Saturday, August 30, 2014

Vegetable Pickle

"In Quite A Pickle", our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I love pickles! Found this recipe in Nigel Slater's book "The Kitchen Diaries II", which he entered on November 26, page 463. He made this pickle for a pork sandwich which he has included in the recipe as well. But I'm only giving the pickle recipe since I did not cook the filling for the sandwich.

For this recipe, Nigel has given a rough amount of each ingredient, so adjust accordingly.

Firstly, the brine is made by heating the rice vinegar and sugar till the sugar melts. He mentioned that he uses a small wineglass of vinegar and equal amount of caster sugar. I do not know how big is "a small wineglass", and since I've used a medium size each of carrot, daikon (to replace the radishes) and cucumber (remove the soft centre core), I used half a cup of rice vinegar and caster sugar. Then 4 slices of fresh ginger and 2 star anise are added in, together with some fish sauce to taste. Take the pan off the heat, and I poured the brine into a heatproof casserole bowl.

Put all the vegetables in the bowl, mix to combine. I could not help adding 2 small red chillies from my chilli plant which is heavily fruiting right now. Besides, I love a little spiciness for pickles like this. Chop the chillies and add to the veggies. According to Nigel, "After an hour in the mixture, they have become crunchy. Two hours and they are full of zingy bite and refreshing crispness".  Now whenever I make pickles, I would place them right in the refrigerator,  for a couple of hours or overnight before eating, where they will become really crisp and still maintain their crispiness even for days. So instead of leaving the bowl  of pickles on the kitchen counter, I have placed it in the refrigerator.

About 4 hours later, I ate the first piece, then the second, then the third....!!!  Oh my! These are so delicious and addictive. You would not stop at just a few pieces. The veggies are so crunchy, sweet, sour and slightly spicy from the red chillies, especially delicious when eaten cold, straight from the refrigerator. These would be great to accompany any roasted meat or sandwiches, though I ate them as a snack! I would definitely make this again! 

Vegetable Pickles
(adapted from "The Kitchen Diaries II", Nigel Slater)
"This morning I make fresh, hot vegetable pickles. I thinly slice a raw carrot, 4 radishes and a quarter of a cucumber. I bring to the boil a small wineglass of rice wine vinegar and the same of caster sugar. In go 4 slices of raw ginger and 2 star anise. I then add enough Vietnamese fish sauce to make it interesting, about 2 tablespoons (everyone's tolerance to fish sauce is different; keep tasting as you go), put in the vegetables and let the mixture cool. After an hour in the mixture, they have become  crunchy. Two hours and they are full of zingy bite and refreshing crispness."

This is what I used :
1 medium carrot
1 medium daikon
1 medium cucumber
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup caster sugar
3 tbsps fish sauce
2 star anise
4 slices ginger

I'm linking this post with I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week "In Quite A Pickle"

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Buttery Flaky Rolls

I made these Buttery Flaky Rolls a week ago, and am already thinking about it again. If you love soft, fluffy and buttery rolls, then these would be a great recipe to try. Better still, get the book! This lovely recipe is from "Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort" by Kim Laidlaw. I have tried three recipes from this book, and all are fabulous. And to think I almost did not get this book at the Big Bad Wolf sale last December, only got it during their second sale, a few weeks later. I have seen this book at the first sale, but thinking that I have way too many baking books, I thought I pass it on. But during the second sale, I could not help it! I just got to have it! And I am so glad I did. No matter what anyone says, one can never have enough of cookbooks! LOL! If cookbook makes you happy, go for it! That is, only when budget allows! And I have a long list ! :(

These dinner rolls are really good! Buttery and fluffy soft.

The dough is soft and a little sticky, but after the first rising, it is really easy to work with. Just flour your hands very lightly with flour and divide the dough into small balls. For constant size, use the weighing scale to divide the dough into 18 pieces. These dough balls rises really fast, with our hot humid weather, it takes only about 40 minutes. The best part of bread making for me is when the dough rises during proofing, bring a smile to me each time!

The rolls are baked in two 9" round pans, with 9 rolls per pan. According to the author, it can be baked as individual rolls, simply space the dough rounds on two parchment lined baking sheets and then let rise and bake as directed.

These rolls are really so soft and fluffy. It has a light salty buttery taste to it, as I've used salted butter, and with a hint of sweetness from the honey and sugar. These rolls are brushed with melted butter before the final proofing and again when the rolls are hot from the oven. So good! For those who are health conscious, you may skip it, but there's really not much butter used, only 3 tablespoons for 18 rolls, and it makes such a yummy soft buttery crust.

Good enough to eat it on its own. I had three rolls with a cup of coffee for my breakfast the next morning, and they are still as soft. A keeper recipe!

* notes : my changes listed in blue
Buttery Flaky Rolls
(adapted from "Williams-Sonoma Home Baked Comfort", Kim Laidlaw)
Makes 18 rolls
6 tbsp (3oz/90gm) unsalted butter (salted butter)
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 tsp dark honey
1 cup (8 fl oz/250ml) whole milk
1 package (2-1/4 tsp) active dry yeast
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cups (15 oz/470gm) all-purpose flour (bread flour)
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp kosher salt (1/8 tsp sea salt)

In a small saucepan, melt the 6 tablespoons butter with the honey over low heat. Stir in the milk and gently warm the mixture to about 110F (43C). Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the yeast and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. Attach the dough hook and knead the dough on medium speed for about 5 minutes. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Form the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm, draft-free spot until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
Generously butter two 9-inch (23-cm) round cake pans. Dump the dough onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 18 equal pieces, each about 1-1/2 ounces (45gm). (This is when a scale comes in handy!). Roll each piece into a ball and place 9 balls in each prepared pan, spacing them evenly. Brush the dough balls generously with 2 tablespoons of the melted butter. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand until puffy, about 1 hour.
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375F (190C). Bake until the rolls are golden, about 18 minutes. Brush with the remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven. Serve warm.


I'm linking this post with:
Little Thumbs Up event organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsDoreen of My Little Favourite D.I.Y, and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

THB : French Galette with Cranberry-Almond Topping

The Home Bakers (THB) bake no. 40, French Galette with Cherry-Almond Topping is selected by Lena of Frozen Wings. I have however used cranberries instead of cherries, thus the name, French Galette with Cranberry-Almond Topping.

This is pretty easy to make. The original recipe calls for this bread to be baked in a 14" pizza pan, but I have used a rectangle pan, size 12"x9". I mixed the dough in the stand mixer, and it is pretty soft and slightly sticky, but the stickiness is greatly reduced after the first proofing. The dough is then placed in the greased baking pan, instead of using the rolling pin to roll it out, I used my hands to stretch out the dough to cover the pan. It may pull back, just let it relax for a couple of minutes before stretching it again to completely cover the pan. Brush the top of the dough with some softened butter, and sprinkle some sugar over. As you can see from the photos above, I have scattered one half of it with almonds and dried cranberries, while the other half with only dried cranberries, as not everyone likes nuts in my house. Cover the pan, leave it to rise for about 20-30 minutes until slightly puffy.

It was recommended in the recipe, to preheat the oven at 500F (about 250C-260C) and bake for 7 minutes, but I have preheated my oven at 220C, and baked the bread for 11 minutes until golden brown and bread is done.

 Freshly baked. One half with almonds, the other without.

 Slice and serve warm, with a cup of tea of coffee. I had mine with a cup of hot black coffee. So satisfying! This bread is so good, one of the best bakes that I've baked from this book.

 The bread is so fluffy soft. Press it down...

and it bounces back up again. I like the topping so much, with the sprinkling of sugar, each bite of this lovely bread has that sweetness from the sugar, the slight sourish taste of the cranberries, the nutty crunch of the almonds, together with the fluffy soft bread, makes one really yummy sweet bread. I made this bread yesterday, and this morning when I had a few slices for breakfast, it was still soft. A keeper recipe, which I would make again when I'm craving for some sweet bread for tea time treat!

My notes:
- use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour
- use only 1/8 teaspoon of salt as I've used salted butter
- use 2 teaspoons of instant yeast
- use 2 tablespoons sugar for the topping instead of 3 tablespoons
- baked at 220C for 11 minutes

For the full recipe and instructions, please visit the host of this bake, Lena of Frozen WingsTo view other members' bake, please visit 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. This is our bake no. 40 and we have 20 recipes more to go. If you are interested to be a member and join in our bakes, you may drop me an email at


and I'm sharing this post with :
Little Thumbs Up event organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsDoreen of My Little Favourite D.I.Y, and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers

A simple pasta lunch. Very tasty and delicious. I bought a small jar of anchovies in oil a few months ago. Wanted to use that in a pizza but ended up in this spaghetti dish instead. 

I love anchovies in oil, but do not buy it often, as it is pretty expensive. I like it's taste and the flavours it gives to a dish. I've read from the internet about the labour intensive process involve in the making of Anchovies In Olive Oil, that's the reason why they are expensive. Yup, there's a lot of labour involved, mostly done by hand. 

Very simple and easy pasta dish, the ingredients are cooked, refer to the recipe below,  and then the cooked drained spaghetti are tossed in, season with salt and lots of black pepper, and a light drizzling of olive oil.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Tomatoes, Olives & Capers
(adapted from "Gordon Ramsay's Fast Food", Gordon Ramsay)
300gm dried linguine or spaghetti
sea salt and black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 large red onion, peeled and chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
6-8 anchovies in oil, drained and finely chopped
200g pitted black olives, quartered or chopped
3 tbsp capers, rinsed and drained
250gm cherry tomatoes, halved
handful of basil leaves, shredded

Add the pasta to a pot of boiling salted water and cook for 8-10 minutes or until al dente.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a wide pan and fry the garlic, onion, chilli and anchovies for 1-2 minutes. Add the olives, capers and tomatoes, and stir over a high heat for a few more minutes until the onions are soft.
Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce and shredded basil. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt probably won't be needed because the anchovies, capers and olives are quite salty).
Divide among warm bowls and drizzle over a little more olive oil, if you wish, before serving.


I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star (Gordon Ramsay) hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsYen of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Plum Tartlets : Bake Along #67

It's Bake-Along week! And for this week's bake no. 67, I have selected Plum Tartlets, to bake together with my baking buddies, Lena and Zoe, and anyone who would like to join in the fun. 

What drawn me to this recipe is, firstly, the plums, as I love plums. Secondly, the author of the book describes this tartlet as "The cakiest tart you'll ever eat", so I was really curious about the texture of the "tart".

Plum Tartlet

Before baking

As usual, I've reduced the sugar, by half for this recipe, and it was just right. Did not have any lemons, so I've used orange zest instead. And have replaced the turbinado sugar with demerara sugar.
These tartlets are baked in ramekin moulds. The batter is rather thick, not quite a dough, but really thick. Divide the batter into six ramekin moulds, and arrange the sliced plums over the top, pressing gently into the batter. It would be a good idea to use small plums. I used medium to large plums, and got to trim the plum slices to fit into the ramekin. Bake for about 30-35 minutes until the tartlets are puffy and golden brown.

After baking

It looks puffy and really nice, could not wait to try it!

Dust with some confectioners' sugar over the top before serving. Would love to eat it with ice cream, but did not have any! 

The crumbs are really moist, buttery and a little crumbly, similar to a shortbread! I can't help thinking I'm eating a cake version of shortbread, instead of "the cakiest tart you'll ever eat"! It is really nice, and since I am a fan of shortbread, I've enjoyed this tartlet.

Plum Tartlets
(adapted from "Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook", Cheryl and Griffith Day)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder, preferably aluminium-free
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamon
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt (omitted as butter is salted)
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (orange zest)
6 plums, pitted and sliced
1/2 cup turbinado sugar (demerara sugar)
confectioners' sugar for dusting
ice cream for serving (optional)

Special equipment :
Six 4-inch ramekins

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter the ramekins and place them on a baking sheet.
In a medium mixing bowl., whisk together the flour, baking powder, cardamom, and salt; set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), cream the butter on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, granulated sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest and continue to beat until the mixture is light in colour. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in thirds, mixing just until incorporated; be careful not to overmix.
Divide the dough evenly among the ramekins. Fan plum slices in each ramekin, lightly pressing the slices into the dough with your fingers. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tartlets look set and the tops are bubbly and caramelized to a golden brown. These are best served warm, but they can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 3 days. 
Serve the tarts with a light dusting of confectioners' sugar and a scoop of your favourite ice cream, if desired.


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, it will be a theme bake, Theme : Popovers. Bake any recipe of your choice and link your Popovers post with our linky which will start on 15th September till 24th September. Everyone is welcome! 


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.


and I'm sharing this post with :
Little Thumbs Up event organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsDoreen of My Little Favourite D.I.Y, and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe


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

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Chicken Stew

"August Potluck", our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). Everyone loves a potluck, we get to choose tons of recipes from our previous featured chefs at IHCC. So for this month's potluck, I've cooked a Chicken Stew dish, recipe from Giada de Laurentiis.

There are a few changes I've made, just little changes. Firstly, I have used half a chicken (minus the wings), instead of two chicken breasts with ribs. I do not have anymore homemade chicken stock, so have used water with 2 teaspoons chicken stock powder. Replaced the canned kidney beans with potatoes, as we love potatoes in stews. I omitted the basil leaves as well, even though I love basil leaves, but I'm not sure about using all 1/2 cup of it in Chicken Stew. I'm happy with just the bay leaf and the dried thyme leaves as listed in the recipe. One other thing is, I've replaced the tomato paste with 3 tablespoons tomato ketchup, since I do not have any tomato paste at hand.

No wonder there are so many good reviews about this dish at foodnetwork. This is one delicious stew!

We ate this for our dinner on Sunday, with store-bought crusty bread. Such a simple meal, yet so satisfying

My notes : The bay leaf and the dried thyme leaves gave a wonderful aroma to the stew, and I'm glad that I did not include the basil leaves. The next time, I would probably use the kidney beans as stated in the recipe, but will include the potatoes as well, like I did here, as potatoes are so delicious in stews, they soaked up the surrounding flavours really well. The veggies are tender-soft without being mushy. I cut the cooked chicken meat into bite-sized chunky pieces, discarding the bones, and the meat is tender and so tasty from the simmering with the herbs and veggies. I can see this stew appearing in my kitchen anytime in the near future! Delicious! 

Chicken Stew
(adapted from
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, cut into bite-size pieces
1 carrot, peeled, cut into bite-size pieces
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (my addition)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 (14-1/2ounce) can chopped tomatoes
1 (14-ounce) can low-salt chicken broth
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
2 chicken breast with ribs (about 1-1/2 pounds total)
1 (15-ounce) can organic kidney beans, drained (rinsed if not organic)
serving suggestion : crusty bread

Heat the oil in a heavy 5-1/2 quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and onion. Saute the vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, chicken broth, basil, tomato paste, bay leaf, and thyme. Add the chicken breasts; press to submerge.
Bring the cooking liquid to a simmer.  (Add the chopped potatoes). Reduce the heat, to medium-low and simmer gently uncovered (I put the lid on) until the chicken is almost cooked through, turning the chicken breasts over and stirring the mixture occasionally, about 25 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chicken breasts to a work surface and cool for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaf. Add the kidney beans to the pot and simmer until the liquid has reduced into a stew  consistency, about 10 minutes.
Discard the skin and bones from the chicken breasts. Shred or cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken meat to the stew. Bring the stew just to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Ladle the stew into serving bowls and serve with the bread.

I'm linking this post to :
I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), for August Potluck.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Spelt Focaccia with Rosemary and Garlic

Made this garlicky focaccia for tea-time. This is simply wonderful when eaten while still warm, with a cup of warm tea. 

Recipe calls for Italian '00' flour, which I have replaced with bread flour. And same amount of spelt flour is used. Snipped some rosemary leaves from the garden pot and some garlic cloves from the pantry, and I'm ready to knead! 

Make the dough as per instructions in the recipe below, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size. When the dough has risen, knead gently and placed dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet, pulling the dough to the size of A4 sheet of paper, about 1cm thick. Make indentations with your fingers all over the dough, place the whole garlic cloves in some of the indentations, scatter rosemary leaves all over. Some salt may be sprinkled over if desired, but it does not need it. I've used  3/4 teaspoon of sea salt for the dough, did not sprinkle any on the dough, and I still find it a little salty. I have however used some garlic powder to sprinkle over the dough, I love garlic powder! And drizzle some olive oil all over. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. 

Freshly baked! It smells so garlicky nice while it is baking. There's crushed garlic in the dough, whole garlic cloves and garlic powder on the crust. Garlic overload? Yes, please!

Very nice focaccia, the crust is chewy with soft crumbs inside. This focaccia is very good when eaten while still warm, we ate it by just pinching chunks of it off the tray. It gets stale rather quickly when it has completely cooled down, and gets very chewy. In this case, best eaten dipped in hot soup.

Spelt Focaccia with Rosemary and Garlic
(adapted from "Healthy Appetite", Gordon Ramsay)
Serves 6
15gm fresh yeast or 7g fast-action dried yeast
250ml lukewarm water
200gm spelt flour
200gm Italian "00" grade flour, plus extra to dust (I use bread flour)
1 tsp fine sea salt, plus extra to sprinkle (optional) (3/4 tsp)
2 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves, plus extra whole leaves for sprinkling
6-7 garlic cloves, 2 peeled and finely crushed, the rest in their skins
about 50ml extra virgin oil , plus extra to drizzle
some garlic powder (my addition, to sprinkle)

If using fresh yeast, put 2-3 tbsp of the lukewarm water in a small bowl and crumble in the yeast. Stir to dissolve and leave for about 10-15 minutes to foam.
Sift the flours and salt together into a large bowl, tipping in the bran left in the sieve. If using fast-action dried yeast, add it at this stage. Stir in the chopped rosemary.
Make a well in the centre. Add the crushed garlic, then pour in the yeast liquid (if using fresh yeast), olive oil and most of the remaining water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together. Add the rest of the water as necessary, a little at a time, to form a soft but not sticky dough.
Press the dough together then top it onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for about 5 minutes to for a smooth, elastic dough. Place in a lightly oiled large mixing bowl, cover with a clean tea-towel and leave to rise in a warm spot for about 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
Heat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet and gently flatten with the palms of your hands. Pull and shape it towards the edges of the baking sheet to form a 1cm thick rectangle, about the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Press with your fingertips to create indentations in the dough.
Stud the dough randomly with rosemary leaves and whole garlic cloves and drizzle over a little olive oil. If you wish, sprinkle over a little sea salt. (I omitted the salt and sprinkled with some garlic powder, it does not need anymore salt!) Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Leave to cool slightly. Slice and serve while still warm, with barbecued fish or meat.


I'm linking this post to Cook Like A Star (Gordon Ramsay) hosted by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsYen of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake.

Little Thumbs Up : Ingredient - Flour event, organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsDoreen of My Little Favourite D.I.Y, and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe


Friday, August 15, 2014

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms and Mascarpone : Bake-Along #66

One more baked pasta dish  for Bake-Along, where our theme is "Baked Pasta".  

I have cooked this pasta dish before, many months ago, and find it really tasty. So, I made this again a few days ago. Any short dried pasta can be used, and I've used Spirals. Recipe calls for Italian sausage, of which I'v made my own (will share that on another day), and instead of Bella Mushrooms, I have used a mixture of freesh Shiitake and Brown Shimeji Mushrooms. For the mascarpone cheese, I've made my own Homemade Mascarpone Cheese. Yay! For homemade! I made the cheese two days earlier. Mascarpone Cheese is really easy to make, much cheaper and is just as good, if not better!  :)

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms and Mascarpone

  1. The sausage meat is cooked in a little oil, breaking up the meat, stirring about 5 minutes until they are no longer pink. Add onions, mushrooms and garlic. Stir for about 6-8 minutes until onions are soft.
  2. Add in the mascarpone cheese, milk and chopped parsley. Season with salt to taste and generously with black pepper.
  3. Turn down heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes until slightly thickened. Toss in the drained boiled pasta, stir to mix evenly, adding some pasta water if appear dry. (It should be very moist, I added in a little more milk and some pasta water). Transfer to a large baking casserole dish or individual dish, and top with breadcrumbs mixture (see below), bake in a preheated oven at 175F for 25 minutes, until top is brown and crispy. Serve hot.

The topping, a mixture of some coarse breadcrumbs, chopped parsley (I used about 1/4 cup chopped coriander), finely grated Parmesan cheese and some olive oil. Mix to combine.

Hot from the oven, and smells good!

Really delicious! We like the tasty crispy topping, yummy! And this pasta dish can even be eaten as soon as the pasta are tossed in the sauce. You can omit the topping and skip the baking. Either way, this is a delicious pasta meal!

Baked Pasta with Sausage, Mushrooms and Mascarpone
(adapted from
5 tablespoons olive oil, divided
3 links Italian sausage (about 3/4 pound total), casings removed
8 ounces fresh Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup finely chopped onion (about 1/2 medium)
3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
1-1/2 cups mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound pasta of choice such as penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or pasta shells
1/3 cups coarse breadcrumbs
1-1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 ounce)

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat until slightly smoking, and add the sausage meat. Cook until the meal is no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a fork as it cooks. Add the onions, mushrooms and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the mascarpone cheese, milk, and chopped parsley. Stir to mix well, and continue to cook until the mixture is thick, about five minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
  2. Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat oven to 375F. Cook the pasta in the boiling water, removing it two to three minutes less than the recommended cooking time. It should still retain a slightly raw bite in the center. Reserve a small cup of pasta water, drain, and return pasta to the pot. Toss the pasta with the mushroom and sausage sauce. It the sauce is very thick add about 1/4 cup of the pasta water to loosen.
  3. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parsley, parmesan, and remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, rubbing the oil into the crumbs with your fingertips.
  4. Transfer the pasta to a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish (or 6 smaller ones) and sprinkle the crumb topping over the pasta. Bake until the pasta is bubbly and top is golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

To view all the delicious Baked Pasta that everyone has made, please visit 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, our bake is Plum Tartlets (recipe from Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook, pg 133 or here). Bake this Plum Tartlets and join us! The linky will start on 21st August until 30th August. Everyone is welcome! 


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.

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

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Glazed Lime Cake

This is a really nice cake. If you, like me, love simple cakes like this, then you got to try this. Though the original recipe comes with a glaze, I have omitted that, but do not omit the lime syrup, which is poured over the cake while it is still hot from the oven. It makes the cake very moist and so "lime-tangy"! 

Glazed Lime Cake without the glaze. Should I call this Lime Syrup Cake?

Really easy and simple cake to make. The batter was done in just minutes. This cake uses icing sugar instead of caster sugar, and as usual, I have reduced the sugar for the batter, from 2-1/2 cups to just 3/4 cup (taking into account that the cake will be sweetened further with the lime syrup) and the sweetness turns out just perfect for me.  

And while the cake is baking, make the simple lime syrup by mixing lime zest, lime juice and sugar, stir till the sugar melts, that's all!

This recipe comes with a glaze, which I have omitted. Refer to the full recipe below for the lime glaze.

As soon as the cake is done baking, use a skewer to poke holes all over the cake, and spoon the lime syrup all over the hot cake, including the sides. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack.

This is one delicious yummy cake! The texture is very moist, tender, with soft and light crumbs, almost similar to a sponge cake. Really good! Perfect for tea-time treat! This is one cake that I would definitely make again!

**my changes listed in blue
Glazed Lime Cake
(adapted from "Bon Appetit Desserts", Barbara Fairchild)
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter, room temperature (180gm)
2-1/2 cups powdered sugar, divided (3/4 cup)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 cup milk
1-1/3 cups self-rising flour
4 large limes
6 tablespoons sugar (4 tbsp)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour 8x8x2-inch metal baking pan. Using electric mixer, beat butter and 1-1/2 cups (3/4 cup) powdered sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in milk, then flour. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 33 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely grate enough lime peel to measure 1 tablespoon. Halve limes, squeeze enough juice to measure 6 tablespoons (4 tbsp). Stir lime peel, lime juice and 6 tablespoons (4 tbsp) sugar in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Set lime syrup aside.

Using skewer, poke holes all over cake. Spoon 2-1/2 tablespoons lime syrup into another small bowl; reserve for glaze. Spoon all remaining lime syrup evenly hot cake. Cool cake completely in pan on rack.

Whisk remaining 1 cup powdered sugar into reserved 2-1/2 tablespoons lime syrup; drizzle glaze over cake. Let stand 1 hour. Cut cake into squares. (omitted this glaze).


I'm linking this post with :
Little Thumbs Up event organized by Zoe of Bake For Happy KidsDoreen of My Little Favourite D.I.Y, and hosted by Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe