Merry Cherry Sponge Cake

Let us eat cake, it’s somebody’s birthday somewhere. Oh, in fact it’s everyone’s birthday today!

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Ingredients (yield two 4-inch cakes):

  • 150g butter, at room temperature
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 150g self raising flour
  • 10-12 cherries, stoned and halved

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease two 4-inch cake tins with butter and flour.
  2. Lay the cherries at the bottom of the cake tins.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition until pale and creamy.
  4. Fold in the flour until well incorporated. Transfer to the prepared cake tin.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin.
  6. Serve while still warm!

 

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Ferrero Rocher Cookie

Happy year of the dog everybody!

Chinese New Year is the time when you visit your friends and relatives, very often those you only see during this time of the year, and got “interrogated” by them =.=.  Gift plays an important role in Chinese culture, so you never go empty-handed! If you pay attention to TV commercials enough, you may notice that many of the most popular gift items among Hong Kongers are, interestingly, not Chinese produces. Kjeldsens Cookies, Almond Roca, Sugus, Ferrero Rocher… just to name a few. Ferrero Rocher is particularly popular in Hong Kong for its golden package, a color Chinese people love for it symbolizes wealth.  I’m not a superstitious person, but I do like their creamy, nutella-like centres!

And…. Surprise, surprise! They are equally nice when made into cookies!!


Ingredients (yield 12 pieces):

  • 6 Ferrero Rochers  (freeze them before baking)
  • 1 cup (packed) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼  cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Place the Ferrero Rochers in the freezer until firm, about an hour. Remove from freezer and hit with a hammer in a zip-loc bag a few times until they’re broken into chunky pieces. Put back in the freezer until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Beat in the full egg, then the vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add flour mixture in three parts, stirring until just combined after each addition.
  5. Stir in ½ the Ferrero Rocher pieces. Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Place the remaining Ferrero Rocher into the tops of the cookies, pressing them into the dough slightly.
  6. Bake for around 10 minutes until edges are nicely browned. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter and Jam Rolls

Peanut butter has always been one of my favourite food. That’s been the case ever since I was a little girl. I may have developed a more refined palate over the years ( at least I hope I have… ). Still nothing- not the finest caviar, the most aromatic truffles or the flakiest croissants, can beat the pure joy of eating peanut butter straight from the jar. Haha, yes, still doing that, feel no shame for that!

Hope u like this bread roll idea as much as I do! There is just something about those two flavors that brings back childhood memories ♥


Ingredients (yields 6 rolls):

Dough

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1 egg

Filling

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup jam

Honey for glazing

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cups flour, 1/8 cup sugar and pinch of salt, set aside.
  2. In a sauce pan, melt butter and milk until warm. Let cool to about 40 degrees C.
  3. Once yeast has proofed, add in milk/ butter mixture along with an egg to the flour mix.
  4. Stir to combine the remaining flour gradually, until dough starts to pull away from bowl.
  5. Dump out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until dough is smooth and elastic, add in additional flour as needed, about 5 minutes.
  6. Cover the dough and let rise in warm place until doubled.
  7. Once doubled in size dump the dough out onto lightly floured surface and roll out into a 12″x15″ rectangle.
  8. Spread peanut butter over the dough (leaving 1” at the edges), then dollop jam over top, spread unevenly.
  9. From long side, roll the dough up, cut off edges and then cut into 6 equal rolls using dental floss.
  10. Place rolls cut side up in a greased muffin pan and cover again and let rise until doubled.
  11. Once risen preheat oven to 180 degrees C, bake for about 20minutes.
  12. Apply honey evenly using a brush, then bake for 10 minutes more.
  13. Serve warm!

 


 

Gingerbread men

Soft in the centers, crisp on the edges, perfectly spiced =) No holiday cookie platter would be complete without our beloved gingerbread men!


Ingredients (yield 12 pcs):

  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Directions:

  1. Mix flour, ginger, cinnamon, baking soda, nutmeg and salt in large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and brown sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add golden syrup, egg and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed.
  3. Press dough into a thick flat disk. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness on lightly floured work surface. Cut into gingerbread men shapes. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges of cookies are set and just begin to brown. Cool on baking sheets 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely. Decorate cooled cookies as desired.

 

Mushroom and Chicken Braided Bread

“Good things come to those who bake.”

Sometimes, all you need to do is bake, and that very act will bring you instant peace and happiness. Whether you’re baking a loaf of brioche or whipping up some quick banana bread for breakfast, the joy that fresh, warm bread brings to the table is unlike any other.

Came across this ultra easy pizza dough recipe, calling for only two ingredients- greek yogurt and self-rising flour, on allrecipes.com the other day.  Instead of ordinary pizza, I used it for a more fancy-looking braided bread and I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out!

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Ingredients

Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour, plus more for kneading
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Filling

  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 gloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of mushroom, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white, beaten
  • 1 bowl of chicken cubes (marinated to taste with salt and pepper)

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 260 degree C.
  2. Mix flour and Greek yogurt together in a bowl; transfer to a work surface floured with self-rising flour. Knead dough, adding more flour as needed to keep dough from being too sticky, for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Melt butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, about 3 mins. Stir in chicken cubes and mushroom. Cook for 5 more minutes, stir occasionally. Remove from heat.
  4. Unroll pizza dough on parchment sheet. Starting at center out, roll dough into 15 x10 -inch rectangle with a rolling pin. Sprinkle cheese over center third of dough. Spoon onion-chicken mixture evenly over cheese.
  5. Make cuts 1 inch apart on both long sides of dough to within 1/2 inch of filling. Alternately cross strips diagonally over filling; turn ends under and press to seal. Brush egg white over top.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes and then cut crosswise into slices and serve!

 

Rosemary and Parmesan Cheese Cookie

A nice change from all the sweet cookies out there. Crumbly, cheesy, and delicious… An ideal nibble with a glass of dry white wine!


Ingredients:

  • 1¾ all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon minced fresh Rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 250g butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 75ml heavy cream
  • Additional rosemary leaves and coarse salt for garnishing

Directions:

  1. Beat butter and lemon zest using an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 30 seconds.  Add in the egg yolk and cream.
  2. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. Gradually add the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Cream together until well combined.
  4. Divide the dough in half.  Place each on a sheet of parchment paper, roll into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter.  Wrap logs tightly in the paper and refrigerate until completely chilled, at least two hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 160˚C.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Slice each log into 1/3-inch thick slices.  Space them 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Garnish each cookie with rosemary leaf and a light sprinkling of course salt.
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until just golden at the edges.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

 

Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake

Moist, flavorful and delicious- a classic combo that everyone loves!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt, room temperature
  • lemon zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Lemon glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180deg C and slightly grease a 9″x 5″ loaf pan with butter.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine the wet and dry ingredients using a spatula just until smooth. Be careful not to over-mix.
  4. Toss fresh blueberries together with one tablespoon of flour.  This flour coating will help prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of your loaf while baking.
  5. Add the flour coated berries to the batter and fold gently to combine.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Cool bread in the pan for about 20 minutes, then move to a wire cooling rack with a baking sheet below (to catch the glaze you’re about to add).
  8. Prepare glaze by simply whisking together the melted butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla; then pour glaze over the loaf.  Allow to set a few minutes.

 

Cherry Cream Cheese Danishes

This, friends, is the moment we’ve been waiting for- spring is finally here! Beach vacation, sunshine, and sandal season are right around the corner. As the day gets longer, it’s the time to get outside and enjoy the warm weather (instead of working in the kitchen). For a quick springtime snack, light and easy is the name of the game. With this recipe, you can pull off some bakery-worthy pastries at home in just 30 minutes. Perfect for any time of the year, but I swear: they just taste better in spring!

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Ingredients

  • 1 sheet puff pastry (thawed)
  • 1 pack Cream Cheese (8 ounces), softened
  • 4 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup canned Cherry Pie Filling
  • Icing sugar for garnishing

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Take out a sheet of puff pastry and thaw for 10min.
  3. Cut the sheet into 6 equal pieces.
  4. With a knife, score ½” border around the edge of each piece of puff pastry. Use a fork to make five or six pricks into the area within the border (this will stop the center of the dough from rising).
  5. In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.
  6. Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of mixture into the middle of each piece of dough and spread around evenly.
  7. Add about 6 cherries into the middle of the cream cheese.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with icing sugar before serving.

 

Crumbliest Scones

These are essentially British, delicious and simple to make… Get baking and fill your home with the smell of freshly baked scones!

scone illustration

It is no secret that I have always wanted to open my own cafe. And this is the sign that I will put up at the storefront when a batch of scones are hot and ready (Yes! I stole the idea from Kripsy Kreme’s neon sign!!).

scones

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Ingredients (serves 8):

  • Plain flour, for dusting
  • 1.5 cups self-raising flour
  • 40g butter, softened and cubed
  • 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup dried fruit, e.g. cranberries/ raisins (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Sift self-raising flour into a large bowl.
  2. Rub butter into flour using your fingertips, until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
  3. Make a well in the centre. Add milk and mix until mixture forms a soft dough. Add in dried fruit if any.
  4. Knead gently until smooth (don’t overwork the dough or scones will be tough).
  5. Pat dough into 2cm-thick. Cut out 8 rounds using a 5cm round cutter.
  6. Place scones onto baking tray, 1cm apart. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen.
  8. Serve warm with jam and cream.

Rustic New York Style Cheesecake

 

Phew! I survived another V-day! Never have been a big fan of this “Hallmark holiday”, I sometimes like to think of myself as a Valentine’s day scrooge with a secret desire to ruin everyone else’s best laid plans (like booking every other seat in the cinema so couples can’t sit together!!). That being said, I think romance and love and caring and all those gushy sweet feelings we have for others should be celebrated every day… Why not start doing so by making this cheesecake for your loved ones?

Because a piece of classic New York cheesecake- likes any great love, never goes out of style. ❤

p.s. I like to have mine looking all rustic, cracked and glorious… but do feel free to add any toppings you like!

Yield an 8-inch cake (3 inches in height)

Ingredients:

Crust-

  • 16 digestive crackers, crushed  
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted  

Filling-

  • 3.5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese  
  • 1 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract  
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 8-inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix digestive cracker crumbs with melted butter. Press onto bottom of pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar with hand mixer until smooth. Blend in milk, and then add in the eggs (one at a time), mix until just incorporated.
  4. Add in plain yogurt, vanilla and flour, mix until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 50min. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 2 hours to prevent cracking.
  6. Sprinkle icing sugar on top. Chill in refrigerator until serving.