Sunday, July 24, 2011

Coconut chocolate oat cookies recipe

Coconut chocolate oat cookies

Coconut + chocolate + rolled oats = delicious.

The cookies are light and crispy. It is not overly sweet.  

I used a mixture of coconut oil and rapeseed oil. If you prefer you can substitute coconut oil with butter.

½ cup coconut oil (should be soft)
½ cup sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut (recommended toasted)
¾ cup flour
½ cup rolled oats
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

1.  Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius
2.  Mix coconut oil and sugar until the mixture is light
3.  Add egg and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly until sugar has dissolved
4.  Add all the rest of the ingredients and mix well 
6.  Place discs or small balls on a greased cookie sheet and flatten.
7.  Bake until cookies are done, about 12 minutes

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Easy semolina coconut cake recipe

Easy semolina coconut cake
This is a really simple and easy cake recipe that requires only 5 basic ingredients. I like simple and easy recipes. It comes in really handy when I need something sweet and either I am lazy to spend lot of time in the kitchen or some key ingredients are missing. 

The cake turns out to be slightly dense but certainly not in a bad way. And it is not overly sweet. The cake is moist even though I used milk. No butter is used. If you use cream or even a mixture of milk and oil/butter, you will get a richer and more moist cake.

I baked the cake in a ramekin and it took 20 minutes. I didn’t try baking a larger cake so I don’t know how long it would take.

The amounts given below is in parts so you can use any measuring spoon. The only challenging part is the amount of baking powder. You should use 1½ teaspoons of baking powder for every cup of semolina. Taste the batter and adjust as necessary. There are no eggs so don’t hesitate with tasting the batter.
1 part sugar
2 parts milk or cream
1 part desiccated coconut
3 parts semolina
Baking powder
Optional: vanilla extract

1. Mix sugar, coconut and milk or cream until sugar has dissolved
2. Add semolina and baking powder and mix well
3. Bake at 180 degrees until the cake is done, about 20 minutes

Swedish Pizza Salad Recipe

Swedish pizza salad
This salad is not really authentic Swedish, neither does it have much connection with a pizza. The salad was most likely introduced by immigrants who set up pizza restaurants in Sweden. And this salad is offered at the pizza restaurants hence the name pizza salad. It is usually included in the price of the pizza and you can eat as much as you want. 

The salad is really easy to prepare, and the result is delicious, nutritious and light on your wallet!  You can make extra and keep it in the refrigerator for a few days. The taste should get better over time as the cabbage cures even more.

Shown below is the recipe for the standard salad. In the photo you can see that I added chilli. The ‘authentic’ pizza salad has pepper but not chillis. Also I sliced the cabbage quite thick, generally it is sliced really thinly, probably between ½ - 1 millimeter. So the salad in the photo is even less authentic but delicious nevertheless. 

About half a cabbage, very thinly sliced
1 onion (optional)
2-4 tablespoons white vinegar (depending on taste)
2-4 tablespoons oil (depending on taste)

1. Place the cabbage in a large bowl
2. Combine all the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the cabbage
3. Mix well, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary
4. Chill in the refrigerator overnight. The salad will keep for a few days

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies Recipe

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies Recipe

Did you know that Ruth Graves Wakefield, owner of the Toll House Inn, invented chocolate chip cookies in 1933. There are two theories regarding how this magnificent cookie was created. One theory is that a bar of NestlĂ© semisweet chocolate fell off a high shelf into an industrial mixer and shattered. To me this theory sounds less realistic. If a chocolate bar falls onto cookie dough I don’t think it will shatter, and its less likely that a chocolate bar will be sitting unwrapped on a high shelf. The second theory is that Mrs. Wakefield chopped up a bar of chocolate and added to the batter. This one sounds more plausible. Whichever theory is correct there is no denying that Mrs. Wakefield was the creator of the chocolate chip cookies. Since then numerous variations have been created, including this cappuccino chocolate chip hazelnut cookie. 

You must be wondering how cappuccino managed to find its way into these cookies. The ingredients include coffee and milk and hence cappuccino enters the picture. Instead of cappuccino I could have called it latte or simply coffee cookie. However coffee cookie sounds less interesting, besides I’ve already made and posted a recipe for double chocolate coffee daim cookie. 

Coffee adds great flavor to chocolate chip cookies, it really enhances the flavor, making it taste more sophisticated.

I used coconut oil instead of butter. Compared with other chocolate chip recipes I used less fat and more milk. As a result the cookies have lower fat, and using milk affects the texture. The cookies take on a slightly cake like texture, only slightly. It is still crispy and chewy. You can reduce the amount of milk and increase the amount of fat if you wish.

Resting the dough before baking is one of the secrets to a great chocolate chip cookie. HervĂ© Poussot, owner of Almondine, rests the dough overnight while Jacques Torres of Jacques Torres Chocolate rests the dough for 36 hours. Resting the dough is important because eggs, unlike, say, water, are gelatinous and slow-moving, said Shirley O. Corriher, author of “CookWise”. Making matters worse, the butter coats the flour, acting, she said, “like border patrol guards,” preventing the liquid from getting through to the dry ingredients. The extra time in the fridge dispatches that problem.

I adopted the recipe from various sources such as Martha Stewart, Smitten Kitchen, Joy the Baker and NY Times.

You can replace 1½ cups white sugar and 1 tablespoon molasses with ¾ cup white sugar and ¾ cup brown sugar
You can replace ½ cup coconut oil and ½ cup milk with ¾ cup butter and 4 tablespoons milk

2¼ cups flour
1½ cups white sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
2 large eggs
½ cup coconut oil, room temperature
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
1 cup chocolate chips or chunks (preferably with at least 60% cocoa content)
1 cup chopped hazelnuts, or any nuts of your choice

1. Mix coconut oil, milk, sugar and molasses until sugar has dissolved. Add eggs, salt, coffee powder and vanilla and mix well
2. Add sifted flour and baking soda and combine
3. Stir in the chocolate chips and hazelnut
4. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator, overnight or up to 3 days. This step is optional but recommended
5. Drop heaping tablespoon size balls of dough about 5 cm apart on a greased baking tray
6. Bake at 180 degrees until cookies are golden around the edges and still soft in the center, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Cookies Recipe

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Semolina Blondie with Chocolate Hazelnut Glaze Recipe

Semolina Blondie with Chocolate Hazelnut Glaze
I don’t really know what to call these – blondies, brownies, slices and cakes. Whatever we call them the outcome is the same – really delicious. 

This is the first time I baked with semolina. Semolina adds a nice texture and subtle crunch. The chocolate hazelnut glaze is optional but highly recommended, of course. The blondies are really gooey underneath the chocolate while the hazelnut adds great flavor and crunch. The amount of chocolate and hazelnut is an approximation, you can add more or less.

You can use either white sugar or a mixture of white and brown sugar. I used white sugar with a teaspoon of molasses and it worked great.

The recipe is easy to put together, everything gets mixed in one bowl and then straight to the baking pan. 

¾ cup sugar (white sugar or mixture of white and brown sugar)
½ cup semolina
½ cup flour
2 eggs
¼ cup melted butter or oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

For the glaze 
50 grams chocolate
50 grams hazelnuts

1. Heat oven to 160 degrees.
2. Grease an 8 inch pan or loaf tin
3. In a bowl mix sugar, eggs, butter/oil and vanilla
4. Stir in flour, semolina and salt
5. Pour into the pan
6. To prepare the glaze, melt the chocolate and hazelnut. If the glaze seems too thick add a small amount of warm milk or cream
7. Spread the glaze on top of the batter and ‘swirl’ gently with a toothpick or knife. Do not over-swirl.
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes until set in the middle. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
9. Cool completely before cutting.

Semolina Blondie with Chocolate Hazelnut Glaze

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Easy flat noodles, flat dumplings or fresh pasta recipe

I really don’t know what to call these things – flat noodles, flat dumplings or fresh pasta. They are really quick and easy to make, and delicious to eat. Unfortunately they don't look too good in the picture, I will post a better picture soon.

The process of ‘shaping’ the ‘things’ is really simple. Form the dough into a cylindrical shape or pretty much any shape, hold it over a pot of boiling water and use a pair of scissors to cut off from the edge, as thin or as thick as you like. It should fall straight into the pot of water. You can also use the board to cut into shapes but I find my method quicker, less messy and more fun! If you use the board the dough will stick so you need to use flour. I like to avoid such complications if possible.

I made it using basic dough and I have not really experimented with different types of dough. I did try once with polenta but that did not turn out very good. I will certainly keep experimenting and present updates here. I have not tried using eggs. I am sure eggs will add great texture and flavour but this time I kept it as simple as possible. I did not use eggs in the dough but as you see from the photo, I ate it with eggs!
Personally I would make extra dough and store it in the refrigerator for later use. I suppose it can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days. 

Plain flour
Baking powder - 1½ teaspoons for every cup of flour
Enough salt
Seasoning such as chilli powder, garlic powder etc (optional)
Enough water

1. Mix all the dry ingredients
2. Add enough water to form a dough that is workable – not too dry and not too sticky
3. Knead the dough until smooth, about 10 minutes
4. Let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes
5. Roll part of the dough into a cylindrical shape or any other shape that you prefer
6. Hold it over a pot of boiling water and use a pair of scissors to cut off from the edge, as thin or as thick as you like. It should fall straight into the pot
7. The ‘things’ are done when it comes to the top. Eat is while warm. If will harden a bit and deflate as it cools down. It will be nice again if you eat it cold after a while

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Coconut oat molasses cookie/biscuit (modified ANZAC) recipe

Coconut oat molasses cookie
These cookies are a modified version of ANZAC cookies. The recipe for ANZAC cookies is posted here.

ANZAC cookies are one of my favourite cookies. ANZAC cookies were ‘invented’ during World War I so it is an old recipe that has remained unchanged. If something is delicious there is no need to change it. However sometimes I cannot resist but to experiment. Today I made just two small changes and the difference was quite significant. I replaced butter with coconut oil, and golden syrup with molasses. Because the difference was so much I felt this deserved a post of its own, to keep it separate from the original ANZAC!

Molasses adds a strong flavor unlike golden syrup which is more subtle. And coconut oil increases the coconut aroma and flavour, and it also affects the texture a little bit since coconut oil is 100% fat while butter is about 80% fat and 20% water.

Be careful with the amount of molasses, if in doubt add less not more. If you add too much the cookies will the harder, and if you add way too much the cookies will become teeth breakers.

I still prefer ANZAC cookies, I think I will stay forever loyal to them. However the modified ANZAC cookies are great if you prefer molasses flavor. If you have not tried ANZAC cookies before, perhaps you should try that first before trying this modified version.

125g coconut oil
1 cup plain flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons boiling water

1. Heat the oven to 180C
2. Melt coconut oil and molasses in a large saucepan
3. Add bicarbonate of soda mixed with boiling water
4. Combine all dry ingredients then add melted mixture and mix well
5. Roll teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls, place on baking tray and flatten slightly
6. Bake until golden brown and delicious, approx 10-15 minutes

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Dulce de Leche Chocolate Slice (Millionaires Shortbread) Recipe

Dulce de Leche Chocolate Slice
This is a modified version of millionaire’s shortbread, also known as chocolate caramel slice. I decided to upgrade the recipe to a billionaires shortbread by using dulce de leche instead of caramel. And it worked great.

The slice is really easy to assemble as long as you have the three components ready.

Dulce de leche (click here for recipe)
Shortbread base (click here for recipe)
Melted chocolate

1.  Prepare the dulce de leche and shortbread
2. Spread the dulce de leche over the shortbread
3. Top with melted chocolate

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Coconut Oil Shortbread Cookie Recipe

Coconut oil shortbread cookies

These shortbread cookies are made with coconut oil instead of butter. Perhaps I can call these tropical shortbread instead of Scottish shortbread. 

Unlike butter which is 80% fat and 20% water, coconut oil is 100% fat. The cookies will be very short and crumbly if made using coconut oil only. I added some water and it produced a much better result.  

Working with the dough can be quite tricky. The dough is really soft when its warm and it gets really hard quite quickly if it is chilled. If it gets too soft just a few minutes in the refrigerator will harden is sufficiently, making it easier to work with. When the dough is too soft it may seem that there is too much oil in the batter. however it will be fine once baked. If you feel there is too much oil perhaps add a little more flour if you wish, otherwise chill the dough for a few minutes.  The cookie may spread a lot while baking. Mine didn't though.

This recipe is quite challenging and the results can be temperamental. 

½ cup sugar
210ml coconut oil
40 ml water
2-2½ cups flour (you may need a little more)

  1. Heat oven to 170°C / 340°F 
  2. Mix the coconut oil, water and sugar thoroughly until smooth.
  3. Add flour and mix to get a smooth paste.
  4. Form the dough in the desired shape, preferably about 1 cm thick. Chill the mixture for a few minutes if its gets too difficult to work with
  5. Bake until pale golden-brown, about 15-20 minutes

Coconut oil shortbread cookies

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Double Coconut Cookie Recipe

Double coconut cookies
There are plenty of recipes for double chocolate chip cookies floating around, even some triple chocolate chip cookies. I myself joined the crowd and developed a recipe for double chocolate coffee daim cookie. These cookies are fabulous.

In the cookie world I noticed a gap for double coconut cookies and I decided to do something about it. And I am glad I did as the double coconut cookies are divine, coconutty, light, crispy, crumbly and coconutty. Yes double the coconutty because the cookies use both desiccated coconut and coconut oil.

Unlike butter which is 80% fat and 20% water, coconut oil is 100% fat, 100% of flavour. As a result of the higher fat content the cookies are more crumbly. The cookies only just hold together, and disintegrate under the slightest of pressure. They are delicate requiring tender and care during handling. Some cookies can break a glass window if thrown at it, these double coconut cookies will probably break apart even before reaching the window. 

This is the first time that I used coconut oil in baking. The cookies rose quite a bit but strangely they did not spread much sideways. I made two batches. The photo on top is from dough that was formed into discs. The photo at the bottom is of balls of dough that was not flattened. I would definitely recommend forming discs or if you are placing balls of dough, to flatten them quite well.
½ cup coconut oil (should be soft)
½ cup sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut (recommended toasted)
1 cup flour (you may need a little more)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt

1.  Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius
2.  Mix coconut oil and sugar until sugar is dissolved
3.  Add egg and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly
4.  Add sifted flour, baking powder and coconut and mix well 
6.  Place discs or small balls on a greased cookie sheet and flatten. 
7.  Bake until cookies are golden brown and delicious, about 15 minutes

Double coconut chip cookies

Baked Potato Oat Flatbread/Blini Recipe

Baked Potato Oat Flatbread
This is a really simple baked flatbread (or blini) recipe. I experimented with using rolled oats instead of flour and it turned out pretty good. The potato flavor definitely came through. I suspect that if I used plain flour the flatbread would have a milder potato flavor. I did not try with flour but this is my suspicion.

The flatbread can be shallow fried as well.

Mashed potato
Rolled oats
Baking powder
Salt and spices of your choice (such as pepper, chili powder, garlic powder)

1.       Heat oven to 220 degrees
2.      To the mashed potato add baking powder, seasoning and enough rolled oats to form a dough of the right consistency. The dough should not be too wet or too dry. Add about 2 teaspoons of baking powder for a cup of the dough 
3.      Form into shapes about ½ to 1 cm thick
4.      Place on a well greased baking tray and bake. Turn over once half way through when the bottom has browned, about 10 minutes

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Easy Coconut Custard Cookie Recipe

Custard coconut cookie
This is a really quick and easy recipe.

Sometime ago I made egg custard tart and had some extra custard filling while I froze. I used the custard filling to make these cookies and they turned out delicious. They will certainly not win any beauty award but I can promise you, they taste much better than they look.

The cookies are butter free since I used oil. I found it much easier to add oil then to melt butter, it saves time and in this case the flavor was not affected. There was vanilla and coconut to make up for it.

I have not given precise amounts, the recipe is in parts.   

1 part desiccated coconut
½ part melted butter or oil (I used rapeseed oil)
½ part sugar 
2-3 parts self raising flour (about)
Vanilla extract (optional)

1.      Heat oven to 180 degrees
2.      Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together except for flour
3.      Add flour and mix gently until thoroughly incorporated. You may need little more or less than the indicated amount. Just add enough until you get the desired consistency.
4.      Place balls of dough on a greased baking tray and flatten them. They will not spread much so really flatten them
5.      Bake until golden brown and delicious, around 15 minutes
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