Monday, April 23, 2018

White Bread

Sometimes all I crave for breakfast is just a simple white bread, spread with salty butter, a favourite jam and a mug of hot coffee. So that's what I made, from The Australian Women's Weekly gorgeous book, Simply Bread.

This is a very straight forward loaf to make. I have used the stand mixer to knead the dough, and reduced the yeast to only 2 teaspoons instead of 3, and also reduce on the salt slightly. The dough is a little sticky, so I've added about 1/4 cup more flour. I did not dust the final dough with flour before rising, preferring my white bread to be "clean" ! 

Bread is nice and soft. 

Good with a spread of salty butter. 

Basic White Bread
(Simply Bread, The Australian Women's Weekly)
3 teaspoons (10gm) dried yeast (2 teaspoons)
2/3 cup (160ml) warm water
2 teaspoons caster (superfine) sugar
2-1/2 cups (375gm) plain (all-purpose) flour
1 teaspoon table salt (3/4 teaspoon)
30gm (1 oz) butter, melted
1/2 cup (125ml) warm milk

  1. Combine yeast, the water and sugar in a small bowl until yeast dissolves. Cover; stand in a warm place for 10 minutes or until mixture is frothing.
  2. Sift flour and salt into a large bowl; stir in butter, milk and yeast mixture. Knead dough on a floured surface for 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in an oiled large bowl; cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 40 minutes or until dough has doubled in size,
  3. Preheat oven to 200C/400F. Oil a 10cm(4in) deep, 9cmx22cm (3-3/4in x 9in) bread tin.
  4. Knead dough on a floured surface for 1 minute or until smooth. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a ball; place side-by-side in bread tin. Dust with a little extra flour, cover with plastic wrap. Stand in a warm place for 20 minutes or until risen.
  5. Bake bread for 30 minutes or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Turn bread onto a wire rack to cool.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Arroz con Pollo

An easy one pot meal. Recipe uses saffron threads, I have omitted that, and replace with 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder for the lovely yellow. Chicken thigh is first browned in a little oil. Onions and garlic are sauteed until the onions are translucent, then chopped tomatoes are added in, stir for a few minutes until softened, stir in wine-saffron mixture (or turmeric powder), bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook until wine is nearly evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add in rice, broth and olives. Place chicken onto rice, bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven, baked for about 30 minutes. 

A delicious one pot meal. Yum!

Arroz con Pollo
(One Pot, Martha Stewart Living)
1/2 cup dry white wine
pinch of saffron threads (I use 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder)
6 bone-in chicken thighs (about 6 ounces each)
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large tomato, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1-1/2 cups short grain rice, preferably Valencia
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, drained

Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, combine wine and saffron.
Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or braiser, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken, skin-side down; cook until browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Flip and cook a minute more; transfer to a plate.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add onion and garlic, cook, stirring often, until translucent, 4 minutes. Add tomato and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in wine-saffron mixture, bay leaves, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook until wine is nearly evaporated, 5 to 8 minutes.
Stir in rice, broth, and olives. Nestle chicken into rice, skin-side up. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to oven. Cook until liquid is absorbed and chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #28 hosted by 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Apple-Coconut Family Cake

I like the combination of flavours in this cake ; apples, coconut, rum and vanilla. A simple, easy cake to make, it doesn't require a stand mixer to mix the batter. A bowl with a hand whisk is all you need, well, OK, a couple of bowls! 

I made half a recipe and use a 7" baking pan to bake the cake, a smaller pan (maybe 6") would result in a taller cake.

Cake is moist with tender crumbs, and the flavours of the coconut with the apples and rum, is a winning combination. Love it! Yummy with a mug of tea!

Apple-Coconut Family Cake
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
3 apples, peeled and cored
2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
1/2 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup plain yoghurt
6 tablespoons flavorless oil, such as canola or grapeseed
1 tablespoon dark rum
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut, preferably unsweetened
about 1/2 cup apple jelly, for glaze

Centre a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone mat.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
Cut 2 of the apples into a small dice, cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Cut the third apple from blossom to stem into slices about 1/4 inch thick; cover.
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and 1/2 cup of the sugar together for a minute, Whisk in the yoghurt, oil, rum and vanilla and whisk for about a minute, until smooth. Still using a whisk, or switching to a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture, followed by the coconut and the diced apple.
Scrape the batter into the pan and jiggle the pan from side to side a couple of times to even the batter. Arrange the sliced apples in an attractive pattern over the top of the cake - I like to make a sunburst pattern - and sprinkle the apples with the remaining 2 teaspoon sugar.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the apples and cake are golden and a thin knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Transfer the springform pan to a rack, and cool the cake for 20 minutes or so.
Meanwhile, make the glaze, Warm the apple jelly with a splash of water just until it liquefies.
Once the cake has cooled for 20 minutes, run a knife around the edges of the cake and release the sides of the pan. Using a pastry brush, give the top of the cake a generous gloss of glaze.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #28 hosted by 

Friday, April 13, 2018

Spicy Thai Fried Rice With Sausage and Greens

Even though this is called Spicy Thai Fried Rice, it is not at all spicy. But it is delicious and makes a satisfying lunch for a hungry tummy.

The recipe uses chorizo sausages, but I've substitute with some Chinese sausages instead. And because the Chinese sausages are not spicy, I've added a tablespoon of chilli flakes. The greens that I've used are baby spinach and napa cabbage. Instead of using the eggs to add to the rice stir-fry, I have fried the eggs separately to serve with the rice on top, with a dash of soy sauce. There's a half cup of black raisins in there, and I love it. It reminds me of some pilaf rice I ate before. This plate of fried rice makes such a delicious lunch, especially topped with the fried egg. 

Spicy Thai Fried Rice with Sausage and Greens
(Dinner Changing The Game, by Melissa Clark)
3 tablespoons peanut oil or grapeseed oil
1 small onion, diced
2 scallions (white and green parts), sliced, plus more for serving
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 cup diced cured chorizo or spicy salami (6 ounces)
1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced
1/2 cup black raisins
2 cups cooked white or brown rice
6 cups chopped mixed greens, such as mizuna, baby spinach, or baby greens
1 cup chopped napa cabbage
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime wedges for garnish
Kosher salt to taste

  1. Heat a heavy 12-inch skillet or wok over high heat until it is very hot. Pour in the oil and swirl it around the pan (it will probably smoke, and that's okay).
  2. Add the onions, scallions, and garlic, give them a quick stir, and cook until they have softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chorizo and jalapeno; saute until they start to caramelize, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the raisins and the rice, mix well, and spread the mixture out to cover as much of the surface area of the pan as possible; press down on it with a spatula. Cook without moving the mixture until the rice gets a chance to dry out and take on a little colour, 1 to 3 minutes, then stir it around a little and toss until it is golden in spots.
  3. Add the greens and cabbage, and toss until they are beginning to wilt, 5 minutes. Sprinkle in the soy sauce and fish sauce, coating the contents of the pan. Then push the contents away from the centre of the pan and pour the eggs into the centre. Cook until the eggs are custardly, 1 to 2 minutes. Then mix everything in the pan, breaking up the eggs. Add the lime juice and season with salt to taste. Serve garnished with sliced scallions and with lime wedges alongside.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #28 hosted by 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Spanish Chicken & Peppers

This is a simple "one pot", or rather sheet pan meal. Great for busy weeknights. Made this when I did not have much time to spend in the kitchen one evening. Bought some really beautiful sweet peppers the day before, and the next evening, simply arrange the chicken parts and the peppers, in a baking tray, seasoned with just salt and pepper, with a drizzle of olive oil. Bake until the chicken is cooked and the skin crispy, about 50-60 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken parts.

Love the sweet red peppers, very sweet and fragrant. There's really no need of any other ingredient for the chicken, a simple seasoning of salt and lots of black pepper is all it takes to make a really tasty baked chicken. A simple, delicious and satisfying meal. I have omitted the garlic-mayo as suggested in the recipe, preferring to serve with some greens instead, which I've used broccoli.

Spanish Chicken & Peppers
(Sheet Pan Cooking, Good Housekeeping)
2-1/2 pounds assorted small chicken parts (cut breasts into halves)
1 pound mini sweet peppers
1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
baguette, for serving

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F. In a large bowl, toss chicken and peppers with oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Arrange chicken and vegetables on a baking sheet. Roast in oven for 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through (165F).
  2. While the chicken and peppers cook, stir together mayonnaise, garlic and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Serve chicken and peppers on a baguette with garlic mayo.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #28 hosted by 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Creamy Leek Tart

This is another keeper recipe from Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss. It is called Süddeutsche Lauchtorte in German (I cannot even pronounce those words!). This tart is very similar to a quiche.

The dough for the crust can be made a day earlier, wrap with cling wrap and keep refrigerated,  the next day, roll the dough to line the tart pan, then bake blind for 15 minutes. 

For the filling, I have replaced bacon with chicken meat. I've used a small piece of chicken breast meat, pan fry lightly in a little oil in the saucepan, seasoned with salt and black pepper, cook until the chicken is done. Let cool and chop to small dices, about 1 cup. And have used homemade chicken stock instead of white wine. The leeks are sauteed with butter until softened, season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Mix in a large bowl, eggs, sour cream and cornstarch and stir in the leek, chicken and cheese. I have used Cheddar cheese instead of Emmentaler cheese. Pour this mixture over the prebaked crust, smooth the top and bake until golden brown, about 40 minutes.

Delicious and very tasty filling, with buttery tender crisp crust. I made this tart in the morning, and enjoyed two slices for my lunch, warm from the pan, with a cup of tea. Yum!

The recipe can also be found here.

Creamy Leek Tart
(Classic German Baking, Luisa Weiss)
2 cups, scooped and leveled/250gm all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
9 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon/130gm unsalted high-fat, European-style butter, softened, cubed
1 egg

3-1/2 tablespoons/50gm unsalted butter
3 to 4 leeks, white and pale green parts only, halved and sliced into 1/4-inch/6mm thick pieces
1/4 cup (60ml) white wine (chicken stock)
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs
1 cup (250gm) sour cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup (125gm) diced Speck or bacon (chicken meat)
4-1/2 ounces (130gm) grated Emmentaler (Swiss) cheese (about 1-1/2 cups) (1 cup Cheddar)

  1. First, make the crust : Place the flour, salt, butter, and egg in a bowl and knead together until well combined. Form into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  2. Make the filling : Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Stir in the wine and cook for about 2 minutes. Season with the salt, plenty of black pepper, and the nutmeg. Remove from the heat. Let cool slightly.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
  4. Unwrap the dough leaving the plastic wrap on the top side of the disk and placing the unwrapped side on a lightly floured surface. Roll out to 1/4-inch/6mm thickness. Line the bottom and sides of a 9-inch(23cm) fluted tart pan with a removable bottom with the dough. Prick the dough all over with a fork. Place a piece of aluminium foil over the dough, pushing it gently out to the edges, and fill the pan with pie weights or dried beans. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and, using the foil as a sling, remove the pie weights or beans. Maintain the oven temperature.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream and cornstarch. Fold in the cooked leeks, and then stir in the Speck and cheese. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until golden brown.
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack for 30 minutes before removing the tart ring. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges. Refrigerated, the tart will keep for 1 day. It can be reheated in a 325F/160C oven.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #28 hosted by 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Marble Cake

I like marble cakes, and have tried quite a number of recipes from various cookbooks. This marble cake is different from the rest as there's melted white chocolate mixed into the plain batter. Since there's dark chocolate used for the chocolate batter, then why not white chocolate for the plain batter, a delicious idea! A lovely recipe, from the cookbook, Classic German Baking, which is fast climbing its way up in the list among my top favourite baking book.

The author, Luisa Weiss, got this recipe from her assistant, Maja, which is her family recipe. The only change I made was to reduce the sugar to 170gm. This cake is baked either in a Gugelhupf or bundt pan. I've used my bundt pan and bake for exactly 45 minutes.

Cake is moist, with soft closed crumbs. The white part of the cake with an almost velvety crumbs, best as described by the author on the melted white chocolate in the batter "Don't worry, this doesn't make the batter taste of white chocolate. When the cake is baked, the white parts simply tastes richer, toastier, and more complex". 

A slice or two is very nice with either coffee, tea or just a glass of milk.

The recipe can also be found here or from the book Classic German Baking, page 72

kitchen flavour's notes :
reduced sugar to 170gm
baked in a bundt pan for 40 minutes

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Shell-Stuffed Baked Pasta with Spicy Pork and Tomato Sauce

A sweet friend gifted me with a packet of conchiglie, a jumbo size shell-shaped pasta, used for filled pasta recipes. I found the perfect filling, a recipe of Gino d'Acampo, Spicy Pork and Tomato Sauce. His recipe uses small shell pasta which are tossed with the cooked sauce before serving. I have however made the sauce and fill the jumbo shell pasta with it, arrange on a baking dish, scatter some mozzarella cheese on the top, and bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese melts.

The filling is very tasty. I have added a can of chopped tomatoes because I wanted more sauce. And used chilli flakes, about 1 tablespoon instead of fresh chopped chillies. Other than that, I followed the recipe as written. There's sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped olives, passata, onions and minced pork. Such a tasty and delicious sauce!  We've enjoyed this delicious pasta for dinner and I will make the sauce again, to serve over spaghetti the next time.

The recipe for Spicy Pork and Tomato Sauce can be found from his website here, or from his book, Gino's Pasta.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #27 hosted by 

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Chicken and Chorizo Salad

A simple, easy and very delicious lunch of Chicken and Chorizo Salad.

I've used only cannellini beans, omitted the barlotti beans (did not have any). Instead of using sliced red chilli, I have used 2 teaspoons of chilli flakes. Did not have rocket leaves either, so I have used baby romaine lettuce leaves. This plate of salad makes a very nice and tasty lunch.

Chicken and Chorizo Salad
(Pronto, by Gino D'Acampo)
serves 4
100gm can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
100gm barlotti beans, drained and rinsed
20 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 medium hot red chilli, deseeded and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1cm strips
100gm hot chorizo sausage, cut into thin round slices
60gm rocket leaves (I've used baby romaine leaves)
salt, to taste

  1. Put all the beans in a large bowl with the tomatoes, chilli and garlic. Pour over the lemon juice with half the olive oil, season with salt, toss all together and set aside.
  2. Place a large frying pan over a high heat and pour in the remaining oil. Add the chicken strips and fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
  3. Season with salt, add the chorizo and continue to fry for a further 2 minutes over a high heat.
  4. Toss the rocket leaves through the bean salad and transfer to a large serving plate. Top with the crispy chicken and chorizo and serve immediately.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #27 hosted by 

Friday, March 16, 2018

A Stir-Fry of Greens and Mushrooms

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), we are cooking Greens! 
I'm cooking with Nigel Slater for this week's theme. I have a few bunches of pak choy in my garden containers that are ready to be harvested and they are perfect for this simple stir-fry dish.

Is pak choy a spring green? No idea! Ha! Instead of shredding the greens finely, I've cut them to about 2" or so in lengths. I have used fresh shiitake mushrooms and have omitted the sugar and dark soy sauce.  The pak choy already tastes great without the sugar and they do not need the dark soy sauce to cover their fresh greenness! 😁 

A simple and tasty stir-fry greens. Makes a great side dish with some fried rice and of course, with a fried egg for a complete and filling meal!

A Stir-Fry of Greens and Mushrooms
(The Kitchen Diaries II, Nigel Slater)
serves 2
3 shallots
4 cloves garlic
2 red hot chillies
150gm small closed-cup mushrooms
2 heads spring greens
3 tablespoons rapeseed or other flavourless oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon caster sugar (omitted)
a little dark soy sauce (omitted)
a handful of roughly torn coriander leaves

Peel and finely shred the shallots. Peel the garlic and slice it finely. Halve the chillies, discard the seeds and cut the flesh into thin shreds. Cut the mushroom in half. Shred the greens finely. This is easier when the leaves are piled on top of one anotheer and rolled up like a cigar.
Get a wok or large, thin-bottomed pan really hot. Pour in the oil and then, just as it starts to smoke, add the shallots, garlic, chillies and ginger. Stir-fry them for thirty seconds or so, till they are fragrant and just beginning to colour. Add the mushrooms and let them colour appetizingly, moving them and the aromatics around the pan regularly. Add the shredded greens and continue cooking till they have softened but are still bright and vibrant in colour - a matter of two or three minutes. Add the fish sauce, caster sugar and soy. Wait till everything is sizzling, then throw in the coriander, toss and stir, and eat immediately.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs, theme for this week
Monthly Featured Ingredient : Greens !


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Monday, March 12, 2018

Sunday Morning Oatmeal

It's Breakfast Buffet at I Heart Cooking Clubs. Made Ina's oatmeal for breakfast! And I am not an oatmeal person, but this is rather nice. I'm influenced by a talk on wholegrain foods at an organic shop I always frequent, by two lovely young ladies, both are final year degree students in diet and nutrition. So, here's my wholegrain breakfast! 😀

Made it for myself since I am always alone for breakfast, so I've used only 1/3 cup of oats. Did not have any bananas, so I've cut some apple slices and added some homemade granola on top.  Used dried cranberries instead of dried cherries and the lovely golden sultanas are a gift from my neighbour during one of their travels abroad a couple of months ago.  I did not drizzle any syrup or brown sugar, even though I had my jar of orange blossom honey close by.  The oatmeal is sweet enough from the dried fruits and the granola.  I can say that this is a nice breakfast even though I am not an oatmeal person, maybe I'll try a savoury one the next time.

Sunday Morning Oatmeal
(source from
1-1/2 cups whole milk, plus extra for serving
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking (not instant) oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup golden raisins
Pure maple syrup or brown sugar, for serving

Heat the milk plus 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan until it starts to simmer. Add the oatmeal and salt, bring to a boil, then lower the heat ad simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occassionally, until thickened. Off the heat, stir in the bananas, cherries, and raisins. Place the lid on the pot and allow to sit for 2 minutres. Serve hot with maple syrup or brown sugar and extra milk.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Breakfast Buffet !

Friday, March 9, 2018

Penne with Pancetta, Onions and Chopped Tomatoes

A simple easy and tasty pasta dish, a recipe from Gino D'Acampo. Have you heard of him? I first watch him cook when he was a frequent guest chef at Saturday Kitchen, a BBC cooking show hosted by Antony Worrall Thomson, that was years ago.

I've used streaky bacon as pancetta is not easily available. And I've added more chilli flakes, which gives a mild spicy taste to the sauce.  I made this pasta for a weekday after school lunch, and it was delicious. One that I would not mind making again, as it is quick, easy and tasty! 

Penne with Pancetta, Onions and Chopped Tomatoes
(Pronto by Gino D'Acampo)
serves 4
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 large white onions, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
250gm diced pancetta
2 x 400gm can chopped tomatoes
500gm penne rigate
4 tablespoons freshly chopped flatleaf parsley
salt, to taste

  1. Bring 5 litres of water to the boil in a large saucepan with 1-1/2 tablespoons of fine salt.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onions for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the chilli and pancetta and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, stir well and gently simmer for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring every couple of minutes. Season with salt once the sauce is cooked.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water until al dente. To get the al dente perfect bite, cook the pasta for 1 minute less than instructed on the packet and always keep the pan uncovered. A good-quality dried pasta will take 8-10 minutes to cook.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and tip back into the same saucepan in which you cooked it.
  6. Pour over the sauce, add the parsley and stir together for 30 seconds allowing the flavours to combine.
  7. Serve immediately with a large glass of Italian red wine.

If you have any of Gino D'Acampo's cookbooks, join us at Cookbook Countdown. This month's theme at CC is cooking from any of Gino D'Acampo's books. Or simply cook from any of your cookbooks (not necessarily Gino's) or magazines and link your post at CC here.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #27 hosted by 

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Kaffir Lime Leaf Posset with Fresh Papaya

It is Potluck Week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I've made a lovely dessert from Yotam Ottolenghi/Helen Goh's cookbook Sweet. It's a nice rich sweet dessert made with heavy cream. What I like about this dessert is, it is infused with the fragrance of tropical flavours ; kaffir lime leaves, limes zest, lime juice and fresh papaya, all of which are easily available over here, anytime of the year.

Fresh Kaffir lime leaves, from my garden pot. The aroma of the leaves is like no other!

Heavy cream is heated with shredded kaffir lime leaves and shreds of lime zest, then left to infuse for half an hour. Add sugar with a pinch of salt to the cream and heat until the cream bubbles and rises. I did reduce the sugar to only 4 tablespoons (about 50 gm). The original amount for the sugar is 140gm which I've guessed would be too sweet for us, that was why I started with only 4 tablespoons, and after tasting the mixture when the sugar has fully dissolved, I found that the balance is not needed, 4 tablespoons is just perfect! Strain the mixture into a heatproof measuring jug, stir in one tablespoon of lime juice, the cream will thicken, then pour into ramekins or bowls. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight. Right before serving, place slices of papaya on top, sprinkle with some finely grated lemon zest, with a teaspoon of lime juice in each bowl.

This posset makes a lovely after dinner dessert. It has the lovely fragrance from the kaffir lime leaves. And with the added lime zest and juice, helps cut the richness of the cream. Not too sweet, just right! We've enjoyed this dessert very much!

This lovely dessert recipe is from Sweet, a cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, or you can get the recipe at this link. The only changes I've made is to reduce the sugar to 4 tbsps (about 50gm).

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
February 2018 Potluck


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Monday, February 26, 2018

Savoury Onion Cake

I made this Savoury Onion Cake, which is a yeasted bread with onions and bacon topping, from Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss. 

According to the author, "Zwiebelkuchen, which translates literally to "onion cake", is a yeasted bread topped with sauteed onions, bacon, caraway seeds and beaten eggs that is baked until golden brown and blistery". It is a soft yeasted bread similar to a focaccia, with the topping similar to a quiche (minus the cream and milk). 

Very easy dough to work with; soft, smooth and silky.

To make the topping, saute some chopped bacon in a large saucepan, then add the sliced onions, caraway seeds and pepper, continue to cook until the onions are coloured. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. 

Place the risen dough in a 10-inch round cake pan, (I have used a 9" square pan instead), pushing the dough to cover the base, and set aside for 30 ninutes, covered. Meanwhile, beat some eggs and add to the onion mixture, I've added a pinch of salt. Scrape the mixture onto the dough and bake in a preheated oven for 40 minutes. If the onions are browning too quickly, tent the top with a piece of foil.

It smells really delicious while baking.

And it tasted delicious. The bread has very soft lovely crumb and the topping is very tasty. I've used 3/4 teaspoon of caraway seeds, which is just about right. I love the caramelized onions with the caraway seeds. I would gladly make this again. Yums! 

Click on the link here, for the recipe and overall review on this fabulous book, Classic German Baking.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #26 hosted by 

Saturday, February 3, 2018

String Beans with Shallots

I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week is How Good Does That Look?, Ina's popular phrase in her cooking shows, when she has cooked a delicious recipe, and plated, she would say just that.

I've made one of her simple vegetable recipe for dinner. String Beans with Shallots. Ina has her string beans boiled briefly in salted boiling water. I have gone the microwave route. Placed the french beans in a microwave bowl, sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of water with a light pinch of salt, microwave on high for 1 minute, stir, repeat, stir and repeat again. Refresh under cold running water in a colander. Drain. I have used about 6 or 7 shallots, and have skipped the butter, using only vegetable oil. 

The chopped shallots are sauteed in oil until lightly brown and the french beans are added to the shallots, with some salt and lots of black pepper, tossing the beans until they are heated through.

How good does that look!
Simple, easy and taste nice too!

We had the french beans served alongside Madhur Jaffrey's Pork Vindaloo with Potatoes, and plain basmati rice. It was a lovely dinner.

String Beans with Shallots
(Ina Garten,
1 pound French String Beans (haricots verts), ends removed
kosher salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon good olive oil
3 large shallots, large diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Blanch the string beans in a large pot of boiling salted water for 1-1/2 minutes only. Drain immediately and immerse in a bowl of iced water.
Heat the butter and oil in a very large saute pan (12-inch diameter) or large pot and saute the shallots on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly browned. Drain the string beans and add to the shallots with 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper, tossing well. Heat only until the beans are hot.
If you're using regular string beans, blanch them for 3 minutes, until they're crisp-tender.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
How Good Does That Look?

Monday, January 29, 2018

Rum and Raisin Cake

It's IHCC's first Potluck Week for 2018. I've made Rum and Raisin Cake from the cookbook Sweet by  Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. Ever since I bought the book, this is the recipe I've been wanting to make, I love cakes with rum, and this cake did not disappoint.

The only change I've made is to reduce the brown sugar slightly and omitted the glaze, as I prefer eating cakes without any glaze or frosting. As long as the cake is moist, buttery and delicious, the glaze or any frosting would not be missed, at least for me.

The raisins needed to be soaked in rum the day before. 
The batter is really thick, thicker than most bundt cakes I've made, and that got me worried that the cake would be heavily densed. I was tempted to add a few tablespoons of milk, but decided to follow the recipe instead. The filled bundt pan with the batter was a weight! 
During baking, the cake almost did not rise at all, the level of the batter when filled into the pan was almost exactly that as when the cake was done baking. It smells incredibly rum-delicious when the cake was baking.

When the cake has cooled for 15 minutes, I turned the cake out of the bundt pan, and that was when I knew that the cake would be OK, as it was quite soft and tender to the touch.

This cake smells incredibly fragrant from the rum, with moist, surprisingly soft tender crumbs, maybe due to the sour cream used for the batter, and not only it is rum-fragrant, you can taste the rum too, a definite plus in my books, delicious!  I really like this cake, and would love to make a yellow version of it by replacing the raisins with sultanas and using white sugar instead of brown. 

Recipe can be found from here, or from Sweet , page 124.

kitchen flavour's notes;
reduced brown sugar to 200gm

omitted salt, as I've used salted butter

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
January 2018 Potluck

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #25 hosted by 

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mexican Hot Chocolate

"Get Cozy" is the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. "This time of year it's nice to snuggle up on the sofa, GET COZY with something yummy to eat and bingewatch the next Netflix hit"  Well, I would love to snuggle up on the sofa, get cozy with something yummy and browsing thru a couple of my cookbooks!  I am not a TV person, but I would browse through my cookbooks every night.

Ina Garten's Mexican Hot Chocolate is very good, easy and quick to make. Milk and a tablespoon of brown sugar is simmered, then remove from heat, and whisk in chopped bittersweet chocolate, vanilla extract, ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper. Let sit for a few minutes, then reheated until the mixture comes to almost a simmer. Serve immediately with a cinnamon stick as a stirrer.

Ina has included a recipe for Cinnamon Baked Doughnuts for dipping into the hot chocolate, but I have omitted that. All I need after a busy day when I was looking forward to relax with a couple of my cookbooks for company, is just a cup of comfy beverage, and Ina's Mexican Hot Chocolate does just that!

We love this! It is very chocolaty, "cinnamony-fragrant", with a slight spicy kick of the cayenne powder. This is the first time I'm using cayenne powder in a chocolate drink, and it definitely would not be the last time. Very yummy indeed! Both my son and daughter are already asking me to make this hot chocolate drink again!

Mexican Hot Chocolate
(source :
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 4½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¹⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Small pinch of ground cayenne pepper
  • Long cinnamon sticks for stirrers (optional)

Place the milk and brown sugar in a medium saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Off the heat, whisk in the chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Allow to steep for 3 minutes. Reheat the mixture over low heat until it almost comes to a simmer.
Pour into mugs, add cinnamon stirrers, if using, and serve with cinnamon doughnuts for dipping.
I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week
Get Cozy!