Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Beginnings (and Mud Cake)

From now on, this will be my photoblog. No words, no ramblings... just photos. It's been great fun having this blog, and I wish to thank all my readers. Too bad I didn't last one year. Oh well.

...cake?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Earl Grey Panna Cotta

So... I've made a Tumblr. I'm still in the process of customizing it, but I expect it to be completed soon. There will still be one or two posts before I shift to my new blog. I have, however imported all my posts, so I won't lose anything.


I conjured this recipe myself. I was looking for a delicate cream, scented with Earl Grey, served in teacups. Considering I had no idea what i was doing, this was actually quite tasty (if I do say so myself).


I will send all my subscribers the link to my Tumblr account, and I would greatly appreciate it if they could follow me there.

Cya

Monday, November 8, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

Been a while. I am postponing my change to Tumblr as I am having second thoughts. It would be like starting a completely new blog, and I've had this blog for almost a year. I'll probably need a second opinion.

Today's yumminess comes in the form of a cookie.

Cookie? Yes, Peanut Butter Cookie.


I have a friend who is in love with peanut butter. He knows who he is. I enjoy the odd spoonful of peanut butter but can't eat it in a sandwich. I don't know why. I can, however, happily eat a trayful of these cookies. They were flavoursome and yum.

Two types of cookies in a row? I know, but stay tuned because I have something awesome to show you guys in a few days/weeks. Bye.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Totally Chocolate Chocolate Cookies

These are totally chocolate, chocolate chip cookies. They contain chocolate in four forms: cocoa powder, melted chocolate, dark chocolate bits and white chocolate bits. The original recipe called for chocolate chips which I found out I did not have. Instead I chopped up some dark chocolate and white chocolate. This resulted in a much richer cookie. But what's wrong with that?


I did give some out to celebrate the end of yearlies. They were hugely appreciated. With so much chocolate, these cookies can sink a ship with its decadence. Due to the price of chocolate, these were probably also the most expensive cookies I've ever made. All the more to prize them for.

Some news: It is very likely that I will be moving this blog to Tumblr. Friends have told me that Tumblr is better for blogs with a lot of photos. If you wish to know my new link, please e-mail me at thesetastesofmine@gmail.com. I am only doing this because there are some people who I do not wish to know my new blog's address. I will keep this blog running but I am not sure what will happen in the future. I would appreciate it if my followers could follow me on Tumblr, once I get the new blog running.

Thankyou~

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Cheesecakelets

Ok. The exams are over. Be happy. No use being nervous now because there's nothing you can do about it.

Happy thought: cookies. I will post some delicious cookies in a few days once I sort through my photos. People who I gave some to loved them so I know they're good.

But for now: Cheesecakelets.


These had a weird texture and left me with a somewhat sour aftertaste. It's probably due to me adding more cottage cheese than the recipe asked for. For some reason the pancakes would not hold together while cooking so I added a lot more flour. It was quite disappointing actually.


This is the only recipe I tried from Nigella Lawson that has let me down. Seriously. I altered it so much that I don't feel like posting the recipe today.

Stay tuned for cookies though! Bye.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Strawberry Swiss Roll

Short post today and I think you all know why. Yearlies.

I remember eating this at a bakery, and I loved the light cake filled with juicy strawberries. I made two of these cakes - one for my family to eat and another to bring to a picnic. The second one I frosted with some leftover filling.


My pan is smaller than what is called for, so I ended up with a thicker cake. A thicker cake means less creamy filling. This is quite upsetting, but the cake itself is tasty too. I substituted strawberry jelly powder for the gelatine in the filling, which turned it pink and gave a subtle strawberry essence.


This is amazing and spectacular to look at. I have to get back to studying now (yeah right). I'm sure you'll all do great.

Good luck!


Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mocha Brownies

I am so nervous about the yearlies, but I'm too lazy to revise. I probably will have to cram in the last few days. Oh well, never been the conscientious type anyway.

Brownies! These mocha (coffee)-flavoured brownies were tasty, but only to those who enjoy coffee. I myself am a tea person so these weren't that exciting. People who love coffee though would love these.


I don't know why but I burnt the bottom of the brownies. Maybe my oven's weird? I don't know. I also added some chopped walnuts for texture.

Bye! (I have to think of a better way to end my posts)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Black Forest Cheesecake

I don't like birthday cakes. They are expensive and often I can replicate them at home. This year, I did not plan on making a cake because I was lazy, but I ended up putting together an easy cheesecake. I found it on the back of a package of cream cheese, but it's also on the Kraft website.


I love black forest themed stuff. It was light and creamy and not too sweet or rich. This was delicious and I was honoured to have it as my 'birthday cake'.

See you guys soon.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Baked Rice Custard

Thanks for the birthday wishes. It's not all fun and games though - I'm nearly halfway to thirty, and that scares me.

My friends were originally going to take me out to the city and celebrate, but they cancelled. Thanks guys. It's kind of like this rice custard/pudding thing. I had high expectations a few weeks back but the actual results just... weren't good.


I'm not sure if it's the way the rice was prepared or because I didn't use enough custard. The rice was hard and grainy and the whole things was not creamy. It's not like the ones they made at a shop I went past during primary school. This is part of a large queue of recipes which I loved the photos, but hated the food. As they (inside joke) say - 'looks can be deceiving'.


I'm not going to post the recipe because I'm tired and I don't think it deserves it. But credit where credit is due, it's from a very old issue of Super Food Ideas.

I had a lovely birthday nonetheless and... tomorrow school starts!

Bye.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Spinach and Cheese Triangles

I made these delicious triangles for a picnic and they were easy and tasted great. I always loved cheese and spinach triangles that came from the freezer, and these ones were very close. The only problem is that the filling wasn't as creamy and cheesy.


I could only find frozen spinach that came in 250g packages so I used that. Once all the liquid has been drained, it's weight decreased even more, but the ratio of spinach to cheese was just right.

The holidays are nearly over so I hope you enjoyed them, and see you soon!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

White Chocolate and Cherry Brownies

I have a love-hate relationship with white chocolate. I refer to it as fake white crap as in it's not real chocolate, containing no cocoa mass. But occasionally I crave it because dark chocolate is too rich and milk chocolate is too sweet (ironic?). I can eat a small piece of white chocolate, and every piece after that causes toothache. I had to make these blondies though because I love cherries and I was craving white chocolate.


This recipe is called 'Cherry Blondies', but blondies are made with brown sugar and no chocolate. I'd rather call them more accurately, white chocolate brownies. I used a drained jar of Morello cherries instead of fresh cherries, which added sourness against the sweet of the chocolate.


These white chocolate brownies were really nice. Chewy and sweet, without a strong tooth-aching white chocolate taste. The cherries were juicy and paired well with the brownie. They were so easy to make and I plan on making them for a few friends in the future.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ultimate Mashed Potatoes

It is the holidays once again, and this time I plan on finishing all my work within the first few days so I can have the rest of the holidays off. I plan to, but most likely I will end up cramming on the last few days.

Moving on, I made mashed potatoes! I used to love mashed potatoes and gravy from KFC, but I detest KFC hence I don't get to eat much mashed potatoes. But I will in the future now that I have this recipe. Normally I would boil potatoes in water until it is soft, but this recipe uses chicken broth which adds a lot more flavour. The soften potatoes are then mashed with cream, butter, sour cream, bacon and chives - only I didn't have chives so I substituted with spring onions.


This was amazing and is far tastier than that KFC crap. I love bacon and it gives the mashed potatoes texture and flavour. The hardest and most tedious part of the recipe is peeling potatoes, but once you try a mouthful of mashed potato it all becomes worth it.

Have a great school holiday!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Teriyaki Chicken and Soba Noodle Salad

I made this salad for myself when I had a friend over. It was flavoursome and refreshing. The soba noodles were light and the vegetables were crisp. I made my own teriyaki marinade, but I recommend using store-bought which has much more flavour.


The chicken breasts I marinaded for many hours, which enhanced the flavour. The soba noodles were very easy to cook, and not much different to pasta. I didn't have beansprouts so I left those out. I had some trouble when I cooked the chicken though because the pan I used was too hot. I ended up steaming the chicken to prevent the outside from burning and the inside remaining raw.


The combination was unbelievable. It was sweet and salty and cool. I will definitely be making this when I am feeling hungry.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Strawberry Shortcakes

My 50th Post! Don't know why it's significant, just thought I'd mention it.

Up until a few months ago, I disliked the idea of Strawberry Shortcake. I'm not sure if it was the relation to the doll, or the fact that I thought shortbread was dry and yuck. Not anymore though, now that I know I don't have to make a big shortcake but can make small scones and fill it with berries and cream.


I don't quite like the recipe for the scones, though, because it was very thick and hard (...). I also made them too big so it was very difficult for people to actually eat. Next time, I will make thin soft scone disks which can be eaten easier. The strawberries were nice and sweet. And the cream!!!

See you guys in a  few days!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blueberry Tartlets

Remember the Strawberry Tartlets? Well when I was making those I also made a small batch of blueberry tartlets. I was originally planning to make a big batch of these tartlets for a friend's assignment, but cancelled (sorry).


Fresh blueberries are so frickin' expensive, so I simply substituted frozen blueberries. For some reason there was an excessive amount of syrup leftover, so next time I will cook it down a little longer. I did not use the crust recipe given in the recipe, but used the one in the Strawberry Tartlets instead. The blueberry filling made far more than what could be filled in the shells, but they were delicious on pancakes and oats.


The lemon cream was a light and zesty accompaniment to the sweet tartlets. I still have half a package of frozen blueberries in the freezer so I can't wait to throw them in a cake.

Bye!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Coconut, Chocolate & Banana Muffins

A quick post today, I'm really busy.

I made these muffins a few weeks ago, and they were very impressive. They had a great texture and tasted fantastic. I think it would taste better if white chocolate replaced the dark chocolate.


The recipe calls for small muffin pans, but I used normal-sized ones and made 15. My mum's going to China tomorrow for a month, so I don't know how that will affect my cooking or this blog.

Bye!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Strawberry Tartlets

I said I was making a lot of tarts, and I wasn't lying. I immediately wanted to make this when I saw the delicious photo in The Big Book of Baking. The hardest part is the Crème Pâtissière (pastry cream) which ended up lumpy and ugly, but you can hardly see it under the strawberry. The recipe calls for redcurrent jelly, which I couldn't find, so I substituted with strawberry jelly to glaze the top. I halved the original recipe to accommodate my smaller tart pans.


Typing this, I've realised I didn't actually taste one. I think I only made 5 small tartlets, and each of my family members had one, leaving me with none. Hmm... according to them it was very nice. Oh well.

See you guys soon!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lemon Cheese Tart

It's the last day of Winter, which means Spring is tomorrow. I'm sad that the cooler months are over, but happy since berries, mangoes, pineapples and other Summer fruit are coming. Technically lemons should be out of season soon, but these days shops have everything all year round. This recipe comes from a cookbook called Cheesecakes by Maxine Clark. I made this for a dinner with family friends, and they all loved it.


Basically, this is a cheesecake in a tart shell. The use of lemon zest is very interesting, and it produced a great citrusy flavour. I had a bit of trouble working with the pastry, but it obeyed me in the end. I also left the tart in the oven too long, giving it a brown surface, but it did not affect the taste.


I have been and will be making a lot of tarts, small and big, these days. This was so nice, but next time I would dust it with a little caster sugar, just to balance out the sourness. I say this year's Winter was awesome, and Spring's gonna rock!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Morello Cherry Clafoutis

I wanted to use the oval ramekins I got with my blowtorch, and cherries were on my mind so I decided to make cherry clafoutis. Clafoutis is traditionally unpitted cherries baked with a crepe batter. The pits that are left in gives of an almond flavour.


It's still Winter here, so cherries aren't in season. I decided to use jarred pitted Morello cherries. I put too many cherries into the dish before adding the batter, so the result was more sour than I would have preferred.


Cherries are one of my favourite fruits, so I enjoyed this a lot. I look forward to Summer when I can make this with fresh cherries.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Caramel Slice

The Apple store in Castle Towers has opened and I went to the grand opening with my friends. I got an oversized T-shirt, which was cool. You should all go and check it out, though apparently it's not as big as the one in the city. I wouldn't know, I've never been.


I've loved caramel slice ever since a Year 3 friend gave me a piece of her's. It was sweet, chewy and delicious. My mum would never let me buy one at he shops, though, because she thought it was too sweet. I've always put off making caramel slice because I didn't have the right pan size, but I got one from my recent trip to Victoria's Basement. I ran out of butter(!) when making the chocolate layer so I just used plain cooking chocolate. Next time, I shall use better quality chocolate.


My mum said they were nice, but a tad sweeter than she would prefer. She said it would taste better with chopped nuts. Whatever - I liked them (so did my friend and his mum) and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Caramelised Onion and Mozzarella Omelette

I wung this recipe when I was away from school. I was hungry for something salty, but I didn't have many interesting ingredients in the fridge or pantry. I did have half a bag of mozzarella cheese stored in the freezer, so I decided to use that.


First I caramelised half an onion. This is actually the most time-consuming part, but you do not have to do much work. I cracked a few eggs and mixed it with salt, pepper and water. Pour the eggs over the onions and cook. Sprinkle over some cheese, fold over and you're done. I was expecting this to be nice with the onions and cheese. It wasn't nice, it was mind-blowing.


The cheese was gooey and stringy, and the onion lent great flavour. Served this with a drizzle of tomato sauce and you have one of easiest but most delicious lunches out there. You should serve this with an undressed salad of lettuce and tomatoes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Butterscotch Self-Saucing Pudding

I GOT A BLOWTORCH!!!!!!! So happy.

 
I have mentioned before that I rarely make things I have before. Last week I tried out a self-saucing pudding recipe from Taste. Quite simply, it blew my mind. It was rich but not too sweet, and the sauce was thick and delicious. I tweaked the recipe, adding more water and golden syrup for more sauce.


We had it with cream, and everyone loved it. The top is crunchy, but underneath is a soft spongey cake. The sauce is thick and works perfectly. My sister was about to cry when she realised there was none left. I promised I will make it again, which I did. I made it again this Friday with the same delicious result.


I couldn't believe that such a simple recipe could be so delicious. I am waiting to buy a can of Butane gas so I can finally used my new blowtorch.

Hmmm... What should I set on fire first?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Penne alla Boscaiola

Heh, who knew having an eye infection for three days can give me time to cook loads of yummy food.

I was feeling hungry yesterday and I looked in the fridge, then the pantry, then back at the fridge. I had bacon, mushrooms, cream and some other vegetables. I decided on pasta, which seemed the easiest way to go. I boiled some Penne, and made half a batch of Boscaiola sauce to top it with.


Boscaiola sauce is made with bacon, mushrooms, onions, parsley and cream. This sauce was quick and tasty. I think I used the wrong type of mushroom, though. Oh well, most mushrooms taste the same anyway.


I think I am really getting the hang of cooking pasta. This recipe is a keeper.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chicken and Corn Soup

Whenever I go to an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, there will always be Chicken and Corn Soup. I always loved this soup, but knew it contained many preservatives and artificial flavours. I was browsing through a cookbook, when I found a recipe for Chicken and Corn Soup, so I decided to try it out.


I realised, after I had started, that I did not have enough chicken stock, so I made up the volume with chicken broth, which has less gelatine, but still has good chicken flavour. Make sure you do not do what I did and mix one tablespoon of cornflour with 3 tablespoons water, when you're supposed to mix 3 tablespoons of cornflour with 1 tablespoon of water. This caused the soup to be very thin, when the desired consistency is very thick.


Despite the soup being thin, I still loved this. I will definitely be making this again.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Pancakes

Lately I have realised that I do not eat a very traditional breakfast. People I know eat cereal and bread. I am fortunate enough to have my grandparents living with me, so each morning my grandma makes rice for me. That's right, rice breakfast and dinner. But sometimes I get cravings for more western breakfasts. When I was younger I would occasionally surprise my parents by making breakfast for them. I would fry eggs and bacon, and make toast. While I love savoury breakfasts, it's always good to have a sugar hit first thing in the morning.


This recipe is from Taste, and is fairly basic recipe as far as pancakes go, though there is a recipe for 'Super Fluffy Pancakes' in one of my cookbooks I want to try. I was never really picky about my pancakes. To be honest, I only had pancakes made from those pancake-mixes which come in jugs. Come to think of it, it's he first time I've made pancakes from scratch.


I like my pancakes plain, but some adornments never hurt anybody.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Amaretti Biscuits

I got this recipe from my new cookbook The Big Book of Baking. The recipe was called 'Almond Macaroons', though I prefer the Italian name Amaretti biscuits. Macaroons are made with egg whites and coconut. Macarons are a complicated French biscuit made with almond meal and egg whites, with some sort of cream sandwiched between. People on TV (*cough* MasterChef), pronounce Macarons 'Macarooooons'. They're wrong.


Anyways, Ameretti are an Italian cookie made with almond meal, sugar and egg whites. That's all. The recipe called for halved blanched almonds to be placed on top, but I prefer the colour and ease of a whole almond. This recipe also added a drop of almond essence, though I don't think it's at all necessary. They were delicious morsels eaten with tea.
.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Crepes Suzette

Adam won. Yay!

[Rant] While on the note of MasterChef, I will not willingly watch a single episode of Junior MasterChef. It's not because I'm jealous that I'm a year older than the maximum age, it's because it is so racist. In the ad, I could not see any Asian dishes. Where are the plates of stirfries? The big bowls of wontons? And seeing these kids serve up so much pretentious, western food makes me feel angry and sad. It goes to show how much their parents impact them. Where are the kids whose families don't eat roasts every week, or can't digest the fact that other people don't use woks. Heck, where are the children who don't speak English? The kids who only know Asian dishes and who don't have a chance, because the judges are all western people with western palates.
The judges are wowed and impressed by a three tiered cream cake with strawberry buttercream and candied raspberries, but when someone turns up with a plate of sticky rice pudding (a delicious Asian dessert), they say 'It's a bit plain'. What does that say about the judges? They see pretentious western food as glorious, yet Asian food plain. Well I'm sorry if Asian dishes don't have ass-loads of butter and bucketfuls of sugar. And yet that's what the judges expect from contestant. I don't mind it when it's adults competing, hopefully they can take it. But I just feel sad for the children. Having to learn western food and impress the judges with what the judges like, not what their families eat everyday. I can imagine a little 9-year old Chinese kid looking at a recipe and thinking, 'WTF!!! 500 grams of butter? That's going to clog veins and everything! Oh well, at least the judges will like it and give me the advantage for the rest of the week!'
The judges can't seem to be able to understand children are being westernised and are disowning their own cultures. They teach children how to make French-style this, Asian-style that. It's not Asian! It's a western cut of meat marinated in soy sauce! That makes it Asian!? God. I love MasterChef, and enjoy watching the normal one, but not this Junior crap. [Rant finished]

In my last post I promised sugar, alcohol and fire. I was referring to Crepes Suzette, a dish of pancakes soaked in orange syrup and alcohol, flambéed (set on fire).  I was so excited - I made my own crepes and everything. Sadly, to put it bluntly, it was disgusting. It was horrible, and it tasted like bitter alcohol. Bitter from the orange zest and alcohol from the Cognac. I used Cognac, a type of brandy, instead of Grand Marnier (an orange liqueur) because I did not have it. Not sure if it was because of that, but there was a bad alcohol taste.


The crepes themselves were nice, but I know I need a lot of practice to get them right. I was hoping for a big flare when I lit the alcohol. That didn't happen. I tried again. Only small blue wisps of fire appeared. It wasn't very exciting, and I could not get a very good shot.


Aw... look at that insignificant glow...


Nobody in my family like them, and I honestly don't know why you would want to make this. I know many people like this dish, but I think my family's just not into alcoholic desserts. Because I am in a pissy mood, and I'm tired, I won't be posting a recipe. But I shall return with something (hopefully) spectacular and delicious. Though I wouldn't advise holding your breath.