Lemon Poppy Seeds Chiffon Cake

Its been a long time since I bake something!

 

I was busy for my assignment submission last few weeks, finally I can have some me time to bake for my family. I was so lost and having a hard time when deciding want I want to bake, I asked my parents for suggestion, banana cake, chocolate cake, honey cake, soft and fluffy cake, why not lemon chiffon cake?

 

I was planned to make honey lemon chiffon cake, but the honey flavour is not obvious enough, so I don’t want to add honey to the name of this cake. The poppy seed gives a nice crunch and texture to this cake.

 

I was wondering, is it because of the acidity from lemon juice, the yolk batter is a little struggle to mix with the meringue. But the outcome is quite nice, super soft yet firm enough to hold, not too sweet, with delicate crumbs. Try to make this cake and tell me how much you love it! ūüôā

 

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RECIPE (Serves 12) :

 

A:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 10g granulated sugar
  • 30g oil
  • 30g honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 35g lemon juice
  • 1 whole medium lemon zest
  • 30g water
  • 100g cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs poppy seeds

 

B:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 40g granulated sugar

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C or 325F, prepare a chiffon cake pan at the side for later use.
  2. In a bowl, whisk egg yolk and sugar until big bubbles formed and sugar dissolved. Add oil, honey, and vanilla, mix until everything is combined.
  3. Add water, lemon juice and zest to the mixture, beat until well mixed.
  4. Sift in cake flour and salt in 3 batches, gently mix until combined. Stir in the poppy seeds until everything is well combined and set it aside.
  5. In another clean and dry bowl, beat the egg white and sugar together until almost stiff peaks and shiny.
  6. Fold the meringue to the yolk batter in 3 batches, the last fold need to be extra gently to avoid losing too much air bubbles.
  7. Pour the cake batter to the chiffon pan, tap the pan on the counter 3 times to remove big air bubbles. Bake for 40-43 minutes or until toothpick inserts comes out clean.
  8. Quickly flip it upside down the moment when you took it out from the oven, let it cool completely before slicing and enjoy it.

 

NOTES:

  1. You can increase the honey to 50g¬†and reduce the water to 10g if you want the honey flavour more intense. Omit the sugar for the yolk batter if you don’t want the cake to be too sweet.
  2. Grate the lemon zest straight into the yolk batter so you won’t lost the lemon oil and essence. It is best to use organic lemon if you want to use the zest as the non-organic lemons have a layer of wax at their skin.
  3. Add more poppy seeds if you prefer, I think it can be increase to 3 tbs but any more than that may affect the fluffiness of the cake.
  4. You can use milk instead of water, but I don’t think it gives any difference to the flavour of cake and I don’t have any milk at the time.

Vegan Curry

Since the last time I made my curry pumpkin soup, I have been craving curry in forever!

 

Curry is one of my favourite cuisine, the next will be Mexican, then Italian, and so on. I love food with lots of spices and heat, it made me feel warm and comforting. People may think curry is very complicated to make, actually not at all.

The main ingredient a.k.a ingredients that cannot be missed when cooking curry are ginger, garlic and shallot. They are the based flavour for all curry dishes. It is like when making stock or broth, carrot, celery and onion are the very important ingredients that should not be missed.

 

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The lovely part about this recipe is you can add whatever vegetables, beans or starched you can find in your fridge and pantry. If you don’t have any of the veggies or you hate any of them (how dare you!) that I am using here, simply swap it to others or just leave it out, it will be just as delicious. Of course the more ingredients you put into this dish, the more flavourful and delicious it will be.

 

Kale, cauliflower, potato and sweet potato, eggplant, capsicums, spinach, you named it! The option is endless, as long as the ingredients are the one that you like. I tried to include as much veggies and colours into here as I does not eat vegetable as often as you think I will, haha.

 

The spiciness of this dish can be adjusted to your liking, I like mine a little to the spicy side. I wanted to add chilli powder but too bad mine had spoiled, so I only used cayenne pepper.

 

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I cooked a large portion of this as my lunch meal prep for the next few days as I am going to be quite busy in the coming weeks for my college’s assignments. That’s the reason I didn’t update my blog as often now. Once I get back my freedom, I promised I will update as much as I can. ūüėČ

 

RECIPE (Serves 3-4) :

 

  • 100g broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • 60g carrot, sliced
  • 1 large tomato, wedged
  • 50g frozen green peas
  • 70g fresh shiitake mushroom, sliced
  • 1 block (140g) silken firm tofu, sliced into small cubes (1/4 inch)
  • 1 (400g) can chickpea, drained and rinsed very well
  • 1 thumbsized (10g) ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves (10g) garlic, minced
  • 1 (20g) medium shallot, minced
  • 1 tbs curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tsp corn flour (optional)
  • water / vegetable stock as needed

 

  1. In a medium pot over medium high heat, sauté garlic, shallot and ginger in a little oil or water until soften and turned slightly golden. Add curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne to the mixture and cook them for about 1 minute.
  2. Add the carrot into the pot, season with salt and pepper, continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Add tofu, tomatoes and mushroom and cook for further 2 minutes. Add water if the pan is too dry.
  3. Add broccoli, green peas, and chickpea to the mixture. Add about 1 cup of water to the pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes or until everything is cooked and heated through.
  4. Add the lemon juice and sugar to the sauce, taste for seasoning. You may want to add more curry powder, salt or cayenne at this stage.
  5. In a small bowl, mix corn flour with a little bit of water, add it into the curry to thicken up the sauce just a little so all the veggies will be covered with this delicious sauce.
  6. Once the sauce has thicken, turn off the heat, served it with some rice, noodle or bread at the side or you can just have it by itself.

 

NOTES :

  1. The reason I added the vegetable separately is because they have different cooking time, you can add them all at once but it may not be as good as some will overcooked and some will undercooked.
  2. You can add some fresh chilli like bird eye’s chilli to this for a real heat kick but I skipped it. No reason, I just don’t feel like adding it this time. It will taste just as good.
  3. You can use lime juice instead of lemon juice, I am using it because that’s what I have on hand, I will use lime juice if I have a choice, the flavour will be more authentic.
  4. Coconut milk is great in this recipe too to add some creaminess, just swap the water or veggie stock to equal amount of coconut milk will do.

Vegan Chickpea Bolognese

I believe almost every homecooks has their own secret classic bolognese sauce, I am one of them.

 

I used to make this sauce with minced meat but now I try my best to omit meat and dairy products when cooking for my family as they are not that healthy for your body anyway and its very mean to hurt animal just to satisfy our tastebud.

 

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My bolognese sauce has not 1 but 2 secret ingredients that made this sauce so so special , rich and delicious, can you guess what they are? The secret ingredients add just a nice hint of sweetness to my sauce, and also make it richer in flavour.

 

No more guessing as its actually not a very surprising ingredient that you can find in bolognese sauce anyway, haha. They are… … CARROT and RED WINE, yes I am saying red wine here. ūüėČ Once the red wine is reduced, most but not all of the alcohol will evaporated, and all left in the sauce is these rich and sweet flavour of fermented grape juice which is just fabulous!

 

The addition of sweet carrot balance out the acidity of tomato, and extra fibre is added to your dish so why not? Carrot is very rich in beta carotene and vitamin A, high in fibre and also vitamin C, oh its very good for your eyes too.

 

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What’s the secret ingredient in you own bolognese sauce? Comment and share it down below! ūüôā

 

RECIPE (serves 4):

  • 300g pasta of your choice (I used spaghetti)
  • 3 cloves garlics, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 1 (400g) canned plum tomato
  • water / vegetable stock (I used water)
  • 1 (400g) caned chickpea, drained and rinsed very well
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 heap tsp sugar
  • salt n pepper

 

  1. Before cooking, heat a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
  2. In a pan over medium high heat, add the olive oil, minced garlic and carrot, sauté for about 10 minutes or until it turned soft and golden brown.
  3. Add the wine and let it reduced, about 30 seconds, add the plum tomatoes, water, basil, oregano, cayenne, bay leaf, salt and pepper to the pan and bring it to a boil.
  4. Once the sauce is boiling, let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and slightly thicken.
  5. Add the pasta to the boiling salted water and cook until al dente.
  6. Add the rinsed chickpeas and into the sauce and continue simmer until heated through. Once the sauce is ready, toss the pasta into the pan until all the pasta is covered with this delicious sauce.
  7. Dish it up onto a plate, sprinkle some dried basil on top, serve immediately.

 

NOTES :

  1. Use any type of pasta you love or have, fusilli or penne are a great option besides spaghetti.
  2.  Dont forget to taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning while cooking, you may need more sugar or dried herbs depends on the acidity of your tomato and how many water you are using.
  3. If you don’t have red wine or you want to omit alcohol, simply substitute with stock or water will be fine.

Vegan Curry Pumpkin Soup

I have been craving for curry since forever but its quite hard to find a vegan curry around as they often use butter or lard in their recipe.

 

I didn’t plan anything before cooking this, just throwing bunch of spices and hope for the best. Of course, I never expect this can taste SO GOOD!

 

The sweetness of the pumpkin, with a spicy kick, and a hint of tang from the lemon juice, so glad that I’ve made extra haha. This dish was inspired by a Singapore restaurant that is very famous for their curry pumpkin soup. No cream or milk is added but the texture is super creamy and unexpected filling, oh they are fat free and low sodium too! ūüėČ

 

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The ingredient list is considered a long one, but you can’t skip them when you are making curry, spices are very important for a curry dish and to me, its meant to be super hot and spicy!

 

You can omit the red chilli if you can’t handle spicy food, but not for me. I didn’t use oil in this recipe, you can use it to saut√© your spices if you want. I try to omit processed oil in my diet, it doesn’t taste much different with or without oil too in my opinion.

 

RECIPE (Serves 2) :

  • 410g pumpkin, peeled and chopped
  • 120g canned chickpea, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 heap tbs¬†ginger, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 lemongrass
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • water or vegetable stock as needed

 

  1. Mix curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, chilli powder, salt and white pepper together in a small bowl, set it aside.
  2. In a medium pot, sauté minced garlic, shallot, ginger, lemon grass and chilli with some water for 3-5 minutes. Add more water if the pot turned dry.
  3. Add the mixed spices into the pot, continue sauté for 2-3 minutes or until spices are fragrant, be careful not to burn them.
  4. Add the pumpkin into the pot, stir until every pieces has coated with the aromatics.
  5. Add water or vegetable stock until covered the pumpkin 1 inch high, add sugar and bring it to a boil.
  6. Simmer until the pumpkin are soft and cooked, blend it with a hand blender until creamy and smooth or normal blender if you don’t have one. Add the chickpeas and continue simmer until they are heated through.
  7. Finally, stir in the lemon juice and taste to adjust the flavour before serving, garnished with spring onion, cilantro and fresh chilli.

 

NOTES:

  1. You can omit the blending process and shorten the simmer time for the pumpkin if you prefer your soup to be chunky.
  2. You can add other veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, potato, you named it! The more variety of veggies you added in, the higher nutrients it has, and the tastier it can be. I only use pumpkin as it is what I had in my poor fridge.

Cranberry Orange Chiffon Cupcakes

This may be too late for a Christmas-y flavoured cake but as long as it taste great it doesn’t matter right? ūüėõ

 

Chiffon cake is one of my family’s favourite type of cake due to the super fluffy, soft and delicate texture it has. I enjoy making them too as they are very easy and fast to make, not too much clean up and I just love to press on them and see how they reflect back haha, am I weird? Maybe.

 

I used to hate, I mean H-A-T-E HATE cranberry so so much until I boycott all the products that have cranberry in it, no matter dry or fresh. Last 2 years when I first tried the cranberry chicken sandwich from Starbucks, I started accept the flavour and slowly kind of addicted to it haha. I bought 2 big bag of dried cranberries from Melbourne last year and now I added them to almost all my food. From smoothie to oatmeal topping, from sweet corn to salad, literally EVERYTHING.

 

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For some reason cranberry and orange are the match made heaven, tangy cranberry with a hint of sweet paired with citrus-y sweet flavour of orange, sounds just like Christmas!

 

Before you put the cranberries into the batter, it’s better if you roughly chopped them, it will distributed through the cake more even and you wont weight down your cake too much hence you get a dense rather soft and fluffy cake.

 

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Due to the higher ratio of flour added to this cake, it doesn’t collapsed easily like those normal big chiffon cake with a hole in the middle, but the texture is just as soft. See how cute and tiny they are?! OMG.

 

RECIPE (makes 12) :

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 10g¬†sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 15g oil
  • 50g orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 80g cake flour
  • 3 egg whites
  • 35g sugar
  • 50g dried cranberries, roughly chopped

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C or 350F, prepare 12 cupcake cups (hard paper type) on a baking tray, set them aside.
  2. Beat the egg yolks with sugar until foamy and sugar dissolved. Add salt, oil, vanilla, orange juice and zest, beat until everything is well combined.
  3. Sift in cake flour, fold into the yolk batter until the batter is smooth.
  4. In another clean bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add the sugar slowly into the egg whites, continue beating until sugar dissolved and stiff peaks formed.
  5. Fold the egg white batter into yolk batter in 3 batches until everything is just combined, last add the cranberries and gently fold them in until evenly distributed. Do not overmixed and deflate too much of the egg whites.
  6. Divide the mixture into 12 cupcakes cup, bake for 20-22 minutes or until the top is dry and toothpick insert comes out clean.
  7. Take them out from the oven and immediately flip them upside down on a wire rack, let them cool completely before serve. Store in a airtight container for not more than 3 days.

 

NOTES :

  1. Combine 1 tbs cake flour from the flour mixture with the cranberries before folding them into the batter for even distribution.
  2. It is best to use freshly squeezed orange juice for the best flavour, if using store bought orange juice try reduce the sugar to prevent the cake from getting too sweet.
  3. Its okay if the cake rise over the cupcake cup, it will deflate a little when cooling, just flip them over on the wire rack and let them do their job.

Mexican Pulled Chicken

If you love easy and simple yet flavourful food but don’t want to gain a bunch of fats on your body, this, is the recipe for you!

 

Mexican cuisine is all about bangs of flavour, fatty, comforting, spicy, delicious. I have never try Mexican food before, this was kind a new thing for me. I learned a lot of cooking knowledges and techniques through Food Network TV shows and also research on internet aka my best friend, Google.

 

This version of pulled chicken is like pulled pork, not as fatty but still super flavourful and tender. I used chicken breast in this recipe as that’s what I found in my freezer and of course it’s much more low fat than chicken thighs or legs. You won’t get a dry and hard chicken breast here, my mum who dislike chicken breast love this dish a lot!

 

This can be make into taco filling like what I did here. I also prepared homemade oat tortillas, fresh tomato salsa, shredded iceberg, low fat yogurt, cilantro and lime wedges for my taco with a side of simple roasted vegetables.

 

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You can prepare the meat a night before, marinade and put in the fridge, or prepare early in the morning and cook at night. This may not be a slow cooker friendly dish as I don’t recommend you to use chicken breast in slow cooker, you may overcooked your meat and it will not be good.

 

This recipe is easily double or triple up for potluck party or you can store the leftover in the fridge for about 3 days or freezer for up to a month. So when you crave for a taco but ain’t nobody got time to prepare, just thaw and reheat it on the pan or microwave for few minutes, you will get your dinner in no time at all.

 

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RECIPE (serves 4) :

  • 3 medium skinless boneless chicken breast, halved
  • 1 heap tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 whole lime juice
  • 1 tsp course salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 medium yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 400g can crushed plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock (I used water)

 

  1. For the marinade, combine cumin, chilli powder, smoked paprika, dried oregano, lime zest and juice, salt, pepper and garlic together until well mixed.
  2. Rub the marinade to the chicken breast until all covered, put them in a big bowl covered with cling wrap, put in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  3. In a large skillet with medium high heat, add the olive oil to the pan. Cook the onion for 3-5 minutes or until soft and slightly golden.
  4. Add the marinaded chicken and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown but not cooked through.
  5. Add the marinaded juice collected in the bowl, sugar, tomatoes and chicken stock into the pan, bring it to a boil. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Lower the heat to medium low and half cover the pan, let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken cooked through.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pan and shred them using 2 forks. Return the shredded chicken into the sauce, stir and mix everything together. Continue simmer for 5-10 more minutes until sauce reduced and thicken. Serve hot or warm.

 

NOTES :

  1. You can use chicken thighs or legs for this recipe too, just remember to remove all the bones when you shred them.
  2. Adjust the chilli powder to your liking, 1 tsp is just perfect for me. Tasting during the cooking process is very important, you can always add more but you cannot take it out.
  3. You can add more spices like cumin, oregano or smoked paprika if needed, I did add about 1/2 tsp oregano and 1/2 tsp of cumin. Finish the dish with a squeeze of lime juice wakes all the flavour up.
  4. I have cooked mine a little soupy as it will soak up some of the juices after you dish it out in my opinion, you can reduce it if you prefer.

 

Spaghettini with Shrimp Al Diavolo

Shrimp used to be my favourite seafood EVER.

 

When I was a kid, one of my favourite shrimp dish was my grandma’s cabbage with baby shrimp, simply stir fry some cabbage and garlic with shrimp, that’s it! Simple, easy and delicious.

 

Until about 6 or 7 years old, I realized when I had shrimp, my mouth and throat will get itchy and pain, I got allergic to shrimp! Its so sad to know that I can’t have shrimp anymore in my life.

 

Even though I can’t have shrimp,¬†I can’t stop my family not to have them as this is one of their favourite too.

 

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One night my family requested to have pasta for dinner, I open my freezer and found some shrimp, immediately I thought of this dish.

 

This is a spicy tomato sauce pasta with fresh shrimp. You can swap the shrimp to any protein you like, chicken, fish, or pork. For vegan, chickpea or mushroom.

 

The shrimp which need acidity to bring out its fresh flavour perfectly paired with this slightly tangy and spicy tomato sauce. I have cooked this for a few times and my family¬†absolutely love it! ūüėČ

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RECIPE (serve 2) :

  • 180g spaghettini *
  • 300g shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 can (400g) crushed tomato (I used plum tomato)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shrimp stock (I used water)

 

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium high heat, sauté garlic in 1/2 tbs olive oil for about 1 minute, add the cilli flakes and continues saute for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the crushed tomatoes, shrimp stock, basil, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook it for further 15-20 minutes.
  4. In another skillet pan over medium high heat, add the remaining olive oil into the pan. Sauté the shrimp until they are golden brown and almost cooked.
  5. Transfer the shrimp to the tomato sauce, simmer for 3-5 minutes.
  6. At the same time, cook the pasta in the boiling water now until al dente so it can be done at the same time with the sauce.
  7. Drain the pasta and toss with the sauce, serve immediately.

 

NOTES :

  1. You can choose different variety of pasta you prefer, spaghetti, penne, or linguine is great option.
  2. You can make your own shrimp stock by sauté the 2 garlic cloves and the shrimp peels with some olive oil until it turned red, then add in 3 cups of water and some fresh parsley stems, simmer for about 10 minutes then its done. It can be use as base for seafood, soup or sauce. Store in fridge for 3 days or fridge for up to 2 months.
  3. You can put more chilli flakes if you prefer, I sprinkle more on top of the pasta when served.

Gula Melaka Ogura Cake

This, might be one of the hardest cake I have tried so far!

 

Ogura cake is a sponge cake that required to bake with steam-bake method, which you need to put the cake in a waterbath while baking, just like cheesecake. It has almost creamy, super soft and fluffy texture, kind of similar to chiffon cake, but more refine.

 

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I didn’t made mine perfect as what I want, the bubbles are a little to big and irregular. But it still has the creamy texture that you can’t find in chiffon cake. Due to the long time low temp baking process, it didn’t rise much, and it will formed a skin at the top of the cake. That’s the best part for me to be honest.

 

Caramel-y taste of gula melaka is perfect for this, I just love how fragrant it brought to the cake. Some people baked it perfectly with no crack on top, but mine did cracked a little. Maybe next time when I really succeed to bake a perfect ogura cake, I will share it out again. ūüėČ

 

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This one I have added some homemade pandan extract, which is just simply blend few pandan leaves with a little water, let it set in the fridge overnight, the super dark green that sinked at bottom of the water is what you should be using.

 

Maybe next time I will swap the soy milk to coconut milk, I think pandan extract always work better if paired with coconut milk. But this one is not bad, gula melaka and pandan both are Malaysian’s classic favourite, or maybe just me. Tell me if you love these ingredient at the comment below! ūüėČ

 

RECIPE :

A:

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 20g granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 30g coconut milk (I used soy)
  • 20g oil
  • 80g gula melaka, melted
  • 75g cake flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

B:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 40g granulated sugar

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C or 350F, line the bottom of a 8 inch round cake pan (at least 3 inch high) with a piece of parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together egg yolk, egg, granulated sugar together until sugar dissolved.
  3. Add vanilla, coconut milk, oil and melted gula melaka into the egg yolk and mix until everything nice and combined.
  4. Sift in the cake flour and salt, fold in until just combined.
  5. In another clean bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy, add the sugar in 3 batches. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks formed.
  6. Fold in the egg whites to egg yolk mixtures in 3 batches, genlty until nice and combined, try not to knock out the bubbles in the egg whites.
  7. Pour the batter slowly into prepared cake pan, tap it on the counter a few times to remove big air bubbles, put it in a larger pan and fill the pan with about 1 inch high of hot water.
  8. Bake it in preheated oven for 30 minutes, lower the temperature to 160C or 300F for further 30 minutes or until toothpick insert comes out clean.
  9. Once the cake is done, quickly remove it from the pan and flip the cake over, cool it on the wire rack until completely cooled.

 

NOTES :

  1. Add 20g of pandan extract together with the vanilla, coconut milk and oil if you want to. If using store bought pandan paste, add only 1/2 to 1 tsp.
  2. Put a piece of cloth in the large pan that filled with water to prevent the cake pan on top move around.
  3. Lower the temperature half way is to prevent it from crack on top, try to adjust the oven temp to suit your own as every oven is different.
  4. You need to remove it from the pan ASAP to prevent it from collapse, run a knife around the pan and turn it over onto wire rack and let it sit there until completely cooled, be careful not to burn yourself.

Vegan Spinach and Mushroom Spaghettini

This is my first vegan pasta ever tried and it tasted really awesome!

 

I created this recipe before I went vegan, since I am not a cheesy or creamy food person as I think those flavour is too heavy for my liking, I made a lighter version of mushroom pasta without using cream or a lot of oil but still tasted very delicious.

 

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Top left             : Bacon and spinach mini frittata

Top right         : Shrimp scampi aglio olio

Bottom right  : Spinach and mushroom spaghettini

 

The earthiness and meaty taste of mushroom is the best substitution to meat for people who want to try vegan but miss meat! I don’t know why you want to miss meat tho, veggies are far better taste than meat, you can eat TONS of them without killin’ and harm others and yourselves. ūüėõ

The recipes for the other 2 dishes will be upload soon, but lets focus on the¬†animal-friendly and delicious pasta first! You can swap the spinach to kale or any¬†veggie of your choice, zucchini will be delicious too, you are the boss of your kitchen! ūüėČ

 

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RECIPE (serves 2) :

  • 180g dried spaghettini
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 large or 5 small garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 200g king oyster mushroom, chopped
  • 3 dried shiitake mushroom, soaked and thinly sliced
  • 3 large handful of spinach, or more if prefer
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • salt n pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pasta water
  • more extra virgin olive oil to serve

 

  1. In a cold pan, add the olive oil and chopped garlic. Turn the heat to medium low and slowly infuse the oil with garlic flavour.
  2. Once the garlic slightly turned golden brown, turn the heat to medium high and add in the mushrooms.
  3. Season with dried parsley, chilli flakes, salt and pepper, continue sauté for 7-9 minutes or until it turned golden brown.
  4. In the mean time, boil the spaghettini in generally salted water for 3 minutes or until al dente.
  5. Add the spinach into the mushroom mixture and cook for few more minutes until it started to wilt down.
  6. Turn the heat off and add the cooked pasta into the pan, add 1/4 cup pasta water and stir everything together until well combined, add more pasta water if needed.
  7. Dish it up on a plate and sprinkle some dried parsley and chilli flakes on top, drizzle with a little of olive oil, serve immediately.

 

NOTES :

  1. You can choose the type of pasta you prefer or you have on hand, i prefer spaghettini. It is thinner than spaghetti and faster to cook.
  2. Remember not to boil the pasta until fully cooked in the boiling waer as it needs to be cook more in the pan, you never want overcooked mushy pasta to ruin your day or night. Drain it 2-3 minutes before it fully cooked according to the package instruction.
  3. Try to use different variety of mushroom and create a richer mushroom-y taste, I used king oyster as it has a more meaty texture and dried shiitake to richen the mushroom flavour, dried porcini works well too.

Lemon and Herb Chicken Casserole

Sometimes when you don’t have a lot of time to prepare your dinner, casserole is best to make and it is very easy and tasty.

 

You can prepare all the elements a day before or in the morning under 20 minutes. When you came back from work, assemble everything and pop it into the oven and you will have a hearty dinner for your family.

 

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Lemon is an awesome ingredient when marinading food. The acidity break down the muscle in the protein and make it tender and flavourful. It gives the food a citrusy and refreshing taste, but I recommend you not to put the thin lemon slices on top of the chicken like what I did, it burned and the bitter burnt taste flavoured the chicken and it was very awful.

 

This dish is packed with protein, carbs and vitamin C. All you need is have a light salad at the side to balance out the meal. You can prepare more and keep leftover in the fridge for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner.

 

Sweet potato is perfect substitution for potato, it has a sweeter taste and much more health benefits. If you don’t feel like having potato for dinner, omit it and cook some pasta, polenta, or rice is great too.

 

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RECIPE (serve 3-4) :

 

  • 2 whole chicken leg, 1 half chicken breast *
  • 400g yukon gold potatoes
  • 2 medium red onion

 

Marinade:

  • 1 whole¬†lemon juice, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole lemon zest
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes

 

  1. For the marinade, combine everything in a large bowl and set it aside.
  2. Wash your chicken and divide the chicken legs into 2 pieces, mix them into your marinade and let it sit in the fridge at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Wash and cut your potatoes into pieces, boil them in salted water for 5-7 minutes or until they are half cooked, drain them well.
  4. Peel and slice the red onion into thick slices.
  5. Put the potatoes and red onion into a glass baking dish, sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp parsley and mix well.
  6. Preheat the oven to 210C or 400F.
  7. Lightly pan sear the marinaded chicken on medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes skin side down, flip it over and continue sear for 30 seconds.
  8. Put the chicken on top of the potatoes and bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until the chickens are cooked.

 

NOTES :

  1. I am using mixture of leg and breast because my parents prefer dark meat and my sister prefer white, you can use legs or breast only too.
  2. I am using these herbs as that’s what I have on hand, if you don’t have any¬†one of them just omit it or add some other herbs that you like.
  3. You can cut your potatoes into your desire size but¬†you need to make sure all the size are almost the same. Boil them from cold water and don’t forger to add salt to your water or the potatoes will taste bland.
  4. You don’t need to sear your chicken if you are using breast only, you don’t want it to be dry like skin of wood.
  5. You can increase the lemon juice for deeper flavour but remember not to marinade it too long as the acidity in the marinade will start to cook your chicken and end up with a mushy meat texture.
  6. You can add variety of veggies (carrots, zucchini, squash, eggplant) to your casserole for a more flavourful and colorful dish.