Wednesday, 21 January 2015

#25 - Butter Chocolate Cheese Cake


If you have not noticed, the recipe for this Butter Chocolate Cheese Cake was spreading like wild fire in many of the cooking/baking groups on Facebook. For weeks, I see posts after posts on various variations of this same recipe going around. Such a beautiful sight. Some bakers did it in square baking pan (like I did), some did the cupcakes version and some bakers even added their own touch to it by doing different ganaches and toppings to the cake. This is also a great recipe for a basic chocolate cake for whatever cream cake versions that you might be looking at. This recipe is THAT simple and versatile! 



I have to admit that what really attracted me to this cake recipe at first wasn't the rich ingredients or sweet & savoury taste of the cake, or even how simple the baking techniques were. What caught my attention were how pretty the cakes looked with the perfect wavy patterns at the side. Hah! I know! Pretty lame of me, isn't it? But then again, tell me who isn't attracted to pretty little sights like these. 


The original recipe call for the use of a 8" square pan and because I did not have one, I did my own version of the cake in a 9" pan. This resulted in my cake being kind of short but then again, no worries at all. The taste was not affected a single bit. The rich chocolatey taste was just splendid. Personally, I really like the soft, springy texture of the cake and it definitely goes well with a cup of my favourite Earl Grey Tea. 


These cakes can be easily stored in an air-tight container outside for 2 days but for any longer period of time, I would recommend leaving them in the fridge. You just need to let the cakes come to room temperature before serving and they will still taste as good!


I simply love these easy-bake, easy-storage recipes! They allow me to fix up my hubby's breakfast in a breeze. No fuss at all. And what's better, I can also share the love around by packing some for my family & friends. Love it!


If you are worried about the extra calories, oh come on! Just a tiny winy piece of it wouldn't hurt, would it?


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Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Ingredients
Chocolate Cake
250g salted butter, softened at room temperature
150g sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp whipping cream
200g (minus 4 tbsp) self raising flour, sifted
4 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted

Cheesecake Filling
250g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
50g sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp corn flour

Method
Cheesecake Filling
1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.

2. Grease baking pan (I used 9"square pan, for better height of the cake, use a 8" square pan or 9" round 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.

3. Using a mixer, cream the cream cheese together with sugar, egg and corn flour. Make sure the mixture is well mixed. Set aside for later use.

Chocolate Cake
1. Using a mixer, set it to high speed and cream the butter and sugar together until you get a white and flurry mixture. This should take 5 to 7 minutes.

2. Add in the eggs (one at a time), vanilla extract and whipping cream to the mixture and mix well.

3. Fold in the sifted flour and cocoa powder to the mixture and make sure they are well incorporated.

4. Pour half of the chocolate cake batter into baking pan. Shake / tap the baking pan on the tabletop lightly so as to ensure that the batter is evenly spread and any air pockets within it are removed.

5. Using a spoon or a spatula, spoon in the cheesecake filling over the chocolate batter carefully. Spread the cheesecake filling over the chocolate battter and smoothen it out.

6. Spoon in the remaining chocolate batter over the cheesecake filling. Shake / tap the baking pan on the tabletop lightly again to remove any remaining air pockets in the batter.

7. Bake in the oven for 55 - 75 minutes or until your cake tester come out clean when inserted in the centre of the cake. 

8. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the baking pan for 5-10mins, before transferring it to the wire rack to be cooled completely.




Wednesday, 17 December 2014

#24 - Salted Caramel Cheesecake with Macadamia Nuts


Qns: Name one dessert that your hubby is nagging / pleading / demanding you to make for him for the past months! 

Ans: CHEESECAKE! 

The last time I baked a cheesecake was more than a year ago and since then, my mister at home has never failed to remind me how much he is in love with my baked cheesecake and how rarely I bake for him lately. To be honest, he is not wrong. So, after our recent trip to Club Med Bintan, I decided to be nice to him and just let him indulge in the 1kg worth of cream cheese in this new recipe I have tried out - Salted Caramel Cheese with Macadamia Nuts. 

Compared to my previous recipe for Baked Cheesecake with Kiwi Topping, I did some minor changes to the proportion and it still taste as good as before! In my opinion, the magic was in the addition of the sour cream! It really helps in giving the cheesecake a tangy taste to it. 

In fact, the Baked Cheesecake was looking really good when I got it out of the oven. And then, (I blame it on my own impatience) due to the fact that I did not leave it long enough in the oven to cool off before transferring it to tabletop to cool completely, it results in a horrible looking crack right at the centre of the cheesecake. So indeed, patience is a virtue. Lesson learned. 


What I did next was to quickly fix the crack on the cheesecake with help from the following YouTube video, before sending it to the fridge to be cooled further. 




After staying in the fridge for 6 hours, the cheesecake turned out really well! To top it off, I crushed some macadamia cuts and sprinkle them over the top of the cheesecake before drizzling the cake with some salted caramel sauce. Yummy! 


The cake was creamy, yet tangy and the caramel sauce was sweet yet salty. Not to mention, my hubby is in love with the buttery biscuit base of the cheesecake and me, with the nutty macadamia nuts topping. Go give this recipe a try and share it with me! 


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Recipe: Adapted & modified from here.

Servings
Make approximately 8 - 12 pieces

Ingredients
Biscuit Base
2 cups digestive biscuits, crushed
120g unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling
1000g cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 tsp salt, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
zest from 1 lemon
juice from 1/2 lemon

Salted Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt

Topping
100g macadamia nuts, crushed


Method
Biscuit Base
1. Preheat oven to 160 deg C.

2. Grease baking pan (Medium spring form cake pan, diameter 23cm) by spraying a layer of non-stick spray around the base and side of pan before lining the base and side with baking paper. Also line the base with aluminium foil on the outside. Set aside for later use.

3. To prepare the digestive biscuits crumbs for base & macadamia nuts for topping, you may either break up the biscuits / nuts into crumbs using a food processor or place them in a zip lock bag and break them up to crumbs by rolling a rolling pin over them in the bag. Set aside the crushed biscuits and macadamia nuts separately for later use.

4. Add in the melted butter to the crushed biscuits and mix well. The mixture should look like wet sand.

5. Pour the biscuit mixture into cake pan and pressed it firmly and evenly in the pan. I make use of the base of a ramekin to help me achieve an even layer. Bake for 8 minutes in the centre of the oven and set aside while making the cheesecake filling. 

Cheesecake Filling
1. Using a mixer, cream the cream cheese with sugar to ensure a good mix. Add eggs, sour cream, flour, salt and vanilla extract into the mixture and mix until smooth. 

2. Add in the lemon zest and lemon juice to the mixture and mix well. Once there are no more lumps in the mixture, you may stop mixing. Do not over mix so as to prevent cracks on the cheesecake. 

3. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the biscuit base. Shake / tap the cake pan on the tabletop lightly so as to ensure that the filling is evenly spread and any air pockets within the mixture are removed.

4. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. Leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for an hour with the door ajar.

5. Remove from the oven and cool it completely on table top (I cooled it for 6 hours) before transferring the cheesecake to the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours. 

Salted Caramel Sauce / Topping
1. Using the double boiler method, heat up the brown sugar, heavy cream, unsalted butter, vanilla extract and salt. Keep stirring until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture should be gooey.


2. Before serving, sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with the crushed macadamia nuts and drizzle each slice of the cheesecake with the salted caramel sauce. 






Saturday, 26 July 2014

#23 - Claypot Chicken Rice (Rice Cooker)


When you are sick and tired of packing food from food courts or even kopitiams for dinner, you will seriously be craving for something that is warm & comforting, something simple like a home cooked meal, something just like this.

If you know me, you will know that I'm pretty much a fuss-free person. Though I adore cooking and baking, I have never really get myself done to experimenting with complicated recipes, let alone cooking meals involving 101 ingredients. I am more of a less-is-more kind of person! I love following and trying out simple yet yummy recipes and when I'm in the right mood, I give it my own twist!

This Claypot Chicken Rice is simple enough and if you have a pan and a rice-cooker, you can make this.



For the cooking of the main ingredients, original recipe actually call for the raw ingredients to be added to the rice when the rice is half-cooked. However, since hubby and I prefer the rice to be slightly dryer, I did it slightly different. I allowed the rice to be fully-cooked while I stir fry all the ingredients (chicken, mushrooms, sausages) with some garlic in a separate pan until the chicken is semi-cooked. When rice was cooked, I poured all the ingredients onto the rice in the rice cooker and cook the rice again. It turned out that the rice was nice and dry and the it tasted really yummy!

So, give it a try and enjoy some warm and nice comfort food from home :)


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Recipe: Adapted and modified from here

Servings
4 persons

Ingredients
3 cups Rice (to be cooked with 3 cups Water)
2 Chinese Sausages
50 - 60 grams Dried Chinese Mushrooms
100 grams Button Mushrooms
2 Deboned Chicken Thigh Meat (diced)

Seasonings
2 tbsp Oyster Sauce
2 tbsp Light Soya Sauce
1 tbsp Dark Soya Sauce
5 tbsp Chinese Cooking Wine (花雕酒)
2 tsp Sugar
White Pepper

Directions
1. Rinse and drain the uncooked rice. Cook the rice in rice cooker using 3 cups of water. 


2. Soak the chinese sausages and dried chinese mushrooms in hot water for 2-3 mins. 

3. Remove the casing of the sausages and sliced it. Once the chinese mushrooms are soft, removed the centre stalk before slicing it. 


4. In a large bowl, marinate all the ingredients (chicken, both types of mushrooms, sausages) with oyster sauce, light soya sauce sauce, dark soya sauce, chinese cooking wine, sugar and white pepper. 


5. In a saucepan (with some garlic), stir fry the marinated ingredients over medium heat until the chicken is semi-cooked. Do not over cook the chicken. 




6.  When the rice is cooked, transfer the semi-cooked ingredient to the top of the rice and let the rice cook for a second time. 



7. Before serving, stir and mix the rice and ingredient together. Make sure that the contents are well-stirred. You may add some additional dark soya sauce upon stirring to achieve your desired colour preference. 







Wednesday, 7 May 2014

#22 - Bak Kwa (Barbecued Pork Jerky) Sandwich


I know that I ought to be kicked for totally neglecting this site of mine. To be totally honest, I have not been doing much baking / cooking for the past 4 months at all. Yes, I am aware of that. As much as I would like to, I just can't seem to find the right time / mood recently (excuses!). I guess I am displaying my talent for procrastination to my best ability, once again. This is really a bad habit that I must kick (soon).

Anyway, I met up with Mum last week for a short lunch and as usual, she came with loads of goodies for her am-very-fat-daughter, Your Truly. Out of the many goodies, this has got to my hubby's favourite - Bak Kwa! I am not such a great fan for Bak Kwa since it is more like a CNY treat for my family. But rather than having Mr. Lim munching on the Bak Kwa plainly (not to mention, after dinner!), I decided to save them for making some breakfast sandwich for the man instead.

These are the two versions which I am sharing today. One slightly more elaborated than the other, but both as tasty!

This is what Mrs. Lim (That's me!) had for breakfast this morning! Healthy and Yummy! 

And this is what Mr. Lim brought to work as his breakfast! 
Extra Bak Kwa at the side for his to munch on! 


I just could not resist and had to take two (not one)  HUGE bites!


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Servings
3 Sandwiches

Ingredients
6 slices of Wholemeal White Bread 
2 eggs 
Butterhead Lettuce
2 slices of Cheddar Cheese
Japanese Mayonnaise 

Directions
1. Using a saucepan over medium heat, fry the eggs (sunny side up or over-easy, according to your desired preference). 


2. When the egg is almost done, place the slices of lightly-buttered bread on the hot saucepan. Toast it for 2-3 minutes and you will get a lightly brown crisp bread. 




3. Wash and pat dry the Butterhead Lettuce. Place the lettuce on one slice of bread before adding a slice of Bak Kwa on top of the lettuce. If you would like to, you may heat up the Bak Kwa slightly before assembling the sandwich.


4. Add the fry egg and a slice of cheddar cheese on top. The heat from the egg will ensure the cheese melts a little before serving. 



5. Top with more lettuce, Japanese Mayonnaise and lastly, a slice of bread. 



And then, you have it! A perfectly simply and yummy sandwich to be packed for breakfast or even a on-the-go lunch! Add in some fruits and MORE Bak Kwa and you have it!



#P/S: For the simplified version, simply omit the use of egg and cheese in Step 4 and you have it! Equally tasty!