Nov 29, 2015

♥ Gingerbread Men Cookies ♥

Few years ago, I made gingerbread men and women to celebrate Christmas. The old recipe was not shared on the blog because it wasn't beautiful enough until I find the perfect one up here.

These mini gingerbread men smell absolutely wonderful with the scent of cinnamon and ginger, which are also particularly low in sugar content due to the substitution of Natvia natural sweetener.

Optionally, the adorable cookies could be left without decoration, but trust me this royal icing recipe is very easy to whip up. Unless you don't want to consume raw egg white, replace it with melted chocolate!

You'll need:
For gingerbread cookies:
80g unsalted butter
35g brown sugar
35g Natvia
20g egg, 1 egg beaten and measured out
1 tsp vanilla
150g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
4 tsp ground ginger

For royal icing and decoration:
1 large egg white
1 tsp lemon juice
172g powdered sugar
Mini candy coated chocolate buttons

How to make gingerbread cookies:
  1. To make cookies, in a bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Set aside
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter, sugar and Natvia until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well combined.
  3. Add flour mixture and mix until a smooth dough form.
  4. Transfer the dough onto wax paper and press to flatten like a disc. Place in the refrigerator until cold and firm for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 170C. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and using a rolling pin, roll into 1/4inch thick.
  7. Using a small gingerbread men cookie cutter, cut into small pieces. Re-roll and repeat with the scrape.
  8. Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing cookies apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until firm around the edges.
  9. Remove from oven and let them sit for 5 minutes before transferring on wire rack to cool completely until ready to frost.
How to make royal icing:
  1. To make royal icing, in a large bowl whisk together egg white and lemon juice. Add sifted powdered sugar and whisk until smooth, with a consistency when ribbon of icing falls back and remains on surface for 5 seconds.
  2. Transfer in a pipping bag fitted with a small tip, pipe two dots on the gingerbread men body and decorate with chocolate buttons. Let sit to dry completely before storing.
With all my love <3

Nov 28, 2015

♥ Warabimochi ♥

Do you know about warabimochi? Originated from Japan, it is one of the popular Japanese wagashi widely known by everybody especially in Kansai.
It has a jelly texture made with bracken starch, commonly served with a generous coating of Kinako, aka roasted soybean powder, or sometimes matcha powder.

Additionally, some may prefer dipping with black sugar syrup for a better sweetness.
It is my favourite Japanese confection.

For this recipe, I used a warabimochiko, warabimochi flour, which is found at large Japanese grocery store. Using raw sugar is what I usually have on hand, but may be substituted with granulated sugar, brown sugar or even your healthy sweetener such as Natvia.

You'll need:
50g warabimochiko
50g raw sugar
250ml water
Roasted soybean flour (Kinako)

How to make Japanese warabimochi:
  1. To prepare baking tray, sprinkle generously with soybean flour until evenly and well covered
  2. In a bowl combine warabimochiko, raw sugar and water. Whisk until mixture is smooth with no lumps.
  3. Place over medium heat. Stir constantly and in one direction until the mixtures heat, thicken and elastic.
  4. When it turns translucent. Remove from heat quickly and pour onto prepared tray. Sprinkle the top with more kinako.
  5. Press gently to flatten and cut into pieces. Cool completely before serving.
With all my love <3

Nov 7, 2015

♥ Chinese Salted Egg ♥

Have you ever made your own salted egg? They can pretty much put in everything. In steamed minced pork, serve with barbecued pork rice, or simply just a bowl of steamed rice.

The eggs are to marinade in brine for at least a month.

As an adaptation, I only added a few spices which are available at home. The cinnamon stick and star anise do make a big difference in the flavor. Trust me and try it now!

Adapted from beanpanda
You'll need:
5 duck eggs
20ml rice wine
240g water
60g coarse salt
1 star anise
1 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorn

How to marinate Chinese salted egg:
  1. Rinse eggs under water. Check for any crackling and discard the eggs. Wipe to dry.
  2. In a small bowl, add rice wine. Place egg in the wine to coat, one at a time.
  3. Carefully transfer the egg to a wide mouth mason jar, or any other glass container, and make sure not to crack the eggs.
  4. In a saucepan, add water, salt, star anise, cinnamon sticks and Sichuan peppercorn. Boil until the salt is melted. Let cool completely.
  5. Pour the salted water over the egg. Place a piece of kitchen paper over them to ensure all eggs are submerged in the salted water.
  6. Marinate at room temperature for 30-40 days.
  7. At 30th day, cook one in rice cooker to check for level of saltiness. If desirable, remove the eggs and store them in the fridge for up to 1 month.
With all my love <3

Sep 14, 2015

♥ Easy Coconut Macaroon Tart ♥

Coconut Macaroon. Sweetened coconut with milk. How good is that?
I have got some leftover crust pastry in the fridge and a can of handy sweetened condensed milk, so created these mini babies. They are quick, easy and delicious treats you can make in no time!

The crust in this recipe is simply the same I used in my Mini Jam Tartlets. Alternatively, you can also try THIS shortcrust pastry, which I have made for the lychee raspberry rough tart.

You'll need:
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
14 oz flaked unsweetened coconut
1 pate sucree recipe

How to make easy coconut macaroon tart:

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Remove the pate sucree dough onto a floured surface, roll into best fit circles to the tart tins. Remove any excess from the rim.
  2. To prepare the coconut filling, in a large mixing bowl, combine condensed milk and shredded coconut. Spoon 1 heaped tablespoon of coconut into the prepared crust.
  3. Shape well and place on a baking tray. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is set and golden brown.
  4. Serve warm. Store leftovers in air-tight container.
With all my love <3

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