Thursday, 19 August 2010

Red orange salad

In Jamie's Italy book, it has a dessert recipe - quality vanilla ice-cream mixed with Olive oil. You may think this dessert is a bit strange. If you know somebody is Italian, you will find out how much they love olive oil, just like Chinese love soy sauce.

First time, when Mia Marito made this orange salad for me. I looked at him and didn't know what to say, have a big question mark on my head - Orange with Olive Oil. As usual, I gave it to go.
Now, I am the one to make it. This salad is great for hot summer.

Mix Red orange and orange, not only taste good but also look very attractive. 

Red orange Salad recipe
Cut 2 red oranges and 2 oranges into small cubes.
Mix it with quality Olive oil (plenty), pinch of salt, pepper and fresh oregano

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Incomplete Opera cake

Have flipped through my French dessert cook book in the past few weeks which was bought from online bookshop. Every picture looks great, but it always includes 4 or 5 items to compose the whole cake. Looking at the lengthy process, it is really made me hesitating.

The term of “French dessert” give me impression which is only born at Professional kitchen.
Last year, I have made a very creative cake for Jess’s birthday. So what am I going to do this year? It may be a good excuse for me to pick 1 from this book related to chocolate – OPERA CAKE - goal set!

It needs: 4 rectangular sponge cakes (thin layer), Coffee mousse – but need to make Italian meringue first
Coffee syrup, Chocolate ganache, Silky chocolate ganache topping – I leave this one, wait for next time

After prepared all items, next step is layering the cake.

First layer is sponge cake, coffee syrup, chocolate graache, then sponge cake again, coffee syrup, coffee mousse this time, repeat 2 times. All done – no, no, no. it needs to look pretty. Nearly 10 pm at night, my brain just a little exhausted, try to use the Italian Mergiue to pip rose, but I forgot how to do it. Just the name would do. It is very simple decoration but I love the silky and shiny look of the meringue.

Look at each layer - can you smell the chocolate ganache blend with coffee mousse.

Considering how much time and effort to spend, it made me understand why the cost of quality French dessert is a little bit more expensive.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Lemon Mousse Tart

I have made mango mousse in summer which is not a good one. It only mixed gelatin powder, milk and mango together. My mum has made a very good mango mousse which need to blend on the top of ice but i can't find the recipe. Mango is not the season at the moment so I choose lemon to make the mousse. Lemon mousse is not in the top of my list. It's winter time and currently tart is my favour ~ lemon mousse tart should be well matched, sour lemon mousse with sweet pastry. 

4 tablespoon of unsalted butter used in Lemon curd - start getting a bit concern. I know it is a bit contradiction in here. I love dessert but concern about how much sugar and butter in used.
To make myself feel butter I select high quality ingredients than go for the price.
 High quality ingredients = good for health - that's how my mind works. 

Pastry - Jamie Oliver's short crust pastry (my favour)

Lemon mousse recipe is made from lemon curd and whipping cream.

Lemon curd recipe (make 360 ml)
3 Eggs
1/3 cup (2-3 lemons) must be Fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon Lemon zest
3/4 cup Caster Sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (at room temperature)

In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water.
Put eggs, sugar and lemon juice in the bowl and whisk.
Stir constantly to prevent it from curdling.
Mixture becomes thick when temperature reach 160 C (~ take 10 minutes).
Remove from heat and pour it through a strainer immediately to remove any lumps (I haven't done this step because no lumps at all).
Cut butter into small pieces and put it into the mixture until all melted.
Add lemon zest and let it cool down.
Cover immediately to prevent a skin form.
It can keep in the refrigerate up to 1 week.

How good - can't stop licking it, just not me

Lemon mousse
Lemon curd 50g
Gelatin powder 2g
Cold water 10g
Whipping cream 50g ( I used non-diary cream) - whipped

Put gelatin powder into cold water.
When all gelatin powder dissolve in cold water, put it into lemon curd, mix well.
Then, mix whipping cream together.

Finally, put lemon mousse in the prepared pastry case and garnished by strawberry and fresh mint leaves.

I gave half to my lovely neighbour and she gave me 2 bags of lemon from her tree - so more lemon idea to come.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

No Knead Ciabatta Bread

This is the third time to make this recipe within 2 weeks.

Here is winter now, it just perfect with soup. Besides that it is so easy to make. No need to knead. Before going to bed, mix all ingredients, cover it probably. Next day, just put in the oven for half hours, then you can have fresh bread in the table. Amazing !

Bread flour 3 Cups
Table salt 1 ¼ teaspoons
Dry yeast ¼ teaspoons
Warm water 1 ½ cups

1. Put flour, salt, yeast together
2. Pour water in it, mix well, if not sticky add more water
3. Use foil or plastic wrap set it aside for 12 – 18 hours depends on room temperature
4. After 12 hours, the dough will be double size
5. Dust in work surface, make it round (just try to seam the side)
6. Place a cotton linen, dust generally
7. Lift the dough in the tea towel so it is seam side down
8. Folds the ends of the towel loosely over the dough to cover it
9. Place in the warm area for 1-2 hours
10. Dough will be become double size again
11. Pre heat oven 250 degree and put the pot in it, around 30 minutes
12. Put the dough into pre-heat pot coving the lid and bake for 30 minutes
13. Remove the lid and continue baking until the bread is a deep brown colour Around 10 – 15 minutes
14. Lift out from the pot and put in the rack for resting, around an hour

First time, I made it using the pot with lid (above method). This time, I just put the dough in a tray. But I add 1 ¾ cup water, a bit more than the recipe and baking time only 25 minutes because I worried it would become stone.

Remember the dough is very sticky, don’t worry. If you try to put flour to make a bit smooth like normal dough, it would become very dense inside, not very enjoyable.

My friend also forward me a youtube clip, I attached it below

Monday, 2 August 2010

Non-dairy cream 甜忌廉

Who would like to have cream but NON-Dairy, taste like what – soy ?

In Hong Kong, non-dairy cream(甜忌廉)  is very popular for cake decoration. It’s because we don’t get use to milk and cheese, just like other Asian country. Whipping cream sometimes is too heavy for our taste buds. You hardly find any cake shop selling cupcakes with massive butter cream icing to cover it.

Personally, I am very health conscious. Cake with icing and whipping cream at the top - sorry not my cup of tea. After learning how to make butter cream in the cake decoration class, I am more resisted it by considering how much sugar and butter is used.

Can't find anywhere to sell non-dairy cream in Melbourne. Are you crazy, there have plenty of cow in here but you like to use non-diary cream.

I found the recipe in ehow webpage. Taste is really great, not so sweet, have lemon favor, soft and creamy.  It can form stiff peak and stand firm. I purposely kept in the fringe for 2 days to see whether it would change to liquid form or not. Answer is NO.

Next time, I will use it to decorate my cake, let see how it goes !

Non-Dairy Creamer 1 cup
Cold water ¼ cup
Lemon juice 1 tablespoon (chilled)
Icing sugar 3 tablespoons

1. Before starting, put the mixing bowl and the beaters in the refrigerator to chill.
2. Put lemon juice, non-dairy creamer and cold water in the mixing bowl
3. Beat on high speed about 1 minutes or until soft peaks form
4. Add icing sugar gradually and continue to beat about 2 minutes or until stiff peaks form

* Non-Dairy Creamer is coffee whitener. I use Nestle coffeemate which is made from glucose syrup, vegetable fat, milk protein ...
I feel like meeting my long lost friend again. It was what I had on my birthday cake at home.
Love it !