Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake

Happy New Year! 
May 2018 brings you good health, more bakes and more sharing!

This has got to be one of the best flourless chocolate cake I have baked and ate. The cake is chocolaty and soft, without feeling too much of the almond. The texture is smooth with bits of ground almond. This is not those dense thick chocolate kind of cake. It's light and soft. I was really satisfied with this cake. I made blueberry coulis to top the cake. However, my sister commented that she preferred the cake without the blueberry coulis. Nevertheless, this cake is easy to prepare and good to the last bit.
Recipe for Flourless Almond Chocolate Cake, adapted from Food52.
(Makes a 10" cake with 1 1/2" height)

250g Ground almonds (lightly toasted)
250g Couverture chocolates, 76% cocoa
250g Unsalted butter
140g Caster sugar
Freshly brewed espresso (approx 25g), let it cooled slightly
6 Large eggs, separated

Blueberry Coulis (Optional)
250g Blueberries
2 Tbsp Sugar

1. Line a removable base 10" round pan.
2. Preheat oven to 150ºC.
3. Place the chocolate in a glass bowl set over a bain marie (double broiler, or a pot of simmering water).
4. When melted, remove the bowl from the heat and add the butter, stirring with a spatula to help it melt and mix. 
5. Add in the cooled espresso and stir well.
6. Then add the sugar and the almond meal, stir to incorporate.
7. Once the mixture is no longer hot, add the egg yolks and stir to combine.
8. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites with beaters to soft, fluffy peaks.
9. Fold the whites gently through the chocolate and almond batter.
10. Pour the batter into the cake tin, smooth over the top and bake for approximately 40mins or until the top appears dry and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (not wet batter). It is important not to overcook this cake so that it retains its wonderful moist consistency.
11. Let it cool completely in the tin before removing. Dust with powdered sugar (if desired).
12. For blueberry coulis: Cook the blueberries and sugar together in a pot. Let it simmer and stir constantly. Cool slightly before topping on the cake.

Passionfruit Chiffon Heart

I didn't realise it had been months since I updated my post. Baking scene for me was just the usual foolproof repeated bakes. There wasn't really anything that interesting, which was one of the result this blog is stagnant. :p 

I had been busy meeting friends, attending workshops and a few travels. Sometimes, I find it hard to embark on new recipes when nobody wants to try it, or no special occasion. Which also gave me the excuse to laze away from my kitchen.

This is also a bake I made a couple of months back. However, I would like to keep this recipe since it turned out so well. I adapted this recipe from Cuisine Paradise and found it to be so lovely. The passion fruit taste was subtle and nice. And the cake was really soft and fluffy.
Recipe for Passion fruit Chiffon Cake, adapted from Cuisine Paradise.
(Makes a 20cm heart, or use a 20cm tube pan)

5 Egg yolks 
20g Caster sugar 
60ml Passionfruit juice + all pulps
40ml Corn oil
100g Cake flour 
1/2 tsp Baking powder 
Zest of 1 lemon

5 Egg whites
80g Caster sugar 
1/2 tsp Corn flour
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1. Using a hand whisk beat egg yolks and sugar till pale and creamy.

2. Stir in oil, passionfruit juice, pulp and sieved flour (plus baking powder) in sequence till well combined. Set aside.
3. Next using an electric mixer, whisk egg whites till foamy. Add in the corn flour in the sugar and add the sugar into the whites gradually. Continue to whisk on till almost stiff peak and glossy.
4. Gently fold whites into flour batter in 3 batches till combined.
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5. Pour batter from height into the ungreased tube pan. Bake in preheated 160 degree oven (2nd lower rack) for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre & comes out clean. 
6. Invert cake tin immediately to cool completely before removing. Then enjoy!
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Cravings for Churros

These few months, I had cravings for churros so badly, I just buy them to satisfy my cravings regardless of where I am. I must say, this little choux pastry is not very cheap. I know that I can make it easily, but I got put off when I had to fry them.
Somehow, the cravings got the better of me. I finally threw in the towel - I made it myself. No regrets for doing it this once. Because after an overdose of making and eating this, it curbed my cravings for a long time now. After searching for a few recipes, I found Martha Stewart's recipe more comfortable to achieve. Although there were blistles on my churros after frying, it was crispy on the outside and very light inside. It's different from the ones I purchased outside, where the inside is dense and thick. I fell in love with this churros immediately. Coat with sugar and cinnamon and it was truly heaven for me. When the next time my cravings return, I shall try with other flavours. But my favourite shall always be the classic - sugar and cinnamon.


Recipe for Churros, adapted from Martha Stewart.


113g Unsalted butter
1 cup Water
2 tbsp Granulated sugar
1/4 tsp Sea salt
1 cup Plain flour
3 large Eggs
Vegetable oil, for frying
Granulated sugar
Cinnamon powder 

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup water, butter, sugar, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. 

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2. Reduce heat to low, and sift in flour, stirring for 1 minute.
3. Transfer flour mixture to bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. On low speed, add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. [I used a spatula to beat in the eggs one at a time.]
4. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a large open-star tip.
5. Heat 3 inches oil in a small pot.
6. Holding pastry bag a few inches above the oil, squeeze out batter, snipping off 4-inch lengths with a knife.
7. Fry, flipping once, until deep golden brown all over, about 4 minutes. 
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8. Using a slotted spoon, transfer churros to a paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
9. Roll churros in sugar and cinnamon while still warm. 
10. Serve with chocolate sauce if required.

Enjoy your homemade churros! And say goodbye to storebought ones!

Jaime Oliver's Roast Chicken

It had been a while since my baking friends and I had a gathering. I suggested to come to my house this time for our gathering since I had moved to a new place last year. It was a simple gathering with potluck where they cook and bake very delicious food. We had curry devil, scotch eggs, chutney, mango cake and sakura panna cotta. I also made lemongrass drink and a salad. They were all yummy homemade goodies. And of course, we also had some store bought food too! With these group of baking and cooking experts, I decided baking a roast chicken might suit their taste. So I made Jamie Oliver's Roast Chicken with roast vegetables. I was glad they like it! The roast chicken was soft and tender and flavourful. The roast vegetables were crisp but soft. This is truly one easy and impressive dish to whip up for a function!
Recipe for Roast Chicken with roast vegetables, adapted from Jamie Oliver.

1 large fresh Chicken 
2 medium onions 
2 carrots 
1 bulb garlic 
1 lemon 
1 bunch of fresh Rosemary herbs
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper

2 large Sweet Potatoes, cut randomly
3 Potatoes, cut in wedges
2 Zucchini
1 packet Cherry tomatoes 

1. Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it, to let it come up to room temperature.
2. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
3. Wash and roughly chop the vegetables.Break the garlic bulb into cloves, leaving them unpeeled.
4. Pile all the veg, garlic and herbs into the middle of a large roasting tray and drizzle with oil.
5. Drizzle the chicken with oil and season well with sea salt, black pepper and paprika, then rub all over the bird. Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
6. Carefully prick the lemon all over, using the tip of a sharp knife. Put the lemon inside the chicken’s cavity, with the bunch of herbs.
7. Place the tray in the oven, then turn the heat down immediately to 200°C and cook for 45mins.
8. Add in the vegetables after 45mins of cooking. The vegetables would have been mixed with olive oil, black pepper, salt and paprika.
9.  Continue cooking for another 45mins.
10. When the chicken is cooked, take the tray out of the oven and transfer the chicken to a board to rest for 15 minutes or so. 
11. To carve your chicken, carefully cut down between the leg and the breast. Cut through the joint and pull the leg off.
12. Repeat on the other side, then cut each leg between the thigh and the drumstick.
13. Finally, arrange the chicken and the vegetable on a plate and serve.

Homemade Chicken Nuggets

On my previous post, I made soup with chicken nuggets. Here, I'll be sharing on how good and easy the chicken nuggets are! I didn't realise chicken nuggets can be so easy and good making it myself. I would try not to buy ready ones in future! 
Recipe for Chicken Nuggets, adapted from Food Network.
(Serves 6 persons as appetiser)

1/2 cup Plain flour (Can reduce to 1/3 cup)
1 tsp Ground garlic
Fine salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 packet chicken fillets (approx. 250g, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces)
1 cup homemade breadcrumbs (refer to below recipe)
1 large Egg (I used 2 eggs)
1 cup Vegetable oil 
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1. Place the flour and the spices in a bowl.
2. Put the chicken pieces in and toss to coat all. Set aside to rest.
3. Place the breadcrumbs on a plate and set aside.  
4. Whisk the egg in a medium bowl. 
5. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat.
6. Remove a piece of chicken from the flour, dip in the egg mixture, then the breadcrumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the chicken and place in the oil to fry till brown.
7. Use a tong to transfer the chicken nuggets to a paper-towel-lined plate. 
8. Salt, if desired, while hot and serve.

Recipe for Homemade Breadcrumbs

Use stale bread, or I used  bread from my bread bowls.
5 slices of stale bread, if using it.

1. Bake in 140C fan oven for 10mins till browned.

2. Cool it.
3. Blend them in a blender till fine.
4. Use as desired.


Mushroom Soup on Wholemeal Bread Bowl

I have been neglecting this blog for quite a while. Have been busy with repeated bakes, attending workshops and also watching my Korean dramas. All these are pretty addictive. On this public holiday, I have decided to make bread bowl soup for lunch for my children. I like to explore baking foods.

I was glad the food turned out pretty well though I would like my soup to be thicker. I guessed I must've added a bit more water. But the overall taste was good. And everyone polished off their bread bowls too!

Recipe for Mushroom Soup on Wholemeal Square Bread Bowl
(Serves 6 persons)

Wholemeal Square Bread Bowls, modified from here.
(Makes four 4" square bread loaves)

50g Wholemeal flour
450g Bread flour
40g Castor sugar
9g Salt
50g LIV unsalted butter
360g Fresh milk
6g Instant yeast

Method :
1. Mix all ingredients (except butter) into a dough using low speed for 3mins.
2. Add in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is pliable (smooth, soft and elastic), about 5-6mins on medium speed.
3. Shape into a ball, cover to rest dough for about 1 hour or double in size.   
4. Flatten the dough into a rectangular shape.  Divide equally into 8, approximately 140g each. 
5. Pre-shape it and let it rest for 10mins. 
6. Roll up swiss-roll style and tighten the dough.
7. Place 2 doughs into one loaf pan.
8. Cover and leave to proof for about 50-60 minutes.
9. Bake in a preheated oven, fan forced, at 200°C for 30 minutes with cover. (I baked them on a baking stone, on the lowest rack.)
10. Remove from the mould and let it cool completely before slicing.

Mushroom Soup
4 punnets of Button mushrooms (a mixed of brown and white), approximate 150g each, sliced
2 large Onions, sliced
1 cube Chicken vegetable stock
1.5 litres Water
400ml Cream (I used heavy cream)
Olive oil
4 cloves Garlic, chopped

1. Heat up a medium pot on low. Add olive oil.
2. When it's hot, add chopped garlic to cook till browned. Add onions and cooked till soft.
3. Add in mushrooms and cooked till it reduced to half the quantity, and soft. Turn up the heat to medium.
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4. Spoon out 5 tablespoon of mushrooms to keep for later.
5. Add in the water and chicken vegetable stock. Close the lid and let it simmer on medium heat.
6. Lower the fire. Use a handheld blender to blend the soup. Then add in the mushrooms from #4.
7. On low heat, add in the cream, and stir.
8. Simmer and bring it to a boil, then turn off the heat.

Prepare the Bread Bowl
1. Cut the loaf bread two 2, each about a height of 2".
2. Use a short knife, cut into the bread about 1 cm from the sides. Then cut into quarters into the centre.
3. Remove the soft breads to make a hole in the centre.
4. Spread the sides with butter.
5. Toast the bread lightly to make it crispy so as to hold the soup.
6. Toast in fan forced oven at 160C for 8 mins.
7. Remove immediately.
8. Scoop the mushroom soup directly into the bread bowl.
9. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve.