Category Archives: lisa

july: lisa’s baked chocomochi

One of my favourite Asian desserts is mochi. You know, the soft, usually white, Japanese sweet cake like ball made out of glutinous rice flour? It’s chewy and sweet, and comes with a variety of fillings – azuki bean, mung bean, matcha mousse, custard, the list is endless. I bought a bag of glutinous rice flour with the intention of making such mochi, but then I thought, this stuff is everywhere. You can buy it in any Asian supermarket ready made, what’s so special or creative about that?

So I decided to think about what other Asian desserts I like. There’s a fried version of mochi ball you see at yum cha. You know the one – the mochi is a little thinner, still will filling, then fried and covered in sesame seeds. Yummo! But I hate deep frying things. So what to do?

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How about baking mochi, almost like a brownie? You’d get the chewy texture of mochi, but with a chocolatey taste instead of just the plain sweet taste. And so the chocomochi was born!

This was super quick and easy to make. Just make sure to sieve the mixture at the end to get out all the lumps before baking. If you don’t, the lumps will get really hard during the baking process, and won’t be at all nice to eat. Find the recipe here. Best just out of the oven, with a crispy, chewy outside. Also totally fine to keep for up to a week in an airtight container, if they last that long!

Enjoy!!!

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april: lisa’s anzac cookies

I’ve been getting the feeling that I’m into cookies recently. I feel I should apologise since the last couple of posts from me have been for cookies, but they are just so convenient and easy to transport! I haven’t been having many brunch, lunch or dinner parties of late, so I haven’t really had the need to create an actual dessert dessert. But cookies can be eaten anytime, anywhere, as a snack or a filler.

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With ANZAC day coming up this Friday, I thought it would be a great time to whip up some Anzac cookies. For those of you who may have not heard of them before, the story goes that the biscuits were made by wives and sent to Australian and New Zealand soldiers during the war. Eggs were not used due to scarcity and also so that the biscuits would not spoil easily.

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The recipe is very kid friendly, and I remember making these often while growing up at home. The traditional recipe uses golden syrup instead of maple syrup, but I’ve found that using maple syrup gives the cookies a slightly different texture – less chewy, a little more crispy, and less sweet. Combined with the health benefits of maple syrup, and ingredients such as rolled oats, you could almost convince yourself that these cookies are healthy!

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Enjoy! And lest we forget.

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march: lisa’s pineapple jam biscuits

You know, I’m not really a huge biscuit fan. I don’t make, buy or eat them very often. So when I was trying to think of things to come up with for this month’s challenge, I decided to make something a little different and came up with pineapple jam filled biscuits.

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It’s actually not a completely new idea – these biscuits are quite popular around Chinese New Year time, but I am really not a fan of those ones that are sold in the shops. Either they are not crispy or short enough, or the filling is spiced with cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, etc. So I decided to create some that I actually would enjoy, and would like to eat.

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I’ve kept my jam filling very basic – I mean, when I eat a pineapple biscuit, I want one that tastes like real, pure pineapple. No need to complicate it with other spices or flavours. Just the natural, sweet, classic pineapple. I haven’t made my recipe too sweet, but if you have a very sweet tooth, feel free to add more sugar. Also, if you are using a fresh pineapple (instead of canned), you may need to add more sugar if the pineapple is not overly sweet or ripe. Be patient when making the jam – it took me around 25 minutes to get my jam to the consistency and colour that I was after.

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You can make your biscuits as large or as small as you like. I’ve made mine quite small. I’d describe them as slightly larger than gnocchi size. The smaller you make them, the more fiddly they are to wrap, and the longer it will take to make all your biscuits. But don’t make them too large either – they are meant to be delicate biscuits that just melt in your mouth. No more than 2 bites.

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The scoring of the dough just before baking isn’t necessary, but I think it gives a nice touch, and makes the biscuits look like the actual pineapple (minus the spiky top). Cute and tasty.

You can find the recipe to my pineapple jam biscuits here. I hope you enjoy!

 

february: lisa’s coconut quinoa soup

Although I have eaten quinoa a few times before, I’ve never cooked with it before. So when this month’s theme ingredient was announced, I’ll admit to being a little nervous.

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The few times I have eaten it, it’s been in a savoury dish, salads mostly. I’ve had it both boiled and toasted, and it did have quite a nice nutty flavour.

When trying to think up inspiration on how to turn this ingredient I’ve only know in the savoury sense into a sweet dessert, I drew upon a Thai dessert called Tub Tim Grob. In Thai, tub tim literally translates to ruby, or pomegranate. Though many Westerners may not be familiar with having a “soup” for dessert, this is very refreshing, and a great end to a meal in summer.

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I thought that the texture of cooked quinoa would match perfectly into this dish, something similar to sago, although much much healthier! You can add any sort of fruit to the dish. I’ve used mango and pomegranate as they are in season, but other things you could use are jackfruit, palm seeds, sweet pineapple, etc.

It doesn’t take too long to prepare. In fact, all the components can be cooked or prepared earlier, so that it only takes a couple of minutes to assemble each serve. It’s colourful, and fun and definitely something different to your normal dessert. Put the sugar syrup in a small bowl or jug on the table so your guests can add as little or as much as they like. I call this my coconut quinoa soup, and you can find the recipe here. Enjoy!

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january: lisa’s berrimisu

Firstly, I apologise for the lateness of this post. I’ve been lucky enough to be travelling the world the last couple of months, so it’s been difficult to catch the time to create a dish for the blog. So for that I’m sorry.

Tiramisu is a classic dessert, loved and craved by many. Unfortunately, due to my aversion to coffee (I’ve never tasted it, as I intensely dislike the smell), it’s not a dessert that I can ever eat. My solution? Create a berrimisu!

It’s quick and easy to put together, and perfect for Summer. It showcases the gorgeous berries that are available in this season, and your guests will be wow-ed by the colourful presentation. Boom! Maximum impact with minimal effort. They won’t be able to resist coming back for seconds. Also, it can be prepared early in the day, so your time will be freed up for other things later. All you need to do is remove it from the fridge and serve.

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I admit when I picked the theme for January, I already had a dish in mind to make. And then the time caught up on me. After returning home between trips, I found I only had a few weekdays “free” (when I was actually at work during the day), and the end of January quickly came and went. I didn’t make this dish this month, but I have made it many times before. Get the super simple recipe here.

I did do some other baking this month though – one of my uncles celebrated his 60th birthday last week, and I was in charge of the birthday cake. Easy, except that the party was held in Penang, Malaysia! So I took all my tools on holidays with me, as well the majority of the ingredients, and this is what I created for my music loving, guitar fanatic uncle :

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Happy baking everyone!

december: lisa’s christmas cupcakes

Merry Christmas everyone!!! Who doesn’t love this time of year? Festive decorations, presents, and the perfect excuse to indulge in some special foods and sweets.

This month, I thought that instead of sharing a specific recipe, I would share some Christmas cupcakes that are sure to bring a smile to whoever spies them. Perfect as gifts, or to take to parties or get togethers, you can use your own favourite cupcake recipe and turn them into Christmas treasures.

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At first glance, they might look complicated and difficult, but truly, all you need are a few basic tools (rolling pin, pizza cutter, ruler and a selection of cookie cutters) some fondant (rolled icing), food colouring and some store bought embellishments (eg. cachous). The rest is up to your imagination!

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The simplest designs are the holly and Christmas tree. For the Christmas tree, all you need is some green coloured buttercream – pipe it using a large circular tip, cut a star out of the rolled fondant, then pop a few cachous around the icing for your baubles. Simple yet effective.

For the holly, use a leaf shaped cutter to cut 3 leaves per cupcake. Use a serrated butter knife to “vein” the leaves, and then roll little berries using red coloured fondant. Arrange on top of your frosted cupcake and boom, there you go.

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Other easy do designs are the bauble and gift cupcakes. For the bauble, first ganache the cupcakes so you have a smooth and even finish to the cakes. Cut a round piece of fondant to cover the entire cupcake, then shape a triangular piece for the top. Then pipe your favourite design using ganache or store bought decorating icing. If you are having friends over, how about having the cupcakes already covered with ganache and fondant, and then letting them design their own bauble cupcake. They’ll love it!

For the gift cupcake, ganache and cover the cupcake with fondant, similar to the bauble. Then using another colour, cut strips to cross over the cake. Then make a bow and fix to the top. This can be a little more fiddly, but you can first make the bows, then “stick” them on top of the cakes once you’ve covered them and put the two strips on.

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You can also create a show-stopping table centrepiece using a cupcake tower, and dressing it like a tree. Here I’ve used some tinsel to cover the centre of the perspex tower, covered it with some simple mini-cupcakes topped with stars, added in some bauble cupcakes, and gift cupcakes under the tree. Once you’ve made your cupcakes, it won’t take long to assemble, but it creates a great effect.

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This Christmas, why not create a gift that money can’t buy, and is individual to you. Happy creating, and I wish all our readers a safe and happy holiday season. See you in 2014!!!