Monday, December 21, 2015

Black Sesame Osmanthus Tang Yuan ~ 桂花黑芝麻汤圆


Winter Solstice or Dongzhi festival is here again and it's time to make tang yuan.  This time I tweaked it a bit by stuffing the glutinous rice ball with some black sesame paste and cooked Osmanthus syrup to pair with it.   This year the Winter Solstice festival falls on Tuesday, 22nd December.





Recipe for Black Sesame Osmanthus Tang Yuan ~ 桂花黑芝麻汤圆

Ingredients

  • 150 gm glutinous rice flour
  • 125 ml water, approximate
  • 100 gm black sesame paste
  • 1.1/2 Tbsp dried Osmanthus flowers
  • Rock sugar or Brown piece sugar to taste
  • A piece of ginger, smashed
Method
  1. Mix the glutinous rice flour and water to form a dough, cover with clingwrap and refrigerate overnight.  (You may need a little more or a little less water).
  2. Knead lightly, form into balls of dough and put in the black sesame filling in each of the balls of dough.
  3. Meanwhile, make the syrup by boiling water and adding in the smashed ginger.  Add in the Osmanthus flowers, sugar to taste, set aside.
  4. In another pot boil some water and once boiling, dump in the balls of dough.  Once they float up, scoop them up and put in serving bowls.  Ladle in the syrup.
  5. Serve immediately.




I'm taking a breather from blogging and will be back in January 2016.   I hope that all my readers and friends will enjoy their holidays and here's wishing everyone
Merry Christmas and a blessed 2016

Continue reading "Black Sesame Osmanthus Tang Yuan ~ 桂花黑芝麻汤圆"

Monday, December 14, 2015

Chocolate Peanut Cookies ~ 巧克力花生曲奇餅



This is a relatively simple sugar reduced cookie recipe, full of peanut butter flavour with added oats and choc chips. Decorated with a sugary top, these will make a lovely gift for your relatives and friends during this X'mas season!








  Recipe for Chocolate Peanut Cookies - 巧克曲奇
(adapted from 'Baking - 200 Moreish & Comforting Recipes' with modification)

Ingredients

  • 250 gm chunky or creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 70 gm dark brown sugar
  • 70 gm caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp plain yoghurt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 150 gm plain flour
  • 20 gm cocoa powder
  • 40 gm rolled oats
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 50 gm choc chips
  • 50 gm raw sugar
Method
  1. Whisk or sieve flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl, add in rolled oats and mix well, set aside.
  2. Beat peanut butter, oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl.  
  3. Add in eggs, yoghurt and vanilla till just combined.
  4. Mix in the flour mixture and add in the chocolate chips.
  5. Cover the dough with cling wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for about 30 mins.
  6. Drop 1 tablespoonful of dough onto a parchment lined baking tray, spacing them 2 inches apart.
  7. Sprinkle on some raw sugar.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 10 to 15 mins. until set and cracked.  Let cool in tray before removing onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight cookie jar.
  9. Yield :  64 cookies




I'm linking this post to Cook-Your-Books # 29 hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours




 This post is linked to  Cook and Celebrate:  Christmas 2015 hosted by
Yen from Goody Foodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and 

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Fairy Cupcakes ~ 仙女纸杯蛋糕


The month of December is both the holiday and fete season which makes it the perfect time to enlist your kids to help in making these Fairy Cupcakes.  I'm sure these will be a crowd pleaser especially with kids at your X'mas get together.






Recipe for Fairy Cupcakes ~   仙女纸杯蛋糕

Ingredients

  • 4 oz butter
  • 3 oz caster sugar
  • 6 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • Marmalade
  • Snow powder
Method
  1. Beat the butter and sugar till light and creamy.
  2. Add in the eggs, one @ a time, mix well.
  3. Sift in the flour, mix well.
  4. Add in the vanilla.
  5. Put the batter into cupcake liners using an ice cream scoop.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 20 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  7. Let cool in the pan before removing to cool on a wire rack.
  8. Using a sharp knife, cut a cone shaped piece from the top of the each cupcake, about 4cm wide and 1.5cm deep.  Cut each cone-shaped piece of cake in half.  Fill up the hole with some marmalade or whatever jam you fancy.  Arrange the two cut pieces on top.  Dust with snow powder.
  9. Yield :  7 Cupcakes




Here are some of my previous X'mas posts :-
Panettone
Bishop'sCake or Stained Glass window Cake
Stollen
Pistachio Mixed fruits White Chocolate Bark





This post is linked to  Cook and Celebrate:  Christmas 2015 hosted by
Yen from Goody Foodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and 




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Friday, December 4, 2015

Panettone (Italian X'mas Bread) 节日糕点


Panettone, a traditional Italian Christmas bread is suitable for breakfast, tea or as a dessert.  This recipe reminds me of  Kugelhopf, a southern German, Austrian and Swiss term for bundt  or marble cake which also consists of a soft yeast dough with raisins and nuts.   Making a Panettone is a long, long process as it takes many hours of proving in a warm place and after all my efforts, I was a bit disappointed that my Panettone didn't rise to a dome shape, instead it was a bit flat.  But the consolation was that it tasted soft and fluffy, when served warm.  As I couldn't find any Panettone paper moulds, I used an 8 inch springform cake pan and lined it with parchment paper with higher sides to give more room for the Panettone to rise.


Combine warm water and warm milk, sprinkle yeast over and let sit for 5 mins, or more.
Add 4 Tablespoons flour and 1 Tablespoon sugar to the yeast mixture, combine till thick, cover with clingwrap and let it sit till it turned bubbly and doubled in size, about 30 mins.


Using a ball whisk, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla, lemon and orange zest till well combined.
Add in the yeast mixture and whisk till well incorporated.
Using the dough hook of a stand mixer, put on low, add sifted flour and salt, then turn to medium speed and let it mix for about 5 mins.


Add room temperature cubed butter and mix till well incorporated.
After about 5 mins. add the raisins and citron peel, mix for abount 5 mins.
Transfer sticky dough onto a floured surface.


Add more flour if sticky dough is hard to handle, just lightly knead till it comes together.
Put the dough into a greased container and brush more oil on the surface to prevent a crust from formng.   Cover with clingwrap and let it prove in a warm place for about 2 to 3 hours or till tripled in size.
Once the dough has risen (a lot of bubbles at the base), dump it onto a floured surface.


Just pull the dough together, and place it into the parchment lined 8 inch cake pan.
Use a knife to make an 'X' on the dough and sprinkle on some butter or melted butter, cover with cling wrap and let it prove till  tripled in size.  About 2 to 3 hours.
After the dough has risen, apply egg wash and bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for  30 to 35 mins. till golden brown and test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
Let it cool in the pan before unmoulding onto a wire rack to cool.
Best to serve warm.










Recipe for Panettone 节日糕点     (adapted from 'here')

Ingredients

  • 375 gm plain flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1/4 cup warm milk
  • 7 gm/1/4 oz dried yeast
  • 70 gm unsalted butter
  • 100 gm sugar
  • Zest from 1 orange and 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp salt (reduce if using salted butter)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/4 cup mixed peel
Method  (Please refer to the steps in the above pictures)



This post is linked to Cook and Celebrate (Christmas 2014)
organised by 
Yen from Eat your heart out, Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe and







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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Bishop's Cake ~ Stained Glass Window Cake


As the name implies, this cake is certainly very suitable to be baked for the X'mas season.  I've eaten this cake before but didn't know that it's called Bishop's Cake  or  Stained Glass Window Cake until I spotted this on the internet.  According to the website this is an old English fruit cake that got its name from the stained glass window of the churches and cathedrals because of the appearance of the cross-section of each slice of cake.  Also known as American Christmas cake.  The wonderful part of it is that no fat is used in this cake!   As X'mas is not too faraway, perhaps you would like to give this a try as it can be kept in the refrigerator, wrapped in foil, for about 2 months.  








As this cake is quite sweet, cut and serve in thin slices with coffee, tea or sherry.

Bishop's Cake ~ Stained Glass Window Cake

    Ingredients
  • 150 gm dried pineapple, coarsely chopped
  • 100 gm each of Cashew nuts, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts
  • 50 gm raisins
  • 120 gm red and green cherries
  • 2 Tbsp mixed peel  (1 orange and 1 lemon)
  • 75 gm plain flour
  • 1/2  tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 80 gm sugar
  • 1/4 cup Brandy/Rum/Orange juice
  • 1  tsp vanilla
  • Icing sugar for dusting (optional)
Method
  1. Grease and line a 9" x 4" x 3" loaf pan.  Sift flour and baking powder, set aside.
  2. Combine 3/4 of the fruits and nuts in a large bowl. (Cut the fruits and nuts into half).  Keep the remaining 1/4 fruits and nuts, whole.
  3. Add sifted flour into the fruits and nuts to coat.
  4. Beat sugar, eggs, Brandy and vanilla on low speed till well combined.
  5. Add to fruit mixture and mix well.
  6. Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Use a spatula to press down on the fruits and nuts to make it compact.  Top with the remaining whole fruits and nuts.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 150 deg.C for 60 to 70 mins.  Cover with foil if it begins to brown too much.
  8. Leave to cool in pan    for 20 mins. turn onto wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Wrap with  plastic wrap, then foil and keep refrigerated.
  10. Dust with icing sugar before serving.



I'm submitting this post to  'Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013' hosted by 
Baby Sumo of  Eat Your Heart Out.



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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mocha Chiffon Cake ~ 摩卡戚风蛋糕


I was contemplating whether to unmould this chiffon cake by hand or with a thin palette knife and after deliberating for a while, I decided to give unmoulding by hand, a try.   To my pleasant surprise the cake was dislodged quite easily and there weren't any unsightly patches.  I had to wait 2 hours to let the cake cool completely before unmoulding.  This is a moist, light chiffon with a good taste of Rum, just what I need with my hot cup of tea!








Recipe for Mocha Chiffon Cake ~  摩卡戚风蛋糕 (adapted from 'here')

Ingredients (A)

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 4.1/2 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 6 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1.1/2 Tbsp Rum
  • 120 gm plain flour
  • 3/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1.1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 1.1/2 Tbsp coffee
  • 75 ml hot water
(B)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 Tbsp caster sugar
  • 3/8 tsp cream of tartar
Method

  1. Dissolve the cocoa and coffee powder in hot water, mix well, set aside.
  2. Sift plain flour,baking powder into a mixing bowl.  Add in the egg yolks, sugar, oil, Rum and the mocha mixture.  Beat on slow to  high speed till mixture is well combined and smooth.
  3. In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites till little frothy, add in cream of tartar, whisk till foamy and add in the sugar in 3 batches till soft peaks form but not dry.
  4. Fold 1/3 egg whites into the mocha mixture, mix well, then fold in the balance of egg whites. Mix well till no lumps form.
  5. Pour batter into an ungreased 23 cm chiffon cake pan.  Use a chopstick to run over the mixture.
  6. Tap the pan on the worktop to release any air bubbles.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 170 deg.C for 55 to 60 mins. and test with a skewer till it comes it clean.
  8. Invert the cake immediately and let cool in pan for about 2 hours.  When the cake is completely cooled, unmould it by hand.


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