Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Marriage Pie

No, i'm not getting married just yet =P Watched this show on AFC once, so there was this two guys in London and they specialize in Pies and Tarts and this Marriage Pie is apparently their best seller. Marriage pie is a pie filled with 2 kinds of fruits (hence the name). The nicest thing about this pie, other than the deliciousness, is the color the fruit fillings turns out after baking. The apples blushes brightly in a Magenta tone, oh so pretty! Recipe may seem long, but it really isn't.

It wasn't a step by step kind of explanation, they were being interviewed by someone else, and they were just talking through while the hands were just mixing everything. I only got the filling part, so I used my own Pate Brisee (short crust pastry) recipe which only requires 4 ingredients.

Pate Brisee mixture should look like this, leaving the bigger butter crumbs as it will result in a nice flaky and crumbly shell

Marriage Pie


For the filling

3 -4 Granny Smith apples
A handful of Blueberries
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
Juice and rind of 1 orange


In a bowl, toss all ingredients until well combined. Allow to macerate for a good 2 hours.

For the Pate Brisee
Recipe yields for 2 7inch pie pans

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
115g cold butter, cubed
2 tbsp caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2-3 tbsp cold water


1. Combine all ingredients in a big bowl, except for cold water and start to rub the butter between your thumb and fingers into the flour until mixture crumbles (this process should be done in less than 5 minutes, making sure the butter doesn't melt in the warmth in your hands).
2. At this point, drizzle in 1 - 2 tbsp cold water and knead lightly until dough comes together. If it's too crumbly, add another tbsp of water. Stop kneading, DO NOT KNEAD FOR MORE THAN 30 SECONDS.
3. Divide dough into 2 equal halves, cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
4. After an hour (at this point, preheat oven to 220DegC), take one dough out, thaw for about 5 minutes. Roll dough ( I roll doughs between 2 cling wraps which i strongly suggest as it prevents dough from cracking and sticking to the surface and rolling pin) as thinly as desired. Transfer into your pie dish and gently press into the sides.
5. Now pour in the macerated fruits and its juices.
6. Roll out the other chilled dough, cover pie. Make a 2inch slit in the center (i used my little heart shaped cookie cutter to do so and also cut out more heart shapes from the left over dough to seal the edges of the pie, just because they're pretty!).
7. Brush the top lightly with egg wash, and into the oven for 40 - 45 minutes.
8. Allow pie to sit and set for 4 hours before cutting through. BON APPETIT!

Pretty as pie! Right out of the oven..see the escaped juices around the pan *lick lick*

Pairs amazingly with cool whipped cream or even better...one whole scoop of
Vanilla ice cream =)

Cheesecake Marble Brownies

One of the most heavenly combinations ever! Come on..deny it?? =P A really easy recipe combining the two of most peoples favorites, chocolate and cream cheese. The chocolate brownie recipe is my all time favorite and it is just how i love my brownie to be, rich, dense and super moist. I used this recipe for my regular plain or walnut chocolate chip topped brownies, and it never fails to be a hit at home or at any party i take it to. A favorite among the kids. And the cheesecake part, a simple mixture of cream cheese, sugar, eggs and a splash of cream, gives it a smooth and creamy texture.


For the brownie

280g baking chocolate / bar (i used hersheys baking bar)
110g butter (doesn't matter if its room temp or cold)
50g soft brown sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
70g all purpose flour

For the cheesecake

250g cream cheese, room temperature (philly cream is the best!)
50g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cream

1. Line a square or rectangular baking pan with foil.
2. Melt chocolate, butter and cocoa powder in a (preferably) non stick sauce pan over low heat.
2. Add in brown sugar and stir till it's dissolved.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool abit.
4. Beat eggs lightly with vanilla extract, pour into cooled chocolate mixture and stir till well combined. Now add in flour and stir till just combined.
5. Pour into prepared baking pan and set aside.

Cheesecake batter

1. At this point, you may preheat your oven to 170DegC.
2. Beat all cheesecake ingredients with an electric till fluffy. Dollop mixture over already prepared brownie batter and swirl around with a butter knife to create your pretty marble effect.
3. Bake in preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until the cheesecake part of the brownie turns a nice hue of golden brown.
4. Allow to cool before slicing into squares with a sharp knife. (do wipe your knife clean at every cut to ensure tidiness)

Perfect for tea time or breakfast =)

Roast 'Kampong' Chicken

Mom requested for a roasted chicken for dinner some nights ago and further more requested it to be "kampong" chicken. Kampong chicken, direct translation would be "Country Chicken" or something everyone would be more familiar, Free Range Chicken. Compared to the regular commercially bred chickens, these guys are allowed to run free in their farms, and that develops leaner and firmer meat. Hence making it a healthier option. For more info, http://www.mardi.my/

But in my honest (and own) opinion, although it's a healthier option, roast chicken should be made with regular chicken. This roast chicken was a bit too lean for my liking. I would have liked it to be a bit more meaty and hearty. Or i should have tried out an Asian version instead of the regular Western recipes. Hmm..do it the next time. However, Kampong Chickens are great for curries and other Asian style dishes like the ones my mom cooks.

Nevertheless, we finished the roast to the very last piece of meat =P

I also stuffed the chicken with a bread and mushroom mixture. That was, i must say, the tastiest part of this roast! (I should have torn the bread into even smaller pieces, it was a little lumpy though)

Stuffed and sewn, ready to hit the oven


1 whole Kampong chicken, cleaned and dried thoroughly
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
A few potatoes, let whole if small or cut in halves if bigger
Some baby carrots or regular carrot roughly chopped
olive oil or butter, enough to coat chicken

4 slices of white bread
1 large onion, chopped finely
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
4 pieces of shitake mushrooms, chopped finely
1 tsp dried oregano
1 egg yolk
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil or butter


1. Tear bread into small pieces. Set aside.
2. Heat oil / butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic and allow to soften, for about 5 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cook for another 3 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. In a bowl, combine bread and onion mixture with egg yolk.

For the chicken:

1. Coat potatoes and carrots with olive oil, and season. Add only potatoes first to your baking pan.
2. Stuff chicken with bread stuffing, sew it up and its legs together. Then season chicken well with salt and pepper (you could rub on any other dried herb if you'd like). Then rub on olive oil or butter. Place chicken on top of potatoes.
3. Roast chicken in a preheated oven of 200DegC for about 40 minutes, add in carrots to the roasting pan and bake for another 30-40 minutes
4. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting chicken, serve with stuffings, roasted vegetable, brown gravy and crisp lettuce. BON APPETIT!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thick Crust Smoked Chicken Pizza

My quest for the perfect thick pizza crust is finally over! After going though practically every book and magazines and searching online, and after much experiments, i have finally come up with my own mix. From now, it shall be my most favorite ever thick crust recipe =) While most of us at home prefer the thin crust to the thick, there is one picky eater who likes his crust nice and fluffy.

I always thought that pizza dough making was a very difficult process, but after many times of pizza making, I actually realized that, it is infact the easiest kind of bread to prepare and bake. Somehow, the fermentation process doesn't seem to take as long as it would for other breads. And i just knew this recipe wasn't going to disappoint me the moment i saw how the dough had doubled in size perfectly.

What i had learnt from the discovery of this recipe is the ratio of the flour used. For thick crust, you will need more bread flour than plain flour, or use bread flour all the way. And as for the thin crust, will need much more plain flour instead of bread flour. Like with a ration of 4:1. Plus, it also depends on how thin you are going to roll out the dough.

As of pizza toppings, the basic and in my opinion, compulsary toppings would first be thin slices of onions and tomatoes =) On this particular day, I topped it with smoked chicken, shitake mushrooms, capsicum and coriander. Of course, yummy gooey MOZZARELLA!!

Love using Prego's pasta sauce as my base spread

Thick Crust Pizza
Recipe yields 4 10inch crusts


600g bread flour (or 500g bread + 100g plain flour)
1tsp salt
1 packet instant yeast (11g)
A good sprinkle of sugar
2 tbsp olive oil
360ml lukewarm water

Garlic and herb infused olive oil, for drizzling on top


1. In a large bowl, lightly whisk together all dry ingredients. Make a well in the centre, pour in water and olive oil. Mix ingredients with hand until a soft dough is formed.
2. Mix with hand till combined, turn out onto floured surface and start kneading for about 15-20 minutes. By now you should have a smooth and elastic dough.
3. Shape the dough into a smooth ball, and place it in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest and rise to double it's size for about an hour.
4. Give the risen dough a light punch, knocking out its gas and turn out onto a floured surface. Give it a gentle knead for 5 seconds and divide dough into 4 portions (or as many as you want).
5. Place doughs on a lightly oiled tray, cover loosely with cling wrap and set aside to rest for 10 mins.
6. Preheat oven to 200 DegC. (My way of doing it) Press out each dough with hands to a certain thickness, then roll out with rolling pin to a nice round of 10inch in diameter. Place dough in a non stick pizza pan or on a greased baking pan.
7. Spread pasta sauce on on dough, sprinkle with cheese, top with rest of ingredients and further top with cheese. Drizzle with garlic oil.
8. Bake for about 20 mins or till sides of crust are lightly browned and cheese has melted to perfection.
9. Garnish with coriander and serve hot, BON APPETIT!