Tag Archives: cream

Cereal killer

26 Jul

I was inspired by crack (pie). Haven’t heard of crack pie? Well neither had I until my colleague and fellow blogger Marty brought a deliciously sinful plate of pie to work and declared that it was called Crack Pie.

A Momofuku creation, Crack Pie is essentially all butter and sugar on a homemade oatmeal crust (read more here). Oh Marty, how you tempt me. She  made the pie to collaborate with another colleague and fellow blogger, The Hungry Caterpillar who was doing a review of the Momofuku cookbook. This is beginning to sound all too confusing isn’t it? Simply put, I jumped on the Momofuku bandwagon minutes after perusing the book and corresponding website. You will too, if you dare to check it out.

So anyway, I was attracted to the Cereal milk panna cotta recipe. Why did I find it so appealing? Firstly, the idea of using cereal milk — not the cereal itself mind you, just the milk you steep them in — was intriguing.  The pana cotta itself uses very little sugar — less than a tbsp — so the flavour is really from the cereal.  A breakfast dessert if you will.

Now the other attraction to this recipe is the garnishes: caramelised corn flakes and a slab of home-modified chocolate dubbed, the Chocolate Hazelnut Thing (chocolate with hazelnut praline and caramelised cornflakes in it — oh yum).

I have to apologise for my picture which barely does any justice to the recipe. To see a more aestheically pleasing version of the dessert, click HERE.

The panna cotta is also served with an avocado puree but I prefered mine without it.

Here’s how you do it. Be warned, there are more than a couple of steps to the recipe but they’re really easy to follow and pretty quick to execute.

Cereal panna cotta

First, toast  4 cups of corn flakes lightly in the oven (150C) for about 10 to 15 mins. Then, mix 2 cups of milk with 2 cups of heavy cream in a bowl. Add the cups of cereal to the milk + cream mixture and steep for 45 mins. Now, strain the milk from the cereal (get as much of the milk out). Now, add 3/4 tbsp  sugar and a pinch of salt to the milk heat the milk+cream mixture slowly until the sugar dissolves. Keep stirring.

Set aside 1 tbsp agar agar flakes or 1/2 tbsp agar agar powder in a bowl. As the milk+cream+sugar heats up, ladle some of it into the bowl with the agar-agar and let it dissolve. Once done, whisk soaked gelatin back into remaining milk + cream mixture. Strain the mixture so that any undissolved bits of agar agar or sugar are containes and pour the liquid into wither ramekins or wine/cocktail glasses. Refrigerate until set (at least 2 hours).

Chocolate hazelnut thing

Part A: Caramelised corn flakes

Mix 1 cup of corn flakes + 2 tbsp sugar + 2 tbsp millk powder. Spread the coated flakes out on a tray and bake (120C) for about 15 mins or until it’s a deep golden colour. Set aside.

Part B: Hazelnut Praline

Roast 1/2 cup skinned hazelnuts till they’re nice and toasty. Set aside.  Heat 3/4 cup sugar on the stove (low heat) until it melts and becomes a syrup. Add the nuts and stir the mix so the nuts are nicely coated. Turn off and let the sugar+nuts cool.

Blend or pound the mixture  to a paste/powder. Set aside.

Part 3: Melting the chocolate and assembling all parts

Choose a choclate of your choice: plain or one with a nutty flavour would be good. Melt the chocolate in a stainless steel bowl over simmering water. Once melted, add the praline and caramelised corn flakes and spread the mixture on a tray. (I kept aside some of the praline  powder to sprinkle on the panna cotta seperately). Freeze till it sets and break it up into pieces.

Once the panna cotta and the chocolate are set, it’s time to put the sum of all parts together and enjoy the fruit of your labour 🙂

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Bouchee. Don’t pronounce, just devour.

14 Dec

Stuffed but still pretty.

I had it once at a fancy cocktail party somewhere and I think I spent more time studying my bouchee than actually eating it. Ok, it’s pretty small and so all it takes is a  couple of bites (one, if your not concerned about appearing dainty).

And then I forgot about it until last weekend. I was at Bangsar Village II and noticed that the Delicious cafe had an annex that sold food supplies and some other cook’s toys: crockery and machinary.  I walked in — just curious, not intending to buy anything — and 20 minutes later walked out with a packet of 12 mini bouchee cases. I had to  get them because I hadn’t thought of those bouchees since that one time I had them many years ago.

Ready made.

Bouchee shells are basically puff pastry cylinders — kinda like shot glasses made of puff pastry — in which you stuff with the filling of your choice. Now, I had no intention of making the shells myself but since they  were all done for me  (all I had to do was stick them in the oven (180 C) for five mins or so to warm them up before serving) I started to get excited and began cracking my head over the filling. (An alternative to the shells would be toasted 2 inch bread circles — a tad less exciting but just as delicious)

Well, I didn’t really crack my head. I knew I wanted mushrooms and spinach and I knew I didn’t want them together. So I decided to stuff a couple with Creamed herbed Mushrooms and another two with spinach and caramelised onions.

spinach and onions.

The mushrooms were lovely but I think my new favourite combo is the spinach + caramelised onions. So divine. And so simple. Don’t believe me?

How could Popeye not like spinach?

A cup of spinach, washed and cut small

1 tsp garlic

salt and pepper

knob of butter

Melt butter. Add garlic and a couple of minutes later, add spinach and a dash of water. Cook till soft and water evaporates; add seasoning and mash spinach and remove from heat.

The spinach- onion hook-up.

11/2- 2 tbsp Olive oil

2 large red onions

1 tsp brown sugar/balsamic vinger

Heat oil in saucepan till it simmers (medium heat). Add onions and stir a little to coat with oil evenly. Stir occasionally — not to often or they won’t brown well. Five minutes in, add  sugar and let the magic begin. Remove before it burns (letting them burn just a little is quite lovely actually) — should be about 15 to 20 mins.

Stuff bouchee with spinach mix. Spread onions on plate. Place the stuffed bouchee on the onions. Attack.

I told ya, it’s easy when you cheat and use store ready shells.