Wednesday, September 26

Baked Matcha Cheesecake Bars

While it might appear so, baking with matcha is definitely not a phase. If I ever had a bakery, I think it would be primary made of treats made with lemon, tea and coffee. Mmm... 

Last weekend, I thought of taking a break from making a mess in the kitchen, but with two hours to kill before dinner, I could hardly bear the thought of sitting idle. I should probably learn to take a chill pill, but at least, my nerves beget something scrumptious. For more information about baking with matcha, check out my post on Matcha Brownies



Ingredients
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 ¾ cups digestive biscuits
  • 260 g cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
  • 2 eggs
  • 200 g double cream
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup matcha powder
Note: Before baking, fill the roasting pan with 1/2-1 inch of hot water and place it in the oven throughout the bake. Be careful or you might spill and give yourself first degree burns. 

Method
  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C.
  2. Coat your baking pan with butter or line with parchment paper.
  3. Crush up the cookies weither with brute force or the food processor.
  4. In a bowl, combine cracker crumbs and melted butter.
  5. Put 4. into your baking pan.
  6. Heat the cream cheese in the microwave for about 30 seconds.
  7. In a bowl, whip the cream cheese and sugar.
  8. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well. 
  9. Add flour and matcha and mix well.
  10. Add cream a third at a time and mix well.
  11. Pour the mixture into the baking pan. 
  12. Adjust the oven temperature to 175C and cook for about 25 minutes. Again, I find my oven to be hotter than average so I baked them at 160C.
  13. Once the cheesecake is done in the oven, turn the oven off and open the door. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 1 hour, as sudden changes in temperature may cause cracking.
  14. Best to chill over night before serving.

Monday, September 24

Native Flowers & Orchids

This weekend, instead of making a mess in the kitchen, I decided to channel my creative juices into flowers. Made a couple of floral bouquets for my mum and mother-in-law's concert performance 🌼🌿🌸




My mother-in-law's favourite brand. I saved the ribbons from all the gifts she got me.

Wednesday, September 19

Sept DOTM #2: Mushroom Risotto

The second DOTM is the ever-comforting mushroom risotto. With the constant ladling and stirring, some might find it tedious or laborious to make a risotto, but I love how therapeutic it can be. This is a lovely basic risotto recipe. If you don’t like mushrooms, I suspect you could even replace it with your protein or vegetable of your choice. I have plans to make a squid ink and saffron version hopefully sooner rather than later.

Enjoy!


Oh, we had wagyu steaks with our mushroom risotto. Not trying to steal any spotlight away from the risotto, but it was too good to not post. I married well.


Ingredients
Serves 6
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • a pinch or two of salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 cup arborio rice (also called risotto rice)
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms of your choice
  • 4 cups hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • fresh parsley or thyme for garnish
Instructions
  1. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the lemon juice, Italian seasoning and salt and pepper.
  4. Add the wine and stir as the wine reduces (cook for about 5 minutes until the wine reduces).Turn the heat to medium-low and add the rice. Toss the rice in the onion mixture until it's coated and move it around the pan for about 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the mushrooms.
  6. Add the hot chicken stock (or vegetable stock) about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and waiting until the stock is absorbed by the rice until you add another 1/2 cup. Repeat the process above until all the stock has been added and absorbed by the rice and a creamy sauce has formed, stirring constantly throughout.
  7. Serve immediately with shaved Parmesan cheese and freshly chopped thyme or parsley.

Monday, September 17

Sept DOTM #1: Truffle Kombu Angel Hair

Settling on one Dish of the Month (DOTM) wasn’t easy. It was a toss up between the Mushroom Risotto and Truffle Kombu Angel Hair... so you lucky folks, you are getting not one, but two DOTMs. Woop woop! 

It’s stinkingly easy - well, on hindsight. However, while preparing the dish, I was anxious as hell, as the dish tasted so blaaaaaaand while I was making it. Finally, I threw caution to the wind and seasoned the pasta generously. Do that, you won't regret it. I always run into last-minute scrambles so I love how this recipe can be made in advance, sitting pretty in the chiller while you make a mad dash for the other ingredients.

Ingredients 
Serves 10-12
  • 30g kombu 30g 
  • 500g angel hair pasta 500g 
  • 1/3 cup roasted sesame seeds
  • 1 cup truffle oil 
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 15g chives 
Method
  1. Boil kombu for 20 minutes till it's al dente. Drain and slice into slice strips. 
  2. Cook the pasta
  3. Toss in the rest of the ingredients and chill for around an hour. 
  4. Serve and enjoy.

    Friday, September 14

    The weekend the colleagues came over

    Over the weekend, my lovely colleagues came over for dinner and games. It was my first time having this bunch of fun folks over and I'm really happy we had a great time. Lots of food, plus three different types of desserts. Oh, the endless supply of alcohol didn't hurt.

    I had my work cut out for me as we had a vegetarian on the team and I didn't want to make a lame salad or dish that would alienate him. Considering more than half the dishes were vegetarian-friendly, we had quite the feast! 


    Roasted pumpkin with pomegranate and chickpea quinoa
    (adapted from Cookie & Kate)


    Brussel sprouts romesco bruschetta


    Truffle kombu angel hair pasta


    Creamy Tuscan chicken


    Grilled yakiniku pork belly


    A fraction of the drinks for the evening

    Wednesday, September 12

    Happy Birthday, Dad!


    The trick to getting the perfect picture with kids is .... Err, there isn't. 
    Oh well, happy birthday, dad!

    Monday, September 10

    Soup-ed Up, PasarBella Suntec


    Tried out this new place for lunch. Good, hearty soups. We had their butternut squash and curried cauliflower. I hear the chicken meatball is amazeballs. The accompanying sourdough is dope.