1st attempt at an Autumn soup, and glad to say it was a success!
Serves 4 – 6
1 cauliflower head – roughly chopped into large pieces
1 medium potato – cubed
1/2 yellow onion – roughly chopped
200g chestnuts boiled, shell and skin removed
Grated nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste
Rind of parmesan
1. pierce a hole in every chestnut and boil with plenty of water for 30 to 40min.
2. In a large saucepan heat up about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.
3. Sauteed the onions till soft
4. Add the potatoes and stir, leave to cook for 3 -4 min.
5. Add cauliflower, mix to coat with oil. Add enough water to just cover the ingredients. Cook with the rind of parmesan if available.
6. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer till the cauliflower and potatoes are soft.
7. In the meantime, peel the chestnuts.
8. Add the chestnuts to the soup, add salt and pepper and grated nutmeg to taste.
9. Continue to simmer until the chestnuts are soft.
10. Blend to achieve a creamy texture.
The original recipe was from bbcgoodfood and uses milk and cream instead of potato.
Don’t let the colour put you off! The soup gets a ugly brownish colour because of the chestnuts but are really tasty.
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.
Makes 1 regular loaf
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!
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.
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
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.
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.
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
3 granny smith green apples, cored and cubed.
1 tablespoon of demerera sugar
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of water
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!
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
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
Egg whites from the above 2 eggs
30g caster sugar
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.
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
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
salt and pepper to taste
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.
Makes: 8 regular scones
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup caster sugar – this was halved from the original recipe but could be further reduced a little as the cranberries are sweetened.
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp Baking soda
juice and finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon – top up with milk to 1/6 cup
1 small egg – full
1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries
1. Preheat oven to 180 deg Celsius.
2. In a large mixing flour, put together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Cut the cold butter into cubes and rub into the flour until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the sour cream with baking soda. Stir to mix well.
5. Add all the wet ingredients to the flour/butter mixture. Work into a rough dough.
6. Add in the cranberries and continue to incorporate all the ingredients into the dough but try not to work the dough too much.
7. Take a small portion and shape into a disc about 1 inch thick.
8. Repeat for all the dough – I got about 8 discs.
9. For the glaze: mix 1 Tbsp milk with 1 Tbsp water, and brush the surface of the scone.
10. Bake in the middle shelf for 18 – 20 min.
Very delicious scones with mild smell and taste of lemons, just a little sweet and crumbly too. They were actually made by my bf, I was instructing at the side!