January 30, 2011

Breakfast Pancakes

I usually spend my Sunday mornings in slow motion, without caring about the time, in lazy preparation for the week that will be starting on Monday with work and school.

I tried several recipes of pancakes already and the one I like most I found in one of my Christmas gift books – How to Be a Domestic Goddess, from Nigella Lawson. As I told a friend some days ago, I am amazed that every single recipe from this book works so well. As she describes in her book: “these are those thick, spongy American pancakes …”

This recipe is quite simple. You basically need all the ingredients, a blender and a non-stick skillet. And I would say a good quality maple syrup.

American Breakfast Pancakes
Recipe and Instructions extracted from Nigella Lawson How to be a Domestic Goddess book, page 77.

“225g plain flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of sugar (I like to use 3 tablespoons of sugar in my recipe)
2 large eggs, beaten
30g butter, melted and cooled
300ml milk
Butter from frying

The easiest way to make these is to put all the ingredients into a blender and blitz. But if you do mix up the batter by hand in a bowl, make a well in the flour in the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar, beat in the eggs, melted butter and milk, and transfer to a jug: it’s much easier to pour the batter into the pan than to spoon it …When you cook the pancakes, all you need to remember is that when the upper side of the pancake is blistering and bubbling it’s time to cook the second side, and this needs only a minute, if that”.
I've got 10 pancakes about 10cm large each.

P.S.: Sorry, just a few pictures today. We were busy enjoying our lazy morning! Hope you had a good one too.

January 22, 2011

Banana Cake

A Saturday afternoon with cloudy cold weather ... There is nothing better than a warm home-made cake.

My favorite cake ever is this banana cake that I learned from my mother. It is a simple cake that looks and taste delicious. The instructions are also easy to follow and it always works.

I am really not sure where the original recipe comes from but it does resemble the traditional German cakes we have in the south of Brazil. The topping can vary with apples, pineapples or grapes instead of bananas.

The original recipe also has a crumble topping made with sugar, butter, cinnamon and flour. I usually omit the flour which results in a more glazed topping (this is what you see in the pictures in this post).   

This cake can also be served as a dessert, a bit warm, with a spoon of vanilla ice cream.

Hope you like it.

2 cups of plain white flour
1 cup of sugar
3/4 of a cup of milk
50g of butter
2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 or 2 bananas finelly sliced lenghtwise
1/2 cup of sugar
50g of butter (sliced)
2 tablespoons of ground cinnamon

Pre-heat the oven to 180o C.

In a medium bowl, start using a hand mixer to mix the 100g of butter and the sugar together until crumbly. Add one egg yolk at a time mixing well before adding the next one.

Add the flour and the baking powder to the mixture. Mix well with a wooden spoon now. Add the milk and keep mixing until fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl beat the egg whites until they become firm. Add the egg whites to the cake mixture and fold them in gently.

Transfer the cake mixture to a round 8" pan lined with parchment paper. Slice the bananas and place the slices on top of the cake mixture side by side.

In a separate small bowl mix together the sugar, cinnamon and butter to finish up the topping. Use your hands to mix all the ingredients together until crumbly. Spread this mixture on top of the banana slices in the cake pan.

Bring it to the oven and let it cook for 35 minutes.

January 19, 2011

Indian Curry - Butter Chicken

Saturday evening a dear friend came to our home to teach me how to cook an authentic Indian curry. We invited some other friends to share this special occasion with us and had a very relaxed enjoyable evening. There was a while we didn’t have friends over and it  felt good to have the house filled with laugh and nice people.

I enjoyed so much having company in the kitchen. This is something I do a lot with my Dad and my Mum back in Brazil but here in Hong Kong I am usually the lonely queen. And of course it was quite an experience trying to follow my friend’s pace, write down the recipe, prepare the spices, chop onions and tomatoes pretty much all at the same time.

My first impression of a curry was confirmed. It is not difficult to make, however it requires time and a lot of spices and techniques. Our house was filled with a fantastic perfume from the spices and dinner was just amazing.

From that evening I have only pictures to share with you. The recipe will be  posted some other day when I cook the butter chicken curry myself and make sure my messy notes are actually accurate.

P.S.: Thanks VJ.

January 7, 2011


2011 … New Year, new resolutions, new lists of things to do, new hopes …

It is 8th of January already and I can honestly say that I didn’t see where the last days gone, so fast they past. I know this is going to be a busy year and I feel excited for what is to come.

If you read my previous post you saw that my Christmas gifts were cookbooks. Three of them full of mouth watering recipes to try. Since it is cold in Hong Kong in the past days I thought it would be a good excuse to let you know that since Christmas I already made cinnamon rolls twice (and I shared most of them with friends…). Aren’t they the perfect match for cold weather? I think so.

The buns recipe is from Nigella Lawson “How to be a Domestic Goddess” book. I have my reservations with the title of this book because I don’t expect in any way to be a goddess, imagine a domestic one. But title aside the book is amazing and if you have a chance to put your hands in a copy, do it because you won’t regret.

The recipe looks a little complex when you first look at it but once you go thru it is easy to follow and the result … yummmm… delicious, warm and definitely worth trying.

Norwegian Cinnamon Buns
Recipe and Instructions extracted from Nigella Lawson How to be a Domestic Goddess book, page 322

For the Dough:
600g flour
100g sugar
½ teaspoon of salt
21g of easy blend yeast or 45g fresh yeast
100g butter
400ml milk
2 eggs

For the Filling:
150 soft butter, unsalted
150g sugar
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten, to glaze

Roasting tin approximately 33cm x 24 cm or large brownie tin, lined with baking parchment bottom and sides.

Preheat the oven to 230o C/gas mark 8;

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Melt the butter and whisk it into the milk and eggs, then stir the flour mixture. Mix to combine and then knead the dough either by hand or using the dough hook of a food mixer until its smooth and springy. Form into a ball, placed in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave it to rise for about 25 minutes.

Take one third of the dough and roll it or stretch it to fit your tin; this will form the bottom of each bun when it has cooked. Roll out the rest of the dough on a lightly floured surface, aiming to get a rectangle of roughly 50x25cm. Mix the filling ingredients in a small bowl and then spread the rectangle with the buttery cinnamon mixture. Try to get even coverage on the whole of the dough. Roll it up from the longest side until you have a giant sausage. Cut the roll into 2cm slices which should make about 20 rounds. Sit the rounds in lines on top of the dough in the tin, swirly cut-side up. Don’t worry if they don’t fit snugly together as they will swell and become puffy when they prove. Brush them with egg and let them rise for about 15 minutes to let them get duly puffy.

Put in the hot oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, by which time the buns will have risen and will be golden in colour. Don’t worry if they catch in places (…).Remove them from the tin and leave to cool slightly in a rack – it’s easy just to pick up the whole sheet of parchment and transfer them like that – before letting people tear them off, to eat warm.

Makes 20.