Jaime's Special Chicken Stew

Usually during the National Day, we will celebrate my dad's birthday. His actual day is the day after. This year, I invited them to my place for dinner. I thought the easiest was to prepare a one-pot food. So I decided to make Jaime's Special Chicken Stew. I made several changes to the recipe as I do not have some of the ingredients available.
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Recipe for Chicken Stew, adapted from Jaime Oliver.
(Makes for 12-14 persons)

Ingredients:
salt
freshly ground black pepper
20 Drumsticks
1 packet Fresh thyme, leaves picked, stalks kept
4 tbsp Wholegrain mustard
4 heaped tbsp Plain flour
extra virgin olive oil
1 large White onion, peeled and chopped wedges
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and whole
2 Yellow Zucchini 
5 large Potatoes, cut into quarters
3 Carrot, cut
2 good knobs Butter
1 can (Tiger) Beer
750g Chicken stock (3 whole chicken bones boiled with water and some salt to get chicken stock)

Method:

1. Season your drumsticks inside and out and stuff each of them with the thyme leaves. Using your forefinger, carefully part the skin from the drumstick and smear wholegrain mustard into the flesh. Rub the flour all over the chickens so they are covered in a thin layer. Keep any flour that falls off. Keep in the chiller for at least four hours. 
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2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In a pan, fry your drumsticks in olive oil on all sides on low heat until browned (but not totally cooked). Remove them and place in a baking tray or baking pot. 
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3. With the remaining oil, fry off the onion and garlic in the pan. Add the butter and spare flour and continue to fry for about 4 minutes, scraping off any goodness that is on the bottom of the pan. Add your beer, potatoes, zucchini and carrots and let it simmer for about 10mins. Now pour in your stock. Mix well.

4. Pour into the baking tray or pan, add in more thyme leaves stalk, then cover it. Cook for an hour. At the last 10mins, remove the foil or the cover, and let it continue. (I cooked mine in a baking tray and in cast iron pot)
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5. Serve the chicken with rice or with artisan bread.
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And not forgetting, I made a birthday cake for my dad too! cake_blueberries01

Caramel Custard Pudding

I'm sure many of us have heard of Paris Baguette or even fell in love with their baguettes, or breads or even their Royal Pudding. What's the point here? The point is, I love their garlic baguettes recommended by my colleagues. And their Royal Pudding. When you buy take away, they wrapped it nicely in a cooler bag. I'm impressed. Not to mention, I keep their bottles of course.

After hesitating, or contemplating for a long time, I've finally decided to make the pudding myself. I adapted the recipe from Itadakimasu Anime blog. There were some delicate work making this caramel custard pudding. If you want to understand more about this pudding, you may hop over to her site. In general, I found that without using vanilla extract in the custard, it tasted very eggy. The custard was firmer rather than soft and smooth. There were quite a lot of bubbles formed in my custard. Quite a fair bit of improvements needed. Otherwise, my family members like them. If you haven't try the original Royal Pudding, then you may like this custard. If you have, then it's a far cry from the original. :p

Here is how I adapted the recipe.
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Recipe for Caramel Custard Pudding in a glass, adapted from Itadakimasu Anime.
(Makes 12 glass bottles)

Ingredients:

For the caramel (can reduce to 1/2 of this portion)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
4 1/2 tbsp hot water

For the custard:
150g Sugar
3 cups Whole milk
6 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla (optional. I omitted)

Method:

For the caramel:

1. Place sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Gently swirl the liquid around the pot as the sugar melts and is dissolved into the water. Continue heating and swirling the pot until the sugar turns a deep amber colour, being careful not to burn the caramel. (Takes at least 10mins)

2. Remove caramel from the heat and, using a long handled spoon or ladle, carefully add hot water to the caramel in 2 – 3 small portions. Swirl the contents of the pot together to incorporate the water into the caramel. Be careful of hot caramel splashing up during this step, as it can cause burns.

3. Evenly distribute caramel amongst the 12 glasses. Set aside.
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For the custard:

1. Prepare the steaming environment for the pudding. Fill a pot with a fitted lid with enough water so that the bottom half of the cups are covered when placed into the water. Place a small, clean dishcloth or towel at the bottom of the pot to help distribute the heat evenly. Bring to a low boil.
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2. While the water is heating, place milk and sugar in the same pot earlier (without washing) set on medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved and the milk is hot and steaming.
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3. Whisk eggs in a heatproof bowl until the yolks are well incorporated into the whites. Try not to produce too many bubbles or mix a lot of air into the eggs. Slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs, whisking vigorously as you pour, being careful not to scramble the eggs. Ensure the eggs and milk are incorporated together completely.
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4. Strain the egg mixture using a fine meshed strainer and remove any foam from its surface using a spoon. Gently pour egg mixture evenly into each glass with the caramel sauce at the bottom. Cover securely with foil.
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5. Gently place the uncooked custard in the prepared steaming environment. Cover the pot with a lid and steam, making sure the water remains just below the boiling point. Steam for 15-20 minutes, or until the top of the custard has solidified and is shiny.

6. Remove from hot water and let cool to room temperature, keeping the foil covering the glasses. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours, before consuming.
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Blueberry Bakewell Tarts 2

This post is sponsored by Liv butter. Try Liv today!
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I've done this tart before. I can vaguely recall the taste. Since blueberries are abundance lately, I've decided to bake some blueberry desserts. Just so happened that Grace did her Blueberry Bakewell Tart again, I decided to do it too. I did some changes to the recipe. Here is how I did it.
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Recipe for Blueberry Bakewell Tart, adapted from Kitchen Corner.
(Makes 9" and 6" tarts)

Ingredients:
Tart crust adapted from Alex Goh's Irresistible Pastry
70g Icing sugar, sifted
150g LIV unsalted butter, room temp
1 Egg
260g Plain flour
1 tbsp Milk powder

Method:

1. Mix icing sugar and butter until well combined. Add in egg and cream till smooth.
2. Add in sifted plain flour and milk powder and mix until well blended.
3. Refrigerate for 30mins or until firm.
4. Take out and roll between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to fit 9" and 6" tart pans. Refrigerate if fillings is not ready.

Blueberry tart fillings
250g LIV unsalted butter, soften
130g Caster sugar
3 large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
315g Ground hazelnut (remaining amount that I have left)
250g Fresh blueberries (2 packets of 125g from supermarket)

Method:

1. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixer till light and fluffy.
2. Add in eggs one at a time and beat till incoporate.
3. Add in vanilla extract and mix well.
4. Add in ground hazelnut and mix till everything combine and become a thick paste.
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5. Layer all the almond fillings onto the pastry dough. Arrange blueberries on the top and chill for an hour before bake.
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6. Bake the tart in an 180C preheated oven for about 45mins-50mins, or until browned.
7. After baking, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
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