Mango chocolate cream layer

Crushed digestive biscuits in individual pots


On my way home one friday evening, I decided to treat M and myself to some homemade dessert but was only willing to spend a minimal amount of time making it. So I came up with something really quick and easy during my zoned out journey in the tube. What can be easier than a non-baking dessert? The best thing about this dessert, it is very flexible! Swap the ingredients with anything you fancy. Instead of using fresh mango, swap it with orange or strawberry. If you do not like fresh fruits, use any jam you have. If that is not easy enough for you, you can even top it off with Rice Krispies or Coco Pops instead! Like I said, anything you fancy.

Chopping up the fleshy mango









MANGO CHOCOLATE CREAM LAYER RECIPE

Serves 2

  • 150g digestive biscuit (crushed)

  • 150g dark chocolate

  • 50ml milk

  • 300ml double cream

  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

  • 1 mango (diced)



Methods:



  1. Give the digestive biscuits a quick blitz in the food processor or crush them with your hands.

  2. Melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie. Take it off heat when chocolate is almost entirely melted. Stir gently until smooth. Add in the milk and combine well. Set aside to cool.

  3. Whip up the double cream with vanilla extract until soft peak and fold in the melted chocolate.

  4. Place the crushed digestive biscuits into little individual pots, tumbler glasses or ramekins, depending on how you would like to serve them.

  5. Scoop the chocolate cream mixture into the pots that are filled with crushed digestive.

  6. Finish off with diced mangos.



Tips:



  • To save time, you can melt the chocolate in the microwave. It is a lot quicker.

  • Also instead of using fresh fruits, there is always the option of using jam or marmalade.







Stuffed Cabbage Roll

While making these stuffed cabbage rolls, I cannot help but think that they are actually makeover of meatballs. Many recipes are derived from a specific recipe that each and everyone of us have interpreted. So these aren't gołąbki, the Polish traditional cabbage rolls but they are my adaptation and interpretation.

Let the meatball makeover begin!! You must be wandering why I think this is a meatball makeover. First, the filling is similar or can be the same as typical meatballs depending on how you like them. Now, they are wrapped in a blanket of cabbage. It is like putting on a dress with beautiful pattern.

Stuffed cabbage placed carefully in the pot.

The sauce should be thicker than this. This was boiled for about 30 minutes instead of the required time as I was too hungry to let it simmer. So please let it simmer longer or to the consistency you like. However thin this sauce is, it still tasted lovely.



STUFFED CABBAGE ROLL RECIPE

adapted from Betsylife


Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 1 pot of boiling water

  • 500g minced pork
  • 1/2 onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 carrot (chopped)
  • 1/2 apple (chopped)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
  • dried mixed herbs
  • salt and pepper to taste

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 750g chopped tomato
  • 5 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp strawberry jam
  • 1 bird's eye chilli (deseeded and sliced)

Methods:

1. Core the cabbage, peel off each leaf carefully and place them in a pot. Pour boiled water into the pot to cover over the cabbage.
2. Boil until the leaves are soft. Carefully remove the leaves from the pot and place them on a plate to cool.
3. While the cabbage leaves are cooling, mix well the filling ingredients with your hands with kneading motion.
4. Mix the sauce ingredients in a different bowl.
5. Now roll the mixed filling into batons, not too big making sure it is about 1/3 the width of the cabbage leave.
6. Place a cabbage leave on your worktop and fill it with the rolled fillings.
7. Then fold in the sides of the cabbage and start rolling from the base of cabbage first.
8. Place the rolls in an empty pot and pour the over the sauce mixture.
9. Bring the pot to boil and simmer for about an hour to thicken the sauce and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes.
10. While the pot is simmering, gently lift the rolls to make sure they don't burn.
11. When ready, carefully arrange the rolls on a plate or a wide bowl. Then scoop some sauce onto the rolls. Garnish with parsley or basil leaves and serve.


  

The floating heaven

Ever since I had my first 'floating island' in a little restaurant tugged in a quiet alley 200 metres away from our hotel in Nice two years ago, it became one of my favourite dessert. Everything about this dessert hits the spot. The white fluffy and light meringue island was literally floating on a sea of beautifully sweet and nutty crème anglaise. A sprinkle of nuts gave her texture.

It made my usual indecisive dessert choice very easy during our girly Sunday lunch at Bluebird Restaurant when my floating heaven was on the menu. I scanned through the list of eight choices and took a second to decide. Nothing could change my mind at that moment. Well unless baked Alaska was on the menu.

Mark Block’s version of floating island with pink praline and pistachio. My floating heaven is still the one I had in France but this was good enough to bring me back to France.


What is more exciting is when I saw the Ile Flottante ‘Tropical’ post on my recent favourite blog, Zen Can Cook. It is like god is telling me something! I would make this recipe this weekend if I have my baking equipment but they are currently still in storage. Will definitely make it a point to make this recipe once I move in to the new flat and settle in.

Photo via ZenCanCook

Salmon en Croute

When you feel like making something delicious yet quick dinner after work, I suggest making this. All you need to do is assemble and bake. Then wait for the timer to go off while you get on with reading the paper, checking your mails or wind down on the comfortable couch.

Salmon parcel ready to be baked


...et viola (after 30 minutes in the oven)


An impressive dinner with minimal effort


SALMON EN CROUTE RECIPE

Serves 2

  • 250g salmon

  • puff pastry (readily rolled)

  • a squeeze of lemon juice

  • 1 small egg



  • 25g sun-dried tomato (chopped)

  • 20g tapenade

  • 10g basil (chopped)

  • salt and pepper

  • rocket




Methods:



  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.

  2. Descale the fish and pat dry with kitchen towel. Season with salt, peper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

  3. Chop up the sun-dried tomato then mix it with the tapenade and chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  4. Roll out the puff pastry onto a flat surface. Place one piece of salmon on the puff pastry, spread the salmon with the tapenade mix. Then top it with anther piece of salmon.

  5. Once the salmon has been sandwiched with the tapenade, fold the other half of the puff pastry and brush the edges with some egg wash to seal. Press the edges with a fork to make sure the parcel seals tightly.

  6. Brush the parcel with the egg wash to make it glisten.

  7. Make neat criss cross cuts on the parcel to allow steam through.

  8. Bake for 30minutes.

  9. When ready, half it and serve on a bed of rocket or any vegetables you prefer.





Tips:

  • You can make this with different filling. Try it with cream cheese and spinach, or mustard seeds with butter and dill.

  • If you have extra puff pastry after wrapping up the salmon, you can make them into tapenade or sun-dried tomato batons. The batons are great for party snacks.



Sun-dried tomato batons


SUN-DRIED TOMATO / TAPENADE BATON RECIPE



Ingredients:



  • Sun-dried tomato / tapenade

  • Puff pastry



Method:



  1. Spread the tapenade or chopped sun dried tomato on one half of the leftover sheet of puff pastry.

  2. Fold the sheet up and cut into about an inch batons.

  3. Brush the batons with egg wash.

  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Tips:

  • You can make these batons with Dijon mustard as well.

  • These batons freeze well.