Sunday, August 24, 2014

24 Aug 14 (Sun) - Tiramisu

Tiramisu has always been my favourite dessert. After I managed to find ladyfingers biscuits in Candy Empire in Vivo City, I decided to buy the mascarpone cheese and the rum essence that I saw in NTUC Finest in 100 AM. 

Searched the Internet for recipes and found three which I then modified to produce this final recipe which I used today. The recipe is able to make about 10 glasses. The end product was not very pretty but fortunately, the taste was good. Out of curiosity, I did some calculations of the cost involved. The mascarpone cheese cost $7, whipping cream cost $3.40, rum essence cost $5.25, Nescafe classic instant coffee cost $2.95 and ladyfingers biscuits cost $3. The total cost of the main ingredients is about $13.40 and if I add on the cost of other ingredients, the total cost should be roughly about $18. So which means the cost price of one glass of tiramisu is about $1.80 compared to the usual $6-8 per serving if you buy from cake shops. 

20 pcs ladyfingers biscuits
250g mascarpone cheese
200ml whipping cream
200ml strong coffee
2 tbsp rum essence
200g white sugar
3 egg yolks
some cocoa powder
1 square semi-dark chocolate (shaved)

1.  Combine egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl
2.  Bring a pot of water to boil and then lower the heat
3.  Place the mixing bowl with sugar and egg mixture in the pot of hot water and stir for 10 mins
4.  Remove the mixture from heat, let it cool then whip the mixture till thick
5.  Add cheese to the mixture and blend well
6.  Whip the whipping cream till stiff peak form
7.  Fold the cream into the egg mixture and set aside
8.  Dip ladyfingers biscuits one at a time quickly in the coffee and arrange in serving glasses
9.  Spoon some cream-egg mixture over the biscuits
10.  Repeat step 8 & 9 till the biscuits finish and with top layer ending with the cream-egg mixture
11. Dust the top layer with some cocoa powder using a fine sieve and sprinkle some shaved chocolate
12. Chill for 8 hrs before serving

---------------- Edited on 25 August 2014 ----------------

Packed a box of tiramisu to office for my group of food buddies to try and it received many positive reviews. Most of them like the strong rum flavour which doesn't come with high alcohol content. A couple of them said that one improvement can be to use espresso to soak the ladyfingers biscuits so that the bitterness from the espresso can compliment the sweet taste of the cream and rum.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

3 Aug 14 (Sun) - Healthy Tofu

Had a nice dinner at Springleaf Taiwan Porridge Restaurant two Saturdays ago with my little big sis and her husband. We ordered sweet potato porridge, bean sprouts with salted fish, braised pork (aka lo bak), fresh cockles and tofu.  Most of the dishes were soy sauce base and the fresh cockles was particularly interesting as I had never eaten fresh cockles before.

Chatted over dinner with my little big sis and she was telling me that maybe can try to recreate the tofu dish. It got me interested and so decided to try it out today. Also cooked Japanese sweet potato porridge, fried egg with preserved turnip (aka caipo neng) and butterhead lettuce in oyster sauce.

The tofu dish was recreated entirely on my own estimation and memory and I would say it is about 65-70% close to the restaurant version. What do you think?

Top is Springleaf restaurant version; Bottom is recreated by me

2 firm tofu
pork floss
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp oil

Ingredients for sauce:
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp water
1/4 tsp mirin
1/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
3-4 tbsp sugar

1.  Rinse the tofu and steam for 10-15 mins over med-low heat
2.  Drain the tofu of excess liquid, cool to room temperature before putting into the fridge to chill
3.  Fried the minced garlic with oil till golden brown and set aside
4.  Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and cook over low heat till sugar dissolves
5.  Take out the tofu from the fridge and drain away any excess liquid
6.  Pour the fried garlic oil over the tofu
7.  Drizzle the sweeten dark soy sauce over the tofu
8.  Top with generous amount of pork floss before serving