Tag Archives: recipes

{e bakes} banana loaf/banana bread

If you are trying to figure out why it’s called banana bread and not banana cake when it’s obviously resembles a cake, I’ve found one explanation on the internet…

They are called “quick bread” because that is the method used to make them. While the end product more resembles a cake than bread, the name has nothing to do with the final product, only the process used to make it.

I hope this little info helps.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAt the end of the day, it comes down to taste, so we really shouldn’t bother too much about the names. Call it whatever you like as long as you know what it means 🙂

This banana loaf is refined sugar free. It is replaced with maple syrup which has a lower glycemic index as compared to sugar; 54 vs 65. Although maple syrup is still high in sugar, an equal amount of maple syrup will cut the total sugar content by a third. Even then, I cut down the amount of maple syrup by half for this recipe and it still taste good.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This recipe is really easy; whisk dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, incorporate everything together and pop it into the oven. It took me just under an hour to have a freshly baked banana loaf on the table.

This banana loaf is so good on its own. But I normally have it toasted with a smudge of peanut butter. So so good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Banana Loaf
recipe adapted from here

250g plain flour
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
4 mashed bananas
3 eggs
50ml maple syrup
50ml sunflower or extra virgin olive oil
50ml natural yoghurt
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold to combine.
5. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and bake for 55-65 minutes or until golden brown. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
6. Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes before tipping out of the tin.
7. Cool on a cooling rack.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
she loves it!

Mango Sticky Rice

I’m sure many of you are familiar with this classic Thai dessert. Everyone who travels to Thailand will definitely eat this once or twice or like some of us, every single meal 🙂

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While I was on grocery run last Sunday, I chanced upon some luscious Thai Mangoes on sale. Immediately, mango sticky rice came to mind.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The most important aspect of this dessert is getting the right mangoes. They have to be perfectly ripe and sweet with no trace of tartness. Then they will pair well with the creamy and chewy sticky rice. Never never use tart mangoes, unless you want to ruin your dessert!  This is SO easy to make and it will surely impress your family and friends 😉

c

Mango Sticky Rice
serves two

1/2 cup glutinous rice, soaked 2-4 hours or overnight
1/2 cup coconut milk
1-2 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 ripe mango (or more)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)

1. Soak the rice for 2-4 hours or overnight.
2. Drain and steam on high heat for 30 minutes until grains are soft and translucent.
3. While the rice is steaming, heat up the coconut milk, sugar and salt until dissolved. Set aside.
4. Once the rice is done, stir in the coconut milk until you achieve a soft and sticky texture. Reserve some coconut milk to drizzle over the rice before serving.
5. To assemble, place a few scoops of sticky rice on a plate. Top with slices of mango, and drizzle coconut milk over the rice. Garnish with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.

Easy and delicious!

{Something Healthy} Homemade Granola

Who knew granola was so easy to make? I didn’t know! Well, now that I know, homemade granola is the only way to go. The beauty of making your own granola is that you can control what goes in and what does not. It’s pretty versatile. I always find store bought granola far too sweet and they can be quite expensive!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

For this batch of granola, I used 4 different types of nuts; pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds. I think I am going nuts! 🙂 Nuts are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids and dietary fiber  Now that I have a VIP inside of me, I need all these nutrients. I added dried cranberries as well. The tart and slightly sweet cranberries paired well with the nuts and give this granola a zesty tang.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Enjoy them with milk or yogurt or like what the hubs did, eat them plain by the handful! They are tasty just like this. Oh, they go very well with ice cream too!! 😛

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

p/s: I am typing with one hand. And eating plain granola with the other 😉

Nutty Maple Granola
adapted from The Little Epicurean

5 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
Handful of pecans, roughly chopped
Handful of walnuts, roughly chopped
Handful of hazelnuts, whole
Handful of sliced almonds
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-2 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line an 18×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together maple syrup, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and salt. Fold in rolled oats and nuts (except sliced almonds). Mix until the dry mixture is thoroughly coated.
3. Transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Spread evenly to form an even layer.
4. Bake for 45 minutes until mixture is golden brown in color. Stirring every 10-15 minutes. Add in sliced almonds and dried cranberries at the last 5 minutes of baking.
5. Let granola cool completely before storing in an airtight container for up to one month.

Just hola if you want some, I will be glad to send some over! 🙂

Do You Remember Rotiboy?

Now that I am in my second trimester, I felt so much better. No more morning sickness, no more afternoon naps, basically I am back to normal. My energy level is back and so is my time spent in the kitchen. Those who are following me on Instagram will realized that there’s a surge in food pictures, don’t you think so? 🙂

It has been quite a while since I had posted a recipe and today I am going to share with you a recipe which I had bookmarked for ages but only came to try it out yesterday. I’m not sure if Rotiboy or Mexican Coffee Bun is popular in Singapore but it surely is in Malaysia. I can still remember the long queues in KLCC and Mid Valley and the irresistible coffee aroma. For those who are not familiar, Rotiboys are pillow soft buns with a crusty coffee topping (akin to cookie) and butter filling. Actually the name Rotiboy is a brand that made Mexican Coffee Bun popular and the name got attached to the product. So, this bun is commonly known as Rotiboy.

picmonkey-collagep4264430

This is not the healthiest bun but it’s very YUMMY! Be warned though, cause they are very addictive especially when they are hot off the oven! Once you had one, you would want to have another and maybe another. I had three!! *sheepish grin*

p4264447

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rotiboy aka Mexican Coffee Bun Recipe
adapted from Rasa Malaysia

For the Bun

500g Bread Flour
80g Castor Sugar
9g  Salt
20g Milk Powder(optional)
10g Dry Yeast
60g Butter
280ml Water + 1 large Egg

1. Add all the dry ingredients. Mix it thoroughly.
2. Gradually add in water and egg mixture and knead on medium speed for about 10 minutes. (I used K.A dough hook)
3. Slowly add in butter and continue kneading till you get a shining and elastic dough. (Note: Dough should be able to stretch without breaking)
4. Cover dough with a cloth. Leave to proof for about 40 minutes or till dough has doubled in size.
5. When dough is proofing, prepare topping.

Topping

200g Butter
150g Icing Sugar (Sieved)
3 Large Eggs (Lightly beaten)
200g Cake Flour
1 tbsp Instant Coffee + 2 tbsp Hot Water or 3 tbsp Espresso
1 tbsp Coffee Liquor or 1 tbsp Coffee Essence (optional)

1. Beat butter and sugar till pale in color.
2. Gradually add in egg.
3. Fold in flour on low speed.
4. Add in coffee mixture and liquor. Mix till combined. Set aside.

Filling

100g Butter

To Make Bun:

1. Remove the dough and on a lightly floured surface, punch dough down to release the air.
2. Divide dough in 25 grams each. Roll it out into a small circle and insert 1 tsp butter into each bun. Wrap it up.
3. Leave the bun to proof for about 45 minutes or double in size.
4. Put the cream topping into a pipping bag and pump out the cream in circles around the bun.
5. Bake at 215 Celsius for 15-18 minutes.

Note:
1. I omitted milk powder.
2. I used milk instead of water.
3. The dough will be slightly sticky, which is okay.
4. I did not use any coffee liquor or coffee essence. Instead, I used 4 tbsp of Espresso (instead of 3 tbsp) and I added 1 tsp of instant coffee.
5. I divided the dough into 25 grams each but it turned out to be quite small, so you can adjust to your preference.
6. The recipe asked for 1 tsp of butter for each bun, I find it too much for a small bun, so I inserted only a tiny piece of butter. Well, according to Em, she commented that there’s not enough butter, so again, the preference is yours.
7. I baked the buns for 18 minutes and some of them were slightly burnt. So I guess 15 minutes will be just nice.
8. They are best eaten while they are hot when the crust is still crispy. If the crust has softened, pop them into the toaster/oven and heat them up for 3-4 minutes, the crust will be crispy again!

p4264453

p4264465

p/s: They taste better than they look. 

Stir Fried Yam Bean (Bang Kuang Char)

The smell and sight of this dish always brings me back to my grandma’s kitchen especially during Chinese New Year. Come every Chinese New Year, my grandma will turn into a super woman. She will single handedly whip up a sumptuous reunion dinner for the whole family. She was still cooking when she was in her 80’s! I really do appreciate what my grandma has done for the family. She was never a good cook, or should I say she has never cook before until she married my grandfather (she has a few servants serving her when she was a young girl). I remember my mum once telling me that my grandma’s cooking really cannot make it but that was in the past. Now she tops the list of best cook imo. She honed her skills from cooking show and referring to recipe books which are mainly in Chinese and she is English educated!! Grandma is getting old now (real old), she has since hung up her apron.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Okay, back to the dish. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this dish which is commonly served during Chinese New Year. Yam bean or colloquially known as bang kuang/mang kuang amongst Chinese in Malaysia is a root vegetable that looks like turnip. Yam bean can also be eaten raw (smear with rojak sauce and sprinkle with crushed peanuts-Oh My!) with a crunchy texture and taste somewhat like water chestnut. For this dish, all the ingredients need to be in julienne. You can either julienne them by hand or use a mandoline (if you are feeling lazy). Grandma always julienne the ingredients by hand. She said the strips will have a firmer texture as compared to using a mandoline. She will julienne the yam bean one after another until wee hours in the morning. Trust me, I know how tiring it is to cut them into fine equal strips and I’m only cooking for two. What more for grandma when she has three generations to feed!!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stir Fried Yam Bean (Bang Kuang Char)

1 medium Yam bean, julienned
1 carrot, julienned
5-6 shitake mushroom, soaked and finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2tbsp cooking oil

Seasoning
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tsp salt
200ml water

1. Heat up 2 tbsp oil in the wok and saute garlic until fragrant.
2. Add carrot and stir fry for a few minutes. Then follow by yam bean and mushroom. Fry for a few minutes.
3. Pour in the seasoning and mix until well combined. Cover with lid and simmer on medium heat. Stir occasionally until yam bean and carrot becomes soft and slightly dry. It takes approximately 30-40 minutes.
4. Adjust to taste.
5. Dish up and serve with lettuce and sambal belachan. Or you could use as filling for pie tee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Thai Pomelo Prawns Salad

As I was wandering in the supermarket this afternoon, packets of plump pomelo lining up in the chiller caught my attention. Immediately, I thought of pomelo prawn salad and that would be the starter for tonight’s dinner. Never mind that we are having french for mains. A bit of fusion will not hurt. Right? 🙂

This salad is SUPERB, it has a medley of flavours and textures that work so so well together. I can have this every single day and will not feel guilty at all! Just like any other Thai salad, it has to be consumed immediately after it’s tossed to ensure its freshness. Well, this definitely can be done. No one can resist this tangy citrus salad, can you? It is relatively easy to whip up this impressive salad. Once all the ingredients are prepared, it is just merely tossing them all together.

Pomelo Prawns Salad

12 medium prawns, shelled and cooked
5 pomelo wedges
4 shallots, finely sliced
1-2 bird’s eye chili, finely sliced
2 stalks lemongrass (tender white part), finely sliced
Handful coriander, chopped

Seasoning
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar

Garnish
Handful roasted peanuts, chopped
Deep fried shallots

1. Cook prawns in boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Make sure do not overcook the prawns. Drain and set aside.
2. Combine the seasoning in a bowl and set aside.
3. In a big bowl, toss all the ingredients and seasoning together. Give the salad a good mix.
4. Chilled for a few minutes and serve immediately.
The recipe is based on my own estimations. Please feel free to alter it 🙂

Coq au Vin

Me: What do you want for dinner?
Hubs: French
Me: French? We just came back from Paris few days ago!
Hubs: Not enough

Yup! We didn’t have enough French food in Paris. The only proper French fare that we had was on our last night and it was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. Okay, more on that later. The rest of the meals were mainly grab and go. Time was something that we do not have in Paris. Our stay was so short, we were constantly on the go.

Okay, back to dinner. I ain’t no Julia Child. The only french food I know and confident in making is Coq au vin. I’ve made this a couple of times before and the hubs loved it, so do I. Anything with alcohol, I we are SOLD 😉

Do not let the fancy french name put you off. Coq au vin means rooster cooked in wine but most of the recipes used chicken. This is exactly what this dish is all about. It is so simple to put together, with just a teeny bit of preparations and teeny bit of time. 

After stewing for close to an hour, the chicken was so tender and literally fell off the bone. They were incredible, nuff said! I served this with fresh from the oven Delifrance baguette which is definitely handy to clean our plates 😉 

Coq au Vin
(serves 4-6)

Knob of butter
1 medium size chicken, jointed
2 tbsp plain flour, for coating, seasoned with salt and pepper
125g back bacon, cut into strips
1 clove of garlic, crushed
5-6 shallots, peeled
250g button mushroom (or chestnut mushroom)
300ml red wine
225ml chicken stock
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp tomato paste
6 fresh thyme sprigs

1. Melt butter with oil in a casserole. Brown the flour coated chicken in batches. Remove and set aside.
2. Fry the bacon in the casserole until beginning to crisp, then add garlic and shallots. Cook for a few minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients (mushroom, chicken, stock, tomato paste, wine, thyme, bay leaves) and bring to a boil. Stir, then reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 45mins-1 hour until chicken is cooked through and tender.
4. Season and serve with choice of pasta, mashed or crusty bread.