7/26/14

I Wanna Marry You Cookies - my version

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I'm in an everlasting battle of craving cookies and wanting skinnier hips. 
While on weekdays the skinny hips do sound much much better, on the lazy weekends when all I do is chill out, cookies just win. Even though, I try to contain myself so I don't eat the entire batch in one sitting, I am still a cookie fanatic.
And as a fanatic, I am incredibly picky when it comes to my cookies! I mean, if you're already giving in the temptation and the desire to have smaller thighs, then at least sin with something that's worth sinning!
Am I right or am I right? ;)

So when I want to eat the little sugar bombs, I have specific expectations. First of all, I want my cookies to be crunchy. I want crumbles when I bite into one, I want the exciting texture that makes crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside cookies. I want toasted walnuts, I want the richness that the chocolate chunks add, I want a bit saltiness and most of all, I want that after I finish it, I feel absolute contentness.

And that is exactly what this recipe gives you. I altered the original recipe a bit, as I added a bit less butter, I also browned it for an even richer taste, less sugar, more salt and voila; awesome cookies!!


They got a bit darker in color but that's due to my horrible impatience. I just couldn't wait for the butter to cool down and I mixed in the warm butter with all the other ingredients and thus the chocolate melted a bit. Oh well! But if you like paler ones, just be patient and wait until the butter completely cools down or if you want even better texture, just put it in the fridge and wait until it solidifies again.
Hope you'll love them as much as we do!

I Wanna Marry You Cookies
adapted from Cooking channel

200 grams butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
2 + 1/4 cups bread flour
1 cup oats
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup chocolate chunks
3/4 cup toasted halved walnuts

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. When it's completely melted, just keep the heat on, it will bubble up but just keep on cooking it over low-medium heat. It will have a foam on top but don't worry just keep stirring and cooking. When the foam starts to evaporate, pay attention because from here, the butter browns quickly and can burn if you leave it on too long. So when you see brown specks at the bottom of the pan, then it's ready.

Cool the butter down, you can also place it in the fridge after it cooled so it becomes solid again.

After it's cool or solid, add in the sugars. Then the egg and the egg yolk.

In a different bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon together. 
Incorporate the dry ingredients to the butter mixture.

Add in the chocolates and the walnuts. Form small balls with your hands and place them on a baking sheet, leaving some space for them to grow as they bake. 
Bake them for 13 minutes on 175C.




5/20/14

Nutella filled Croissants

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I have a love and hate relationship with croissants. Creating them, I mean. Because unless you have tried to make them yourself, it's impossible to even imagine the amount of work that is behind these lovely crescents.

First of all, you need excellent ingredients. Butter. Flour. These are the most important components to croissants. Buy good quality, it's worth the investment. 
Second of all, find a good recipe. Well, I help you with this one ;) I have found an amazing recipe! I've tried so so so so many of them that might have worked for some, but they never did for me. I never got the buttery, crunchy outside- pillow-soft inside pastry that I was looking for. But this recipe got the magic! It really does!

Look!


I also made them insanely sinful! Stuffed most of them with the smooth, wonderful Nutella. Oh my, they were just downright the closest thing to get to heaven while sinning. 

So if you've got a day when you have nothing better to do, then make it a croissant day! I will link the recipe that will provide you amazing gif.s that help tons to replicate the perfect consistency!

Have fun with it! ;)


Homemade Nutella filled Croissants
recipe is from the lovely Top with Cinnamon

1 cup (250 ml) milk - the original recipe calls for cold milk but I needed to heat it for the yeast
1/2 cup (125 ml) boiling water
1 Tbsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup (50 gr) sugar
3 3/4 cup (500 gr) all-purpose flour - I used pastry flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup+2 Tbsp butter (250 gr) - frozen, and left at room temperature for 30 min.


In a small bowl, mix together the milk, boiling water, sugar and yeast. Cover it and let it sit for 5 minutes until it becoms frothy.If it's not frothy, you might have to heat it in the microwave for a few seconds. 

In a big bowl, measure out the flour, salt and pour the frothy yeasty milk mixture on it. Incorporate it with your hands into a ball. Knead the dough until it incorporated all the flour. Place the dough into an oiled bowl and let it chill in teh fridge for an hour.

When your dough has been in the fridge for 30 min, grate your cold butter onto a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten and shape the grated butter (will look like grated cheese) into a rectangle, about 12cmX20cm in size. Fold the wrap around it tightly. Chill in the fridge for 30 min.

When your dough has been in the fridge for an hour, take it out and roll it on a floured surface to a 25cmX40cm rectangle. 

Unwrap the butter and place into the center of the dough. The butter's longer side should be almost the same size as the dough's shorter side. Fold the dough into thirds over the butter, like a business letter. Seal all the edges by pinching the dough together.

Rotate the dough 90degrees and using the rolling pin to make regular indentations in the dough (this will help to incorporate the butter in the dough).

Roll it into a rectangle again.

Fold it into thirds like a business letter and wrap it in plastic and put it in the fridge for an hour.

Remove from the fridge after an hour and do the same rolling and folding as you did before. Put it back in the fridge for an hour. Repeat this 2 more times, so 4 folds all together.

Cut the dough into quarters and refridgerate the dough for 8 hours.

Take out one piece of dough. Put it on a lightly floured surface and roll it to a 15cmX25 rectangle. Cut into thirds, forming 3 smaller rectangles. Cut each of the rectangles half diagonally, forming 6 triangles.

Take one triangle and pull on the corners of the shortest edge, to even up the base of the triangle. Then gently stretch the dough a little and cut a small slit in the base of the triangle, stretch it, then roll the dough up. If you want to fill it with nutella. Place a teaspoon of Nutella at the bottom of the triangle and then roll it up.

Place it on a cookie sheet and do the same with the rest of the dough. Cover them loosely with a plastic wrap and let them rise on room temp. for 2 hours. 

Once ready to bake, preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (22o degrees C) . Brush the croissants with beaten egg using a pastry brush and put into the oven. Immediately lower the temperature to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C), and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until well browned and puffy.





3/15/14

Kiev Cake with a Nutella twist

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I'm back. Really, really back. Not gonna disappear like that again. I mean, I'm not promising anything but I have recipes to share now!
Up until this point I had a blog writer's block, if there's such a phenomenon. I certainly had it.

But look at this beauty! My mom made the cake and I made the cream. Okay, the cream had to be remade because I royally messed up for the 1st time. It landed in the trash. 
I so hate it when perfectly good ingredients are wasted. It's a waste of money and well, obviously a waste of food. Especially when you use good quality.
So, learning from my mistakes I will share how not to repeat my clumsiness.

This cake tastes phenomenal. Seriously. The base is a meringue and there are hazelnuts thrown in. Crispy and crunchy on the outside and fluffy and oh so soft on the inside. 


And about the cream. It's a bit more work than your average butter cream but oh em gee, it's so delicous! I put nutella inside just to bring a bit more hazelnutty flavor to it. So good.

There is one con to this cake, though. Very sweet. And if you don't add enough sugar to the meringue, it will not have the same crispy consistency. But it's not badly too sweet. It's just a bit sweeter than I like normally my desserts. But very addictive.

Even though I just said it's too sweet, I ate way too much of it. Hope you'll like ;)

Kiev Cake

for the meringue

10 egg whites
500 grams sugar
100 grams toasted hazelnuts - roughly chopped

Preheat your oven to 160C (320F).
Whisk the egg whites until frothy, then add in the sugar. Wisk it until shiny and forms peaks. Then fold in the hazelnuts.
Using a big plate as a drawing pattern, put the plate on a parchment paper, outline it with a pencil and cut it. You should have two paper circles as you will bake two meringue cakes.
Place the parchment paper circles on 2 separate baking sheets and place the eggy cream on each of them.
Put them in the oven for 10 minutes then reduce the temperature to 125C (255F) and bake for 1 and a half hour. Turn the oven off but let the cakes sit inside until the oven cools down completely.

for the cream

200 grams powder sugar
200 grams butter
2 egg yolks
170 ml milk
100 grams milk chocolate
3 Tbsp Nutella

150 grams toasted hazelnuts for the top

Whisk the egg yolks in a pot just a bit so it's smooth, then add the milk and sugar to it. Place it over medium heat and stir it until it's warm and the sugar is dissolved completely. Make sure to not bring it to a boil because the yolks can be lumpy.
Strain the mixture so you won't have the egg yolk lumps. Then cool the mixture down. 
The mixture should not be warm at all, this is the point I messed it up because I thought lukewarm was already cool enough. No, it should be almost cold.
Bring water to a boil in a smaller pot, place a bowl over it and melt the milk chocolate.
When the milky mix is cool, then mix the butter until it's smooth and creamy. Add in the milk in 3 parts. Then comes the melted chocolate and the Nutella. The cream should be light but resemble to a butter cream texture.

Spread half the cream on the bottom meringue. Carefully, put the other part on top and spread the remaining cream on it. Sprinkle the toasted hazelnuts on top and enjoy :)



11/14/13

Indonesian Fried Rice - Nasi Goreng

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I'm on a health kick right now. I mean, it's more like going back to the healthy eating ways. I haven't realized how much I missed my old and good ways! You know the usuals... Using whole wheat flour, banning processed foods, skipping on the wine and so on.
Now that I look back, no wonder I gained 5 pounds in a month! I was eating all the wrong foods! Like white bread! I stopped eating white bread when I was 14! What the hell was I thinking? That's right, I was not thinking at all. I let in to all the cravings. 

If you are in the same shoes, trust me! Do not let your cravings control your hands when it comes to chips, cookies or nutella. Because cravings are strong and forceful creatures. You can't see them but they can move hands and mouth and teeth and will make you gain weight if you don't pay attention!

You know what's the worse? When cravings are combined with emotional eating. Or stress eating that will lead to binge eating. It will create an evil circle that's so hard to get out of. I would know since I'd been there. But it just takes a little willpower and it's gone! :)

So I've been cooking a lot lately to avoid the cravings! Lots of veggies and brown rice and wholesome foods that are not only healthy but they taste pretty legit too! I'm actually thinking about making a series of "easy, healthy and quick weekday dinners". It's an idea just popped to my head but let me know if anyone's interested! :)

I make this recipe the most often becuase it's just sooo good! I'm not saying it's 100% authentic because I did alter the original recipe a bit to my own tastebuds so feel free to change it also! :) I got hooked on rice over this summer when I spent 2 months in Indonesia. Best Foods Ever! Seriously, among so many things I miss the food the most :)
Just look at some of the yummy things that actually don't look that yummy but believe me, they were the most delicious meals EVER.

Spicy eggplant with "spinach", a fish stick and a huge fish :)

Chicken satay, grilled chicken pieces coated with a delicious peanut sauce

Omlette, tempeh, fish, sambal and rice

Pulled pork with tiny pieces of spicy tempeh (soo healthy), green beans, a fish stick over rice

This picture is not about the food as you can tell..... :) 

That's how you can pick out the foods you like :)

Oh! Who's that?? :) Sneaky me, huh? 

But back to the recipe! It's for one person and it's so quick!

Indonesian Fried Rice - Nasi Goreng
for 1 person

1/3 cup rice - I use Basmati or brown rice and cook it way before the frying
1 spring onion - chopped
2 cloves of garlic - chopped into very small pieces
1 medium carrot - chopped 
1/4 of a red bell pepper - thinly sliced
1/2 red chili - optional, leave it out if you don't like spicy
a handful of chopped cilantro
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 Tbsp kechap manis (sweet soy sauce)
1 egg

Cook the rice in 2/3 cup water over very low heat until it's soft. About 10 minutes for me.
Let it cool down. You shouldn't use warm rice for this recipe.
Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a wok, add the white parts of the spring onion and garlic, saute for a few minutes, then add the carrots, bell pepper pieces and the chili. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt.
Break apart your cold rice with a fork and add it to the wok. Fry it for a few minutes over high heat and add your sauces. Stir well and fry for about 4-5 minutes more.
Sprinkle it with the green parts of the spring onion and cilantro.
In a clean pan, fry the egg and place it over the rice. Enjoy :)

ps: You can add in chicken as well. You just fry it in oil and season it with salt and then continue with the original recipe!



11/9/13

Pad Thai once again

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Remember the last time I made pad thai? No? Then, check it out! I used almost the same recipe now, the only difference I made is that I substituted the carrot to a red bell pepper and I added a whole bunch of cilantro on top!
Because cilantro is actually one of the best things that could happen to your food! :)
It doesn't only have a wonderful taste, it also gives a lot of health benefits to those who consume the herb. It is said that it may reduce blood sugar, it is antioxidant and very rich in magnesium and iron. 
Lately, I eat a lot of nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice) and I add pretty much a more than normal amount of chopped cilantro on top and it gives the best taste to it. I just can't get over how amazing a kick it gives to any food...
So go ahead and buy some and transform an ordinary dish to extraordinary ;)

And I'll give you the recipe now :)

Pad Thai
serves 4

160 grams rice noodles, soak in cold water for 20 minutes (for an extra flavor, add some sugar in the water)
1 cup soy bean sprouts
100 grams chicken, cut into small pieces
2 eggs
1 red bell pepper, sliced into very thin 
5 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
2/3 cup juice of tamarind or 4 teasp white vinegar mixed with 6 teasp water
3 tsp palm sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp chopped spring onion
pinch of chili powder
pinch of salt
5 cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Drain your noodles from the cold water and pour boiling water on it. Let it sit for 3 minutes and drain. The noodles should be al dente, definitely not too soft.
Heat oil in a wok and add the chicken. Fry it for only a few minutes until the meat whitens. Season it with salt and pepper. Set it aside.
In the same wok add 2 Tbsp oil and add garlic, the bell pepper pieces, chili powder, the white parts of the spring onion and stir until fragrant. Add tamarind juice or white vinegar and noodles. Turn the heat to medium and stir fry for a few minutes. Turn the heat down to low and move the noodles to one side of the wok so you have place to fry the eggs. Add the eggs and scramble. Add fish sauce,soy sauce, sugar, salt, peanuts, the sprouts and turn the heat up to high. Stir fry until thoroughly mixed. 
Sprinkle with the green parts of the spring onion and the chopped cilantro.
Enjoy :)


11/3/13

Cheesy Spaghetti Extraordinaire

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Look! I mean, Look at this photo. Can you tell that the pasta is drenched in this cheesy, juicy sauce? Well... I can! And I can also assure you it tasted even more fantastic than it looks. My wonderful mother made this yesterday since I was more than preoccupied with my paper for school and she didn't want poor, poor girl to starve herself to the point she will just jump out of the window. Like that would happen. :D
But who knows what intense work and hunger will do to someone. 
Oh ya, like making me procrastinate once again. Oh well, you're welcome :) Because now you will have a recipe that you will want to cherish or even hide or keep it a secret because once others try this dish, they won't leave you alone until you give them the recipe. It's this good. Believe me. I mean, it's not even my recipe and I'm singing praises for it. 


Cheesy Spaghetti
makes for 4 people

200 ml (0.8 cup) cream - we used non-dairy
1 cup of the pasta water
200 grams (about 2 cups) grated gouda cheese - or the type you have at home
1/2 cup parmesan
2 cloves garlic - minced
salt
pepper
300 grams spaghetti (that's about 2/3 of the package)

Bring a big bowl of water to a boil. Add your pasta and 3 teaspoons of salt to it. Cook till al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve some of the water for the sauce.

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a bigger saucepan or wok. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few minutes. Pour the cream on top and let it simmer. Add 1 cup of pasta water and keep cooking. Mix in the cheeses and cook until you get a very creamy dense sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Stir the pasta in the sauce and serve immediately. Enjoy! :)




11/2/13

Browned Butter Walnut Chocolate Chunk Bars

Yum


To be honest, I've never had nor made cookie bars before. I've made brownies a million times (my latest creation is just phenomenal) and blondies a couple of times but never cookie bars. I know these are supposed to be like cookies but in a bar form (I am quite clever today!) but actually I found these to resemble to blondies.
BUT I stuffed them with toasted walnuts and a handful of white chocolate (maybe that's why the blondie resemblance) and to make it to the next level I used browned butter!
Seriously, what is better than using the sweet, nutty flavoured butter that will make everything taste as if you are having caramel!
There is only one con of this recipe: totally unfit for a clean eating diet. It is extremely sinful! But when else would you give in than around Halloween?? So toss the candy aside and go make some cookie bars! ;)

oh and ps: the reason the bars look so dark inside is due to my silliness. I completely forgot to add the eggs even though the dough was totally crumbly I just didn't get it. So I totally put that crumble mess in the oven just to get to my head, oh my the eggs! So i immediately got it out and stirred the eggs in. I know, I know you should never put eggs in warm dough but it wasn't that warm at all, only the chocolate melted a little bit inside so as I stirred, the half melted chocolate stirred as well thus the brownish color. Don't repeat this after me ;)

Browned Butter Walnut Chocolate Chunk Bars
use a 9X13 inch pan

200 grams (14 Tbsp) butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate, cut into chunks
3/4 cup white chocolate, cut into chunks
1 cup toasted walnuts, cut into pieces

Preheat oven to 160C or 325F.
Grease your pan.
Using a small saucepan, start melting your butter over low heat. After the butter is all melted it will form a white foam but just keep on cooking it. After about 5-8 minutes the foam will subside and your butter will have golden brown specks at the bottom. The smell will also become nutty, that's when you know it's ready. You should be careful at this point because once you get the specks it's easy to overcook the butter and it will be burnt instead of browned. Set it aside to cool.

Mix together in a medium bowl the flour, salt and baking soda.

Once the browned butter is room temp, add the sugars to it and mix. Add in the vanilla and the eggs (one at a time). Combine the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix it together. Fold in the chocolates and the walnuts.

Place the dough into the pan. Use your fingers to make it even in the pan and bake it for about 20-24 minutes.




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