Friday 25 December 2015

Honey Cranberry & Yogurt

This is a simple yet so festive looking dessert to serve during Christmas.
I have a soft spot whenever I see fresh cranberries as I like to make some cranberry sauce to serve along with some roasted meat, ham or baking (shared previously here ).

Tweaked the recipe a little by adding some honey and reduced the amount of sugar.

Honey Cranberry & Yogurt 
250g fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
100g Honey
About 100 - 120ml water
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier

Wash clean the cranberries and combine all ingredients (except Grand Marnier) in a saucepan.
Cook over medium heat until the cranberries start to pop (about 10 minutes). Stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat, stir in Grand Marnier. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
Cover and store in the refrigerator.
*Do adjust the sweetness and texture to your preference.

To assemble the dessert:
A tub of yogurt  (any flavor)
In individual serving cup, add one tablespoon of cranberry sauce and a tablespoon of yogurt layer.
Repeat steps and top with some berries and chopped nuts, seeds and raisins if you like when serving the desserts.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you & family!


Linking this post to Cook and Celebrate Christmas 2015

Organized by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Saturday 12 December 2015

Fig Salad with Walnuts and Mint

Fig is a soft pear-shaped fruit with sweet dark flesh and many small seeds, eaten fresh or dried. It's not very often that I spotted fresh figs in the supermarket as they are seasonal fruits but dried figs are available all year round. I often use dried figs to make soups or desserts.

According to info: The fig tree is a member of mulberry family. Although commonly referred to as a fruit, the fig fruit is actually the flower of the tree, known as inflorescence, in which the flowers and seeds grow together to form a single mass. The flower is not visible, as it blooms inside the fruit.

Chance upon this healthy refreshing fig salad that's so easy to prepare.

Recipe source & adapted from:
Cook & Be Merry

Fig Salad with Walnuts and Mint
Makes 4 servings
Ingredients :
12 ripe figs
30g raw walnut halves, very coarsely broken up.

For the dressing:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey

Garnish :
Some mint leaves, wash clean and slice thinly length-wise
Dash of ground black pepper & pinch of salt to taste

Method :
1. Wash clean the figs, cut into quarters and place on big serving dish. Scatter the walnuts over figs.

2. In a small bowl, mix well the olive oil, lemon juice and honey with a spoon.

3. Drizzle dressing over the figs. Dash of black pepper and pinch of salt over the top.

4. Sprinkle some sliced mint over figs and serve immediately.

Love this tangy sweet salad with a hint of minty flavour. Enjoy!

Monday 7 December 2015

Milky Wreath Bread

Do you see 3 Christmas wreaths hanging on the glass door ? Hee ... hee !

In my younger days, I've ever DIY simple Christmas wreath ... afterall it's all about getting crafty like decorate the Christmas tree, colourful gift wrapping and to make a simple wreath with colourful ribbons and ball ornaments between artificial pine or spruce branches etc. After a while, felt that it's more 'economical' to just purchase the wreaths sold commercially as compared to the materials costs I've invested.

According to : Wikipedia Wreath
"A wreath is an assortment of flowers, leaves, fruits, twigs or various materials that is constructed to resemble a ring.
In English-speaking countries, wreaths are used typically as household ornaments, mainly as Christmas decoration ...."

Well .. here, I've baked an edible wreath ... lol. Actually bread formed in a ring resembles a wreath. Dust with some snow powder to make it looks like a Christmas wreath hanging on the window or door covered with snow ... wish that I could spend another snowy white Christmas again.

Recipe adapted from : Cookpad
Below my slight modification as added some dried cranberries.

Milk Wreath Bread
150g bread flour (I used 170g)
1 teaspoon instant dry yeast
1 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
110 ml fresh milk
1/3 teaspoon salt
15g butter, softened

For the filling
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips
1 tablespoon dried cranberries (my addition)

1 to 2 tablespoons Confectioner's icing sugar or Snow powder sugar -  for dusting

1) In a big bowl, combine half of the bread flour together with yeast, caster sugar, and milk. Mix with a spatula till sugar and bread flour dissolved.

2) Add the remaining bread flour, salt, and butter. Continue to mix well till a soft dough is formed.

3) Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well until smooth. (I added extra 20g of bread flour as the dough is slightly wet and sticky).

4) Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. I greased the bowl with canola oil. Turning once to grease surface. Cover with cling wrap or cloth and let rise in a warm place until double (about 45 mins to 1 hour).

5) Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 6 equal portions (the weight of my dough is 50g each). Gently roll into smooth balls and cover with a piece of damp cloth and rest for 10 minutes.

6) Flatten the dough with palm on lightly floured surface. Sprinkle some white chocolate chips and dried cranberries. Roll it up and pinch the edges to seal.

7) Gently stretch out flatly by hands, and cut 5 notches with a dough cutter. Roll up from left to right, and pinch the ends of the dough together.

8) Place the dough with seam side down on a lightly greased mould with butter. (I used a chiffon tube pan) Cover with a damp cloth to proof for 20~30 minutes.

9) Preheat oven to 180°C. Position the rack in center of oven. Bake for about 15 ~18 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Check the bread after 10 minutes.
(Note: The temperature of the oven may vary, you have to adjust the temperature and timing to suit your oven)

Once the bread is cooled,  dust with some snow powder before serving.

《Although it's been said many times, many ways ... Merry Christmas to you !》

Linking this post to Cook and Celebrate Christmas 2015

Organized by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.

Friday 4 December 2015

Apricot & Cranberry Flip Sweet Bread

I seldom bake freshly baked bread/bun at home .... hee... hee ... cos too time consuming for me as I don't own a bread making machine. I've bookmarked some bread/bun recipes but I just didn't have the time to try baking all. Glad that my big kids loved some of my 1st attempt like Christmas-star-shaped BreadsHoney BreadChicken Floss Buns and Ham & Cheese Buns :)

I remember the dough for making Honey Bread was very easy to handle and so I decided to try another recipe from Seasons and Suppers.

I anticipated that I will have trouble "transporting" the long twisted dough onto the baking sheet.  So I moved the dough onto the baking sheet with greased parchment paper before I made the cut and twist.

Recipe source and adapted from Seasons & Suppers

Below my slight modifications made as I've halved the recipe, added some dried cranberries and adjusted the amount for some ingredients

Apricot & Cranberry Flip Sweet Bread
Yield: 1 loaf (about 16 slices)
For bread dough
1.5 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
60g warm water
45g caster sugar
50g butter, softened,
60g warm milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
350g all-purpose flour

For filling
2 tablespoons butter, softened
60g apricot jam
25g dried cranberries - soak in warm water and pat dry (my addition)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon mix with 20g sugar in a small bowl and set aside.

Sliced almonds, for top (optional)

Method :
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.
In a stand mixer with kneading hook attachment. Combine these ingredients in the mixing bowl : caster sugar, butter, warm milk, salt, egg, yeast mixture and 200g of the flour. Beat the mixture with kneading hook until smooth. Stir in gradually the remaining flour to form a dough.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. At the stage, the dough is pretty easy to handle and no longer feel the stickiness.

Shape into a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl. I greased the bowl with canola oil. Turning once to grease surface. Cover with cling wrap or cloth and let rise in a warm place until double (about 1 to 1-1/2 hours).
1st proofing doubled in size after 1hr 30 minutes.
Punch dough down. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into approximate 20-inch x 11-inch rectangle.
Meanwhile, prepare baking sheet with greased parchment paper.

Spread 2 tablespoons of butter and apricot jam to within 1/2 inch of edges.

Scatter some dried cranberries and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over apricot jam.

With the longer side, carefully roll up like swiss roll. Pinch seam to seal. Place seam side down. Transfer the dough onto the baking sheet with greased parchment paper.

With a sharp knife, cut the roll in half lengthwise. Pinch one end together and twist the two strands together 3 or 4 times, keeping the cut edge facing upwards as much as possible. Pinch together the other end to seal. Cover with cloth for 2nd proofing, about 30 minutes. If using almonds, scatter a few on top before baking.
Not good in making the twist ...
Bake in a pre-heated 170°C oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Switch baking sheet halfway through baking time to ensure even baking. I tent with aluminium foil at the last 5 minutes into baking. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

Lemon icing glaze (optional) :
200g icing (powdered) sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
Combine and stir until smooth with a spoon. Adjust the consistency to your preference by adding more lemon juice or icing sugar. Once the loaf is cooled, drizzle or spread the icing glaze.

My addition of some dried cranberries hope to give a Christmasy touch. We loved the soft bread texture, sandwiched between the sweet apricot jam and cranberry bits, filled with a hint of woody cinnamon fragrance. Yum!

Coffee break !
Enjoying some without the
icing glaze. Taste as good!
Enjoy !

This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate Christmas 2015

Organized by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids.