Thursday, September 11, 2014

Shepherd's Pie @ my way

Hi my dear readers, how are you doing and how do you spend the whole last week? Me?! I'm quite busy with the daily routine and I've been out for almost the whole week for some personal stuffs. Back home to my kitchen, found my old oven has almost dying after accompanied me for all these years. Guess I got to look for a new one now. Any suggestions?
Meanwhile I'm using the portable air cooker for my daily recipes. Still can be done for those simple ones. 
Here, the 1st from the portable air cooker, Shepherd's Pie for our Festive dinner (Mid Autumn Festival) few days ago. Still goes well, and it did not dissapoint me...:) I did twist and turn the recipe to suite my taste, and I love it!

2 tbsps olive oil
1 large onions (chopped)
1 carrot, finely diced
some green beans (as desire)
250g minced lamb ( I used the Australian Lamb)
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried bazil leafs
5 tbsps tomato paste
2 tbsps brown sugar
a pinch of salt

Marinate Ingredients:
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsps A1 steak sauce
a little black pepper
a little salt and sugar

* marinate the minced lamb with the sauces above for at least 2 hours.

600g fluffy potatoes, peeled and quartered
30g butter
1/3 cup fresh milk
a dash of black pepper

~ Steamed the quartered potatotoes for about 5-10 minutes or until potatoes are soft. 
~ Transfered softened potatoes into a tray, add in milk, butter and pepper and mash until smooth and fluffy.
~ Set aside.

~ Preheat wok and add in 2 tbsps olive oil, saute the chopped onions till fragnant.
~ Add in marinated meat, at medium heat stir fry awhile. Then add in the rest of the ingredients into the meat and keep stirring for few minutes. If the tomato paste is too sour, may add some sugar to adjust the sweetness. Total cook time is about 15-20 minutes.
~ Transfer the meat to a 1.25 litre overproof casserole dish.
~ Preheat oven to moderate 180'C.
~ Spoon the mashed potatoes evenly over the meat and fluff up into peaks with a fork.
~ Bake for about35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden.

Serve hot with a glass of red wine, the wine really brings out the dish quite well.
This was my 1st attempt making a Shepherd's Pie, and i'm very satisfied with the outcome!
I will definitely put this recipe in my top list menu...hehe!

Happy Baking!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Brandy Mixed Fruits Biscotti

Time flies, it's September now! Getting busier towards year end. What is your plan end of this year's holidays? We, Chinese will celebrate the lantern festival (mid autumn festival) in a week time then our Indian friends will be celebrating their Deepavali soon, and then Christmas! Well, school term break is going to start in November and I bet all parents are planning to go somewhere for this holidays. I'm planning to go somewhere relaxing, out from the city life...haha!
Back to the post, here's the biscuits I always love to bite with my cup of coffee. These crunchy Italian cookie has been my all time favourite since many years ago. I've searched for the recipes from many bloggers, books and finally got this from the web (improved). I've done this before (almost similar) long time ago but this time I've added some liqueur to enrich the flavour.

1.5 cup dried mixed fruits (such as raisins / cherries / orange peels)
*soaked in 2 cups brandy for at least 1 day
3 cups plain flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsps butter
1 cup sugar
4 eggs

~ Drained the mixed fruits. Set aside.
~ Preheat oven at 180'C.
~ Sift flour, baking powder and salt together.
~ In an electric mixer at medium speed, beat butter with sugar till fluffy.
~ Mix in eggs, one at a time.
~ Reduced speed to low, slowly add in mixed flour then follow by the mixed fruits.
~ On a lightly floured surface, halve the dough and shape each dough into logs (flatten logs to 1/2 inch thick)
~ Brush logs with beaten eggs .
~ Bake for 35 minutes at 180'C. Transfer to wire rack to cool for about 20 minutes.
~ Cut each log on the diagonal into 16 to 18 pieces (shown above)
~ Transfer pieces to prepared tin laying them on sides. Bake for 8 minutes; flip.
~ Bake further (for another side of cookies) for another 8 minutes.
~ let cool until crisp.

Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week. Or kept in the fridge to restore the crisp.
These crunchy cookies can be served with some melted chocolate. Finely chopped 120g semi sweet chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place it over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate has melted, remove from heat. Add another 60g chocolate and stir until it has completely melted and is smooth and glossy. Slightly cool the melted chocolate and dip in the biscotti and served.


Monday, August 18, 2014

Super Moist Chocolate Cake

Back to my cake post...;p
If you are a chocolate lover, this is a good one for you. Smooth and rich with chocolate cream...VOILA! A super moist chocolate cake for the beginning of the week. 

A fudge cake covered with chocolate cream and mouth watering moist texture of the cake, this is so far a good one after all the chocolate cake I've tried.
It has occupied the first position in my top 10 best chocolate cake now!

 Ingredients for the cake:
1 1/3 cups warm water
3/4 cup Belgium cocoa powder

1 3/4 cup cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp fine salt

3/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cup castor sugar
3 eggs (size B)

~ Combine cocoa powder with warm water. Set aside.
~ Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
~ Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
~ Add in eggs, one at a time.
~ Add dry ingredients mixture alternately with cocoa mixture. Always start and end with dry ingredients.
~ Pour into prepared tin. (3 small rectangular loaf tins or a 9" round pan)
~ Bake at 180'C for 30 minutes or until done.

Ingredients for the frosting:
110g Hersley's cooking chocolate bar (semi-sweet with 65% cocoa)
4 tbsps cornflour
1 tbsp condensed milk
1 1/2 cup fresh milk
2 tbsps butter

~ Mix the above ingredients in a saucepan and cook over a double boiler till spreading consistency.

Cool the cake and cover with frosting. Best serve with a cup of long black (my favourite)..haha!
Don't worry about the sugar or the condensed milk used here, the sweetness of the cake is just nice.



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