No Knead Crusty Raisin and Walnut Bread

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Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1g instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup raisin
  • ½ cup of walnut
  • 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
  • 350ml warm water (about 35°C)

Directions:

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water and honey. This should result in a sticky dough, if it is not sticky to the touch, add a few spoonful of water. Gently shape the dough into a ball as best you can. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature and allow to rise for 12-18 hours. The dough will be doubled in size and covered in air bubbles.

2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using lightly floured hands, shape into a ball as best you can. Transfer dough to a large piece of parchment paper.

3. Using a very sharp knife, gently score an X into the top. Leave dough alone for 30 minutes.

4. During this 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 246°C. Place the dutch oven (with the lid) inside for 30 minutes so that it’s extremely hot before the dough is placed inside. After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and tucking it all– the parchment paper included– inside the pot. Cover with the lid.

5. Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool for 30 minutes before serving.


 

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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!

 

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.

 

Crumbliest Scones

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

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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.

No-peel Apple Cream Cheese Tart

Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you that I am a BIG sucker for apple tarts. Indeed, I like all sorts of apple desserts- apple turnover, tarte tartin, apple strudel, etc etc… As much as I like these aromatic pastries filled with the unmistakable scent of cinnamon, I seldom make them on my own because I hate peeling apples!!! So you can probably imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon this no-peel apple tart recipe. ♥

Happy baking everyone!


Pastry:

  • 250g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 70g icing sugar
  • 125g unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Beans for baking

Filling:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon

Topping:

  • 3 apples (cut into 8 -12 slices each)
  • 4 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 160C fan.
  2. To make the pastry, mix the flour and icing sugar in a bowl. Rub the butter into the flour with your fingers until crumbly.
  3. Mix in the egg yolks, roll into a ball. If the pastry is still too dry, add 1-2 tbsp water until it comes together.
  4. Place the pastry in your tart pan and, using your fingertips; evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of your pan. Gently pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.)
  5. When ready, place the tart pan on a larger baking pan and bake until the crust is golden brown, about 13 – 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you make the filling.
  6. Beat cream cheese using a hand mixer until smooth. Add sugar gradually until incorporated. Add eggs (one at a time) until thoroughly combined.
  7. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until well blended and smooth.
  8. Carefully pour the filling into the pre-baked tart shell and then bake the tart for about 30 – 35 minutes or until the filling is set. Transfer tart to wire rack to cool and start making the topping.
  9. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the apples to the pan and sprinkle with 2 tablespoon brown sugar. Sauté the apples, frequently stirring, for 6 to 8 minutes until they just begin to turn tender. (Be careful not to overcook at this stage as the apples may become puree!)
  10. Sprinkle the apples with the remaining sugar and add cinnamon. Toss the mixture gently and cook over medium heat for an additional 1-2 minutes until the sugar begins to caramelize, and the apples are crisp-tender.
  11. Arrange the apple slices in an overlapping spiral pattern. Pour the remaining caramel sauce on top of the apples.
  12. Chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour before serving!

Strawberry and Nutella Swirl Bread

Happy Sunday! It’s always tempting to head out for brunch on the weekend, but why not stay in and try these? Coffee refills are free and brunch at home means you don’t have to get changed or put on any make-up.

And if someone ever tells you that you put too much Nutella on your bread, stop talking to them… You don’t need that negativity in your life!


Ingredients

For the dough:

  • 2⁄3 cup lukewarm whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 0.25-ounce active dry yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup of Nutella or any other chocolate sauce
  • 2 cups fresh berries (sliced fresh strawberries, fresh raspberries, fresh blueberries)
  • 1 large egg, beaten for egg wash

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine warm milk, granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup flour, beating at low speed to combine.
  2. Add melted butter and 1⁄2 cup flour, beating until combined. Add eggs, beating to combine. Gradually add salt and remaining 1.5 cups flour, knead to form a soft dough.
  3. Place dough in bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
  4. Grease a cast-iron skillet with butter.
  5. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into an 18×16-inch rectangle. Spread with Nutella, leaving a 1⁄2 inch border. Sprinkle generously with berries.
  6. Starting at one long side, roll up dough, pressing seam to seal.
  7. Using a sharp knife, cut the log in half length-wise, leave 1-inch of the edge uncut at the top. The doughy halves are then flipped upward.
  8. Start braiding the two pieces, by carefully lifting the left strand over the right strand. Repeat this motion until you reach the bottom of the dough. Press together to seal.
  9. Join the two ends, creating a circle with the dough and press together.
  10. Transfer the dough ring to the prepared cast iron skillet. Brush the wreath with the beaten egg.
  11. Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for around 30 minutes (loosely cover with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary), or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

My husband, like many other men, was not a big fan of desserts. He’d always said to people that he didn’t have a sweet tooth, but a salt tooth. Given the choice between a decadent chocolate cake and a simple pack of potato chips, it would be the savory latter every time. But then he discovered something better than sweet, something better than salty, which was the two of them combined together – salted caramel. Everything has changed since then… From Pierre Hermes macarons to Häagen-Dazs ice-cream, he orders everything with salted caramel. The salt-sweet combo is somehow so surprising and compelling; two very opposite flavors, instead of overshadowing one and other, tingle away in conjunction…

It’s his birthday today so I’ve made him these salted caramel cookies to celebrate!

Dear C, you are the salt to my caramel, milk to my cookie, gin to my tonic… best to my friend and love of my life…Happy birthday! I can’t wait to grow old with you ❤


(Yield 2 dozen cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, unsalted, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoons sea salt for sprinkling

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 deg C.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar with hand mixer until fluffy (about 2 minutes).
  3. Add in vanilla extract and egg, beat until incorporated, pour in caramel and beat until incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula from time to time.
  4. In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients including flour, baking powder and baking soda.
  5. Slowly add the sugary mixture to the dry ingredients.
  6. Add in chocolate chips. Stir until they are evenly mixed.
  7. Place dough in the refrigerator for an hour.
  8. Line baking sheet with silicone baking mat.
  9. Scoop dough into a 1 tablespoon size cookie scoop and place the dough onto the prepared cooking sheet.
  10. Place about 2 inches apart. Flatten the dough balls slightly.
  11. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes, until edges are slightly golden brown.
  12. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes, and then transfer to a cookie cooling rack.