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GRANOLA

 

 Breakfast ideas

When I was a little girl, while living in a kampong, the Bread Man comes in a bicycle laden with bread on a huge box. When he opens the box, one side of it will become his cutting board.

He will take out loaves of French bread and long loaves of brown and white bread.

The brown bread apparently is not made from whole-wheat flour, which I had thought previously, but it gets the colour due to the use of brown sugar.

Normally one can buy slices of bread spread with one side margarine and the other side kaya. (Egg jam)

He also has a huge tin with red coloured jam, which is basically a mixed fruit jam.

There were times when we buy the bread and the spreads separately and he would place a dollop of each in pieces of a square tracing paper (now it is the Baking paper) and scrunches to make a small parcel, this is considered take-away, I wonder how many readers of my blog can reminisce this!

Another popular local breakfast item is the pancakes with peanuts, known as the banh chang kueh. The fun is watching him doing it. It is just like “Performance.” We the little ones will make OOHs and WAHs sounds while watching him.   Now this peanut pancakes are available at most places at all times. This clearly declares that this is not just a breakfast item anymore.

I have evolved from my childhood days and now my breakfast is so important that I include a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fruits to have proper nutrition, as this is the first meal of the day.

So much goodness is said about oats so I have made it the main ingredient for this recipe.

Granola is a boon for people in a hurry as it is ideal to eat on the go. If you have time, you can add milk and eat it like cereal as part of a breakfast meal or it can be eaten as a cereal bar if you woke up late and don’t want to miss breakfast.

A great breakfast for anyone, which provides some health, benefits which also tastes so delicious. So lets to go to the kitchen to make this easy breakie!

My friends usually snack on it when they come over to my place! I do too while watching TV! Its like eating peanuts – just can’t stop!

Raw Almonds, pecans, cashews and walnuts

 

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CHOCOLATE PUDDING

 

The majority of us love chocolate. Chocolate to me is a symbol of love and care. I give chocolates whenever I visit someone or for that matter anyone. There was a time when I carried bars of chocolate in my handbag just to give to children. People around me love chocolate and there is always chocolate in my home. I am also adventurous when shopping for chocolates. I love dark chocolate and pure choc nibs. Of course it is bitter but you eat little at a time. I have eaten various types of chocolates from various countries; recently I tried some from Nicaragua and Belize. They were good!

                                                          Chocolate buttons with different flavours

Chocolate had been my go to support whenever I was low and I tend to overeat it.

There have been occasions when I have completed 1 whole bar of 200g chocolate and I have also gobbled 1 full tin of chocolates at one go. Just can’t imagine how did I do that!!

But that’s the past and I have become sober now but nevertheless I do love a nice cup of hot cocoa or hot chocolate – somehow reminds me of my childhood days. I guess I have to blame my Mum for it. She madly loved chocolates and drank hot cocoa or chocolate quite often. I love the way she did my hot cocoa but really I don’t know her method. I learnt to do it by reading from various books and came up with my own recipe. Watch this blog – I will reveal the secret of making a hot cup of steaming rich cocoa!

But now I want to share another chocolate recipe, which is a chocolate pudding. This is one pudding that my mum had made. I wished I had her recipe but nevertheless my recipe is so chocolateee and delicious!

It is easy to make, a recipe for chocoholics, and can be dressed up to serve to guests.

Pure moulded chocolates

You may also serve the warm pudding as chocolate dips for fruits and biscuits or bread sticks.

I have made this pudding several times but each time I made different toppings to depict the occasion. For example for a child’s birthday party I put a dollop of homemade ice cream in a pudding cup for each child to enjoy!

I taught this recipe to my residents at a community club in my monthly baking class lesson and I topped with crunchy maple cornflakes and pecan nuts.

So experiment and enjoy this wonderful pudding.   Love to hear from you of course. If you have other combinations kindly feel free to comment. You are so welcome!

REN’S CHOCOLATE PUDDING

INGREDIENTS

1 cup sugar

3 tbsp cocoa powder (pl use good quality)

100 g dark chocolate – melted

½ cup corn flour

½ tsp salt

6 cups milk

4 tbsp butter

2 tsp vanilla extract

For topping, use any of the following:

Strawberries/nuts/granola/cranberries

Chocolate pudding served in cups

METHOD

Sieve all dry ingredients.

Blend the corn flour in 1 cup of milk. Keep aside.

In a pot, stir together cocoa powder, sugar. Stir in remaining milk. Add the salt.

Once heated, pour in slowly the corn flour mixture and continue stirring constantly till mixture is thickened.

Remove from heat. Add in the melted chocolate, butter and vanilla extract. Sieve this mixture.

Serve in individual small glasses or in a large bowl to be the centerpiece in a dinner table.

Top with nuts, granola or cranberries or fresh fruits such as strawberries as preferred.

Chill in the fridge if serving cold.

Notes:

You may substitute cocoa powder totally with your preferred dark chocolate.

This pudding can be served warm or cold.

You may reduce the sugar or use other types of sugar such as raw or brown sugar.

You need to thoroughly mix quickly when pouring the corn flour mixture. Use a whisk for easy stirring.

You may add brandy or rum instead of vanilla extract if serving to adults only.

I have used treacle rum and it was fabulous.

You may substitute other flavorings instead of vanilla extract but make sure it is a compatible flavour to chocolate, e.g. banana and chocolate or raspberry and chocolate or caramel and chocolate etc

Keep all the ingredients and utensils ready. The mixture will thicken quite quickly especially when you remove from the stove to sieve the mixture. You need to work fast here.

If it thickens, put back on the stove and add a little milk and whisk it quickly.

It is a great pudding for children’s parties and to anyone who loves chocolate

 

Work tools all moulded in chocolate at a private chocolatier in Genoa, Italy

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Devilled Curry Prawns

 

This is an interesting recipe from a friend, Mr. Viki who is a well known poet and hails from Sri Lanka.

He is known to be a great cook and I have eaten some of his creations such as his cutlets both fish as well as vegetarian, they were excellent. He brought it when we went for a retreat so it was like fabulous picnic food.

On another occasion, when we wanted to celebrate a mutual friend’s birthday, we threw a potluck party and this is the dish that he had cooked and brought. It was soo good!

I asked him to share his recipe and this is it!

His recipe seems to have many ingredients but I can tell you it is worth the effort of cooking this dish. I have done the dish with little changes and it came out fantastic. It is a good party dish and goes so well with wine as a starter.

For most of us a steaming plate of rice is enough accompaniment. But if you remove the shells of the prawns, or reduce the chilies then it can be rolled into breads etc. I had some leftovers, which I spread on pizza dough and baked quickly. Oh my goodness – so delicious!

The dish is very spicy with plenty of chilies and fresh peppers and I loved it with just wine alone.  The recipe given here is exactly as Mr. Viki had given me.

Thank you Viki for a wonderful recipe. Wish to learn from you more!  My dear friends – make this dish and taste for yourself the superb flavors in this delicious prawn dish.

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