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Posts Tagged ‘Recipe: Desserts’

Recipe: Easy Millefeuille

My first attempt of making mille-feuille, a pastry originating from France. A vanilla slice, cream slice, custard slice also known as the Napoleon. Usually made up of three layers of puff pastry and with pastry cream, or whipped cream or jam in each alternating layers.

As you may have read, a couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Sachiko, owner of Dining Story, personal chef and cooking class services. I was catching up with the family, and thought I would make them the dessert that Sachiko taught me, Mille-feuille. It wasn’t as perfect as the one she made, but it was pretty good for a first attempt.

Ingredients (for 3)

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1/2 pack strawberry
  • 2 egg yolk
  • 20g flour
  • 40g sugar
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 vanilla bean (I used 2 tbsp of vanilla essence)
  • 20g cream

Method

  • pre-heat oven to 180 degrees.
  • cut the pastry in 3’s and sprinkle icing sugar on both side.
  • poke one side of the pastry with a fork and bake in the oven for about 15 mins then cool.
  • mix the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl and sift flour and mix until it’s smooth.
  • heat milk to boil and slowly add to the sugar and egg mix.
  • place the mixture of sugar, egg yolks and milk into the sauce pan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whizzing constantly.
  • when it boils, whisk it for another 30 to 60 seconds until it becomes thick.
  • remove from heat and place into a cold bowl and add the cream. Put in the fridge and let it cool for a bit.
  • slice the strawberry.
  • put the cream on the pastry, and place strawberry then put another pastry.
  • repeat above process.
  • sprinkle with icing sugar.

Not as hard as I had anticipated, flaky crispy pastry, and delicious cream.

Desserts at home will never be the same again. Thanks again Sachiko.

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Easy fluffy lemon and ricotta pancakes!

‘The Mother’s’ favourite breakfast of all time, pancakes with strawberries and drizzled with honey.

I usually use Bill Granger’s Sydney food book recipe – lemon souffle for pancakes, as I find it is one of the fluffiest and best pancakes, however, I had some ricotta cheese leftover and thought I would add it. I omitted the grated lemon zest and just added more lemon juice.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup of ricotta cheese

Method

  • Place buttermilk, egg yolks, lemon juice and vanilla essence in a bowl and stir until combined. Add melted butter and mix well.
  • Sift flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt into a large bowl.
  • Make a well in the centre and gradually stir in buttermilk mixture until the dry ingredients are moist, be careful not to over mix.
  • Gently fold the ricotta cheese.
  • Place egg whites in a dry, clean bowl and beat until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, using a large metal spoon.
  • Melt a small portion of butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and drop 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake into the pan. Cook until golden brown.
  • Transfer to plate and keep warm whilst cooking remaining batter.

Served it with strawberries, cut into bite size pieces and drizzle with honey.


DELISH! Soft, pillowy pancakes, it was absolutely wonderful. I managed to make about 9 pancakes from the above ‘The Mother’ wanted five stacked together.

Easy pancakes with strawberries!

Blog’s 1st Anniversary.

Time flies when you are having fun. It’s been a year since I started this blog. I toyed with the idea for such a long time but thanks to two lovely friends for encouraging me to start. I have met some wonderful friends in Hong Kong, and how can I forget my dearest SK – you know who you are and others who doesn’t have a foodblog but enjoy eating as much as I do.

I would also like to say a special THANK YOU to my dear soccer friend, P, who came up with the name of this blog. It was too catchy and unique for me not to take it! THANK YOU!

I have eaten at some unforgettable places and some not so memorable places. Have met some wonderful long life friends through food blogging. Have discovered the meaning of food, its culture, the efforts behind it. Have gained a few kgs, a little rounder, a little fatter and increasing cholesterol level which I may have to do something about soon.

Thanks for all your support yo. I know how painful it can be when dining with me – no one is allowed to touch their plates until I have taken a zillion photos! I have always wanted to share my experiences of food with others. I know we all have different palates, and what I love may not be for everyone. However, I still do enjoy sharing them with you.

Many thanks for the laughter, the tears of joy, the good times, and here’s to many more delicious goodness we are about to consume!

Thought to ‘celebrate’ I would make some scones, as I have been craving them and nothing beats fresh-from-the-oven scones!

Basic Scones (from women’s weekly ‘bake’ book)

Preparation time: 20 mins, cooking time 25 times, makes 20.

4 cups (600g) self raising flour

2 tablespoons icing sugar

60 g butter, chopped coarsey

1.5 cups (375ml) milk

¾ cup (180ml) water, approximately

  • Preheat oven to 220 degrees fan-forced. Grease 20cm x 30 cm lamington pan
  • Sift flour and sugar into large bowl, rub in butter with fingerprints
  • Make a wel in centre of flour mixture, add milk and almost all the water. Use knife to ‘cut’ the milk and water through the flour mixture, mixing to a soft, sticky dough. Knead dough on floured surface until smooth
  • Press dough out to 2cm thickness. I used a star shapped cutter to make these. Cut as many as you can from piece of dough. Place scones, side by side, just touching in pan.
  • Gently knead scraps of dough together, repeat pressing and cutting of dough, place in same pan.
  • Brush tops with a little extra milk
  • Bake scones about 15 minutes or until browned and scones sound hollow when tapped firmly on the top with fingers.
  • Served with jam and cream

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

I love Christmas – the one year that everyone makes an effort to be with the family! Presents, good food, good wine and of course good company. This time last year, ‘The Mother’ and I celebrated Christmas on our own – we were living in Hong Kong but spent our Christmas holidays in Paris. I had hoped for a white Christmas, and even though it wasn’t snowing, parts of Paris was still white! It snowed a couple of days prior and was still very cold. We had a mini picnic in our hotel room, but did manage to roam around Paris, getting lost and ate some wonderful food.

This year, we are back in Sydney, and even though I am a little sad to be away from Hong Kong, it is good to spend it with family! We had lunch at the in laws – both families, including my brother and sis-in-law all went there for lunch. My mother in law (‘MiL’) and father in law (‘FiL’) made some wonderful dishes, from lobster noodles, smoked ham, salads to desserts. To say we were ‘stuffed’ was an understatement.

We started with lobster noodles and my goodness – they were outstanding. The lobster was fresh, tender and succulent, and cooked with garlic, onions and spring onions they were just incredible. The egg noodles were a great complement – I can’t remember how many servings F and I had – they were just that good.

Next, the glazed ham – my favourite. The ham was smokey, salty, sweet and tender. I love ham – it was served warm, the smokey flavours infused in the meat, it was just fantastic. I certainly can’t make ham as good as this!

Smoked salmon salad with cabbage, lettuce, carrots and cucumber served with creamy dressing was scrumptiously good! I will have to get the recipe off my MiL. There were generous servings of smoked salmon and enough to feed a whole army!

I made a couple of desserts, vanilla panna cotta served with berry compote.

Ingredients:

4 cups (1l) heavy cream (or half-and-half)

½ cup (100g) sugar

2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

2 packets powdered gelatin (about 4.5 teaspoons)

6 tablespoons (90ml) cold water.

Method:

  1. Heat heavy cream and sugar in a saucepan and once sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract
  2. Lightly oil eight custard cups with a neutral tasting oil
  3. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water in a medium sized bowl and let stand
  4. Pour the very warm Panna Cotta mixture over gelatin and stir until gelatin is dissolved
  5. Divide the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them until firm, usually 2 – 4 hours, I left them over night.
  6. Run a sharp knife around the edge of each Panna Cotta and unmold each onto a serving plate, and garnished as desired

Whilst Panna Cotta is cooling,

Make berry compote…

Ingredients:

½ cup of raspberries

½ cup of blueberries

½ cup of strawberries

1 tbsp icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Method:

  1. Place saucepan over medium heat and add about a tablespoon of water, then berries and sugar
  2. Once some juice develops in the bottom of the pot turn the heat to high and gently stir
  3. Once it reaches boiling, remove the pot from the stove and allow to steep for 1 hr then transfer to fridge

Once Panna Cotta are set and ready to serve, add berry compote to Panna Cotta and voila.

I thought the Panna Cotta was a little firm, I like it a little wobbly like. I think too much gelatin, will reduce next time, however if you like your Panna Cotta firm, then follow the above instructions.

I also made these little babies – Mix Berry Tart.

I cheated and bought the little pastry tarts – I could have made them myself but didn’t have enough time, so just made the filling.

Ingredients:

300ml thickened cream

1 cup thick custard

1 punnet strawberries hulled, chopped

1 punnet blueberries

Method:

  1. Beat cream until soft peaks form, then stir in custard
  2. Spoon filling into tart shells
  3. Top with berries and dust with icing sugar to serve

Easy and voila – they were easy, and absolutely delicious. The combination of cream and custard – who doesn’t like cream and cutard?

Hope you are all having a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones, and hope Santa was kind to you all!

Merry Christmas to all of you!

And how gorgeous was the weather today? PERFECT!

xx

Sydney Food Blogger Christmas Picnic

It was the 2nd Annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Picnic (now that’s a mouthful!) last Saturday. It was my first food bloggers event and I was a little hesitant but was also eager to meet and greet fellow bloggers and to put a face behind all the food blogs that I read.

Unfortunately I was running late, I had breakfast with ‘The Mother’ which was a rookie error! I went for a long run in the morning prior to the picnic and was absolutely ravenous and couldn’t wait till lunch time. I probably ‘should’ have eaten something light, I didn’t expect that there would be SO MUCH scrumptious food at the picnic. Then my Mum came over, with her martabak pan, to teach me how to make martabak manis, which is Indonesian thick pancakes!

The event took place at Centennial Park, and it was a perfect day for it. Being directionally challenged, I was a tad lost, but all I had to do was look for a group of people with lots of cameras, and of course, lots of delicious looking food, and rightly so, I found them! It was a sunny day with a light breeze, and lots of food bloggers! 50 plus people, most with intimidating cameras that made my ‘point and shoot’ quite pathetic!

Check out all the incredible food.

As I was quite late, I didn’t get to taste possibly one of the tastiest and most snapped up dish that day – Billy’s (A Table for Two) ribs! GOD DAMN IT! I didn’t even see what they looked like, as I only saw an empty baking dish! *sigh*. The problem with arriving late!

One blogger, whom I met but forgot the name – SORRY! Made this amazing tower of macaroons! Watch out Adriano Zumbo! I can’t believe the amount of time and effort put into this, she said it took her a good couple of days! Well done! I am not a massive fan of macaroons but couldn’t help but try one of these, and it was good, seriously good! Not as sweet as those from Adriano Zumbo and didn’t have weird flavours – yes, I like plain simple macaroons!

I was full but did manage to try a couple of things, mainly sweets though! I love these melting moments – lemony tangy flavour which just melted in your mouth! It would have gone down so nicely with coffee!

I love the Christmas theme desserts, check out these cute Santa made from Strawberries – it was cleverly done and absolutely awesome! Big juicy strawberries with cream – who doesn’t like strawberries?

And these Santa and little elf cupcakes – I didn’t have any of these, but probably should have taken one home.

These orange, pistachio and cardamom cupcakes were absolutely delightful! That I believe was the last sweet thing I ate at the picnic.

Mental note for next time, do not eat before hand, so many mouth-watering dishes, and I only had a handful of things.

Unfortunately I didn’t take a lot of photos of the food, I was eager to meet and greet with fellow bloggers. I noticed there were fried white chocolate wontons, yup that’s right, fried white chocolate wontons! Keftedes, greek beef meatballs which were yummy, and chicken rolls cut into halves which was also awesome.

After we stood around eating and mingling, we all relocated to our picnic rugs. It’s not a picnic without some sort of games. Helen organised a food blogger Olympics! There were three games, first being a race to see who can pick up all the soy beans with a chopstick and put them in the other bowl first.

Second, blind fold taste test – it was pretty easy, and they all got it right.

Lastly, ‘plating and food styling’ challenge where you had to use whatever food was leftover and creatively plate it up. Then you had to take a photo of it, and posted it on twitter.

Everyone who attended the picnic had to bring a present, buy something food related and quirky for a total amount of $10. We all got a number, and when your number was called out, you could either pick a present from the centre of the rug or steal someone else’s.

Being last to pick a present is probably best, you can ‘steal’ them from others. The most wanted gift was these ninja bread cutters, they were seriously awesome!

I wanted them, but I got my present really early, started with these ice cube makers but was stolen, and ended up with these bacon drink tabs, bacon gum balls and Mr bacon – ‘bendable and lots of fun wherever fun is needed’. Haven’t tried them yet, but I am sure I will blog about it.

Thanks Helen (Grab your fork) and Suze (ChocolateSuze) for organising, had heaps of fun and it was finally great to have met you both! I look forward to seeing you guys next time!

My contribution was Chocolate and Cheese Martabak manis, also known as thick pancakes – unfortunately you had to eat them hot, if cold, it does get a little stringy. My ultimate must have Indonesian snacks when I go back. My mother learnt how to make them on her last visit to Perth and it has been the best thing ever! Mum even bought the pan for it! Brilliant!

Ingredients:

250 gram all purpose flour
1 tsp. instant yeast
150 gram granulated sugar
375 cc warm coconut milk
2 eggs
¼ tsp. baking soda

Filling Ingredients:
Sesame seeds
Granulated Sugar
Chocolate Sprinkler
Grated Cheddar Cheese
Condensed Milk

Instructions:

  • Pour in the yeast into the warm coconut milk, stir until well mixed and foamed up, set aside.
  • Mix flour and sugar, then pour in the eggs in the middle of the batter. Keep stirring the mixture until all ingredients are well dissolved. Then put in the baking soda and stir the mixture again until well mixed. Set it aside in a room temperature for approximately 15-20 minutes.
  • Heat up the non-stick pan that has been smeared with butter/margarine. Pour the mixture in and let it cook until the surface dried up and the outer layer become crispy brown.
  • Remove the thick crepe and put on a cutting board.
  • Pour granulated sugar on the crepes as well as the condensed milk. Up to your liking, you can pour grated cheese, chocolate sprinkler or sesame seeds on the crepe. You can also combine the filling.
  • Fold the crepe in to two then cut the crepe into 10-12 pieces.

And I had a tiny piece prior to going – no wonder I was STUFFED! It was good though, chocolaty, cheese, and oh so sinful!

I didn’t get to meet everyone, but for those that I did – it was great to have finally met you – finally a face behind all the blogs! Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas, and happy eating! It is the silly seasons after all – lots of food, lots of alcohol and lots of catching up with family and friends!