Apple Roses

This has got to be the easiest dish to make. Every time I see someone make rose anything, I worry that it’ll be super intricate and difficult. If you’ve ever tried to learn how to make rose origami, you’d understand. Luckily, this was really easy – I’m pretty sure a 6 year old can do it.

I saw this recipe on Youtube by Chef John. I love this guy – he’s hilarious and his recipes are usually pretty spot on. The great thing about this is that you can easily WOW people with this because they will probably be thinking “Wow you made that? It looks impressive!” when really you’re thinking to yourself “I made that in 5 minutes”. So if you’re bored of your traditional apple pastries, try this!

Apple Rose

All you need is some puff pastry (I bought mine pre-made) and some red apples (I used Fuji apples). That’s more or less it!

 

Nutella Crepe Cake

It finally feels as though spring has arrived. For the first time in god knows how long, the sun is out! The day is also longer so that means there will be more opportunities for me to take food photos ūüėÄ

I’ve always loved nutella but for some reason I never got around to buying it. I took the plunge last week and decided to see how many dishes I can make with it as it feels like the possibilities are endless. To start, I decided to make Nutella Crepe with mixed berries. But I thought why stop there? Why not make a Nutella Crepe Cake! And hence the idea was born.

Nutella Crepe Cake

Guys, this tastes as good as it looks. Imagine layers upon layers of Nutella! This gives you the satisfaction of eating multiple crepes (because we all know you won’t be satisfied with just one) in a few slices.

Layers

Indulge yourself and make this super easy to make crepe cake!

Nutella Crepe Cake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup nutella
  • Fresh raspberries

Instructions

  1. Beat eggs, milk, butter and vanilla extract together. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together.
  2. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and combine with a whisk. Do this in several batches to ensure all dry ingredients are evenly incorporated
  3. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add a ladle full of the crepe batter into the centre and quickly swirl it around the pan to ensure even distribution. Once the sides start curling up and you see some air pockets forming, flip it to the other side to cook for a couple of minutes. Do this for all the crepes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat up the nutella for about 45 seconds or until it has a very smooth consistency. This will help it spread easier.
  5. Once all the crepes are done, start assembling the cake. Take one crepe and spread nutella on top. Then add another crepe on top. Repeat until you're down to your last crepe.
  6. Top with some fresh raspberries and you're done!
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Soft Pretzels Recipe

A lot of my baking stems from cravings that I suddenly get or they’re inspired by food I stumble across on the internet. Recently I had a strong urge to make soft pretzels as it didn’t seem difficult to make and I already had all the ingredients. The initial batch of soft pretzels that I made were a hit but I personally found them a bit salty. I also¬†found¬†the dough lacked the softness and flavour needed to take it to the next level. I continued looking for a better soft pretzel recipe and I think I may have found the winner! I combined some of the techniques used in the other pretzel recipes with this one and the result was a golden, soft, and savoury pretzel..

Soft Pretzels

Oh man and these smell AMAZING! I came home after grocery shopping and I could still smell them before entering our apartment. Needless to say, this recipe has been bf approved :)

Let’s talk about how to make them:

First, prepare the dough. I think the secret to this soft and flavourful dough is the use of milk instead of water, and the use of brown sugar instead of white. This made a huge difference for me in my opinion. Knead the dough into a smooth ball and allow to rise for an hour until doubled in size.

Before After

Punch down the dough and allow to rest for 10 minutes so that it’s easier to work with. Divide the dough into even pieces. I divided mine into an assortment of sizes as I was experimenting with the different sizes.

Divided

Once done, roll out each piece of dough into a long skinny strand and form them into a pretzel shape as shown below

 

pretzel

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Strawberry Sorbet Recipe (Dairy Free)

Recently I’ve been on an ice cream making frenzy. This is due to the fact that the bf went crazy at the supermarket a while back and bought a lot of cream – much of which he did not use… Although this recipe does not require the use of cream (perfect for those who are lactose intolerant), it was part of my ice cream making marathon as I made Vietnamese Coffee and Hong Kong Style Milk Tea Ice cream a few weeks ago.

Strawberry was on sale last week which was rare considering fruits are super expensive during the winter time. We bought 2 quarts worth and since I knew we couldn’t possibly finish it all in time before it spoils, we decided to make sorbet.

strawberry sorbet

But why sorbet and not ice cream? Well truth be told we found it quite challenging to make good strawberry ice cream due to some of the recipes we found online. The main challenge people encountered with strawberry ice cream was the inability to bring out the vibrant red colour of the strawberry or fully extract its flavour. Since our strawberries weren’t exactly the highest of quality, this sorbet was least likely to jeopardize the results.

This recipe is super easy to make and only requires 4 ingredients – all of which are likely to be found in your household as they are generally staples in the kitchen.

Make sure to let the sorbet set a bit before you serve it and store it properly. For tips on how to store homemade ice cream or sorbet, see here.

Strawberry Sorbet Recipe (Dairy Free)

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts strawberries, washed (about 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Remove tops from strawberries and purée in a blender or food processor until smooth.
  2. Add sugar and blend for 30 seconds. Add lemon juice and salt and blend to incorporate. Taste the mixture and adjust to taste accordingly
  3. Strain purée and transfer to refrigerator to chill for at least 12 hours
  4. Churn sorbet in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer sorbet to freezer to firm up for 2 to 3 hours before serving.
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This recipe was adapted from Serious Eats.

 

Chinese Wintermelon Soup Recipe

If¬†there’s one thing we missed about living at home, it’s the soup that our parents used to make us. We generally prefer drinking Chinese soup opposed to western soup as it tends to be more light. I don’t think you’ll ever see heavy cream being used in a Chinese soup recipe lol. Surprisingly enough, Chinese soup is pretty easy to make but getting the right ingredients can be tricky.

Before I moved out, I asked my dad to give me his Chinese wintermelon soup recipe. It’s quite common for Chinese people to not follow a recipe and just wing it so he did his best to give me his guestimations when it came to how much of each ingredient to put in. We made this several times now and let’s just say the Chinese dried mushrooms made a huge difference in terms of adding flavour!

Wintermelon Soup

It’s best to let this soup sit overnight to help the flavours really develop. You can still drink this right away and it’ll taste good but it’ll taste even better tomorrow so try to make this a day in advance :)

Here’s how we made the soup:

First, gather your ingredients. As you can see, there aren’t that many.

Soup ingredients

There are a few key things to note:

  • Presoak your dried Chinese shiitake mushrooms and dried dates (found in your local chinese supermarket – likely dried soup mix section) in warm water for at least an hour
  • Do NOT throw away the water which it was soaking in. These ingredients released a lot of flavour so do not waste them. Save them for the soup later.
  • Try to have a mixture of pork and chicken bones to make the stock. This will enhance the flavour of the soup

Once you have all those items ready, it’s time to parbroil your chicken and pork bones to get rid of all the impurities. Do this for 5 minutes and then rinse it under cold water. Make sure to give them a good rub to really get rid of all the dirty.

Rinse

After parbroiling the bones, put it back into a large stock pot along with the rest of the ingredients (and the water which the mushrooms and dates were soaking in!) and fill the pot up until all the ingredients are covered. Bring it up to a boil and once boiling, turn it down to a gentle simmer for at least 1 hour.

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The best brownie recipe!

Hello everyone!

Hope you all had a great weekend. I spent all of Sunday cooped up in the apartment with not much to do. After doing as much cleaning as I could tolerate, I decided to do some baking. Originally I wanted to create some Domo brownies but those didn’t turn out as well as I planned :(

I’ll include a picture of it anyways just for laughs but needless to say, I probably won’t be using buttercream frosting next time to make the mouth

-_-

Domo

I found this brownie recipe online a while back and fell in love with it ever since. Unlike the other brownie recipes I’ve had in the past, this one actually tastes like real chocolate and not like the ones you make out of cocoa powder. It’s also not overly sweet which is good for people who are watching their sugar consumption. Needless to say, I’ve made modifications to this recipe over time :)

Brownies

These brownies are¬†cakey, chewy, and fudgey all at the same time! Best of all, they’re not super dense which is the way I like it. I didn’t make a frosting for this as I feel that would be overkill on the sweetness. In my opinion, this is the best brownie recipe I’ve found so far to date.

I brought this into the office the next day and they were a total hit! So if you want to be a hit among your family and friends, you have to try this.

The best brownie recipe!

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder into a small bowl. Set aside. Meanwhile, spray an 8 inch baking pan with some cooking spray.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler, stirring constantly to prevent the chocolate from burning. Once completely melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar and vanilla.
  4. Whisk in eggs once at a time, fully incorporating each one before adding the next. Continue to whisk until the mixture is completely smooth and glossy.
  5. Slowly add dry ingredients 1/3 at a time and whisk until it's all incorporated.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick comes out with wet crumbs. If it comes out completely clean, you've overcooked it! This will take approximately 25-30 mins depending on your oven. Always check before your anticipated cooking time to prevent over baking.
  7. Cool brownies over a wire rack for at least 3 hours to allow the brownie to set. Cut into squares when ready to serve.
  8. Be sure to wrap these up in saran wrap or put them in an airtight container or else they will dry up.
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Soy glazed chicken thigh recipe

It’s nearing the end of the week and with a bunch of uncooked chicken thighs from Costco that are about to go bad, we decided to look for a recipe where we can just cook them all at once and leave the leftovers for lunch the following day.

We wanted something that would require as little prep work as possible. This recipe was perfect since the only thing you need to worry about is making the marinade. Just dump all the sauces you need into one bowl and you’re good to go!

Glazed Chicken

When you first make this recipe you’ll notice you’ll have a lot of extra marinade leftover. You can boil this to thicken it up as a sauce to further baste the chicken in later as it cooks, or you can poor it over your rice. Serve this alongside some oven roasted broccoli and rice and you have yourself a nice dinner :)

See recipe below.

 

Soy glazed chicken thigh recipe

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 tsp asian chilli oil
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 6-8 chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion (optional)

Instructions

  1. Whisk the rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli oil and minced garlic in a bowl until smooth.
  2. Marinade the chicken thighs using half the marinade. Keep the other half to make a sauce.
  3. Refrigerate for a minimum 1 hour, turning the chicken once or twice.
  4. When you're ready to cook the chicken, preheat the oven to 425F.
  5. While the oven is preheating, boil the leftover marinade in a saucepan for ~5 mins or until thickened. If it's not thickening the way you like, you can add some cornstarch + water mixture to help it thicken up. This will be your glaze/sauce for the chicken.
  6. Arrange the chicken in a 9 x 13 inch pan and brush each chicken thigh with the glaze/sauce you just made and bake for approximately 20 minutes, basting the chicken with more glaze/sauce 10 minutes in. Cook until the chicken thigh reaches an internal temperature of 135F (You can use an instant read thermometer for this).
  7. Once it reaches an internal temperature of 135F, crank the heat on the oven to broil and broil the chicken for 5 minutes to help crisp up the skin. Depending on how hot your oven is, it may not take 5 mins so keep your eyes on it so you don't get burnt chicken!
  8. Once it's all nice and crispy, you can take it out to cool and garnish with some chopped green onions to garnish.
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Japanese Condensed Milk Bread

Thanks to the power of reddit, we discovered a Japanese Condensed Milk Bread recipe. Being the baker in the relationship, I took a look at the ingredients and it looked fairly simple so I decided to give it a go since I already have everything (minus the almonds which I can do without). The overall process was quite simple though as with all bread recipes, it’s time consuming. However, the time it took for the dough to proof allowed me to make other things like my fudgey, cakey brownies :) More on that later.

Japanese condensed milk bread

This bread was soft and had a nice sweetness to it from the condensed milk.

Fluffy Bread

Best of all, the presentation looked great! The original recipe asked for this to be baked in an angel cake pan but seeing as I didn’t have one, I improvised with a loaf pan instead.

Want to know how it’s made? Here’s how:

Prepare your bread dough. Knead it into a smooth ball and allow it to rise for 30 mins or until it doubles in size.

Proofed Dough

While the dough is proofing, prepare your condensed milk filling. This is just a simple combination of softened butter and condensed milk. Mix together until it forms a paste.

Condensed Milk Filling

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Apple Pork Chops with Sage

We recently bought a sage plant and we were looking for every excuse we had to use it. Pork chops went on sale recently and lucky for us, sage goes well with pork!

I consulted my Jamie Oliver cookbook as I recall seeing an apple pork chop recipe and decided to make some minor modifications to it. The result was something delicious :)

Apple Pork Chops

This Apple Pork Chop recipe, served along side Oven-Roasted Broccoli, will make a great lunch or dinner. The sweetness from the apples coupled with the savoury broccoli makes this dish a winning combo.

To find out how to make this, see below:

Apple Pork Chops with Sage

Ingredients

  • 1 pork chop
  • half an apple, sliced
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 3 sage leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Pat the pork chop dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. This will help the pork chop sear. Then, season generously with freshly ground salt and pepper
  2. In a cast iron pan over medium high heat, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil and cook each side of the pork chop until it is fully cooked.
  3. With the excess fat from the pork chop in the pan, add in the butter and brown sugar. Stir everything together to make a caramel sauce and add in the sliced apples and sage leaves until they are evenly coated. Once the apples are softened, remove both from the pan and place it on top of the pork chop along with the residual sauce. Serve immediately.
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Apple hand pies

Happy New Years everyone! Last night we celebrated new years eve with ¬†a few friends and I decided to make some apple hand pies for everyone as a dessert. They’re definitely more convenient to eat than slicing an entire pie and it’s already portioned for everyone!

Apple Hand Pies

They’re surprisingly easy to make but it does require a bit of prep time. It’s also a bit tricky working with the pie crust because it needs to consistently be cold or it will be hard to work with.

Let’s begin by talking about how to make the pie crust. We followed a recipe by Alton Brown as we were looking for one that required the use of lard since we had some lying around. I cut up my butter and lard into small pieces and placed them in the freezer for 15 minutes to ensure that they’re super cold. In the meantime, I also prepared a bit of ice water in preparation of putting together the dough.

When the time was ready, I threw all the dough ingredients into a food processor. Yes a pastry cutter would’ve sufficed but this was easier. I pulsed the lard with the flour and salt first until it broke down into smaller pieces. I then added the cold butter and pulsed it until the mixture looked lumpy. I added the cold water in a little at a time and continued to pulse while ensuring I don’t overmix it. The end result should be something that looks like coarse meal.

Pie Crust

You’ll know when your crust is ready when you try to squeeze the mixture into a ball and everything holds together. Once it holds together, you can stop and shape the dough into a disc and saran wrap it to chill in the fridge for approx 30 mins.

Dough Ready

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