Thursday 28 July 2016

Baked Chicken Nuggets

This is the second time I made baked chicken nuggets.  As compared with the deep fried ones, of course baked nuggets are less oily.  From tonnes of baked chicken nuggets recipes one could refer to (online or cookbooks), I like only straight-forward non-frill preparation. I've learned that buttermilk tenderize meat, so obviously to 'soak' the chicken with some buttermilk. For the crumbs, if you are unable to find bread crumbs, cornflakes are also "do-able".

So here's my easy baked chicken nuggets .... of course do marinate the meat for few hours (or best overnight) in the fridge for a more flavorful and tastier nuggets.

Baked Chicken Nuggets
Serves 3 to 4 pax
Ingredients :
350g Chicken fillets (cut into bite sizes about 3cm cube)
150g buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon salt & some crushed pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried mixed herbs

For the crumbs
80g to 100g Cornflake (put inside Ziploc bag, sealed and crush them to fine crumbs)
Crushed pepper and pinch of salt.

Marinate the chicken with ingredients in a Ziploc bag, sealed and leave in the fridge for few hours (or overnight).

Position the rack in the center and preheat oven to 200°C.
Prepare a baking tray with lined baking paper.  Meanwhile, combine cornflake crumbs, salt and crushed pepper in a bowl.

Drain the buttermilk and coat chicken in crumb mixture.

Place the chicken pieces in a single layer on the lined tray, repeat the process.

Bake, turning once during cooking, for 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown.

We are dipping these tasty baked chicken nuggets in buttermilk ranch dressing.  This is also very easy to make ... just remember a must have 2 important ingredients buttermilk & mayonnaise :)

For the sauce, recipe adapted from : Simply Recipes with slight adjustment made below.
Buttermilk Ranch Dressing
120g buttermilk
55g mayonnaise (add more if you prefer a slightly thick texture)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Crushed black pepper & pinch of salt to taste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 teaspoon paprika (omit if you want your sauce to be pure white colour)

Combine buttermilk and mayonnaise in a bowl and stir till fully mixed.
Add in the rest of the ingredients, mix well and adjust the taste to your preference.
Cover and keep in fridge till serving of nuggets.

Hmm ... very addictive ! I wanted to stop at the 3rd piece of nuggets ... but somehow I kept dipping and munching "non-stop".

Enjoy ! Have a great weekend :)

Wednesday 27 July 2016

Goji Berries, Pistachio & Blueberry Frozen Yogurt Bark

I've been craving for some cold yogurt barks.  With some yogurt and blueberries in the fridge, it is not difficult to mix everything on a plate/tray and off it goes into the freezer ... Yogurt Bark again !

Goji berries are known as antioxidants, offer benefits for the skin, immune system, and more. Source sharing :here  That's why I often add some into my tea, soups or desserts. Or simply just sprinkle some on frozen yogurt bark.

My previous "brain freeze" yogurt bark here  This time I've added blueberries and replaced almond with pistachio.
Goji Berries, Pistachio & Blueberry Frozen Yogurt Bark
Ingredients :
Serves 4
250g plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons + 1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For topping mixture
70g blueberries
30g pistachios kernels coarsely chopped into pieces.
2 teaspoons goji berries

I used a round medium size Pyrex dish and line with aluminium foil leave with enough to grasp. Set aside. You could use small baking sheet or pan. Scatter some  goji berries.

In a small bowl, gently mix the chopped pistachios, blueberries and the remaining  goji berries  with 1 tablespoon of honey. Set aside.

Combine yogurt, 2 tablespoons of honey and vanilla extract in a medium size bowl and lightly whisk till combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared dish, and use a spatula to spread across evenly about 1/2-inch thick the base of the dish.

Scatter the blueberries mixture evenly over the yogurt. Lightly press the blueberries and pistachios onto the yogurt.

Do not cover and freeze about 4 hours or overnight until hardened/solid. When completely solid, remove from freezer and lift the aluminium foil out of the dish/pan and set on a hard surface.

Cut into serving pieces and serve immediately, or keep frozen in an re-sealable plastic bag/container.

Yum! and my mouth is 'freezing cold' ... perfect to have some in hot weather here. Enjoy !

Sunday 24 July 2016

Rosemary Lemon Yogurt Cake

Just like the quick and easy and no-mixer recipes I've tried
 here,  here and here .... Surely this easy one-bowl and no-mixer yogurt cake caught my eyes.  I like lemony cake, so obviously to add a little lemon zest and juice to the cake.  With a little leftover of fresh rosemary herb in the fridge. .. it would be nice to add that fragrance too.

Recipe source : kitchn
Below my slightly modified version as I've added lemon and rosemary, scaled down the quantity for a small loaf.

Rosemary Lemon Yogurt Cake
Yields: 1 small loaf (I used a heatproof paper pound cake mould 7.5cm x 17.8cm x 5cm)
Ingredients A
65g caster sugar
125g yogurt
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon zest of lemon
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary

Ingredients B
100g all-purpose plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt

1) Position the rack in the middle and preheat oven to 175°C, line the loaf case with lightly grease parchment paper.

2) Put all the ingredients A in a medium size mixing bowl and whisk together until incorporated.

3) Add in the sifted flour and the rest of ingredients B to the mixing bowl. Whisk until no lumps remain. Pour the batter into the pan, use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl for no waste of batter.

4) Bake for about 35 minutes. Cover with foil at the end if the top is browning too quickly. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake if it comes out clean.

5) Transfer the loaf/cake pan onto wire rack and let it cool for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan.

Very fragrance cake with a hint of tangy taste. I like the crispy crust and lightly moist texture. If I have guests pop by unexpectedly and wish to serve them warm cake that's quick to make, this recipe will definitely come to my mind.

Enjoy ! Have a great week ahead !

Saturday 23 July 2016

Melon Pan Santa Claus

First time tried out Melon pan recipe and was toying the idea of shaping the buns into something.  Santa Claus ! They looked like Santa Claus with snowy hat and beard initially before landing in oven ... but somehow the positions of hat and beard 'drifted apart' from the face after baked, resulted a batch of grumpy looking old men ... :( opps !
Anyway, I had some fun in shaping the buns ^-^!

Recipe adapted from Melon Pan , Tokyo Mari
Below my slightly modified version.
Santa Claus Melon Pan
Ingredients (Makes 5 buns)
Bread dough ingredients :
150g of bread flour
1 tablespoon milk powder
2 tablespoons of egg (lightly beaten)

(A) 1 teaspoon of dry yeast
(A) 2 tablespoons of sugar
(A) 55ml of warm water

(B) 30g of unsalted butter (room temparature)
(B) a pinch of salt

Some dessicated coconut (about 1.5 tablespoon)
Some chocolate chips to decorate as eyes

Cookie dough ingredients :
100g of all-purpose plain flour (sifted)
30g of butter (room temparature)
2 tablespoons of caster sugar
1/2 an egg (lightly beaten of 1 whole egg but use half)

Make the cookie dough first :
In a clean mixing bowl, cream the butter and caster sugar till pale and creamy with electric mixer.
Slowly add in the egg and continue beating. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl and beat for another 1 - 2 minutes.
Add the sifted flour to the mixture and mix it with spatula. Cling wrap dough and leave in the fridge for about 30 minutes.

To make the bread dough:
Place all the ingredients (A) in a cup, stir and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

In a big bowl, combine bread flour, egg, milk powder and gradually add in mixture (A), mix well to combine with a spatula.

Add all the ingredients (B) to the big bowl and mix it until it combine together. Transfer onto lightly floured surface and keep kneading and stretching the dough until it become smooth and pliable. (it will get less sticky as you knead).

Shape into a ball and place the dough into a greased bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it rise in a warm place until it has doubled in size, about 30-40 minutes.

Take out the dough, pinch down, and divide into 5 portion. Roll each piece into a ball, let rest for 10 minutes under a damp cloth.

Take out the cookie dough and cut into 5 portions (about 35g each). Flatten out into a thin round with cling wrap. Remove the cling wrap, use a cookie cutter to cut half. 1 portion as beard and the other as hat. Sprinkle some dessicated coconut on cookie dough. Place it over the bread dough. Insert chocolate chips as eyes on the bread dough.

Cover with damp cloth and proof for about 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Position the rack in the center.
Bake the buns for 10 minutes first (to make the cookie dough crispy), then turn down temperature to 160 degree C and bake for another 12 minutes or lightly browned. (*Note : The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly).

Do give it a try in shaping cute (not grumpy) Santa Claus ... Hee .. hee... Happy baking! 

Sunday 17 July 2016

Marbled Brownies

My big kids love brownies ... especially dense and rich chocolaty brownies.

These brownies tasted slightly moist and slightly spongy perhaps I did not use white chocolate. Added only the dark chocolate for the chocolate batter.
A quick and easy bake for our morning brekkie. These warm brownies were gone within minutes before I could capture a decent picture of it with a cup of coffee.

Recipe adapted from : The Swirling Spoon
Below my slightly modified version

Marbled Brownies
Serves: 9 large brownies

Wet Ingredients A
125g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
85g caster sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients B
80g all purpose plain flour (sifted)
⅛ teaspoon salt

Ingredients C
80g dark chocolate

1) Preheat oven to 180°C and position  the rack in the center of the oven.

2) Line an 8 inch (20 cm) square pan with parchment paper, grease with some butter.

3) Melt the dark chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove and set aside.

4) Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low flame. Set aside to cool.

5) Combine the dry ingredients B in a big bowl.

6) Using the same saucepan for melting the butter, combine and whisk the wet ingredients A.

7) Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold using a spatula until combined.

8) Pour about half of the batter into a bowl. Mix in the melted chocolate with a manual whisk.

9) Place the batters into the prepared pan by alternating spoonfuls of vanilla batter with the chocolate batter. Then, with a toothpick, gently draw swirls through the batter to create marble effect.

10) Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until just set in the middle. Test with a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, do not over bake.

11) Remove the brownie from pan and transfer to wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Take Note:
Do not over bake else the brownie will be dry.
The temperature of the oven may vary, do adjust accordingly.

Happy baking ^-^!

Monday 4 July 2016

Decorated Swiss Roll (Santa Claus)

"Santa Claus is coming to town ..." LOL
Perhaps it's too soon for Christmas ? !
Half the year of 2016 has passed ... how time flies ! ... 

I'm sure the deco roll or decorated swiss roll cakes (made famous by Japan Junko) were such a big hit few years ago that I also jumped on the wagon to make a few back then.  Well, I don't really like to draw with templates or stencils .... I prefer "free-style" ... hee... hee. . lol !

Making deco roll was quite fun too. Sometimes the pattern "got stuck" on the parchment paper, so ended up funny or weird designs.  Sometimes the pattern got "smudged" ... Sometimes, the roll cracked ... so obviously, any of these flaws would affect the "masterpiece" of the artwork too.  All the arrggs ! and haiz ! hee ... hee !

So it has been ages since my last deco roll .... I was inspired by this cute design Cherie Kelly Bunny Deco Roll,  and I thought just to make something similar... Santa Claus!  I just made the eyes, mustache and a pink nose.

Recipe source and adapted from : Cherie Kelly Bunny Deco Roll
Below my slightly modified version.
Deco Roll Cake
Sponge Roll Cake
4 egg (the size of my egg is 60g each with shell)
70g caster sugar
3 tablespoon milk 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
60g cake flour (sifted)

Some softened butter to grease the parchment paper
1 tablespoon of cocoa powder 
A drop of pink food colouring

For the Filling
200ml Whipping cream
15 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g strawberries hulled and diced (or other fruits/berries of your choice)

Sponge Cake
1. To make the template ... on a clean sheet of A4 size paper, divide equally into 8 rectangle. Make markings for the eyes, nose and mustache in the middle of each smaller rectangle.  Place the paper on a large baking sheet.  Top the greased parchment paper on the template.  Set aside.

2. Position the rack in the center and preheat the oven to 180°C.

3. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and caster sugar using an electric mixer in high speed for about 5 -7 minutes until pale, thick and fluffy in ribbon stage. The whisk leaves a trail when lifted up, mixture will fall back into the bowl in ribbons and slowly disappear back into the mixture.

4. Add milk and fold together until combined.  Sift in flour and whisk for about 3 minutes on low speed to incorporate.

5. Batter for the eyes & mustache : Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter and mix with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder in a small bowl to form a chocolate paste.  Put the batter into a small piping bag.

6. Batter for the nose : Spoon 1 tablespoon of the batter and mix with a drop of red food colouring in a small bowl. Put the batter into a small piping bag.

7. Pipe the features and nose on the paper according to the template drawn in Step 1.

8. Bake for 2 mins and remove the baking sheet the from oven. Remove the sheet of template leaving only the parchment paper on the baking sheet.

9. Pour the remaining batter into baking sheet. Level the surface with a spatula. Gently tap the baking sheet a few times on table top to release the trapped bubbles in the batter. 

10. Bake in the oven for about 12 - 13 minutes or the top is light browned, and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
(The temperature of the oven may vary, do check, do not over bake the cake as it will be too dry and may crack easily when rolled).

11. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, immediately drop the baking sheet at a height onto a table top. This action helps to keep the springy texture of the sponge when it is left to cool. Leave to cool in the pan for 1 minute.

12. Remove the sponge from the baking sheet by lifting the parchment paper. Place parchment paper on the sponge cake (brown side), over turn and gently remove the parchment paper on the decor side. Cut the sponge into half along the template to have 4 faces in a vertical column.

13. Place a clean sheet of parchment paper on it, flip the cake over, remove the parchment paper with the brown side up.

14. Spread the whipped cream in the center of sponge. Top with some diced strawberries. Roll up gently by lifting it up with the parchment paper. Place the rolled cake seam side down. Wrap with parchment paper and chill in the refrigerator for few hours. Repeat the same for the other half of the sponge cake.

15. Trim the ends using a sharp knife. Cut into slices of each face, pipe some whipped cream on the 'head' and top with a strawberry as Santa hat.

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

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

Ha ! ha ! After the make-over with Santa hat, looks passable?! Think the next time I'll just pipe some whipped cream as beard ... lol !

Happy baking !