Je Mange. Donc, Je Suis.

Friday 20 September 2013

Banana Flambé (Banane flambée au Citron Vert avec Crème Anglaise)

Bananes flambées au citron vert, avec Crème anglaise 
(façon Oeufs à la neige), sans alcool... mais ce n'est pas possible, Anne! ;)
Banana Flambé with a hint of lime and maple syrup, served with crème anglaise, drizzled with dark chocolate sauce and a lovely citrus twist for garnish. Normally, I add some drops of Vanilla Rum or Grand Marnier...for an intense flavour, but no more alcohol in the house this time. well...well...well...
(serving 2)
2 bananas
2 teaspoons caster sugar
10-15 g butter
2 teaspoons lime
2 tablespoon Grand Marnier 
or Vanilla Rum or Brandy or fruit-based liqueur (optional)
  • Peel and cut each banana vertically into two slices. Lay them in a shallow dish; pour lime juice over the banana slices. Sprinkle with caster sugar;
  • Melt  the butter in a frying pan. Gently place the banana slices in the butter over a medium to high heat until they are lightly browned;
  • Heat the rum/brandy or fruit-based liqueur for a few seconds in a separate pan, set it alight and pour it over the fruit. The flame will quickly die down;
  • Transfer the cooked banana slices onto prepared serving plate, filled with crème anglaise. Drizzle dark chocolate sauce and/or caramel/maple syrup and decorate with a prepared citrus twist when serving. et Voilà! Pleasure à la carte!!! ;)
Crème anglaise
310 ml milk 
1 vanilla pod or 
1 teaspoon vanilla essence 
2 egg yolks 
2 tablespoons caster sugar 
  • Put the milk in a small saucepan. Split the vanilla pod in two, scrape out the seeds and add the whole lot to the milk. (Or you can leave the vanilla pod whole-if you don't want small black spots in the custard)  Bring just to boil. Whisk the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Strain the milk over the egg mixture, whisking continuously. Pour the custard back into the saucepan and cook, stirring, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not let it boil or the custard will split. Strain into a clean bowl, lay plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin forming and refrigerate until serving...or for up to 2 days.
Have a wonderful weekend with one of my favourite songs, a rare & underrated version, by its original composer, Paul Williams. I personally prefer this version to Karen Carpenter's famous rendition.
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Wednesday 18 September 2013

French Toast (Pain Perdu)

French toast is called "pain perdu", which means "lost bread" in French. It is called "lost bread" because it is a way to reclaim stale or "lost" bread. The hard bread is softened by dipping in a mixture of milk and eggs, and then fried. The bread is sliced on a bias and dipped into a mixture of egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. The slices are pan-fried in butter and traditionally dusted with powdered sugar and served with jam or syrup on the side. {source: Wikipedia}
My Tuesday's very Late Breakfast: French Toast or "pain perdu"! At least I could make the most of my left-over (commercial) whole wheat bread. Normally, I enjoy making my own bread, but this time. :)
For the preparation, some people soak and dip the bread slices in milk mixture first, then coat them with beaten egg before pan-frying in butter...
My preference: I put all ingredients together: milk, 1 egg, vanilla essence or grated orange zest + orange juice or Grand Marnier...whatever, really!;)...and without sugar added! I then heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the bread over medium heat until golden. They smell just lovely! Transfer the eggy bread onto a serving plate. Sift powdered sugar over the bread, served with your favourite jam, gelée, berries filling or maple syrup, anything your cravings are whispering you!!!.Oh! and a cuppa tea or coffee...Simply Delish!!!!
***below is another "pain perdu" of mine,  made of homemade brioche :)
4 thin slices commercial whole wheat bread 
(or 2 thick slices of Day-old Brioche) 
50 ml milk
 1 egg 
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla essence or 
grated zest of 1/2 orange (optional) 
Juice of 1/2 orange (optional) 
1 tablespoon powdered sugar (for dusting) 
Blueberry filling
15-20 g butter 
(salted or unsalted as per your preference)
The above picture shows how Anne savours her French Toast
She spoons a mouthful of blueberry filling on top of the eggy bread, already dusted with powdered sugar. Then she folds it like an envelope and hands it right away in her mouth! ;)
Easy how to: 
  • Whisk the egg, milk, vanilla essence (alternatively grated zest + orange juice +Grand Marnier) in a wide shallow dish; 
  • Soak each bread slice in the egg mixture for 1 minute a side (or 2 minutes for thick slices of bread); 
  • Heat the butter in a frying pan and cook the bread for about 1-2 minutes a side over a medium heat until golden; 
  • Transfer French toast onto a serving plate. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with berries filling, jam, gelée of your choice or maple syrup poured over each slice. Serve French Toast right away!
Très Bonne Semaine à toutes et tous !
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Monday 16 September 2013

Roses des Sables au Nutella (Desert Roses)

A single Red Rose means "I Love You" with "Passion",
Lavender rose denotes enchanting "Love at First Sight";
Pink rose, "Please believe me", with "Admiration",
Yellow rose, "Remember me" with "Delight".

I planted a rose to my heart's content,
In the garden of thoughts with loving attention;
Rain or Shine, Days & Nights, it grows in silence,
From a little drop of love, it yields a thousand.

They say every rose has its thorn and honey,
In the glittering morning light, when kiss of life's begun;
that sparks at the Lover's lips, intertwined and infused by love's elixir,
   So kiss on and get drunk, to behold the splendour of the Sun.

 My "Roses des sables" are dark-brown & crunchy,
without stem...nor thorn; they grow any season;
Peanut Butter & Nutella enhance their chemistry,
Pop 'Em in your mouth 'n' have yourself instant Gratification! 
--Anne in her Munchy Monday Mood;)
50 g dark chocolate 
2 tablespoons peanut butter
(or 90 g dark chocolate for those who are allergic to Peanut)
120 g Nutella 
40 g Corn Flakes
These roses are extra crispy 'n' crunchy with peanut butter and  white chocolate drizzle,
packed-with-love in a reused Maxim's biscuit box,
and a "Just because..." little card :)
Easy How to: 
  • Melt dark chocolate and Nutella in a medium saucepan over low heat. Gently stir until well combined and smooth. Remove from heat;
  • Gently add in the corn flakes into the Nutella mixture;
  • Lay a baking parchment or a foil on a tray. Spoon chocolate-corn flakes onto the paper. Refrigerate until serving.
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Saturday 14 September 2013

Nutella-Banana-Krunch-Caramel Cheesecake (No-bake)

The day before yesterday, my dad dropped by my nest with a beautiful bunch of bananas.
...and one person cannot eat the whole bunch alone....
(I already took 3 ha ha) 
hmmmm very challenging, indeed! 
"Nutella. I dig my spoon in...
and eat it straight out of the jar. 
I can easily go through one a week!"
A Nutellicious quote by Malin Ackerman:)
In fact, I had earlier plan to make something delicious from the rest of Nutella-Peanut Butter+ Koko Krunch. It's so unbelievable that Dad seemed to sense my telepathy as my only missing ingredient = beautiful bananas!! Thanks a (big) bunch Dad! So I made Nutella-Banana-Krunch Caramel Cheesecake, decorated with a couple bananas, drizzled with dark chocolate sauce + remaining KoKo-Krunch & Caramel toppings! hmmm... Luscious!!!
2 sliced bananas for the cheesecake
and 2 for decoration
1 small pack of Koko-Krunch
for Vanilla Cream cheese layer
60g or 1 pack of White Sesame Crackers 
(or digestive biscuits of your choice)
75g butter, melted
1/2 Cream Cheese Blocks (125g), softened
1/4 can sweet condensed milk
(or 2 tablespoons Toffee-Caramel syrup) 
1 teaspoon gelatin powder,
dissolved in 1/2 coffee cup hot water
2 teaspoons lime or lemon juice
2 teaspoons Vanilla essence
for Dark Chocolate-Nutella-Peanut Butter layer
125g cream cheese block, softened
100g dark chocolate, melted
2 tablespoons Nutella
2 tablespoons Peanut Butter (chunky)
1 tablespoon condensed milk
1.5 teaspoons gelatin powder,
dissolved in 3/4 coffee cup hot water
25 g roasted almond, roughly chopped
How to: 
  • Using food processor or a rolling pin to make cracker crumbs. Combine the cracker crumbs and butter with a fork until well blended and press in the base of a 16-cm spring pan; chill for about 10-15 minutes.; 
  • Combine dark chocolate, nutella, peanut butter and condensed milk in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the mixture has melted and is smooth; remove from heat. Leave it to cool. Sprinkle chopped almond onto the cool mixture and gently fold with spatula or spoon until combined;
  • Beat the cream cheese in a bowl using electric mixer until smooth. Beat in gelatin mixture until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate mixture, continue beating until smooth; 
  • Place sliced bananas onto the chilled base. Pour mixture onto banana layer. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or until set;
  • Repeat the same process for the vanilla cream cheese mixture;
  • Pour the mixture on top of the set chocolate layer and refrigerate for another 3 hours or until set;
  • Transfer the cheesecake onto the serving plate, decorated with banana slices, Koko-Krunch flakes, drizzled with Toffee-Caramel Syrup and chocolate sauce as toppings. Enjoy! :)
“The only way cheese is dessert is 
when it's followed by the word cake.”
Michele Gorman, Single in the City
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Friday 13 September 2013

Nutella-Peanut Butter-Marble Fudge Bark

Nutella+Dark Chocolate+Peanut Butter+Roasted Almond
I have been Nutella-infused for several days now, 
swept away by mind blowing chocolate sweets, 
like a mad scientist, discovering his "Σ!", Eureka!!! 
Well, I have 2 Σs!! :) 
They are a bit brittle on the surface yet with soft fudge inside before refrigerating.
I love Julia Child's saying "Find something you're passionate about, and stay tremendously interested in it!" Chocolate & Love make me wake up in the morning with a sense of purpose and a flow of creative ideas...Chocolate & Love don't just happen; they have to be generated with actions because actions programme the heart...and tummy!;) Chocolate & Love make my heart sing in the kitchen and in my morning shower..."Wait a minute, dear"...Auntie A interrupted..."Don't  sing in the shower... Singing leads to dancing, Dancing leads to slipping and slipping leads to paramedics, neighbours and every freaking Tom, Dick and Harry seeing you butt-naked!" !!!  So what now...auntie?
My babies become extra crunchy and nutty after I left them in the fridge overnight!
They're too hard to please, aren't they? I feel terribly sorry for their poor mama!;)
Please visit the following site for various recipes of Bark, Brittle and Fudge...Good ones!!!!
The ones I made are sort of all-in-one: Bark-Brittle-Fudge with chocolate marble design, 
to my heart's content!:)
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Tuesday 10 September 2013

Pasta with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Carbonara Style

This lovely song is played in many romance movies' scenes, 
as a (surprising) serenade during a lovey-dovey dine-out evening. :)
"It's fun to get together and have something good 
to eat at least once a day.
That's what human life is all about-enjoying things."

--Julia Child
Since last Sunday, I have fancied so many delicious menus, 
mainly pasta & pastry, just to please my happy tummy. 
The sauce I made this time, is not-really typical Carbonara 
as I used cream of mushroom and sliced Shiitake sautéed
w/ garlic 'n' butter, in lieu of bacon bliss & Pancetta. 
It so happened that the sauce turned out
to be deliciously thick and rich! 
"Life is a combination of Magic and Pasta"
--Federico Fellini
...e un bicchiere di vino!!! ;)
(3-4 servings):
Penne Rigate Pasta, or any pasta of your choice
4-6 garlic cloves, crushed 
1/2 onion, finely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons Olive oil
1 teaspoon butter (for Mushroom Sautéing)
2 teaspoons Shiitake mushroom sauce
2 egg yolks 
1 can cream of mushroom
100 ml milk or whipping cream
1 chicken stock cube (with no MSG), 
dissolved in 125 ml water
50 g Parmesan or Cheddar cheese, finely grated
50 g fresh Shiitake, sliced
1,5 teaspoon mustard (optional)
fresh Basil leaves (or sprig) for garnish
ground black pepper for seasoning
extra grated cheddar or Parmesan for toppings
“Cooking done with passion is an act of love.” 
--Tammy Mollai
How to:
  • Cooking pasta as per cooking instructions;
  • Heat oil and butter in a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and chopped onion, lower the heat. Add in Shiitake slices and mushroom sauce. Stir and sauté until the mushrooms turn slightly soft and dark-brown with golden spots. Remove from heat. Spoon half of sautéed mushroom into a small bowl. Set aside;
  • Whisk egg yolks, milk, chicken stock, mustard and grated cheese together in a bowl. Season with pepper.
  • Reheat the saucepan with remaining sautéed mushroom over low heat. Add in egg mixture. Gently stir and cook until creamy and well combined.
  • Place cooked pasta, lightly tossed with a pat of butter, in the bottom of each serving bowl. Pour in the sauce, then the sautéed mushrooms, and top with extra cheese when serving.
Salute! with one of my favourite films of all time...
One of the most beautiful films on earth, I must say!
This film makes me fall in love with amazing Human Bonding, 
Beauty of life and Joie de vivre. other words, I'm so "drunk"
shhh...pour me some more wine, please;)
La vita e bella!

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Tuesday 3 September 2013

Trifle-like Layered Two-tone Cheesecake (No-Bake)

Bored with conventional Cheesecake? 
Please try this one:
Trifle-like Layered Two-tone Cheesecake (No-Bake)
in glass bowls, 
ideally for homely party among friends and loved ones 
yet can be matched with commercial purpose:) 
Either way, let's get high on life
with the 7th cheesecake heaven sensation! 
for Vanilla-Cream cheese layer
120g or 2 packs of White Sesame Crackers 
(or digestive biscuits of your choice)
100g butter, melted
1,5 Cream Cheese Blocks (375g), softened
1 can sweet condensed milk
3 teaspoons gelatin powder,
dissolved in ¾ coffee cup boiling water
3 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
3 teaspoon(s) Vanilla essence
for Dark Chocolate-Kirsch layer
125g cream cheese block, softened
1/4 sweet condensed milk
100g dark chocolate, melted
1,5 teaspoons gelatin powder,
dissolved in 1/2 coffee cup boiling water
1 teaspoon kirsch cherry liqueur
Zoom-in hmm...
How to: 
  • Using food processor or a rolling pin to make cracker crumbs. Combine the cracker crumbs and butter with a fork until well blended and press in the base of 6 glass-bowls chill for about 10-15 minutes; 
  • Beat the cream cheese in a bowl using electric mixer until smooth. Beat in gelatin mixture until just combined. Add condensed milk, lime juice and the vanilla essence, continue beating until smooth;
  • Pour half mixture into individually prepared glass and refrigerate at least 1,5 -2 hours or until set;
  • Combine chocolate, liqueur and condensed milk in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the mixture has melted and is smooth; remove from heat. Leave it to cool;
  • Beat the cream cheese in a bowl using electric mixer until smooth. Beat in gelatin mixture until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate mixture, continue beating until smooth; 
  • Pour mixture into prepared glasses with set cream cheese layer and continue to refrigerate until set; keep 2 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture for decoration piping;   
  • Repeat with remaining vanilla cream-cheese mixture as the 3rd layer;
  • Spoon chocolate mixture into a small paper icing bag, seal open end. Snip tip off the piping bag; pipe 6-8 lines, on the top of the last layer. Drag a skewer from the outside line.Clean the skewer and repeat this process. Keep refrigerate for another 2 hours or until set. 
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