Wednesday, 27 June 2012

White Chocolate Brownie Balls

I made these as a present for a friend who accompanied me to the Science Center!! :D

It was really messy to coat the brownie balls. I actually did it by dropping the brownie balls into the chocolate mixture with a spoon. Disaster! Dark chocolate crumbs were all over my pure white chocolate mixture, and the balls were reluctant to leave my metal spoon when I tried to place them on a tray to cool! 

So, on reflection, I thought using toothpicks would be much better! Just stick a toothpick in each completed brownie ball, dip, and then line on a piece of parchment paper over a tray! 

Anyway, my friend said these were delicious, though the white chocolate was a little bit sweet.

I used to think that there is no difference between regular chocolate bars and baking chocolate bars, but apparently regular chocolate bars melt at a different temperature and is of course higher in sugar and fat.

Ingredients (Makes about 28 balls):

- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 

- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sugar (feel free to decrease amount of sugar to just 6 tablespoons)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt

- 1/2 cup soymilk
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 

- 1 bar baking white chocolate (or any flavour you like! ^^), broken into small pieces

This recipe requires melting chocolate. And here's a note about melting chocolate using double-boiler method:

- MAKE SURE YOUR BOWL CONTAINING THE CHOCOLATE IS ENTIRELY DRY! Even a little drop of water will make your chocolate seize and taste bad. So, if you are going to use any tool to stir your melted chocolate, make sure that is dry too!

- Place your mixing bowl on top of a pot of simmering water. The bowl should not touch the water in the pot. Allow the trapped steam to melt your chocolate. It'll take only a few minutes. And you need not worry about your chocolate burning!

Preheat oven to 150℃. 

1. Grease an 8-inch square pan.

2. Heat chocolate chips in microwave or over a double boiler until melted.

3. Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients B in a large bowl. 

4. Whisk together ingredients C in another bowl. Mix well.

5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and whisk until just combined. Whisk in melted chocolate chips. 

6. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly moist. Remove from oven and let sit until the brownies are cool enough to handle.

7. In the meantime, melt the white chocolate pieces using microwave or double boiler.

8. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of brownie and roll it into a ball using the palms of your hands. Using a toothpick, dip your brownie balls into the melted chocolate to coat. Place coated brownie balls onto a parchment-lined tray or plate and refrigerate until chocolate sets. Store in refrigerator until serving.

You can try these little delicious cuties with other kinds of chocolate coating too (strawberry, green tea etc). Not only will you have pretty coloured chocolate balls, the different flavours make your brownie balls fun to eat!

I also placed a toasted hazelnut piece in the centre of each brownie ball for a nice surprise. ^^

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Chef Chloe's Peanutty Perfection Noodles

My mother loved this noodle dish I cooked for her! Recipe is from Chef Chloe's cookbook. The fragrant, nutty, spicy sauce is really really good! ^^

Ingredients (serves 4):

- 4 servings of flat rice noodles

- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 water
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup peanut butter, chunky or creamy
- 1 tablespoon chilli-garlic sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, minced

- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

- 2 carrots, peeled and shredded
- 1 cup iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced
- 6 mushrooms, thinly sliced and lightly stir-fried

1. Cook noodles according to package's instructions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.

2. Make the sauce by combining ingredients (B) in a medium saucepan, over medium heat, whisking frequently, until sauce comes together and thickens. Remove form heat and mix in ingredients (C).

3. Toss hot noodles with the sauce, and ingredients (D).

Keep leftovers in fridge and warm it up the next day, or you can simply eat it cold! ^^

Monday, 25 June 2012

Creamy Macaroni

Hello!! Today, and tomorrow, I'm going to introduce you 2 really easy-to-make noodle dishes! They are so easy and random I really don't know how I should write the measurements, because I didn't really do any measurements.

Today's noodle dish...I will call it urmm...Creamy Macaroni. Haha! Sorry, I'm not very creative with names. So, basically, these are the ingredients you need! ^^

Ingredients: (serves 2)

- 2 servings of elbow macaroni
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 garlics, minced
- 1/4 cup raw cashews or almonds, boiled 10 minutes in water and drained
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon white miso paste (optional)
- pinch of salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add elbow macaroni and cook according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water. Drain again.

2. Heat oil in a medium pan. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from heat.

3. In a blender, combine onions and garlic, cashews, water, miso paste, salt and pepper. Process on high until very smooth.

4. Toss hot pasta with sauce until noodles are evenly coated. Garnish with parsley and it's ready to eat!!! ^^

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Vegan Black Pepper Cheddar Cheese Cookies

I know you may not be convinced to buy nutritional yeast to make the vegan cheese sauce, but I'm going to share a couple of recipes that will make use of nutritional yeast, so why don't you give it a try? It's really delicious as a topping on toast and salads. It has this cheesy, nutty taste. Really delicious! Plus, it's a great source of protein and B-complex vitamins~! I urge you to try it!! ^^

*B-complex Vitamin is also known as "Happy Vitamin"~! Because it minimises and eliminates depression. It also brings balance to the many systems running your body so you will energetic and healthy~! 

Ingredients (Makes about 24 biscuits)

- 120g all-purpose flour
- 60g vegan butter/margarine
- 100g cheddar cheese sauce

- ground black pepper for sprinkling on the biscuits after they're done.

*Make sure all your ingredients are cold!!!! 
Especially your butter! It has to be hard!

Preheat oven to 180℃.

1. In a bowl, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

2. Stir in cheddar cheese sauce.

Remember this homemade cheese sauce from here? ^^

3. Make sure dough isn't too wet. If it's too wet, add in a little bit more flour. Roll dough into suasuage shape, then pat the sides flat to form a square log. Wrap dough with plastic wrap and chill for 1~2hours.  To hasten chilling, you can put it in the freezer.

4. Remove dough from refrigerator and unwrap. Cut with breadknife. Bake for 12minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack. Sprinkle black pepper generously on top of the cookies for an addictive punch! ^^

I really love these biscuits!! So addictive to munch on! hehe! ^^

HGCF Tip~!  

Although I don't really care about the shape of my homemade cookies, you may be a perfectionist and wonder if there's a trick to getting evenly-shaped slice-and-bake cookies? ^^

A: When you are ready to cut, remember to rotate the log of dough often, so that one side doesn't become flattened by the repeated pressure of the knife.

Good luck~! ^^

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Vegan cheddar cheese sauce + Vegan mac n' cheese recipe!

"Why vegan cheddar cheese sauce??!!!" you may ask.

Because cooking this is so much fun! It's like magic!! Please try it!

This recipe is from Chef Chloe's awesome cookbook, "Chloe's Kitchen"! ^^

Ingredients (serves 6):

- 1/4 cup vegan margarine (I only put 3 tablespoons though)
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour/gluten-free all-purpose flour (rice flour seems to work too!)

- 3 cups soy, almond, or rice milk
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I used tomato sauce)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt (don't worry, just regular salt is fine too)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (I omitted this)

- 1 tablespoon lemon juice 
- 1 tablespoon agave (I used maple syrup because that's the only liquid sweetener I have! Feel free to substitute it with 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar)

1) Make a roux by whisking the the margarine and flour over medium heat for a few minutes until it forms a paste.

2) Add nondairy milk, nutritional yeast, tomato paste, salt, and garlic powder to the saucepan and bring to a boil, whisking frequently.

3) Reduce heat to low and let simmer until the sauce thickens.

4) Stir in lemon juice and agave.

5) Done.

It's like magic! I was so amazed at the taste! It tastes exactly like cheddar cheese!!!!

And what can you use this cheesy sauce with??


- You can toss your elbow macaroni in this magical cheese sauce to make vegan Mac n' Cheese!

Quick Recipe:

Cook your elbow macaroni according to the package instructions in a medium pot of heavily salted water. Drain. Rinse under cold water. Drain again. 

Toss macaroni in cheese sauce. Pour into an oven-safe bowl and bake at 175℃ for about 20 minutes, or until top is lightly brown and crisp.

Optional: You can toast pecans or sprinkle bread crumbs on top of your mac n' cheese~! ^^

Pic spam! ^^"

- You can eat it with taco chips!!!!!!!

- You can eat it with fries!!!!!!

- You can make a delicious broccoli salad!!!!

- You can spread it on toast!!!

- You can spread it on homemade pizzas!!!

- You can make fried tomato-and-cheese spring rolls!!

- You can use it as vegetable dip!!!

- You can use it as meatballs or fishballs dip!!!!

- Make cheddar cheese ice cream!!!

- Make cheddar cheese biscuits!!!

And many many more!! 

Where to buy:
- Nutritional Yeast is sold in packs in Singapore. Buy them from organic or vegetarian shops! I bought mine from Yes Natural ~! ^^

If you love this cheese sauce, do support Chef Chloe's cookbook!! It has 125 delicious recipes in it!!!!!

Also, 'like' Happy Girls Cute Food on Facebook! ^^ Updated everyday~!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Pesto Soba!

Made pesto soba for lunch yesterday~! This is completely vegan and super delicious! Please try it!!!

Ingredients (serves 2):

- 1/2 cup of raw cashew nuts
- 1 bunch of basil leaves
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped into tiny pieces (optional)
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil

- 2 servings of soba noodles (or any other pasta)

1. In a pot, boil 1/2 cup of cashew nuts in water for 10 minutes until soft.

2. Blend cashew nuts, basil leaves, avocados, garlic, juice and olive oil until smooth.

3. Cook 2 servings of soba noodles according to packaging.

4. Drain noodles in colander.

5. Toss noodles in a bowl of ice. Alternatively, you can just rinse them in cold water. This step is to make noodles springy.

6. In a big bowl, stir and mix noodles into pesto sauce.

7. Serve on 2 plates and garnish with basil leaves.

8. TUCK IN!! 

You can perhaps substitute nuts with other kinds of nuts, but cashew nuts are well-known for its amazing creaminess when blended. Vegans tend to use this nut a lot to make creamy things like puddings, ice cream, creamy sauce etc. It's so delicious and won't leave you feeling disgusted and bloated like when you sometimes have too much dairy cream. Definitely try it!

If you can't find any nuts, maybe you can get one more avocado. Remember to get ripe avocados with soft, creamy flesh! How to tell if an avocado is ripe.

Oil used should definitely be olive oil! It gives this noodles a great, fragrant taste!

You can substitute soba with any other kind of pasta. It would be just as delicious! ^^

This dish is so easy to make and is great for hot summer days! Please try it!!! ^^

Where to Buy:

- Basil Leaves (S$1.90) can be found in packs in Fairprice Xtra or Fairprice Finest~! ^^

- Raw cashew nuts can be found in Hockhuck Tonic Pte Ltd. They have a number of stores around Singapore. I would say, buying 200g would be more than enough. (S$3.20)
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