Easy Crepes!!

By , March 22, 2010 1:54 pm

I am a big fan of Easy. So anything that says Easy and comes with many good reviews is a must try. In fact, this is so good that I had it for 4 days in a row. Now that I’m REALLY sure it is easy (cos I wouldn’t want to be accused of lying would I?), let me unleash this recipe on you so you may have it for many days in a row too. It is that easy to make and really, they are dangerously easy to eat. They can look pretty like this :

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The original recipe with (109) rave reviews can be found here

Ingredients :

Basic Crepe
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
3 tbsp (40gm) melted butter
Butter, for coating the pan

*Sweet Variation Add 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 2 tablespoons of your favorite liqueur to the egg mixture. (I usually just add the sugar and vanilla extract)
*Savory Variation Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, spinach or sun-dried tomatoes to the egg mixture.

1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and pulse for 10 seconds. I put all the ingredients in a bowl and use a mixer to mix them all up. It works too!
2. Refrigerate the crepe batter for an hour to allow bubbles to subside. Can keep batter for up to 48hrs.
3. Heat a small non-stick pan and coat with butter. Pour 1/4cup room temperature batter into the centre of the pan and swirl evenly.
4. It is ready when the sides are brown and you can peel them from the pan (abt a min). Flip and cook for another 10secs.
5. Repeat with rest of batter.

TA DA!

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You don’t need me to tell you that nutella and chocolate and strawberries make a lethal combo.

To be honest, the crepes here are dressed up for your viewing pleasure. I otherwise just smear fresh whipped cream and maple syrup inside, fold them in quarters and pop them into my mouth. Takes less than a min to make and eat one. It has been a hit with the young and old alike, with many saying that it tastes better than it looks.

Really, I wasn’t kidding about the dangerously easy to eat bit.

A Hazardlicious Meal!

By , March 18, 2010 10:37 am

Dan came up with that word and when I’m done with this post, you’ll know why.

We went to City Square Mall a few days ago and were walking around aimlessly, undecided where to dine. Then I saw Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant. They have another branch at Bugis which I remembered was a pretty good eat. So we sat ourselves down and ordered the more familiar dishes.

In the order our food was served :

NX1

Shanghai Fried Rice with Chicken Chop. This is very good fried rice! Every grain can be tasted individually (I hear that’s the mark of a good fried rice), and there’s the taste and fragrance of egg with every bite – my kind of comfort food. I think I’ll order this without the chicken chop in future cos altho it was tender and nicely crispy, I thought the batter had a rather floury taste…. Dan had no complaints judging by how quickly we finished this before the next dish arrived.

NX2

Anything that is supersized is a favourite with the man. This Da Long Bao was Part 1 of the hazardliciousness. The server warned us that it was very hot and to be careful. To be fair, Dan was for the most part. He even waited patiently for other foods to arrive. Then he got thirsty and reached for the wrong straw. OUCH. That inconvenience aside, the seafood based broth would be a hit with any seafood loving person.

NX3

I really enjoyed this Xiao Long Bao : The skin is thin yet does not break when I pick it up. I love the nice plump look of the dumpling, its juices just visible under the skin promising a mouthful of rich broth. And rich it was! The server gave the same “It’s hot, be careful” warning with this dish but greedy impatient me still burnt the tip of my tongue. Hazardlicious Part II.

I think everybody has their own way of eating their dumplings. I pick mine up by the thick fold on top, dip it in vinegar, and then put it on my spoon. Following that, I decorate it with bits of ginger, bite the top off to allow the heat inside to escape, and carefully slurp up the juices inside. THEN, I pop the whole thing in my mouth. *sigh of bliss*

They have dumplings in many flavours( – Dan ordered the sharks fin dumpling but since I’m not a advocate of eating shark’s fin, I didn’t take pictures. What I did appreciate, was the wooden tags in the basket – nice to know which dumplings are where.

NX4

This Shanghai Pork Bun is Hazardlicious Part III. It’s a quarter size the regular Da Bao you buy at a coffeeshop, but Times Ten the flavor! I breathed in the aroma of the fried bao (it’s almost like fried Man Tou), and then took a careful bite. There was even some broth inside of this! How do they do it? I nodded happily to the man as a sign of how pleased I was with this bun, and then took another bite. That was when it happened.

I was hit very unexpectedly by a mini scalding geyser from some unseen hole on the bun. The stream scalded the area on top of my lip up to my nose. I dropped the bun in pain as tears started welling up in my eyes. Dan looked at me in shock and said the obvious “Your lip burnt leh.”

The first thing I did after a shocked pause, was scramble to pick up my dropped bun for another bite. Yes, it was that good. We both started laughing at how ridiculous my reaction to the situation was. What can I say – revenge is….. yummy? hurhur

NX5

This Glutinous Rice Shao Mai was great in texture and taste. The glutinous rice inside had a very distinct mushroom flavour. Small in size and big in flavor – like most of the dishes here.

NX6

We ended our meal with this sweet bean pastry. Looked like red bean to me – creamy and oozing out of a flaky pastry. Even this was hazardlicious, the paste hot enough to scald. This is a hit with me for the reason that it’s closest in texture and taste to the red bean paste I enjoy in Taiwan.

Prices aren’t too steep here I think – our meal cost under 60 (this entry is missing pictures of drinks and the sharks fin dumplings).Visit if you like quality vs quantity cos most dishes here are small and come in pairs. 

Be ‘careful’ if you visit 🙂

Counting Down!

By , March 17, 2010 6:54 pm

I’ve started a new category in my own blog called “M for Mommy Musings”

Counting Down is my first entry, obviously about counting down to THE day. Come visit!!

Japanese Cotton Soft Cheesecake!

By , March 13, 2010 1:13 pm

I was all smiles yesterday because my oven produced an almost perfect Japanese Cotton Soft Cheesecake! 🙂

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I was torn between wanting to finish the entire cake by myself and wanting to show it off  share it with other people. There was more upside to sharing because honestly, I think I Could finish the entire cake by myself and that’s not a good thing. It tastes so light and moist and airy and tasty, that it’d be easy to forget that inside of it sits 6 eggs, a whole block of cream cheese and I’ve not yet included the calories from the butter and sugar.

So I dutifully brought some to my in laws and kept half to impress share with my friends who are coming over later. For you baking buffs who’s never tried a cheesecake, this is the Must Try recipe!

Quite a number of people online have worked with this recipe (cos I keep seeing it), originally by Irene Oon. Here is the link with the many rave reviews – the one that gave me the courage to try it because there’s safety in numbers. Here is the link with the best photographs – the one that made me decide this is THE cheesecake I must make, such a sucker for beautiful food pics I am. And here is the link which made me laugh – I know it’s mean, but Ive never seen such a photoshopped picture of a cheesecake before.

Ingredients:
140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
50g/2 oz. butter
250g/9 oz. cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 tsp. salt 
 
Instructions:
(Preheat oven to 160deg)

1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. (Softening the cream cheese WITHOUT its foil, in a microwave helps speed up this step. Should take 15-20s depending on your microwave)

2.Cool the mixture. Mix in lemon juice, egg yolks and then fold in the flour and cornflour.

3. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

4. Fold egg white mixture 1/3 at a time, to the cheese mixture until the batter is even.

5. Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper).

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown. (I left mine to cool for half an hour in the oven with the doors ajar as advised from other bloggers cos I was afraid that it would collapse suddenly if there was too big a change in temp)

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The moment the cheesecake cooled and shrunk some, I inverted it and it dropped nicely onto my palm. I thought even the bottom looked perfect 🙂

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I like that the top is very brown – makes it look like it’s properly baked!

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See its nice height? It really has the taste and texture of storebought Japanese cheesecake!

Other notes :
– Baking your cheesecake in a water bath simply means putting the cake pan (the one with the batter), into a bigger pan which contains hot water up that comes up to the middle of your cake pan. If you’re using a springform pan (the sort with a clasp and isn’t waterproof), you’ll need to put your cakepan in an aluminium foil so water doesn’t seep into your cake.

– I used a 7″ round pan cos I didn’t have an 8″, and had enough leftover batter to fill 5 mini cupcakes (of which I ate 3 effortlessly). If you ever want to make many mini cupcakes, I reckon halving the ingredients above will yield 20 mini cupcakes 😀

Here is a link of more nice pictures  of this cheesecake. Comes with tips on how to be lazy what steps to omit if you’re feeling adventurous. I’m going to try to not line my cake pan my next attempt cos I’m so bad at cutting paper and making them sit nicely in the pan. She says greasing generously and flouring a regular cake pan works just fine.

I’m going to sit tight now and NOT think about half the cheesecake in my fridge which is for sharing later.

Ceylon Lychee Chiffon Cake

By , March 8, 2010 4:42 pm

chiffoncake_ceylonlychee

I have to admit that part of the appeal of this chiffon cake is that it sounds really chi chi (I’m not always this shallow really!). Plus it’s a very well taken picture 🙂 (taken by Anjolene using the iPhone Hipstamatic App). The taste testers said this cake was yummy and an overall improvement in texture from the previous chiffon cakes I’ve made. Yippee!!

The original recipe was for an Earl Grey Chiffon Cake but I didn’t have any Earl Grey at home. I did, however, have Ceylon Lychee tea. Which explains why it’s thus named. Do take a look at the original blog for delicious chiffon cake pictures – they inspired me to want to make more of them.

In addition, 3 eggs for a cake doesn’t seem too scary to make (unlike daunting recipes that require 8 eggs…)

Ingredients
(makes one 18cm/7″ cake)

A:
1 tablespoon Ceylon Lychee (or any other flavored) tea powder
(it’s about 3 packets of tea. Yes, cut them open and use them without the tea bags. The tea should be of a fine texture, else put them in a blender)
100g cake flour
1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks
40g caster sugar
50ml vegetable oil
75ml water

B:
3 egg whites
40g caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170deg.
2. Beat egg whites til foamy then add 40g sugar. Whip til stiff peaks form.
3. In a separate bowl, beat egg yolks and 40g sugar til it’s pale. I used the same electric mixer without washing.
(NB: This only works if you beat the whites then the yolks. Doesn’t work in reverse cos the oil in the yolk will prevent the whites from rising)
4. Add in oil and water and mix well. (Yes, with the electric mixer)
5. Sift in flour, baking powder and salt and again and mix well quickly (Yes, again with the electric mixer)
6. Add in tea leaves and then do a final quick mix (STILL with the electric mixer).
(Once the flour mixes with the liquid ingredients, move quickly!)
7. Fold in the whites in 3 separate additions.
(For help on how to fold: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOlC1zXOUqQ )
8. Pour into a ungreased chiffon tin and bake for 45mins / do skewer test
9. Remove from the oven and invert the chiffon tin immediately. Let it cool completely before removing from the tin. 

My chiffon tin is bigger than the recommended 7″(18cm), which is why it isn’t as ‘high’.  Time to buy a new chiffon tin so that I can make all sorts of chiffon cakes. I already see them in my head : Poppy seed and lemon chiffon cake / Green Tea Chiffon Cake / Mint Flavored Chiffon Cake. The possibilities are endless!! Try it!

Paulaner Brauhaus

By , March 1, 2010 4:15 pm

We didn’t have much for dinner on Sat and woke up craving for food in quantity and variety on Sunday morning. So I googled “buffet brunch Sunday” and clicked the first site that came up – a buffet guide page.

After filtering through both our requirements ie: not too expensive (eliminates the places with champagne); serves non-local fare (eliminates the dim sums, porridges n steamboats) cos Dan likes western; and doesn’t start too late or is too far away cos we were hungry, it came down to Paulaner Brauhaus at Millenia Walk. I secretly suspect the clincher was actually free flow beer for him.

Have you ever walked along the stretch of restaurants at Millenia Walk at 11+am on a Sunday? It’s a ghost town. We were worried (only for a split second tho cos there’re so many new restaurants there) that the buffet we read about has discontinued. Only 1 way to find out. We arrived at Paulaner Brauhaus and saw ONE customer sitting downstairs. Oops.

Dan asked the bartender if there was a buffet and he pointed us upstairs. Whew! More than 50% filled too!

Fast forward to 2 hours later – two very stuffed people at the table. While the spread wasn’t impressively extensive, I’d say almost every item was good and that’s more important than having many items I wouldn’t touch.

Firstly, any self respecting German spread must feature sausages and pork knuckles. Dan liked that the pork knuckle was well cooked and I esp liked the cheese sausages(goes fantastically with bread), and the Munich sausages (plump, pale and very soft to the bite). I also really enjoyed their fresh fish and chips *thumbs up*- much credit also to their variety of authentic and rich sauces.

There’s frankly quite abit of meat in their spread. Off the top of my head, I remember the meatloaf, julienned beef, braised beef, pork schnitzel, pork knuckle, sliced pork, 5 different types of sausages and the fried fish fillets. For a balanced diet, you could get more steamed veges, pile up on the cold /sauerkraut salad, and have some carbs like spaghetti, bread, mini pizzas or a bowl of thick mushroom soup. A very out of place item, I thought, was their thinly sliced salmon sashimi. I’m not complaining tho – am actually really pleased cos I’ve been craving them recently. (Don’t start on pregnancy and raw foods – I only had a few slices la…)

For dessert, there was most noticeably the warm apple strudel(cos it’s so big), movenpick ice creams, some cakes and fruits. I’d love to have everything, but with no space in my tummy, I picked my favourite blackforest cake. The entire slice magically disappeared into the said ‘no space’ tummy 😛 Buffets shouldn’t be allowed for people with no self restraint.

I’m sorry there aren’t any food pics – I was too busy stuffing my face to take any pictures think pictures dont do buffets enough justice *vigorous head nodding.

Oh and I almost forgot the most important item that made our buffet so enjoyable for Dan (had to google the picture too!) :

brauhaus

He enjoys alcohol freshly brewed beer all the time accompanied with meats and totally made sure to have enough to cover the cost of both our buffets.

Lastly, I thought the buffet was very reasonably priced. At $45++ (with free flow beer) and 35++ (with soft drinks), and an additional 15% off cos we used a Citibank card, the grand total came up to $80.04. Good deal, yes? Plus there’s even a corner for children to play so I’ll definitely be filing this place away for future visits.

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