Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No Fail Red Velvet Cupcakes - 1st attempt

Remembered the first time I had red velvet cupcakes, I thought it was made of cherry (by looking at the colour). From then on, I would choose the red velvet one whenever there were assortment of cupcakes in front of me.
Only recently when I wanted to make some for myself then I realized they are made of chocolate powder and red coloring. I was so wrong. Haha!
I was looking for easy to make and use only 1-2 eggs recipe and this is what I tried. I must say this is a no fail recipe, even though I use whisk instead of electric mixer and I mixed up some steps, the end result was still promising and satisfying-- fluffy and cottony and I liked it!
(below method is my version, see here for original recipe)

Ingredients: (make 7 cupcakes)
60g unsalted butter, room temperature (I used Margarine)
150gm caster sugar (I used 90-100gm)
1 egg
10g cocoa powder
20ml red coloring
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
120ml buttermilk (I used 100ml low fat milk with 1/2 tsp White vinegar, rest for 5 min or more)
1 & 1/2 tsp white vinegar
150gm plain flour (I used cake flour, sifted)
1/2 tsp salt (I omitted as I use margarine and not unsalted butter)
1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 170 deg C.
2. Whisk margarine and sugar till slightly pale, creamy and light.
3. Add egg in and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, mix together cocoa powder, red coloring, vanilla essence and some milk. Whisk till well mixed and no lumps.
5. Add to butter mixture and mix evenly and well colored.
6. Add remaining milk and alternate with cake flour. Mix till everything well incorporated.
7. Add baking soda and vinegar(and salt if you use unsalted butter), continue to stir till well mixed.
8. Fill each cup 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven for 25-30min.
9. Check if skewer inserted in centre come out clear. Once clear, remove from oven and cool on rack.

I am submitting this post to very good recipes-My valentine challenge.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Chicken Pie - 1st attempt

I remembered watching a cooking show in Food Network Channel showing how to make pie by using frozen puff pastry dough. Was amazed that i no need to make the dough from scratch(as i know that i can't master fluffy puff yet) and there's such a puff pastry dough selling in supermarket.
So I looked around for puff pastry dough. And indeed I found in NTUC. That saved me the trouble to make the dough, at the same time I want to know how the ready made dough taste like. After searching around for recipe, I finally decided on this one and modified on it:

2 potatoes (diced)
50gm frozen mixed vegetable
1/2 chicken breast meat (diced)
1 big onion (diced)
1 can of Campbell Mushroom Potage
1 tsp white and black pepper
Salt for seasoning

1. Heat oil and fried diced potatoes with 1/2 cup of water and salt. Fried till potatoes soften. Set aside.
2. Heat oil. Fried diced onion till fragrant and transparent.
3. Add diced chicken meat. Fried till can break up Chicken meat.
4. Add mixed vegetable, fried till well mixed and just soften.
5. Add cooked diced potatoes. add a can of Potage with 1 can of water. Stir constantly and Bring to boil.
6. Add pepper and salt for seasoning.
7. Cook till soup is thickened, set aside and cool.
8. leave overnight in fridge.
9. Thaw puff pastry dough for 2-3 hours.
10. Remove wrap and roll dough to ideal thickness, about 1cm.
11. Cut dough to fit the cupcake mold. Press lightly to fit the molds.
12. Use fork to poke holes on the base and place mixture in.
13. Brush corner with water. Cover with another piece of dough. Use fork to seal the corner.
14. Bake in preheated oven at 180 deg C for 40 minutes.
15. Bake till crust fluff up and golden brown.
16. Let it cool on rack for 5 to 10 minute before serving.

Verdict: this first attempt, to my surprise, turned out quite well! Although my pies are not very pretty, but it really taste quite similar to most chicken pie we had outside. The crust was fluffy too.
For the leftover mixture, I added about 1 cup of water, stirred constantly and bring to boil. And that became our potato and chicken soup for that day.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Green bean soup

Recently ate too much CNY goodies, had slight sore throat. Green bean soup can help to soothe the throat and have detox purpose. So last weekend I boiled green bean soup. Recipe is quite similar to red bean soup:

90gm green bean (washed)
5 cups of water
70gm of rock sugar
Some pandan sago or pandan leaves (for slight pandan flavor)

1. Put green bean and water into rice cooker. Set to "cook" mode, Cover lid and simmer.
2. Simmer for 1 hour, Stir occasionally. Cook till green bean soften and break apart and soup turn greenish.
3. Add 1 cup of water and rinsed sago and rock sugar. Stir well and continue to boil till sugar dissolved and sago turn transparent.
4. Put to "warm" mode. Cover lid and continue to simmer.
5. After 15 minute it's ready to serve.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Ah-Balling 团团圆圆

As all know, 汤圆 symbolize 团团圆圆。 not only 冬至 is best to eat 汤圆,CNY is also the best time to have with family and friends.
I used to go Golden Mile Food Centre for Ah-Balling with peanut soup. That day i saw canned peanut soup in supermarket and i thought i can replicate the Ah-Balling I remembered. And with just 2 items, and easy steps, I actually can recreate and replicate this dessert. You can try at home too. Here is the recipe:

1 can of peanut soup (see pic)
1 pkt of glutinous rice ball with black sesame filling(or any filling of your choice)

1. Boil glutinous rice balls in boiling water till expand and float on the surface. Set aside.
2. Heat peanut soup till boiled. Pour soup on the glutinous rice balls.
3. Ready to serve.

I have submitted this post to Aspiring Bakers #15: Auspicious dishes for CNY(Jan 2012) hosted by wen of Wen's Delight