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Monday, 26 September 2016

Pumpkin Carrot Porridge

A light and nutritious meat-less porridge with just the golden pumpkin, carrot and egg 😊

Servings: 1-2 persons

1/2 cup long grain rice, 70g
2 tbsp onion, chopped, 20g
1 clove garlic, chopped
40g peeled pumpkin, grated
20g peeled carrot, grated 
1/4 tsp low-salt light soya sauce
500-600ml water
1/2 tsp seasoning powder, Knorr brand "Hao Chi"
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of black pepper

1 egg 
2 tsp milk
1/8 tsp seasoning powder, Knorr brand "Hao Chi"

Some green scallions 
Some green coriander

1. Rinse rice and soak for 30 to 60 minutes.

2. Peel and grate pumpkin and carrot. Set aside.

3. Beat 1 egg with 1 tsp of milk and 1/8 tsp of Knorr "Hao Chi". Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pot and pan-fry the egg mixture to golden on both sides. Cut into shreds and set aside.

4. Use the remnant olive oil in the pot to stir-fry the chopped garlic and onion until fragrant.

5. Pour in the grated pumpkin and carrot. Stir-fry till softened. 

Add in 1/4 tsp of light soya sauce and dash of black pepper for added fragrance. This step is optional.

6. Pour in the rice, give it a brief stir. 

Pour in the 500 ml of water, cover with a lid and wait for the porridge to boil.
If you like a softer texture porridge, add in another 100 ml of water.

7. When the porridge starts to boil, lower the heat, cover with a lid, and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

8. When the rice has softened, add in the Knorr "Hao Chi" and salt. Adjust the quantities according to your taste.

9. Cover with a lid, turn off the heat, and let the porridge simmer for another 10 minutes.
If you prefer a congee type of soft texture, you can continue to simmer the porridge longer.

10. Garnish with omelette shreds, cut green scallion and coriander leaves. Serve warm.

Frozen Strawberry

Strawberries are easy perishable fruit especially in our tropical climate. Even if they are kept in the fridge, they would turn bad or dehydrated in a few days. 
Fresh strawberries are commonly sour. Therefore, I would usually blend them into smoothies either with milk or water.
To extend the shelf life of the fresh strawberries, I prefer to keep them in frozen form. The frozen strawberries can be used to replace ice cubes in the smoothie. Without the presence of water (in the form of ice) in the smoothie, it helps to blend a thicker and richer smoothie.

1. Wash strawberries with vegetables wash. Drain and shake off extra water. Cut the strawberries into cubes.

2. Keep the strawberry cubes in a container, and covered with 2  layers of paper kitchen towels, followed by the lid.

4. Keep the container of strawberries in the freezer till needed. The best to use them within a week.

Strawberry pineapple smoothie
Just blend the frozen strawberries with pineapple chunks, and cold water. 
As I used canned sweetened pineapple, so I can omit the honey.

Strawberry Milk Smoothie
Just blend the frozen strawberries with cold fresh milk, whipping cream and honey.Top up with whipping cream.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Lemon Cream Cheese Pound Cake

 I modified a butter pound cake recipe to substitute part of the butter quantity by the more nutritious and lesser fat cream cheese. My first attempt was a failure - the cake texture was too dense :( 
This is my second attempt. The cake texture has improved, but there was a minor crack on the surface :(

The cake has a faint taste of cream cheese, and tasted slightly tart because of the lemon juice. A not-too-oily pound cake to try on :)

Yield: One 20Lx10Wx5H cm cake

All ingredients in room temperature.
Using 55g eggs
135g top/cake flour
15g milk powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
85g unsalted butter, softened 
30g cream cheese, softened
110g fine sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp golden syrup/honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
20g lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon zest


1. Extract 20g of lemon juice and collect about 1 tbsp of lemon zest from a lemon.

2. Softened butter and cream cheese in room temperature for about 15 minutes.

3. Mix cake flour, milk powder and baking powder together in a bowl.

4. Beat eggs together and set aside.

5. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar together till light and fluffy.

6. Gradually blend in the beaten egg to the batter. Add in small quantity after each mixing.

7. Sieve in the flour mixture from (3) into the batter and mix briefly. 
Try not to over mix the flour.

8. Mix in the golden syrup, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.

9. Use a spatula to give a more through mixing.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
For non-silicon cake pan, please grease with butter and sprinkle a thin layer of flour over, or line it with parchment paper

10. Bake at 170 degree Celsius for about 50 to 60 miuntes at the middle rack of the oven. Check with a cake tester. The inserted cake tester should come out clean if the cake is done.
The stated baking time is an estimation, the final timing would have to be confirmed after my next bake ^^

10. Bake at the lowest rack of a preheated oven set at 170 degree Celsius for about 40 minutes turning on only the upper heating coil.
The purpose is to "strengthen" the top crust, so the hot batter below will not push through it and cause the crack. This mission failed :(

After the 40-minute top baking, turn on both the top and bottom heating coils, lower the oven temperature to 160 degree Celsius and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes, or till an inserted cake tester came out clean.

End of baking.

Test with a cake tester.

11. Let the cake stay in the cake mould for about 15 minutes.

Invert out the cake and let it cool on the wire rack. I covered the cake loosely with a sheet of paper kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out.

12. Slice and enjoy :)
The cake taste better on the next day :)