Sunday, March 18, 2012

                                       Cupcakes and Rain

It was my good friend Christian's birthday a few weeks ago and to celebrate the occasion we decided to have a BBQ. Our plans were promptly squashed when it started pouring with rain so we decided to have the BBQ at my place instead. I cooked about a dozen chocolate cupcakes the night before and got up early on the day and cooked a chocolate cake. The recipe I used was Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake, I didn't have Hershey's coco so I just used dutch coco instead. The icing I made is the same one on the video (link down the bottom).  I wasn't happy with the cupcakes as I had baked them for twenty minutes and the consistency wasn't as moist as I have made in the past. I decided to make a cake the next day to make up for the cupcakes. I also put aside some batter for a few extra cupcakes to experiment with the cooking time. So in the end I baked the cake for thirty minutes and it ended up sinking in the middle so next time I'll bake it for  forty to forty five minutes and the cupcakes only needed twelve minutes. Also the second small batch of cupcakes had a mild taste of bicarb soda so I think I'll only add one teaspoon of bicarb soda instead of one and a half. Despite all of this we had a very relaxing afternoon eating and relaxing with good friends.
Here's the link to the recipe:
Note: Also in the video she uses Crisco shortening which we don't seem to have in Canberra or Australia for that matter but we do have Copha which is the same thing but comes in a hard block.
You'll need to melt it down to liquid form first then leave it to set. Once set, just spoon it into the mixing bowl. You'll find Copha above the butter in the supermarket, it has a cute picture of a smiling cupcake on the side.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Succulent Chicken Satay Sticks ( Product review)

Are you a creature of habit? I know I am. I tend to cook the same fail safe recipes over and over again.  I get stuck in a cooking rut. A few weeks ago I went to an Asian store at the Fyshwick fresh food markets. I found a packet of satay seasoning mix and decided to give it a go. Some  people walk past their local Asian grocery store because they seem strange. They're usually overstocked, with very thin ails, they have exotic smells and foods you could never imagine. My mum used to take my sister and I into these stores when we were young so we grew up eating steamed pork buns, samosa, prawn toast and hokkin noodle stirfry's. I would encourage anyone to step out of their comfort zone and have a look around. You'll find some pretty amazing marinates, sauces, noodles and much much more.

So back to my great find, here it is  LoGo Satay Seasoning mix! It comes with two seasoning mixes the first is the satay seasoning mix the second is peanut sauce powder. All you have to do is cut up half a kg of chicken either thigh or breast.
Note: I always highly recommend boneless thigh fillets as the meat is a hundred times more tender then breast meat.

Anyway cut the chicken into large cubes. Mix the packet of satay seasoning with 1/4 cup of coconut milk you don't have to be exact I  used half a small can. Add salt and pepper then add the chicken and mix until the chicken is completely covered. Place in a glass or ceramic tray or bowl and leave to marinate overnight or for a few hours. The longer it marinades the more tender and flavoursome the meat will be. Twenty minutes before you're ready to cook soak a dozen bamboo skewers in cold water for roughly twenty minutes then strain the water out. Turn on your oven 200 degrees fan forced or 392 Fahrenheit.

Grab the chicken and thread it onto the skewers about three to four large cubes. Set aside and heat up a large saucepan on high then add some oil. Once the oil is smoking place five skewers into the saucepan. Cook until lightly brown then turn over and do the same. They should only be cooking for roughly three minutes per side. Do not over cook! While the chicken is cooking mix packet B peanut sauce powder with half a cup of coconut milk and two teaspoons of oil, heat the mixture until it boils then take it off the heat and set aside. As they are cooking baste the chicken with the peanut sauce and line a plate with paper towel. Once the chicken is lightly browned on both sides place on the paper towel and continue cooking the other skewers. Once all the skewers are cooked and have been placed on the paper towel. Pop the skewers on a tray lined with baking paper. Baste both sides generously with the peanut sauce and cook in the oven for ten minutes. When the time is over take them out and baste them in the sauce again. Serve with rice. Yum! Sweet,  juicy, succulent chicken satay.


                Love Jem.