Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for March, 2009

I love freshly baked focaccia– It is so good when you dip this Italian bread with some REALLY good quality extra virgin olive oil… Since this type of bread doesn’t require any starter (something required for making rustic bread and that I am hesitated to do) so I decided to give it a  try.

The result is very good considering my first trial. The golden crust is very crunchy as a result of spraying water 3 times during baking process. The aroma of rosemary is nice but not too over powering. The bread is soft overall except towards the edge where it got a bit dry. It took me quite some time to remove the bread as it stuck to the baking pan… next time I should just pour more olive oil to grease the pan instead of  using tablespoon. I would like to add some garlic too next time. I know I will make this bread again. The other note: This bread can be frozen and it tastes good too after heating up in the oven.

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Rosemary Focaccia Bread - ready to bake

Rosemary Focaccia Bread - ready to bake

Rosemary Focaccia Bread Recipe from The Waitakere Redneck’s Kitchen.


Read Full Post »

I saw a bacon and cheese loaf on Happy Home Baking recently. It looks so good that I put it on my to bake list right away. After the bacon wrapped asparagus for dinner, I purposely save some bacon strips for this recipe. I combined a couple of basic dough recipes, added some asiago cheese and create my own version. The house smelled cheesy when the bread was baking in the oven. The bread itself is very soft and full of flavor from bacon and cheese. I couldn’t resist the temptation and sliced a piece (well, more than one) when the bread was still quite warm… Mmm, definitely will make it again!

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - ready to bake

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - ready to bake

Bacon & Cheese Loaf

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - wish you could smell it...

Bacon & Cheese Loaf Recipe (makes 1 loaf  8.5″ x 4.5″ x 2.5″)

Ingredients:
3 bacon strips
2 cups bread flour
5 tbsp grated asiago cheese
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp yeast
1 egg
125-150 ml water (depending on absorption of the flour)
1 tbsp butter

Topping: grated asiago cheese

Method:

  1. Pan fry bacon in dry clean pan until crispy. Drain on a paper towel. Crush into tiny bit and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl (use the bowl for stand mixer), combine well the bread flour, cheese, sugar, milk powder, salt, black pepper and yeast. With the dough hook attached and the stand mixer on low, add in egg and bacon. Pour in water gradually until the dough form a ball (you may need more or less water depending on the flour). Add in butter and continue to knead the dough until it doesn’t stick to the bowl and pass the “membrane  test” (pull a small piece of the dough, use two hand to stretch the dough to a very thin layer– if the layer doesn’t tear then the dough is ready to proof. Otherwise, continue kneading until it pass the test).
  3. Put the dough in a large bowl, covered with cling wrap and let it proof in the fridge overnight. The next day remove the dough from the fridge and let it sit in room temperature for couple of hours. (my loaf didn’t proof as much in the fridge so I let it proof longer time next day next to the stove)
  4. Lightly knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured surface. Press out any air bubbles as you knead.
  5. Roll out the dough to the length of the loaf pan, then roll it up like a swiss roll. Place dough into a lightly greased (sides and bottom) loaf pan with seam side down. Cover and let it proof again for 1-2 hours until the dough is 90% height of the pan. (I proofed it for 2 hours to almost 100% full of the pan, and the bread has a very nice height after baking)
  6. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Sprinkle the top with grated cheese and bake for 30 minutes on med. low rack (so the bread will be positioned at the oven center). Cover the top with foil if the top browns too quickly.
  7. Remove from loaf pan immediately. Let it cool on the rack before slicing.
Bacon & Cheese Loaf - shot in foliage mode

Bacon & Cheese Loaf - shot in foliage mode

Read Full Post »

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Bacon wrapped asparagus

Now is a good time to make this dish as asparagus is now in season. Aren’t they pretty? This is a very easy dish to prepare– just wrap bacon strip around asparagus and secure with a toothpick, grill it or pan fry in dry clean wok on high heat until bacon is brown and asparagus is just cooked. Drain on paper towel and remove toothpick before serving. This makes a great party finger food as well.

Tips choosing bacon and asparagus: I choose bacons that has less fat and less sodium to make it slightly “healthier”. Don’t waste money on thick sliced bacon. For asparagus, I choose the ones with thicker/bigger stems (to offset the saltiness from bacon) and peel off the skin 2″ from the bottom as that part might get chewy fiber.

Read Full Post »

I had some ganache leftover from making Alexander’s birthday cake, and there were some strawberries and blueberries in my fridge. All I had to do is to make the tart crust and assemble them together. They are a treat to the eyes and to your stomach. Best of all these tarts can be prepared ahead of time for party and you’ll definitely get a wow from your guests.

Chocolate Fruit Tarts

Chocolate Fruit Tarts

Chocolate Fruit Tart Recipe (makes 12 tarts)

Ganache Ingredients (use equal part of chocolate and whipping cream – by weight):
1/4 lb semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used half bitter-sweet and half semi-sweet)
1/4 lb whipping cream

Method:
Warm whipping cream over a double boiler, pour in chocolate chips and stir until chocolate melted. Take care not to let the chocolate have contact with water. Set aside to cool. The chocolate sauce will thicken as it cools and can even be a frosting. Alternatively, you can warm whipping cream in microwave too.

Tart shells:
from my Pineapple Tart pastry recipe and it makes about 24 tart shells. Bake them at preheated oven 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from molds and cool on the rack completely before use or store in air-tight container.

To assemble:
Spoon 1 tbsp of ganache into the tart shell and arrange fruits nicely on the top.

Read Full Post »

We got lots of oranges from our neighbor. I used some to make smoothie last weekend and used some for this recipe. I have always wanted to make crepes but never get to do it until today. The crepes are soft, slightly sweet and crispy on the edge, even delicious on its own. Best of all crepes can be prepared ahead of time and coated with orange sauce right before serving. Typically the orange sauce consists of Brandy and orange liqueur, creating flaming crepes at the table… but I don’t want to cause a fire in my house! Hahaha… it is just as good though– buttery, tangy and refreshing at the same time.

Crepe Suzette

Crepe Suzette

Crepe Suzette

Crepe Suzette

Crepe Suzette Recipe from Desserts by Rosemary Wilkinson– serves 4-6

Ingredients for crepes:
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
2 tbsp orange flower water/orange liqueur (optional)
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

additional melted butter for frying

Ingredients for orange sauce:
6 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
grated rind and juice of 1  large orange
grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup orange liqueur, plus more for flaming (optional)
brandy, for flaming (optional)
orange segments, to decorate

Method: (I combine Rosemary’s and Alton Brown’s method)

  1. In a blender, combine all of the crepe ingredients(except melted butter) and pulse for 10 seconds. Place the crepe batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Strain the batter.
  2. Heat a crepe pan over medium heat. Stir melted butter into crepe batter. Brush the hot pan with additional melted butter and pour in 2-4 tbsp batter (depending on your pan size). Quickly tilt and rotate the pan so batter will cover the bottom to form a thin layer. Cook for 1 minute until the top is set and bottom is golden. Carefully flip over the crepe and cook for 30 seconds on the side. Transfer to a plate and continue until batter is finished.
  3. To make the sauce: melt butter in a pan over medium heat, then stir in all ingredients until sugar dissolves. Turn to medium low and let it cook for few more minutes.
  4. Place a crepe in the pan (golden side down) to lightly coated with the sauce. Fold it in half twice then push to  the side of the pan. Continue this step with all crepes. (I don’t have a large pan so I transfer the crepes to a shallow plate instead of pushing to the side of pan).
  5. To flame the crepes, heat 2-3 tbsp each of orange liqueur and brandy in a small saucepan over med heat. Remove the pan from the heat then carefully ignite the liquid. Gently pour it over the crepes. Scatter orange segments over the crepes and serve immediately. (I skip this step).

Note:

  • Chill the batter at least 1 hour as suggested by Alton Brown. If the batter thickens, add a little milk or water to thin.
  • Crepe batter will keep up to 48 hours in the fridge. Once the crepe is cooked it can be stored in the fridge for several days or in the freezer up to 2 months.
  • Other crepe serving suggestions: whipped cream with mixed berries, bananas with nutella/chocolate sauce. Something savory? hmmm… how about serve with curry chicken or ikan bilis (just like roti jala). I believe the crepe batter can also be used for making roti jala. Will try it out next time!

Read Full Post »

If you think cookies are all sweet, think again. These heavenly delicious cookies are not the regular ones you eat. They combine the aroma of garlic and fried shallot, with the nutty flavor from the  cheese and a little spiciness from chili flakes. Once you have one, you’re hooked.

Fried Shallot Cookies-- ice box style

Fried Shallot Cookies-- ice box style

Fried Shallot Cookies-- using cookie cutter

Fried Shallot Cookies-- using cookie cutter

Garlic Shallot Cookies (adapted from Yochana’s Cake Delight)

Ingredients:
11 tbsp butter – softened
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic – finely minced
2 tsp. dried chilli flakes
3-4 tbsp fried shallots – drain the oil and crush
1 egg
4 oz  cheese – finely grated
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

Method:

  1. Mix flour, salt, baking powder and chili flakes in a bowl until blended.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till creamy. Add in egg and mix well.
  3. Stir in garlic, fried shallot, cheese. Pour in flour mixture and mix to form a dough.Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes before rolling into round balls.
  4. Use a fork to press the top to get some patterns on it.
  5. Bake at preheat oven 325°F for about 15-18 minutes or till crispy.
  6. Store in cookie containers.

Note:

  • I used mild cheddar cheese and it will give the cookies some orange look. I also found asiago cheese is good too if you like the smell of asiago cheese– the cookies will have a nutty flavor.
  • There are several ways to shape the cookies– I found the quickest way is to shape the cookie dough into cylinder shape then slice them evenly (must be chilled first for easy slicing) right before putting into the oven. Or you can use a cookie cutter, it’s prettier but more time consuming.
  • The thickness of the cookies is about 5mm for a crispy texture. Please adjust the oven temperature and baking time if you prefer thicker cookies.
  • Chili flakes can be substituted by chili powder, or you can skip it for a non spicy version.

Read Full Post »

Pandan is a screwpine plant that is very fragrant and often used in making dessert in South East Asia. Since I can’t get fresh pandan juice here in US, I use pandan extract that has green coloring to it, and thus giving this cake a bright green color. My American friends don’t know pandan so they just call this cake “The Green Cake”. It is fluffy and moist, just like biting into air infused with coconut and pandan fragrant… mmm…my all time favorite.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake Recipe (adapted from Yochana’s Cake Delight)

Ingredients (egg yolk mixture):
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 small can coconut milk (164 ml)
1/2 tsp pandan extract (green- I used butterfly brand)
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients (egg white mixture):
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven 335°F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt then set aside.
  2. Hand whisk egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and pale in color, about 4-5 minutes. Add in coconut milk, oil and pandan extract and mix well.
  3. Sift in flour mixture and mix until well blended.
  4. Whisk egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat for a little while. Gradually add in sugar and beat on high speed till peaks form (reduce to med speed later to avoid big air bubbles).
  5. FOLD IN 1/3 of egg white into egg yolk mixture gently with a spatula until just blended. FOLD IN remaining 2/3 of egg white into the egg yolk mixture. Take care not to over blended.
  6. Pour the batter into a chiffon cake pan. Lightly smooth the top and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open the oven door while it’s baking or the cake won’t rise.
  7. Invert the cake IMMEDIATELY after baking to let cool. Remove the cake from the pan when it is completely cool.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »