Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chocolate Cake with Strawberries On Top!

Next time someone you know is having a birthday, why don't you suprise them by baking and decorating a simple chocolate cake with fancy candles and sliced strawberries? Just follow this recipe, lay cake on cake board, get some strawberries (I used about 4) slice them in half (length wise) and arrange around the cake. Add in the fancy candles and there you have it.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Simple Fried Rice

This is the most delish fried rice recipe I have tried. There is a secret ingredient which makes it the best. Read on.....

What you need:
2 Tbsp cooking oil
3 eggs lightly beaten

6 Tbsp cooking oil
4 shallots sliced
2 cloves garlic chopped
3-4 Tbsp dried prawns, soaked and pounded (or chopped)
150g prawns, shelled and diced
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and diced
1 Tbsp cili boh, or to taste
4 cups cooked rice, left overnight

Seasoning - mix together in a bowl:
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
Dash of salt or to taste
Dash of pepper or to taste
1/8 tsp dark soy sauce for colour

What to do:

Heat up the 2 Tbsp oil in a wok, swirling the wok to coat the bottom well. Pour in eggs and scramble. Dish out and set aside.

Reheat the work, and add 6 Tbsp oil to saute the shallot and garlic until fragrant. Then add the dried prawns and stir-fry until aromatic and sizzling.

Add the prawns, mushrooms and chilli paste. Stri-fry for a minute or until aromatic. Stir in the cooked rice and mix well with the seasonings. Return the scrambled eggs to the wok and mix well.

Dish out onto plates and garnish with spring onions and shallot crisps. Serve the rice hot.

Always break up the lumps in the rice before throwing into wok.
If no prawns, substitue with sliced sausages - like what I did.
The dried prawns really really give it the flavour - it is truly the secret ingredient. It can be overpowering so best to pound it or chop it finely.

This recipe calls for 'prawns' but I used sliced sausages and sliced fish cake, garnished with shallot crisps.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Classic Chocolate Cake (CCC)

The Little Black Dress or the LBD is purportedly what every women must have in her wardrobe. I think the CCC is like the LBD. Those learning to bake should have one CCC recipe in her recipe drawer.
This could be it maybe?

1 1/3 cups (200g) plain flour
2 tbs cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
200g good-quality dark chocolate, chopped
225g unsalted butter, softened, chopped
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup (125ml) milk
Chocolate ganache icing to decorate

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 160°C. Grease and line a 24cm round springform cake pan.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl. Set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water (don't let bowl touch water). Cool slightly.

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. With beaters on medium speed, add vanilla, then add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Pour in cooled chocolate and beat until well combined. Beat in a third of sifted ingredients, followed by a third of the milk. Repeat until all ingredients are incorporated, beating until smooth.

Pour mixture into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack to cool completely.

To make chocolate ganache: Melt 150g chopped good-quality dark chocolate with 125ml pure cream and 20g unsalted butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (don't let the bowl touch the water). Stir until well combined, then set aside for 30 minutes to cool and thicken before use.

To serve, spread icing over the top and sides of the cake using a hot palette knife.

Verdict: Yummylicious! Easy to bake...I followed the recipe religiously and it came out great.
No tweaking of temperature, nothing. Just follow the recipe for good results.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Super Simple Vanilla Cup Cakes

I am certainly not exaggerating with the title. Trust me this is super simple to make.

Makes : 12 cupcakes

What you need:
Half a block of softened butter (take out of fridge about 30 mins before, cut into small squares for easier mixing)
2 eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
170 grammes caster sugar
180 grammes self-raising flour - sifted
1/2 cup milk (about 125 ml)
pinch of salt

Just put everything into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer till light and fluffy. (You might want to add the flour in two batches if using a hand mixer). Preheat your oven at 170 degrees Celsius for ten mins. Get out your muffin pan and line with cupcakes liners. Spoon two tablespoons of batter into each liner.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 13-15 mins.

Lovely! I tried this recipe twice. The first time I set my oven at 180 degrees Celsius and the bottom of the cupcake was almost black. So 170 works for me. Try eating them just out of the oven...divine!

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