Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scones - Part II

I love my scones - in a bid to make them a bit healthier, I've played around with America's Test Kitchen recipe for their cream scones. I know they've tested it and all but I do like to cut the butter, sugar and cream to reduce my calorie intake. I have to admit that they don't taste as rich but they are still good :) with less calories!

Simple Scone Recipe
2 cups all purpose flour
3 tbsp sugar ( I reduced it to 2.5 tbsp)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter cut into 1/4 inch cubes and chilled
1/2 cup raisins/cranberry/chocolate chip etc (optional)
1 cup heavy cream ( I used 3/4 cup cream, 1 egg + milk if needed to top up to 1 cup of liquid)

  1. Heat oven to 425 F. Adjust the oven rack to the middle. Bake for 12-15 min or till just nicely light brown.
  2. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in food processor to combine.
  3. Scatter butter on the top and pulse. Mixture should be coarse with a few larger lumps of butter.
  4. Transfer to a large bowl and pour in raisins/choc chips etc and mix.
  5. Stir in cream, egg, milk mixture till dough begins to form.
  6. Turn dough onto lightly floured counter and knead until it forms a rough slightly sticky ball.
  7. Knead the dough out into a 2cm sheet and use a cutter to cut out as many scones as possible.
  8. Place the scones close on the baking sheet(so that they rise intstead of spread) lined with parchment paper.
  9. After 12-15min, cool on wire rack for 10min at least before digging in.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Honey Cake, Katsutera, Castella

I just got a jar of fireweed honey and a whole lot of other thoughtful things that remind me of home....courtesy of D's friends. Honey seems to be the cure all food - mixed with other natural foods, honey can apparently cure arthiritis, lower cholestral, colds etc and I hear honey is supposed to help weight loss too :) So I go in search of a honey cake recipe. I found one on Just Hungry which describes the method in great detail.

Honey Cake
8 whole large eggs (55g each)
300g sugar ( I used 200g)
200g all purpose flour
10oml milk
4 tbsp honey (I used 5 tbsp), plus 1 extra for brushing the cake

BB loves his honey and can't wait to taste the cake.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chocolate, Hazelnut Meringue Cake

Chocolate, Hazelnut and Meringue - what's not to love? I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart website and immediately itched to try and make this cake.

For the cake:
10 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
6 large whole eggs, separated
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate melted and cooled (I used Callebaut)
1 1/2 tbsp espresso or vanilla
1 1/2 tbsp rum (optional)
1/4 tsp salt

For the meringue
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned,roughly chopped
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar

Use a good chocolate as you can taste it in the cake - use about 55-60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate, that should be perfect.  I used a 70% cocoa chocolate and it was too heavy and dense.  The cake keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days - don't worry it so yummy, it won't last long!


  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-by-3-inch springform pan. Line bottom with parchment. Butter parchment, and sprinkle with flour; tap out excess. Set aside.
  2. Spread hazelnuts in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast until fragrant and skins start to crack, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven; rub vigorously with a clean kitchen towel to take off skins. Let cool; roughly chop. Set aside.
  3. Make cake batter: In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and smooth. Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition, until mixture is light and fluffy. Add melted chocolate, vanilla, and rum, if using; beat until combined. Set aside.
  4. In a clean mixer bowl, combine 6 egg whites and salt; using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes. Stir one-third of the egg whites into chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining beaten egg whites just until combined. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake 25 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make meringue: Combine hazelnuts, chopped chocolate, and cornstarch in a small bowl, and set aside. Place remaining 4 egg whites and cream of tartar in a clean mixer bowl; using a clean whisk attachment, beat on high speed until frothy. With mixer running, slowly add superfine sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. Fold in hazelnut mixture.
  6. Remove cake from oven. Using an offset spatula, spread meringue mixture on top of cake, and return to oven. Bake until meringue is lightly browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let stand 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen, and release sides of pan. Let cool, about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.


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