Friday, December 4, 2009

Carrot Cake Muffins

Hello blog world! I still get friends and family who ask, why haven't you posted anything new!? I'm shocked every time and say you still check out my page!? It's funny because I continue to take pictures of everything I eat, cook and bake and I think it's just become a habit to pull out my camera and take pictures every time food is put in front of me. Take these muffins for instance, photo taken this summer and I am just telling you about them now! I loove love carrot cake and I'm sure it's partly due to the cream cheese icing that comes slathered on top. These muffins have all the essential ingredients of a good carrot cake but of course I've made it healthier without sacrificing texture and flavor that a good muffin should have!

Carrot Cake Muffins
Makes 8
1 large carrot, grated
1 apple, grated
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (toasted)
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup pecans, toasted and chopped
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or whole wheat flour)
1/2 cup evaporated cane juice sugar (or white sugar)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup coconut oil (or canola oil)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup softened low fat cream cheese
1 tbsp agave syrup (or honey)
1 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin tin and line tin with paper liners.
2. Combine all dry ingredients (including sugar) in a big bowl.
3. Combine oil and eggs and vanilla. Add to dry mix.
4. Fold in carrot, apple, pineapple, coconut, walnuts and pecans into batter.
5. Spoon batter 1/2 way up muffin cups, place 1 tbsp sweetened cream cheese into each. Fill
the muffin cups with the rest of the batter.
6. Bake for 20-25 min or until the top of the muffin springs back up or toothpick comes out

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Apricot Walnut Cheesecake Blondies

If you don't know by now I am a total chocolate addict, after every meal I usually eat some sort of chocolate and yes, lately this even includes breakfast! On all of the health blogs I read it seems everyone is drinking these smoothies called green monsters, which includes adding greens into the mix. I love spinach but somehow adding it to my smoothie made it taste too spinachy, so with that I came up with my own version of a green moster which includes a frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a big ol handful of spinach, chocolate almond milk and a scoop of cocoa powder. If this is how I can get my daily intake of greens I'm all for it! So it was a bit of surprise for me when all I could think about were blondies. Blondies? Sure you can add chocolate into it but its just not ENOUGH chocolatey goodness! Originally I was going to add white chocolate chips into this recipe but after making the cheesecake batter I decided I didnt think it needed it! I know the ingredient list is simple but let me tell you...these are GOOD, SO GOOD! So good in fact I ate 3 people. Adding apricots into the mix gave them a chewy texture without being too sweet and the toasted walnuts added a nice crunch while nicely complimenting the toffee like flavor of the brownie. These were actually meant to be a little going away gift for my friend so forgive me for my selfishness that I ate 3 of them...and then froze another 3. Okay I'm lying 5...before I packed up the rest for her! She's going away right? As I try and justify myself....she couldn't possibly eat all those before she leaves!
Apricot Walnut Cheesecake Blondies (Makes 16)

Blondie Batter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup walnuts (toasted and chopped)
½ cup dried apricots, chopped

Cream Cheese Mix
4 oz low fat cream cheese
2 tbsp sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 tbsp flour

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.Lightly spray a 9x9” baking pan and line with one strip of parchment (the parchment paper can over hang, this is so it is easier to pull the brownies out)
3.To make the cream cheese filling beat together all the ingredients and set aside.
4.In a large bowl mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
5.In a small sauce pan melt the butter. Take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar just until dissolved. Add in vanilla and mix in the egg.
6.Add your butter mixture to your dry ingredients. Fold in walnuts and apricots
7.Place in the lined baking pan, spreading the batter out evenly. Using a spoon, place cream cheese mixture in blobs (yes this is a technical culinary term) across the blondie batter. Using a chopstick or knife swirl the cheesecake mix into the batter.
8.Bake for 30-35 minutes or just until toothpick comes out slightly moist.

*Note: If for some reason you don't like cream cheese (you're crazy), you can nix the cream cheese batter and just bake the blondie batter with whatever mix-ins you like*

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

BC Spot Prawn Tacos with Mango Cucumber Salsa

This right here is one of the many reasons I love Vancouver! Last month was the BC Spot Prawn Festival where down by Granville Island you could try a sampling of spot prawns done in different ways by some of the great chefs in the city. You can also buy them fresh off the boat along the docks which is exactly what I did. These prawns are so ridiculously good on their own, I didn't want to do anything too extravagant with them and just being on the verge of summer I wanted to do something light with clean and fresh flavors. I know some might be thrown off by their beady bulging eyes and maybe I'm just used to it because at our big Chinese family dinners they would come head and all, steamed with garlic and everyone used to say that the best part is when you twist the head off and suck out the brains. Too much!? Okay maybe just avoid the picture below and focus on the end product! All I did with these sweet little prawns was a quick saute (and I mean quick, do not over cook these!) in a bit of garlic and olive oil. I threw together a refreshing mango cucumber salsa with a little red onion, jalapeno, fresh lime, cilantro, mint and a squeeze of agave syrup for a bit more sweetness and served it on a sprouted grain tortilla with a handful of spinach and thick yogurt ( my substitution for sour cream). Served with a side of crispy roasted yam coins and this meal was complete!

Can't get any more fresh then this

BC Spot Prawn Festival: You can see where we were in line, which curved all the way to the white tents

One of the choices, Crispy Prawn Head w/ mayo, Poached Prawn and Watermelon

Tasting plate at the B.C Spot Prawn Festival

Monday, May 11, 2009

Caramelized Banana Cake with Toasted Coconut and Cream Cheese Icing

I'm sorry chocolate hazelnut cake but you've been replaced. I have found a new favorite cake! With all of these glorious ingredients how could you go wrong? Gooey caramelized bananas squished between moist fluffy banana cake slathered in cream cheese icing and topped with toasted coconut. Don't be afraid of the list of ingredients! Have you ever made banana bread? Well you are halfway there then. I don't even really want to tell you where I got the idea of cream cheese and banana cake.....well okay fine I'll tell you...but I will have you know that a lot of kids in Jr.High were forced by their parents to go to band camp too! Yes band camp.. and no I didn't play the flute. I never went to a religious school but for some reason the place where band camp was held was religious, which meant before every meal we had to pray. As a 14 year old and someone who had never been to church, I found it a bit awkward but I remember thinking heck I will pray as long as they serve me up that delicious warm banana bread with cream cheese icing!! Growing up there was always a loaf up banana bread hanging around the kitchen but I had never had it slathered in cream cheese icing! To this day I still remember it as one of my first god. (no pun intended) food moments.

It was also just cherry blossom season here which is one of my favorite times of the year, so I knew just how I wanted to decorate this cake. Also if you are not the best at icing, this is the perfect cake for you! Since this cake gets completed coated in toasted coconut, you don't have to worry about doing the perfect icing job. I made this for my good friends birthday and when I went back home to Calgary I showed my family the pics and my brother said I want THAT cake!! I obliged but made it a bit healthier by using more whole wheat flour, cut back on the sugar and used low fat cream cheese to make the icing. I honestly thought it tasted just as good as the first time I made it, so I leave you with the healthier rendition of this cake.

Gooey caramelized banana filling

Middle shot

This was the cake I made for my bro and family. Not as pretty as the cherry blossoms!

I love cherry blossoms.

Caramelized Banana Cake with Toasted Coconut and Cream Cheese Icing

Banana Cake(Makes one 8" cake)
2 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour two 8" cake pans, line bottom with baking paper.
2.In a bowl mix together both flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
3. In another bowl beat eggs, sugar and oil. Add bananas and vanilla.
4. Alternate adding dry ingredients and buttermilk into banana mixture.
5. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

Caramelized Bananas
2 medium bananas, one ripe, one a bit more firm, sliced
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
*splash of rum is optional*

1. In a large frying pan stir together your sugar and water. Place heat on med-high. When you see it start to turn color, stir the mixture so it caramelizes evenly. Even if it looks clumped together, don't worry, just keep stirring and it will melt.
2. When it turns golden/slightly dark brown take off the heat and add your (optional rum) butter, salt and vanilla.
3. Add in your soft banana first and let it melt into the sauce then add your firm banana which should keep its shape. Leave aside to cool.
Cream Cheese Icing
1 1/2 cups low fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups icing sugar
2 tbsp whipping cream (or almond milk or regular milk)
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a mixer beat the cream cheese, add butter and mix. Slowly add in vanilla, icing sugar and whipping cream. If the icing looks too soft, add a bit more icing sugar.

Toasted Coconut
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. On a baking sheet spread out coconut evenly and toast until golden brown. Approx 5 minutes. (Keep a close watch as it browns quickly)

To assemble:
1. Cut the tops off both 8" cakes and eat them while you decorate. On one of the cakes, spread with the caramelized banana filling, leaving a 1 inch border around. Invert the other cake on top (cut side down).
2. Ice the cake and coat with toasted coconut.
3. Top with your favorite flower.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mini Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

You can tell how stoked I am about these muffins because they were made just 15 minutes ago and already I am posting this recipe! It would have been even earlier then that but it took those 15 minutes to let them cool a tad, then devour two of them while my camera card loaded into my computer! I make it a habit to buy a couple more bananas then I ever really need so when I see them turn extra brown it gives me the perfect excuse to make banana bread. I also like to keep a small carton of buttermilk on hand for baking (perfect for cornbread, scones, pancakes and any other muffins). Living and cooking for myself I've wanted to have recipes that can make just two cookies or two brownies when you have that craving but dont want to eat consume the whole batch yourself! Well this recipe is perfect, it will either make about 4 regular size muffins or 12 mini ones. I'm also very wary when tweaking recipes to make them healthier because I find that when you cut out the fat, baking can lose that fluffy texture and almost have that dry heavy bouncy texture. Not the case with these!! They are soo fluffy, moist and satisfying. A good tip for making healthier banana bread or muffins is to let your bananas ripen until they are almost black brown, the more sweet the banana is the less sugar you need to add. With two of these muffins I folded rolled oats into the batter and they tasted so good! It gave the muffin a bit of extra texture and chewiness and makes the mini muffin last longer and feel more satisfying. Now if you will excuse me, I just might have to go eat another one...

I took a pic with my cell so you can see the size comparison

Mini Healthy Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
(Makes 12 mini muffins or 4 regular size muffins)
1/8 cup plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
3/8 cup whole wheat flour
1/8 unrefined rapadura sugar (or brown sugar)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1/2 cup mashed very ripe banana (1 large banana)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
1 1/2 tbsp buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup dark chocolate chips (roughly chopped)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl combine both flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In another bowl combine banana, sugar, olive oil, apple sauce, buttermilk, egg yolk and vanilla.
3. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Bake 12 minutes (for mini muffins) or until toothpick comes out clean.

*Note according to calorie counter one of these mini muffins equal 59 calories and one regular size muffin equals 176 calories*

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Some Good ol Home Cookin

Last week I went home for a visit and before I left, was on the phone with my mom who told me that if I had any requests for any cooking of hers that I miss, to let her know. Some of my favorites include her French Onion Soup (she roasts the bones and makes the best beef stock ever) to her melt in your mouth Braised Bbq Beef on a Bun (with her own killer bbq sauce) to her Egg Rolls, Cha Siu Bao (steamed BBQ Pork Buns) and addicting Chiffon Cake and Bran Muffins. For some reason the one thing that came to mind right away was her Gai Gok Fan. Her Gai Gok Fan is basically sticky rice with chicken, Chinese mushrooms, lup cheong (Chinese sausage) and oyster sauce. I told her this and she said "Gai Gok Fan! That's what you waant!? Okaayy..." It is a bit of a strange request coming from me because growing up we usually ate traditional Chinese meals once or twice a week and even then I would say "Oh mom! Can't we have spaghetti?" I never really liked rice growing up with the exception of Congee (savory rice porridge) but its funny how your tastes change as you grow older, I find that all the things I used to dislike, I now love!

This meal consisted of:
-Gai Gok Fan (She made two versions, one with brown rice for my brother and me (my Dad won't touch it!). I ended up still liking the white rice version better.
-Corn Chicken Soup with Egg Ribbons and Green Onion
-Pea Shoots with Garlic
-Dace, a Salty Fish with Black Beans
-Crispy Tofu, with Carrot Flowers and Sugar Snap Peas, tossed in a mixture of soy sauce, whisky, sugar, chicken stock and cornstarch

*Side Note* There were two other things I requested when I got home: Her rice crispy squares and her puff wheat squares. I think I probably managed to consume a whole pans worth of them as they are ridiculously addicting! It's a good thing I only go home once in awhile. I know these classics really shouldn't be messed with but I am determined to find alternative healthier versions!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Short Rib Ragu w/ Pappardelle

I have this obsession with ragu, or maybe its just the thought of a cheap cut of meat that can be turned into melt in your mouth deliciousness. If there is any better comfort food than braised meat over fresh pasta or polenta on a rainy Vancouver day somebody better tell me! So far the best places I've had it have been Gastropod's beef ragu over tagliatelle and Campognolo's pork ragu over tagliarini. After a hunt for a great ragu I thought it was about time I made my own! I stopped off at Cioffi's Meat Market and Deli and picked up some short ribs (okay and maybe a stop at Italia Bakery for a zeppoli and cannoli or two). Even somebody who doesn't normally cook can't screw up braising meat! Longer you cook it, the more tender and fall off the bone it is. I guess thats why crockpots were invented!? I've seen many variations of braising short ribs but came up with my own concoction which included a little vino, fire roasted tomatoes and espresso powder, which added a nice rich depth of flavor to the sauce. After being braised for 2 1/2 hrs the result was a sauce which had reduced into the perfect consistency to coat the fall off the bone tender meat. Served over warm cheesy polenta or ribbons of chewy pasta, it's comfort food I tell ya.

Ready to be browned

I just moved into my new pad and this is the first real meal I've had a chance to prepare in my kitchen! Served with a salad of baby spinach, arugula, oven dried tomatoes, shaved parm and vincotto.

Short Rib Ragu
(Serves 6-8)
3 1/2- 4lbs short ribs (flanken style)
2 small carrots (small dice)
2 celery ribs (small dice)
1 small white onion (small dice)
5 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
1 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes ( or crushed tomatoes)
3 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp espresso powder
2 tbsp tomato paste
3 bay leaves
5 sprigs fresh thyme (finely chopped)
agave syrup (or sugar) to taste
*flour and s+p for coating meat* (reserve 2 tbsp of any leftover flour)

1. Heat a pot on med-high with oil (I like grapeseed)
2. Coat short ribs in flour seasoned heavily with s+p
3. In batches, brown short ribs until dark golden brown on all sides. Remove from pot and place on a plate.
4. In the same pot saute onion, carrot and celery till soft. Add garlic, cook until soft. Add 2 tbsp of the leftover seasoned flour, cook off for 1 minute.
5. Add red wine, stir and let reduce down for 1 minute
6. Add tomatoes, beef stock and tomato paste and espresso powder. Throw in thyme and bay leaves.
7. Reduce heat to a simmer, put a lid on the pot and cook for 2-2 1/2 hrs or until meat starts to fall off the bone. (Stir or turn the meat over once or twice in between)
8. Take meat out, seperate the bones from the meat and any tough ligament that hasn't broken down. Gently use a fork to pull apart the meat, or if you like big chunks leave as is.
9. Skim off any fat that has risen to the top of the sauce. Discard bay leaves
10. If your sauce is too thick, add more stock. If your sauce is too thin, crank up the heat and reduce down to your liking. Add agave or sugar and s+p to taste.
11.Place meat back in sauce. Serve over pasta or polenta with plenty of parmigiano reggiano.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Chocolate Chunk Brownie Cookies

Chocolate Chunk Cookies and Brownies, two of the most popular baked goods of all time, I really can't think of two better things that should be put together!! I played with the combination and in the end decided not only to fold chunks of brownie into the cookie dough but chocolate chunks as well. Halfway through baking I added a mini brownie on top just to make this cookie even more glorious! It's just how I like my chocolate chip cookies, soft and chewy in the middle with a slightly crispy edge, with the added fudginess and chewiness of chocolate brownie chunks and a hint of pure dark chocolate. Warm from the oven with a cold glass of Almond Milk (even better than milk) and I am in my very happy place!

6 tbsp butter, softened
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 x 2'' baking pan.
2. Melt butter and chocolate together, let cool slightly. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
3. In a mixer beat sugar, eggs and vanilla together until pale. Add chocolate mixture, scrape down sides of bowl and add flour mixture. Mix just till combined.
4. Pour batter into greased pan and bake 40-50 minutes.
5. Let cool completely and place in freezer for 15minutes. Cut 1 1/2 cups worth of bite size brownie chunks, cut the rest into larger chunks to place on top of the cookie.

NOTE** Usually you would almost want to under bake your brownie, but since we are folding this into a cookie dough, we want the brownie to be firm and cooked all the way through**

Chocolate Chunk Cookies
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chunks

1. Preheat oven to 370 degrees F. In a mixer cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs one at a time, add vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a separate bowl. Slowly add dry ingredients into the creamed butter mixture.
2. Add in chocolate chunks. Fold in brownie chunks.
3. Drop 4 tbsp size dough balls onto cookie sheet lined with silpat or baking paper. Bake 6 minutes, add a brownie chunk on top of each cookie and bake another 6 minutes, just until golden around the edges.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

All in a days work

I had been working at a place doing mostly baking and pastry and at first I loved it, tiny little kitchen that overlooked a garden, I felt like I was baking at home. I have been in a transitional period so it was just a good place for me to be at the time while I figured things out. Who wouldn't want to be in a kitchen where most of the time you could literally crack open a cookbook or use any idea you had and get to create it on a whim? After awhile I started getting bored and not feeling challenged enough because from a cooking aspect, there was no one there to teach me any new skills or keep me feeling creative and inspired. Don't get me wrong, I looove baking but I miss cooking, REAL cooking. Ironically when people ask what I do its like welll I just graduated from Nutrition school and now I am working as a pastry chef using (and eating) copious amounts of unrefined sugar and flour! I still want to incorporate the whole nutritional aspect into my cooking at some point but damnit a croissants a croissant and sometimes there is just no messing with those ingredients! After leaving this job the first relief I had was that I won't eat so much garbage (although very tasty garbage!) anymore. Me and one of my co-workers called it quality control, we had to taste it to make sure it tasted good right?? Woohoo maybe I can stop going to the gym so much! Croissants were made every couple days, I helped make em once in culinary school but this is my first attempt at making them by myself. Chocolate, Almond, Cheese and Plain. Could have been a bit darker but not so bad.

Glorious Caramel Pecan Brownies

Christmas orders comin in...

Quiche special

Moussaka I was making for the Greek themed staff x-mas party. At the dinner one of the girls said great Moussaka! The owner who was sitting across from me, said THANKSS! Then abruptly looked up at me. I thought, seriously lady? Did you just take credit for my moussaka...

Catering gig

Testing out Tartines Pate Sablee Dough for Chocolate Hazelnut Tarts and Flaky Tart Dough for Wild Mushroom Caramelized Onion Quiches. Saved three Chocolate Tarts in the back to top with fresh raspberries.

Double Chocolate Chunk Brownie Cookies (chunks of brownie folded into the cookie dough as well) a recipe I had been meaning to trial for awhile. (Stay tuned for this recipe!)

Did somebody really leave me in this kitchen to my own devices??

Friday, February 13, 2009

A new approach...

I realize I have been terrible at keeping up with my blog, so I have decided not just to post things I make with the recipes (it can be very time consuming!) but even just my food ramblings, to places I eat in the city and my favorite discoveries. So here I go....! From the day I moved out to Van from Calgary I started making sticky notes of all the restaurants and places I heard about and wanted to go eat, they started to accumulate on my wall and everytime I made it to one of the places I checked it off my list. Thats the great thing about Vancouver, the food scene here seems NEVER ENDING! Its like whoa whoa whoa ANOTHER ramen noodle place just opened up?? What's this about our own local soup nazi? Ganache Patisserie makes canneles? I have to check it out...I honestly dont even know where to begin because not only do I take pictures of the food I make, but pretty much EVERYTHING I eat, yes I am that annoying friend. I have very patient friends because they know me by now and always wait for me to take pictures of the food before we eat. So I guess I may as well start with todays lunch...the much talked about MARKET by Jean-Georges Vongerichten opened up not too long ago and I have been wanting to try it. A friend and I have other criteria on deciding if we like the place (besides the main course), good bread and clean bathrooms.
Good crusty chewy bread, check. (Extra bonus points for the coarse sea salt)

I had to...I really did, I mean look at this bathroom. Cleanest and best bathroom ever! Check.

Okay I realize what the H you went to Jean Georges' restaurant and ordered SOUP? I honestly wasnt even that hungry but thats never stopped me from eating somewhere, so we just ate in the cafe. I also have a thing for soup. Creamy tomato soup, I always have to try it because I think there is a fine line between tomato soup tasting like tomato sauce thrown together with chicken stock and a good hearty tomato soup made with the right ratio of other veg and pureed until rich and creamy. It was delicious btw. (Extra bonus points for the soup being poured into my bowl at the table)

Goat Cheese and Beet Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette-Pretty good but not as good as the one I had at Chambar.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Green Onion Pancakes

So I think it was a sign that I was supposed to make green onion pancakes today. This morning I was on foodgawker and what do I see? A recipe for green onion pancakes! Later I was flipping through a cooking magazine while in line at the grocery store and what do u knoww...Green onion pancakes! My good friend Whit has also talked about nothing else but these darn pancakes for the last two weeks! Every time we were remotely close to Legendary Noodle (a place here in Vancouver that makes em fresh) she wanted to stop. That's all that has been running through my head... green onion pancakes green onion pancakes....!! Well I don't know what took me so long because they are dead simple to make!! I surprised Whit by making them for her and said "So nooww can you pleease stop asking to go to Legendary Noodle!?" she said "Okay, but now I'll just keep asking for YOU to make them for me!". I grew up on these and they taste just like the ones I used to eat when I was little, the only thing I did differently was finish them with a little French Sea Salt but other than that, tastes just like childhood!
Green Onion Pancakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup warm water
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cup green onions, finely sliced
2 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro
Fleur de Sel (to finish)
Dipping Sauce
Hoisin Sauce
Sesame Oil
Garlic Chili Sauce
Water (to thin sauce out)
1. Mix to combine
Mix the flour, water and salt together and knead just until smooth. Cover and let rest 30 minutes in a bowl greased lightly with oil. Cut into 4 pieces

Roll the dough out, brush with sesame oil and sprinkle green onion and cilantro on top.

Roll like you would cinnamon bun dough or sushi, making sure it is rolled tight.

Coil into a circle

Roll out into a flat circle

Makes 4 yummy pancakes

Pan fry until golden on each side, the more oil you use the more evenly golden and crispy it will get.

Finish with sea salt and serve with dipping sauces.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Poundcake with Passionfruit Curd and Pomegranate Seeds

Well I am finally back after quite the hiatus! I wont go into details, but have you ever had a feeling when you just stop believing in yourself, your capabilities and your passion? Something like that happened to me and as a result my blog has suffered, but I'm BACK! I'm still trying to figure out the true purpose of what cooking means to me, but in the meantime I will leave you with something I made for our Christmas dessert...
Passionfruit curd! I don't know why I hadn't thought of this before! I've always loved lemon curd but after making this, I dont think I'll ever go back. It's sweet, tart and has a more tropical edge than lemon. It takes curd to a whole other level. I think curd (what a terrible word no?) is extremely versatile, pour it over poundcake and top with whipped cream and pomegranate seeds, use it as a filling for cake, mound it into tart shells and top it with meringue, dunk coconut madeleines into it..or do what I did and forget all of these ideas and just eat it by the spoonful!
Passionfruit Curd
2 cups passionfruit puree
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup butter
1.Whisk together eggs, sugar, passionfruit puree and cornstarch. Bring to boil over med-high heat, boil and stir for 1 minute.
2. Remove from heat, whisk in butter, strain through sieve into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap layed right on top of curd (to prevent a skin from forming) and let cool.