Saturday, February 11, 2017

Valentine's Day Chocolate Strawberries

It's Valentine's Day soon so I decided to make something nice and easy for my husband! So I thought of chocolate coated strawberries last night and made them this morning. This recipe only need three simple ingredients but it can create four different patterns for the strawberries. Just take a look at the photo below!


Valentine's Day Chocolate Strawberries
(12 big chocolate coated strawberries)
12 big strawberries (450g)
140g dark chocolate
140g white chocolate
50g diced almonds

There will be some leftover chocolate for this recipe because it would be difficult to coat the strawberries with the exact amount of chocolate.

Method:
  1. Wash the strawberries and pat them dry with some paper towels.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate and white chocolate over some hot water. Remember the chocolate cannot touch any water otherwise the chocolate will be ruined and cannot be used.
  3. Coat the strawberries with some chocolate then decorate them.
Chocolate Strawberries with Chocolate Drizzles: Coat two-thirds of a strawberry with some dark chocolate. Repeat for two more strawberries. Let them set on some baking paper in a fridge. Then drizzle some white chocolate over the dipped strawberries. Then do the same but with the white chocolate drizzle them with some dark chocolate.

Chocolate Strawberries with Diced Almonds: Coat two-thirds of a strawberry with some dark chocolate then dip it into a bowl of diced almonds. Let it set on some baking paper. Repeat for two more strawberries. Then do the same with the white chocolate.

Let the strawberries set and then serve in room temperature. This should take around 30 minutes but you can place them in a fridge if you want to eat them sooner!


Here is the video!!


xoxo
DessertzHouse

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Water Chestnut Cake

This Chinese New Year, I have been making water chestnut cake for my family and friends. It is actually one of the dim sums that I like to eat the most when I go to yumchar. My mother-in-law taught me to make this and I was so surprised at how easy it was to make. The best thing is... it doesn't need to be steamed! It can be done within 30 minutes! And when you give it to friends and family, they will be impressed and amazed. 


Water Chestnut Cake (馬蹄糕 dim sum)
(23cm x 11cm x 8cm loaf tin)
200g water chestnut flour
300g warm water
10 water chestnuts
900g water
2 slabs of brown sugar (160g)


Method:
Preparation: Grease the loaf pan or any container you are using for easy removal.
  1. Dissolve the water chestnut flour in the warm water. Set aside.
  2. Peel the water chestnuts with a small knife or peeler. Dice the water chestnuts.
  3. Put the water and sugar slabs in a deep pot. Cook until the sugar completely dissolves. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Add diced water chestnuts and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Reduce to low heat. Give the dissolved water chestnut flour mixture another good stir before combining with the cooking mixture in the pot. Keep stirring to combine everything together. The batter should be thick and smooth.
  6. Pour the batter into a greased container. Let cool completely then chill in the fridge for it to set. The water chestnut cake will be harder after chilling but will soften again when you pan fry it. 
Cooking:
Slice the water chestnut cake and pan fry on low heat. Serve immediately with a nice cup of tea! :)

Here is the video!!

xoxo
DessertzHouse

Monday, January 16, 2017

Berry Jam Swirl Muffins

Another recipe related to my homemade berry jam video. Yay! And after making these muffins, I have almost used the whole jar of jam. Time to make some jam soon!


Berry Jam Swirl Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
140g butter (softened)
220g sugar
340g cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
300g yoghurt 
some berry jam

Method:
Preparation: Grease the top of the muffin tray. Line the muffin tray with paper cases.
  1. Mix together the cake flour, baking powder and baking soda. Sift the mixture and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time. Combine well after each addition.
  4. Add the butter mixture and yoghurt into the flour mixture. Mix well.
  5. Scoop mixture evenly between the paper cases. Drop a teaspoon of berry jam not top of the muffin batter and press it down. Using a chopstick or skewer, gently swirl the jam into batter so the jam is incorporating throughout the batter and spreading nicely on the top.
  6. Bake in a pre - heated oven at 190C for 20 - 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean in the center of a muffin.

Here is the video!!


xoxo
DessertzHouse

Friday, December 16, 2016

Jam Buttons (Jam Drops)

After making the mixed berry jam, I wanted to bake something with them so I decided to look at one of my old recipes: Jam Buttons. I used to make these biscuits all the time back in high school and share with my friends. But somehow... I stopped making them and I don't know why I did though... haha...


Jam Buttons
(makes 20 biscuits)

Ingredients: 
120g butter (softened)
100g sugar
1 egg
220g cake flour
some jam of your choice

Method:
  1. Cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the egg and mix well.
  3. Sift the flour and mix until everything is incorporated.
  4. Chill the dough for 3-4 hours or overnight. This is an important step and I suggest not to skip this step. By chilling the dough, it is easier for you to handle when shaping the dough because it wouldn't melt in your hands. Moreover, by chilling the dough, it would allow the ingredients to combine together hence develop a better taste. And last of all, the biscuits will expand less during the baking process. With so many good reasons, don't skip this step and plan ahead with your time if you're making them.
  5. Take the dough out of the fridge. Divide the dough into 20 equal portions. From the video, if it is chilled for long enough, the dough doesn't change it's shape when you divide it. Shape them into balls.
  6. Using a wine cork, make a small indentation in the center of each ball then drop 1/4 teaspoon of jam in there. Remember not to be too greedy with the jam, they will overflow when they are baking in the oven. You can always top the biscuits with more jam after they come out of the oven.
  7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180֯ C for 12-15 minutes or until the jam starts to bubble. After baking, transfer onto a wire rack to let cool.
And here's the video!


xoxo
DessertzHouse

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mixed Berry Jam

After making the green tea spread, I decided to try make some jam. The first time I made jam was when I was at school for food technology and I didn't make any until now. I don't really like commercial jam because there aren't any pieces of fruit in them and they are just too sweet. I referred to quite a few recipes and Christine Ferber's 'Mes Confitures' jam cookbook too and adapted from there.

Berry jam is probably one of the easiest to make. This is because berries have natural pectin which thickens the jam when heated and cooked together with sugar. Making jam is often overlooked but it isn't that hard to make. As a beginner, if I can make it, so can you! In fact, it only took around 20 minutes to cook the jam. Now I'm just looking forward to bake some goodies with the jam.



Mixed Berry Jam
(makes approximately 500g of spread)

Ingredients: 
A punnet of blueberries (125g)
A punnet of raspberries (170g)
A punnet of blackberries (170g)
250g sugar
1 lemon

Method - soak the berries

Soak the berries in a big bowl. Swirl the berries around so any unwanted bits will float to the top of the water. Dispose the water and repeat this process for a few times. Drain and let your fruit air dry for a while. 

Method - macerate the berries a day before:

Mix the sugar with the berries and macerate for a day or overnight in the fridge. When you take it out the next morning, all the sugar would have dissolved and you are left with pieces of fruit and juice.

You can skip this step if you want but I find this step crucial because it allows the juice of the fruit to come out. This reduces the cooking time for the jam and allows the fruit to hold its shape too. I tried making this jam without macerating, the cooking time took an extra 15 minutes and there were less pieces of fruit in the jam.


Method - sterilise the jar:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Wash a jar and lid in hot soapy water but do not dry them. Please do not put the lid into the oven if it is made of plastic. You can put your lid in some hot water to sterilise.
  3. Put your jar standing upside down in a tray and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes.
Method - cooking the jam:
  1. Take your macerated berries from the fridge. Bring everything to a boil. Once it starts boiling, there will be a lot of foam and bubbles. Use a large metal spoon to skim froth from the surface. Simmer on medium-low heat.
  2. As the jam simmers, stir occasionally and check the consistency. To check consistency, you can hold up a spoon and observe how fast/slow the jam drops off from a spoon. If it drops off slowly, it shows that the jam is nearly done.
  3. The bubbles will start to decrease as the jam cooks which indicates that it is starting to reach the consistency of jam. The jam will start to thicken and the colour of the jam will darken as you cook. To test if ready, place a few drops of jam on a plate and put the plate in the freezer for a minute. Push the jam with a finger and if it wrinkles then it is ready. Unfortunately, my video doesn't show the jam wrinkling as I pushed the jam with my finger. As you become experienced with jam making, this step will become unnecessary. 
  4. Transfer the jam to a sterilised jar. Wipe the rim of the jar with some tissues. Cool completely before closing with a lid. Once it cools down, the jam will set. Keep it in the fridge and consume when you need to. 
And here's the video!


xoxo
DessertzHouse

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Green Tea (Matcha) Spread

I have always wanted to make my own green tea spread so I decided to look for a recipe. And from one of my favourite green tea themed recipe books, I managed to find one! For the first time, instead of sharing a cake, cookie or bread recipe, I am sharing something different. It looks like I can invest some more time on spreads. 


Green Tea (Matcha) Spread
(makes approximately 360g of spread)

Ingredients: 
100g + 300g milk
20g green tea (matcha) powder
200g whipping cream
100g sugar (you can reduce the sugar to suit your preference)

Method - sterilise the jar:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  2. Wash you jar and lid in hot soapy water but do not dry them. Please do not put the lid into the oven if it is made of plastic.
  3. Put your jar standing upside down in a tray and pop it into the oven for 15 minutes.
Method - green tea (matcha) spread:
  1. In a saucepan, heat 100g milk until warm. Sift in the green tea powder and use a whisk to stir until smooth with no lumpy bits. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Using the same saucepan, add the remaining milk, whipping cream and sugar. Cook under low heat until everything is combined together. Stir occasionally to avoid burning.
  3. Add the green tea mixture from step 1. Mix until everything is well combined, simmer to reduce the liquid and until it thickens like the consistency of a bowl of cream soup. As you cook, the colour of the spread will darken. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. Don't cook until it is like toast spread because it will continue to thicken once it cools down so do not overcook it.
  4. Transfer the green tea spread to your sterilised jar. Cool completely before closing with a lid. Keep it in the fridge and consume when you need to. The colour of the spread will fade away as time goes by, please consume all within 2-3 weeks.
And here's the video!


xoxo
DessertzHouse

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Lemon Cream Cheese Chiffon Cake

I haven't been uploading any videos recently because I have been focusing on my cooking skills... haha but I should keep a balance between baking and cooking (hopefully!)...
Anyway... I tried a new technique of combining the egg whites with the egg yolk mixture and this might be helpful for those who are struggling with the folding part when making a chiffon cake.


Lemon Cream Cheese Chiffon Cake
(makes a 8" cake)

Ingredients: 
160g cream cheese (softened)
130g caster sugar
6 egg yolks
25g oil
half of a lemon (for lemon juice and zest)
70g milk
130g cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
8 egg whites

Method:

  1. Beat the cream cheese and 1/3 of the sugar together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the egg yolks one at a time and combine well.
  3. Add the oil, milk, lemon juice and zest and mix until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Mix until it becomes very smooth.
  5. With a hand held mixer, on high speed, beat the egg whites until it becomes frothy and foamy. Add the sugar in three portions and continue to beat on high speed. When the mixture nearly reaches stiff peaks (the beaters starting to leave a trail behind), beat  on low speed to stabilise the egg whites. The egg whites should have stiff and stand-alone peaks when the beaters are lifted.
  6. Using a whisk, mix 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture to lighten up the egg yolk mixture. You are welcome to try this technique if you're struggling with the folding of the egg whites.
  7. Add the lightened egg yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Using a whisk, mix very very gently until the two mixtures are blended together. Be careful, don't deflate the egg whites. At the end, I like to fold a few times to check that everything is blended together.
  8. Pour into a 8" tube pan (don't grease the cake pan). Drop the pan a few times to release the trapped air bubbles. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170C for 40 - 45 minutes. Invert the cake and cool completely before removing the cake from the pan.
And here's the video!

xoxo
DessertzHouse

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Mixed Berry Chocolate Muffins

My poor guinea pigs Molly and Maru were very ill and work has been busy as usual because of the new 5 week 'The Smartest Giant in Town' animals story approach topic. My friend and I had to plan 5 weeks of lessons, design and produce the teaching aids, order the materials and have meetings with the teachers. It was hard work and had a few late nights too. But it was all worth it! If you're a teacher, I'm sure you will understand what I mean...


Mixed Berry Chocolate Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)
280g cake flour
60g cocoa powder
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
140g butter (softened)
220g sugar
2 eggs
300g wild berry yoghurt (or other berry flavours)
170g raspberries 
80g blueberries

Method:
Preparation: Grease the top of the muffin tray. Line the muffin tray with paper cases.
  1. Mix together the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda. Sift the mixture and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time. Combine well.
  4. Add the butter mixture and yoghurt into the flour mixture. Mix well.
  5. Using a spatula, gently fold in the blueberries and be careful not to pop them.
  6. Scoop mixture evenly between the paper cases. Top each muffin with 2-3 raspberries.
  7. Bake in a pre - heated oven at 190C for 20 - 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean in the center of a muffin.

If you are a berry lover then add more berries to this recipe! I used wild berry flavoured yoghurt instead of plain yoghurt because it gives more flavour to the muffins. You can choose any berry flavour flavour yoghurt as you please. I chose wild berry flavour because it was on sale at the supermarket.



Here is the video!!


xoxo
DessertzHouse