Irresistible Granola Bars

7516830816_IMG_1463I love Granola Bars! I love it how it is chewy nutty fruity sweet all at the same time. When I was younger, I used to love the ones with yoghurt coating but my tastebuds have matured over the years hence, the less sinful ones are my go-tos. Totally need to watch my diet!!

After my second pregnancy, I just couldn’t swallow down the overnight oats as before. I used to eat it for breakfast in an attempt to increase my breastmilk. I needed to find something to make with oats as it actually does help with my milk supply. I was watching Urban Cook on Asian Food Channel and saw how easy it was to make. So, I decided to attempt making it.

I am so totally in love with it. I can finish the bars all by myself within 3 days. I can’t stop snacking on it. I love it to bits!

So here I share this simple recipe with you…

Granola Bars

  • 4 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup nuts of your choice
  • 1 cup dried raisin/dates or dried fruits of your choice
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I prefer smooth but it’s up to you)
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  1. Pre-heat your oven at 120 deg Celsius, fan mode.
  2. Prepare a 13 x 9 pan or a 8 x 8 inch pan if you’re halving the recipe.
  3. Roughy chopped the nuts into smaller pieces. Toast it with the oatmeal for approximately 10 minutes in the oven. You may want to stir the oatmeal and nuts halfway so that it is evenly toasted.
  4. Chopped the dates and dried fruits into small pieces.
  5. Place the toasted oatmeal in a big mixing bowl. Stir the chopped nuts and fruits in until evenly combined.
  6. Increase your oven temperature to 160 deg Celsius. Cover it with a baking paper.
  7. Under low fire, stir the peanut butter, honey, brown sugar and coconut oil and cook it for around 3-5minutes until it has combine to become a smooth liquid.
  8. Pour the peanut sauce over the oatmeal mix and stir until all the dried ingredients are evenly coated.
  9. Spread the mixture evenly to your baking sheet into your desired thickness. I usually do mine smaller than the pan size. Bake for 20-25min.
  10. Let it cool for 10  minutes and cut it into you preferred size.

My Love for Beef – Gyudon

Beef Bowl | Khasfooddiary

I love anything beef and I absoutely love Japanese food. My favourite is sushi and sashimi but I occasionally love a rice meal like Gyudon. I saw a short video that someone shared on Facebook and how easy it is to prepare. So, I decided to try it. And of course, we are not able to use mirin and sake, hence a few adjustment have to be made.

After trying to cook this dish a few times, I finally came across the perfect thin beef shabu-shabu that is halal. I found it at Giant @ IMM. It makes the most perfect Gyudon, just like the ones you get at Yoshinoya. The brand is from Australia and I hope Giant won’t stop selling so that I can always get my supply to satisfy my craving.

Beef Shabu2 | Khasfooddiary

Then I went to Global Halal Hub and found a halal “mirin”. Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine which contains alcohol which makes it not halal. The ingredients in this halal “mirin” are glucose syrup, yeast extract and some vinegar and preservatives. I believe you can always substitute all this with sugar and vinegar, honestly. I bought as I was curious to try.

Jap Sweet Sauce | Khasfooddiary

The next important ingredient for Gyudon is Dashi. What is Dashi? It is a Japanese stock made from seaweed and fishes. It is usually used as a base in miso and other soups. I found a small bottle of Dashi powder sold in Redmart and decided to give it a try. There’s no halal stamp but I read the ingredients and it looks safe to me. But for those who are more strict, the alternative is to buy bonito flakes and grind it to powdery form. That’s exactly how it smells like. The function of it is to flavour our gravy/liquid for this dish.

You know what? This dish reminds me of lauk kicap but with a Japanese twist and tasty slices of beef. Yum!!

Let’s move on to the recipe…

GYUDON (JAPANESE BEEF BOWL)
(serves 2)

  • 200g Beef shabu-shabu
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp dashi powder
  • 2 tbsp Japanese sweet sauce (substitute with vinegar)
  • 1 tbsp sweet soya sauce
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger, julienne
  • salt & pepper
  • Cooked white rice
  1. Heat a skillet in medium low fire and pour 1 cup water in.
  2. Add dashi, sweet sauce, soya sauce into it. Stir and bring to a boil. If you are using vinegar, you may want to add a bit more soya sauce to balance the sweetness.
  3. Add the onion and ginger slices and cook for 3 minutes or until the onion softens.
  4. Add beef slices and turn down heat to a gentle simmer. Taste and feel free to season with salt and/or pepper if needed.
  5. Serve the beef over bowls of rice, with some of the gravy poured over the beef and rice. I usually add some steamed my favourite vegetables to have a balanced meal.

No Crumbs – Fish & Chips

Fish & Chips

Which type do you prefer – The crumb breaded fish and chips or the smooth batter coated fish and chips? It is the latter for me! However, most of the recipes you’ll find will always be beer battered. As much as I would like to try it, I can’t because it’s not halal. So I have to make it myself and modified the recipe for my own consumption.

You will just have to substitute the beer with club soda. Recently, club soda / soda water can be easily found in the supermarket here in Singapore. Especially now that F&N has also distributed it’s own brand of club soda hence, making it easily available in Fairprice. No, soda water is not Ice Cream Soda, I learnt it the hard way. Yes, I tried making fish and chips using Ice Cream Soda and it was a disaster. I tried using Root Beer too and it was not too bad. It was presentable and edible but it desperately needed improvement.

Also, nothing goes better with fish  chips than tartar sauce. However, you know you do not want to buy tartar sauce especially for one meal which you have occasionally. But what I do have in my fridge is all the time is mayonnaise. So, I decided to make my tartar sauce with the daily staples which you usually have at home, at least for me. All you need is mayo, shallots(optional) and lemon.

So, here I am presenting to you my fish and chips recipe:

FISH & CHIPS
(serves 2)

For the fish

  • 4 portion size white fish (I bought frozen flounder)
  • 1 cup flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp + 1 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch of cayenne/paprika powder (optional)
  • 5 oz club soda
  • vegetable oil for frying
  1. Defrost the fish portions if you’re using frozen fish, which I did. You may slice it into smaller cuts, if you prefer.
  2. Mix ½ cup of flour with the onion powder, garlic powder, some salt and pepper and cayenne powder for some kick.
  3. Mix the other ½ cup of flour with onion powder, garlic powder, some salt and pepper and the club soda.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan till very hot.
  5. Dip the fish into the dry flour first and coat.
  6. Then dip into the beer batter and coat completely.
  7. Fry the fish in the oil, dipping the fish carefully in. Do not cook too many at one time.
  8. When golden on one side, flip over. It should take about 2 – 3 minutes per side.
  9. Drain the fish on a paper towel.
  10. Serve with homemade tartar sauce (recipe below)!

TIP: You can double the recipe to serve more people. With this recipe, I will still have leftover batter. I usually store the leftover batter in the fridge and use it within the next 3 days.

** Consistency of the batter should be slightly thin, somewhere along the lines of pancake batter. Depending on the brand of club soda you’re using, you may have to add slightly more to thin the batter.

Tartar sauce

For the tartare sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • ~1 -2 tbsp of lemon juice
  1. Finely chopped the shallots. You may substitute shallots with pickled cucumber or anything you like. I happen to love shallots and onions.
  2. Stir the shallots and lemon juice with the mayo
  3. You may adjust the amount of lemon juice until the taste of the tartar sauce is just right for you.
  4. Store in the fridge until ready to serve.

Leftovers – Pesto Pasta Salad

Pesto Pasta Salad

I’ve been cooking pasta for a long time now and up till now, I still am not able to gauge the quantity to boil for our meals and will most of the time end up with extra cooked pasta. However, I learnt that it’s a good thing to have on hand – unused cooked pasta. Why? I can add it to salads, make small meals when I’m feeling peckish, pasta for my 3 year old and etc.

Today was one of the days that I am home for lunch out of this busy week. I opened my fridge and there was leftover salad (which needs to be used up asap), leftover penne, leftover chicken slices from the weekend cooking, my homemade pesto. So without much thinking I made pesto pasta salad. It was convenient and fast as no cooking is involved. The only “cooking” was to warm the penne and chicken slightly in the microwave.

Nothing is more comforting than that taste or garlic, basil and pine nuts mixed together. I usually make a large batch of pesto and freeze them in ice trays and when I need to use them, I will take out the quantity I need and thaw. It keeps well and the best thing about pesto pasta salad is that you do not have to cook it. It’s great if you do not have much time and perfect for picnics.

There’s so many types of pesto you can make from different vegetables but my favourite is still the classic basil and pine nuts pesto. Once, I tried substituting pine nuts with walnuts and it turned out quite horrible. Maybe the quality of walnuts was not good? Not to sure but it was not the pleasant. Hence, it’s best to invest in pine nuts even though I know it’s rather expensive.

It can be quite tricky to get pine nuts in Singapore. I can only find it at Cold Storage and a packet of it can cost around $7 – $12, depending on the brand. I usually need 2 packets fort the recipe and I will have some leftovers. You may use the leftover for salads or other dishes. It’s also delicious eaten on its own, though impractical given the price.

So, let me share the recipe of the pesto with you.

CLASSIC BASIL PESTO

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3 cup pine nuts (walnuts may be substituted)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Toast the pine nuts in a toaster oven or a small pan. Make sure  you watch it constantly as it burns easily and fast.
  2. In a food processor, finely chop the garlic and basil leaves until fine.
  3. Add cheese, pine nuts, salt, and pepper; pulse until the consistency of a coarse paste.
  4. With the food processor running, slowly pour olive oil through the feed tube and continue mixing until the oil is completely combined with paste.
  5. Store in airtight container or glass jar in refrigerator for up to one week.
  6. Freeze in ice cube trays. Add additional olive oil on top of the pesto when freezing in tray. Store frozen pesto cubes in plastic freezer bags in freezer for up to 6 months.

My Favourite Dish – Lauk Kicap Ayam

main

Haven’t had any time to blog for sooo long as I was uninspired and was really occupied at work, at home, with life. To sum up my life right now, heavily pregnant and waiting impatiently for my baby no. 2 to come out.

Baby K, my no. 1 has started pre-school and our lifestyle pretty much changed after that. I has to start cooking dinner and plan more things around the house. But I’m actually enjoying it although it gets me really tired sometimes, plus the fact that I’m pregnant.

My first malay dish that I decided to cook was my favourite – Ayam Masak Kicap (Chicken in Soya Sauce gravy) and it was a success and I was so happy with myself. I don’t think anyone can fail cooking this. It’s simple and fool proof and I need to record this recipe somewhere so that I can refer back when I want to cook it again. Honestly, it’s one of the simplest malay dishes without taking out your blender or pestle and mortar.

It’s hard to take a good picture of malay dishes and I am still working on it. I’m sorry the picture sucks and doesn’t do any justice to how good this taste. It’s best eaten with hot steaming white rice. Yummy!

spices

AYAM MASAK KICAP (CHICKEN IN SOYA SAUCE GRAVY)
(serves 2)

  • ½ fresh chicken cut into 4 small pieces
  • 1tbsp salt
  • 1tbsp turmeric powder
  • 2cups oil (approx) for deep frying
  • 2-3 potatoes cut into wedges
  • Bean vermicelli (optional)
  • Eggs, sunny side up (optional)
  • ½ cup kicap manis (thick soya sauce)
  • 1tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2cups water
  • 2pcs asam keping (Garcinia atroviridis)
  • 2-3pcs chilli cut into halves (green or red)

Aromatics

  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thinly
  • 3 shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1 inch ginger, julienne
  1. Coat chicken with salt and turmeric powder till even and set aside.
  2. Blanched the vermicelli in cold/hot water to soften it and set aside.
  3. Preheat oil and fry the potato wedges till golden brown. Set aside and drain oil.
  4. Fry the eggs and set aside.
  5. Fry the chicken parts till 3/4 cooked. Set aside and drain oil.
  6. Lessen the oil till about 1/2 cup and fry the cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, cardamom (4 sekawan) till fragrant.
  7. Then add the balance aromatics ingredients till fragrant and soft.
  8. In another measuring cup or bowl, combine the soya sauce, oyster sauce and water. Once ready, add it to the pan and stir.
  9. Add the fried chicken till the gravy boils.
  10. Add the asam keping and sliced chilli. Let the gravy boil and taste and season with salt and pepper accordingly.
  11. Add the soften suhun and fried eggs to the completed dish.

Fluffy Pancakes

Nutella Strawberry 2I’ve been making pancakes almost every other week. My son loves them! Either that, he just loves eating something with maple syrup. He’s quite a picky eater, sometimes. But the good thing is, I LOVE PANCAKES TOO!! I can eat it everyday. And now that I know how to make nice looking plus good tasting pancakes, I no longer need to buy from McDonald’s!! But nothing can beat their maple syrup though!

Pancake cut

Pacncake with Nutella, Peanut Butter and Banana

This is easy to make and it uses all the basic ingredients that you may/should have in your pantry and no mixer needed. I’ve tried many recipes and this by far is the simplest and fluffiest recipe which I really like.

From this basic recipe, you may add in whatever condiments you like, chocolate chip, blueberries, sprinkles, etc. Sweet or savoury, pancakes are the most versatile food can make for breakfast, for lunch or for supper.

Pancake savoury

I had this for lunch. Pancakes with mushroom cream sauce and scrambled eggs.

FLUFFY PANCAKES
serves ~3-4 persons

  • 1 ½ cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp (45g) butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla

    Pancake prep

  1. Melt the butter in a microwave. In a big bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar with a whisk.
  2. Add the eggs and whisk. Slowly add the milk while whisking.
  3. Add the melted butter and whisk again till combine.
  4. Heat your nonstick pan or skillet, no oil needed.
  5. Use a suitable ladle or scoop that meets the size of pancakes you need. Mine was around 1/4 cup size. Scoop the batter to the pan pouring from the centre and letting it flow into a round shape by itself. Doesn’t have to be perfect.
  6. Cook one side for around 2-3 minutes on medium low fire. You may flip once you see bubbles appear and the edges underneath is golden. (Tip: I usually take a slight peep on how done it is by lifting the edge up using my cooking spatula).
  7. I can make around 10-11 pcs of 4″ width pancakes. The first piece is usually a test piece and the “ugly” piece but definitely still edible! I always use that to gauge how big the flame should be, how long it takes to cook and the next piece will be PERFECTO!
Pancake Prep 2

Mine doesn’t have that much bubbles, hence I have to peek underneath once I notice the edges a cooked. Voila! That perfect golden brown that puts a smile on my face.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I’m always happy when I have extra time while waiting for something/someone and I’m inside a mall. The first place I’ll be at is the Supermarket. That’s my favourite place. I love looking at what’s new, what’s old, what’s strange, what’s cool and what’s changed.

Since I moved to our own home, I’ve always stocked up on cheese(s). Anything interesting or on sale. I do have to be careful though on the rennet they use, be careful that it is not pork base. To be safe, always opt for non-animal rennet. I use cheese for pasta, for mac & cheese, for sandwiches, for some of our meals, for desserts and especially for Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Honestly, you can play around as much as you want with Grilled Cheese sandwich, adding pretty much whatever you like. Honestly, I’m still finding the perfect blend of cheese that my husband and I really loved. Sometimes I even forget which cheese I used that we used to like. Lol! Maybe I should start recording it down.

But here’s a pretty good base recipe for you to start with.

grilled cheese prep 2

GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

Sandwich

  • Sandwich Bread (6pcs)
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • Gruyere, grated
  • Butter, softened
  • Black Pepper

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp real mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/8 cup parmesan, grated finely
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce n set aside.
  2. Grate the cheeses and mixed it together so that it is evenly distributed.
  3. Butter the breads on one side, making sure to cover every corner. I usually arrange the breads on a big chopping board to be neat.
  4. Turn 3 of the breads over and slather a generous amount of the sauce on it.
  5. Put a handful of cheese mix on the bread and place the bread without sauce on top and you’re ready to Grill!
  6. Heat up your pan, no oil needed since you’ve already buttered the bread.
  7. Grill till golden brown or darker, your preference so that the cheese inside is hot and melted.
  8. Cut into half and serve hot!

grilled cheese prep 3
I bought this pan from a Japanese supermarket. You can cover and flip to cook on both sides. The only bad thing is that you can only make one sandwich at a time.

Choco Salty Caramel Tart

Choc Salted Tart 5

I’ve always visited these cafes and restaurants and wondered how they make their tart a straight edge; as in not fluted. It makes the desserts look so professional and pretty and so “cafe-like”. I wanted to make one, just like that! Sounds so superficial right?! LOL!

I’ve thought of so many ways in my mind how it could be done. But wondered whether that ludicrous method that I have in my head is true. One of the method I thought of was to cut the base using a cutter, leaving the cutter as a mould for the tart to bake in. Then cut a thin strip and then fixing it to sides of the cutter and at the same time adhering it to the base. But all that handling is crazy! Crust will soften and melt in no time and it will be hard to handle in our weather here.

But finally, I found how it’s made. I was blog surfing and found that there’s a product called a bottomless tart ring. Now I know what are those shallow rings which has rounded tips are for. OMG. Suddenly I was enlightened and felt stupid at the same time. Hey, give me a break, I’m not professionally trained.

Anyway, I finally bought it recently and knew I had to make something out of it. So, my chocolate craving led me to this.

Honestly, I’ve attempted a lot of chocolate salted caramel tart before. I’ve tried using many different types of chocolate, from Valrhona to Ghirardelli to Hershey. Most of my taste testers prefer the generic brand of chocolate, say Hersheys to the rest. Maybe that’s what our tongues are used to and we do not have such expensive taste. And maybe I did not use the correct mix or type when using Valrhona. I usually stock up on Guanaja which might be a tad too dark for most people. My point is, stick to generic chocolate for this recipe to appeal to the masses. Generic but make sure it’s good quality and not those cheap compound chocolate.

I really like this recipe as it is not as cloying as normal chocolate ganache. This recipe requires the chocolate portion to be baked as it has eggs. It’s not very custard-y but “light” enough for me to enjoy a big slice on my own. 🙂

Choc Salted Tart 6

CHOCO SALTY CARAMEL TART

Sweet Tart Crust (9″ or 10″ tart)

  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 tbsp (~120g) very cold (or frozen) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg yolk

Chocolate Filling

  • Filling:
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk

Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tbsp salted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
  • 1 tsp salt

Making the tart base

  1. Prepare all the materials needed.
    • Cover a baking sheet with aluminium foil. Place the tart ring on it.
    • Butter the tart ring including the tray or spray with oil for easy removal of the baked shell.
    • Prepare a small piece of cling wrap to wrap excess dough.Prepare egg yolk in a bowl.
    • Weigh and cut small pieces of butter and store into fridge
  2. Put flour, icing sugar and salt into a food processor. Pulse a few times to mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. Scatter the very cold butter onto the dry ingredients.
  4. Pulse a few times more to break/cut the butter into the flour till the mixture looks like oatmeal flakes and size of beans. It’s okay if you have small chunks of butter, you want that for a more tender and flaky crust.
  5. Whisk the egg yolk in small bowl and pour it into the food processor gradually.
  6. Pulse the mixture till it comes together and forms a dough. Do not overmix/overknead as you want to prevent the formation of gluten and butter will melt. Knead the dough gently while incoporating all the flour mixture that have escaped mixing.
  7. Wrap the dough in in a cling film and store it in the fridge till you’re ready to use. OR
  8. Place the dough between 2 sheets of wax paper and roll them until desired size, preferably around  ~0.5cm thick. However, if you prefer thicker crust, you may adjust the thickness. Just keep in mind that the crust will rise slightly after being baked. I had quite an amount of leftover crusts that I managed to make another 4″ tart. 
  9. Do save a small round ball of dough for patching up cracks later or filling up the edges later.
  10. Freeze the crust for at least 30 minutes, preferably more before baking.
  11. Center a rack in the over and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F / 170 deg C. Butter the shiny side of a piece of aluminium foil and fir the foil, buttered side down, tightly against the crust. (Since you froze the crust, you can bake it without weights.) Put the tart pan on a baking sheet and bake the crust for 20 minutes.
  12. Carefully remove the foil. If the crust has puffed, press it down gently with the back of a spoon. Patch the crust if necessary espcially the edges as they tend to soften and melt while baking, then transfer the crust to a cooling rack (keep it in its mould)

 While baking the base…

  1. Make the filling, in a medium size saucepan placed over medium heat, add the heavy cream and whole milk. Heat until the mixture boils.
  2. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate until the mixture becomes smooth. In a medium size mixing bowl whisk the eggs together.
  3. Slowly pour about ¼ of the mixture into the eggs, whisking vigorously to combine (and to prevent the eggs from scrambling). This will temper the eggs. Slowly pour the mixture back into the pan, whisking to combine.
  4. Pour the filling into the tart and place in the oven at 325 degrees F / 160 deg C for 20 minutes or until set. (You do not have to finish the whole batch into one tart. I had quite an amount of leftover. It all depends on how thick of a chocolate layer you want to have. Keep in mind to leave some room for the salted caramel layer on top).

While baking the tart with filling

  1. While the tart is baking, prepare the salted caramel. Heat the granulated sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The sugar will begin to form clumps and will eventually melt and turn brown.
  2. Once the sugar has melted completely, add the butter. The mixture will bubble, continue stirring for 1-2 minutes or until the butter has completely melted.
  3. Take the pan off the fire , then add the cream. Keep stirring till the bubbles die down. Put it back onto the fire and boil for 1 minute then remove from the heat and add the salt. Allow the caramel to cool along with the tart for about 15 minutes.
  4. Pour the caramel over the tart, taking care not to let it spill over the crust. You may have a few tablespoons left over. Place the tart into the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.

Whipped Molasses Filled Doughnuts

portrait

We were making burgers during the weekend. I finally got around to making my own burger buns. I have been wanting to make a brioche burger buns after hearing it so many times on food network shows. The neighbourhood bakeries here do not make/sell any nice burger buns that I always see on television. I can drop by those high end bakeries in town but it’s too troublesome and pricey.

Anyway,I had such a horror making the buns at first. I had so much trouble with activating the active dry yeast in milk! It just didn’t bloom and I wasted 2 sachets of the yeast! I’ve always used instant yeast for breads actually but decided to try active dry yeast for this one. I’m not sure what went wrong but it’s definitely not the expiry date. Maybe The temperature of the milk but I did use a thermometer and waited 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 40 minutes until I got really tired of waiting.

I gave up  and luckily I had my last packet of instant yeast. I used this site: http://www.traditionaloven.com/conversions_of_measures/yeast_converter.html to gauge how much instant yeast to use.

The recipe required quite an amount of butter that it got me worried. Cos my dough ended up being so soft but that’s also because the butter was super soft after being left out of the fridge for almost an hour.

I decided to wait to see if it rise. But somewhere at the back of my mind, they were thoughts of dumping the whole thing cos it looked very icky and not smooth like a usual bread dough. Maybe cos I added the milk too late cos I almost forgot about it. Thank god, I waited cause if I didn’t I wouldn’t have had any delicious doughnuts to eat the next day! Yummeh!

Initially the doughnuts were supposed to be Salted Caramel Filled Doughnuts but I used the wrong type of “brown sugar” and the molasses overpowered the salted caramel in the pastry cream. So, I got my Whipped Molasses Filled Doughnuts in the end which was super tasty too!

closeup

WHIPPED MOLASSES FILLED DOUGHNUT

Brioche Dough (adapted from Flour Arrangements)

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups bread flour
  • ¾ cups (1½ sticks or ~175g) unsalted butter, softened

Whipped Molasses Filling (adapted from addmorebutter.com)

  • 110g caster sugar
  • 40ml water
  • large pinch of salt
  • 250ml milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 35g molasses sugar/dark brown sugar
  • 20g cornflour
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 300ml double cream

Doughnuts

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar and
  • 1 tsp Cinammon powder (optional)

Making the brioche dough

  1. Lightly beat three of the eggs and milk in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine all purpose flour, sugar, salt and yeast together. Add the egg mixture. Stir on low speed with the paddle attachment until combined.
  3. Add bread flour, ½ cup at a time, mixing until well combined, about 5 minutes. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium speed until a smooth and elastic dough clears the sides of the bowl, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add butter a tablespoon at a time, vigorously kneading with the mixer until all the butter is completely incorporated and the dough becomes smooth once again. (It’s okay if your dough is not so smooth)
  4. Place the dough in a large, generously buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in volume, about 1½ -2 hours.
  5. Turn out the dough, punch it down, and knead it briefly, using a small amount of flour to prevent sticking if needed. ( I knead the dough by hand for at least 8-10 minutes till smooth since my initial dough was not smooth at all). Return the dough to the re-buttered bowl and refrigerate, covered, for 4 to 12 hours to proof.
  6. In the meantime, make you Whipped Molasses Filling.

Making the Molasses Pastry Cream Filling

  1. Place the caster sugar and water into a small saucepan over high heat.
  2. While the sugar is bubbling away for the caramel, place the milk into another saucepan and begin to warm.
  3. Watch the sugar syrup as it bubbles, swirling the pan every now and again to make sure that it cooks evenly. After a few minutes, the sugar should have become caramel. The colour should be golden brown.
  4. Make sure that the milk is nearly boiling and pour a small amount into the caramel off the heat. Be careful as the caramel will bubble violently. Once the bubbles die down, continue to add the rest of the milk. Stir the caramel milk over low heat, making sure that all the caramel pieces have dissolved.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks, dark brown sugar and cornflour. Pour over a small amount of the hot caramel milk and whisk into the egg yolks. Add the rest of the milk, stir and pour everything back into the pan to make your caramel pastry cream.
  6. Place the pan over medium heat and begin to cook the pastry cream. Slowly whisk the mixture until it starts to thicken. As soon as the pastry cream has thickened and begins to bubble, whisk very quickly on the heat to continue to cook out the cornflour; making sure it doesn’t burn. Once the pastry cream starts to bubble; cook it out for 2-3 minutes. Take off of the heat and whisk in the butter.
  7. Spoon into a bowl. Cover the surface with cling film and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hrs or until set like jelly.

Making the Doughnuts

  1. Take your brioche dough out of the fridge and line two baking trays with baking parchment ready for your cut doughnuts.
  2. Flour you work surface and tip the dough out onto it. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to ½ cm thick. Using a floured 2 inch cutter, cut out your doughnuts and place onto the prepared baking trays; leaving 1½ inches between each. Re-roll any scraps and cut out more doughnuts. Once all the doughnuts are cut, cover them with a kitchen cloth and leave to prove for 1½ – 2 hours or until doubled in size.
  3. When you’re ready to start frying your doughnuts, fill a large saucepan 2-3 inches deep with vegetable oil. Place over medium heat until the oil reaches 180°C. Get a shallow dish ready with some caster sugar and cinammon mix to drop your doughnuts into and a plate to set your sugared doughnuts on.
  4. Carefully pick up your doughnuts and drop in 2-3 at a time into the hot oil. Leave to cook on one side for a minute or two, then turn them over using a slotted spoon and cook on the other side for another minute until both sides are golden brown. (It’s really fascinating to watch the doughnut puff up while frying!) Do adjust the temperature of your oil accordingly; if it gets too hot, lower the temperature as your doughnuts may cook too quickly on the outside and remain raw in the centre.
  5. Once the doughnut is golden and cooked to perfection, take them out of the oil and I let is sit on a sieve layered with a bowl underneath so that the excess oil may drip off as the doughnut cools slightly. After a minute or 2, I rolled the hot doughnuts around the bowl of the cinnamon sugar mixture making sure it is coated all around. Move them onto another plate, making room for the next doughnuts.
  6. Once all the doughnuts are cooked, coated and cooled you can start to assemble.

Assembling the Doughnuts

  1. After your doughnuts are cool enough to handle, whipped the cold whipped cream until stiff peaks.
  2. Fold in the Molasses Filling into the whipped cream until it become a nice even mixture.
  3. Prepare a piping bag with Wilton Tip 230 (do use a coupler so that the tip stays in place).
  4. Pipe as much filling into the cooled doughnuts.

Pound Cake French Toast

edit

I had leftover Pound Cake. Yes, baked a whole pound cake and there was only 2 of us (minus one toddler) who just ate bits and pieces. Hence, the leftovers.

But I had a plan! A plan which was planned way before executing the plan. Lol! I’m talking nonsense aren’t I? Well, We had this french toast sampler at Mama’s Cafe at San Fran during our holidays last December. The cafe’s great and cosy, good food, friendly service, warm and inviting. And it never came across my mind to turn cakes into french toast. God knows what we do with all these leftover… Some even goes into the bin after a while. Why didn’t I think about it earlier? I’m pretty sure it existed for so long before I had it. You can literally make french toast out of any food actually!

Anyway, I thought it’d  be wonderful not just for breakfast, but for snack or supper or when you’re just feeling peckish.

Here’s the recipe below…

edited (bite)

POUND CAKE FRENCH TOAST
serves 2

  • 6 slices of Pound Cake (~1/2″ thick)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/3cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla pod
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • small pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • powdered sugar (optional)
  1. Slice pound cake into 6 slices (about ½-inch thick.)
  2. Whisk egg, milk, vanilla and spices in a medium bowl until well blended.
  3. Dip each pound cake slice into egg mixture making sure to coat all sides.
  4. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Add pound cake slices to skillet. Cook 2 minutes per side and turn over again on each side until golden brown.
  6. Sprinkle powdered sugar and top with fresh fruit or maple syrup.