Friday, November 28, 2014

Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

A delicious quiche, made this a few weeks ago, for our weekend brunch. For the pastry, I've used Nick Malgieri's Flaky Pastry Dough, which I made a few weeks ago, and have kept frozen one half of it, enough for one single tart. Simply thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before using it the next day.

We love broccoli! I've added in some bacon to the filling, well, just because! Bacon makes a delicious addition, but I'm sure, you knew that! 

I love Nick Malgieri's pastry crust, it is tender, buttery and flaky, everything you would want in a pastry crust. There's no need to prebake the crust, simply fill with the filling, and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is set.

We love savoury pies, tarts and quiches in my house, and this will be making its way into my kitchen again!

* my changes listed in blue
Broccoli-Cheddar Quiche
(adapted from : Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, Rick Rodgers)
Buttery Flaky Dough (I've used Nick Malgieri's Flaky Pastry Dough)
flour for rolling out the dough

2 cups (4oz/125gm) broccoli florets
1 cup (8floz/250ml) half-and-half (I use whipping cream)
5 slices streaky bacon (chopped), my addition
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon minced fresh dill
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup (4oz/125gm) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

I've used my frozen dough, made with Nick Malgieri's recipe, Flaky Pastry Dough from my previous post. Thaw the dough overnight in the refrigerator. Roll it out and line the base and sides of a 9" tart pan. While this recipe from Williams-Sonoma calls for the dough to be blind-baked first, I have omitted this step. I filled the dough with the filling directly and bake as directed.

To make the filling :
Bring a medium saucepan three-fourths full of lightly salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the broccoli and cook until the florets are barely tender, about 5 minutes. (I steam the broccoli for 4-5 minutes with the steamer cover slightly ajar, so that I do not overcook the broccoli) Drain well, and pat dry with kitchen towels. (Fry chopped bacon in a dry saucepan until just lightly brown. Dish out and drain). In a bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, dill, 1/2 teaspoon salt (I use just a pinch, as bacon and cheese are already salty), and 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined.

Scatter the broccoli, (fried bacon, if using) and cheese evenly in the prepared crust. Carefully pour the egg mixture into the crust. Bake in a preheated oven at 350F (180C) until the filling is puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then serve.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cranberry Crackle Tart : TWD

Our second bake from "Baking Chez Moi" by Dorie Greenspan, at Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD). A lovely tart, with a buttery crust, spread with a layer of jam, and topped with egg white meringue which is mixed with fresh cranberries. Unfortunately, fresh cranberries are not easily available over here in Malaysia, and I could not find any frozen ones too, so I've used dried cranberries.

 According to Dorie, when the tart is done baking, the top will be light beige and most probably cracked here and there. Well, there's some cracks here and there on my tart, mostly at the sides, but the meringue bakes up with a darker shade of beige, I would prefer if it is a little lighter!

The recipe has given an option to make the crust using either the Sweet Tart Dough or Galette Dough, and I have chosen the latter, as it has lesser sugar, lesser butter and no eggs. The crust is made in the food processor, roll out to fill the pie pan, freeze for at least 30 minutes, and bake as instructed in the recipe. I have used a tablespoon less of the water calls for in the recipe, as our weather here is hot and humid, and I find that I tend to use less water than stated in most recipes, sometimes not at all, when I'm making dough crust for pies and tarts. When the crust is at room temperature, spread some chunky jam, of which I have used lingonberry preserves. I've used more preserves to cover the crust base, more than the recipe calls for. Make the meringue by beating the egg whites with some sugar, which I've reduced slightly. Fresh cranberries are then added in. I've used dried cranberries. (soaked in some hot water until they plumped up, about 45 minutes, drain and left them in the sieve for about an hour, to make sure they are dry). Spread the meringue over the jam, making swirls if desired, and bake for an hour until the meringue is light beige.

The meringue was already starting to brown at the 20 minutes time of baking, so I've tented the top with foil, reduce the temperature by 10 degrees,  and continue baking till done. I've added 10 minutes to the baking time.

The meringue bakes up crispy nice. Using dried cranberries works out great, though I think that with fresh cranberries would be even better! And I like the buttery crust, with the balance of the dough scrapes, as Dorie suggested, I've made two turnovers, filled with my homemade apple jelly. Really, really, yummy. The dough makes great turnovers, really flaky, tender and buttery. 

The recipe for this tart can be found at Dorie's website, or better still get the book! To view the other bakers take on this lovely tart, do stop by TWD blogroll.

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Spanish Baked Fish

"November Potluck", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I've decided to make one of Diana Henry's fish recipes, and she has quite a number of fish recipes. 

Ever since I saw the photo of this dish, "Spanish Baked Bream" in the Diana Henry's cookbook, "Food From Plenty", I knew that I will be making it sooner or later. This dish has really simple ingredients and yet it looks so delicious. And it is delicious!

The ingredients needed are fish, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, smoked paprika, white breadcrumbs, garlic and finely chopped parsley. Firstly brush the fish inside and out with olive oil, squeeze on some lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Lay the fish in a baking dish. Mix the breadcrumbs, smoked paprika, crushed garlic, and salt to taste in a small bowl. Scatter this mixture over the fish, drizzle with olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C until fish is cooked through, about 20-30 minutes.

I've used 1 large sea bass, about 600gm, and it takes about 35 minutes to be fully cooked. After about 20 minutes in the oven, the breadcrumbs mixture are beginning to brown, and the fish is still not fully cooked yet, so I have tent the top with foil, and continue to bake until the fish is cooked through. I then sprinkled the finely chopped parsley over the top, and continue to bake for another 3 minutes. Serve hot. Take note of the cooking times, depending on the size of the fish. To know whether the fish is done, I use a fork to poke thru the thickest part of the fish flesh (along the back), if the fork goes thru without any resistance, then the fish is cooked. If the fork can't get thru the meat, then it needs a few minutes more of baking time.

If the fish is large, you might want to bake the fish for 10 or 15 minutes first, before scattering the breadcrumbs mixture over the top and continue on baking until the fish is done.

This is one delicious dish!  Since I've used only one fish, I have used half the ingredients and the next time I would certainly double the ingredients. We had this for dinner with rice and other dishes, and everyone was spooning for the breadcrumbs-paprika mixture. This is one dish that you got to be a little generous with the olive oil and lemon juice. Simple, so easy to cook,  yet so good! I would definitely make this again.

Spanish Baked Bream
serves 4
for the bream :
4 x 300gm (10-1/2oz) bream, gutted, trimmed and scaled
7 tbsp olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
5 tsp smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, crushed
35gm (1-1/4 oz) white breadcrumbs
small handful of flat leat parsley, finely chopped

To serve :
extra virgin olive oil
wedges of lemon
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5. Brush the fish inside and out with olive oil, squeeze on some lemon juice and season well. Lay the fish - in a single layer but close together - in an overproof dish. Mix the smoked paprika, garlic and breadcrumbs together and season. Sprinkle this all over the fish, then drizzle on the remaining oil and lemon juice.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes. Throw on the parsley when the fish has cooked for 15 minutes. The bream is cooked when the flesh near the bone is white and opaque. Drizzle with extra virgin oil and serve with lemon wedges.

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week, "November Potluck"

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Elenore's Plum Cake

I have been seeing lots of plums in the market lately, it must be the plum season in other parts of the world where they came from! Taking advantage whilst they are in season, I bought some with the intention to make some plum jam, and ended up eaten as they are (they are really sweet), with a few went into this lovely plum cake.

Elenore's Plum Cake recipe, is taken from "The Seasonal Baker" by John Barricelli, and this recipe belongs to his mother-in-law. It is a buttery German-style plum cake. I can see why this cake is such a hit with his family. This is my kind of cake, simple, easy, fruity and really, really nice.

Really easy cake to make, using the usual cream method for making the batter, the sliced plum wedges are arranged on top of the batter, sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar, and bake until cake is done. There are a few changes I've made. Firstly, as usual, I've reduced the sugar by half! I've used only a scant half cup (recipes calls for 1 cup), and it is already sweet enough for us. Also I have omitted the salt as the I've used salted butter. And I've added half a teaspoon of vanilla extract, just because I feel that somehow cakes needed that vanilla touch! For the cinnamon-sugar sprinkling over the top, I've used only 1 teaspoon sugar (recipe is 2 tbsps). 

Recipe says to arrange the plum wedges skin side down, but from the photo of the book, the plums wedges looks like they are skin side up! So, I have arranged them skin-side up, which looks nicer anyway! Instead of a 8" pyrex dish, I've used the normal 8" square baking pan, lined and greased, and place the pan directly on the baking rack in the oven (recipe says to place the pyrex dish on a baking sheet, and bake). My cake was done at 45 minutes (recipe says to bake 70 to 75 minutes until done), so check your cake at the 40-45 minutes baking time!

This cake can be served warm or at room temperature with a dusting of icing sugar, either way, it is good (with or without the icing sugar)! The crumbs are light, moist, soft, buttery, with soft tender plums. According to the author, "It's very nice for a weekend breakfast, an afternoon snack, or as a dessert. It's incredibly simple to make, and tastes fantastic. What else is there to say?".  He's right!

*my changes listed in blue
Elenore's Plum Cake
(adapted from "The Seasonal Baker", John Barricelli)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon coarse salt (omit this as I've used salted butter)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (used salted butter, 125gm)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar (scant 1/2 cup plus 1 tsp)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1-3/4 pounds (5 to 6) large black plums, halved and pitted, each half cut into 1/4-inch thick wedges
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (my addition)

  1. Set  the oven rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8 by 8-inch Pyrex baking dish. (I've used a normal 8" square cake pan, line and greased).
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and salt; set aside,
  3. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with 1 cup of the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Turn the mixer to low speed. Add the flour mixture and beat until the flour is absorbed.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Arrange a line of plum wedges along one side, skin sides down, and press gently to settle them. Arrange another line of plum wedges right next to and touching the first. Continue to use up the plums and cover the batter.
  5. In a small bowl, stir together the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture over the plums. Place the cake on a baking sheet and bake, rotating the sheet about two-thirds of the way through the baking time, until the top is golden brown, the plums are tender and bubbling, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 70 to 75 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 10 minutes. Cut into nine squares to serve warm, or let cool completely. (I placed the pan directly on the baking rack in the oven, and the cake was done at 45 minutes, so watch out for the baking time!)

Product Details
I bought this book at last year's BBW sale, and I'm so glad that I did. I really like this book and the recipes, so many I've bookmarked to try! He has authored two cookbooks, and I have them both, the other one which is his first cookbook, The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook, is just as wonderful. I'm looking forward to try out other recipes in due time! So, in the meantime, I'm sharing this post with Cookbook Wednesday, hosted by the lovely Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations. If you have a cookbook that you would like to share, hop over to Louise's site for more info.

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Jam-Doughnut Muffins : Bake-Along #71

For our Bake-Along #71, Lena has selected these cute little Jam-Doughnut Muffins to bake together with Zoe, myself and anyone who wishes to bake along with us. These muffins makes a delightful treat for tea-time, especially if your are making snacks for kids!

Freshly baked muffins, ready to be dipped and rolled.

Really easy to make, just mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, fill small mini muffin pans with a little of the batter, drop a dollop of your favourite jam, top with more batter, and bake until the muffins are puffy and golden brown.  I've used blueberry jam, and this is a great way to use up all that leftover jam lying around in the fridge. My muffin pan has 24-mini-holes cups, and I got about 30 mini muffins.

Have ready a bowl of melted butter, and a shallow dish with some caster sugar. Dip the doughnut muffins in the melted butter and roll them in the sugar. Serve warm.

I have rolled some of the muffins with plain caster sugar, and the other half with a mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar. 

These cute little doughnut muffins are fun to eat!

Which one do you prefer? With plain sugar? Or with Cinnamon-Sugar?

As can be seen from the photo above, I did not dip the whole muffins in the butter, but only the top, then roll that top part in the sugar, as I do not want overly sweet muffins, and these are already sweet with the rolled-on sugar on the top.

We love the cinnamon-sugar, though the plain ones are really nice too! These doughnut muffins have soft and tender crumbs, lovely for tea-time treat. Especially nice when eaten while still warm.

Jam-Doughnut Muffins
1/2 cup milk
scant 7 tablespoons corn or other vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/3 cups self-rising cake flour
1/3 cup superfine sugar
12 teaspoons strawberry jam
scant 1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 incredibly well-greased or nonstick 12-cup mini-muffin pan

Preheat the oven to 375F.
With a fork, beat together the milk, oil, egg and vanilla extract. Stir this into the flour and 1/3 cup sugar to combine (just); the lumps don't matter and if you overbeat, the muffins will be tough. Spoon the mixture into each muffin cup so that its just under a third full. Then with a teaspoon add a dollop of strawberry jam - about the size of a fat lima bean- then top with more muffin mix so that the cases are just about full.
Put them in a preheated oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until the tops feel springy and resistant and the muffins have puffed up into little toadstools.
Meanwhile, melt the butter slowly in a thick-bottomed pan, and lay the remaining sugar out in a wide, shallow bowl. As soon as the muffins are ready, remove them from their cups, dip them in the butter, and roll them in the sugar. Eat warm.


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

For our next Bake-Along, we will be baking based on a theme, Christmas Theme : Biscotti. Yup, Chrismas is just round the corner! Biscotti is great to munch during this festive season, and they make lovely gifts for this season of sharing! Bake any biscotti recipe and please do join us by linking your post to our linky which will start on 11th till 222nd December. Everyone is welcome to join us! Only current post please.


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.

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To join our blog hop, click on the link to get the codes :
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blueberry-Orange Bundt Cake

Bake #44 at The Home Bakers (THB), Blueberry-Orange Bundt Cake, is selected by Diana of Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

A lovely cake made with cream cheese and butter, flavoured with orange juice and zest, it has a whole cup of yoghurt, and is dotted with fresh blueberries all over. I have reduced the sugar and the sweetness turns out just right. 

The cake bakes up really moist, with dense but soft, almost velvety crumbs. 

A slice is perfect with a cuppa tea! I've really enjoyed this cake.

For the full recipe and instructions, please visit the host of this bake, Diana of Domestic Goddess WannabeTo view other members' bake, please visit The Home Bakers (THB).

Welcome to The Home Bakers

Monday, November 17, 2014

Roasted Squash with Garlic and Thyme

"Sweet Cloves and Liquid Gold", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). I really like the name of this theme. It's all about garlic and olive oil! We love garlic, including my two kids. What's not to love about garlic, especially when they are baked to creamy and crispy perfection, absolutely fragrant, coated with the wonderful liquid gold that we can simply do without, olive oil! Yummilicious!

I made "Roasted Squash with Garlic and Thyme" a few weeks ago, as a side dish to a roasted chicken meal for dinner, even before the theme was announced! I was grinning that how perfect this dish is to match the theme. We love pumpkin and garlic, especially so when they are roasted or baked. 

A really easy side dish that comes together in a jiffy. The only waiting time is when they are roasting away in the oven. I have used pumpkin and double the amount of garlic! In the recipe, the squash is left unpeeled, but I have peeled the pumpkin, and cut the wedges into two halves, for easier eating. 

Heat some butter and olive oil in a roasting pan, add in the pumpkin wedges, scatter some thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Turn the pumpkin wedges over so that they are fully coated with the oil and pepper. I sprinkled on more pepper when they are turned over. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, basting the pumpkin wedges from time to time, add in the sliced garlic and continue to roast for another 15 to 20 minutes until the pumpkin are tender and lightly brown.

These are so good! We loved it. By the time dinner was over, there's not a piece of pumpkin or even a slice of garlic left, the tray was practically clean! The pumpkin are so tender, sweet and garlicky delicious! The liquid gold, the olive oil, makes it all comes together! Request from the family to make this again, and I will! Yum! Yum!

Roasted Squash with Garlic and Thyme
(adapted from "Pure Simple Cooking", Diana Henry)
serves 4 as a side dish
2lbs winter squash or pumpkin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp salted butter
4 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 375F. Halve the squash and scoop out and discard the seeds and fibers. Cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick at the thickest part. Put the olive oil and butter in a shallow roasting pan and heat gently. Add the wedges of squash. Pull the leaves off the thyme and sprinkel those on, seasoning with salt and pepper. Turn the wedges over, making sure you get herbs, fat, and seasoning all over them. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes, or until tender and slightly caramelized. Baste the squash every so often while they're cooking and sprinkle the garlic over 15 minutes before the end of cooking time.


I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), the theme for this week, "Sweet Cloves and Liquid Gold"
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

I was going thru my drafted posts, and found this Sweet and Sour Meatballs photo which I made a few months ago. The recipe was taken from an old Chinese cookbook which I bought more than two decades ago, when I was still single. It was pretty "expensive" back then, but I like the recipes and there's a photo for each recipe.

The cookbook, "Chinese Cuisine" by Huang Su-Huei is a book on Chinese cuisines, and was first published in January 1972. It has since been revised a number of times and has almost 70 reprintings since then, with many editions that were published in English, Chinese/English (bilingual edition), Japanese and French. Of course, my copy is the bilingual edition, and it was printed in 1991.

Huang Su-Huei has authored many books on Chinese cuisines. When I did a search from Amazon website, I was rather surprised to find that she has quite a number of books to her name. But surprisingly, not much info can be found on Huang Su-Huei. From what I gather at this website, she is a teacher, writer and cooking consultant and business operator. She began her career at the Wei-Chuan Food Corporation in Taiwan and eventually founded the Wei-Chuan Cooking School.

What I like about this cookbook is, it has many recipes that are simple enough for everyday dishes, and yet there are some recipes that are perfect for festivities and to serve if you are entertaining, Chinese-style. So far I have tried a few recipes from this book, mostly are before my blogging days. I have a few favourites that I do cook from time to time. I have posted before, one of it, Stir-fry Pork with Green Onions, which I served with rice, really delicious. 

Too bad I only have one of her cookbooks. I supposed that it is not easy to find her cookbooks anymore. And there's no updated info on this author, not even from Wei-Chuan Cooking School's website, when I went in to have a peek. Maybe there's more info, from Chinese websites, but I could not very well search from these websites, since I'm practically Chinese illiterate! 

Do you have any of Huang Su-Huei's cookbooks?

Sweet and Sour Meat Balls, as can be seen from the photo at the front cover of the book.

This is a simple and homey dish, great to have as part of a Chinese meal, served with plain rice, maybe with a soup and a green veggie stir-fry to accompany. Go easy on the vinegar, as I've used only about a tablespoon. Adjust the rest of the seasoning; soy sauce, sugar, salt, to your taste. I have omitted the red chilli since I do not have any at that time. This recipe can be found on the back page of the front cover of the cookbook.

Sweet and Sour Meat Balls
(adapted from "Chinese Cuisine", Huang Su-Huei)
1 lb ground meat beef or pork
Ingredients A :
1 tbsp cooking wine
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp water
2 tbsp cornstarch
cooking oil

Ingredients B :
1 cup button mushroom
1 cup Chinese pea pods or broccoli
1 precooked carrot, cut into pieces or scoop out balls

Ingredients C :
2 hot pepper, cut into pieces
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic

Ingredients D :
3 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
dash of sesame oil

  1. Mix well ground meat with Ingredients A.
  2. Heat the wok, then add oil. Form the meat into 1 inch balls. Deep-fry the meat balls for 3 minutes or until golden brown; remove. Remove the oil.
  3. Heat the wok then add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir fry Ingredients C until fragrant. Add Ingredients D; stir until thickened. Add Ingredients B and the meat balls; stir for 2 minutes. Serve.

I'm sharing this post with Cookbook Wednesday, hosted by the lovely Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations. If you have a cookbook that you would like to share, hop over to Louise's site for more info.

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake

"Mystery Box Madness", the theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC). A new interesting monthly theme that IHCC has added to our weekly themes. We were given a list of ingredients and are required to select at least three, to be used in a recipe from any of our former featured chefs' or our current chef, Diana Henry. The list of ingredients for this month ; Harissa, Eggs, Safron, Pumpkin, Maple Syrup, Dates, Rose Water, Oranges, Spinach, and Chickpeas

 My choice of ingredients ; Rose Water, Orange, and Eggs ; which I've used to make ....

.... Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake.

Originally, this cake is called Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake with Summer Berries. Since I did not serve it with summer berries, so I just called it, Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake. The recipe uses lime, and I have replaced it with orange to fit the theme.

The cake is very simple to make, just mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon, pour into the cake pan and bake! Easy peasy, takes just minutes.

As the name of the recipe, it uses Greek-style yoghurt as one of its ingredients. Now, Greek-style yoghurt is not easily available in the area where I live, and even if I can find it, it is pretty expensive. So I have made my own Greek-style yoghurt by using my own homemade yoghurt, placed in a sieve which is lined with double layer of cheesecloth, and place the sieve over a bowl to collect the whey, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight. From 2 cups of homemade yoghurt, I got almost a cup of Greek yoghurt, and a lot of whey! Discard the whey or use it to make bread.

Homemade Greek yoghurt

To make the syrup, in a small saucepan, boil the water, sugar, lime juice, until the sugar dissolves. Here I have made some changes, I use the juice of a whole orange, make up the balance with some water to make 1 cup, use only 4 tablespoons of sugar (original recipe uses 14 tablespoons!), I know that the amount of sugar I reduced is rather drastic, but I do not like to eat overly sweet cake, taking into account that there is sugar in the cake batter. That's just my personal preference, if you like cakes that are sweet, than follow the recipe accordingly. Once the syrup is cooled, stir in the rose water. 

Prepare the batter, by mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, pour into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes (mine was baked for 40 minutes) until the cake is golden and a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it out to a plate, poke holes all over, and pour the syrup over the cake. Again, I have changed the method slightly. With the cake still in the cake pan, after making holes all over the cake, using a pastry brush, I brushed half the syrup over the top, making sure the syrup gets seeped right into the cake, then pour balance of the syrup all around the sides of the pan, so that the whole cake gets soaked up with the syrup.

Slice into slices to serve, with dusting of confectioners' sugar. 

The cake is very moist, with soft and tender crumbs. There's only a faint aroma of the rose water, maybe because I know its there! haha! Anyway, I feel that it needed a little more rose water, not too much, maybe another tablespoon, would be nice. On the other hand, maybe the juice of a whole orange that I've used, do have some effect to the aroma of the rose water.
This is really a simple cake, and it does not have that wow factor on that first bite as some cakes do, but it is quite lovely to eat  with a dusting of icing sugar and a cup of warm tea. I suppose it would be even better when served with creme fraiche and summer berries as indicated in the recipe.

Rose-Drenched Yogurt Cake with Summer Berries
(adapted from "Pure Simple Cooking", Diana Henry)
serves 8
1-1/4 cups water (I use the juice of a whole orange, then make up the balance with water to make 1 cup)
14 tbsp sugar (I use 4 tbsp)
juice of 2 limes (did not use this)
1 tbsp rose water

For the batter :
1-3/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1 cup ground almonds
9 tbsp sugar
a good pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
2/3 cup sunflower oil (I use canola oil)
finely grated zest of 1 lime (I use orange)

  1. To make the syrup, put the water, sugar, and lime juice into a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil and simmer for 7 minutes. Leave to cool, then add the rose water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter an 8-inch springform pan. (I use a regular 8-inch cake pan). Combine the flour, almonds, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the eggs, yogurt, oil, and zest and mix with a wooden spoon. Pour into the pan and bake for 30 minutes. A skewer inserted into the middle of the cake should come out clean.
  3. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a plate. Pierce all over with a skewer and pour the syrup over the warm cake. Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving (otherwise the sugar sinks into the syrupy top) and serve with berries and creme fraiche.

I'm linking this post to I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), theme for this week "Mystery Box Madness".

Monthly Mystery Box Madness Challenge!

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Palets de Dames, Lille Style : TWD

I'm so excited that I've added another cookbook to my collection! Not just any cookbook, but a copy of "Baking Chez Moi" by Dorie Greenspan is now on my bookshelf among my many other favourite baking books. This fabulous book has go its own place next to Dorie's other books, Baking From My Home To Yours and Baking With Julia. Even though I have two of her books earlier on, I have never participated with the baking group "Tuesdays With Dorie (TWD)". Guess, it is about time I do that, since I would love to bake all the recipes in this book, if I could! I don't see myself putting my foot in France's patisseries, at least not in the near future, I'll just have to bring all those goodies to my kitchen, thanks to Dorie!

"Baking Chez Moi" is one beautiful book, with fabulous recipes, with easy instructions to follow, and would make you want to bake each and every recipe! Of course, if you've already own it, you would know just what I mean. TWD will be baking from this book on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month, starting from today, 11th November. 

The first bake which TWD is baking from "Baking Chez Moi" (BCM), is Palets de Dames, Lille Style. And what a delightful choice it is, though I would be happy to start off with any bake from this lovely book.

According to Dorie, these cookies can be found in every patisserie in Lille, the northern French city that borders Belgium. These cookies are made with very simple ingredients, and the batter is like a very thick cake batter than a cookie dough. The batter is then refrigerated to firm up for at least an hour, before they are made into rounds by using a small ice cream scoop and placed on a cookie sheet, baking them for only 7-9 minutes, though mine took exactly 12 minutes, just until the edges are slightly brown. Remove them gently with a spatula and place on a rack and allow them to cool to room temperature.

Once they are cooled, glaze the top of the cookie with icing, and leave them on a wire rack to let the icing dry and firm at room temperature. According to Dorie, these cookies are served with a cup of coffee.

These Palets de Dames are so yummy! I ate one while it was still warm, minutes after baking, and it was so good.  I did reduce the sugar slightly for the batter since it is going to be dipped into the sweet icing. The sweetness turned out just right, really yummy when dipped into the sweet lemony icing, you would not stop at just one! I did not wait for the icing to set, could not resist popping one in the mouth! And yes, when the icing has finally set, these are good with a cup of coffee! These little cookies has cake-like crumbs, moist and soft. Delicate and elegant in its own way! I enjoyed these cookies, with sips of hot black coffee, while browsing thru the many delicious recipes in BCM!

The recipe can be found from online here, or better still, get the book! Check out the other bakers' take of these delightful cookies at TWD.

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