Archive for the Dessert Category

Orange fairy cupcakes

Posted in Dessert on October 3, 2009 by yongtzetan

I have been baking cupcakes at home last month instead of paying for them at the shops. Cupcakes are quick and fun to make especially if you have a mixer at home. This recipe makes nice buttery cupcakes with orange flavour. Bake a big batch of them then you will have enough desserts to last a whole week (well, almost).

Makes 6 muffin size cupcakes or 15 small cupcakes:

  • 115g butter, softened to room temperate
  • 112g caster sugar
  • half teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, light beaten
  • 220g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 145ml milk
  • zests from 2 oranges (wax-free oranges)
  • 3/4 cup thickened cream
  • 1 teaspoon icing sugar
  • some marmalade

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius. Line the muffin pan with cupcake cases (optional, I didn't use them but only buttered the pan lightly to prevent sticking).

2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until light and creamy. Add the orange zests and gradually beat in eggs. Beat thoroughly.

3. Add half the flour and half the milk. Stir slowly by a rubber spatula. Repeat with remaining flour and milk and mix them with the rubber spatula. Then beat with the mixer for just a few seconds to thoroughly combine the ingredients but do not overbeat the mixture.

3. Divide the mixture evenly into the muffin pan. Bake for 15-25 minutes, depending on what size your cupcakes are. The cupcakes are ready when a knife or skewer inserted into the centre of a cake comes out clean.

4. Cool the cakes before cutting and filling. Use a sharp pairing knife, hold it at a downward angle and cut a round cap from the top of each cupcake.

5. Whip the cream with icing sugar until thick. Place some whipped cream in each cake. Spread some marmalade on the round caps before putting them on top of the cream on each cake.

6. Store leftover cakes in airtight container in the fridge.

Crêpes Suzette

Posted in Dessert on March 8, 2009 by yongtzetan

Flambéeing crêpes suzette, originally uploaded by yongtze.

Crêpes Suzette is a typical French dessert but I haven't seen it in any restaurant that I have been to. This is a recipe from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I really like the intense orange flavour of it. If you prepare the crêpes and the orange butter ahead, it is easy and fast to finish this classic dessert. Practise the folding and flaming of the crêpes until you become good at it had you wished to perform this dish in public.

For 15 to 18 crêpes 4 to 5 inches in diameter:

– 3/4 cup milk
– 3/4 cup cold water
– 3 egg yolks
– 1 tablespoon caster sugar
– 3 tablespoons orange liqueur (I used Grand Marnier)
– 1 cup flour
– 5 tablespoons melted butter

1. Place the ingredients in the blender jar in the order in which they are listed. Cover and blend at top speed until well mixed and the batter is smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

2. Brush the skillet with oil. Heat the pan over moderately high heat until it begins to smoke. Immediately remove from heat, pour in a 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all direction to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film.

3. Return the pan to heat for 20-30 seconds. Once the under side in a nice light brown, turn the crêpe and brown lightly for about 15-20 seconds on the other side. As doen, slide the crêpe onto a wire rack and let cool several minutes before stacking them on a plate. Grease the skillet again and proceed with the rest of the crêpes. You can keep the crêpes warm by covering them with a dish and seeting them over simmering water. Crêpes also freeze perfectly.

For the orange butter (6 serves):

– 1/2 cup caster sugar
– 2 bright-skinned oranges, wax-free
– 200 grams unsalted butter
– 1/2 to 2/3 cup strained orange juice
– 3 tablespoons orange liqueur

1. Peel the skin of the orange (only the orange part) and place them together with the sugar in a food processor. Process until the orange zest and sugar are finely blended. Cut the butter into small pieces, and add into the processor and process until smooth and almost fluffy.

2. Then, cream in the orange juice and the orange liqueur by droplets. Add a bit more orange juice if the muxture still remain creamy. Cover and refrigerate.

To finish off:

– 18 cooked crêpes
– 2 tablespoons caster sugar
– 1/3 cup orange liqueur
– 1/3 cup cognac

1. Place the orange butter in a large skillet set over low-moderate heat (or you can use a chafing dish set over an alcohol flame shoud you wish to perform this in public). Heat the butter until it is bubbling.

2. Dip both sides of a crêpe in the butter. Fold it in half and in half again, to form a wedge. Place it at the edge of the pan. Rapidly continue with the rest of the crêpes until all have been dipped, folded and arranged.

3. Sprinkle the crêpes with the sugar. Pour over them the orange liqueur and cognac. Avert your face and ignite the liqueur with a lighted match or a lighter. Shake the pan gently back and forth while spooning the flaming liqueur over the crêpes until the fire dies down. Serve.

Banana sticky toffee pudding

Posted in Dessert on June 25, 2008 by yongtzetan

Banana sticky toffee pudding, originally uploaded by yongtze.

I saw this recipe from Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Heaven and thought it would be nice for winter – moist, warm dessert with banana.

I did not have soft brown sugar so I substituted it with raw sugar. Also, I did not follow the recipe for the sauce because I did not have double cream at home. Instead I make a simple butter-caramel sauce. Fortunately it still turns out to be quite delicious.

Serves 4-6:

  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 180g soft brown sugar
  • 2 small eggs
  • 180g plain flour
  • 12g baking powder
  • 200g chopped banana

For the sauce:

  • 250g soft brown sugar
  • 140ml double cream
  • 65g unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Cream butter and sugar together. Then beat in eggs and fold in flour and baking powder. Mix in chopped bananas to the mixture.

2. Grease 6 moulds and sprinkle caster sugar at the bottom and sides (I did not have so many moulds so I used a small bread tin and increased the baking time a bit). Divide the mixture into the moulds and bake for 10 minutes.

3. Turn down the heat to 150 degree Celsius and continue to bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

4. When the pudding is almost done, place sugar, cream and butter in a pan and bring to boil. When all sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and pour it over the baked pudding to serve.

Crème caramel

Posted in Dessert on May 31, 2008 by yongtzetan

Crème caramel, originally uploaded by yongtze.

I have to say I am a crème caramel man. Crème brûlée might be fancier but crème caramel with its sweet smooth caramel and silky soft custard is always irresistible to me. The recipe is from Gerard Depardieu's 'My Cookbook', which he developed together with his head chef, Laurent Audiot.

Serves 4:

  • 15g butter
  • 500g milk
  • 2 vanilla pods (I used 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence)
  • 4 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 50g sugar

For the caramel

  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 10 sugar cubes (I used 10 teaspoons of caster sugar)

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celcius. Grease 4 ramekins with the butter.

2. For the caramel: Boil water with the sugar in a thick-bottomed saucepan until it forms a pale golden caramel. Divide the caramel between the ramekins, tilting them in all directions to coat the base and sides. Leave to cool.

3. Heat the milk gently with the vanilla pods, split in half, in a large saucepan, simmering for 5 minutes. Remove the vanilla pods, scrape out the seeds and add them to the milk.

4. Beat the whole eggs, the extra yolk and the sugar in a large bowl until white and frothy, then pour in the heated milk in a thin stream, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. When the mixture is combined, strain through a fine sieve and pour it into the ramekins.

5. Prepare a bain-marie by filling a deep roasting tin two-thirds full with boiling water and setting ramekins in it. Bake in the hot oven for about 20 minutes.

6. Remove the ramekins from the oven while the custards are still slightly wobbly in the centre and leave them to just warm or completely cold. Serve them in the ramekins or turn them out onto individual serving plates, like this:

Crème caramel, originally uploaded by yongtze.

Orange soufflé

Posted in Dessert on April 28, 2008 by yongtzetan

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Orange soufflé, originally uploaded by yongtze.

It’s always a magical moment to see a soufflé puffing up in the oven! Light and fluffy but full of orange flavour – This orange soufflé is easier to make than it seems.

Makes 2 soufflé

  • 1 orange
  • 170ml orange juice
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 2 egg whites

For the orange strawberry sauce

  • 120g strawberries
  • 1 teaspoon Grand Marnier
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

1. Section the orange, leaving only the juicy part – no seeds, skin, white pith, and membranes. In a medium saucepan, heat the orange juice and two thirds of the sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the sectioned orange, simmer for about 5 minutes. Leave it to cool for a bit.

2. Measure 45ml of the orange juice mixture and put it in a food processor to blend – this forms the base of the soufflé. Work in the Grand Marnier. Return the orange juice mixture to the saucepan.

3. For the orange strawberry sauce, hull the strawberries. Purée them in a food processor with the Grand Mariner, sugar, and 1 tablespoons of the reserved orange juice. Chill for serving.

4. Heat the oven to 200 degree C. Butter two ramekins (250ml each) generously and chill them for 10 minutes in the freezer. And butter them again. Set them on a baking sheet.

5. Whip th egg whites with a teaspoon of the remaining sugar until the whites hold a stiff peak. Add remaining sugar and stir with a spoon until the whites are glossy and form a long peak when the spoon is lifted.

6. Heat the orange juice mixture until the edges start to bubble. Take it off the heat and add a quarter of the egg whites, stirring until well mixed. Add this mixture to the remaining whites and fold together as lightly as possible.

7. Transfer the mixture to the ramekins, filling them to the rim and run your thumb around edge of the mixture to detach it from the ramekin so it rises in a "hat". Bake the soufflé until puffed and brown, about 12 – 15 minutes.

8. Once done, rush the soufflés to the table because they will start collapsing once out of the oven. Poke a hole in the centre and pour in some cold orange strawberry sauce to serve.

Recipe adapted from Anne Willan’s "A Kitchen in Burgundy".

Sweet potato soup

Posted in Chinese cuisine, Dessert on April 11, 2008 by yongtzetan

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Sweet potato soup, originally uploaded by yongtze.

Sweet potato soup is one of a few things that I remember eating when I was a kid. It’s kind of like a dessert but not necessarily served after a meal. The sweet and gingery soup and the sweet potatoes will warm you up on a cold day. And it’s absolutely dead simple to make.

Serves 4:

  • 2-3 sweet potatoes
  • palm sugar
  • one big knob of ginger

1. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into about 4cm pieces. Slice ginger into slices.

2. Place the sweet potato pieces and ginger slices into a pot, and add enough water to cover them or a bit more. Start cooking over medium heat. Once the water is boiling, add enough palm sugar for the soup is sweet enough to your liking. Cook gently for about 15-20 minutes. Serve hot.

Kuih Seri Muka

Posted in Dessert, Nyonya cuisine on March 7, 2008 by yongtzetan

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Kuih Seri Muka, originally uploaded by yongtze.

Kuih are colourful sweet "cakes" in Malaysia. However, the Malay concept of "cakes" is different from that of the Western one. They are most often steamed than baked, and thus very different in texture and flavour from Western cakes. Most common ingredients are glutinous rice, coconut cream, grated coconut, pandan (for flavouring) and gula melaka or palm sugar.

More interestingly, kuih are not necessarily served as dessert at the end of a meal. Instead, they are popularly served for breakfast and afternoon tea, or as snacks at anytime of the day.

Kuih Seri Muka is one of the most popular Nonya kuih in Malaysia. It is easily recognised by the top green custard layer and the bottom white-coloured glutinous rice layer. The top green layer is flavoured by pandan and should be sweet; whereas the bottom glutinous rice layer should has a tinge of saltiness to bring out the coconut flavour.

This was actually my first attempt to make kuih. It tasted all right but looked a bit ugly. The green custard layer is supposed to be smooth and flat – I shouldn’t have steamed the custard over high heat.

White base layer:

  • 300g glutinous rice
  • 250ml thin coconut milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 pandan leaves

Top green layer:

  • 4 eggs
  • 150g sugar
  • 400ml thick coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • half a tablespoons rice flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons pandan juice (or 2 teaspoons panda extract, the extract already contains green colouring)
  • optional: green colouring

1. Wash and soak glutinous rice overnight or at least 4 hours. Drain and place rice in a 20cm square tray, top with pandan leaves and steam over high heat for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the coconut milk with salt and sugar.

2.  Add the coconut milk mixture to the steamed rice, mix well and steam for another 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Once cooked, press the rice down to compact it. Keep warm.

3. While the rice is being steamed, prepare the green custard layer. Beat the eggs together with sugar and strain into a double boiler. Sift plain flour and rice flour into a big bowl, add coconut milk graduatlly and mix to a smooth batter. Add salt, pandan juice/panda extract, green colouring, if using, to the batter and mix well.

4. Strain the coconut mixture into the egg mixture, keep mixing them over a pot of gently steaming water. Be careful not to cook the egg or it will curdle. Keep warming up and mixing until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (similar to the ice-cream making).

5. Once ready, pour the green custard onto the steamed glutinous rice, cover and steam over low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until a small stick comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the custard.

6. Cool the kuih for 2 hours or until completely cooled before cutting.