Thursday, 30 October 2014

Dayre > Blogger.com

Not sure if you guys heard about this blogging app called Dayre...

Its a simple to use blogging app which is somewhat like a personal diary.  It has a lot of cute and free stickers to use, it allows uploading of pics and videos and also check-in location.

I have since downloaded the app quite a while ago and have been updating there almost everyday instead of using blogger.com.  It was much easier to update on the go with this app and so, my day to day life is being updated on this mobile diary.

There are certain things of course I find it difficult to update on Dayre becoz I am using my Samsung Galaxy Note 1.  Entries that require more formatting and faster picture uploads like recipes or reviews that have high photo volume, its much faster to upload multiple pics at a time instead of one by one on Dayre.

That's probably why you would have notice by now that this blog seems to be mainly on my kitchen projects and random reviews and sharing of experiences instead of day-to-day blogging. 

If you are interested to see day to day rants on what I am doing, you can look up my user id: Loraine

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Last night, I dreamt of Dr. Arthur again.

He was marking my thighs and taking photos before proceeding with thigh lipo.  I woke up before the procedure started.

Is this a sign?

Chef Rain: Oreo Non-Baked Cheesecake (revisit)

The last time I made cheesecake was back in 24/12/2009.  It was for my aunt's church xmas gathering which was quite well received.  I literally stop doing cheesecake because most of the time, I end up finishing it and yes, it piled onto my weight issues. 

Anyway, before I embarked on a 2 month diet stint, I some how decided to remake this oreo non-baked cheesecake.  As per the post back in 2009, the original recipe was from kraft.com and this time I made sure I had all the required ingredients.  I also substitute some ingredients with a healthier alternative to lower the fat or calorie content of the cheesecake.  For more recipes, please do check out kraft.com.

This time, I will be showing more pictures of the work process.  So, lets get started.
 
Ingredients:
(makes 1 7" square cake tin + 2 dessert cups)

36 mildly sweet oreo cookies
4 pkt (8oz / 226g) Philadelphia cream cheese*
60g scs unsalted butter*
1/2 cup sugar (minus 2 tbsp.)
1 tsp vanilla essence
~3/4 tub (8oz / 226g) Cool whip lite whipped topping*
(my tub was 12oz sized so I had to measure separately 226g)
 
*to be thawed to room temperature
 
Method:
 
1. Coarsely chop 15 oreo cookies.  For the remaining 11, blitz them in the food processor till fine breadcrumbs.  Yes, I included the cream in the middle this time since its just mildly sweet.

 
 
 
2. Microwave the butter for about 30sec.  Since it was already softened, it should not take too long in the microwave.  This is for people who did not want to use the stove.  Break up un-melted bits with the spoon and mix it with the fine crumbs

 
 

 3. Packed it tightly and evenly to the bottom of the cake tin and refrigerate it while doing the cheese mixture.
 
(original recipe uses 13x9" pan but I had only the 7x7" at home. the oreo base was a thin layer and so those who prefer thicker base may need to double the amount)

 
 
 
4. Beat the cheese, sugar and vanilla essence till it is well blended.  Then stir in the whipped topping and the coarsely chopped oreos.

 
 
 
 
 
5. Remove the cake tin from the refrigerator and pour the mixture in.  Refrigerate till cheese is firm before cutting it and serve.

cover with cling wrap
 
DONE~! and the pic spam begins
(taken with my galaxy note 1: natural sunlight & normal lighting with night mode for some pictures)

 
 
see how thin the base is?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

After:
I made this cheesecake at night so I left it in the fridge overnight before cutting.  I did not put it in the freezer this time but just the colder chilled compartment.  The cake tin size was smaller than the intended recipe and it was strange that the oreo base was thin since I expected it to be thicker with a smaller tin.

Anyway, I did not pour all the cheese mixture in (if not there will be too much cheese to oreo base) and it was a waste to just throw away the cheese mixture so I made slightly more of the oreo base and fit them into the dessert cups.
As you can see, the proportion of cheese and oreo base was out of proportion but for cheese lovers, I think it does not matter. =)

The cheesecake as it thaws, becomes much of a mousse like texture.  When aunt tasted it, it was not frozen overnight but rather chilled over night and so she thinks that the cheese was quite thick and creamy. Sweetness was just nice however and she prefers a thicker oreo base.  So in future, should I use the 7" cake tin, I can double the base amount and reduce the cheese to avoid wastage.  Then again its not a waste as I ended up eating it so.....

By time the cheesecake is left out for awhile, it softens to a really soft mousse texture. This is the difference between a non-bake and a baked cheesecake.

Note:
1. Do use a removable base cake tin/pan for easy removal of the cheesecake.  If not, line aluminium foil across like I did.  Just before serving, run the knife along sides without the foil and carefully lift the cake up.

Hope you enjoyed it! 

❤❤❤

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Chef Rain - Honeydew Sago (密瓜西米露)

Honeydew sago, which is also known as 密瓜西米露 (pronounced as: "mi gua xi mi lu" in Chinese and "Mut Gua Sai Mai Lo" in Cantonese) is one of my favourite dessert.  My aunt used to make it for me when I was a young kid (but she has since forgotten how to make it after all these years).
This dessert is actually just the puree of the honeydew melon, together with melon cubes or balls and served chilled with coconut milk, sugar syrup and sago pearls (made from tapioca starch).  From what I had gathered online, it seems that this dessert originated from Malaysia.  Due to the close proximity of both countries and after centuries of cultural interactions, honeydew sago is also now widely available in food courts and/or hawker centres in Singapore. 

Not only is it yummy and refreshing, it also cools the body on a hot day as this dessert is usually served chilled.  That's one of the reasons why I loved and preferred cold desserts over hot ones.  Anyway, it was surprisingly easy to make, much to my amazement as I have always thought otherwise.

My version or this version of dessert I am making may seem different from shops outside. Most of the time, the coconut milk content is much higher than the honeydew and if not, quite diluted.  This is purely honeydew puree with a rather diluted coconut syrup.  If you are like me who prefers more honeydew than coconut milk, can give this a shot.  So, for this recipe, it was referenced from various sources online and I have since modified it a little.  Without much further ado, I will now show you how it is done.

Ingredients:
(serve 3-4 person)

~950g ripe honeydew
(of which ~150g is cut into small cubes)
100ml coconut milk
150ml carnation fat free evaporated milk
50g gula melaka
50g sago pearls
100ml water

(feel free to adjust the amount based on your preference)
 
Method:
 
1) Prepare the honeydew.  If you buy the fruit whole, scoop out the seeds. Then remove the skin and the thick parts which is approx. 0.5" to 1" thickness of the skin.  Does not matter if it looks a lot is remove because the bottom layer is generally quite thick and bitter. 

Estimate and divide the melon slices into 3 layers. Cut and into chunks: 1st layer (near the seeds) 3rd layer (near to the skin).  Set aside 150g of the middle layer and dice into smaller cubes or bite size pieces and chill it in the refrigerator.

(or you could cheat a little by buying pieces already cut nicely from the fruit stalls, minimizing work to prepare the honeydew)

 
 
2) Cook the sago and while waiting, blend the honeydew chunks.  Do not forget to stir the sago from time to time.  When sago is done, drain and soak in cold water.
  
 

Transfer the puree into a pot and chill in the refrigerator while boiling the syrup
Looks quite foamy. I wonder if its because I used the blender and not food processor
 3) Combine coconut milk, evaporated milk, gula melaka and water into a pot and boil till the sugar melted.  Leave it to chill to room temperature.
 
  
4) Serve either by adding all the honeydew cubes and sagoes and syrup (do not add all the syrup in one shot thou.  Do a taste test as you go along to adjust sweetness) into the honeydew puree or adding them separately like below.
 
 
  
 ❤DONE~! and the pic spam begins
(taken with my galaxy note 1: no filer with just natural lighting)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
After:
I have no idea how to select a ripe honeydew to be honest.  Mine although was ripe but it was not as sweet as I had hope.  Of course, the flavor is not as strong.  Perhaps using a cantaloupe/mango for this dessert would be a much better choice.  I also think that I might have over-blended the honeydew which resulted in the foamy appearance..  However, it still is quite a cool, light and refreshing dessert to enjoy on a warm day.
 
You can also serve this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  It makes the dessert creamier in taste.
 
Note:
 
1) Choose a ripe honeydew melon.  A ripe one has enough sweetness in the fruit and you could lessen the sugar amount used.  The flavor is also more intense than a not so ripe one
 
2) No idea if a food processor will produce lesser foam from making the honeydew puree but you can use either one which ever is available at home for convenience.

3) This dessert if needed to be stored overnight or more than 1 day in the refrigerator, its best not to mix everything into the pot at the beginning.  It is recommended to store the puree, sago and syrup separately.

4) I did not use a lot of the prepared syrup while having this dessert and hence was left with quite a bit. 
 
Hope you enjoyed it! 

❤❤❤