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I made profiteroles and they FINALLY rose!

You know what? I did it! I freakin’ did it!

Ladies & gentlemen, I successfully made profiteroles! You may have read about my failed attempt at making profiteroles and since, I had attempted two more times and failed :(

# – Crispy, creamy, chocolatey profiteroles. Woohoo!

However, last night, the time felt right. It was late, yes it was 12.30am in the morning and I thought to myself, “Hey Kimberly, I feel like some profiteroles and I have a feeling the choux pastry will puff up this time”. And so, I decided to make them, eventhough I was supposed to be already in bed.

And boy, did they puff! I was so overwhelmed with joy, I did a dance and screamed joy in my kitchen. The BF thought I had gone nuts, but then he too saw the puffed up pastry in the oven and subsequently joined in my awesome dance.

I think the success of this attempt had to do with me implementing a tip I had picked up from Masterchef Australia where the challenge in that particular episode was to make Croquembouche, a complex dessert that can be summarised as a tower of profiteroles bound together by caramel.

During the making of the choux pastry, the Masterchef’s voiceover was saying that the choux pastry of one of the contestants did not rise because she did not cook the flour thoroughly. So this time, I made sure I cooked the flour mixture through. You probably have no idea what I’m rambling about, so lets just go straight into the step by step :D

The ingredients:

  • 65 grams of flour, sifted twice
  • A pinch of salt, sifted twice
  • 150 ml of water
  • 50 grams of butter
  • 2 eggs, well beaten

For serving:

  • 100 ml of whipping cream, whipped till double in size
  • Chocolate sauce (you can buy or make yours but watch out for tomorrow’s post for my homemade version with rum!)

# – First of all, sift the flour and salt twice and set aside in a bowl.

# – Then melt the butter in water in a pot on low heat.

# – When butter have thoroughly melted, turn the heat up a little to get to a gentle boil. Most recipes would ask you to remove the butter mixture from heat at this point, but please don’t. Now, dump in the flour and salt mixture.

# – Turn the heat back down and stir and stir and stir and stir.

# – Stir till everything sticks together and forms a soft ball. Then continue stirring over the low heat for about 5 minutes more. Yes, this is the part about cooking the flour through I was talking about.

# – Now dump the dough into a mixing bowl to cool down for about 15 minutes.

# – In a pitcher, beat 2 eggs well.

# – Gently pour the egg into the dough while you’re beating it with an electrical mixer. Beat till everything is combined and form a soft peak.

# – What’s a soft peak? This is soft peak, where the dough sticks to a spoon and very, very slowly droops downwards.

# – Now, stick the dough into a piping bag. Of course, you can use a makeshift piping bag with a freezer bag, just nip the corner off and voila!

# – Pipe the dough into half of your desired profiterole size onto a greased baking tray, because when cooked they’re going to double in size!

# – Dip you hand into a bowl of water and lightly sprinkle water all over the tray, like this. This is another way to help the choux pastry rise.

# – Stick it in a preheated oven at 200 degrees celcius for 20 minutes.

# – Watch them puff up. You may now do a dance.

# – As you can see, I made some eclair shapes too so yes, I made eclairs too with this batch…hehehehe.

# – Immediately after you take the pastry out from the oven, use the skewer to poke a hole through the under of each pastry. This is to release any pressure built up inside.

# – Split each pastry into half with a knife.

# – When they’ve cooled down completely, stuff each with as much chilled whipped cream as much as you can :D

# – Lay them all on a plate and drizzle generously with warmed delicious homemade chocolate rum sauce (will blog about this tomorrow).

# – Bite into a piece. And there, profiteroles, DONE!

These profiteroles were light & crispy on the outside, with a hollow inside perfect for cradling a good dollop of yummy, milky cream.

The combination of the pastry, cream and rich chocolate sauce is seriously something bordering perfection. What can I say, they were absolutely perfect. The BF and I hoovered up everything at one go, we were quite naughty really…

My apologies while I swim for a little while more in pure self-satisfaction.

Posted in: Dessert, Homemade Recipes - Continue Reading

Savoury salted roasted peanuts and onion cookies, a successful experimental recipe.

I was craving for something savoury but all I’ve got in the pantry were sweet, chocolatey stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I love my sweet, chocolatey snacks but today in particular I wanted to nibble on something crunchy, fragrant and a little salty.

So I threw together some ingredients and made…salted roasted peanuts & onion cookies. Okay, I seriously have to work on naming my recipes better….can’t get more literal than that :P

# – Salted roasted peanuts and onion cookies.

Anyway, these cookies are so delicious! I can’t believe I managed to pull it off! With a gorgeous fragrance from the onions and sesame oil, they are crunchy and addictive!

Without further ado, lets check out how these simple but delicious cookies are made.

For the cookies:

  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 160 grams of flour, sifted
  • 2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 100 grams of butter, roughly chopped
  • 60 grams of salted roasted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoon of sesame oil

For garnish:

  • 1 tablespoon of coarse sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of coarse salt or sea salt

# – First of all, dump all the finely chopped onion in a pan on medium heat. No need to grease the pan.

# – Then, throw in 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and stir.

# – On medium heat, cook till the onions are caramelised and wilted. Set aside to cool.

# – Now pound the salted roasted peanuts till they’ve broken into tinier pieces. I would have used a food processor if I’ve got one ;)

# – Kind of like this. Set aside.

# – Now, sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl and throw in the butter.

# – Rub the flour and butter together till resemble bread crumbs.

# – Dump the peanuts into the flour & butter mixture.

# – Followed by the caramelised onions prepared earlier.

# – Pour 3 tablespoons of sesame oil into the mixture.

# – With your hands, just mix and knead everything together till combined into a dough, like this.

# – Form 24 flattened balls and place them on a greased baking tray. I used a silicon mat so it’s much more convenient ;)

# – Now this is optional, but it would definitely give your cookies a kick of flavours. Just mix a tablespoon of coarse sugar and coarse salt together.

# – Then sprinkle the salt and sugar mixture over the top of the cookies.

# – Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees celcius for 18 minutes.

# – Salted roasted peanuts and onion cookies, DONE!

# – I think they would be great with a bowl of piping hot creamy soup too but they are pretty perfect eaten on its own ;)

As I’m blogging this, 6 of the cookies have already vanished. Hopefully the BF will arrive home from work before they dissappear completely!

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Snacks - Continue Reading

Everybody can make pasta carbonara!

I remember my first time making pasta carbonara. Well, it ended in disaster. The pasta was overcooked to the point of clumping. The sauce was gloopy (I made it with corn starch….cue /screams of horror). The bacons were cremated. Yeap, it was that bad.

But those days are behind me. I can now make pretty decent basic pasta carbonara and the steps are incredibly simple too! Don’t believe me? Read on…

# – Creamy, porky, bacon carbonara pasta!

The ingredients:

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 150ml of whole milk (you can use cream but that’s just naughty, isn’t it?)
  • 4 slices of back bacon (or 8, or 12 if you’re in the mood!)
  • 140 grams of pasta or enough for 2 people (I used spaghetti, but you can use other types too)
  • 2 spoonfuls of butter
  • 3/4 tablespoon of salt
  • Ground black pepper for taste

# – First of all, cut the back bacons into strips. Make sure every strip has bits of fat attached ;)

# – On medium flame, dump the bacon strips into a pan to brown. There’s no need for additional oil as the bacon will produce its own grease. Stir around occasionally.

# – After about 10 minutes, they will look like this. Turn off the flame and set aside.

# – Now in a bowl, pour the milk into 4 egg yolks.

# – Add 3/4 tablespoon of salt.

# – Followed by a dash of black pepper.

# – Whisk with a fork till everything’s combined like this…

# – Now cook the pasta according to instructions on its packet.

# – Then drain the pasta and put it back into the pot it was cooked in. Add two dollops of butter.

# – And now, pour in the eggy mixture into the pasta.

# – Dump 3/4 of the cooked bacon strips into the pasta. Stir till pasta, bacon and the carbonara sauce are well mixed. If you find the sauce a bit too watery for your taste, you could actually put the pan on low heat and stir till the sauce looks a bit reduced and thicker…be observant though as you don’t want dry carbonara pasta. Dry carbonara pasta is nasty, trust me I know!

# – Plate it and garnish with the leftover bacon strips.

# – Simple, delicious, comforting pasta carbonara, DONE!

This is also a great recipe when you’ve got a surplus of egg yolks. I make meringues once a week so I’ve got a lot of egg yolks lying around waiting to be turned into yumminess.

You’d probably notice that there isn’t any cheese in this recipe. Well, you could put it in of course, but for a cheese fiend like myself, I was surprised to find this carbonara rather decadent without the cheese even. Who am I to dictate though? :)

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Noodles, Pasta - Continue Reading