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Coffee Chiffon Cake

Ingredients:

4 medium eggs yolks
about 40g corn oil
about 60g hot water – dissolve in 1 sachet instant nescafe coffee (not the 3-in-1 type), 2 teaspoons milk powder and 1 teaspoon sugar
about 70g plain flour

Meringue:
4 egg whites
40g caster sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 170deg C.

1. Beat the egg yolks with the oil and dissolved coffee
2. Sift in the flour and stir till well combined
3. Using an electric hand beater, beat the egg whites at low speed until foamy. This took me about 3 min.
4. Add the caster sugar into the egg white in 3 batches, without stopping the beater.
5. Increase to medium high speed and beat until stiff peaks are formed (about 2 minutes).
6. Using a spatula or big spoon, add 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk batter. Fold using balloon whisk or spatula until all combined – no more meringue streak
7. Add in the next 1/3 of meringue to the egg yolk batter and fold.
8. Transfer the egg yolk batter to the remaining meringue and fold until all combined.
9. Carefully pour into a chiffon cake tin – I only had a 17cm or 23cm. The 17cm wasn’t big enough so I had some left, the 23cm is probably too big so you wont have such a high cake. I think probably a 18 or 20cm tin would be just right.
10. Bang the tin on the table top firmly twice.
11. Bake in the pre-heated oven (fan off) for 35min. Check the top isn’t too brown around 20min. If the top starts to get too brown, cover loosely with aluminium foil.
12. Once the cake is baked, remove from oven and bang 2x on kitchen top.
13. Invert over a funnel and let the cake cool completely before removing from the tin.

Verdict: I think I got it! I can make chiffon cakes – the soft fluffy airy chiffon cakes!
Like almost all the cakes I make, it isn’t too sweet. Anyone with a sweet tooth can probably increase the sugar amount by another tsp. But I like it this way actually, perfect for afternoon tea, or breakfast, or supper.

Next time I’ll use freshly brewed italian espresso — I think the coffee aroma can be improved.

  

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Guacamole

Ingredients:
1 large ripe avocado
1/2 lime – juice
3-4 cherry tomatoes
1/2 onion – roughly chopped
1 red bird’s eye chilli – fresh or dried will be fine
about 8 – 10 coriander leaves roughly chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Scoop the flesh of the avocado into a bowl and immediately squeeze the lime juice over it.
2. Roughly slice the chilli and add to the avocado.
3. Blitz in a food processor till broken up – probably 5-8 seconds will be sufficient.
4. Roughly chop the tomatoes and onions.
5. Add to the food processor and pulse blitz. If a smoother texture is preferred then blitz a few more times.
6. Add the coriander leaves and drizzle over with the olive oil.
7. Season with some black pepper or sesame seed if desired.

Serve with crackers, bread sticks, crispbreads, foccacia whatever you wish!
The guacamole does turn a ‘uglier’ shade of green very quickly so I try to squeeze of the lime juice as quickly as possible, and also avoid using an overly ripe avocado. The one in the picture has changed colour slightly, I made this as well a week ago and it stayed a lovely green even overnight. A friend also suggested storing it with the stone so that’s what I did then…that might have helped keep it a nice green.

I didn’t need to this time though because it was almost all finished at dinner!guacamole-2.jpeg

Guacamole with Crispbread

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Coconut and cranberries loaf cake

One of my first successes in making a loaf cake! It really paid to attend the baking course earlier this year @ Palate Sensations in Singapore. The chef/instructor was really good, very willing to share little tips and tricks. I can’t remember her name, I am ashamed to admit.

This is a recipe modified from Waitrose (UK) supermarket food magazine, but I now know what steps are needed to make these kinds of cake.

Recipe:
Makes 1 regular loaf

Ingredients:
175g unsalted butter – take out from fridge and let it warm up to room temperature
175g caster sugar
175g self raising flour
3 medium eggs
80 to 90g dessicated coconut
Dried cranberries (original recipe called for 150g fresh raspberries – roughly torn)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degree celsius. Lightly grease a loaf tin and line with baking paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar till pale and creamy.
3. Whilst still beating, add eggs one at a time. Ensure that each addition in fully incorporated before adding the next. If the mixture separates, add a tablespoon of flour and continue to beat.
4. When all the eggs have been incorporated, turn off the beater. Add the flour and foil till just combined.
5. Add the dessicated coconut and cranberries, foil to combine.
6. Pour batter into the prepared loaf tin. Tap the tin firmly on the kitchen top to remove any large air bubbles.
7. Bake in the preheated oven for 55- 65 minutes. After around 40 minutes, check that top is not too browned. Cover with a piece of foil to prevent the top from burning.
8. When baked, remove from the tin and allow the cake to cool before serving.

My friends liked it and I have to say, I liked it very much!

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Orange Chiffon Cake

Another chiffon cake…I am still only 90% there, not yet got the perfect chiffon cake but I am very happy with this.

Original recipe from Wendyinkk.

Ingredients:
4 medium egg yolks
100g sugar – will reduce to 80g
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Orange zest from 2 oranges
115ml fresh orange juice
75ml corn oil (or vegetable oil)

4 egg whites
90g sugar

Method:
1. Beat egg yolks with the oil, orange juice and sugar.
2. Sift the flour with baking powder, and add to egg yolk.
3. Stir till well combined
4. Add orange zest and combine.

5. Beat egg whites at low speed till foamy.
6. Increase speed and add sugar in 3 intervals.
7. Beat till stiff peaks formed.

8. Add 1/4 of egg whites to the egg yolk batter and mix.
9. Repeat step 8.
10. Add the mixed batter to the remaining egg whites and fold till all combined.
11. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 175oC for about 45min.
Cover the cake with aluminium fold if the top starts to get too brown.

 

Looks good, soft and fluffy but I think it could do with another 5 min. I find it too sweet so in future I will reduce the amount of sugar.

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Grilled pork loin with apple sauce

Late post of dinner from 2 weeks ago, prepared without planning or preparation. The result was pretty satisfying, the pork turned out very soft and tasty.

Ingredients:
2 pieces of pork loin
Fresh sage leaves (about 10) chopped (half for the apple sauce)
salt and pepper to taste
lemon zest from half a lemon

Apple sauce:
3 granny smith green apples, cored and cubed.
1 tablespoon of demerera sugar
cinnamon powder
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of water

Method:
1. Place pork loin in baking tray, sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle over 1/2 of chopped sage and the lemon zest.

2. Set oven temperature to 180deg C and place tray in the upper section of oven. Grill till the surface of the pork starts to brown lightly.
3. Remove from oven and turn the pork to the other side.
4. COntinue to grill until the pork is a light brown colour.

To make the apple sauce:
1. Place the chopped apples in a saucepan. Add the sugar and water and bring to a boil, giving the apples a good mix.
2. sprinkle cinnamon powder according to your taste and add the remaining chopped sage.
3. Let the apples simmer until soft, about 8 – 10 minutes.
4. Transfer to a food processor and pulse for a few times.

Serve the pork loin with the applesauce and preferred side vegetables!

20170507_20012520170507_20372620170507_203146

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Lemon Chiffon Cake

Finally, I made a proper soft fluffy chiffon cake! I hope this will be beginning of numerous successful chiffon cakes. This was actually the 2nd attempt of the day…

Please click here for the original blogger and recipe. My measurements are all estimates as my weighing scale only goes up in 25g intervals…

Makes: 1 x  17cm chiffon cake

Ingredients:

2 egg yolks (I used 50g eggs with shells)
30g vegetable oil (or sunflower/corn oil)
15g freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon zest (1/4 teaspoon)
35g cake flour

Meringue:
Egg whites from the above 2 eggs
30g caster sugar

Method:

Preheat oven to 170 deg C.

1. In a big bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the oil till well mixed. I used a balloon whisk.
2. Add the lemon juice and whisk, then add the zest.
3. Add the cake flour and fold. Do not overwork the flour.

To make the meringue:
1. Beat the egg whites using a hand-held electric beater at low speed till foamy.
2. Whilst still beating, add the sugar in 3 batches.
3. Increase to high speed and beat till stiff peaks form.

4. Scoop 1/3 of the meringue into the yolk batter and fold using balloon whisk. Ensure all meringue are folded in.
5. Use a spatula to gather all the batter from the sides of the bowl and transfer to the 2/3 of meringue.
6. Fold using the balloon whisk.
7. Transfer to a chiffon cake tin. Bang the tin hard on the kitchen top 3 times to remove large air bubbles.
8. Bake in pre-heated oven for 30min. If the top gets too brown, cover with aluminium foil or tray for the last 10 minutes.

lemon chiffon cake_06May2017

lemon chiffon cake_06May2017-1

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Chunky vegetables and cannellini beans soup

Part of my welcome home dinner for my bf. My original plan was to make Italian minestrone but I didn;t realise that in minestrone the vegetables are really really soft and the beans almost mashed. So I decided to call mine ‘chunky soup’ instead of minestrone.

Makes: 4 portions

Ingredients:

3 medium carrots – chopped
2 courgettes – chopped
a large handful of kale – remove the hard stalks, roughly chop
1 onion – chopped
2- 3 small stalks of fresh thyme
A can of cannellini beans – drained and rinsed 2 – 3 times with fresh water
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Heat about 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a big saucepan. Add the thyme and fry for a couple of minutes to release the fragrance.
2. Add the onions and fry over medium heat until the onions soften.
3. Add the carrots and stir to coat. Let the carrots and onions cook for 8 – 10 min.
4. Add the courgettes and enough water to cover the vegetables. Cook over low heat for 5 min.
5. Add the kale and continue to cook till the vegetables are soft. I reduced the heat to low heat and cooked for about 45min. Remove the stalks from the thyme now before the next step.
6. Blend half of the soup with a food processor and then add it back to the soup.
7. Add the beans.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook at low heat for another 15 – 20min.

I served this with some homemade ciabatta. It was a very nourishing and warm late night dinner dish.

chunky vegetable cannellini bean soup