Food

Chocolate Fudge Cake

My First Recipe Book

My parents had guests for dinner one night and so I thought to see if mom might need some help. Seems she had all the food prep under control. Then she asked me to make dessert because I could then put it up on my blog. But I’m onto her – it’s really so she wouldn’t have to make it herself! Moms can be sooo sneaky. But I love making dessert because I love eating them so I was quite happy to flip through my cookbook for a new idea. And I decided to make Chocolate Fudge Cake.

This dessert was easy enough to make (although other challenges did present itself). There’s a reason why we don’t share a kitchen – we both want to be Head Chef! Despite the long-ish post, this is actually a very quick and easy recipe (as long as you keep my mom out of your kitchen).

Ingredients

Fudge Cake:
150 g unsalted butter
3/4 cup caster sugar (I used natural molasses sugar at mom’s insistence – a little advice: Don’t.)
100 g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
2 eggs
1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup self-raising flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda (I used 3/4 for a double portion of this recipe)
1/2 cup milk

Chocolate Sauce:
50 g unsalted butter, chopped
125 g dark chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cream
1 tsp natural vanilla extract

Method

  1. Melt and cool the dark chocolate. Leave aside.
  2. Place butter and sugar in a bowl. Mom insisted I use natural molasses sugar because it was healthier. Fine. Problem was, molasses sugar clumps together in hard lumps and I didn’t realize because I never used it before. Before I knew it, I had already started mixing the butter and sugar. That’s when mom goes, “Oh I normally press out the lumps before using it. Maybe you should’ve used normal sugar instead.” It was your idea! I had to use a spoon to squish the lumps against the side of the bowl as much as possible to salvage this cake. Which took a good 20 minutes.
    Butter and Natural Molasses Sugar

    I put the butter to defrost in the microwave – it melted a bit too much. Oops. Oh well.

  3. Beat butter and sugar until creamy. Then add the melted chocolate and beat well.

    Add Melted Chocolate
  4. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

    Add Eggs
  5. Fold the sifted plain and self-raising flours, cocoa powder and baking soda into the chocolate mixture. Add the milk and beat lightly until well mixed. It looks lumpy because I couldn’t smooth out all the clumps of molasses sugar.

    Cake Batter
  6. Line a baking tin with grease paper, pour in the batter and bake in a preheated oven of 180°C for 35 – 40 minutes (or until skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean).
  7. To make the sauce, melt the butter, dark chocolate and vanilla extract in a pan over low heat. When completed melted, add in the cream and stir well.

    Making Chocolate Sauce
  8. Serve the cake with the chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream on the side. I used a circle cutter to cut a round piece of cake.

    Chocolate Fudge Cake

As soon as the cake came out the oven, I couldn’t help but to cut myself a piece. I exclaimed in astonishment that it wasn’t sweet at all! My mom pipes up, “Oh that’s because molasses sugar is not as sweet!” But the whole point of dessert is that it’s sweet! So I had to add some normal sugar to the chocolate sauce to compensate. Apart from the whole sugar scenario, I also had to struggle desperately to hold onto my mixing bowl from the very beginning to prevent her from laying siege to it (she kept trying to take over!). All in all, it was a still delightful dessert and I can’t wait to eat more. But it was a very stressful situation, which I pray none of you will ever encounter.

They say that “Too many cooks, spoil the soup”. But what they forgot to tell you is that:

Mother and Daughter,
Should never cook together.

This is why we don’t share a kitchen. Of course, I’m sure she also has plenty other reasons.

Food

Spinach and Zucchini Frittata (Omelette)

My First Recipe Book

After poring over a million recipes in my first recipe book and not being able to decide which one to try, I finally decided to make the Spinach and Zucchini Frittata as my first recipe out of this book! I thought it looked like an omelette but I don’t actually know if there’s a difference. In any case, I thought to have a nice brunch with mom and sister (and maybe some girl pow-wow time) and this seemed simple enough to make. Or so I thought.

There’s not really a Part A or Part B, I just like my ingredients broken down instead of one long list. Otherwise I become super disorganized in the kitchen as if my brain doesn’t function.

Ingredients

Olive oil
80 g grated emmenthal cheese (which I omitted)

Part A:
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini (courgette), sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100 g spinach leaves (I just used about a handful)

Part B:
6 eggs
2 tbsp cream
1/2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Method

  1. Prepare ingredients for Part A.

    Red Onion and Zucchini
  2. Beat the eggs and cream together and season with salt and pepper. (If adding cheese, add half here)

    Eggs
  3. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the onion first. Add in zucchini (courgette) when onions are slightly brown.

    Frying Onion and Zucchini
  4. When zucchini browns, add in garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the spinach and cook until it wilts and excess moisture has evaporated off (otherwise frittata will be soggy in the middle so the book says).

    Frying vegetables
  5. Shake the pan to get even layer of mixture. Pour the beaten eggs and cream from Part B over the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes until egg is just set (best done on low heat, as mine got burnt!).

    Pour In Egg
  6. Now for the slightly complicated part. You’re meant to put the frying pan in the grill (and add the rest of the cheese here) to cook the top, but I decided I was going to flip it. And because I had fried it on high heat, the bottom was burnt and the top was still full of watery egg. DISASTER. It was like egg exploded everywhere in the kitchen. It flipped without breaking though *big grin*. AND…it was only half burnt!

    Flip Frittata
  7. Cut into wedges and serve.

    Spinach and Zucchini Frittata

The unburnt parts tasted really good. We finished the whole thing and I’d definitely make this again. Plus, it was so easy to make (except the part where I flipped it).

Of course, there was the egg explosion to clean up afterwards.

Food

Wagamama Chicken Chilli Noodles (Mien) Recipe

A small problem with the Wagamama Cookbook is that there isn’t a picture for every single recipe, so I’m not sure how the food is meant to look like (unless of course I ordered it in the restaurant). I tried making the Wagamama Chilli Chicken Ramen before, which was noodles in a spicy soup and I thought it was delicious. Forgive the self-praise *sheepish grin*. In any case, I was flipping through the cookbook when I came across the Wagamama Chicken Chilli Mien and I thought it sounded pretty good, as it uses soba noodles and I didn’t have to make stock for soup. This recipe uses the Wagamama Chilli Sauce.

Ingredients

275 g soba noodles
3 tbsp olive oil
2 chicken breast fillets cut into 1 cm (1/2 in) strips
1 red pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced
1 small courgette, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, cut into 2.5 cm (1 in) lengths
1/2 tsp salt
Soy sauce
Corn flour
300 ml Wagamama Chilli Sauce (I only used 6 tbsp because it was too spicy for me)

Method

  1. Marinate chicken with 1 tbsp of soy sauce and some corn flour. Leave aside with other ingredients.
    Marinated Chicken

    Sliced Red Onion, Red Pepper, Courgette and Spring onions
  2. Cook soba noodles in a pot of boiling water until just tender. Drain thoroughly. The recipe doesn’t add any sauces but because I figured my chicken would turn out quite dry, I added 1 tbsp of soy sauce and garlic oil for some taste.

    Cooked Soba Noodles
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan until completely hot. Add the pepper, courgette, red onion, spring onion and salt and stir fry for 3-4 minutes. Then add the chicken and fry until cooked.

    Stir Frying
  4. Add the chilli sauce. If using all 300 ml, bring to the boil.
  5. Serve chicken with the soba noodles.

    Wagamama Chicken Chilli Men

It turned out alright but it might’ve been better if there was more sauce to the chicken, as that’s where all the flavour comes from. Next time I’ll make the sauce less spicy and try this again.



RELATED POSTS:

Wagamama Chilli Chicken Ramen
Homemade Wagamama Chilli Chicken Ramen
Healthy Homemade Christmas Tree Noodles
Food

Wagamama Chilli Sauce Recipe

I received my first recipe book I ever owned on New Year’s Day, so I never expected to receive another when I’ve barely finished flipping through the first! It was The Wagamama Cookbook (and it even comes with a DVD!). We had major reservations about trying out The Wagamama Restaurant because we typically view franchises of Asian restaurants with non-Asian chefs as adapted imitations of the real thing. But surprisingly, it wasn’t too bad and we quite like it!

  I had quite a lot of lemongrass and chillies leftover from making my Vietnamese   Lemongrass Chicken, so I thought to use them up to make the Wagamama Chilli   Sauce. Plus this sauce (all 300 ml of it) is used to make the Chilli Chicken Men   and many other recipes, which I wanted to try.

  I adapted this recipe slightly from The Wagamama Cookbook. It is a thick, sweet   red sauce spiked with chilli and ginger. It will keep for a few days in the fridge. This   recipe makes about 300 ml (1/2 pint).







Ingredients

2 tbsp olive oil
300 ml (1/2 pint) water

Part A: 3 lemongrass stalks (white bulbs), finely chopped
1 tsp peeled and grated ginger
2 chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Part B:
1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp bought sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp tomato ketchup

Method

  1. Prepare ingredients for Part A.

    Preparation
  2. Heat oil in a pan until hot. Add ingredients from Part A and sauté for 7-8 minutes. It smells SO fragrant.

    Frying Ingredients
  3. Add ingredients from Part B and continue cooking on low heat for 8-10 minutes.

    Adding Red Pepper, Sweet Chilli Sauce and Ketchup
  4. Add the water, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Blitz in a blender and use.

    Blitz in Blender

And that’s it! Quite simple really. Although, it didn’t come out as red as I expected. It looks quite red in the blender because the lighting was rather dark but it looks more orange like in the photo below. And it was terribly spicy. Almost as bad as my Lemongrass Chicken. But it tasted very flavourful. Lemongrass does wonders.

Wagamama Chilli Sauce
Food, Travel

Sailing Trip to Seafood Restaurant

Hong Kong is probably one of the most exciting places I’ve ever been to (although Moscow comes pretty close). You get to experience everything from partying at a club on the 30th floor to attending art shows and the Philharmonic to haggling at local markets and being severely ripped off to exclusive Ferrari showcases to stuffing myself silly with mango desserts. Sorry, you get the idea.

But what I also got to do, was go sailing. For the first time. All because we wanted to go to a famous seafood restaurant for lunch. I have a terrible case of motion sickness (ferries, cars, buses) but I thought this would be so much fun. My friends were “helping” me prepare by telling me to practice going to the toilet on a wobble board. Fat lot of help they were.

Sailing

I always try to remember to carry travel sickness pills with me. Remembering to actually take them 30 minutes before a journey is the problem. When I get excited, I always forget the little things that seem to be completely insignificant at the time. I took a pill just as we were heading out but it obviously didn’t have time to kick in. I didn’t throw up (thanks goodness!) but I was feeling so ill and looking green. I was like a leprachaun, looking forward to my pot of gold that was dry land! We arrived a few hours later and walked up to the restaurant.

This restaurant.

Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant

I know what you’re thinking. This dingy looking place?! This is Asia for you. You get amazing restaurants that actually look amazing like L’atelier de Joël Robuchon and also amazing restaurants like these that look not so amazing. But trust me, it’s some of the best seafood I’ve ever had. Plus it has such a local feel! So this is Ming Kee Seafood Restaurant on Po Toi Island, a fishing village. On certain days you can take a ferry from Aberdeen (Aberdeen, Hong Kong) or the Stanley Blake Pier. But it was easier to sail out ourselves.

They had the world’s best fried black pepper squid. I have always hated squid and would pick it out of my plate, so this is saying a lot.

World's Best Fried Black Pepper Squid

There was also a strange shellfish that I have never tried before but was really delicious. I don’t even know what it’s called, so if anybody does, I’d like to know!

Shellfish I Don't Know The Name Of

Their lobster was fantastic. Though I was so excited to eat that I forgot to take a photo. It’s lobster, can you blame me? Plus it was all gone as soon as it came. The crab, fish and tofu were SO good too. Makes up for the boat ride, that’s for sure.

I was told that Po Toi Island is somewhat of a tourist attraction too. And apparently, there are famous rock formations there such as Tortoise Rock, Monk Rock, Buddha Hand Rock (how do they come up with these names?). Rocks just look like rocks to me so I was much more interested in the food. But hey, if you ever visit Hong Kong and decided looking at rocks would be an interesting addition to your itinerary, then this is the place to be! Just don’t take a geologist with you or you might be there for days.

I remembered to take my travel sickness tablet early before heading back. The only problem was I fell asleep on deck, exposed to the afternoon summer sun for hours, without sunscreen on (because I’ve never used it and was fine), and well, got terribly sunburnt for the first time in my life. The joys of sailing. I had not meant to fall asleep in the sun for hours.

In any case, it was a fantastic seafood restaurant. If you’re one of those people who think it’s all about the ambience and atmosphere then you’ll probably not like it so much. But if you’re up for something a little different and adventurous that will satisfy your palate, you’ll love this. Really. And it’s very fresh because you choose what you want from their aquarium then they take it out to cook.