Homemade Simple Vanilla Creme Brulee

Home Made Crema Catalana

I’ve always loved Creme Brulee for any part of the day – dessert, snack with coffee/tea, and sometimes, even breakfast! I use to buy the pre-made ones, where you pour some sugar on top and burn the sugar with a torch. Then, recently, I started ordering them for dessert at restaurants, and realized it’s just not the same!! It’s suppose to be creamier and lighter and more “mousse” like than “pudding” like. So, I found a simple recipe which is slightly modified from Anna Olson’s show “Bake With Anna Olson” on Food Network.

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
1 cup cream
1 tbsp of vanilla paste
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar

First, preheat the oven to 325F, and place some ramekins in a heat safe pan with sides – so we can give the creme brulees a water bath when we’re ready to bake. Also, set a strainer with cheese cloth on stand-by as we will use them!

Then, place the cream in a pot and heat it up really slowly. Add the vanilla paste in to infuse the cream. You can use the actual vanilla seeds if you have the vanilla pods. Stir gently and wait until it’s hot – but not boiling over.

Next, in another bowl, cream the 2 egg yolks together with sugar. Then, slowly combine the cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture. Be sure to go slow so you don’t cook the eggs!

Now, pour the mixture through the strainer with the cheese cloth so it’s strained into the ramekins! Use a spoon to take out all the air bubbles that you see on top! Then, place this in the oven and pour some boiling water into the deep dish that holds the ramekins – making sure you fill up to at least half way up the ramekin dish itself to gently cook the creme brulee.

Now, bake for about 20-25 minutes in the oven. I set my oven too high, and caused the egg to cook on the top – but it still tasted great! πŸ™‚

Let the creme brulee chill completely, and then place into the fridge for at least 3 hours. When you’re ready to enjoy, sprinkle a layer of sugar on top and use a torch to burn the sugar!! It’s done and you’re ready to eat!

Sit down anywhere, anytime to enjoy this delicious and somewhat refreshing dessert as it’s creamy and decadent with a hint of sweetness!

Homemade Nutella Cookies

Easy Nutella Cookies

So, I guess there’s something called International Chocolate Day, and once I heard that, I went through my pantry to see what I had… so, I found enough ingredients to make a small batch of Nutella Cookies that are quick and simple! I must say, the house smells absolutely amazing right now!

Ingredients: (Makes about 18 cookies)
1 cup Nutella
2/3 cup All Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Wheat Flour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
splash of milk

First, preheat the oven to about 350F, you have to do this right away, since preparing the batter is quick and easy! Then, just mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and mix lightly.

Once all the dry ingredients are incorporated, add the egg and nutella into the mixture. This will make a super sticky batter – but try to mix well. If you need the batter to be less thick, add about a tablespoon of milk. If it’s still really sticky, add more until the cookie dough combines into a nice consistency.

Then, I like to line my cookie tray with parchment paper, and I spoon out little cookie dough balls about the size of a ball that fits into a tablespoon. I roll these balls lightly and just place onto the cookie tray. As the cookie bakes, it will flatten itself, so you don’t need to flatten it – unless of course you want to! After all, they are YOUR cookies!

Now, you just place in the oven for about 10 minutes, and they should be a little lighter in colour and should be even colouring. You can always do the toothpick test if you want. But, remember it will continue to cook a little as you’re they’re resting on the cooling rack. So, this means you need to cool your cookies first on the cooling rack!

Homemade Chinese Roast Pork Belly – Siu Yuk 燒肉

Home Made Crispy Skin Pork Belly – Siew Yoke

Okay, this isn’t something we eat a lot of at all, but I really wanted to make it, and it’s Roast Pork Belly. I bought my strip of pork belly with bone in and skin on from the Asian grocery market, and we just got a small slab.

Ingredients:
slab of pork belly
1 or 2 cube of fermented bean curd
Chinese Five Spice (五香粉)
White Pepper
Salt
Rice Vinegar (or white vinegar)

The first thing is first, you gotta clean your meat – so rinse the pork belly off well with cold water, and pat it completely dry with paper towels. You do need to make this a few hours ahead, so plan ahead!

Once the pork is clean, make the marinade for the pork belly by smashing a piece of the fermented bean curd until it’s a paste. Add to the paste the Five Spice, and White Pepper.

Prepare the meat now, by stabbing the skin with your knife – not through the entire skin, but you want lots of punctures on the skin. If you want, cut the actual pork meat so marinade gets through. I didn’t do this as my pork belly has bones.

Then, rub the marinade all over the pork belly EXCEPT the skin. Leave the skin part dry for now with nothing on it. After the marinade is on the pork, rub the salt onto the skin, and do a really good job of it. Try to get it into some puncture holes if you can! Put the entire slab of pork belly onto a wire rack with a line tray underneath and refrigerate for a few hours – or even overnight.

After you’ve marinated for a few hours, take the pork belly out of the fridge while you wait for the oven to preheat. Set the oven to 400F, and then put the pork belly into the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes and pull it out to brush some rice wine vinegar on the skin. I brush it again after another 20 minutes. Then, continue letting the pork bake until almost thoroughly cooked. To finish the cooking, change the oven setting to broil and give it another 20 minutes for the skin to become fluffy and crunchy.

When the baking has competed, take the pork belly out of the oven and let it rest for 10 a few minutes for the juices to redistribute in the meat, then slice and serve!