All posts filed under: Baking

baba-ganoush recipe

Baba Ganoush with Pink Peppercorns

I didn’t intend to be absent from the blog for so long, I had planned for a mere three weeks break but it turned out to be an ongoing journey of self- (re)discovery, and somehow I didn’t want it to stop. During the break, I returned to my drawing board, literally, and my sketch book, doing sketches of all kinds; things that surround me, people who passing by, or even just ideas in my head. And I realised that I have forgotten how much I enjoyed drawing when I was growing up. I also spent a lot of the time reading novels and writing short stories, and I met some amazing people through a fiction writing class. I hope I can share some of the stories with you soon. I haven’t stopped cooking though, as you know if you are following my Instagram account, and can’t wait to share the recipes that I have created during the break. All in all, it has been a relax and inspiring time for me and I am glad that I had made this decision. …

Gluten Free Almond Plum Cake recipe

Almond Maple Plum Cake

This cake is moist on the inside with hint of vanilla, top of the cake is slightly crunchy flavoured with soft tarty plums. The sponge cake is shy of sweet which allow the maple saturated fruit to shine. Plum is sold in abundance at this time of the year, it is delicious both raw and cooked. In its raw form, the firm but juicy flesh is pleasantly sweet, it carries a floral note and sweet like honey. Its smell mirrors its wonderful taste and lingers on your fingers long after you held one. When cooked, sweetness turns into a nice tarty taste. It is almost unbearable to not take the advantage to include plum in your everyday menu, some days I wake up craving for a juicy plum with yogurt and homemade granola, or other days, I scatter them on salad and then topped with toasted nuts, or stew them quickly in vanilla syrup and serve warm with ice cream for dessert. But bake plum in cake is definitely one of my favorite ways to enjoy these late summer …

Agedashi Nasu recipe

Baked Aubergine served in Dashi Broth – Almost Agedashi Nasu

Tender aubergine half bathed in a light warm broth, garnished with chopped spring onions and grated ginger. The flesh of the fruit which has saturated with the rich umami flavour from the broth just melts in the mouth. While the green young spring onion is providing a few fresh crunches, the grated ginger adds a raw, spicy excitement to the whole dish. It is how I remember its taste, the Agedashi Nasu (deep-fried aubergine served in dashi broth) which I first tasted in a Japanese restaurant a few weeks ago. It made such an impression to me that, by the second I left the restaurant, I decided to recreate it at home. Note: as I have been trying to avoid deep frying food as much as I can, so the cooking method I use here is baking rather than the traditional deep-frying. It means less oily and less messy. Just brush enough oil on both sides (and the skin) of the aubergine slices, and they are good to go. Score the skins on the end-slices so it cooks …

Maple Strawberry Galette recipe

Maple Strawberry Galette

There has been a constant flow of mouth-watering photos of pies, galettes and tarts going on Instagram lately, it makes me realise summer is in fact the best time to bake. Markets are abundant with local summer berries, plums, apricots, peaches, rhubarb, cherries etc., they are fresh and sweet as they are, but flavour intensify after going through treatment of heat. Especially when these fruits passed their prime, simply bake them in the oven, or stew them on the stove with a little sugar or natural sweetener, turn them into something rich and luscious. I was given two kilos of strawberries the other day and as much as we love strawberries and cream, we wouldn’t have managed to finish them before they rotted away or before we got tired of the sight of cream and strawberries. Luckily with all the inspiring pictures on social medias, I decided to make a gluten-free strawberry galette which I have been wanting to try for a while. To make a light and buttery gluten free pie crust (without the additional of special binders such …

Baked Pork Filet with Port Wine Portuguese Style recipe

Baked Pork Filet and Fennel in Port Wine, Portuguese Style – served with Olive Rice

Eating out on weekends were always the highlight of the week for us when we were small. My father was a food enthusiast and he loved to try out different restaurants in and around Macau city. He loved fine dinning especially, so we quite often dined in the exclusive Portuguese restaurant inside the hotel Pousada de São Tiago, a former fortress originally built by the Portuguese in the 17th century against the local pirates and other European countries (who wanted to invade Macau, which was a lucrative trading port in the far east at the time). The hotel is situated in the south west corner of the Macau Peninsula, overlooking Macau city and the Pearl River Estuary. It was always excited for us children to walk proudly into the fortress through the glass door, like princesses and princes in our beloved fairy tales, and knowing that a sumptuous meal which we had been looking forward to all week long, would be waiting for us to feast on. I remember the redolence of olive oil and freshly baked bread filled the …

gluten free rhubarb and apple crumble recipe

Gluten Free Rhubarb and Apple Crumble

The curious rhubarb, powerfully sour when raw but when cooked with enough sweet element (such as sugar, maple syrup and honey), it balances pleasingly between sweet and tarty, silky and almost additive. I know this lanky vegetable is not everyone’s cup of tea, its intense tanginess (without cooking it right) is somewhat off-putting. My friend’s mother whom I dined with last week, while we were devouring this rhubarb apple crumble I made, told me that she never likes rhubarb because it is too sour, but she was impressed by this dessert, particularly, the combination of apple and rhubarb. She has even asked me for the recipe. This recipe is adapted from the British classic rhubarb crumble recipe I came across on Jamie Oliver’s website. Though the addition of apple is purely spontaneous, since I had two Gala sitting on the kitchen worktop for a few days and needed to be eaten urgently, so I didn’t hesitate to add them to the dish. I was almost certain that they would give an extra fruity note to the dessert. It turned out that the sweetness of the apple …

gluten free buckwheat focaccia recipe

My Favorite Buckwheat Focaccia

This is the most baked bread in my household, there is something about this bread which is quite irresistible. First of all, it is made of many healthy grains and seeds which are full of nutrients, fibre and essential fats. Secondly, it is insanely easy to make and above all, it is incredibly delicious, nutty with a slightly sweet note. It is always a pleasant to have a tray baking in the oven, the aroma of the warm spices lingers the whole apartment which is exceptionally comforting. And when I toast them in the morning, the smell of cinnamon sneaks out from the toaster and makes the day sweeter than ever. I have tried different toppings for the focaccia and it literally goes well with anything: sweet, savory, and even spicy. I find that it tastes amazing when toasted because the edges of the bread becomes crispy and releases its deep nutty flavour. So I store them in the freezer after cutting them, toast a couple of slices in the morning straight out of the freezer. I like …

Chorizo, Leeks and Potato Gratin Recipe

Chorizo, Leek and Potato Gratin

This is not the ordinary, heavy creamy type of potato gratin. This is in between a gratin and a curry. As peculiar as it sounds, this dish is definitely worth trying, it is not only a delight to eat but it is just so easy to make. The sauce is made of coconut milk, curry powder and cayenne pepper, therefore it is light, with a subtle spicy taste to it. What I like about this dish is that it is full of flavours and textures; the leek is sautéed slowly and patiently to develop its sweetness, and then cooked in coconut milk and curry, as well as smoked chorizo. The softness of the cooked leek contrasts beautifully with the firmness of the waxy potato, which has unapologetically soaked up all the lovely flavours from the sauce. Finally, the squeaky baked mozzarella provides yet another curious layer of texture to the whole dish. The sauce is considerably thinner than the usual gratin sauce, but it appeals to me that this consistence is in fact what makes this dish a perfect companion for a simple fish or meat dishes. (Although I …

sweet potato and chorizo croquette recipe

Sweet Potato and Chorizo Croquettes (repost)

School summer holiday started means I will spend a lot of time with my daughter in the next days. We have already talked about our plan for the holiday: playing, baking, doing art and craft, visiting museums, playground etc. It is wonderful to be able to spend time with her, but it also means that I have less time to organise my own plans, writing and updating the blog is a challenge. Although I have to admit that I haven’t been very good at keeping my writing practice as of late, and somehow to find writing or even recipe ideas seem to be difficult. I didn’t know why until I read this essay ‘when writing slips away‘ by Nicole Gulotta at Eat this Poem (one of my favorite blogs). It was beautifully written and described exactly what I am going through right now, this is it, because I stopped paying attention! So the other day, I sat myself down in front of the computer, instead of setting up a new page for blog post, I went through all the …

Baked Nectarine and Cherry recipe

Honey Roasted Nectarine and Cherry with Cinnamon and Coconut

I have been a bit obsessed with baked fruit as of late. There is something about a hot tray of tender, sweet fruits comes straight out of the oven, it is piquant, it is warm, almost festive. The air is filled with sweet aroma, often I can’t help but dig right into these beauties without worrying my lips being burnt. The combination of the warmth, the softness and the tartiness which was almost unique to baked fruit. Magic happens when the luscious fruit mingles with refreshingly cold cream, a multi-dimensional taste, or shall I say sensation, guarantees to enthrall you. That’s why it becomes one of my favorite desserts, and I won’t mind to make it even though on a hot summer day. In the last couple of weeks, I have tried with different fruits, especially summer ones such as strawberry, rhubarb, apricot, nectarine, cherry etc. or a combination of any two. I know it is nothing new, but once I found the combo that I really love, after cooking it repeatedly for a while, making changes here and there to …