Thursday, May 5, 2011

Minestrone

Hi!!!
Am back!!!

Today's entry is about Minestrone.
Minestrone is a vegetable soup from Italy. It is basically soups with a little bit of pasta and lots of vegetables, flavored with tomato, bacon, chicken stock... and generous portion of butter!


Minestrone, served with oven bake buttered garlic baguette and sprinkles of grated parmesan cheese.

What I put inside:
Celery, turnip, onion, garlic, carrot, potato, green beans, green peas, spaghetti, diced tomato.

And the seasoning is basically the ol' fashioned salt and pepper, butter, bacon, tomato puree, and chicken stock.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

My Apologize

My apologize for this super long and unnecessary hiatus.
I've been busy (not to mention the amount of food around the house circa CNY and my grandma's birthday) and sick, therefore I hardly go to the kitchen these days.

I've cooked some dishes but I didn't take decent photos (iPhone photos are not pretty in blogs).
So sorry, bear with me.

Will come up with a decent post soon.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pandanus Sponge Cake

My mum loves pandanus leaf everything. I mean, EVERYTHING.
She'll cook rice with pandanus leaf, steamed cake with pandanus leaf, tangyuan soup with pandanus leaf, etc.

One Sunday she got bored and decided to tweak a simple and old sponge cake recipe she has... into a pandanus sponge cake.


This cake is very easy and tasty.
Not to mention that the pandanus aroma is irresistible... don't you think so?

I love how pandanus leaf smells.
So lovely.



Pandanus Sponge Cake
old recipe, tweaked by Mom

Ingredients:
4 eggs
250g granulated sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
200ml pandanus water
1 tsp vanilla essence
375gr cake flour

Note: Mum made the pandanus water by processing the pandanus leaf using the food processor and then mixing it with water. She didn't measure anything so just do as you please; not too thick and very green. She then filtered the water so it became pure liquid with no trails of processed leaf.

1. Beat eggs and sugar until creamy. Add in vanilla essence and baking soda, keep beating, until they mix well and risen.

2. Add in pandanus water little by little while beating. Mix well.

3. Add in flour little by little, mixing it with spatula. Mix well.

4. Preheat oven to 150ยบC and bake the cake for around 25 minutes.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Japanese Melon Pan

Am disappointed at myself.
Since looking at this recipe a few months back, I've been wanting to try this so bad.
But the result was, my melon pan was disastrous. Even though I followed the recipe through and through, inarguably I made a few major mistakes during the breadmaking process, resulting in a failed bunch of melon pans.


They were tasty though, but they didn't rise as I had expected (my mistakes) thus making their appearances not very pleasant. Next time I'll try baking them again, and I won't repeat my mistakes ever again!


My melon pan. They look like this defeated, fat cookies instead of buns :p

I tried Happy Home Baking's recipe for this bunch.


Japanese Melon Pan
from Happy Home Baking

makes 12 doughs

Ingredients:
Bread Dough:
300g bread flour
6g instant yeast
36g caster sugar
5g salt
6g skim milk powder 
200g warm water (37~38 degC) 
30g unsalted butter (bring to room temperature)

Pastry layer
80g unsalted butter (bring to room temperature)
90g caster sugar
80g egg, lightly beaten 
200g cake flour
2g baking powder
some melon extract (I left this out as I don't have this)

some caster sugar for dusting/coating


  1. Sift bread flour, caster sugar, salt, milk powder into a mixing bowl. Add in instant yeast and mix the powdered mixture a little.
  2. Add in warm water. DO NOT add in all the water at one go, leave a little bit so as to adjust the texture of the dough.
  3. Mix the ingredients with hand and slowly form into a dough. Add the remaining water if it is too dry.
  4. Transfer dough to work surface. Knead until the dough longer sticks to the work surface. This should take about less than 5 mins.
  5. Flatten the dough and add in the butter. Continue to knead. Initially, the dough will be very oily, after a few kneads, the butter will be absorbed by the dough. Continue to knead until the dough no longer feel sticky to your hand and will not stick to the work surface. This should take about 15 to 20 mins.
  6. Place dough in a lightly greased (with butter) bowl, cover with cling wrap and let proof for about one hour, or until double in bulk.
  7. While the dough is proofing, prepare the pastry layer. With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until mixture turns pale.
  8. Add in a few drops of melon extract if desired.
  9. Add in lightly beaten eggs in 3 addition. Beat well after each addition.
  10. Sift over cake flour and baking powder. Mix with a spatula until flour mixture is fully incorporate. Divide into 12 portions, about 35~40g each. For the chocolate chips version, wrapped some chocolate chips into each pastry dough. Place in a tray and let the dough chill in the fridge for at least 30 mins.
  11. Punch out the gas in the bread dough and divide into 12 portion, about 45g each. Roll into rounds. Cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let the dough relax for 10mins.
  12. Remove chilled pastry dough from the fridge. Roll out each dough in between 2 layers of cling wraps (I used clear plastic bags). Roll the bread dough again into rounds again. Remove the top layer of the cling wrap and place the bread dough onto the pastry dough. With the bottom layer of the cling wrap still intact, wrap the pastry dough around the bread dough. Carefully remove the bottom layer of the cling wrap, at the same time, smoothing the edges of the pastry dough. NOTE: DO NOT cover the Entire bread dough with the pastry dough. Leave the bottom 2 ~ 3 cm uncovered. The dough needs the space to expand, otherwise the pastry dough will burst and the resulting appearance will not be very pleasing.
  13. Coat the exterior with caster sugar, stamp patterns on the surface with cookie cutters or decorate as desired. Leave doughs to proof for the second time for about 40 ~ 50mins.
  14. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 deg C (I set mine as 180 deg C) for 10 ~ 12 mins. Note: mine took 20mins to brown!