Monday, June 27, 2011

The weekend passed by so fast, it felt like it was just Friday yesterday but when you are having fun, time flies. This weekend was taste of asia week, kennedy and steeles was so busy! The smell of stinky tofu creeped all the way to my place but I don't mind, I love the taste and smell. Let's see what happened in the past day or two, it was my friend's engagement party on Saturday and we went to this park on Mcowan and highway 7. It was pretty fun, the turn out was good and I met some new friends! =) Then I decided to bake this so called "Japanese cheese cake." I didn't what it was until my friend shared it with me. Its very different and soft for a change. There is no crust and it's very light in my opinion.

Anyways here's how it went down:

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake

140g/5 oz. fine granulated sugar
6 egg whites
6 egg yolks
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
50g/2 oz. butter
250g/9 oz. cream cheese
100 ml/3 fluid oz. fresh milk
1 tbsp. lemon juice
60g/2 oz. cake flour /superfine flour
20g/1 oz. cornflour (cornstarch)
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double boiler. Cool the mixture. Fold in the flour, the cornflour, egg yolks, lemon juice and mix well.

2. Whisk egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. Add the cheese mixture to the egg white mixture and mix well. Pour into a 8-inch round cake pan (Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of the pan with greaseproof baking paper or parchment paper).

4. Bake cheesecake in a water bath for 1 hours 10 minutes or until set and golden brown at 160 degrees C (325 degrees F).

double boiler

folding in the dry ingredients

added the egg yolks, almost forgot

mixing it with the egg white mix


after one hour and ten minutes

random shot of people at the supermarket lining up for blue crabs

final product =) pinky still isn't fully healed yet! Oh well, you just got to keep on pushing. Challenge is pressure and pressure is good for you. =)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yes, it is true. I dislocated my pinky finger. Let me give you a mental image on how bad it was. Basically, it was pointing at the other direction. =/ Oh well, my friend popped it back in and we got on with our lives.

I came to a conclusion that I was just making excuses for myself not to cook or do other things because of my finger but in reality, it just take's a little longer. Enough slacking off, here is the latest creation.

It's from the "kitchen, best of the best." One of my faovurite cook books out there, simply because it is well designed and very clean. I love a book where design is one of the top priorities.

Pan Bagna
1 baguette
olive oil
garlic clove
roast red peppers
black olives
small red onion
basil leaves
artichoke hearts

This time, I used a different type of bread; french stone baked bread. Eating it byself is great but when you make it into a sandwich, the crust absorbs the juices from the flavours and it gets a bit soggy. So I wouldn't recommend this type of bread for this type of sandwich. Make sure you choose a baguette with a solid hard crust.

What I did differently this time was, I add avocado and red chili peppers to replace the basil leaves and parsley. The taste was glorious except for the bread. I was very disappointed in the bread. If you are a fan of sandwiches, this is the type of summer sandwich you should try and make.

I brought this to the pot luck we had today at work and it got some attention, I only had two left small pieces left and I got positive feedback from it.

cut it in half and brush olive oil on it



the rest of the pot luck

the bday girl!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Blah, sorry friends. I dislocated my pinky finger and I can't cook or bake. Be patient with me. =)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hello guys, how have you been? It's been crazy here in toronto, with all the crazy up and down weather. Today was my first cocktail party and honestly, I was quite nervous and stressed about it because I have never cooked / baked for 10 people before. Especially during lunch time. I had to stay up till 3 am last night prepping food that can be store in the fridge and I made a terrible messed.

On top of that, my guests were late as usual but it doesn't matter, first come first serve and they still paid the same price so no harm done on my part just less food for them. =P 

Anyways here is the menu list:

Prosciutto and mozzarealla wraps
Pan Bagna on a baguette
Mushroom and pancetta on french bread
tomato and basil on a vilgante bread
Party punch cocktail
Mini lemon meringue cheesecake

this was so nicely stacked at Michael Angelos

Pan Bagna
1 baguette
olive oil
garlic clove
roast red peppers
black olives
small red onion
basil leaves
artichoke hearts

This sandwich was pretty interesting to make, you first have to slice the bread lengthways in half and then take out all the bread filling to make space for the ingredients. I thought they would tell you to re-use it afterwards but nope, they didnt say anything so I ended up eating it because I was so hungry late at night.

Anyways roast the peppers and add them to the bowl along with the other ingredients. mix them together and season with sea salt and fresh ground black pepper. Personally I would add dice garlic but I didn't want the taste of garlic to take over since I brushed the bread with olive oil and rubbed it with a clove of garlic already.

When you have anything mixed and seasoned, spoon in the ingredients at the bottom of the bread and wrap it. Place it in the fridge and put something heavy on top so that it will stay in tact.

When I took it out the next morning, it was stunning. The colours was very vibrant and the taste was very well balance. The feedback I got from it was "I want seconds."

prepping Pan bagna

prosciutto and mozzarella wraps

Prosciutto and Mozzarella Wrap
Roma egg tomatoes
prosciutto slices
mozzarella cheese thinly sliced

This was an instant favourite of mine, it was easy to make and it had a nice visual aspect to it. Slice the tomatoes, lay a speck down, place a tomato, season with black pepper, add a slice of cheese, place a tomato on top and season again. Roll it up and make sure its nice and tight. Serve immediately.

This dish was a very nice touch to the whole party, cheese was very filling and fresh. One thing I would do differently next time is, make sure that the tomato seeds and water is fully drained because it got a little waterly afterwards.


red chilli
lime juice
olive oil

I finally found out how to cube an avocado without scooping it out first and that is to cube it first while it is still in the shell and then scoop it out with spoon. I know, I know it might be old news for you guys but it just didn't come across my mind.

What makes this guacamole special from the others was that this had a nice spicey taste to it and at the same time a bit of lime. It really went well with the chips and it was a nice conversation starter. Whenever you just wanted to nibble on something, the guacamole was there.

Tomato and basil
Tomato and basil 

No need to explain this one, it was just simple. Dice 6-8 tomatoes, season with sea salt and black pepper. Top it off with basil leaves on french stone baked bread. Easy, fun and visually appealing to all.

My set up

Mushroom and pancetta

Mushroom and pancetta
button mushrooms 
oyster mshrooms 
olive oil
any choice of cheese

Heat a sauce pan with butter and then toss in the pancetta. Cook for 1 minute and then toss in the mushrooms. Close the lid and let it cook for 5 minutes. Spoon mushrooms on top of the bread slices and shave some mozzarella cheese on top. Easy eh?

I should have added some lemon juice to it but its okay.

party punch
Party Punch 
Grated ginger 
white peaches 
ginger beer 
peach nectar
lime and mint leaves 

This was my first party punch ever and I have to say, it wasn't easy making it. You first had to make the ginger syrup but mixing water, sugar and grated ginger.

On a separate bowl, add sliced grape fruit, white peaches, ginger syrup, whiskey and then chill until ready to serve. Just before serving add ginger beer and the chilled peach nectar.

This would have been awesome if I had a big punch bowl with a transparent scoop but I didn't. =( The taste was unique and it tasted like ginger beer with a bit of alcohol in it. I forgot to slice in lime and mint leaves to it so I gotta try this again to taste. Again this is a good eye candy for cocktail parties.

And some more shots of the party