Friday, January 20, 2012

Cranberry Orange Scones


Breakfast or tea time, I just think it's very elegant to eat scones that are warm and fresh from the oven. Just indulgent with a smear of jam or creme fraiche.

Cranberry Orange Scones

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup refined sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup fresh milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons milk

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Grease and flour a cookie sheet. Set aside.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Grate butter using box grater and add to flour mixture.
  4. Mix lightly by hand until you get coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in the orange zest and dried cranberries.
  6. Whisk together the egg and milk.
  7. Using a fork, combine egg-milk mixture to flour-butter mixture. Take care not to mix too much.
  8. Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead very lightly and form into a ball.
  9. Roll out dough to an 8-inch round about 1-inch thick. Cut into 8 triangles.
  10. Place on cookie sheet one inch apart.
  11. Brush with milk and sprinkle with a little sugar.
  12. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then serve warm.
*Photo courtesy of myrecipes.com

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Welcome Back Entry: No-Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake

Once again, kitchen diva in me summons (kidding!). For the nth time, I think I'll try to get back to blogging. Now that the extensive house renovation is over, my schedule these days permits me to bake new and old standby recipes and hopefully take decent photos of them.

I've been reading a lot of baking blogs lately and it amazes me how they find the time. Apart from having kids and holding down a full-time job, these women (and men) still find the time to shop, travel, and churn out at least a couple of entries in a week. Do they even sleep I wanted to ask? Apparently they do and still manage to go on date nights with their partners.

Most would say time management is key. And surviving on less hours of sleep and caffeine. I guess I should be working on my time management skills because I have the caffeine bit down pat. So here goes. No guarantees, though, on the frequency of my entries but I will certainly try and see this through.

To get the ball rolling, let me start off with a simple no-bake cheesecake recipe. I used to sell lots of these back in the day when I still had my shop. I like the light, smooth consistency of the filling combined with the dark chocolaty goodness of the Oreo crust. This simple recipe is a good jump-off point for beginners as this requires no baking whatsoever.

No- Bake White Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
1/3 cup melted butter, unsalted

Filling:
1 bar (225 grams) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup refined sugar
1 250 ml all-purpose cream, chilled
1 teaspoon Knox gelatin dissolved in3 tablespoons cold fresh milk
1/2 cup (125 grams) white chocolate, melted
shaved white chocolate
  1. Mix together Oreo crumbs and melted butter. Press onto bottom of a 9-inch removable bottom pan. Set aside in the freezer.
  2. Whip all-purpose cream until doubled in volume. Set aside.
  3. Heat gelatin dissolved in milk in a water bath until you get a smooth liquid consistency. Cool a bit.
  4. In a mixer at medium speed, cream together cream cheese and refined sugar for about a minute or till smooth.
  5. With the mixer running on low speed, pour gelatin mixture into the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Fold in melted white chocolate
  7. Gently fold in whipped cream.
  8. Pour cheesecake filling into pan with prepared crust.
  9. Chill for about 4 hours or till set.
  10. Decorate the top with shaved white chocolate.