Thursday, March 31, 2011

Helping to Raise Funds for Japan Victims

Last week, I did my small part to help raise some funds for Japan victims.

I sold some chocolates. And even had customers coming back asking for more.

All proceeds will go to the Japan Victims Piggybank.

Thank you all for supporting.

p/s: I will be selling some other goodies too soon. You can also request for a goodie you would like by dropping me an email:

Let us pray for them! :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nutella Cake

Are you a Nutella fan? 
If you are, here's a great recipe for a Nutella Cake.

Adapted from Nigella Lawson.

All you need are:
6 large eggs, separated 
pinch of salt 
125g soft unsalted butter 
400g Nutella (1 large jar) 
1 tablespoon Frangelico, rum or water 
100g ground hazelnuts/hazelnut meal 
100g dark chocolate, melted 
23cm Springform tin, greased and lined 

100g hazelnuts (peeled weight) 
125ml double cream 
1 tablespoon Frangelico, rum or water 
125g dark chocolate

All you need to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. 

2. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry.

 3. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add the Frangelico (or whatever you’re using), egg yolks and ground hazelnuts. 

4. Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with a large dollop of egg white, which you can beat in as roughly as you want, before gently folding the rest of them in a third at a time.

5. Pour into the prepared tin and cook for 40 minutes or until the cake’s beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on a rack. 

6. Toast the hazelnuts
a) In a dry frying pan until the aroma wafts upwards and the nuts are golden-brown in parts: keep shaking the pan so that they don’t burn on one side and stay too pallid on others.
b) In the oven for 15 minutes at 180ºC. Toss/Stir is occasionally so that it don't burn.
Transfer to a plate and let cool. This is imperative: if they go on the ganache while hot, it’ll turn oily. 

7. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cream, liqueur or water and chopped chocolate, and heat gently.

8. Once the chocolate’s melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until it reaches the right consistency to ice the top of the cake.

9. Unmould the cooled cake carefully, leaving it on the base as it will be too difficult to get such a damp cake off in one piece. Ice the top with the chocolate icing, and dot thickly with the whole, toasted hazelnuts.

Print this recipe!

Enjoy! :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ice Cream Fact!

- when I was in Tokyo.

"The faster you bring the custard temperature down the creamier your ice cream will be!"

Happy Churning! :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

New to my Collection

I bought more books recently. 
Here's my new stash to my collection!

p/s: wish me luck for my exams on Friday!

Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

As a writer at Le Domaine

Dear Readers,

I was approached by Le Domaine to write features on their website blog - Eclectic Chef. If you like, you can check out my post on Eclectic Chef (Le Domaine) Blog, here.

If you have not heard of Le Domaine, they are a Kitchenware retailer & online-based in Drummoyne Australia.

They carry brands such as All-Clad, Anolon, Calphalon, Carlo Martini, Chef Inox, Circulon, Contigo, Emile Henry, Essteele, Fagor, Green Pan, Hark, Jamie Oliver, KitchenAid, Le Creuset, Marcato, Microplane, Oxo, Progressive, Tefal, Zyliss.

There is a "Shop with Confidence" policy where if you have a change of mind, you can simply request for a refund within 365days of purchasing the product. At the moment, they only deliver Australia-wide only.

Le Domaine has an event/promotion happening to 'Help raise funds for Japan Earthquake appeal'.
Where all proceeds between March 21-23 will go to Japan Earthquake appeal.
Beat the Clock deals - where product prices are slashed at 50% or more. Everyday a new product will be featured. The catch is to purchase these products before the deal finishes at the end of the day.

Also, as my reader, you're entitled to a 5% discount every time you purchase from Le Domaine using my promo code.
Just enter this promo code at the end of your checkout to earn yourself a discount!

Start checking out Le Domaine now to save yourself some money and to help raise funds for Japan Earthquake victims.

Happy Shopping! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Really Busy...

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the lack of posts. I've been swamped with exams, assignments, school and work. 

Promise to post soon. So much to update.

Take care.


Monday, March 14, 2011

I Scream, You Scream, ICE CREAM!!

I know that Summer has come and gone. And you might not be interested in what I've got to share with you. But I will share and hope that you'll read it anyway.

Do you know that there are about 9 different types of ice creams?!

(Adapted from A passion for Ice Cream by Emily Luchetti)

1 - Sorbet: There isn't any fat in it unless a particular ingredient such as coconut or chocolate is used. It is made out of water, sugar and fruit puree (a flavouring ingredient). This is great for those who are watching their figure.

2 - Granita: It is an icy, cool and refreshing type of dessert which also uses the same type of ingredients as a sorbet. It is frozen in a pan in the freezer and is mixed periodically with a fork to break up the ice crystals. It also helps to cleanse your palate.

3 - Sherbet: Primarily made in fruit flavours. It has dairy products in it but has less fat than ice cream.

4 - Frozen Yogurt: Very popular as a soft-serve. Usually mixed with other dairy ingredients to yield a smooth texture.

5 - Parfaits: In France, it is a frozen dessert made of several flavours of cooked custards that are layered in tall glass. While in US, it is more like sundaes with layered ice cream, sauces and fruit.

6 - Semifreddos: An Italian origin which translates as "half frozen".

7 - Frozen Custards: Very popular in the Midwest. Like French ice cream, it must have a fat content of at least 10% and contains 1.4% egg yolks which make it smooth and creamy. It has a velvety texture and a cleaner taste than commercial soft-serve ice cream. It's served slightly warmer than an ice cream and made daily.

8 - Low-fat, light & reduced-fat ice cream: Just means ice cream with less fat. But surely, it wouldn't have the same satisfaction when eating a full fat ice cream.

9 - Gelato: Definitely has less fat, less air, less sugar and more intense flavour than ice cream. It includes both cream and non cream-based frozen dessert. Gelato is originally from Italy. There are several types of gelato which vary from region to region.

Hope you have enjoyed an 
"I Scream, You Scream, ICE CREAM!!" time with me! :)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cinnamon Sugar with Browned Butter Pull Apart Bread

Let's have some breakfast, shall we?!

When I first saw this on Joythebaker, I just couldn't resist making it, I knew I just had to do so. I was drooling all over my laptop screen; literally. Even after just finished my dinner and dessert, I was craving for these delicious yums!

I believe good things should be shared. Now you can make some for yourself too and share it with your friends and family, or not and have it all to yourself :)! hehehe

Here's what you need:
For the dough
2 3/4 cups plus 2 tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 cup castor sugar
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast/instant dry yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup water
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling
1 cup castor sugar - seems alot, I know
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh ground nutmeg (I did not have these on hand, so I omitted it)
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted until browned

What you need to do:
1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Set aside.

2) Whisk eggs and set aside.

3) Melt milk and butter together until butter has just melted in a small saucepan (keep an eye on this, you do not want to boil the milk). Remove from the heat, add water and vanilla extract. Let mixture stand for a minute or two, or until mixture registers 46-51 degrees C.

4) Pour the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula.
Add the eggs and stir, until well incorporated. (it will come together eventually, you should not see egg liquid otherwise continue stirring!) 
Add remaining 3/4 cups of flour and stir. Do not overwork it.
5) Place the dough in a large greased bowl, remember to coat it both sides. Cover with cling wrap and a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm area. (I just put a bowl of hot water on the bottom rack with the dough bowl sitting on the rack above in the oven with the door shut - it helps to speed up the process). Takes about an hour. Let it rise into doubled in size. 

6) While waiting, whisk together sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg(omitted) for the filling. Set aside. 

Melt butter until browned. (Butter should look golden light brown, take off the heat, as it continue to cook after that, you do not want it to be too browned). Set aside. Grease your load pan. 

7) Deflate the risen dough and knead about 2 tbsp of flour into the dough. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rest for 5 minutes for the gluten to relax. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough. It should be 12 inches tall and 20 inches long. 

Use a pastry brush to spread the melted butter all over the dough. 
Sprinkle with all the sugar and cinnamon mixture. (Yes, all)

8) Slice the dough vertically into 6 equal-sized strips. 

Stack them on top of one another and slice it 6 times again. 
Layer it into the loaf pan. Place a kitchen towel over the pan and allow to double in size in a warm place for 30-45minutes.

9) Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees C. Once your dough have doubled in size, place the pan on the middle rack in the oven and bake for 30-35minutes until the top is very golden brown. If it is only lightly browned, the center might not be cooked yet. So make sure to cook it until it is deep golden brown. 

10) Remove from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes, I know you can't resist putting one in your mouth now, try not to, but if you really can't resist, just because not to burn yourself. The bread should slide off the pan, if not, run a knife around the edges to loosen it. 

The bread can last up to 2 days but I'm sure such goodness won't last till then.

That wasn't too hard right :)

Enjoy! :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lesson 6: Everything to do with Poaching and Steam Dumplings

More photos than words today. It was definitely a busy day for us in class. It was my first time poaching eggs. Poaching eggs isn't as easy as it looks. I had to go through a few eggs to get it right, even after my 6th egg, I've still got some practising to do.

Poached eggs with parsley on toast

Ate this for lunch...
Poached chicken and mushrooms with salad

and to finish off the meal, dessert...
Poached Pear with Caramel Sauce and Cream

Pear Crumble and Cream with Cinnamon sprinkles

Steam Scones with Apple Compote and Caramel Sauce

More food in the next lesson! :)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Good Taste Magazine Cover Shoot

Does this look familiar to you from some cover of a food magazine?

It is because it is from the Good Taste Magazine March Issue 2011.

Last year, I did some work experience and worked with Good Taste Magazine. If you do not know of this magazine, they are part of News Limited Company. This company also publishes other magazines such as GQ, Vogue, Super Food Ideas, Masterchef Magazine, Delicious, Donna Hay and many more.

Thanks to Cynthia Black, a friend of mine who is also a chef (you can find her name in some of the recipes in food magazines). I was grateful to be able to work with her and follow her to these shoots.

We did the food preparations and cooked it to get ready for the cover shoot. We made 2 dishes. 
A cover shoot takes time, lot of hard work goes into it because all the teeny weeny details make a difference to the end result. I was lucky to also meet with the Editor of the magazine; Brodee Myers Cooke, Food Editor; Michelle Southan and the team.

The experience was amazing. Someday, when I'm tired of working in the commercial kitchen, I would love to work in food magazines.

Anyway, march over to any Woolworths or news agents near you and get yourself the Good Taste Magazine March issue!

Happy Cooking! :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Lesson 5: Handmade Pasta, Stir-fry Chicken & Vegetables and Apple Compote

Yay, we made handmade pasta! It seems so easy to make. But I think I'll just buy from the store. *please don't tell my teacher* :) hehe

Here's some step by step photos that I've taken for you to see.

1) Make a well in the middle of the flour

2) Break an egg in the middle

3) Bring some flour from the sides to the center to mix with the egg

 4) It gets pretty messy, mix together until it looks like a dough

 5) Continue to knead it until it becomes a smooth dough

6) Use the pasta machine to turn the dough into the kind of noodles that you want. I  chose linguini style.

7) Boil in hot boiling water, it cooks slightly faster than those store bought pasta

We chopped up some vegetables to stir-fry with our chicken.

We are also thought to think of how to plate up our dish. 

This is my plated up dish - Pasta noodles with stir-fry chicken and steam buk choy 

We also made some apple compote, it is also known as fruit stew by using a cartouche to keep it from drying out. The compote is also cooked with some cinnamon, clove, white wine, lemon juice and sugar.  The best is to use green apples as it holds its shape better. The apple compote is to be used to make steam scone dumplings in the next lesson. 

Apple Compote

Apple Compote covered with a cartouche

Hope you're enjoying as much as I do! :)