Bread and Batter, Desserts

Sticky Buns

It’s been some time since I’ve posted. Too much work, and last week I was down with covid. Sigh. Luckily the symptoms I had were very mild but I didn’t want to spread it to the rest of the household so I was stuck in my room for six whole days straight.

So this weekend I decided to make full use of the kitchen. After watching The British Bake-off on BBC Lifestyle, I got inspired again to bake. So I took out my British Bake Off cookbook and decided on an easy recipe.

And oh, what a marvellous recipe it was! The dough came out perfect! Move over Pioneer Woman. I have found my go to sweet bun recipe and this is a complete winner.

This is the recipe book I bought years ago and I’ve only made two recipes from it. One was a Victorian Sponge sandwich (which I’ve posted here before) and then now this sticky buns.

This is the book. It’s pretty good and if I’ve more free time, I’ll make more recipes from it. Baking is on the whole time consuming.

I’m just going to share the recipe for the dough. It worked brilliantly for me and maybe for our humid weather here.

In a saucepan I melted 75g of butter with 200ml whole milk. And then let that cool.

In my trusty Kitchen Aid glass bowl, I measured 500g bread flour and to that added 2 tbsp of sugar, 7g of instant yeast and 1tsp of table salt. I stirred that and then attached the dough hook. With the cooled butter and milk mixture, I beat in one egg. And then added this liquid mixture to the fry ingredients.

I let the dough hook do it’s magic and when it’s formed into w rough dough, let it run till it’s kneaded smooth. From that, I took the nice dough, formed it into w smooth ball and then let it rest for an hour back in the bowl.

While the dough is proofing, I added Demerara sugar (I didn’t have light brown sugar) to 100g of softened butter. Because I was using Demerara, I measured 85g instead of the 75g of light brown sugar. So in that bowl is softened butter mixed with the sugar and 2tbsp of maple syrup. This will serve as the topping.

For the filling of the sticky bun, melt 70g of butter. And then in another bowl, 85g of Demerara sugar with 1tsp of cinnamon powder.

When the dough has doubled in size (about an hour or so), punch it down and roll to a rectangle. Brush the melted butter all over. Sprinkle the sugar cinnamon all over. Then roll and cut.

In a roasting pan, spread the butter sugar mixture all over and then crush about 100g pecans. Place the cut pieces of rolls on it.

Let that proof a second time (about 20 to 30min) before going into a 180 degree Celsius oven till brown.

This is after the second rise. I’m not good at cutting equal pieces, hence that weird little runt stuck in the first row.
After it’s baked, let it rest for about 20 minutes. And then turn over onto a wooden board.

Delicious when eaten warm!

The dough is just soft and delicious!
I know I’ll be using this dough recipe for all future rolls from now on!
Desserts, Middle Eastern/Turkish

Kunafe – my version

So yesterday I made the best kunafe I’ve ever made. After learning the basics from cleobuttera and from others, I decided to combine a few recipes and my own judgement.

Lesson 1: the mould to use is important. I remember the very first time I made kunafe a few years ago, I used a glass dish. Bad idea. The bottom didn’t crisp and I ended up with a very soggy dessert.

Lesson 2: the cheese. You can’t use salty cheese here. I remember once I used a saltier dish and nope, the kunafe was weird. Sweet and salty here is not the combination you want.

Lesson 3: filling the kataifi pastry up the edges. The second time I made the kunafe, I had a run of blackened cheese around. It was not a pretty sight.

So with all of these mistakes, I learnt from them and made a kunafe that was gone in minutes. I use now only a springform metal round pan. I use butter and yesterday, a little bit of colouring. I filled the pan up the edges slightly so when I put the filling in, it won’t leak out.

For the filling: one whole bottle of English clotted cream mixed with one whole pack of ricotta cheese. Mix well. Add to the kataifi in the pan. Top with shredded mozzarella and then cover with more kataifi pastry, and then bake.

Once baked, quickly pour sugar syrup all over the hot kunafe. And then decorate.

I decorated with crushed pistachios and dried flowers.
Look at that cheese pull!

This is a great dessert for when you have guests coming over. Make one this weekend!

Looks so pretty on the table!

Desserts, Japanese/Korean
Pretty isn’t it?

So my friends are K-Drama fans and apparently there’s this Korean strawberry milk that’s very popular because of a Korean drama series. I didn’t watch that series but was intrigued by the milk! 🤣

So this is how it’s made. Firstly, make the strawberry purée of sorts. But up 8-10 strawberries and add that to a pot with 1 cup of sugar and let it reduce.

Then in a glass pour some of this strawberry mixture, then full cream fresh milk (the best you can find), add ice and then top it up with fresh strawberry slices.

Making the ‘ jam’.
I topped mine with a sprig of fresh mint too.

Something different to enjoy on a hot hot hot day!


Gordon Ramsay’s Baked Ricotta and Caramelised Peaches

Doesn’t the above picture look amazing? I tried to replicate Gordon Ramsay’s recipe, which turned out to be amazing! And so simple to boot, I’m going to recommend this to everyone now.

Buy ricotta cheese and peaches. That’s it!

Step 1. Make the cheese filling. I halved the recipe because I only have a tub of ricotta cheese which is 250g. His recipe calls for 500g but this will serve 4 people.

In my mixing bowl I mixed 250g of ricotta cheese, one egg, the juice of half a lemon and zest, vanilla essence and 35g of powdered sugar.
I could fill three small ramekins with that recipe.
The next thing to do is to simmer the ripe peaches with some sugar until it’s thickened. Squeeze some lemon juice over.
And then it’s time to plate! Delicious!
Cakes and Cookies, Desserts

Biskut Dahlia (Malay Butter Cookies)

Eid is round the corner. And so I decided to bake another cookie I havent tried. These Malaysian cookies called Dahlia are so easy to make but I had such a horrible time pumping the dough out. They are beautiful, though and melt in your mouth.

I followed popular Malaysian YouTube Che’ Nom for this recipe, but I think I might try other recipes. Though they turn out soft, they were too soft and powdery in my mouth. But they do look so gorgeous and I am sure, look pretty in my pink Pyrex canister. Even though I have no idea who will be visiting me this year, given the stringent measures here we have to eliminate COVID.

The ingredients are so easy. 250g softened butter, 1 cup of corn flour, 1 cup of powdered sugar, 1 cup of custard powder, 1 egg yolk, and 2 cups of plain flour. Actually, for the flour the advice was not to add all in but to eyeball how much you need to form a soft dough.

So after mixing the ingredients above, this was my soft dough. It was a beautiful dough.

This was the device I bought for ‘beginners’. One can use a star nozzle and a piping bag but that apparently takes practice. But this was not easy either! Obviously, I am a novice when it comes to all things cookies.
The device is so small, that after three pumps, we had to refill it with dough. And this recipe, as with other recipes for this cookie I am sure, produces few cookies. For this recipe, we got 79 cookies exactly.
The chocolate chip center makes it so pretty!
The flower petals stay intact!
Ready to be bottled and filled in the pink canisters next week!

Check out my Eid/Raya table next week when I fill my canisters with cookies, crackers, nuts and more! Who’s coming over to my house, now? lol. Die, pandemic, die. I curse you for ruining my Eid for two years in a row.