Thursday, December 18, 2014

Stained Glass Biscotti : Bake-Along #72

My third biscotti for Bake-Along #72, Theme - Biscotti, where I'm baking along with Lena and Zoe and anyone is welcome to join us. I like eating biscotti, and I've enjoyed making the different varieties and flavours. There are just so many I've bookmarked to try, eventually I'll be trying out the other flavours, when my craving for biscotti starts creeping in again!



These biscotti are rather addicitive! There's red and green glace cherries, glazed ginger, macadamia nuts, wheat germ, dried apricots, and orange liqueur, which I've used Grand Marnier. (Recipe uses brandy and Brazil nuts). According to the magazine, "The bold colours give this 'gem-studded' biscotti a celebratory air, reminding one of a rich Christmas fruitcake. The dried candied fruits make this biscotti both crisp and chewy, but it's not as sweet as one would have expected." And I totally agree! Could not have described it any better!

Why is it called Stained Glass Biscotti ?

If it is sliced thin enough, especially when sliced thru the glazed cherries, it does look like stained glass! Only thing is, it is difficult to slice them really thin, so I only sliced a few pieces thinly, and the rest the usual thickness that I normally do for other biscotti. 


These biscotti are really addictive! And the author is right, it is not as sweet as one would have expected. In fact, the sweetness is just right, the glace cherries are really not sweet at all, and with the nutty macadamia nuts, and the wheat germ, each bite is chewy and crispy, from the candied fruits, wheat germ and nuts. I love the taste of the glace ginger!


I finished almost all of it on my own. I've made only half a recipe for one log, and it is makes quite a number of sliced biscotti. Find myself reaching for a few slices each night to snack on! Now that I've run out of biscotti, planning to make another flavour soon! :)


Stained Glass Biscotti
(adapted from ""Flavours" magazine, Nov-Dec 2010 issue)
200gm egg whites
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
150gm caster sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy (I use orange liqueur, Grand Marnier)

Flour mixture :
300gm flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
25gm wheat germ
1 teaspoon all spice powder
80gm red glace cherries
80gm green glace cherries
100gm glace or crystallised ginger, quartered
100gm glace or dried apricot, quartered
200gm Brazil nuts, toasted (I use macadamia)

Whisk egg whites with salt until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar until glossy and stiff peaks form. Beat in egg yolks until combined. Stir in vanilla and brandy. Fold in flour mixture in three batches and mix to form a sticky dough.
Shape the dough into a log. (I damp my hands to shape the dough, as the dough was quite sticky). Place the shaped dough on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper. Brush the top with an egg white glaze for a glossy brown effect. Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the dough is dry and firm. Rotate the tray halfway to ensure even baking. Alternatively, the dough can be baked in non-stick moulds or loaf pans.
The logs have to be cooled before slicing. Slice 8 to 10m thick. 
Arrange the slices in a lined baking sheet or pan, in single layer. They can be packed tightly as the dough will not expand anymore. The second baking is done at 150C, for about 25 minutes, turning half way through baking, until the biscotti is dry and crisp.

********************************

Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking "Theme : Mille Feuille (Napoleon)". Please do join us, bake any Mille Feuille recipe, also known as Napoleon, and link your post to our linky which will start on 8th till 17h January. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


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A friendly reminder when linking to our blog hop :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BAKE OR THEME provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.


************************
 I'm linking this post to :
Cook & Celebrate Christmas 2014 hosted by Bake For Happy KidsEat Your Heart Out and Domestic Goddess Wannabe.



and 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Asian Pork Balls with Chilli Dipping Sauce

"Party Pleasers", theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). There are so many recipes of Diana Henry's that are so fitting for a party. I've selected  Asian Pork Balls with Chilli Dipping Sauce. I love meatballs, especially when they are fried and dipped in chilli sauce with some cucumbers to munch on! I could eat a plateful! So, if meatballs are served at a party, you will definitely find them on my plate!

Diana Henry's recipe comes with chili sauce for dipping, but I've only made the meatballs and not the chilli sauce, since I'm really trying to use up all the leftover sauces in my refrigerator, and I already have about a quarter jar of chili dipping sauce, which I really wanted to clear. But if you prefer to make your own, I've included the recipe for the chilli dipping sauce in the recipe below.


The pork balls are really easy to put together. All ingredients are combined ; minced pork, chopped bacon, chopped coriander, chopped spring onions, crushed garlic and ginger, chopped red chilli, lime juice and zest, seasoned with salt and pepper. Once everything are combined, I test-fried one pork ball, ate it to check on the seasoning, and I immediately knew that my family would love this! It is delicious!

According to the recipe, when the mixture are formed into balls, it is advisable to refrigerate them for at least an hour, to firm them up otherwise they tend to fall apart when fried right after. I did not do this, but I did refrigerate the mixture in a covered bowl for about an hour or so, and form the balls just before frying, which seems to work out fine.


These pork balls are delicious. Moist, very tasty and fragrant from the fresh herbs and lime. We had this with rice for our weeknight dinner, and there's a request for these again. Yums!

This would indeed be great for a party, that is, if ALL of it make it to the party table! :)


Asian Pork Balls with Chilli Dipping Sauce
Serves 6
For the Chilli Sauce :
6 large red chillies, 3 deseeded and roughly chopped
5cm (2in) root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
grated zest of 3 and juice of 2 limes
12 garlic cloves
1 large bunch of coriander, leaves only
300gm (10-1/2oz) caster sugar
50ml (2fl oz) Thai fish sauce
120ml (4fl oz) white wine vinegar

For the Pork Balls :
1 kg (2lb 4oz) minced pork
200gm (7oz) bacon, very finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2cm (3/4in) fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
grated zest of 1 and juice of 1/2 lime
3 spring onions, finely chopped
10gm (1/4 oz) coriander, finely chopped
salt and pepper
groundnut oil, for frying
  1. First make the chilli sauce. Put the chillies, ginger, lime zest and juice, garlic and coriander leaves into a food processor and puree into a coarse puree. Put the sugar into a thick-bottomed pan with 6 tbsp water and place on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat slowly and gradually boil until the syrup becomes a caramel colour. Stir in the paste, fish sauce and vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes. Leave to cool.
  2. Mix everything for the pork balls (not the oil) together in a large bowl, combining all the ingredients with your hands to make sure they get well mixed. Season well. Pull off chunks and form into balls about the size of a walnut. It is better to chill these before cooking them, otherwise they tend to fall apart, so lay them on a baking sheet, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for an hour or so.
  3. Heat about 1cm (1/2 in) oil in a frying pan and cook the pork balls in batches, colouring them all over. It takes about 4 minutes, but do check you are frying them long enough for the pork in the middle to be cooked
  4. Serve with the chilli sauce (or indeed a bought dipping sauce, such as Thai chilli or plum) and eat with plain boiled rice and stir-fried vegetables.


I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme for this week, "Party Pleasers"
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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Savoury Biscotti : Bake-Along #72

I was searching for savoury biscotti recipes from the web, and to my surprise, found only a few recipes when I searched online. There are not many savoury biscotti recipes, and decided to try one from Giada de Laurentiis, which had some pretty good reviews. This is my second bake for our Bake-Along #72, Christmas Theme : Biscotti, which I'm baking together with Lena, Zoe and anyone who wishes to bake along with us.

A simple recipe, which uses Herbes de Provence and goat cheese which I've replaced with cream cheese as goat cheese is not easily available in my area. The dough was really easy to work with, a little sticky, but with lightly wet hands as advised by Giada, shaping the dough is a breeze.

As usual, after the logs are baked, let it cool a little, then slice to pieces, place the slices on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown and crisp.


The baked biscotti cooling off on the rack. I've baked them a little longer for crispier bite.


These are very good! The Herbes de Provence is really fragrant. But the next time, I would reduce the sugar slightly. Even though the recipe uses only 3 tablespoons, I can taste the  sweetness from the sugar, which rather surprised me, as I was expecting a salty biscotti.



We had the Savoury Biscotti with some canned mushroom soup.


Dip the biscotti in the hot soup, or if you prefer....


.... simply break them into chunks and soak them in the hot soup. Either way, yummy!

Think of all the different herbs that can be used, the next time I would love to try with dried oregano or dried parsley or even dried rosemay, and reduce the sugar for a savoury taste. Would be lovely with any hot soups (tomato soup would be good!) or stews! Perfect to dip into any leftover Christmas stews or soups!


Savoury Biscotti
(source from : foodnetwork.com , Giada de Laurentiss)
Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (I used a pinch of salt, as the butter was salted)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature (I replaced with cream cheese)
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs, beaten, at room temperature

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, herbes de Provence, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and goat cheese together until smooth. Beat in the sugar and eggs. In batches, add the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. With damp hands, form the dough into a 13-inch-long, 3-1/2-inch-wide loaf. Bake until light golden, about 30 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 30 minutes.
Transfer the loaf to a cutting board. Using a serrated knife, cut the log on the diagonal into 1/2-inch thick slices. Arrange the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet. Bake until pale golden, about 15 minutes. Transfer the biscotti to a wire rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes.


********************************

Do stop by Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking "Theme : Mille Feuille (Napoleon)". Please do join us, bake any Mille Feuille recipe, also known as Napoleon, and link your post to our linky which will start on 8th till 17h January. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


Photobucket

A friendly reminder when linking to our blog hop :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, PLEASE FOLLOW THE BAKE OR THEME provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.


************************
 I'm linking this post to :
Cook & Celebrate Christmas 2014 hosted by Bake For Happy KidsEat Your Heart Out and Domestic Goddess Wannabe.



To join our blog hop, click on the link to get the codes :
get the InLinkz code


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