The Coconutty Baked Brownie Bites

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Brownie. Who doesn’t love them? If you don’t, I’m not sure we can be friends. haha Kidding! But brownie is always something I cannot resist. When I see it, I have to have it – warmed, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. PERFECTO!

There are many different type of brownies, but the ones I love most is crispy on the outside, and fudgey in the middle, and I think I found the perfect recipe!

All baked and cut

Just seeing how the top bit cracks, puts a smile on my face! And being a tad bit OCD and one who is trying to (but failing) lose the baby weight, I decided to cut them into bite size, so that I don’t feel too guilty when having one, or two. hehe

I’m in a coconutty phase, so I decided to add some fine desiccated coconut through the batter before baking and the flavour wasn’t too overpowering. Chocolate was still the major flavour with a tinge of coconut! Mmmm. Plus this wasn’t too sweet. Just the right level of sweetness!

So if you do like your brownie, I urge you to try this recipe, if you haven’t already heard of The Baked Brownie! My dad was here when I made these and he actually said, “How come the brownie from outside doesn’t taste like that?” haha That was one big compliment for me! hehe

The Coconutty Baked Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream

Coconutty Baked Brownie Bites (Adapted from Pretty Simple Sweet)

 155g plain flour

1 tsp salt

2 tbs desiccated coconut

2 tbs cocoa powder

310g dark chocolate, cut into smaller pieces

230g unsalted butter

1 tsp instant espresso powder

100g caster sugar

100g packed light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

5 eggs, room temperature

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius. Line the baking tin (I used a 9×13 inch rectangular baking tray) with baking paper, leaving some extra hanging off the sides for easy removal of the brownie.

2) In a medium bowl, mix the plain flour, salt, cocoa powder and desiccated coconut together. Set it aside.

3) Put the chocolate, butter, and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a small pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan. Allow the mixture to cool till room temperature.

4) Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk just until combined. Add the vanilla bean paste and stir until combined. Don’t overmix at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.

5) Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and fold until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible.

6) Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper.

Baked and ready to be cut

Cut into bite sized squares

7) Cut them into bite sized squares and serve them warm with a scoop of ice cream!

Hope you all had a great weekend! Make these and have them today so that you can chase away any Monday blues and have a fantastic week ahead!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx.

PS: There will be a give-away in the next post, so stay tuned! (:

BBQ Made Easy with Heat Beads® Chimney Booster

Heat Beads(r)

I love BBQs. It’s just something that could bring everyone together, around the fire, and enjoy the love for food. To me, BBQs are perfect all year round. In the Summer, with a beer or cider in one hand, and a pair of tongs on the other. In Winter, it will act as a heater or a camp fire, keeping us warm and toasty! hehe

Setting up a BBQ can be tricky and time consuming, depending on the weather conditions. So when KeepLeft PR contacted me and asked if I would like to try the the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster for a quick and easy BBQ experience, I couldn’t say no! I couldn’t be more thankful for the generosity of Heat Beads® as they didn’t only give me the Heat Beads® briquettes, firelighters, the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster, they gave me my dream BBQ as well – The Weber! I was over the moon when the packages arrived!

The Weber BBQ

Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster

Instead of the usual hour or more taken to get the briquettes ready for some action, with the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster, you can get your briquettes hot enough for the BBQ in 12 minutes (with a few minutes more if it’s cold and windy)! How amazing is that?? And it’s so easy to use as well! I was a little worried at first, as the Mr is in the USA doing a seminar tour. So I had no help, plus he’s always usually the one setting it up!

Setting up the BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster

But trust me, it could all be done in a few quick steps!

Put the Heat Beads® briquettes in the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney, place the Heat Beads® firelighters on the firelighter plate of the Heat Beads® Chimney Booster, light the firelighters using a match or gas lighter, place your Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney on top of the Chimney Booster and turn on the switch!

Lighting the firelighters on the firelighter plate

Now all you gotta do is wait for 12 minutes! I decided to put the Booster to the test, and BBQed on a super windy and cold night. It took 14 minutes for the briquettes to be hot enough to be placed in the BBQ. 14 minutes! AMAZING!

Using the BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster

By the 12th minute, the briquettes were close to being ready. And how do you know when their ready? The briquettes become ash over, turning a light grey colour. That’s when it’s ready to be popped into your BBQ!

14 minutes, Briquettes were ashed over and ready to go!

With the setting up time reduced to a mere 12-14 minutes, I’ve got more time to cook my meats now! I decided to do a comparison of cooking methods: low & slow vs quick & fast. Heat Beads® is perfect for both! The low & slow would be perfect for days when you have a little more time to spare. The quick & fast would be perfect for busy bees who are working, or have little time to get food time on the table. Trust me, cause now with bubba, all I have is under an hour to get our meals prepared and cooked! So what did I decide to cook? Smoked BBQ baby back ribs (low & slow) and Jamaican Jerk Smoked chicken wings (quick & fast)! Salivating yet? hehe I definitely was, smelling the aromas coming out of the Weber!

Ribs & Wings

All done within 1 1/2 hours, inclusive of prep time! I thought it was pretty impressive, don’t you? You must be thinking, how can it be? Well, I used the 14 minutes taken for the briquettes to be ready to season my meats! A win-win situation if you asked me!

Smoked Bbq Baby Back Ribs

Smoked BBQ Baby Back Ribs (Recipe from Weber’s Time to Grill™ by Jamie Purviance)

Dry Rub :

1 tbs sea salt

2 tsp granulated garlic

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp dried thyme

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 racks of baby back ribs, about 1kg

1/2 cup BBQ sauce

Handful of Hickory Wood Chips

Steps : 

1) Soak your wood chips in water for at least 30 mins and drain. Set aside.

2) In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the dry rub together. Remove the membrane of the ribs and cut them into half to create two smaller racks.

Dry rub - Ribs

3) Season each rack evenly with the dry rub and place the ribs on a piece of foil, wrapping them up well. Double wrap them, making sure there are no holes.

Seasoned and ready to go

4) Place the packet of ribs on the clean grill and cook for 1 hour, with the lid closed, and turning the packets occasionally, making sure not to pierce the foil. At this point, you could go do other things! Go hang the laundry and just put your feet up and have a cuppa (:

Ribs on the bbq

5) Remove the packets from the grill and let rest for about 10 mins. Carefully open the packets, remove the ribs and discard the rendered fat and oil.

6) Place the wood chips onto the charcoal and a a tray of water under the grill. Close the lid and when the wood chips start to smoke, return the ribs onto the grill (above the water) bone side down. Grill and smoke, the the lid closed, for about 10-12 minutes, basting with the bbq sauce, until they are sizzling and lightly charred. Remove from grill and let it rest for 5 minutes before serving with the remaining bbq sauce.

Jamaican Jerk Smoked Chicken Wings

2 tsp Jamaican Jerk Rub (For a quick marinade, I used the one from The Spice Mill)

2 tsp sea salt flakes

10-12 chicken wings

Steps : 

1) Marinade the chicken wings with the Jamaican Jerk spice rub and sea salt and allow it to marinade while the ribs are cooking on the grill.

Seasoning the chicken wings

2) When the ribs are 10 minutes from getting done, I put the chicken wings on the grill and turned it occasionally to make sure it doesn’t burn.

3) When the ribs are smoking, leave the chicken wings on the grill to be smoked as well (for the same 10-12 minutes). It brings the chicken wings to a whole new level of deliciousness! Golden brown and lightly charred. PERFECT!

Grilling the chicken wings

Jamaican Jerk Smoked chicken wings

Have them with some baked sweet potatoes (you can throw them on the grill when you start cooking your ribs) and a side of salad! Dinner is served! (:

Smoked BBQ Baby back ribs

My parents and I were really impressed by how delicious the ribs and wings were! I had so much fun trying out the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney booster and couldn’t be happier with how the meats turned out. I’m sure by now you’re wondering where to get the Heat Beads® BBQ Chimney & Chimney Booster from? Or you want to read more about the Heat Beads® products? Do pop over to Heat Beads® to find out more!

Have a great weekend ahead and always remember to cook and bake with love!

Disclaimer : Lianne@Food Made With Love received the Weber BBQ & Heat Beads® products as a gift from Heat Beads® & KeepLeft PR. Thank you so much for this fantastic opportunity! 

Chai Cheesecake with Speculoos Swirls

Chai Cheesecake

If you know me personally, then you know I’m obsessed with chai. My love for chai came really early one when I had my first chai latte at Galleon cafe. It was the first time I had freshly brewed chai, with the pot, strainer and the works! That sparked off my love for chai, almost instantly! haha

Byron Bay Cookies

My best christmas present this year came in the mail and in the form of cookies! Thanks to Keep Left PR, they were so generous to send me a whole box of Byron Bay Cookies to try! You could imagine the smile on my face when I opened the box. Grin. haha Since there were so many cookies, I wanted to make a dessert out of some of them! Soft and decadent deliciousness! The first cookie that got my attention was the Chai latte cookie (of course!). So through some research, I decided to make some chai latte cheesecakes! Mmmmm!

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And because I love my cakes with swirls and my dearest friend gave me a bottle of speculoos, I couldn’t resist swirling some into the cake! This cookie butter is magic and so addictive! Love the crunchy bits of cookie in the spread. I (shamelessly) eat this by the teaspoon haha

Chai latte cheesecake

Love love love the colour contrast of the off white cheesecake with the brown swirls! I was a happy girl (: I patiently waited for the cheesecake to set in the fridge overnight and had it for afternoon tea the next day! A pretty strong flavour of chai as I steep the spices in the cream to get a stronger chai flavour, and it worked! Paired with the chai latte cookie from Byron Bay Cookies, it was perfect! Chai on chai. DELISH!

So here is the recipe of these yummy cheesecake cups!

Chai Latte No-Bake Cheesecake Cups with Speculoos Swirls

(Adapted from Sweet and Savoury by Shinee)

ingredients

Ingredients :

250g cream cheese, room temperature

120g cookie, finely crumbed (I used Byron Bay Chai Latte cookies)

55g unsalted butter

3 gelatine leaves (or 2g of gelatine powder)

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup thickened cream

1/2 cup icing sugar

8 pieces of cardamom, slightly crushed

8 cloves

1 star anise

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 black tea teabag (I used darjeeling tea)

50g speculoos, room temperature

Steps:

1) In a small saucepan, heat up the cream with the spices and teabag and allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Strain and set aside, allowing it to cool.

chai infused cream

2) Place 12 cupcake liners on a tray or in a cupcake tin, and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with the cookie crumbs until well combined. Put a tablespoon of cookie mixture into each liner and press it down firmly and evenly into the liner. Place it in the fridge to let it set for 15 minutes.

biscuit crumb mixture

3) In a standing mixer, place the cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla bean paste and chai infused cream into the bowl. Whisk till mixture is smooth and well combined.

4) Soak the gelatine leaves according to the package instructions. In another small pot, heat up the milk, take it off the heat and place the gelatine leaves in. Stir till the gelatine is totally dissolved. Pour it into the cream cheese mixture, and whisk till well combined.

5) Pour mixture into the cupcake liners till about 3/4 full. Place the speculoos into the microwave for a few seconds, till it’s slightly runny. Pour a teaspoon of speculoos in a line, using a toothpick, make swirls by moving it from left to right.

chai latte no-bake cheesecakes

6) Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight before serving it with a cuppa hot chai soy latte! Mmmmm! ENJOY!

chai latte cheesecake with chai soy latte

Have a great week ahead everyone! Thank you once again Byron Bay Cookies and Keep Left PR for the delicious cookies!

Remember to always bake and cook with love! xx

Japanese Sponge Strawberry Swissroll

Japanese sponge strawberry swissroll

Good morning dear readers! Firstly I would like to apologise for the long hiatus. It’s been an exciting and eventful coupe of months as we warmly welcome the newest addition to our Ho family (: That’s right! Lochlan Ho was born on the 8th of August and he has been an absolutely blessing and gem to every one around him!

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Having this precious boy in our lives is the best thing that has happened to us (: We can’t love him enough!

But I’m slowly coming back with posts from months back and I hope you can be patient with me as I try and get my routine back in place. Thank you all so much for your constant support, even though I haven’t been posting! It’s very encouraging and makes me wanna get back to it as soon as possible!

Japanese sponge strawberry swissroll

 So to celebrate my return, I decided to share one of my favourite recipes that I’ve baked a few times before bubba arrived! One that was shared by my cousin-in-law and enjoyed by everyone!

I have an obsession with swissrolls and just love making them! Of course, needless to say, I love to eat them too! hehe To date, I’ve made a matcha swissroll with azuki cream, chocolate with cream and fresh raspberries and this has to be my favourite, japanese sponge with fresh strawberries! A light and fluffy sponge that is not too sweet, paired perfectly with fresh strawberries and freshly whipped vanilla bean cream! NOMS! So if you’re a fan of swissrolls, do give this recipe a shot! I’m very sure you will enjoy it as much as I did!

Japanese Sponge Strawberry Swissroll 

3 egg yolks

35g castor sugar

50ml water, room temperature

40ml olive oil

80g cake flour

3 egg whites

30g castor sugar

1 tsp corn flour

200ml whipping cream

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 tbs icing sugar

8-10 fresh strawberries, cut into small cubes

fresh strawberries

Steps : 

1) Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius. Line the bottom of a 27×27 baking tray with greaseproof paper. Do not line the sides.

2) In a standing mixing bowl, cream the yolks and 35g of sugar until pale. Combine the water and olive oil into a cup and pour into the yolk mixture. Sift the cake flour into the mixture and continue mixing till combined. Set aside.

3) In another clean mixing bowl, whisk egg whites till foamy and add 30g sugar. Add corn flour and continue whisking till firm peaks form.

Stiff peaks

4) Add the whisked egg whites into the yolk batter in 3 portions. Spread the batter into the baking tray. Bake the cake for 14 minutes, turning the cake at the half way mark to ensure even baking.

Combining the egg whites with the egg yolks

 5) Take the cake out of the oven and drop it a few times to reduce the shrinkage. Remove the cake for the baking tray and place it on a flat surface. Cover it with another baking tray to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Allow it to cool completely before filling it.

Japanese sponge cake - baked

6) Whip the cream till stiff peaks form and add the vanilla bean paste. Gently stir the vanilla bean paste till well combined.

7) Release the edges of the baking paper of the cake. Cover the cake with another sheet of baking paper, and flip it over. Slowy and gently remove the baking paper from the bottom of the cake. Place the paper on the bottom again and flip it back, in the upright position. Using a serrated knife, cute of the short edge furthest away from you with a diagonal cut.

8) Place the whipped vanilla bean cream onto the cake and using a spatula spread it out evenly, having a slightly thicker amount on the side closer to you. Add the strawberries evenly onto the cream. Fold the edge of the cake, pushing the paper forward, rolling the cake. Once rolled, wrap the cake with the clean sheet of baking paper, making sure it’s tightly wrapped. Cover with a plastic wrap and allow it to cool in the fridge.

9) To serve, unwrap the cake and place it on a long plate. Sift some icing sugar on top of the cake and slice it to the thickness of your liking. ENJOY!

 japanese sponge strawberry swissroll

Japanese Layered Sponge with Fresh Fruits

If you want to make a layered sponge cake instead of a swissroll, after releasing the cake from the tray, cut it into three even pieces, and layer the first two layers with freshly whipped vanilla bean cream and fresh fruits of your choice! To be honest, I did this only because my sponge kinda broke when I tried to roll it. haha So don’t stress if that happens!

Layered japanese sponge cake

I used fresh strawberries and blueberries! The only thing about the strawberries is that you gotta cut it into similar sizes so the cake will be flat enough for the next layer!

Strawberry layer

How pretty is the colour of the strawberries in contrast with the sponge? I love it! hehe So do give this recipe a try! It’s seriously one of my favourite recipes and a crowd pleaser!

PS : Thanks Liyun for sharing the recipe with me and giving me tips! (:

Remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx

Cocoa, Coffee & Walnut Swirl Cake

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I’m in a butter cake phase. I just can’t get enough of it. I think it might be a pregnancy craving. hehe But then, it isn’t a bad craving to have, is it? What could be better than soft and buttery cake? Absolutely nothing! Especially with a hot cuppa – perfect afternoon tea!

Nespresso SG Fortissio Lungo

I was lucky enough to be sent a tube of the new Nespresso flavour – Fortissio Lungo. It’s the first in the Lungo range with a strong intensity (8) and has a richer taste with fuller body. With notes of cereal, the beans are from Central-South America combined with the precious full Arabica Monsoon Malabar from India. I really wanted to make something with this new flavour, and all I can think of is in a form of a butter cake!

Cocoa, coffee & walnut swirl cake

And I love swirls in my cake! hehe It’s fun making them and also so pretty before and after being baked! So I decided a swirled butter came with cocoa, coffee and walnut! Mmmm (:

Cocoa, Coffee & Walnut Swirl Cake

250g self-raising flour, sifted

250g butter, room temperature

100g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

3-4 tsp espresso, cooled to room temperature (I used the Fortissio Lungo)

5 whole eggs, room temperature

1 tbs cocoa powder

140g walnut, roughly chopped and toasted

Ingredients

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius. Butter and line the base of a square baking tin and set aside.

2) In a standing mixing bowl, add the butter and sugar, cream till light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste then add the eggs, one at a time, and beat till well combined.

3) Add the espresso and slowly add the flour and chopped walnuts. Mix till all the flour is well combined, but careful not to over mix it.

4) Take half the mixture and place in a bowl. Sift in the cocoa powder in and mix till well combined.

5) Alternately place the coffee mixture and the cocoa mixture into the baking tin.

Cocoa, coffee and walnut mixture

6) Using a knife, run through the mixture from left to right, then do the same after turning it 90 degrees clockwise. You should get beautiful swirls!

Swirled cake

7) Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean after being inserted to the middle of the cake. Allow the cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack. Make sure the cake is totally cooled before cutting, or it will crumble!

Cocoa, coffee and walnut swirled cake

This was a big hit in my family and the addition of the walnut made it yummier in my opinion! hehe (: Have a go and let me know what you think!

Remember to always cook and bake with love. Till the next post, xx

Zebra Cake

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Home. I am back in the comfort of my home in Singapore getting ready for the arrival of our little bub, Baby Ho! (: But regardless of which island I’m on, I still always have the itch to bake! Lucky for me, I’m still able to do what I love with the big bump in front of me hehe

SCS Baker's Starter Kit

Also I was fortunately enough to be sent a baker’s starter kit from SCS Butter which was filled with boing essentials that I could use! So off I went to get some SCS butter from the local supermarket and planned what I wanted to make.

Zebra cake

I’ve been wanting to bake a zebra cake for ages, but never got down to making it. Since it’s a butter cake, I thought this would be a perfect time to try it! hehe I was a little nervous as you won’t know how to will actually turn out till you cut it open, almost like a surprise cake! haha So you would be able to see the relieve on my face when I got the first slice out of the bundt! Even though there aren’t as many stripes as I hoped for, I was glad there were at least some! hehe

I absolutely love the texture of the cake baked in a bundt tin – it had a nice crunchy crumb on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside, not to mention how buttery it was! And to resemble more of the black stripes, I found extra dark chocolate cocoa which turned out almost black!

Extra dark cocoa powder

I actually got quite a shock seeing how dark it was, but it worked out well! hehe

So here’s the recipe and how I made the zebra stripes!

Zebra Cake (adapted from Ambrosia)

340g unsalted butter (I used SCS butter)

453g cake flour

200g caster sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup dark cocoa powder

6 tbs water

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celcius. Butter/Oil and flour a bundt baking tray well.

2) In a standing mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure that each addition is well combined into the mixture. Scrape the sides and the bottom of the mixing bowl when needed.

Adding buttermilk & flour

3) Add the salt and vanillin bean paste and beat for another 30 seconds or so. On low speed, alternate the cake flour and buttermilk until both are very well incorporated. Make sure you start and end with the cake flour. Beat until the mixture is smooth, but careful not to over mix the batter.

Mixing the batter to the cocoa

4) In a medium size bowl, mix the cocoa powder and water. Make sure there’s no lumps. Add 1 generous cup of the cake batter into the bowl and mix till well combined.

Getting ready to make the zebra cake

5) To make the zebra effect, add two heaps spoonful of vanilla batter in the bundt pan, then 1 heap spoonful of the chocolate batter. Continue to alternate the vanilla and chocolate batters until all the batters are used up and the bundt pan is filled. Tap the bundt pan to help in spreading the batters and be more equally distributed.

Steps to making the zebra patterns

Cake ready to be baked!

6) Bake the cake in the middle rack of your oven for 45-50 minutes. The crust will be golden brown and the cake should spring back when lightly touched. To check if the cake is done, stick a toothpick into the cake and it should come out clean. Allow the cake to cool for 10 mins in the bundt pan, then invert it out into a cooling rack. Allow it to cool completely.

Zebra cake

You can dust it with icing sugar, I wish I did, but I ran out of it! ENJOY!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! Thanks SCS for the starter kit once again! Till the next post, xx

Salted Caramel Creme Brûlée

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Whenever I’m deciding what to cook or bake, my inspiration always comes from my loved ones and what they like to have, or what their favourite cuisine or flavours are. Of late, I have to admit that I cook according to what Baby Ho (& I) crave for and thankfully the Mr and sister-in-law are really easy and wouldn’t mind having what I’m craving for! PHEW! So so blessed! But last week, I decided to make something inspired by what the Mr loves and with a twist, using his favourite dessert & flavour – creme brûlée & salted caramel!

salted caramel creme brûlée

I have to say I was really nervous making creme brûlée again, cause the last time I made was a long time ago and usually they kinda curdle a little, and never comes out as smooth as I wish they would. But I decided to give it another go, and waited with my fingers and toes crossed while they were baking in the oven! hehe

I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! Smooth, luscious and with a good kick of the salt! Not overly sweet too! The Mr was all smiles and because I didn’t wanna have too much sugar, he had his and half of mine! hehe Of cos, the best bit was so hear the crack of the burnt sugar on the top!

So here’s the recipe and I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

Salted Caramel Creme Brûlée

600ml thickened cream

6 egg yolks

1 egg

1 vanilla pod

120g caster sugar, plus extra for the brûlée

1 tsp fleur de sel (or sea salt if that’s what you have)

Steps :

1) Preheat over to 115 degrees celcius.

2) In a small pot, pour the thickened cream in. Split the vanilla pod into half, lengthwise, and scrape the vanilla bean into the cream. Throw the pod into the pot as well and bring it to a slow boil. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes so that the vanilla pod and beans would infuse into the cream.

3) In another pot, heat the sugar on medium-high heat, swirling it to incorporate the rest of the sugar. Watch closely so that the caramel doesn’t burn. Once the caramel is a beautiful amber colour, take it off the heat and pour the cream into the pot. Do be very careful as the mixture will still bubbling! Whisk continuously to make sure the caramel and cream is well combined. Add the fleur de sel and give it a good stir to ensure the salt combines with the caramel cream mixture.

4) In a large glass bowl, crack the egg and add the egg yolks. Whisk well and slowly pour the salted caramel cream in a slow and steady stream. Make sure it’s not added too quickly, as it will scramble the eggs. Whisk continuously as you add the caramel cream  and strain into a measuring jug.

5) Pour the mixture into small mason jars (my mixture was enough to fill the 1/2 way mark of 6 jars) and place the jars in a roasting tray.

salted caramel creme brûlée

6) Fill the tray with hot water until it reaches 1/2 of the jars and slowly place it into the oven. Bake the creme brûlée for 45 minutes or until it’s just set but still wobbly in the middle. Take the jars out of the water bath and allow them to cool completely before placing them in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.

7) To serve, sprinkle some caster sugar on top of the creme brûlée and using a blow torch, burn the sugar till it caramelises and is a dark brown colour.

salted caramel creme brûlée

ENJOY!

Have a great night everyone and remember to always cook and bake with love! xx

My Mr The Chef : Chicken Money Bag

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I am truly a lucky woman. I married a man who can seriously cook some delicious food! Although he’s really busy, he still takes time to cook something once in a while, which I am super thankful for! If you’ve followed me for a while now, you would have seen some of his creations : Hainanese chicken riceroasted beef ribshomemade bacon and polenta chips!

Ready to be served

I’m  not sure if you remember seeing this dish on Masterchef last year, but this was a dish by the ever so talented – Maggie Beer! The Mr wanted to make it the moment he saw it and boy am I glad he did. It was absolutely delicious! Tedious to prep, but all the hard work definitely paid off! Just imagine golden crispy chicken skin (like yum!) and the meat is just succulent and full of flavour on the inside! Together with the tomato chutney, it’s just the perfect pair!

Skinning the chicken

The trickiest part of the dish is probably skinning the whole chicken and keeping the skin whole, making sure there are no holes! The Mr did such a good job! He got it out in one go! Don’t think I would be able to do it. haha

So here’s the recipe from Maggie Beer! Give it a try, the hard work is definitely worth every delicious bite!

Chicken Money Bag with Preserved Lemon and Tomato Chutney (Recipe closely adapted from Maggie Beer, Serves 3)

For the chicken :

50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

2 tbs olive oil

3 shallots, finely chopped

225g white button mushrooms, sliced

1 tbs lemon thyme leaves, chopped

1/3 cup white wine (I didn’t have Verjuice)

1.8kg whole chicken

100g chicken fat, finely chopped

1 1/2 tbs preserved lemon rind, chopped

1 1/4 tbs tarragon, chopped

15g sea salt flakes

1 egg

For the Preserved Lemon & Tomato Chutney : 

1 1/2 tbs Olive oil

1 onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

2 sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped

1/4 cup white wine (Use Verjuice if you have it!)

800g tomato, roughly chopped

100g preserved lemon, rinsed and chopped

110ml Red wine vinegar

90g caster sugar

Steps :

1) Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius.

2) Place a heavy based pan over medium-high heat, add butter and heat until it has turned nutty brown. Add olive oil, shallots and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add thyme, toss to combine, and season with salt.

3) Deglaze the pan with white wine and cook until it is sticky and reduced. Place mushroom mixture in a large bowl, and set aside to cool.

4) Skin chicken and place in a bowl. Remove chicken marylands, roughly chop leg and thigh meat, then pulse in a food processor to a coarse paste. Add chicken fat and pulse to combine. Remove breasts and cut into two centimeters dice.

Prepping the chicken and mushroom mixture

5) Finely chop mushroom mixture, then add the preserved lemon rind and tarragon to cooled mushroom mixture and mix until well combined. Add chicken leg mixture, diced chicken breast, sea salt flakes and egg to the bowl and slap the mixture against the side of the bowl until combined.

Prepping the ingredients

Chicken mixture

6) Cut chicken skin into three even triangular shaped pieces.

7) Over a 6cm springform baking tin, place a sheet of cling wrap, then spread skin over. 

Making the money bags

8) Add chicken mixture, bring each end of the skin together to create a pouch, then place in the fridge for ten minutes to allow the skin to set.

Adding the chicken mixture

Bringing the skin together to create a pouch

9) Invert baking tins onto a baking tray and carefully lift tins to remove. The skin should remain neatly tucked underneath, holding the parcel together as it cooks.

All ready to be baked!

10) Place baking tray into oven, and cook for 25-30 minutes or until the skin is golden brown. If you have a meat thermometer, check to see that the internal temperature has reached 62 degrees celcius.

Baked till golden brown

11) Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.

12) For the chutney : Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes until softened and translucent. Add garlic and rosemary, and cook for two minutes.

13) Deglaze the pan with white wine then add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until the mixture is reduced to about two cups and a chutney-like consistency. Remove from heat, and place into a bowl to cool. Season to taste with salt.

14) To serve : Slice the chicken money bags and serve on the tomato chutney. Enjoy! (:

chicken money bag sliced

Enjoy the coming weekend everyone! (: Hope this has inspired you to cook something special for your loved ones this weekend! Remember to always cook and bake with love!

Till the next post, xx

HUON Smoked Salmon Bouquet Quiche

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I’m late, I’m late, I’m late! That was the only thing on my mind when I was trying to come up with something to make for the HUON Blogging Challenge as the post is due tomorrow! I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to take up the challenge as we had to use smoke salmon and the only way I could have it is cooking it!

HUON smoked salmon banquet rolls

While looking at the HUON Reserve Selection range and deciding on what I should get, I was drawn to the banquet rolls immediately! If only I could have them as is, cos I would love to have man a roulette out of it! Oh wells! haha Have to concentrate on what I can have!

ingredients used

So I did what I usually do to get inspirations for the dish I want to make – walk down the aisles of the supermarket! It’s seriously the best place to come up with ideas for what to cook! Absolutely love doing it. hehe So I decided to make a quiche, for the first time! I know, what’s so exciting about a quiche? Well, I decided to make it look very different from a usual quiche, turning the salmon rolls into bouquet of flowers!

Smoked salmon bouquet quiche

I was super nervous making it because I’ve never made a quiche before, and I didn’t know if the shapes were going to last through the baking process! Thank goodness, the flowers were still “blooming” when I took it out of the oven. HOORAY! It worked! hehe The mr and sister-in-law really enjoyed it too! That’s always a plus! (: So here’s the recipe! Hope you will enjoy it as much as we did!

Smoked Salmon Bouquet Quiche (Serves 4-6 people)

For the sour cream short crust pastry : (Recipe from Maggie Beer)

125ml sour cream

250g plain flour, extra for dusting

200g butter

For the filling : 

200g HUON Reserve Selection banquet rolls

1 leek (white part, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced)

8 mushroom cups, sliced

10g chives, finely chopped

6-8 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped

1 tbs olive oil

10g unsalted butter

salt and black pepper, to season

200ml thickened cream

150g shredded cheddar

4 eggs

Steps :

Kneading the dough into a ball

1) For the short crust pastry : Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius. Dice the butter then pulse it in a food processor with the plain flour till it resembles bread crumbs. Add the sour cream and pulse it further till it resembles a dough.

Rolling out and dough and blind baking

2) On a clean surface, dust a bit of plain flour and knead the dough into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow it to rest in the fridge for 20 minutes. Roll the pastry out to 3-5mm thickness and roll it over 24cm quiche baking tin that has been oiled. Blind bake the pastry for 10-15 minutes, or until it’s lightly golden. Allow it to cool while preparing the other ingredients.

Lining the tin with the pastry

2)  For the filling : Heat a large heavy-based pan on high and add the olive oil. Fry the leek till soft and fragrant, then add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and allow the mushrooms to fry till slightly caramelised. Add the butter and fold in the mushroom mixture. Set it aside and allow it to cool before placing it in the pastry case. Sprinkle the chives and sundries tomatoes evenly around the pastry case.

Frying the leek and mushroom mixture

3) Cut each banquet rolled salmon into half and place them in a shape of a flower. ( I did 3 large flowers, and 3 small flowers. But you can do as many as you like! Bring out your artistic side! )

4) Combine the thickened cream and eggs in a bowl and mix them till well combined. Pour it slowly into the case and around the smoked salmon, careful not to get any on.

eggs and cream mixture

5) Top the quiche with shredded cheddar, once again avoiding the smoked salmon.

6) Reduce the oven to 190 degrees celcius and bake the quiche for 35-40 minutes, or until the egg mixture is set and the top is golden brown.

Smoked salmon bouquet quiche

7) Serve with a side of salad with your favourite dressing and with extra sour cream to go with the quiche! Indulgence! ENJOY!

Quiche with a side of salad

I have to say I really enjoyed making those flowers out of the smoke salmon rolls! To make it look more like flowers, I piped stalks and leaves using the sour cream and fill the leaves with chopped chives! hehe I’m no artist, but I think this is the best I could do!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe, and do give it a try! I didn’t get to eat the smoked salmon on it’s own (before cooking), but the mr and sister-in-law said it was delicious and not as salty as the others they’ve had! Which is always a plus! Have a great weekend everyone!

Remember to always cook and bake with love! Till the next post, xx

My Biggest Project : Rainbow Cake

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Layer cakes were never a specialty of mine, but when the opportunity came up to make something special for a first birthday, I just couldn’t resist! If you follow me on instagram (@lianneelow) I’m sure you’ve seen endless photos of Paige who turned one last year. I love her like she’s my own, so I wanted to do something special for her as well!

Stacking the layers

Rainbow was the theme of her party, so inevitably, the only cake I could think of was rainbow cake! Being ambitious, I also wanted to make all 7 layers out of natural colouring and flavouring. So after much research, I came up with the flavours and decided to give it a try. As much as I wanted natural colouring, the colours of the fruits just didn’t stand out as much as I wanted to after being baked, so for the actual cake, I decided to put a drop or two of colouring paste just to make it pop!

Cupcake pops

On a side note (just cause the word pop reminded me haha), I also made some cupcake pops for the party! Though it was time consuming to make them, I enjoyed every single moment – from molding them into their shapes, dipping them into melted chocolate (like yummeh!) and to sprinkling them with 100’s and 1000’s! Could totally imagine a kid doing it as a fun activity too! Hehe

plan drawn

So here’s a draw up of my plan: 7 flavours and all stacked and iced with my favourite cream cheese frosting! Mmmmm!

I wasn’t too worried about baking the 7 individual layers, I was more worried about constructing it and how high it would actually be! It was definitely the highest cake I’ve made in my life!  The only thing I was really worried about was transporting the cake to the party as I was going to be driving alone! I think my life was shortened about 10 years in that 10 minutes of driving! Haha

It was all worth it though, to see the faces lit up at the party and hearing all the compliments from the guests! Definitely made my day! The next thing that made my heart beat really quickly was the cutting of the cake and revealing to see if there were 7 distinct layers. And….

Revealing the layers inside

TADAH!!! (: I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! I’m sure I let out a loud sigh of relief the moment I took the first slice of cake out and served it! A happy dance was definitely in order! Hehe  I have to admit, there were some layers that I was probably a bit too heavy with the colouring towards the end (was going colour happy haha), cause I really wanted the colours to stand out. But please know that you can always cut that down to your own preference, or you can just cut that out too!

Rainbow Cake 

Ingredients : (20 cm round baking tin, repeat 7 times)

120g plain flour

80g caster sugar

40g unsalted butter, room temperature

120ml milk

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vanilla paste

1 egg

Wilton icing food gels (I used a toothpick to add the colours)

For the different layers : (add food gel colouring till desired colour or leave it out if you wish)

Red – 3/4 cup fresh raspberry, mashed + red food gel

Pink – 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, mashed

Purple – 3/4 cup blackberries, mashed + purple food gel

Blue – 3/4 cup blueberries, mashed + blue food gel

Green – Zest of 2 limes, 3 tbs juice + green food gel

 Yellow – Zest of 2 lemons, 3 tbs juice + yellow food gel

Orange – Zest of 1 naval orange, 3 tbs juice + orange food gel

Steps : 

1) For each layer of cake : Grease and line the baking tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 165 degrees celcius.

2) In a medium bowl, combine the plain flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, add the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla paste and mix till pale and fluffy. Alternate the flour mixture with milk (flour,milk,flour) until well combined.

3) Fold in the flavouring and colouring for each layer. Careful not to over mix.

the red layer - raspberry

4) Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin and tap it on the counter to allow all the air bubbles to come to the surface. Bake for 18 mins or until the skewer comes out clean. Allow the layers of cake to cool completely before assembling.

The yellow layer - lemon

Cream Cheese Icing (From the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

900g icing sugar

375g cream cheese

150g unsalted butter, softened

Steps :

1) Beat the icing sugar and butter in a mixing bowl until well combined.

2) Add the cream cheese in one go and beat until completely incorporated. Turn the mixer up to medium high, and beat until it’s light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Do not over beat as it will turn runny.

Cream cheese icing

3) To assemble : Place the red cake layer at the bottom, place 2 heap tbs of cream cheese icing on the cake and spread it out uniformly using a palette knife. Place the orange layer on top and repeat the process. Once you reach the top layer (pink), frost the top and side of the cake till it’s smooth and even.

Rainbow cake success!

Enjoy! (: I love how I could actually taste the fruits in every single layer, and they actually do work well together although it’s impossible to fit all 7 layers in one bite! haha

Paige eating the cake

It was such an honour that my cake is the first cake Paige has eaten (:  How pretty is her dress!

Happy 1st birthday Paige

It is many months after the actual birthday, but happy 1st birthday Paige! Can’t believe how quick it has been and she’s such a big girl now! (:

Paige and Us

I can’t wait till I am able to make my own bub’s cake and I will definitely be more than happy to make this cake again!

Have a good mid week everyone! (:

Remember to always bake and cook with love! Till the next post, xx