Thursday, 26 January 2017

Seafood Gumbo

♬ ♪ Jambalaya, and a crawfish pie and file' gumbo
'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chère amie-o
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bay-o. ♫

  I may say this was my very first song I used to sing when I was 7-8 years old with my dad. Almost everyday after dinner was my special hour with dad, we would sing, dance or just listen to the music together. Ive grown up with The Beatles, Elvis, BeeGees, The carpenters ect. I learnt english from music and from dad. (I'm not from a native english speaking background) I used to ask dad, "Daddy, what is jambalaya? what is gumbo? He said "I reckon they're food by the rest of lyric but I couldn't imagine what they look like, we'll find out together." Sadly, my dad was too travel to heaven sooner before I found out. 

My lovely work college, her husband is from Louisiana briefly told me how to make gumbo and also bought me filè power. (Thank you Mary) Filè powder is a spicy herb using in this creole dish. It's very difficult to describe filè powder but it makes lots of difference with or without it,  for me I think it's "earthy" scent and taste.
I'm using kabana which is left over in the fridge and chorizo sausage because my husband loves it. For the stock I made by using chicken stock and added prawn heads and shells, onion (no peel) and celery, simmer on low heat for and hour before use.

The key ingredient is "roux" made from plain flour and vegetable oil. Roux is a thickener agent for this dish.  


2 cups of stock

1/2 cup of plain flour
1/2 cup of vegetable oil 

1 brown onion, chopped 
1 celery stalk, chopped 
1 capsicum, chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbs of chopped parsley
1 large tomato chopped
1 bay leave
1-2 spring onions, chopped
a hand full of okra, diced
your choice for seafood or chicken or both 400g. 
any spicy sausage such as chorizo 150g. diced

cayenne 1-2 tbs 
cajan seasoning 2-3 tbs 
worcestershire sauce
tabasco sauce
salt & pepper

filè powder to serve


To make roux. Pour vegetable oil in a sauce pan on low or medium heat then add flour in, keep stirring until the the color of the mixture is brown like peanut butter or caramel. Roux will burn easily after color changed so be careful with your roux, never take your eyes away from it.  
Once roux ready, add stock in and stir to combine, then add onion, celery, capsicum, tomato, garlic, spring onion, parsley, bay leave and sausage in. Simmer for 5 mins and then add okra in and let it simmer for another 5 mins.
Add seasoning, adjust to your taste, turn the heat to high, bring to the boil then stir seafood in to the sauce.

Sprinkle filè gumbo before serve
I serve my gumbo with brown rice and sprinkle filè powder in and of cause, with a glass of rosè to make this meal more interesting.

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Saturday, 9 July 2016

Lemon Meringue Tarts

My backyard has a lemon tree and always produces plenty of large lemons almost the whole year round. I always make a joke about my lemon tree with my husband, once we had to cut some of branches off because they had become too heavy and the lemon tree may fall. 
Lemon meringue tart is one of my auntie's favorite, she loves any sour dessert, she said "because it's not too rich" and I agree with her, sour taste makes desserts more interesting by the contrast of sweet & sour.

Shortcrust Pastry 
200 g. plain flour
50 g. almond meal
100 g. butter
2 tsp salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbs cold milk or cold water

Lemon Curd
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup corn flour 
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice 
Knop of butter
Lemon zest 

Italian Meringue 
1 cup sugar
100 ml. water
3 egg whites
Pinch of cream of tartar

 To make shortcrust pastry
1. Preheat the oven to 180c degree. 
2. Place the flour, salt, almond meal & butter in the bowl of the food processor and mix until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs then add egg yolk and milk then mix until the dough just comes together. Lightly knead then wrap with plastic and refrigerate for 30 mins. 
3.Roll pastry, using the rolling pin, on the lightly floured surface to about 3 mm. thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles slightly larger the the opening in the mould (I'm using mini muffin tray) and place in mould making sure of a snug fit. Next prick the centre of each mould with a fork several times. Bake for approximately 15 mins. Rest on a cooling rack to cool.

To make lemon curd filling
1. Beat the egg yolks in the large bowl and set aside. 
2. Combine lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, water and cornflour together into the sauce pan, stir until the flour dissolves then turn the heat to low. Keep stirring until the mixture becomes thick, remove from heat and pour the egg yolks in, stirring for 30sec then return to very low heat and stirring at all time until the mixture becomes a thick custard. Remove from the heat. Add butter and stir to combine.
3. Pour the lemon filling into a shortcrust pastry. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
To make Italian meringue
1. Use the electric mixture beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together, using a whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
2. Meanwhile, combine sugar and water together in a small sauce pan, bring to the boil until sugar dissolves, brushing side of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Reduce heat to medium until sugar syrup reach 121c degree or hard ball stage on a thermometer, gradually pour syrup into egg white mixture while whisking with high speed, continue whisking until thick and the bottom of the bowl cooled to room temperature.
Spoon meringue on top of the tarts use the back of tea spoon to make large swirls to create peaks. Use blowtorch to caramelise meringue. Refrigerate befor serve.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Cream puffs with 3 flavours of custard filling.

Cream puff is one of my all time favorite dessert. I love custard filling, it melts in my mouth and almost oozing out when I bite. Today I make 3 flavours of custard, mocha & Kahlua, vanilla and green tea. 
I always start by making custard first to allow time to cool before piping in the cool shells.

Custard ingredients 
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
250 mls water
250 mls evaporate milk or half and half
50g butter
50g cornflour
Pinch of salt 

Also needed
for vanilla flavour
2 tsp vanilla paste

For mocha flavour
2-3 tbs Kahlua + 25g dark chocolate + 1tsp coffee 

For green tea flavour
2 tbs matcha powder

1. Combine water, evaporate milk and cornflour in the pot. Set aside.
2. Wisk sugar and eggs with electric mixer until light and fluffy then transfer to the sauce pan and turn stove on with medium-low heat. Keep stirring until it becomes thick, roughly about 10 mins. Remove from heat.
3. Separate custard in to 3 bowls. 
For the first bowl combine chocolate, coffee and Kahlua with custard while custard still hot.
For the second bowl combine with green tea.
For the third bowl combine with vanilla paste.
4. Cover all custard bowls with plastic wrap by pressing plastic wrap to the surface of custard. Transfer to the fridge to cool.
Puffs ingredients 
100g. butter
230 mls. water
1 tbs sugar
Pinch of salt
1 cup plain flour
3 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 220c.
2. Put water, butter, sugar and salt together in the large sauce pan then put over the medium heat bring to a boil until butter completely melt then turn the heat down to low.
3. Add in flour and stir until the mixture forms a ball.
4. Transfer dough to electric mixer bowl with paddle attachment, beat until the mixture gets warm to touch then slowly add in the eggs one at a time. Continue beat for at least 2 mins after adding the last egg.
5. Transfer the mixture to piping bag and pipe on a baking sheet about 3 inches apart. Slightly press the tip of the dough down with a wet finger.
6. Bake for 10-15 mins then turn the heat down to 180c and bake for another 10 mins or until puffs become medium golden brown. Remove from the oven, then allow to cool on the cooling rack.
8. Pipe the custard into the shell. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar before serving.
Choux à la crèam

Enjoy baking.
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Thursday, 24 December 2015

Butternut Snap Ripple Cake

I love to make something simple but not too simple.
For this recipe is modified from the side of choc ripple biscuit package, first I intend to make individual chocolate ripple cake but when I reach the supermarket and found out that choc ripple biscuit had run out...not happy Jane!!! Well, butternut snap biscuit were on sale so I made ripple cake with butternut snap biscuit instead.

500g thickened cream
1 tsp caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla paste
1 pkt Arnott's Butternut Snap biscuit 
desiccated coconut, fresh berries

Step 1 Use an electric beater to beat the cream, sugar & vanilla in a bowl until firm peaks form.
Step 2 Spread whipped cream and form a sandwich with 3 layers of biscuit.
Step 3 Spread the remaining cream mixture over biscuit to cover. Place in the fridge for minimum of 6 hours to set then coat with desiccated coconut and place berries on top to serve.


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Saturday, 27 December 2014

No Bake Lime&Ederflower Cheese Cake

  Again with cheese cake, my hubby's favorite, and I love to make them over and over agin, I prefer no bake cheese cake rather than the bake one, for me it's more tasty and moist, easy to make and almost zero chance of mistakes.
  My husband brought a mini cheese cake mould (12 moulds in tray) for me ages ago and I haven't had a chance to use it. I do love to make everything in a miniature version, enough for one portion. 
  After last time I made elderflower jelly, I'm really in love with it so I decided to have elderflower jelly on top of my cheese cake with edible flowers and berries. Such a cute little thing ^_^

arrowroot milk biscuits 
melted butter

Cheese cake
225g. solften cream cheese
150mls. cream
lime juice and zest from1 lime
1 gelatin leave
200g. condensed milk

Elderflower Jelly
4 leaves of gelatin 
1 cup water
2 tbs sugar
3 elderflower cordial 

edible flowers, berries 

To make the crust. Using a food processor, process biscuits until fine crumbs then gradually add melted butter and mix to combine. The crust will look like wet sand. Press the biscuit mixture over base and side of prepared pan. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
    Soak gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes or until the gelatin leave is soft. Put 50 mls. of cream in to a bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute, take gelatin leave from water, squeez to get rid off the excess water and put in to the warm cream, stir until the gelatin dissolves. Set aside
    Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy, add condensed milk then add lime zest and lime juice, stir to combine. Set aside.
    In another bowl whip cream until stiff peaks then gradually beat in gelatine mixture until combined.
 Fold in cream cheese mixture then pour mixture into prepared pan. Return to refrigerater.
    To make elderflower jelly. Soak gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes or until the leaves are soft, meanwhile make elderflower syrup by putting water into a saucepan, bring to the boil then add sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved and then add elder flower cordial, stir to combine. Remove from the heat.   

    Squeez gelatin leaves to remove excess water then add gelatin leaves into elderflower syrup, stir until gelatin leaves completely dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature.
    Place berries and edible flower on top of cheese cake, pour elderflower jelly on top of chilled cheese cake. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until completely set.
  To remove cheese cake from mould, I run the knife tip round the edge of the mould then gently remove cheese cake from the mould.
Such a sweet little love love them.

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Friday, 26 December 2014

Elderflower Jellies

This time of the year in Australia is my favorite time because we have lots and lots of fruits around with reasonable price. In summer, jelly is a good idea. Light and refreshing, easy and doesn't take long to throw some berries or edible flowers such pansy, rose or lavender for more tempting.

*pictures from 2 occasions.

4 leaves of gelatin 
1 cup water or sparking water or sparking wine
2 tbs sugar
3 elderflower cordial 
edible flowers, berries 

Soak gelatin leaves in cold water for 5 minutes or until the leaves are soft, meanwhile make elderflower  syrup by putting water into a saucepan, bring to the boil then add sugar, stir until sugar is dissolved and then add elder flower cordial, stir to combine. Remove from the heat. 
Squeez gelatin leaves to remove excess water add in to elderflower syrup, stir until gelatin leaves completely dissolve. Allow to cool to room temperature then pour into a mould, add berries or edible flower. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until completely set. I just leave them overnight.
To remove jelly from the mould, place the mould into the warm water for few seconds then turn the jelly mould onto a plate.
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Red Hot Cookie Brownies

Baking is my relaxation therapy, time always flying in the kitchen. I haven't been baking for a while, and today after work I had a little bit of time to do something quick and easy, I've chosen cookie brownies. I have made them before but this time with Christmas just around the corner, I want to make them with a little bit of a difference, I added some red color for Christmas and some chilli...yep you're not wrong "Chilli" in cookies but trust me, you'll not even notice, it won't blow your head off but just kick of the heat will make my cookie brownies more interesting.

1/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
30 g. butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
200 g. dark chocolate (semi sweet or bitter sweet)
2 tbs vanilla paste 
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
gel paste food coloring (Christmas red)
You also need
2 cup nuts(I'm using hazelnuts,almonds,pecans) roasted and roughly chopped
170 g. dark chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 175 C.

Yield : about 25-30


Melt butter and 200 grams of dark chocolate together in microwave,  I usually put for 1 min in microwave for the first time then take out and stir well, if still lumpy in the chocolate put back in microwave for no more than 10 sec. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar and salt together with the whisk until completely combined, then add melted chocolate, gel paste food coloring and mix, once mixed add the plain flour and cayenne pepper.
Add nuts and 170 grams of the chopped chocolate and mix well.

Spoon the mixture on to the tray and bake for 10 mins.
   Allow to cool for 10 minutes then transfer to cooling rack for a further 20 minutes or until completely cool then place in a air tight container until ready to eat.
Happy Christmas everyone