Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fresh Fruit Tart

I was browsing through some cookbooks in the library and happen to find this French Desserts recipe book...most of the recipes are non-complicated to make and most of all the attractive pictures of each recipe that caught my attention :D

The Crème Pâtissière in this recipe is very light and compliment the fresh fruits very well! If you prefer a sweeter taste pastry cream, I would suggest to increase the sugar to 80gm...but to me 50gm is just nice! Though it seems a lot of steps in making this fruit tart, in actual fact is very simple in every process, from preparing the tart dough to assemble the tart, it took me around 2 hours to complete everything... 



Fresh Fruit Tart (tarte aux fruits frais)
  • 1 qty pastry cream (see A)
  • 1 qty Tart Shell (see B)
  • 250gm strawberries
  • 125gm blueberries
  • 1 kiwi
  • 80gm apricot jam
  • 1 tbsp water
Method
  1. Slice strawberries and kiwis thinly.
  2. Spread the pastry cream in an even layer in the baked tart shell. Arrange the fruits on top.
  3. Melt the jam with the water over low heat. Strain to remove all the lumps. Use a pastry brush, generously brush over the fruit to form a shiny glaze. Let cool. Chill for 6-8 hrs before serving.

(A) Crème Pâtissière - Pastry Cream

Ingredient
  • 500ml full cream milk
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 50gm caster sugar (increased to 80gm if u like it sweet)
  • 50gm plain flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
Method
  1. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar in a deep saucepan. Add the flour and mix well.
  2. Stir in the milk and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cook the mixture over low heat, stirring constantly for 3-5mins until thicken. Stir in vanilla essence. Remove from heat and cool before use.

(B) Pâte Brisée -Sweet Pastry Tart Shell

Ingredient
  • 200gm plain flour
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 100gm cold butter, cubed
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp cold milk
Method
  1. Sift flour in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and salt and stir to mix. Add cold cubed butter and rub into the flour mixture until breadcrumbs formed.
  2. Add in the cold milk and mix into a smooth dough.
  3. Pat the dough into a ball and slightly flatten it. Wrap in cling wrap and chill for at least 30 mins. Grease and floured a 9 inch loose-based tart tin.
  4. Roll out the pastry dough on a floured work surface to a disc slightly larger than the tart tin. (i rolled the dough between 2 sheets precut plastic bag) Carefuly transfer the pastry to the prepared tin, and press gently into the sides. To trim the edges, roll a rolling pin over the top, using the edge of the tin as a cutting surface. Chill for 30mins until firm. (this is to prevent the tart from shrinking too much)
  5. Prick the pastry all over, line with baking parchment and baking beans. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 deg cel for 15mins. Remove the paper and beans and bake until golden brown for 12-15mins. Cool slightly before filling with the pastry cream.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mango Mousse Cake



Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 120gm caster sugar
  • 4gm salt
  • 140gn cake flour
  • 30gm corn oil
  • 30gm fresh milk
Method
  1. Sift cake flour, set aside. Grease and lined a 8inch round cake tin, set aside.
  2. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar & salt on high speed for about 8 mins until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like. Turn to low speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.
  3. Fold in sifted flour into the batter in 3 batches until well blended.
  4. With a spatula, mix about 1/3 of the batter with the corn oil in a separate bowl. Fold in this mixture into the remaining batter. This method will help to ensure the oil will be fully blended and at the same time will not deflate the batter.
  5. Add in fresh milk and fold in gently.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 35 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmould and invert cake on rack to cool completely.
Filling
  • 400ml non-dairy whipping cream
  • 350gm mango puree
  • 200gm diced mango
  • 15gm gelatine powder
  • 50ml water
  1. Sprinkle gelatin in water and microwave for 10 secs. Stir to dissolve the gelatin evenly. Cool slightly and add to the mango puree and mix well.
  2. Whip cream and fold in mango gelatin mixture evenly.
  3. Slice the cake horizontally into 2 layers. Place one of the cake layers cut-side down in a cake ring. Spread with mango mousse filling covering the edge of the cake.
  4. Add in the mango cubes and top it with some mousse just enough to cover the mango cubes.
  5. Put in the other cake layer and pour all the mousse over it.
  6. To create the swirl effect on top of cake, drop teaspoon of mango puree on the cake surface and swirl the puree with a toothpick. Chilled for at least 3 hours before unmoulding. Decorate as desired.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Green Chicken Curry

Though it seems that a lot of ingredients are needed to make this green curry paste from scratch, but is really fast and simple! I just cut the ingredient in smaller slices and throw into the blender and give a quick whisk...in a minute the paste is done :D

The consistency of the curry will depend the amount of green curry paste you added. The original recipe* only added 4 tbsp of the paste which I find it too little. As I prefer a thicker and pulpy curry, I added more paste and substitute 1 cup coconut milk with 1 cup regular milk.






Green Curry Paste
Ingredient (blended into a fine paste)
*can be chilled in airtight container for 1 week after cooking...
  • 15 green chillies, deseeded
  • 2 green capsicums
  • 6 shallots
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp sliced galangal
  • 2 stalk lemongrass, white section only
  • 1 thai lime, rind only
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander (leaves & stem)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander, toasted
  • 1 tsp ground cumin, toasted
  • 1 tsp salt

Method
  1. Heat up 2 tbsp of oil in a a wok over medium-low fire. When hot, add green curry paste and stir-fry for about 10 mins or till fragrant. Add salt to taste. Watch the fire while cooking and be careful not to burn the paste.
  2. Cool completely before storing or use immediately...



Gaeng Khaio Wan Gai (Green Chicken Curry)
Ingredient
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • *6 tbsp green curry paste (increase according to the thickness u prefer)
  • 350 gm chicken breast, sliced into 3 cm pieces
  • 8 kaffir leaves, sliced thinly
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp palm sugar
  • 4 red chillies, sliced 
  • 1 large eggplant 
  • 15 fresh sweet basil leaves

Method
  1. Heat up oil in wok. Add the green curry paste, stir for 1 min. Add chicken, eggplant, lime leaves and coconut milk. Mix well and bring to a boil. Turn fire to low and simmer for 10mins, then season with fish sauce, sugar and red chillies.
  2. Cook for another 10mins or till the oil separates from the curry.
  3. Add sweet basil. Stir and let curry cool down for 5mins. Serve with rice.



Pasta with Meat Balls




Ingredient
  • 200gm minced chicken
  • 300gm minced pork
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Method
  1. In a mixing bowl, combine minced beef with all the remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
  2. With a clean wet hands, shape the mixture into balls. Chill for 30mins.
  3. Heat some oil in a wok. Cook meat balls in batches on medium fire for 6 mins. Turn them till they become brown all over and are cooked through. Drain on paper towls.
  4. Serve hot meatballs with your favorite paste sauce. (note: simmer in sauce for 5 mins before serving with pasta).

Sweet Soy Chicken Drumstick




Ingredient
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • rind & juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Method
  1. Cut 3 slits across each chicken drumstick. In a bowl, mix the ingredient with chicken drumstick. Toss to coat well. Marinate for at least 30mins, stirring half-way through.
  2. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 45mins or till chicken is cooked through and golden brown.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Baked Fusilli with Tuna

This is the first time I used canned whole tomatoes to cook a pasta dish..taste not too bad (in my opinon)..at least my hubby finish the pasta without any complain :P

Ingredient (served 4-5 pax)
  • 315gm fusilli (spiral pasta)
  • 185gm x 2 canned tuna flakes in water, drained
  • 2 canned whole tomatoes, crushed
  • 10 fresh shitake mushroom, diced
  • 3 leeks, sliced (used white section part only)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 10gm butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • salt & black pepper to taste
  • mozzarella cheese
Method
  1. Cook pasta accordingly to package. (I cook for 8 mins)Drain the water and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter with olive oil. Add leek and garlic and stir-fry until soft and fragrance. Add in diced mushroom and fry for 1 min.
  3. Add in tuna and crushed tomatoes and stir evenly. Add in oregano. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stir in cooked pasta and mix evenly and simmer for 1 min. Remove from fire.
  5. Transfer pasta to a large greased baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in preheated oven at 200 deg cel for 20 mins.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

宫保鸡丁

A typical chinese dish which can be found at any chinese restaurant :D Some notes to take care when preparing this dish. When saute the dried chilli, remember to use medium low fire to stir-fry it. If the dried chilli gets burnt during the frying process it will cause the whole dish to becomes bitter! Maintain high heat stir-fry after adding the chicken and sauce. Use only 1/2 tbsp of chilli oil* if you do not want it too spicy, omit it if you prefer a milder taste...


Ingredient
  • 300gm chicken fillet
  • 1 stalk spring onion, slice
  • 10 pcs dried chilli
  • 1 green capsicum, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 40gm roasted peanuts
  • cornstarch water
Sauce (A)
  • 1 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp chinese wine
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
Sauce (B) mix and set aside
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp dark vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp chinese wine
  • *1 tbsp chilli oil
  • 1 tbsp water
Method
  1. Clean chicken fillet and cut into cubes. Marinate with sauce (A) for at least 30mins.
  2. Rinsed and clean dried chilli, cut into sections. Heat up 2 tbsp oil in wok, stir-fry on medium low heat for 2 min till fragrance. Turn on heat, add onion and fry for 1 min. Add in garlic, stir-fry for 1 min.
  3. Add marinated chicken and stir-fry on high heat for 2 mins. Add spring onion and sauce (B) and continue to stir-fry on high heat till sauce reduce. (depends on how saucy the dish u prefer). Add the cornstarch water and stir till the sauce thickens. Add roasted peanuts and mix evenly. Dish up and serve hot.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Buffalo Wings

You may wondering why this dish is called Buffalo Wings...Buffalo is actual a city in New York! more information over this site :D there are many variations of cooking buffalo wings, mine one is not very authentic but is still very yummylicious!


Ingredient
  • 12 mid-joints
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • dash of white pepper
  • 2 tbsp white/rice wine
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
Sauce : mix together 2 tbsp tabasco sauce (i mixed 2 tbsp of lingham chlli sauce with drops of chilli oil), 2 tbsp bbq sauce and 1 tsp sesame oil together and set aside.

Method
  1. Clean and dry mid-joints and mix together with all the ingredient and marinate at least 30mins.
  2. Heat up sufficient oil in wok. Deep fried wings on medium low heat for 6mins until golden brown. (as i do not want to waste too much oil, i shallow fry till both sides golden brown)
  3. Coat the fried wings evenly with the sauce and served.

Papaya & Tomato Soup



Ingredient
  • 900gm papaya
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 3 pototoes
  • 250gm lean pork
  • 2 slices ginger
  • salt to taste

Method
  1. Peel and seed the papaya. Cut into thick chunks. Cut the tomatoes into quarters.
  2. Rinse the pork. Scald with boiling water and rinse again.
  3. Put in all the ingredient in a pot with 2 litres of water. Bring to boil. Turn to low heat and simmer for 2 hours. Season with salt.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Peach Chicken


Ingredient
  • 250gm chicken breast
  • 1 red capsicum
  • 1 yellow capsicum
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 pcs canned peaches
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce (i use heinz canned version)
Method
  1. Cut chicken breast in strip and marinated with 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp soya sauce and cornstarch. Set aside.
  2. Cut onion, capsicum and peaches in strips.
  3. Heat up oil in pan. Saute onion until soft and fragrance.
  4. Add chicken breast and stir-fry for 2 mins. Add capsicum and stir-fry for 1 min. Add tomato sauce and mix evenly.
  5. Add peaches and give a quick stir. Dish up.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cooking with Apples..

Apple & Almond Soup
Ingredient
6 green apples, 10 dried figs, 340gm pork, 30gm sweet almonds, 5gm bitter almonds, 2.5liter water




Mixed Apples wif Chicken...

Ingredient
1 green & red apple each, 200gm chicken fillet, 1/2 lemon juice
Seasoning
plum sauce, garlic, salt, cornstarch



Diced Pork with Apple & Gingko...
Ingredient
200gm pork fillet, 1 red apple, 70gm cooked gingko, spring onion
Seasoning
garlic, sesame oil, chinese wine, ginger juice, salt, soya sauce, fermented bean paste, red chilli, cornstarch


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cupcake

This is a recipe shared by my baking fren :D the texture is light and fluffy and I like the buttery taste. As I do not want the whole batch to have the same taste, I divide the batter into 2 portions and added different fillings to it! The recipe called for sour cream or milk to be added. As I yet to try out using sour cream in cakes, I decided to try using sour cream instead of milk. As usual I also reduce the sugar* content in the recipe. After 3 days leaving in air-tight container in room temperature, the cupcakes still taste as good as fresh bake!





Ingredient
  • 200gm butter
  • 120gm caster sugar *(original is 200gm)
  • 200gm eggs, lightly beaten (abt 4 large eggs)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 250gm self-raising flour, sifted
  • 8 tbsp sour cream (can replaced with milk)

Method
  1. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs gradually and beat well.
  2. Add in vanilla and mix well.
  3. Fold in flour and sour cream alternately. Do not overmix.
  4. Lastly fold in filling accordingly. Fill batter in bakings cups 3/4 full.
  5. Baked in preheated oven at 180 deg cel for 20-25mins or until golden brown.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Molten Chocolate Cake


Craving for choco cake decide to bake a simple dessert :) I prepare the batter the night before and freeze it. Next morning I defrost in room temperature for about 10 mins and pop into the oven and bake it.

The first attempt failed as I overbake it and the middle of the cake has fully set! Second attempt I reduce the baking time and temperature, successful though can further reduce the baking time :D...still have 2 more cakes in the freezer to test out for a better texture! This dessert freezes well and taste great along with some fruits...







Ingredient
  • 65gm butter
  • 110gm dark chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 40gm sugar
  • 15gm cake flour

Method
  1. Put the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Set in a saucepan filled with water over low heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture melts. Set aside to cool. (i microwave the mixture for 1min).
  2. Grease 6 moulds with shortening and dust them with cocoa powder. Tap to remove the excess.
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs, egg yolk and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Combine the cooled chocolate mixture with the egg mixture and mix well. Add the flour and mix well.
  5. Pour the batter into the moulds until 3/4 full. Refridge till set. Bake in preheated oven 180 deg cel for 8 mins. Gently unmould them (i use a toothpick to loosen the edge) and serve with vanilla ice-cream or fruits.
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