Jaime's Special Chicken Stew

Usually during the National Day, we will celebrate my dad's birthday. His actual day is the day after. This year, I invited them to my place for dinner. I thought the easiest was to prepare a one-pot food. So I decided to make Jaime's Special Chicken Stew. I made several changes to the recipe as I do not have some of the ingredients available.
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Recipe for Chicken Stew, adapted from Jaime Oliver.
(Makes for 12-14 persons)

Ingredients:
salt
freshly ground black pepper
20 Drumsticks
1 packet Fresh thyme, leaves picked, stalks kept
4 tbsp Wholegrain mustard
4 heaped tbsp Plain flour
extra virgin olive oil
1 large White onion, peeled and chopped wedges
2 cloves Garlic, peeled and whole
2 Yellow Zucchini 
5 large Potatoes, cut into quarters
3 Carrot, cut
2 good knobs Butter
1 can (Tiger) Beer
750g Chicken stock (3 whole chicken bones boiled with water and some salt to get chicken stock)

Method:

1. Season your drumsticks inside and out and stuff each of them with the thyme leaves. Using your forefinger, carefully part the skin from the drumstick and smear wholegrain mustard into the flesh. Rub the flour all over the chickens so they are covered in a thin layer. Keep any flour that falls off. Keep in the chiller for at least four hours. 
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2. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. In a pan, fry your drumsticks in olive oil on all sides on low heat until browned (but not totally cooked). Remove them and place in a baking tray or baking pot. 
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3. With the remaining oil, fry off the onion and garlic in the pan. Add the butter and spare flour and continue to fry for about 4 minutes, scraping off any goodness that is on the bottom of the pan. Add your beer, potatoes, zucchini and carrots and let it simmer for about 10mins. Now pour in your stock. Mix well.

4. Pour into the baking tray or pan, add in more thyme leaves stalk, then cover it. Cook for an hour. At the last 10mins, remove the foil or the cover, and let it continue. (I cooked mine in a baking tray and in cast iron pot)
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5. Serve the chicken with rice or with artisan bread.
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And not forgetting, I made a birthday cake for my dad too! cake_blueberries01

Caramel Custard Pudding

I'm sure many of us have heard of Paris Baguette or even fell in love with their baguettes, or breads or even their Royal Pudding. What's the point here? The point is, I love their garlic baguettes recommended by my colleagues. And their Royal Pudding. When you buy take away, they wrapped it nicely in a cooler bag. I'm impressed. Not to mention, I keep their bottles of course.

After hesitating, or contemplating for a long time, I've finally decided to make the pudding myself. I adapted the recipe from Itadakimasu Anime blog. There were some delicate work making this caramel custard pudding. If you want to understand more about this pudding, you may hop over to her site. In general, I found that without using vanilla extract in the custard, it tasted very eggy. The custard was firmer rather than soft and smooth. There were quite a lot of bubbles formed in my custard. Quite a fair bit of improvements needed. Otherwise, my family members like them. If you haven't try the original Royal Pudding, then you may like this custard. If you have, then it's a far cry from the original. :p

Here is how I adapted the recipe.
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Recipe for Caramel Custard Pudding in a glass, adapted from Itadakimasu Anime.
(Makes 12 glass bottles)

Ingredients:

For the caramel (can reduce to 1/2 of this portion)
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
4 1/2 tbsp hot water

For the custard:
150g Sugar
3 cups Whole milk
6 eggs
3/4 tsp vanilla (optional. I omitted)

Method:

For the caramel:

1. Place sugar and water in a pot. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Gently swirl the liquid around the pot as the sugar melts and is dissolved into the water. Continue heating and swirling the pot until the sugar turns a deep amber colour, being careful not to burn the caramel. (Takes at least 10mins)

2. Remove caramel from the heat and, using a long handled spoon or ladle, carefully add hot water to the caramel in 2 – 3 small portions. Swirl the contents of the pot together to incorporate the water into the caramel. Be careful of hot caramel splashing up during this step, as it can cause burns.

3. Evenly distribute caramel amongst the 12 glasses. Set aside.
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For the custard:

1. Prepare the steaming environment for the pudding. Fill a pot with a fitted lid with enough water so that the bottom half of the cups are covered when placed into the water. Place a small, clean dishcloth or towel at the bottom of the pot to help distribute the heat evenly. Bring to a low boil.
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2. While the water is heating, place milk and sugar in the same pot earlier (without washing) set on medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sugar has completely dissolved and the milk is hot and steaming.
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3. Whisk eggs in a heatproof bowl until the yolks are well incorporated into the whites. Try not to produce too many bubbles or mix a lot of air into the eggs. Slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs, whisking vigorously as you pour, being careful not to scramble the eggs. Ensure the eggs and milk are incorporated together completely.
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4. Strain the egg mixture using a fine meshed strainer and remove any foam from its surface using a spoon. Gently pour egg mixture evenly into each glass with the caramel sauce at the bottom. Cover securely with foil.
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5. Gently place the uncooked custard in the prepared steaming environment. Cover the pot with a lid and steam, making sure the water remains just below the boiling point. Steam for 15-20 minutes, or until the top of the custard has solidified and is shiny.

6. Remove from hot water and let cool to room temperature, keeping the foil covering the glasses. Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours, before consuming.
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Blueberry Bakewell Tarts 2

This post is sponsored by Liv butter. Try Liv today!
Liv Butter - Salted & Unsalted-001
I've done this tart before. I can vaguely recall the taste. Since blueberries are abundance lately, I've decided to bake some blueberry desserts. Just so happened that Grace did her Blueberry Bakewell Tart again, I decided to do it too. I did some changes to the recipe. Here is how I did it.
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Recipe for Blueberry Bakewell Tart, adapted from Kitchen Corner.
(Makes 9" and 6" tarts)

Ingredients:
Tart crust adapted from Alex Goh's Irresistible Pastry
70g Icing sugar, sifted
150g LIV unsalted butter, room temp
1 Egg
260g Plain flour
1 tbsp Milk powder

Method:

1. Mix icing sugar and butter until well combined. Add in egg and cream till smooth.
2. Add in sifted plain flour and milk powder and mix until well blended.
3. Refrigerate for 30mins or until firm.
4. Take out and roll between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to fit 9" and 6" tart pans. Refrigerate if fillings is not ready.

Blueberry tart fillings
250g LIV unsalted butter, soften
130g Caster sugar
3 large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla extract
315g Ground hazelnut (remaining amount that I have left)
250g Fresh blueberries (2 packets of 125g from supermarket)

Method:

1. Beat the butter and sugar in a mixer till light and fluffy.
2. Add in eggs one at a time and beat till incoporate.
3. Add in vanilla extract and mix well.
4. Add in ground hazelnut and mix till everything combine and become a thick paste.
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5. Layer all the almond fillings onto the pastry dough. Arrange blueberries on the top and chill for an hour before bake.
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6. Bake the tart in an 180C preheated oven for about 45mins-50mins, or until browned.
7. After baking, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before serving.
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Nutty Chocolate Chiffon Cake

I've been itching to bake cakes. Since I started baking more breads now, cakes seemed to have taken a stand aside in my baking list. For any cake cravings that I have, it's usually chiffon cakes that tempt me. They are light and airy. I know I won't get sick of eating them in anyway. For this cake bake, I decided to do Sonia's Nutty Chocolate Chiffon Cake. It not only looks pretty with the line, it also seemed good with the additional of hazelnut.
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Recipe for Nutty Chocolate Chiffon Cake, adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover.
(Makes a 20cm tube pan)

Ingredients:
5 Egg yolks (50g egg without shells)
15g Caster sugar
35g Corn oil
55g Milk
80g Self-raising flour
40g Ground hazelnut
10g Corn flour

5 Egg whites
70g caster sugar

2tsp Cocoa powder

Method:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar till light.
  2. Add in corn oil, mix well. Then add in milk, stir well to combine. Add in corn flour, hazelnut and self-raising mixture, stir to well combine.
  3. Beat egg whites till foamy, gradually add in sugar in there batches and continue beat until soft peak formed.
  4. Take 1/3 of meringue and use a hand whisk to mix well and lighten the egg yolk batter.
  5. Now change hand whisk to a silicone spatula, fold in 1/3 of meringue, gently fold with egg yolk batter till slightly combined. Fold in the balance meringue and gently fold till well combined.
  6. Pour 1/3 cake batter into chiffon pan, sift a thin layer of cocoa powder on it. Repeat the rest of layers.
  7. Bake at pre-heated oven at 170C for 45mins at middle rack or until cooked. (45mins was too long for my oven. 40mins should suffice for me.)
  8. Once done, turn your chiffon tin upside down and cool completely before remove from the tin.
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The chiffon cake is very fragrant from the hazelnut. It has bits of crunchy nuts as I didn't blizz it. I just used ground hazelnut instead of whole nuts to blizz. I baked it a little too long and was quite dry. Otherwise, the chiffon was still light and yummy. chiffon_nuttychoc1

Blackcurrant Sunflower Seeds Pound Cake

This post is sponsored by Liv butter. Try Liv today!
Liv Butter - Salted & Unsalted-001
Itching to bake cakes and to use up my sour cream, I made a Blackcurrant Sunflower Seeds Pound Cake. I bake into many many smaller loaves so that I can give away.
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Recipe for Blackcurrant Sunflower Seeds Pound Cakes, adapted from Honey Bee Sweets.

(Makes 6 mini aluminum loaves)

Ingredients:
250g Liv unsalted butter, room temperature
310g Caster sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2tsp Vanilla paste
200g Sour cream
400g Plain flour
2 3/4 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
80g Sunflower seeds
80g Blackcurrants

Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Prepare 6 mini aluminium pans.
2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and the hot water together to make a smooth paste.
3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together till light and fluffy. Blend in the eggs and then vanilla. Then add in the sour cream, and scraping the bottom of the mixing bowl to make sure it is evenly combined.
4. Fold in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and blend well.
5. Lastly, mix in blackcurrant and sunflower seeds into the batter and mix well.
6. Place in the oven to bake for 32mins. Bake till golden brown and the tester comes out clean. 
7. Once baked, remove from oven and let cool completely.
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Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seed Loaves

My recent favourite baking is breads. It is a staple in my family. Especially when I have attended several bread workshops, I have more confidence in baking better breads for my family.
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Recipe for Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seed Loaves, modified from天然麵包香Natural Breads Made Easy.
(Makes 2 loaves, or 1 1/2 loaves with 6 buns)

Ingredients:
Pre-ferment dough
411g Bread flour
235g Water
4g Instant Yeast
6g Fine salt
12g Milk powder

1) Prepare pre-ferment dough: Mix yeast with water, then combine the rest of the ingredients.  Knead till smooth dough. Cover and keep in fridge for at least 17 hours before use. (I kept this for about 24 hours.)

Main dough
176g Bread flour
18g Milk powder
6g Fine salt
2g Instant yeast
59g Fine sugar
59g Water
41g Liv unsalted butter
135g Mashed cooked pumpkin
88g Raw shredded pumpkins

100g (approx) Pumpkin seeds for decorations

Method:
2) Mix all ingredients for main dough except shredded pumpkins till combined. Gradually add in the pre-fermented dough, piece by piece and knead to get a smooth dough. (about 5mins on low speed)

3) Add in the shredded pumpkins and butter and knead to form a smooth and elastic dough. (about 5 mins on medium speed) Check for window pane test. Cover and proof the dough for 30 minutes.

4) Divide the dough equally into two if doing two loaves. Shape the dough and place aside and let it rest for 15mins.

5) Roll the dough out flat, and roll it up tight like swiss rolls and seal it tightly.

6) Spray the top and sides with water. Then roll it on a tray of pumpkin seeds.
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7) Place it into a bread loaf pan and let it proof for 45mins.
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8) Bake in preheated oven of 180C for 30-35 minutes till golden brown.

9) Remove from the baking pan immediately after baking. Let it cool completely before consuming.
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