Kitchen Corner

June 30, 2008

Mango & Coconut Chiffon

Chiffon cake is my favorite dessert. I've tried different flavors of chiffon and this has been added into my best flavor list recently. As this chiffon was not served for any special vocation, so I left it plain without any dressing to experience the natural flavor. I kept it in a fridge after it had cooled down from the oven for reserving a better texture.
We're totally refreshed by the little mango and shredded coconut with chilly sponge in the very hot and humid weekend.

Recipe for 17cm chiffon tin:

110g egg whites/55g caster sugar/5g corn flour

50g egg yolks/36g water36g/vegetable oil/55g plain flour/10g caster sugar/50g mango juice/25g dried mango (chopped)/24g shredded coconut

  1. Whip egg whites until peak form then slowly add in caster sugar continue whipping until a shiny and smooth consistency.
  2. Add in the cornflour and whip until just combine.
  3. Mix egg yolks, oil, water, peach puree, flour and caster sugar in another mixing bowl until everything combine.
  4. Then mix in chopped dried mango.
  5. Add in 1/3 of the egg white mixture into (2) until combine. Then add half of the left over egg whites mixture continue mixing. Then mix in the remaining egg whites until well combine.
  6. Add shredded coconut and mix until just combined.
  7. Pour into the baking tin and bake 35 minutes at 160'C.
  8. Turn the cake upside down for cooling before unmold it.
  9. Chill in a fridge for better refreshing texture.

June 27, 2008

Milky Loaf 牛奶面包

First of all, thank you HHB for this wonderful recipe!
This is my first attempt on making white bread. Ever since I was crazy of making wheat bread but not white bread. So, I was thinking to try something different for our next breakfast.
I've got some advised before making this bread, so everything went very well with a very simple straight dough method.
The simplicity of making this bread was using some basic ingredients which normally would have stored in a kitchen. This bread recipe was using milk rather than water as I've got some references about milk could give a softer texture and that's why it named "milky loaf".
The dough rise very well and filled up the pullman tin within 60 minutes (not sure it's due to the warm weather). I was quite happy that the loaf was almost a perfect square.
The milky flavor was fantastic that I could smell it while it's still baking in the oven. I was very satisfied with the soft and cottony texture.
Lastly, we are so pleased to have a wonderful breakfast.

June 24, 2008

Fruity Wholemeal Bread

This is a wholemeal bread recipe given by a guru I knew recently. As he knows I'm very keen about wholemeal bread, therefore he shares this recipe with me. This bread contains nearly 25% wholemeal flour which is more than the basic wholemeal bread I have tried previously.

The original recipe was written it is optional to add some sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds. I found that it is a good idea to add something in the bread so that it makes a little bit different from the previous bread I've made. Furthermore, added those seeds, nut or dried fruits could increase some nutrition. Therefore, I've added some sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds as well as some dried cherries and raisin to make it a fruity flavor.

When I cut out a slice, I found those little dried cherries looks quite pretty attaching the bread. If I will make this bread again, some dried apricot, dried mango, or other dried fruits and nuts will be adding in as well. I loves the wholemeal smell with every bite of dried fruits and seeds that I don't even need to spread jam or peanut butter on it. If you are a fan of wholemeal bread, why not give it a try!

Recipe from guru:

  • 250g bread flour
  • 80g wholemeal flour
  • 30g sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5g yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 150g ice water
  • 15g milk
  • 30g butter

Optional ingredients:

  • 10g sunflower seeds (toasted)
  • 2 tbsp sunflower seeds (toasted)
  • some dried cherries, raisin or others dried fruits and nuts

Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Gradually add in all the wet ingredients and mix it by a flat beater at low speed until everything just combine.
  • Add butter continue to mix for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Change to a dough hook continue kneading for about 20 minutes at medium speed.
  • Off the machine and clear the stick dough at side of the bowl and add 1 tablespoon bread flour. Continue kneading for few seconds.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until the dough smooth but not sticky.
  • Mix pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds into the dough.
  • Shape it into a smooth round dough, cover with cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • Knead the dough and punch out the gas.
  • Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll to form three even 'ball' shapes.
  • Flatten a dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough like a Swiss-roll.
  • Flatten the rolled-up dough and roll out again into a long rectangular shape. Add in some dried fruits on top then roll up the dough tightly.
  • Do the same for the other two remaining doughs. Place the rolled dough in a greased bread tin.
  • Spray with some water around the tin. Place it in the oven with door close, proof for 60 minutes without lid on.
  • Put the lid on when the dough rise near to the top. Take out the tin from the oven and preheat the oven at 190'C.
  • Bake approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown. (I increased the temperature to 210'C for extra 10 minutes until the bread had a golden brown color).
  • Take out the bread to cool down before slicing into pieces. Store leftover bread in airtight container without slicing it into pieces to let it stay fresh for the next serving.

June 20, 2008

Baked Chocolate Cheesecake

I have been waiting to bake this cheesecake for quite some time. Due to the high fat of cream cheese, I don't think we would like to eat a whole cheesecake just by two of us ( though how I wish :P ). So, I was waiting for some guests to pay me a visit so that I could bake cheesecake and share it together.

I was so pleased to have my friends with me weeks ago and shared this cheesecake together with them. I drizzled over some chocolate glaze before serving to make it much chocolaty.

This is a very strong and rich chocolate cheesecake. You would rather let it melt slowly in your mouth for few minutes and swallow it slowly before the next bite. Chocoholic will not miss this! Original recipe from Nigella Lawson (Nigella Feasts) For the base: 125g digestive biscuits 60g butter 1 tablespoon cocoa For the filling: 175g dark chocolate 500g Philadelphia cream cheese 150g caster sugar 1 tablespoon cornflour 3 large eggs 3 large egg yolks 150 ml sour cream ½ teaspoon cocoa, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water For the glaze: 75g dark chocolate, finely chopped 125ml double cream 1 teaspoon golden syrup To make the base, process the biscuits to make rough crumbs and then add the butter and cocoa. Process again until it makes damp, clumping crumbs and then tips them into a 23cm springform tin. Press the biscuit crumbs into the bottom of the tin to make an even base and put into the freezer while you make the filing. Preheat the oven to 180’C. Put a kettle on to boil. Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or double boiler, and set aside to cool slightly. Beat the cream cheese to soften it and then add the sugar and cornflour, beating again to combine. Beat in the whole eggs and then the yolks, and the sour cream. Finally add the cocoa dissolved in hot water and the melted chocolate, and mix to a smooth batter. Take the springform tin out of the the freezer and line the outside of the tin with a good layer of clingfilm, and then another layer of strong foil over that. This will protect it from the water bath. Sit the springform tin in a roasting pan and pour in the cheesecake filing. Fill the roasting pan with just-boiled water to come about halfway up the cake tin, and bake in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour. The top of the cheesecake should be set, but the underneath should still have a wobble to it. Peel away the foil and clingfilm wrapping and sit the cheesecake in its tin on a rack to cool. Put in the fridge once it’s no longer hot, and leave to set, covered with clingfilm, overnight. Let it lose its chill before unspringing the cheesecake to serve, To make the chocolate glaze, very gently melt the chopped chocolate, cream and syrup. When the chocolate has nearly melted, take off the heat and whisk it to a smooth sauce. Let it cool a little, and then Jackson Pollock it over the chocolate cheesecake on its serving plate. Use the remaining glaze as an accompanying sauce.

Marble Bread 大理石面包

This bread has no different from "a basic bread" recipe I have made previously. In fact, the cocoa or matcha I added in didn't give much flavor. It was just the color that makes it looks a bit fancy. I divided the dough into three equal portions then continue kneading by adding in 1/4 teaspoon cocoa and 1/4 teaspoon matcha powder for two separate doughs and left another dough stayed plain. I got this idea from my idol chef "Happy Home Baking" from her recipe of "green tea and chocolate marble bread". This version is slightly different in terms of its folding method that would give a messy marble effect. I rolled out each dough in longish shape and stack them together. Then, rolled up the dough as shown in the following picture. I divided it into three equal portions and rolled out the dough. Some marble effects would start to appear during this stage. Rolled it up again then place in a grease baking tin and proof for 60 minutes. Somehow, I found the color was not sharp enough. I might have put too little cocoa and matcha powder. But it's too late, therefore I left it to proof in the oven. The dough rise very well and it was almost a square toast. It wasn't too bad when I cut a slice out. Each slice had its own characteristic and it's as soft as the previous basic bread. I could slightly smell the cocoa and tea flavor but just couldn't taste it. After all, it could still be served with jam or peanut butter!

June 15, 2008

Totally Chocolate Chocolate Chips Cookies

I had this cookies recipe from a book of my favarite chef "Nigella Lawson". It is a very dark rich chocolate cookies that I shall remind you to drink more water after eating it. If you like to feed it to children, please use less than 70% cocoa solids so that they don't feel too beater. As for me, I really like those dark and beater flavor when eating those chocolate dessert. This recipe is just right for those chocoholic.
Original recipe from Nigella Lawson:

125g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids 150g flour 30g cocoa, sieved 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ½ teaspoon salt 125g soft butter 75g light brown sugar 50g white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg, cold from the fridge 350g semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • Preheat the oven to 170’C. Melt the 125g dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water.
  • Put the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a bowl.
  • Cream the butter and sugars in another bowl. (I use my freestanding mixer, itself an odd source of comfort to me.) Add the melted chocolate and mix together.
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and cold egg, and then mix in the dry ingrdients. Finally stir in the chocolate morsels or chips.
  • Scoop out 12 equal-sized mounds – an ice cream scoop and a palette knife are he best tools for the job – and place on a lined baking sheet about 6cm apart. Do not flatten them.
  • Cook for 18 minutes, testing with a cake tester to make sure it comes out semi-clean and not wet with cake batter. If you pierce a chocolate chip, try again.
  • Leave to call slightly on the baking sheet for 4 -5 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to harden as they cool.

June 9, 2008

A Basic Bread

I was very pleased to know a pastry guru a week ago. He is a friendly and sharing person. We had a wonderful tea time with his creative "Strawberry Red Bean Mo Chi".

I told him my bread making failure then he was so generous and gave me a live demo straight away in my kitchen. He easily picked up a recipe book from my bookshelves and took a basic bread recipe to start his demonstration. He left us during the second proofing by leaving the rest of the instruction and promised that the bread will be very nice and soft. That's true! This is the bread that been baked 40 minutes at 190'C. Later on, I was advised to increase my oven temperature to 210'C to achieve a golden brown color but it was too late as the bread had been cool down for a while. Anyway, that is pretty much optional. I was very impressed when I've produced this square bread. It was very soft and tender with no yeasty flavor. The texture had no different compared with those Gardenia bread. The only different is the bread did not contain any preservatives or bread improver. It's just the right homemade bread I have been looking for. We finished eating the whole loaf in 4 days. The bread is still quite soft in the 3rd day, hence I kept the leftover bread in the fridge. We toasted the bread with some "Anchor Salted Butter" in day 4, the smell and texture was fantastic! Since we had finished the whole loaf, I would like to try to make one on my own. Hopefully it turns out the right bread as the demo one. I was very happy with my first result. This bread is almost in square shape. The texture and smell was exactly the same as the previous one. All thanks to WL! Recipe instructed by the guru:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients: 270g bread flour, 30g wholemeal flour, 3g yeast and 6g sugar
  • Add 6g salt.
  • Gradually add in 240ml cool milk and mix it by a flat beater at low speed until everything just combine.
  • Add in 12g butter continue to mix for 1 or 2 minutes.
  • Change to a dough hook continue kneading for about 10 - 15 minutes at medium speed.
  • Off the machine and clear the stick dough at side of the bowl and add 1 tablespoon bread flour. Continue kneading for few seconds.
  • Knead the dough on a lightly floured work surface until the dough smooth but not sticky.
  • Shape it into a smooth round dough, cover with cling film and let it rest for 20 minutes.

  • Knead the dough and punch out the gas until the dough smooth and elastic.
  • Divide the dough into three equal pieces and roll to form three even 'ball' shapes.
  • Flatten a dough and roll out into a longish shape. Roll up the dough like a swiss-roll. Flatten the rolled-up dough and roll out again into a long rectangular shape. Roll up the dough tightly. Do the same for the two remaining doughs.
  • Place the rolled dough in a greased bread tin.

  • Spray with some water around the tin. Place it in the oven with door close, proof for 60 minutes without lid on.
  • Put the lid on when the dough rise near to the top. Take out the tin from the oven and preheat the oven at 190'C.

  • Bake approximately 40 minutes or until golden brown. (I increased the temperature to 210'C for extra 10 minutes until the bread had a golden brown color)
  • Take out the bread to cool down before slicing into pieces.
  • Store leftover bread in airtight container without slicing it into pieces to let it stay fresh for the next serving.

June 6, 2008

English Rich Scones

"Some say scones, some say scon. Whatever you say these are delicious and these are something you could put together really quickly, eat them freshly baked from the oven with those ingredients you generally always got in your cupboard..."
By Lesley Water.
I came across many scones recipes, this is the best for me. The crumbly and crispy texture with the freshly bakery smell had given me the finest satisfaction in the morning.
I was looking for something rich and crumbly food this morning, and this scones had come into my mind. I didn't take much time to get this fresh scones out from the oven. Just imagine if those ingredients prepared before I went to bed, it will take no time to have this freshly baked scones with just a casual mixing and cutting in the morning. I would just leave it in the oven for 12 minutes and make up myself while waiting for it. Some people like to use food processor to make the dough but that could easily end up with a tougher dough. For me, mixing the ingredients by hands could save me time to do any washing.
First of all, mix 225g flour, pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon baking powder in a large bowl then tip in 55g butter and use your finger tips to rub and combine the flour and butter to become crumbly. Add 55g ground almond and 25g sugar, mix until combine. I normally used the whole blanch almond blended into ground that stored in my cupboard as I like the real flavor. Of course you could easily get it from any supermarket. In another bowl, mix 100ml milk, 2 tablespoons yogurt and 1 egg. Leave these dry and wet ingredients in the fridge before you go to bed or wake up 5 minutes earlier in the morning to do those mixing, anyway it is not a hard work. Whatever you decide to do, preheat your oven at 225'C before you start everything. Now, pour in 2/3 of the wet mixture into the dried mixture, and mix with a palate knife until everything just combine or when the flour is disappeared and that's time to stop mixing. If you find it too dry, add some wet ingredients. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Then, place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Over kneading or mixing will result in a tougher dough. Flatten the dough with your floured hands to form a 2.5 cm thick round shape or any pattern you like as it very much depends on any cutters you use to give a fancy scones or just use a floured knife to cut it into any shape. I cut it into 8 triangle portions from a round dough. I found the triangle shape is just nice to feed into my mouth and another reason is I am lazy to take out the cutter in the morning. Lots of the English scones I have seen was in round shape with lace edges, It is very pretty as kind of traditional outlook. So. No matter what cutter you use, just cut it straight away and do not twist it just to give a prettier look and prevent the dough sticking too much. Push the dough out from the cutter and place it on the baking tray with baking parchment. Put it in the middle of the oven and set the time to 12 minutes or bake until golden brown. Now, prepare yourself a cup of coffee and you would smell the rich scones very soon.
Eat it when it is warm as nothing can be better than the freshly baked pastry for the morning. Cut it into half and enjoy it with butter, jam, peanut butter, soft cheese or like the English, eat with clotted cream. Keep the leftover scones in a fridge for 3 days or 2 weeks in a freezer. Reheat it in a microwave or oven to get a warm texture.
This scone are not only serve in the morning, but also nice to serve at tea time or supper or whenever you are craving. Enjoy!

June 2, 2008

Banana Walnut Cake

I started my baking journey 4 years ago in Taipei when my hubby was working there for 7 months. The first cake I baked was Banana Walnut Cake. I still remember I didn't have any baking experience at that time and also didn't have an oven so I urged my hubby to get a small little toaster for me to try baking some small cakes (which I thought this toaster could bake cake).This little toaster had no temperature control system and the size was just enough to place two pieces of bread. So, I bought a tin (this tin normally used for take away food) which the size was just enough to fit in the toaster.
With no temperature control system, my first banana cake was burnt. The upper part of the cake was over cooked and when I inserted a tooth pick into the center of the cake, the result came out was under cooked. So the second time I used a piece of aluminium foil to make a roof top for the cake tin so that the heat will not heat directly to the cake surface. I took one hour to bake the cake but it was still undercooked. The third time I tried using aluminium foil and poked a few little holes on top of the aluminium "roof" so that the heat could help the cakes rise and cook faster.
Finally, I had this banana cake baked within 30 minutes and the cake was cooked very well. From this experience, I learned how to control temperature in baking cakes. So, whenever I baked banana cake, it reminded me the first ever experience I have.
Now, this was the latest version of Banana Walnut Cake I baked days ago. I added in some toasted walnut and chopped it into small pieces so whenever there is a bite I will feel some nutty flavor and crunch in it.
I find this is kind of light and soft cake which is not too sweet as the natural sweetness from the fresh banana is just so real and you don't really need to add in any banana essence. I just added some low fat natural yogurt to give a much better texture.
Recipe for 17 x 8 x 6cm loaf tin:
Unsalted butter 60g
Sugar 80g
Egg 1
Plain flour 120g
Baking soda 1/2 teaspoon
Baking powder 1/4 teaspoon
Pinch of salt
Low fat natural yoghurt 80g
Mashed banana 100g
Toasted walnut (chopped)
1. Whisk butter with sugar (add little by little) until light and pale in color.
2. Mix in egg follow by baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combine.
3. Add in mashed banana and mix until combine (not to mix too much).
4. Add in 1/3 of the plain flour and follow by the rest.
5. Mix in the yogurt until combine then fold in the chopped walnut.
6. Bake in a preheat oven at 180'C for about 50 - 60 minutes.

June 1, 2008

American Rye Bread 美式稞麦面包

This is an American Rye Bread. I am not sure why it named "American" but according to the recipe book, this is kind of American bread. I have been trying a wholemeal bread week ago but it was really a disaster. That is a very good wholemeal bread recipe which contains half of the whole wheat flour. Well, I shall not give up and will definitely try it again. This Rye bread did not contains many of the rye flour and it is quite easy to made by using the straight dough method. I put all the ingredients in the mixing bowl and leave it to knead with the dough hook for 30 minutes. It is still a little bit of stickiness but I just let it proof for 40 minutes. I did not roll the dough very nicely and was very careless did not grease well inside the loaf tin that is why the side of this bread look quite ugly. What a good lesson! I let it proof at the room temperature for another 1 hour before bake in the oven.
One thing that I like this bread is, the dough has no yeasty flavor because the smell of the rye is quite strong although it only contains little amount of rye flour. Furthermore, it is easy to made. This bread is very tender and soft, I have to cut it very carefully so that the crumbs stay beautifully before serving on a plate. I like to spread with my homemade peanut butter and blackcurrant jam as I found the flavor is just so match.
Original recipe from an old book that my mum gave to me:
Bread flour 270g
Rye flour 30g
Yeast 5g
Sugar 20g
Salt 6g Egg 30g
Water 180g
Unsalted butter 15g
Methods:
1. Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl except butter. Kneading until well combine and all the mixture come together.
2. Add butter continue kneading (I let the mixer knead for 30 minutes).
3. Bring the dough for proofing about 30 minutes (I proof it for 40 minutes).
4. Round the dough and cover with slightly wet towel and rest for 10 minutes.
5. Roll out into long shape then roll it up tighty as a swiss-roll style.
6. Place the dough in well greased bread tin and let the dough proof for the second time for about
30 minutes (I proof it for 45 minutes) cover with slightly damp towel.
7. Bake it in the preheated oven at 200'C for about 30 - 40 minutes.