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Poached Pear Crumble with Chocolate, Coffee & Hazel Nuts July 29, 2011

Poached Pear Crumble with Chocolate, Coffee and Hazel Nuts

The made-in-heaven combination of spice-infused pears, coffee, chocolate & hazelnuts make this dessert one divine dish and it can look really pretty & festive! The kicker is that it’s ridiculously simple to make.

Here’s my first attempt. Not too happy with the presentation (oh well, only had to impress Mr Lim, which isn’t too difficult. Almost everything I feed him is “MasterChef quality”, or so he says to keep the nagging at bay) Also, the pears could use abit of sugar when poaching, will add about 2 tablespoons of sugar next time.

Poached Pear Crumble with Custard

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup sugar

120 gms butter, room temperature

120 gms dark chocolate, chopped

3 tbs cocoa powder

4 tbs coffee powder

½ cup hazel nuts, chopped

5 pears

mixture of whole spices such as 2 cinnamon, 1 star anise and 5 cloves

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Centigrade. Peel the pears but leave the stalks intact.

Put the pears into a pan with 1 tbs coffee and your spice mixture.

Add enough water so that they are fully immersed. Boil on medium heat until a skewer can easily pierce the pears (about 30 minutes). Set the pears aside on a cooling rack.

Mix all the rest of the ingredients together in a food processor so that it resembles breadcrumbs.

Take 5 ramekins and place a poached pear into each one. Fill the ramekins all the way to the top with the crumble mixture. Pat down gently.

Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes.

Serve immediately with hazel nut ice cream or custard.

Makes 5 pear crumbles.

I wonder if this counts into our daily fruit intake requirement….?

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chick chick soup May 14, 2011

Filed under: baking,chicken — dashingdiva @ 1:52 pm

As an extension to the chick chick pie recipe, making a hearty nourishing cream of chicken soup is very much the same. The only major difference is that I’ve substituted the cream with milk….I’m a slave to my waistline, you see…. so my master says no to cream but feel free to indulge for a richer & more “campbell soup” tasting version.

Ingredients

50g butter (i tried to swap this with olive oil for a less fattening version, DON’T! It didn’t work. Unfortunately, like my waistline, it needs FAT for the thickening effect.)

3 celery stalks, finely chopped

1 leek, sliced thinly (only use the white part)

1/3 cup plain flour

2.5-3 cups chicken stock (just use 1 cube of the knorr chicken stock would do)

150ml cream or milk

1 carrot diced into small cubes/slices

500g roast chicken meat chopped (shortcut hint: use the ready roasted chicken from the supermarkets)

1 sprig of thyme or rosemary (add this in if you have them, if not, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world. It does add a nice herby zing to the soup)

Method:

1. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium flame. Cook carrots, celery & leek until it softens (5-7mins).

2. Add in the Thyme/Rosemary

3. Add flour and cook for 2 mins stirring to make a paste. Gradually stir in stock & milk. Tip: Adjust the amount of stock/milk according to how thick you like your soup.

4. Stir in chicken & mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper.

5. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover n lightly simmer for 5 mins.

6. Serve with crusty bread.

Tip: Store leftovers in the fridge/freezer. It thickens considerably so you can use them to quickly whip up a chick chick pie!

 

Baked Eggs, Sausage & Beans Breakfast May 13, 2011

Filed under: baking — dashingdiva @ 2:53 pm

Breakfast is probably my favorite meal, i can have it all day. That’s part of what I love about Australia, almost all the cafes have all day breakfast.

Of course, it’s terribly expensive to be dining out on breakfast too often so usually on weekends, either one of us would whip up a hearty brunch. This is my lazy version when I want something quick, steaming hot & comforting for breakfast. I make this when I don’t want to slave at the stove in my PJs.

I invented this dish so there isn’t really a proper recipe. It’s quite hard to have a recipe for something that’s simply thrown in together on a whim.

This recipe is for 1 person portion. Here’s the basic steps:

1. Preheat oven at 180C

2. Heat olive oil, saute chopped onions

3. Add in sliced Sausage (please get the good quality ones. For those who are still eating the processed cheap ones, I highly recommend you watch Jamie Oliver “Revolution” on how they’re made….you’ll never touch the processed ones again. It’s really really super gross)

4. Sprinkle 2 tsp of smoked paprika, rosemary &  salt over the Sausage & onion mixture. Continue to fry until sausage is cooked.

5. Spoon the sausage mixture into a oven proof bowl, pour baked beans over as a 2nd layer. Crack 1 or 2 eggs, sprinkle cheddar cheese (i used kraft cos that’s all i had in the fridge).

6. Bake in oven until the eggs are cooked to your liking & cheese is nicely melted.

6. Serve with crusty toast.

Tip: Eat with your hands, use the toast to mop up the heavenly bubbly goodness.

 

Chick chick pie August 21, 2010

Filed under: baking,chicken — dashingdiva @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , , ,

This pie is so simple to make yet so delicious it’s ridiculous. The photo below is evidence of just that as it was made by a certain ms wilopo, who claims to be completely clueless when it comes to cooking. So if mel can do it, so can you!

Try it, you won’t regret it!

chicken pot pie

(recipe adapted from Good Food Australia)

Ingredients

50g butter (shortcut hint: it’s about 1/4 of a standard 250g block of butter so no need to take out the scales to weigh it)

3 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 leeks, sliced thinly (only use the white part)

1/3 cup plain flour

1.5 cups chicken stock (just used 1 cube of the knorr chicken stock would do)

200ml cream

200g button mushrooms

750g roast chicken meat chopped (shortcut hint: we used the ready roasted chicken from the supermarkets)

375g frozen pastry thawd (shortcut hint: buy the ready rolled ones)

1 egg yolk, lighly whisked

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200C or 180C fan.

2. Melt butter in large saucepan on medium flame. Cook celery & leek until it softens (5-7mins).

3 Add flour and cook for 2 mins stirring to make a paste. Gradually stir in stock & cream. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover n lightly simmer for 5 mins. Remove from heat.

4. Stir in chicken & mushrooms. Season with salt & pepper.

5. Spoon chicken mixture into a oven proof dish. Top with pastry and crimp edges to seal (dab a little water along the edges).

6. Cut a 1cm slit in centre of pastry lid. Brushed whisked egg over pastry.

7. Bake for 40mins till golden.

5.

 

Cheats path to super duper dinner rolls July 7, 2010

Filed under: baking — dashingdiva @ 11:53 am

I nearly died n went to heaven when I first saw this photo:

I sang hallelujah when I read the recipe and discovered that these were made out of….get this….FROZEN dinner rolls!

For those who haven’t had sucess with bread making, you GOTTA try this! Do it for a dinner party & your friends would think you’re a Goddess.

Recipe found here:

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2009/10/buttered-rosemary-rolls/

 

Super Easy Bread recipe June 10, 2010

Filed under: baking — dashingdiva @ 7:54 am

Had my first foray into bread making and it was a surprisingly YUM & easy! Beauty of this recipe is you don’t need to pre-heat the oven beforehand, that cuts down cooking time compared to other typical bread recipes.

See the result:

Putting down the recipe here in case I lose the hand-scribbled version.

Pagnotta

Ingredients:

15g (1/2oz) Yeast

1/2 cup lukewarm water

3 cups flour

1/2 tsp sugar

1.5  tsp salt

1 tbsp oil

1 cup lukewarm water, extra plain flour

Method:

1. Crumble yeast into basin, add 1/2 cup warm water, sprinkle sugar into water, cover, stand in warm place for 15 to 20 mins or until mixture is foamy

2. Sift flour & salt into large glass bowl, make well in centre, pour yeast mixture, oil & extra water.

3. Mix with hand, squeezing dough well until dough starts to leave side of basin.

4. Cover and stand in warm place for about 45 mins/ until dough has doubled in bulk.

5. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface, knead well for about 5 mins.

6. Shape into round shape, place on lightly greased oven tray, dust top with flour, slash top.

7. Put dough in cold oven, turn to 200 degrees, bake for 45 mins.