Archive for July, 2008

(Key) Lime Pie.

 

(Persian?) Lime Pie

(Persian?) Lime Pie

You know, key lime pie has always been one of my favourite desserts, especially after having the one at CPK (California Pizza Kitchen). What always confounded me, of course, was what exactly were key limes? Could we buy them in Singapore? What are these? I’d always written them off as some sort of Western fruit we probably couldn’t get here easily (like rhubarb, or something…) and bought some ‘Thai Seedless Lemons’ from Giant instead. Well these so called seedless lemons turned out to really be, huge limes… and a few good Google searches later, I think these are what our Western friends call ‘Persian limes’. 

But get this. Key limes… believe it or not (I felt so cheated after realizing what they are), are the limes that we eat with our hokkien mee (prawn noodle), our ou luat (oyster omelette) and the potted plants that our parents buy so much of during Chinese New Year for good luck, longevity and all that jazz. 

I FEEL SO CHEATED. And the reason they’re called key limes is because they’re grown in the Florida Keys or whatever. BUT. They originate from Southeast Asia. Right. Shall not make any Western imperialist remarks here. 

So whatever the case. I made a LIME pie. Just not key. But key limes are relatively easy to obtain here… and they’ll probably give me a tangier, nicer tart. Mine turned out well, it just wasn’t… well, key I guess. 

The good thing about these big ‘THAI SEEDLESS LEMONS’ (gosh how many names must all these fruits have?) is that I only need 3 to obtain my 3/4 cup  of juice. 

I’ll probably need like 30 key limes to obtain the same amount. AFTER dealing away with the vast quantities of seeds that key limes have.. RAWR. 

So here’s the recipe for a really yummy tart. 

Key Lime Tart
adapted from The Kitchen Sink

1 cup finely ground graham cracker crumbs (here in Singapore, we use digestive biscuits)
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 large egg yolks (I used 4 medium egg yolks, eggs in Singapore aren’t very big in general either.)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest
2/3 cup fresh Key lime juice , (about 23 Key limes total)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk, (14 ounces) (I used 1 tin of Milkmaid, which is about 20g lesser than 14 ounces but it turned out perfectly fine)

DIRECTIONS
Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Press evenly onto bottom of an 8-inch square glass baking dish. Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.(Leave oven on.)
(Mine was a 9-inch pie pan, so I actually increased the amount of crumbs+butter for the crust.)  

Make filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.

Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula. Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight). 
(Or you could just throw it in the fridge for about 10 to 15 mins before refrigerating it, if you’re in a hurry. The filling would already be set/chilled enough to serve within the hour.) 

 

Eat me! <3

Eat me! ❤

Rating: 4/5 (Would be 5/5 once I get key limes.) (I’m very partial towards citrus.)
Would I make this again? Yes, yes, yes!

July 30, 2008 at 2:24 pm 3 comments

Raisin Cream Scones

(slight pale) Raisin Cream Scones.

(slightly pale) Raisin Cream Scones.

Tried out a scone recipe because Sis loves scones and because it’s supposedly fast – of course, getting everything done well is another matter (cutting in the butter, handling the dough, etc…).

I suppose these didn’t turn out too bad, but they weren’t fantastic. Apparently here heavy cream comes in a 200g container, while 1 cup of heavy cream generally constitutes about 250g of that stuff. So I substituted it with some milk and additional butter… but it turns out I might’ve gone a bit too crazy with the milk and my dough became far softer that it should’ve turned out. 

No matter, because the scones came out tasted alright anyway. I’ll probably try this recipe again… properly next time. 

These definitely make a good breakfast. 🙂 

Cream Scones 
adapted from House of Annie

Ingredients: 
2 cups (10 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour 
1 Tbsp baking powder 
3 Tbsp sugar (more for sprinkling) 
1/2 tsp salt 
5 Tbsp (2.5oz) cold, unsalted butter 
1/2 cup dried raisins
1 cup heavy cream (more for brushing) 

DIRECTIONS
(I suggest you have a look at the original site because there are picture guides to help you along)

  • Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C).
  • Place flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal.
  • Add raisins. Mix. Stir in heavy cream until it comes together in a shaggy ball. It will still have lots of loose, sandy pieces. If you think it’s too loose and sandy, you can add a little bit more cream to bind it a bit more — it shouldn’t affect the outcome if a bit more cream is added.
    *Note: I find that pouring the cream in slowly and mixing it little by little is more efficient than dumping the cream in all at once.
  • Place batter on a floured surface and roughly work it into a ball. Press the ball down into a rectangular shape. 
  • Fold the dough like you’re folding a business envelope (in thirds, first right fold to center, then left fold to center). Notice that it is still quite shaggy and loose. That’s ok.
  • Press the dough down again into rectangular shape in a vertical position. Do the business envelope fold again, this time top third to center then bottom third to center. The dough will still be a little sandy and loose–don’t worry about itthe less you work it, the flakier it will be.
  • Now, press the dough down into a circle. Cut it into 8 large or 16 small triangles.
  • Separate the individual scones and place them on a baking tray that is lined with parchment paper.
  • Brush the top of the scones with cream and then sprinkle each one with a little sugar.
  • Bake for 12-15 mins until golden brown on top.

July 30, 2008 at 2:04 pm 1 comment

Carrot Cake.

The Western equivalent of the carrot cake was something introduced to my wondrous world of food when I was 12 or 13. Before that, the only carrot cake I knew was my shiok, Singaporean carrot cake doused heavily in black sweet sauce (yes I like mine black, not white). Actually, till now, I don’t know why we call it carrot cake. Are there really carrots in it? Hmm. 

Anyway, good ang moh (direct translation = red head. The Singaporean equivalent of the word gaijin) carrot cake is hard to find in Singapore. So far only two have been moist and heavenly enough to send me over the moon. 

The first is from Cedele, and the other, from some humble, small bakery that Sis used to buy from at her previous-previous job. 

So of course I should’ve guessed that mine would necessarily turn out fantastically.. and it didn’t. It’s a supposedly hassle-free ‘One-bowl’ carrot cake, but it turned out to be quite a lot more bowls for me because I spent a good 45 minutes grating carrots with my petite size xxxxs grater. Then I had to use the saucepan to melt the butter. And zest and squeeze several oranges. So no, it took far longer than I expected and turned out far drier than I would’ve liked as well.

Dry, boring looking carrot cake.

Dry, boring looking carrot cake.

Sis liked it only because it tasted nothing like carrot cake.. but tasted like gingerbread. I think that was my fault because too much cinnamon and nutmeg went in. And I didn’t have allspice so it never made it into the cake either. No cream cheese because I hadn’t bought any yet either. And cream cheese is expensive man… I have two 8oz. containers in the fridge now patiently awaiting my use. 

Well it may have just been my own mistake somewhere or another that caused it to turn out so un-moist. But I’ve cross-referred the recipe with some other carrot cake ones and I think a lot more could’ve gone in to make it better (like more butter, eggs, I don’t know if I’m going to try the pineapple version…) so I’m going to try till I create a happy, fluffy, moist carrot cake. 

One-Bowl Carrot Cake
adapted from Baking Bites

Cake
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated, if possible)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups shredded carrot (from 2-3 large carrots), drained

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch square baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, beat together sugar and eggs until smooth. 
  • Beat in melted butter, orange juice, orange zest, vanilla, spices and salt. 
  • When combined, sift in the flour and baking soda (sifting helps evenly distribute the baking soda) and gently stir it into the batter until no streaks remain. 
  • Stir in shredded carrot, then scrape into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 36-42 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting
4 tbsp butter, softened
4-oz cream cheese, softened
2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
2 tsp orange zest

  • Beat together butter and cream cheese in a medium bowl. 
  • Add in confectioners’ sugar, orange juice and zest and beat until smooth. 
— 

July 30, 2008 at 1:55 pm Leave a comment

Apple Pie.

Moist, flaky, apple pie!

Moist, flaky, apple pie!

Photos taken with a real camera look so much better. 
Anyway, the recipe for this pie was taken down, quite enthusiastically in an Ms. Word document, by Soefie while she was watching a VIDEO. 

So I have no idea where this recipe is from, but if anyone does, do feel free to leave a note. 

Apple Pie (supposedly, the Best)

Crust
2 cups plain/all-purpose flour
180g of butter, cut into cubes
1 teaspoons of salt
1.5 tablespoons of sugar
75ml of cold water
Extra flour for dusting

Filling
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and cubed
65g of sugar
65g of brown sugar
Half a teaspoon of cinnamon powder
A teaspoon of lemon juice
1.5 tablespoon of flour
50g of melted butter

Egg wash
1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons of cream

DIRECTIONS

Filling:

  • Add the white sugar to the apples, then brown sugar, followed by the cinnamon, lemon juice, flour, then melted butter.
  • Mix well with a spoon.
  • Let sit while making crust.

Crust:

  • Sift flour, salt, sugar together, then add the butter
  • Mix briefly (2 min)
  • With half of the butter still intact, add half of the water
  • Add water in small amts just as dough begins to cling together
  • Roll dough into a ball
  • Divide dough into 2 parts: a third (for the upper crust) and 2-thirds (base)
  • Refrigerate the dough (after flattened and wrapped in cling wrap)
  • Place in fridge for minimum of 30min
  • Preheat oven to 180 degress Celsius
  • Roll out dough (to about half a centimeter or less)
  • Transfer to pie pan, don’t tear dough. (Method: gently fold rolled out dough into quarters, place into pan and slowly unfold, pressing into the edges of the pan so there there are no air pockets)
  • Put dough in pan in the fridge for about 15-20min
Upper crust:
  • Roll out the one-third ball of dough to one and a half cm thickness.
  • Cut long strips of abt 1.5cm long.

 
Baking:

  • Remove panned dough from fridge
  • Pour filling into pan and spread evenly.
  • Lay out dough strips diagonally above filling, and weave them.
  • Put more dough along the rim of the pie as deemed necessary.
  • Brush the top with the egg wash. (Alternatively, just brushing with egg white would suffice.)
  • Put pie the oven to bake for 50 to 65 minutes (depending on the type of apples)
  • Once brown, remove and let cool for at least 40 minutes before serving. 
Pre-baked pie! Didn't weave.

Pre-baked pie! Didn't weave.

This was quite a tasty pie. However I felt that the taste and texture of the crust (although yummy) would have been more suitable for something savoury. I’ll probably try this crust with a chicken pot pie or meat pie… The filling was good, but that was basically it. Decent. Hearty. And yummy. 
Will probably be playing around more with the filling mixture to get one that has that extra oomph! 
Rating: 4.5/5 for crust, 3.5/5 for filling, 4/5 overall.
Would I bake this again? Probably a variation of this till I find the perfect apple pie filling! (and crust)

July 24, 2008 at 10:06 pm 1 comment

Banana Walnut Bread.

 

)

Tasty. 🙂

Better photos today because Soef brought her camera! You’ll have to excuse the general bad quality of the photos taken because I use my camera phone and my house has generally poor lighting. Lol. 

Soefie came over to bake Apple Pie and since there was a lot of buffer time I decided to make more of that deee-licious Kona Inn Banana Bread that I tried previously.

I added walnuts this time, but the bread didn’t turn out quite as moist and flavourful as the last time. Why?

CHECK YOUR BANANAS! Do not use Del Monte!!!! Use those really small, yellow ones when they’re turning all scary and black. They’re really really soft and PERFECT for baking. 

The bread still tasted yummy but I’m definitely sticking to the small bananas next time. And yes there will always be a next time because this is really gooood bread.

July 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm 1 comment

Kahlua Tiramisu.

Smooth, creamy tiramisu...

Smooth, creamy tiramisu...

I love my tiramisu with really strong alcohol. It gives your tastebuds that really explosive kick and leaves you feeling very, very contented thereafter. Sis and I have very high standards for tiramisu, considering our favourite was always from Tiramisutra. Which has since, unfortunately ceased business probably due to new AVA restrictions forbidding the sale of baked goods online. 😦

So of course, when making my own, I HAD to have the booze. I am convinced that in my house, as long as you look hard enough, we have everything. True to this, Mom dug up 2 ancient 50ml bottles of kahlua, covered in dust and probably older than me. So I used them, of course. 😀 

The alcohol taste didn’t turn out strong enough (100ml wasn’t quite enough, it seems) but overall the tiramisu came out beautifully! I was surprised to realize how easy it was to make one of my favourite desserts (and also how badly I’ve been getting ripped off. I’m never buying tiramisu again). 

I adapted my recipe from an Irish Cream tiramisu recipe I found on Cooking the Books.

Kahlua Tiramisu
inspired by Cooking the Books 
with some modifications

150ml coffee, made with 150 ml water and 2 teaspoons instant expresso or coffee
approx. 150ml kahlua 
1 x 200g Savoiardi (Italian lady Finger Biscuits) or trifle sponge fingers
2 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
250g mascarpone
1 teaspoon cocoa powder, heaped
  • Mix the coffee with approx. 90mls kahlua in a shallow bowl. (add more to taste) (I used a deep plate, easier to dip)
     
  • Dip half the biscuits into this liquid, until damp but not soggy. Line the bottom of your dish with them.
     
  • Separate the eggs. Whisk the two egg yolks and the sugar until thick and pale yellow in an electric mixer, then the mascarpone, followed by 40ml of kahlua (more to taste) to make a moussy mixture. You can taste it as you add the kahlua till you get to the right level of ooomph as defined by yourself. 😀 
     
  • Whisk the egg whites until thick and frothy, fold (how you fold this is very important!) 3/4 of the mixture into the mascarpone mixture, and spread half of this on top of the dipped biscuits in the dish. (Note: I didn’t fold in the remaining 1/4 because it looked like it would get too thick.)
     
  • Repeat the dipping and layering with the other half of the fingers into the dish and then top with the second half of the marscapone mix.
     
  • Dust with cocoa powder or tiramisu powder if you have it.
     
  • Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge over night. Tastes best when let to sit for at least 6 hours. 🙂 

)

SO GOOD! 🙂

 

This was really, really yummy. In fact, Sis and I are just about to create another one – with the rum we found in the wine chiller. BWAHAHA. 

Rating: 4.5/5
Would I make this again? YES! Many many times!

July 23, 2008 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

Big, fat, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.

Big, fat, chewy oatmeal raisin cookies.

So far, I’ve been baking stuff that I particularly enjoy (I mean, duh right? Why make what you don’t want to eat?)… and oatmeal raisin cookies are one of my absolutely favourite. Actually, the oatmeal raisin cookies specifically from Subway are the ones I really, really like. So here I was on a hunt to find MY perfect oatmeal raisin cookie since recipes abound by the dozens on the net. 

Finally settled on this particular one from Big Oven that had pretty good reviews. Well they turned out nice, thats for sure. But I’m still on the lookout for one that’ll give me as shiok (satisfying) a feeling as the Subway ones.. (more cookie dough!) 

Pretty dry cookie dough!

Pretty dry cookie dough!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 
adapted from Big Oven 

1 1/4 cups Butter
1 teaspoon Baking soda
3/4 cup Brown sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Egg
1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg
1 teaspoon Vanilla
3 cups Oats quick or old-fashioned
1 1/2 cups All purpose flour
1 cup Raisins

DIRECTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Beat margarine and sugars until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add combined flour, baking soda, salt and spices; mix well. Stir in oats and raisins. 
  • Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. 
  • Bake 8-9 minutes for chewy; 10-11 minutes for crunchy cookies.
  • Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet. Remove to wire rack.
  • Store tightly covered. 

The batter gets really dry once you put in THREE whole cups of oats. The biggest problem I had with this recipe was the amount of butter in it. 1 and 1/4 cups is total overkill. Everyone who ate them could distinctly taste the butter which wasn’t quite the effect I was gunning for.

Rating: 3.5/5 
Would I bake this again? Am still on the hunt for the perfect oatmeal raisin cookie!

July 22, 2008 at 12:00 pm Leave a comment

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