Saturday, 29 August 2015

#41 - Cheesy Corn Pull-Apart Bread


I have always wanted to own a breadmaker at home since I first started out in the kitchen. However, due to space constraint and fear of it being a white elephant, I was hesitant for a long period of time. But just last week, with much anticipation, I finally made the decision to purchase one and here I am, my first homemade bread product! 

Upon receiving the breadmaker, I was all excited to start making my own homemade bread. You have no idea how happy I was when the friends with whom I shared the bread with, simply love it! Of course, there are still plenty of room for improvement but I am so looking forward to trying out different bread recipes and making sure my house is filled with the fresh & sweet aroma of homebaked bread!


In this recipe, the combination of fresh corn kernels with parmesan cheese, along with a honey glaze on the top, gives you that sweet and salty balanced taste. The dough was kneaded by breadmaker before it was shaped and finished off with oven baking to yield a nice brown colour. Enjoy :)

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Recipe: Adapted & modified from My Mind Patch.

Servings
9 buns

Ingredients
Bread Dough
130g Corn Kernels, steamed (divided into 2 portions of 90g & 40g respectively)
80g Milk
20g Condensed Milk
40g Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
35g Egg, beaten
30g Salted Butter
130g Bread Flour, sifted
20g Cake Flour, sifted
3/4 tsp Instant Dry Yeast


Topping
75g Shredded Parmesan Cheese

Glaze
Beaten Egg
1 tbsp Honey, mixed with 1 tsp Hot Water


Method
1. Grease baking pan (I used 9"square pan, for better height of the buns, use a 7" or 8" square pan) by spraying a layer of non-stick spray around the base and side of pan before lining with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

2. Using fresh corn, collect corn kennels from corn cob and steamed at high heat for 15 minutes.


3. After corn kernels are slightly cooled, blend it (90g) with milk using a food processor or a blender. Make sure the mixture is well blended.


4. Pour corn mixture into a bowl. Add in remaining corn kernels (40g) and condensed milk. Make sure the combined mixture is well mixed.

5. Pour corn mixture into the bread barrel.

6. At each corner of the bread barrel, add in sugar, salt, beaten egg and butter.


7. Add in the bread flour and cake flour on top of the wet ingredients. Make sure the wet ingredients are well covered by the flour.

8. In the centre of the flour heap, dig a hole and add in the instant dry yeast.


9. Secure bread barrel in the bread machine.


10. Select "Knead Dough" function on your bread maker, and press "Start" (On my Donlim T15A Breadmaker, I selected function "9" and for 10 minutes - would suggest increasing kneading time to 20 minutes instead to yield a softer & fluffier bread texture).

11. When dough is ready, sprinkle some bread flour over the top of the dough and transfer it from bread barrel to a well-floured work surface.

12. Flatten the dough lightly to release the trapped air within the dough.

13. Divide the dough into 9 equal portions, about 63g to 65g each.

14. Lightly sprinkle each portion with some flour and roll it within your palms into a round ball. Place the dough buns into prepared baking pan.



15. Lightly spray some water over the dough buns before placing baking pan in a closed oven ("OFF" mode) to allow proofing of the dough for 90 minutes or when dough has risen to 1.5 times.


16.  After proofing, remove baking pan from oven. Preheat oven to 170C.


17. On the dough buns, brush a layer of beaten egg before placing the shredded cheese over the top.



18. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, or until the cheese is partially melted & browned.


19. When bread is ready, removed from oven and apply layer of honey glaze on top immediately.

20. Allow bread to cool slightly and serve bread while it is still warm. 


Wednesday, 5 August 2015

#40 - Toasted Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich


Coming back to the scene after taking a 2 months break from food blogging is not easy. You just find it that much harder to get the momentum going. One day I can be super gung-ho, going through sites and books on recipe ideas, but another day I just feel like chucking them all aside, refusing to take a second look at the number of "backlog" recipes I have on hand. 

It is not that I do not enjoy being in the kitchen, snapping pretty pictures of the end products and sharing them with everyone, but I just can't seem to find that motivation for the longest time. But hey, I am back! That's all that matters isn't it?

During this short break, I actually spent more time catching up with friends, put in more hours in my teaching job and more important, I spent more time with myself. I want to believe that I am now stronger and I kind of appreciate life better, as what it is. As cache as it sounds, everything does happen for a reason right? Right.


Back to food blogging. Although I have not been baking/ cooking much lately, one thing that I do engage in on a daily basis (or at least I try to make it 3-4 times a week) is Breakfast Preparation! I do up these breakfast boxes for my hubby so to make sure he has a decent breakfast and he gets all the energy he needs for his work. As such, I am constantly on the lookout for  quick, fuss-free and yummy breakfast ideas. Be it a simple recipe for Tuna Melts (with a twist in adding  cottage cheese and dill) or 20 ways to incorporate colours in your breakfast, count me in! 


And this week, I tried out the warm and sweet Toasted Peanut Butter & Banana sandwich. It is such a yummy alternative to its more popular counterpart, P&J sandwich. Make sure your bananas have really ripen before you do this okay. The nuttiness of the peanut butter goes so well with the sweetness of the bananas. No additional butter or spread needed at all. To add on to the flavour, I added a dash of cinnamon powder over the bananas and YUM! The fragrance of the cinnamon powder just elevated the sandwich to another level. 


This is so simple and fuss-free and you can easily fix this up in like 15 minutes? So why not give this a try tomorrow morning. There! You have something to look forward to for tomorrow already! 

Good day everyone!



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Servings
2 Sandwiches

Ingredients
4 slices of Wholemeal Bread
2 tbsp Peanut Butter
2 Banana, sliced
1/4 tsp Cinnamon Powder

Directions
1. Spread peanut butter evenly onto one side of each slice of bread.

2. Using air fryer, toast the bread at 180C for 3 - 5 minutes until it is lightly browned. 

3. Remove bread from air fryer and place banana slices onto the peanut buttered side of one slice of bread. 

4. Dust lightly with cinnamon powder. Top with the other slice of bread and press together firmly. 

5. Serve while warm. 





Saturday, 13 June 2015

#39 - Honey Lemonade Popsicles



Are you frustrated with the recent hot weather like I am? I am sure we are all craving for something cold, cooling and yummy to bring the heat down a little. Try this! This is one of my favourite popsicle flavour so far. Sweet & tangy all at the same time! 


The best part of this popsicle is that you are not restricted by the choice of fruits. You do not have to use the fruits I recommended. You may replace it with other fruits that you preferred (eg. oranges, peaches, mangoes etc). It is the magical blend between the honey and the lemonade that gives you the sweet yet tangy taste that is so addictive! 

I am so heading into my kitchen and making another batch of this NOW!  

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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
6 Popsicles (depending on size of the mould)

Ingredients
3/4 cups Water
1/4 cup Honey
1/2 cup Lemon Juice
Zest of 2 Lemons
1 Kiwi, sliced
2 Strawberries, sliced
12 Blueberries

Method
1. Combine water, honey, lemon juice and lemon zest in a liquid measuring cup. Stir well to ensure that the honey is fully dissolved into the lemonade. 


2. Run the lemonade mixture over sieve to remove any pulp and seeds.

3. Distribute the fruits (kiwi, strawberries and blueberries) among the popsicles moulds. 


4. Pour lemonade mixture into the popsicles moulds. 


5. Freeze popsicles for at least 6 hours (or overnight) until the popsicles are firm. 

6. To remove popsicles from their moulds, dip moulds in glass of water for 10 seconds. This will ensure the popsicles come out smoothly from the moulds. Serve while popsicles are firm. 


Monday, 8 June 2015

#38 - Nutella Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting




It is the strawberries season lately and these pretty red beauties are really big, juicy and sweet at this time of the year! Don't they just look really gorgeous? Such vibrant colours and sweet flavour are just perfect as gifts to friends.

 

As for the cake base, this is probably one of the most tasty yet simplest cake base I have made among all other cupcakes. With just 3 basic ingredients, you get a rich, moist and fudgy nutella cake base that is most certain to wow your mind. How delightful is that! 



As if this wasn't enough, the absolute reason why I love this recipe is because of the  … FROSTING. 

Couple of months back, I learnt this trick from a fellow baker and ever since then, I have fallen in love with it. This trick does not require you to go through the whole process of whipping up the cream with powdered sugar to get a firm icing (which we all know can be challenging at times if your cream is not at the right temperature or fats content). Let's be honest, even if you are a seasoned cupcakes decorating professional, you wouldn't turn down a trick like this where you are have a perfectly pretty looking cupcake without going through the hassle of frosting. Would you? The magic is just to make use of toasted marshmallows instead. Not only do they look like actual frosting (and hence, making the cupcakes looking close to perfection),  the toasted marshmallows are pretty yummy too! 



As for the toppings of the cupcakes, you can make use of any fruits you like (e.g. strawberries, blueberries) or even chocolate balls. As long as they are yummy, anything goes! 


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Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Servings
10 cupcakes

Ingredients
100g Self Raising Flour, sifted
2 Eggs
375g Nutella

(Optional)
Nuts, chopped (eg. macadamia, almond or hazelnuts)

Method
1. Preheat oven to 180C.

2. Line muffin tray with paper liners and set aside for later use.

3. Combine all ingredients together and mix well until batter is smooth. Do not over mix.

4. Using an ice-cream scoop, divide the batter evenly into muffins tray (with paper liners) prepared. Each muffin cup should be filled up to 1/2 to 2/3 of the way.

5. Tap muffin tray on tabletop gently to ensure that the batter is level and evenly spread out. This also help to make sure that any excess air is removed from the batter.

6. If you would like to, sprinkle chopped nuts on the batter before baking it.


7. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes until top of the cupcakes are firm. Remove from oven.



8. Top each cupcake with a marshmallow and return tray back to oven to toast it for 2 - 3 minutes until marshmallow is melted. 


9. Lastly, remove cupcakes from oven and top with a strawberry before transferring to wire rack to allow cupcakes to cool completely before serving.





Friday, 5 June 2015

#37 - Cheesy Chicken Baked Rice


Cheesy Chicken Baked Rice, definitely a go-to recipe for me and my family. Hubby and I love this dish so much that it is probably the most cooked dinner item for us at home. This is also something I like to cook for Hubby when I know he had a tough week at work. The perfect reward for him just because I know how much he love this baked rice! Trust me, this dish is THAT simple and THAT good!

To be honest, there is really no ways you can get this recipe wrong in the kitchen. I have cooked this dish numerous times for family gatherings, home dinners, pot-luck parties and even taught a few friends how to cook it. So far, every single person who have tried this, love it and they always come back, looking for more. I am so grateful to have this fool-proof recipe! 


I have a similar recipe on Chicken & Mushroom Baked Rice which I shared on this site couple of years back and this new version is basically an improved version with more vegetables. Even so, it still comes with the same old goodness packed in it. If you would like to, you may also replaced the protein in the recipe with salmon, grilled fish, pork, seafood or basically anything to your liking.

On that note, I will be doing a vegetarian version very soon. Stay tuned! 



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Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Servings
Serves 3 - 4

Ingredients
1 and 1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 and 1/2 cup of water (to cook the rice)
2 tbs Olive oil
90g Swiss Brown Mushroom, sliced
170g Chicken Fillet, cubed
50g Baby Carrots, cubed
50g Cherry Tomatoes, cubes
50g Mixed Vegetables
Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
1 can Campbell's Cream of Mushroom Soup
150g Shredded Cheese (Mozzarella, Cheddar, Parmesan)





Directions

1. Preheat oven at 200C.

2. Rinse and drained the uncooked rice. Set aside for later use. 

3. In a saucepan, add the olive oil. Once the saucepan is heated, add in the sliced mushroom followed by the chicken pieces. Stir-fry over medium-low heat until the chicken is semi-cooked with a white surface. Do not overcook the chicken to ensure that the meat will not end up too tough. 


4. Add the washed uncooked rice, followed by the carrots, tomatoes and mixed vegetables into the saucepan and continue frying and tossing. Season the mixture with salt and pepper. Ensure that the content is well-stirred.



5. Transfer the fried rice into a rice cooker and add in water to cook the rice.


6. After the rice is cooked, portion the content into your casserole dishes or baking pan. Pour the Cream of Mushroom Soup sauce over the top of the rice. Spread the sauce evenly across the surface.



7. Top the sauce with a layer of shredded cheese.


8. Bake in the oven for 16 - 18 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and give a golden brown crust at the top of the baked rice. Serve while it is hot.