31 October 2012

Savoury Cheese & Dill Muffin

How time flies, couldn't believe that it's already end of October! Been really slacked this month, partly because I was feeling blue, and to make things worse, dear son was sick for one full week! It was a terrible week for hubby and I for dear son's fever was quite high and persisted day and night for 5-6 days. We returned home from a Bintan weekend getaway and he developed a high fever. The PD diagnosed his condition as stomach flu virus and assured us that he would get well in 4 days. However, the fever persisted and we had to go to KKH for blood test in case of any bacterial infection. Thankfully, the blood tests indicated a viral infection rather than bacterial, and he got better. *Phew*.
Hadn't been baking much, except for a batch of blueberry muffins (specially for dear son to entice him to eat) and I really missed baking! I have a whole list of to-bakes and it just gets longer each day as I browsed through other bloggers' recipes and pictures on FB. *sigh* but I simply couldn't muster the energy. 心有余而力不足!
And finally the night before, I just had the urge to bake. That was despite the fact that I had a weary day at work and reached home late after dining out, grocery shopping and food preparation for next day's dinner. Decided to bake a simple Cheese & Dill muffin to use up the grated cheese, Greek yogurt and milk I had in my fridge. The recipe is adapted from a user-submitted recipe found at nigella.com, and I made several modifications like adding more cheese and using mixture of unsalted and salted butter. And couldn't find fresh dill at the supermarket so I used bottled dill weed. For cheese, the recipe stated cheddar but I just used what I bought previously, those ready grated cheese meant for pizza and I think it turned out fine :p

Cheese & Dill Muffin
(Makes 16 regular size muffins)
  • 256g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 280g Greek yogurt
  • 35g salted butter, melted
  • 10g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 large egg (about 60g with shell)
  • 120g fresh milk
  • 100g grated cheese
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius.
  2. Sift flour with salt and baking powder, then stir in the sugar and dill. Set aside.
  3. Combine egg, yogurt, milk and melted butter.
  4. Gently mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients, and fold gently until just combined. Fold in grated cheese. Do not over-stir or the muffin will turn out tough.
  5. Fill the muffin cups with the batter to 3/4 full.
  6. Bake at 200 degree celsius for 20 mins.
  7. Best serve warm.
  • I replaced plain yogurt with Greek yogurt.
  • As I have some salted butter leftover, I used a mixture of salted and unsalted butters.
  • I replaced cheddar cheese with pizza cheese (I think combination of cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan) and increased quantity from 50g to 100g as I wanted a more cheesy taste.
  • I replaced fresh dill with bottled dill weed. If using fresh fill, quantity is 1/4 cup.
  • If eaten the next day, heat up in microwave oven first.
The muffins smelled heavenly as they were baking in the oven, and I couldn't wait to munch into one even though it was already late night by the time they were ready. Fattening yes, but I couldn't care less. Savoury muffins are comfort food, who could resist cheesy goodness! The taste of dill was almost negligible and I wonder if fresh dill would make any difference? Anyways, I'm happy with this quick fix for my cravings.

I found another carrot, zucchini and dill muffin recipe and have added it to my to-bake list. Hope I will pick up my baking and blogging mojo soon.

15 October 2012

Jap-Italian Desserts Workshop

Sorry for the MIA. Was suffering from fatigue recently and simply didn't have the zest to do anything at all :(
Anyways, I was invited by Shermay's Cooking School to attend a demo workshop by Chef Aki Watanabe on "Japanese-Italian Desserts". I had seen this workshop at Shermay's website but didn't sign up for it as the timings clashed with my son's gym class. Then the invitation came along and as I'm a fan of Chef Aki, I made arrangement for hubby to send dear son to his class :p
The recipes demo-ed are actually specially created by Chef Aki, to incorporate the Fabbri products namely Fabbri Amarena (cherry), Fabbri Fragola (wild strawberry) and Fabbri Mirtillo (blueberry) into Jap-Italian desserts. In fact I've tried the Fabbri Fragola before, using the wild strawberries as a topping for a Oreo Cream Cheese Cupcake (recipe by Chef Daniel Tay), I must say the wild strawberries are very yummy, albeit very sweet.
5 recipes were demo-ed during the 2-hr workshop. All the recipes are designed to be very simple with easy-to-follow steps.
1) Calpico (Japanese Yogurt Syrup) Cherry Kanten Agar Jelly (Using 'Fabbri Amarena Cherries')

2) Strawberry White Nama Choco (Using 'Fabbri Fragola')

3) No Bake Tofu Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce (Using 'Fabbri Mirtillo')

4) Strawberry Gyuuhi Mochi (Using 'Fabbri Fragola')

5) Soufflé Omelete with Blueberry sauce (Using 'Fabbri Amarena')

All participants were given a portion of the Calpico Cherry Kanten Agar Jelly for tasting and I love it! Calpico is a type of Japanese yogurt syrup, I've tried the diluted version before, it tasted a little like Yakult/Vitagen and Isotonic drink. So the taste of this jelly is a little tangy and sweet. The cherry embedded in the middle enhanced the taste and texture of the jelly. I love the fact that the jelly was made petite size which was pretty, and easy to eat (just pop into the mouth). In addition, the jelly can stay in room temperature due to the unique setting property of Japanese Kanten. So I can forsee making these jellies for parties or gatherings already.

The strawberry white nama choco is basically white chocolate with whipping cream, butter and chopped bits of Fabbri wild strawberries. We also got a tasting portion in class.
Unfortunately it was way too sweet for my palate. If I were to use this recipe, I might change the white chocolate to dark chocolate for a milder sweetness and taste.

The strawberry gyuuhi mochi uses Fabbri strawberries as well, basically Jap glutinous rice powder with sugar and chopped bits of wild strawberries. We didn't get to try this though as it's difficult to make enough mochi mixture for the entire class. But I can imagine that it's yummy coz I love mochi.

The tofu cheese cake with blueberry sauce is also easy to make and quite a versatile dessert. We could either make it into a 15-cm round cake or as individual serving portions. The cake was very rice and quite tangy with additions of yogurt and lemon juice. The sweetness from the blueberry complimented the cheese cake quite well. If you want the tofu taste to be more distinct, taste the cake within a day. Else, wait for up to 3 days and the tofu taste will be barely noticeable, leaving a very rich and creamy cheese cake.

The souffle omelette is very unique indeed. I think it's somewhat like a pancake with beating of eggs and sugar till fluffy then added with flour. But it's very difficult to cook as the insides need to be soft and gooey and outside slightly browned and crispy.

These are the 3 Fabbri products. The bottles are quite pretty too. Although I've used up the wild strawberries long time ago, I still kept the bottle :)

Will find an opportunity to make the Calpico Cherry Kanten Agar Jelly... after I get over my sluggish mood.