Thursday, 16 February 2017

Nutella Cheesecake



Thanks Jen for sharing this mouthwatering Nutella cheesecake. I was first drawn by the video being shared on facebook. The power of social media lets you share, comment and like. Multiply them by 3 for everyone that shares the video and you get a massive number of viewers.


It’s amazing what wonders you can do with such a common breakfast/ pantry staple- The Humble Nutella. Nutella stole my heart and took over my Instagram page for a week. There are endless possibilities when it comes to Nutella. If you follow my blog, I did a Nutella tart before this and a couple more Nutella related dessert. Recipe for my super delicious No Bake Nutella Tart --> (Click here) 



This time round, I baked a Nutella Cheesecake for my Aunt’s 70th birthday! You have to close one eye on the amount of Nutella that goes into this recipe. But fear not, sharing is always a good idea! Sharing is caring. Especially when it comes to fats


The original recipe by Jen (Bakedbyanintrovert) makes a 9” cake. I don’t like to make huge cakes unless baking for orders or when I’m bring something to a large party. Most of the time, I rather make a cake that sufficiently feeds everyone. So 6” cake it is. I had to scale down the ingredients for this.

Nutella Cheesecake ( Makes 1 6" Round cake)


Ingredients

7 digestive biscuits, crushed
3 tbsp melted butter
375g Philadelphia cream cheese
296g Nutella
3/8 cup heavy cream
3/8 cup castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten


1) Mix Digestive biscuits and melted butter until the biscuit sticks together. Press into the base of a 6” round tin with removable bottom and refrigerate while you prepare the filling.

2) Preheat oven to 150 Degree Celcius

3) In a large mixing bowl, Beat the cream cheese, sugar and whipping cream with a mixer until smooth and fluffy.

4) Add the vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until combined

5) Add in Nutella and beat until well combined

6) Using a spatula, stir in lightly beaten eggs until incorporated

7) Pour the batter over the prepared crust pan

8) Place a dish filled with hot water on the bottom rack of the oven ( To create a water bath environment when baking) Alternatively you can wrap the 6” tin with aluminium foil and place the tin in a bigger dish and fill the sides up with boiling water)

9) Bake for 1 hour

10) Switch off oven after 1 hour and leave cheesecake in the oven for another 1 hour.

11) Refrigerate until cool or overnight


For the Glaze


110g Nutella
¼ cup Cream


1) Boil Cream

2) Pour cream over Nutella and stir until smooth

3) Remove the cake from the tin

4) Pour the Nutella glaze over the cake and let it drip down the sides of the cake.

5) The glaze is pretty shiny and you will be able to see your reflection in it.

6) Let it set in refrigerator until ready to consume.


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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Baked Pepperoni Cheesy Potato Pizza


Happy Valentine's Day to all you love birds out there. Making something for your love one is always a sweet gesture and such sincere actions are always well appreciated. Just a little less than 2 months to the day #SherbakesWeds. It has been an exciting journey with my childhood sweetheart- 14 years of friendship and 13 Valentine’s Dates. This Valentine Day marks the thirteen year we celebrated this Special Occasion together. “Wow, that is really long” , “Seriously” , “ Get Married already” are what people frequently say to us when I told them about our story. I have only one reply to that… It is just this amazing.

Though this occasion is celebrated worldwide, everyday is Valentines Day if you marry the right person who most importantly loves God. We celebrated V day earlier this year with a home cooked meal by yours truly of course. Simple meal this time round and nothing too extravagant. It consisted of his favorite “pizza" lasagna tater tots and some Moscato.



This Potato dish is a play on all the different things he loves. I use Pom Pom Classic (Wattie's for my potato base)


We have the base which is a potato baked till crispy. Arrange pom poms in an oven dish. Bake for 15 min till crispy. 


1) Mash Potato balls 

2) Sprinkle some dutch smoked cheese/ mozzarella cheese or whatever cheese you fancy

3) Add pasta minced beef sauce 

4) Sprinkle with more cheese and lastly top with pepperoni or your favourite ingredients ( Sausage/ mushrooms etc..)  

 All these are baked till sizzling hot and served immediately when removed from oven

BAKED PEPPERONI CHEESY POTATO "PIZZA" 


Ingredients

1/4 bag of Poms Poms, frozen ( I use wattie's because i couldn't find tater tots )
1/2 jar of your favourite pizza/pasta sauce
100g ground beef
50g Shredded mozzarella cheese
30g dutch smoked cheese ( Or you can use cheddar)
Mini pepperoni/ salami ( Or any ingredients you fancy on your pizza)

Directions


1) Preheat oven to 200 deg Celsius.

2) Fill an Baking Oven Dish ( I use Jamie Oliver's 15cm by 11cm by 4cm) entirely with poms poms.

3) Bake for 15 mins. 

4) While the potato is baking, prepare the Pasta Beef Sauce: Over medium heat, add a tbsp of olive oil and stir fry the ground beef till cook. Add in pasta sauce and let simmer until hot. Set aside

5) Remove dish from oven and using a spoon press the potato balls down until they form a solid crust.

6) Reduce the oven temperature to 190 deg Celsius.

7) Spread some cheddar cheese/ smoked cheese/ mozzarella cheese over the potato layer, cover with pasta beef sauce. Sprinkle with more cheese then pizza sauce and finally arrange the pepperoni slices over the top. 

8) Return oven dish back to oven to bake for another 20-25 mins until the top is sizzling and golden brown. 

9) Serve hot.


Viola. You have your very own pizza made our of potato crust instead of dough.

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Sunday, 12 February 2017

No Bake Nutella Tart



Nutella is my second choice of breakfast spread after you take away the many jars of Peanut Butter in the house. Because PB depletes at such an alarming rate, Nutella comes in handy as a good substitute. Though it may not be the healthiest spread, Nutella still classifies as comfort food. 


Besides consuming from the jar ( I don't encourage this addiction btw!!), making a Nutella pie/tart is always a good idea. Here's why: 

1) It's easy to whip up and it can keep for a few days. ( Always a good idea if you're having a party and don't want to stress yourself on the day itself. You can always make this 1-2 days in advance)

2) Everyone loves Nutella right? No reasons why they shouldn't? 

3) Tarts are easy to slice up and serve. They won't melt like the cream frosting on your cake 

4) Great idea for picnics and potluck! 

5) Kid will love doing them with you. ( That includes finger licking during the entire process ;)) 

6) It's just soo yummy!


Sometimes I'm lazy so I don't make my own crust out of flour and butter. I use digestive biscuits to construct the crust. It's a little crumbly on the top when you slice the tart but overall, it still stays and holds well as you can see in the picture below.  

Toast some hazelnuts in the oven and sprinkle them on the tart for added crunch. You can always throw them in the filling as well. 



No Bake Nutella Tart ( Makes a 5" Round tart) 


Ingredients


6-7 digestive biscuits crushed 
2-3 tbsp of butter, melted
5g corn starch
160g whipping cream
80g Nutella 
dash of salt
1/3 tsp vanilla extract

5-6 whole hazelnuts, toasted at 160deg celsius for 5 mins. Turn the nuts occasionally ( Eyeball the hazelnuts as they might burn). 

Steps


1) Mix melted butter and digestive biscuits together until it is able to stick together nicely when pressed down with a spoon. Add more butter if needed. 

2) Press biscuit mixture into a 5" Round tart pan with removable bottom. Press crumbs up the side as well

3) Refrigerate while you prepare the filling

4) Whisk the cornstarch and cream together in a medium saucepan. Stir until the cornstarch has dissolved and no clumps form.

5) Add in Nutella and salt and using a balloon whisk, whisk over medium heat until all the ingredients combined comes to a boil 

6) Constantly whisk so the bottom of the saucepan won't burn. When bubbles start to form and mixture starts to boil, whisk for additional 2 mins until thicken. 

7) Remove saucepan from heat and stir in vanilla extract.

8) Pour filling into tart pan and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or overnight until set. 

9) Remove tart and serve :) 

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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Cheap Eats and Shopping in Bangkok

Bangkok is such a convenient country to travel to that sometimes it’s always a place for consideration. When you’re feeling ravenous or in severe need of some rest, relaxation or retail therapy, that’s when the 4Rs kick in.

I’ve only been to Bangkok twice. Though not as much as some frequent travelers, but it was sufficient to leave me with quite an impression. Cheap shopping, Cheap Food and Cheap transport. Who wouldn’t like that!

Below is a list of famous places that people recommended to me so I went to try them out. To make my list more complete and useful to all you readers, I’ve added in some of my  thoughts and comments. Please note that comments are based on personal preference. As everyone has differing taste and views, what I find pretty awesome may not be to some so best is just go try it out and if it’s good, pass the word on!!

Accomodation


Amari Watergate Hotel. The first time I stayed here, the lobby made such a lasting impression on me because of how spacious and clean it was. Customer service was superb and everyone could speak English really well. Rooms were clean, big and I have to give special mention to housekeeping who were super accommodating to our endless request of refilling the mineral water and bath towels in the room! The hotel was conveniently located right across the famous platinum mall. If you need to drop off your buys, take a siesta, the hotel is only a stone throw away. 

Neon night market


Neon Night Market in Pratunam (Talad Neon) has opened up on Petchaburi Road, between sois 23 and 29, close to Platinum Shopping Mall. This is a temporary market that recently opened in December 2016! Like all other night markets, they have stalls selling food to clothes to random items. We bought quite a lot of stuff here at a steal. After shopping for abit, we noted a crowd infront of the watermelon slushie stall. 


The watermelon is blended with ice and a little syrup and served in the whole watermelon. No wonder people are attracted to buy this. We were one of those who couldn't resist purchasing one. It helps that we were extremely thirsty too! 

Opening Hours: Thursday to Sunday, 17:00-24:00 Location: Petchaburi Road, Pratunam BTS: Ratchthewi or Chit Lom (still requires a 5-10 min walk) 


Platinum Shopping Mall 


This is the mall that will satisfy your every need. I could never understand why 1 day was not enough to finish shopping at Platinum until I saw the mall for myself. There are a total of 5-6 levels. The shops on each level were numbered in clusters in case you saw something and wanted to revisit that particular store. 

They have a lot of clothes ranging from Women’s fashion, couple tees, undergarments, coats, to men to children. They have tons of accessories, bridal accessories, tiaras on the top floors ( Great to get cheap but expensive looking jewelry, props if you’re getting married). Most of the stuff there are cheap ( Around SGD$6-$15). But if you buy more than 1 piece of clothing, they usually give you wholesale price. So best to consolidate your buys among friends and bargain down the price you’re willing to pay. 

Rome Restaurant



As the name suggests, this restaurant resembles Rome. It has a mock Colloseum, royalty chairs outside the toilet that resembles those sat by Kings and Queen. The toilet interior is well lit and decorated in roman theme. They have indoor and outdoor seating. The outdoor seating boosts an area surrounded by the pool. It was this area that got us attracted to this restaurant. Partake your food in the middle of the “sea” with a nice attractive view of Rome. It’s best to make a reservation early as the middle seats get taken up pretty quickly. It’s quite a drive away from the buzzling city centre. It took us about 45mins by cab but it was well worth the experience.


Rome in the evening and Rome before Sunset. Best to go at 5pm to take pictures so you can have the best pictures of both worlds.


SabX2 Pratunam Wanton Noodles





The first time we went to look for this shop, it was closed. The second time, we made sure to come back to try out the wanton noodles that everyone has been talking about.  We went at around 9am and were probably one of the last ones to get a seat in the restaurant! Imagine how many early birds there were before us. And does the restaurant even open at 9am? We expected the food to arrive shortly after ordering but it actually took quite some time. When the food arrived, we were all happy and excited to dig in but after I took my first bite, I was almost utterly disappointed. The noodles were too oily, bowl was loaded with lard and the char siew pieces were miserable. I had so much better wanton noodles elsewhere.

But this is just personal preference. If you like oily noodles, you might want to give this a try and let me know what you think.

4/32-33 Soi Petchburi 19, Pratunam. Opens Daily 
Opening Hours: 9am – 4pm Daily
Nearest BTS: Chitlom or Siam ( Turn right into alley when you see the overhead bridge) You can easily spot the restaurant by the snakingly long queue.


Joke Perd Mho Paradise (Claypot Porridge)



I’m not so much a fan of porridge but this is good. I mean really good. If you like thick and gooey porridge with flavor, this will be so right for you. After reading that the place can get quite crowded in the evening, we decided to make a trip down in the late afternoon. Smart move since we were the first ones there!

They have 3 kinds of porridge base- simple clear, tom yum and super spicy. We tried the river prawn tom yum set and it was so so delicious. The tom yum shined throughout the dish and the river prawn was huge. The super spicy porridge which we decided to pair with mushrooms was really good as well. Only complaint was that it wasn’t spicy enough. When they claim their porridge to be “super spicy”, we were expecting some nose bleeding and watery eyes. They have a lot of ingredients to pair your porridge with so you are basically spoilt for choice!

Address: between Soi Srinagarindra 40 and Soi Srinagarindra 42 (opposite Paradise Park shopping mall), Srinagarindra road, Bangkok, Thailand
Opening Hours: 4pm to 12am daily 


After You



This was the café that got my bf hooked so much that he ate there 4 times in his 3 days stay. I thought he was insane until my recent trip justified his actions. Me and my gf visited that café 3 times. We tried the Shibuya honey toast, Ferrero Rocher toast and cheddar cheese toast. All 3 were good. They prize themselves on their crispy toast and fluffy buttery centre. Eating the toast on its own is good as well but having that together with the 2 generous scoops of ice cream is even better. You can customize the choice of icecream on your toast without additional cost and you can also opt for a regular toast ( for sharing) or a baby toast.  Anyway our favorite was the cheddar cheese toast.  We also tried their shaved ice ( Milo and Horlicks) which was pretty good haha but not as good as the toast. Their Thai milk tea is superb as well.

They have many outlets. Check out their website for store locations:



Llao Llao 




Oh btw for LlaoLlao fans, they opened an outlet in Bangkok and the prices are relatively cheaper than what you have in Singapore. It’s located right outside Platinum mall. Go have your fix if you’re tired of Tom yum goong

Crepes


Too many crepe shops in Bangkok but I usually go back to the one located at the foodcourt of platinum mall. It’s on the highest level and in the middle of the FC so you won’t miss it. Order the Nutella Banana one. I find their savory ones abit soggy because of the filling but the sweet crepes remain crispy till the last bite.

 Annette ice cream



I always discover new interesting finds on my trips. Annette ice cream is one of them. It's conveniently located right outside Novotel hotel. You can't miss it if you're walking from platinum mall to Siam. It's this ice cream truck that sells all sorts of cute shape popsicles! They have Choc banana, mint, strawberry cheesecake etc. After contemplating, we decided to go for these two since they were the nicest looking haha: strawberry yogurt and mint Choc chip. 



Pablo 




Are you still hard on cheese desserts? Not to worry, there's PABLO right here in Bangkok! It's located at the basement of Siam paragon where all the food stalls are. For the fussy eaters, your worries are gone in a split second as you take in the variety of food offered. Tom yum, fusion, western, Thai, fried chicken, Japanese, grilled food and a lot a lot more. 

Greyhound cafe



The first time I ate there, we had a feast- from tom yum to pad Thai to chicken to pasta and a lot more. Second time, standard seemed to drop a little but still decent. Even if you didn't manage to dine there, fans will be delighted to know they opened an outlet back home in Singapore :) lol sooner or later, all my Favourite shops will franchise their business to Singapore! Just wait and see.

That's about all for Bangkok. Definitely there are alot more FOOD places to visit in Bangkok! Shall be updating this space as I make more frequent trips there. Till then people ;) Do drop me a comment below if you have any other interesting finds or yummy places to recommend!! 

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Monday, 30 January 2017

Baked Quinoa Patties


Here’s one recipe for all you people out there who want to go meatless for one day. Meat is yummy but this is equally yummy too.  It uses quinoa as the main ingredient to bind these gorgeous patties together. Packing in a whole lot of nutrients and protein, its benefits are what makes it so popular nowadays. You can read more of this superfood in my previous post where I made a batch of quinoa. (Click here on how to make fluffy Quinoa)


To make things more interesting, I decided to test out quinoa using some of my favourite ingredients. The humble onion, red bell peppers, mushrooms ( I love mushrooms), parmesan cheese and more cheddar cheese!





Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Makes about 17-20  (2" patties)

Ingredients

2-3 cups cooked quinoa ( Recipe here)
½ cup finely diced red bell peppers
1 medium onion, diced
250g brown mushrooms, sliced
50g parmesan cheese
50g cheddar cheese cut into small slices for stuffing into patty
¼ tsp salt or more to taste
¼ tsp black pepper or more to taste
Cayenne pepper
1 tsp Italian herbs
2 eggs
1tbsp of oil

Steps

1)      Fry onions in 1 tbsp of oil until slightly transparent. Throw in the bell peppers and mushrooms.
2)      Cook till onions and bell pepper is soft.
3)      Add in salt and black pepper to taste
4)      Sprinkle some Italian herbs and cayenne pepper for heat. If you like a spicier quinoa, you can add more cayenne pepper
5)      Pour the onion mixture into the cooked quinoa and mix till well combined.
6)      Add in 2 eggs and mix well.
7)      Preheat oven to 200 deg cel
8)      Scoop some quinoa mixture in your hand, place a few small slices of cheddar cheese in the middle and cover with more quinoa. Roll till a flat patty and place on baking sheet. ( In btw rolls, rinse hand with water so quinoa won’t stick to your hand).
9)      One batch can make about 17-20 patties depending on how big you make the patty.
10)   Bake for 20 min until golden brown.
11)   Enjoy with your fav dip.  For me, I just like it simple with Heinz chilli sauce.


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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Flourless Rich Chocolate Cake

Been wanting to bake something flourless for a very long time but just didn’t get down to it until lately. It feels like eons ago that I last cracked an egg or whip out my mixer. Somehow it just doesn’t seem like we’re in year 2017. 



Wouldn’t say things have been busy busy just that every weekend, me and my fiancé are usually tying up the loose ends of wedding preparations. In case you don’t already know, Sherbakes is getting married in exactly 2 months!! And she will be baking her own wedding cake… Just kidding. I thought about it when S proposed but as the date got nearer, I decided not to bite off more than I can chew and so there came the wiser decision of investing my time on planning for the honeymoon. But that aside, there will still be some sort of home baked goodies by the Bride. Can’t reveal now so come and be surprised! 


My first cake for 2017 comprises an ingredient I love so much and can’t live without. CHOCOLATE. I can’t imagine there are people out there who don’t like chocolate. These people can talk to my hand. This flourless chocolate cake reminds me of a rich chocolate truffle. As the name suggests, it has no flour in it and is made entirely out of the usual baking staples- butter, sugar, dark chocolate and eggs. It’s pretty rich, so you might want to stagger that piece of slice or to share it with friends.


Flourless Chocolate Cake


225g Dark Chocolate ( I used a mixture of 56% dark and 75% Dark)

55g Unsalted Butter

4 Medium Eggs

60g castor sugar

15g castor sugar


Steps

1) Preheat oven to 180 deg celcius

2) Line a 6” baking round tin with baking paper and spray with cooking spray of butter the tin

3) Melt butter and chocolate over a double boiler and stir until smooth

4) Separate egg yolks from egg whites

5) Place egg yolks and 60g sugar in a medium bowl and whisk until fluffy and pale yellow. Add in melted chocolate and stir until well combined

6) In a separate bowl, whip egg whites till frothy. Add in 15g of sugar gradually and beat until soft peaks.

7) Fold in egg whites into egg yolk mixture.

8) Bake for 30 mins and cool completely before turning cake out of tin.

9) Before serving, sprinkle abit of icing sugar on top of cake and enjoy!


* Cake does not need to be refrigerated. Just store cake in an airtight container and consume within 1-3 days.


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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Ferrero Rocher Fudge Cake


How has the second week of the New Year been for everyone? Busy is the word that sums up my first week of Jan. Parties, Celebrations, Birthdays and Weddings. I guess the New Year has really taken off on a happy note.

To celebrate the start of 2017, I decided to post this Ferrero Rocher Cake Recipe ( It never got published as I was mad busy during the Christmas Season). If you ever caught their advertisement on how each Rocher is carefully hand crafted, dipped into tempered chocolate and then coated with hazelnuts, I assure you will be tempted to run into the nearest grocery store and grab yourself some of these.


Base of the cake was a crunchy hazelnut feuilletine ( Back by popular request). Even I have to admit that I could just enjoy the base on its own. I’ll be a little thick skin to say it’s sooo good. Second layer was a thin spread of milk chocolate ganache mixed with a little crushed Ferrero Rocher followed by fudge cake, followed by a second layer of ganache + crushed Rocher, then cake and lastly the entire cake was coated with a dark chocolate ganache. Talk about indulgence! You have it right there.

Only comment I had about the cake was the wafer bit of the Ferrero Rocher got a little too mushy when mixed with the ganache. I guess next time, I’ll just sprinkle the crushed Rocher on the top! Other than that, the cake was gone in a split second.

Chocolate Fudge Cake ( Makes 3 layers of 6” Round cake)


Ingredients for fudge cake:


220g all-purpose flour
350g castor sugar
65g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk + 1.5 tsp white vinegar ( Let sit for 5mins)
½ cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, RT
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup hot water

Steps:


1) Preheat oven to 175 Degree Celsius.

2)  Spray three 6” round tins with cooking spray and set aside.

3) Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.

4) Using a hand mixer, beat the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined.

5) Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Beat until just combined ( Don’t overbeat). Stir in hot water.

6) Pour the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7) Place cake on a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Milk Chocolate Ganache


128g bittersweet choc, 56%
3/4 cup cream

Steps


1)      Boil cream in a saucepan

2)      Pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 mins

3)      After 5mins, stir chocolate mixture to combine and let cool at RT.

4)      Using a hand held mixer, whip until soft peaks form.


Dark Chocolate Ganache


42g bittersweet choc, 75%
1/4 cup cream

Steps


1)      Boil cream in a saucepan

2)      Pour over chocolate and let sit for 5 mins

3)      After 5mins, stir chocolate mixture to combine and let cool at Room temperature till spreadable


Chocolate Nutella Feuilletine


50g Dark chocolate, 75%
60g Nutella
60g crispy feuilletine

Steps:


1) Microwave chocolate in a bowl after melted
2) Stir in Nutella
3) Mix in feuilletine


Assembly of Ferrero Rocher Cake


1) Line 6” Round tin with non stick baking paper
2) Press prepared chocolate Nutella feuilletine into tin until even.
3) Set in refrigerator for 1 hour or overnight ( if preparing the day before)
4) Remove set Feuilletine layer from fridge and place on a cake board that you’re going to serve your cake on.
5) Spread a layer of milk chocolate ganache on top of the feuilletine layer
6) Add your 1st layer of fudge chocolate cake
7) Chop 10 Ferrero Rocher balls into small pieces and mix into milk chocolate ganache.
8) Spread a layer of Milk chocolate Ferrero Ganache on top of cake
9) Repeat steps with another 2 more layers of cake.
10) Frost the entire cake with dark chocolate ganache and sprinkle some left over Rocher pieces at the bottom and sides of the cake.
11) Decorate with more Rocher balls or chocolate flakes.
12) Set in fridge until ready to serve.


Any particular desserts or recipes you hope to see more of this year? Do drop me a comment below. Have a happy year ahead guys!

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