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Spring onion pancakes


Chinese Spring onion pancakes 葱油餠

Sometimes we just crave simple food that brings back memories. For a simple meal, we often make rice congee and have stir fry noodles with it. The rice congee would take some time to prepare, in order for the rice grains to break down enough to be creamy. While that’s going, I can also prepare Spring Onion pancakes to go with the meal. They do not resemble the western pancakes though, as these are not light or fluffy. Instead, they are chewy and most definitely savoury in taste (you can also make sweet versions with red bean paste filling, another stunner!).

By bringing back this oldie, I’m creating memories with my daughter too. J loves rolling these out, and have recently discovered via the Woks of Life a shortcut to these crispy delights: using round store-bought wonton pastry, create 6 layer stacks of pastry, oil, salt and spring onions. Roll these out and pan fry on a dry pan. Super quick and I hope that she will remember these and make them in the future, be it traditional way or the shortcut!

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil for the pancakes
  • 2 tsp fine salt
  • 1 bunch spring onions
  • Rice bran oil for the pan

Dough Instructions

  1. Mix flour with water until it forms a smooth dough. Knead by doubling the dough over and pressing it down repeatedly, until the dough is shiny, smooth and very elastic. Coat this ball of dough lightly in oil and put it back in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for about 30 minutes.
  2. Finely chop the spring onion. (I use both the green tops and the white parts.) Set them on your work surface along with a small bowl of salt.
  3. Time to roll out the dough – Cut the dough into 4 equal parts. Roll out one part of the dough on the board. Roll until it is a thin rectangle at least 20 x 15 cm.
  4. Lightly brush the surface of the dough with sesame oil, then sprinkle it evenly with chopped spring onions and salt.Chinese Spring onion pancakes
  5. Starting from the long end, roll the dough up tightly, creating one long log of rolled-up dough.
  6. Cut the dough log into two equal parts.
  7. Take one of these halves, coil into a round dough disc. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes and ideally longer, while you repeat this process with the rest of the dough.Chinese Spring onion pancakes
  8. With you hands, press down a rolled dough disc into a flat, smooth, round pancake. Flatten it further by rolling with a rolling pin.Chinese Spring onion pancakes
  9. Chinese Spring onion pancakes
  10. Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Place the pancake dough in the dry pan and cook on medium heat for 2 minutes.
  11. Flip the pancake over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes on the other side, or until golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the pancake dough rolls.

To Serve
Cut the pancake into wedges with a sharp knife, and serve immediately. Serve with your usual dumpling sauce (soy and vinegar).

Recipe Notes
Oils: This recipe calls for oil in two different places: Once to make the filling, and once to fry the pancakes. For the filling, any neutral oil will do, but tasters (and I!) prefer sesame oil.

Make-Ahead Tip: If you would like to make a few pancakes but save the rest for later, you can save the dough in the fridge for up to 3 days and in the freezer. Just make sure the dough is oiled and well-covered. You can also roll out individual pancakes and stack them between well-oiled layers of baking paper.

Chinese Spring onion pancakes 葱油餠

Oreo macarons with white chocolate ganache



I used to make Oreo macarons with crushed Oreos in the Mac shells. The process is a bit tedious and result not as consistent. Here is a simplier version, by making a simple spleckled shell with an oreo chocolate ganache filling. Still very yum!

Macarons shell ingredients (makes about 40 macarons)

  • 150g icing sugar
  • 150g almond meal
  • 110g egg whites, split into 2 bowls of 55g each
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 38ml water
  • 1g meringue powder
  • 2 drops of gel colouring, I used black

Filling

  • 120g 28% cocoa White chocolate
  • 60ml cream
  • 4 oreo cookies, blitzed into crumbs

Instructions

  1. Follow my basic recipe to make the shells.
  2. Heat cream and pour over white chocolate that has been broken up into small pieces in a bowl.
  3. Wait for a minute before stiring the chocolate ganache. Leave in the fridge for 10 minutes for it to set.
  4. Mix in Oreo cookie crumbs (about 4 cookies, blitzed into crumbs beforehand).
  5. Spread or pipe a teaspoon of your chocolate ganache on half of your shells and top them with the remaining half of your shells.
  6. The filled macarons need to be kept in the fridge for 24 hours for the filling to soften the shells and also for the flavour to fully develop.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies


DSC_7713

What kind of chocolate chip cookie do you dream about when a craving surfaces? Mine’s soft and chewy, buttery and chocolatey all in the same bite. Warm out of the oven, I can never resist sneaking one before it has cooled down. I especially love having multiple kinds and sizes of chocolate bits in it with it all melting differently, resulting in gooey chocolate yumminess. 

How flat they go will depend on how warm the butter in the mixture is – the colder it is, the rounder and perkier the cookies will be. Better even, leave the dough in the fridge for 48 hours before baking and they will be perfect. You can add any nuts, chocolate or goodies you like to this recipe – just be creative!

Ingredients

  • 250g butter, unsalted (room temperature)
  • 1½ cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 2 eggs, size 8 
  • 2½ cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped up good quality chocolate (into a variety of sizes) 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200c fan bake.
  2. With a stand mixer, beat together butter, brown sugar and vanilla until well combined.
  3. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is well combined.
  4. Sift flour, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl and stir with a whisk to combine.
  5. Add flour mixture to the stand mixer and mix well.
  6. Stir in the chocolate bits.
  7. Using a small ice cream scoop, portion and place cookie dough about 5cm apart on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  8. Place dough in the fridge for a minimum of 30 mins and up to 48 hours to firm up. (You can even freeze them!)
  9. Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. If using two trays at the same time, switch the trays around half-way through to ensure even cooking.
  10. Cool the biscuits on the tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Eat them warm then make some more!

DSC_7712

They are good as ice cream sandwich cookies too!

Baileys Chocolate Luxe Bundt Cake


This is quite a boozy cake – not at all a surprise since there is a whole cup of Baileys in here. What I didn’t expect was how much the children liked this cake (the alcohol has been cooked off so no children inadvertently got drunk from consuming this cake). This cake is quite indulgent and rich, please do serve in smaller portions – you can always go back for seconds. I’ve used the special chocolat version of Bailey’s here, by all means use what you have 😉

Ingredients For the Bundt Cake:

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (Valrhona)
  • 1 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 3 Tbsp instant coffee granules (Moccona)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup oil (rice bran)
  • 1 cup Baileys Chocolat Luxe Irish Cream liqueur
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (Equagold)

Ingredients For the Toppings:

  • 120g chocolate drops (I used Equagold 70% Ghana dark chocolate)
  • 120ml cream
  • 1/2 cup salted caramel
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate pieces, for sprinkling over the icing (I used a few Valrhona batons, broken into small pieces)

Directions:

    1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Prepare a 8-10 cup bundt cake pan by spraying with baking spray. I used a silikomart high cathedral pan here.
    2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the dry ingredients. Turn the mixer on low to break up any lumps and then slowly add in the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth, about 2 minutes.
    3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to rest and cool for at least 30 minutes before flipping onto a wire cooling rack and cool to room temperature before any icing is poured on (so that the icing doesn’t get soaked in).
    4. While the cake is cooling, warm the cream till it just comes to a boil on the stove. Remove from heat and pour over the bowl of chocolate. Let it sit in the cream for 5 minutes then stir to combine. Once combined, leave it to cool for 30 minutes before drizzling. Warm the caramel. Set aside.
    5. Place a piece of baking paper under the wire cooling rack. Use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate ganache over the cake. Drizzle salted caramel over the cake. Sprinkle the dark chocolate pieces over the top of liquid toppings.
    6. Serve straightaway if you can’t wait, but it tastes even better the next day.

A tale of two tarts: salted caramel or hazelnut?


1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

It’s the school holidays and J wanted to make chocolate mousse, while I wanted to test out my newly purchased Gobel tart rings. I usually make tarts with ganache but thought hey I could use mousse! We discussed the elements and J came up with a plan, a cross-sectional drawing of her mousse design.

After a bit of debate, we had two ideas:

  1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut, Nutella tart
  2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

For the hazelnut tart, a thin layer of Nutella (you can of course use chocolate ganache) was spread on the base of the tart, then a thin layer of roasted hazelnut paste and then topped with the chocolate mousse.

For the salted caramel tart, a thin layer of salted caramel was first spread on the base of the tart, then topped with chocolate mousse. Some freeze dried strawberries were added to give a contrasting taste to the sweet and salty caramel.

For both, cocoa nibs, crunchy chocolate pearls and feuilletine shards were added for texture.

I like how I can do the components separately (to fit in with school holiday activities) and then assemble right before serving.

Hope you will enjoy these!

Sweet almond tart base
Makes 10 x 9″ ring tart bases
DSC_6794
200g all-purpose (plain) flour
40g ground almonds
100g icing sugar
100g butter, cold and cubed
1 egg (I use size 8)

  1. Sift and combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Add the butter and ‘rub in’, working the butter into the dry ingredients with your fingertips until it resemble small crumbs
  3. Add the egg and incorporate it into the dry ingredients.
  4. Work the dough lightly by gathering the dough with your fingertips and folding it over with a downward push of your palm. Work quickly and lightly, till it comes together.
  5. Wrap up the dough inside a folded sheet of baking paper, gently roll flat with a rolling pin and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.
  6. While the dough is resting, prepare the tart rings by buttering them.
  7. When the dough is ready, lightly sprinkle some flour on your bench or chopping board.
  8. Roll out the dough on the board with a rolling pin to a thickness of 2-3mm. You may need to add more flour to keep it from sticking as it is a very soft dough.
  9. Cut out a circle of dough larger than your ring and place onto the buttered tart ring or mould.
  10. Press well onto the sides. Use a glass to flatten the bottom and sides to ensure you have straight edges.
  11. Cut off excess dough by going over the top of the tart ring with the rolling pin.
  12. Pinch the edges up slightly.
  13. Prick holes at the base with a fork.
  14. Rest in the fridge for 30 – 60 minutes to stop it from shrinking.
  15. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  16. Using ceramic baking beads or rice, blind bake at 180 degrees C for 15-20 minutes or when browned all over. Set aside to cool completely

1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

Putting it all together
Chocolate mousse, hazelnut, Nutella tart

  • Cooled tart base
  • Nutella (or melted chocolate)
  • Roasted hazelnut paste (Equagold)
  • Chocolate mousse (Mousse recipe)
  • On the top – Chocolate crunchy shards, pearls, cocoa nibs

Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

1. Chocolate mousse, hazelnut and nutella tart 2. Salted caramel, chocolate mousse and strawberries tart

These turn out more rustic than elegant 😉 still delicious regardless!