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. 




Thank you


Just want to say thank you to all of you who have been visiting my site and also to those who have LIKED my facebook page. It means a lot to me for the page to hit 350 likes in less than 2 months. I hope you find some good recipes shared here.

Recipes sharing can be abit slow on days when I am tied up with work and I really appreciate your understanding on that. I will work hard to make more yummy food and share them with you!

Please feel free to share my page/site with your friends. Thanks to those who already did. Sharing is caring!

Site - http://mrsmintycream.blogspot.sg
Page - http://facebook.com/mrsmintycream

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

#36 - Baileys Butter Cake



Couple of months back, I was staring at my display cabinet at home and was left wondering. 

How on earth did Hubby & myself end up with these bottles and bottles of lovelies at home? We are running out of space in the display cabinet to store them. We always seems to buy them faster than we can consume them. Sure, leaving them in the cabinets is pretty, but isn't it such a waste? What can we ensure we put them to better use?


Other than the obvious choice of drinking them all up (since hubby & myself are not exactly heavy drinkers), what else can I do to make them into good use? Baking, it shall be. With that in mind, I went on my search of a simple nice recipe to incorporate alcohol in my baked goods. And I found it! 


Butter cakes. There is just something very enticing about these simple beauties. They are not as fanciful and elaborated like layered cakes, and neither are they as pretty and versatile like our cupcakes. But then again, when they are done right, butter cakes are our plain old simple solution at all times. It is also the cake to go along with a nice hot cup of coffee on a Sunday morning while reading your newspaper. Am I not right?



To this simple beauty, let us add in our Baileys Irish Cream! Personally, Baileys has always been one of my top 3 choice of drink when i am out with the girls. This is especially so when I am not exactly in a mood for strong drinks. There is something about the creamy & milky texture that reminds me of a iced chocolate drink and who doesn't fancy a iced chocolate drink at anytime of the day?


With that in mind, I was off to give the recipe a shot! 

In 2 weeks, I baked this butter cake twice and feedback from family and friends have been relatively positive. My Dad and & Mum (who does not even drink much alcohol) love the cakes (and commented an improvement on my baking skills) and even my mother-in-law (who is definitely well-versed in the culinary department) gave me a thumb up! It makes me really happy to be able to make them happy with my limited culinary skills. They are my motivation. Haha!

If I were to change anything in this recipe, I would probably cut down on the amount of cocoa powder used and to increase on the amount of Baileys in the batter. That would give the butter cake a more distinct flavour to it, I believe. 


Look at this simple slice of Baileys Butter Cake. I am so drawn to it because of its pretty marbly swirls.


For those of you who are interested to try out this recipe I am sharing, I am pretty sure that you would like to achieve these pretty swirls in your cake, isn't it? Just make sure you do not go overboard with your obsession of swirling in the batter. In fact, the technique I have used here is not exactly marble swirling. Instead, we make use of the technique in "Zebra Cakes" to achieve this result which I really like very much. 

In Step (9) of the recipe when you are alternating between the vanilla & cocoa batter, you may want to tap/shake the load pan very very lightly from left to right. This is just to help the batter to spread out better towards the side of the loaf pan. This will be useful as the vanilla batter can be a little bit on the thick side. When in the loaf pan, do not mix the vanilla & cocoa batter together. I not even swirl it further. Fear not, even if the batter looks ugly like what I have shown below. 

My First Try
My Second Try
The thing about creating cakes with interior designs is that you have absolutely no idea whether your attempt is successful until you cut into it. It took me so much self-control to stop myself from cutting into the cake on the night of completing the cake. While waiting for it to cool overnight, I could only keep my fingers crossed and pray that it will turn out exactly how I want it to be. 

Looking at the results, I am so glad that I have waited. It was much easier to get near and clean slices of the cake after it has been cooled overnight. 

My First Try
My Second Try

To me, the best part of my love in baking is to be able to share the fruits of my labour with my family and friends and it is such an added bonus if they like what I am making of them. Sharing is caring! 




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Recipe: Adapted & modified from here (Connie Goh).

Ingredients
250g Salted Butter, softened
170g Castor Sugar
4 Eggs
220g Self Raising Flour, sifted
20g Cocoa Powder, sifted
4 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream (Caramel Flavour)
3 tbsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Method
1. Preheat oven to 150C.

2. Grease loaf pan before lining with baking paper. Set aside for later use.

3. Add cocoa powder to Baileys and mix well. Set aside for later use.

4. In a mixer bowl, cream butter together with sugar until pale in colour.


5. Add in vanilla extract and milk to the mixture and mix well.

6.. Add in the eggs (one at a time), mixing well after each addition.

7. Fold in the sifted flour to the wet mixture, one third portion at a time and mix well until batter is smooth.

8. Divide cake batter into 2 portions. Stir in Baileys mixture in Step (3) into one portion of the cake batter.

9. Using a spoon or a spatula, spoon in the vanilla cake batter and Baileys cake batter into the loaf pan alternatively. Tap the loaf pan on the work surface lightly as you go along to ensure batter is evenly spread out and any air pockets within it are removed.

10. Bake the cake at 150C for 45 minutes and 160C for 20 - 25 minutes or until cake tester come out clean when inserted into centre of the cake. 


11. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool in the loaf pan for 10 - 15 minutes, before transferring it to the wire rack to be cooled completely.