Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sourdough Pancakes. O.M.G

with strawberry compote and quenelle of red bean cream cheese

There's something about fluffy carbohydrates that turns me on real quick. Like fluffy bread, fluffy cakes (ok although I do prefer dense cakes...), fluffy muffins, fluffy pancakes, fluffy fluffy fluffy bread. If given a choice, I'd take a pizza over a pasta, or a burger over steak (all else remaining constant, duh. unless the steak tastes better..)

I don't know how else to put it but these pancakes are the best things in my breakfast fluffy carbohydrate world. For now at least, but it'll stick around for a long time I'm sure.

Before finding this recipe, I was so madly in love with my fluffy pancakes recipe. However, it needed way more work, such as beating of the egg whites and folding in and stuff, and it also performed better with double acting baking powder (which I can't seem to find in Perth!). Hence, I never got the chance to make it to its fullest potential. But THESE sourdough pancakes.... Are a breeze. In fact, I started my sourdough starter solely for these pancakes. But of course I'm using it now for bread as well...

And now, in the spirit of procrastination from studying for the exam coming in 3 hours, and in the spirit of sharing, I'd like to introduce to you the wonders of sourdough pancakes. These pancakes are so easy to whip up, so airy and light, and so absolutely delicious. And you know what, I'm going to whip up a batch of these babies tomorrow morning. Nuff said.


Note you do need a sourdough starter for this. I'll post up something about my own starter but in the meantime, read Joe Pastry's starter tutorial for a rough idea and begin building your starter! It's SO worth it.

2 cups sourdough starter, left sitting out all night
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking soda combined with 1 tablespoon water

1. Combine your soda and water in one small bowl and the egg, sugar, salt and oil in another bowl.

2. Fold the egg mixture into the sourdough starter until well mixed.

3. Add the baking soda mixture into the sourdough mixture and fold in thoroughly. You should see the batter bubbling a little. This is because the the acid produced by the acidogenic bacteria in the starter is reacting with the baking soda.

4. Plonk them onto your oiled/buttered medium high heat pan and cook them until the color of the crust is what you desire. I usually do them in 1/4 cup sizes and I'll have approximately 8 pancakes. =)

Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D

1. Make them over and over and over again.

2. The sourdough starter tastes better when it is at full capacity than at the start. When I started out the starter, I didn't know that it wasn't at full capacity but I made the pancakes anyway. The result was flat pancakes that didn't rise much but the taste was pretty much AWESOMEEE. However, I persisted in feeding my culture and after about 3 weeks, the starter is at full capacity. The resultant pancakes were, O.M.G. Make your sourdough starter and persist in feeding it until it is mature! =D

with salted caramel and a bar of lindt chocolate. YUMMYYYY

Friday, November 18, 2011

1 year on... Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake

flourless choc almond cake, dark choc ice cream, nuts and cookie crumble, caramelized cinnamon apples, bits of spring flowers.

I've always been enamored by food - pictures, blogs, places, tastes and flavors. It's an understatement, really, and can't say anything else to bring home this fact further, but these 4 words - I really love food. When I'm studying, I'm thinking of what my next meal would be. When I'm surfing the net, there will invariably be at least 2 open tabs on my laptop with either a recipe or a cafe address. When I'm not eating, I'm thinking about what food to cook, and where to go to eat. When I'm eating, I'm savoring each bite and dissecting what I'm eating in order to learn from it and make my next attempt taste even better. My friends who know me, actually know the look on my face when I'm thinking of food.

One year ago, I started this little blog as an experiment. I wanted to log down the food that I've attempted and share the good ones with my friends. Hence the name, "Share the love. Share the calories".

with a deconstructed eton mess of honey lemon mascarpone, crumbled meringue, kiwi and goji berries. and a quenelle of milk chocolate ice cream

And how things have changed 1 year on!

It turned out to be more than a simple holiday project that I initially envisioned. Granted, I didn't share the love as regularly as I should've, but this blog has taken me on a journey of self-learning and self-discovery.

I've learned so much more nuances about food and ingredients, of herbs and spices, of flavors and pairings. I've learned so much about food photography, food styling, and plating up. I've discovered a new joy in life, a new outlook to dining, and a new hobby. Most importantly, I realized that I love cooking simply because I cook for the people that I care about. Nothing makes me happier than waking up earlier than everyone just to make sure some food is ready to be served on the table when everyone is ready to eat.

The shaping process is gradual but on-going. There are times when new perceptions and emotions just explode and leaves me wondering a fair bit. Surely we've all been there, the "what the hell was I thinking/doing?!" stage and I can only hope that I have become a better person than I was yesterday.

I've changed the title of my blog, because I was inspired by those very lyrics from Tim Kay. Take time to make yourself feel good. Yeah.. Only after recently hearing these words, did I also just experience another wave of new emotion and perspective. And I hope to share this new change with everyone who is reading. Take time to make yourself feel good. Make the people you care for feel good too.

with orange mousse and caramelized orange

I've chosen this recipe for a number of reasons. CK and I visited Spaghi's recently with J and ZX and was COMPLETELY disappointed by their flourless chocolate cake. Also, when I first saw this recipe on The Little Teochew's blog, I favorited it straightaway. Flourless Chocolate and Almond Cake. Come on, such a recipe name is just a WIN in my books. Flourless? CHOCOLATE?! ALMOND!! Also, CK loves chocolate and has a mini addiction to snacking on almonds. Perfect!! =D

The resultant cake was just too good. It was dark, decadent, deep and downright delicious. The texture was amazing as well. It was firm, but melted in the mouth like mousse. It wasn't overly sweet and that left room for the dark chocolate to shine through in its decadence.


200g dark, bitter chocolate (the best that you've got! I got a secret stash of Green and Black's 80% chocolate underneath all the boxes in the pantry. Shhh..)
1 tbsp strong espresso coffee
1 tbsp rum or brandy (I used Tia Maria. And accidentally tipped in a drizzle. Felt like Jamie Oliver with his olive oil usage for 2 seconds)
150g caster sugar (I reduced the sugar to 130g and used raw sugar instead)
150g unsalted butter
100g almond meal
5 eggs, separated
Pinch of salt (wasn't in the original recipe though but it tasted awesome.)

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg! Melt the chocolate, coffee, rum or brandy, sugar and butter and salt in a bowl sitting in a pot of barely simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir until well mixed. Alternatively, you could also microwave and stirring the chocolate and butter in 12 second episodes until it has all melted before incorporating the rest of the ingredients. Then, add all the ground almonds and all the egg yolks until well mixed.

2. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks. Add 1/3 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, before gently folding in the rest until batter is uniform.

3. Pour the batter into a prepared tin and bake for 40 - 50 minutes. I went for 45 minutes and had a balance of cakey and fudgey. Less minutes if you want fudgey, more if you want cakey!

Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D

1. Use your best tasting chocolate. And don't lick the spoon whilst mixing. Thats unhygienic yo! *grins

2. Eat it at room temperature for all its mousse-like glory.

3. Make it, and make someone feel good. Or at least feel shiok.

Nomnomnom. =)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Daring Cook's October Challenge - Cooking with Tea

dinner! with pan fried shiitake mushroom crusted salmon

Sarah from Simply Cooked was our November Daring Cooks’ hostess and she challenged us to create something truly unique in both taste and technique! We learned how to cook using tea with recipes from Tea Cookbook by Tonia George and The New Tea Book by Sara Perry.

Oh man. This was such a good challenge. I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't give it a proper attempt. It was such a busy month with so many tests that was just swirling by every 2 days. On a brighter note, I PASSED MY OPERATIVE EXAMS! *throws confetti into the air* Operative is about the handiwork component of Dentistry, where we drill cavities and then fill them up with restorative material like tooth colored composite or amalgam fillings. It's my greatest fear for this year and I am glad that I've managed to overcome this portion of my undergraduate studies.

Nonetheless, that's not much excuse for not cooking with tea since I've got to eat and I've been stir frying lotsa other stuff instead. I've initially wanted to go for Cha Soba, making Japanese buckwheat noodles with the addition of matcha (green tea) but there just wasn't enough time to sit down and knead some noodles. One thing led to another and well, its the reveal date and I've yet to cook any tea related food. So I've decided to wing it and cook plain Soba noodles and tea dipping sauce.

soba with black tea and ginger dipping sauce

Not as good as it sounds. This is one of those things that looked better than it tasted. And it doesn't even look good either. Not much of a lighting I've got here at night. =(

The taste was, well... erm... weird. I used some Lipton black tea with a ginger slice. I added some soy sauce and mirin into the concoction and was hoping that it'll taste umami-ish but the mirin was just...... BLEGH. I should have added in some sugar in hindsight, as that would have balanced out the vinegar taste of mirin much more. Sigh!

The accompaniment fared much better though. It was a pan fried shiitake mushroom crusted salmon with teriyaki sauce. YUM! Double YUM! The shiitake was subtle but absolutely yummy and the teriyaki sauce went really well with it! =D Pity it wasn't really well cooked though URGH first time pan frying a salmon. Will do better next time!

not that well cooked. =(

No recipe though, since it was a tea challenge and I've failed in that aspect. Gah! On another note, new plates! =D

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Carious: Procrastination

Well, it isn't that I haven't been cooking or baking (as my facebook friends can tell you). I just haven't been blogging. Too busy, too lazy, and too uninspired to blog as well. I keep looking at the photos of what other bloggers put up and I am just looking down at my toes and wriggling them in shame.


Pfft. Anyway, I've decided to procrastinate a little during this exam period of mine and put up an entry with the nicest looking food photo I got. Camera courtesy of a dear friend, ZX. ;)


Oh yes I did. I unabashedly called this cake Procrastination. I made this cake on a whim because I was really craving for a layered petite gateux, which Perth lacks. Like seriously, CK and I have yet to see ANY shop that sells petite gateux other than an Opera. WHERE ARE THE HAUTE PATISSERIES IN PERTH?! Gah. I am so going to wipe out my cake limit in Singapore. I've bookmarked a list of dessert places to go and man will I be gaining some awesome pounds this coming holidays.

It's inspired by Sadaharu Aoki's Valencia, a 5 layer dreamy beauty topped with a stunning crown. Mine was a 4 layer wannabe with an orange slice. Hahaha. *looks down in shame and wriggles toes again*. But oh well, I'll up my game, one cake at a time!

Procrastination comprises of a base of chocolate biscuit joconde, followed by a layer of chocolate orange almond praline feuillantine, followed by a dark chocolate mousse and a bitter orange mousse. I mish-mashed the recipes from all over the place and winged it for the feuillantine layer with what I thought would make yummy feuillantine (read lotsa chocolate, lotsa nuts, lotsa love).

the other slices

Consistency is clearly my weak point here. Couldn't get consistent orange slices, consistent layers and good lines and consistent cuts. Terrible! The taste itself was pleasant and addictive, with a nice bitter orange taste that is complemented so well by the oodles of dark chocolate in the other 3 layers. However, I guess the component that I liked the least was the bitter orange mousse, which was slightly bitter cause I didn't add any sugar at all. The texture of the orange mousse wasn't as creamy as I would have wanted it as well but it didn't stick out like a sore thumb when all the components were eaten together.


I ended up with 8 slices and plenty of scraps. Thankfully, I have grand plans for the scraps hahahaha. Shall update soon! =D


Chocolate biscuit joconde
70g ground almonds
70g powdered sugar
70g egg yolks
30g egg whites
130g egg whites
45g caster sugar
55g cake flour
20g cocoa powder
25g melted butter, melted & cooled

1. Sift powdered sugar and ground almonds in a bowl. Add in all the egg yolks & 30g egg whites and whisk until pale and thick. Sift cake flour and cocoa powder together and fold into the egg mixture before folding in melted butter. In another bowl whisk 130g egg whites and 45g sugar until stiff peaks, then fold the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Spread mixture on baking tray lined with baking paper then bake in a preheated oven of 230C for 5-6 mins. The sponge is ready when it bounces back when pressed.

Chocolate feuillantine
100g almond praline paste
25g dark choc, melted & cooled til lukewarm
1/4 cup feuilletine flakes (I used wafer crumbs)
1/2 tbsp butter, melted & cooled
1/4 cup chopped almonds
2 tablespoon dried orange zest

2. Combine everything in a bowl and mix. Then spread unto joconde and chill.

Dark chocolate mousse
220ml whipping cream, whipped
30g mascarpone)
25g caster sugar
50g egg yolks
100g good dark chocolate, melted & cooled

3. Make the pâte à bombe by placing the mascarpone and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, and keep it boiling. Then whisk egg yolks until pale yellow and add in the boiled sugar mixture. Continue to whisk until the yolks are thick and pale. Then, fold in the melted choc followed by whipped cream. Spread over the chilled sponge and feuillantine and return to chill.

Bitter orange mousse
4 - 5 oranges
1 cup whipping cream, whipped

4. Remove the zest of the oranges. Cut the oranges into little pieces and heat them in a skillet until the juices boil. Then, whizz them all in a food processor until they become a fine thick puree. Sieve the mixture and collect about 1 1/4 cup of sieved puree. You may add about 1 - 2 tablespoons of sugar if you'd like. When the puree has cooled, whip the whipping cream till soft peaks and tip the puree in and whisk until the 2 mixtures has JUST combined. Don't overwhip. Spread on top of the chocolate mousse and chill.

Well, there's that! =)

Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D

1) Spread as evenly as you can because it really shows!

2) You can freeze them to store them but remember to eat them when it has thoroughly thawed!

Search This Blog