Friday, August 12, 2011

Osmanthus Jelly

I ate this in Hong Kong for the first time last year and I just could not get the fragrant taste off my mind. So I came back and searched the shops for this Osmanthus dried flowers. When you open the packet, take a whiff and it will send you to heaven. So I went home to make this dessert. I don't see it selling anywhere in Singapore, let me know if they are and tell me where. In the mean time, I will make do with my own.

Osmanthus Jelly
1 packet of Konnyaku premix powder (Red Man)
4 tsp of dried osmanthus flowers
4 tsp 'wolfberries' (gei chi)
1250 ml water

Fill a medium pot with 1250 ml of cold water.
Add the premix konnyaku powder and stir till powder dissolves.
Put the pot of mixture on the stove and heat it till it boils.
Lower down the heat and simmer.
Add dried flowers and wolf berries.
Bring to boil again and turn off the heat.
Let the mixture infuse with the dried flowers and stand till cool.
Pour cooled jelly mixture into container and put it in the fridge to harden completely.
Cut into square pieces and serve. 


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fruit Cake with a Twist

I know it is not Christmas, but a friend wanted to eat fruit cakes and requested for one from me. Well, I am not a fan of fruit cakes but I am now a total convert after this particular one. I was very keen to bake for him after I found this recipe, it looks pretty easy but I tweaked it a little and it turned out just right. This recipe can yield a 7 '' square cake and a small loaf for me to taste. Perfect! This will be my Christmas giveaway for close friends. Well, if you do not have so many kinds of liquor, it doesn't matter, just use 10 tablespoons of the same kind will do.

Valrhona Chocolate Fruit Cake with 5 types of Liquor 

500 g mixed fruits
250 g raisins
175 g unsalted butter
2 tbsp dark rum
2 tbsp cognac
2 tbsp vodka
2 tbsp Tia Maria
2 tbsp Dom 
175 g dark muscovado sugar
50 g 55% Valrhona Equatorial Noire Feves
175 ml golden syrup
2 oranges, zested and juiced
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp Valrhona cocoa
3 eggs, beaten
150 g plain flour
75 g ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
The day before baking, put all the mixed fruits and raisins into a container, pour in all the liquor and let it macerate overnight.
Line the sides and bottom of an 7 x 7 x 3 inch, cake tin and a small loaf tin with a layer of baking parchment. When lining the tin with the parchment, cut the material into strips that are twice as high as the tin itself (it is easier to use two shorter strips of parchment, than one long strip); the height of the strips protects the cake from catching on the outside of the cake tin.

Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda together.
Place the fruit, butter, sugar, golden syrup, orange zest, orange juice, mixed spice, cinnamon, Valrhona chocolate feves and cocoa into a large wide saucepan. Heat the mixture until it reaches a gentle boil, stirring the mixture as the butter melts. Let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the saucepan from the heat and leave to stand for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C (300 degrees F).

When the mixture is cooled. Add the eggs, flour, baking powder and baking soda, ground almonds and mix well with a wooden spoon until the ingredients have combined.

Carefully pour the fruit cake mixture into the lined cake tin. You can have another small lined loaf tin if ther are more batter. Transfer the cake tins to the oven and bake for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours , or until the top of the cake is firm but has a shiny and sticky look. At this point, if you insert a sharp knife into the middle of the cake, the cake should still be a little uncooked in the middle.

Place the cake on a rack. Once the cake has cooled, remove it from the tin.
Please note:
This cake can be baked in a 9" (23 cm) round cake tin and bake for 1 3/4 to 2 hours. You can use any chocolate or omit the chocolate feves altogether. Use any kind of dried fruits. For a stronger alcoholic taste, feed more liquor onto the cake when the cake has cooled somewhat in the tin. Only turn out when it has cooled completely and when the cake has absorbed all the liquor.

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