Monthly Archives: February 2016

Japanese Cheesecake

Last Sunday, I made this Japanese cheesecake with my daughter. It turned out very nice. It has a lighter taste and a softer texture than a regular cheesecake, but is still very creamy. The special ingredient ? ……. Meringue ! It allows more air to be incorporated into the cake batter and hence, a fluffy cake. So if you find regular cheesecake too heavy, this may just be right.
By the way, you can now “yum” my recipes on Yummly if you have an account.  Just click the Yummly button under each recipe. Thanks in advance !

For the cake

  • 3/4 cup cake and pastry flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 400 g soft cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 60 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 200 mL whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pot of boiling water for baking cake

For the meringue

  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

To make the cake

  1. Preheat oven to 325ºF
  2. Line a 9 inch spring-form cake pan with slightly greased parchment paper
  3. Wrap base of pan with two layers of aluminium foil to prevent seepage
  4. Sift together flour and baking soda, set aside
  5. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter, cream cheese and sugar until fluffy
  6. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, vanilla extract and whipping cream, mix until blended
  7. Add flour mixture, mix until smooth
  8. Pour batter into a different large mixing bowl
  9. Clean and dry used mixing bowl thoroughly before making meringue
  10. To make the meringue, use the electric mixer with whisk attachment, whisk egg whites and cream of tartar at medium speed until frothy
  11. Increase speed to high, gradually add in sugar
  12. Whisk until stiff peak is formed
  13. Gently fold meringue into cake batter until just blended, do not over mix
  14. Pour batter into cake pan, place on a tray filled with boiling water and bake for about 60 minutes until golden brown, a tooth pick should come out clear when inserted in the middle
  15. Turn oven off, leave oven door ajar for about 20 minutes before taking cake out. This will prevent cake from shrinking too much due to sudden drop in temperature.  A slight shrinkage is normal.
  16. Remove baking tray, let cool on rack completely
  17. Remove from cake pan, refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight in an air tight container
  18. Cut, serve and enjoy!

 

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Adapted from http://www.justonecookbook.com

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Honey Buns

I made these buns last week and my parents absolutely love them ! My mom said they are much better than the ones she bought from a store. Thanks mom !  Actually, bread making is very easy, even if you don’t have a bread machine or a stand mixer. I actually find it easier to knead the dough with hands. It may be messier, but that’s the fun part, isn’t it? And the best part for my kids ? Punching the dough! Well, I like it too….especially when I need to release some stress ! These buns taste best when fresh out of the oven. Or you can keep them in an air-tight container for about 5 days, just toast them before serving.

Makes about 12 rolls

  • 4 g instant yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 3 cups bread flour (white or whole wheat or a mix of both)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs (1 slightly beaten for egg wash)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  1. Dissolve sugar in warm water, add yeast and let sit for about 5 minutes until frothy
  2. Put flour and salt in a big mixing bowl, gradually mix in 1 egg, yeast mixture, honey and oil with hands until dough starts to form
  3. Transfer to a floured surface, knead until smooth and stretchy
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough rise for about 60 minutes or double in size (You can speed up the process by putting it in an not-preheated oven with a small pot of hot water on the lower rack. The moist and warm environment makes the dough rise quicker)
  5. Punch air out, cut dough into 12 equal pieces (about 80 g each)
  6. Shape pieces into balls, then place on a slightly greased baking dish
  7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise again for another 60 minutes until double in size
  8. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  9. Brush top with egg wash
  10. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden

Easy Chocolate Croissants

If you have kids at home, this would be a great recipe for them to do. It’s easy, tasty and fun to make!

Makes about 16 croissants

  • 1 box frozen puff pastry (two 10 inch x 10 inch squares), thawed
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • icing sugar for dusting
  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. Lightly beat egg and water together to make egg wash, set aside
  3. On a floured surface, roll out pastry sheets (if you pastry comes in a block, cut and roll into two square sheets, about 1/8 inch in thickness)
  4. Cut each pastry sheet into a big circle about 8 inches in diameter (you can use a plate to help)
  5. Cut into 8 triangular wedges (like a pizza)
  6. Put chocolate chips at bottom of wedges and roll towards the tip 
  7. Seal ends with egg wash
  8. Place on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (seam-side down), brush top with more egg wash 
  9. Bake for about 15-16 minutes until golden
  10. Melt remaining chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave oven
  11. Drizzle croissants with melted chocolate, dust with icing sugar

Easy Chocolate Fudge

Happy Valentine’s Day ! I got a Valentine’s card before I even got out of bed this morning from my daughter, how sweet !  And here is a sweet treat that I made last night, yummy chocolate fudge ! Classic chocolate fudge requires the chocolate to be heated to a precise temperature which can be tricky. This recipe is much easier and it tastes just as good.

Makes about 16 ounces

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Put chocolate, cocoa powder, butter, condensed milk and salt in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water
  2. Cook and stir until all melted
  3. Turn heat off, stir in vanilla extract
  4. Spread evenly in a container lined with slightly greased parchment paper or aluminum foil
  5. Refrigerate for about 3 hours until firm
  6. Cut into squares
  7. Store in refrigerator

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

This dessert is definitely for chocolate lovers like me !  It is simple, yet very yummy and looks amazing.  It makes a great Valentine’s dessert.  Try it with vanilla ice cream, it’s divine with the warm chocolate “lava” ! I don’t think anyone can resist that.   

Makes about 4 servings

  • 4 oz dark or semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cake and pastry flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 50 g unsalted butter at room temperature, more for coating ramekins
  • 1/4 cup demerara or brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
  2. Melt chocolate in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly
  3. Generously coat ramekins with butter
  4. Using an electric mixer, cream 50 g of butter and sugar until fluffy
  5. Add eggs and vanilla extract
  6. Slowly pour in melted chocolate, mix until blended
  7. Mix in flour and salt
  8. Pour batter into ramekins, about 2/3 full 
  9. Bake for about 10-11 minutes
  10. Cool for about 5 minutes, invert ramekins over plates, cakes should come out fairly easily
  11. Dust with icing sugar, serve warm

 

 

 

 

Pinwheel Cookies

I found this pinwheel recipe in my big recipe binder the other day. I don’t even remember when and how I got it as it was hand-written by me!? Perhaps it was from a friend? All I remember was I’ve made it once and it tasted good ! The original recipe was a chocolate pinwheel . I added some pink colour instead and made them into Valentine’s cookies !  

Makes about 3 dozens

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • food colouring
  • vanilla sugar or granulated sugar for sprinkling (optional, to make cookies shinier)
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt, set aside
  3. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  4. Add 1 egg, lemon juice and vanilla extract
  5. Add flour mixture in 2-3 portions, mix until blended
  6. Divide dough into two halves, add food coloring to one part, knead to mix in color
  7. Roll out each half to about 1/8 inch in thickness between 2 sheets of parchment paper
  8. Remove the two top sheets of parchment paper 
  9. Brush plain dough with egg white
  10. Carefully invert coloured dough and place on top, roll gently with a rolling-pin to adhere
  11. Remove top sheet of parchment paper and trip off uneven edges
  12. Slowly roll up two sheets (like a Swiss roll)
  13. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm
  14. Using a sharp knife, cut into slices about 1/8-1/4 inch in thickness (you may need to gently reshape the cookies into circles)
  15. Sprinkle top with vanilla sugar or granulated sugar if desired
  16. Place on cookie svheets lined with parchment paper
  17. Bake for about 8 minutes
  18. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes, then completely on rack