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.

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Berry & Mango Buttermilk Muffins

"Muffins in the morning !"
Yes, for quick and easy bake, muffins is always one of our favorites weekday brekkie ^-^

Recipe source : (Lucy Nunes)
Below slightly modified version as I've halved the recipe / adjustment made in blue.
Berry & Mango Buttermilk Muffins
280g self-raising flour {140g}
65g caster sugar {30g}
330g buttermilk {165g}
54g olive oil {20g}
1 egg (the size of my egg is 55g each with shell) 
200g mixed frozen berries (I used 60g fresh blueberries + 30g dried cranberries)
1 small mango, peeled, sliced (cut 1 cheek from mango)

Method :
Step 1
Preheat oven to 180°C. Position the rack in the centre.
Line a 6-hole muffin pan with paper cases.

Step 2
Combine flour and caster sugar in a bowl. Whisk buttermilk, oil and egg together in a jug. Stir buttermilk mixture into flour mixture until just combined (mixture should still be lumpy). Fold in berries. Spoon into prepared cases. Top with mango slices.

Step 3
Bake for 25 minutes or check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a cake if it comes out clean. Stand in pan for 5 minutes, remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

Enjoy ... with a cup of coffee for me ^-^!



Linking this post to the event Little Thumbs Up (November 2015 Event: Mango) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jozelyn Ng (Spice Up My Kitchen)

Friday 20 November 2015

Blueberry & Mango Galette

Glad that I could join my cyber blogger pals in this Bake-Along #88 Theme Galette.

Huh ?! ... What is Galette?
According to information from Baking Bites
"Galette is a French term that refers to a variety of flat, round cakes, usually made with a flaky pastry dough of some kind.
The term galette typically refers to a free form tart that is made with a flaky pastry crust. These tarts are not molded in tart pans. Instead, filling is placed directly on top of a sheet of rolled out pastry and the edges of that pastry are folded up and around the filling. The tart becomes crisp during baking and the dessert, as a whole, manages to be both rustic and elegant at the same time."

I've actually intended to bake a Fig Galette. Somehow ... my girl didn’t quite like fresh figs. Well, I've still got some mangoes and a pack of fresh blueberries. ... should be okay to bake a Blueberry & Mango Galette, right? Oh yeah 'mango' ! Can also support LTU theme mango ^-^!

Recipe source :Technicolor kitchen
Below my slightly modified version.

Blueberry & Mango Galette
Serves 4
Ingredients :
140g all purpose plain flour
½ tablespoon caster sugar
pinch of salt
84g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
2 tablespoons ice water

1 small egg (lightly beaten) for brushing
1 tablespoon granulated white sugar (to sprinkle)

2 tablespoons apricot jam
40g blueberries
100g mango (stoned and diced)

Method :
Make the pastry crust:
In a food processor, place the flour, salt, and sugar and process until combined. Add the cold butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (about 15 seconds).

Add 2 tablespoons of ice water (more if necessary) over the pastry and process just until dough comes together.

Divide the dought into half and make a disk with each half.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.

To assemble:
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Position the rack in the middle of the oven.

Once the pastry has chilled, remove from refrigerator and place on a lightly floured parchment paper. Roll out one pastry disk to about 25cm (10in) circle. (always roll from the center of the pastry outwards to get uniform thickness).

Transfer the parchment paper to the baking sheet.

Spread 1 tablespoon apricot jam over the center of the pastry, leaving a 4cm (1 ½in) border. Arrange the diced mangoes and blueberries over the jam.

Gently fold the pastry edges over the filling.
Brush edges of the galettes with the egg wash and sprinkle with a teaspoon of granulated white sugar.
Before and after baked
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.

I love the fruity and buttery aroma bursting out from the oven. Didn't want to trim the edges before folding as I hope to obtain a "rustic and elegant" looking galette. Lol ^-^!

See that flaky crumbs ... plus the juicy sweet fruity. Perfect for my afternoon coffee break. Yummy-licious!

♡Have a great weekend♡

This is for Bake-Along #88 Theme Galette hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Lena from Frozen Wings


Thursday 19 November 2015

Vanilla-Seared Scallops with Mango, Cherries and Tomato

Definitely a very appealing, delightful and refreshing appetizer if you serve with a main course. But I made this as my dinner cos my big kids have their dinner appointments.

Recipe source : Cook Play Explore

Vanilla-Seared Scallops with Mango, Cherries and Tomato
Serves 1 (light dinner for 1 pax)
Ingredients :
6 large frozen scallops
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 medium-sized ripe mango - peeled, stoned and diced
Some fresh cherries - pitted and quartered
Some cherry tomatoes - chopped
Dash of pepper & salt
Sea salt
Garnish with few sprigs of mint leaves (optional)

Method :
1) Combine the mango, cherries and cherry tomatoes in a bowl. Set aside.

2) Thaw the scallops. Rinse well and pat dry with few layers of kitchen towels. Do not cover, refrigerate the scallops for 30 minutes to dry.

3) Season the scallops with dash of salt and pepper to taste.

4) Saute non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to the pan, followed by butter and vanilla extract. Then add in the scallops, set in a single layer in the pan.
Cook 2 to 3 minutes, until bottom of each scallop is nicely browned. Turn scallops over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until they're firm, browned, and caramelized.

5) Arrange the cooked scallops on a platter and top with fruit mixture and drizzle the remaining butter from the pan.

6) Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, garnish with mint leaves and serve immediately.

Tender scallops with a hint of vanilla fragrance paired with mouthful of fresh fruits! Yum !

♡♡♡ ~~♡~~♡♡♡


Linking this post to the event Little Thumbs Up (November 2015 Event: Mango) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jozelyn Ng (Spice Up My Kitchen)

Wednesday 18 November 2015

Mini Mango Fruit Tarts

I've been unwell for almost a week, prescribed with antibiotics and have been on plain and tasteless meals ... Somehow I had that sudden craving for some sweet pastries or tarts. With some sweet mangoes, some whipped cream and the pack of frozen puff pastry in the freezer, I still could charge up some energy to make some quick and easy fruit tarts to satisfy my craving.

Hee .. hee ... when one is still on medication, the mind is still "floating" and not alert ... I've forgotten to brush the pastry with egg wash and to sprinkle with some sugar ... >~<

Recipe source :
Martha Stewart - Puff Pastry Tarts
Below my slightly modified version

Mini Mango Fruit Tarts
Makes 9 (using frozen puff pastry)
For the tart shell:
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry
1 egg, lightly beaten
Sugar, for sprinkling

For the filling :
200ml Whipping cream
15 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 medium sized ripe mango - peeled, stoned and diced

Method :
Step 1
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Line parchment paper on a large baking sheet. Place a sheet of frozen puff pastry.
*Note: for easier handling, I didn't thaw the pastry sheet. Leave for about 1 - 2 minutes before cutting up the shapes.

Step 2
Cut into 9 squares using a pizza cutter or a sharp knife. Lightly score a boarder about 1cm crust from the edge of each square. Don’t cut all the way through.
Lightly brush the border with egg. Place the tray of puff pastry in freezer for about 10 minutes.

Step 3
Remove the tray from freezer.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until puffed and golden.
Remove from the oven, immediately, gently flatten the centers of each of the squares with the back of a teaspoon.
This indent is to make space for the toppings.

Step 4
Once the puff pastry cooled, gently dollop about 2 tablespoons of whipped cream onto each of the square and top with diced mangoes.
(Feel free to use a mixture of fruits like Kiwifruit, peach or berries if you like)
Serve immediately.

To make the whipped cream:
(Note: I've prepared the whipped cream in advance of baking and chilled it in the fridge till ready to use).

Freeze the cleaned mixing bowl for about 10 minutes.  Take it out from the freezer, immediately put all together the cold whipping cream, vanilla extract and caster sugar in the cold mixing bowl. Use the electric mixer to whisk till stiff peaks form.

I couldn't wait to polish off the two sweet juicy mango tarts at one go for my afternoon break ^-^!

Hee ... hee .. the unpleasant medicines seemed to taste sweeter after I've filled my tummy with some sweet mango tarts ... Enjoy!
♡♡ ~~~~ ♡♡♡♡~~~~♡♡

Friday 13 November 2015

Mango Crêpe Pancakes

Mango crêpe pancakes sold alongside with durian crêpe pancakes in some bakeries here. I've tried a few times .... but that was few years ago.

Some leftover whipped cream from the  Mango Swiss Roll I made some days ago. Didn't frost the whole roll cake as I was happy that it didn't crack when rolled. With that small amount, I thought why not try making mango crêpe pancake ....

Recipe source : Vondelicious
Below slightly modified version as I've halved the recipe.

Mango Crêpe Pancakes
I used a 20cm pan size, makes about 7 crêpes
60g all-purpose flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
20g caster sugar

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted & cooled
1 large egg, lightly beaten
120ml milk
40ml water
A few drops of yellow food colouring

Method :
1) Combine and mix ingredients (A) in a clean bowl. Whisk briefly with a manual whisk.

2) Add in ingredients (B) and whisk until smooth and blended. Strain the batter if it’s lumpy.

3) Heat the non-stick griddle or pan with low flame. Grease with a little cooking oil.

4) Pour crêpe batter using a small soup ladle or ice-cream scoop, swirl to cover the surface of the pan. Cook about 1 minute. The thin edges will get crispy and curl up. Using a chopstick to tip the side, with your fingers, gently and carefully flip the crêpe over, continue to cook for about 30 seconds.
Remove the cooked crêpe. Repeat this process till finished the batter.

Glad to achieve a very thin crêpe texture
To assemble the pancake like parcel :
Place one crêpe on a large plate. Spread about 1 tablespoon of whipped cream in the center. Followed by about 1 tablespoon of diced mangoes.
Fold both the ends, form like a small parcel. Seam side down.
Alternatively, to roll them like spring rolls.

Served immediately or chilled for few hours. Enjoy !

Have a sweet weekend ^-^!

♡♡ ~~~~ ♡♡♡♡~~~~♡♡

Linking this post to the event Little Thumbs Up (November 2015 Event: Mango) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jozelyn Ng (Spice Up My Kitchen)