Firstly, I have to apologize for being MIA in the blogging world for the past few days. Mostly because I was busy, partly because it scared me a little to receive so many comments for my last post.
What?! Scared?! What you on about girl?!
Yes I know it’s a good sign that people like it – but now I can’t help but hope my next post measures up! You know I like to give you my best (and not the fluff and lint in my pockets).
So here’s me going to lunch the other day at Wagamama. Again. Despite almost never wanting to step into the restaurant in the first place. But today was a momentous time in visits-to-Wagamama-history to be commemorated because I found THE dish that I will be ordering every single time I come here.
I love anything chocolate hazelnut flavoured. Anything. Kinder Bueno is my favourite chocolate bar and I love Nutella on everything. I was craving something chocolate-hazelnut one day so I decided to make Nutella Brownies! I was in a hurry so I didn’t have a proper recipe. Which wouldn’t have mattered even if I did because I had NO weighing scale, NO measuring cups, NO measuring spoons. I just had a bowl and a wooden spoon. No mixer, electric beater, nothing. It’s like living in cavemen times.
So this is a completely out-of-the-blue, make-it-up-as-I-go-along recipe. Fingers crossed this turns out well!
If there is a finer, better, more heavenly experience than sinking your teeth into Laduree macarons, I have yet to find it. I love macarons and drooling over photos of macarons others have made is one of my favourite past-times. I only tried them a couple years back, so if you haven’t had them, definitely do!
They were chocolate, coffee, spicy berry (also called 1001 nights) and raspberry. The raspberry was my favourite. The spicy berry didn’t tickle my fancy much. They were tiny!
Apparently you’re not allowed to take photos at Laduree. Yes, I whip out my camera at all opportunities so while I was waiting in line, I was trying to take a few clicks when one of the girls there stopped me in earnest. Is there a good reason why you’re not allowed to take photos? She didn’t explain so I have no idea. In any case, I wasn’t too pleased and so I stepped further back and zoomed in for a photo (she really brought out the rebel in me).
Valentine’s Day is coming up! And it makes me excited because I see heart shapes EVERYWHERE. I have a bit of a soft spot for romance so it put me in the mood to make heart-shaped food. What can I say, I’m a huge cheesey cheesepuff! In any case, I decided to make some heart-shaped chocolate biscuits.
150 g butter, softened at room temperature
100 g castor sugar
2 medium eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
200 g plain flour
25 g cocoa powder
Icing (if you want it):
300 g royal icing sugar
50 ml cold water
Food colouring (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C (I use a fan oven). Beat butter and sugar until evenly mixed.
Separate eggs. Add the egg yolks and vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix well.
It’s brownish because I made a batch of chocolate cupcakes just before this and didn’t wash the bowl.
Sift flour and cocoa and stir into the butter mixture until dough-y. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Roll out dough and cut out heart shapes. If you want a hole in the middle (you’ll see why), cut out a circle roughly 1 cm in diameter. Put the biscuits on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Bake for 12 minutes.
Leave to cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. And there you have it! I love the ribbons so that’s what the hole was for!
Put 50 ml water in a bowl and beat in icing sugar until smooth. You can divide into a few portions to add food colouring. Spread on cooled biscuits and leave to set.
I was at a Korean restaurant recently, and they served a seaweed salad that was so appetizing I wanted to make it myself. And it is SUPER EASY. You basically soak the seaweed, drain it, and pour chilli sauce over it. But don’t worry, I’m not going to just leave it at that!
Seaweed is not for everyone, but I spent some time growing up in Korea so I learned to love it from a young age.
I’ve always known that seaweed helps with weight loss as it boosts metabolism. It’s also full of vitamins so it’s great for the skin! Maybe that’s why the Koreans and Japanese are so thin because they eat so much seaweed. I realize diet definitely plays a huge role when I see Asians in general are quite small sized while there are huge obesity problems here and in the States. I like to see evidence of the research though, and found out that not all seaweed have anti-obesity properties. Only those that are brown and part of the kelp family contain these properties. And Wakameis a type of brown kelp. You can find the research article here. But of course, exercise and diet are very important for weight loss and you can’t just rely on eating kilos of seaweed. It’s also very important what type of exercise you do, but I’m veering off into another topic here (what can I say, I’m a physio!).
Now on to the cooking!
Dried Wakame seaweed
Small piece of carrot, sliced very thinly
1 tbsp Korean chilli paste (Gochujang)
1 tsp Korean chilli powder (Gochugaru)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar or honey
1 tsp garlic granules (you can use finely minced garlic, I just didn’t have garlic at the time)
1 tsp white wine vinegar (rice vinegar might be better if you have it)
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp warm water (or more if you want it runnier)
Soak the dried seaweed in warm water until soften. Make sure the water is not too hot or the seaweed will become very soft and slightly soggy. It only takes about 15 minutes or less. This is what it looks like dried.
This is what it looks like when it has expanded. Rinse it in cold water and put aside.
Mix all ingredients for the chilli sauce in a bowl.
Snip pieces of the seaweed (some can be quite long) into a bowl. Put the carrot slices on top. Drizzle the chilli sauce over it and mix well. I didn’t mix it for photo purposes or you can’t really see the chilli sauce.
It was very similar to what I had at the restaurant (if not better *grin*). So simple, so easy, so healthy, so delicious.