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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Green Tea and Chocolate Chip Muffins

This is the first video for 2016!! Happy New Year everyone!! It has been a while! I have been busy with my guinea pigs... Molly and Maru. I recently adopted them from an animal shelter and Molly was ill. She was underweight and had a surgery. She is now ok and her weight is back to normal (from 450g to 880g now)... so here is a picture of them (Maru on the left and Molly on the right)!!




Green Tea and Chocolate Chip Muffins
(makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients - Muffins:
340g cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
10g green tea powder
160g butter (softened)
220g light brown sugar
2 eggs
300g natural plain yoghurt
some chocolate chips

Method - Muffins:
Preparation: Grease the top of the muffin tray. Line the muffin tray with paper cases.
  1. Mix together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and green tea powder. Sift and set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time. Combine well.
  4. Add the egg mixture and yoghurt into the flour mixture. Mix well.
  5. Scoop the mixture evenly between the paper cases and top each muffin with some chocolate chips.
  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

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sesame Crisps

It's nearly the end of the school year for me so there is quite a lot of things going on at work. I never really felt excited about new years for each year because I have always felt that my year ends in June when I finally say goodbye to my students at school. Anyway, these are super easy to make and it doesn't need any fancy equipment or ingredients.


Sesame Crisps
(makes 16 - 18 crisps)

Ingredients:
2 egg whites
50g icing sugar (or caster sugar)
40g cake flour
25g butter
A pinch of salt
100g sesame seeds

Method:
  1. Sift the icing sugar. Beat the egg whites, icing sugar and salt together until frothy.
  2. Sift in the cake flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Melt the butter and stir it in.
  4. Stir in the sesame seeds.
  5. For each crisp, scoop a tablespoon of mixture and spread it evenly onto baking tray lined with baking paper with a diameter of 7cm.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 150C for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown around the edges of the crisps. After baking, the crisps will be soft but they will be crispy after cooling down. I like to turn off the oven and place all the crisps onto a wire rack in the oven to cool completely. The heat from the oven will make sure the crisps will be crispy because they can sometimes go soft quite quickly.  


ENJOY these beautiful sesame crisps. They taste great with ice cream!

xoxo
DessertzHouse

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Chocolate Chip and Rasberry Cookies

Haven't baked cookies for a very long time... I got a new cookbook from my husband from New Zealand and the first recipe that caught my eyes was using fresh fruit in cookies... I never used fruit in cookies so I am very excited to share this recipe!


Chocolate Chip and Raspberry Cookies
(makes 25 cookies)
125g butter (softened)
125g brown sugar
1 egg
180g cake flour
50g cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
125g frozen raspberries
100g chocolate chips

Method:
  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until well combined.
  2. Add the egg and beat until well combined.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking soda into the mixture. Stir until well combined.
  4. Fold in the chocolate and raspberries very gently to avoid popping the frozen berries.
  5. Drop a tablespoonful of the mixture onto the tray. Flatten them with a fork.
  6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C for 15 minutes.
Let the cookies stand in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to let cool.


Here is the video!!


xoxo
DessertzHouse

Friday, April 3, 2015

Coffee Marble Chiffon Cake

HAPPY EASTER!!! I haven't made a chiffon cake for a while... my friends will be coming over for a small gathering so I thought this cake would be perfect! And tomorrow, I will be off to Osaka for a holiday! YAY!


Coffee Marble Chiffon Cake
(makes an 8" cake in a tube pan)

Ingredients: 
3 Tbsp instant coffee*
40g hot water
7 egg yolks
110g caster sugar
80g oil
60g water
130g cake flour
7 egg whites
*You can reduce the instant coffee to 2 tablespoons if you don't want such a strong coffee taste.

Method:
  1. Dissolve the instant coffee in the hot water and set aside until it reaches room temperature.
  2. Using a whisk, beat the egg yolks with approximately 1/4 of sugar (30g) until well combined.
  3. Add the oil and water. Mix until well combined. (You can add the coffee liquid here if you don't want to create the marble effect.)
  4. Sift in the flour and mix until there are no flour lumps. It should be 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, beat for 1 minute on low speed to stabilise the egg whites. The egg whites should not slide when the bowl is tilted.
  6. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolks mixture to lighten up the egg yolk mixture.
  7. Add the lightened egg yolk mixture back into the egg whites. Fold gently until the two mixtures are blended together. Be careful, don't deflate the egg whites.
  8. Scoop 1/3 of the batter into the coffee liquid and fold gently.
  9. Pour the coffee mixture back into the other batter. Fold approximately three times to create the marble effect. Don't overdo it otherwise you are just mixing everything together and there will be no marble effect in this cake. (If you wan't a distinct marble effect then don't fold at all and pour the batter straight into the cake pan.)
  10. Pour the batter into an 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.
Here is the video!!


xoxo
DessertzHouse