Category Archives: 2015

September – October : Constance’s Compost Cookies

When I think of comfort food, freshly baked, gooey cookies always comes to mind. Christine Tosi of NYC Milk Bar’s Compost Cookies is one that ranks in all kinds of cookie awesomeness, well, because its the kitchen sink of cookies. We are talking about a hot mess of oats, potato chips, pretzels, butterscotch chips, coffee, graham bits with your standard cookie mixture.

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As with most Milk Bar recipes – the mixture requires a 10 minute creaming process. For best results, use a stand alone processor.

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Comfort food? You can pretty much add what your little heart desires – hence the name, compost cookies. This little cookie is magical, you will not look at a cookie the same again.

Recipe can be found here or from the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook

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september-october: kerri’s chocolate stuck cake with clotted cream

Comfort food. It’s the best, isn’t it? There’s nothing like a warm apple pie with ice cream, or a hot, just out of the oven pudding. When I think of comfort food, it’s usually warm or hot in temperature, so living in Singapore, it’s not something that I have considered baking very often.

But, I did decide to do a hot dessert for a dinner with some special friends. We just cranked up the air conditioning :)

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I came across this recipe a few years ago in a chocolate cookbook my sister gave me. It’s supposed to be baked in a pie dish then everyone gets a spoon and digs in. I decided to do individual ones, to make it look a bit more special. It’s not the most attractive dessert, especially as I probably chose the wrong shape to bake it in.

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Comfort food. What matters is how it tastes and how it makes you feel, not how it looks, right? And this was yum. So yum. Warm, chocolatey but not too rich or sweet. And with the clotted cream, it was just…well, all I’ll say is one serve was not enough.

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You can find the recipe here.

september – october: comfort food

This month we’re bringing you our favorite comfort food desserts. Because who doesn’t love curling up in front of the TV (or in bed!) with a bowl of ice cream or slice of warm pie?

* image from http://firstlookthencook.com

 

july-aug: anna’s strawberry and rosemary shrub

This isn’t party food, but I think party drinks (especially alcoholic ones) also qualify for this month’s theme! I first heard of / tried a shrub syrup when I was doing an olive mill tour and tasting at Round Pond Estate in the Napa Valley. A shrub syrup is a fruit syrup mixed with vinegar (originally the vinegar was used to preserve the fruit), which sounds like an unusual combination, but it makes for a really refreshing drink, especially on a hot summer’s day! In addition to olive oil, Round Pond also makes their own red wine vinegar. On the tour, we sampled some food and drinks using their products, including a shrub cocktail using their red wine vinegar.  Shrub syrups can simply be mixed with soda water, or you can also add alcohol to make a really tasty cocktail! We weren’t allowed to have alcohol on the tour (which is ironic since Round Pond Estate is also a winery) so I had to try making a shrub for myself to see what it would be like in a cocktail! IMG_7539

Simply choose your fruit and any other additions – I used strawberry and rosemary.IMG_7551

Muddle, add sugar and let sit at room temperature for a couple of days. Then add vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar) and either strain immediately and refrigerate for a sharper taste, or let sit at a room temperature for another few days before straining and refrigerating for a more mellow, slightly fermented taste (I prefer to strain the syrup straight away after adding the vinegar). The syrup will keep refrigerated for a few months.IMG_7556

I mixed my cocktails with vodka, but gin was also a crowd pleaser. The syrup can be made in advance for a party and mixed when guests arrive. There aren’t too many ingredients to combine (the flavor is all infused in the syrup) so it’s a quick cocktail to make if you’re playing host!IMG_7579I also packed a pre-mixed bottle for a camping trip and it went down very well in front of the campfire!

Recipe adapted from Strawberry Rosemary Shrub Recipe (I cut down on the sugar in the recipe by half)

july-aug: kerri’s chocolate pot de creme

I love parties where there is a lot of food. Not just quantity, but variety. Like at a buffet. Yes, I am greedy and want my tummy to be satisfied. But I don’t like to go home rolling out the door because the serving sizes were too big and I wanted to try it all. So when I think of party food, I think of small bites, finger food, variety in little mouthfuls so guests can try it all.

And, as has been for the past year or so, I needed a quick and easy recipe for this challenge. Which, in hindsight, is just what you want when doing multiple dishes for a party. Yay, we all win!

I’m a big fan of Williams Sonoma’s Tasting Table. So when the video came up for this recipe, I knew straight away it was what I wanted to make. I ran out of my favourite Callebaut chocolate to bake with, and have not found where I can buy it here in Singapore yet. So I’m trying out different brands here that I can find. This particular one is only 55% cocoa, but the recipe wants a darker chocolate. I think it is fine, though I would probably prefer a darker one. This is more mainstream, middle of the road, not too bitter, not too sweet.

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The recipe calls for a topping of ganache and cocoa nibs. But I ran out of ganache, and cocoa nibs are harder to find. So I did half with ganache and Lindt 70% dark chocolate curls, and half with crushed Oreos.

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And here they are, my chocolate pots de creme.

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And I found the cutest little pots in the kitchenware store here, complete with lids which makes transporting them or giving them as gifts super easy!

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You can find the recipe here.

 

July-Aug: Constance’s Boozy Popsicles


Popsicles are the perfect antidote to the sweltering Hong Kong heat, adding booze to the pops makes them the perfect adult party treat. I made two different kinds of pops and both were a huge hit with the big kids. I used Norpro Ice Pop makers, which you can get here.

The golden rule according to People’s Pop, a Brooklyn based ice-pop shop, when it comes to making alcoholic pops is to use 20% total alcohol which works out to be about 1 shot per 3 ounce pop.

The first batch, Pineapple-Blackberry Vodka Pops I adapted the recipe from Tasting Table. You can find the recipe here.

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The second batch, Peach Sangria Popsicles, you can find here.

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Both had bits of frozen fruits inside them which added more flavour and zing to the pops! I wrapped the pops in wax paper and used Washi tape to seal them. You can make kid friendly ones by simply omitting the booze and using coloured popsicle sticks to differentiate them.

Each recipe yields around 10 popsicles.  Enjoy!