Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Banana Chocolate Espresso Swirl Muffins

These muffins are moist, soft, tender, chocolaty with an espresso kick and full of banana flavour. Not too sweet, well, I did reduce the sugar slightly (from 150gm to 120gm). Recipe makes 8 jumbo sized muffins, but I have used the regular sized muffins and got 12.

Soft, tender crumb. Great with either coffee, tea or milk! Delicious muffins!

Recipe is from the book "The Bread Collection" by Brian Hart Hoffman, pg 42, and also be found at Bake From Scratch website.

The changes I've made was to reduce the sugar to 120gm and bake in a regular sized muffin pan, which makes 12 regular muffins.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #35 

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Blueberry Jam

Made some blueberry jam, to clear the frozen blueberries from my freezer. This simple recipe is free from processed sugar, sweetened only with honey. Easy to make and takes only about 15 to 20 minutes of cooking.

Mix everything together, the blueberries, honey, water and salt in a medium  stainless steel pot and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. I wanted a less chunky jam, so I have used the emerson blender to puree the berries after about 15 minutes of cooking. I then simmer for a further 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened. Allow to cool, spoon into a jar and keep refrigerated.

Blueberry Jam
(from Huckleberry by Zoe Nathan)
makes about 1 cup
3-1/2 to 4 cups (525 to 600gm) fresh blueberries
1/4 cup (85gm) honey
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup (60ml) water

Combine the blueberries, honey, salt and water in a medium stainless-steel pot. Simmer over medium heat until jammy, about 15 minutes. Refrigerate until needed.
This keeps well, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #35 

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Chives and Cheddar Parker House Round Rolls

Harvested some Chinese Garlic Chives (Kuchai), to make this soft and fluffy rolls, Chives and Cheddar Parker House Rolls. The actual recipe is called Dill and Gruyere Parker House Round Rolls, from The Bread Collection by Brian Hart Hoffman. I did not have any dill but I do have Chinese Garlic Chives. Gruyere is not easily available so I have used Cheddar instead.

There's butter, milk and eggs in the dough. The dough is slightly sticky but it was manageable, just as the book says. After the first rise, the dough is divided into round balls. I've made half a recipe which makes 12 rolls. There's a small cube of plain butter as a filling for each roll. I have however added some chopped chives, garlic powder and a pinch of salt mixed into the softened butter, then refrigerate until set, cubed and used as the filling. Brush the risen rolls with some melted butter before they go into the oven.

Brush with some melted butter again as soon as the rolls are out of the oven. I have omitted the sprinkling of salt over the rolls. 

These rolls are so fluffy soft! Of course, the butter filling gets melted and this makes the rolls even more buttery. These would be great with some soup, but I love eating them plain with just a cup of hot tea! 

The full recipe can be found here.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #35 

Friday, November 9, 2018

Maple-Syrup-And-Mustard Brussels Sprouts

Recipe No.2 from Everyday Dorie, selected for this week at Cook the Book Fridays, Maple-Syrup-And-Mustard Brussels Sprouts.

I did not have any maple syrup, so I've used honey because Dorie says we can 😃. Instead of steaming the brussels sprouts, I microwaved them, with a tablespoon or two of water sprinkled over,  along with the sliced shallot, garlic, salt and black pepper, on high for 2 minutes. Meanwhile fry the bacon until crisp, remove and keep aside.  The brussels sprouts are then stir-fry in the bacon fat (I did not remove all of the fat! Ha!) until they are are charred and crisp-tender. I've used a mixture of both smooth Dijon and grainy mustard, mix-in with the honey. These are added to the brussels sprouts, stir until they are coated with the mustard-honey glaze. Stir in the crumpled crispy bacon. And as suggested by Dorie, I added a splash of balsamic vinegar in the final stir. 

This is delicious. Love the flavours of the honey, mustard, bacon and the crisp-tender texture of the brussels sprouts. I actually ate this for lunch on its own! And would definitely make this again as a side dish to a meal. Yums!

Please do visit my friends' links at CtBF and see what they think of "Maple-Syrup-And-Mustard Brussels Sprouts".

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Austrian Apricot Sheet Cake

A traditional Austrian summer cake. Delicate yellow batter, scraped into a sheet pan, dimpled with halved raw apricots. Canned apricots can be used instead of fresh. During baking, the cake rises up around the apricot halves, which sink down into the batter. I have used canned apricots, and made half a recipe as the original recipe makes quite a large cake.  

The cake batter is so simple to make, and it takes about 25 to 30 minutes to bake. Once the cake is has cooled down, dust evenly with confectioners' sugar before serving.

This is a lovely cake, with moist, soft, light and airy crumb. It is not too sweet, a definite plus in my books! We wish we had some ice cream in the freezer to go with this lovely cake. Maybe the next time! This recipe is a keeper! According to the author, this is the kind of crowd-pleasing cake you'll want to make year-round.

Austrian Apricot Sheet Cake (Marillenfleck)
(Classic German Baking, Luisa Weiss)
Makes 1 (13x18-inch) cake
1.5kg ripe apricots or 3 (432gms cans) apricot halves, drained
200gm unsalted butter
200gm all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/8 tsp salt
200gm confectioners' sugar, plus more for garnish
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
grated peel of 1/2 organic lemon
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Line a 13 by 18 by 1-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Wash, dry, halve, and pit the apricots, and set aside.
  2. Melt the butter and remove from the heat as soon as it has melted. While the butter is melting, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Pour the melted butter into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the confectioners' sugar and beat with a whisk or with the whisk attachment just until no lumps remain. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until well combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Beat in the vanilla extract, grated lemon peel, and lemon juice just until combined. Beat in the remaining flour mixture and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
  4. Scrape the batter onto the prepared pan, spreading it out into the corners. Place the apricot halves, cut-side up, on the cake batter, distributing them evenly and leaving only a little bit of space between them.
  5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the cake (not an apricot) comes out clean.
  6. Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack. When the rack is completely cool, dust evenly with more confectioners' sugar, cut into squares, and serve.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #35 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Fig and Honey Pannacotta

I harvested a few ripe figs from my fig plant, and make this delicious cold dessert, Fig and Honey Pannacotta. 

The recipe uses sheets of gelatin but I have used gelatin granules instead. Honey may be substituted with sugar if you prefer. I have made this dessert a couple of times and find that most of the fig slices do not remain adhere to the side of the bowl, but that is OK, as the dessert still tastes yummy!

Refrigerate the pannacotta overnight, and the next day you will have a delightful cold creamy luscious dessert to enjoy after a dinner meal. Delicious with the light tasting honey, and refreshingly good with the sweet fig slices! Yummy! 

(my adaptation listed in blue)
Fig and Honey Pannacotta
(desserts by Michel Roux)
1-1/2 sheets leaf gelatin (2 tsps gelatin granules)
1-1/4 cups (300ml) heavy cream (1-1/2 cups)
scant 1 cup (200ml) milk
generous 1/4 cup (100gm) honey, or scant 1/2 cup (80gm) superfine sugar (I use orange blossom honey)
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (I use 1/4 tsp vanilla extract)
3 ripe fresh figs, sliced into fine circles

Soak the gelatin in cold water to cover for about 5 minutes. (If using gelatin granules : measure 2 tablespoons of warm water in a small microwavable bowl, scatter the gelatin granules over, and leave for a few minutes to soften. Microwave on high on 10 seconds spurts, stir, and repeat until the gelatin has fully dissolved). Heat the cream, milk, honey or sugar, and vanilla beans in a pan, stirring from time to time, until the mixture almost reaches a boil, then remove from the heat. Immediately drain the gelatin and squeeze out excess water, then add (the dissolved gelatin granules) to the creamy milk, stirring until completely melted.
Strain the mixture through a fine strainer or chinois into a bowl. Stand in a larger bowl filled with ice cubes and a little water to cool quickly, stirring from time to time, until it is nearly cold.
Meanwhile, arrange fig slices around the sides of 6-8 individual glass bowls or cups (measuring about 3-1/4 inches/8cm across the top), making sure they adhere; save 6-8 slices for decoration. Carefully pour in the pannacotta mixture, ensuring it covers the figs. Refrigerate until set, at least 2 hours, or overnight if preparing ahead.
Remove from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before serving. Top each pannacotta with a fig slice to serve.

kitchen flavour's notes :
2 teaspoons of gelatin granules gives a softer set, which we prefer. For a firmer set, add a little more of the granules.

I'm linking this post with Cookbook Countdown #35