Thursday, June 27, 2013

X'tra Good Apple Walnut Bundt Cake



This is a sugar dusted Apple bundt cake with a thin crunchy crust and a moist and nutty inside.  Made  with tart Granny Smith apples, chopped walnuts and a sprinkling of cinnamon, it was very aromatic.  The sweet smell of cinnamon and vanilla lingered in the kitchen for quite a while.



















Recipe for X'tra Good Walnut Apple Bundt Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sunflower/canola oil
  • 7 oz soft brown sugar
  • 12 oz plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1  tsp baking soda
  • 1  tsp cinnamon
  • 1  tsp vanilla
  • 1/4  tsp salt
  • 2 cups peeled, cored and shredded apples
  • 1 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
  • Icing sugar for decoration (optional)
Method
  1. Grease and lightly flour a 10 cup Bundt pan, set aside.
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Stir in the cinnamon.  Set aside.
  3. Beat eggs, oil and sugar till light and creamy.
  4. Add in the shredded apples to the egg mixture.
  5. Fold in the sifted flour.
  6. Finally, mix in the chopped walnuts.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg.C for about 50 - 60 mins. till golden brown.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan for about 30 mins. before  unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Lightly dust with some icing sugar before serving.



Incidentally, I am bringing this dish over to a picnic organised by Louise @  Months of Edible Celebrations.   Louise has been hosting this picnic game for many years and this is the first time that I'm going  to this picnic. Each participant will pick an alphabet and make something with the dish name starting with that alphabet and my chosen alphabet is " X" .. X'tra Good Apple Walnut Bundt Cake. As you can see my alphabet is 'X' as I'm rather late in participating.  But thanks to Louise, I managed to squeeze in my dish at the last minute.  The roundup of the picnic game will be on 1st July, 2013 at Louise's blog.



As a rule of the game, I have to list this down.  I'm going for a picnic and I'm bringing :-

A -  Aloo Gobi
B -  Blueberry Cucumber Salsa
C - Crispy Curry Fried Chicken
D - Dying for Chocolate Chocolate Cake
E -  Tina-Eton Mess
F -  Fish in a Jar
G - Golden Pillow Hee Ban
H - Hummingbird Cake
I -  Ice Cream Sandwiches
J - Jersey Hot Dogs - Nee
K - Kahlua Mocha Ice Cream
L - Light and Soft Japanese Cheesecake
M - Ma'moul ~ A traditional Lebanese cookie
N - Nettle Quinoa Tart
O - Oriental Pasta Salad
P - Pan de Mango
Q - Quinoa Pizza Balls
R -  Rainbow Connection Cupcakes
S -  Strawberry Yogurt Ice Cream
T -  Telosma Cordata Eucheuma Jelly
U - U never fail Cheesescake
V - Vanilla & Cream Cheese Pound Cake & Citrus Glaze
W - Watermelon Sorbet
X -  X'tra Good Apple Walnut Bundt Cake

Continue reading "X'tra Good Apple Walnut Bundt Cake"

Monday, June 24, 2013

Chilli, Salt and Pepper Seafood


This is another dish taken from the book, Women's Weekly - 'Toss', a simple seafood stir-fry.  A very tasty and colourful dish which pairs well with plain hot white rice.






Recipe for Chilli, Salt and Pepper Seafood

    Ingredients

    • 200 gm prawns
    • 100 gm fresh scallops, roe removed
    • 2 capsicums, sliced
    • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
    • 1 tsp seasalt
    • 1 tsp light soya sauce
    • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 tsp sugar
    • Some spring onions
    Method
    1. Shell and devein the prawns, leaving the tails intact.
    2. Combine seafood, salt, sugar and black pepper in a large bowl.
    3. Heat some oil in a wok, stir-fry seasoned seafood till cooked, dish out, set aside.
    4. In the same wok, add in some oil, stir-fry the capsicums and chopped chilli for a while, toss in the seafood, add light soya sauce and spring onions.  
    5. Dish out and serve immediately with white rice.



    This post participates in 'Cook your Books # 1' hosted by Kitchen Flavours.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pork Patties with Mixed Peas.



I used to get this from the economy rice stall when I had to fetch my children back and forth from school and will occasionally  prepare this at home.  It's been quite a while since I've cooked this.....




Recipe for Pork Patties with Mixed Peas

    Ingredients

    • 250 gm minced pork
    • 6 shallots, chopped
    • Watties mixed peas
    • 1  tsp cornflour + 1.1/2 tsp water to thicken
    Seasoning for the minced pork
    • 1/2 tsp each of sugar, dark soya sauce, seasalt
    • 1 tsp each of oyster sauce, light soya sauce
    • 4 tsps of cornlfour
    • a dash of pepper and sesame oil
    Method
    1. Marinate the minced pork with the seasoning, cornflour and chopped shallots for about 2 hours or more.  Mix well.  
    2. Use hands to shape each into 1/2 inch thick and 2 inch round patties.
    3. Pan fry them in a non-stick pan, cook on each side till light golden and cooked through.  Transfer them onto a plate.
    4. Simmer 3/4 cup water, add in some salt and light soya sauce.  Fine tune to taste and add in the cornflour thickening.  Toss in the mixed peas.
    5. Pour the mixed peas sauce over the pork patties.
    6. Serve hot with rice.





     
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Monday, June 17, 2013

Vanilla Bean Ice Cream


This is my second attempt at making Vanilla ice cream.  My first try was without the custard base and the texture was smooth but  it was far too sweet.  This time around I tried a recipe with a custard base and   reduced the amount of sugar.  I was delighted when I finally achieved a not too sweet but creamy, smooth and full of vanilla fragrance ice cream.  I find it a challenge to snap pictures of homemade ice cream, for they melt so fast.....












Recipe for Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (adapted from 'here' with slight modification)

    Ingredients

    • 250 ml whipping cream
    • 250 ml full cream milk
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 1 vanilla bean (scrape the seeds from the bean with the back of the knife)
    • 90 gm caster sugar  (reduced from 130 gm)
    • 80 gm choc bits, crushed
    • a pinch of salt
    Method
    1. In a pot, stir and lightly boil the cream, milk, salt and vanilla seeds till the milk begins to foam up slightly.  Remove from heat.
    2. With a handheld whisk beat the egg yolks and sugar till light and fluffy.
    3. Gradually pour the cream milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture.  Keep whisking to prevent the egg yolks from cooking.
    4. Pour the mixture back into the pot, keep stirring with a wooden spoon and cook till the custard thickens and can coat the back of the wooden spoon.
    5. Immediately remove from heat, pour the mixture into a bowl, cover with cling film, let cool, then keep refrigerated overnight.
    6. Churn the chilled custard in the ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Add in the choc bits just before the end of churning.  Once made, transfer the ice-cream to a chilled container and store in the freezer.




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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Pork Salad with Apple and Raisin


I was browsing through a book .... Women's Weekly - 'Toss" and it contained many recipes for salads, stir-fries and quick meals.  This is a very straightforward salad making use of greens and fruits but I threw in some leftover pork fillet as well!  Pork fillet, one may ask.......  Sounds weird with added meat but then it's just personal preference and moreover I just don't like to put food to waste.



Recipe for Pork Salad with Apple and Raisin

    Ingredients

    • 250 gm pan fried pork fillet seasoned with some salt, sugar and light soya sauce.
    • 1 medium size green apple, sliced, thinly.  (Drizzle on some lime juice to prevent browning).
    • 1/2 cup raisins
    • 2 cups salad greens
    Lime Dijon dressing
    • 1  tsp Dijon mustard
    • 2  tsp lime juice
    • 2  Tbsp olive oil
    • 1 clove garlic, pressed -  All mixed well together
    Method
    1. Slice up the pan-fried pork fillet.  Place them into a large bowl with the salad greens and sliced apples.
    2. Mix in the dressing, toss gently to combine.
    3. Sprinkle on some raisins.
    4. Serve immediately.





    I'm linking this post to 'Cook Your Books #1' hosted by Kitchen Flavours
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Monday, June 10, 2013

#Bundtamonth: Mocha Swirl Pound Cake


This month's Bundtamonth theme is Swirl Bundt Cake, a decision made by the co-founders Anuradha of Baker Street and Lora of  Cake Duchess.  As I've a soft spot for Bundt cakes but more so for Bundt pans I surfed the internet  for some inspiration to bake a swirly bundt cake.  There are a lot of awesome recipes for swirly bundt cakes and I finally settled for a simple Mocha swirly.  To give plain Jane a makeover, I decorated it with Kahlua icing topped with lightly toasted nibbed almonds which was an added  boost to the flavour of the cake.  I didn't make the icing too thick as I preferred a not too sweet topping.









Recipe for Mocha Swirl Pound Cake

Ingredients
12 oz plain flour
2  tsp  baking powder
a pinch of salt
9 oz caster sugar
12 oz unsalted butter (if use salted butter, omit the salt)
5 eggs
1/2 cup milk
10 gm instant coffee powder
10 gm cocoa powder
10 ml hot water
1.1/2  tsp vanilla

Kahlua Icing 
Mix 3/4 cups icing sugar with 2 Tbsp Kahlua to a thick and dropping consistency

Method
Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt, set aside
Mix the hot water with the coffee and cocoa powder, set aside
Beat the butter with sugar till light, creamy and pale
Add in eggs one at a time, blend well.
Fold in sifted flour alternating with milk, start with flour and end with flour.
Scoop 1/3 batter and mix in the mocha mixture, mix well.
Spoon 1/3 plain batter into a greased and floured 10 inch Bundt pan, even out the batter.
Spoon 1/2 mocha batter on top of the plain batter, even out, repeat process.
Swirl the batters with a skewer.
Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 45 to 50 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
Let cake cool in the pan for 20 mins. before unmoulding the cake onto a wire rack to cool.
Drizzle on the Kahlua icing and top with lightly toasted nibbed almonds.

Note :  You can omit the icing and just dust on with some icing sugar for decoration.


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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sweet Potato Rice


It's one of those evenings when I'm too lazy to crack my brain over what to cook for dinner and to make life more relaxing, I whipped up this one-dish meal.  It has carbohydrates, protein and adding sweet potatoes to our diet is beneficial too for these tubers contain Vitamins B6, C and D and also have a fair amount of potassium and calcium.


Recipe for Sweet Potato Rice

    Ingredients

    • 400 gm Japanese sweet potatoes
    • 100 gm pork fillet
    • 20 gm dried shrimps
    • 2/3 cups rice  
    • sesame oil
    • Fried shallots and chopped spring onions for garnishing
    Seasoning
    • 1/2 tsp each of sugar, light soya sauce, salt
    • 1  tsp oyster sauce
    Method
    1. Season the meat for about an hour, set aside.
    2. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into cubes.
    3. In a wok, shallow fry the dried shrimps, add in the marinated meat followed by the sweet potatoes.  Give the mixture a few stirs, turn off heat.
    4. Wash the rice and place in the rice cooker with less water than normal.
    5. When the rice is cooking half-way add in the sweet potato mixture and let it continue till done.
    6. Fluff up the rice, test for taste, drizzle on some sesame oil.
    7. Serve in bowls, garnish with fried shallots, spring onions and a dash of pepper.


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Monday, June 3, 2013

#MuffinMonday : Apple Bran Muffins


I was browsing through some recipe books and these muffins caught my eye.  Have not used bran in muffins before, only added it in bread and since there were also apples at hand, I just had to try this out this recipe. 
These muffins are a healthy lot with apples and raisins and should there be leftovers, fret not, just warm them up in the oven toaster, and you're all set for a healthy breakfast or tea!
 




Recipe for Apple Bran Muffins

    Ingredients
    • 300ml milk
    • 150 gm Oat Bran
    • 75 gm wholemeal flour
    • 150 gm plain flour
    • 1  Tbsp baking powder
    • 2 eggs
    • 90 gm butter, melted
    • 80 gm light brown sugar
    • 1/2  tsp vanilla
    • 2 green apples, peeled, cored and chopped
    • 2  Tbsp raisins
    • 40 gm lightly toasted walnuts, chopped
     Method
    1. Put milk and oat bran in a bowl, stir till well mixed, set aside.
    2. Sift plain flour with the baking powder, mix in the wholemeal flour.
    3. In a mixing bowl, use a ball whisk to whisk the eggs, melted butter, sugar and vanilla.
    4. Stir bran mixture into the egg mixture, mix well, then stir this mixture into the flour mixture.  Stir in the apples, raisins and walnuts till just combined.  Do not overmix.
    5. Spoon mixture into lined muffin pan.
    6. Bake in a preheated oven @ 200 deg C for 20-25 mins. till golden brown.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
    7. Let muffins cool for a while in the pan before removing  them to cool on a wire rack.
    8. Serve warm.
    9. Yield :  12 muffins



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