Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

What If You Only Had These 12 Ingredients In Your Kitchen?

February 19, 2008

My previous helper did not cook at home and hence my kitchen always had too little ingredients for me to whip up any dish. However I always managed to get creative, sometimes with the help of additional items (a quick visit to my Shop & Save supermarket, a five minute walk away).

What would you cook if you only had these 12 ingredients in your kitchen? (Assuming in any reasonable amount)
1. Apples
2. Butter
3. Chicken Meat (Any part)
4. Chicken Eggs
5. Garlic
6. Fresh Mushrooms
7. Chocolate
8. Rice
9. Flour (Any type)
10. Herbs & Spices
11. Pasta (Any type)
12. Sugar

I would cook these two dishes:
1. Herbed Mushroom & Chicken Pasta
2. Apple Crumble

1. Herbed Mushroom & Chicken Pasta

Ingredients
Butter, Garlic, Mushrooms, Chicken, Herbs & Spices and Pasta

Directions
1. Marinate the chicken (cut into small pieces) with Herbs & Spices for an hour in the fridge before cooking.
2. Boil pasta till al dente with some salt – I’m assuming there’s always salt in the kitchen! 😉
3. Mince garlic and cook in butter till lightly browned.
4. Add in chicken and fry over low heat.
5. Add in sliced mushrooms and continue to mix till it softens.
6. Add more Herbs & Spices/Salt to taste.
7. Mix in the cooked pasta and serve.

2. Apple Crumble

Ingredients
Apples, Butter, Flour and Sugar

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 180 °C.
2. Slice and core the apples.
3. Rub flour, sugar and cubed butter together till it resembles breadcrumbs.
4. Place apples into a bowl and sprinkle over some sugar and incorporate it lightly with your hands.
5. Butter a baking dish and place apples in first, followed by the “breadcrumb-looking” crumble.
6. Bake in oven for 40 to 50 minutes until you see the apple browning and the crumble looking gorgeously golden brown.

I didn’t use any eggs or rice. As for the chocolate, I would probably eat it on its own at a later time. 🙂

What would you cook if you only had these 12 ingredients in your kitchen?

My Valentine’s Day Experience At Corduroy & Finch.

February 15, 2008

I had a good time at Corduroy & Finch, one of my top 3 restaurant suggestions as mentioned in my previous post. I’ll relate this experience to you through some of the many photos I took yesterday.

I was greeted by this gorgeous restaurant, tucked away in the corner of 6th Avenue. When the boyfriend and I arrived at 8pm, the place was only half-filled with families, couples and a large group of at least 16 people having a collective Valentine’s Day celebration. The crowd kicked in about an hour later.

There was a box of 6 chocolates on each table, and each chocolate had the words “I Love You” on it.

The Valentine’s Day menu. My boyfriend and I opted for the Grilled Beef Tenderloin, medium-rare. We’re both meat lovers.

While we waited for our food to arrive (which took a wee bit longer than expected), trigger-happy me starting to snap away with my camera (Fuji Finepix F31). Here’s a photo of me with the free chocolates, a view from the second floor (the restaurant was showing a film from the sixties), a photo of the stairway up to the second floor and a photo of the place-mat.

Here’s the food 😀

(From top-left, description moving clockwise) 

Starter: North American lamb pastries, almond yoghurt sauce, garlic oil and toasted pine nuts.
3.9 over 5 stars – the sauce and nuts makes this dish different from a normal Chinese dumpling.

Main Course: Grilled beef tenderloin & baby lobster tail, cep sauce & lobster butter.
4.4 over 5 stars – a very juicy cut of beef with a generous amount of delightful sauce with some mashed potatoes.

Dessert: Strawberry sunburst, champagne rose jelly & lychee compote.
2.8 over 5 stars – I thought they could have done much better with their dessert and I wasn’t too fond of all that rose flavouring in it. However, the strawberry sunburst cake had saved this entire dish from failing at my ratings.

Turkish Delight
2.3 over 5 stars – Okay maybe I am just very particular about how turkish delight should taste like. I like it traditional without any additional flavourings added (rose again) and with some pistachios. However it had a very impressive ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ effect.

The meal ended with a freshly brewed lavazza coffee and some shortbread that was delicious.

Total damage: S$168
Overall rating: 4.3 over 5 stars
(Dropped slight from the previous 4.5 stars, on normal days they’re better at their food and service)

How did you spend your Valentine’s Day? 🙂

Chocolate Icing Recipe.

February 9, 2008

You can really do whatever you want to an Icing recipe to suit your preference. Here is my basic chocolate Icing recipe. It’s really easy, just 5 tiny ingredients and you’re good to go.

Chocolate Icing Recipe

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (you may add more if you like)
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup of confectioner’s sugar (you may increase this according to the consistency you’re looking for)

Directions

1. In a large bowl, beat butter and cocoa together until well-combined.
2. Add milk and vanilla extract and beat till smooth.
3. Gradually beat in the confectioner’s sugar until your desired consistency is achieved.
4. Adjust with more milk, sugar, flour, if necessary.
5. Spread this beautiful icing onto your cake and serve.

Here’s how I decorated my cake in my previous post. This cake were for my cousins, during a picnic we had while watching Ballet Under The Stars. The cake was rich and Yum-O.

I topped off the icing with chocolate chips and dusted it lightly with confectioner’s sugar for a contrasting effect.

A close up view.

I welcome suggestions to make this recipe even better. 🙂

Extremely Rich & Moist Chocolate Cake Recipe.

February 8, 2008

Warning: This recipe is not for any chocolate lover, it is only for those who would die without the existence of chocolate and its goodness.

This is one of my favourite chocolate recipes, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. Here is the recipe for this luscious cake. I will be posting the icing recipe and display the finished cake, so do look out for it.

Extremely Rich & Moist Chocolate Cake (Serves 6)

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar (You may reduce this if you prefer it not to be too sweet)
2 small eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
1 & 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt

Directions
1. Preheat oven at 175°C, grease and flour 2 cake tins with cocoa powder.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into one bowl.
3. Cream butter and sugar with electronic mixer, until light and fluffy. Beat eggs in very slowly, one by one. Stir in vanilla extract.
4. Combine in flour mixture alternatively with milk, mixing until incorporated. Pour into the 2 cake tins.
5. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or when a skewer comes out clean when poked into the middle of the cake.
6. Allow the cake to cool in the cake tin for 10 minutes before removing it to cool completely on a cooling rack.

Please note that the oven temperature and baking timing varies across ovens. Results for this cake will depend on the relationship you have with your oven. Here are some photos to guide you along.

The cake mixture waiting to be placed into my oven.

One layer of the cake cooling off on the cooling rack.

The 2 layers waiting to be iced.

Watch out for the rest of this post, for the icing recipe and finished cake.