Stuffed Braided Loaf with 3 Fillings

Monday, June 01, 2020

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Using plain flour and whole spelt flour

Using just plain wheat flour



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A soft, tender braided bread filled with matcha-tahini, nutella (next time I am going to try a poppy seed filling for a better colour contrast) and cherry jam. It might look tricky and complicated to make, but it's actually very simple. Braiding and 3 different fillings help create a impressive-looking loaf that is easy to make! You can bake this with just plain wheat flour or use a mix of plain flour and whole spelt for a nuttier flavour.

DoughFillings
  • 165 ml Milk
  • 50 g Butter
  • 350 g Plain flour (or 250 g plain flour+100 g whole spelt flour)
  • 5 g Active dry yeast
  • 30 g Sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp Vanilla powder
  • 1 Egg, medium, lightly beaten
  • 90 g Honey tahini
  • 1 tsp Matcha powder
  • 75 g Cherry marmalade
  • 90 g Nutella
  • 1 tbsp Raw sugar for topping, optional
  1. Warm up the milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat until the butter melted. Set aside to cool the mixture briefly.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix together the flour, dried yeast, sugar, salt and vanilla powder. Add in milk-butter mixture and the egg, reserving a tablespoon for the topping. Stir at slow speed for a couple of minutes until the dough comes together. Increase the speed and knead the dough until smooth and elastic.
  3. Turn out the dough and shape into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl with a bit of olive oil. Return the dough into the bowl. Cover the bowl with a clean kitchen towel and set aside at a warm place for about 1 hour until it's double in size.
  4. Mix the honey tahini with matcha powder until well combined. Grease a 26x12cm loaf pan and set aside.
  5. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out to a 45cmx45cm square. Divide it into 3 even pieces, 15cmx45cm. Spread each rectangle with a different filling, leaving 2cm free edge of dough free from the filling. Roll each into a log and pinch the edges together.
  6. Braid 3 logs and form into a braided loaf by bringing two ends together under the loaf. Place it into the prepared loaf pan. Cover with towel and let rise about one hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 190C/375F. Brush the bread with the reserved egg. Sprinkle the top with raw sugar if using.
  8. Bake the bread in the middle of hot oven for about 30 minutes until golden-brown. Bread should have a nice hollow sound when thumped on the bottom. Cool on a rack for at least one hour before slicing.

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Using just plain wheat flour

Using plain flour and whole spelt flour




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Reverse Seared Tomahawk Steak with Blue Cheese Butter and Macadamia

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

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Tomahawk Steak is a cut of ribeye beef that includes the rib bone, which, when cooked, adds a variety of flavour and succulence to the meat. It is named after the tomahawk axe that it resembles.
Traditionally you sear a steak over a very high heat, and then finish the cooking in the oven until the desired doneness. Reverse searing, which is the perfect method for cooking a medium-rare or medium steak, is the reverse of this process.
The reverse sear I am using here is a 2-step process:
1.) Slow-roasting the steak in the oven at 120C/250F for 30-40 minutes.
2.) Searing it in a blazing hot skillet (cast iron or heavy stainless steel) to finishing it off.

Gorgonzola Butter
  • 1x1-1.2 kg Tomahawk steak (or 2x600g cowboy steak)
  • Herb infused avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 50 g Macadamia nuts, salted & toasted, for serving
  • Fresh herbs, for garnishing
  • 100 g Unsalted butter, softened
  • 70 g Gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1 clove Garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp Fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly milled pepper
  1. To make the blue cheese butter, add the butter to a bowl, stir in the blue cheese, garlic, thyme leaves and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Keep this butter at room temperature for serving.
  2. Lightly coat the steak with herb infused avocado oil (or olive oil) and generously rub the both sides with salt and freshly milled pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 120C/250F. Place the steak on a wirerack set on a baking tray. Roast the steak for 30-40 minutes until it reaches an internal temperature of 50C/120F. Remove the steak from the oven. Tent it with foil and let the steak rest 10 minutes while you preheat your skillet.
  4. Heat a large skillet with 1 tablespoon of avocado oil on high until blazing hot. Carefully place the steak into the hot skillet and sear for 2 minutes on one side, then flip and sear for another 1 minute or until the internal temperature reaches your desired level of doneness. For medium-rare, you want an internal temperature of 57C/135F.
  5. Generously spoon the blue cheese butter over the steak, garnish with macadamia nuts, fresh herbs and serve alongside your choice of sides. Unlike with other methods, there is no need to let your steak rest before serving as you already did that before you seared them.

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Smoked Wild Salmon Beetroot Wraps

Friday, May 22, 2020

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Ready less than 10 minutes, these beetroot wraps with smoked wild salmon, avocado dip and salad are light, satisfying and full of flavour. They are easy to make and perfect for a healthy lunch at home or on the go.

  • 2 Beetroot wraps
  • Avocado dip (or pesto sauce)
  • 1 Handful of arugula
  • 1 Handful of thinly shredded pointed cabbage
  • 150 g Smoked wild salmon
  1. Place a piece of beetroot wrap onto a flat surface. Spread with some avocado dip or pesto sauce. Top with arugula or pointed cabbage. Arrange some smoked wild salmon atop.
  2. Roll up wrap firmly to enclose filling. Cut in half. Secure halves with baking paper and string. Repeat with another one. Serve with extra avocado dip if desired.

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Blueberry Kefir Bundt Cake

Saturday, May 16, 2020

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A delicious, moist and tender bundt cake filled with juicy blueberries and iced with a blueberry-lemon glaze. You can simply dust it with powdered sugar too. This bundt Cake is a perfect dessert to celebrate the blueberry season.

CakeGlaze
  • 300 g Refined spelt flour + more for dusting bundt pan and berries
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/3 tsp Fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp Lemon juice
  • 200 ml Kefir
  • 1 tbsp Lemon zest
  • 200 g Raw sugar
  • 200 g Unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 Large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 250 g Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 50 g Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 20 ml Lemon juice
  • 220 g Confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Generously butter and flour a 10-cup bundt pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the spelt flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Add lemon juice to kefir and set aside.
  3. Mix sugar and lemon zest until well combined in a mixing bowl. Add the softened butter and beat with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. With the mixer on a low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl between each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate 3 additions of flour and 2 additions kefir, beginning and ending with flour, scraping the bowl between additions. Do not over-mix or the cake would be dense and dry.
  6. Toss the blueberries with about 2 tablespoons of spelt flour to coat, and gently fold them into the cake batter. Spread batter in the pan and smooth the top.
  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes, rotating the cake after 30 minutes to make sure it browns evenly. The cake is done as soon as a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Set cake pan on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes, and invert cake onto rack to cool completely while you prepare the glaze.
  9. Mash the blueberries in the lemon juice with a fork. Press through a sieve to remove the skins. Sift in the confectioners' sugar to the juice and whisk until smooth. Add more sugar if you like a thicker glaze.
  10. Pour glaze over cake. Let the glaze set before serving. Cake can be stored, covered, at room temperature for 3–4 days.

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Dairy Free Gluten Free Peanut Butter Tahini Fudge

Saturday, May 09, 2020

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Desserts made with peanut butter, tahini (aka sesame seed butter) are right up my alley, esp. when they are healthful and good for you like this fudge recipe which is refined sugar free, dairy free and naturally gluten free. It's smooth, amazingly delicious and simple to make. Coconut syrup was used to sweeten the fudge, but maple syrup would do the trick too. You can substitute cashew or almond butter for peanut butter.

  • 250 g Organic creamy peanut butter
  • 150 g Natural tahini / sesame butter
  • 80 g Coconut oil (or cocoa butter)
  • 40 g Coconut syrup
  • 1 tsp Vanilla paste
  • Pyramid-shaped or regular sea salt flakes (for decorating)
  1. Prepare a mini-muffin pan with a 24 cup capacity. Line with praline paper liners. Set aside. You can also use 12 standard-size silicone muffin cups or a mix of two.
  2. In a medium saucepan over low heat, add the peanut butter, natural tahini, coconut oil and coconut syrup.
  3. Mix with a rubber spatula until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla paste.
  4. Spoon into the prepared muffin liners and chill for a few hours or until firm. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt flakes and enjoy! The fudge can be stored in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

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Sweet Woodruff Blueberry Cheesecake

Saturday, May 02, 2020

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The Sweet Woodruff, a little aromatic plant growing in woods and near shady spots. In Germany, one of the specially delightful drinks ---- White Wine Punch/Maibowle (or Waldmeisterbowle, or Maiwein, or Maitrank) is prepared by steeping the fresh sweet woodruff and peppermints in white wine. They are drunk and enjoyed usually in May.
This no-bake cheesecake recipe is so creamy and delicious! A thick, silky smooth fresh German cheese and cream cheese filling in a buttery oat cookie crust, topped with fresh blueberries and a layer of sweet woodruff jelly. It’s an easy dessert recipe that will definitely please.

CrustFillingJelly Topping
  • 150 g Oat cookies
  • 70 g Butter, softened
  • 8 Gelatin sheets
  • 400 g Whipping cream
  • 500 g Quark, low-fat
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  • 300 g Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 100 g Sugar
  • 1 package / 8 g Vanilla sugar
  • 100 ml Milk
  1. Combine cookies and softened margarine, then press into the bottom of a 26-cm baking pan with a removable bottom. Chill crust for 30 minutes. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form and store in the fridge until ready for use.
  2. Combine Quark, cream cheese, sugars and milk in a mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined and smooth.
  3. Soak gelatin sheets in cold water for 5 minutes until softened. Gently squeeze out excess water. Melt it in a heat proof bowl placed over simmering water until dissolved. Combine first 4 tablespoons of cheese mixture with the melted gelatin, then blend with the rest of cheese mixture until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream and until fully incorporated. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust and arrange the blueberries on top. Cover and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  4. Whisk together sugar and jelly powder in a medium pot. Pour in the water and cook over the slow heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove and turn the heat off. Pour 1/3 of the jelly into a square shallow dish. Press and push a cookie mould into the set jelly to create the “heart”. Pour the rest of cool jelly over the cheesecake. Place some heart-shaped jelly over if desired. To serve, loosen cheesecake and place it on a serving plate. Decorate the side with heart-shaped jelly.

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Taiwanese Pineapple Pastry

Sunday, April 26, 2020

This is a very popular traditional Taiwanese dessert (凤梨酥, pronounced Feng Li Su) with a really yummy flaky pastry encased with a thick, not-too-sweet pineapple filling. Pineapple in Taiwanese or Hokkien means 'prosperous and thriving', they are therefore often given as a part of an engagement gifts, or simply as well-wishing presents around lunar Chinese New Year.

PastryFilling
  • 80 g Shortening
  • 70 g Butter, unsalted
  • 60 g Powdered sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 320 g Pastry flour
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  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 25 g Water
  • 2 can / 1000 g Pineapple, diced
  • 200 g Caster sugar
  1. Drain pineapple well.Crush with a blender and place them in a skillet. Using medium heat, cook the drained crushed pineapple and sugar until most liquid has evaporated, and the filling turned golden. Stirring constantly using a wooden spoon to avoid burning. Set aside to cool.
  2. Beat shortening, butter and powdered sugar in a mixer until it turns light in color and fluffy. Gradually beat in whole egg and yolk until well combined. Sift in the flour and fold until just combined. Dissolve baking soda in the water and blend with the the mixture.
  3. Line baking trays with parchment paper. Divide the pastry dough and pineapple filling each into 28 equal rounds. Line work surface with large sheet of plastic wrap. Place and flatten the pastry dough on the plastic wrap with the palms and put the pineapple filling in the middle. and use the dough to cover the filling. Arrange it into moulds of your choice. Lightly draw the plastic wrap out of the mould, and turn the pastry onto the prepared tray. You can also grease the moulds and press the dough directly into the moulds. Bake in the preheated 170C/340F oven for about 22-25 minutes until light brown.
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Cinnamon Walnut Rolls

Monday, April 20, 2020

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Soft and fluffy cinnamon rolls filled with a buttery mixture of cinnamon, coconut sugar and walnuts and finished with a simple glaze. You can switch the walnuts for your favourite nuts or seeds or simply leave them out. So the choice is yours! They're best enjoyed warm with a cup of tea or coffee.

DoughFillingGlaze
  • 330 g All-purpose flour
  • 40 g Raw sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 4 g Dried yeast
  • 180 ml Buttermilk
  • 3 tbsp Ghee, melted (or butter)
  • 1 Egg, medium
  • 110 g Ghee or butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp Cinnamon powder
  • 80-100 g Coconut sugar
  • 100 g Walnuts, dried toasted and chopped
  • 120 g Powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Milk or cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  1. In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk the flour, the sugar, salt, and dried yeast together. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the buttermilk and ghee / butter over low heat until the ghee is melted.
  2. Stir the liquid mixture into the flour mixture. Add the egg and mix with a dough hook at slow speed until the dough comes together. Increase the speed and knead until the dough is soft and elastic.
  3. Turn out the dough and shape into a ball. Lightly grease the mixing bowl with a bit of oil and return the dough to the bowl. Cover with a plastic film and let the dough rise until almost doubled in size, 1-2 hours.
  4. Turn out the dough and knead briefly. Roll the dough out into a rectangle, about 30cmx40cm. Spread the softened ghee / butter on top. Mix together the cinnamon, coconut sugar and chopped walnuts and sprinkle it all over the dough as evenly as possible.
  5. Divide the dough from the shorter side into 9 even strips and roll up each strip tightly. Place in a 25cmx30cm baking pan lined with baking paper and cover with a large piece of plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for 8-12 hours.
  6. Two hours before baking, remove the dough from the fridge and let rise in a warm place until puffy. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Bake for about 25-28 minutes, until they are golden brown.
  7. Mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together until smooth and lump free. Drizzle over the warm rolls and serve immediately. Store the leftover at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Sourdough Chinese Crullers and Jian Bing Guo Zi – Pancake Rolled With Yau Char Kwai

Sunday, April 12, 2020








Jiānbĭngguŏzi (煎饼果子)is a typical Tianjin breakfast. Jiānbĭng, or "pancake" is prepared with egg and cooked on a skillet, then topped with a guŏzi (果子)(commonly called in Northern China) or Yau Char Kwai(used in Southern China) or fried dough stick, drizzled with scallions, sesame seeds and sauces and rolled up, like a wrap.

Sourdough Chinese Crullers - Yau Char Kwai

SpongeDough
  • All the starter above
  • 320 g All-purpose flour
  • 180 ml Water
  • 1+1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/3 tsp Baking ammonia (Ammonium Bicarbonate)
  • 1/4 tsp Potassium carbonate (Potash)
  • 2/3 tsp Baking soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
  • 1 tsp Baking powder (a mixture of Tartaric Aid and Sodium Bicarbonate)
  1. Combine first the starter, water in a bowl, and then stir in flour until a dough forms. Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 12-18 hours. Whisk together ammonia, potassium carbonate, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl. Pour in water and blend all together.


  2. In a larger container, add in the sponge and flour. Pour in the mixture and stir them into a ball. Cover and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Set the dough on a greased work surface. Lightly press the dough into a flat rectangle and fold into three. Give it a quarter-turn to the right, cover and allow it to rest for another 15 minutes. Repeat folding and relaxing two more times. Now place the dough on a lightly oiled baking peel, press out the dough into a rectangle, about 5mm thick. Cover closely and chill overnight.
  3. Next morning, remove the dough from the fridge and divide the dough into 3x1-inch long strips. At the same time heat up a heavy skillet half-filled with frying oil until 180C/350F. Lightly press together two strips, which are overlappingly to each other, holding two ends closely and low them into the hot oil. Fry and turn the dough sticks until golden brown. Drain and cool slightly. These fried dough sticks are very often consumed with congee or soya drink
    soya drink
    . Besides eating fried dough sticks with congee and soya drink, you can prepare a Jian Bing Guo Zi (Fried Dough Stick Wrap), a traditional breakfast in Tianjin and Beijing.

Jian Bing Guo Zi – Pancake Rolled With Yau Char Kwai

  • 50 g All-purpose flour
  • 10 g Semolina
  • 100-120 g Water
  • Large pinch of salt
  • 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp Chilli sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp Seafood sauce
  • 2 tbsp Chopped scallions
  • 1 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp Vegetable oil
  • 3 section Yau Char Kwai
  1. Mix together flours, water and salt until you have a well-combined and lump free mixture. Heat up a skillet, and brush with a bit of oil. Scoop 3-4 tablespoons of batter into the skillet. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
  2. Pour 1/3 of egg over, sprinkle chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Cook the batter for 1-2 minutes. Turn and cook the pancake until golden brown. Place it on a serving plate and brush with the sauces. Center the Yau Char Kwai and wrap up. Repeat with the rest of the batter and egg.






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