Saturday, August 31, 2013

White Wine and Pomegranate Gelatin (Nigella)

Cook Like A Star, featuring Nigella Lawson comes to an end today. After a whole month of cooking and baking from Nigella's recipes, there are still many more that I've wanted to try, which I 3will, in time.   There are a total of 113 entries and I would like to thank everyone who has joined Zoe, Anuja and me, as we cook and bake from The Domestic Goddess's recipes together. And also to those who has visited and left comments, which are always welcome with appreciation. 

I've noticed many chocolate fans among us, as the bakes with chocolates are the most popular ones submitted. Most of Nigella's chocolate recipes are good! She is truly a domestic goddess, with her fuss-free style of preparing a meal, really relates to home cooks like us, and most of her recipes are simple and easy to put together with scrumptious and delicious results.

There are many more drafted posts, bakes and dishes that I've cooked from Nigella's recipes that I did not have enough time to post them all in one month! Well, I'll save it for the coming months!

Today is my last post for this event, and here is a delightful refreshing jelly, strictly for adults! These are made with white wine and it is so good. This recipe is taken from Nigella Christmas, and it is most suitable for Christmas and any festive occasion, but then, you do not really need any special occasion to enjoy it!

From the book, Nigella has used a gelatin mold, but I have made into two individual servings in glasses (refer Nigella's notes at the bottom), as the balance of my white wine is enough for half a recipe. Nigella recommended to serve this with a drizzling of Cointreau and heavy cream, but I had it plain with just the pomegrante seeds scattered over. I could not find the ruby-red pomegranate and have to make do with the lighter pink ones. If you are serving to guests, try to get the ruby-red ones, as they make a very attractive striking appearance.

If you have an already opened bottle of white wine around, give this a try. You would love it! Trust me!


Here's a glass of White Wine and Pomegranate Gelatin to each and everyone! Cheers!


Prosecco And Pomegranate Gelatin
(adapted from "Nigella Christmas", Nigella Lawson)
1 x 750ml bottle Prosecco or other white wine
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups superfine sugar
1 cup water
4 teaspoons unflavoured powdered gelatin
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Cointreau, Grand Marnier or Triple sec, plus more to serve
seeds from 1 pomegranate, or 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds from a container
flavorless oil for greasing
heavy cream to serve (optional)

  1. Lightly grease a 1-quart gelatin mold with flavorless oil and sit it on a small tray so it's easy to convey it to the refrigerator later.
  2. Pour the Prosecco into a saucepan, add the sugar and stir to help it dissolve (but do not stir once the pan is on the heat). At the same time, put the water into a large jug or bowl and sprinkle over the gelatin, letting it soak for 5 minutes.
  3. Put the pan on the heat, bring to the boil and let it boil for a minute.
  4. Add the vanilla and keep the pan bubbling gently for another minute, before taking it off the heat.
  5. Carefully ladle about 1 cup of the wine-sugar mixture into the jug and stir well until the gelatin has dissolved completely.
  6. Pour the jugful of liquid back into the pan (which must be still off the heat), whisk again, and tip it all back into the jug, before pouring it into the prepared gelatin mold. (This may sound a kerfuffle, but it ensures the gelatin is thoroughly dispersed).
  7. Put the filled-to-the-brim mold, still on its tray, into the refrigerator and leave to set overnight. It has a gentle set, which is what makes it so delectable.
  8. Just before you are ready to serve, fill a sink or plastic washing-up bowl with warm water to come about halfway up the mold, and sit the as-yet-unturned mold in the warm water for half a minute.
  9. Take the mold out of the sink, wipe the water off the outside and place your serving plate on top. Then, with one hand on the plate and the other on the mold, tip them both over and lift off the mold to reveal the gelatin. It will look smaller than it did in the mold; that's expected.
  10. Dribble the Cointreau (or your choice of alcohol) over the gelatin (putting the bottle on the table so people can anoint with more as they eat) and scatter with pomegranate seeds, a few on top, but most around the side. It spoils the jewel-like clarity of the gelatin, but this is out of this world with a little heavy cream poured over each portion. Put a small jugful on the table as encouragement.
Note : If you want to dispense with the worry of unmolding, simply divide the warm gelatin mixture between six stemmed glasses of under 1-cup capacity each and set in the refrigerator.
#87/100

Thank you everyone, for your support!  Cook Like A Star next featured chef in September is The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond. I'm sure most of you are already a fan of Ree Drummond, I am! She's funny, has a lovely sense of humor and I just love the way she writes. I'm a regular reader of her blog and she has tons of delicious recipes on her website. 
The hosts for next month's Cook Like A Star featuring The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond are Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake. Be sure to join them as they cook and bake with Ree's recipes.  If you do not have any of her books,  here's a list of some links that you might find helpful. 

Foodnetwork (Ree Drummond)
Foodnetwork (The Pioneer Woman)


I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, where the featured chef for this month is NIGELLA LAWSON. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and me, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Cook or bake any of Nigella Lawson's recipes and link your posts to any of the hosts' linky which will stay open for the whole month of August. All submissions to this event must be current posts, published within the current month of this event, any older posts will be deleted. Please mention and link Cook Like A Star somewhere in your post. Do join us, everyone is welcome!



Cook Like A Star featuring Nigella Lawson, from 1st August to 31st August 2013




Friday, August 30, 2013

Chocolate Pear Pudding Cake

There's one more day left until tomorrow to join Cook-Like-A-Star featuring Nigella Lawson. If you have not linked up yours yet, there's still time until 12.00 midnight tomorrow.

Tomorrow shall be my last post for Nigella's event, and for today, I'm sharing one of Nigella's chocolate recipe. All of the Nigella's chocolate recipes that I've tried so far are winners. And this is one of them. A simple chocolate cake with canned pears at the bottom, and served with chocolate sauce. Delicious!



The best part is, all the ingredients for the batter are mixed using the food processor. Couldn't be any easier than that! Drained canned pears are placed on the bottom of a greased baking dish or pan, the batter is then poured over the pears. At first, I was worried as there seems to be not enough of cake batter to entirely cover the pears. But not to worry, once the cake is baked, it puffed up nice and soft.


A slice of Chocolate Pear Pudding Cake, though I wonder why she named it Pudding Cake? It has all the texture of a lovely, moist and soft chocolaty cake, very good!


Serve with chocolate sauce, spooned over as much as you want! 


Delicious! Another keeper recipe, and it is so easy and "express" to make! 


Chocolate Pear Pudding Cake
(adapted from "Nigella Express", Nigella Lawson)
serves 6-8
2 (14-oz cans) pear halves in juice
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (I use 1/2 cup)
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup cocoa
10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) soft butter plus more for greasing
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F and grease an 8-1/2-inch square ovenproof dish with butter.
  2. Drain the pears and arrange them in the base of the dish.
  3. Put all the remaining ingredients in a processor and blitz till you have a batter with a soft dropping consistency.
  4. Spread the brown batter over the pears, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
  5. Let stand for 5 or 10 minutes and then cut into slabs - I cut 2 down and 2 across to make 9 slices - and serve with chocolate sauce.
#86/100

I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, where the featured chef for this month is NIGELLA LAWSON. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and me, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Cook or bake any of Nigella Lawson's recipes and link your posts to any of the hosts' linky which will stay open for the whole month of August. All submissions to this event must be current posts, published within the current month of this event, any older posts will be deleted. Please mention and link Cook Like A Star somewhere in your post. Do join us, everyone is welcome!



Cook Like A Star featuring Nigella Lawson, from 1st August to 31st August 2013



and Little Thumbs Up, where the ingredient for this month is Eggs, hosted by Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out, and organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, together with Doreen from My Little Favourite D.I.Y.





Thursday, August 29, 2013

Rugelach : Bake-Along #50

Time for our Bake-Along #50, the theme chosen is Rugelach, by my baking buddy Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids. Rugelach has been on my list of to-try for ever so long, especially so, since my sister gave me the book "Baking From My Home To Yours" by Dorie Greenspan a few years ago. There's one Rugelach recipe that looks really good from this book, and I was pretty excited when Zoe selected Rugelach as our Bake-Along theme. 

Rugelach is a Jewish pastry, traditionally made in the form of a crescent by rolling a triangular shaped pastry around a filling of dried fruits, nuts and jam. The dough is made up of cream cheese, butter and flour. Rugelach can be made into different shapes other than the traditional crescent, it can be formed into pinwheels and even made into bar cookies.

I was really looking forward to making Rugelach, thought I would have fun rolling the dough into little crescents, only to found out that, it is not as easy as it seems. Little did I know that I would have problem with the dough which is very soft and so delicate that it was so difficult to handle, especially in our hot and humid weather. I ended up making this cookies twice!


The first time I made, it was a total disaster, by the time it took me numerous trips to the fridge to refrigerate the dough, remove it from the fridge and roll it to shape, refrigerate, fill with the fillings, refrigerate, slice the dough to triangles, refrigerate, roll one up to a crescent shape, refrigerate, roll another one into a crescent, refrigerate, the next one....... the whole process was really testing my patience and whatever patience I had left by the time I finished rolling the "crescents!". The crescents are so ugly that none of it resemble any crescent at all, the dough are all broken up and the filling is peeping out from everywhere!. I almost threw the the "crescents" away, was very frustrated by that time, but went ahead to bake them anyway. They tasted delicious though! My kids asked me, what are these??????  


I made them again the next day, and decided to reduce the amount of cream cheese and butter. It was a little better but the dough was still so soft. This time, I stay away from crescent and thought it easier to make them into pinwheels. It was a struggle rolling the dough as it was sticky! I did the best I could, refrigerate the log and sliced them into pinwheels. The dough was getting soft really, really fast, and by the time I sliced the third or fourth one, it was getting all soft again! 
Most of the pinwheels are out of shape, the ones you see here are the four best looking ones. 
I was tempted to do a third attempt, this time making them into bar cookies, but then I have ran out of cream cheese! Which is just as well! Maybe next time!


Look at the uneven shapes of the pinwheels. I'd never expected the dough for these cookies to be so delicate and difficult to handle. Despite all these, these Rugelach are so good to eat. These are not too sweet and the filling is just so delicious with the buttery pastry.


Rugelach
(adapted from " Baking From My Home To Yours", Dorie Greenspan)
For the dough
4 ounces cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 stick (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the filling :
2/3 cup raspberry jam, apricot jam or marmalade (I juse lingonberry jam)
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts or almonds)
1/4 cup plump, moist dried currants
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, or 2/3 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

For the glaze :
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons sugar, preferably decorating (coarse) sugar

To Make The Dough :
Let the cream cheese and butter rest on the counter for 10 minutes - you want them to be slightly softened but still cool.
Put the flour and salt in a food processor, scatter over the chunks of cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine 6 to 10 times. Then process, scraping down the sides of the bowl often, just until the dough forms large curds - don't work it so long that it forms a ball on the blade.
Turn the dough out, gather it into a ball and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk, wrap the disks in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 1 day. (wrapped airtight, the dough can be frozen for up to 2 months).

To Make The Filling :
Heat the jam in a saucepan over low heat, or do this in a microwave, until it liquefies. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.
Line two baking sheets with parchement or silicone mats. (Silicone baking mats are great for rugelach).

To Shape The Cookies :
Pull one packet of dough from the refrigerator. If it is too firm to roll easily, either leave it on the counter for about 10 minutes or give it a few bashes with your rolling pin.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into an 11- to 12-inch circle. Spoon (or brush) a thin gloss of jam over the dough, and sprinkle over half of the cinnamon sugar. Scatter over half of the nuts, half of the currants and half of the chopped chocolate. Cover the filling with a piece of wax paper and gently press the filling into the dough, then remove the paper and save it for the next batch.
Using a pizza wheel or a sharp knife, cut the dough into 16 wedges, or triangles. (The easiest way to do this is to cut the dough into quarters, then to cut each quarter into 4 triangles). Starting at the base of each triangle, roll the dough up so that each cookie becomes a little crescent. Arrange the roll-ups on one baking sheet, making sure the points are tucked under the cookies, and refrigerate. Repeat with the second packet of dough, and refrigerate the cookies for at least 30 minutes before baking. (The cookies can be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen for up to 2 months; don't defrost before baking, just add a couple of minutes to the baking pan).

Getting Ready To Bake :
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To Glaze :
Stir the egg and water together, and brush a bit of this glaze over the rugelach. Sprinkle the cookies with the sugar.

Bake the cookies for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until they are puffed and golden. Transfer the cookies to racks to cool to just warm or to room temperature.

#85/100

To join our blog hop, simply bake any Rugelach recipe and link your post to our Bake-Along linky.
Please visit my baking buddies, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from 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 based on a theme where our theme is "Chocolate Cream Pound Cake", from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman, page 81 or you may get the recipe here. Bake the cake and link your post to the our blog-hop linky which will start on  12th September right up to 21st September. Everyone is welcome! 


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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, related to the current bake or theme provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.



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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mac and Cheese (Nigella)

What is it about Mac and Cheese that never fails to bring a delight to kids, teenagers included. I made these for lunch on one of the school weekdays, and when my kids came back from school, big grin on their faces!


Very simple and does not take up much time to make. Simply cook the macaroni till al dente. The cheese mixture are just a few ingredients ; grated cheddar cheese, eggs, evaporated milk, grated nutmeg and salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients together. Drain the cooked macaroni and mix with the cheese mixture. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until it is bubbling and macaroni has blistered a little. Before baking, I have divided the macaroni mixture into two baking dish of 7" square. It took about 20 minutes for the sauce to bubble and with some blistered top.


Upon request from the kids, I have scattered some grated Mozzarella cheese over the top of one dish and bake for a further 10 minutes until the cheese melts. 


They love the cheezy one better, obviously!! 




Mac and Cheese
(adapted from "Nigella Express", Nigella Lawson)
serves 4
8 oz macaroni (I use 6 oz)
2 cups coarsely chopped mature Cheddar or red Leicester cheese, or a mixture of both
1 cup evaporated milk
2 eggs
grating of fresh nutmeg
grated mozzarella cheese (for the top)

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F. Cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, drain, and then put back into the hot pot.
  2. While the pasta's cooking, put the cheese, evaporated milk, eggs, and nutmeg in a processor and blitz to mix. Or grate the cheese and mix everything by hand.
  3. Pour over the macaroni, stir well, and season to taste.
  4. Tip into a 10-inch-diameter dish (wide and shallow is best) and bake for 10-15 minutes or until it is bubbling and blistering on top.
#84/100

I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, where the featured chef for this month is NIGELLA LAWSON. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and me, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Cook or bake any of Nigella Lawson's recipes and link your posts to any of the hosts' linky which will stay open for the whole month of August. All submissions to this event must be current posts, published within the current month of this event, any older posts will be deleted. Please mention and link Cook Like A Star somewhere in your post. Do join us, everyone is welcome!



Cook Like A Star featuring Nigella Lawson, from 1st August to 31st August 2013



and Little Thumbs Up, where the ingredient for this month is Eggs, hosted by Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out, and organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, together with Doreen from My Little Favourite D.I.Y.



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza) : IHCC

"Pies and Tarts", our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), where we are cooking from our featured chef, Yotam Ottolenghi's recipes. This week is all about pies, tarts, galettes and anything with some kind of crust!

I have been planning to make a savoury pie of Ottolenghi for the past few days, and this pizza was what I made on that very morning that I planned to make the pie. The switch came about, as I was browsing thru Ottolenghi's website, looking for recipes for the coming week's themes, when I found this pizza recipe, and decided to make this pizza instead, since I have all the ingredients. And I am glad that I've made the switch!


Adding the salsa salad over pizza is so good! You gotta try this!



The dough is very easy to make, just mix the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead by hand for a few minutes. The dough is then left to rise until doubled in size. It is then divided into either 4 large or 12 small rolls, I made them into 12 individual servings. Roll them into thin discs, brush both sides lightly with olive oil and keep aside for 15 minutes or so, until they have risen a little.

The filling is made up of minced beef, which I have replaced with minced chicken, marinated with ground cinnamon, ground allspice, red chilli flakes, chopped fresh parsley, pomegranate molasses which I have replaced with pomegranate concentrate, sumac, and some salt to taste. Mix all the ingredients together and keep in the fridge until needed.

To make the salad, mix the chopped cucumbers (remove the soft centered seeds), chopped tomatoes, finely chopped onions, chopped fresh parsley (I have used corianders). Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. 

The slightly risen discs are then spread with Tahini (I use my Homemade Tahini), topped with the chicken filling, scatter some pine nuts over the top, and bake for 12-15 minutes. From the recipe, it says to use 3 tablespoons of Tahini, which is too little for me, imagine dividing 3 tablespoons for 12 small pizzas, that is 1/4 tablespoon each! I have however used more than that, did not measure, but just spread the paste on the dough until I am satisfied! Haha! In all, I've used up all my Tahini which is about 1/3 cup.

Even though Ottolenghi suggested to bake the pastry until just done, I have baked the full 15 minutes until they are browned as I love brown crust.  


Freshly baked Lahmacun, it may look all brown and boring, but the filling is so tasty! Can you see the tahini on the crust, a change from the regular tomato pizza sauce. This is very good!


Top with the salad and enjoy! We sure did!



This is one delicious pizza!  The chicken filling is so tasty, and it has all the Mediterranean flavours, a bite into it would make you instantly think of Mediterranean! The blend of spices used including a new one which I've only just started using, Sumac, is just so wonderful. I'm so glad I've discovered Sumac!
The pizza crust has a delightful light crunch, with a bread-like texture in the centre. 
And eating the pizza with salad topping is something new to me, and I love it! If you try out this recipe, make the salad, it really takes this Turkish Pizza to a whole new level!

Even my kids do not mind that their pizzas has got no cheese at all, they would usually request for more cheese for the topping, but for this, they love eating the salad over the pizza!  



I bought this spice Sumac a few weeks ago, and this is the first time I'm using it, looking forward to use it more often.

Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza with Spicy Minced Beef and Salad Topping)
(adapted from : Ottolenghi)
Ingredients :
Topping :
250gm minced beef (I used chicken)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1-1/4 tsp salt
1-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
25gm flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I used coriander)
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (I use pomegranate concentrate)
1-1/2 tbsp sumac
25gm pine nuts
3 tbsp tahini (I used about 1/3 cup)
2 tbsp lemon juice

Dough :
250gm white flour, plus extra to dust (I use bread flour)
1-1/2 tbsp milk powder
1/2 tbsp salt (I use 1 tsp)
2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
1/2 tbsp caster sugar
60ml sunflower oil (I use canola oil)
1 medium egg
100ml lukewarm water
olive oil for brushing

Salad (optional)
1 mini-cucumber, cut into 1cm dice (190gm)
2 small tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice (150gm)
10 radishes, thinly sliced (75gm) (omitted this)
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (65gm)
10gm parsley, roughly chopped (I use coriander)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper

Method :
Makes 4 large or 12 small snack size pizzas

Start with the dough. Put the flour, milk powder, salt, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Make a well in the centre. Add the sunflower oil and egg and stir as you add the water. When the dough comes together, remove it from the bowl and knead lightly for 3 minutes on your work surface until smooth, elastic and uniform. Dust a bowl lightly with flour, place the dough inside, brush with some olive oil, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for 1 hour, at which point the dough should have almost doubled.
(I place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn over the dough so the oiled surface is up, cover bowl with cling wrap).

Put all of the topping ingredients in a large bowl, apart from the tahini, pine nuts and lemon juice. Mix well with your hands and refrigerate.

Preheat the oven to 210C and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment.

Divide the risen dough into 40gm balls, you should get about 12, and roll each into a thin disc, about 2mm thick and 15cm in diameter. Brush each disc lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on the baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise for 15 minutes.

If you make the salad, mix together the vegetables and add the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Stir gently and set aside.

Spread the tahini onto each pastry disc, divide the filling between the pastries and spread it evenly so it covers the dough fully. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until just cooked. You want to make sure the pastry is just baked, not over-baked; the topping can be slightly pink inside and the pastry golden when you look underneath. Remove from the oven, spoon the salad on top, if making, and finish with a drizzle of lemon juice. (I did not bother with the drizzle of lemon juice).





IHCC Ottolenghi Leek
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Please stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) to view what my friends have made for this week's theme, "Pies and Tarts", and if you are interested to join us, please find out more details from IHCC.


And I'm sharing this with :

Ms. enPlace

Monday, August 26, 2013

THB : Morning Glory Breakfast Cake

Time for our bake at The Home Bakers (THB). For this week's bake #23, my baking buddy, Lena from Frozen Wings has chosen this healthy wholesome cake, Morning Glory Breakfast Cake.

Just as the name implies, this cake is most suitable for breakfast, with lots of healthy ingredients like wholewheat flour, rolled oats, wheat bran, nuts, dried fruits, flaked coconuts, grated carrots, grated apples and fresh blueberries! And not a trace of oil or butter at all! 


I like the name of the cake, it sounds very pretty, "Morning Glory Breakfast Cake", the image of the morning glory flowers comes to mind! 

From the recipe, it has a long list of ingredients and to be truthful, I was sceptical about this bake. There are too many ingredients and I am the sort who love simple cakes, and for me, there are just too many ingredients in it. That being said, I decided to bake the cake as closely as possible without omitting anything other than the bran which I have replaced with more rolled oats. I'm keeping my fingers crossed the whole time I'm mixing the ingredients that the cake would turn out one that I would enjoy eating.

Other ingredients used are brown sugar, dark molasses, eggs, and yoghurt. There's not a trace of oil at all, or even butter. The top of the batter are sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar mixture before baking.

It took me longer to bake this cake, the recipe says to bake it about 25 to 30 minutes for a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. I made half a recipe and use a 8" square baking pan. At the end of 30 minutes, the cake is still wobbly and not cooked, and I continue baking it for another 30 minutes, tenting the top with foil when the top gets a little too brown. 


This is one very moist cake! It is dense but with a nice soft texture, not too sweet. You can clearly taste all the ingredients, the dried fruits, oats, coconut, nuts, carrots and the apples. 
My review : A lovely healthy cake, perfect for breakfast, but my family did not care much for this cake, maybe because we are not used to eating cakes like this. The cake is nice, it is just that we prefer eating plain cakes without too much of ingredients in it. Eating this cake reminds me of a fruitcake. But if you love healthy bars and cakes, then you might like this. 


For the full recipe, please visit Lena from Frozen Wings and to view other members' bake, drop by The Home Bakers (THB).



Welcome to The Home Bakers


We are a group of home bakers who are currently baking from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas, until each recipe from this book has been baked. This is our bake no. 23 and we have 37 recipes more to go. If you are interested to be a member and join in our bakes, you may drop me an email at kitchenflavours@yahoo.com.

#83/100

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Festive Couscous And Moonblush Tomatoes (Nigella)

From my previous post, we had a "Dinner with Nigella", African Drumsticks which I have served with Festive Couscous and Moonblush Tomatoes. I'm sharing today, the recipes for both the couscous and the tomatoes.


A Nigella Meal : African Drumstick served with Festive Couscous and Moonblush Tomatoes



Festive Couscous recipe is from Nigella Christmas. And in the book, she has included a roasted Cornish Hen recipe, where some of the roasting juices is mixed into the couscous. Since I did not make the roasted Cornish Hen, I have replaced the roasting juices with some lemon juice, to taste. I have made only 1-1/4 cup of couscous but kept the amount of the spices as per the full recipe. In place of the golden raisins, there's an option to use either dried cherries or dried cranberries and I have used the latter. I could not find any pomegranate and have omitted that, it would be lovely if the couscous is sprinkled with the ruby red pomegranate! Overall, a very nice couscous dish, just make sure you get the seasoning right, it makes a lovely side dish for roasted chicken, meat or fish.

Festive Couscous
(adapted from "Nigella Christmas", Nigella Lawson)
3 cups quick-cook couscous (I made only 1-1/4 cup)
1/2 cup golden raisins (replace with dried cranberries)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoon kosher salt or 1 teaspoon table salt (salt to taste)
3-1/3 cups freshly boiled water, from a kettle (1-1/3 cup water)
lemon juice to taste
seeds from 1 pomegranate, or 1/2 cup seeds from a container ( did not use this)
handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  1. Put the couscous into a heat-proof bowl or a pan with a tight-fitting lid, add the golden raisins, spices and salt, and give everything a stir.
  2. Pour the freshly boiled water over and cover with plastic wrap or the lid; let it sit for 10-15 minutes, by which time it should have absorbed the water.
  3. Fluff the couscous through with a fork to separate the grains, then carefully pour in some of the juices that have collected in the roasting pan of Cornish hens. (There's a roasted Cornish Hens recipe that comes before this in the book, to replace the roasting juices, I just added some freshly squeezed lemon juice).
  4. Fork through again and check the seasoning before transferring to a serving dish.
  5. Drop half the pomegranate seeds over the mounded couscous, mixing them in gently with a fork.
  6. Scatter the remaining pomegranate seeds over, sprinkle with some chopped cilantro and serve.


Moonblush Tomatoes : We love cherry tomatoes, almost in any roasted chicken that I made, there would surely be some cherry tomatoes around, used mostly in some salad. For this time, they are a star of their own. I like the name Moonblush Tomatoes, Nigella has named it as such, simply because she left the marinated tomato halves in a very hot turned off oven overnight, and the next day, you will be rewarded with lovely "moonblush tomatoes". I did not however left it in the oven overnight, as I've only decided to make this on the spur of the moment, a couple of hours before dinner time. So I have marinated the tomatoes, and baked them at 200C for 30 minutes. The next time, I would try Nigella's method of leaving them in the oven overnight. 
These Moonblush Tomatoes are delicious! They can be used in salad, with bread, in sandwiches, pasta and very good eaten as they are. I would definitely make these again.

Moonblush Tomatoes
(adapted from "Nigella Express", Nigella Lawson)
1 lb, about 24 in number, on-the-vine cherry or other baby tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder (my addition)
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Cut the tomatoes in half and sit them cut side up in an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the olive oil, salt, thyme and sugar. 
  3. Put them in the oven and immediately turn it off. Leave the tomatoes in the oven overnight or for a day without opening it.
#81/100
#82/100

I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, where the featured chef for this month is NIGELLA LAWSON. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and me, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Cook or bake any of Nigella Lawson's recipes and link your posts to any of the hosts' linky which will stay open for the whole month of August. All submissions to this event must be current posts, published within the current month of this event, any older posts will be deleted. Please mention and link Cook Like A Star somewhere in your post. Do join us, everyone is welcome!



Cook Like A Star featuring Nigella Lawson, from 1st August to 31st August 2013


Thursday, August 22, 2013

African Drumstick (Nigella)

You must be thinking, another Nigella's chicken recipe? :o)  As I've mentioned before, when Nigella comes to mind, I always think of delicious roasted chicken recipes. I was smiling to myself when I was reading my baking buddy Zoe's post today, a delicious moist Quadruple Chocolate Cake. Zoe is really into Nigella's chocolate recipes, and I'm with Nigella's chicken recipes. This is the fifth chicken recipe of Nigella's that I've posted this month, and actually, I have a couple more! No, I did not cook all of the chicken recipes this month, in case you are wondering, some of it I have tried during the last two months. Though I may not have enough of time to post all of them in August, I would in the coming months!

Today's chicken recipe is "African Drumstick", a recipe adapted by Nigella, which she got from a friend of hers. Nigella tweaked the recipe by using chicken drumstick, which originally was made with pork, and to reduce the amount of sweetness by lessening the amount of apricot jam.


The only changes I made was to replace the English mustard with Dijon, as that was what I had and orange marmalade for the apricot jam. Nigella's recipe does not mention any salt, I have however added some salt to taste when I mixed the marinade. 

This is a very easy dish to make, the drumsticks are marinated with all the ingredients, and I have placed the marinated drumsticks in the refrigerator, covered, for three hours, and then bake in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until cooked through, basting twice in-between.

Lian from Whatever You Do has made this dish too, check out her post!


The drumsticks are really tender, moist and the marinating sauce has slightly thickened to a salty and slightly sweet gravy. Kids would love this dish. I served these drumsticks with some couscous and cherry tomatoes, which I will be sharing in next post. 



African Drumstick
(adapted from "Nigella Kitchen", Nigella Lawson)
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons English mustard, or to taste (I use Dijon mustard)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon apricot jam (I use orange marmalade)
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
8 chicken drumsticks, preferably organic
1 tablespoon garlic flavoured oil
salt to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Mix the Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, mustard, ground ginger, apricot jam, and chopped onion in a shallow dish.
  2. Dunk the drumsticks in this marinade to coat them all over. (If it helps, you could at this stage leave them to marinate, covered, in the refrigerator overnight). Put the oil into a smallish roasting pan or ovenproof dish, in which the drumsticks will fit snugly, and tip the pan about so that the oil more or less covers the base. Arrange the drumsticks in the pan and pour over them any remaining marinade.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, basting once or twice; the deeper the dish, the longer the drumsticks will take to colour and cook through.
Make Ahead Note :
The chicken can be marinated overnight in a covered bowl in the refrigerator.

Freeze Note :
The chicken can be frozen in the marinade in a resealable bag for up to 3 monhts. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator (put bag in a bowl to catch drips) and cook following directions in recipe.

#80/100

I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, where the featured chef for this month is NIGELLA LAWSON. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and me, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Cook or bake any of Nigella Lawson's recipes and link your posts to any of the hosts' linky which will stay open for the whole month of August. All submissions to this event must be current posts, published within the current month of this event, any older posts will be deleted. Please mention and link Cook Like A Star somewhere in your post. Do join us, everyone is welcome!



Cook Like A Star featuring Nigella Lawson, from 1st August to 31st August 2013




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic (Nigella)

I'm sharing this post with two events, firstly at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), where the theme for this week is "Potluck" and we can select any recipes from any of our previous featured chefs, and I have chosen to cook from Nigella's recipe.
The second event is Cook-Like-A Star, and the featured star for this month is Nigella Lawson, co-hosted by me, Kitchen Flavours together with Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Anjua from Simple Baking.

To submit to these two events, I've cooked "Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic". Ever since I've got the book "Nigella Kitchen", I've been meaning to make this dish. We love garlic in my house, my kids love eating chopped raw garlic with some soy sauce, a condiment that we never fail to request when we eat out at Chinese restaurants.

There are other versions of Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic, if you google for it, dozens of recipes would appear on the screen. I have not tried other versions, but this recipe of Nigella is a total winner.

The chicken pieces are first pan-fried until the skin are brown. Since I do not have a dutch oven, I have used a roasting pan to place the pan-fried chicken pieces and cover it tightly with a large piece of foil when it goes into the oven. The scallions, thyme and garlic are quickly stir-fried in the frying pan that I used to fry the chicken pieces. I actually counted the number of garlic cloves and when I reached 40, I can't help adding more! In the end I probably used about 50! What can I say, we are one garlic-loving family!

I then placed half the garlic in the roasting pan, top with the chicken pieces and the balance of the garlic on top. Add the white wine to the frying pan (I have used more white wine than the recipe calls for), swish it around to mix in the flavours and oil left in the frying pan, and pour over the chicken pieces. Season with a generous amount of black pepper and salt, with some sprigs of fresh thymes. Cover with foil tightly and bake for 1-1/2 hours.

It smells really good while the chicken is baking in the oven, so garlicky delicious. The chicken is so, so tender and moist. Very delicious. There's a fair amount of gravy collected in the roasting pan, and all the flavours from the chicken, the scallions, thymes, garlic and the white wine comes together in one delicious gravy. And the garlic, wow! So velvety soft and creamy, both the hubby and kids, keep digging for the garlic! Me too!  :)


Chicken with 40 Cloves of Garlic
(adapted from "Nigella Kitchen", Nigella Lawson)
Serves 4-6
2 tablespoons regular olive oil
8 chicken thighs (with skin on and bone in), preferably organic
1 bunch or 6 scallions
8-10 sprigs fresh thyme
40 cloves garlic (approx 3-4 heads), unpeeled
2 tablespoons dry white vermouth or white wine (I use 1/3 cup)
1-1/2 teaspoons kosher salt or 3/4 teaspoon table salt
good grinding pepper

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Heat the oil on the stove top in a wide, shallow ovenproof and flameproof Dutch oven (that will ultimately fit all the chicken in one layer, and that has a lid), and sear the chicken over a high heat, skin-side down. This may take 2 batches, so transfer the browned pieces to a bowl as you go.
  2. Once the chicken pieces are seared, transfer them all to the bowl. Finely slice the scallions, put them into the Dutch oven, and quickly stir-fry them with the leaves torn from a few sprigs of thyme.
  3. Put 20 of the unpeeled cloves of garlic (papery excess removed) into the pan, top with the chicken pieces skin-side up, then cover with the remaining 20 cloves of garlic.
  4. Add the vermouth (or white wine) to any oily, chickeny juices left in the bowl. Swish it around and pour this into the pan too.
  5. Sprinkle with the salt, grind over the pepper, and add a few more sprigs of thyme. Put on the lid and cook in the oven for 1-1/2 hours.
#79/100

Please stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) to view what my friends have made for this week's theme, "Potluck", and if you are interested to join us, please find out more details from IHCC.





I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star, where the featured chef for this month is NIGELLA LAWSON. Cook Like A Star is an event organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and the co-hosts for this month are Anuja from Simple Baking and me, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours. Cook or bake any of Nigella Lawson's recipes and link your posts to any of the hosts' linky which will stay open for the whole month of August. All submissions to this event must be current posts, published within the current month of this event, any older posts will be deleted. Please mention and link Cook Like A Star somewhere in your post. Do join us, everyone is welcome!



Cook Like A Star featuring Nigella Lawson, from 1st August to 31st August 2013

Ms. enPlace

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