Tag Archives: ice cream

Chocolate is a Vegetable?

So word got around on the www that 7th July is Chocolate Day. Not that there is any reason to have a day to consume these supposed aphrodisiacs in unimaginable quantity, but hey, I’m totally chocolate-biased so:

HAPPY CHOCOLATE DAY, LOVELIES!

*sprinkles chocolate rice*

Here are a few chocofacts that every chocoholic ought to know:

Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. Then, sugar is added. Since both cacao and sugar are from plants, thus placing them in the vegetable category. Ultimately, chocolate is a vegetable. 

Milk chocolate was discovered by Daniel Peter and Henri Nestlé in 1876 by adding chocolate to sweetened condensed milk.

White chocolate is not chocolate. It contains ingredients such as cacao butter, cream, milk, skim milk and buttermilk.

A whole year’s harvest from one tree makes half a kilo of cocoa.

And in my desperate bid to celebrate at home, I rummaged the fridge in search of the basics of a chocolate molten lava cake. Butter, check – Sugar, check – Flour, check – Eggs, check – Baking chocolate…….. Err.. I had only 3 oz left and the recipe called for 6oz! *hangs head in shame* And na’uh, no way was I gonna half the proportions in the recipe.

I searched the fridge so hard, I could literally climb right in. Nope, still no sign of any plain chocolates. All I had were heaps of Toblerones, M&Ms, Kinder Buenos, Ritter Sport, Ferrero, Snickers and that was it?

So here’s an improvised recipe to bake my lack-of-chocolate molten lava cake:

For Cake:

100g Melted Butter

4 tbsp Caramel Sauce

8 tbsp Powdered Sugar

2 Whisked Eggs

2 Additional Egg Yolks

6 tbsp Flour

For Filling:

1 tbsp Butter

2 oz Baking Chocolate

In a bowl, whisk melted butter with caramel sauce. Add sugar and mix well. Slide in the eggs and egg yolks into the mixture. Once well-incorporated, introduce flour while whisking it. Cake batter ready!

I’m a real sucker for cakes that don’t need me to pull out too many gadgets and gizmos. Naturally, this has to be my ultimate favourite.

In a double boiler (glass or metal bowl that sits atop a pan of hot water), whip butter and chocolate until smooth – the kind of smooth you just wanna stick your finger right in for a ‘taste-test’. I took a tablespoon of this mixture and added it to my cake batter, to darken the faint brown and also to give it a faux chocolate aroma (to hush my insufficient-chocolate conscience I guess).

Now that you’re all set, butter a ramekin – I used my impulsively bought ramekin from Daiso. Cmon, it’s just $2 and it works just as well as any other. I mean, why not, right?

Pour in half of your cake batter, then spread the chocolate&butter mixture in the centre, and top it off with the rest of your cake batter.

Bake at 180°C for 12 minutes, or more if you have to. Once it’s out of the oven, leave it for a minute before inverting it on a flat plate. Grab a slice and serve with ice-cream, like I needed to tell you that!?

Time to bake some, lovelies!

You still have about 7 hours till the end of Chocolate Day today!

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Pleasure after Pressure

Having torturously endured the entire day sans breakfast, lunch nor dinner, Famished was a gross understatement. Spent the past 8 odd hours piecing together two 5000-word reports that were due today.

Yeah, have I told you that I suffer from procrastinate-til-the-last-day-and-realise-I-havent-done-this-and-that syndrome? Not proud of it, but in my defense; I write better and faster under intense self-inflicted pressure.

So after fulfilling my duty as a responsible student, I needed to appease this screaming tummy! I did what any good (good is subjective) girl would….

My heart jumped, my jaw dropped, my tongue flipped and every nerve in my body tingled in sheer excitement – or was that hunger, I’m not certain.

Creamy blanket of cold smooth Haagen Dazs’ Cappucino Truffle ice cream atop a never-enough block of chocolate brownie which was a tad warm and fudgey on the inside, mmmm; finished off with viscous caramel sauce that was a no-no for the faint-hearted.

With every spoonful, I went to dessert heaven and back.

Long-lasting pleasure indeed.

Well-worth every arduous hour spent in hunger today.

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Inexpensive Indulgence

Let me begin with a simple teatime treat that I religiously prepare every month – for the simple reason that there’s always bread leftover that’s near expiry and there aren’t that many stray birds to feed em to. The traditional Bread & Butter Pudding is an inexpensive excuse of creating an indulgent treat in less time than it takes to get dressed to head to the nearby cafe.

The recipe dates back to the Elizabethan era and was, in its previous life, called the Devonshire White Pot. It’s quite interesting to note that back then, recipes were written in paragraphs, with the ingredients and method included in the text – as shown in Hannah Woolley’s (1622 – 1675) book:

“Take two quarts of new Milk, a peny white Loaf sliced very thin, then make the Milk scalding hot, then put to it the Bread, and break it, and strain it through a Cullender, then put in four Eggs, a little Spice, Sugar, Raisins, and Currants, and a little Salt, and so bake it, but not too much, for then it will whey.”

I could never imagine how tough it would be, to decipher recipes if we had carried on in the same stanza-writing method. We’d probably be eating out more often, that’s for sure.

According to John Nott’s recipe in 1723, on the other hand, White Pot also called for bone-marrow in place of butter, or even to complement the butter in the recipe. Either way, there’s something so comforting yet divine about Bread & Butter Puddings.

Well no, I will be using neither butter nor bone marrow for this recipe. Instead, I’m opting for a crowd-pleaser:

Can never go wrong with Nutella – spread it on bread slices or on plain crackers or even in cup/cakes or even on its own (mm guilty pleasures!). Seriously, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Nutella. Mother of all bread spreads, this cocoa & hazelnut spread is definitely a winner for everyone in my family. Explains why it needs replenishing so often!

Here’s a little (unrelated) baking tip: to make good chocolate chip cookies, do include ground or chopped hazelnuts, because it gives a heavenly Nutella aftertaste. Try it!

5 slices Leftover White bread

5 generous tbsp Nutella spread

250ml Fresh milk

50ml Evaporated milk

1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence

2 tsp Hot Chocolate powder

2 tbsp Brown Sugar*

2 beaten Fresh Eggs

Butter for greasing

* you may substitute Brown Sugar with 1 1/2 tbsp White Sugar

Cut the crusts off of the white bread and spread 1 tbsp of Nutella on each slice. See what I mean by generous. Cut the bread into quarters. In a bowl, whisk milk, vanilla, hot chocolate powder and sugar. Add in the beaten eggs.

Grease a 7-inch round pyrex bowl or ramekin with butter. Line the bowl with bread, strain and pour in the whisked mixture. Place the bowl in a slightly bigger tray and fill the tray with water. For baking noobs, this method is called double-boiling; great for custards and puddings.

Bake at 180°C for 25 mins and another 15 mins at 150°C (this time, partially cover the bowl).

Now wait (im)patiently in front of the oven.

Touch the top of the pudding; crust should be crisp and when you press it down, it should be springy. Springy means it’s custard-like on the inside (read: perfecto). Scoop a portion onto a plate, or shamelessly indulge out of the bowl.

You might wanna add a good heaping of vanilla or chocolate ice-cream, and drizzle more Nutella over it.

Mmmm, somethin’ about indulging warm-served dessert with ice cream that make your toes curl!

This post was written for Muzlimbuzz (Travel&Food):

Recipe: Bread & Nutella Pudding

Muzlimbuzz is an e-magazine that caters to the modern, active, socially-engaged and spiritual Muslim. We aim to document and articulate the Muslim experience, particularly of those in Singapore and in the region. Apart from News and opinion pieces, we have daily columns that cover a wide array of topics from Health to Marriage, Spirituality to Technology, Travel & Photo Essays. In a nutshell, there’s bound to be something that would interest you here at Muzlimbuzz.

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The fun starts Here

This one, I promise, would be a more photo-heavy post. One too many recipe posts lately, so I’ll let the pictures do most of the talking?

This is what happened last Sunday –

Just a few samples of Cold Stone facts (if you don’t already know)!

The first Cold Stone Creamery was officially opened in Tempe, Arizona in 1988, by Donald and Susan Sutherland.

The Cold Stone Creamery’s ice cream cookie sandwiches made its debut in 2009.

Cold Stone Creamery Singapore celebrates their 3rd month as the first franchise outlet in Singapore on 12th June 2011.

Now, here are a few scoops on why I personally love Cold Stone Creamery!

The signs says it all! Love their clever use of wordplay, so stepping in had me bursting into little chuckles.

I love their enthusiastic, friendly and helpful crew! Singing, entertaining, cheering, dancing, smiling, tossing and mixing ice cream – all in a day’s work! Phew!

And most importantly, they serve daaaaaaaaamn good ice cream. Seriously. Every flavour embodies the true taste of its names and texture-wise, really creamy! Simply flawless! Mad love!

And if you’ve got good ice cream, whatever way you serve it – be it with yummy mix-ins or in a smoothie – you just know it’ll be good.

So, last Sunday, I made my way down to Cold Stone Creamery at Orchard Central to get my first nibble of their new Ice Cream Cookie Sandwiches.

Tasted 3 quarter cookie samples and will definitely be back for more (anti-clockwise order):

Kiss N’ Tell Chocolate (my absolute favourite!) is Chocolate ice cream sandwiched in a pair of chocolate chip cookies and rolled in chocolate. Lovelove!

Cookie Crumb Yum is Sweet Cream ice cream hidden in really good chocolate chip cookies and rolled in Oreo crumbs. Now, who doesn’t love Oreos?

Cake Batter Sprinkle is Cake Batter ice cream in chocolate chip cookies, rolled in rainbow sprinkles. This would be a hit for the kids, I reckon.

My take on the cookie sandwich? Like it Love it Gotta have it!

Head to Orchard Central for your Ultimate Ice Cream Experience! And be prepared to queue on weekday nights and weekends, but I’m telling you, it’s totally worth it! Really!

Good service + Good ice cream melts my heart anytime. =)

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Couch Potato

Last Saturday, hopes of what would’ve been a great afternoon at Botanical Gardens with my mister having a great time with the swans, got dashed by the what’s-new weather. Rained like craaaaaazy so we had to activate Plan B: Sit home, enjoy each other’s company and do what we do best –

Eat and Laze around.

We’re really cats in human clothing, hehe!

I’d like to share with you this Baked Potato Pieor so my mister named it – recipe that was adapted from one contributed by a lovely lady friend of mine – Kalsom Arip (I call her Kak Som) to Manja’s June issue. I’ve had the privilege of trying it at her cosy place and I absolutely loved it!

Perfect for rainy afternoons, I say.

Grab the issue for the original recipe (and many other potato recipes) because I tweaked the recipe a little; added a bit of this, did without a bit of that.

What I love about recipes like this one is, you can prepare it ahead of time, leave it in the tray and bake it about an hour before guests arrive. Definitely one to note for the coming festive season or for friends coming over.

For potatoes:

4 Large Potatoes

Salt & Pepper

For filling:

1/2 sliced Yellow Onion (horizontally)

3 tbsp Mozarella Cheese

1 tbsp Butter

1 tsp Olive Oil

1/2 Chopped Yellow Onion

4 sliced Garlic Cloves (horizontally)

1 tsp grated Ginger

6 sliced Chicken Karaage

6 sliced Button Mushrooms

1/2 tsp Dried Oregano

1/2 tsp Black Pepper

For cream mixture:

180ml Cream

4 beaten Eggs

1 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes

2 tbsp Plain Flour

3 tbsp chopped Spring Onions

For topping:

1 cup Mozarella Cheese

1/2 cup toasted Bread Crumbs

Pepper & oregano

Drop your potatoes in a pot of water, sprinkle salt & pepper and bring it to a boil till potatoes are tender. After potatoes are done (check with a knife, it should pierce through easily), slice them lengthwise. At the same time, you might want to fry the chicken karaage to crisp golden brown perfection and slice into bite-sized morsels.

In a sautée pan, heat oil and butter before adding in onions and mushrooms. Once mushrooms are slightly done, throw in the rest of the ingredients – garlic, ginger, chicken, dash of oregano and black pepper. Set the savoury filling aside.

Have all your ingredients for cream mixture in a bowl – cream, eggs, flour, chilli flakes and spring onions – and beat lightly with a fork. Also, mix cheese, bread crumbs with pepper and oregano.

Now, time to layer it!

If you’ve done lasagne before, this should be easy peasy.

Grease a tray of 20 by 20cm with butter and line the sides with a dash of bread crumbs.

Layer it in this order (bottom to top): potatoes, onion, savoury filling, cheese, cream mixture, repeat this order once more but final layer has to be potatoes and cream mixture. Cover the tray with foil and bake in a 180°C oven for 40 minutes.

Open up the foil and take a whiff of all that goodness! 

Like a steam facial, only better.

And sprinkle your cheese topping mixture and pop it back into the oven for another 15 minutes. I thought to myself, boy do these oven makers know just how to tease! Looking at the cheese slowly melt and start to form a perfect golden crust, through the translucent glass panel of the oven door, is just so painful to look at, omg! *clenches chest*

Personally, I love getting a recipe right the first time! Who doesn’t? Erm, this is my first time baking this recipe, you know? God knows how many times i yelled “Yes! Yes! Yes!” in the kitchen, at the oven, at the dining table, after getting that first hot tasty mouthful! Hehe.

You could cover the tray up and present it as a gift to a friend or a new neighbour. Or bring it out to a picnic by the lake with your loved one.

Or! You could have it disappear right at home while watching TV.

Ahhh, comfort food. And of course, coupled with……………

Bring on the calories, baby!

But more than anything, I want to grow old and happy and fat with you! You know who you are. =)

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