Archive | April, 2014

Cornbread

26 Apr

Being lazy on the weekend, so I just whipped up something quick and easy – cornbread to go with the chicken soup for my Sat lunch. 🙂

I learned this recipe from a bread making class some time ago. This cornbread is savory, chunky and moist. It goes really well with soup. Also it is nice to serve hot with butter.

Cornbread
From Ruby and Ken

  • 1¼ cups fine polenta
  • 3/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup milk or water
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 cup creamed corn
  • 1 cup whole kernel corn
  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Grease a 20 to 25cm cake tin.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Melt the butter and mix wet ingredients in another bowl. Add half the web ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until just blended. Add the remaining wet ingredients to the batter and mix well.
  4. Pour into the cake tin and bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown.

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Choko & pine nut loaf

20 Apr

Some people may not know what chokos are. Basically they are like big green pears with a subtle sweet flavor. Normally I will slice and stir fry them for a few minutes to bring out their sweetness but they still remain crisp. Thanks my friend Rose who has given me some home-grown chockos. Because there are quite a few, I want to cook them in a more interesting way. Some time ago I saw a recipe of choko cake, I was skeptical at the time. After I have done some research online, I came up with my own recipe and decided to give it a whirl.

The result? It was excellent! Bits of the choko fresh not only added some color to the cake but also added a subtle fruity flavor. I really enjoyed the cake! 🙂

Choko & pine nut loaf

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 pine nuts
  • 1 big choko
  1. Peel and remove the seed of the choko. Chop it into small chunks and add to boiling water to cook about 10 minutes or until they are soft enough to smash. Smash and drain the choko puree through a fine sieve and set aside.
  2. Sift all the dry ingredients together except the pine nuts. Add vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients and whisk together. Finally add smashed choko and pine nuts and mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased loaf pan. Bake in the oven at 175°C. If the edge turns brown too fast, turn down the oven to 160°C after 20 minutes and continue baking for further 20-25 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

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Airplane cupcakes

12 Apr

Yesterday was my colleague’s last day at work. Cass is going to the flight school to pursue her dream as a pilot. Good on her! It needs a lot of encouragement to change your career path and follow your own dream. I really appreciate what she is doing so I made some airplane themed cupcakes for her farewell.

These were chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream. Cupcake toppers were made of fondant. They disappeared so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to have one! I took it as a compliment 🙂

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Hot cross buns

6 Apr

Easter is just around the corner, so it is time to make hot cross buns again! I remember the buns I made last year was dense and dry. This year it is a success! The buns were soft and full of flavor. My husband was being picky though, he said I should put more currants! I do agree with him.

Hot cross buns
Adapted from Anna Olson

  • 3/4 cup milk, heated to just above body temperature (60 C)
  • 6 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 cup dried currants (add more if you like, or replace with raisins)

Hot Glaze

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing

  • 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp milk, plus extra if needed

Dough
1. Add the yeast and 1 Tbsp sugar into the milk to activate the yeast for 10-15 minutes. Measure all of the ingredients (except the currants) and the remaining sugar,  into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the hook attachment or in a large bowl. Mix the dough on low speed until it comes together, then increase the speed by one and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes (the dough is soft and should stick to the bottom of the bowl). If mixing by hand, stir the ingredients with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together, then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Towards the end of kneading, add the currants and mixed peel and knead in. Scrape the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 75 to 90 minutes, until doubled in size.

2. Turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and divide into 12 even pieces. Shape each piece into a ball by rolling between your hands while it remains on the work surface. Place the rolled buns in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan(my pan is slightly bigger), leaving space between them. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for 45 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 175C. Uncover the buns and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a rich brown on top. While still hot from the oven, prepare the glaze.

Hot Glaze
1. For the glaze, bring the sugar, water and vanilla up to a simmer, stirring until the sugar is fully dissolved. Brush this syrup over the still-hot buns, until it has all been used. Let the buns cool completely in the tin.

Icing
Stir the icing sugar and together until a thick consistency suitable for piping (add a few more drops of milk, if needed). Pour this into a small piping bag and pipe crosses on top of each bun, letting the icing set before serving.

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