Friday, 25 February 2011

Banana Cake

Banana Cake

7 oz butter, softened
7 oz dark brown soft sugar
4 large eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas, broken into chunks
3 oz walnuts, chopped
7 oz self-raising flour (I'm using gluten free flour)
1/4 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven 180C. Grease and line an 8 inch cake tin with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.

Gradually, beat in eggs and whisk in the bananas until smooth.

Using a large metal spoon, fold in the walnuts, salt and flour.

Spoon into the tin and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Kapitan chicken curry

Kapitan chicken curry

6 chicken thighs
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1 tsp salt, or to taste
4 tbsp vegetable oil
2 onions, sliced
250ml thick coconut milk
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

For the spice paste

6 shallots, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp chopped fresh root ginger
1 small ginger flower, chopped (optional)
1 tsp chopped galangal (optional)
1 tsp turmeric powder
4-6 macadamia nuts
2 stalks lemongrass, roughly chopped
2 fresh red chillies, roughly chopped
1 dried red chilli
1 tsp belachan (shrimp paste), lightly fried until fragrant

Place the chicken pieces into a shallow dish and sprinkle over the turmeric and salt. Cover and chill in the fridge for a few hours, to marinate.

Meanwhile, for the spice paste, blend all of the spice paste ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

To cook the chicken, heat a large frying pan over a high heat, add oil and, when it is smoking, add the chicken. Fry the chicken for 4-6 minutes, or until golden-brown on all sides.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Heat a wok over a medium heat, then add oil, the onion and spice paste and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant. 
Add the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the coconut milk, lime leaves and sugar. Simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through. 
Add the lime juice and stir well. 

To serve, spoon the curry into a serving dish. Sprinkle with the crispy shallots and mint leaves. Serve the steamed rice alongside. 

Monday, 21 February 2011

Chocolate Chip Walnut and Toffee Cookies

Chocolate Chip Walnut and Toffee Cookies 

1 cup butter, softened 
1 3/4 cups unrefined granulated cane sugar 
2 eggs 
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
3 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
2 tablespoons buttermilk 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1 cups semisweet dark chocolate chips 
1 cup chopped soft toffee fudge 
1 cup chopped walnuts 

Preheat oven to 175 degrees C. 
Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. 
Add baking soda and buttermilk into batter along with salt. 
Stir in flour, chocolate chips, fudge and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans. 
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned. 

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Lemon Drizzle Loaf

A gluten and wheat free recipe from the Good Housekeeping Institute 

Lemon Drizzle Loaf 

6 oz butter, softened 
6 oz caster sugar 
4 eggs, lightly beaten 
3 lemons 
4 oz gluten-free self-raising flour 
2 oz ground almonds 
3 oz sugar cubes 

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Grease and line a 900g loaf tin with parchment paper. 

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. 
Gradually, beat in eggs, followed by grated zest of 2 of the lemons and juice of 1/2 lemon. 

Fold the flour and ground almonds into the cream mixture. 
Spoon into the tin and bake for 40-50 minutes. 

When baked, leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then invert on to a wire rack to cool. 

Meanwhile, put sugar cubes into a small bowl with juice of 1 1/2 lemons and zest of 1 lemon. 
Soak for 5 minutes. 
Using the back of a fork, crush the cubes roughly. 
Spoon sugar liquid over the warm cake. 

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Lemon-scented Scottish Shortbread

Lemon-scented Scottish Shortbread 

130g butter 
60g icing sugar 
130g flour 
60g cornflour 
zest from 1 lemon 
pinch salt 

Set oven rack to middle position.Preheat oven to 150C. 

Cut the butter into 1-inch cubes, wrap it, and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. 

Using a food processor, process the butter for 1 minute. 
Add the sugar and pulse until the sugar disappears. 
Add the flour and lemon zest and pulse until there are a lot of moist, crumbly little pieces and no dry flour particles remain. 

On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough into a 1/4 inch thick circle. 
Cut into shapes of your choice using a lightly floured cookie cutter. 
Place on the prepared baking sheets and place in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. 
Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, or until cookies are very lightly browned. 

Transfer the shortbread to wire racks to cool completely. 

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Hor Fun Stir-Fry with baby PakChoy

Hor Fun Stir-Fry with baby PakChoy 

450g hor fun or flat rice noodles 
12 shrimp balls, quartered 
150g boneless chicken thigh, cut into small pieces 
5 stalks baby pak choy, cut into 1/2 lengthwise 
2 tsp rice vinegar 
2 tsp chilli paste 
¼ cup water 
Salt to taste 
1 tsp minced garlic 
1 tsp minced ginger 
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce 
black pepper 
sesame oil 

Place the minced garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and pepper into a bowl and mix until well combined. 
Stir in the chicken pieces and set aside for 30 minutes 


In a medium-sized pot boil some water. Add in a little salt. 
Add pak choy into the boiling water, blanching for 1 1/2 minutes; remove from pan with a slotted spoon and sprinkle a dash of sesame oil. Set aside. 
Prepare hor fun noodles as per instruction on the packet. Set aside. 



Heat up a wok. Add a little vegetable oil in a wok and stir-fry the marinated chicken on high heat. Add the chilli paste and vinegar and water. 
Once the meat is cooked through, turn off the heat and add in the noodles and mix well. 
Transfer to a serving dish together with blanched pak choy, and if desired, garnish with chopped spring onions. 

Monday, 7 February 2011

Spicy Shrimp-paste Chicken Noodles

Spicy Shrimp-paste Chicken Noodles 

For the chicken: 

1 tbsp shrimp paste 
1 tbsp unsweetened apple juice 
1 tbsp minced ginger 
1 tsp sugar 
1 tsp sesame oil 
1 tsp light soy sauce 
400g boneless chicken thigh, 
vegetable oil, for frying 
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions 

For the noodles: 

1 tbsp vegetable oil 
4oz kimchi, finely chopped 
1 tsp finely chopped garlic 
1 tsp finely chopped ginger 
1 tbsp unsweetened apple juice 
1 tbsp chilli bean sauce 
1 tbsp dark soy sauce 
1 tbsp oyster sauce 
1 tbsp caster sugar 
¼ cup chicken stock 
400g egg noodles, cooked according to packet instructions, drained 

Place the shrimp paste, apple juice, ginger, sugar, sesame oil and soy sauce into a bowl and mix until well combined. 
Stir in the chicken pieces and set aside for 30 minutes. 
Heat a wok or a large frying pan until hot and add the oil. 
Add the chicken to the wok and fry for 5-6 minutes, or until golden-brown. 
Remove the chicken from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. 

Meanwhile, for the noodles, heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat and add the oil. 
Add the kimchi, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for one minute. 
Add the apple juice, chilli bean sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and chicken stock. 
Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes over a low heat. 
Turn off the heat and add the noodles into the sauce. Mix well 

To serve, pile the noodles into a serving plate and place the chicken onto the noodles and sprinkle over the chopped spring onions. 

Note : you may substitute apple juice with Shaoxing wine or apple cider, if you prefer. 

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Black Pepper Minced Meat in Puff Pastry Roulade


Black Pepper Minced Meat in Puff Pastry Roulade 

1 roll puff pastry 

200g minced meat 
150g chestnut mushrooms, roughly chopped 
2 tbsp oyster sauce 
1 tbsp dark soy sauce 
1 tbsp light soy sauce 
1 tsp minced ginger 
1 tsp minced garlic 
2 tsp ground black pepper 
1 tsp five-spice powder 
salt and sugar, to taste 
a little water 

Heat pan under medium heat. 
When the pan is hot, add the minced meat and cook until the mince meat changes color. Add ginger and garlic in and saute for about 1 minute. 
Add the rest of the seasonings in and water. Stir and cook until the meat sauce comes to a simmer. Lower heat and let the meat sauce simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Set aside and leave it to cool. 

In a small bowl, break an egg and whisk a little. 

Unfold each sheet of puff pastry. Using a pastry brush, spread egg on top, spreading it evenly on the puff pastry. 
Sprinkle cooled minced meat over the dough. 


Roll the pastry into a log and let the dough chill in the fridge for at least half an hour. 
Starting at one end, cut off pieces of the log, in slices about 2 inches in thickness. 


Place on large parchment lined baking sheets and bake in 180C oven for 20 - 30 minutes. 


Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Butternut Squash in Spicy Coconut Gravy


Butternut Squash in Spicy Coconut Gravy 

1 tbsp vegetable oil 
1 tsp garlic ginger paste 
1 tbsp thai yellow curry paste 
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into cubes 
250ml coconut milk 
2 stalks lemongrass, bruised 
2 lime leaves (optional) 
juice from ½ lime 
fish sauce and brown sugar, to taste 

Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic ginger paste and sauté for about a minute until fragrant. 
Add curry paste and a little water to slightly thin it down and sauté for another 30 seconds. 
Then add lime leaves, lemongrass, coconut milk, sugar, fish sauce and squash. 

Cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 30 minutes. 
Add lime juice and adjust seasoning, if necessary.