Monday, November 29, 2010

APPLE & WALNUT CAKE

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This moist cake is perfect for brunch or dessert. The apple walnut combination makes it perfect for fall or a small gathering.

It is really easy and simple to bake, you need not use your mixer or your hand blender. It's just mix and bake, using just two bowls eliminating the washing up all those utensils. I'm always on the look out for such an easy recipe but producing great results and this one is one of them!

Apple can be replaced with pear and for the nuts, you have a wider choice, they are pecan, cashew, peanut or hazel nut, just pick whatever you prefer but now have added what is available in my kitchen, a few tablespoons of  ground walnut that is hardly seen in the cake.

APPLE & WALNUT CAKE
1 1/2 C all purpose flour
3/4 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 C milk
1/4 C melted butter
1 large apple peeled and chopped
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
1/2  C chopped walnut

METHOD

* Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Preheat oven @ 180 C. Grease 7 inch pan.

* Combine together butter, milk, sugar, apple, vanilla and walnut.

* Now add dry ingredients with the milk mixture, stir until just combined.

* Pour into prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Cool on pan 10 minutes, transfer into rack to cool. Slice to serve.

Linking to Apple Recipes

Friday, November 26, 2010

SAMOSA


One of famous snack available in South East Asian countries,  Central Asian, Arabian Peninsula, North/South Africa and throughout  Mediterranean. It consists of two parts, the pastry and the filling. The filling is varies from country to country, it can be vegetables such as potato, peas or ground meat. The size and the consistency of the pastry vary considerably but although it is mostly triangular in shape either deep fried or baked.  Samosa often serves with chutney or ketchup.

While traditionally samosa is normally fried but more people prefer to bake them  and now switching to  ready made puff pastry, wanton skin or tortilla which is more convenient and healthier.  But by far I still prefer made from scratch pastry, very crispy and truly delicious.

SAMOSA
Yield  :   14 Samosa

PASTRY
1 C all  purpose flour
1/2 C warm water (not all)
1/2 tsp salt
3  T cooking oil

METHOD

* Place flour, salt and oil in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water to form a dough.

* Knead for 2-3 minutes, keep covered at least 15 minutes

FILLING

2 large potato boiled  and mashed
2 small carrot peeled and grated
1 Big onion chopped
2 green chili chopped
2  T curry powder
1 tsp ginger paste
2 T cooking oil
1/2 tsp cumin seed
salt to taste
lemon juice

METHOD

* Heat the oil, fry cumin seed until fragrant, add in onion, green chili and ginger, cook until light brown.

* Pour in curry powder and little water, fry for a minute, add the potato and carrot, stir well. Sprinkle some water, add in salt, cook until almost dry.

* Squeeze lemon juice, remove from heat and cool.

MAKING THE SAMOSA

* Divide the dough into 7 balls. Roll out dough into 7 inch circle and cut into two.

* Apply water around the edges and fold into cone shape. Stuff each cone with 2 tablespoons of filling and close and pinch the top to seal. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough.

* Heat about 1 1/2 in deep cooking oil, when it is fully heated slide in the samosa, a few at a time, fry until golden brown. Remove and place on absorbent paper.

* Serve with chutney or ketchup.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

CARROT & BANANA MUFFIN

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Another light and tasty muffin but also nutritious. I have cut down the sugar and fat used and make them eggless. These are such a delight to bite into and safely consumed without guilt.

Despite of all the changes, you would never know the difference since it turns out moist and surprisingly yummy. Next time, I will use a cup of whole wheat flour to turn them into much healthier snack.

CARROT & BANANA MUFFIN

2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C melted butter/oil
1 C low fat milk
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 medium carrot grated
2 banana mashed
1 tsp vanilla essence

METHOD

*  Preheat oven @ 180 C. Line muffin pan with paper muffin cases.

*  Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a mixing bowl.

*  Combine together milk, melted butter, banana, vanilla and carrot in a separate bowl.

*  Now add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and mix until just combined.

* Pour into muffin cases about 3/4 full, bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Transfer onto rack to cool.

Monday, November 22, 2010

BAKED BANANA DONUTS

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This weekend my sons requested me to bake a donut. We used to purchase the fried version from a nearby bakery some time ago.

After seeing my fully riped bananas, I was thinking why not bake up something yummy with this fruit. Glad I did, these are fluffy and a big hit with my kids. At least I have served them what they wanted, they really enjoyed having this healthy and low calories donuts compared with the full fat one.

If you found the dough too sticky to work with, add a tablespoon or two flour. When creating the hole, make it bigger otherwise it shrinks at the time of baking. You can also use your donut cutter if you want.

BAKED BANANA DONUTS
Yield : 10 donuts

2 C  bread flour/ all purpose flour
2 T melted butter
1/4 C warm milk
2 tsp dry yeast
2 T sugar
2 mashed banana
1/2 tsp salt

COATING

3 T melted butter
1/4 cup sugar

METHOD

* In a small bowl, combine dry yeast, sugar and milk, leave for 10 minutes until frothy.

* Place flour, salt,  melted butter and mashed bananas in a mixing bowl, add in yeast mixture and forms into pliable dough.

* Transfer dough onto floured board, knead for 10 minutes until elastic. Place dough into oiled bowl, keep covered for 2 hours.

* Punch dough to release air, divide into 10 balls. Cut out the center of each dough round to make donuts and donut hole. Place them into pan and let rise for 60 minutes. Towards the end of raising time, preheat oven @ 190 C.

* Apply melted butter on top, bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

* Immediately after baking, brush again with butter and coat with fine sugar on top.

Linking to Yeastspotting 11-26-10
Linking to  Recipes using Flour

Friday, November 19, 2010

MOCHA BANANA CAKE

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I love this cake, it's quick ,easy and  delicious. It hardly takes a few minutes to prepare, doesn't require any mixer and the combinations  are endless. With just a basic recipe, you can create another interesting and exotic cake such as strawberry mocha, pineapple lemon,  pumpkin chocolate and many more.

But now I'm using instant coffee and mashed banana. These are moist and  tasty, you can't stop eating just a piece. You should bake your own cake since home made one is much healthier, free from preservatives and excessive sugar, can easily freeze them too.

MOCHA BANANA CAKE

2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1/4 C melted butter
3/4 C milk
1 C sugar
1 C banana mashed
4 tsp instant coffee
4 tsp water
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda

METHOD

* Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in sugar. Preheat oven @ 175 C, grease 8 x 8 pan.

* Mix coffee with warm water, add the milk, butter and mashed banana.

* Now add wet ingredients to the flour and mix until just combined.

* Pour onto prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Cool in pan for 10 minutes then transfer onto wire rack to cool.

* Slice to serve or apply your favorite frosting.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

PEANUT PANCAKE

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This is a Malaysia/Singapore version of pancake/crepe filled with peanut, sweet corn and sugar.It is available throughout the year from morning market or night market around the country. There are 2 types of pancake, the crispy and spongy  version.  Besides peanut, other popular filings are kaya, chocolate, red bean or sweet coconut.

The favorite dessert is prepared using yeast or baking powder and baking soda. But now I tried using active dry yeast. It turns out so soft and delicious. After fermented, the batter becomes very thick so you need to add extra water otherwise it was unable to spread. Once the bubbles appear, drizzle with butter, sprinkle with ground peanut and sugar, continue cooking until the bottom turns golden brown, fold in half.


PEANUT PANCAKE

2 C all purpose flour
1/4 C sugar
1/2 C warm water
2 C warm milk
2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 T melted butter
1/2 tsp salt

FILLING

1 C ground peanut
1/2  C sugar
1/2 C melted butter

METHOD

* Combine warm water with yeast and 2 tsp sugar, keep for 10 minutes or until frothy.

* Place flour in a mixing bowl, combine milk, sugar, soda, salt and melted butter in a small bowl and mix well.

* Gradually add the milk mixture and the yeast to the flour, stir until well combined. Leave to rise for 1 hour.

* Heat a non stick pan, pour a ladleful of batter,  cook until bubbles appear on top,  drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle with sugar and peanut. Continue cooking until the bottom turns  golden brown. Fold into half...

* Remove onto a plate, cut into wedges to serve. Repeat with the rest of the batter.

Linking to Yeastspotting-11-19-10

Monday, November 15, 2010

EGGLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE

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I never tried baking eggless cake with condensed milk but tempted to try this recipe by a famous chef. Despite being egg free and butterless this cake turns out absolutely delicious, moist with  right amount of sweetness.

For special occasion you can decorate this cake with your favorite frosting and you cant't really tell such a marvellous cake is eggless, this totally change my mind that good chocolate need not to be eggy and heavy fat. This is now becomes one of my favorite cake.

EGGLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor

2 C all purpose flour
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 can (400g) condensed milk
1 C milk

METHOD

* Sift flour, cocoa and baking powder. Preheat oven @ 180 C and grease 8 x 8 pan.

* Combine together milk, condensed milk and vanilla essence in a small bowl.

* Gradually add milk mixture to the dry ingredient and stir until well incorporated, do not over mix.

* Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Cool on pan 10 minutes and remove into rack to cool.

* Slice to serve.      

Friday, November 12, 2010

BAKED VEGETABLE PUFF

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Curry puff is an all time favorite snack of  Singapore/Malaysia, available  throughout the day. Normally this pastry is filled with potato, chicken or sardine and  is deep fried.

But now I tried a baked version with vegetables, carrots and green peas stuffing. You can choose whatever veggies available at home for the filling. This is a much healthier choice than the fried one and great way to have your snack or finger food.  The pastry I used here is not puff pastry but something with less fat. If you want more rich and buttery taste feel free to add more butter to the dough and adjusting the quantity of water accordingly.

BAKED VEGETABLE PUFF
Yield : 14 puffs

PASTRY

2 C all purpose flour
8 T  butter
1/2 C cold water (adjust)
1/2 tsp salt

METHOD

Combine flour and salt in a mixing bowl. Add in butter, rub into flour using your fingertips until it resembles bread crumbs. Gradually add water until a soft dough is formed. Keep covered for 30 minutes.

Shape dough into small  balls. Roll out each ball into round about half cm thick and stuff with one tablespoon filling. Seal the edges, press with fork. Prick the top with fork and apply butter. Bake 20-25 minutes in a preheated oven  @ 180 C.

FILLING

1 C green peas
2 medium carrot
1 Onion chopped
1 Tomato chopped
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp fennel powder
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ginger minced
salt
1 T oil

METHOD

Heat oil, fry the onion until translucent, add in ginger, salt and tomato, cook until tomato turns soft. Now add the spices, fry until fragrant. Add carrot and green peas, sprinkle few spoons of water and close the lid. Check for salt, remove and cool.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

KAYA ROLL

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I'm craving for kaya roll now. Kaya is a rich custard made of coconut milk, sugar and egg. It is very popular here and usually served in those coffee shops on top of white bread, or as a filling for bun or bao and also for topping of pulut serikaya, Malysian/Singapore dessert with glutinous rice.

What I have used here is the ready made kaya but you could also make your own. As requested by my son have also used red bean paste for few of the dough since that is his favorite filling.


KAYA ROLL

300g all purpose flour
2 T sugar
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 T dry milk
1 1/2 tsp dry yeast
3 T softened butter
150 ml warm water
Kaya for the filling
Extra butter for glaze

METHOD

* Place 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast in a small bowl. Leave for 10 minutes until frothy.

* In a mixing bowl, place 1/2 of flour, remaining sugar, salt dry milk, butter, water and yeast mixture and beat to combine, gradually add the rest of the flour, forms into soft dough.

* Take out dough from the bowl, knead for 10 minutes by hand or your stand mixer.

* Leave to rise in covered and oiled bowl for 1 1/2-2 hours.

* Punch out air and divide into 12 balls. Flatten the dough and stuff with kaya. See the photo
below.

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Photo by Resepi Diana

* Cover and let rise for 60 minutes, brush top with butter, towards the end of rising time, preheat oven @ 190 C.

* Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Apply butter on top again.Remove and cool on rack.

Linking to Yeastspotting 11-12-10

Monday, November 8, 2010

APPLE MUFFIN

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Apple muffin, anyone? Since we had plenty of apples in the fridge and my son asking me to bake a muffin, I choose to make his favorite muffin.  Not only it's so simple and easy but also ideal for lunch boxes, picnic or teatime treat.They are absolutely delicious and I bet you can't eat just one. The entire kitchen filled with amazing aroma when I'm baking them.

I'm adding only half a cup of sugar since using royal gala apples if not you can add a bit more depending on the tartness of the apple.

APPLE MUFFIN
2 C all purpose flour
1/2 C sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 C milk
1/2 C melted butter
2 apples peeled and chopped
1 tsp vanilla essence

METHOD

* Preheat oven @ 180 C. Line muffin pan with paper muffin cases.

* Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

* Combine melted butter and milk, pour onto dry ingredients, mix until just moistened, fold in the apple and vanilla, lightly stir.

* Pour into muffin cases 3/4 full, bake 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave on pan 5 minutes.

* Remove onto wire rack to cool.

Linking to Monthly Mingle With Fruits In Baking hosted by Deeba

Friday, November 5, 2010

OATMEAL NUT SQUARES


One of the easiest snack you can prepare when your're really hungry. It barely takes a few minutes to whip up. It is great served for your late night or afternoon snack or even breakfast.

These bars are much healthier than what you can easily find in the store but the best part is you are able to choose what to add in as per your preference or according to what's currently available in your pantry.

This time chopped almonds are used but next time shall try sunflower seed, sesame seed, cashew or peanut instead. They also smell great while baking. If you prefer sweeter bars use 3/4 cup of sugar.

OATMEAL NUT SQUARES

1 C rolled oat
1/2 C sugar
1/4 C melted butter
1/2 C chopped nut
1/4 C milk
1/2 C all purpose flour
pinch of salt
oil to grease the pan

METHOD

* Preheat oven @ 175 C, line 8 x 8 in baking sheet with parchment paper and coat with oil.

* In a mixing bowl, combine oat, sugar, salt, nut and flour.

* Gradually add milk and butter, stir well.

* Press evenly onto prepared pan , bake 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

* Remove from oven and cut into squares while still warm.

* Cool completely on wire rack.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

BREAD PUDDING II

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My new and innovative way to use leftover bread is not only simple to make but turns out great.. Adjust the sugar according to your preference.

If you want you can add raisin or other fruit to the batter, it 's so delicious and fragrant because of the coconut milk. My family really enjoyed having this with a cup of  coffee.

BREAD PUDDING II

8 slices bread torn in pieces
2  cup coconut milk
7 tablespoon sugar or to taste
2  tablespoon cornflour
1/2 tsp salt
2  tablespoon  butter

METHOD

* Soak bread pieces in coconut milk for 10 minutes.

* Add sugar, cornflour and salt to the bread mixture, stir until well blended. Preheat oven @ 180 C.

* Pour batter into greased 7 in pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, dot top with butter.

* Cool on pan 10 minutes and remove into rack. Slice to serve.

Linking to Yeastspotting 11-05-10

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Monday, November 1, 2010

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN

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I came across this recipe while hunting for perfect chocolate chip cookies. On going through the recipe I noticed it uses less oil and not too heavy dose of sugar so this is my ultimate choice for chocolate chip muffin. It's really quick and easy to prepare.

It turns out absolutely delightful with the right amount of sugar, moist and full chocolate flavor. These muffins aren't just for breakfast, they're good for anytime. I sprinkled with toasted chopped almond instead of chocolate chip and omit the egg but added 3 tablespoons yogurt. With these changes they still turn out great.

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFIN
Adapted from Nigella Lawson

1 3/4 C all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda
1 C milk
2 T unsweetened cocoa
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C chocolate chip
1/3 C plus 2 tsp oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg (replaced with 3 T yogurt)
1/4 C chocolate chip to sprinkle

METHOD

* Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Preheat oven @ 190 C. Line muffin pan with paper muffin cases.

* In a mixing bowl, combine sifted flour, cocoa, sugar and chocolate chip.

* Combine milk, oil, egg (if using) and vanilla in a small bowl.

* Mix together dry and wet ingredient until just combined.

* Spoon into prepared pan 3/4 full, sprinkle chocolate chip on top and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

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