0

Tarragon Chicken with Buttered French Beans and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Poulet √† l’estragon, haricots verts au beurre et tomates cerises grill√©es

Tarragon Chicken:
From http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/nigella-lawson/tarragon-chicken-recipe/index.html

Buttered French Beans:
Throw a handful of french beans (ends trimmed) into a pot of boiling water. Boil for 5 mins or until just tender. Strain and toss in butter. Season with salt and butter.

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes:
Drizzle olive oil over cherry tomatoes in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 200 deg Celcius oven for 10  mins.