Saturday, December 31, 2011

Kitchen Flavours 2nd Blogoversary & Happy New Year!!

Kitchen Flavours is 2 years old today! I just cannot believe that I have been blogging for two whole years! Thank you for all the support and encouragement from all my blogger friends all around the globe! I really appreciate all your visits and valuable comments. Here's to another year of wonderful cooking and baking! Cheers!!


Birthday Cake and Balloons
Thank you, friends!!



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Happy New Year!





I would like to wish everyone


A HAPPY NEW YEAR 

AND

A GREAT 2012!!





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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mango-Lime Jam

More mangoes from my friend! Made this delicious Mango-Lime Jam. It is not too sweet, well I did reduce the sugar! If you have some extra ripe mangoes around, this would be a lovely jam to make. 


This is fairly simple and quick to make. Just make sure you wear your kitchen gloves when stirring, and use a ladle with a long handle, as with most jams, as it boils, it will pop and imagine the hot jam landed on your skin, you would not want that! Ouch!



I love my jam a little runny, it will set further as it cools.


Guess where this spoonful of delicious jam ended up after this and ....


.... this photos are taken?  Hehehe ! :)  Yummilicious!


Yield : 3 bottles of 250ml size. One for my friend, one for my toast, and .....


...... I've used up the third jar for the Orange Mille Crepe in my previous post.  :o)
I made this jam about a month ago actually, and my jar that I reserved for toast has already finished!


I'm sharing this with



Mango-Lime Jam
(adapted from "The Joy of Jam, Jellies and Other Sweet Preserves" by Linda Ziedrich)
Makes about 2 pints
2 pounds peeled and cubed mango
1/2 cup lime juice 
2-3/4 cups sugar

  1. Put the mango cubes and lime juice into a preserving pan. Stirring often, simmer until the mango is tender. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the mango lightly with a potato masher.
  2. Add the sugar to the pan. Over medium heat, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Raise the heat to medium-high and boil the jam until a drop mounds in a chilled dish.
  3. Ladle the jam into pint or half-pint mason jars. Add lids and rings, and process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

kitchen flavour's notes:
  • For the lime juice, I use slightly less than 1/2 cup, about 2 tablespoons less.
  • For the sugar, I only use 1-1/4 cup, as I do not like my jam overly sweet. Even with this lesser amount of sugar, the jam sets rather well. Sugar is a form of preservative, but since I do not intend to keep this jam for long, so this is fine with me. 

Monday, December 26, 2011

Pumpkin Chip Muffins

First of all, thank you for all the Christmas wishes! We had a fantastic Christmas celebration over at my sister's house. Lots of delicious food, good company and lots of presents! Now that the Christmas holiday is over (for me at least), it is time to plan for the coming Chinese New Year, in less than a month!

Today, I'm sharing a lovely muffin recipe which I baked about two weeks ago. I have about 3 cups of homemade pumpkin puree in my freezer which I made last month and wanted to finish them up. My nieces and nephew came for a visit two weeks ago, perfect timing to use some of my pumpkin puree for these lovely Pumpkin Chip Muffins.


Homemade pumpkin puree


These muffins are delicious. They are really moist, soft and tasty.


As usual I reduced the sugar, to half, you would not miss out on the other half of the sugar. The sweetness is just right and with the chocolate chips scattered all over, it is definitely chocolaty sweet. I reserved some of the choc chips and sprinkle over the top of the batter before baking. 


These muffins was a hit. It was really good when eaten either warm or at room temperature. And they stay soft and moist even the next day. A definite keeper recipe!

I'm sharing this with
Cookbook Sundays hosted by Couscous & Consciousness
Bake with Bizzy hosted by Bizzy Bakes


Pumpkin Chip Muffins
(adapted from "750 Best Muffin Recipes" by Camilla V. Saulsbury)
Makes 12 muffins
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon (I use 1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (I use slightly less)
1 cup granulated sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400F (200C)
12-cup muffin pan, lined with paper liners

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, pumpkin, oil and vanilla until well blended.
  3. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Divide batter equally among prepared muffin cups.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes or until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the rack to cool.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Apricot and Walnut Bars : Free and Easy Bake-Along #15

This is such a delight to eat! For our Bake-Along this week, together with my baking buddies, Lena from Her Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, we baked this fabulous "Apricot and Walnut Bars". It is a two-layer bar, the bottom is a buttery shortbread, the top is filled with apricots and toasted walnuts. 


This is baked in a 8x8" pan, just a right portion for the family. The brown sugar used for the top makes a beautiful brown.





The shortbread crust is buttery and the topping is really nice, with the mixture of moist dried apricots which has been softened by boiling it first before baking, and the toasted walnuts gave a nutty, delicious crunch.



I baked this at night, we had a  piece each and finished the rest the next day. I find that after leaving overnight, it tasted even better. It is even more moist, soft and tastier the next day. Definitely a bar that is worth making again!


This delicious Apricot Walnut Bars is our Bake-Along's last bake for the year 2011! How time passes by! There will be more interesting and fun bakes in the year ahead! Do join us, bake along together with us! Everyone is welcome! 


Please stop by at Lena, Zoe and our friends who are baking along with us at the linky below. For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking everyone's favourite, Brownies! Yup, our theme is "Brownies". You may bake any brownies. Do you have a favourite or maybe a recipe that you have eyeing for ages? Now is the time to make just that and join us on 9th January 2012, our linky will stay open for 5 days. See you!


Apricot and Walnut Bars
(adapted from "Bon Appetit Desserts" by Barbara Fairchild)
Shortbread Layer
Nonstick vegetable oil and spray
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


Apricot Layer
2/3 cup (packed) dried apricot halves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup (packed) golden brown sugar (I use loosely packed 3/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts
Powdered sugar


Shortbread Layer 
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray. Blend flour, sugar, and salt in processor. Add butter, using on/off turns, process until coarse meal forms. Press crumbs firmly onto bottom of prepared dish. Bake until center is golden, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.


Apricot Layer
Meanwhile, place apricots in small saucepan; add enough water to cover. Boil until soft, about 4 minutes; drain. Set aside and cool.


Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat eggs in large bowl. Add brown sugar and vanilla, beat until blended. Stir in flour mixture, then nuts and apricots. Spread over shortbread.


Bake until puffed and dark brown and tester inserted into topping comes out with small moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool in dish.


Cut into bars. Transfer to waxed paper. Sift powdered sugar over bars.




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I would like to wish everyone "A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND  HAPPY HOLIDAYS".  Have a fun, enjoyable time with your family and friends! And for those who are travelling either to your loved ones or for a festive holiday, wish you a Safe and Comfortable journey to your destination and back home again!  See you!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pork And Black-Eyed-Pea Chili

A lovely bowl of chili, I had this with Chilli Corn Bread, from my previous post. This is another wonderful recipe from Rachael Ray's "Look+Cook". 


Unlike some recipes which calls for 2-3 hours of simmering, this is fairly easy and quick. It takes about only an hour of preparation and cooking.


A delicious bowl of chili, with some hint of spiciness. For a milder taste, the chili powder and hot sauce may be reduced.


We really enjoyed this with chunks of Chili Corn Bread. Yum!

Pork and Black-Eyed-Pea Chili
(adapted from "Look+Cook" by Rachael Ray)
Serves 4
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 pound andouille sausage, chopped or crumbled
1 pound ground pork
1 onion, chopped
2 to 3 celery stalks from the heart with leafy tops, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped (I added in 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped)
2 to 3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
Salt and pepper
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika, a palmful
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground coriander, 2/3 palmful
2 cups chicken stock
1 (14-ounce can) petite diced tomatos or diced tomatoes with mild chiles
1 (14-ounce can) black-eyed peas, drained
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 scallions, chopped
4 toaster corn muffins or 2 corn muffins, split and toasted, buttered


In a large heavy pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and brown for a couple minutes, then add the pork and brown and crumble it for another couple minutes. Add the onions, celery, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook to soften the vegetables, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the thymes, spices, stock, tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and hot sauce. Stir, bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes more. Discard the bay leaf. Serve in shallow bowls. Top the bowls of chili with the scallions and toaster corn muffins or crumbled toasted split muffins.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Chilli Corn Bread

We had Chilli Corn Bread with Pork and Black-Eyed-Pea Chili for our Sunday night dinner (well, several Sunday nights ago!). Instead of our usual rice meals from Mondays to Fridays, on weekends, I try to venture into other cuisines that I've always wanted to try out. 


A really good, satisfying dinner! 


I have tried a few other recipes of Corn Bread before and never did post any of them, mostly because I find them either too dry or too bland, with not much taste. But this is different. This Chilli Corn Bread is really good!  It is so easy to prepare, it was done within minutes. The only "work" is to slice the chillis and spring onions! The recipe calls for dried chillies, but I used fresh chillies instead. It has yoghurt, milk and cheese, and together with the spring onions (fresh from my garden) and chillis, makes a really tasty bread! We had this for dinner about 40 minutes after it was out of the oven, and it was yum!


The texture is moist, soft and really tasty! Just break the cornbread into chunks and add to the bowl of chilis. Delicious! I had some leftover which I heated up in the oven, wrapped in aluminium foil and it was just as good! Give this a try when you plan to have a chili night, I am sure that you will like it! 

Chilli Corn Bread
(adapted from "The Bread Book" by Sara Lewis)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
150gm yellow cornmeal
250gm plain flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
50gm butter, softened
50gm Parmesan cheese, grated (I use Cheddar Cheese)
2 large whole dried chillies, finely chopped (I used fresh red chillies, remove seeds and finely chopped)
6 spring onions, finely chopped
2 eggs, beaten
150gm natural yoghurt
300ml milk

  1. Line the base and grease the base and sides of a deep 18cm (7-inch) square cake tin.
  2. Put the dry ingredients into a large bowl, add the butter, cheese, chillies and spring onion. Whisk the eggs, yoghurt and milk together in a jug and add to the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cake tin and level the surface.
  3. Bake in a preheated oven, 160C (325F), Gas Mark 3, for 45-55 minutes or until well risen and golden and the top has cracked slightly. Check the bread is cooked by inserting a skewer into the center. If it comes out cleanly, the bread is ready.
  4. Holding the tin with oven gloves, loosen the bread with a palette knife. Transfer to a wire rack and peel off the lining paper. Leave to cool.

Upcoming Post :  Pork and Black-Eyed-Pea Chili.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Walnut Cake with Coffee Icing

I love to bake snacking cakes. They are half the height of the normal pound cakes or butter cakes, and that means they will be eaten up much sooner once they are cut and divided!  And that gives me an excuse to bake something else!  LOL! 


Snacking cakes are usually easy and quick to make. This walnut cake is only 8" square, the perfect size to eat for a day or two.


This cake uses whipping cream instead of butter. The coffee icing is what an icing should be, sweet! If you have a sweet tooth, then you would like this icing, for me it is just too sweet! As usual I reduced the sugar slightly for the cake!


Look at the glossy sweet coffee icing flowing down. Do you like coffee? I most certainly do, got to have my cuppa first thing in the morning before I start the day!  For this recipe, I use Nescafe instant coffee powder since I do not have any espresso powder. 


Great with a cup of plain tea or a cup of hot black coffee. Want a slice?  :)


I'm sharing this with



Walnut Cake with Coffee Icing
(adapted from "Piece of Cake" by Camilla V. Saulsbury)

Makes 9 servings
Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
8-inch (20cm) square metal baking pan, sprayed with nonstick baking spray with flour


Ingredients :
1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

1 cup packed light brown sugar (I use slightly less than a cup, loosely packed)
1-1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup heavy or whipping (35%) cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup toasted chopped walnuts
Coffee icing


In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, cream and vanilla to flour mixture. Using an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat for 1 minute, until blended. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl with a spatula. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Gently stir in walnuts. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 28 to 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Spread or drizzle icing over top of cooled cake. 


I only make half a recipe from the following coffee icing for the above cake, which is sufficient.
Coffee Icing :
Makes 1-1/4 cups (300ml)
2-1/4 cups confectioners' (icing) sugar (I use slightly less than 2 cups)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 tbsp milk
2 tsp instant espresso powder
1 tsp vanilla extract


Dissolve 2 tsp instant espresso powder in the milk before whisking.
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar, butter, milk mixture and vanilla until blended and smooth. Use immediately.



Monday, December 12, 2011

Keledek Gula (Warm Sweet Potato Dessert)

December has been a really busy month! Please forgive me for not visiting as often lately. There seems to be a million things to do! I've just came back from a short vacation and has been out of the house ever since. Christmas is just round the corner, there are Christmas presents to shop for, the new school term will be reopened in about three week's time, have not even got round to buy the school uniform, shoes, stationeries and other school things for the kids! I will be busy this coming weekend, and there will be a gathering for Christmas the next weekend, and school will start about a week later. I have not baked anything for three whole weeks and have not cooked a single meal in the last ten days! And Chinese New Year is on 23rd of January, gosh, really tired just thinking about the shopping and preparation for Chinese New Year! And got to consider about the "$$$" too!




Today's post is a simple dessert which I have made a couple of weeks ago. This dessert brings back memories to my childhood days. I have been having Fan Shi Tong Sui (Sweet Potato Dessert)as long as I can remember. Being Nyonya, we would call it  Keledek Gula, Keledek meaning Swee Potato and Gula meaning Sugar.  Though when I was young, this is not my favourite bowl of dessert. My mom would make this once in a while, and I would only eat a bowl, preferring the sweet watery syrup over the sweet potatoes, and would seldom eat more than a bowl. Now that I am older, over the years I have began to appreciate this simple dessert, and the humble sweet potatoes. I'm sure that many of us, at least my blogger friends that are residing in Malaysia and Singapore would have some sort of childhood memories with the mention of this simple dessert.



There's no exact measurement to this simple dessert. Here, I have used a mixture of orange and yellow sweet potatoes. I would sometimes cook this over the weekends as a late afternoon dessert. This is especially good too when one is not feeling well, and have no appetite for heavy meal. Sweet potatoes are good for you, they are rich in Vitamin A, C and a whole lot of other goodness!
The pandan leaves give the fragrance aroma and the ginger add a nice twist to an otherwise bland syrup. It is usually eaten warm or at room temperature, my preference would be to eat it while still very warm.



A bowl of comforting, simple dessert.



Sweet Potato Dessert
by kitchen flavours
serves 4 to 6
about  800gm sweet potatoes
water (enough to cover sweet potatoes and some extra)
sugar to taste
about 80gm ginger root, peeled, cut to three and bruised lightly
2 pandan (screwpines) leaves, each tie into a knot


Fill a medium stock-pot with water and let it come to a boil while you prepare the sweet potatoes. Add in the bruised ginger pieces, pandan leaves and sugar. Let it boil and simmer for about 30 minutes to release the fragrance and taste of the ginger. The amount of ginger depends on your preference. For a stronger gingery taste, more ginger may be added in. But if you are serving to kids, then go easy on the ginger. This dessert is supposed to be a little on the sweet side, test for sweetness, and add more sugar if necessary. The sweet potatoes are peeled and cut into bite-sized wedges. Wash the cut sweet potatoes under running water to remove the milky sticky sap. Add in the sweet potates  to the boiled syrup and leave to boil uncovered till the sweet potatoes are fork tender, which would take about 10-15 minutes, depending on the variety of sweet potatoes.  Serve warm in individual medium-sized bowls.
Tip : remove the ginger and discard, as the longer it sits in the syrup, the syrup will get more spicier.



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Orange Mille Crepe : Free And Easy Bake-Along #14, Theme : Pancakes And Crepes

It is great to Bake-Along with Lena and Zoe. Otherwise I do not think that I'll be making this Orange Mille Crepe which I have bookmarked to make ever since I bought the magazine back in May 2010. For this round, our theme is "Pancakes and Crepes", perfect to remove one post-it stickers among the many that pops up in my cookbooks and magazines! Don't you love it when one sticker is down? I feel happy when I do that! (wink!!)


The original recipe is called "Orange Flower Water Mille Crepe" but I do not have any Orange Flower Water, so I use some orange extract. According to the magazine, "Mille" means a thousand in French, and mille crepe is a sandwich cake made by stacking many layers of crepes. Between the crepes layers, add a layer of sweetened whipped cream or fruit jam."


Though the original recipe calls for either apricot jam or marmalade, I guess any favourite jam will do. For this, I used my own homemade Mango Jam.



I used a loose bottom cake pan when I stacked up the crepes with the filling. Either refrigerate to be served later or unmould the finished crepe, sliced and serve immediately.


Do you have a jar of forgotten jam that has been sitting in the fridge, completely forgotten? Then this is a great way of using all that jam! You can prepare the crepe up to a day ahead, keep covered in the refrigerator and assemble the next day, that's what I did.



Cut to wedges, dust the top with icing sugar if you like, and serve.



Simply delightful!

To see Lena's, Zoe's and the others yummy pancakes and crepes, click on the links below. For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking Apricot Walnut Bars from Bon Appetit Desserts Cookbook, page 595, or you can get the recipe here. Join us in our Bake-Along on 22nd Dec. See you!


Photobucket


Orange Mille Crepe
(adapted from "flavours" magazine, May-June 2010 issue)
For the Sweet Crepe batter
250gm flour
3 eggs
1 pinch salt
50gm caster sugar
500ml milk
50gm butter, melted
2 tablespoons orange flower water (I use 1 teaspoon orange extract)
grated zest of an orange 


To prepare batter : Place the flour in a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Add eggs, salt and sugar. Add a little bit of milk and whisk until smooth. Add the rest of the milk, whisk and rest batter for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator - preferably overnight. Strain and add melted butter, orange flower water and orange zest, mix well.

To cook crepe : Brush pan with oil and place over low heat. When hot, but not smoking, pour a ladleful of batter into the pan - just enough to coat the base in a thin layer when pan is swirled. Cook for about 30 seconds. Flip the crepe over to cook the other side for another 30 seconds. Set aside. Repeat, stacking up the crepes as you work.


For The Chantilly
200ml whipping cream
40gm icing sugar
200gm apricot jam or marmalade (I use my homemade mango jam)
icing sugar for dusting
edible flowers for decorating (optional)


To prepare chantilly : In a mixing bowl, combine the cream and icing sugar and beat on medium to high speed until thick and stiff. Chill in the refrigerator.

To assemble : Using a spatula or pastry scraper, spread a layer of Chantilly on the first crepe. Top with another crepe and spread with apricot jam or marmalade. Repeat the layers, alternating the Chantilly and fruit jam filling each time to use up the crepes, or until you have a cake with a height of 6 to 8cm. Use a ring mould to help you do this if you like. Dust the top with icing sugar and decorate with edible flowers, if desired.



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Preserved Roasted Peppers with Basil

Another pepper post! Well a couple of days ago, I bought some bell peppers in traffic light colours, red, yellow and green. I used a red one for some Chile Jam which I made in my previous post, used some for my veggie stir-fries and have a few more whole peppers in my fridge. I'll be going for a short holiday with my family, there will be no cooking for a few days and thought of using up all the peppers in a recipe which I found in Rachel Allen's Favourite Food At Home.


Traffic light peppers!  :o)


The peppers are first roasted in the oven for about 40 minutes, they will be soft and slightly blackened, and smells wonderful, the smell of roasted peppers.


Transfer to a bowl while still hot, keep covered, leave them until cool enough to handle, or until it comes to room temperature. The hot peppers will sweat (water) and its' own steam will make the peeling of the skin easier to handle.


After the skin are peeled, break the peppers into quarters.


Place them in a sterilized glass jar, layering the peppers in between pieces of fresh basil leaves. I added in a pinch of salt. Pour some olive oil over until peppers are soaked in oil.


You may serve immediately or keep in the refrigerator. I prefer to keep it for a few days before consuming, so that the flavours of the basil leaves are released. Use this in salads, would be perfect for the coming festive season.


Will be using this soon, when I'm back!


I'm submitting this to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot, any dish or bake, sweet or savory, with green and/or red in it. Please hop over to The Sweet Spot for more details. 


Preserved Roasted Peppers with Basil
(adapted from "Rachel's Favourite Food At Home" by Rachel Allen)
4 peppers, of various colours, left whole
Olive oil
Basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 230C (450F), gas mark 8. Rub some olive oil over the peppers, then pop on a baking tray in the oven. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until very soft and a little blackened. Take them out of the oven, put into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave to cool.
Once the peppers are cool enough to handle, take them out of the bowl and use your fingers to peel off the skin and break the peppers into quarters. Do not rinse in water or you'll lose the flavour. Then, using a butter knife, scrape the seeds away, which should leave just the flesh. Layer in a sterilised jar, adding basil leaves between the peppers, and fill up with olive oil.

kitchen flavour's notes :
I added in a pinch of salt before I pour in the oil. 


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