Monday, November 29, 2010

Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting





I've been wanting to cook Red Velvet Cake for ages......So, it was such a joy for me when I finally did it! I gathered some recipes which I frequently cooked at Cafe Dania, improvised this and that, added this and that....and I got a pretty decent Red Velvet Cake. I am however, on a constant quest for self-improvement, so I'll definitely share with you if I manage to come up with a better recipe! Enjoy this!

Ingredients:~
  • 2 1/4 cups flour , sifted
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking soda, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp red food coloring
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs


Frosting:~

  • 2 1/2 cups cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups icing sugar

~Method~
1. Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

2. Combine the milk and vinegar together.

3. Beat butter & sugar till it becomes creamy and well blended.

4. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between each addition.

5. Beat in the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk mixture in 3 additions, beginning & ending with flour.

6. Pour in the vanilla essence and the red coloring and mix well.

7. Divide the batter into 2 greased 9" 1 1/2" high round tins.

8. Bake in a preheated 180ºC oven for about 35 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

9. Cool on a rack.


~Method for frosting~

1. Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl until smooth.

2. Put in the vanilla.

3. Add icing sugar and beat until smooth.

4. Place 1 cake layer on a platter. Spread half the frosting over the cake.

5. Top with second layer of cake. Spread with the remaining frosting.



Sunday, November 28, 2010

Izarra's Blueberry Muffins


I didn't hear any noise.....I didn't smell anything but suddenly, my 16 year old daughter, Izarra brought me a tray of hot Blueberry Muffins she just made. I was thrilled and happy! AND it was yummy!!!




Ingredients:
  • 2 cups flour, sieved
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or dried blueberries, tossed with 3 tbsp flour to coat the blueberries (so it won't sink to the bottom when cooked)
Ingredients for topping:~
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • lemon zest of 2 lemons
Method:~
1. Sieve the flour and baking powder together.
2. Add in the sugar and salt into the flour...combining all the dry ingredients together.
3. Mix all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl.
4. Now, put the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Incorporate both the wet & the dry ingredients together but do not over mix.
5. Fold in the blueberries, just to combine.
6. Spoon the batter 3/4 full into greased muffin tins.
7. Combine sugar & lemon zest. Sprinkle over muffins.
8. Bake muffins for 30 mintues in a preheated 180ºC oven.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Strawberry-topped Classic Cheesecake




Cheesecakes are always rich, solid and deliciously intense in flavor. That's why I occasionally top my cheesecake with fruits....preferably strawberries as they balance the taste of cheesecakes beautifully!! This is another simple cheesecake recipe which I usually use when I plan to top my cheesecake with fruits.

Ingredients:~
1 cup crushed digestive biscuits
4 cups/1 kg cream cheese
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs
grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla essence

~Method~
1. Press the biscuits on the aluminium foil-layered base of an 8" spring-form tin.
2. Beat the cream cheese till smooth.
3. Put the eggs in one at a time. Beat well between each egg.
4. Add the lemon rind and essence. Beat a little more to incorporate the flavors.
5. Pour into the pressed biscuit.
6. Put the prepared tin in a larger baking tray and place it in a preheated 160ºC oven.
7. Pour enough boiling water to come 1 inch up the sides of the tin.
8. Bake for approximately 1 1/2 hours or until the top is golden brown in color.
9. Cool in the tin.
10.Run a knife around the edge to loosen, then remove the rim of the tin.
11. Chill for about 4 hours. Decorate with strawberries just before serving.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Baked Country Cheesecake




There are a thousand different cheesecake recipes out
there. There are fluffy cheesecakes, dense cheesecakes, no-base cheesecake, no-bake cheesecake......... I have a penchant for easy, simple recipes which turn out delicious results and make me look like a pro. I like fluffy cheesecakes with a lovely base. I'm pretty sure this is the simplest and most delicious cheesecake recipe ever. This recipe is very very close to the one we used to serve at Cafe Dania and it was a high seller, so I'm betting you are going to love this recipe!

Ingredients for cheesecake base:~
1 1/2 cups plain sweet biscuits, crushed
2 tbsp finely ground almonds
2 tbsp caster sugar
5 tbsp melted butter

Ingredients:~
1 1/2 cups (375gms) cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup sour cream

~Method for base~
1. Combine the sweet biscuit, crushed almonds and sugar.
2.Pour in melted butter. Mix well.
3. Press into bottom & sides of greased 8inch spring form tin.
4. Bake in a 190ºC oven for 10 minutes.
5. Allow to cool thoroughly.

~Method for cheesecake~
1. Beat cream cheese till soft & smooth.
2. Add in sugar. Beat till well combined.
3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
4. Put in the vanilla. Mix it in.
5. Fold in the sour cream.
6.Pour into the prepared crust. Bake in a preheated 190ºC oven for 30 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an hour.
8. Chill before serving.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Spring Rolls cum Popiah.....



When I was a student in Australia, I used to make Popiah often. Back home in Malaysia, I don't make Popiah often as they are always easily available everywhere.The few occasions that I do make it, I realize how different they are from the bought ones and how I wish I made a point to make it more often.......I do have willing helpers afterall, in the form of tiny fingers and a great deal of mess!

Ingredients:~
1 packet Popiah skins
1/4 cup oil
1 large onions, sliced thinly
4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
2 tsp dried shrimps, soaked & pound till fine
1 piece of skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
1 carrot, grated
1/2 small turnip(sengkuang), grated or julienne
1 handful (about 1 cup) beansprouts(taugih)
1/2 cup crispy fried onions(bawang goreng)
1 stalk spring onions, chopped(daun bawang)
1 stalk, chinese celery, chopped(daun sop)

~Method for filling~
1. Heat oil in a pan.
2. Sautee' the onions & garlic till fragrant and soft on high flame.
3. Fry the dried prawns till a little dry.
3. Put in the chopped chicken meat. Cook briefly while tossing it around.
4. Add in the turnips and carrot. Mix it well.
5. Put in the beans sprouts.
6. Sprinkle with the spring onions & chinese celery.
7. Flavour with salt & pepper. Toss it around and quickly turn off the flame.
8. Put the filling on a strainer and drain the juice.

~Method for popiah~
1. Put one piece of the popiah skin on a chopping board.
2. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling close to the edge of the skin.
3. Sprinkle with crispy fried onions.
4. Roll the skin inwards with the filling intact.
5. Halfway through, flap both left & right sides inwards and complete rolling the popiah.
6. Seal with water or eggwash.
7. Repeat the steps till all the filling has been used up.
8. Deep fry in hot oil on low fire, till golden brown and crispy.
9. Enjoy it while it's hot, dipped in chilli sauce!
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