Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies in the oven

Chocolate chip Cookies !

I have been thinking of chocolate chip cookies. I have never really made cookies so I thought that it would be nice to try. ( Do not ask why.... but cookies are so simple.. just wonder where I was previously).

The Running group is meeting for the usual Sunday run. So I thought that cookies would be a good after-run snack.

This is a simple recipe from Joyofbaking ( which you will notice by now my favourite site for recipes).

2 sticks (226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
3/4 cup (160 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups (295 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (270 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (100 grams) walnuts
or pecans, coarsely chopped (optional0 I omitted since I have no nuts at home)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) with rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.

3. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Add the white and brown sugars and beat until fluffy (about 2 minutes). Beat in eggs, one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed

4. Add the flour mizture to the egg mixture and beat until incorporated, adding the chocolate chips and nuts (if using) about half way through mixing. If you find the dough very soft, cover and refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes).

5. For large cookies, use about a 2 tablespoon ice cream scoop or with two spoons, drop about 2 tablespoons of dough (35 grams) onto the prepared baking sheets.

6. Bake about 12 - 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool completely on wire rack.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Soba Salad with Miso Dressing

The cooking club went creative this month. Instead of the usual food theme, we had to bring a dish must contain ingredients starting with three consecutive letters of the alphabet. This is a tough challenge. Took me a while to decide on a RST : R for Red Pepper, S - Soba Noodle, T-Tofu. This was inspired by the leftover soba noodle sitting in the fridge. Instead of the spicy peanut dressing which I made previously, I decided to concort my own miso dressing.

1 package soba noodles
1 packet of Extra Firm Tofu
2 cups of sugar snaps
2 bell peppers - finely sliced

1/2 tablespoon miso paste ( Use oyster sauce if you do not like miso)
1/4 cup soya sauce
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger ( more if you like it to be gingerly.....I prefer mine with more)
1/2 cup hotwater ( less if you like it thicker)

1. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cube. Marinate with 2 tablespoon of soya sauce
2. Bring a large pot to boil. Boil the soba according to package instruction
3. Remove and run under cold water
4. Boil the sugar snap( or any other vegetables)

1. Combine the ingredient and whisk till smooth
2. Add water to achieve the consistency you prefer

Gently toss the noodles and the vegetables with the dressing. Chill for one hour prior to serving. ( You can also serve this at room temperature)


Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Birthday Cake for Mummy

It is my mummy's bornday this month. So I decided to bake her a cake today. Mummy is in Singapore.. but I am sure she will like a "long distance " cake :)

I used a chocolate banana cake recipe from Joyofbaking and frost it with Chocolate Ganache.
( For those from Singapore : The cake taste like the LANA cake.. with added banana)

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium sized bananas- I used 3 medium bananas)
1 cup (240 ml) warm water
1/2 cup (120 ml) milk
1/2 cup (120 ml) corn, safflower or canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:
8 ounces (227 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate ( I used semi-sweet)
3/4 cup (180 ml) heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon (14 gram) unsalted butter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven.
2. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) pan. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
4. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, mashed bananas, water, milk, oil, and vanilla extract.
5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir, or whisk, until combined.
6. You will notice that the batter is quite thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan
7. bake for about 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

8. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. When completely cooled, frost with the Ganache.

1. Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel, or heatproof bowl. Set aside.
2. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil.
3. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.
4. When Ganache has completely cooled, beat until soft and fluffy. Then spread the frosting on top of the cake.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Blueberry and Peach cake

Blueberry and peach oozing !!!!

I was looking for something simple to bake and came across this recipe from Food Librarian. It uses the quick bread method which means no mixer. Just one bowl and a spatula. Mix the ingredients in the bowl... chop the fruits and arrange them in the baking pan.. pour the batter in the pan.. and the dessert ready in the oven.
It is simple and yet turn out cake that is yummy. Definitely a keeper.

1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tspoon baking powder
1 tspoon vanilla
zest of 1 lemon
3 cups of fruit, any variety, but soft and juicy!

1. Combine all the above ingredients, reserving 1 cup of the sliced fruit.

2. Grease and flour a 9″ round or rectangular baking pan or springform pan
( I used a 8" square pan. This is not a "thick" cake. I would try to double the recipe next time so that the cake will be thicker)

At this point, EITHER:
a) pour in batter and add the last cup of fruit on top OR
b) arrange the remaining sliced fruit in spiral design in the springform, and pour batter overtop.

3. sprinkle a bit of sugar ontop for a crunchy crust.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour

I used blueberry and peach for my version. I mixed the blueberry in the batter and arrange the peach on top.