Monday, January 24, 2011

Savoury Cheddar and Cornflake Cookies

I normally plan ahead what to do during daytime while my husband and daughter are off to work and school for each and every week. And when something unexpectedly happens to interfere with my set plan, I never find myself feel comfortable to cope with, especially things that force myself to do nothing but stay at home and today is the case!!

Anyway, it's not that bad cuz I've found these cookies and decided to occupy myself for a very short while to do what I like in the kitchen! As for the result, to my point of view, the cookie is a cross between shortbread and's flaky..crispy , yet mildly chewy and buttery..and top of everything, it couldn't be better to be paired with cheese and sweet chutney !

Here is my version ( adapted from here )


1 cup AP flour

114 g butter, softened

1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup cornflake

dash of cayenne pepper & paprika

Dried parsley & grated cheddar to sprinkle
Allow cold ingredients to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine butter and cheese well with spoon or hands. Mix in flour, cayenne and paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste and fold in cornflake ( it will be crumbled while combined ). Roll into small balls and flatten; place on cookie sheet and sprinkle with some grated cheese and parsley. Bake 10-15 minutes. Let cool fully before serving; store in an airtight container or freeze. Be forewarned that these crackers are quite dry and flaky (hello, butter!), not moist and chewy like a cookie. Makes approx 18-20 cookies.

Braised Lamb Shank with Lentil

I've cooked something with lamb from time to time and I've noticed that most of them are made with tomato and/or wine sauce base which I sometimes thought it's quite boring to cook things in the same way. So when I came across this braised lamb shank on the site, I was undoubtedly keen to give it a shot..not only the way a lamb cooked (without tomato and wine!) that caught my attention but the recipe also calls for lentil which happens to be one of ingredients I like !

The recipe is so easy to make and kind of all-in-one dish because it contains lentil and lot of vegetables along with lamb shank, so you could simply serve it alone without any side dish as I did! And it really made  a perfect dinner for Saturday night!   

The recipe could be found here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pani Popo (Samoan Coconut Buns)

I've been busy with cooking and baking as usual and didn't realise until a friend of mine mentioned that it'd been more than a week that I haven't had my blog updated or posted anything on FB which is absolutely abnormal for me! So many things to do, so little time though.. anyway, here I am!

Now talking about these Samoan coconut buns ( known as pani popo ), it's not really new to fact, it's quite some time when I've first seen a similar version (which is called lolo buns for Fijian!) and made it ! But as far as I rememeber, the recipe I tried calls for far too much coconut milk which made my buns were too soggy and not quite well baked at the bottom I had no choice but counted it as an unsuccessful baked good and didn't really bother to make again until I recently found another recipe using less coconut milk which convinced me to give it a try..

Unlike the first attempt, this time I managed to make it successfully and beautifully with right amount of  coconut milk used! The bun is soft, mildly sweet and tasty..and I think coconut milk is really a key to make the bread much more interesting than any normal sweet bread..Even my husband, who is not a big fan of sweet / dessert that has coconut milk in, had two buns in a row !!        

The recipe ( slightly adapted from here )

2 cups bread flour

¾ cup plus 2-3 tbsp warm milk

¾ tsp active dried yeast

1 tbsp sugar

¼ tsp salt

30g softened butter

½ cup thick coconut milk

3 tbsp sugar

1 egg – beaten for egg wash


1.Mix the lukewarm milk, yeast and sugar in the mixing bowl. Leave it for 10 minutes until the yeast started to form bubble.

2. In a mixing bowl, Whisk the flour and salt together. Add the yeast mixture and mix to form the dough. Add the butter and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes until it forms into a smooth ball . 

3. Let the dough rest in a greased bowl until doubled in volume, 1-1.5 hours. Prepare and grease an 8” x 8” square pan or a round baking pan.

4. Remove the dough from bowl and divide it into 9 round balls. Place them in the baking pan, cover and let it rest again until double in size.

5. In the meantime, mix the coconut milk with the 3 tbsp of sugar and heat it up to dissolve the sugar then set aside. Brush the buns with some egg wash. Pour the sweeten coconut milk over the buns and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree F oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.

Ps. This bread has also been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wildyeast.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Rosemary and Cornmeal Grissini

I had proscuitto served with grissini at a restaurant in St.Kilda beach when we were on Christmas holiday and what bothered me is a taste of grissini which I thought it's far too salty when paired with the cured ham and thought it would have been more delicious if it got less salt in the breadsticks!

Anyway, strangely yet truely,  I kept thinking about those salty grissini even when I got back to HK. And when I saw these grissini posted by Susan of wildyeast , the first thing come through my mind is those grissini and proscuitto I had in Melbourne !

No doubt that I was completely convinced to make this one, not only because I've got some rosemary and cornmeal to use up while they are reaching their expiry dates but also I wanted to serve it the same way we had before to see what my hubby would think about it..

To make sure that the grissini wouldn't be too salty,  I, therefore, reduced a bit amount of salt called for in the original recipe and also added some sugar ( 2 tsp ) to the dough (while it's not required in the original version). As for the outcome, the grissini were slightly crispy and chewy while rosemary made its being tangy in the bread quite well..they could totally be a great snack themselves but when served with proscuitto as hors d'Ĺ“uvre, my husband who was served with the dish and then was asked if it's better than the one we had in Melbourne said 'infinitely' which is much more than I expected!! :)

The recipe could be found here and I'd like to thank Susan for a great recipe! This post has also been sent to yeastspotting hosted by the same Susan of wildyeast.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Cream Cheese Pecan Cookies

I got some pecans left in my storing box which were about to pass its expiry date ! Fortunately and coincidentally, I happened to see these cookies posted on simplyrecipes at the right time. So I undoubtedly decided to give it a try without second thoughts!

I didn't make any change to the recipe except to reduce amount of sugar.. And it turned out to match my taste beautifully! These cookies are richy nutty and buttery! Paired with a cup of tea or coffee then I'm sure they couldn't be more perfect match!!

The recipe could be found here.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Spiced and Mixed Dried Fruits Rolls

After more than 10 days of being away from my kitchen and oven, I felt really really like spending some time with them and I chose to do so on the first day of the new year !

I've found these rolls in delicious magazine (Jan 2011 issue) which I bought from a newsagent's shop in Melbourne where we went for Christmas holiday...I spotted the picture while I was flipping through the magazine and once I read through the whole recipe I knew what's the first thing I'm gonna bake when I get back from holiday!

The original title is called 'Christmas Morning Crown' but since I didn't serve it on Chirstmas morning so I thought I'd rather call it differently. Hence, it became 'spiced and mixed dried fruits rolls' as you've seen !

Christmas Morning Crown (makes 9 scrolls)

1 1/2 c (225g) strong (bread flour) ( I added
7g sachet dried instant yeast
125g unsalted butter, chopped (plus extra to grease)
1/2c warm milk
1 egg, beaten
50g brown sugar
2 tbsp chopped hazelnuts
1 tsp mixed spice
1/3 c (55g) chopped mixed peel
1/3 c (55g) sultanas
1/4c (50g) glace cherries, chopped
1/2 c icing sugar, sifted
lemon juice

1. Grease a large baking tray and dust with flour.

2. Sift flour into a large bowl, add yeast and 1/2 tsp salt. Rub in 40g of the butter to form coarse breadcrumbs. Form a well in the centre and mix in the milk and egg to form a dough. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for 1 hour in a warm place until doubled in size.

3. Meanwhile, beat remaining butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until combined. Add nuts, spice, peel, sultanas and cherries and stir to combine.

4. Punch down dough to expel air, knead briefly then roll out on a floured surface to form a 30cm x 23 cm rectangle. Spread the fruit mixture over the dough with a spatula, leaving a 2cm border along the sides. Roll up along the long side to form a log, then cut into 9 equal size pieces.

5. Place slices, cut side up, on the floured tray so it forms a circle with the slices just touching. Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until slightly risen. (Once risen, you can cover the crown and chill overnight, then bring back to room temperature before baking).

6. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and bake the crown for 20 minutes or until golden. Meanwhile, mix the icing sugar with enough lemon juice to form an icing thin enough for drizzling, then drizzle over the slightly cooled crown. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Ps. this post has been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wildyeast..