So yesterday was the niece’s first birthday and in small groups of 5, we went to visit her. I thought I’d bring a dessert. She’d probably have birthday cake, so why make another cake, right? So I searched for desserts and came across apple crumble!
And this recipe is so lovely that the family loved it. The thing about Apple crumble is that it really isn’t the prettiest to look at. But it sure tasted awesome! I used Fuji apples (because that’s why I had in the fridge), and cashewnuts/hazelnuts mix (because I didn’t have pecans in my pantry).
So I was channel surfing and caught a small segment of a food show featuring Donna Hay and some very adorable kids. They were making a carrot cake. Totally inspired, I made some for this morning’s breakfast and to bring some over for teatime later at the parents.
Try as I might, I couldn’t find the exact recipe of hers which she featured on the show. Maybe because I’ve no idea what the title of the show was! But I did find her recipes for carrot cake and carrot cake muffin. And so I used it but added some things which she did on the show – like mixed spice and ground cinnamon!
The outcome was quite delicious. It’s moist, definitely moist, but also moorish? It’s thick. Ok by Asian standards perhaps this is huge! One piece of this muffin and I’m full! But it is delicious.
I also copied her maple syrup cream cheese frosting. In the show, she added ricotta but as you know ricotta is not easily available here and Super expensive so I added one tablespoon of clotted cream instead.
I’ve always wanted to make kunafa or kunafe. The first time I baked this it was a disaster because sometimes it’s not just about following a recipe, but about using the right tools to make it a success.
I discovered this Egyptian food blogger who has beautiful, absolute beautiful, pictures posted of her baking. Definitely a professional set up but besides being a pretty blogface, her recipes look very doable and simple, especially for Asians who cannot get the right kind of ingredients to make Middle Eastern fare.
Her ricotta cheese recipe is simple to do. And the substitute that I used in place of eshta or Arabic cream works – good old English clotted cream, readily available in our supermarkets though only one brand ￼ of it makes it way to our shores. No matter.
However, I still made a mistake. The mistake which I made when I first made kunafe two years ago was to bake it in a glass dish. No no no. Never again. What happened was the bottom layer did not get browned and the insides pastry were not crispy. So this time round, I used a baking pan. This time round, my mistake was not raising the kataifi pastry up to the sides of the pan. The result? An ugly cheese line all around the pie. Sigh.
Cosmetics aside, the end product was fantastic and I’ll definitely be making this when guests come. If we can ever have guests this year… 😞
You can find the recipe and the blog site which I’m in love with Here
Decorate with rose petals and crushed pistachios. See what I mean by the ring of cheese? 😅
I grew up eating egg tarts. Not the Portuguese or Macau egg tarts – those only became popular when I was an adult. The kind that kids loved then in the 80s and before were the soft sweet crusted Hong Kong style egg tarts that are always sold in our local bakeries.
Recently because of the lockdowns everywhere, my friends who are also all over the world now have been baking this piece of nostalgia. And even though I can easily get my egg tarts here, I decided to make my own and boy was I glad I tried making my own! Nothing beats freshly baked egg tarts straight out of the oven.
There are many recipes out there on the Internet. But this one that I eventually decided to follow is simple. The only downside to this is that it is a tad too sweet but luckily for me I didn’t allow the sugar to melt completely into the water so the sweetness was just right. What I liked about this recipe is that the dough is really flaky and buttery.
Every Chinese New Year or Hari Raya (Eid ul Fitr) will never be complete without families making and eating these delicious buttery sweet and sour pineapple tarts. And being in a beautiful multi-racial country, I get to enjoy everyone’s festivities many times over. ☺️
Earlier in the year before COVID-19 interrupted our lives, I already received a bottle of pineapple tarts from the office management for Chinese New Year. Now, with the Circuit Breaker in place and Hari Raya round the corner, I decided to finally conquer my fears and make my mother’s pineapple tart recipe.
It’s a daunting task. You definitely need helpers at hand. However, you can halve the recipe or even quarter it and make a small batch. Here is the original recipe:
For the tart pastry:
1. 500g butter (use the best you have. I used French butter and I think that made all the difference)
2. 3 whole eggs (some people use 2 yolks and 1egg but that will result in a delicious but crumbly pastry. Delicious I know but difficult to handle)
3. 900g plain all-purpose flour
4. 1/4 tsp of yellow colouring. You can omit this.
For the pineapple filling: I cheated. I used a store bought ready made filling but added one pineapple of my own. To make your filling from scratch, you need to grate 2-3 fresh pineapples, and then cook it down on a Low flame till it becomes jelly like. Add sugar. You’ll know when it’s ready when all the liquid has evaporated and you can form balls from the pineapple.
And then the rest is easy. Laborious work but easy.
First step is to make the dough. Using a mixer is easiest but you can certainly make this using just a wooden spoon, and a lot of muscle power.
Once the dough is rested, it’ll be easy to roll. If you can’t roll it, just use your cleaned palms and pat down as much as you can’t and then, using a tart cookie mould, cut the shape.