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Archive for the ‘Desserts’ Category

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

Beautiful aren’t they? I stumped on this video ‘Rose di pasta sfoglia’ on YouTube while I was looking for six-braid challah braiding instructions, and thought, I’M MAKING IT! The instructions are in Italian (I think) so I was just guessing the amount of ingredients based on the video. Despite its fancy look, these edible roses are quite easy to make using store bought puff pastry dough, and I guarantee the receiver(s) of these roses will go WOW!!

Well, being the first trial, and just like the beautiful fragrant roses in the garden, they have challenges. My problem this time was that the pastry dough didn’t cook through towards the center. The bottom was already quite brown, the outer layer pastry puffed  up, and ‘petals’ was getting burnt, but the inner pastry layers were still not done!! I ran out of time, and also couldn’t bake it any longer without risking my beautiful rose petals. Maybe I set oven temperature too high (400°F)?

I made these apple roses for Alexander’s birthday, and we had some leftovers the next day. I reheated the leftovers in preheated 375°F oven for 10-15 minutes to see if the pastry part improves~ well, it puffs up some more, but still not all layers puffed up… Luckily this is an easy and quick dessert so it’s not that hard to make a different batch for next trial.

Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰 Recipe (makes 12 roses)

Ingredients:
3 large golden delicious apples
Juice of 1 lemon
5 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

2 sheets (or 1 box) Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheet– thawed

Method:

  1. Peel and core apples. Slice thin, about 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle lemon juice, toss to coat well.
  2. Melt butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add sugar, salt and cinnamon. Mix to blend well. When sugar dissolves, add in apple slices (drain lemon juice).  Stir and cook until apple slices become soft enough to roll up (the juice should be almost dried up at this point). Remove from heat and cool completely.
  3. Take a sheet of pastry and cut into 6 strips lengthwise. Roll out each strip to 15 inches long.
  4. Arrange apple slices on one side of a pastry strip, with part of apple hanging over the strip (it’s okay to overlap apple slices). Leave a 1/2 inch space at both ends. Fold the pastry on the other side over apple slices. Use a fork to press to seal both ends.
  5. Coil pastry strips up, and tuck the end under the pastry rose. Bake at preheated 400°F oven for 15-18 minutes.

Regina’s Note:

  • As I said, this is not a perfect recipe yet~ My problem is the puff pastry didn’t cooked all way through especially towards the center. The outer layer of pastry was puffy and the bottom was quite brown already but not the center!! I think my temperature maybe too high. If I lower to 375°F then will the pastry puff up? or maybe I coil up too tight? If I loose up a little will the pastry in the center bake up better? I couldn’t bake any further this time as the bottom of the roses were quite brown, and the roses start having a burning edge on their “petals” already… hmm, more trial to come.
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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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Apple Roses 蘋果玫瑰

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This is one of the popular dessert soups in Malaysia. I like to use coconut sugar “gula Melaka” 椰糖 for making this dessert; it does bring out the nice fragrant that is hard to describe. Unfortunately, I can’t find “gula Melaka” here in US and I have to bring some from Malaysia. I tried using palm sugar (available here in Asian grocery stores) but it just doesn’t taste the same. Also, the other ingredient to make this dessert soup fragrant is fresh pandan leaves. I can’t find any fresh pandan leaves (and I don’t want to use pandan juice/extract because I don’t want to turn it to a green soup), so I skip it.

Bo Bo Cha Cha

Bo Bo Cha Cha

BoBo ChaCha Recipe (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:
1 lb taro– peel and cut into small cubes
1 lb sweet potatoes (Japanese sweet potatoes preferred)– peel and cut into small cubes
1 cylinder block  (2 inch diameter) coconut sugar “gula Melaka” 椰糖
1/3 cup + 5 cups water
3-4 pandan leaves
1/2 cup sago balls or tiny tapioca balls– soak for a couple of minutes then drain
2 cans (5.6fl oz/165 ml each) coconut milk
2/3 cup sugar

Method:

  1. In a small sauce pan, boil 1/3 cup water and coconut sugar “gula Melaka” until sugar dissolves. Sift and set aside.
  2. Cook sago balls in a different pot with enough water until sago is  transparent. Drain and rinse under cold water. Put cooked sago balls in a bowl with cool water so they don’t stick together.
  3. Boil 5 cups of water and fresh pandan leaves (if used) in a medium pot, cook taro for 5-8 minutes then add in sweet potatoes. Cook until taro and sweet potatoes are soft. Stir in coconut milk, coconut sugar syrup and sugar, bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in cooked sago balls. Serve hot or cold.

Regina’s Note:

  • Sago balls: soaking sago balls briefly will speed up cooking time and help cook through the center of the balls.

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Tiramisu

Tiramisu

First, my apology for no picture posted in this entry… yes and again, I was rushing out the door for the party and forgot to take a picture of the dessert! I will update the blog with a picture when I make it next time as there’s still some marcapone cheese left in my fridge.

*** 12/31/2010 update: I posted the picture and also included the recipe for a smaller 9×9 inch square glass pan. Check the recipe below.***

With Christmas around the corner there is always a party in someone’s house. This is one of the dishes I brought to the holiday gathering. I made it the night before so no last minute stress of preparing. If you are making this dessert, be sure to use traditional Italian lady fingers which are crispy, as opposed to American lady fingers which are more of a cake texture and break apart when you dip them into the coffee.

I found this recipe from FoodNetwork.com. Generally tiramisu uses 6-7 raw eggs (eggs and yolks combined) but this recipe only uses 4 eggs(eggs and yolks combined). I change the preparing method a little– whisking eggs in a double boiler on the stove so to cook the eggs a little. If you can find pasteurized eggs it will be best to use for making tiramisu. By the way, do you know that ‘tiramisu’ in Italian means ‘pick me up!“?

Tiramisu Recipeadapted from recipe from Steven Ullman (makes 1 glass tray of 9 x 13 x 2 inch)

Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
9 tbsp sugar
2 containers (226mg each) mascarpone cheese— see note below
1 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
10 tbsp golden rum
2 cups espresso or very strong brewed coffee (4 heap scoop for 2 cups water)
4 dozen Italian lady fingers
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

For a smaller 9×9 inch square glass pan:
Ingredients:
1 eggs
1 egg yolks
7 tbsp sugar–> 6 tbsp for eggs, 1 tbsp for whipping cream
1 containers (226mg each) mascarpone cheese– see note below
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
tiny pinch of salt
6 tbsp golden rum–> 1 tbsp for cream, 5 tbsp for coffee
1 1/2 cups espresso or very strong brewed coffee (4 heap scoops for 2 cups water)
2 dozens of Italian lady fingers
unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

  1. Place 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks and 7 tbsp sugar in mixing bowl over a pot with some boiling water (be sure water does not contact with the mixing bowl). Use a electric hand mixer, mix until the mixture reaches body temperature (very slightly warm). Remove from the pot, continue mixing until mixture forms a good ribbon stage. Mix in mascarpone cheese.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip heavy cream with 2 tbsp sugar and pinch of salt until hard peak forms.
  3. Add whipped cream and 2 tbsp rum to mascarpone cheese mixture, mix with hand mixer until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl combine coffee and 8 tbsp rum (see note below).
  5. One at a time, quickly dip lady fingers into coffee mixture and then place on the bottom of a 9 x 13 glass pan. Continue until the lady fingers fill the entire layer on the bottom. Using a spatula spread half of the mascarpone cream over lady fingers. Repeat the process (dipping + cream) to make second layer.
  6. Refrigerate 8-10 hours or overnight. Before serving dust the top generously with unsweetened cocoa powder (see note below). Serve cold.

Regina’s Note:

  • Mascarpone cheese: I couldn’t find plain mascarpone cheese so I use coffee flavor mascarpone cheese instead.
  • Coffee mixture: This dessert is not sweet at all. If you prefer a slightly sweeter version, add extra 1-2 tbsp sugar into the coffee mixture. Stir to dissolve.
  • Cocoa powder: Always dust cocoa powder before serving for better presentation, as the cream will moisten cocoa powder over time and make the top of tiramisu look wet.


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This is the dessert I made for Thanksgiving this year. I’d better post the recipe before I forget all about it.

Apple Crisp
Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp Recipe (makes one 9×9 glass pan)

Ingredients:
4-5 large golden delicious apples
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp flour
5 tbsp sugar
dashes of ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp golden rum– optional

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

Method:

  1. Core and peel the apples then cut into big chunks. Place in a big bowl and drizzle lemon juice, mix well. Let it marinate for a while to soak the lemon juice. Add in 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.

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What makes it double chocolate-y? It comes from the bread AND the custard. I made a batch (3 loaves to be exact) of chocolate bread last week for the first time, and didn’t put in enough water. Needless to say my breads turned out a bit dry (delicious though!)… I don’t want to waste all these loaves of bread, so I decided to make them into this dessert– and it tastes much better. The pudding is very moisted, rich and chocolate-y, but not very sweet at all. I added a lot of dried tart cherries to balance the richness and it turns out great. This recipe calls for a large 8x12x2 pan. We only had 1/3 of it and gave the rest to friends and neighbors.

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding

Homemade Chocolate Bread.

Homemade Chocolate Bread.

Double Chocolate Bread Pudding (makes one 8x12x2 rectangular glass baking pan)– adapted from  Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups milk— see note below
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream— see note below
3/4 cup packed brown sugar— see note below
4 tbsp butter– cut into small pieces (optional)— see note below
8 oz bittersweet baking chocolate– break or chop into pieces— see note below
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-2 tsp golden rum (optional, adjust to taste)
6 cups day-old Chocolate Bread– cut into cubes
1 1/2 cups dried tart cherries

Chopped toasted nuts (walnut, almond, hazelnut etc…) for sprinkling on top (optional)

Method:

  1. Add milk, whipping cream and sugar to a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add chocolate (and butter if used) and whisk until chocolate melts. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  2. Arrange bread cubes and cherries in a 8x12x2 baking dish.
  3. Whisk together eggs and egg yolks in a bowl. Gradually add to the chocolate mixture. Whisk to blend well. Mix in vanilla extract and rum.
  4. Pour the chocolate mixture over the bread cubes and let it soak for 15 minutes. Push the bread down into the custard so the bread is well soaked.
  5. Cover loosely with foil, and poke several hole on the top to allow steam to evaporate. Bake in preheated 325°F oven for 50-60 minutes, until the center is firm to touch.
  6. Cool bread pudding for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle toasted nuts on the top and serve with vanilla ice cream if desired.

Regina’s Note:

  • Milk/heavy whipping cream: I happened to have heavy whipping cream on hand, but you can use all milk (2% is fine, which will be 3 cups total).
  • Brown sugar: This bread pudding is not very sweet because I used bittersweet baking chocolate. If you would like a sweeter version, increase brown sugar to 1 cup.
  • Butter: I used heavy whipping cream AND butter, and find the bread pudding is too rich. So I suggest opt out butter unless you use all milk.
  • Bittersweet baking chocolate: Feel free to use semi-sweet if you prefer, or combined bittersweet (4 oz) and semi-sweet(4 oz), which brings out nice balance.
  • For a orange chocolate bread pudding, replacing 1 cup of milk with orange juice and add in 1 tbsp orange zest maybe??

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Pulut hitam, like BoBo ChaCha, is one of the classic Malaysian dessert soups. I have been wanting to make this dessert soup for awhile but just never get to it. It’s a good change to the regular red bean soup at our house. Too bad my children are not big fans of it, so I ended up giving 2/3 of the soup to friends. It was a very delicious dessert soup nonetheless. I especially love the crunchiness of Chinese donuts with the soup… Mmm, so heavenly!

Black Gluten Rice Soup 'Pulut Hitam'

Black Gluten Rice Soup 'Pulut Hitam'

Pulut Hitam Recipe

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cup black gluten rice
1/4 cup white gluten rice
7 cups water
4 pandan leaves– tie a knot. See note below.
1 large block gula melaka 椰糖 or palm sugar
1 stick rock sugar 冰片糖

Coconut Sauce:
1 cup coconut milk
pinch of salt

toasted Chinese donut, cut into small pieces

Method:

  1. Combine both rices and rinse a couple of times. Soak in plenty of water 2-3 hours or overnight. Drain.
  2. Add 6 cups of water,drained rice and pandan leaves in a deep pot and bring to boil. Turn heat to medium and cook until the rice broth is silky smooth to the taste and rice is tender and yet yields texture to the bite. Keep stirring during cooking to prevent rice sticking to the bottom.
  3. While the rice is cooking, boil remaining 1 cup of water with gula melaka and rock sugar in a small pot, until sugar dissolves. Strain to remove impurities. Add to the rice soup/pulut hitam (add more water to rice soup if it’s getting too thick).
  4. Prepare coconut sauce: put coconut milk and salt in a saucepan and boil over low heat until it bubbles. Set aside to cool.
  5. To serve, scoop pulut hitam into a bowl. Drizzle with some coconut sauce and top with Chinese donut pieces.

Regina’s Note:

  • Adding white gluten rice is to make the soup more silky taste. You can do the same with other dessert soups too like red bean soup.
  • Frozen pandan leaves have lost much of its fragrance so double or triple the amount calls for in the recipe. Pandan leaves give the soup a fragrant aroma. Omit it if you can’t find this ingredient.

 

Black Gluten Rice Soup 'Pulut Hitam'

Black Gluten Rice Soup 'Pulut Hitam'

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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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