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Bread

In Bread, Dessert, Recipe on
March 29, 2017

Matcha French Toast

If you’re a fan of matcha, and live in Sydney, you’ll no doubt have heard of Cafe Oratnek (or Cafe Kentaro) in Surry Hills and their matcha lattes, lamington, tiramisu, donut etc etc etc.

Actually no. 

Let me try again. If you’re a fan of matcha, you’ve probably visited Cafe Oratnek and tried them all.

Unless you’re like me of course, and tend to like visiting after the hype has died down, once everyone’s moved on to visiting other new and exciting places, in hopes of there being less of a crowd!

So I did eventually visit this cute little cafe, although I still didn’t avoid a bit of a wait around the busy lunch period (but I guess that’s a sign that it’s actually good!). And I did manage to try their delicious looking Matcha French Toast, which was every bit as amazing as I had imagined it to be!

Cafe Oratnek’s version is quite a unique creation-  thick slices of rye sourdough dipped in a matcha egg batter, served alongside a creamy dollop of matcha cream, strawberries and banana chips, all sprinkled with a layer of matcha coconut.

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In Bread, Recipe on
March 18, 2016

Cob Loaf

The last time I can remember going on a picnic was in primary school. And when you leave 12 year olds in charge of bringing food, all you’ll get are cakes, chocolate and chips (or Korean onion rings because we’re Asian).

If anything, that experience taught me that snacks are no replacement for real food!

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In Bread, Recipe on
September 3, 2013

BBQ Chicken Pizza

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The first time I made pizza at home, I thought it was the most amazing thing in the world. I may have cheated and bought a base, but there was something really magical about a fresh pizza coming straight from your oven. Sure, the toppings might not have been as interesting as those from the pizza store. And the ratio of sauce, toppings and cheese may have been a bit off. But there was just something about it that no store bought pizza could ever compare to.

Through the years, pizzas have turned into one of my go-to lunch ideas when I don’t have anything interesting to make as it’s so quick and easy! I can just through together the dough ingredients in the bread machine in the morning, then roll it out, top it up and chuck it into the oven for a satisfying lunch. Somewhere along the way though, it kinda lost its magic- no longer did I find it amazing, nor did I long for it………and eventually, I stopped bothering making it!

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Having spent a couple of weekends microwaving left overs, I turned to pizza making again to make lunch somewhat more interesting, chucking some leftover chicken (and some other random things I found in the fridge) on the top. To spice things up, I decided to change the sauce, making a barbecue sauce for the base rather than the usual tomato. A rather small change in the grand scheme of things, but what a difference it made!

The sauce by itself isn’t anything special (I was having doubts as to how this would turn out as I was putting it in the oven!) but there’s something about the extra depth of flavour that it gives that makes the pizza so incredibly addictive that we couldn’t stop eating until we pretty much devoured everything!

I think the pizza magic has come back!! Let’s see how long it lasts this time eh?

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BBQ Chicken Pizza

Not really much for a recipe for pizza, really just a recipe for the sauce plus my usual pizza base recipe if you don’t have one yourself 🙂

Sauce
recipe from here
1 cup tomato paste (the original recipe calls fo tomato sauce, but I usually prefer using tomato paste instead of sauce for my pizza sauces, this does mean however, that you’ll probably have to increase the sugar convtent for the recipe)
¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 heaping Tbsp brown spicy mustard
3 Tbsp soy sauce
7-8 good shakes of Tabasco sauce

1. Mix everything together!

Pizza Base
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil

Topping
Whatever you feel like chucking on!!
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

1.Pour warm water into a small bowl; stir in honey until dissolved. Add the yeast, stirring until dissolved. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2.In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and olive oil; stir well to combine. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in more flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
4.Punch down the risen dough on a floured surface. Divide into two equal portions. Allow the dough to relax for a minute, then roll each portion out into a thin circle. Place on lightly oiled pizza pans.
5. Spread the barbecue sauce evenly over pizza dough. Top with your choice of topping ingredients and cheese. I also added a few squiggles of bottled barbecue sauce to make things a bit more interesting.
6.Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned.

In Bread, Recipe on
April 5, 2013

(Not Really) Hot Cross Buns

How quickly times flies when you’re having fun!!

I’ve reached the end of yet another holiday (though I think this one was much too short to be classified a holiday) but it’s flown through without me noticing, and now it’s been a week since Easter and I feel like it too late to post these! Then again, it feels like I only made these yesterday 🙂

Being Asian and all that, the only way we ‘celebrate’ Easter is with a couple of Easter eggs (but not Easter egg hunts!). To get into the spirit of things, I’ve always wanted to make hot cross buns…..but I can’t stand the fruits and spices that go into them! But I wasn’t going to let that stop me this year- so my solution is this: get rid of everything that I don’t like and then bake them anyway! 🙂


This leaves only the sultanas, and as I used my normal fluffy bread recipe, these aren’t strictly speaking hot cross buns- but they certainly look the part! To make things a tad more interesting, I put surprises in each of them (using whatever I could find in the fridge….like satay beef) but this didnt work out too well in my family as they decided they wanted to know what was in each one before they started eating. As I’ve said before- surprises don’t work with my family!!!

Plain (Hot Cross) Buns Recipe

Dough Recipe from Corner Cafe
makes two trays of buns (i.e. 18 buns)

Dough
375g bread flour
100g plain flour
35g milk powder
75g caster sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 sachet (7g or 2 1/2 tsp) instant dry yeast
1 egg, lightly beaten
150ml (approx.) lukewarm water, adjust as necessary
40g butter, cubed

Roux
25g (just under 2 tbsp) bread flour
125ml (1/2 cup) water

Flour Paste
4 Tbsp plain flour
1 Tbsp caster sugar
~5 Tbsp water

Glaze
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp honey

Optional
Approx 1 cup sultanas

1. To make the roux, mix together the flour and the water and heat over medium heat until it reaches 65 degrees celcius. Turn the heat off and leave to cool until lukewarm
2. To make the dough, mix together all the dry ingredients and make a well in the middle of the mixture. Add the egg and the water roux and mix. Add the water until a soft dough it formed and then knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (~10 min) Knead in the butter until it is incorporated. If making it in a breadmachine, put in all the water and dry ingredients and let it knead for a while. Add the water roux and let it knead, adding water or flour as necessary. Add the butter when the dough becomes smooth (~10minutes).
3. Place the dough in a warm spot to rise until double its size (~1 hour)
4. Divide the dough into 18 equal portions. If you’re not putting in sultanas, then roll them into balls and divide into two square cake tins (my tin is ~20cmx20cm, but work with whatever tin you have!).Othewise, roll each into a long, thin rectangle (with the width a bit shorter than 1/3 of a square tin), sprinkle a handful of sultanas over them then roll up tightly before dividing amongst the tins.
5. For the flour paste, mix together all ingredients, adjusting water volume until a smooth thick paste is formed. You don’t want the paste too thick or it’ll be difficult to pipe. Transfer paste into a piping bag (or plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner) and pipe crosses onto buns. Cover with cling wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until double in size
6. Preheat oven to 180oC. Mix the glaze ingredients together (the honey takes a while to incorporate), and brush lightly over buns before placing them in oven. Bake for ~10 minutes or until lightly brown, and brush again with another layer of glaze (this step is optional, but I do it to make my buns shinier) before putting back into oven and baking until gold brown ~5-10 minutes.

In Bread, Recipe, Yum Cha on
October 8, 2012

Pineapple Char Siu Buns

After every late night rushing reports and essays, comes the false belief that my productivity during the following days will be just like it is at 4am, when the assignment is only half done and I can hear my neighbour’s truck backing out of the driveway as he gets ready for work. This burst of productivity often involves things like catching up on the numerous lectures I’ve missed on the past week, tidying up my work space(s), replying emails and most importantly, finding time to write up a blog post.

Just judging by the frequency of which I blog, it probably won’t come as a surprise that this has yet to occur, as nothing could be further away from reality!

Actually, it’s not that I haven’t been writing anything for this blog. I’ve been writing some paragraphs now and again, only to delete them a week later when reread what I wrote and realise how stupid it all sounds. These buns, for example, have been waiting to be posted for quite some time now. But have yet to have a completed chunk of writing to be posted with.

’m actually quite excited to post these, as it is the first time on this blog that I’ve featured my most favourite plush toy character – a freckle faced, thumb-sucking, monkey known as Monchhichi! Perhaps not everyone’s idea of cute (heck, I thought they were pretty ugly when I first saw them), but we all have different tastes 😉 Read more