Saturday, December 26, 2009

Nutty Fruit Cake

Here's another recipe to add that extra pounds to your weight and waist but I only eat this once a year... Nutty Fruit Cake. As I was sharing this cake with my friends over lunch, we reminisced the times where we received fruit cakes as wedding favours years ago. Now we get chocolates, little knick knacks and cutesy stuff. But I have always loved fruit cakes at weddings, but just a tad too sweet. In my version here it is healthier with nuts and less sugar. Hope you enjoy this.

The Outside

The inside

A 200g butter, 140g brown sugar
Cream till light

B 3 eggs
Add B and cream till smooth

C 180g plain flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder
Sieve in C and mix till well blended

D 100g almonds, 100g chopped walnuts
Add in D and mix well

E 300g mixed fruits, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 4 tbsp orange juice in replacement of brandy
Throw in E and mix well

Pour it onto a greased pan and bake at 170deg C for 1 hr.
Sprinkle with some icing sugar when cooled.

Adapted from: Alex Goh Fruity Cakes

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Vegetarian Pasta Salad

Merry Christmas everyone! Thanks for tuning in to my blog and leave with me so many wonderful comments.

As the year comes to an end, I would like to present the next few Christmas recipes to come, which I will use to whip up lovely dishes for my guests and relatives this Christmas. As you can see, I'm a very lazy person and I like no fuss recipes. They are mostly made up of a few recipes or only a few easy steps.

I'm not a Christian, but I like the idea of giving and sharing, gathering with some friends over honey baked ham, roast chicken and many more! The past few weeks have been torturous with many many rounds of log cakes, sweets, chocolates and stuff people give. I need to give my stomach a break! With the start of my year end feast and non-stop sweet delicacies, I will specially prepare a healthy vegetarian pasta salad that only consists of yes, Vegetables! I was shopping in Marks & Spencer one day and I came across their shelves of kitchen products like canned mushroom soup, minestrone soup, salad dressing etc. Game for something different, I picked up the French Salad Dressing for my pasta. Here's the 20min recipe to go, in the theme of red and green:

Pasta on Day 1
For one serving
Pinch of chopped garlic
about 4-5 button mushrooms, destemmed and sliced
1 tsp chopped red pepper
2-3 florets of broccoli
some olive oil for frying
About 1-2 cups of fusilli
Seasoning (some salt, oregano, chopped parsley and rosemary)

Pasta on Day 2

Bring pasta to boil then drain off excess water. Use water to boil broccoli for a while
Heat oil in a pan and saute garlic with mushrooms and red paper till almost ready
Add seasoning and throw in broccoli (drained)
Remove and add into pasta
Add French dressing and toss well. Sprinkle some chopped parsely.

Enjoy folks. :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Victoria Sponge Cake (without the buttercream)

This classic cake is named after Queen Victoria as it was usually enjoyed as an afternoon tea snack. It is easy to prepare and tasty to enjoy.

For the sponge
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 225g softened butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 225g self raising flour

For the filling (I only opt for jam without the butter cream)
  • 100g unsalted butter, softened
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4 tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam

1. Heat oven to 180deg C
2. Break eggs in a bowl and beat with a fork
3. Pour butter and sugar in a bowl and beat them till pale and fluffy. Add eggs a little at a time and beating well after each addition
4.Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in with a spoon.
5. Divide equally into 2 round tins
6. Bake for 25min and let it cool
7. Put jam on one cake
8. Make buttercream by beating butter in a bowl until soft and creamy, followed by icing sugar gradually and milk with vanilla essence. Then beat mixture till pale and fluffy
9. Spread over the flat of other cake then gently press the cakes together
10. You can sprinkle icing sugar or caster sugar on top if desired

(Adapted from the Usborne Kids Baking Book)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Where passion for food comes alive

I become very envious when someone's passion for food comes alive by opening sandwich chain after sandwich chain, and eventually a food cafe.

I've always wanted to open a cafe of my own, but I'm a risk averse person. I always stick to my own comfort zone and do what I think I'm comfortable with although my dream of opening my own cafe has been in the air for over 10 years since my polytechnic days. My idea is simple and executable, but I have low ambition and determination to make it really happen.
One fine day my very entrepreneurial friend decides to open a cafe of his own, along with a few others. I was invited to help take pictures of their food for the cafe. I wasn't sure if I was up to the job with my humble little camera, but the end product turned out positive, which made everyone very happy. I was happy too with the result as I upgraded my lens specially for this food photography.

Top: Seafood spaghetti and salmon scramble

Here are some snapshots of what I took, which they are selling at a tertiary institution in the north.

3 types of pies

Cream of Mushroom Soup


Beef Bolognaise Linguine


Breakfast Set


Italian Soda

Lychee Freeze

Hope you have enjoyed the visual treat :) and do pop by if you wish to try the food