KV is takingg a break from her kitchen! In the mean time, she'll leave you with these cool You Tube video clips
KV is takingg a break from her kitchen! In the mean time, she'll leave you with these cool You Tube video clips
Trying to get rid of food in the kitchen before a holiday?
Stuck with a loaf of bread by yourself?
Got too much milk?
Got 3 eggs to spare?
That is my dilemma at the moment...but I manage to dish out something that so happens combines all of the food above so that I can leave this place empty for 3 weeks. And what a great joy it is to actually make something and share it around.
As well as it's a food comfort dish too ;)
I give you my lovely Bread Pudding! Topped with custard to send you oozing down your spine.
- 9 slices of wholemeal bread
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup caster or granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cup milk
- 1 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- 1 tsp ground cinammon
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- Preheat oven to 170 degC (325 degF).
- Butter a 2 litre casserole dish with unsalted butter and set aside.
- Cut bread into 1" cubes and place in large mixing bowl.
- In a medium bowl, combine milk, cream, eggs, sugars, and vanilla and beat well. Pour over bread cubes and stir; let stand for at least half an hour. (I kept mine overnight)
- Stir in chocolate chips and raisins, then pour mixture into prepared casserole.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until pudding is browned and set.
- Let cool for 20-30 minutes, then serve warm with ice cream, whipped cream, or a sweet sauce.
I was requested to post something about a Swiss Roll and am delighted to share to you my experience about it! I've only made 2 so far but I got it right the first time and was superbly pleased with what I did :). Swiss roll is also a type of sponge cake, but you do have fat in it. They call it Genoise because the whole eggs are whisked for much longer and over a water bath. The thing is I didn't do the water bath bit and it still works.
For this I dedicated to you Louisa!
- 4 eggs
- 80gm caster sugar
- 100gm plain flour
- 60gm melted butter/oil
- 1 tsp pandan essence (this is the only ingredient that differentiate this cake from a normal swiss roll. You can replace it with other flavourings)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 250ml fresh / whipping cream
- Icing sugar to taste
- Preheat oven at 190°C. Line 10"x 15" baking tray with grease paper, brush the base of the sides of the tin with melted butter and dust with floor. You may also use 10"x10" tray for thicker cake, adjust baking time to 12 minutes. (I did mine for 12 minutes for a cookie tray aligned with grease paper on top of aluminium foil).
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs until pale and foamy, gradually add in sugar and beat until fluffy (takes around 10 minutes).(Optional to do it over water bath).
- Fold in sifted flour 1/3 at a time-important to avoid lumps in batter), melted butter, pandan essence and vanilla essence, mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into baking tray and even the surface. Bake for 12 minutes or until the centre of the cake is slightly springy and the edges have shrunk a little from the sides of the tin.
- Spread out a piece of greaseproof paper and sprinkle evenly with caster sugar (this stops roll from sticking to the paper).
- Turn the Swiss roll tin onto the sugared greaseproof paper from the bottom of the cake. (Don't be afraid of doing it in one go, have to be brave =))
- Place a slightly damp, clean tea towel over the cake while it cools, this will prevent it drying out and cracking when you roll it.
- Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Whip fresh cream until soft peak, add in icing sugar and whip until stiff peak forms. Cover and keep in the fridge before use.
- When the cake is cooled (feels warmish), spread whipped cream on the top and roll it up with the help of the baking paper. Check out this video clip below to help you. (To maintain to shape of the swiss roll, I quickly wrap it in gladwrap paper so that even if it breaks or it doesn't turn out right, it's still in tact and still in shape). You can cut through the plastic to serve =)
- Chill in the fridge before serving.
As well as during the Xmas do that I had, I also baked a cheesecake as the birthday boy wanted a cake before he goes on holiday. I woke up early in the morning regardless of a late night at a hens do because I know that it is a special birthday worth making and he is such an absolute great friend. He's been so supportive from the moment I touch down London. This I dedicate to you ;). Happy happy birthday.
Suprisingly while making this, it was actually quite simple like a non-bake cheesecake. The main difference is that bake cheesecake uses eggs, and so it needs to be cooked before eating. Other than that, everything else is pretty much the same.
Instant, quick and easy as I didn't have time to make some ingredients from scratch. But hey, it does the works ;). I am also quite picky when it comes to grabbing instant ready made ingredients too and you can vary the amount if you want if you crave for it.
T'was for a Christmas lunch into dinner do when there was abundant of food! And I mean 3 whole chicken, lamb and beef, bread pudding, roast veges, sausage wrapped with bacon...it was endless.
There are various types of trifle but they are made out of the same principal layers. I had a quick read on joyofbaking.com about what trifles are (the website explains it very well), and then pretty much pick the things I like. Yes, layers when combine must compliment each other (like you don't really want to add tiramisu flavour to tropical cocktail fruits). Lastly, it's best done the night before serving so that the layers infuses with each other :).
To be made one night before or at least 24 hours before serving.
- 500g custard (I love the brand Ambrosia)
- 250g marscapone cheese
- 250g or 2 pots of strawberry flavoured jelly (Brand: Hartleys)
- 3/4 can of tropical fruits made of pears, peaches, cherries and pineapples
- 1 can of strawberries
- 7" sponge cake (I used Golden Bake Flan base from Sainsburys and it fits perfectly)
- 3 tsp Kirsch cherry alcohol
- 2 tbsp cold water
- In a large Pyrex bowl (2 Litre capacity). Drain the tropical fruits with a seive and place it at the bottom of the bowl.
- In a separate bowl, break the jelly into smaller pieces and add to the tropical fruits. Mix until fully incorporated.
- Place the sponge cake and press firmly to release the air. Mix the alcohol and water together and sprinkle over the sponge cake.
- Place the strawberries around the bowl. It is also optional to top up with another thin layer of jelly
- In a separate bowl, whisk the custard and mascarpone cheese together until smooth. Pour this mixture into the middle of the bowl and with a spatula, spread the mix out to the sides.
- Optional to serve with whip cream.
Being me, I can't sit put and just bake only cakes...so I've started to explore into pastry tarts. Apparently there are a few kinds of pastry bases. But to simplify things, there are 5 main types (more info here). They vary from the hard crusts to the super nice and flaky ones and they all have different methods of making too.
And so I started off with the simplest form: Shortcrust pastry. Process didn't take that long but I forgot one vital step...poking the base of the pastry to allow air to escape if not the base will expand.
And then I got ambitious further by making a shortbread tart which was indeed challenging especially when it comes to shaping this soft dough. There was alot of taking out of the oven and poking the base a few times just to make sure it doesn't rise too much. But it was worth all the efforts :). Tasted absolute yuuuuuummmm and of course it was a Hen's do that was behind the motivation. So I dedicated this to Min.
Goodness me, I don't know whether santa is really trying to prove he exists! I came home with a suprise again.
'We are delighted to tell you that you are the lucky winer of The Philadelphia Cookbook.'
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyy. And you know what's funny? I don't remember at all participating the competition. LOL!
This is also a great dish to make and can last you for a few days if you make it in large portions.I remembered that it took me 3 times before I actually manage to bake one that hold all the layers up, i.e not watery. Simple as it sounds, I just had to leave the lasagna to cool for 10minutes before cutting into it. Haha, can't believe that took 3 attempts :P
Anyhoo, this is my simple version of making a lasagna. Thanks to D, he loves lasagna so I get to keep practicing!
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped into fine pieces
- 1/4 onion, chopped into fine pieces
- 250g mince beef
- 250g Mozzarella
- 1 bowl grated Parmesan
- 170g - 1 packet dolmio brand tomato and basil sauce
- 150g baby button mushrooms
- Italian herb for spice
- Dried Basil for spice
- 1/2 tbsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tbsp Salt plus extra for taste
- 250g of Sainsbury white sauce / béchamel sauce mix with sprinkled parsley
- 3 Layers of lasagne sheets (ones that you don't need to dip in water)
- Cook the garlic and onions in a pot/pan together. Add the mushrooms and 2 tbsp of water and cook until the mushrooms shrink.
- Add the mince and fry until 3/4 cooked before adding the tomatoe sauces. This can be seen when the meat colour turne from red to brown.
- Add seasoning to the mix and let it simmer for a bit. Add cornflour if mixture is too watery. Allow the mixture to cool.
- Preheat oven to 200degC. Prep up a square 25cm x 25cm square pan.
- Add dried parsley to the white / bechamel sauce and mix. Set aside.
- Layers consist of (starting from the bottom):
- 1/2 Beef and mushroom mixture
- Lasagna sheets (break it to cover the tin entirely. Don't overlap the sheets on top of each other.)
- 1/2 White sauce
- 1/2 Mozzarella & Parmesan cheese
- Lasagna sheets
- 1/2 Beef and mushroom mixture
- Lasagna sheets
- 1/2 White sauce
- 1/2 Mozzarella & Parmesan cheese (gives a nice chewy top)
Here's a nice video clip as well by Kraft if you're more of a visual person:
Yes I'm back! Holiday was ammmaaazziinnnggg but I must say I miss my baking a whole lot. But I gotta get the laundry and photos out of the way as soon as I can!
Anyway, the day before we left, we headed out to our favourite restaurant Cafe East. We were actually at the O2 Arena watching the ATP Tour, and if not for that we wouldn't be heading all the way there. Talk about convenience, heh.
This restaurant is by far the most reasonable Vietnamese restaurant I have been to, but alas their menu hasn't gotten enough variety as Song Que.
Instead of the normal summer or deep fried springrolls, we opted for a different dish. It's still a spring roll dish, which consist of mushrooms wrapped with rice flour, topped up with a type of luncheon meat, fried onions and raw bean sprouts. Of course, served with yummy fish oil. There were about 8 pieces at least enough as an appetiser for 2.
My main course for a change was spicy prawn rice noodle soup with the usual sides of lemon, raw mint, and bean sprouts to add. This dish really clears up your nose if you have a cold!
D's dish was a bit of a let down as he was expecting a bigger portion. He had rice and pork lemon grass, in which he couldn't really taste the lemon grass.
So in conclusion (sounding like some crazy scientist) we think that their soup is their specialty on top of the rest of the other dishes, and it's worth heading to if you crave for their yummy dessert drinks and wanting a nice warm meal for the winter at a really reasonable price :)
100 Redriff Row, London,
SE16 7LH, UK.
Tel: 020 7252 1212
OMG I won a tote bag! And this is by just leaving a comment in the contest section. Foodie Blogroll rocks! They keep on having cute contests and random prizes to give away specially to food bloggers who signs up =D. Will definitely post the prize when it arrives fer sure.
So wherever you are, if you write more than 50% about food on your blog, have been writing for more than a month, I suggest enrolling into this =)
I'm going to be away for a whole week so this blog won't be active but be sure to watch this space when I come back....toodles in the mean time!
I'm actually going to be way for a week but here's another friendly reminder to vote for me =). It starts this Friday (27th Nov) at 8pm but it's American time.
So the browser should be fully open on Sunday till Thursday (3rd Dec).
These are my cupcake entries again:
Say what? Jokes...went out last night with a friend (Thanks Mel for introducing me to this place!) to this lovely Vietnamese place near Old Street (which is about a 40 min walk from my house if I'm adventurous, but a couple of tube stops away). And I really like this restaurant because it's the closest Vietnamese restaurant right now to our place. Haha. Talk about convenience.
One thing I found uncomfortable was the layout of the menu as I couldn't really skim read as well as the restaurant had a dimmer ambience. Perhaps, I was more in a hurfishry to order so that I could chat more.
Food prices are really reasonable but they are not actually famous for their 'pho' soup dishes but I saw alot of people ordered the La Vong Grilled Fish that really look tasty and I think it's the specialty from this restaurant.
We had the yummy Banh Xeo (egg pancake dish stuff with bean sprouts, chicken and prawns wrapped with fresh green lettuce and dipped in fish sauce) and the classic Bun Sa (non soup beef on vermicelli) to try. When it arrived, we were super glad we didn't get any starters because the portion was huge!
The egg dish was excellent as the egg was thoroughly cooked to crisp, with a fair share portion of meat, accompanied by bay leaves, fish sauce and lettuce to be shared for two.
I wasn't happy with the beef vermicille dish as normally I would have my fish sauce and cut chilli served separately rather than already prepared with the dish. And alas, I couldnt really taste the lemongrass too.
I would definitely come here again of course and try their specialty dishes, seeing that this is different from the usual Vietnamese restaurants I have been. Quite a unique one too.
London, EC1V 9LA
020 7729 8662
Christmas time is nearing! Time to get 'em christmas cookies in the making. Super simple and lovely simple gifts to make! Also fun for the kids too :). Here's a simple batter recipe that one can make abundantly and you can freeze it for almost a month too!
- 1 cup (225g) butter , softened
- 1 ½ cup (300g) caster sugar / granulated sugar (or 1 cup icing sugar)
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 ½ cups (460g) plain flour
- Mix the butter and sugar in a large bowl with a wooden spoon, then add the egg yolk and vanilla and briefly beat to combine. Mix at high speed.
- Sift over the flour and stir until the mixture is well combined - you might need to get your hands in at the end to give everything a really good mix and press the dough together. Start off at low speed. Be careful not to over mix as the dough will harden.
- Place dough into an air tight gladwrap and place it in the refrigerator for an hour.
- Sprinkle some flour on a piece of parchment paper and place the dough on top.
- Sprinkle flour over a rolling pin (or use a wine bottle) before rolling the dough. If it gets soft, place it in the fridge once more.
- Thickness should be ¼ inches.
- Place it in a fridge for an hour once more before cutting them up.
- Bake in an oven for 12-15 mins at 180 deg C.
For all of you who has no idea what the title above means, this is one of Asia's authentic ways of eating and sweating at the same time! I have no idea how it actually touched the tropical sides of Asia but apparently this originated from Mongolia, where I thought it is sensible to have something nice and warm for the almost all-year round cold season.
Definition of a hot pot (We Malaysians call 'em Steamboat):
- Buy a stack of raw seafood, meat and vegetables of your liking
- Place them in whichever soup you want (spicy or non-spicy)
- Wait until it boils
- Take them out
Another local kuih from Malaysia that I made for a Steamboat session. It does have a similar trait on it's own in the sense that there is cooking and steaming involved.
I used palm sugar for the first time and gosh the aroma was absolutely stunning when I cooked it with the coconut and pandan leaves. Feel like I was high.
Most of my ingredient portion comes from this handy website from Sugar and Everything Nice as well as there are handy tips too when it comes to the instructions. And as the ladies started to gorged each down (as usual) I had one request to add more salt to the filling (shall add that to the list).
I had another piece straightaway.
Yes, it was sooooo yummyyy....It really has refreshed my memory of my childhood times where of all the dessert snacks that I had, I was always after that brown filling. Now I have the power to make it as much as I want! *evil laugh*
These are one of my little vices...coming out abit more these days haha. But hey, I am quite adaptable when it comes to writing. I think there will be this roller coaster ride where I write from food for comfort to food for health =). I do love the mix,heh. Shows that I am in balanced. Gosh,what a load of crap.
Anyway, where was I, yes...nuts, dried fruits, coated mixes. There are a few places out there that sells from a grab a bag of salted coated peanuts or dried apricots. These are the shops that I pick for it's individuality of mixes in the stuff they sell and so I thought I'd write up something to people of such preferences, i.e. From one who is
wanting craving for something quick and fast, when 2.30pm-itis comes or when one is stressed out on her/his office desk and has no time to buy lunch, or when one just like to snack small while working (the last one applies to me since I do so much computer work).
Mind you, these are my observations while shopping. Any external inputs would be grateful ;)
There is the usual supermarkets such as Tescos, Sainsburys, M&S Waitrose where you get standard nuts and dried fruits but it's very plain or almost raw. Suitable as an ingredient for a dish or if you want to add it to your cereals.
And then you see these stalls such as The Nut Hut (found at Westfield Shopping mall) and Cranberry stall in alot of the tube and train stations, even the tube stations too and these are much more fancy where they also sell turkish delights and baklava. You also get to pick and choose whichever you like rather than buy in packets. But it goes by weight. I like to spoil myself trying something new like chocolate coated banana chips and strawberry yogurt nuts or honey spicy cashew nuts!
The markets that I see these dried fruit and nut mixes can also be seen at Borough, Chapel and Spitafield markets
So what is your favorite nut mix? This is my top 3:
- Honey coated salted Cashew nuts
- Yogurt coated rice crispies
- Chocolate coated peanuts
We were at La Tasca again the other week night and ordered dessert this round: Lemon Cheesecake. And so D suggested why not I make a cheesecake at home since he craves for it. And he wants strawberry flavoured too.
I got super excited and started browsing on recipes, muahahaha. There were so many different types and being ultra-adventurous as usual, I didn't want to make a plain simple one. I wanted to be creative kekeke.
So I was thinking of making a layered dessert cheesecake of some sort. Something with a fuse of the New York baked cheesecake and strawberry flavour. I couldn't find a direct recipe. So then I turned to baked strawberry cheesecake instead. Apparently baked cheesecakes and non-bake ones are of separate species, hence I was abit uncertain about what strawberries in the batter would produce. Also, I would prefer the taste of a baked one of course, heh.
With the sweet base, sourish and fruit buds middle base out of the way, I love adding another sweet tinge: White chocolate. Ah hah, not to mention I want to add one sourish layer as the final piece: a strawberry coated layer. And all of this will be done in 4 lovely cute remkins. Perfect dessert for a couple, perfectly sinful in a small portion.
Are you ready?
I was out one night and decided to go for my favourite Chai Latte from Starbucks and it makes a HUGE difference when my milk gets froth. It was a perfect fix to a cold windy night sipping over something soothing and warm while waiting to meet up with friends.
Unfortunately it didn't end up nicely on the bill. I can't believe that it costs £4 for a medium sized drink (gutted)
Because of that, I started to think the DIY way on to making this yummylicious warm drink if I didn't have much cents to spare and while I was at home too.
And so I stumbled into a really cool page on how to froth milk, without using a machine or a frother :D
This was actually the first cake I bake back in the days and thanks to Lynn the Innovative Baker (author of donnowhattocook and now has a new website called donnowheretoeat) she lent me her trusty cake pan to try out.
It didn't rise....even after the 2nd time. And it was all because I set it to the wrong temperature in the oven! But when I made it, my friends were so stoke that I was requested to make it again and again and so I baked it 3 times in a month! Thanks for all your support peeps :)
And of course, many thanks to the previous owners of our flat who left a whole shelf full of herbs, spices including a bottle of pandan paste ;)
C'mon, I know that deep down inside of us, we all tend to want to eat something healthy for a change or there is a slight guilt when we 'over' feed ourselves with either sweet indulgence or lovely greasy fastfood.
Anyhoo, I found a remedy (one of many billion remedies out there) that helps me out in 'cleansing' my body up. I find that us ladies (or perhaps just me) tend to move towards less carbs and more salads when we diet or want to stay healthy. But dieting means restricting the amount of food.
In the world of vegan and vegetarians, one of the biggest advantages is the joy of eating plenty and not putting on a single stone (don't quote me on that though!). That is perhaps my way of understanding things.However, I was told by a friend that food tastes horrible when it comes to eating the vegan way. That is perhaps the most challenging part in healthy eating.
And that is where I fill that challenge with this! I found a rustic gourmet food stall smack in Spitalfield market called Rainforest Creations.
If you are a sweet tooth like me who loves her ice cream, go check out Thornton's chocolate shop as they have an ice cream section when you pass their store. It's everywhere in the city.
To think that the price is abit more from the usual ice creams you buy from the supermarket, I'd say this is worth getting for. Packaged ice cream just don't feel / look / taste the same then when you actually get a person to scoop it for you. LOL. I'm sooooooo spoiled. As well as the main difference with this store to the others is the wafer cone that you get from them.
Well, it isn't really worth getting one scoop as it is £2 and you don't get the wafer cone that I am after.
For £2.50, you get 2-scoops, a chocolate coated wafer cone, a tad larger from the usual cones and plus you get a chocolate stick too for free. The wafer is not those that tastes plasticy and light. It is proper wafer coated with proper quality chocolate. And on some occasions, you get to sample a free piece of chocolate from the shops :)
A friend of mine came all the way from the East side of town (world) to visit me and so I brought up an excuse to myself to try a new restaurant. Wouldn't you know and being 'asian' to value my money as much as I can, I went to check up on any nice decent UK vouchers for a restaurant deal.
And I found one great deal for La Tasca. 50% off the entire bill until the 1st of Dec (get it while you can!) as well as I haven't tried Spanish Tapas food as yet.
Booking can be done online the day before but they can only hold it for 15 minutes before they have to give it away.
I was half an hour late =(.
But the highlight of the night was that the guy at the counter was so kind enough to slot me to the top of the waiting list (after looking at my droopy face perhaps). We were so appreciative!
I love it these days when the restaurants are offering great deals to try their food. It is a blessing in disguise perhaps when the economy is slowly recovering.
Anyway, seeing that most of us didn't know how to order, there was a great menu deal for 2 where you have a set of dishes that you can try. Tapas, is almost the equivalent to the chinese 'Yum Char' but the dishes are slightly bigger. We picked the Chef's Selection of Tapas which consist of 8 dishes and they were extremly lovely! My favourite was Patatas Bravas, which is fried potato with spicy tomato sauce as it tastes like wedges dipped in tomato dressing LOL.
Didn't manage to take any photos as the restaurant was quite dimmed. Service was excellent as food came out 10 minutes after we ordered. And we could order even more while we were eating.
At the end, we paid £9 each (4 of us) for 11 dishes, 2 pints of beer and 3 full cups of fresh orange juice.
I'd recommend this place if you've got the voucher with you and of course that you have not tried Spanish food for the first time. It gives you a great start and a decent choice of variety dishes to pick from.
London, WC2N 4JS, United Kingdom
020 7240 2011
I have been craving for this for a long time...yet have not bought it for about 3 weeks now because they sell it at such a freaking high price! And the moment that I don't feel like eating it is the only time that I actually found it at a decent price (£1.80 was the cheapest I can find but in the dodgiest place where I don't really know how long it has been displayed for since that stall opens for 24 hours).
Tesco - £2.80
Cafe downstairs - £2.89
Bagel cafe - £2.99!
I can't believe how much they up the price, when it's actually so simple to make. I guess the downfall to making this for one person is that they sell smoke salmon in bulk (at least 200g) and that is why I can't afford buying it unless I'm prepared to have salmon for a week. Yes, it is true that I dislike routine food. And so it is rather hard sometimes when I cook / eat for one.
But if you've got cravings, want a decent healthy lunch sandwhich high in omega oil and protein and with a tinge of comfort, I present you this.
- 1 x bagel of your liking (This can be bought for 50p in the usual supermarket stores. But if you're keen to make it, I'll attempt to do so and will create another post).
- 1 tbsp of Philedelphia cream cheese (They sell in smaller tubs if you dislike eating the same thing twice like me).
- About 50g-60g of smoke sliced salmon.
- Pinch of black pepper.
- Other optional extras: Slice of tomato, lemon juice, ham slice, fried egg, butter.
- With a sharp thin knife, slice the bagel slowly and gently in half. The bun is semi dense so there is no worry of it getting torn apart easily.
- Apply cream cheese on both sides of the sliced bagel.
- Scatter some black pepper.
- Cut the salmon pieces into thin slices of approx the width of the bagel or your last finger.
- Assemble the optional extras. If not place the salmon pieces on the bottom half of the bagel.
- Squeeze a little lemon juice if there's any.
- Cover the top with the other half.
- Take a nice and slow, smooth delicate bite...and enjoy :P