Tag Archives: Recipes

The day my DSLR failed me

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A product of editing with the PicsArt application.

I used to be an Instagram hater (that I use it now doesn’t mean ANYTHING). Pfft what filters? Lo-fi? Hudson? X-Pro? Good photographers need #nofilters. No way is my good ol’ DSLR ever losing to some no-name-filtered-mobile-camera-picture. And I never thought there’d be a day I was grateful for mobile cameras and their numerous editing applications.

Today proved me wrong. Somehow my many DSLR shots just didn’t seem to work. The lighting was too harsh, even after manual adjustments. As with everything food-related, I have to take a picture with my phone and – yes – Instagram it. So imagine my surprise when I realise that the pictures I took with my phone turned out better than those in my camera! With a little editing those pictures turned out to be pretty decent. I guess mobile pictures and apps can possibly be passable with good lighting and a lil editing.

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French toast breakfast I made for my Aunt for her birthday this morning!

Today’s my Aunty’s birthday, so I decided to give her the whole B-in-B shebang. Pancakes I’ve made way too often; so French toast it shall be. Another one of your sweet breakfasts, French toasts are usually accompanied by honey or maple syrup, and some caramelised fruits. I was afraid that would be a tad too sweet, so I decided to try my hand at making some salted caramel and creme patisserie. I had no worries about the latter cause I’ve made it before, but the salted caramel was a different story altogether. I never liked anything salty+sweet in my desserts; I don’t understand how that works. I’m only recently beginning to like it thanks to Milk and Honey’s Salty Malty gelato. That means I’ve never tried salted caramel anything, except for maybe that 1 or 2 “ok imma give it a shot” bites of sea salt caramel macarons. Which also means I wouldn’t know if I’ve nailed the flavour.

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Being the daredevil that I am I gave it a shot anyway, and I’m pleased that my Aunty, and my family, seemed to really like it! So I guess I did get it right after all (: my only qualm was the crème pâtissière. Aunty ate hers the moment I served it up so the consistency was just perfect. The rest of my family decided to have theirs as tea, so they refrigerated it, and toasted it before eating. Totally unwise because overheating the creme patisserie caused it to curdle a wee bit. That aside everything else was wonderful, and this is definitely going into my list of BinB recipes!

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French Toast with Caramelized Bananas, Crème Pâtissière and Salted Caramel (serves 3)

Salted Caramel (will make more than required)
1 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1/2 tablespoon fleur de sel

Vanilla Crème Pâtissière
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons caster sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour

Caramelized Bananas
3 bananas, separated
4 teaspoons of honey

French Toast
6 slices of bread
4 eggs
half cup of milk

The crème pâtissière and salted caramel should be prepared ahead.

To make the Crème Pâtissière:
1. Add the vanilla extract to the milk and bring the mixture to simmer, then remove from heat.

2. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale. Whisk in the flour until combined. While continuously whisking, add a bit of the hot milk to the eggs then pour the egg mix back into the pot.

3. Place the pot over low heat and stir constantly until custard is slightly thick, rich and creamy. Be careful not to overcook the custard and curdle it. To avoid lumps, strain it while pouring into a bowl. Cover the surface directly with cling film to stop a skin from forming. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until needed.

To make the Salted Caramel:
1. First, make sure you have all of the ingredients ready. Once you start the caramel sauce you have to pay close attention so you don’t burn it. To begin, heat the sugar over medium high-heat. When the sugar starts to melt, start whisking the sugar. The sugar will clump up, but keep whisking. It will continue to melt. When the sugar is melted, stop whisking.

2. Continue cooking the sugar until it reaches a deep amber colour, watching it carefully to avoid burning the caramel.

3. As soon as the sugar reaches the dark amber colour, carefully add the butter. Whisk until all the butter is melted.

4. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whisk until cream is incorporated and caramel is smooth. Whisk in the fleur de sel

5. Let the caramel sauce cool for about 10 minutes in the pan. Pour the caramel into a large jar and cool to room temperature, before storing it in the refrigerator up till a month.

To make the Caramelized Bananas:
1. Heat a non-stick pan over medium high-heat.

2. Working in batches of 3, heat drizzles of honey over the pan for about a minute. Add in the slices of bananas, leaving enough space between each slice to flip them. Leave the banana slices to cook and form a brown caramelized crust on one side before flipping it over. If the honey starts to bubble, reduce the heat and continue cooking.

3. Wash the pan after each batch. Place the caramelized bananas aside while you prepare the French Toasts.

To make the French Toast:
1. Whisk the eggs and milk together in a flatter, wider bowl/dish. Dip each slice of bread, both sides, into the egg batter until soaked through.

2. Heat up the pan over medium heat, then fry each side of the eggy bread slices until golden then set aside.

To assemble:
1. Spread the crème pâtissière thickly on one side of the french toast, then layer the bananas on top. Spoon a little caramel over the top and sandwich the lot with another slice of toast.

2. Serve with extra salted caramel sauce and scoops of ice cream if you have em!

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The BEST Muffins EVER.

The title’s not just a declarative. It’s an imperative. Period.

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I’ve baked several muffins to date, and yes I’ve made some pretty delish ones like my Citrus Muffins, but this is hands down the best I’ve made thus far. It’s not because of the fillings that went into it, cause pfffwt we all know cheese/carrot/apple muffins ain’t a stroke of genius. It’s the base recipe that makes these muffins shine.

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Simple, versatile, with ingredients you can grab from your pantry right now, this is the best basic recipe I found so far. And with a few tweaks of my own it yields the softest and moistest muffin. I’ve been looking for such a recipe for a really long time cause my friends and family prefer moister muffins. If cakey fluffy ones are your preference this might be slightly a bit too moist, though fluffy enough for me I’d say.

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The base recipe’s really versatile, and everything stays the same except for the 150g of added flavours. Be creative with your muffin fillings! Pistachio and chocolate chips; citrus and coconut; cheese and raisins; the possibilities are endless. Let your imagination run wild with this amazing recipe (:

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Cheese, Carrots and Apple Muffins (makes 12)

220g spelt flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 olive oil
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 medium carrot, grated
*1/2 apple, grated
*100g cubed cheese

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line muffin trays with cases.

2. Sift the flour with the baking power and salt.

3. Mix the wet ingredients together. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the wet ingredients into the well. Mix everything till its just combined and not overmix it.

4. Pour in the grated carrots, apple, and cubed cheese into the mixture and fold it in till just combined.

5. Divide the batter into the muffin trays, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

*These ingredients can be substituted with 150g of whatever ingredients and flavours you desire!

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Sun-dried Tomato and Carrot Stovetop Frittata

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Yes, those are not omelettes. No, omelettes and frittatas are not the same.

According to my best friend (it’s Wiki this time), there are four key differences between a frittata and a conventional omelette.

1. Optional ingredients are combined with the beaten egg mixture while the eggs are still raw rather than being laid over the mostly-cooked egg mixture before it is folded, as in a conventional omelette. Frittatas can hold a deeper filling and yield a fluffier result.
2. The mixture is cooked over a very low heat, more slowly than an omelette, until the underside is set but the top is still runny.
3. The partly cooked frittata is not folded to enclose its contents, like an omelette, but it is instead either turned over in full, or grilled briefly under a broiler to set the top layer,or baked for around five minutes.
4. Unlike an omelette, which is generally served whole to a single diner, a frittata is usually divided into slices.

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So you see I’m not being a food snob! There are real tangible distinctions between a frittata and an omelette!

But of course there are similarities too. Besides the glaringly obvious fact that both are made of eggs, frittatas and omelettes are easy, utterly delicious, and extremely versatile. Frittatas can be vehicles for almost any veggies, cheeses, or meats you happen to have around. When you have leftovers, you can make frittatas. When you have random ingredients and no recipe in mind, you can make frittatas. Heck even when you have egg cravings you can make frittatas!

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What may come as a shocker to most is the sheer amount of eggs required in this recipe. “The cholestrol!!” was a comment on my instagram post. While it’s true that egg yolks have a lot of cholesterol – and so may weakly affect blood cholesterol levels – eggs also contain nutrients that may help lower the risk for heart disease, including protein, vitamins B12 and D.For most people, cholesterol in food has a much smaller effect on blood levels of total cholesterol and harmful cholesterol than does the mix of fats in the diet. In fact moderate egg consumption – up to one a day – does not increase heart disease risk in healthy individuals and can be part of a healthy diet.

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And what better a dish to make when you have a non-stick pan? The thing about frittatas is that it can only be made using non-stick pans. Essentially a one pan dish, you have to be able to cleanly remove the frittata wedges from the pan, or else it’ll just look like some scrambled eggs-y mush. Tefal’s Comfort Touch Sauté-pan comes in real handy here. Not only does it boast Tefal’s signature non-stick qualities, its raised sides allow for more fillings, a thicker frittata, and neat straight edges. I must admit it was a breeze cooking this frittata with the sauté-pan. Easy and fantastic as a light meal, I guess frittatas will be making more of an appearance in my house!

Sun-dried Tomato and Carrot Stovetop Frittata (serves 4-6)

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 onions, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 jar of sun-dried tomato, drained and roughly chopped
8 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 teaspoons soy sauce

1. Whisk the eggs, milk and soy sauce till lots of air bubbles are formed.

2. Pre-heat the sauté-pan. Over medium-high heat, sweat the garlic and olive oil a little before adding in the carrots and sautéing for 2-3 minutes. Add the onions to the pan, sweat them for a minute, then add the remaining vegetables and sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are tender and any moisture has evaporated.

3. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and give it a stir. Make sure the egg mixture covers the vegetables. Put the lid on the pan and cook the egg for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your pan. The frittata is ready when a toothpick stuck into the middle of the egg comes out clean.

4. Remove the egg from the pan and cut into 8 wedges. Serve immediately.

VARIATIONS
Dairy-free – replace milk with coconut or nut milks.

More savoury – throw in a handful of parmesan cheese into the egg mixture.

More substantial – replace a carrot with some chickpeas or cannellini/white/kidney beans.

Spicy – add 2 tablespoons of chilli flakes when sautéing the vegetables, and add a few dashes of tabasco into the egg mixture.

Other fillings – any kinds of fillings, meats or vegetables, can be used in frittatas. Just make sure that there is enough egg mixture to cover the the ingredients.

If you liked this recipe, please vote for me here!

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Mummy’s Day Lunch: Miso Cod with sautéed Asparagus and Oyster Mushrooms

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Cod = expensive = restaurant-quality dish.

I’m sorry for falling victim to one of the biggest culinary clichés ever. I’ve been trying real hard to resist the “Cod” current that seems to have taken over every contemporary European restaurant, but it seems I’ve failed terribly 😦 Inspired by ONAKA’s concept of fusing Asian and Western elements, this dish is a fusion between Nobu Matsuhisa’s signature Black Cod with Miso and one of my dishes a while back (the Miso Aubergine).

I like that the saltiness slight spice of the miso sauce cuts through the oiliness of the cod; while pungent garlic and crunchy asparagus adds an extra textural contrast to the dish. What many people don’t know, is that miso is an extremely good source of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and most importantly probiotics. Probiotics are important to maintaining a balanced and healthy intestinal tract, yet the consumption of probiotics are often overlooked. Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut and miso contains high levels of probiotics.

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It looks – and certainly sounds – fancy, but this dish is really pretty straightforward. Not only are preparations kept to a minimum, the non-stick quality of Tefal’s pans ensured the success of this dish. For one, flipping the cod while pan-searing could cause it to drastically reduce in size as it leaves chunks of flesh behind on a normal pan. Tefal’s non-stick cookware however ensures that the cod flips well and sears evenly.

But wait. The best part of this dish is that if you are a confident and calm cook, both components could be cooked at the same time! This means no more frustration over how-to-keep-my-veggies-warm. The cod was left to pan-sear on Tefal’s Comfort Touch Frypan, while the vegetables were simultaneously sautéed in their Comfort Touch Sauté-pan.

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Simple; elegant; and tasty – I think it’ll suffice to say I’ve re-established my status as Mummy’s Number 1 child *fists air*

Miso Cod with sautéed Asparagus and Oyster Mushrooms (serves 2)

Miso sauce (makes more than required)
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 medium chili
5g nugget ginger
3 teaspoons roasted sesame oil

2 fillets of cod, not overly thick
1 package fresh oyster mushrooms, cut into small chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of baby asparagus, diced*
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Using your mortar and pestle, pound the ginger nugget along with the chili to a fine paste. Alternatively, blitz them together if you own a food processor. Mix in the remaining ingredients for the miso sauce.

2. Rinse the cod fillets and pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels. Slather the fish with miso sauce and place in a dish or bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Leave to steep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to overnight, depending on the amount of time you have on hand.

3. When you are ready to cook, pre-heat both the sauté-pan and frying pan over high heat.

4. Reduce the heat to medium-low for the frying pan, and lay the cod fillets on the pan, cooking lid-on for 5-7 minutes depending on the thickness of your cod.

5. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a pre-heated sauté-pan, then add the sliced garlic and sauté over medium heat till it is lightly browned. Toss in the asparagus and sauté for 1-2 minutes, before throwing in the mushrooms and sautéing a few minutes till its tender.

6. Meanwhile, brush the cod fillets with a little more of the miso sauce while it sears, before flipping it over. This time leave the cover off, cooking for 3-5 minutes. Occasionally brush the fillets with the miso sauce.

7. Take the sautéed vegetables off the heat and begin plating. The cod fillets should be ready as you finish plating the vegetables. Place the fillets over the vegetables, before drizzling a little of the remaining miso sauce over the dish.

*If baby asparagus are not available, normal asparagus could be used in place. Simply increase the time to sautéing it to 3-5 minutes.

VARIATIONS
Vegetarian – replace the cod with big portobello mushrooms, slices of halloumi, or eggplants as in my Miso Aubergine

No cod – other oily fishes like salmon and trouts could be used. Alternatively, seafoods and crustaceans like prawns, squids, crayfish and lobsters could be used in place. This recipe works best with seafood as they have a naturally succulent flesh that meat does not.

No asparagus – replace with other tougher vegetables like vegetables, corn kernels, broccoli, or even beans and chickpeas.

If you liked this recipe, please vote for me here!

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Sauté-pan VS Frypan: Artichokes Casserole with Peas and Prawns

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I am not joking when I say I spent hours tugging at my hair trying to think of the perfect dish that will showcase the qualities of the Tefal pans we received.

Yes you read that right; it’s a plural. Pan-s.

At the conclusion of the cooking workshop, we were given 2 pans from the Tefal Comfort Touch pans series, namely their Comfort Touch Sauté-pan and Comfort Touch Frypan. The fact that they are 2 distinct pans, with 2 distinct forms, makes it kind of obvious that the pans are functionally different. So what should I cook in each pan to best showcase its properties?

I know for a fact that sautéing and pan frying are 2 very different cooking techniques. Sautéing is essentially a method of cooking food, that uses a small amount of oil or fat in a shallow pan over relatively high heat. It refers to tossing smaller cut pieces of food while cooking, in order to facilitate fast cooking while simultaneously giving the food a nice browned exterior. On the other hand, pan frying refers to cooking larger pieces of food quickly, flipping it on both sides.

After consulting my best friend (her name’s Google by the way) I realised that both pans are better suited for different kinds of dishes. And thus I came to the conclusion that 3 very different recipes should do the trick! First off: the sauté-pan.

While I had many fancy ideas running through my head after our meal at ONAKA, I realised that as home cooks, we don’t always have the luxury of making stocks, pre-roasting ingredients, nor spending time gathering spoonfuls of ingredients from various corners of the kitchen. I’m just a student, and I get really annoyed when I have to make dishes that calls for many different spices and ingredients in minute quantities. That’s kind of the reason why I almost never make curries. Now think about those mothers who have to attend to flit between attending to the stove and their screeching kids. Sometimes all we need are one-pan dishes that are simple and utterly delicious.

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When sautéing, the contact between the food and the pan is brief, thus whether it’s meat or vegetables it’s important that the food be naturally tender. With that in mind, I decided on a Artichokes and Peas with Prawn Casserole.

In a nutshell, I sautéed aromatic vegetables, before adding in the peas, sautéed prawns, artichokes, shredded turkey breast and finally a little chicken stock. Over medium heat with the lid off, I allowed the dish to simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes, tested it for seasonings, then dished it up straight in the pan. We ate it with a loaf of sourdough bread to soak up the juicy goodness.

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Prepared and dished out in a mere 30 minutes, I was delighted with how this dish turned out! I was a little apprehensive at the start cause I have never cooked with artichokes before given how it’s so hard to come by in Singapore. But I recently got my hands on this jar of marinated artichokes and so I thought, why not? Simple, savoury and hearty, the pan was wiped clean within 10 minutes. It’s definitely a keeper.

Artichokes and Peas with Prawn Casserole (serves 2)

1 jar of marinated artichokes
200g of de-frosted shelled peas
1 slice of turkey breast, cut into thin strips/cubes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
2 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 splash of white wine
100 ml of chicken stock
3 tablespoons coconut milk
12 prawns, shelled

1. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to a pre-heated sauté-pan, then add the sliced garlic and sauté till it is lightly browned. Add in the prawns, season and sauté them for a couple of minutes until they change color. Remove and reserve.

2. In the same pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and fry the turkey and onion for 2-3 minutes. Add the artichokes and peas and sauté for another minute.

3. Add the wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate before adding the stock and coconut milk. Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook lids-off for 10-15 minutes depending on how wet you’d like your casserole.

4. Check for seasonings. If it turns out too dry for your preference, stir in a little stock or water. Serve with slices of sourdough bread.

VARIATIONS
Fresher spin – squeeze one lime into the casserole

Vegetarian – use some vegetable stock instead. Replace the prawns with slices of tomatoes/carrots/other root vegetables, or omit the prawns and stir in some shredded buffalo mozzarella cheese before serving.

No coconut milk – replace with evaporated milk or cream, or omit entirely for a clearer soup and simmer it 5-10 minutes longer.

If you liked this recipe, please vote for me here!

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Super Slutty Cheesecake Bars

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Why slutty? Just take a look at what’s going on in these bars: chocolate chip cookie crust, cheesecake filling stuffed with oreos, then topped with even more crushed oreos and nougat. So that’s essentially a pile of 2 kinds of cookies, cheesecake, candy, and a whole lotta sugar. Slutty indeed.

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Me being the health freak that I am, it definitely took a while for me to get over how insanely sinful these treats are. But hey, every girl needs her dose of sugar.

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And these are the perfect little culprits to snack on when you are in need of some sugar-induced happiness. Outrageously sinful, but so damn utterly delicious. I foresee a few more of these, and a whole lotta these *points to tummy flabs* coming up soon.

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I am in no way exaggerating when I say I literally trembled with excitement just cutting these babes into bars. I cheated a little when making these, using a cookie mix instead of making my own from scratch. I don’t know if that’s the reason why the cookie layer took much longer to bake than expected. 9 minutes as per the instructions, but it totalled to a whole 25 minutes! I’d make my own cookie crust in the future, and I think that’ll kick these bars way up a notch.

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Super Slutty Cheesecake Bars (makes about 16 bars)
Adapted from Baker’s Royale’s Slutty Cheesecake Bars

225g cookie dough (ready-made or homemade)
16 oreos
350g cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Toppings
100g nougat, chopped
8 oreos, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350C.

2. Roll out or using your fingers, press cookie dough to an 1/8 inch thickness and bake until crisp.

3. Place whole oreos on top of baked cookie crust.

4. Place cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla in a bowl and beat until blended. Pour mixture over oreos.

5. Sprinkle chopped oreos and mougat on top. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting. Chill the bars and cut it while its cold to get nice clean edges.

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Black Pepper and Fish Curry

Lunch for one is a paradox. It’s both troublesome yet simple. I can’t possibly make a bowl of chilli myself, cause the measurements just don’t come in such miniscule amounts and using the entire slow cooker/crock pot to cook that little amount makes no sense at all. Yet cooking for myself means I can throw together some random ingredients and still have a wonderful scrumptious lunch my sisters probably wouldn’t enjoy.

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I whipped this simple lunch for myself the other day. While this curry has a mostly Indian vibe with the ground cumin and turmeric, the massive amounts of capsicums help sweeten up the dish a little and makes it a little Western-ish. Just reduce the amount of chili and spices, and this could actually pass for a stew.

I’m a massive fan of black pepper so I decided to try the same idea out using black pepper in a curry. I love the rounded warmth you get from the pepper – much more subtle than chilli but in some ways even more delicious. However I think I used too much chili this round, cause this curry was way too spicy. My nose was dripping like a spoilt tap. On hindsight that’s probably because I forgot to remove the bird’s eye chili from the curry, and ended up eating bits of it which really heated things up. Do feel free to adapt the recipe to an acceptable level of spiciness!

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Black Pepper and Fish Curry (serves 2)

1 large onion, peeled & chopped
1 bird’s eye chili, sliced and seeds removed
300g fish (I used Mackerel/Batang), cut into chunks
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds, optional
1 can chopped tomatoes (400g/14oz)
1 capsicum, chopped into chunky pieces
2 handfuls spinach, optional
4-6 tablespoons natural yogurt, optional

1. Heat a little oil in a medium saucepan. Cook onion covered over a medium low heat until soft, about 3-4 minutes.

2. Add fish, pepper, cumin, turmeric, chili and mustard seeds, if using. Stir to combine.

3. Add the tomatoes and stir to break up the tomatoes a little. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes on a medium heat.

4. Stir and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the peppers are soft. If you want a thicker curry leave the lid off, if you’re happy with the consistency, leave the lid on.

5. When the fish is cooked, taste for seasoning to see if you need more (or less) heat. Stir in the spinach, if using, and a big dollop of yogurt.

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Jelly Hearts Cheesecake, without the jelly

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WOWZERS IT’S MY HUNDREDTH POST HERE!!!!! OKAYE not a very big achievement seeing how completing 100 posts in 2 years just shows my inconsistency, but hey at least I got there! And so to ‘celebrate’ this wonderfully joyous occasion, I’ve decided to post about this Jelly Hearts Cheesecake I made quite some time back (what’s new). But – here comes the catch – without the jelly layer. Yall might not know but the first post on this blog was this very Jelly Hearts Cheesecake recipe! It all started with me wanting to make something special for my sister’s birthday. It was a really nice basic cheesecake, so I decided to remake this sometime back during a family gathering. Simple and absolutely foolproof, this cheesecake is both delicious and quick to whip up. Perfect for small family gatherings!

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Looking back at my very first post, it’s really easy to see how far I’ve come both in my blogging style and in my photography skills. Ohmygosh especially my photography skills. See the original post here. Boy oh boy were those photos nasty! It’s funny how every blogger looks back once in a blue moon and realise how far they’ve come. I hope I can look back at this 100 posts down the road, and feel like I’ve come a long way too (: meanwhile, the cheesecake:

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Jelly Hearts Cheesecake (serves about 4)
Recipe adapted from Felicia’s Jelly Hearts

Biscuit Base
300g Digestive Biscuits
140g Melted Butter

Cheese Layer
1 block of Philidelphia Cream Cheese
10g Gelatine Powder
50g Sugar
1/2 cup Hot Water
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence

1. Mix the biscuit and the butter together. Press it into a cake pan and refrigerate.

2. Cream the cheese, sugar and vanilla together.

3. In a seperate bowl, sprinkle the gelatine powder over the hot water and mix. Don’t put it in all at once because it’ll clump together. If it does, put it over a bowl of hot water and stir till the clumps have melted.

4. Add to cream cheese mixture, stir to combine and thin it down. Strain once to remove any lumps, then fill the cake pan. Let set in the fridge for a few hours.

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Nutella Bread Pudding

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This was the first ever bread pudding I ever made! Nutella of course, cause what can go wrong with nutella?

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Chocolatey decadent custard, but slightly spiced and elevated by the rosemary bread used, this bread pudding was absolutely heavenly. I love the combinations of rosemary and chocolate! It’s surprising how the sweet and savoury blend resulted in a kind of spiced chocolate. My sisters thought it was refreshing and kept the bread pudding from being jelak and boring after awhile, but they’d prefer a full blown chocolate one. Chocolate purists you see (:

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I really like the spiced-ish flavour though, so I’d probably use another savoury bread the next time I attempt this. I might mix it with some wholemeal bread too to give it a nuttier taste. On the whole though this recipe is a winner! A great and simple base recipe to work with.

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Nutella Bread Pudding
Recipe adapted from Jaden’s Nutella Bread Pudding Recipe

3 croissants (preferably 1-2 days old)
3/4 cup Nutella
1/4 cup pecan halves
2 eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugarpowdered sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Slice each croissant in half lengthwise then slather one side with Nutella. Put the halves back together to make sandwiches and cut into 2-inch pieces.

3. Add sandwich pieces and pecans to a small baking dish (suggested: 10-inch x 5-inch loaf pan).

4. To make the custard, add eggs, cream, vanilla extract, salt and sugar to a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

5. Pour the custard over the sandwich pieces then gently push down the bread so the custard starts to absorb.

6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes then remove the foil and continue to bake uncovered for about 10 minutes until the bread pudding is golden brown, has risen slightly and the liquid has bee completely absorbed. Let cool and then sprinkle on powdered sugar to finish.

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A Carrot Cake, but which one?

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The problem with foodsurfing every day is that I end up bookmarking almost every wonderful recipe, or copy it down crazily like some mad woman. That kinda explains my 3 notebooks worth of recipes. The problem with having so many recipes is I have to make a note on which of the recipes I tried and which I hadn’t. The problem with cooking at a pace that far exceeds that of blogging is that I forgot which pictures refer to which particular recipe in which particular notebook.

That’s the problem I’m facing with this carrot cake that I made way back earlier this year. I forgot which of the sea of carrot cake recipes it follows!! So I have to go through the hazardous task of looking through my recipe repertoire to search for the recipe that looks and sounds most alike this one I made. It ain’t fun I can tell you that.

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If this is the correct recipe though – and I do believe it is – I remember that it was a good one indeed! After some adaptations, this recipe turned out to be the healthiest and most successful carrot cake that I’ve attempted thus far. Not that I’ve tried many that is! The very first carrot cake I made was an extremely healthy one that consisted of 5 ingredients, whose recipe I just realised I have not posted either, but was a tad too moist. My sister loved it that way though. I prefer my carrot cake soft, moist, yet fluffy like a normal cake. This cake hit the spot. It was a perfect balance of moistness and fluff! I’ll still be trying out other carrot cake recipes to see if they are as good, but as of now this is my favourite carrot cake (: assuming it’s the right recipe.

Carrot Cake (makes 1 loaf pan)
Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen’s Carrot Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups honey
1 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated peeled carrots
1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts (optional)
1/4 cup mix of cranberries and chopped dates (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Grease a loaf pan with olive oil and flour them.

3. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger in medium bowl to blend.

4. Whisk honey and oil in large bowl until well blended. Whisk in eggs 1 at a time.

5. Add flour mixture and stir until blended. Stir in carrots, macadamia, cranberries and dates, if using them. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of one comes out clean. Let cool in pans for five minutes or so, then transfer cakes to a cooling rack.

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