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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Flourless almond cake

Drinking chocolate on almond cake. Gotta try everything for the first time.
Strange that though I have baked for years, I have yet to make one without flour. Somehow weeks after seeing this cake here, I just cannot forget it.

This cake takes a cool 15 minutes to prepare, minus the baking. It was almost plain sailing until I over-mixed the almond yolk concoction which formed a tight lump. The cake could have risen higher if I had not used most of the meringue to break up the pesky lump.

There’s  a lesson in this. When things get smooth sailing and confidence goes into overdrive, things happens.

Credits : adapted from No-Frills Recipe

Makes a 5 inch cake

Ingredients :

A )
90 g almond meal
1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp baking powder

2 eggs, separated
1/2 Tbsp orange essence
½  tsp  cider vinegar  

50 g caster sugar (divided into 2 portions )
a pinch of salt

Method :

Preheat oven to 170C.

Line a 5 inch baking tray and grease/flour the sides. I used a silpat cut to size that covers the entire interior surface of the tray.

Beat the yolks with 1 portion of the sugar ( 25g )until pale. Add essence. Mix again.
Add   the almond mixture (A) to the yolk mix until just combined.
DO NOT overmix or the mixture clumps making subsequent steps impossible.

Beat the egg whites until coarse bubbles form. Add vinegar , salt and whisk to stabilise the whites.
Whisk , adding the remaining portion of the 25g of sugar in a steady stream, at medium high speed until meringue forms soft peak.

Transfer the meringue to the almond mixture by the spoonful, combining with each addition.

Transfer the batter to the prepared tray. Bake in the preheated oven at 170C for about 25-35 minutes until the cake is visible risen and surface is tan.

If making this on cupcake liners, bake at 170C for 20 - 25 minutes.

Cool well. Transfer the cake to a serving dish.

Dust with icing or drinking chocolate.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easy food processor apple pie

Kiddo loves a good apple pie. The crunch of walnut bits and tartness of granny smith is a sensation that is rather unforgettable.
I made the crust with a food processor while the microwave did the filling in less than 5 minutes. No chilling was done but it worked out just well.

Now without being so keyed up on a cold pie crust, the apple pie can actually be a joy to make.  Why didn’t I think of it ?

1 medium pie.

Pie crust ingredients :
125g plain flour
62g butter, cubed, slightly softened
1/2 of one beaten egg 
1/2 tsp fine sugar
1/4 tsp fine salt
20ml cold milk

apple  filling :
2 apples , cubes and microwaved for 2 minutes
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
pinch of cinnamon powder
handful of raisins
1 Tbsp flour
½ cup chopped walnuts, toasted

Method :
In a food processor, blitz the pie crust ingredients except milk and egg until it is sandlike in texture.
Pulse milk and egg. pinch the dough and if it does not fall apart, the dough is ready.
Use 2/3 of the crust for the bottom. Reserve the 1/3 for the top cover.
Transfer to a silpat and gather the crust together to make a mound.
Cover the mound with another silpat.
Flatten the mound with the pie pan.
Roll out to crust with allowance for the side of the pie dish.
Remove the top silpat.
Lift the bottom silpat that is holding the rolled out crust.
Transfer to the pie dish. The silpat is now used as a pie dish lining.

Flatten the remaining 1/3 crust. Chill until ready.

To make the filling, microwave the chopped apple, sugar, cinnamon for 2 minutes.
Stir in raisins, flour and walnuts.

To assemble,
Transfer the apple filling to the lined pie dish.
Neaten the edges.
Cover the top of the filling with the rolled out pie dough.
Poke holes for venting.

Baking :
Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 30 minutes.
Cool for 5 minutes.
Lift out the pie by lifting the edges of the silpat.
Cool further.
Slide out the pie from the silpat.
Enjoy at room temperature.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Korean fried wings

Some like it hot and some do not. 2 choices in a bowl.
Never underestimate the power of media. After the hugely popular Kdrama “ My Love from the Star’, the preferred TV snack is no longer just KFC. Korean chicken wings and beer is all the rage in Singapore now.  

The long crazy queue for fried wings at Chir Chir Somerset 313 was too much for me. So I decided to take matters into my own hands with the help of Maangchi.

Perhaps I will try the commercial Korean wings one day for benchmarking purposes. This recipe, I give it a good 3.5/5 for crunch. The loss of the 1.5/5 is because of the hard work and washing up after the dish. That part, I can postpone it for another day.

1 kg of wings , enough for 3.

Adaptations from Maangchi.

Ingredients :

1 kg of chicken midwings
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 knob of ginger, grated
pinch of sea salt flakes
dash of black pepper

Method :

Wash the chicken mid-wings until the water runs clear.
Marinate the wings in salt, black pepper, minced ginger and garlic, 30 minutes.
Coat the wings in potato starch. shake off extra starch.
Preheat a pot of oil, deep enough to cover the wings.
Fry the wings once, 10 minutes, high heat.
Drain, rest wings on a strainer.
Fry again on medium heat, 10 min until crunchy.

While resting the cooked wings, prepare the sauce.

Sauce :

2 T cooking oil
4 cloves, minced
1 tsp dried chilli, deseeded
¼ cup soya sauce
½ cup corn syrup
1 T vinegar + 1 T mustard
1 T brown sugar

Fry garlic, chilli over medium heat.
Add corn syrup, vinegar, mustard. Mix and cook.
Add sugar to caramelize.  Turn off heat.
Add chicken.
Toss to coat wings with the sauce.
Garnish with sesame seeds and fried peanuts ( optional )

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Steamed Yam Cake

So good even without garnish
I have made many steam yam cakes but this recipe beats all !  The first batch was a trial run for a cookout and I could not stop snitching it from the moment it was cooked, even in its hot, oozy state.

This is the real McCoy but the secret lies mostly in the stock used, as kitchentigress has pointed out. Use water instead and it will just be, meh.

I  deviate a wee bit from the original recipe. Even so, this abridged version is delicious!

With adaptations from KitchTigress

For 10.

Ingredients :

40g dried shrimps + 30g shitake dried mushroom – soaked overnight / microwaved for 5 minutes
300g yam cubes, about peanut size
50g shallots, either stored bought or fried until crispy
salt, 5 spice, pepper, light soya sauce – for seasoning
oil reserved from frying shallots

Rice water gruel -
200g rice flour
240 ml water from soaking dried shrimps and mushrooms
600 ml chicken stock

Method :

Soak the dried shrimps and mushrooms overnight. Reserve the water.
Alternatively microwave the dried shrimps and mushrooms in a deep microwavable bowl. Drain and reserve the water.

Chop the shrimps and mushrooms finely. I used very small shrimps and did away with the chopping.
Cut the yam to peanut sized cubes.

If making shallots from scratch, fry in oil until the shallots are crispy. Set aside. Reserve the oil. Otherwise, use ready to eat shallots.

Use the oil and fry the yam cubes until soft but not yet brown on medium heat. Set aside.

Fry the shrimps and mushrooms with seasoning until fragrant, on medium heat.

Combine the shallots, yam, shrimps and mushrooms. Set aside.

Mix the rice flour with the reserved shrimp/mushroom liquid.

Pour the flour mixture to the pot. Add the chicken stock.

Cook the mixture over medium high heat until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Turn off the heat and tip in the combined ingredients. Mix well.

Transfer the batter to a medium sized aluminum tray. Steam for 40 minutes.

Cool well before cutting the cake with a pastry cutter.