Sunday, June 28, 2015

Chocolate Yogurt Cheesecake Recipe

Chocolate Yogurt Cheesecake


I made a Yogurt Cheesecake previously and commented that technically it was not a cheesecake since yogurt is not cheese. And texturally it was not quite a cheesecake either. Nevertheless it was delicious. However, from the texture perspective, this chocolate cheesecake more closely resembles a cheesecake texture. And the taste is fantastic.

And this version of cheesecake is cheaper since Greek or Turkish yogurt is much cheaper than cream cheese. I still stand behind the comment I made on the Yogurt Cheesecake Recipe post, you can have 3-4 slices, with no guilt. But don’t blame me if you notice the effects later.

Ingredients
Base
⅓ cup almond meal
¾ cup plain flour
¼ cup caster (superfine) sugar
90g butter, chopped

Filling
2 cups Greek yogurt
330 grams milk chocolate, melted, cooled
4 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons cornflour
1½ tablespoons water

Method
1.      To make the base, place the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until a rough dough forms.
2.      Line the base of a 20cm-round springform tin with baking paper. Place the base mixture into the base and flatten. Bake at 150°C/350°F until light golden, about 12-15 minutes.
3.      To make the filling, mix cornflour and water until there are no lumps, Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until the batter is smooth.
4.      Pour batter over the base and bake at 160°C/325°F until the centre is almost set, about 40-50 minutes.
5.      Remove from oven and run a metal spatula around the rim of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. This helps prevent cracking. Let the cheesecake cool for about 20-25 minutes before covering and placing in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Yogurt Cheesecake Recipe

Yogurt cheesecake 


Technically this is not a cheesecake since yogurt is not cheese. I hope the recipe naming police does not find me!

Texturally this is not quite a cheesecake either. I associate cheesecakes with having a rich dense filling. This cheeseless cheesecake has a 'lighter' filling, as the photo shows. 

Yogurt cheesecake


But it is delicious. I can imagine yogurt chocolate cheesecake will produce a better texture. I will try this next time.

If you are keeping an eye on costs, this cheesecake is cheaper since Greek or Turkish yogurt is much cheaper than cream cheese. This means you can have 3-4 slices, with no guilt. But don’t blame me if you notice the effects later.

In the photo you will see that the filling to base ratio is a bit out. I used less filling and more base.


Ingredients
Base
⅓ cup almond meal
¾ cup plain flour
¼ cup caster (superfine) sugar
90g butter, chopped

Filling
3⅓ cup Greek yogurt
4 eggs
1⅓ cups caster sugar
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ tablespoons cornflour
1½ tablespoons water

Directions
1.     To make the base, place the almond meal, flour, sugar and butter in a bowl. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until a rough dough forms.
2.     Line the base of a 20cm-round springform tin with baking paper. Place the base mixture into the base and flatten. Bake at 150°C/350°F until light golden, about 12-15 minutes.
3.      To make the filling, mix cornflour and water until there are no lumps, Add the rest of the ingredients and beat until the batter is smooth.
4.      Pour batter over the base and bake at 160°C/325°F until the centre is almost set, about 40-50 minutes.
5.      Remove from oven and run a metal spatula around the rim of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. This helps prevent cracking. Let the cheesecake cool for about 20-25 minutes before covering and placing in the refrigerator. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight before serving.

Yogurt cheesecake

Friday, June 12, 2015

Lazy Daisy Cake Recipe


Lazy Daisy Cake

At high school I lived for a year in the hostel. And that meant eating hostel food. Generally high school hostels are not renowned for putting out food that makes you jump with excitement. If you lived in a hostel, you will know what I am talking about. But I didn't dislike the food as much as other students. Maybe because I only lived for one year? Or its my taste buds.

Surely there were some dishes that even I could not stand. One that instantly comes to mind is beef olives. But there are a few dishes that I still have fond memories of. One of them was a simple plain cake with a crunchy coconut topping. I absolutely loved it. It was served in a bowl with a generous amount of custard.

I decided to search for this cake and came across lazy daisy cake, which matched the description. I don’t know where the name comes from. Perhaps a lazy lady called Daisy came up with the recipe. Irrespective of the interesting name, the cake is absolutely delicious.

My only criticism of the recipe is the level of sweetness. I used about a third less sugar than suggested by the recipe, and it was still really sweet. Next time I will use even less sugar.

Adopted from King Arthur Flour


Ingredients
Cake
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar (original recipe suggests 1 cup)
1 cup Flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup milk
1½ tablespoons butter

Topping
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar (original recipe suggests ½ cup + 2 tablespoons)
¼ cup milk
1 cup flaked coconut

Method
1.     In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs till frothy, then add the sugar, beating at high speed until mixture is thick and lemon-colored. Stir in the flour, baking powder and salt.
2.   In a saucepan, heat the milk and butter together to boiling. Add to ingredients in bowl, beating to combine.
3.      Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 175°C/350°F for 30 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly touched with your finger, and the edges begin to pull away from the pan. Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool for 10 minutes or so.
4.      To make the topping: Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the brown sugar, milk and coconut, stirring to combine. Pour the topping over the warm cake, and place under a broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown and bubbling.



Lazy Daisy Cake

Friday, May 29, 2015

Coffee Smoked Chicken Breast Recipe

Coffee Smoked Chicken Breast

This is a short cut method. Instead of smoking the chicken until it is cooked, I smoked for a short while and baked in the oven. Not only did this save time (and avoided smoking the whole house) but the smoke flavor was subtle. Chicken is a delicate meat so I think a subtle flavor works best, unlike other meats such as duck.

The smoking process was quite easy, and uses utensils readily available in most kitchen. If you don’t have a wok, you can use a pan that has a lid. You will need to make a rack in this case.

I stuffed the chicken breast with sun dried tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and garlic. It wasn't good. Sun dried tomatoes was overpowering, I used too much. I have not mentioned the stuffing in the recipe below. Its probably best to eat the chicken breast on its own, to fully appreciate the gentle smokiness.

Adopted from Ricardo Cuisine

Coffee Smoked Chicken Breast


Ingredients
5 chicken breasts, about 1 kg
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ cup coffee beans, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon juniper berries, coarsely ground
3 star anise, coarsely ground
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

Method
1.      Line the bottom of a wok with aluminum foil.
2.      Spread coffee, spices and sugar on the aluminum foil. Place a rack in the wok. It should be 1½ to 2 inches from the bottom of the wok.
3.      Brush the breasts with soy sauce. Place chicken breast, skin down, onto the rack.
4.      Heat wok, uncovered, over high heat, until you see smoke, about 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and cover the wok.
5.      Smoke chicken breast for 5 -8 minutes. The time depends on how strong you want the smoky flavor to be.
6.      Remove breast from the wok. Place skin side down on a lined baking tray and baked at 400°F/205°C for 10 minutes. Flip the breast and bake for further 5-8 minutes, until done. Internal temperate should be 165°F/75°C. Rest for 5 minutes before serving.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Cardamom Shortbread Recipe

Cardamom Shortbread 

These cookies are divine, buttery, aromatic, delicate and warming.

Regular plain shortbread is fantastic, shortbread with cardamom is special. Having a pile of cardamom cookies is a good way to test your will power.


Ingredients
1 cup butter, softened
½ cup sugar
2 cups flour
¼ cup corn flour
6 cardamom pods, freshly ground or crushed (or use more, or less)

Directions
1.      Cream butter and sugar until the mixture is smooth
2.      Add flour, corn flour and cardamom and mix until well incorporated
3.      Roll out the dough between sheets of grease proof paper until the dough is ½ cm thick. Let it chill in a refrigerator for 20 minutes. Bake at 160°C/310°F until golden, about 15-20 minutes



Cardamom Shortbread 

Monday, May 11, 2015

Jarret de Porc Pochée et Roti Recipe

Jarret de porc pochée et roti

Jarret de porc pochée et roti is poached and roasted pork knuckle, in English. The dish doesn’t sound that fancy now, does it!

However, it is very delicious. The meat and the skin are flavourful, tender and a bit gelatinous, in a good way.  The skin did not get crispy, even after spending some time in the oven. A few areas were marginally crispy, but only just. If you want a version with cracking, try Schweinshaxe. This is the German version.

I’ve tried both versions, I like them both but I am slightly more inclined towards Schweinshaxe, because of the crispy skin, and the dish is less ‘wet’.

Adopted from Cahier gourmand

Ingredients
1 pork hock, around 1.2 kg
2 onions, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 star anise
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Bouquet garni
Pepper
120 grams butter (I used much less)
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
1 litre veal stock

Method
1.      Place the hock in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and drain.
2.      In an ovenproof casserole, add 50g of butter and oil and brown the hock on all sides. Add vegetables and sweat for a few minutes, then add the garlic cloves, veal stock, star anise, bouquet garni and pepper (do not salt). Cover the casserole and bake at 130°C/266°F for 3 hours, basting regularly.  Alternatively, instead of baking, you can simmer on the stovetop, on low heat for around 2 hours, or until the hock is tender.
3.      When cooked, remove the casserole from the oven and increase the temperature of the oven to 180°C/355°F
4.      Place the hock in another baking dish, drizzle the remaining melted butter and cook for about 15 minutes to get a nice golden brown.

5.      To make the sauce, strain poaching liquid and add to a large saucepan. Place over medium high until reduced by around two thirds, or until it reaches the desired consistency. Add salt to taste

Jarret de porc pochée et roti

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