Sunday, April 28, 2013

Oatmeal Cinnamon Raisin Rolls

I planned to make buttery sugar buns that I came across during usual food blogs surfing to begin with but somehow I, instead, ended up with these rolls !

With cinnamon called for in the recipe, I knew it would undoubtedly be a big hit for my beloved eaters..and as always, I was so right about my guess..:)

The recipe  ( slightly adapted from here. )


1/2 cup milk, warmed

1 1/4 teaspoons active dried yeast

1 large egg

2 tbsp honey

45 g softened butter

1/4 rounded teaspoon salt

11/2 cups plus 2 tbsp bread flour

3/4 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats

1/2 cup raisins (combination of raisins, cranberries, currants, or other dried fruit may be used)

1 scant teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon honey

Method :

Add the milk to a glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl and heat on high power to warm it, about 30 seconds.

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the milk and sprinkle the yeast on top of it. Beat on low speed for about 10 seconds, just to combine; let mixture stand for 10 minutes.
Add the egg, honey, salt, and mix until well-combined on low to medium-low speed.

Add the flour, oats, raisins, cinnamon, and beat until a dough forms. Scrape off any dough bits stuck to the paddle and remove the paddle attachment. Put on the dough hook.

With the dough hook attached, turn mixer on low speed, and add the butter. Knead dough for about 15 to 20 minutes, stopping to scrape down the bowl and dough hook as necessary. Dough will be firm, smooth, not sticky, and elastic. Place mounded ball of dough in a lightly greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place mounded ball of dough in a cooking sprayed or lightly greased large bowl and cover with plasticwrap. Place bowl in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 2 hours.

After dough has risen and doubled, punch it down to release the air bubbles, and turn it out onto a Silpat or floured work surface. Devide the dough into 9 pieces, shape them into ballsr and place balls into 8*8 baking tin ( slightly greased and lined with parchment paper ).

After all pieces are in the pan, cover it with plasticwrap and allow to dough to rise for about 1 hour, or until rolls are nearly doubled in size. While dough rises, preheat oven to 375F. Prepare honey-butter mixture by melting butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high power, about 1 minute. To the melted butter, add the honey and stir to combine; set aside.

After the rolls have risen and before baking, brush tops and sides of dough with the honey-butter mixture, getting into the sides and crevices and with a pastry brush. Bake rolls for about 20 minutes or until golden. Allow rolls to cool before serving. Serve with Cinnamon-Sugar Butter.


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Caramelised White Chocolate and Almond Bars

I spotted these bars from somewhere (that I no longer remember where it is but I'm sure it must be one of good food blogs I've been following ) and have saved the recipe into my google drive some time ago!

Recently, I've got a big pack of sliced almonds from a good friend of mine, I then came up with an idea of how to use them up, so it's time to make these yummy bars..:)

The recipe ( this is my own version that is adapted from the original, probably here, I've got )

For the base :

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the topping :

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 160 g pure white chocolate 
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
Method :

Preheat your oven to 350 F and line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch over hang at each end.

First get started on the caramelized white chocolate by heating the cream in a small saucepan just until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat, add white chocolate and let stand a few minutes before stirring until melted and smooth. Place pan back over the heat and bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring constantly. Set aside to cool while you make the base.

In a medium bowl, mix together oats, coconut, flour, brown sugar, baking soda and salt until evenly combined. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt together butter with vanilla extract and then pour over dry ingredients. Stir it all together with a fork until evenly blended and then turn it out into prepared pan. Press the mixture firmly and evenly into the base of pan and bake at 350 degrees F until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for a minute. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Pour white chocolate mixture over oat base and then sprinkle the almonds evenly over the top, then press the almonds down into the chocolate mixture lightly . Bake for about 15 minutes longer, or until golden on top. The white chocolate mixture will be bubbling and caramelized around the edges. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing into bars.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creole Jambalaya

Given all results from the google search,  I have to admit that this creole jambalaya I made is not an authentic version..but who cares ..?  I was very happy with the way it turned out and more importantly, all of us really liked and enjoyed eating it!..Also thanks whoever for creating a rice cooker that makes my life

Here is what I've done..

Serves 4

Ingredients :

  • 14 fresh shrimp, shelled and tails left on
  • 280g minced pork, seasoned and rolled into balls , bite size
  • 1 1/2 cup (250g ) basmati rice
  • 500g chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 slices smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 each small red pepper & green pepper , finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 100 g chorizo, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 200 ml white wine
  • spring onions & corianders, chopped for garnish
  • olive oil

Method :

1. Cook rice using the chicken stock in a rice cooker If you happen to have one like me, if not then find ur way to get the rice done nicely and set aside.

2. Fry bacon in a pan until slightly crisp. Remove cooked bacon and then sautée shrimp until just cooked. Remove shrimp from the pan and set aside together with the bacon. Now brown the meatballs for 7-8 minutes, set aside.

3. Add the chorizo, garlic, onion and peppers to the pan and cook for 5 minutes Add the bay leaves, turmeric, paprika and cumin and stir for a minute more before pouring in the wine. Let it boil to reduce by half then add the tomatoes and cook until soften.

4. Add the rice and meatballs back to the pan and stir everything until well combined. Add the shrimps and bacon and stir to heat through. Sprinkle with the spring onions and corianders before serving. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Chocolate Whiskey Bundt Cake

After a sleepless night, my head is feeling numb and I can't think of words to say about this cake..
I felt like giving it a try when I came accross it on epicurious site and here it comes.. What a good duo between chocolate and whiskey!!

The recipe could be found here. (Note : I used Scotch whiskey instead of American one )

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Treacle Apple Pudding

I didn't deliberately wait that long to make the first pudding in my life but it surprisingly took me nearly 40 years before I've done it ...So many things to do, so little time is sooo true!!  

The version I chose to give a try happens to be a healthy's good to enjoy eating without feeling guilty, isn't it ?? ..:)

The recipe could be found here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Cranberry Bliss Bars

I came across these cranberry bliss bars when searching something else through some food blogs..and what caught my attention is the word starbucks where the bars are sold during holiday season which I never realised before !

This holiday classic is made with a delicious blondie cake base, topped with sweet cream cheese icing and tart dried cranberries and garnished with a delicious drizzle including white chocolate and orange zest.

The recipe I've choose to try is not a copycat one and the best way to judge or know whether the version I've tried is better than the original one or not is to wait until the holiday season ! But at the meantime, at least I've got the one I like to enjoy eating!

The recipe ( slightly adapted from here. )


For the Bars

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted (1 stick)

1 large egg

65 g light brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

1/2 cup dried cranberries

For the Frosting and Topping

1 cup white chocolate chips, melted and divided

4 ounces cream cheese, softened

3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange zest

2 scant cups icing sugar (I used about 1 3/4 cups)

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Method :

For the Bars - Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with parchment paper, lightly grease with butter, set aside. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 90 seconds. To the melted butter (allow it to cool slightly so you don't scramble the egg), add the egg, brown sugar, vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or the bars will be tough. Fold in 3/4 cup white chocolate chips, 1/2 cup cranberries and stir to combine. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife if necessary.

Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, and center is set and golden or until edges begin to slightly pull away from sides of pan, or a toothpick comes out clean; do not overbake. Allow bars to cool before frosting them. While they cool, make the frosting.

For the Frosting and Topping - In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the white chocolate on high power, about 1 minute, reheating in 10-second intervals, or until it can be stirred smooth. White chocolate is notorious for scorching so melt it very carefully, and slowly, heating in quick bursts, and keep a watchful eye; use a double boiler if that's easier.

To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese until smooth, add about three-quarters of the melted white chocolate (about 3/4 cup, just eyeball it), icing sugar , vanilla, zest and beat until smooth and fluffy. Start by mixing on low speed so sugar doesn't spray, and then beat on medium-high for about 3 minutes. Mixture will seem stiff at first but will loosen and fluff up after 2 to 3 minutes of beating on medium-high; stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Spread the mixture evenly over the blondie base; if you have excess, it will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.

Evenly sprinkle 1/2 cup cranberries over the top of the frosted bars. Evenly drizzle bars with remaining melted white chocolate, reheating for a few seconds in the microwave if it has set up. Allow bars to set up for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Brussels Waffles

I promised my two loved ones that I was gonna make a Dutch Baby for Sunday breakfast but in the morning I was too lazy to do so..I then avoided mentioning about a dutch baby thing and offered to take them out to try a new place we'd never been to which both happily agreed and excited about where to go !

I thought I could get away with it but unfortunately, my hubby happened to remember of what I promised...then both started teasingly moaning about it and to shut them up before I went berserk, I compromised to make waffles for afternoon snack instead and a deal done !

With a lot of time in hand, I chose to make a proper Belgian waffle that calls for yeast and time to rest. There are two recipes from the search I liked which I couldn't decide which one I should ignore, so I ended up mixing them and make my own version..:) What a challenge !

The recipe ( inspired by here and here )

1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/4 cups lukewarm sparkling water
250 g AP flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
63 g milk powder
100 g unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 egg whites
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream and strawberries to serve

Method :

In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast with 1/4 cup of the water and sugar. In a large bowl, stir the flour with the salt. Whisk in the yeast mixture, milk powder, butter, egg yolk and vanilla until smooth.

In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold them into the batter and let stand for at least an hour.

Heat and grease a waffle maker. Pour 1/4 cup of the batter into eash side of the maker and cook until the waffles are golden, 8 minutes, flip through at the half way. Transfer the waffles to the rack to cool a bit before dusting with the icing. Serve with lightly sweet whipped cream and strawberries. Repeat with the remaining batter.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

Coffee Kahlua Pound Cake

Despite that I've been having a lot of time at home to cook and bake since we cancelled our trip to England during Easter's holiday and my daughter has still been on the school break..though, I didn't feel like making something complicated !

A coffee pound cake came through my mind all of a sudden and I chose this one over the others from google search once I saw the recipe that calls for kahlua..:)

The recipe ( slightly adapted from here. )

Ingredients :

  •      150g Butter
  •      120g Brown Sugar
  •      1/2 tsp Salt
  •      3 Eggs , lightly beaten
  •      1 tbsp Instant coffee powder 
  •      2 tbsp Kahlua/rum
  •      170g Cake flour + 1 tsp Baking powder,   sifted
  •      2 tbsp Ground almond
  •      2 tbsp Fresh milk
  •      Amond flakes for topping


Line one 8 x 4 1/2 inches cake pan all sides up and set aside. In a small bowl,  heat the milk and mix in the coffee powder , stir to combine and leave to cool slightly before adding in the kahlua, set aside.

Cream butter, sugar and salt at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.

Sift the cake flour and baking powder twice. then add half to the batter, mix to combine. Add the kahlua mixture, stir through then add the rest of flour mixture along with ground almond and gently fold well with a rubber spatula until smooth.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and sprinkle almond flakes on top. Bake at preheated oven at 190C for 10 minutes. Then reduce temperature to 170C and bake for another 30-35 minutes or skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Leave cake to cool in cake pan for 10 minutes and remove cake, then place on to rack to cool completely.


Friday, April 5, 2013

Braised Rabbit with Honey Mustard Sauce

Since it's quite difficult to find rabbit in HK without an effort, so it took me for a long time before my first cooking and eating experience ! Honestly, it didn't taste as good as I expected but maybe that's because I tried with a wrong part of it... :) The recipe calls for thighs but the best I could get is legs which probably effected on the outcome !

However, the sauce was fabulous and I think i will try it with chicken next time which I guess it should be better than rabbit !

The recipe could be found here. ( Note : I used legs instead of thighs, then mixed both wholegrain mustard and dijon mustard for the sauce and substituted dried thyme for sage )


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Browned Butter Pretzel & Butterscotch Chips Blondies

I've recently been searching for a fudgey type blondie recipe and finally, I managed to find one that looks promising. Undoubtedly, I gave it a try and the result came close to what I expected ( mine was baked too long ,thus the blondies were a bit dry...:) Given a problem known plus it's a big hit for my daughter and friends, it will definitely be made again sooner rather than later !!

The recipe ( slightly adapted from here )


1/2 cup unsalted butter, browned

75 g dark brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coarsely chopped mini pretzels

1/2 cup butterscotch chips

6 caramels, unwrapped and diced into quarters


Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-by-8-inch pan with aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
Place butter in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium-low to medium heat. Butter will melt, begin to bubble, foam, hiss, sputter, and brown specks will form in the bottom of the pan; this process takes approximately 2 to 4 minutes, give or take. During the process whisk frequently or nearly continuously and keep an extremely watchful eye on the butter. Brown it long enough to see browned bits and specks, but don't burn it. Butter can go from browned and nutty-smelling to burnt and inedible in less than one minute.Watch for the brown specks and once you see them, remove the pan from the burner, continuing to whisk for another 30 seconds or so. Transfer butter into large mixing bowl and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

To the melted butter, add the brown sugar and whisk to combine. Add the egg, vanilla, and stir to combine. Add the flour, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix or the blondies will be tough. Fold in the pretzels and butterscotch chips. Pour the batter into prepared pan, smoothing it lightly with a spatula or offset knife.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until bars are about 90 to 95% done. The center should just barely be setting up and edges will be slightly pulling away from sides of pan. Remove pan from oven and evenly sprinkle caramel pieces over the bars. Lightly and carefully break the surface of the bars with the caramel pieces, poking them in past the surface layer and pressing down lightly; use caution so you don't burn your fingers. Return pan to oven for 3 to 6 minutes, or until caramels melt and turn into puddles and top surface of bars is set. Allow bars to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing and serving. Bars can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.