Category Archives: Food

Food Diary : Chocolate Almond Tartlets

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It’s the festive Raya season. Raya aka Aidilfitri is one of the festivities we celebrate here in Malaysia. Just like any other festivals, baking is a must. Cookies, cakes, tarts or anything that will make you have those sweet cravings. (:

So, for this Raya I decided to bake few desserts and one of it that I want to highlight is a super simple dessert; Chocolate Almond Tartlets. I referred to few recipes I found from several sources and improvised them. It turns out really nice I’d say. The size is just a perfect bite size; the crust was crunchy without it crumbling, and the chocolate almond filling melted and crunched in the mouth in all the right yummy way!

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CHOCOLATE ALMOND TARTLETS

INGREDIENTS

Tart Crust:
250g                       Cold Butter (chopped into small cubes)
120g                       Icing Sugar
500g                       Plain Flour
1                             Egg
Mini tartlet casings (1.5 inches diameter)
(You can also substitute this with ready-made tart shells usually sold at most baking shops)

Filling:
350g                      Dark Chocolate Compound/Blocks
1/3 cup                  Whipped Cream
1 tsbp                    Unsalted Butter
1 tbsp                    Water (optional)
1 tbsp                    Cooking Oil
½ cup                    Baked Almond Flakes (reserve extra to garnish)

METHODS

Tart Crust:

  1. Pre-heat the oven at 180°C / 350°F.
  2. Combine the butter and icing sugar until evenly incorporated. It should be crumbly like breadcrumbs.
  3. Add in the plain flour bit by bit to form a soft dough. Do not over-mix the dough.
  4. Take a walnut size of the dough and gently press it evenly on the tartlet casings. Not too thin and not too thick. Scrap off the access dough.
  5. Prick the bottom of the pastry with a fork and bake until golden brown about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Once cooled, remove the crust from the casings.

Filling:

  1. Coarsely crush the almond flakes and sprinkle it in each tart shell.
  2. Prepare a double boiler. Once the water in the base pot boils up, melt the chocolate and butter.
  3. Pour in the cream and oil. Stir gently until mixture is completely smooth.
  4. Pour chocolate filling into the shells. Garnish the top with almond flakes (or your choice of sprinkles) and refrigerate until set. (It was also really yummy eating it without refrigerating. So, you can either put it in the fridge for it to set faster or let it set at room temperature so it is softer. Up to you.)

** The recipe makes about 50 mini tartlets. Store it in airtight container and keep it refrigerated. Let it stand at room temperature before serving.

Enjoy it! (:

xxx

NZ

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Food Diary : Fusion Swedish Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes

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I haven’t been cooking for quite awhile since I was sick these past few weeks. Now that I’m recovering well, and it was a Sunday, a free weekend for me, I figured I should whoop up something.

I asked my brother what he wants, and he wanted Swedish Meatballs. Of course the easiest way is to just drive to Ikea and get ’em, but it’s a Sunday. It’s gonna be filled with so many humans! I’d like to avoid the crowd sometimes. So, I cooked.

The Ikea version of Swedish Meatballs has meatballs (duh), boiled potatoes or potato fries, Swedish cream gravy and lingonberry jam. Well, my version is a bit different. I changed and tweaked here and there. The meatballs have some Italian essence to it, because I like mine Italian-ish. My brother requested the potatoes to be mashed instead, so his wish came true and mine has no berry jam added to it. I have never made the Swedish cream gravy before and when I tried according to its recipe, I realised i had to changed it a bit and it taste awesome.

You should try it one day! (:

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FUSION SWEDISH MEATBALLS AND MASHED POTATOES

INGREDIENTS

Meatballs:
3 tbsp             fine white breadcrumbs (add a little milk, to soak)
400g                Minced beef
2 cloves           Garlic, chopped
½ bunch          Flat leaf parsley
2-3 tbsp          Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp                Italian Herbs
1 tsp                Oregano
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mashed Potatoes:
4 pieces          Russet Potatoes, peeled and cut to small pieces
1 tbsp              Butter
½ cup              Milk
1 tbsp              Parsley, chopped
½ tsp               Italian Herb
½ tsp               Oregano
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Swedish Cream Sauce:
½ cup              Beef stock
1 cup               Cream
1 tsp                Chinese soy
1 tsp                White pepper
1 tsp                Flour

METHODS

Meatballs Steps

Meatballs:

  1. Heat the oven at 180°C/350°F.
  2. Mix well all ingredients, using you hands, thoroughly.
  3. Shape the mixture into balls, the size of walnut, or up to your own preference. It makes about 18 – 20 meatballs.
  4. Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the meatballs till golden brown on all surfaces.
  5. Put the meatballs in a baking tin and bake it for about 15 minutes.

Mashed Potatoes:

  1. Boil the potatoes till soft.
  2. Melt the butter in a pan. Put in the boiled potatoes and mash it well.
  3. Mix in milk, chopped parsley, herbs and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Swedish Cream Sauce:

  1. Warm up your saucepan and put in the beef stock till it simmered.
  2. Add in the cream and thicken with the flour, if preferred.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the meatballs with the sauce and the mashed potatoes at the side. Enjoy it with salad of your choice, if preferred.

xxx

NZ

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Food : Super Lazy Sunday Sandwich

It’s a Sunday. I would either be very enthusiastic about cooking something complex or I would just make something super simple. Or the Malaysian would say ‘sempoi’.

Today, I chose to be extra lazy. Hence, this scrumptious sandwich was made.

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Sautéed Bacon, Swiss Mushrooms, Caramelized Onions, Sharp Cheddar Cheese with Fresh Watercress Sprouts on Country Herb Bread.

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The yummy gooey melted cheese, soft caramalized onions and the crispness from the sprouts just hit it off!

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