Monday, August 31, 2009

Doraemon Cake

This is the third year I'm baking Yi Hung's cake. I've watched this little boy grow up, from the day he was born 3 years ago, on Merdeka Day.

This year, he's big enough to tell his mummy that his favourite cartoon character is Doraemon, what a cutie !

The image was from Rei , the 'sifu' back home. The design on her cakes are all so gorgeous, a real talent she really is ! I got her permission to use her design. Something I learn from blogging for the past year, if you like someone's design, just ask if you can use it & give credit, that makes everyone happy !!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Angel Hair Pasta With Crab, Chilli & Lime

I was left with the last packet of frozen crab meat that my mum gave me during my last trip back home. I think it's from Sri Lanka crab as the flesh is really big chunk & even though it's frozen, the taste is so sweet & fresh, not fishy at all !

I didn't want to make crab meat omelette again like what I did the last time, I wanted olive oil based pasta this time.
Found this Gordon Ramsay recipe :

Serves 4

Ingredients :

  • 200g angel hair pasta *
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 red chilli *
  • 4 spring onions
  • Approx 75ml dry white wine
  • 1 lime
  • 250g white crab meat
  • Handful of flat leaf parsley *
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Extra virgin olive oil

1. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. When it comes to a rolling boil, add the pasta and cook according to pack instructions until al dente (approximately 3-4 minutes).

2. Heat another large pan with the olive oil. Chop the spring onions, thinly slice the chilli (deseed if you prefer) and crush the garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

3. Add the wine to the pan and cook out for a minute to reduce. Add the crab meat, stir together and allow to heat through.

4. Drain the pasta and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta to the crab mixture, chop the parsley and toss the ingredients to combine.

5. Divide between warm plates and serve immediately with a generous squeeze of lime juice, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

*I've used vermicelli instead of angel hair for the pasta. Chilli has been omitted, well because of the girls. I was lazy to drive to TH to get a bunch of flat leaf parsley so I used dried parsley leaves.
This is a very simple pasta, very easy to cook & so yummy, will defintely cook it again the next time I stock up on crab meat again !

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cupcakes For JF 2009

A batch of cupcakes baked for JF, for her to bring to school tomorrow morning. Since her birthday is always during the summer holidays, she only gets to bring cake in when school reopens.

She got very excited about when I told her I'll be baking some cupcakes for her to bring to school on Friday. And she even asked me if she could decorate them. I'm not going to let her do it because I already have a plan in my mind !

I want to make my first batch of fondant cupcakes & I make sure I do it.

I was up at 4.30am this morning to bake the cupcakes. JF wanted vanilla this time. So by the time I send them to school, the cupcakes were already cooling on the rack. Back from my morning run at 9am, it was time to start the action.

A few months back, JF's favourite colour was still green, now it's blue. So I decided on blue theme for the cupcakes. I've made the sugar paste a few days ago so I just had to finish up with the decoration today. The cupcakes were meant to be a surprise for her so I had to get it done before the girls come home from school today.

I think JF already has a preview of the cupcakes because I set them as wallpaper of my mobile after I took a picture of these cuties !

She's going to be so happy tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Panna Cotta With Strawberry Puree

Yesterday was Jana Faith's 7th birthday.

This year I didn't bake her any cake but of course I made her something ! We had Panna Cotta as her 'birthday cake' this year. Why Panna Cotta ? In fact, there's a story to it....

My girls grew up with diary cream so obviously they like cream, especially when whipped. We had a dinner at Al-fresco last weekend to celebrate JF's birthday. Since there's a band there so I got them to sing her a birthday song & I thoght it would be nice to have a dessert to go along with it. Browsing through the dessert menu, I saw Panna Cotta with raspberry crisps & that seemed interesting. When the dessrt arrived, served in a huge glass, with a thin pathetic layer of raspberry jelly & crumbed pieces of what seemed to me butter cookies. The Panna Cotta tasted like a thick milky agar agar, not like a creamy dessert. We pushed it around among the four of us & when we left there's still like almost half left. The kids commented that the Panna Cotta was awful !

So I thought I could make Panna Cotta while the girls were still sleeping yesterday morning & be ready for lunch.

Few months back, I saw on Jenny's blog about her Panna Cotta, I was so attracted to it, so pretty served in a tall glass. This is the link to the original recipe .

I made some changes to the original recipe & this is my version :

Serves 4

1 cup (250ml) strawberry puree
2 tablespoon (30g) water
8g powdered gelatin
1 vanilla bean
2 cup (500 ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (50gr) sugar

Fill 4 champagne flutes with strawberry puree up to 1/4 height, let freeze till firm.

Place the water in a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Let it bloom while you prepare the cream. On a flat surface, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise without cutting all the way through. With a pairing knife, scrape the seeds from the pods. Set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat the heavy cream with the sugar and vanilla bean seeds until the cream is just about to boil, stirring occasionally to make sure the sugar dissolves completely. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin until it is completely melted. Let cool for about 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature. You can speed up the process by placing your saucepan over a bowl filled with ice but keep and eye on it as it will thicken faster. Once the cream is cooled, slowly pour it over the frozen fruit till about half full. When it almost set, pour in another layer of strawberry puree, let freeze till firm & pour the remaining cream on top of the puree. Let chill till firm before serving, at least 2 hours. Garnish with strawberry before serving.

Cartoon Galore !

Monday, August 24, 2009

Birthday Cupcakes For Nikki

These chocolate cupcakes were baked for Nikki's 10th birthday celebration. Prior to these, she also had a chocolate cake, for dinner with her family.

Tomorrow, when school reopens for the new term, she's going to have another batch of cupcakes for her classmates, what a lucky girl !

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pudding - Mango Mango

I couldn't get enough of mangoes. Each time the season is here, you can find loads of mangoes in my kitchen. I waited for some mangoes to become very ripe to whip up this pudding.

This recipe is adapted from Japanese pastry chef, Susumu Koyama's
The Sweet Trick. I've tried some of the recipes in this book & they turned out really good. The book is published in Mandarin so I have the recipe translated :

Serves 10

Mangoes 430g (peeled weight), roughly diced
Lemon juice 5g
Sour cream 10g
Sugar 85g
Gelatin leave 6g (abt 3pcs) * or 3 tsp gelatin powder
Water 240g
Milk 70g
Cream 35g

Mix mango cubes with the lemon juice & mash with a wooden spoon (I've used a whisk). Add sour cream & combine well, set aside.

Soak gelatin leaves in 150g of water till soft, drain. In a saucepan, heat sugar, water & milk till boiling, remove from heat, add the gelatin leaves & stir till dissolved. Place the saucepan of the milk mixture over a large bowl of iced water, continue stirring until the mixture is cool. Pour mixture over the mashed mangoes, followed by the cream, combine well.

Pour into individual serving glass. Chill until firm before serving.

Sauce for the pudding :

Milk 100g
Milk powder 25g
Sugar 8g

Place all ingredients in a saucepan & cook till boiling. When cool, chill it. Drizzle sauce over pudding when serving.

* I've tried using gelatin leaves for this pudding but I find the texture too soft. So this time I made the pudding with gelatin powder & it turned out great. Just add the gelatin powder to the saucepan with the sugar, water & milk before cooking. I didn't make the sauce this time as I find it too milky. We enjoyed the pudding as it is, all the goodness of mangoes in every spoonful.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Cakes (10/8 - 16/8)

My friend J had these cupcakes for her restaurant's staff birthday celebration. 4 of their birthdays fall in August so she had a joint celebration for them.

A marine theme cake with an anchor on it, design was from the person who ordered it.

Naruto for Naldo's 7th birthday celebration. Frankly, I have no idea who Naruto is. JF told me it's a yellow hair boy so I googled for him. Yes, he's a Japanese comic character, an adolescent ninja.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Seafood Stew

One of our weekday lunch lately, when it was raining the whole week. This is such a simple hearty meal, served with crusty bread.

The recipe was adapted from one of the issue of Super Food Ideas :

Serves 4

1/4 Tsp Saffron threads
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Brown onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tsp Ground paprika
2 Tbsp Thyme leaves
3 x 400g Cans Italian chopped tomatoes
1 Cup Fish stock or water
1 Lemon, rind finely grated, juiced
2 Large Potatos, cut into 2-cm cubes
500g Thick white boneless fish, cut into 3-cm pcs
12 Mussels, cleaned, beards removed
12 Green prawns, peeled, deveined

Place saffron threads into a bowl. Add 1 Tbsp hot water, allow to stand for 5 mins. Heat oil in a large deep frying pan over medium heat. Add onion & garlic, cook for 3 - 4 mins, stirring or until tender. Add paprika & thyme, stir until well combined. Cook for 1 - 2 mins or until aromatic.

Add tomatoes, stock, lemon rind, 1/3 cup lemon juice, saffron mixture & potatoes to pan. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 mins or until potatoes are just tender.

Add fish, mussels & prawns to pan. Cover, cook for 8 - 10 mins or until seafood is cooked through. Season with salt & pepper.

* I've omitted the mussels & instead of 500g of fish, I've used a mixture of 500g of fish, scallop & squid. I didn't have fish stock on hand so I changed it to chicken stock.

Strawberry Jelly Cake

Have just added a very light & refreshing cake to my list - Strawberry Jelly Cake

It's chocolate sponge at the bottom, followed by a creamy layer, topped with strawberry slices & jelly.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Farewell Party Cupcakes

A batch of chocolate banana cupcakes for a girl's farewell party.

JF's best friend will be leaving in a week's time. It's really sad to see her family moving to another country after spending 3 years in KK.

Her mum organised a farewell party at a poolside yesterday afternoon. The girls really had a lot of fun in the pool & having all the pizza, doghnuts, chips, sweets.......

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Garlic-Mustard-Grilled Beef Skewers

We had a great lunch today. Of all cooking styles, I suddenly crave for grilling today, in the intense heat outside. I just had to finish up the 2 pcs of tenderloin I have in the deep freezer.

I've been looking for beef skewers recipe & happened to find this garlicky recipe from Bobby Flay's Grilling For Life.

Ingredients :
Garlic-mustard glaze

1/4 cup Whole grain mustard
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
4 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp Soya sauce
1 Tbsp Honey
1 Tbsp Finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 Tsp Spanish paprika
1/4 Tsp salt
1/4 tsp Freshly ground black pepper

Grilled beef skewers

2 Pounds beef tenderloin
Twelve 6-inch wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for 30 mins

For garlic-mustard glaze

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a small bowl, cover & let sit at room temperature for at least 30 mins & up to 4 hrs before using.

For grilled beef skewers

Heat your grill to high.

Cut the tenderloin lengthwise in half, then cut the halves lengthwise in half again. Slice crosswise to make 24 equal pcs. Skewer 2 pcs of beef onto each skewer, keeping them together at one end of the skewer. Place the skewers in a baking dish or on a baking sheet, pour half of the glaze over the meat & turn to coat.

Grill the meat, turning once & brushing with the remaining glaze, for 4 - 6 mins until golden brown, slightly charred & cooked to medium-rare. Transfer the skewers to a cutting board & let rest for 5 mins.

Place the skewers on a platter & serve hot.

* I only have a pound of tenderloin so I halved the garlic-mustard glaze. I cut the beef into cubes so it'll be easier for the girls to handle. I don't have Spanish paprika (don't know what this is) so I used Hungarian paprika from McCormick (wonder id they are thye same ?). The fresh rosemary leaves has been substituted with dried ones as I only have fresh thyme in my fridge. I left out the whole-grain mustard as some readers commented that the mustard flavour is too overpowering. Since I only have a pound of tenderloin, I halved the glaze recipe & poured it over the beef cubes to marinate for 3 hours in the fridge. Just remove the beef cubes an hour before cooking & drain the marinate. I've also threaded some cherry tomatoes & onion onto the skewers before grilling. The skewers were cooked on a grill pan on a gas hob & they only took about slightly over a min on each side.

This recipe yields 12 skewers, with cherry tomatoes & onion,

Saturday, August 1, 2009

No. 1 Cake For Ethan

Little Ethan turns 1 today.

Mummy wanted a '1' shape cake for his party. As this cake is very big, we have to craft it out of a few cakes, so it sits comfortably on a 22" long cake board.


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