Fig Squares

Ooohhh I was soo excited and was looking forward to our long weekend for one whole month
Infact I had made a long list of To-do/to-go/to-meet/to-eat/to-make items
And now ….it’s gone!! Leaving every little thing in my wish list undone!!!
Why you ask..?
For me the weekend started 3 days early…coz of 3 days of medical leave and a stupid stupid eye infection
And it ate almost whole of my long weekend..grrrrrrr
Can it be any worse than this?
Now I have to wait for two whole months for the next long weekendL

Anyways it’s time to clear out the list from my drafts folder…
So here is a fudgy, chewy and healthy slice…This was made some 3 weeks back and was lazily sitting in my drafts folder !!

Fig Squares
250 g dried figs, finely chopped
1  cup boiling water
100 g butter, softened
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Honey
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 1/2 cups self-raising flour
1/3  cup Skimmed milk

Preheat oven to 170°C
Line a sqaure baking pan with parchment paper
Place figs and boiling water in a bowl. Set aside for 15 minutes to soften.
Once the figs has been softened, transfer to a food processor and blend for few seconds until a thick paste is formed.
Beat butter, sugar, honey and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Add fig mixture, flour and milk. Beat to combine.
Spread mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Going CANDYLICIOUS along with Daring Bakers..

I barely made it to this month’s challengeL
I was down for the last few days with a pretty bad eye infection and flu..
Antibiotics did its work well and I am up and functioning just in time for the challenge.
This month’s challenge is one of the Sweetest challenge I have ever seen.. CandiesJ
The lovely hosts Lisa and Mandy shared, two methods for tempering chocolate and a plethora of recipes for various candies.
We had to make two with Chocolate and other of our choice

 I chose to stick with two of the simplest ones

Milk Chocolate and Almond Truffles

255 g Milk chocolate finely chopped
125 ml Double Cream
½ Cup Chopped almonds
Desiccated Coconut for Coating

Finely chop the milk chocolate. Place into a heatproof medium sized bowl
Heat cream in a saucepan until just about to boil
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir gently until smooth and melted
Allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes
Stir in the nutes
Leave to cool and set for a few hours in the fridge
Bring to room temperature to use

Forming the truffles:
Using teaspoons, scoop round balls of ganache
Roll them between the palms of your hands to round them off
Finish off by rolling the truffle on desiccated coconut
Place on parchment paper and leave to set Tip:

Caramel Fudge

Adapted from here
40 g butter
½ cups brown sugar
1 tspn Maple syrup
130 ml condensed milk
60 g white chocolate chips

 Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add brown sugar, Maple syrup and condensed milk; stir over a medium heat until boiling.
Lower heat and cook, stirring for 5-7 minutes.
Remove from heat and add chocolate; stir until smooth.
The fudge will start to set quite quickly, so immediately pour into prepared pan, then spread evenly with the back of a spoon.
Allow to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes, then refrigerate until firm.  

Crème Brûlée

What do I love the most about Crème Brulee??
The perfectly crispy caramelized top.. the silky smooth custard… and the way I can crack the top with the tap of spoon..
Can you believe that this perfect dessert comes out of just two ingredients –the egg and the cream?
And doesn’t the name make it even more stunning?
It just means burnt cream in French…Opzie now the translation doesn’t sound that dazzling..:-(

I have been hunting for fresh Vanilla beans like forever!!
And much waiting I got it last weekend from Phoon Huat..Was a bit pricey though -10 dollar for 10 beans..!!
As I am making it for the very first time..I have trimmed down the recipe

Crème Brûlée
Makes 4 servings

300 ml fresh Cream
3 Egg yolks
Half of a Vanilla bean
3 table spoon sugar+ Extra for topping

Pre heat the oven to 120 Degrees
Add the sugar to the egg yolks and beat well. The lighter the yolks the smoother your custard will be
Scrap the pulp out of the beans and add the pulp and bean to the cream and bring it to a boil.
Let the cream sit for few minutes for the vanilla flavor to infuse well.
Take the few vanilla bean out.
Now it’s time to temper the egg yolks. Slowly add the hot cream to the egg yolks, stirring continuously.
Strain the custard mix using a fine sieve.
Pour the custard into the ramekins.
Place the ramekins in a large pan and pour in enough water upto halfway of the ramekins.
Place on the tray in the center of the oven and bake for 40-50 minutes  until the custard is just set and still a bit wobbly in the middle.
Remove the tray out of the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
Once cooled down transfer to refrigerator for few hours
When ready to serve, add a teaspoon of sugar over the surface, gently tilt the ramekins so that it is evenly distributed
Caramelize the top using a blow torch
You can also caramelize in the oven using the broil function..

Here is the clean ramekin after I splurged on two :-) 

Rye n Sesame Crackers

 Who doesn't like to munch on some yummy crackers..that too if u know that it’s absolutely guilt free?
I do..I do…In fact I am the ultimate munching queen. I have to nibble something every two hoursL
I have a small stomach so I can’t eat a lot at one shot, but I can eat a lot many timesss!!
After seeing some crackers recipe in food gawker, I was inspired to make my own crackers.
Unfortunately it disappeared on the same day and I don’t have enough to take to office for my snackingL
I am going to make a large batch next time for sure..

Here goes the recipe for crispy n healthy n low fat Crackers

Rye n Sesame Crackers
Adapted from All recipes
1/ 2 Cup Rye Flour
1/2 Cup All purpose Flour
1 tablespoon Fennel seeds
1 1/2 tablespoon White sesame seeds
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Sweetener -Honey or Agave nectar
1/2 tspn Salt
Warm water

Preheat an oven to 190 degrees C
Mix the dry ingredients together and Stir well
Add the oil and sweetener and mix with a fork.
Add the warm water in small amount till the dough comes together in a ball
Cover and let the dough rest for 10 minutes
Take small amount of dough and roll in between parchment paper as thin as possible.
Cut in desired share and bake for 5-8 minutes . Keep as eye as this will brown quickly.
My first batch in circle shapes was done in 8 minutes
The second batch of smaller square ones was done in 5 minutes

Cracked Wheat and Milk Chocolate Pudding

The other day we went to Siam Kitchen, a Thai restaurant here in Singapore.
Thatz where I saw the Epicure magazine for the first time, a magazine designed for bon vivants
..Featuring latest dining trends both local and international, gourmet recipes and tips from a celebrity chef
The thing I loved the most-the drool worthy clicks and the recipe of Chocolate wheat pudding.
It is more or less like the Indian Wheat Kheer but instead of Sugar the recipe called for Milk chocolate which give the pudding a gooey chocolatey taste
I modified the recipe a bit and here is my version

Cracked Wheat and Milk Chocolate Pudding
Serves 2
Adapted from Epicure Magazine

Cracked Wheat 50 gms
Skimmed Milk 250 ml
Milk Chocolate 70 gms
Water ½ Cup.
Cardamom- 1 or 2 pods
Pistachios /Saffron for Garnishing

Soak the wheat in water for 20 minutes.
Transfer to a heavy bottomed pan, add the milk
Once the milk comes to boil, lower the flame and let it simmer for 10 minute until it start to thicken
Now add the water and crushed cardamom pods
Lower the heat and let it cook for 15 minutes until the wheat has been softened and consistency resembles Oatmeal porridge
Switch off the flame and add the milk chocolate and stir until the chocolate is melted.
Let it cool down a bit. Top it with Garnishing and njoy the milky goodness

Lemon Curd Cookies

Remember last week I made a batch of Lemon curd and I was planning to bake something with it like a cake with lemon curd filling or a tart.
Unfortunately I managed to sneak out only quarter cup from the hungry husband who was using lemon curd as a dip for anything and everything..
Quarter cup is hardly enough for anything on my list so I chose to go with the cookies..
You are going to love this one.. When you bit into the cookies..The sour tangy n lightly sweet filling awaits uJJ
I have a few in my mouth when I am writing thisJ

Lemon Curd Cookies
200 gms All purpose flour
1 tblspn Rice flour
50 gms Icing Sugar
150 gms butter
1 tspn Vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoon Lemon Curd [You can use Jam instead as well]

Pre-heat the oven to 160 Degree Celsius
In a bowl beat the butter, until light and fluffy
Sift together the dry ingredients, flours, sugar to the butter. Add in the vanilla extract
Using a fork stir together until the mixture has combined to form soft dough.
If the dough is not holding together, you can add a tablespoon of milk.
Take tbspn of dough, roll it into a ball. Flatten gently and place it on the baking tray.
Using the backside of a tea spoon , poke gently on the cookie so that there is a small dip in the center of the cookie.
Fill the dip with the filling of your choice
Bake for 25 minutes until the cookies are slightly brown around the edges
Leave to cool on a wire rack

If you have an oven fan, switch it on during the last 5 minutes , your cookies will be more crispier
Adding a tbspn of rice flour to the butter cookie batter, this will make your cookies crunchier.
I prefer to fill the cookies with a small piping bag. You can use a small zipper bag , as it is more easier and prettier

Zucchini muffins- A low fat n whole meal treat

Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie. ~Jim Davis 

As rightly said by Jim I decided to take my veggies muffin formJ

So here is a low fat n whole meal treat with the goodness of Zucchini.
It is an absolutely delightful treat and a perfect breakfast muffin.

Zucchini muffins- A low fat n whole meal treat
1 Cup Whole meal flour
1/2 cup All purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon All spice powder
1/2 teaspoon Ginger powder
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1/3 Cup agave nectar
1/3 cup Oil [I used Olive Oil]
1 cup grated zucchini

Preheat the oven to 325°F .
In a large bowl using an electric beater beat the egg well. Add the agave nectar and Oil and beat until smooth.
Add in the Zucchini and mix well.
Sift together the dry ingredients to the mix and stir until just moist. Do not over mix
Divide into the 6 muffins cups and bake for 30-35 minutes until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.

Spicy Lemongrass Tofu

Last week I attended a cooking class at Nutrihub ..
   Nutrihub is an organic vegan café in Singapore. Mrs. Ang ,the owner do conduct cooking classes on weekends
The class was very interesting n we had lots of fun...we put together 4 vegan dishes
The most interesting part was the nutritional n cooking tips Mrs.Ang shared in between the classes.
One of dishes we made was five spice tofu salad and it tasted awesome!!
Right away I got a pack of organic tofu which is used for pan frying from there.
Only later did I realize that other than the tofu I don’t have many of the ingredients in my pantry..
While I am hunting for the ingredients for five spice salad here is a quick n tasty tofu recipe with lemongrass.


Spicy Lemongrass Tofu
150 gms Tofu – Used for frying
3 stalks of lemongrass
2-3 tablespoon Chili paste – I used the sambal chilli paste
2 tablespoon Oil for frying
Salt to taste

Cut the tofu to 1/2  inch cubes and pat dry with kitchen towel
Remove the outer layers of the lemon grass and thinly slice bottom white part
Combine the Chili paste and lemongrass and salt and spread it over the tofu. Let the marinate sit for 10 minutes.
Heat the oil in a pan .Once the oil is hot enough; add the tofu cubes using chopsticks
Stir fry for 2-3 minutes on one side until browned well.
Toss the tofu cubes using chop stick or spatula and fry on other side for 3 minutes until browned well.
You can discard the remaining oil.
Sprinkle some sesame seeds and njoy the spicy tangy tofu..

Lemon Curd -From scratch

I have been seeing a lot of wonderful recipes using lemon curd from cookies and cakes to tarts and pies
I soo wanted to try the lemon curd and did a hunt at local supermarkets but with no luck..
After watching the video here, I decided to give it a try…
I must say that this gooey sweet citrusy lemon curd is a perfect sandwich spread..loving it:-)

Here is the recipe
Recipe from: Joy of Baking
3 large eggs
125 granulated white sugar
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice -3 lemons
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon finely lemon zest

In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended.
Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream .Took me 12 minutes
Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps.
 Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted.
Add the lemon zest and let cool.
The lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools.

There you have the versatile lemon curd..I plan to make some cookies with the remaining lemon curd:-)


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