Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Basic Cookie Dough


I love making homemade cookies. 
They're fun to make, and taste way better than the store bought cookies, or do they? 
Making your own homemade cookies needn't be as complicated as you may first think. 

I found this basic simple recipe for cookie dough.... 

250g butter, 140g sugar,1 egg yolk, vanilla extract, 300g plain flour - which can easily be adapted to suit your tastes. 


Make sure the dough is chilled and the baking sheets are cool before putting them in the oven. Otherwise the fat in the cookies will melt too soon, resulting in flat cookies. 



Thursday, 17 March 2011

Plum Cake

Plum Cake
Recipe adapted from

4 oz butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon sour cream
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups plums, pitted and sliced into small chunks

For the topping
3 oz butter
3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, cream the butter, add the sugar, vanilla, egg, vanilla, sour cream and salt.
Mix the flour and baking powder and add that into the mixture.
Grease the base of a baking pan and spread the dough over the pan.
Liberally spread plums over the dough.
To make the topping, cream the butter, add flour, sugar and cinnamon.
Sprinkle over the plums and bake for 30-45 minutes in the middle rack at 180C.
Serve with lots of ice-cream.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Coriander and Lemon Roasted Chicken

Coriander and Lemon Roasted Chicken 

2 cloves garlic 

zest and juice from 1 lemon
6 stalks green onion 
2 red chillies, seeded and roughly chopped
1 cup fresh coriander leaves 

1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp turmeric powder 
1 tsp brown sugar 
1 whole roasting chicken 

 and freshly ground black pepper 

1 cup vegetable stock 

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Put the lemon zest and juice, garlic, onion, chillies, cilantro leaves, turmeric powder, ground coriander, sugar and salt into a food processor and processed until smooth. 
Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with salt and pepper. 
Loosen the skin on the chicken’s breast and thighs by gently sliding your fingers between the meat and the skin. Pour or spoon the processed paste between the skin and the meat. Use your hands to distribute the paste under the chicken skin as much as you can. 
Rub the chicken any remaining paste and season with salt and pepper. Leave to marinade for 3 hours or preferably overnight. 
To roast, place the chicken in a roasting pan, add vegetable stock and bake uncovered, basting every 30 minutes. Roast for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until a meat thermometer reads 180°F when inserted into the thigh. 


Friday, 11 March 2011

Blueberry Swirl Cake

Blueberry Swirl Cake

175g butter, softened
175g sugar
3 large eggs
200g flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g ground almonds
grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tbsp blueberry conserve

Preheat oven to 180C.
Line a 20cm round cake tin with parchment paper.

Place all ingredients except the conserve into a mixing bowl and whisk to blend together until smooth.

Spoon into the prepared tin and level with the back of the spoon.

Place the conserve into a paper piping bag and pipe a swirl of the conserve on top of the cake.

Bake for 40 - 50 minutes.


Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry

450g chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tbsp oil
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
3 medium red onions
1 small knob ginger
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp curry powder
4 large tomatoes, chopped (I used 15 cherry tomatoes, instead)
2 green chillies, slit in half and de-seeded
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
1/2 cup coconut cream
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup water

In a food processor, whiz together red onions, garlic and ginger.

In a medium pot, heat oil. Add cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Fry on a low heat for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add the processed ingredients and fry till fragrant.

Add curry powder and 1/4 cup water. Simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until the liquid dissipated and oil separated from the spices.

Add tomatoes, green chillies and chopped mint and coriander leaves. Mix well and saute for 5 minutes on a low heat.

Add chicken pieces and salt to taste. Mix well.
Add coconut cream and 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat 30 - 35 minutes or till done and gravy thickened.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

MinceBeef Pinwheel with Minted Peas


MinceBeef Pinwheel 

1 tsp vegetable oil 
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and finely chopped 
1 garlic clove, finely minced 
300g lean minced beef 
1 tsp dried thyme 
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce 
1 tsp brown sugar 
1 tbsp plain flour, plus extra for rolling 
500g ready-made puff pastry 
50g Cheddar, finely grated 
1 medium egg, beaten 
salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. 


Heat the oil in a small frying pan and gently fry the onion, dried herbs and garlic for 2–3 minutes until soft, stirring regularly. Tip the mixture into a large heatproof bowl and leave to cool for few minutes.

Add the minced beef, worcestershire sauce, sugar and the flour to the bowl with the onion and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix until thoroughly combined.

Lightly flour a clean surface with flour, and roll the puff pastry into a 34cm square.

Spread the mince mixture over the pastry, leaving a 2cm border around the edges.
Sprinkle on the grated cheese and brush the pastry edges with a little of the beaten egg.

Firmly roll the pastry up, like a Swiss roll.
Cut the roll into 12 even slices using a serrated knife.
Place the pinwheels on the baking tray, spaced well apart to allow for rising.

Flatten each pinwheel slightly with the palm of your hand. Brush the top of each pinwheel with the beaten egg to glaze.

Bake for 15 minutes or until well-risen and golden brown, and the beef is cooked through.

Allow to cool slightly, then remove from the baking paper using a palette knife. Served warm with minted peas.

Minted Peas

1 cup water
2 cups frozen peas
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
25g butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil water in a saucepan and add the peas. Cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the peas are tender, then drain.
Stir through the mint and butter and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Fried Beehoon with Minced Beef and Broccoli


Fried Beehoon with Minced Beef and Broccoli 

To make braised minced beef: 
1 tsp chopped garlic 
2 tsp chopped ginger 
2 tsp sugar 
1 tsp light soy sauce 
1 tsp oyster sauce 
200g minced beef 
2 tbsp chilli bean sauce 
salt and black pepper 

To prepare beehoon: 
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic 
2 tsp finely chopped ginger 
1 tbsp dark soy sauce 
¼ cup chicken stock 
300g Beehoon, cooked according to packet instructions, drained 

110g tender-stemmed broccoli 
3 tbsp finely chopped spring onions 

Microwave or steam broccoli. Set aside. 

Heat a wok or a large frying pan until hot and add a little vegetable oil. 
Add the minced beef and the rest of the ingredients to the wok and fry for 5-6 minutes, or until golden-brown. 

Meanwhile, for the beehoon, heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat and add a little oil. 
Add the beehoon, garlic and ginger and stir-fry for one minute. 
Add the soy sauce and chicken stock. 
Reduce the heat and simmer for three minutes over a low heat. 

To serve, pile the noodles onto a serving plate. 
Arrange steamed broccoli on top of noodles. 
Spoon the minced beef over the broccoli and sprinkle over with chopped spring onions. 



Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Choc-Orange-Walnut Cookies


Choc-Orange-Walnut Cookies 

2-1/4 cups flour 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
1/2 teaspoon salt 
8 oz butter, softened 
3/4 cup granulated sugar 
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
2 eggs 
1 cup dark chocolate chips 
1 cup chopped walnuts 
1 cup chopped orange peel 


Heat oven to 180C. 

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until creamy. 
Add eggs; beat well. 
Gradually add flour mixture, beating well. Stir in chocolate chips, orange peel and walnuts. 
Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased cookie sheet. 
Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. 
Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. 



Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Virgin Mojitos


Virgin Mojitos 

5 oz soft light brown sugar 
120ml water 
juice of 2 limes 
bunch of fresh mint leaves 

Put the sugar and water in a pan over a low heat. 
Cook until sugar dissolves, 
Add the mint and lime juice and turn off the heat. 
Set aside to cool and to allow the flavours to infuse. 

To serve, strain syrup into 1 liter sparkling water. 
Other options are to use ginger ale or Sprite instead. It all depends on what you like. 
Experimenting with these flavors yields yummy rewards!