Sunday, November 28, 2010

Green Tea Cheesecake

As promised in my post on Japanese Cotton Cheesecake, here's a green tea version which I like very much with a cup of Earl Gray Tea. The fragrance of green tea in this bitter-sweet cake is a perfect teatime accompaniment anytime for me. Besides the use of green tea powder, this differs from the cotton cheesecake in the number of egg yolks used. I brought the green tea powder from Phoon Huat when I was back in Singapore and this is one of my favorite from Alex Goh's Fantastic Cheesecake book.

Singlish Swenglish Green Tea cheesecake

Singlish Swenglish Green Tea Cheesecake
200g milk
100g whipping cream
1 tablespoon green tea powder
125g cream cheese, soften
30g flour
30g cornflour
3 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
100g sugar

  1. Grease and lined the botton of a 23-cm cake form and wrap the outside in foil because it will be baked in a water bath.
  2. In a bowl which can be put over a pot of boiling water, mix the milk, cream, green tea powder together before adding the cream cheese to combine well together.

    Singlish Swenglish Green Tea Cheesecake
  3. Place over a pot of boiling water to stir until thicken. Let it cool.

    Singlish Swenglish Green Tea Cheesecake
  4. Add in the flour, then the corn flour until well-blended and set aside while you prepare the egg white mixture.
  5. In a clean bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy before adding the cream of tartar, and then the sugar gradually and continue whipping until soft peaks are formed.

    Singlish Swenglish Green Tea Cheesecake
  6. Fold the egg white mixture into the cheese mixture and pour into the cake form and bake at 160°C in a water bath for 50-60 minutes or until set and golden brown.

    Singlish Swenglish Green Tea Cheesecake
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and from the cake pan to cool, as the cake will shrink much more if you leave it to cool in the cake pan.

    Singlish Swenglish Green Tea cheesecake

Monday, November 22, 2010

Black Bottomed Cupcake

Singlish Swenglish_Black-bottom cupcakes

This was a recipe given by Sylvia a while ago, but I didn't try it until when I met up with Evelyn and Sylvia recently in London and Evelyn gave her endorsement to it (she's a professional ;) So I had to try it! An unusual ingredient is vinegar in the batter (I used a 5% distilled vinegar) but I read that it's because vinegar reacts with baking soda to provide the carbon dioxide needed for rising the cake. So now, I know and you know :) The other thing I found unusual about this recipe is the use of chocolate chips in the cheese mix, which makes it outstanding. Just see this picture of the chocolate chip melting within the cake:

Singlish Swenglish_Black-bottom cupcakes

The recipe seems to come from a book called 'Classic cupcakes':

Ingredients (makes about 12, american size muffin cup)
225g flour
1 teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
3.5 tablespoons cocoa powder
275g castor sugar
250ml water
5 tablespoon oil (should cooking oil which is neutral in smell like sunflower or rapeseed)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g cream cheese, soften
1 egg
150g dark chocolate chips

  1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C. Shift together the flour, bicarbonate soda, cocoa powder and stir in 200g sugar.
  2. Mix the oil, water, vinegar and vanilla together in a cup and pour into the flour mixture and mix well to form a smooth batter.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, egg and sugar together till smooth and then stir in the dark chocolate.

    Singlish Swenglish_Black-bottom cupcakes
  4.  In a lined muffin pan, pour the chocolate flour mixture up to 2/3 of each paper cup.

    Singlish Swenglish_Black-bottom cupcakes
  5. Drop a dollop of cheese mixture with a spoon right in the middle of each chocolate batter filled cup.

    Singlish Swenglish_Black-bottom cupcakes
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until firm to touch, leave it to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing it to cool on a wire rack completely. You can store in the fridge and it can last for up to a week.

    Singlish Swenglish_Black-bottom cupcakes
    Singlish Swenglish_Black-bottom cupcakes

Monday, November 15, 2010

Dried Beef Noodles

Singlish Swenglish Dried Beef Noodles

Okay, this is a deceptively short post, because to make this dried beef noodles, all you need are some potato starch, dark soy sauce and sesame seed oil. And beef stock from the post I did on pho.

But that's really it! Once you have a good beef stock, it's possible to churn out decent dried beef noodles home away from home.

Home-made beef stock
Thick vermicilli or egg noodles, cooked till al dente
cooked beef slices
bean sprouts, canned or fresh, scalded in hot boiling water
Sesame seed oil
dark soy sauce
potato starch solution

  1. Make the beef stock like in making pho. Heat it in a pot.
  2. Add some dark soy sauce to the stock, enough for the colour you desire. Adjust the taste of the broth accordingly with salt, sugar and pepper if necessary.
  3. While the stock is boiling, add in the potato starch solution little bit at a time until it is of thick consistency, like lava.
  4. In a bowl with the prepared noodles, add sesame seed oil and toss it well and arranged the beef slices on top before pouring the gravy over. Top with some fried onions and chili padi if desired.
 Singlish Swenglish Dried Beef Noodles

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vietnamese Beef Pho

Singlish Swenglish Vietnamese Pho

The ongoing Project Foodblog by Foodbuzz saw quite a few participants attempting to make Vietnamese Beef Pho during the second challenge where you were asked to try something not from your culture. Well, I did the steam rice rolls, then I thought I will try making Pho also. The recent trip to Malmö Asian shops yielded one of those seasonings for pho that comes in a pack, but I also took a few tips from here, I think her way of writing is pretty fun and easy too. I won't use the packet seasoning next because I actually have all the actual spices but what I wanted to show you after is how I managed to convert this version to Singapore dried beef noodles! You know, the kind you used to eat at Scotts food court which has moved to ION? I won't say mine is as good but I think it comes pretty close in this faraway land ;)

1kg beef with bones
2-3 large onions
3-4cm of ginger, unpeeled
rice noodles
canned/fresh bean sprouts
salt and sugar to taste
Thai basil for garnish
Pho spices (which includes pices include cinnamon sticks, cloves, coriander pods, star anise and cardamom)

Singlish Swenglish Vietnamese Pho stock

  1. Clean the beef and blanched in hot water first to remove the scum. Boil a clean pot of water and placed in the blanched beef.
  2. On a hot pan without adding any oil, roast the onions and ginger (unpeeled) until they are slightly charred along the sides. Add it to the stock pot along with the pho spices.

    Singlish Swenglish Vietnamese Pho stock
  3. Boil over medium low heat for about an hour or until the beef is tender. Remove the meat from the bones and sliced thinly and set aside. You can put the bones back to the soup to continuing boiling for flavour. Add salt and sugar to taste. You should expect a clear, light soup with that unique pho beef soup fragrance.

    Singlish Swenglish Vietnamese Pho stock
  4. To serve, cooked the rice noodles separately until done. Set a portion of noodles, sliced beef and bean sprouts and scoop the hot pipping soup over. Garnish with basil leaves and/or mint leaves, along with a side of sliced chili padi with fish sauce and enjoy this hot pipping pho in the cold weather - BEST!

    Singlish Swenglish Vietnamese Pho

    Singlish Swenglish Vietnamese Pho

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Äppelkaka med citron och kardemumma - Apple cake with lemon and cardamon

Äppelkaka med citron och kardemumma

Den har är en riktig bra recept från ICA's 'Billiga Veckan!' magasin för att det är lätt att göra men smacka mycket bra, särskilt med höst äpple. Det är också mycket svensk att använda kardemumma i bakelse.

This is a really good recipe from ICA (a major supermarket chain in Sweden) magazine called 'Billiga Veckan! - Economical Week which recommends recipes that is cheap and economical for the whole week. I have never followed it for one whole week but I tried a sample of this cake while shopping at ICA and got hooked. I did it for the first Supper Club@Nöbbelövs, where we opened our place to have a cell group session watching DVD sermon from New Creation Church Singapore and it was a well-received dessert.
 It's also quite Swedish because of the use of cardamon, which is quite common in confectioneries in Sweden.

Ingredients (8 pieces)
125g butter or margarine
1.5dl of castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
2.5dl flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoon milk

Filling and garnish
4 medium apples, peeled and sliced thinly
1 teaspoon ground cardamon
1 tablespoon castor sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C and grease a pie mould with a loose bottom or a gratin form is also fine otherwise about 24cm in diameter with butter or magarine.
  2. Melt the butter/margarine and let it cool before use. Stir in the sugar, vanilla sugar and lemon zest into the melted butter/margarine. 
  3. Add 1 egg at a time into the butter/margarine mixture until incorporated. 
  4. In another bowl, mix the baking powder and flour together with the milk and add to the butter-egg mixture gradually, ensuring there are no lumps. You should end up with a smooth, thick, yellow batter and pour it into the mould.

    Äppelkaka med citron och kardemumma
  5. Stick the thinly sliced apples in the batter in a circular pattern around the whole mould.

    Äppelkaka med citron och kardemumma
  6. Mix the sugar and cardamon in a small bowl and using your hands, sprinkle them onto the cake batter from a height ensuring it is distributed evenly and bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is golden brown.

    Äppelkaka med citron och kardemumma

    Äppelkaka med citron och kardemumma
  7. Serve with ice-cream, custard sauce or lightly whipped cream while warm.

    Äppelkaka med citron och kardemumma

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Aglio Olio

Aglio Olio with Mushrooms

When I was working in Singapore, the company I was with moved from a central town location to a business park in the West. Not all of us were happy with that as it severely limited our lunch options. A cafe opened up nearby and it quickly became a destination when we feel like splurging.

Very traditional Aglio Olio is just olive oil, garlic and chili flakes with spaghetti. I like some bacon and mushrooms with mine but it's equally simple.

Ingredients (for 2)
Spaghetti portion for 2, cooked till al dente, reserving some of the pasta cooking water
2-3 slices of bacon, fried in its own fat till crunchy, broken into large chunks
2-3 button mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
1 teaspoon of chili flakes, vary according to taste
Olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling over

  1. Pre-cooked the pasta and bacon and set aside to cool.
  2.  Heat up about 3 tablespoon of olive oil with the garlic slices in a frying pan over medium heat. When the garlic starts to brown a little, emitting a fragrance add in the chili flakes and stir fry for a few seconds. You may choke a little from the chili fumes so be a bit careful on that.
  3. Add in the button mushrooms, mix well for about 10 seconds and add the pasta. Add in some pasta cooking water to help move it along in the pan.
  4. Add in the bacon, then season with freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste.
  5. Serve warm with some fresh parsley and sprinkling of cheese.

    Aglio Olio with Mushrooms