Very Nutty Chocolate Granola

Another favorite recipes of mine from Nigella’s, and it had every bit of gorgeousness in it. I added a few more variety of nuts in the granola, because I love the crunch and taste of the nuts.

And you do need a large bowl for this, since there’s is so much stuff to put in; also I found it tremendously satisfying, seeing all the ingredients pile up one another. You can have this granola anytime during the day, serve as breakfast with yogurt, sprinkle on top of vanilla ice-cream, and a very healthy snack to pick at.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cup of rolled/jumbo oat,
  • 1/4 cup of walnut,
  • 1/4 cup of hazelnut,
  • 1/2 cup of peanut,
  • 1/2 cup of sesame seed,
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seed,
  • 3/4 cup of apple sauce,
  • 1/4 cup of golden syrup,
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar,
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil,
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon,
  • 1 tsp of allspice,
  • 1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg,
  • 1 tbsp of cocoa powder,

Very straight-forward, just tumble everything in a bowl, stir to mix, scrap into a grease tray and bake in 170C oven for 35-40 minutes.

Do watch out around half hour time, because the sugar can burns very easy. Once you see the top is deep brown color and the nut is toasted, it’s ready. Let the granola to cool and store in a jar up to 1 week.

You can ring the change of nut or seed you want to put in. Try not to use honey to substitute the syrup, because it’ll make the granola very chewy, and you want it to be crisp and crunchy.

Blueberry Ice-cream

For my fourth and the last blueberry recipe, I reserved for this blueberry ice-cream. The thing about this ice-cream is it’s so easy, you don’t need to cook the custard or churn it. And not only it has cooling effect, when it eat it, you will feel the slap in the face with the freshness of the blueberry and citrus from lemon.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of blueberry,
  • 150ml of double cream,
  • icing sugar,
  • lemon,

Crush the berry with 2 tsp of icing sugar. I don’t strain the fruit, because I want those beautiful bit speckles the ice-cream later.

Whip up the cream with another tablespoon of icing sugar, plus juice of half a large lemon till forms soft peak.

Fold the berry into the cream, and let chill in the freezer. Hope you enjoy the blueberry recipes I shared.

Corn Pancake with Blueberry Syrup

I had some leftover blueberry sauce, and I think it’s best to drizzle over warm pancake for breakfast.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup of frozen sweetcorn,thawed
  • 3/4 cup of flour,
  • 1/4 tsp of salt,
  • 1 tsp of sugar,
  • 1 egg plus 1 white, separated
  • 1/4 cup of milk,
  • 1 tbsp of butter,melted

Blitz the corn in food processor, and mix together with the yolk, sugar and salt. Stir in flour, and thin the batter with milk.

Whisk the 2 egg whites until it forms soft peak. Spoon about one-third of beaten white into the corn mixture and beat well, to lighten the batter. Fold in the rest of egg white.

Ladle the pancake mix onto a smooth pan, about size of palm each. Once tiny bubbles merge on the top, flip the pancake over to cook for another few seconds.

I like this type of pancake, which uses egg as the lift agent, because it makes much fluffy pancake. Maybe you thought there’s only mean amount of sugar in the pancake, but actually the corn itself is sweet; what’s more you had this glorious honey blueberry syrup, sweet and fills with goodness.

Semifreddo Pie with Blueberry Topping

Take the road of indulgence with this semifreddo pie. Although the blueberry is not the prime ingredient here, but the topping really makes it. Semifreddo is Italian version of ice-cream or gelato, and I saw a few ways to make it. I follows the recipe from Nigella’s, which I assumes is perfect for people who wants to eat mousse, without worrying of the raw eggs in it, because the egg is partially cooked over a pan of simmering water.

I am a bit amazed of how this tart resembles with cheesecake, both in term of texture and taste, with less fat in it, hah! This does take some time to make, but you only need to bake the pie shell, the rest in done with a bit of whisking, finally in the fridge.

For the blueberry topping/syrup:

  • 1/3 cup of blueberry,
  • 1/4 cup of honey,

Very easy, just heat this two ingredients in a pan. And it turns into this wonderful colored jam, so beautiful. Pour into sterilized jar, and store in the fridge till you want to use it.

(To sterilize the jar, all you need to do it put the jar, including the cap, to a pot with boiling water. Take it out the moment you wants to fill the syrup in, or else the bacteria will grew back once the jar in cool.)

For the pie crust:

  • 100g of plain flour,
  • 50g of ground almond,
  • 80g of cold butter, cubed,
  • 1 tbsp of plain yogurt,
  • pinch of salt,

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and rub in the butter. Using your fingertip, press the butter into the flour, until it forms yellowish crumble. Don’t work the mixture too much, it’s fine with bit of butter left. Add in the yogurt, and squeeze everything into a dough. Flatten the dough into a disk, and lets chill in the fridge up to 1 hour.

After the dough firms up, place in between two plastic, and roll. This is a really good tip from Rachel Allen: Bake!, because the pastry won’t break up that easily when you rolls, and the plastic holds the fragile pastry when you flips on to the tart tin. Gently press the pastry to stick with the tin, and trim off excess part on the edge.

When you’re done with it, its’ time to bake. Put a sheet of baking parchment onto the crust, and fill to the top with dry bean or rice. This is called blind-baking, and what it does, is to keep the pie crust in shape; also, it prevents a soggy tart if you had wet ingredients in the filling. Bake in 180C oven for 10 minutes with the beans, and another 5 minutes without, to dry the base completely. Take it out from the oven and set aside.

You can watch the video of making shortcrust pastry from Rachel Allen:Bake! here.

For the filling:

  • 1 egg plus one yolk,
  • 2 tsp of sugar,
  • 2 tsp of gelatin,
  • 1 tbsp of rum (optional),
  • lemon zest and juice,
  • 100ml of heavy cream,
  • 1 tsp of vanilla essence,
  • 1 tbsp of icing sugar,

Sprinkle gelatin over the rum to soften, or water if you don’t want to use alcohol. Bring a pan with water to boil. Put the bowl over the pan, with sugar and eggs in it. Remember the bowl should not touch with the water surface, only steams.

Whisk the egg up until it doubles in size, the mixture will not turn stiff, but smooth and custard-like. Watch out in this step, the egg could scramble over the heat. Stir in the gelatin, half lemon juice, zest and vanilla. Set aside, and whisk the cream with icing sugar to form soft peak.

Fold the two mixture together, and pour over the cool pie crust. Smooth the top, and this goes into the fridge to chill up to 1 hour. When you’re ready to serve, just smear over the top with this glorious blueberry topping. Keep some back, because I still had one more recipe with this syrup.

Banana & Blueberry Muffin

I had been told it’s the season of blueberry now, and I managed to get some back with really good bargain. This is the first time I cook with blueberry, but I did prepared myself, because I am featuring a total of 4 blueberry recipes, oh yeah, all sweet and luscious. So, let’s start!

First to come is this banana and blueberry muffin. I love the way the blueberry leaks out its wonderful purplepink blood, and stains the muffin within. Of course, besides the “gruesome” effect, the tartness of blueberry also counters with the sweet cake.

Ingredient:

  • 1 1/2 cup of plain flour,
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder,
  • 1 tsp of baking soda,
  • 1/2 tsp of allspice,
  • 1/4 of salt,
  • 2 ripe large bananas,
  • quarter of lemon juice,
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon,
  • 100 ml of natural yogurt,
  • 50g of melted butter,
  • 3/4 cup of castor sugar,
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract,
  • 1/2 cup of blueberry,

In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients. Mash up the banana together with lemon juice and cinnamon. Combine with the remaining wet ingredients and sugar.

Using a spatula, fold the wet mixture into the dry. Don’t overwork the batter, or else you’ll get a heavy muffin, just letting the flour dampen with liquid. Finally, tumble in the berry.

Divide the batter to 12 muffin paper, and this goes into a 170C oven for 20 minutes.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

You’ll need:

  • 150g of spaghetti,
  • 1 strip of bacon,
  • 1 tbsp of frozen pea,
  • 1 egg,
  • 1 tbsp of cream,
  • Parmesan cheese,

Cook the pasta in salted water till al-dante. Meanwhile, fried the sliced bacon in hot pan. When it gets brown and crispy, stir in the pea.

De-glaze with little bit of pasta water or white wine, then toss together with the spaghetti.

In a bowl, whisk together cream, egg, grated cheese and a squirt of lemon juice. Season well. Turn off the flame, and pour in the milky mixture into the pan, letting the heat of pasta to cook the egg inside gently.

Serve immediately, presto!

Quiche Lorraine

I had experimented with new recipe lately, after grabbing loads of ingredients from supermarket last week. And what could be more lovely that making delicious pie and pastry at home? I enjoy every process of rolling and shaping, and of course tasting them.

Quiche refers to custard pie from France, and it has meat and cheese in it. The one I made originated from Lorraine, and I first saw the recipe on Rachel Allen: Bake!. Mine quiche slightly deviates from the classic one, because I’m making a mini version, and if you notices, I used puff pastry instead of short-crust pastry as the base. And it’s not just any puff-pastry, it’s a homemade puff-pastry, oh yeah. I’m going to show you how I made it in coming post.

Ingredient:

  • 1 sheet of puff-pastry,
  • half a onion, sliced
  • 2 strips of bacon, sliced
  • 2 spring onion,
  • some parsley,
  • 1 egg,
  • 100 ml of cream,
  • Parmesan and Cheddar cheese

Cut 6 squares from the puff pastry, and push them gently inside a muffin case. It’s fine if the pastry doesn’t completely cover the base. Put the muffin tray into a 180C oven to blind baking, for 15 minutes.

Heat up a pan with some oil, and start cooking the bacon till crispy. Remove the bacon strips, and toss onion in the remaining oil, cook until soften. Meanwhile, take the pastry out of the oven, and set aside to rest.

In a large bowl, whisk together the egg and cream. Grate in the cheese, well, you decide the amount to put in. Stir in chopped scallion and parsley, and finally the bacon and onion. Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the mixture onto the puff-pastry, fill the custard up to the brim of the muffin case. Bake in the oven, same temperature, for 15 minutes. The quiche is brown at the edge when out of the oven, but soft still in the middle.

This is such a simple recipe to try, obviously you don’t have to make the puff-pastry, but I urge you to bake it yourself to taste how divine this Quiche Lorraine is. I know this pie may just exceeded the calorie scale with the cream, the cheese and the butter in the pastry, that why I made them in smaller proportion. Well, it doesn’t work for me anyway, but this is way better than eating over-sugary pie.