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Almond Cookies

CNY is upon us. My favourite goodies is the peanut cookies. I also like the almond, walnut and basically anything with nut type of cookies. I was planning to bake all the different nut cookies, but I decided it was not worth the trouble. Maybe next year, when everything is not so rush, I’ll do that. I found this recipe from GuaiShuShu and I saw almond meal as one of the ingredient and got excited. Cause after my fail attempt of macarons, I have a lot of almond meal left. You can also use baked almonds and ground them using food processor if almond meal is not available. I also substitute the potato starch, as I only have corn starch.

Instead of rolling the dough into a 3-5mm sheet and cut them out with cookie cutter, I rolled them into balls and press down with my thumb. Thus the shape is not a perfect circle. You can also just cut them into squares. It really is up to you. And my cookies are not shiny and less than perfect looking, cause I do not want to waste a egg for the egg wash.

Make ~45 1.5inch cookies
160C preheated oven, lined cookie sheet
Ingredients
150g softened butter
80g sugar
1 egg yolk
200g flour
100g almond meal
2 tbs cornstarch

Methods
Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in the yolk.
Mix in the almond meal.
Sift in the flour and cornstarch and fold until well mix and no more white can be seen in the mixture.
Use a dough scooper to get similar size ball and lined them on the baking tray 3 cm apart. (Or you can just scoop with your hand and roll into round balls, I prefer this method.)
Gently press the cookies with thumb to flatten them.
(You can brush an egg wash on top of the dough to make it shiny.)
Bake for about 12-15 minutes.
Let cool and store in airtight containers.

The cookies sort of melt in the mouth, but they are crunchy. Keyword: sort of. From the look of it, it seems like the cookies will break apart easily. But they don’t crumble as badly. If you like almond, you’ll like this.

Creme Brûlée

I tried making creme brulee with just an oven. Despite trying to melt it with the broiler setting, the sugar just doesn’t melt. Originally I followed the recipe from thekitchn.com. I already reduced the sugar from 1/2 cup to 1/4 for just 2 servings. Then, I reduce the sugar further, so not to have a full 1/4 cup, but I found that my creme brulee is way too sweet. So after buying a torch, I reduced the sugar to 1 tbs per 2 servings, I also use white sugar instead of icing, but you just have to whisk it more. Not much different in my opinion.

If there is one thing I can change, I would prefer to have a shallow dish for creme brulee. The eating experience will be quite different. But creme brulee is creme brulee. It is just one of those dessert, you’ll enjoy no matter what.

Make 2
135C preheated oven, 4-inch ramekins
Ingredients
2 egg yolks (or 3 if egg is rather small)
200ml heavy cream (I use whipping cream 35.1% Fat)
1 tbs sugar
1/2 tbs vanilla
more sugar for the crispy layer top

Methods
Whisk sugar into egg yolk until creamy.
Add a bit of cream to lighten it.
Add the rest of the cream and whisk.
Add in vanilla extract, stir and pour mixture into 2 ramekins.
Place them in a baking dish and put them into the preheated oven.
Pour water into the baking dish around the ramekins until the water reach about half the side of the ramekins.
Bake them for about 50 minutes. (It really depend on the depth of your ramekins, it will take longer for custard to cook in a deeper ramekin)
The custard is done when it is quite wobbly, but will not have liquid in the center.
Let cool.

Once cooled, placed ramekins into the fridge for at least 1 hour to set the custard.
When ready to serve, take out the custard from the fridge.
Sprinkle a layer of white sugar to coat the custard. Remove excess sugar.
Use a blowtorch and lightly melt the sugar to form a crispy top.

Oreo Cream Cheese Cookies

Well because my cream turn to butter, I have to do something as to not waste away the butter. I have soften cream cheese ready to go, and what better way to make some cookies.

170C preheated oven, cookies sheet lined with baking paper
Ingredients
half pack cream cheese, soften (I use Cowhead 227g pack)
1/2 cup butter, soften
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
10 oreo cookies, broken into small pieces

Methods
Cream together cream cheese and butter.
Then add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Beat in flour a little at a time until combined.
Cover and chill for about 30 minutes.
Scoop dough and place on a cookies sheet. I use 2 different sizes of scoop, and I find the bigger cookies taste nicer, as the centre is more chewy. So it depend on preference.
Slightly press cookie dough before baking.
Bake for about 10-11 minutes until edges are just a little bit golden. The centre will still be white and appear uncooked.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on cookies sheet before attempting to remove them.
Store at room temperature in a covered container.

No Bake Oreo Cheesecake v1

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One of the easiest cake to make is the no bake Oreo cheesecake. There are just so many recipes out there that you can follow. Last Saturday, I decided to follow with any recipe with whipped cream in it. My cream was half frozen and after whipping for a minute, it turned to butter instead. So I had to improvise and use a recipe taken by a few of cookbooks.
While it’s supposed to be a taller cake, I drop some of my cream cheese mixture, so my cheesecake looks a bit unproportionate.

6-inch springform
Ingredients
For the crust:
12 Oreos, crushed
2tbs butter, melted

For the filling:
2 227g cream cheese, soften
50g sugar
10 Oreos, crushed
2tsp gelatin (mix with 1tbs water)
1tsp vanilla

Methods
Add butter to the crushed Oreos until it feels like wet sands.
Press the mixture over the base of the springform.
Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
While waiting, make the fillings by beating the cheese and sugar until fluffy.
In a small bowl mix the gelatin and water and set aside.
Add in the vanilla to the cream cheese mixture and stir.
Add in the Gelatin and stir. (If gelatin turned solid, microwave it for 5secs until liquid)
Add the rest of the Oreos and mix well.
Pour the mixture over the Oreo crust and smooth the top by tapping it a few time.
Set in fridge for at least 4 hours.

Agar agar

Ingredients
1 agar agar pack
500ml milk
500ml water
130g sugar

Basically if you follow the packaging of the agar agar, it will tell you to use 1L of water and 250g of sugar. But I have about 500ml of milk I need to use up. So I decided to make a half pudding half jelly mix. I use Cowhead Fresh milk and the red agar agar.Divide the agar agar into 2 portion. Mix one portion with the milk and add about 30g of sugar. The milk has a natural sweetness to this that makes it really creamy and nice. So I find that you need much sugar. But you can always add more if you like. Stir till dissolve and heat up will it boil.It became a pretty pale pink. Then pour it into serving cup or mold or heat proof container. Wait till it cool a while and put into the fridge to set. You can leave it out as it will set at room temp, but it will take longer as it will still be pretty hot.

Do the same with the other half of the agar agar. This time stir in the water. Mix till dissolve, add 100g of sugar and then mix till dissolve.

Chocolate Molten Lava Cake

I’ve been searching for a recipe that don’t really need much egg as I only had 1 egg but I want some fondue cake. So after going through countless recipes, I figure that I can roughly whip something up. I can predict that there will be a lot more molten cake recipes here as there’s just too many way to bake this. So here’s one that is very moist and more melted chocolate than there is cake. Personally I prefer more fudge like, but everyone else seems to prefer this consistency.

Vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg is optional.

Make 2
200C preheated oven, oil-sprayed ramekins
Ingredients
80g dark chocolate
60g butter (I used salted)
1 egg
2 tbs white sugar
2 tbs vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
1 tsp flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Methods
Melt chocolate and butter.
In another bowl, whisk egg, sugar and oil until incorporated. (Add in a pinch of salt if use unsalted butter)
Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and continue whisking. Or if melted chocolate is cooled, just pour all, then mix.
Add the flour and stir until no more white can be seen.
Then add the rest of the spices and mix.
Pour into the prepared ramekins.
Place onto a baking tray for easy removal from oven.
Baked for about 12-13 minutes.
The sides will slightly remove from the dish and the centre will slightly still be jiggly.
Run a knife along the ramekins.
Once slightly cool, top it over onto a plate.
Dust with icing power and serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Cheesecake Brownie

Now this is a cake to bake for the whole family. Or something you can eat for 8 days straights. I would have to learn to divide the ingredients and just make a portion for 2, but I was trying to get rid of my cream cheese. I was baking a sultana cake (total fail), and broke 2 eggs and had half of 250g butter left. Since it was soft butter, I just had to do something.

This recipe is taken from joyofbaking.com but I did roughly adjust the ingredients.

Make 16 mini servings
160C preheated oven, 9inch square tin lined with foil

Ingredients
125g butter
150g dark chocolate (I use 100g 80% cocoa, 50g 65% cocoa)
1 cup (200g) white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup flour
A pinch of salt

For the cheesecake:
227g cream cheese (I use Cowhead)
1/3 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Methods
Melt butter and chocolate, I use a double boiler.
Once cool, whisk in the sugar and the vanilla extract.
Mix in the eggs, one by one.
Add in the flour and salt, then mix until no more white can be seen.
Pour almost all into baking tin, leaving a palm size gallop for the marbling.
To make the cream cheese, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
Mix in the sugar.
Add in the egg and vanilla.
Pour the mixture slowly on top the brownie mixture.
Drop the remainder brownie mix in 4 by 4. I just randomly drop them.
Use a toothpick/skewer or butter knife and swirl the mixture together to get a nice marble effect. (I pretty much rubbish at swirling)
Baked for about 30 minutes.
Let cool and chill in fridge for a few hours cause cheesecake is best served cold.

Chocolate Mousse

I wanted to use the whole can of all purpose cream, so this recipe will make 4 servings. If you want, you can half all the ingredients and use the other half of the cream for creamy pasta.

Make 4 servings
Ingredients
2 eggs, separated
50g cocoa powder
4 tbs warm water
1 can all purpose cream
2 tbs sugar

Methods
Mix cocoa and sugar with water.
Add egg yolks and mix until creamy.
Add all purpose cream.
In another bowl, whisk egg whites until stiff.
Fold into chocolate mixture.
Pour into serving glasses and chill.

I usually chill it overnight.