Archive for April, 2009

Black-Currants Orange Blossom Cheese Cake

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Finally for the first time round, I didn’t half the challenge recipe. I used to half the recipe before, just in case something went wrong and the damage would not be whole ūüėČ

This time I took¬† my chance, because it’s CHEESECAKE… I¬† *HEART* cheesecake and this recipe is gold,¬† the best I’ve ever make,¬†simple but yet the result is perfect in taste and texture.

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I made  two kinds of mini cheesecakes, one with blackcurrants toppings and one with simple chocolate shavings, but both them had orange blossom essence.

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The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

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Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:

crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil “casserole” shaped pans from the grocery store. They’re 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.

 

** Orange Blossom-scented cheesecake Рheat the cup of heavy cream in the microwave or a saucepan until hot but not boiling. Add 1 tbsp of Orange Blossom and stir.  Add cream to cheesecake batter as normal.

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* My first picture is also my entry for CLICK-APRIL

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Quiche Lorraine

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Lately I’ve been craving for quiches so much, I made all kinds of quiche with what ever ingredients I have in my pantry.The best partof this,¬†is that¬†I found¬†a recipe of easy crust, which actually a mimic of puff pastry with ¬†a shorter¬†process of making¬†and the¬†result is just like “real” Pate Feuillet√©e.¬†So now I can make good pastry in¬† no time ūüôā

Of all the quiches , of course the classic Quiche Loraine is my favorite ( I just adore classic dishes), put in a little twist of adding shredded cheddar, make it extra delicious.

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Quiche Lorraine

Recipe adapted from here

Ingredients

Crust

  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons (or more) ice water

Filling

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¬†150 gr beef bacon
  • 3/4 cup (packed) coarsely grated cheddar cheese (about 3 ounces)

Preparation

For crust:
Blend flour and salt in processor. Add butter. Using on/off turns, blend until coarse meal forms. Add 4 tablespoons ice water. Using on/off turns, blend until dough comes together in moist clumps, adding more ice water by teaspoonfuls if dough is dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk. Wrap and chill at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Preheat oven to 375¬įF. Roll out dough on floured surface to 14 1/2-inch round. Transfer to 10-inch-diameter tart pan with removable bottom. Fold overhang in; press to form double-thick sides. Push sides up until 1/4 inch higher than top edge of pan. Pierce crust all over with fork. Freeze 10 minutes.

Line dough with foil and dried beans or pie weights. Bake until sides are set, about 25 minutes. Remove foil and beans. Bake until crust is golden, piercing with fork if crust bubbles, about 15 minutes. Transfer crust to rack; cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 350¬įF.

For filling:

Whisk eggs, cream, salt and pepper, in bowl. Arrange bacon over bottom of crust. Sprinkle with cheddar. Place tart pan on oven rack. Pour egg mixture into crust, filling completely (some egg mixture may be left over).

Bake quiche until filling is golden and set in center, about 35 minutes. Transfer quiche to rack; cool 15 minutes.

Mocha Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chips Muffins

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What a strange weather,¬† just a couple days ago it was warm with a lot of sun shines, but now… ice rain???¬† I was ready¬† to go to the park with my picnic basket full of sweet treats, to bad I had to packed it all out. Still, I was lucky because I had the “all weathers good old muffins”. You can adjust them through all kind of situations.

So moving from my basket, to a plate with chantilly cream and chocolate napoleon, then for a while the weather doesn’t seem to matter ūüôā

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Ingredients

  • 2¬†cups Flour
  • ¬ľ¬†cup¬† Brown Sugar
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup Sugar
  • 2¬†teaspoons Baking powder
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon Salt
  • 1¬†Egg; beaten
  • ¬Ĺ¬†cup Milk
  • ¬ľ¬†cup Water
  • 2 tablespoon instant coffee
  • ‚Östcup Cooking oil¬†
  • 3 tablespoons chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons¬†peanut butter¬†chips

 Directions

Preheat oven to¬†190′ C¬†. In a large mixing bowl stir together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center. In another bowl dissolve coffee in warm water, combine¬† it with egg, milk, and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Add¬†peanut butter¬†and chocolate chips, stir just till moistened; batter should be lumpy. Grease muffin cups or line with paper bake cups; fill 2/3 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Sweet Potato Bomboloni

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Another year has past, today is my first blogoversary. I ‘ve been in the blogosphere since year 2005 with different themes of blogs,¬† but food blog is my lastest and my lasting theme. Usually I’m quickly bored with one theme and easily move to another, but I guess in food blog I really find my¬† appetite¬† passion. So here I am, still in love with my simplicious and hopefully will continue to do so ūüôā

Today also, I’ve launch¬† another page containing¬† my recipe index, have a look and enjoy.

I’m sending this post, to the yeastspotting¬† over at Zorra of 1x umr√ľhren bitte.

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Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potato, boiled
  • 2 1/4¬† tsp instant yeast
  • 2 tbsp¬† whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 1 ¬Ĺ cups flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¬ľ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ¬Ĺ tablespoon butter, at room temperature
  • ¬Ĺ¬†teaspoon salt
  • 2 quarts vegetable oil, for frying

Directions

Mix flour, sugar and yeast in a food processor, add the sweet potato, mix, add milk a spoon at  the time, while it’s still mixing add the butter and egg in, mix again until it form a big ball.Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough proof in the refrigerator for 6 hours or over night.

Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper. Remove the dough from the bowl and make balls with two tablespoons. Place the balls, not too close to one another, on the sheet pan, and drape plastic wrap loosely over them. Let the circles proof at room temperature for 30 minutes ‚Äď they will puff up and out a little.

In a deep pan over medium-heat, warm the oil until it reaches 375ňöF. Drop in the balls, a few at a time, and fry them until they‚Äôre golden brown, lifting them out of the oil as they are done and draining them on paper towels.

Sprinkle with powder sugar before serving.

Hibiscus Semifreddo

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Have I told you all that I love frozen dessert so much? It was the only major thing that I craved with both of my pregnancies. Any types of ¬†Ice-Cream, Sorbet, Sherbet,¬† you name it…my freezer always has at least¬†one of them inside. I eat ice cream in 4 seasons. No matter what the weather is… you¬†have ice -cream then¬† I’m in.

However, I think ¬†this semifreddo is great for spring, slightly sour with floral aroma, smooth but not too rich, lovely colour,very easy to make, whisk and pour,¬†freeze and¬†¬†Voila! In short… it is perfect just like spring it self ūüôā

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup of dried hibiscus
  • 3/4¬†cup of boiled water
  • juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 3/4 cup ¬†icing sugar
  • 500ml double cream

Directions

  1. Soak the dried hibiscus with the boiled water and strain the water into a bowl, let it cool for a while.
  2. Add the icing sugar and lemon juice, whisk to dissolve.
  3. Whisk in the double cream and keep whisking until soft peaks form.
  4. Pour and smooth the ice cream into the airtight container  and freeze for at least 4 hours.

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Matcha / Green-tea Tiramisu

 

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This tiramisu was made with my last save of matcha powder, as I poured it out to the mascarpone mix, my heart started to ache… why?¬† Why did I just bought two sachets of this powder? Why not ten? …. but¬†anyhow ¬†nothing lasts forever… I might have to wait¬†a long time ¬†to taste¬† matcha sweets again. I could not even find Japanese green tea here,¬†let alone ¬†the powder….hiks…hiks.

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Ingredients

  • 250gr¬†mascarpone cheese
  • 2¬†eggs (separated)
  • 1¬†package savoiardi
  • 2¬†tablespoons sugar
  • 2¬†espresso cups of¬† italian coffee (cooled)
  • 3 tablespoons matcha powder
  • 1 tea bag of japanese green tea
  • cocoa powder (unsweetened)

 

Directions

Poor espresso into shallow flat bowl and let it cool down.

Separate egg yolks and whites.
In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until creamy quite white, then whip in the mascarpone and mix gently.

In a second mixing bowl, beat eggs whites and whip until stiff and fluffy, stir in the matcha powder and the tea leaves from the tea bag.

Gently fold beaten and mix mascarpone cream with egg whites just  to blend.

Dip each savoiardo in the bowl with espresso. To get the right amount of espresso on the savoiardi, pull it out before they become too soft.

Arrange a layer of dipped savoiardi across the bottom of the pan. Then spoon a layer of egg/mascarpone cream across the layer of savoiardi. Use about 1/2 of the mascarpone mix.

Dip another layer of savoiardi and lay them on the mascarpone mix. Put the remaining mascarpone mix on it.

Dust  top with the cocoa powder

Refrigerate for at least 5 hours before serving.

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Pandan Shades Sesame Seeds Macarons and Express Chocolate Mousse

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Instant craving for something made out chocolate is typically my sweet habit (yes, I’m a chocoholic, who isn’t?)… Nigella Lawson’s show¬†brought this express chocolate mousse to my attention and I knew then ¬†I had to make it right away.

While licking my spatula clean, I had a thought that it would be great with some macarons, so why not make macarons too?… great idea isn’t it? Well, the execution¬†was another thing… I learned my lesson the hard way, that express doesn’t¬† have to mean rushing… I wanted the macarons to be done quickly,¬†added ¬†a pinch of salt in the egg whites to rise quickly, and my macarons came out dry without leg..(either from the salt or me changing the brand of the powder sugar)… my first macaron disaster

Then¬†I had to wait until the next day, because I didn’t have enough almonds to start a new batch.¬† The next morning I bought some almonds and the old brand powder sugar, so the second time it has to work, hasn’t it?…I was already smiling when I saw those frilly legs coming out, but not to long… because then the tops started to crack. Arrrgh…I think it’s the weather or I’ve lost my “macaronage” touch (yeah…blame it on the rain).

That was the second disaster… but I’m not a quiter… I just had to eat my chocolate mousse with some macarons, so the third batch went to the oven… and.. finally I can be happy ūüôā

 

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I used the macaroon recipe from the best food blog 2008, I used 30 gr of sesame powder and 80 gr almond meal, with the colouring, instead of mixing it all  the way through, I just folded it a couple of tuns to leave shades kind of colour.

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Nigella’s Express Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 150g mini marshmallows
  • 50g soft butter
  • 250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
  • 60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
  • 1 x 284ml tub double cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

 
 
  1. Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
  2. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
  3. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
  4. Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml each in capacity, or 6 smaller (125ml) ones, and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!