I could – I could really do with one of these right now.
last night, a crime happened. my innocent, soft loaf of delicious, seedy (not seedy but seed-y), wholemeal bread was ripped from its sanctuary atop my oven and tossed to the floor, packet ripped open, bits of plastic and crumbs everywhere. when I gingerly lifted it from its prone position, the bread slices fell out like the saddest flood of emotion.
the suspects of this violation? the cat from next door, or a bird – whichever animal which had come in early last week to do the same unspeakable crime to a piece of jerky we had left wrapped on the counter.
pray for bread loaves everywhere, everyone. I hope you get to eat a lovely breakfast yourself full of eggs and ham and delicious things!
p.s. as some quick instruction: flatten your slice bread with a rolling pin, cut into the four corners an inch inward, fit into a muffin pan, and fill with ham and cheese. top it off with an egg, and bake at 175c until jiggly but set. at the beginning, it’ll take longer than you expect, but it’ll finish faster than you’d think (the same can be said of the eating)!
this curd, well. I had so wanted this to be a post on how you could successfully make a lip-puckering, citrus-loving curd in the microwave – no fire in this blistering heat – but no. it still turned out utterly delicious, beautifully set and the best celebration of citrus juice I can imagine, but that was after a bit of quick salvation and rapid whisking – so, yes, still a success if not the convenient method I had hoped.
I came across a lovely paragraph while going through the epicure asia magazine today – such lovely photos in this publication – about egg washes, and while I’ve known this sort-of-vaguely, I thought I’d share it with you guys in case you get down to some serious baking over the weekend – those cookies up there are a great start (photos rehashed from the archive!).
types of egg washes
whole eggs with salt create a shiny sheen – this is usually applied on breads whole eggs with a splash of milk give you a matte finish – usually for cookies whole eggs with a splash of water bring a golden hue – apparently usually for savouries plain egg yolks only for a shiny brown finish – especially for pastry (this is my favourite one!) yolks only with a splash of water will make for a warm golden finish yolks with a splash of cream or milk renders a darker brown shade on your goods egg whites only if you’re looking for a lightly-coloured and crisp surface
taken from epicure asia, april 2013, adapted from a quote by thierry delourneaux, executive pastry chef at the fairmont singapore and swissôtel the stamford.
these are some pretty good and rather interesting – not in the negative-euphemism sort of way – soft cookies, rather a sort of asian-western amalgamation. sesame seeds are very seldom used in european/american cooking, and usually only as toppings (on buns) or lost in the beauty that is hummus (as tahini), and it’s really nice to see a non-asian recipe that uses them as a focal point, much like this cake I made a while back.
they baked up large and flat – the sesame seeds providing good texture in the soft give of the cookie, and luscious dark and milk chocolate (yes, I do think milk chocolate has its place sometimes – don’t judge) in every bite. easy to make, and made further interesting by the inclusion of soy sauce – which gives just the right amount of savoury earthiness – these were some good cookies, though I likely will try to make them a little firmer and crunchier next time.
not a recipe today, but a lament: sometimes cakes rise pretty and bake up golden, but they taste insipid and of nothing, really. this was supposed to be a lemony, buttery cake, and all it was was a soft, fluffy block of insipidness.
and to add insult to injury, the cake didn’t even last two days – stored in a container, as I always do – before it started to smell a little sour – in a bad spoiling sort of way, so I couldn’t even throw it into a trifle or some sort of mask-the-blahness confection.
have you any idea why some cakes spoil faster than others? I haven’t switched kitchens, and this was a standard butter-flour-lemon-egg recipes – I couldn’t really figure it out.
but onwards, and upwards! I’ve recently come back from a bali getaway – and I promise the photo-posts are coming soon.
a truly nigella cake – which for me means that it both tastes and looks impressive, but is so simple it feels almost like a cheat. full disclosure means I have to tell you I made this twice – but it’s not through any fault of hers: I was a little too anxious and took it out of the oven too early ): but I thankfully had enough ingredients and time to make it again.
this is a simple, rustic-looking layer cake, with sponge and meringue baked together and a smattering of curd between. it’s the first time I’ve made a cake like this, but it almost definitely won’t be the last time – it opens up a world of delightful permutations: chocolate sponge and mint meringue, a pistachio sponge and chocolate meringue and chocolate ganache (sort of like a cake I made a long time ago with a dense chocolate base and a nutty meringue).
the recipe is fancy-looking without needing fancy techniques or equipment, which really is what I love about nigella’s recipes. it went down very well at the lunch-party I brought it too, the tangy curd providing intensity to the textured layers, and was spectacular with a mug of hot tea.
p.s. you’ll see that my peaks didn’t hold up, but that didn’t bother me much – the cake was lovely all the same!
an easy lime curd recipe using the fruit harvested from a tiny pot in our garden – my dad’s pride and joy. we haven’t had the need to buy lime for a long time now, and these are the local calamansi variant, which go very well on fried fish, seafood, and with chilli as a dip-with-a-kick.
this is such a strange amalgamation of photos – sometimes zooming in too much on food sort of renders it into this unrecognizable (and almost unappetizing mass). but I thought I’d show you another one of our family dinners, a grilled one this time.
we have had a george foreman indoor grill for quite a few years now, back when it was still being advertised on those terrible infommercials with bad acting. we didn’t buy it then, but did when we saw it being used (also almost definitely with terribly acting, but at least you could smell the food) during a demonstration at a food hall somewhere in singapore.
hello to you all – I hope you’ve had a great christmas season with family and friends, and managed to squeeze in a little shopping/rest! I’ve been on holiday in vietnam for the last week (loads of photos and things to share with you) and while my family doesn’t explicitly celebrate christmas, it’s always a good time to rest.
before I start off on my vietnam posts, I thought I’d share with you what constitutes a dinner at home for us. we are immensely greedy seafood eaters at home, and go through a rather impressive (even if I do say so) amount of seafood for the four of us at a sitting. I don’t cook while at home – that’s my mum’s milieu and not an activity I’m permitted – and so these shots were takeb while flitting about the kitchen and annoying her as she was cooking.
I’ve always been a little afraid of lava cakes. I love them very much of course (but how could you not) but I’ve often had requests from my family to make it and it just seemed really stressful.
I managed to buy really cheap pudding cups though – originally meant for chicken pies apparently – and I thought it was finally time to woman up and try it. these were from phoon huat, if you’re in singapore, and much cheaper than their white ceramic counterparts.
this recipe is easy and halving it made just enough mixture for three cakes – just keep an eye on them because 10 minutes was all mine required. having some help with dishing up wouldn’t hurt either: while I was handling the hot little pots and flipping the cakes out, my mum helped to remove the parchment and ladle in the icecream. you’ll want to work quickly because they continue cooking in the residual heat, and you want your testers to be awed by your baking prowess.