Monday, 25 August 2014

Spaghetti with Prawns in Creamy Tomato Sauce

Quick and easy pasta dishes are a mum's life saver for days when you need to whip up an almost instant one-dish meal with minimal ingredients. Gordan Ramsey's Spaghetti with Prawns in Creamy Tomato Sauce certainly fits the bill for such a dish. 

Prawns and softened cherry tomatoes are mixed with pasta in a creamy sauce infused with aromatic basil. There is a slight hint of spiciness from the chilli but not enough to really make it too spicy for the kids to enjoy. 

I prefer more sauce, so I doubled the amount of cream added. In fact I don't think the 100ml of cream recommended in the recipe is enough to coat the 500g of pasta. This is a must-try fuss free dinner. 

Spaghetti with Prawns in Creamy Tomato Sauce (4 servings)

  • 500 g cooked Prawns
  • 600 g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 3 spring onions finely sliced or shredded
  • 1 Chilli deseeded and chopped
  • 1 Clove Garlic chopped
  • Sea Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 g dried Spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 100 ml Double cream (I used 200ml of cooking cream)
  • basil leaf chopped
  • Put the cherry tomatoes, spring onion, chilli, garlic and olive oil in a heavy-based pan and cook over a medium heat until soft but not coloured. Season with pepper and cook until soft.
  • Add the spaghetti to a large pan of boiling salted water with the olive oil and cook until al dente.
  • Meanwhile add the prawns to the sauce and stir in the cream and chopped basil. Warm through gently for a couple of minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and toss with the pasta sauce. Divide between warm plates, Serve immediately.
This is for Cook Like A Star hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake. 

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Seared Tiger Prawns and Garlic, Chilli and Lemongrass

There's nothing more delicious than fresh prawns cooked simply like in this Gordan Ramsay recipe. 

Tiger prawns are really costly locally so I only bought six of them. The prawns are marinated in flavourful ingredients for half a day and that really made it that especially delicious. Sweet juicy prawns imbued with aromatic lemongrass and garlic and the spiciness of chilli!

Though Gordan Ramsay recommended that these are to be dipped into mayo or salsa, I think that's not necessary as that would cover the flavours of the marinade. I'd eat the prawns as it is!

Seared Tiger Prawns (Serves 4)
Recipe by Gordon Ramsay

  • 12 large raw Tiger Prawns peeled and deveined - tail shell on
  • 3 peeled Garlic Cloves
  • 2 deseeded red Chilli's
  • 2 Stalks Lemongrass
  • 2.5cm piece fresh root Ginger peeled
  • 5 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Put the tiger prawns in a shallow dish.
  • Pound the garlic, chillies, lemongrass and ginger together using a pestle and mortar, gradually adding the olive oil until you have a rough paste (or whiz briefly in the blender).
  • Season with salt and pepper. Baste the prawns with the spice paste and leave to marinate in a cool place for 2-3 hours.
  • Cook the marinated prawns on the hot barbecue for 4-6 minutes, turning, until they turn pink and feel slightly firm to the touch – don’t overcook.
  • Serve at once, with a flavoured vinaigrette, soured cream or tomato salsa.

This is for Cook Like A Star hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake. 

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Soba Salad

Soba is one of my family's favourite noodles and I usually make it when I am pressed for time and cannot cook a full Chinese meal with dishes and soup. 

This flavourful and easy to do Soba Salad from Gordan Ramsay was our dinner on a Sunday evening when we came home fairly late and I had to whip up something real quick. 

The mix of sauce gave the noodles and vegetables a lovely refreshing, yet light, flavours. I served this together with some sushi for a light and healthy Japanese dinner. 

Soba Salad (4 servings)
Recipe by Gordon Ramsay

  • 300g soba noodles
  • 100g kale, stalks removed, leaves shredded or torn (I used Chinese Kai Lan)
  • 150g sugarsnap peas, topped and tailed, halved lengthways (I replaced with frozen corn)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into ribbons (use a vegetable peeler)
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1–2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1–1½ tbsp soy sauce
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 sheet of nori seaweed, finely sliced (optional)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • White sesame seeds for topping (my own addition)
  • Cook the soba noodles according to the packet instructions. When almost cooked, add the kale, sugarsnaps and carrots to the pan to blanch. Drain once the noodles are tender.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients to the noodle mixture, season with a little salt and pepper, stir well and serve.
This is for Cook Like A Star hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake. 

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Spiced Apple Cake

Many of us would probably remember Gordan Ramsey for his visit to Singapore last year where he pitted his skills against a few famous hawkers, dishing out delicious local food such as Singapore Chilli Crabs and Laksa. 

For Cook Like A Star the month of August, we'll be cooking along with Ramsey - a Scottish chef with well known restaurants all over the world. Do come and join us by posting your link to the linky below from August 1st. 

I picked this Spiced Apple Cake as my first Ramsey dish to try and I wasn't disappointed. Deliciously dense and moist, the sweetness of the apple puree is apparent in each bite. 

The best part is that its low in sugar and naturally sweetened by the apple purees and low in oil. It's definitely a lovely healthier treat for kids. 

Spiced Apple Cake (23cm round)
Recipe from Gordon Ramsey's Healthy Appetite

  • 1kg cooking apples (about 5 or 6)
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 30g butter, plus extra to grease
  • 2 ripe Braeburn or Cox’s apples
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 225g wholemeal flour
  • 11/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 175g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 50ml light olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam, to glaze
  • 1–2 tbsp water
  • Peel, core and slice the cooking apples. Place in a wide pan with the sugar and butter. Cook over a high heat for 10–15 minutes until the apples have broken down to a pulp and any excess water has cooked off. Transfer to a bowl and cool completely. You should have about 475g* purée.
  • Heat the oven to 170°C/Gas 3. Line and lightly grease a 23cm cake tin with a removable base. Peel, core and finely slice the eating apple, using a mandolin or sharp knife. Place in a bowl and pour over most of the lemon juice and a splash of water; set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the wholemeal flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, sugar and ground spices. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, olive oil and apple purée. Fold into the dry ingredients until just combined.
  •  Transfer the mixture to the prepared cake tin and gently level the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 30 minutes until it feels just firm to the touch in the centre. Working quickly, overlap the sliced apples in concentric circles on top, leaving a margin around the edge. Brush the slices with a little lemon juice and return to the oven for a further 30–35 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool slightly before unmoulding onto a wire rack. Warm the apricot jam with the water, stirring until smooth. Brush over the top of the cake to glaze. Serve warm.
Note: *I didn't manage to get the 475g of apple puree, so I topped up with low fat yoghurt to make 475g.

This is for Cook Like A Star hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake. 

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Pineapple Macadamia Upside Down Cake

I've got a certain fascination with up-side down cakes. Perhaps its the ideal of a buttery and go-ey surprise hiding at bottom of the pan. The main reason is because the cake is just so good with fruit baked in a sticky syrup. 

For this edition of the Home Bakers hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours, the chosen cake is the Pineapple Macadamia Upside Down Cake. I simply love pineapple in bakes so this cake has been in my to-do list for the longest time. Most upside down cakes, unlike this recipe, I know use canned pineapples. The fresh pineapples were naturally sweet, and their flavours enhanced by the maple syrup (original recipe called for corn syrup but I substituted it for a richer flavour). Together with the macadamias, it went perfectly with the buttery cake.

I loved this cake, thank you Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake for this great choice! Please click here for the full recipe.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

White Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Ganache

White chocolate brownies? I thought it sounded strange as brownies are supposed to be brown, aren't they?

I have an entire bag of white chocolate chips sitting around. In an attempt to use those up, I tried out this White Chocolate Brownie recipe.

It wasn't the fudgy type of brownie but this cake-like brownie was very delicious and moist. The additional white chocolate chips added a crunch to the brownie. 

I topped it with a chocolate ganache sauce which added some colour to an otherwise plain looking bake and made it even more delicious!

White Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Ganache (24 servings)
Recipe from here

Ingredients for Brownie
  • 225 g butter
  • 84 g white chocolate, chopped
  •  4 eggs
  • 400 g white sugar (reduced to 300 g)
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 250 g all-purpose flour
  •  1 teaspoon salt
  •  180 g cup white chocolate chips (reduced to 150 g)
Ingredients for Chocolate Ganache
  • 100 g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 100 ml of whipping cream
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan.
  • Melt the butter and white chocolate together over low heat in a saucepan. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly. Meanwhile beat eggs with sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl; mix in the butter mixture, and stir in the flour and salt until thoroughly combined. Scoop the batter into the prepared baking pan; sprinkle with white chocolate chips.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for about 10 minutes before cutting into bars.
  • Heat the chopped dark chocolate and whipping cream over a low heat and stir till melted and smooth. Let it cool for about 15 minutes. Place inside piping bag and pipe over the white brownies.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Nutella Chocolate Cake

Just realised I've been away from the blog for over a month. Apologies to all my blogging friends that I haven't been to your blog lately, will catch up on visiting soon.

I've always wanted to make this cake but I certainly wasn't going to eat this all up by myself - one jar of nutella and 6 eggs, imagine the calories! 

The opportunity to make cake came over Easter as I was a hosting a cell group party at my place. There are few words to describe this cake - moist and nutty doesn't seem to do justice to this absolutely delicious cake. 

Every bite is rich and almost pudding like, with the ground hazelnut adding the most flavours aside from the nutella. It goes perfectly with the chocolate ganache and toasted hazelnuts. 

Three quarter of the cake was gone in no time and I gave the last quarter to my neighbour to prevent myself from stealing anymore slices. 

Nutella Chocolate Cake (9 inch)
Nigella Lawson Recipe


for the cake
  • 6 large eggs (separated)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 125 grams soft unsalted butter
  • 400 grams nutella (1 large jar)
  • 1 tablespoon frangelico (or rum or water)
  • 100 grams ground hazelnuts
  • 100 grams dark chocolate (melted)
for the icing
  • 100 grams hazelnuts (peeled weight) (I used 20 grams coarsely grounded hazelnuts)
  • 125 ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoon frangelico (or rum or water)
  • 125 grams dark chocolate
  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4/350ºF. In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites and salt until stiff but not dry. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and Nutella together, and then add the Frangelico (or whatever you're using), egg yolks and ground hazelnuts.
  • Fold in the cooled, melted chocolate, then lighten the mixture with a large dollop of egg white, which you can beat in as roughly as you want, before gently folding the rest of them in a third at a time.
  • Pour into a 23cm/9 inch round greased and lined springform tin and cook for 40 minutes or until the cake's beginning to come away at the sides, then let cool on a rack.
  • Toast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan until the aroma wafts upwards and the nuts are golden-brown in parts: keep shaking the pan so that they don't burn on one side and stay too pallid on others. Transfer to a plate and let cool. This is imperative: if they go on the ganache while hot, it'll turn oily. (Believe me, I speak from experience.) If your hazelnuts have skins on then after toasting in the frying pan transfer them to a slightly dampened tea towel and rub them while they are still warm to remove the skins.
  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the cream, liqueur or water and chopped chocolate, and heat gently. Once the chocolate's melted, take the pan off the heat and whisk until it reaches the right consistency to ice the top of the cake. Unmould the cooled cake carefully, leaving it on the base as it will be too difficult to get such a damp cake off in one piece.
  • Ice the top with the chocolate icing, and dot thickly with the whole, toasted hazelnuts. If you have used Frangelico, put shot glasses on the table and serve it with the cake.
This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (June 2014 Event: Butter) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Jozelyn Ng (Spice Up My Kitchen).