Showing posts with label Christmas Goodies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas Goodies. Show all posts

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Mixed Fruit Cake


Follow from the previous Double Chocolate Banana Cake post, here is the related post on a simple Mixed Fruit Cake which I made especially for Uncle James as he is a big fan of mixed fruit cake. And since I am baking two cakes on the same day using Happy Call Double-sided Pressure Pan (HCP) for demonstration to my aunties; who are all keen in learning how to bake using this new gadget, I have modify the usual traditional fruit cakes recipes to a simplify one.

Compared to the traditional Christmas Mixed Fruit Cake, this one is much easier in term of ingredients preparation and shorter baking time.You can prepared ahead by soaking the mixed fruit with RUM and orange juice the night before to achieve a better flavour or if you are running out of time like me, just make sure you have soaked them at least 10 - 15 minutes.


MIXED FRUIT CAKE


Here I have adapted a similar recipe from the previous Banana Chocolate Cake with Cranberry which I have shared. And instead of using caster sugar, I have replaced it with brown sugar for its natural brown and taste that enhance the appearance and taste of the mixed fruit cake. As for the type of dried fruit you can either purchase those ready-mixed packed available from baking section or you can DIY your own by mixing a few of your favourite fruits such as tangerine peel, apricot, raisin, cherry, ginger and etc together.


(Serves: 30 x 25cm | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 30 minutes)

Ingredients:
225g All-Purpose Flour(plain flour)
170g Brown Sugar
170g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Pinch of Salt
3 Eggs(55g each)
60ml Orange Juice
Rind of 1 Orange
200g Dried Mixed Fruit
2 Tablespoons of RUM/Grand Marnier


Method:-
1. Soak dried mixed fruit with RUM, Orange Juice and Rind for about 10 minutes. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

2. Cream soft butter and brown sugar using a electric beater or hand whisk till pale and creamy.

3. Add one egg at a time, beat till combined before adding in the flour mixture.

4. Using a spatula, fold in sifted flours in 3 batches alternatively with the mixed fruit mixture(add in the liquid as well) till well combined.

5. Slowly scrap mixture into the lightly greased Happy Call Pan(grease 1 teaspoon of oil on both side of the pan using hand or paper towel).

6. Bake on low heat for 12 minutes, slowly shift the pan towards right side so that left side (1/2 of the HCP) of the pan is on the heat, bake for another 6 minutes. Next shift the pan back towards the left side so that right side(1/2 of the HCP) of the pan is on the heat. (the purpose of doing this is to even out the baking as well as give the cake a nice brown colour on the surface when flip over)

7. Lastly, flip the HCP over and bake for another 6 minutes(3 minutes left, 3 minutes right) to have a nice brown top.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FOR OVEN METHOD:-
1. Follow steps 1 - 4, pour cake batter into a greased 7" square or round tin.

2. Bake in preheated 180° Celsius oven for about 40 - 50 minutes or when a skewer inserted in the center and comes out clean.



BLUEBERRY LEMON BUTTER CAKE
(Preview)


This is another snack preview of my HCP bake cake; Blueberry Lemon Butter Cake made using fresh blueberry. Simply love this light and fluffy lemon taste cake with my favourite blueberry in it. Will update more on the related recipe soon. Stay tune.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Gifts - Classic Chocolate Brownie and Cheddar Cheese Crackers

What is your PERFECT Christmas Gift! I am sure everyone loves to receive something special for Christmas and for us homemade gifts are perfect for this festive season. You could bake some cookies, truffles, fruit cakes or DIY some special craft and etc for your family or friends.

In this post I would like to share with you two sample bakes that I have made as Christmas Gifts for my friends.


CLASSIC CHOCOLATE BROWNIE


A chocolate recipe that is foolproof at all time would be this Donna Hay, Classic Brownie which comes in handy for all occasions.  Instead of the usual rectangle shape brownie I have made these star shaped brown using foil cases from IKEA which is just perfect for Christmas Gift. 

Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Oct-Nov 2011 issue
(serves: 10 Stars | Preparation: 10 minutes | Cooking: 16 - 20 minutes)

Ingredients:
200g Dark Chocolate, chopped
140g Unsalted Butter, cubes
1 Cup(175g) Brown Sugar
3 Large Eggs
1/2 Cup (75g) Plain Flour


Method:-
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Place half chocolate(100g) and butter in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth.

2. All to cool slightly to lukewarm.

3. Place sugar, eggs and flour in a big mixing bowl with the chocolate mixture and mix till well combined.

4. Stir through the remaining chocolate pieces and spoon the mixture into the star shaped foil cases(I bought the star shaped cases from IKEA).

5. Bake for 16 - 20 minutes depending on the size of your mould or until cooked when tested with a skewer.

6. Allow it to cool and dust with extra cocoa powder and icing sugar.

Before serving or packing you could dust the star brownies with some extra Cocoa Powder and icing sugar to give it a better outlook as gift. I have baked this brownie for 17 minutes which I feel it could be even better if I under bake it for another 1 or 2 minutes to achieve that more moist effect with melted chocolate.


CHEDDAR CHEESE CRACKERS


This is my first time making cheese crackers for Christmas instead of our usual Gingerbread Man. These savoury treats can be an appetizer to go with champagne or any yoghurt/cheese dips before Main Course or even as a gift-giving items. And beware this is a very addictive snacks that would be gone in no times.


(Makes: about 40 crackers | Preparation: 5 minutes + 30 minutes chilling |
Cooking: 12 minutes each batch)

Ingredients:
210g Plain Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon MasterFoods Paprika
Pinch of Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
165g Butter, soften
165g Grated Cheddar Cheese
Beaten Egg for glazing

Method:-
1.Sift flour, baking powder, paprika, salt and black pepper into a bowl.

2. Mix softened butter using a spoon with Cheddar until they are well blended.

3. Add dry ingredients (flour mixture) into the cheese mixture and mix until it form a soft dough.

4. Slightly flatten the dough between two sheet of baking paper and wrapped it up and place into a zip lock bag before refrigerate it from 30 minutes to firm up.

5. Take out half portion of the dough, floured work surface and roll dough into 0.5cm thick. Cut dough with desired shaped cutters and place them 1cm apart on baking tray.

6. Bake in preheated 180°C oven for about 12 minutes or till golden in colour. Remove and set aside on rack to cool before packing.


GRILLED CHICKEN WITH AGLIO e OLIO


After spending a few hours in the kitchen baking the above Christmas Gifts we had this quick and simple pasta dish for dinner. I have marinated the boneless chicken drumstick with Portuguese Seasoning and some fresh rosemary herbs.

While the chicken is cooking on the pan, I also prepared some Aglio e Olio (you can refer a similar "Spaghetti Aglio e Olio" recipe HERE) and garden salad to complete the dish.

Lastly I would love to wish everyone MERRY CHRISTMAS!

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
Seasonings:
Dash of Pepper and Sesame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Light Soya Sauce

Method:
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.

Note:-
~ 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
Seasonings:
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Peppercorns
1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Chilli Flakes
1/2 Tablespoon roughly chopped Coriander

Method:
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

Method:
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.


Thursday, 23 December 2010

[Recipe] Decorated Festive Chocolate Cookies Together With Early Christmas Party

Last Saturday we have a small Christmas potluck gathering at my place with some of my old friends as well as the new friends from Twitter. Everyone has a wonderful time despite on the chaotic happening in the kitchen while some of us are busying with the food preparations.

And in order to make this a memorable gathering with Christmas atmosphere, Rey and I have decided to prepare some "door-gifts" for the guests which includes some of these mini decorated festive cookies in it. Can you spot Pooh, Minni and Tigger among these cookies?

  We made these Chocolate cookies instead of the usual one that is infused with spices because we are afraid that some of the guests might not prefer the aroma of the spice. So Chocolate flavor will be best for everyoe. These are some collage photos on the ingredients and steps on making the cookie dough.

Ingredients: (makes roughly 2 dozen)
90g Unsalted Butter
100g Caster Sugar
1 Egg
180g Self-raising Flour
2 Tablespoons Dutch Cocoa Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon orange liquor, optional


My boy and I are busy with the cookie cutout and get them ready for baking and icing decoration.

Method:
1. Cream butter and sugar till light and creamy, add egg and orange liquor then beat till combined.
2. Fold in flour mixture (sifted flour, cocoa powder and salt together) in the egg till it forms a dough.
3. Turn dough on lightly floured surface and knead gently until soft dough is formed.
4. Divide the dough into two portions, flatten each portion on between sheet of baking paper and place in fridge for 30 minutes.
5. On floured surface, roll dough out to half a cm thick, cut into shapes using festive shaped cookies cutters.
6. Re-rolled leftover dough and cut again.
7. Baked in preheat 180 degree oven for about 8 – 12 minutes depending on the size of the cookies.
8. They will be soft when come out of the oven but will set as they cool.


After the cookies cool off and decorated with colourful icing, we packed them into individual packet and get them ready into the goodies baga together with some chocolate for the guests as "door-gifts".

Ingredients For Royal Icing:
65g Icing Sugar
1/2 Egg White
1/4 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
Assorted Food Colourings
Assorted Christmas Theme Sprinkles, optional

Method:
1. Sift the icing sugar and set aside.
2. Beat the egg white till foamy then add in lemon juice and icing sugar in a few batches till smooth. (about 5 - 8 minutes, it must be a spreadable consistency)
3. Divide the icing into a few portion then mixed with your desire colours.
4. Spoon icing into disposal piping bag, snip the tip off and pipe decorative outlines and design on each biscuit.



PREVIEW OF OUR CHRISTMAS POTLUCK GATHERING


Christmas Turkey prepared by Misstamchiak(Maureen) and Kai. Everyone is looking high and low for the roasted vegetables and sauce :p

Cheesy Ham Roll prepared by Yancai, Maureen and Rae. This is another way to present the sliced Turkey and it taste very yummy for us to snatch with just these limited rolls on the plate.

Stir-fried Fish Fillet with Thai Basil Leaves by me (Cuisine Paradise). This is something similar to the Chicken version recipe that I have posted HERE.

Spicy Egg and Cucumber Kerabu prepared by Rae(Shan). This cold appetiser consists of a lot of ingredients such as prawns, egg, cucumber, pineapple, belacan, dried prawns and etc.

Here is another main dish which is the "STAR" and highlight of the day too. Cioppino or fish stew that is prepared by Alvin and Lobs(Lobsterpaints) As you can see, there are big fresh prawn, mussels, clams and different type of fish that are stew together using tomato paste, red wine and many other herbs and seasonings. Very delicious pot :)

The whole table of food that are ready to be served. Yummy Chicken Curry by Susan, Grilled Chicken Drumlets by Joyce(ahpoohbear), stir-fried broccoli with mushroom, logcake, fruitcake and etc.

Thanks everyone for the hard work on preparing the food and travel all the way to my place in order to make our 1st potluck party a successful one. Thanks a lot pals.


Tuesday, 14 December 2010

[Guest Post] Baked Zucchini and Mix Vegetables

Hi everyone I am back from Holiday!!!!! This year was indeed a fruitful year for us; in April we went to Taiwan(read more here), June we went for a short getaway to Carmon Highland(read more here) and in early December we indulge ourselves at the freezing winter in Seoul, Korea.

After the fun filled and tiring holidays, now we are back to the upcoming Christmas posts again. If you have being following the blogposts over here, you would have read about the Guest Post by Lobsterpaints on “Roasted Salmon with Dill”. Below is another guest post by her on Baked Zucchini and Mix Vegetables.

But before we head over to her blog and read more about this post, let's take a look at the ingredients for this dish which you might want to try it out during this coming festive season.

Ingredients:
(makes an approx. 25cm length x 23cm width x 2.5cm depth tray size.)

1 Zucchini (aprrox. 300g)
8-10 mini potatoes (approx. 750g)
10-15 baby carrots (approx. 125g)
5-7 Shitake mushrooms (approx. 125g)
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp oil
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp black peppercorn
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp rosemary and oregano mix (or to taste)


For more details, click here for the full post @ http://lobsterpaints.blogspot.com/2010/12/recipe-baked-zucchini-with-mix.html



Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Gingerbread Men

If you love food and cooking as much as I do, then I bet you enjoy Christmas time, too. What could be better than spending time with loved ones over delicious meals and bakes. This year I have invited a few blogger friends to guest post some lovely Christmas dishes together with what I prepared in order to bring up some excitement atmosphere for coming Christmas season.

How could Christmas do without these lovely Gingerbread Men. I am sure most of us are familiar with the popular nursery rhyme where the story mentioned about an old couple whom baked a "Gingerbread Man" that became alive. So whenever during Christmas season while we are baking these lovely cookies, my boy would always asked me whether those "gingerbread men" that he made would be jumping out of the oven?

These are some collage photos of the ingredients and steps on making these lovely bakes.

Ingredients (makes 8)
60g Butter, soften
65g (1/3 Cup) Brown Sugar
30ml Maple Syrup
1/2 Egg, lightly beaten
155g (1 1/4 Cups) Plain Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
1/2 Tablespoon Mixed Spices

For Icing:
150g (1 Cup) White Chocolate Melts
Silver Cachous, to decorate
Christmas Sprinkes, to decorate
Food Colouring, optional


Note:-
~ You can omit adding of mixed spices to this recipe if you/your kids do not like the aroma/taste of it.

~ Replacement of Maple Syrup with Honey can be done in this recipe too.



These lovely bakes are pretty easy to be made except you would need to put the soft dough into the refrigerate for at least an hour or until firm to cut. And remember you have to work fast on the dough during hot/humid weather as it tends to be soften easily and the cutout shapes would be effected. (If dough starts to get sticky, put back to the fridge for another 5 - 8 minutes before continue with it for easier cutout of shapes)

Method:
1. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add maple syrup and egg then continue to beat till combined.
2. Sift flour, bicarbonate of soda and mixed spices over butter mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until just combined to form a soft dough.
3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, knead gentle until smooth.
4. Flatten it slightly between two sheet of baking paper and keep it in the fridge for about 1 hour or till firm.
5. Preheat oven to 170 degree and line baking tray(s) with baking paper, roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper until 0.5cm thick.
6. Using a 6.5cm wide and 7.5cm long (or any medium size) gingerbread man cutter, cut shapes from dough.
7. Re-roll dough scraps and continue to cut shapes till dough is used up. Place the cut dough about 2 cm apart, on prepared tray(s).
8. Bake 1 tray at a time for 20 minutes or until firm to tough. Stand on tray(s) for 5 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely.

For Decoration:
1. Place white chocolate melts in a heatproof microwave-safe bowl, microwave it on MEDIUM-HIGH for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds till smooth.
2. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon each time into small plastic bag, snip off 1 corner and pipe faces and buttons onto gingerbread men.
3. Decorate the buttons with cachous and or other Christmas decoration sprinkes.
4. For colour icing, you can mixed a drop or two of the desire colour(s) into small amount of melted chocolate, stir till combined and use accordingly.
5. Set aside the completed gingerbread men to set before storing them in air-tight container.

So if you are looking for some quick and easy FUN bake to do with your kid(s) during this festive season perhaps you can consider this “Gingerbread Men”. I am sure your kid(s) would like the process of stirring, rolling, cutting as much as the finally decoration touch up. Have fun everyone!

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


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