Friday, 3 April 2015

Baked Doughnuts

Sometimes when we like to have doughnuts but don't want the accompanying grease, we take out this recipe to make some baked doughnuts. Yes it is possible. Although in this instance a special doughnut pan has to be employed to create that round sweet bread with a hole in the middle. I got this pan from Lakeland ages ago that sometimes I forget that it exists in my pantry. Its accompanying recipe almost got lost before so I thought I better document this recipe before I lose the only hard copy we have.

Baked Doughnuts

Baked Doughnuts

225 g  plain flour
175 g  caster sugar
10 ml [2 tsp]  baking powder
5 ml [1 tsp]  fine salt
175 ml [scant 3/4 cup]  whole milk
2 eggs - beaten
15 ml [1 Tbsp]  melted butter or olive oil or cooking oil
5 ml [1 tsp]  vanilla extract
extra icing or caster sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 160°C/140°C fan/325°F. Lightly brush the doughnut cups in the pan with cooking oil making sure that the centre stem is well covered by the oil.
  2. Sift the flour, caster sugar, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  3. In another bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla together.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients mixing thoroughly.
  5. Fill each doughnut cups around 3/4 cups full with the batter.
  6. Bake for about 8 minutes or until firm and springy to the touch.
  7. Remove from pan and cool slightly. Dust with sifted icing sugar or caster sugar.

Baked Doughnuts

Baked Doughnuts



Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Cabbage Apple Slaw

Cabbage Apple Slaw
This is a very easy salad to put together and with very few ingredients as well. Often times I have this with fried anything as a foil from the grease and fat. I find it very refreshing also with roasted or barbecued meat dishes.

This is adapted from the NHK channel's Rika's Tokyo Cuisine recipe. We as a family actually enjoy watching NHK's offerings especially when it comes to their food shows. You should see us drooling, ooh-ing and aah-ing at every dish we fancy. Armchair foodies we definitely are. :)


Cabbage Apple Slaw


Cabbage Apple Slaw

1/4 head [about 250 g] cabbage
1/2 apple
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp lemon juice
lemon zest (optional)
1/4 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
  1. Finely shred the cabbage and apple (with a knife or mandolin) and put separately into different bowls.
  2. Add the salt and pepper into the shredded cabbage and gently work into the cabbage until it softens.
  3. Add the shredded apple, lemon juice, and lemon jest. Mix well.
  4. Combine the sugar and mayonnaise. Add to the cabbage and apple mixture and mix well to coat the veggies.
  5. Serve cold or room temperature.

Friday, 27 February 2015

Pork Asado Roll

Pork Asado Roll
The February Daring Bakers’ challenge is hosted by Julie of One-Wall Kitchen. She challenged us to an easy, simple filled bun using no-knead dough.

I am very new to bread baking so this challenge is very important since it will be my first time ever to bake a savoury filled bread. I certainly am no stranger to these type of bread. One of my fondest food memory was having pork adobo roll at a kiosk in my former university. I would eagerly buy one especially if there was a freshly delivered batch. It was a wonderful snack wolfed down with ice cold Coke. Yum!

For the filled bun I make here - I will call them rolls since the word siopao in my native Filipino ears always mean buns that are steamed not baked. I decided on doing an asado filling first. An email to my sister for her asado recipe was duly dispatched because I really don't want to mess this up with an untried recipe. I just tweaked it a little bit and it was the kind of asado I always wanted to make myself.

Pork Asado Roll
As for the bread itself, I used Betty Crocker's all-time favourite dinner roll recipe. I will say it again, I am a newbie baker, so forgive me if it came out a little denser than normal. I think I put in too much flour. It did rise quite a bit but I was hoping it would be fluffier. Oh well, maybe I'll give it another go in the coming weeks.


Pork Asado Roll

Pork Asado Roll

1 recipe of Pork Asado (see below)
1 recipe of Dinner Roll (see below)
melted butter
  1. Cool down the pork asado completely.
  2. After the first rising of the dough, punch down dough and knead a few times to make it smooth again.
  3. Divide into about 10 pieces. For each piece, knead briefly and roll into a circle of about 6 inches diameter.
  4. Put about 3 Tablespoon of the pork asado filling (with some sauce) in the middle of the rolled dough.
  5. Gather the edges of the dough and seal to make a round bun.
  6. Put in a greased baking sheet sealed side down.
  7. After filling all buns, cover sheet with kitchen towel or greased cling film and let rise until double in a warm place (about 1 hour).
  8. Brush top with melted butter.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven of 190C/fan 170C/375F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.


Pork Asado

500 g  pork - cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
3-4 shallots - chopped
1 Tbsp rice wine
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 cup hot water
1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch) dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
  1. Saute the garlic and shallots in a saucepan with cooking oil. Cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.
  2. Turn up heat to high and add in the pork. Saute until it brown all around.
  3. Add the rice wine and let sizzle until it has evaporated.
  4. Add in all the ingredients except the cornflour mixture.
  5. Bring to boil and then turn heat to low and simmer until meat is tender (about 1 hour).
  6. Add the cornflour mixture and bring to boil. Turn off heat and serve.


Dinner Rolls

1/4 cup butter - room temperature or melted
1/4 cup sugar
1 package fast-acting or regular dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 1/2 bread flour
1 large egg - slightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
extra melted butter for brushing and greasing
  1. Mix the water and milk in a saucepan and heat gently until warm (about 50C/120F).
  2. Combine butter, sugar, 2 cups of the bread flour, and yeast in a big bowl.
  3. Add the warm milk mixture and egg into the bowl.
  4. Beat with electrix mixer (or wooden spatula) for about 1 minute until flour mixture is moistened.
  5. With a wooden spatula, add in enough of the flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough is soft, leaves the side of the bowl and is easy to handle.
  6. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured flat surface. Knead for about 5 minutes, sprinkling more flour on the surface to keep the dough from sticking, until the dough is smooth and springy.
  7. Put dough in a greased bowl, turn so that all sides are greased. Cover with greased plastic. Let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  8. Punch down dough and turn out on a lightly floured surface. Divide into 15 pieces. Shape each piece into a ball.
  9. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Arrange the shaped dough in it and brush with melted butter. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C/fan 170C/375F for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  11. Remove from pan onto a cooling rack. Brush top with more melted butter.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Sour Cream Pound Cake


Here's one buttery cake recipe that I bake as an alternative to Victoria sponge. Usually this gets made when there's an excess or about to expire sour cream. Highly recommended for its fluffiness and scrumptiousness. I found this recipe that I adapted from the Food Network as part of Paula Deen's recipe collection there. It really is very good.


Sour Cream Pound Cake

1/2 cup butter - softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix the flour and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream/beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add sour cream, eggs, and vanilla. Mix well.
  5. Add the flour mixture, mix well. Pour into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for 50 mins - 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Middle Eastern Breakfast Treats

Labaneh
For the February daring cooks challenge,Manal from Manal’s Bites invited us to celebrate the most important meal of the day Middle Eastern style!

Traditional breakfast in the Middle East seems to be such a wholesome meal what with all the fresh dips and salads, lots of olive oils and spices it has. I've never been to visit the area except for the few plane changes in Abu Dhabi. So I was quite surprised to know that hummus is for breakfast! In our house it's a dip for snacks. The salad is very similar to the Greek one especially because I used feta cheese since I can't find halloumi any where near us.

Mixed Salad
What a revelation these dishes were so thank you is in order to the Daring Cooks and Manal for coming up with this interesting challenge. For one, it's my first time to make soft cheese. As expected, it's delectable. While for the hummus, I never thought fried pitta bread would be great dipped in it.

The labaneh cheese is easy enough to make though I don't have a big enough cheese cloth for the whole lot. So I just put them in small little bundles. I didn't have any place to hang them so I put them in a colander over a bowl to catch the drips.

Speaking of cheese cloth (they are also called muslin cloth), if you buy them from kitchen shops they're quite expensive. I just realised recently that I could buy them cheaper from baby shops. You see, the cotton cloth nappies (diapers) are made of muslin cotton! Ha! That's my bargain tip of the day.


Hummus Fatteh


Hummus Fatteh

1 recipe of Hummus
pitta bread
reserved chickpea water or plain water
salt and lemon juice
olive oil
pine nuts (optional)
cooked chickpeas (optional)
chopped mint or coriander or parsley
  1. Cut pitta bread into big chunks (about 1-inch square). Fry in olive oil.
  2. Scatter at the bottom of a serving bowl.
  3. [Optional] Fry pine nuts briefly in a pan with olive oil until brown and aromatic.
  4. [Optional] Sprinkle water with lemon juice and salt on the fried pitta bread.
  5. Pour hummus on top. Serve sprinkled with chopped herbs, fried pine nuts and chickpeas (if using). Drizzle a little olive oil on top.


Labaneh

1 kg natural full-fat Greek style yoghurt
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp fine sea salt
cheese cloth (muslin cloth)
chilli powder
za'atar (optional)
  1. Dissolve salt in the water.
  2. Add the yoghurt. Stir to mix well.
  3. Put the yoghurt mix in the cheese cloth, tie up and hang (or put in a colander over a bowl) to drain the water. Hang this for about 24 hours.
  4. The labaneh cheese is now ready. Serve with olive oil and chilli powder or za'taar sprinkled on top.
Note: This will keep in the fridge for 1 week in an airtight container.


Mixed Salad

2 big red tomatoes - chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces
1 12-inch cucumber - chopped into about 1/2-inch pieces
3 Tbsp lemon juice
6 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup cubed halloumi or nabulsi or feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped mint leaves (or coriander or parsley)
1/2 cup chopped red onion or 2 green onions - chopped
  1. Mix together the tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and cheese in a serving bowl.
  2. Drizzle the lemon juice and olive oil.
  3. Sprinkle the chopped herbs on top.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Macaroni Salad

Filipino Macaroni Salad
Here is another of our family's (and a lot other Filipino familys') favourite holiday food. We almost never make it at any other time of the year except during the New Year holidays. Not even on Christmas; only in the New Year. I never knew why but it must be one of those traditions that was kept on just because that's what we always had.

This is a perfect example of the predilection of the Pinoy palate to crave for the salty-sweet-tangy sour flavour combination. That and together with the richness of the mayonnaise and pasta makes it so irresistible to me as a snack. Actually, you'll be hard-pressed to classify this as savoury or sweet. Because they're really both!

By the way, the Philippines practically only have spaghetti and elbow macaroni in the pasta aisles of its supermarkets. Whereas here, I cannot find decent sized and shaped elbow macaroni. I have to either go to Italian delis or trek to Waitrose where, fortunately, I found this Chiferri Rigate pasta.





Macaroni Salad

500 g elbow macaroni pasta
2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken meat
1/3 cup pickle relish
1/3 cup finely minced celery
1 1/2 cups canned pineapple chunks in syrup - well drained
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup finely minced cooked carrots
1/3 cup finely minced onion (optional)
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese (optional)
3 cups mayonnaise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Combine all in a bowl and mix well. Chill in the fridge for a few hours before serving.

Monday, 19 January 2015

Amish Dinner Rolls

Amish Dinner Rolls
My pictures are a bit lame but don't let that detract you from the fluffiness and delectable taste of this mashed potato-based bread. I already did a similar one before so I was not a complete newbie when I tried this. The bread machine was deployed for the kneading and initial proofing so it certainly was a breeze to do. As you can see, I was so satisfied with the result. Just look how fluffy they are!

The King Arthur Flour website is where I got the recipe I adapted. They have loads of interesting recipes there that I'd like to try someday.


Amish Dinner Rolls


Amish Dinner Rolls

2 1/4 tsp [1 package] active dry yeast
3/4 cup slightly warm water or potato water*
2 eggs
1 cup unseasoned mashed potato
4 1/4 cups plain flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
6 Tbsp butter - room temperature

*Bread Machine Method:
  1. Put all the ingredients in the bread machine according to the instructions of the bread machine manufacturer. Set the machine for the dough program and press start.
  2. Allow the machine to complete its cycle. For most bread machine the rising of the dough is included in the cycle. If not, allow the dough to remain in the machine to rise for for 1 hour or until double in bulk.

*Manual Method:
  1. Dissolve 1 tsp of the sugar in the water. Add the yeast and stir to slightly dissolve. Set aside for 10-15 minutes. By this time, it should foam up to indicate that the yeast is active. If not, discard mixture and start again with a new batch of yeast.
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until the dough starts to leave the side of the bowl.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly greased or floured surface and knead for 6 to 8 minutes or until it's smooth and satiny.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Turn it to coat all around with grease. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let rise for about 90 minutes or until double in bulk.

*To Shape Rolls:
  1. Punch down dough, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for a few turns until smooth again.
  2. For standalone rolls: divide dough into 16 equal pieces and shape into balls. Place in lightly greased baking sheets leaving about 2 inches of space between them.
  3. For pull-apart rolls: divide dough into 15 equal pieces (I used weighing scale for this). Place in a greased 9 x 13-inch baking pan into 3 rows of 5 balls each. Space them evenly.
  4. Cover with lightly greased plastic wrap and let them rise for about 2 hours. The pull-apart rolls should be touching each other.

*Baking:
  1. Bake in a pre-heated 180°C/fan 160°C/350°F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until golden.
  2. Remove from oven and carefully remove from the baking pan.
  3. [Optional] Brush with melted butter.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.