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American Pancakes

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Sunday is just way too close to Monday hence it’s a perfect day for comfort food. My husband usually cook (all the meals), so this morning I wanted to make him some American Pancakes as a reward🙂

There are so many recipes out there (calling themselves the best pancake recipe) which made me kind of indecisive of which one to use. Pancakes are quite easy to make anyway so at the end I combined a few recipes hoping for the best results. This recipe is great if you don’t have any buttermilk or sour milk at home.

(recipe(s) from Allrecipes.com)

Serving: makes 8 pancakes

Prep time: 15 min

Cook time: 15 min

Ingredients:

– 3/4 cup of milk (180 ml)

– 1 cup of all purpose flour (125g)

– 2tbs white vinegar

– 2tbs castor sugar

– 1tsp baking powder

– 1tsp baking soda

– 1tsp vanilla sugar

– 1/2tsp salt

– 1 egg

– 2tbs melted (and cooled) butter

– mixed berries, icing sugar and maple syrup

Instructions:

1. Mix the milk and vinegar together and let it set for 5-10 min. Thereafter add the egg and butter in the milk.

2. Mix all the dried ingredients in a mixing bowl and add it to the milk and whisk until smooth (don’t over stir/mix it or else the pancakes will become dense instead of fluffy).

3. Heat the frying pan to medium heat and spray it with a cooking spray (optional, I didn’t use any spray). Pour 2-3 tbs of batter onto the frying pan and flip over when bubbles appear on the surface and cook for 1-2 min or until the other side turns golden brown.

Do keep the pancakes in an oven (around 50 degrees C) until they’re ready to serve. Top the pancakes with berries, icing sugar, maple syrup or your any topping you prefer.

Enjoy!

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Earl Grey Macarons

I’ve tried to make macarons before, but after failing twice, I decided to put my macaron-mat aside for a while. It took nine months before my third attempt; my sister in-law and I decided to make a macaron cake for my mother in-law’s birthday, and guess what, we failed again! However, this time we were determined to master the Early Grey macarons and it finally worked after two attempts.🙂

Now when I finally know the trick when it comes to making the shells, I’ve realized that the filing is actually an even bigger challenge (for me).

Anyway, I was very happy how these turned out yesterday. I will have to experiment more before I share the recipes.🙂 As for now, please enjoy the pictures.

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Matcha (green tea) ice cream (no ice cream maker) and matcha panna cotta

I decided to make matcha/green tea ice cream for my friends this week. My ice cream maker was hopeless so I decided to go semi low-tech, I used my hand mixer instead.

Since I had whipped cream over which I didn’t want to waste I also made a matcha/green tea panna cotta.

Original receipe from Nami

Ingredients for the ice cream:

1 cup of milk

1 cup of heavy cream

3 tbs of green tea powder (I love strong green tea flavor, if you prefer a creamier flavor, add 2tbs of green tea powder instead)

1/2 cup of sugar

Directions:

1. Freeze a (preferably stainless steel bowl) for at least 12 hours.

2. Add milk, cream, sugar and green tea powder in a sauce pan. Whisk it while it’s heating up. It shall become hot but do not bring to boil.

3. Pour the green tea mixture into another bowl and let it cool down. When it has cooled down pour it into the “pre-frozen” bowl and leave it in the freezer for roughly 45 min. When the mixture has started to freeze, mix it with a hand-held mixer or a whisk (-if you need some exercise, use a whisk :P) vigorously to beat up all frozen bits and pieces, then put it back in the freezer.

4. Repeat the mixing procedure for 3-4 times every 30-40 min.

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Japanese Chiffon/Cotton Cheesecake

I made a Japanese Chiffon/Cotten Cheesecake for my mother’s birthday. I used to make this a lot and unfortunately the outcome (of the cake’s appearance) is not that consistent😛 I believe I must practice more, however we should never judge a book by its cover, the texture and flavour of the cake is superb even if it does not look as appealing as it could/should.😀 There are a various way of baking this cheesecake, I’ve tried incorporating a few recipes and this is it🙂

For an 8 inch/20cm cheesecake:

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks

6 egg whites

250g of cream cheese

50g of sugar

140g of caster sugar

100ml of milk

60g of all-purpose flour

a pinch of salt

2og corn starch

zest from 1 lemon (optional)

Instructions:

1. Line your removable-bottom spring form or cake pan with parchment, it’s important that the parchment paper extends a bit higher than the pan/spring form (roughly 3-4cm). I usually brush some vegetable oil on the pan/spring form before lining the parchment paper, to ensure it sticks well to the pan/spring form.

2. Preheat the oven to 160C degrees. Melt the cream cheese, butter and milk in a big bowl (over simmering water). Mix it Let the mixture cool down a bit, and then add the egg yolks and mix well. You don’t want to cook the egg yolks so make sure the cream cheese mixture is not too hot. Sift in the flour, corn starch and salt and fold in. To avoid any lumps you could strain the batter once and thereafter add the lemon zest.

3. Beat the egg whites until soft peak and then gradually add the sugar, beat until stiff peak. Add 1/3 of the egg white in the cream cheese mixture and mix well. Thereafter add the cream cheese mixture in the egg white and FOLD IN gently until the cream cheese mixture and egg whites are well combined. Pour the mixture into the cake pan.

4. Put the cake pan in a baking tray and fill it up to half way (of the cake pan). If you’re using a removable-bottom spring form then you may want to wrap the form with aluminium foil to avoid seeping, it’s not that pleasant if the cake gets wet after all the hard work. Bake for 1hour and 10 min or until the top is golden brown. Leave the cake inside the oven to cool down (with door ajar ) for 20 min. I personally prefer it to be chilled (for 3-4 hours) before enjoying it, but it’s up to one’s personal preference.

My cake cracked a little this time, but it still tasted great:)

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Scones for Sunday Brunch

Sunday is way too close to Monday Blues and what’s better than a Sunday brunch to make us forget about it for a second🙂

This morning I made scones, scrambled eggs, pancakes and roasted tomatoes and more for my our Sunday Brunch. It was a lot this morning and it was a shame that I didn’t get the chance to take pictures of everything so let’s stick to scones this time and I’ll share other recipes next time.🙂

Classic scones (yields 6 scones)

Recipe from Delicious Days (I didn’t add any dried fruits to my scones)

Ingredients:

200g (roughly 3dl) flour of all purpose

1.5 tsp baking powder

2.5 tbsp granulated sugar

05. tsp salt

60g of cold (refrigerated) butter

140ml (roughly 1.5dl of milk)

1 egg beat with 1tbsp milk (for brushing the scones)

Instructions:

1. Heat the oven 220C degrees. Line a tray with parchment paper. I prepared the dough by hand because I like to feel the consistency of the dough to make sure it’s “right”.

2. Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut the butter in small pieces and add to the dry ingredients. Rub the butter and the dry ingredients with your finger tips until you get small crumbs (see picture for reference). Then add milk and mix it well until it’s well combined with the “butter crumbs”. If it’s still too wet, add a little flour.

3. Flour a board and slightly knead the dough 3-5 times (don’t over-knead or else the scones will be very tough and dry).

4. Dip a round shaped cookie-cutter into some flour and cut out 2-3cm thick rounds and place them on the parchment paper. Try not to twist your cookie-cutter or else the scones will rise unevenly – very good tip that I got from this recipe, but I kind of missed this part until I finished cutting out the scones hehe

5. Beat the egg and the milk and brush it on to tops of the scones.

6. Place the tray in the middle rack of the oven and bake the scones for 13-15 min (I baked them for 15 min). Let them cool for a few min. and serve with preferable clotted cream and jam/marmalade. I had to use whipped cream since it’s very difficult to get a hold of clotted cream in Sweden.

Happy Sunday, enjoy!

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The Legendary Pandan Chiffon Cake

If you have tasted a Pandan Chiffon Cake you’ll understand why it’s “legendary”. Pandan also known as “The Asian Vanilla” (don’t ask me why because it tastes/smells completely different) is a tropical plant that is widely used in South East Asian cooking/baking. Except for serving as an ingredient for baking and cooking, it also has multiple functions, such as a cockroach repellent (personally I’ve never tried), air-freshener and more.

After being more familiar with baking chiffon cakes I decided to take my chiffon cakes to another level, it was time for a Pandan Chiffon Cake.

I prefer using natural and fresh ingredients for my baking, food colorings and artificial extracts is a big no no! Luckily, I’ve got access to Pandan leaves in Stockholm so I was able to get a hold of fresh leaves, otherwise you’ll have to use a Pandan paste or artificial extract.

For a 22cm Pandan Chiffon Cake ( 班蘭雪紡蛋糕)

(a combination of my friend, Erica and Ju, The Little Teochew‘s recipe)

Ingredients:

Egg Yolks 7 (the eggs should be in room temperature)
Caster Sugar 95g (can be reduced to 65-70g)

*Extract from fresh Pandan leaves (I used 30 leaves)
Corn Oil 50ml
Coconut Milk 75ml (It’s quite difficult for me to find coconut milk, so I used 50ml coconut cream and 15ml water)
Cake Flour 150g
Baking Powder 1tsp
Salt 1/8tsp (a pinch of salt)

*Wash and chop the pandan leaves (I used 30 fresh pandan leaves) and added roughly 1 cup of water (or else my blender wouldn’t work with me, but try testing your way through) and blitzed in a blender. I squeezed the juice out and left it in the fridge over night and let the chlorophyl settle (it took around 24+ hours). Pour the water out and only use the sediment in the bottom of your container. You’ll then have fresh and concentrated pandan extract for your pandan cake.

Egg Whites 7

Castor Sugar 100g (can be reduced to 90g)

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until thick and creamy.
3. Mix the corn oil and coconut milk, and add it slowly to the mixture while whisking. Add the pandan extract and mix well.
4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the batter and whisk until it’s well combined.
5. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. You know it’s ready when you can flip the bowl over your head and the meringue should not fall.
6. Gently stir one third of the meringue into the batter. Then add the rest of the meringue to the batter and GENTLY fold the mixture in. (You have to be gentle, but at the same time work fast with the meringue).
7. Pour the mixture into an ungreased baking pan.
8. Put the cake into the oven and bake it for 45 minutes. (I usually bake my cake for 52 min)
9. Invert the cake and let it cool.
*10. Use a metal spatula or sharp knife to separate the sides of the cake from the pan.

* Wait until it completely cools down, don’t be too eager removing it from the tin, it will ruin the cake. I used to use a knife when I first started baking this cake, but the cake could actually be “damaged” by the knife. The taste and texture is not going to be affected but the cake will look less presentable. So I’ve learnt to remove it just by pressing the sides of the cake, chiffon cake is very “flexible” (once it has cooled down) and the texture won’t be damaged just by pressing it. The cake looks very “proper” when you’ve successfully removed it from the tin. I must admit that I haven’t fully mastered this procedure yet. There are many clips on Youtube that teaches you how to do it, be patient.🙂

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Classic Chiffon Cake

You must think that I am such a boring person or wondering if Chiffon Cake is the only thing I can make, that’s certainly not it and I promise I’ll post a different recipe soon.

The classic Chiffon Cake is of course less time consuming since it’s less prep work (you don’t need to chop, blend, squeeze the pandan leaves etc.) The ingredients and procedures don’t vary too much either. The Classic Chiffon Cake does not have the exotic, unique pandan fragrant or taste but it does not get less addictive. If you think the Pandan Chiffon Cake is too complicated, do give the classic one a try🙂

For a 22cm Chiffon Cake ( 雪紡蛋糕)

Ingredients:

Egg Yolks 6 (the eggs should be in room temperature)

Caster Sugar 45g

Vegetable oil 40ml

Coconut Milk 120ml

Cake Flour 105g

Baking Powder 1tsp

Vanilla powder 2tsp (if you use vanilla extract 1tsp should be enough)

Salt 1/8tsp (a pinch of salt)

Egg Whites 6

Castor Sugar 120g

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until thick and creamy.
3. Mix the corn oil and coconut milk, and add it slowly to the mixture while whisking.
4. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into the batter and whisk until it’s well combined.
5. Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form, then gradually add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. You know it’s ready when you can flip the bowl over your head and the meringue should not fall.
6. Gently stir one third of the meringue into the batter. Then add the rest of the batter into the meringue and GENTLY fold the mixture in. (You have to be gentle, but at the same time work fast with the meringue).
7. Pour the mixture into an ungreased baking pan.
8. Put the cake into the oven and bake it for 45-48 minutes. (I usually bake my cake for 48 min)
9. Invert the cake and let it cool.
*10. Use a metal spatula or sharp knife to separate the sides of the cake from the pan.

* Wait until it completely cools down, don’t be too eager removing it from the tin, it will ruin the cake. I used to use a knife when I first started baking this cake, but the cake could actually be “damaged” by the knife. The taste and texture is not going to be affected but the cake will look less presentable. So I’ve learnt to remove it just by pressing the sides of the cake, chiffon cake is very “flexible” (once it has cooled down) and the texture won’t be damaged just by pressing it. The cake looks very “proper” when you’ve successfully removed it from the tin. I must admit that I haven’t fully mastered this procedure yet. There are many clips on Youtube that teaches you how to do it, be patient.  :)

The soft and fluffy Classic Chiffon Cake

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Happy Birthday Everyone! It’s the 7th day of the year of the Snake, we call it 人日(People’s day) when it’s everyone’s birthday. Unfortunately I don’t know much history about it, but let’s celebrate with food anyway🙂

Sorry about the late post as Year Puddings should be prepared before new year’s, but because of all the never ending nom-nom feasts I’ve been lazy. So let’s get started with a traditional new year dessert, Year Pudding.

Original recipe: BonBon Kitchen

Ingredients:

Glutinous Rice Flour (糯米粉) 400g (1 pack)

Chinese Brown Sugar (冰片糖)400g (1 pack)

Water 400ml

Coconut milk 200ml

Corn starch 200g

Corn oil 50ml

Directions.

1. Melt the sugar in 400ml of water. After the sugar melts, strain the sugar-water to make sure there are no sugar bits left. Mix the coconut milk in the sugar water and let it cool down. (It doesn’t have to be completely cold when you mix it later).

2. Sift the corn starch and glutinous rice flour in a big bowl and thereafter pour the sugar water in the flour until well combine. Strain the mixture again to avoid and clumps. Add 50ml of oil and mix well.

3. Pour the mixture in a greased 23cm spring form , if you don’t have that you can put it in two smaller containers (the aluminium take-out containers) and steam it for 20min (high heat) and then steam it in medium heat for 2 hours.

4. When the pudding has cooled down, slice the Year Pudding, pan fry it (especially important if you’ve kept the pudding in the fridge) until it gets a bit soft. Beat an egg and dip the pudding and pan fry it in LOW HEAT until the egg becomes golden brown.

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