Friday, 19 December 2014

Chestnut Pudding with Agar Agar



While I was driving home the other day, "The Christmas Song" was played over the car radio ...

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire, 
Jack Frost nipping on your nose, 
Yuletide carols being sung by a choir, 
And folks dressed up like Eskimos.

Well, I like roasted chestnuts. I've heard this song many times too ... since in my younger days. But never have I got the urge to roast chestnuts.  I immediately made a turn to the nearby supermarket, hope to find some raw chestnut. But .. lol ... couldn't find any... instead I bought a few packets of these ready-to-eat roasted chestnuts home.


I remembered a pudding recipe uses chestnut.  I like to have some bits & crunchy taste of chestnut instead of paste, grind and added them into the dessert.

Chestnut Pudding with Agar Agar
Recipe source : Cookpad
Slight modifications made in blue
Ingredients:
150 grams Chestnut Paste (finely grind ready-to-eat chestnut)
400 ml Milk
50 grams Raw cane sugar (I reduced to 25g, used demerara sugar)
2 teaspoon Agar Agar powder
1 teaspoon Almond essence
1 splash Rum (omitted)
Maple syrup - to serve

Method:
1) Mix the sugar and agar agar powder together well and leave to one side. (Adjust the amount of sugar depending on the sweetness of the chestnut paste that you are using.)

2) Add the milk to a pan along with the mixture from Step 1, mix well and put on the heat. Be careful that the mixture doesn't boil over and stir on a low heat. Allow the mixture to boil a little.

3) Off the flame and mix in the chestnut paste thoroughly.

4) Add in the almond essence and rum.

5) Pour the mixture evenly into containers and once cooled, chill and set in the refrigerator.

Serve with maple syrup if you like. These chestnut puddings are easy to prepare. Wonderful to serve as after meal dessert ... during Christmas. Enjoy ^-^!

Add 1 teaspoon of maple syrup


~~~~♡♡~~~~

So I'm offering this simple phrase
To kids from one to ninety-two
Although it's been said many times, many ways
Merry Christmas to you !

♡♡♡~~~♡♡~~~♡♡♡


I'm submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.


Thursday, 18 December 2014

Coffee & Walnut Biscotti



Well, to all the coffee lovers ... it's time for some 'coffee dunking' again ^-^!

Love the deep brown colour of these Coffee & Walnut Biscotti as I've added instant coffee to it. The strong coffee fragrance dominated the kitchen when I opened the oven door to take the half-baked dough out. This is also my first biscotti bake that contains butter.

If I were to bake this same recipe again, think I'll probably reduce the milk to half (or perhaps omit it totally) as the dough was rather runny and difficult to handle. Got to add some more flour to it.


Here's sharing another Biscotti recipe adapted from the cookbook by Kevin Chai ... Coffee & Walnut Biscotti. 
With slight changes made in blue



Enjoying my coffee break  ... dunking the coffee fragrance crispy biscotti at my little cosy corner! 

♡♡♡~~~♡♡~~~♡♡♡


I'm submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

~~☆☆♧ And ♧☆☆~~

☆♧☆  And  ☆♧☆
Bake-Along #72 : Christmas Theme - Biscotti

Linking this post to Bake-Along event organized by the hosts (JoyceLena & Zoe)


☆♢☆  Also  ☆♢☆

Cook-Your-Books

Friday, 12 December 2014

Apricot Orange and Pistachio Biscotti

In the mood of love ... with Biscotti again this Christmas season. Well, I have actually planned to bake a few different flavours of Biscotti ^-^

Here's sharing another flavour ... Apricot Orange & Pistachio Biscotti! Lovely, don't they? ... simply love the colours combination of orange, green and yellow ... so festive & Christmasy looking.  A small giveaway to a good friend of mine. Glad that she liked it ^-^!


A small jar for my friend .... a few slices for myself ^-^

Recipe adapted from : Taste.com
Apricot Orange and Pistachio Biscotti
 Ingredients
 1 egg
 50g caster sugar
 1/2 teaspoon finely grated orange rind
 130g plain flour
 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
 40g pistachio kernels
 6 dried apricots, finely chopped (I used 5  pieces)
 Icing sugar mixture, for dusting

Method
Step 1
Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Step 2
Using an electric mixer, beat egg, sugar and orange rind until thick and pale. Sift over flour and baking powder. Add pistachios and apricots. Stir to combine.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape into a 20cm long log. Place on prepared tray. Flatten slightly.


Step 3
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool on tray for 15 minutes. Reduce oven to 140°C/120°C fan-forced. Using a serrated knife, slice log diagonally into 5mm-thick slices. Discard ends (actually you don't have to, just eat them ! ~○~)


Step 4
Place slices, in a single layer, on baking tray. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until dry and crisp. Stand on tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.


Can be stored in an airtight container for a week.
Serve lightly dusted with icing sugar if you like.


The sweet aroma of apricot and tangy orange fragrance .... with nutty fruity flavour.  Enjoy the dunking again ... in a cup of cappuccino ♡!

Happy baking, happy dunking and have a great 'bisco-lious' weekend ^-^!

♡♡♡~~~♡♡~~~♡♡♡


I'm submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

~~☆☆♧ And ♧☆☆~~

☆♧☆  Also  ☆♧☆


Bake-Along #72 : Christmas Theme - Biscotti

Linking this post to Bake-Along event organized by the hosts (JoyceLena & Zoe)







Thursday, 11 December 2014

Hazelnut Biscotti

There were some special sales at the book store few weeks ago. Since the store wasn't crowded with people, so I took my own sweet time glancing and looking through the wide range of cookbooks selling at discounted prices. Biscotti ! Ding! Ding! Well, that was the only cookbook solely on biscotti with 42 biscotti recipes. Ding!!! I've been intrigued by some very interesting recipes ... Garlic Biscotti, Spring Onion Biscotti, Rose Biscotti, Charcoal Biscotti, Seaweed Biscotti, Tuna Biscotti ... Wow ! Have you heard of these ?
I love biscotti and my first attempt here about 2 months ago. Of course I grabbed a copy and headed my way to the checkout counter.

Okay, I admit ... hee hee! ... I "chicken out" as I'm not that adventurous to bake any of those unique recipes as mentioned above yet  ... lol ~○~ Cannot imagine the taste of dunked garlic biscotti in coffee or wine ... ~*~

Anyway, on the safe side, baked these Hazelnut Biscotti for my colleagues to try.




Recipe adapted from the cookbook - Biscotti by Kevin Chai.
Below my slightly modified version with some detailed steps and notes in blue.

Hazelnut Biscotti
Ingredients:
180g plain flour
3g baking powder
70g caster sugar (I reduced slightly to 55g)
40g hazelnut spread (I used Nutella)
50g egg lightly beaten
1 teaspoon hazelnut essence
40ml fresh milk
80g hazelnuts (reduced to 60g)

Method:
Step 1
Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C for my oven)
Line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Step 2
Combine flour, baking powder and sugar in an electric mixer. Add in the rest of the ingredients, mix to form a soft dough over low speed. (I added in the hazelnuts last after added all the spread/ liquid ingredients)



Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape into a 20cm long log. Place on prepared tray. Flatten slightly.

Step 3 
Bake for 20 minutes or until light golden brown.


Remove and leave to cool completely.
Using a serrated knife, slice log diagonally into thin slices.
(I realised it's difficult to slice it too thinly as some of the hazelnuts 'dislodged'.  I should have coarsely chopped the hazelnuts instead. Slice it about 1cm thickness seemed to work better.)

Step 4 
Place slices, in a single layer, on baking tray. Bake in oven at 140°C for 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking, or until dry and crisp. Stand on tray for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Store in airtight container.


Keeping some for my coffee breaks
To bring this jar of Hazelnut Biscotti
to office for my colleagues to try :D
Well ... needless to say ... I'm enjoying my dunking time ^-^!

Sharing this cookbook here with Cookbook Wednesday, here are some of the unique recipes if you're interested to give it a try. Happy baking !









Also submitting this post to the respective blog-hop events below.

♧☆☆☆☆☆☆♧


Bake-Along #72 : Christmas Theme - Biscotti

Linking this post to Bake-Along event organized by the hosts (JoyceLena or Zoe)



Cook-Your-Books



I'm submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies

Seeing those pretty and beautifully decorated butter sugar cookies really made me wanna have fun in decorating them too.

So, my first attempt on decorated cookies
^-^! There, off I went to get some sprinkles and pearl candies ...

After the cut-out cookies were baked and cooled ... I can't wait to do some simple free style "drawing/painting" with frosting.

Gosh ! Realised that I've overfilled the small 'piping bag'. I rolled the parchment paper like ice cream cone to fill the frosting. In no time, my right hand was filled with glaze as it oozed out. Haiz!

Piped some outline ... next, to drop some pearl candies using a tweezer.  Well ... this is where the challenges come. I must apply a gentle yet not too firm pressure in picking up the pearl candies with a tweezer. Didn't count how many times I've dropped the pearls off before placing them nicely on the glaze :(  .. quite tiring picking these tiny pearls with shaky hand ~°~ ... hee hee!


FINALLY ! I told my girl that I could only decorate half of the cookies. Unless she could help me. These decorated cookies were for her gathering at church.



Recipe source : Taste of Home
I've halved the recipe, and reduced the caster sugar slightly and my notes in blue.
Yields about 24 cookies
Vanilla-Butter Sugar Cookies
Ingredients
90g caster sugar
174g butter, softened
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
250g all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar

FROSTING:
50g confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon milk
Food coloring, optional
Colored sugar (sprinkles,  pearl candies)

Method:
1) In a bowl, combine sugar and butter; beat until creamy.

2) Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients; gradually add to creamed mixture until completely blended. Chill for 30 minutes. (I put the dough in freezer about 20 minutes instead)

3) Preheat oven to 170°C. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 1/4-in. thickness. Cut with holiday cutters dipped in flour. Using a floured spatula, transfer cookies to ungreased baking sheets. (I didn't use the spatula as could unmould the cookies directly from the cutter)


4) Bake 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.

For frosting:
Combine sugar, butter, vanilla and milk; beat until creamy. Thin with additional milk to desired spreading consistency if necessary.

Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Spread frosting over cookies and decorate with colored sugar.

Allow the glaze to firm/dry, store the cookies in airtight container.


These buttery and vanilla fragrance sugar cookies tasted soft and yummy ... perfect with a cup of hot beverage.  I would definitely preferred the plain ones without the sweet glaze. But nicely decorated cookies are lovely, presentable and yummy as Christmas gift for children and big kids !

♡♡♡♡♡♡♡♡


I'm submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

And



Saturday, 6 December 2014

Peanut Butter Oat & Pine Nuts Muffins

I've always associated pine trees with Christmas. In the past, I bought an artificial pine tree ... decorated with lights, ornaments and nicely wrapped Christmas presents were placed under the tree. It was also an activity that my kids (when they were kiddies) loved ... to help decorate the Christmas tree in our house.  Stored it up when the period was over.

About 2 years ago, I was on a business trip to Germany.  Had the opportunity to visit the dense woodland of the Black Forest - Schwarzwald.  Along the way up to the mountain, catching the glimpse of the dense surrounding of pine trees. Truly a wonderful scenic to enjoy. Of course! A slice of an unforgettable Black Forest cake !

So, do pine nuts come from pine trees? Yes (more info here) pine nuts are found inside the scales on pine tree cones. Here, I've added some pine nuts to this muffin recipe. (Realised that I didn't have any peanuts which I thought I have a pack inside the pantry)
Very festive looking ....   

Recipe adapted from : Taste of home
Below my modified version as I've halved the recipe, replaced with pine nuts and added some peanut butter chips.

Peanut Butter Oat & Pine Nuts Muffins
Yield: 5 muffins
Ingredients:
80g all-purpose flour
30g quick-cooking oats
60g packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt salt
1 small egg
20g peanut butter
100ml milk
20g pine nuts (Roast pine nuts for 3mins in preheated oven at 180°C, set aside)
20g peanut butter chips

Directions
1) In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

2) In another bowl, beat the egg, peanut butter and milk until smooth.

3) Stir into dry ingredients (from step 1) just until moistened. Fold in pine nuts and peanut butter chips.

4) Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full. Bake at 180°C for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack.

These nice peanut butter and oat fragrance with some nutty pine nuts muffins are best served warm for our brekkie.

Hope you will enjoy these warm and easy muffins during the Christmas season ^-^!

Happy baking !



I'm submitting this post to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014), organized by Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

And

Also

I'm joining Best Recipes for Everyone December 2014 Event Theme: My Little Cupcakes by Fion of Xuan Hom's Mom



Thursday, 4 December 2014

Easy and Fluffy Rose Black Tea Mousse

My girl was on a school trip to Shanghai and she bought me a set of tea leaves.  So sweet and thoughtful of her.

Other than making a pot of nice fragrant tea, I used the tea leaves to make some mousse. Here's sharing this chill dessert which is pretty easy to make.


I half-filled my 200ml pudding jar.
Decorated with some mint leaves upon serving.











Recipe adapted from Cookpad
Below version with adjusted quantity and my notes in blue
Easy and Fluffy Rose Black Tea Mousse
Ingredients (100ml container x 4 or any appropriate dessert bowls/cups)
6g Gelatin powder
3 tablespoon water
400ml Milk (I used skimmed milk)
2 tea bag black tea <*rose tea leaves - refer to step 2>
40 - 50g Sugar
80ml fresh cream

Method :
1) Pour the water into a heatproof container. Soak the gelatin powder.

2) Heat milk and the tea bag in the sauce pan until just before boiling. Cover with a lid and simmer for another 5 -10 minutes.
*you can use tea leaves instead of a tea bag. Add 1.5 teaspoon of tea leaves to the saucepan, simmer then strain.

3) Remove the tea bag and turn down the heat to low. Add Step 1 and sugar. Mix to dissolve them. Please be careful not to boil.

4) Remove the pan from the heat and cool. Transfer to a bowl and chill in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
Alternatively, place the bowl over some ice water to speed up the cooling. Then put it in the fridge.

5) In another bowl, whisk the cold fresh cream until it is the same consistency as the mixture in Step 4.

6) Combine Steps 4 and 5. Mix evenly and pour into containers or bowls. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge again.
(I chill them for about 3 hours)

7) Decorate the top as desired.

Do adjust the sweetness to your taste and preference.



I like the fluffy soft smooth texture with a hint of rose aroma.  Enjoy !

Have a sweet weekend !