Peach Pie

September 5, 2013 3 comments

I am taking a break from all the healthy, wholesome cooking to make way for this peach pie.

This pie is a full butter, double crusted, gluten-full pie made from refined white wheat flour.

The peaches came from a can which probably leached BPA.

White refined sugar was added to the peaches.

peach pie

While the overall goal here is to make healthier, whole foods to feed my family. I’m taking baby steps towards it.

That canned peach? It was something I unwittingly bought a few months ago. I am using it as I am clearing my pantry of the less healthy food items and replacing it with the healthier ones.

peach pie 1

Having said that, I don’t think i will go to the extremeties such as completely eliminating a certain food.

I ‘ll still use wheat flour to create gluten-full bread.

I will still dump cupfuls of sugar into my cookies. ( well, maybe I will hold back just a little)

peach pie 2

My version of “healthy” is defined in the most universal way. Health ideas that most of us can unanimously agree on. And my first focus would be to buy ingredients as fresh and as less processed as possible.

I really don’t like the idea of reading the ingredient list on  say, a pack of biscuit in the supermarket and not being able to pronounce some of the items listed there, be it preservatives, additives, or even coloring,  So if i were really craving for that pack of biscuit, i would load up my grocery cart with flour, butter, sugar and whatever it takes to make that biscuit.

So wish me luck everyone. *tosses empty can of peach*

Peach Pie

Makes a small pie with a diameter of about 12 cm

80 grams flour

60 grams butter, cubed and frozen

pinch of salt

pinch of sugar

1 to 1.5 tablespoon ice cold water

Filling

1 tbs beaten egg

1 cup of peaches (I used canned peach)

1 tbs flour

25 grams sugar

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/2 tbs butter

1. In a food processor, add the flour, salt and sugar and pulse a couple of times.

2. Add the butter, and pulse a few times until the mixture resembles peas.

3. Add ice water and pulse. The dough should start to hold together.

4. Remove dough from the food processor, and place it over your working surface. Form the dough into two discs, cover in pastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.

5. Preheat oven to 425 F

6. Take the dough discs and roll it out till it’s at least 18 cm in diameter.

7. Place the rolled dough and arrange it into the pie dish. Brush the pie crust with egg whites so that it doesnt get soggy.

8. In a large bowl, place the sliced peaches. In another bowl, mix the flour, sugar cinnamon,salt and the beaten egg. Pour the mixture over the sliced peaches and mix gently with a wooden spoon.

9. Roll the second disc of dough to make the top crust. Cut small round holes into the disc to let air during baking

10. Spoon peaches onto the pie dish, cover with the second dough, folding the edges under.Dip a fork in the egg wash, and start pressing the edges with the tines of the fork.

11. Bake for 10 mins in a preheated oven. the reduce the heat to 350 F and bake for an additional 30-35 mins.

12. Cool before removing from pie dish,

 

 

Coconut Flour Banana Chiffon Cake

September 1, 2013 2 comments

I’ve been observing numerous foodblogs and their abstinence to grains.

A Grain-Free diet, as they call it, is a diet devoid of grains. This includes things like rice, barley, oats, etc.

To summarize, ALL the flours in my pantry, be it rice flour, wheat flour or corn flour unmitigatedly  breach this grain free diet.

“So what the heck are you supposed to bake with?” screamed the baker in me.

Well, take it easy, Because baking is still possible without the above mentioned flours. Days after days of blogstalking activities revealed that almond flour (almond being a nut, not a grain), and coconut flour (coconut is a fruit), are the top favourites amongst the grain-free dieters.

And since i live in the tropics where coconuts are aplenty. I am using coconut flour on this grain free adventure

 

coconut flour banana chiffon cake 1

but WHY ???? you ask. Aren’t grains good for you? Aren’t they full of fiber? Don’t they reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Well, i guess there are two sides to every story.

The followers of a grain free diet believe that:

1. Grain are inflammatory food due to its high starch content.
Grains that are refined have higher inflammatory index than unrefined grains. So a white flour is more inflammatory than a whole wheat flour.

2. Grain contain phytic acid which binds minerals and prevent absorbtion.
This pretty much means that you won’t be able to fully and effeciently absorb the minerals that the grains boasts about.

3. Grains are linked to tooth decay.
High starches in grain is a breeding ground for bacterial growth in your mouth.

There are probably a more extensive list of the detrimental effects of grains. But I’ll leave it up to you guys to research into it on your own. My brain is starting to hurt just by highlighting the three points above. I guess i could never look into health advisor as an occupation.

coconut flour banana chiffon cake 2

Sugar Free Coconut Flour Chiffon Banana Cake with blueberries

Makes two ramekins

5 grams coconut flour
1 egg yolk (preferable organic)

10 grams coconut oil

10 grams coconut milk

60 grams ripe bananas, mashed

1 egg white

a handful of frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 165 C (330 F).

Mix egg yolk, mashed banana, coconut flour, oil, and milk into a bowl. Stir till you get a smooth batter

Beat egg white till stiff peak.

Fold egg white into banana batter

Transfer batter into ramekins

Drop blueberries on the batter

Bake for +- 20 minutes or till the cake turns a golden brown

 

 

Nigella’s Caramel Croissant Pudding

August 25, 2013 4 comments

What strikes me the most about Nigella Lawson is her beauty.

It’s almost a pity that she is hosting a cooking show instead of starring in a blockbuster movie. What a waste of pretty face, me thinks.

After watching numerous episodes of her show, I’ve come to conclude that Nigella’s style of cooking comes with a careless wanton. She is not very rigid on her measurements. It’s always a “drizzle of this” or a “handful of that”. That doesn’t sit well with me. My sense of estimation is tragically useless.

Thankfully, someone was able to convert her recipes into teaspoons, tablespoons and cups. Precise instructions are my bedrock. Without it, I am just a piece of wood drifting about cluelessly in the world of culinary.

So the recipe I’ve chosen for this month’s cook like a star , organised by Bake for Happy Kids, Joyce from Kitchen Flavours and Anuja from Simple Baking –  is Nigella’s Caramel croissant pudding.

croissant bread pudding 1

 

croissant bread pudding 3

What made this pudding stand out is the use of croissant instead of the common stale bread. This made a very soft, melt-in-your-mouth pudding texture which you barely have to chew.

So, grab a spoon and dig in!

croissant bread pudding 4

Recipe taken from Food Network.

Caramel Croissant Pudding

Ingredients

2 stale croissants
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/2 cup whole milk
2 eggs, beaten

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Tear the croissants into pieces and put in a small gratin dish; I use a cast iron oval with a capacity of about 500ml/ 2 cups for this.

Put the sugar and water into a saucepan, and swirl around to help dissolve the sugar before putting the saucepan on the hob over medium to high heat. Caramelize the sugar and water mixture by letting it bubble away until it all turns a deep amber colour; this will take 3 to 5 minutes. Keep looking but don’t be too timid.

Take the pan off the heat and add the cream – ignoring all spluttering – followed by the bourbon and milk. Whisk to mix, then still whisking add the beaten eggs. Pour this quickly over the croissants and leave to steep for 10 minutes.

Place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes and prepare to swoon.

 

Fast food @ home

August 14, 2013 Leave a comment

I am currently reading a book titled “the super natural home” by Beth Greer. In this book, Beth tells us about the toxins that we unwittingly expose to ourselves daily and what we can do to avoid or rather minimize them.

In a chapter of the book, she mentioned about her daughter coming home having eaten two pieces of McNuggets. She said, and i quote : “the dreaded food made from highly processed reconstituted chicken that is breaded and mixed with toxic additives and preservatives , then deep fried in fat-laden, partially hydrogenated oil.”

Also in the recent news was Jamie Oliver winning his case against McDonald’s over the use of pink slime, Where he pointed out that the meat in the burger patties had been pre-treated with a cocktail of chemicals and thus not fit for human consumption. McDonald’s has since agreed to change its recipe.

But, I don’t think i will be going to the golden arches for a while now.

So instead, i try to re-create. I’ve even gone a step further by making my own burger buns!

sausage patty

So here i am with my sausage patty burger. Appearance wise, it’s a far cry from the McDonald’s sausage McMuffins. Namely because i’ve used burger buns instead of english muffins and added the lettuce and tomatoes which are absent from the original.

The sausage patty tasted pretty close. I can confidently say that because Mr. Crustabakes who had absolutely no inkling of my copycat attempt pointed out the taste resemblance.

So, do try it out and save yourselves a trip to the drive-thru!

Simple Homemade Sausage Patties

Taken from MarthaStewart.com

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground pork- i used chicken
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage, crumbled
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried fennel, crushed
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Mix together the pork, garlic, sage, thyme, fennel, nutmeg, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the egg white and combine thoroughly. Cover and chill for at least 15 minutes.

  2. Step 2

    To easily form the sausage patties, rinse your hands in cold water. Divide the mixture into eighths and shape each portion into a 2 1/2-inch disk. Patties can be made to this point and refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.

  3. Step 3

    Heat a skillet over high heat, and then swirl in the oil. Fry the sausages on both sides until completely cooked through and golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Drain and serve immediately with pancakes, waffles or eggs. Sausage patties can be fully cooled, wrapped, and frozen for microwave reheating.

 

Taken from King Arthur Flour

  1. Volume
  2. Ounces
  3. Grams

Buns

  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast
  • *For best results (a smooth, slightly soft dough), use the smaller amount of water in summer (or in a humid environment), the greater amount in winter (or in a dry climate); and something in between the rest of the time.

Topping

  • 3 tablespoons melted butter

Directions

1) Mix and knead all of the dough ingredients — by hand, mixer, or bread machine — to make a soft, smooth dough.
2) Cover the dough, and let it rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until it’s nearly doubled in bulk.
3) Gently deflate the dough, and divide it into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a round ball; flatten to about 3″ across. Place the buns on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover, and let rise for about an hour, until noticeably puffy.
4) Brush the buns with about half of the melted butter.
5) Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden. Remove them from the oven, and brush with the remaining melted butter. This will give the buns a satiny, buttery crust.
6) Cool the buns on a rack.
Yield: 8 large buns.

 

 

 

 

 

Caitlyn’s Sugar Free Cupcakes with Avocado Frosting

August 5, 2013 Leave a comment

I know, i know, majority of you would probably feel repulsed by yet another sugar free, gluten free baby food.

But i feel the need to post this recipe, namely because it’s a recipe I’ve developed myself.

After rounds and rounds of trial error, I’ve finally came up with a cake recipe i really loved.

A cake recipe that’s subtly sweet and soft as can be.

Considering that this is an entirely sugar free (refined/unrefined, synthetic/natural), this is quite a breakthrough. No stevia, no xylitol, or any of that fancy sweeteners was used here.

The goodness came from ripe bananas.

Cait's cupcakes

Working with my sugar free constraints, I also wanted to come up with a frosting that’s equally healthy for these cupcakes. For days, I find myself sometimes staring into blank space. I just couldn’t think of something that’s naturally sweet and is thick enough to pipe.

Then the idea hit me. avocadoes! At first I was skeptical, I didnt know whether blended avocadoes would be too watery. I also thought that avocadoes would be too tasteless as a frosting. That’s when i decided to drop in some medjool dates in. And boy, did it work like a charm! and most importanly, baby Caitlyn loves it!

 

Sugar Free, Gluten Free Chiffon cake with Avocado Date Frosting

Makes 3 of the above star shaped cupcakes

15 grams rice flour

5 grams sago flour

1 organic egg yolk

8 grams olive oil

11 grams raw almond milk

60 grams banana, mashed

1 organic egg white

Preheat oven to 170 degree celcius.

In a bowl, mix the yolk, raw almond milk, bananas, and olive oil together. Sift in the flours.

Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the banana mixture.

Pour into mold and bake till golden brown (+- 20 to 25 minutes)

Avocado Frosting

1 avocado

1 medjool date

With a blender, blend the avocado and the date together.

Using a piping bag, pipe onto cupcakes.

 

 

 

 

 

Durian Cream Puff

July 31, 2013 2 comments

Mr. Crustabakes is never one to care for diplomacy.

If i made something that didn’t appeal to his delicate taste buds, he’ll express it point blank.

He calls it “being honest”. i call it “tactless”

So when he said “I wish to eat this at least ONE more time in my life”. It was the crowning accomplishment of all my baking history.

I couldn’t believe it came from a cream puff.

durian cream puff 1

DURIAN cream puff to be exact.

I wish it were something more sophisticated, more cosmopolitan. Like a macaron.

But homeboy likes it “domestic” (He grew up in Singapore)

durian cream puff 2

Which is ironic because the durian in the filling came all the way from Thailand. I’ve splurged and bought the premier Monthong Durian which were guaranteed of its sweetness.

durian cream puff3

If you were wondering why i am making so many durian themed dessert,

It’s because i am entering my second post to July’s Aspiring baker: Tropical Spiky Month, hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

durian cream puff

Also because i have a durian crazed husband, who loves durian in everything.

Choux Paste Recipe (makes 2)

50 ml water

32 gram butter

38 grams all purpose flour

1 egg

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 180 degree celcius

Over the stove, heat the water and butter together till it comes to a rolling boil. Add all the flour and salt, and mix till it comes together in a dough. Set aside to cool.

Add the egg, and beat into the dough. Mix till well combined.

Put dough into pipping bag, and pipe on greased baking paper

Bake for 30 mins or till the choux turn golden brown

Cool completely before filling.

 

Durian Filling

Whipping cream 30 grams

Durian Flesh 90 grams

whip the cream till soft peaks, Add the durian flesh, and mix till well combined.

 

 

Durian Pancakes

July 29, 2013 3 comments

This dish is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Neither is it for the faint of nose.

durian pancake

 

I was folding the durian filling into this pancakes when i noticed the onset of a headache.

I thought i was imagining it. But then the hired help made a passing remark (she literally walked passed me and made the remark) “the smell of durian is making me dizzy”.

Geez, i didnt even know HOW that could be possible.

durian pancake 1

Nevertheless, headache or not, i still scarfed down three of these.

Strangely enough, eating these didn’t give me a headache.

So go figure!

PS: I am entering this to July’s aspiring baker

The theme for this month is : Tropical Spiky Month

hosted by Charmaine of MiMi Bakery House.

Thanks Charmaine for hosting!

Durian Pancake

250 gram all purpose flour

3 eggs

500 ml coconut milk (freshly squeezed)

pinch of salt

Whisk the eggs and coconut milk together. Add in the salt.

Slowly pour the coconut milk mixture into the flour

Cook it on a nonstick pan. I used about one spoon ladle for each layer of pancake.

Durian filling:

Durian flesh (+- 220 grams)

Whipping cream (70 grams)

whip the cream till soft peaks. Add the durian flesh and mix till combined

Spoon the durian flesh onto the durian pancakes and fold it like an envelope.

 

 

 

 

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