Wednesday, February 27, 2013

One Pot Chicken & Lentil

I spotted this chicken dish while I was looking for something on the bookmark and couldn't actually remember since when and why it's been there but who cares..?? It's kind of a white knight turning up at the right time to help me decide what to cook for a beginning day of the week !

The recipe could be found here.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

B & B Pound Cake

Even though I have done lots of baking as you've seen through my blog , it's strange but true that apart from being a good taster, neither my husband nor my daughter has hardly involved or helped me out with making which I don't really feel anything about it..but of course, I am certainly happy when they want to participate!

Last Sunday, while I was preparing all ingredients for the B&B pound cake, to my surprise, my daughter walked into the kitchen and asked if she could help me making the cake and I said ' yes, of course my darling !  and so the mess had begun..:) Anyway, it was fun to have her around and answer non-stop questions she had about the cake..and she really made a good job on breaking the eggs and also scraping the batter down through the bowl! And with her priceless help, it's no doubt why I got such a scrumptious and delicious outcome to feed and please people around..:)

Speaking of the recipe, the original is called mixed berries pound cake but what I could find on the shelf in the supermarket was only blueberries and black berries, thus, I have renamed it as seen on the title post above!

What caught my attention is not only the photos posted on the site which look so scrumptious but also the cinnamon streusel called for that is stuffed in the middle of the batter instead of topping it as usual..and I couldn't wait that long to give it a try!

The recipe could be found here. ( Note : I made only 2/3 recipe and used 8 inch silicone bundt mold. I also reduced sugar for the batter to only 1 cup )

Fish Stew

Sometimes I am struggled to come up with an idea of what to cook for meals but on the other hand, there is also some time that a few kinds of food come through my mind at the same time like this moment and I wish I could have enough time to cook them all at once !

I've done a lot of cooking and baking since getting back from CNY break if it never happened..:) anyway, I really enjoy doing what I it's full of challenge and fun to make people around enjoy eating and well stuffed!

Now talking about this fish stew , what I've found interesting about the recipe is that it doesn't have a tomato base like lots of seafood stews I've seen or made do..even better that it's easy , yet nutritious to make you a wonderful meal!

It's suggested to serve with crusty bread to soak up the sauce but I instead made garlic whole wheat bread using the leftover bread bought from a local bakery to go along with the stew..and I thought it didn't make the meal less perfect!!

The recipe could be found here.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Earl Grey Teacakes

Both of my eyes and attention were caught when I saw the photo of this teacake on BBC GoodFood magazine (march issue).. I therefore looked through the recipe quickly and what left to me once finishing reading is a question why it's called teacake ?? Given ingredient and method, in my opinion, it couldn't be anything but a basic bread ! What I wanted to do next is to find out why it's called teacake..

Unfortunately, having had an English husband for more than 10 years doesn't help me to figure my wonder out at all..what he said when I asked him about it was maybe it's because the recipe calls for Earl Grey tea ?? At the end, I used google to enlighten myself and as never lets me down!

So, according to Wikipedia, a teacake is a light yeast-based sweet bun containing dried fruit, typically served toasted and buttered ( click here to read more about it )

Anyway, what made me more interested and keen to give it a try is not the name but it's an earl grey tea called for in the recipe! Though, I have to confess that I was a bit disappointed with the outcome because I couldn't really taste or smell the tea in the buns like I expected..but lucky enough, the teacake itself tasted good and even better when eaten with a smear of butter as it's supposed to be!

The recipe ( makes 6 )

100 g mixed dried fruits + dried apricot
zest 1/2 orange
150 ml hot Earl Grey tea, made from 2 tea bags
125 ml whole milk
45 g butter
250 g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
3/4 tsp mixed spice
30 g caster sugar
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1 small egg
apricot jam, to glaze

1. Put the fruits and zest in a bowl and cover with the hot tea. Leave to soak overnight.

2. Heat the milk in a small pan until hot but not boiling. Remove from the heat and add the butter. Leave to cool to hand temperature. In a mixing bowl , put together the flour, mixed spice, sugar, salt and yeast. Pour in the warm milk mixture, egg and a tablespoon of the tea from the soaked fruits. Mix with kneading hook on the machine and knead the dough for 15 minutes until smooth and elastic , adding more flour if the dough is too sticky. Leave in a warm place to rise until doubled in size about 1.30-2 hours.

3. Knock all the air out of the dough and add the soaked fruits ( drain first if you have any liquid left in the bowl ). Knead the fruits into the dough until well distributed , add more flour as needed. Divide into 6 pieces and shape each into a ball. Place on silicon mat lined on the baking sheet, well spaced apart and pat each down lightly with your palm. Cover loosely with oiled cling film, then leave to prove for 30-60 minutes, until doubled in size.

4. Heat oven to 200C. Uncover the buns and bake for 18-20 minutes until golden and hollow-sounding when tapped on the base. Brush each with apricot jam and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes. Leave to cool on the wire rack. Serve warm or split and toasted, topped with lashings of butter.


Friday, February 22, 2013

Fruity Traybake

I haven't made a traybake for ages and it's just the right time to find the recipe and go for it!

I wasn't really attracted to this traybake neither by name nor by photo to begin with but after reading through the recipe, then I've found it much more interesting than I firstly thought.. a combination of different fruits called for in the reipe made me convinced that it would be another scrumptious traybake I've ever made..

Imagine eating banana cake..carrot cake along with mango as an extra bonus all at once..I promise..this cake won't let you down !

The recipe

3xl eggs
120 g dark brown sugar
175 ml canola oil
250 g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp mixed spice
1 medium apple, grated
100 g carrot, grated
zest 1 lemon
1 small banana, mashed
1 small mango, cut into small dice

For the icing :

175 g icing, sifted
75 g cream cheese
zest 1 lemon plus  a squeeze of juice

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 180c. Grease and line a 22 cm square tin with baking parchment. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt and the mixed spice, set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until reaches the ribbon stage about 7-8 minutes. Add in the oil and mix, still on high speed, until well combined for 2 minutes. Fold the flour mixture into the batter and gently mix until smooth. Then stir in the carrot, banana, apple, mango and the zest. Pour the mixture into the tin12 and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes until toothpick inserted in the center come out clean. Let cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before transfer to cool completely on a wire rack.

3. To make the icing, beat all ingredients until blended. Spread over the top of the cake and cut into squares.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Spicy Chive & Garlic Oat Crackers

I was just back from the CNY break and given a day off left, I felt like baking something to welcome myself back before getting busy after my daughter's school resumes...

The recipe ( adapted from here )

Ingredients :

1 cup old-fasioned rolled oats, coarsely ground
5 tbsp wheat flour
5 tbsp plain flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried chive

3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 coarsely ground pepper powder
1/2 tsp chilli flakes
45 g cold unsalted butter, cubed

6 tbsp milk
2 tbsp olive oil

Method :

In a mixing bowl, stir the first 10 ingredients until well blended. Add the butter and mix till it is like a coarse crumbly powder. Add the oil and milk to form the dough. Knead the dough few times, then wrap with cling film to rest the dough for 30 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 170 C. Roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness or thinner and use a cookie cutter to cut into rounds and place these crackers on the baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat.

Bake for 6 mins and then turn over and bake for another 6-7 mins till slightly browned and crispy.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pepper Chicken Fry

Even though I've seen a variety of Indian food here and there but I had basicly cooked only curry dishes and few other types like gobi or naan bread..then all of a sudden, I felt like trying something new about the cuisine and somehow, I chose this delicious and tasty chicken to expand my cooking experience..and it's such a good decision!

The recipe could be found here.


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Italian Almond and Orange Cookies

This weekend has been boring for me cuz my husband is not home, thus there is no cooking as usual. However, after spending a dull half day, I could no longer stay put and decided to do something funnier than aimlessly surfing on the net..and no wonder it could be nothing but baking !

I've found this Italian cookie on seriouseat recently and saved it on my google drive in a list- to-bake category.. though it's unexpectedly made earlier than I thought !

The recipe ( adapted from here )

Ingredients ( make about 40 cookies )

For Cookies
1/2 cup ground almond ,toasted and cooled
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
scant 3/4 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk (white reserved)
1 teaspoon vanilla
orange zest from 1sunkist orange

For Coating
1 egg white (reserved from egg above)
1 1/2 cups sliced blanched almonds


In the bowl, put the ground almond (already toasted and cooled ) with flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixture until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg yolk, orange zest, and vanilla; beat to combine. Add dry ingredients to the bowl and beat until it comes together into a dough. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Form each piece into a 2-inch wide log, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate 1 hour.

Adjust oven rack to lower and middle positions and preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Cut the first log of dough into 1/4th-inch wide slices.

Place egg white in a shallow bowl. Fill another shallow bowl with sliced almonds. Dip each cookie into egg white, then into sliced almonds to coat. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough. Bake cookies until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Maple Cranberry & White Choc Cookies

Yesterday, for a mysterious reason, I felt like baking something while I was driving back home from sending my daughter off to school in the morning...consequently, there were few things promptly popped up in my head to be chosen.. and I finally made this cookie to be the winner!

The recipe ( adapted from here )

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed brown sugar + caster sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 1/4 cups old-fashioned uncooked oatmeal

1 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar.  Beat on medium-low speed until thoroughly combined and slightly fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition.  Add vanilla extract and maple syrup and beat to combine.

Add the flour mixture and beat just until incorporated.  Fold in oats, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips.  Stir until thoroughly combined.

Spoon batter onto prepared pans by the heaping tablespoonful.  Leave  about 2 inches of space between cookies.  Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until beautifully golden brown throughout.  Remove from the oven and cool cookies on the sheet for 5 minutes.  Remove cookies from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.