Monday, 29 September 2014

Apple Turnover


This is my last post for Little Thumbs Up before we proceed to the next theme.

I’m happy with this flaky crispy buttery crust.  The only word I could describe how I feel and that is “Accomplishing”

Yes.  I have wanted to bake Apple Turnover for a long time when I chanced upon Zoe’s post on Apple Turnover.   I’m glad that I had finally done it. 

 The most challenging part of making this flaky dough was folding the dough repeatedly for few times.  I even lost count of the number of folds I did.  I had difficulty rolling the dough into a rectangular shape, as the weather was hot; the butter in between the dough started to soften and caused the whole rolling process in the mess.   

Nevertheless, it was a really good experience.  I never expected that I could do this flaky crispy buttery crust from scratch.
I missed taking pictures while making the apple fillings.  The apple fillings itself tasted yummy.   Yes!  I managed to get Granny Smith Green Apple.  I also used baby apple puree because Zoe said it is 100% apple at least! LOL!


(Using half the recipe, I have made four equal size of apple turnovers)
-1 pound Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped coarse
-3/4 cup sugar (reduced to 50g for half recipe)
-1 tbsp lemon juice
-1/8 tsp salt
-1/2 recipe Puff Pastry Dough, divided into two 8-ounce pieces
-1/2 cup applesauce 
-1 tsp ground cinnamon 


(1)Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400°F or 180°C fan forced. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

(2)Pulse apples, 1/2 cup sugar (I missed out sugar! LOL!), lemon juice, and salt together in food processor until largest pieces of apples are no larger than 1/2 inch, about 6 pulses (To avoid over-processing, I chopped the apples briefly to specified size). Let mixture sit for 5 min, then transfer to fine-mesh strainer set over bowl and let apples drain, reserving juice, until needed.
(3)Toss drained apples and applesauce together in separate bowl.

Puff Pastry Dough 
Makes about 2 pounds

-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 tbsp sugar 
-1 1/2 tsp salt
-2 tsp lemon juice
-1 cup water, chilled

Butter Square 
-24 tbsp (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
-2 tbsp all-purpose flour


(1)For the dough: Process flour, sugar, and salt in food processor until combined, about 5 secs. With food processor running, add lemon juice, followed by 3/4 cup water, in slow steady stream. Add remaining 1/4 cup water as needed, 1 tbsp at a time, until dough comes together and no flour) bits remain. 

(2)Turn dough onto sheet of plastic wrap and flatten into 6-inch square. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hr.

(3)For the butter square: Lay butter sticks side by side on sheet of parchment paper. Sprinkle flour over butter and cover with second sheet of parchment. Gently pound butter with rolling pin until butter is softened and flour is fully incorporated, then roll it into 8-inch square. Wrap butter square in plastic and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hr.

(4)Roll chilled dough into 11-inch square on lightly floured counter. Place chilled butter square diagonally in center of dough. Fold corners of dough up over butter square so that corners meet in middle and pinch dough seams to seal.

(5)Using rolling pin, gently tap dough, starting from center and working outward, until square becomes larger and butter begins to soften. Gently roll dough into 14-inch square, dusting with extra flour as needed to prevent sticking. Fold dough into thirds like business letter, then fold rectangle in thirds to form square. Wrap dough in plastic and let rest in refrigerator for 2 hrs.

(6)Repeat the rolling and folding step twice and let dough rest in refrigerator for 2 more hrs before using.

(7)Place 2 tbsp apple filling in center of each piece of dough. Brush edges of dough with reserved juice, then fold 1 corner of square diagonally over filling.  Crimp edges of dough with fork to seal. Lay turnovers on prepared baking sheet and freeze until firm, about 15 min. Assembled turnovers can be frozen for 1 hour, then transferred to zipper-lock bag and frozen for up to 1 month. Let frozen turnovers sit at room temperature for 20 min, then bake as directed. (I didn't freeze mine at all and bake them immediately after shaping) 

(8)Combine remaining 1/4 cup sugar (I missed out sugar again! )  and cinnamon in bowl. Brush turnovers with more reserved juice and sprinkle generously with cinnamon sugar. Bake turnovers until well browned, 20 to 26 min, rotating baking sheets. Immediately transfer turnovers to wire rack and let cool slightly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I’m submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up which is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY.  

For September, the theme is Apple and it is hosted by Kit from i-lost in Austen

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Apple Rose Tarts

This is such a lovely tarts and they're too pretty to eat!
I was contemplating whether should I try apple turnover or this.  After going through the recipe, I decided to go for this thinking it should easier than apple turnover but it’s actually not so...  The rolling part is quite hard to manage it.  If you are making this, it’s good to slice the apple thinly so that it is easier to roll.
 The tart isn't sweet at all.  So I brush with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon.  It tastes really good! 
Honey, apple and cinnamon are a perfect combination!
I discovered this from You Tube  and I have extracted the recipe from it.  You can watch the clip and follow the steps.


1 cup       Cake flour
1              Red apple
2 tbsp      Sugar
1 tbsp      Honey
3 tbsp      Water
½ stick    Butter (which is 113g)

I’m submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up which is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY

For September, the theme is Apple and it is hosted by Kit from i-lost in Austen

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Perfect Popovers


What a Perfect Popover it was!!  
It is steamy and buttery scented; Crusty on the outside and hollow on the inside with full of hot air. This is a deceptively simple but very tasty; Quick and super easy to make!
I have double the portion to make 12 pcs on the muffin tray.  These plain popovers are perfect for a smear of strawberry jam. 
To be honest, I don’t know what is Popover until I google and saw the image.  I’m definitely quite sure I had eaten this before but didn’t know it is called Popover.  

You can find so many recipes on Popover on internet.  
So I decided to adapt Stewart Martha’s recipe



1 tbsp      Unsalted butter, melted, plus more for greasing tin
1 cup       All-purpose flour
½ tsp       Salt
2 nos.      Large eggs
1¼ cups  Milk


(1)Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a popover tin.

(2)In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and 1 tablespoon melted butter. Pour over flour mixture, and fold until just blended.

(3)Fill the popover cups two-thirds to three-quarters full.

(4)Transfer tin to oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, and bake until well browned and crusty, about 20 minutes. Remove popovers from the oven, and unmold onto a rack. Puncture the sides with a sharp knife to let steam escape, and serve immediately.

Thank you for Bake Along organised by 

The theme is Popovers from 15-24 September 2014.
I wouldn’t have chance to do such a lovely bake if I don’t bake along with you ladies.

I’m submitting this post to Cook Your book #16,  organised by Joyce from Kitchen Flavours

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Traditional Mooncakes (廣式月餅)


I was contemplating whether should I post this as I was rather disappointed with the appearance of these mini mooncakes.  You know what?  I could hardly see the design on the surface of the mooncakes when they were out from the oven.  Not only that, the skin was hard, dry and crack too! L    
But I was so surprised that the mooncakes has transformed "miraculously" after 3 days!  The recipe mentioned it will turn soft and shiny after the “回油” (literally means “returns oily and soft”).  So I waited 3 days and amazingly, these mooncakes really turned out to be soft, glowing and look “a bit” nicer now.
So out of about 20 over pieces, I have selected these 4 “good looking” one to form “中秋月饼”.  Can you see that? J
After the “回油”, I don’t feel so disappointed.  I could feel at least a little achievement for making it 1st time.
This mooncake is adapted from Christine Ho’s Recipe



100g       Plain flour
60g         Golden syrup (I used Tate & Lyle’s Golden Syrup)
½ tsp       Alkaline water
28g         Vegetable oil

420g       Lotus seed puree/paste
6 pcs       Salted egg yolk
1 tbsp      Rose-flavoured cooing wine玫瑰露酒

Egg wash
1 no.        Egg yolk
2 tbsp      Egg white


(1)Use a large bowl, mix the golden syrup, alkaline water and oil well. Sift in the flour. Use a spatula to combine all ingredients. Don’t over-stir. Knead into a dough. Cover with a film wrap and rest for 40 minutes.

(2)Mix egg yolks with wine. If the salted egg yolks are homemade and freshly broken from the shells, you’ll see the egg whites would turn opaque after mixing with the wine a few minutes later. Wipe dry the yolks with kitchen paper. Cut each into two halves. Set aside. Roll lotus paste into a long tube. Cut into 12 equal portions, each 35 grams. Roll each portion into a ball shape. Set aside.

(3)Preheat oven to 180C (356F). Prepare the egg wash: whisk the egg yolk with the egg white. Sift through a fine sieve.

(4)Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a small ball shape. Cover a dough portion with a plastic film and roll into a thin disc. Then take a lotus paste ball and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Place egg yolk inside. Roll and shape into a ball. Wrap and seal the lotus paste ball with the dough disc. Spray the mooncake mould and place the stuffed mooncake into the mould. Lightly press the mould handle, then remove the mooncake from the mould. Transfer the stuffed mooncake onto a lined baking tray. Repeat this step to finish the remaining dough and lotus paste.

(5)Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Brush the mooncakes with egg wash, at about 5 minutes before removing from the oven. Continue to bake until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container. The pastry will become soft, called “回油literally means ”returns oily and soft’ and shiny in one or two days.

Note from Christine
How important is the alkaline water in this recipe?

(a)It neutralizes the acid in the golden syrup.

(b)It helps to give nice browning on the mooncake pastry. If adding alkaline water too much, the colour will be too dark. If adding not enough, it’s very difficult to brown the mooncake pastry. In this recipe, the amount of alkaline water is very balanced. Please take note that if you use other kind of golden syrup, the amount of alkaline water might need to be adjusted accordingly in order to give a nice browning effect. You might test run with a small amount of dough to see how many alkaline water has to be used properly with your own golden syrup.

(c)In this recipe, you might've noticed that no baking powder is needed. But the mooncake pastry is soft with a bit fluffy texture, that's the effect produced by alkaline water.

I’m submitting this for Cook-Your-Books #15.
Cook-Your-Books is organised and hosted
by Joyce of Kitchen Flavour.

I’m also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up and the theme for August is Flour .  Little Thumbs Up is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY and for August, it is hosted by Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

I'm joining Best Recipes for Everyone August 2014 Event Theme: Mooncake hosted by Fion XuanHom's Mom.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Pork Chop with Sweet and Sour Peppers (Gordon Ramsay)


This Pork Chop with Sweet and Sour Peppers was featured in Episode 1 of Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course.  You can find video clip everywhere on You Tube.
After watching a few episode of his Ultimate Cookery Course, his recipes and skills have impressed me a lot and I decided to give it a try on this dish which is simple enough for a kitchen novice like me.

Anyway, I have all the ingredients except fresh thyme.  So I used dried thyme to sprinkle around the pan since I didn’t have a sprig.

This dish is really beyond my imagination of good.  It’s so fantastic.  It has real flavor and tasted awesome.  
Look at the red peppers, they are so beautiful and the green from the basil made it pop out even more.  I’m happy that I managed to get the beautiful golden brown for the chop.

Yes!  Finally I have cooked something from Gordon Ramsey for Cook Like A Star.  Cooking along to the theme with the rest bloggers really make cooking so fun.

 I looked through the post link and saw Lian from Whatever You Do also cooked this dish and she was very pleased with it too.  
Now she’s an ardent fan of Gordon Ramsay and so am I J



2 pcs pork chops
Olive Oil, for frying
2 garlic cloves, skin on, crushed
Small bunch of thyme (I used dried thyme)

The sweet and sour peppers
Olive oil, for frying
1 red onion, peeled and sliced 2 red peppers deseeded and thinly sliced
1 tbsp caster sugar
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Small bunch of basil leaves, shredded.


(1)First prepare the peppers.  Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan, then add the onion and peppers.

(2)Season with salt and pepper, add the sugar and sauté over a high heat for 4-5 mins until soft and coloured.  (make sure you can hear the vegetables hissing in the pan.  If not, the pan isn’t hot enough and you’re in danger of boiling the vegetables instead of frying them.

(3)Add the vinegar and let it bubble for a minute or 2 until the peppers are soft.  Turn down the heat, add the tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and cook for a further of 2-3 minutes.  Stirring the shredded basil and continue to cook for 30 seconds then turn off the heat.  Decan into a bowl and set aside to infuse.  Wipe the pan clean, ready to cook the pork.

(4)Using a sharp knife, make cuts into the fat of the chops, about 5mm deep and at 3-4cm intervals, making sure you don’t cut into the meat.  (this will stop the meat from curling up during cooking and will make it cook more evenly).  Season the chops really well on both sides, pushing the seasoning into the meat.

(5)Place the cleaned frying pan over a high heat until hot and add a dash of oil.  Add the chops, garlic and thyme and fry for 2-3 minutes until coloured.  Turn and fry for a further 2-3 minutes on the other side, pushing the thyme under the chops and breaking up the garlic a little.

(6)Towards the end of cooking time, add 3 knobs of butter and bastle the chops with it as they are cooking, to speed up the cooking process and keep the chops moist.  (Push the fatty edge of the chops towards the back of the pan to help render the fat).  Squeeze the garlic out of it skin and place with the herbs on the top of the chops.

(7)Transfer the chops to a plate, and rest for 5-10 minutes, spooning over the basting butter now and again.

 (8)Serve the chops on the top of the peppers with the resting juices and a little juice from the peppers.

I’m linking this post to Cook Like A Star – Gordon Ramsay
which is hosted by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, Yen from Eat Your Heart Out and Mich from Piece of Cake

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