Archive of ‘Recipe’ category

Matcha Do About Nothing (recipe)

Perhaps it’s the Asian in me but I love green tea in every possible form. Hot green tea at the end of a heavy meal; iced green tea to accompany a rather heavier meal… Green tea lattes and frappes… Green tea ice-cream, green tea froyo… Green tea macarons, green tea mochi… Green tea tiramisu, green tea cheesecake…

ERGBQPERUTPIWGEUBIVUWEBIREUQBGIWEBVIUWT. 

That’s how green tea makes me feel. (Sorry, I’m not particularly eloquent today.)

It does really well in baked goods because it has great depth of flavor and the slight bitterness means that the end result is never too sweet.

One of my friends, I, would have nothing to do with green tea. And that made me sad. Because, as I have said, green tea makes me feel ERGBQPERUTPIWGEUBIVUWEBIREUQBGIWEBVIUWT. But I made this for I, and it changed her mind. 

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups plain flour 
  • 2 tablespoons matcha (green tea powder) 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 225g unsalted butter, softened 
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 5 large eggs, beaten 
  • Pinch of salt 
METHOD
  1. Combine flour, matcha, baking powder and salt. Sift. 
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 
  3. Beat the eggs in gradually but DO NOT over-beat. 
  4. Fold in sifted dry ingredients. 
  5. Bake at 160°C, fan-forced, for… as long as it takes to get cooked hahaha. Very hard to say because all ovens are different and it depends on what cake-tin you are using. BUT I usually bake a loaf cake for anywhere between 45-55mins, and about 17mins for cupcakes. 

*watch it though, and make sure it doesn’t get too brown on the top – you may have to tent it with foil

If you’ll like to fashion this into cupcakes, feel free to do so. Here’s a recipe for matcha cream cheese frosting which is pretty to-die-for.
INGREDIENTS
  • 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1-2 cups icing sugar (very much a matter of taste)
  • 2-4 tsps matcha (also a matter of taste)
  • 285g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
METHOD
  1. Sift the icing sugar and matcha together.
  2. Beat the butter, icing sugar and matcha together.
  3. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add in the cream cheese and beat until smooth.
*DO NOT over-beat the frosting or it’ll be too runny for piping. Not that it really matters though, it still tastes amazing.

Make this, and you have much ado about something.

“In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion.” 

Much Ado About Nothing
(Act 5, Scene 4, lines 106-110)

And so, borrowing from Shakespeare, I leave it to you: if you are anti-matcha and do decide to make this, and end up falling in love (belatedly) with His Royal Greenness, I will forgive you for your past transgressions and promise not to hold anything bad you may have said about it in the past against you, because men are impulsive and frivolous, and that is my conclusion.

Or, if Mumford is more your thing than Shakespeare, maybe this is more up your street: 


Oh, man is a giddy thing.

Love it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be
There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

Alright, that was just depressing.

In an attempt to end this post off on a much more ERGBQPERUTPIWGEUBIVUWEBIREUQBGIWEBVIUWT note, speaking of Mumford brings to mind fun timez when my friend abbreviated Mumford as M&S, and said “I’m going to M&S in Glastonbury”, and I was so, so confused, so I responded incredulously with, “Can’t you go to one closer by you???”


Sometimes I’m so thick I don’t even.

Millionaire’s Shortbread (recipe)

I am just about to leave the house for M’s birthday dinner, which I am really looking forward to because there will be CAKE. Also because I love M quite a lot. 

So. Yes, yes I know. Another caramel recipe. This will be the last one (for now).

It’s just that I promised J a long time ago that I would put up a recipe up for these. It hadn’t really occurred to me to because it was more a throw-together kind of recipe to finish off some ingredients. It actually took a while because I was scrambling to remember which recipes I had used for the individual components. But it has been done. And so, as promised, I now deliver.

For you, J~~~

I’m hard-pressed to find anyone who doesn’t like Millionaire’s Shortbread. Shortbread base, slightly chewy caramel middle and chocolate to top it all off… What’s not to love? Plus these have seasalt in them, which counteracts the sweetness of the caramel and the chocolate as well as complementing the slight saltiness of the shortbread. Aside from the fact that it’s really quite bad for your waistline, you do feel like you’re rolling in riches when you eat these because they are so, so decadent. But then I suppose lots of millionaires are pretty tubby as well, so you can get away with it, methinks.

LAYER 1: SHORTBREAD 

This is very similar to the basic shortbread recipe I used here, except I cut down on the sugar, partly because I was being good, but more because we had 2 more layers of sweetness to go atop this.

INGREDIENTS
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4cups flour
  • pinch of salt
METHOD
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together.
  2. Mix in the vanilla, then the flour and salt.
  3. Add the mixture to a greased, lined pan of your choice. Don’t worry if the mixture seems very crumbly. Just press it into the pan. I used a 9-inch square pan here but it really doesn’t matter because it’s up to you how thick you want your shortbread layer to be.
  4. Bake at 160°C, fan-forced, for 5 minutes, then bake at 150°C, fan-forced, for 40 minutes.
  5. When done, let it cool.
LAYER 2: CARAMEL 
INGREDIENTS
  • 170g unsalted butter
  • 1 can condensed milk
  • 4tbsps golden syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped of its seeds OR 2 tsps vanilla bean extract
  • sea salt, to taste
METHOD
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  2. Whisk in the condensed milk, golden syrup and vanilla bean seeds until it comes together. Then, STOP STIRRING or it’ll crystalize and become grainy.
  3. Cook over low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it takes on the colour of toffee.
  4. When cool, pour over the shortbread layer.
  5. Sprinkle sea salt over the toffee layer before it has set.
LAYER 3: CHOCOLATE
INGREDIENTS
  • 200g milk chocolate
  • 140g 70% dark chocolate
  • *you can use any proportion of milk/dark chocolate so long as it amounts to a total of 340g in the end. This is just what works best for me.
  • sea salt, to taste
METHOD
  1. Melt the chocolate together until it is smooth, either on the stove-top or in the microwave.
  2. Pour over the toffee layer.
  3. Sprinkle sea salt over the chocolate layer before it has set.

When all 3 layers have set, cut into 16 squares. Eat 8, and give away the remainder. Or, eat 8, attempt to give away the remainder, but really only give away 4 because you get hungry during lessons. You will be forgiven in time.

Before I run off, I must must must show you guys 2 very wonderful things that popped up in my mailbox today. 
 
A card with a view of Glastonbury

 

A postcard from Burma
 
Two very uh, different cards but both beautiful in my eyes. Thank you A and W. Nothing but love for you both. :’)
 

Shortbread with Salted Caramel Glaze (recipe)

This one is dedicated to T, who hates caramel with a passion, but LOVED this, and who still raves about it every once in a while.

I make caramel so often that people think it’s my favorite thing but it honestly isn’t. I do love it though, and make it so often that sometimes before I sleep I actually discover caramel in my hair, and have to wash it again, which is just annoying.

Dieters should avoid caramel at all costs, because the only thing diet-friendly that goes into caramel is water, and that doesn’t even qualify as an ingredient, I don’t think.

But seriously, guys.

“If you’re afraid of butter, use cream.” (Julia Child)

If you’re afraid of both, um, WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?!?!?! >:[

White sugar, butter, heavy cream. Three very, very wrong things. But in the case of caramel, I’m inclined to think that three wrongs do most DEFINITELY make a right.

If this glossy, beauteous thing is anything to go by.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup caster sugar 
  • 2-3tbsps unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature 
METHOD
  1. Put the sugar into a pot, add ~2tbsps water and heat on stove on medium-high.
  2. Let the sugar melt into the mixture. Allow it to really bubble up and watch it slowly while it turns dark. (*DO NOT STIR because the sugar will just crystallize on the spoon.) 
  3. DO occasionally take the pan off the heat and give it a swirl just to make sure everything melts together properly. 
  4. When it has become as dark as you want – you can really take it quite far, don’t be ascared, kiddywinks!!!! – take it off the heat. 
  5. Immediately whisk in the butter.
  6. Whisk in the cream.

DONE.

This caramel is so, so easy, I’m pretty sure you’ll get it right even on the first try.

After you’ve made your basic caramel, feel free to add some vanilla bean, sea salt, spices like cinnamon or clove, or my personal favorite, orange zest.

For this recipe, I added sea salt. Just a pinch will do but it’s all a matter of taste.

Now let’s talk about that shortbread.

Shortbread is always delicious but twice-baked shortbread is a revelation. This method was made popular by Alice Medrich, one of my heroes, the First Lady of Chocolate. Baking the shortbread a second time takes the browning process even further and ensures you end up with extra crispy shortbread.


You can use any shortbread recipe. This is a really basic one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 170g unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1/2cup caster sugar 
  • 1/2tsp vanilla 
  • 1 3/4cups flour 
  • pinch of salt 
METHOD
  1. Cream the butter and sugar together. 
  2. Mix in the vanilla, then the flour and salt.
  3. Add the mixture to a greased, lined pan of your choice. Don’t worry if the mixture seems very crumbly. Just press it into the pan. (I used an 8-inch round cake pan here because that’s what I was in the mood for.) 
  4. Bake at 150°C in a fan-forced oven for ~45minutes but you need to be the judge of that because I kind of just take it out when it looks done to me. 
  5. Let it cool for 10mins, then cut into wedges or fingers as you like. 
  6. Lay the wedges or fingers out on a greased, lined cookie sheet or baking tray. MAKE SURE you separate them and leave a space around each one, or they won’t crisp up properly. 
  7. Put back in the oven and bake for another ~15minutes. 

Now, when your shortbread is cool, just pour that caramel over it and let it drape and slide down the sides as it pleases. Sprinkle with seasalt. 

 
Learning how to make salted caramel is a really useful skill, more so than photocopying, which I, for the life of me, cannot seem to do. It’s great to have a batch of homemade salted caramel in the fridge, as you can put it to a variety of uses.
salted caramel macchiato brownies 

to drape over a big, badass cake 
~THAT’S ALREADY GOT A THICK COAT OF 
MILK CHOCOLATE CARAMEL FROSTING~ 

as one of the layers in an 
oreo-crusted-salted-caramel-dark-chocolate-ganache-pie thingy 

as a last-minute topping for ice-cream, 
perfect with any nuts you have lying around 

You may also STOP AT STEP 2 and proceed to pour the mixture over some toasted hazelnuts to obtain hazelnut praline. 

As so.

Smash it up into shards of the most beautiful, delicious stained glass that you have ever seen. Or crumble finely. Great atop ice-cream or cake, or consumed on its own as a really quick nut brittle.

Oh right. Now I see why everyone thinks I love caramel. (Doesn’t help that I posted up a recipe for these caramel eclairs a few days ago.) Point taken.

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