Showing posts with label Aspiring Bakers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aspiring Bakers. Show all posts

Friday, 11 February 2011

[Valentine's Dessert] Heart Poppers ~ Assorted Mini Donuts

There is a period of time where I used to bake mini donuts for gatherings or upon special orders from readers and friends about 2 years back. I still remember during that time getting "Donuts" is a very popular trend among youngster and working adults. And as an interest I have also come out with about 30 over different flavours of mini donuts where you can read up more on these posts HERE.

These are some of the assorted design heart shape donuts baked using the mini heart shape pan. For this recipe I have used Meiji, Mixed Berrries Yoghurt as one of the ingredients, but you can always replace it with either plain or any of your favurite yoghurt flavour.

Ingredients: (makes around 20)
1 1/4 Cups Top Flour, sifted
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
150ml Mixed Berries Yoghurt
1/4 Cup Castor Sugar
1 Large Egg
3 Tablespoons of Melted Unsalted Butter, cool
Zest of 1 Lemon
1 Disposal Pipping Bag, optional

1. Grease mini heart shape/donut pan with cooking spray or melted butter and set aside.

2. In a medium mixing bowl whisk sugar and lemon zest until moist and fragrant.

3. Crack in the egg and give it a quick whisk till combined before adding the yoghurt and mixed well.

4. Next sieved in flour, baking powder, salt and whisk together with melted butter till the mixture resemble paste like texture.

5. Spoon mixture into disposal pipping bag, snap off the tip and pipe into prepared trays at about 3/4 full.

6. Bake in preheated 180 degree oven for about 8 - 10 minutes or until donuts spring back when touched.

7. Cool donuts in pan for another 2 - 3 minutes before removing it from tray.

8. Decorate the donuts with melted chocolate, sprinkles, fresh fruits or etc.

* With this recipe above, you can mix and match with different key ingredients such as cocoa powder/green tea powder to make different flavour.

* Adding in shredded cheese and ham for savory version and etc.

These are the mini rose scented "Heart Poppers" which is great to be served during Valentine's Day. Due to the sticky chocolate glazing, I use some heart shapes design food picks to act as a server for easy consuming as well as vision effect.

These "Rose Scented Donuts" which coated with White Chocolate Glaze are one of the popular choices among those donuts order that I received years back(read more HERE). I think for ladies who prefer the light and fragrant aroma of rose, this is definitely a great choice for afternoon tea snacks.

If you are cracking your head for ideas on sweet treat for kiddy's Birthday Party or Tea-Session with a few besties for some cozy afternoon girls talk. Here are some mini donuts(about 4cm in diameter) to satisfy those sugar rush.

I submitting this post to "Aspiring Bakers #4: Love In The Air! (Feb 2011)", hosted by Me(Cuisine Paradise) at this link HERE.

[Valentine's Dessert] Heart Poppers on Foodista

Thursday, 10 February 2011

[Valentine's Dessert] Melt Your Heart ~ Strawberries Yoghurt Cubes

If you think having ice-cream is something sinful that you want to keep your mind off, perhaps this quick and easy frozen yoghurt pops can be a great dessert to cool you off from those heat wave. You can choose from either plain to any flavour yoghurt that suitable your preference. Since we are having this as Valentine’s Day sweet treat after our "Spice Up Your Love" meal, I choose our favorite “Strawberries Yogurt” to make these pinkish little frozen heart pops as after meal dessert.

A few days ago while getting our routine grocery from the supermarket, I notice a "Summer Strawberries Yoghurt" from Puhoi Valley. It comes in two layer(plain yoghurt below, strawberries on top) which you can refer from the photo above.

Ingredients: (serves 2)
200ml of Plain/Flavour Yogurt
Handful of Fresh Blueberries
10 Strawberries

1 Mini Heart Shape Ice-cube Tray or moulds

1. Give the yogurt a good stir and spoon it into the mini heart shape ice-cube tray.
2. Freeze it for at least 2 hours or more till harden. (you can prepared this 1 day ahead).
3. Rinse and cut the strawberries into halves, serve with blueberries or any fruits of your choice together with a few yogurt cubes in short glass.

If you prefer something more natural and healthier, you can mix some fresh fruit puree into plain yoghurt to make your very own fruity yoghurt pops. Just blend any cut fresh fruit of your choice with some sugar syrup/honey then mix the puree into plain yoghurt before freezing them in ice-cube tray or ice-cream pop.

As for your kiddo or someone with sweet tooth, perhaps you would like to stay tune on the next upcoming recipe featuring the “Heart Poppers ~ Assorted Baked Mini Donuts” where you can mixed with of the left over yoghurt to make these healthy snacks.

I submitting this post to "Aspiring Bakers #4: Love In The Air! (Feb 2011)", hosted by Me(Cuisine Paradise) at this link HERE.

[valentine's Dessert] Melt Your Heart on Foodista

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

[Valentine's Day Dish] Spice Up Your Love

Almost every year during the month of February, it is always full of Excitement and Happiness whereby everyone is looking forward to either Chinese Lunar New Year, Yuan Xiao Jie(15th Day of Chinese New Year or known as Chinese Valentine’s Day) or 14th February, Valentine’s Day.

I remembered last year I made some delicious Valentine’s Day cookies (recipe HERE) to share with my friends and family, which makes them feel warm and loved. And for this year Valentine’s Day I am honor to host one of the monthly “Aspiring Bakers” event organised by, Small Small Baker with the theme for February on “Love In The Air”. So here goes my two recipes for this month submission……..

During Chinese New Year, “Mandarin Orange() and “Tangerine(橘子)” are considered traditional symbols of abundance and good fortune. These fruits are frequently displayed as decoration or presented as gifts to friends and relatives. In traditional Chinese medicine the dried peel of the Mandarin Orange is also used in the regulation of “Chi” and treat abdominal distension, enhance digestion and etc.

I am sure most of us who celebrates Chinese New Year(CNY) will sure to have some left over Mandarin Oranges that we bought for the traditional CNY door to door house visiting to your friends or relatives. So if you are cracking your head on what to do with those extra oranges, here are two simple recipes that which I made use of Mandarin Oranges to whip out coming Valentine’s Day dish.


Preparation: 20 Minutes                                     Cooking Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 Skinless Chicken Breast(about 250g), cut into chunks
A pinch of White Pepper
1 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Cooking Wine
1/2 Tablespoons Corn Flour
6 Dried Red Chilies, rinse with water
4 Slices Of Ginger, cut into heart shapes
4 Cloves Garlic
1 Medium Red Onion, cut into wedges
1 Whole Mandarin Orange Skin, cut into heart shapes
1 Mandarin Orange, peel into individual segments
2 Stalks Spring Onion, cut into section
20g Roasted Cashew Nuts, optional

Seasoning Sauce:
50ml Mandarin Orange Juice
1.5 Tablespoons Water
1/2 Teaspoon Sugar
1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
1/2 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Chinese White Rice Vinegar

~ If Mandarin Orange is not in season, you can replace it with some sweet Orange.

~ Slowly remove the outer skin of the Mandarin Orange, then use any small "Heart Shape" cookie cutter to cut out "hearts" from it.

1. Marinade the chicken pieces with pepper, soy sauce, wine and corn flour; mix well and set aside.

2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

3. Preheat frying pan and pan-fried chicken till golden brown on each side. Remove and set aside.

4. Return the wok to medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the dried chilies and stir-fry briefly until they are fragrant.

5. Toss in the onion, ginger, garlic and stir-fry for another 30 seconds before adding the mandarin orange peel and continue to saute till the oil is fragrant.

6. Next add in chicken and sauce mixture, stir till thicken then toss in orange segments, cashew nuts and spring onion to coat evenly with sauce. Serve immediately with Orange Scented Rice(recipe HERE).

This dish is infused with great aroma and hint of spiciness from the "dried chilies". While the sauce itself has a balance mixture of sweet and sour taste from the orange juice which blends well with all the chicken and firm orange segments when consume.

I think this is the 2nd recipe which I have incorporate fresh fruit in a stir-fry dish, where the 1st recipe on about the "Stir-Fried Pork Fillet With Longan". But if you prefer something lighter perhaps you can take a look at this "Steam Cod With Tangerine" which includes "Mandarin Orange" as one of the ingredient too.

I am also submitting this post to "Aspiring Bakers #4: Love In The Air! (Feb 2011)", hosted by Me(Cuisine Paradise) at this link HERE.

[Valentine's Day Dish] My Sweetheart ~ Orange Scented Rice

Most of us loves the nice and fragrant aroma filling up from our kitchen while cooking one of our usual staple food, "steamed rice". But other than the usual white rice that we consume daily there are still many different varieties of ways and recipes whereby you can turn this simple food into simple interesting and nutritious.

This year for our Valentine's theme dish, I have made these "Orange Scented Rice" to pair with another "Stir-fried Chicken with Mandarin Orange" where fresh orange zest and juice are used in both dishes.


Preparation: 20 Minutes                                     Cooking Time: 10 - 15 Minutes

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 Cup Uncooked Rice
4 Cloves
3 Green Cardamom Pods
2cm Long Cinnamon Stick
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Rind of half Mandarin Orange, thinly shred
1 Teaspoon Chicken Stock Powder
100ml Fresh Mandarin Orange Juice
1 Cup Water

1.5 Tablespoon Golden Raisin
1.5 Tablespoon Almond Flakes, lightly toasted
1/2 Tablespoon Sliced Spring Onion, optional

The adding of spices such as "Cloves, Cinnamon and Cardamom" infused the rice dish with a special fragrant that blends well with the fresh orange juice and zest. And it makes this rice taste similar to those "Biryani" rice which cooks with similar spices.

1. Preheat the frying pan with oil and saute Onion, Garlic, Cloves, Cinnamon and Cardamon until the onion slices turned soft and slightly golden brown.
2. Toss in shredded Orange peel and saute it for another 10 seconds before adding in the rice and chicken stock powder, stir well until the rice is coated with oil.
3. Transfer the rice into rice cooker or thermal pot, add in orange juice and water then cook until the rice is done.
4. Open the cooker lid, stir in golden raisins, cover and let it stand for another 5 minutes.
5. To serve, remove the spices(Garlic, Cloves, Cinnamon and Cardamom) from the cooked rice then using a folk to fluff in almond flakes and spring onion till well mixed.
6. Spoon the rice mixture into "heart shape" sushi mould and shaped into "Onigiri(rice ball)".

This "Orange Scented Rice" has a sweet taste from the orange juice and golden raisin together with a nutty flavour complements from the Almonds. And this goes perfectly well with the "Stir-fried Chicken With Mandarin Orange"(recipe HERE) where you can makes good used of those left-over Mandarin Oranges from Chinese New Year.

I am also submitting this post to "Aspiring Bakers #4: Love In The Air! (Feb 2011)", hosted by Me(Cuisine Paradise) at this link HERE.

Orange Scented Onigiri on Foodista

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Aspiring Bakers #4: Love In The Air (Feb 2011)

Hello Everyone,

Wish you an early Happy Chinese New Year (CNY) for those who are celebrating this festival. In the month of February this year most of us would be celebrating both CNY and Valentine's Day together as a double occasions. So let us get together and spread the LOVE in the air and share what we have made for our loved ones in this wonderful month.

I'm hosting the Aspiring Bakers #4 for February 2011.

But if you are interest to find out what's on the previous Aspiring Bakers #3 - My Favourite Chinese New Year Cookies enteries, you can refer to the link HERE which is host by Jess from Jess Kitchen.

The theme for this month is "Love In The Air"!

Who can join?
Everyone!(if you do not have a blog, just send me a photo and recipe of your bake)

How to join?
Step 1:
You can either cook a dish, prepare a bento or bake anything that has a "HEART SHAPE" design theme for your Valentine(s) in the month of February 2011.

Step 2:
Post it on your blog between 01 February 2011 to 28 February 2011.
Your post must include the recipe or link to the original recipe. If you are using a recipe from a book, please include the title of the book too.
Any entries that are posted outside the date range will not be accepted.
Any entries that do not include a recipe or link to the original recipe will not be accepted too.

Step 3:
Please mention that you are submitting your post to Aspiring Bakers and provide a link to the announcement of the theme by the host of the month HERE.

Entries will not be accepted if the above is not included.

Step 4:
Email to in the following format:

Your name or nickname:
Your blog name: (omit this if you do not have a blog)
Name of your bake:
URL of your post:
Attachment of your photo in your email (one photo for each entry, preferably less than 500kb).

Please email for each and every entry. Put "Aspiring Bakers" as your email subject. You can submit more than 1 post.


* In conjunction for my hosting for February "Aspiring Bakers" Valentine's Day theme there is  a small giveaway of lovely "Heartshape" tools which you might be able to use it for our event. Details at HERE

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Bunny Pineapple Tarts

Chinese New Year is just about 3 weeks or less from now and most of my social network friends from facebook and twitter have already started their Chinese New Year Bakes with Pineapple Tarts, Kueh Bangkit, Peanut Cookies, Kueh Lapis and etc since early this week. For me every year I would definitely baked our family favourite pineapple tarts which I would giveaway to some relatives and close friends.

Since this coming Chinese New Year would be the year of "RABBIT", I decided to make some special "BUNNY" theme pineapple tarts to suit this year Chinese Horoscopes theme. If you have followed this blog for long, you would have remember about my last year "Tiger" theme tarts for the year of "TIGER" too (you could read more HERE).

This year I have made two different types of "Bunny" shape tarts which comes in either "Open" or "Closed" tart version. For the "closed tart", I have wrapped the pineapple fillings with a thin layer of dough skin and pressed it into a bunny mould to achieve the shape shown above.

For this pastry recipe, I have adapted another version from one of my favourite blogsite know as The Little Teochew which some of you might have read most of her posts before. 

(adapted mainly from The Little Teochew)
400g Plain Flour
50g Corn flour
1/4 (heaped) Teaspoon Salt
280g Cold, Unsalted Butter (do not allow it to soften)
3 Egg Yolks, beaten
3 Tablespoons Cold Water (or iced water)
5 Tablespoons Icing Sugar
1/2 Teaspoon Cognac
For glaze:
1 egg yolk + 1 Tablespoon water, beaten

Getting the tarts ready by gazing and topping it with pineapple fillings before sending them into the oven.

1. Refer to the original recipe from Little Teochew for the steps on making the pastry HERE.
2. When the dough is done divide it into smaller portions(example 3 portions) and place each portion in a plastic bag and slightly flatten it before chilling in the fridge for about 10 minutes or so.
3. While working with the pastry, you can use 1 portion at time and keeps the remaining in the fridge to prevent the pastry from oozing oil due to the warm temperature.
4. Roll the pastry to your desired thickness and cut out dough using bunny or normal traditioanl pineapple cutter.
5. Arrange cutouts neatly onto baking tray with some spacing apart.
6. Once the tray has filled up with tart shells, glaze them with beaten egg yolk mixture and placed the pre-rolled pineapple jam balls onto each tart shell.
7. Bake in preheated oven at 160 degrees for about 20 minutes. Rest baked tarts on tray for about 2 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

From the enquiries of some readers, these are the two mould that I used for making the Bunny Pineapple Tarts. For the open tart bunny, you could get any bunny design cookie cutters from baking stores or even Daiso. But as for the closed tart version, you have to get this bunny design egg mould which I got it from one of the online Bento spree years back.

As for the pineapple paste, you could either prepared your own using fresh and good grade pineapples together with sugar, some spieces and cooked it over low heat till it turns into a thick golden colour paste. Or in order to save time you could always get those ready made paste from local supermarket too. Here are some suggestions shared by our fanpage readers on the choice of "Butter" and "Pineapple Fillings" for your reference.

Finally after spending a few hours in the kitchen doing all the rolling, cutting, egg washing and etc. Here are our Chinese New Year Bunny Pineapple Tarts for the year of Rabbit. And I hope this new creation of mine would give you some ideas on what to bake as gifts or treats for the coming New Year to impressive your guests. And also I am submitting this post to "Aspiring Bakers #3: My Favourite CNY Cookie! (January 2011)", hosted by Jess of j3ss kitch3n at this link HERE.

Lastly perhaps if you like this post, do help by leaving a comment(s) on which "Bunny" do you prefer? Closed or Open version? For us my boy prefers the open-tart bunny where he describe the pineapple fillings symbolised as a bag of GOLD on the bunny's tummy :)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Roasted Chicken With Brown Rice And Chestnut Stuffing

  Today is Christmas and as a Christian we do value this special and meaning day in December Calender. For the past two years, our church has planned outdoor Christmas Party in the neighbourhood area so that more residents can join us to celebrate this special occasion at the eve of Christmas. So since today is a rest day for family gathering, I decided to try my hand on preparing my very 1st Christmas Lunch.

To be honest, I seldom prepared western dishes because I do not own many of those spices or herbs which we hardly used in our daily Asian cooking. And this Roasted Chicken Lunch that I prepared is also not a fully western dishes too. As when you read the rest of the post, you would notice that I replaced the usual herbs stuffing with brown rice and etc.

Here are some collage photos to show the ingredients and steps on preparing the Brown Rice Stuffing which is quite similar to what I did a few years back on the Baked Pumpkin with Rice Stuffing (link HERE).

Ingredients: (for 1 quantity)
1 Cup of Uncooked Brown Rice Mixture
2 Tablespoons of Frozen Green Peas
6 - 8 Whole Ready to Eat Roasted Chestnuts
1 Tablespoon of Mixed Fried Fruit/Golden Raisin
1 Teaspoon of Minced Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon of Minced Ginger
1/2 Tablespoon of Oil
Dash of Pepper and Sesame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Light Soya Sauce

1. Rinse the rice mixture two to three time then soak in water for about 30 minutes before cooking.(soaking the brown rice prior cooking can decrease the cooking time)
2. Cook the brown rice in rice cooker with the usual method and once it is cooked through stand it rice cooker for another 10 minutes.
3. Next scoop the cooked rice to a place and let it cool off to room temperature while preparing the ingredients for the fried rice and get ready the chicken.
4. When done, preheat a non-stick pan with 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil, saute the minced garlic and ginger till fragrant then drop in green peas and give it a quick stir before adding the cooked brown rice.
5. Use the back of the spatula, loosen all the lumps of the cooked rice till grains are formed.
6. Stir-fry the rest of the ingredients such as chestnut and mixed dried fruits then follow by the seasoning till well mixed.
7. Transfer the rice mixture to a plate while handling the chicken.

~ Mix 1/2 cup each of Brown Rice with normal Long Grain Jasmin Rice. (I do encourage you to try brown rice as it will give this dish a very nutty fragrant and taste)

This is the final Brown Rice Stuffing with Chestnut, green peas and dried mixed fruit mixture which is ready to be used. Since this is used as a Christmas theme stuffing you could realise that the colour that I used seems t be circling with green, red, golden and etc. I am sure this would be something new to you as to add dried mixed fruits into rice stuffing.

Here is another set of collage photos showing the ingredients of the roasted vegetables and steps on stuffing the chicken.

Ingredients For Roasted Vegetables: (Serves 4)
1 Medium Carrot, cut into 2cm thick chunks
2 Medium Potato, removed skin and cut into 6 chunks each
300g of Pumpkin, removed skin and cut into chunks
1 Fresh Sweetcorn, cut into 2cm thick ring, halves
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Peppercorns
1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Chilli Flakes
1/2 Tablespoon roughly chopped Coriander

1. Mixed all the vegetables together with the seasonings in a bowl and set aside while preparing the chicken.

Since I still have some Seah's Spices available from their complimentary gift (link HERE) set, I decided to use one of this "Seah's Salt-Roasted Chicken Spices" for our Christmas Roast Chicken Lunch. There are two small 20g sachets of spices in each packet where you can roast up to 2 chicken of 600g each.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1 20g Sachet of Spices(Seah's Salt-Roasted Chicken Spices)
1 Sakura Chicken, around 1kg size
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
1 Quantity of Prepared Brown Rice Stuffing
Prepared Vegetables Chunks for roasting

1. Before stuffing the chicken, trim the extra fats, emptied and cleaned the cavity, removed the head, neck and feet. Rinse and pat dry using kitchen paper towel.
2.Next brush the olive oil evenly around the chicken before rubbing the powder spices all over the chicken include the cavity of the chicken and under the skin layers.
3. Scoop the rice stuffing into the cavity and pressed tightly using the back of the spoon until all all or most of the stuffing are used up.
4. Place the stuffed chicken in a baking dish, secure the chicken thighs and wings to its body by using some kitchen string.
5. Arrange the prepared vegetables chunks around the sides of the baking dish and roast in a pre-heat 220 degree roast for about 20 minutes.
6. Remove the baking dish from the oven, quickly brush over another layer of olive oil all around the chicken and also give the veggies a quick toss before putting back to the oven to roast for another 20 minutes.
7. To get that nice and crispy outer skin, you can switch the oven function to fan-force mode on the last 7 - 10 minutes of cooking time.

In about 1 hour time, we could enjoy a hearty Christmas Roasted Chicken Lunch with rice stuffing and mixed veggies at our comfort home without need to eat in rush and wait for the festive season queues in the eateries. You can also re-heat some ready served chicken gravy pack or festive cranberry sauce from the supermarket to go with the roasted chicken.

This photo shows the inner cut of the roasted chicken where you can see the colourful brown rice stuffing in the cavity. The rice is so yummy and fragrant by the spices and juice from the roasted chicken too.

Roasted Chicken will be great to serve with Caesar Salad that consists of the crispy romaine lettuce and croutons which dressed with Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, olive oil and etc.You can easily prepared this by getting some fresh romaine lettuce and ready salad dressing pack from local supermarket such as Cold Storage.

This is the 1 person serving portion of our Christmas Lunch. Everyone enjoys this simple and wonderful meal with accompany of white wine and sparking drinks.

Although this year Christmas has almost come to an end in another few hours time but I would still like to wish everyone of my blog readers a wonder and blessed Christmas. Hope you have enjoy this festive season with your loved to ones and Merry Christmas everyone!!!!

And also I am submitting this post to "Aspiring Bakers #2: Christmas! (Dec 2010)", hosted by Passionate About Baking at this link HERE.