Three Ingredients Flourless Chocolate Cake

After my detox and wellness programme two years back, I have cut back on my baking, in particular, normal baking that requires flour and sugar. I searched for recipes that don't require sugar or can replace with low GI sugar, or use similar flours.

I decided to surprise my sister for her birthday by baking this flourless chocolate cake, which was rich but light. This recipe is a keeper, easy to make and satisfying to the palate.
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Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Cake, adapted from Gimme Some Oven.
(Makes a 8"round cake)

Ingredients:
8 Large eggs
450g Dark, semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
227g Unsalted butter
Zest of one orange (optional)

Method:
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 180°C. Line the bottom of an 8-inch pan with parchment paper. 
  2. Wrap the outside of the pan with 2 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil and set it in a large roasting pan. 
  3. In a stand mixer using the whisk attachment, beat the eggs at high speed until the volume doubles. This usually takes about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate and butter together by placing the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl, set over a pan of almost-simmering water, and stirring until melted and smooth. Add in orange zest if using.
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  6. Then fold about a third of the beaten eggs into the chocolate mixture using a large rubber spatula until only a few streaks of egg are visible. Fold in half of the remaining egg foam, and then the last half of the foam, until the mixture is totally homogenous.
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  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Place the roasting pan on the oven rack and VERY carefully pour in enough boiling water to come about halfway up the sides of the pan. 
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  10. Bake until the cake has risen slightly, the edges are just beginning to set, a thin-glazed crust (like a brownie) has formed on the surface, about 30-35mins. 
  11. Remove the cake pan from the water bath and set on a wire rack; cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cool. (The cake can be refrigerated for up to 4 days.)
  12. About 30 minutes prior to serving, carefully remove the sides of the pan, invert the cake onto a sheet of waxed paper, peel off the parchment paper, and reinvert the cake onto a serving platter. If desired, lightly dust the cake with powdered sugar and top with berries. 
  13. To slice, use a sharp, thin-bladed knife, dipping the knife into a pitcher of hot water and wiping the blade before each cut.
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Chashu

I am a big fan of ramen and their chashu, especially those braised with soy sauce. I have always wondered how they rolled the chashu to round shape. A search on google brought me to try Just One Cookbook's Chashu. I started exploring her recipe and it was so good, I made it multiple times already. However, I didn't roll it round, I used the pork belly as it is. Everyone who tried the chashu I made said it was very nice. Even though there were multiple steps and patience needed, the efforts were really worth it. Below is the recipe I made on my third attempt.

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Recipe for (Block) Chashu, adapted from Just One Cookbook
(Makes for 8-10 servings)

Ingredients:
1.2 kg Whole block pork belly, cut into 2 equal portion
1 Negi (long green onion), or leeks 
1 knob ginger
1 tbsp Cooking oil
1 cup Sake (240 ml)
1 cup Soy sauce (240 ml)
2 cups Water (480 ml)
100g Sugar

Method:
1. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet (or regular frying pan) over high heat. Sear the fat side down first, then flip over to sear all sides until brown.
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2. While searing, put all the ingredients for seasonings in a heavy-bottom pot (or cast iron) that fits the Chashu. 
3. Add the Chashu and bring it to a boil, skimming the scum and foam. Then turn the heat to low/simmer.
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4. Put an Otoshibuta (drop lid) on top to press the ingredient down and limit the evaporation. (I used baking paper to cut to the shape of the pot)
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5. Simmer on low heat for next one hour, rotating Chashu every 20 minutes (keep Otoshibuta on all times!)
6. After one hour plus, the liquid will be reduced in the pot. I didn't cook further to reduce the sauce though. 
7. Turn off the heat and let the Chashu rest in the pot.
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8. To serve, slice the Chashu into ¼ inch pieces. 
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9. Use a blow torch to sear the Chashu slices to enhance the flavor. 
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10. Strain the leftover cooking sauce and refrigerate, or pour slightly to the Chashu for more taste.
11. Serve as sides, or in a ramen.
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Braised Honey Pork Ribs

My family likes juicy tear apart pork ribs. However, I know to achieve such texture, long baking or stewing is required. With time on hand during one of the public holidays, I decided to do a braised honey pork ribs. 

I modified the recipe a bit. The result was well received. The first time I made, the taste was less intense. However, the second time was even better. The taste was more flavourful and the flesh came out easily from the bones. That was exactly what I had wanted to achieve. The recipe is easy to make and the dish was really tasty. My son requested for it often thereafter.
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Recipe for Braised Honey Pork Ribs, adapted from Christine.

Ingredients:
1 kg Pork ribs
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 tsp grated Ginger root
4 cloves minced Garlic

Sauce:
3 tbsp Light soy sauce
2 tbsp Maggi sauce
3 tbsp Mirin
2 tbsp Kacap Manis
1 tbsp Fish sauce
2 Orange zest
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Sesame oil
2 cups Water
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Method:

1. Cut the pork ribs into pieces. Blanch in boiling water to remove blood and any impurities, for about 3 minutes. Drain well. Wipe dry with kitchen papers. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
2. Heat oil in a frying pan. Cook the ribs over high-medium heat until lightly brown. Push ribs to the sides of the pan. 
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3. Add some oil. Saute the ginger and garlic until aromatic. Stir to combine with the ribs well. Transfer into a cast iron (Le Creuset) pot.
4. Pour sauce over the ribs. Place a piece of baking paper on top and cover with a pot lib. Bring it to a boil. 
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5. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 1.5 hours, or until the ribs are softened, sauce reduced to 1/5 and thickened. Along the way of cooking, occasionally stir the ribs to get them heated evenly. 
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6. Serve hot with sauce.


Gluten-free Garlic Flatbread

I have been preparing breakfast at home and bring it to work daily for the past year. In order to moderate my weight and geared towards healthy eating, I try to avoid bread and gluten food for breakfast. Therefore, I will search for gluten-free baking goods and other foods to be taken for breakfast.

I wanted to prepare hummus for breakfast, but do not want to have carrot or celery sticks with it. So I found this gluten-free flatbread. It was easy to make and taste good with my homemade hummus. I will try again with other gluten-free flours to see if it can hold up. Otherwise, this is great as appetizer or snacks.


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Recipe for Gluten-free Garlic Flatbread, modified from Bigger Bolder Baking.

Ingredients:
115g Almond flour, fine
115g Tapioca starch
350g Coconut full fat milk/cream
1/4 tsp Rock salt, fine
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
Some chopped cilantro

Coconut oil for frying

Method:
1. In a large bowl combine the almond flour, tapioca starch, salt, garlic and cilantro.

2. Add in the coconut milk and whisk to combine until you have a smooth thick batter. 
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3. Heat a small non-stick pan over medium heat. Add in the coconut oil and brush it around the pan.
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4. Once the pan is at an even, moderate heat, spoon 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan, allowing the batter to spread out, it should be roughly an 4-inch circle (although you can make the flatbread large or smaller if desired).
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5. Cook the flatbread on the first side until tiny bubbles begin to form around the outside. Flip the flatbread and allow to cook on the other side for about until golden and brown. Remove from the heat and transfer to a rack. Repeat this process until all of the batter is used. I made about seven 4-inch size quite thick flatbreads.

6. Serve the flatbread while warm and crisp. I had mine with homemade hummus.

7. Cover and store leftover flatbread in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Microwave or heat up before using.
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Thick and Fluffy Pancakes

An intensive search on the web brought me to this recipe. The result was as claimed - thick and fluffy pancakes. I was impressed by it and truly loved how thick and fluffy the pancakes turned out to be. Normal recipes I tried can't give that thick pancakes.
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Recipe for Thick and Fluffy Pancakes, adapted from InspiredTaste.

Ingredients:
195g Plain flour
2 tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Baking powder
3/4 tsp Fine Sea salt
295g Milk
1 large egg
60g Unsalted butter, melted, plus more for skillet
1 tsp Vanilla extract

Method:

1. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and the salt in a medium bowl.
2. Warm milk in the microwave or on top of stove until lukewarm, not hot.
3. Whisk milk, egg, melted butter, and the vanilla extract until combined. (By warming the milk slightly, the melted butter mixes into the milk instead of turning into small lumps).
4. Heat a large skillet/pan over medium heat. 
5. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture, pour milk mixture into the well and use a fork to stir until you no longer see clumps of flour. It is okay if the batter has small lumps – it is important not to over-mix the batter. (The batter will be on the thicker side)
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6. Lightly brush skillet with melted butter. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to spoon batter onto skillet. Gently spread the batter into a 4-inch circle.
7. When edges look dry, and bubbles start to appear and pop on the top surfaces of the pancake, turn over. This takes about 2 minutes. Once flipped, cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until lightly browned and cooked in the middle. 
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8. Serve immediately with warm syrup, butter, and fruits of your choice.
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Japanese Braised Daikon

When I was at Finest one afternoon, I couldn't help but to notice a nice daikons in the basket. It wasn't from Japan, it was from our neighbour. I proceed to purchase it, having in mind to braise it over the weekend.

So I found this recipe and made it. It was refreshing. The taste gets stronger and better overnight in the fridge. I took it over many days as condiments for my breakfast.
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Recipe for Japanese Braised Daikon, adapted from Tabesuki.

Ingredients:
1 large Daikon radish (about 350-400g)
1 1/2cups Dashi
2 tbsp Sugar
4 tbsp Soy sauce
3 tbsp Mirin
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Method:

1. Peel, top, and tail the daikon, and slice into rounds, about 3/4 inches thick.
2. Arrange the daikon neatly in a large pot, and add the dashi, sugar, mirin, and soy sauce. Bring rapidly to a boil, and then lower the heat to a simmer.
3. Cook for about 30-45 minutes, until a knife inserted passes through without resistance. Serve immediately with some of the braising liquid, or leave to steep.
4. Refrigerate if not using within a couple of hours. Can keep for over 2 weeks.

I had my daikon with homemade chicken broth and kale as breakfast.
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