Friday, January 14, 2011

Lime Marmalade Muffins

Breakfast: 14-Jan-2010

The best marmalade muffins ever... been making these for quite a few years now... its very more-ish... the kids have just about eaten almost all of them... Loooovvveee the taste... I think because its a citrus flavored muffin, its very appetizing... :-)

Recipe was adapted from "Australian Quick 'n' Easy Cakes & Muffins Biscuits, Slices & More" by Robyn Martin, Recipe: Lime Marmalade Muffins, pg 8.

1. 2 cups plain flour
2. 4 tsp baking powder
Best Marmalade!
3. 1/4 cup raw caster sugar
4. 1/2 cup Lime Marmalade (Best is: Buderim brand)
5. 2 eggs
6. 1 cup milk
7. 50g butter - melted

1. You can substitute the plain flour & baking powder with 2 cups self-raising flour if you want!
2. Original recipe mentions you can use any marmalade but suggests lime marmalade as the best.
3. I used low-fat Lactose-free milk due to lactose intolerance in both myself & my daughter.
Just before baking
4. Original recipe uses 50g butter but I have changed that to 50g olive oil which measures to 1/4 cup.

1. Sift flour & baking powder into a bowl.
2. Stir in sugar. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.
3. Beat marmalade, eggs, melted butter or oil & milk together.
4. Pour milk mixture into dry ingredients.
5. Mix to just moisten.
Just after baking
6. Three-quarter fill greased, deep muffin tins or jumbo muffin tins (I used small silicone muffin cups as pictured)
7. Bake at 200C for 15 mins for regular muffins or 20 mins for jumbo muffins or until cooked. (Mine took about 15 mins).

Recipe makes approximately 26 small muffins.

Enjoy a most yummy breakfast with these muffins!

Removing from the moulds


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Super-sized Baptism/Birthday Carrot Cake – Double the Carrot Yum!

Dessert : Wed, 5-Jan-2011 - a very special day indeed!! :-D

Maureen's Blurb:
In celebration of my 40th birthday and birth into God's kingdom, Karen made a double carrot cake for this dual celebration. Two carrot cakes in one making a tower of a cake all fenced in with yummy miniature Corinthians chocolate wafer rolls and topped with choc Lindt balls. To add additional glitter to the event, the writing on the cake was sparkling and glittery. It is the first birthday cake anyone has baked for me. Thanks to my sister in law and now in Christ for her pure and kind heart and her ability to bless us with her creative talents.

The cake and cream were very yummy but so big that between 6 adults and 3 children, we were only able to make our way through just over a quarter of the cake in one sitting!

My Blurb:
This is the best ever carrot cake... love the recipe... which originated from Susan Chan... thanks Susan for sharing it.. its the yummiest ever cake recipe!!  :-D

Now as for having made it... well... the girls (my SILs & Suz) are always wanting to watch what they eat... so emmm... decided to go for a healthier option (as my original was to try out my black forest cake... but my MIL doesn't like chocolate... so I stuck to the carrot cake option instead... oh plus my oldest boy who doesn't like vegies actually love this cake... funny that!)

Pictures of the cake you see here are actually emmm... 2 lots of cake recipe... so its actually heaps bigger than it would otherwise have been, with double quantities of cream cheese topping too... It is also because I decided to put 1 mixture into a bigger cake tin & much to my dismay was obviously heaps shorter even though it did rise... (Duh!!)  So I had to quickly bake a 2nd lot as well... hence the result of a giant sized cake! *haha*  :-D

Anyway, since my OSIL only ever comes once a year... (hoping it'll be more in the future), we have to of course celebrate her birthday early... seeing as it was a benchmark birthday too... the BIG 40...  *hehe* So the BIG 40 combined with a great baptism was celebrated with a BIG carrot cake *hehehehe*... Glad you enjoyed the cake... as huge as it looked... LOL!  :-D  Don't forget how special you are yah... Love you sis & congratulations!!

Susan Chan's Moist Carrot Cake
1. 1 cup oil (I used olive oil)
2. 1 cup brown sugar
3. 3 eggs
4. 1 1/2 cup self-raising flour
5. 1 tsp bicarb of soda
A lot of cake left!
6. 1 - 2 tsp cinnamon
7. pinch of salt
8. 2 large carrots - grated
9. 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Topping:
1. 250g Cream Cheese (I use Philadelphia brand)
2. 1/2 cup icing sugar
3. 2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. Hand beat eggs with a fork till light & fluffy.
3. Add in oil and sugar and hand mix until well combined.
3. Add sifted flour, bicarb of soda, cinnamon & salt and hand mix until well combined..
4. Fold in grated carrot & walnuts.
5. Pour into greased 20cm round cake tin.

A slice of cake for your enjoyment! Yum!
6. Bake 45-50 mins until cooked fully in the centre (In my oven it takes about 60 mins - so please check properly that the centre of your cake is fully cooked).

Cream Cheese Topping:
1. Cream the cream cheese, sugar & lemon juice together until desired consistency with a mixer.
2. Spread over cooled cake.

Note: I actually like to cut cake into half horizontally then spread cheese on bottom layer before putting top layer of cake back on & spreading cream cheese over the whole exterior of cake...


Char Siew Pau or BBQ Chicken Bun

Morning / Afternoon Tea: 12-Jan-2010

I feel inspired to make char siew pau today, using the recipe that was given to me by my sister's MIL, A Margaret... I couldn't remember the exact recipe & so decided to wing it a bit... A. Margaret, hope I've done it some justice, & will pass your standards... :-) 

This time around though, I thought I'd try out my mum's recipe for the bread part... hopefully it'll turn out nice... :-D Hmmm... I think it didn't turn out too nicely... I must experiment a bit more before I put my mum's recipe down... I think the dough didn't have too much elasticity for some reason... not sure why. Anyway, I have decided to go with A. Margaret's bread recipe instead, which is really just from the steam bun cake flour packaging...  

(Great discovery there A. Margaret... :-D)...

For Meat filling:
1. approx 1 kg skinless boneless chicken thigh fillets (you can use pork too) - cleaned, fat removed & diced to quite small pieces (this part took me the longest so I relaxed in front of the TV & watched a show whilst cutting *hehe*)
2. 1 x onion - diced to small pieces
3. approx 3 - 4 tbsp fragrant chinese sesame oil
4. 2 tbsp olive oil
5. 3 tbsp light soy sauce
6. 3 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
7. approx 6 - 10 tbsp dark soy sauce (to taste)
8. 1 tsp 5-spice powder
9. approx 1 - 2 tsp pepper (to taste)
10. 4 tbsp raw caster sugar (to taste)
11. 1 x 340g (drained weight) can whole water chestnut (ie. 1 x 567g (nett weight) large can) - drained & diced to small pieces & set aside
12. approx 3 tbsp sesame seeds - lightly fried & set aside

For Bread/Pau:
1. 1 x 397g bag Rooster brand steamed buns cake flour (has a picture of the steam bun in front & red print) - as pictured on the right.
2. 1 cup fresh milk (I used long life low-fat lactose free milk - also, 1 cup was rather wet, so I would put 1/2 cup in first then add in more if too dry)
3. 1/2 cup sugar
4. 1 tbsp cooking oil
5. Grease proof paper (or medium sized plain greaseproof cup cake cases - I was too lazy to cut little squares out... LOL!)

For Meat filling:
1. Heat up olive oil in large frying pan then add onions in. Fry onions till soft (but not brown).
2. Add chicken & brown lightly.
3. Add sesame oil, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, 5-spice powder, pepper and caster sugar to meat & mix well. Make sure meat is properly cooked & is to taste.
4. Add in water chestnuts, mix well.
5. Allow to simmer, occasionally mixing, until liquid has reduced.
6. Once cooled, add sesame seeds and mix well just before making buns.

For Bread/Pau: 
1. Remove 2 tbsp of flour from the packaging & leave aside for later use.
2. Mix the remaining flour in the package with 1/2 cup of fresh milk & 1/2 cup of sugar.
3. Knead dough well for 10 mins (adding more milk if necessary - up to 1 cup milk total, add the previously set-a-side-flour if too sticky) and then add 1 tbsp of cooking oil. Continue to knead again. Leave aside to stand for 30 mins.
4. Divide the dough into 12 parts.
5. Roll each piece into small, flat circular sheets.
6. Place filling into the centre of each rolled out sheet & fold the sides over the filling to enclose filling within.
7. Place each bun on a piece of paper/cup cake case.
8. Place the steamer filled with water on heat & boil well, add 2 tbsp of vinegar into the water to whiten the buns.
9. Steam for 10 mins, lift off the cover to remove any condensed water. Continue to steam for a further 10 mins.

10. Remove buns from the steamer & enjoy your hot delicious & ready to eat buns!! Yummy! :-D

Note: I have a metal Bellini electric steamer which I use instead & it works well, but will need to increase the time to 15 mins each time instead.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lamb Stew with chickpeas

Dinner: 6-Jan-2011

Recipe was obtained from the book, "Mmmm Casseroles" by Love Food, page 50.

It was Yummy.... although quantity says for 6 pple, I think it'll comfortably feed about 8 pple. My hubby packed some for lunch today & there's still a bit left... Yummy... or perhaps its because my hubby was the only guy eating, the rest were women... who knows! LOL! I couldn't get enough of the chickpeas... love em! Lamb was really soft too... & its my 1st time trying chorizo sausages... they were yum!

1. 6 tbsp olive oil
2. 225 g/8 oz chorizo sausage (more is OK), cut into 5mm/ 1/4 inch thick slices, casings removed.
3. 2 large onions, chopped
4. 6 large garlic cloves, crushed
5. 900 g/2 lb boneless leg of lamb, cut into 5 cm/2 inch chunks
6. 250 ml/9 fl oz lamb stock or water
7. 125 ml / 4 fl oz red wine, such as Rioja or Tempranillo
8. 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (I didn't put this in as I didn't have it)
9. 800g/1 lb 12 oz canned chopped tomatoes
10. 4 fresh thyme sprigs, plus extra to garnish
11. 2 bay leaves (I didn't put this in as once again I couldn't find my bay leaves... Ooopss!)
12. 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
13. 800g/1 lb 12 oz canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
14. salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3.
2. Heat 4 tbsp of the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a med-high heat.
3. Reduce heat, add chorizo & fry for 1 min. Transfer to a plate.
4. Add onions to casserole & fry for 2 mins, then add the garlic & continue cooking for 3 mins, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Remove from casserole & set aside.
5. Heat remaining oil in casserole. Add the lamb, in batches if necessary, & cook, stirring, for 5 mins, until browned on all sides.
6. Return onion mixture and chorizo to the casserole with the lamb.
7. Stir in stock, wine, vinegar, tomatoes & salt & pepper to taste. Bring to the boil, scraping any glazed bits from the base of the casserole.
8. Reduce the heat & stir in thyme sprigs, bay leaves & paprika.
9. Transfer to the preheated oven & cook, covered, for 40-45 mins, until the lamb is tender.
10. Stir in chickpeas & return to the oven, uncovered, for 10 mins or until lamb is tender & chickpeas soft.
11. Taste & adjust seasoning, adding salt & pepper if needed.
12. Serve immediately, garnished with thyme sprigs.

Recipe serves 6.
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