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Matcha Green Tea Cake With Orange Blossom Rambutans

Matcha Green Tea cake with Rambutans

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 8-10)

  • 6 Egg Yolks and 6 Egg Whites
  • 90 ml Whole Milk
  • 60 ml Vegetable Oil
  • 100 g  Cake Flour
  • 15 g Matcha Green Tea Powder
  • 1/2 tsp of fine table salt
  • 100 g Caster Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Cream Of Tarter

For Icing the cake and Decoration:

  • Matcha Green Tea Powder (Just enough for a light dusting)
  • 9 Rambutans (cleaned and taken out of their shells)
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 1 Cup of Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of Orange Blossom Water
  • 1 cup (equivalent to 2 sticks) of unsalted room temperature Butter
  • 1 cup of Confectioner Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp’s of Whole Milk
  • Edible Flowers (optional…for an added elegant garnish)

Putting it together:

  1. The first step you want to do is make your Orange Blossom simple syrup by combining 2 cups of water with 1 cup of granulated sugar in a small sauce pan. Bring that up to  low/medium heat, add 2 Tbsp’s of Orange Blossom Water. Give that a good stir and cook just until all the sugar dissolves.
  2. When the liquid is lukewarm add your Rambutans and allow them to soak in the simple syrup for at least 2 hours. 
  3. Pre-heat your oven to 311 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 8×8 inch cake pan or 9 inch round cake pan. 
  4. In a large bowl add your egg yolks, milk and oil and using a hand held electric mixer or balloon whisk, whisk until well combined. 
  5. To that bowl, sift in the cake flour and Matcha Green tea Powder and mix until well combined.
  6. In a separate large bowl (preferably an electric mixer), pour in the egg whites and beat on medium speed until foamy. Add in your cream of tarter and beat for a few seconds. 
  7. Gradually add in your sugar and continue to beat until it forms a meringue with stiff peaks. 
  8. In three large portions, fold in your egg white meringue into the bowl with the beaten egg yolks and Matcha mix. Pour that into your cake pan and place your cake pan in a deep/large baking tray. Add hot water into that large baking tray to create a  water bath around the cake pan (about halfway up the cake)
  9. Bake for about 1 hour and 25 minutes. Insert a toothpick or cake tester after 1 hour and 20 minutes to see if it is cooked. 
  10. Remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack for it to cool completely. 

For the Orange Blossom Buttercream Icing:

  1. Cream the room temperature butter using a hand held electric mixer or a paddle attachment on a standing mixer until it is smooth and fluffy. 
  2. Gradually beat in the confectioners sugar until fully incorporated. Add 1 Tbsp  of your cooled Orange Blossom simple syrup and two Tbsp’s of Milk and continue to beat for another 3-4 minutes. 
  3. When your cake is completely cooled, Ice the cake with all the Buttercream frosting using an offset spatula.
  4. Remove the Rambutans from the syrup and pat them dry with paper towels. Insert them evenly spaced apart on your cake. Give your cake a nice dusting of Matcha Green Tea powder and enjoy! 

Nourishment for your body: Matcha Green tea powder is something that has always excited me. I consider it a superfood because it is packed with antioxidants, boosts metabolism , detoxifies your body, calms the mind, is rich in Chlorophyll and vitamins and enhances mood while aiding in concentration. Matcha powder will give you a BIG BOOST of energy comparative to a cup of coffee. 1  8 oz glass of Matcha Green tea contains 70 mg of caffeine. 

Tips when cooking: Rambutans are an exotic fruit that come from Southeast Asia. If you cannot find them you can certainly substitute them with Lychees which are similar in flavor. If you cannot find either of them, you can decorate your cake with Strawberries. You do not have to discard the leftover simple syrup you made. It can hold up well in the fridge for several weeks. I like to use this simple syrup to flavor my tea. You can also use it to make mocktails or cocktails. Orange blossom water is made by distilling fresh bitter orange blossoms for their essential oils. It is incredibly aromatic with a strong perfume like scent and used in Middle Eastern cooking. It is a great addition to your pantry. Many years ago I made simple shortbread cookies with vanilla icing. Adding orange blossom water to your cookie batter will take the cookies to another level! 

Rambutans:

 

 

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Grilled Tiger Prawns With Persillade

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 2)

  • 4 Whole Tiger Prawns 
  • 1 Lemon cut into segments
  • 3 garlic cloves (finely grated) 
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Tarragon
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Flat Leaf Italian Parsley 
  • 2 Tbsp’s of finely chopped Chives 
  • 1 Tbsp of Fresh Thyme 
  • 2 Tbsp of White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Putting it together:

  1. Make your Persillade first by grating your garlic cloves and finely chopping all your herbs and putting them in a small round bowl. Add your White Wine Vinegar and whisk in your Olive Oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. 
  2. Next, you will prep your Tiger Prawns by de-veining them and butterflying them. But first cut off all the legs using a sharp pair of kitchen scissors.  On a large cutting board, cut the heads off the Prawns.  Rest your hand on the Prawn to flatten it out a little and using a sharp pairing knife or serrated knife, run your knife down the backside and middle of the Prawn.
  3. As soon as you do this you should be able to pull apart the flesh a little. Using your pairing knife take the vein out of the Prawn. Proceed to do this with all your Prawns and give them a good rinse afterwards to make sure you rinsed out all the impurities from within the cavity. Pre-heat a grill pan on medium/high heat. 
  4. Dry them off with some paper towels and using a spoon, spoon about 2 Tbsp’s of the Persillade mixture inside the butterflied Prawn, making sure to coat between the flesh and the shell if the shell has pulled apart from the flesh a little. 
  5. Grill the Prawns on each side for 3-4 minutes. They will turn bright pink when they are ready. 

Nourishment for your body: Prawns are a rich source of Selenium, an antioxidant responsible for maintaining healthy cells.  They also contain zinc and are found to strengthen your bone health 

Tips when cooking: If your guests are not too skittish you can keep the heads on the Prawns. Keeping the heads on them while cooking can add great flavor. Persillade is a French Herb Mixture that can be stored in the fridge for months. You can add it as a marinade to any type of meat or fish you make. You can also use it to flavor soups, roasted vegetables and potatoes. The sky’s the limit! If your prawns are very large and the flesh does not seem cooked all the way through, you can place them in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes and the flesh should be opaque and fully cooked through by then. 

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Braised Red Cabbage With Caraway Seeds

Braised red cabbage with Caraway seeds

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 6-8)

  • 1 Red Cabbage
  • 1 Sweet Vidalia Onion
  • 4 Tbsp of Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4th cup of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1.5 Tsp of Caraway Seeds
  • 1 Tsp of honey
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Putting it together:

  1. Remove the outermost leaves of your cabbage, quarter it and cut out the white core from the center. 
  2. Thinly slice the quartered sections vertically and set aside. Pre-heat a large saute pan or braising pan with the 4 Tbsp of butter on medium heat. Small dice your onion or slice it thinly. 
  3. Once the Butter is all melted add your onions and saute for about 5-6 minutes until they are translucent. Add your cabbage and Saute it for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should wilt down and slightly soften. Add your bay leaves, honey, red wine vinegar, caraway seeds, and the salt and black pepper (about 1 tsp of salt and 1/2 a tsp of pepper). Give that a good stir. 
  4. Braise the cabbage for another 10 minutes or more until it has nicely softened and you adjusted your seasoning to taste. 

Nourishment for your body: Red Cabbage belongs to the Cruciferous vegetable family. Other Cruciferous veggies include Broccoli, Cauliflower and Kale. Research has shown that not only eating a diet high in Cruciferous Veggies can reduce inflammation but also reduce the risk of getting certain types of cancer. Red Cabbage is high in Vitamins C, K and fiber. Due to it’s Red color pigment, it contains something called Anthocyanins. This powerful pigment has shown to also reduce the risk of heart disease and could lower blood pressure. 

Tips when cooking: Red Cabbage is a fantastic, inexpensive addition to a multitude of dishes. You can shave it raw as a topping for tacos or add it when making juices.This particular side dish goes with just about anything. I recommend pairing it with crispy, seared Salmon, marinated Tofu ‘Steaks’, Steak, Meatballs, Creamy Mashed Potatoes. Adding sliced Granny smith apples while cooking is a popular way to make Braised Red Cabbage. I personally love adding Caraway seeds because I think it adds a depth of flavor. Caraway seeds have a slight licorice flavor and peppery bite. If you ever had dark Rye Pumperknickel Bread that’s what it tastes like. This can last in your fridge for about 2 days and tastes just as good re-heated. 

 

 

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Asian Spiced Sweet Potato Soup

Asian Spiced Sweet potato soup

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Makes 1.5 Quarts)

  • 4 small Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 cups of Chicken broth 
  • 1 Tbsp of Coconut Oil 
  • 1 14oz can of Coconut Milk (reserve some for garnish)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 Tsp of Cinnamon
  • 1 Tsp of Ground Ginger
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Star Anise
  • Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Putting it together:

  1. Peel your Sweet Potatoes, halve them and then cut them across into small chunks. Set aside. 
  2. In a medium sized stock pot, on medium heat add the Coconut Oil and add the onions. Saute for about 5-8 minutes until they are translucent and add some salt and black pepper. 
  3. Add the Sweet potatoes and saute for about 8 minutes until they have slightly softened. Add the Cinnamon and Ginger and saute for another 2 minutes. Give the Potatoes a good stir. 
  4. Pour in the Chicken Broth and Coconut Milk. Add the Bay Leaves and Star Anise and stir everything well. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. 
  5. Adjust the seasoning with salt and black pepper to taste. 
  6. Using a hand-held immersion blender, VERY CAREFULLY blend until all the ingredients are pureed and the soup has a nice viscosity. 
  7. To serve, pour in a bowl and drizzle some of the reserved coconut milk on top

Nourishment for your body: Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber and contain a good mix of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, selenium and most B vitamins. They are particularly high in beta-carotene which gets converted into vitamin A. Coconut Milk is believed to lower cholesterol and promote weight loss if eaten in moderate amounts. It contains something called MCT’s (Medium Chain Triglycerides) which aids in stimulating energy. It is a great alternative to using milk or heavy cream when making a creamy soup. 

Tips when cooking:  This is a great soup to have this time of year when it gets cold and blustery out. The soup is comforting and decadent. If you want to make this soup a little lighter and/or vegan, substitute vegetable stock for the chicken broth. If you can’t find star anise you can substitute with any licorice flavored spice such as fennel or cloves. Make sure that you take out the bay leaves and star anise (or cloves) before pureeing the soup. 

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Smoked Sturgeon Brunch Platter

Smoked Sturgeon Platter

How to re-create this recipe:

Ingredients:

(Serves 4)

  • 8 oz of thinly sliced Smoked Sturgeon
  • 2 Focaccia Breads
  • 2 Hard boiled eggs
  • 2 Heirloom Tomatoes (1 Red, 1 Yellow)
  • Old Bay Seasoning (Optional)
  • Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
  • Good quality Olive Oil for drizzling

Putting it together:

  1. Boil your eggs for 10 minutes. Cool the eggs, peel them and cut in half lengthwise.
  2. Thinly slice your Tomatoes.
  3. Using a nice serving platter, arrange your ingredients using the picture above for some inspiration. Drizzle some Olive Oil over your tomatoes and sprinkle Sea Salt and Black pepper over them. Sprinkle some Old Bay seasoning over your eggs or use salt and pepper.

Nourishment for your body: Smoked Sturgeon has a plethora of vitamins (A and multiple B vitamins), magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium. As well as Omega 3 fatty acids. Smoked fish also has a longer shelf life without negatively affecting the nutritional content. 

Tips when cooking: I like to use 2 different colored tomatoes because it adds a nice color contrast on the platter. Old Bay Seasoning is a wonderful spice mix to have handy in your pantry. It is made with a combo of celery salt, red and black pepper and paprika. You can pretty much use it to season whatever meat or seafood your making. I like to use it whenever I make eggs. If you cannot find Smoked Sturgeon, you can use smoked Sablefish ( a.k.a Black Cod).  If you happen to be passing through or shop at a Decicco and  Sons, I recommend this product. 

 

Calvisius Smoked Sturgeon