Chinese New Year treats!!

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CNY treats!!! Yum!

It is Chinese New Year this week and I wanted to make something quick and simple treats to bring into work. Plus nothing to big as I still need to get on the public transport! Chinese new year desserts are quite traditional and the taste is quite strong. I wanted to make something a bit traditional but also a bit western as well! So came up with Christine’s lemon almond cookies, chocolatesuze.com’s melt in your mouth peanut cookies and Lorraine Pascale’s peanut butter squares. My other Chinese colleague brought some white rabbit sweets which taste like milk sweets and some pandan cake.

The treats went down really well!!! I was pleased with them myself! The peanut cookies were so simple to make and I ended up making 2 batches as they were so addictive to eat! They looked traditional and tasted ever so crumbley!! I will blog her recipes once I get the chance! I have made the peanut butter squares previously but the texture was very powdery! This time, it turned out really nice and compact. Maybe I left in them in the fridge all night and made them more set!! My husband kept eating them all so I had to take them into work earlier before he gobbles them all up!!!

Hope all my family and friends have a fab chinese new year and wish them happiness and good health!!!

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Peanut cookies

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Lemon almond cookies

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Peanut butter squares

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Our Brighton trip!

Our clothes was in the rucksack, the rest belongs to Dee!

Our clothes was in the rucksack, the rest belongs to Dee!

After the christening, i booked a weekend trip to Brighton! As it was our first time away with Dee, I think i went slightly over the top with the packing as most of the stuff belonged to him rather than us!

In Brighton, we ate mostly take outs on the floor as most of the eating places closed quite early and we didn’t want to go out too late at night! Our room didn’t have a table so we ate on the floor!! We found that there were alot of mexican places to eat so i think it is very popular in Brighton!

Typical fish and chips!

Typical fish and chips!

For our first day, we had a typical fish and chips from Harry Ramsden and for the first time, we managed to finish all our dinner without having to hold Dee as he slept!!! Here are some of the foods that we had during our trip!

 

 

Fishcake and Chips

Fishcake and Chips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pancakes from 'World of Crepes' on the Brighton Pier

Pancakes from ‘World of Crepes’ on the Brighton Pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our take out from Tortillia

Our take out from ‘Tortillia’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I love bubble drinks!

I love bubble drinks from ‘Chatime’!

Tea and Scones from Stanmer House

Tea and Scones from ‘Stanmer House’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Korean take out from Namul

Korean take out from ‘Namul’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cupcake Desserts from Celebrate with a Cake

Cupcake Desserts from ‘Celebrate with a Cake’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last night, we ate at Giraffe, I had the noodles

Last night, we ate at ‘Giraffe’, I had the noodles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dan's meal but we thought the portion was quite small when compared to mine!

Dan’s meal but we thought the portion was quite small when compared to mine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Needed a cheesecake to fill us up!

Needed a cheesecake to fill us up!

 

One for the road home!

One bubble drink from ‘Pearls’ for the road home!

Dee’s Christening Food!

Happy Christening Dee!

Happy Christening Dee!

I am pleased to say that Dee’s Christening went really well last Sunday, he was very well behaved and looked like he enjoyed the event!! People were so generous as we recieved so many gifts, i haven’t even attempt to open anything yet as there are 2 massive grocery bags which are filled with cards and pressies!!! 🙂

We hired a caterer for this event as there were over 100 people to feed! The main dishes were:

  • Boiled rice
  • Vegetarian noodles
  • Sweet and sour fish
  • Caldereta (their filipino signature dish)
  • Chicken and mango
  • Lechon
  • Vegetables
  • Lasagne, pesto pasta, samosa – ninangs (god mothers) made

 

Dee's christening

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dee's christening

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dee's christening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dee's christeningFor desserts, everybody chipped in to make them, the ninangs, titas, and my mother in law made her famous fruit salad! Everybody goes mental for it esp my brother-in-law, Josh who eats ‘bowls’ of it at one time!!! I am sure that mum probably saved him a big bucket of fruit salad at home! :p

Yum!

Yum!

There were strawberry cheesecake, bibingka, brownies, rice crispies and coconut bites, oreo cupcakes, whoopie pies, oreo cheesecake, fruit salad, melons and watermelons! Lots and of course, Dee’s Christening Cake! 🙂 We ordered this from ‘Cake Box’, they make eggless cake and the sponge is so soft and light. For more info on their cakes, visit their website.

 

The perfect cheesecake

Yum Yum! :)

Yum Yum! 🙂

Lately, I have been making a lot of cheesecakes and have been using one of Jo Wheatley’s recipe!! My hubby was a keen cheesecake eater but after 3 weekends of the same dessert, he is sick of them!!!

Very simple to prepare and easy to bake!! I would normally decorate this with berries on top with melted chocolate and it looks very impressive! The cheesecake taste like a new york cheesecake, very creamy and smooth!!! I have experienced the cheesecake to have a few cracks once baked, I looked this up on Google to see why this was happening and it suggests the following reasons, that your oven is maybe too hot, cheesecake is over baked, or the batter is over mixed with too much air. Once you have baked the cheesecake, it is best to run a palette knife round the sides as the cheesecake will shrink once cooled!!

Here’s the recipe:

  • 70g melted butter
  • 11 x digestive biscuits
  • 600g full fate cream cheese
  • 2 x tbsp plain flour
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 2 x tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 x eggs
  • 1 x egg yolk
  • 284ml sour cream ( i just used a 300ml pot)
  • 3 x tbsp icing sugar, sifted

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180c/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin
  2. Melt the butter and crush the biscuits in a food processor and mix together. Press the crumbs into the base and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool to prepare the filling
  3. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add the flour, sugar, vanilla extract, eggs, yolk and half of the sour cream. Beat until smooth, light and fluffy. Pour into the tin
  4. Bake for 30 mins until only just set. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 mins.
  5. Mix the remaining sour cream with the icing sugar and spoon over the cheesecake carefully. Return to the oven for a further 15 mins until just set but still very slightly wobbly in the centre
  6. Leave the cheesecake to cool in the tin and then chill in the fridge for atleast 4 hours or overnight. It is best to serve under room temperature. Remember, when you take the cheesecake out from the oven, run a palette knife around the edge to prevent cracks. Decorate with berries on tip and melted chocolate! Yum! 🙂
All decorated!

All decorated!

Feast for my friends from HK

Dinner Feast!

Dinner Feast!

Last Saturday, I was busy cooking in the kitchen preparing a feast for one of my best mate and her boy friend as they were coming down here from Hong Kong. For the feast, I cooked chicken, veg, potatoes and salmon! I love cooking for my friends and I get to make a dessert. This time, it was not be a cheesecake, I made a Pavlova as the boy friend is from

Summer Pavlova!

Summer Pavlova!

Oz and I haven’t made one in a while. I forgot to take pics making the Pavlova so next time when i make it, I will post the recipe up! 🙂 I have been watching Australia’s Kitchen Rules and one of the couples was from Oz and the other from New Zealand and they were having this massive debate about where the Pavlova comes from!! It was like a really serious debate and they each believe passionately it is from their country!

I didn’t have any left over so that was a good sign that they enjoyed the food!!! 🙂

An afternoon of sweet treats!

My hubby booked me a cupcake and macaron tour of London as part of my mother’s day present back in March and I went with my sister in law, Sharon last Saturday. It was a really nice sunny day in Central London and nice to have some girly time! 🙂

For this tour, we visited 7 venues and were given treats to munch along the way:

Cupcake Bakery - Mini cupcakes for £1.50

Cupcake Bakery – Mini cupcakes for £1.50

1) Cupcake Bakehouse – This is owned by the former model, Lorraine Pascale who has her own TV show and books. I had a mini red velvet cupcake which was delicious, we were told by the tour guide that the icing is specifically made for a model’s consumption with fewer calories!!!

 

 

Laduree - Beautiful packaging

Laduree – Beautiful packaging

2) Ladurée – The best known macaron maker in the world! The tour guide said that macarons should be eaten at 5 degrees. I have been told previously that if you buy macarons, you should keep them in the fridge as it will last longer! I had a strawberry macaron which was delicious! 🙂

 

 

Cupcakes from Sweet Couture. I chosed the Oreo cupcake!

Cupcakes from Sweet Couture. I had the Oreo cupcake!

3) Sweet Couture  – A boutique bakery famous for it’s mouthwatering handmade cupcakes! Looks pretty but I found the cupcake quite dry!

 

 

 

 

Display from Sweet Couture

Display from Sweet Couture

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were given a red velvet cupcake from the Hummingbird Bakery

We were given a red velvet cupcake from the Hummingbird Bakery

4) Hummingbird Bakery – Made famous from ‘Sex in the City’ as they were having their teas and cupcakes. I have been there before and i have got their baking books aswell. The red velvet cupcake was yummy and moist! 🙂

 

 

 

Yauatcha's wonderful display of desserts!

Yauatcha’s wonderful display of desserts!

5) Yauatcha – Michelin starred and best known for it’s Dim Sum. I have taken my hubby there many years ago for his birthday dinner and the food was amazing although small portions, not like the portions you would get from China Town! The desserts looked so pretty, and just too beautiful to eat them!

Patisserie Valerie - macarons and chocolates

Our tour guide, John is on the left

 

 

6) Patisserie Valerie – Madame Valerie opened her first patisserie in 1926. We often buy birthday cakes from here as they are so delicious! We were given macarons and chocolates!

 

 

 

Fortnum & Mason display of cakes

Fortnum & Mason display of cakes

7) Fortnum & Mason’s – Last stop! I was told by John that they invented the Scotch eggs and was one of the first shops to display their products in the front windows! One of the cake that I saw, looks like a sachertorte, was priced at £60  (although it did have a few gold leaves decorated on top)!!! Crazy!!!

 

Fortnum & Masons wide selection of macarons!

Fortnum & Masons wide selection of macarons!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My treats to take home minus 1 macaron and 1 mini cupcake! :)

My treats to take home minus 1 macaron and 1 mini cupcake! 🙂

I had a wonderful afternoon and glad to share it with my sister in law as she is a big fan of macarons! The tour lasted 2 hours and it was well worth it! 🙂

If you are interested in booking this tour, you can find the details here

White Chocolate Cheesecakes!

Yum Yum Cheesecake! :)

Yum Yum Cheesecake! 🙂

My family loves cheesecakes, although I prefer cakes and hot desserts! 🙂 Normally, I would make my famous ‘Oreo Cheesecake’ for parties but lately for family gatherings, I have found a really easy and simple delicious cheesecake recipe from Nigella. And, this is perfect to make if you don’t have much time. I have made some adpatations from her reciepe, so it depends on what you like. I would normally make the cheesecake the day before I need to serve it so that it has time to set in the fridge. The texture is so creamy and light and extremely addicitive to eat!! 🙂 A family favourite! 🙂

Here’s the ingredients:

  • 200g digestive biscuits
  • 300g white chocolate melted
  • 284ml double cream
  • 250g philadelphia
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 1 x tsp vanilla extract
  • 75g butter melted
  • 200g raspberries (frozen or fresh and optional)
  • Mixed fruits to decorate and 1 bar of chocolate melted (optional)
  • 20cm springform cake tin

Method:

  1. Blitz the biscuits in a food processor until fine crumbs and mix it with the melted butter. Press down onto a lined 20cm springform cake tin with a back of a spoon
  2. Pop it in the fridge to keep cool while you make the topping
  3. Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over some simmering water and put aside
  4. Beat the cream, philadelphia and mascarpone in a bowl until combined and then stir in the melted white chocolate with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  5. You can scatter a third of the raspberries onto the biscuit base and cover with a third of the creamy topping, repeat twice more finishing with the remaining raspberries on the top. Or you can just leave out the raspberries and decorate with the fruits on top
  6. Chill for at least 6 hours or preferably overnight. Before I serve this (an hour before), I will melt a bar of dark chocolate and use a fork to drizzle this on top of the fruits and put it back into the fridge to set. If you are putting fruits on top, it is best to put them on just before serving as sometimes there could be excess liquid from the fruits.
    Decorated with dark chocolate and fruits on top! :)

    Raspberries within the cheesecake and decorated with  fruits on top and mint leaves to finish! 🙂

    Raspberries within the cheesecake and fruits on top! :)