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Archive for September, 2010

I have been wanting to make cheese & scallion scones ever since I had (an expensive) one in a cafe three weeks ago. Today we had a brunch gathering with some good friends so I decided to make it. The scones came out very delicious, especially with butter! I chilled the scones for 30 minutes before baking so the butter firms up and thus producing a flakier texture (same theory as for pie/tart crust), and it did the trick. A common cheese used here is cheddar, but I used Asiago cheese instead as I love its flavor.

Asiago Scallion Scones

Asiago Scallion Scones

Asiago Scallion Scones (makes 12 small triangle scones)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
6 tbsp cold butter– cut into small cubes
1 cup grated Asiago cheese
4 stalks of scallion (green onion)– chopped
2 eggs
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/3 cup whole milk

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift in flour, salt, sugar and baking powder. Rub in cold butter with your fingers until the mixture resembles crumbles. Add in cheese and scallion, mix well.
  2. Use a fork to beat eggs in a small bowl. Add in milk and mustard, beat to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp of the egg mixture for glazing. Pour the remaining egg mixture into the flour mixture. Using a spatula, mix until the dough just combined.
  3. Transfer dough to a floured surface. Gently knead the dough a couple of times, then pat into a disc. Divide the dough in half, then shape each half into a disc of  6-inch diameter. Cut each disc into 6 equal small wedges.
  4. Place the scones on a floured non-stick baking pan and chill in the freezer for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375°F.
  5. Glaze the egg mixture on chilled scones, and bake for 20 minutes. Cool scones slightly on a rack. Served warm with butter.

Regina’s Note:

  • Chill scones before baking will produce a flakier texture.
  • Different cheese will create different flavor to the scones.
  • For a spicy version, try adding 1/2 tsp of crushed chili flakes, or ground black pepper.
  • Reference: King Arthur Flour– Scallion Cheddar Scones
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I am experimenting this new recipe while corn is still in season. The corn was sweet and juicy, and to prevent the liquid from the corn drawing out during baking and thus creating dense scones (lesson learned from the disastrous Banana Scones), I roasted the corn kennels in a dry clean pan first. I can smell the corn from the scones, and they taste quite mild just like any classic scones, although I would probably add another 1/2 teaspoon of sugar next  time. Walnut, as usual, adds texture to the bite. The scones taste better if served with butter, otherwise it’s a little plain on its own.

Corn & Walnut Scones

Corn & Walnut Scones

Corn & Walnut Scones Recipe (makes 8 pieces)

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for sprinkling
1 1/2 tbsp dry milk powder
2  1/2 tbsp sugar— will use 3 tbsp sugar next time
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp cold unsalted butter– cut into pieces
1/2 cup toasted walnut– chopped
corn kennels of 1 ear of corn– roast in clean dry pan until slightly char, let cool
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, stir flour, milk powder, sugar, baking powder and salt to combine. Rub in butter until the mixture resembles of coarse crumbs. Add walnut and roasted corn kennels, mix well.
  2. Add eggs, vanilla extract and milk in a small bowl, whisk to combine. Scoop out 2 tbsp to reserve for egg wash. Pour the egg mixture all at once into the flour mixture. Use a spatula gently stir until the dough comes together. Do not over mix or the scones will be tough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead the dough gently 4-6 times, then divide the dough in half. Pat each half into 6 inch circle, and cut into quarters, for a total of 8 wedges.
  4. Place scones on a lined baking sheet, 2 inches apart, and chill in freezer for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400°F.
  5. Brush scones with reserved egg wash and bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is baked through and golden brown on the edge. Serve immediately.

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Drunken chicken wing is ordinary, but it is the preserved fruit that adds twist to the flavor, and I decide to try it  out for a potluck party. Amazingly, the flavor of preserved kumquat goes very well with the wine, but I find the wine is too strong to my taste. Next time I will dilute the wine with water. This is also a very easy dish and can be prepared ahead of time, perfect for busy days and great as party food.

Drunken Chicken Wings with Preserved Kumquat (话梅鸡翼)

Drunken Chicken Wings with Preserved Kumquat (话梅醉翼)

Drunken Chicken Wings with Preserved Kumquat Recipe

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs chicken wings mid joint
1/2 tbsp salt

water for boiling wings

lots of ice cubes– I used 4 trays

Marinade:
750 ml ShaoXing Hua Diao Wine (绍兴花雕酒)– will try 300 ml wine mix with 300 ml water next time
20 preserved sweet kumquat (话梅金桔)– or preserved sweet plum (甜话梅)
8 tbsp fish sauce– I used ‘3 Crab’ brand
4-5 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Clean chicken wings and season with salt. Cook wings in a big pot with boiling water (water must cover the wings) uncovered until chicken is cooked, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl, stir until sugar dissolves. Lightly smash kumquat for the flavor to come out quicker.
  2. Drain chicken wings to a big bowl cover with ice cubes (I did one layer of chicken follow by one layer of ice to ensure even coldness). When the wings are cold they will be firm to the touch.
  3. Remove cold wings and soak in the marinade, cover and chill in the fridge for at least half day or overnight for the flavor to come out. Serve chill or room temperature.

Note:

  • The  longer the wings soak in marinade, color of the wings will turn darker.
  • I freeze the marinade– we’ll see if it’s still good for reuse.

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I tried making Japanese cotton soft cheesecake twice before but failed both times– those two time my cheesecake was not cotton soft at all– the top half tastes fluffy like cake but the bottom half was too wet like pudding. Since then I was hesitated to make Japanese cheesecake again, until my neighbor had success baking this cheesecake then I decided to give it try– and it turned out good! Maybe I have better luck with souffle cheesecake than the cotton soft version :).

I believe this is another type of Japanese cheesecake. The texture is like souffle and so it is more moist than cotton soft cheesecake, which has more of a cake texture.

Souffle Cheesecake

Souffle Cheesecake

Souffle Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients:

Egg yolk mixture:
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese– soften
3 tbsp unsalted butter– soften
1/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tbsp milk
1/4 cup cake flour

Egg white mixture:
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven temperature to 350°F with rack on the lower half (so the bathing pan is positioned in the middle of the oven). Boil a pot of water. Grease a 8×3 inch round baking pan.
  2. Prepare egg yolk mixture: Use a hand mixer, beat cream cheese, butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg, one at a time until well blended, scrapping the bowl occasionally. Add lemon juice, milk and beat until smooth. Sift in flour and continue mixing until smooth.
  3. Prepare egg white mixture: In a separate bowl, whisk egg whites with a hand mixer/stand mixer on high speed until foamy. While the mixer is whisking, add in cream of tartar. Then gradually add in sugar, scrapping the bowl once. Whisk until it forms a peak (pointing tip with a little curve).
  4. Gently FOLD IN 1/3 of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture until just corporate. Repeat with the remaining egg whites in 2 batches. Pour batter into greased 8×3 inch round cake pan. Smooth the surface.
  5. Pull the oven rack half way out. Place a larger shallow baking pan or roasting pan  on the oven rack and carefully pour in boiled water. Carefully transfer cake pan into the shallow pan and slowly push the rack back to the oven.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F and water bake cheese cake for 1 hour, until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Carefully take out cheesecake and let it cool completely on cooling rack. Chill in the refrigerator.

Regina’s Note:

  • During baking, my cake cracked on the top after first 30-40 minutes, but rise very high to the top rim of the cake pan. Once removed from the oven, the cake start to shrink a little around edge, and sink to almost half way. So after cooling the cake is about 1.5 inches tall.
  • The cheesecake is very moist and light like souffle, with a refreshing taste as lemon juice is added.
Souffle Cheesecake-- it rises almost to the top during baking, and shrinks quite a bit while cooling down.

Souffle Cheesecake-- it rises almost to the top during baking, and shrinks quite a bit while cooling down.

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Steamed Veggie Buns 'Chye Pao'-- jicama version

Steamed Veggie Buns ‘Chye Pao’– jicama version

Opps! I forgot to take a picture of the pao showing the filling… also, this time my paos have more yellowish tone one the dough. Could it be different batch of flour bought and used?… I wonder if the pao will look more ‘white’ if I use bleached flour?…

Steam Veggie Buns ‘Chye Pao’ (Jicama version) Recipe (makes 28 paos):

Ingredients:

for Dough:

1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water
3/4 tbsp dry yeast
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp shortening

28 parchment paper– cut into 3″x3″

for Filling:
2.5 lbs jicama–remove skin and shredded
8 medium dried mushroom– soaked overnight then finely sliced
1/2 carrot– finely shredded
3 stalks green onion– chopped
2 tbsp dried shrimp– wash and chopped
2 cloves garlic– chopped

Seasoning:
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp ground white pepper
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/3 cup hot water

Method:

  1. Dissolve sugar in warm water (use microwave to speed up dissolving if desired). Sprinkle yeast and gently stir a couple of times. Let it stand for 10 minutes until the yeast floats to the top and becomes foamy.
  2. Sift flour and baking powder into a big bowl. Add in shortening and yeast mixture and mix well. Add more water if the dough is too dry; add more flour if the dough is too moist.
  3. Transfer dough onto a work surface and hand knead until smooth– I kneaded for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Place the dough back to the big bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let the dough rise in a warm place until tripple in bulk.
  5. While waiting for the dough to rise, cook the filling: Heat up a wok with 2 tbsp oil, saute garlic, dried shrimp until aromatic. Add in mushroom and saute until flavor of mushroom comes out. Put in jicama and carrot, and stir until jicama looks soften. Add in seasoning and half of the water, continue cooking until jicama soften some more and yet still maintain some crunchiness to taste. Add in more water if necessary. Add in chopped green onion. Stir quickly then dish out to cool down.
  6. Back to the dough: gently knead the dough a few time to get rid of air pockets, then roll it into a long log. Divide into 28 equal portion.
  7. For each small dough, first roll it to a round ball then flatten it with your palm. Roll it out to a round circle using a rolling pin (thinner around the edge while thicker dough towards the center). Scoop in about 2 tbsp filling then pleat to seal the opening. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Rest pleated pao on parchment paper, and let it rest 10-30 minutes (no more than 30 minutes or the pao might collapse after steaming).
  8. Place rested pao loosely (pao will expand to double size during steaming) on a steamer tray with holes. Steam on high heat over rapid boiling water for 10 minutes. (Always steam pao over boiling water on high heat. otherwise the pao will taste doughy and sticky).

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Greetings!

Thanks for stopping by! It has been a long time since my last post. I was back to Malaysia with my kids for 3 months. When we came back the nectarines in our backyard were super ripe, and it’s just too many of them to consume at one time. So I decided to make something out of it. This is a very simple recipe and you can use any summer fruits as filling. I love the crunchy toasted coconut in the topping, but feel free to skip it  if you’re not a coconut fan.

Nectarine Crisp

Nectarine Crisp

Nectarine Crisp

Nectarine Crisp

Nectarine Crisp Recipe (makes one 9-inch square glass pan)

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs ripe yellow nectarines
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp sugar
dashes of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp golden rum– optional

for topping:
1 cup oat– likely toasted and cool
1 cup chopped almonds– likely toasted and cool
1/3 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter– cut into cubes

Method:

  1. Remove pits of nectarines and cut into big chunks (leave the skin intact). Place fruit in a big bowl and add flour, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and rum. Toss to coat well. Transfer to a 9-inch square glass pan.
  2. Prepare topping: In a different bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add in cold butter cubes and use both hands quickly rub butter into flour mixture until loose crumbs forms. Sprinkle topping evenly on top of the nectarine, bake at preheated 375°F oven for 30 minutes. Use a fork to loose up the topping so the inner part is brown nicely, every 10 minutes until topping is all nicely brown inside out (by this point the juice from the nectarine should be thicken). Cool on the rack for 10 minutes. Serve warm, or cold with ice cream.

Note:

  • Summer fruits such as peach, nectarine, plum, and berries can be used when these fruits are in abundance.
  • This recipe yields a thicker layer of toppings (as I just love the crunchiness) so it requires browning evenly for the inner part so the crisp stays crunchy longer– I ate the next day and the topping was still crunchy.
  • The filling is not very sweet as it fits my taste better, adjust accordingly if necessary.


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