Sunday, March 24, 2013

Buttermilk Raspberry Muffins

Yet another Joy of Baking recipe!

Needless to say, it was another resounding, no-sweat success! I do not even have to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe unlike most other recipes I got online.

Stephanie Jaworski, you are the best! :)

Sushi Airways Sushi Bar

I got to know of this Japanese restaurant from a friend's Facebook posting. An online search on this restaurant yielded good reviews on the food, the price (set lunch) as well as it's unique airline theme.

Armed with high expectations, a friend and I arrived at the restaurant punctually at noon - it's opening hour. The restaurant is at the second level of a shophouse along Baghdad Street and we were their first customers of the day.

Besides the flight attendant attire of the only waitress in the restaurant, it was not apparent to me that this is an airline themed restaurant. We were also somewhat disappointed that the lunch set menu is only available during the weekdays.

Nevertheless, with the recommendation from the waitress, we proceeded to order the mango roll, sesame soba, grilled fugu and black pork tonkatsu.

The grilled fugu was the first to be served. In layman's term, it refers to grilled puffer fish. It needs to be prepared in a special way in order to remove the toxins from the fish. So this might explain why we were only served a few strips on a tiny plate. It tastes like freshly barbecued pork or otherwise known locally as bak kwa. Just that it's thicker and stickier to the bite.

Next up was the sesame soba. This is genuinely good! The soba has a springy texture with a tinge of sesame aroma. Two thumbs up!

The black tonkatsu was a little on the tough side and if you are watching that waistline of yours, I would advise you to skip it totally.

Finally, the long awaited mango rolls. The presentation was good but unfortunately, the zucchini slice detaches easily from the sushi when we tried to eat it. As a result, we had to eat the top portion of the sushi (everything else above the zucchini slice) separately from the sushi itself. Would be better if the two stays together.

All in all, the bill came up to a whooping $90+. It is somewhat expensive considering the serving size and location of the restaurant. Nevertheless, I might be back again but probably on a weekday to try the more economically priced lunch set at $15+.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Kenny Rogers Corn Muffin

I have always liked the food served at Kenny Rogers. Whenever I'm there, I'll surely order the quarter chicken, macaroni cheese and mashed potato. And you know what's the best part? I get to have my favourite corn muffin for FREE! :)

I love the muffin so much that even when I'm just passing by a Kenny Rogers restaurant, I'll be sure to buy at least one corn muffin to munch along the way.

Therefore, I have totally no idea what took me so long to finally decide that I should try recreating the muffins at home!

Strangely enough, there seems to be only one recipe online when I googled it. I ammended the steps of the recipe because the online recipe only gave instructions to chunk most of the ingredients into a mixing bowl and mix them until creamy. Hmmm...suspicious...

So here's my own version of the recipe for all the Kenny Rogers corn muffin fans!

Kenny Rogers Corn Muffin

1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter
1/2 cup (100g) sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup (195g) plain flour
3/4 cup (116g) yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen yellow corn

(1) Preheat oven to 200°C
(2) In a mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar till light and creamy
(3) Mix the eggs in one at a time
(4) In another bowl, whisk together the plain flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt
(5) Add the dry ingredients in batches to the wet ingredients
(6) In between mixing the wet and dry ingredients, add the milk in batches as well
(7) Add the honey and mix till it is incorporated to the batter
(8) Lastly, add the corns and mix well.
(9) Pour the muffin batter into muffin cups and bake for approximately 20 - 25 minutes or until the top is golden and a stick inserted into the muffin comes out clean

(+) This recipe is relatively easy to follow

(-) It can be quite a challenge to find yellow cornmeal in Singapore. Nevertheless, it can be found in the more upmarket supermarkets such as Jasons Market Place or certain Cold Storage outlets (such as Yishun).
(-) If you were to replace the cornmeal with polenta, the muffins will have a more textured taste to the bite since polenta is coarsely grained cornmeal.

(=) The muffins are best eaten on the day of baking. The crust is slightly crispy and it tastes almost like the real deal!

Irish Soda Bread

Yes! It is official! I am addicted to the Joy of Baking youtube videos! :)

This time, I decided to try my hands at making the Irish soda bread and it was a triumphant success! From preparation of the ingredients to having the piping hot loaf right in front of me, it took no more than an hour.

The bread has a crispy crust on the day of baking and there is also a tinge of sweetness in every bite.

I highly recommend this recipe for the ever-so-busy individual who loves the wholesome homemade bread loaf but couldn't afford the time required in most bread recipes which requires the proofing of the dough.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cakes from Yamazaki Boulangerie Chaude

Chanced upon this bakery at Tampines 1 while looking for cakes. I found out that Yamazaki Boulangerie Chaude belongs to the same company that runs the Sun Moulin Bakery at Scotts Isetan. The looks of the cakes looked inviting enough and I bought some for my afternoon tea today!

Cinnamon Roll

Having had success with the Chocolate Swiss Roll recipe, I adapted yet another recipe off the Joy of Baking website.

Once again, with the foolproof step-by-step tutorial from the website, it's oh-so-easy to bake fresh cinnamons in the morning for breakfast!

p.s. my kitchen is still wafting the nice cinnamon aroma from this morning's new cinnamon roll batch.

Happy Snake Year! 蛇年快乐!

It is that time of the year again where everyone has an excuse to load the calories and go on a binging spree.

Previously, I was happy to receive ang baos and now, I am happy to be giving ang baos to children! Very much alike to Chrismas, the Chinese New Year is all about giving, receiving, eating and most importantly, reuniting with your loved ones.


Chocolate Swiss Roll

I finally found the peeerfect swiss roll recipe where the cake layer is not too hard and it rolls easily without cracking up too much!

I adapted the recipe off the Joy of Baking website. There is even a video that shows you a step-by-step approach on how to re-create the recipe in your own kitchen.

Although the website termed it Chocolate Sponge Cake, it is actually a chocolate mousse recipe that doesn't require flour or butter. The chocolate mousse layer is then assembled like a swiss roll with raspberry flavoured whipped cream.

I would personally recommend to reduce the amount of sugar used in the recipe. Nevertheless, the recipe yields a melt-in-your-mouth swiss roll where the main calories comes from the cream filling. So if you have a sweet tooth and yet is trying to watch that waistline of yours (yes, I agree. Life is complicated!), then go easy on the cream filling. :)

Raspberry Crunch Cake

I adapted this recipe off The Sunday Times - Life! section.

Raspberry Crunch Cake
130g butter
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
250g self-raising flour (sifted)
120ml milk
250g fresh raspberries
Crunchy Top:
130g flour
100g brown sugar
125g chopped butter
50g chopped almond (I used almond slices instead)
(1) Grease a 22cm diameter baking tin, lining the bottom with baking paper. Preheat the oven at 180°C.
(2) Prepare the crunchy top by rubbing the flour, butter and brown sugar together in a bowl until it resembles coarse breadcrubs. Set aside.
(3) For the cake, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
(4) Add the eggs one at a time, beating to mix them in.
(5) Continue beating while adding the sifted flour and the milk a little at a time. The mixture should look like a thick batter.
(6) Pour the cake mixture into the prepared baking tin and sprinkle the raspberries on top, slightly pressing them into the cake batter.
(7) Sprinkle the crunchy topping evenly over the raspberries
(8) Lastly, scatter the almonds across the top.
(9) Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes or until a knife inserted into the cake comes out clean.
(+) Simply ingredients and very easy to make
(-) This cake is a little too heavy for my liking
(=) It is more suitable for serving on the same day to a group of about 8-10 people otherwise the top would lose it's crunchiness overnight.

Cornflake Cookies

I adapted this cookie recipe off the Food4Tots blog site.

This used to be my favourite Chinese New Year cookies when I was young and didn't care much about the waistline. :)

This recipe yields a flaky cookie which is easy to eat and would surely be an instant hit with young children!