March 2011 - Narcissism is Necessary

Archive | March, 2011

Making Syrup Bites – you will love it like I do.

When the BF’s mom came to visit a couple of months ago, she brought along an old recipe book that belonged to the BF. It was given to him by his aunt when he moved away to Liverpool for university, in hopes that he would not need to survive on just instant noodles and 1 quid beers.

Thanks to Aunt Jean and that precious recipe book, my BF learned valuable cooking skills which proved very handy whenever I messed up his dinners.

# – The Dairy Book of Home Cookery.

The Dairy Book of Home Cookery now belongs to me. It mostly consists of basic recipes for almost any food you can imagine. One recipe that caught my eye was “Syrup Bites”. Personally, I have never heard of it and even googling did not yield any result. What does it look like? How does it taste like?

# – Syrup Bites?

And because I had all the ingredients in hand, I decided to make 24 pieces of “Syrup Bites”. I’m so glad I did, because they are absolutely DELICIOUS!

Ingredients A

  • 100 grams of self raising flour
  • 75 grams of rolled oats
  • 25 grams of dessicated coconut

Ingredients B

  • 1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tablespoon of milk

Ingredients C

  • 100 grams of caster sugar (I reduced it from the original 125 grams)
  • 100 grams of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of golden syrup (you can also use honey or treacle)

# – First of all, mix Ingredients A (oat, self raising flour and dessicated coconut) together in a bowl and set aside.

# – Then, mix Ingredients B (milk and bicarbonate of soda) together in a small bowl and stir until bicarbonate of soda dissolves. Set aside.

# – Next, heat up a pot and put all of Ingredients C (butter, sugar and golden syrup) into it. Keep stirring till everything’s melted.

# – Pour ingredients B into the sugary, buttery mixture. Keep stirring.

# – The mixture will expand quite a bit, don’t panic and just keep on stirring. Remove from heat.

# – Now pour the concoction into Ingredients A.

# – Keep stirring until everything is mixed up like this. Leave to cool for 30 minutes or until quite firm.

# – Roll into 24 round pieces. To be honest, it was actually quite difficult to roll, you’d likely find yourself compressing it within your palm till it forms a ball.

# – Lay them out on a greased baking tray with parchment paper. Leave some space between each ball for expansion.

# – Stick it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees celcius for 15minutes.

# – 15 minutes later, golden brown, oat-ey goodness!

# – They will feel rather soft right out of the oven, but leave them on a wire rack to cool completely and they shall firm up entirely.

# – Perfect with creamy cold milk.

# – So this is how “Syrup Bites” look like.

After some research, I realised that Syrup Bites is actually very similar to ANZAC biscuits, which were created during World War 1 for soldiers’ rations. As it doesn’t have eggs, they keep really long as long as there’s no moisture.

On it’s own, it’s very crunchy without being dry and the buttery coconut-ty sweet golden syrup taste is simply to die for! When dipped in cold milk however, it softens up slightly and become a whole new level of delicious.

And because it’s got so much oats, I’d like to think that it’s healthy, almost ;)

Posted in: Dessert, Homemade Recipes, Snacks - Continue Reading

How to quickly cube mangoes without making a mess.

Other than apples, we could go through dozens of mangoes in a month, simply because we LOVE the fruit. We eat it on its own mostly, but we also love it served with meringues and cream (okay, yogurt when the scale is bouncing off a bit further from the zero).

But you must agree with me that cutting mangoes is one of the most tedious task in the world. Normally I just armed myself with a paring knife, then leisurely slice the flesh off and eat it off the knife. This is not recommended because (A) you might slice your own tongue off, and (B) it is awfully inelegant.

So yeah, there are times when you need to cube mangoes. Such as when you need to eat them with meringues & cream, and only with cubed mangoes that you get to scoop up the perfect ratio of mangoes:cream:meringues.

Here’s a tutorial, courtesy of my BF who painstakingly took these pictures of himself cubing mangoes so that I could post them up on my blog, for you to read. Did I mention, he was cubing mangoes while I lied collapsed in our sofa writhing in pain from the dreaded PMS, because he wanted to cheer me up with mangoes, meringues and cream? Yeah, I love him too.

# – Hold the mango on a chopping board with the slimmest side down.

# – With the knife positioned about 0.5 cm from the eye, cut all the way down. You should miss the seed but not too much that you’d waste mango flesh. Do the same with the other side of the mango. By the way, the eye is that little bulbous ugly thingy on the top of the mango ;)

# – Now, score the mango flesh in a checkered pattern. Cut as close as possible to the skin without damaging the skin.

# – Now pop out the flesh like this by pushing the skin. Beautiful!

# – With a knife, gently lift the flesh off the skin.

# – Voila! Cubed mangoes!

And that, is how you can fairly quickly cube mangoes without making a mess :)

Posted in: Homemade Recipes, Tips & Tricks - Continue Reading

Delicious and seriously easy apple crumble.

What do you do when you have only a couple of hours to spare before bedtime? You make apple crumble for supper!

Fruit crumble is possibly one of the easiest desserts to make from scratch. It looks impressive and tastes as though there’s a huge labour of love involved but the truth is, I only needed less than 15 minutes to prepare and 60 minutes to watch TV while it baked in the oven.

If you don’t cook or bake very much, I most definitely think that this is the dish to make to impress your friends & family! And what’s more, you don’t even need a whole lot of ingredients, which is a winner in my book. This recipe serves 2, so if you want to make more just multiply the amounts accordingly.

For the filling:

  • 2 green apples, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
  • 50grams of granulated sugar

For the crumble:

  • 85 grams of flour
  • 35 grams of butter
  • 25 grams of caster sugar (I used demerara sugar though)

# – First, lay the apples on an ovenproof dish or ramekins (for individual serving).

# – Then pour granulated sugar over the apples and ensure they are well coated. Set aside.

# – Sift the flour into a mixing bowl.

# – Add the butter into the flour.

# – Rub flour and butter with your fingers until they resemble fine breadcrumbs.

# – Now throw in the caster sugar (demerara sugar in my case) and mix. This is now the crumble.

# – Next, sprinkle the crumble evenly over the apples.

# – Make sure the apples are fully and evenly covered by crumble, like this.

# – Stick it in pre-heated oven at 190 degrees celcius for 15 minutes then reduce to 180 degrees celcius for a further 40 minutes or till top is lightly brown, so check your oven, ya!

# – Serve with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream for a perfect but simple & delicious dessert.

The combination of the tart & juicy apples with sweet, crunchy crumble is pure heaven! I’m going to make this regularly because the ingredients are readily available & reasonably cheap, the recipe is so easy an 8 year old can make it no problem and most importantly, I LOVE IT!

Posted in: Dessert, Homemade Recipes - Continue Reading