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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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CHEESY BRINJAL BAKE

 

Vegetables always have great nutritional values and we are told to eat vegetables on a daily basis to receive as much nutritive values.

Many a times while discussing about food, my friends have always complained about how difficult it is to get their children to eat vegetables. I am so very glad that my daughters love all the vegetables whatever the colour. Very surprisingly, I personally do not like broccoli except if it is made into a blended soup. My girls will make fun of me about this whenever I cook broccoli!

Brinjal is one  vegetable that my family loves. I love Malay style brinjal berlado the best or in Indian style chutneys which goes so well with briyanis.

I love to bake vegetables as often as possible with different herbs and possibilities and one such dish is this brinjal bake.

It looks very presentable, simple to do, no need to fuss in the kitchen type of recipe.

It is a side dish for pasta or a meat dish and sometimes it can be the main dish as well if you are a vegetarian.

You can experiment with the different cheeses that you like or keep to the safe ones that you normally use.

Use different types of brinjals, as each is a little different from each other in flavour and taste. The lighter green and purple ones are less bitter though.

For this recipe use the big dark purple eggplant as they are large and easy to cut into even large slices.

Lets enjoy vegetables!

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BLUE MARBLE BUTTER CAKE

Blue Birthday Marble Cake

 

I have done many birthday cakes as well as cakes to befit different occasions so far.

Previously when I started to make cakes on a regular basis, I did not write down or took pictures of my cakes. In the last 3 years I have started to write and take pictures at the same time for the sake of my family, friends and readers of my blog.

When I was a teenager, one of the best cakes that I have eaten was from a hotel at Orchard Road. It was for my nephew’s first birthday which was shaped as a Concord plane. It looked so real that my father wanted to pick it up and give it to my nephew to play. When the cake was being cut, my father’s finger prints were at the sides of the cake which was the body of the plane. A cake that I would have loved to replicate of course but which I never did.

I have never spent alot for my childrens’ birthdays because I always thought it was a waste of effort and money as very very young children may not know what the fuss is about.

But I agree that any occasion to bring the family and extended family and even friends is reason enough to celebrate an occasion.

I remember doing simple birthday parties for my 2 daughters when they were in kindergarten and primary schools. Yes there will be cake and food and games in my house. And because they are a little older than babies or toddlers, they are able to see the cakes and enjoy them as well. One of my favourite cake was the Humpty Dumpty Cake. I used an empty eggshell for the face of Humpty and drew his face and let him sit on a brick wall cake. These are just memories because as I said earlier no photos were taken.

But now I take pictures and write down everything about the cake so as to improve or to bake the cake again when it turns out so delicious.

One such cake is this Blue Birthday Marble Cake made specially for a senior friend of mine who loves the colour, Blue! She does not like sponge cakes or chocolate cakes and definitely not too much frosting!  So I did a marble butter cake frosted  with fresh blue whipped cream icing and blue m&m chocolate buttons.

 

 

The cake was so tasty that it finished even though we had taken a full sumptious dinner earlier!

Anyone can make this cake – I have made this cake umpteen times just for the deliciousness and each time I had received many accolades. Simple and tasty and can be decorated elegantly to suit any occasion.

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AVOCADO WAFFLES - A BREAKFAST TREAT

Avocado Waffles

BREAKFAST. We need breakfast daily. Not simply bread and toast all the time, or our favorite local prata, nasi lemak, chee cheong fun, etc. Once in a while make it special and different.

Lately I am experimenting with different types of whole grain and nutritive flours. I did the following breakfast on a Sunday morning which I know my family members will enjoy.

It is so simple once you have your ingredients on hand.

Avocados are always in my house, it is a staple for my daughter who eats it daily with one of her meals at least.

I told her I will make avocado pancakes the night before, but decided to do waffles instead.

At first I thought the buckwheat flour will not marry with the avocado well but I tell you, it happened to be a good combination. If you like buckwheat and avocado then please go ahead and make it because it gives a satisfying and fulfilling breakfast without the feeling of “Oh dear too much of a flour meal first thing in the morning”

The waffles were perfectly cooked, crisp on the outside and soft inside.

I gather this can be an all day breakfast meal if you include a piece of roast chicken or ham etc. Include a green salad and it becomes lunch or dinner.

That’s what I did with leftover batter. So enjoy a different kind of meal for a change, albeit a nutritious clean meal!

 

Avocado waffles

INGREDIENTS

1 cup self raising flour

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 cups milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 avocados

 

METHOD

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend to a batter . It is alright to have some lumpy avocado.

Heat a waffle iron, brush with butter.

Pour half a cup of batter into the waffle iron and cook till desired crispness or softness is reached.

Serve with maple syrup, strawberries or blueberries and sunny side eggs.

Notes:

You may replace oil with any other preferred oil or melted butter.

You may use half cup self raising flour and 1 ½ cups buckwheat flour.

As this is not a cake recipe, you don’t need to be exact in the measurements.

Please reduce the salt if desired.

Use ripe avocadoes if possible and if you use another 1 more avocado, you don’t need the eggs.

You can make pancakes if you do not have a waffle iron. Add half a cup of water to dilute the batter if necessary.

 

SHORTBREAD BARS

 

These are english shortbread, a type of rich cookie or biscuit as it is called in asian countries.  In my early days as a child, I remember eating these cookies but it is also called butter biscuits because of the vast amount of butter used.  My mum used to do beautiful biscuits just for us kids which were  very yummy and which melted in the mouth.

Of course it was very expensive then to buy them which comes in colored round and oblong tins.  I used to reuse the tins for keeping knick knacks. These are very good too.  It is still available at very good shops.  I do buy them as gifts if I don’t have time  to prepare them myself.  But most of the time, I will prepare these shortbread bars and beautify them by putting them in beautiful art tins which becomes my signature!  And of course you know that mine is free of any chemicals or preservatives and  definitely more tasty!

So today I would like to share my recipe which I have altered a little to include flavouring and zest.  I have baked many different types of shortbread but this is one of my favorite.  It is a little finicky to do as the dough can become very soft in our hot climate.   But the hard work pays off as you will bite into a crunchy yet soft cookie when baked.  The flavor in this shortbread is just too awesome as I have used orange zest and orange extract.    You may substitute with grapefruit, lemon or just leave it out.

INGREDIENTS

 250 g plain flour

1 tbsp rice flour

220 g butter

80 g fine sugar

1 orange – zest only.

1 tsp orange extract or more if you like the flavor.

coarse sugar for sprinkiling.

METHOD

Preheat oven to 180C

Beat butter till smooth and creamy. Add sugar and continue to beat till fluffy.

Add the orange extract and the orange zest and blend well.

Slowly add in the flours and gently form a dough.

Wrap with cling wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

Roll dough onto a floured surface to ¼ inch (0.5 cm) thick, cut into 8cm by 2 cm or 3 inch by half inch bars.

Place the shortbread onto a baking sheet.

Sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Keep the shortbread in the baking sheet in the fridge for about 20 minutes to chill. Poke a few holes  on the top of the shortbread with a cake tester or a skewer stick if desired.

Take out and bake in a preheated oven  for 10 minutes or till shortbread is very lightly brown.

Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container. Keeps well.

 NOTES

These shortbread keeps very well if stored in an airtight container.

Its a very good gift to bring along for children.

If you can’t find the orange extract, substitute with 2 tsp orange juice.

Handle the dough lightly as it may become soft, or chill well before cutting into bars.