Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Butterscotch Custards

Made a sweet and creamy custard dessert, with butterscotch flavour and added whisky. The whisky is optional, and of course, I could not let it be without! I've used bourbon.

This dessert is really pretty easy and simple to make. First of all, you would need to make the butterscotch by melting the butter over low heat and adding in the brown sugar, cook until the sugar starts to bubble, then the cream is added in. Stir until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened, then pour in the milk. Stirring constantly, slowly pour in the lightly beaten egg yolks. Add in the vanilla extract, whisky and salt. Pour the custard mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a pitcher.

Divide the mixture evenly among the custard cups, place in a baking tray, and fill the tray with hot water to reach halfway up the sides of the custard cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the custard is set and will still jiggle slightly when the cups are lightly shaken. Let the custard cool slightly, remove the cups from the water bath, let cool on wire rack for about 20 minutes. Cover the top of each custard by pressing a piece of plastic directly on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Chill the custards for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight. 


I chilled the custard overnight.


These custards are supposed to be served with dollops of whipped cream over the top. But I have served it plain!



Delightful custards. It is a little on the sweet side, but very creamy and smooth. I like the butterscotch flavour with a hint of the whisky. Very, very, nice!


Butterscotch Custards
(adapted from "Home Baked Comfort" by Kim Laidlaw)
Makes 6 custards
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup (6oz/185gm) lightly packed dark brown sugar
1-1/2 cups (12fl oz/375ml) heavy cream
3/4 cup (6 fl oz/180ml) whole milk
5 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tbsp whisky, preferably a sweet Scotch (optional)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Whipped Cream for serving

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 300F (150C). Have ready six 1/2-cup (4 fl oz/125ml) custard cups or ramekins and a shallow baking pan large enough to hold all the cups.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the brown sugar and, using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir to combine with the butter and cook until the sugar starts bubbling like molten lava, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream, and let it bubble away, stirring with a big whisk until the mixture is smooth and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the milk.
Whisking constantly, slowly pour the egg yolks into the hot cream mixture. Stir in the vanilla, whisky, if using, and salt. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a pitcher.
Divide the custard evenly among the custard cups. Place the cups in the baking pan and carefully pour hot water into the pan to reach halfway up the sides of the cups (I add the water once I place the pan on the oven rack). Bake until the custards are set but still jiggle slightly when shaken, 25-30 minutes.
Carefully transfer the baking pan to a wire rack and let the custards cool slightly, then carefully lift the cups out of the water bath. Let the custards cool on the wire rack for 20 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap pressed directly onto the surface of the custards to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until the custards are well chilled, about 4 hours or up to overnight.
Serve cold with dollops of whipped cream.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Raisin Bread : Rose's Bread Bible Bakers

This month's selected recipe at Rose's Bread Bible Bakers, an online group of bloggers who are currently baking through Rose Levy Beranbaum's book, The Bread Bible, is Cinnamon Raisin Bread. A soft white raisin bread which is spiraled with cinnamon sugar. I have however decided to omit the cinnamon sugar, as I wanted a soft white bread, with just raisins all over. 

The recipe makes two loaves of bread, but I've halved it to make one loaf. The dough is a pleasure to work with, soft but not sticky. Starts with a dough starter, which is left to ferment for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature. There are a couple of resting times during the process of mixing the dough. After that the dough is left to rise until doubled, then form into a rectangle, give it one business letter turn, covered in a container and refrigerate for an hour for easier rolling. I left it in the refrigerator for about 3 hours.

Since I have omitted the spiral with the cinnamon-sugar, I shaped the dough into a loaf and place it in the greased loaf pan. Leave to rise until it has risen about 1/2 inch from the top of the pan. Bake as directed in the recipe.


Bakes up lovely. Freshly baked, cooling off on a rack. 



I baked the bread the night before, and sliced the loaf the next morning for breakfast. The bread is soft, moist and wonderful! 



The lovely soft interior. I love raisins in breads.



Toasted and spread with butter and my homemade Orange and Cardamom Jelly, for breakfast, with a mug of hot coffee. Wonderful! My hubby enjoyed his three slices, without any jam or butter, with thumbs up from him! 

Rose has given a variation for Herb Spiral Loaves, sounds like the perfect bread for a sandwich! I will be trying that soon! 

Up next in September, we will be baking Basic Hearth Bread, on page 305.

I'm also linking this post with Cookbook Countdown Specials : Bake


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Stir-fried Sugar Snaps with Garlic

This week, at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme is "Express Meals : 30 Minutes Or Less!" Made a vegetable stir-fry dish that takes only 15 minutes, from start to finish! 



If you are in a hurry to get dinner ready, and wanted a plate of veggie stir-fry, sugar snap peas will be the "snappy" veggie to prepare! They take only minutes to wash and string. Then it takes just a few minutes to stir-fry them. In Curtis Stone's recipe, he uses finely chopped garlic which is sauteed together with the sugar snap peas, then add in the rice wine and salt, cook for 2 minutes more until the sugar snap peas are crisp-tender. I have however, sauteed the chopped garlic till light brown and fragrant, then add in the sugar snap peas, stir for a minute, then add the rice wine and salt. Cook till bright green and crisp-tender, then transfer to a serving plate. I have scattered over the cooked snap peas, a full tablespoon of crispy fried chopped garlic which I always keep in a jar in my pantry, as I use it quite frequently in other stir-fry dishes. The crispy fried chopped garlic is so easy and quick to make. Simply chopped a few cloves of garlic, then fry in some oil until brown and crispy, which takes only a few minutes to brown. Drain the crispy garlic on paper kitchen towel, leave to cool and store in a clean jar. Use the fragrant oil as you would in cooking. 


Stir-Fried Sugar Snaps with Garlic
(adapted from "Relaxed Cooking With Curtis Stone")
Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine (yellow rice wine)
salt

Place a wok or a saute pan over high heat. When it is hot, add the oil and heat until it is very hot. Add the sugar snap peas and garlic, and toss lightly for 30 seconds. Add the rice wine and salt, and stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until the sugar snap peas and bright green and crisp-tender. Tranfer them to a platter and serve immediately.

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week,
"Express Meals : 30 Minutes Or Less!"



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