Thursday, May 28, 2009

Daring Bakers' Challenge #02 - Apple Strudel

The May Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Linda of make life sweeter! and Courtney of Coco Cooks. They chose Apple Strudel from the recipe book Kaffeehaus: Exquisite Desserts from the Classic Caf├ęs of Vienna, Budapest and Prague by Rick Rodgers.

Having never made traditional apple strudel in my life, this challenge was truly something that I looked forward to and enjoyed very much. I was procrastinating on this one but when the deadline loomed ahead, I knew I had to get started on it. 

Fortunately, the recipe was naturally vegan with the dough being made from water, flour and oil and hence the rest was a cinch. The only issue I had was to replace melted butter with non-diary margarine for the glazing of the dough layers but it was easily solved as well. I was a bit hesitant about using breadcrumbs but it was all good. Stuffed with diced green apples, raisins, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg, I ended up with two strudel, and both of them were demolished within the next couple of hours. Even my highly critical, anti-vegan confectionary brother liked it! And that is really clinching the blue ribbon!

Mint - Chocolate Cupcakes

This was for a cupcake order. The chocolate cake was made with some peppermint extract and filled with peppermint cream, topped with chocolate ganache and decorated with more peppermint cream. 

Mango Juice With Pearlsng

Just a 100% fresh pureed mangoes with pearls as a tea time beverage. Highly refreshing!

'Mutton' Stew

I remember making my first ever mutton stew when I was dating my husband. I made it only once but I recall slaving over the hot stove for hours simmering the meat to make it tender. Of cos' the end result was good, (and I suppose my frequent treats for him sealed the deal!) but I just never got around to making it again. So, I felt like making a vegetable stew (which I had not done before as well) after being inspired by this recipe. I threw in some mock mutton that had been sitting in my fridge for the longest time. Personally, the stew was delish except for the mock mutton. Somehow, I'm not keen on eating mock stuff anymore and I felt that it did not do it for me. Needless to say, hubby was happy to have second helpings!

Refreshing Green Apple and Celery Juice

Homemade Vegan Tortilla Wraps and Mexican Style Potatoes

Since I had an avocado left in the fridge, I wanted to attempt making a guacamole again. (My first attempt failed thanks to an unripe avocado) Since I was heading in that direction, I started looking up on tortillas and came across this recipe. Unfortunately, it was not vegan but I simply replaced the milk with water and it worked as equally well! However, the resting period is very important to be able to stretch the dough. I also used this recipe to make mexican potatoes. Instead of deep frying the potatoes, I pan-roasted the potatoes and went ahead with the rest of the steps as per the recipe. Hubby loved it and I was so surprised to see that he actually enjoyed the guacamole :D

ROM cupcakes

100 chocolate cupcakes as a ROM gift. 

Simply Delish Vegan Potato and Leek Soup with Garlic Bread

I've never cooked leeks before even though I love them to bits. I happen to purchase some and decided to make a vegan potato and leek soup. Traditionally made with some chicken or beef stock, I chose to crumble in some vegetable stock cube and instead of adding cream, I just added a little bit more potatoes and pureed it until creamy. It is a really easy foolproof soup and we loved it very much... Now I feel like having some more!

Potato and Leek Soup (Just based on estimation)

1 onion, sliced
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced (or more if ur a garlic lover)
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 a vegetable stock cube (or more if you want more flavour)
Some water
Salt to taste
some pinch of thyme, rosemary and pepper

1) Saute the onion until translucent. Add the leeks and saute until tender
2) Add garlic and saute until well browned.
3) Add potatoes, stock cube, and enough water to cover the potatoes.
4) Let it boil until the potatoes are cooked. Add a pinch of thyme and rosemary.
5) Puree the soup with a handheld blender to preferred consistency. You can leave some chunky pieces for texture.
6) Add more thyme, ground pepper and salt to taste. 
7) Serve with some crusty bread. 

Simply Orange...

Just a simple morning boost with just oranges and a squirt of lingonberry sauce.

Tech Theme Cupcakes

This is my second time working with fondant. This was for SR who wanted chocolate cupcakes for her partner. She wanted a convertible, bowling and technology related cupcakes, such as laptop, ipod, PSP, with a maroon, blue and white theme.

What I did on Mother's Day

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Breakfast Boost - Avocado and Strawberry Smoothie

My mum bought some avocados for me and so I decided to make some avocado smoothie with some leftover strawberries which were threatening to go bad. So I pureed the avocado with some soy milk and chopped up the strawberries and layered it with the avocado. In between the layers, I sweetened with some lingonberry sauce given to me by a friend from Sweden. In all, it looked so beautiful and was simple to do! I particularly love the pic at the bottom. It's my fav pic so far!

Breakfast Boost - Citrus Carrot Apple

I have to thank my friend Esha for this idea. She posted on FB on how she has taken on to eating raw food one meal a day and I decided to have raw breakfast to  start of the day. I started with a mango strawberry juice in the morning (which I forgot to take pics of) and the 2nd day I blended a whole carrot and a whole fuji apple with a splash of lemon. The lemon was so good as it brought out the sweetness of the fruit and brightened the whole flavour. I was skeptical about carrots, but it was truly delish! 

Spinach Noodles

I had this noodles for the first time in Delivege a couple of weeks ago. It was simple but yet very tasty and the deliciousness kept lingering. So I decided to recreate it and went to purchase the ingredients. The original dish called for all three coloured peppers - red, green and yellow but I settled for two as I was not able to get hold of the yellow one. The base was very simply some onions, garlic and celery blended and sauted in olive oil. Add in a little water and a two tsps of oyster and dark soy sauce. Add in more light soy for taste and toss in the shitake mushrooms and peppers towards the end. Cook spinach noodles separately and assemble them together :) yum...

Mocha Cake for Hubby

This is a mocha cake for my hubby who was meeting up with some of his secondary school friends.

Simple Confetti Cake

This is a simple confetti cake I made. On the inside it has layers of vanilla cake made with sprinkles. More sprinkles on the side to add to the festiveness of the cake!

'Rocking' Mango Cake

This is a mango cake with wacky designs for a Canadian girl. I drizzled chocolate and mango puree on the side and did a double layer word with purple and yellow just for the craziness!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Daring Bakers' Challenge #01 - Cheezecake

I'm a little late with this post but I've decided to jump onto the Daring Bakers' monthly challenge. Though the reveal was to be on the 27th of April, I'm a little late.

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Since I prefer to bake vegan, I've been dragging my feet on this one. But, I think this was a good impetus as I finally made my first vegan cheezecake using this recipe. Of course, it did not taste anything like cheezecake but I think it makes a good base for pies and tarts. I made an oreo crust base since that was the easiest and vegan. Also, the recipe is a little wonky as it does not make enough custard. So, I ended up with a flat cheezecake!