everyday I’m soufflin’

the other day I so wanted to make crème  brûlée but I realized I don’t have ramekins and blowtorch *sad face* the ramekin issue has been on my mind ever since until 2 days ago when I remembered about the “teacups” last semester in the clay throwing preceptorial. baam. I had to make something at 11:00 pm haha

It occurred to me that I have rather limited ingredients: lemon, eggs, AP flour, sugar, butter, and milk – basically things that always lie around the kitchen. The answer was easy: lemon soufflé.

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Ingredients: (made 2 servings)

– 3 eggs separated

– 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest

– lemon juice from 1 lemon

– 2/3 tablespoon AP flour

– butter for greasing

– 1/6 cup granulated white sugar, plus more for ramekins

– (optional) confectioners’ sugar for dusting

Procedures:

– Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

– Prepare the ramekins: grease with butter and dust with granulated sugar (this helps provide a coarse base for the soufflé to grow). I thought about using a normal mug but it seems that there are others who have tried and ended up with scrambled eggs on the bottom of their soufflé.

– Yolk mixture: whisk together egg yolks, AP flour, zest, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Put milk into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Gradually pour milk into the yolk mixture. Remember to stir so you don’t end up with scrambled egg. Return the whole mixture to saucepan for a minute or two, whisk in lemon juice, then take off heat.

– Egg white: beat till foamy, add the rest sugar and beat until stiff peak forms. Stir 1/3 into  yolk mixture then fold the remaining in.

– Fill ramekins to top.

– Bake for 15+2 mins or until golden.

Take soufflés out and let the party begins before they deflate!

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^ it had deflated quite a lot by the time I finished half of it haha

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The making of Lemon Bars

A few days ago I was in a baking mood and woke up around 6:30 am to bake. At first I was deciding between brownies and some sort of bars (since I only have a rectangular pan accessible for now). It happened that I bought some lemons the day before so I decided to go fruity and make Lemon Bars. Also, kudos to the digital oven at the place I’m subletting. It worked like charm ^^

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So for Ingredients:

A- Shortbread Crust:

– 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter or you can use salted butter and omit the salt

– 30 grams white sugar (granulated or powdered, I was mixing by HAND so powdered sugar helped a bit)

– 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour

– 1/8 teaspoon salt

B- Lemon Layer: (this is for medium/thin lemon layer – I don’t like it thick, but if you want something thicker, do some math and get 1.5 times of things down here)

– 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

– 2 large eggs

– 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (this varies with your lemons but I got 1/3 cups with 1 and a half lemons and the sour taste was slightly stronger than I intended)

– 1/2 tablespoon zest

– 2 tablespoon flour

– 1-2 tablespoon powdered sugar for icing

Tools:

– Oven

– Baking pan, 10 in * 10 in (or equivalent)

– Wire whisk

– Mixing bowl(s)

– Measuring spoons & cups (I used to not care about measuring spoons and cups but they can be a cheap but useful investment. I got the Mainstay plastic 8-piece from Walmart for about 3 bucks, a lot of people seem to complain about their handles breaking off in their reviews but mine seems perfectly fine. Well, of course if you got the budget, go with metal ones.)

Procedure:

– Get the butter out of the fridge and leave it at room temperature for 8-10 mins.

– Beat the butter with sugar until smooth and creamy, then beat in flour and salt until they come together (don’t worry if it is slightly crumbly, as long as you don’t see any flour left it is good to go).

– Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees F).

– Grease the pan with vegetable oil or butter and press the dough into the pan to make an uniform layer.

– Bake the dough for 18 mins or until the edges start looking lightly brown. You don’t want to overdo it 😉

– Prepare the lemon layer while you wait for the dough. Just take your time though since your dough needs to cool down after it comes out of the oven anyway.

– With the wire whisk, beat the eggs till smooth then beat in sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest. “Fold” in the flour (this basically means you gradually add the flour in without haphazardly stirring the mixture and lose air).

– After the dough comes out and cools down, pour the lemon mixture in and bake for another 17 minutes.

– Finally, cut your bakery into 16 pieces and dust with powdered sugar (I didn’t have a sieve so I kinda sprinkle the sugar onto it teehee).

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Enjoy the Lemon Bars with milk or favorite beverage of your choice (just not Lemonade methinks)!

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p/s: the color of the pictures is slightly off I know but I made my efforts without a decent window in the kitchen (I live in a basement haha) so sympathize puhleez

Phở xào

Last weekend I was craving some Viet food so I decided to make ‘pho xao’. This dish also use rice noodles but it is not the normal soupy ‘pho’ you often encounter ( we’re talking about outside Vietnam though haha). It is relatively simple but enjoyable. Just thought I would share the how-to of this dish for people who are interested ^^

Ingredients: (serving 4 people)

– Rice noodle: 1 pack (400 grams/14 oz)

– Beef: 225 grams/.5 lbs or more based on your meat preference ^^

– Celery (the thin type, often called Chinese celery in stores)

– Fish sauce or Salt

– A few cloves of garlic

Procedure:

– Prepare the noodle by putting it into a large saucepan filled with hot water (if in a rush you can boil it but the noodle will be easier to break and less chewy) then pour it into a coriander to separate from the water. This should not be done too early as the noodle tends to get dry quickly.

– Chop up some garlic.

– Slice the beef into thin pieces (avoid big cubes >_<). Season with half of the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and maybe a little bit of sesame oil if you are fond of sesame oil like me.

– Cut the celery into pieces of 5 cm (about 2 in).

– Put a tablespoon of oil into your pan and heat it up on stovetop. Once heated, pour the rest of the garlic and start stirring.

– Stir fry beef, add veggies and continue to stir fry while season with 1/2-1 tablespoon of fish sauce.

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– Put the rice noodle in and stir-fry. There are two ways of doing it: keep it soft or make it a bit crispy. Your choice 😉

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Voila, enjoy it with a cup of tea!

Banh troi – Banh chay recipe

So the Cold Food Festival is 3 days ago and I think those traditional types of desserts this festival features are just so nice: good to eat and not too hard to make. And here we go, the first recipe:

Banh troi (Bánh trôi) – Banh chay (Bánh chay)

Ingredients:

Glutinous rice flour

Rice flour

White granulated sugar

Mung bean

Brown sugar cubes

Sesame

Ginger

Procedures:

1. Bánh trôi

– Mix glutinous rice flour with ordinary rice flour with the ratio 9:1 respectively. Then knead the mixture with water.

– Pick up a piece of dough, place the sugar cube in the middle and roll it to make a ball. The proper size of the ball is about 2.25 cm in diameter.

– Boil the balls in water and take out when they start to float. Immediately dip into a bowl of cold water to prevent them from being sticky.

– Place the balls on a dish and powder with white sesame. The result should be something like this:

 

2. for the Bánh chay,

– same treatment for the dough.

– about the Mung bean, cook or steam and pound till fine then roll into balls before it becomes too dry

– pick some dough, flatten slightly, put the bean ball in the middle then seal the dough to make a round and flat piece

– boil like bánh trôi

– mix cassava flour with water for a slightly thick substance then boil and add grapefruit flower. Finally, sprinkle over the cakes.

Have fun with these!