Quinoa chickpea salad

I recently tried a salad at a friend’s place and it was really good. I got the recipe from my friend and here it is!

Diced:
1 cucumber
2-3 tomatoes depending on size
2 packets of parsley (from supermarket)
1 bunch spring onions/sometimes mint if available
1 big red onion
1 can chickpeas
1 cup quinoa

Dressing:
Combine Juice of half a lemon with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of honey. Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:
Just mix everything.

My version (as pictured) has no onion, no spring onion, and less parsley because of my selective taste bud.

Note:
1) For quinoa every 1 cup boil in 1.5 cups of water on low flame til absorbed. I used a mini rice cooker.
2) You can also use bulgar wheat which is the original or use cous cous (normal or pearl type) works too.

Enjoy!

Sesame cookie

Have been wanting to try this for awhile now and found the best timing for Chinese New Year. Found this recipe in food4tots on sesame crisps. I made it a little thicker as cookies.

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Makes about 36 pieces

Ingredients

25g egg white, room temperature
20g castor sugar
30g plain flour, sieve twice
20g unsalted butter, melted
90g toasted white sesame seeds

Note: I used 45g white sesame seeds and 45g black sesame seeds or leave the black sesame seeds

Directions

1. Fry (without oil) white sesame seeds in a non stick pan over a medium-low heat until fragrant. I tried frying black sesame seeds together but it turned out to be a little bitter. So, just fry white sesame seeds.

2. Preheat oven at 170°C and line parchment paper on baking tray.

3. Using a medium bowl, whisk egg white (with hand whisk)  until foamy. Add in sugar and continue whisking until sugar dissolves.

4. Stir in melted butter and mix well.

5. Add in flour (all at once) and mix till no traces of flour or no lumps.

6. Fold in toasted sesame seeds with a spatula until mixture is well combined. The mixture should be dry and sticky.

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7. Spoon about 1/2 tablespoon of mixture on baking tray and spread out into a round shape using a fork. If you like a thin crisp, spread out the mixture to 1 sesame thick. If you like a thicker cookie (like I did), it’s about 2 sesame thick.

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8. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Rotate the baking tray towards the last 2-3 minutes.

9. Remove from oven and let cool. Store them into air tight container.

Enjoy!

Mini pumpkin cheesecake

Recently tried this for dessert during Chinese New Year, not too heavy with cheese taste and a little spice to the good old plain cheesecake. It’s good with white or red wine, if you’re a wine lover.

I adapted this recipe from eats well with others and made it less sweet for our taste.

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Makes about 15 cupcakes

Ingredients

220g Digestive biscuits, crushed
113g unsalted butter, soften
1 tbsp cinnamon powder
250g cream cheese, room temperature
114g sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
385g pumpkin, steamed and mashed
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions

1. Cut pumpkin into slices and steam for about 20 minutes. Once done, remove the pumpkin skin. Cut pumpkin into smaller pieces and put in a medium bowl to mash. Then, leave to cool.

2. Pre-heat oven to 180°C. Prepare paper cups.

3. In a large bowl, stir together Digestive biscuits, butter and cinnamon powder. Spread out evenly in 15 paper cups. It gives you about 5-10cm thick of crust.

4. In the stand mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed for about 1 minute until light and fluffy. Add in sugar and beat for another 2-3 minutes.

5. Mix in eggs, one at a time and scraping down the bowl after each addition.

6. Mix in vanilla essence, pumpkin and pumpkin spice. Scoop the filling into the paper cups. Hit the tray with cupcakes on the table lightly for any air bubble to lift.

7. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the oven door slightly ajar for another 30-40 minutes.

8. Remove from oven and let cool. Allow to chill in refrigerator before serving.

Note: If you would like to have a smooth cake side, you may either use warm spatula to smooth it or bake it in a mini baking ring with foil covered at the bottom.

Enjoy!

Carrot cupcake with lemon cream cheese frosting

Other than logcake, carrot cake can be an alternative cake to bake for Christmas! There are so many different types of carrot cake recipes on the internet but what attracted me was the word “moist”. I love how delicious moist cakes are. What caught my attention was adding pineapple to the batter to give the cake an additional moistness. Making it into cupcakes would be easier to eat or share.

If there is a video recipe, why not we check it out right? It gives us that extra boost to feel how easy it is to bake. I adopted this recipe from Joyofbaking.com.  This recipe uses applesauce instead of pineapple but it also mentions what are the alternate ingredients you can use. For the frosting, I love it with a lemony cheesy taste and I didn’t have butter. So I adopted another recipe from Marthastewart.com.

I have also reduced the sugar level from the original recipes.

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Makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

Carrot cupcake
175g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
120g walnuts, coarsely chopped
2 eggs
100g castor sugar
160ml vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
160g crushed pineapple, drained
320g grated raw carrots

Lemon cream cheese frosting
115g cream cheese, soften
30g sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice

Directions 

Carrot cupcake
1. Preheat oven to 180°C.  Line 12 muffin cups.

2. In large bowl, whisk eggs until lightly beaten. Add in sugar and continue whisking to mix in. Then whisk in oil and vanilla essence until slightly thickened. Fold in grated carrots and crushed pineapples until just mixed.

3. Mix flour, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon together and sieve into the wet mixture above at 3-4 intervals until all dry ingredients are folded in. Add in walnuts and fold until just incorporated.

4. Fill the batter up to about 3/4 of the cup. You can use a measuring cup to help to split the batter evenly in each cup so that the cupcakes can be ready at about the same time. Note: I made mine up to about 1/2 of the cup for more cupcakes. If you think it looks ugly, you can serve it without the cups.

5. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and let it cool completely.

Lemon cream cheese frosting
6. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add in sugar and vanilla to mix in.

7. Gradually add lemon juice and beat until smooth. Note: If you see the batter curdle, don’t worry, let it continue to beat until smooth.

8. You can either pipe or spread the frosting on the cooled cupcakes. You can then add in any edible decorative on the frosting. Keep refrigerated to avoid the frosting and your decorative to melt.

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Here is the video from Joyofbaking.com.

Enjoy!

Apricot and walnut oatmeal cookies

I was given a packet of rolled oats. The first thought I have is oatmeal cookies! I also recently bought a recipe book, titled “Baking cookies & biscuits” by Catherine Atkinson, Valerie Barrett and Joanna Farrow and found “Toffee apple and oat crunchies” recipe. I could not find the website for this recipe. I got this book from Popular Bookstore Bookfest 2013, Singapore. I adapted this recipe with some changes and of course lesser sugar.

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Makes about 95 pieces.

Ingredients

227g unsalted butter (1 block of Anchor butter)
350g light brown sugar
2 medium eggs, beaten
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 pinch of salt
500g rolled oats
100g dried apricot, coarsely chopped
100g walnuts, coarsely chopped

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line parchment paper on baking tray.

2. In a big bowl, beat butter to a little soft. Add sugar and continue to beat to creamy. Add beaten egg and mix well until thoroughly combined.

3. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to the mixture in #2. Mix in well.

4. Finally, add in the dried apricot and walnuts and stir gently until just combined.

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5. Using a small ice cream scoop or measuring spoon (I used 1 tablespoon), place heaps of the mixture well apart on the prepared baking tray. Lightly press the mixture to flatten it.

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6. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the centre is set and begin to brown at the edges. Note: You can adjust the timing by +/- 2 minutes for a different texture, softer or little more crunchy. I prefer it a little more crunchy.

7. Remove from oven and leave to cool on baking sheet for a few minutes. Using a thin spatula, transfer the cookies to wire rack to cool completely. Note: The cookies may break or go out of shape if they are transferred immediately after it’s removed from the oven.

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Some of my family say that it’s a little sweet. For a less sweet cookie, change 350g light brown sugar to 270g light brown sugar.

Enjoy!