RSS Feed

Stir Fry Honey Garlic Chicken

The first time I made this, I didn’t really get a strong flavor of honey but the garlic was clearly there. I adjusted the ingredients to include 1/4 cup of honey rather than the 2 tablespoons I used so hopefully the flavor will be more prominent, but I’ve yet to test it again.

Stir Fry Honey Garlic Chicken

Chicken

  • 2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • oil for frying, enough to fill a pot or wok with 1 inch of oil (I used peanut)

Sauce

Adapted from Food Gal

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup water plus 1 tablespoon corn starch
  1. Rub salt and pepper into chicken pieces
  2. Toss your cut-up chicken with the egg, then with the flour and cornstarch. It will be sticky. Set aside
  3. Heat 1-inch of oil in your frying vessel and allow to heat up, never allowing the temperature to rise above 375° F or to start simmering or boiling. The oil should look like it is heating up (it will move around slightly), but you never want to see any bubbles forming until you have added in the chicken
  4. Fry the chicken in batches, 8-10 minutes for each batch, until golden and crispy. Check a piece or two to be sure that it’s cooked through, but also to be sure that it’s crispy enough
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken to a cutting board or a plate lined with paper towels and drain. Do this until all of the chicken has been fried; don’t overcrowd the pot, either. It doesn’t matter how many batches you have to do, as the chicken will be warmed again when it is added to the sauce. Be careful when disposing of the oil (allow it to cool completely first)
  6. Saute your garlic with about a tablespoon of oil for five minutes or so, until softened
  7. Add in the rest of the combined sauce ingredients and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened, then add in the water and cornstarch mixture
  8. Stir until thickened, and be careful not to burn it! This shouldn’t take more than 8 minutes or so
  9. Add in the fried chicken pieces and stir until well coated

Here is the chicken tossed with the cornstarch

Frying the chicken!

I made sure my chicken got really crispy 🙂

Here’s the chicken mixed in with the sauce

And the final product, of course made with garlic noodles on the side for Kamil

Mini White Chocolate Butter Bars

Warning: these bars are extremely gooey bars. For the first batch, I attempted to bake them in my mini brownie pan but unfortunately they ended up falling apart when I tried pulling them out. The taste was still great, however and though not completely intact, they were perfectly snackable. Yes, I just made up a word. Anyway, the second time around, I just made the rest of the batter in a 9×9″ pan and they came out fine.

White Chocolate Butter Bars

Adapted from Godiva

Butter Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package white chocolate instant pudding
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1  1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Topping

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Solid Ivory, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray mini brownie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, instant pudding, and salt. Set aside
  3. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, using electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lower the speed and add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, blending until the batter is smooth (do not overmix). Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly
  4. Beat cream cheese, eggs, 3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, almond and vanilla extracts at low speed. Beat until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the remaining confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Pour over batter and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned all over. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes
  5. Drizzle the top decoratively with melted solid ivory

This is a close-up of just the batter

Then with the topping on top

And the final product :). These are not the ones that came out of the mini brownie pan, which explains why they look so presentable here

Boston Cream Pie Petit Fours

This recipe is so intricate that it literally took me all day to accomplish, but I say it was well worth it. What I did was I baked a sponge sheet cake and using a square fondant cutter, I cut out a bunch of little squares. I made a custard as well and once it was chilled enough, I made sandwiches with the cute out squares and the custard and finally soaked them in a chocolate ganache to make little Boston Cream Pies!

 

Boston Cream Pie Petit Fours

Sponge Cake

Martha Stewart

  • Unsalted butter, for pans
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
  • 3/4 cup corn starch
  • 6 large eggs, separated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup plus 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Custard

Elinor Klivans

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Glaze

Elinor Klivans

  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk until small bubbles appear around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat
  2. In a heatproof bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, and cornstarch and whisk until smooth. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until thoroughly blended
  3. Return the egg-yolk mixture to the saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 3 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring constantly for 1 minute longer to cook completely
  4. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Stir in the butter and vanilla
  5. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming and poke a few holes in the plastic with the tip of a sharp knife to allow steam to escape. Refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours or overnight
  6. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 11-by-17-inch rimmed baking sheet and a 9×9″ square baking pan. Line the bottom of each pan with parchment paper, and butter again. Flour the pans, and set aside
  7. In a small bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch; set aside
  8. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg yolks, vanilla, and 3/4 cup sugar on high until thick and pale, about 3 minutes. Transfer egg-yolk mixture to a large bowl. Wash and dry the mixer bowl and the whisk attachment
  9. Combine the egg whites and salt in the mixer bowl, and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form, about 1 1/2 minutes. With the mixer running, slowly add the remaining 6 tablespoons sugar. Continue beating until stiff and glossy, about 1 minute
  10. Fold the egg-white mixture into the egg-yolk mixture. In three additions, fold the reserved flour mixture into the egg mixture. Transfer two-thirds of the batter to the baking sheet, and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Transfer remaining batter to the 9×9″ pan; smooth the top with the spatula. Bake until light golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer the pans to wire racks to cool; turn out the cakes, remove the parchment paper, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze until ready to use
  11. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the heavy cream, butter, and corn syrup and cook, stirring, until the butter melts and the mixture is hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate
  12. Let stand for about 30 seconds, then stir until the chocolate is completely melted and the glaze is smooth. Stir in the vanilla

Assembly

  1. After a few hours, remove cakes from freezer. Run a knife under hot water and slice the 9×9″ cake in half horizontally. Spread cake and cake halves out. Using a square fondant cutter, cut out as many cake squares as you possibly can (save scraps for snacking!)
  2. Remove custard from the fridge. Take one cake square and “frost” the top of it with the custard. Stack another cake square on top and repeat again with the custard. Stack a third cake square on top of that custard layer and set aside. Repeat with remaining cake squares
  3. Place all cake squares on rimmed baking sheet and spread enough of the chocolate ganache over each stack to fully coat it. Place the baking sheet in the fridge and allow the chocolate to firm up. Then enjoy!

Here are just the plain sponge cake and custard sandwiches

Adding on that ganache

I was worried they would get too soggy if I made sure every single piece of the cake was covered

The finished product!

Eating Our Way Through Canada, Part 2

For my birthday present/spring break, Kamil took me to Montreal for the first time. The trip there went fairly smooth up until the part where we needed to find the hotel which seemed impossible because the building was so freaking small!!! I literally think we did a minimum of twenty circles around the same block until we finally pulled over at the Sheraton to ask for directions. The first place we ate at for lunch wasn’t really anything special because we were both too tired and car sick to bother looking for something better. However, the dinner we had that night was phenomenal.

We spent quite some time walking around looking for a decent restaurant to eat at until a doorman at a hotel recommended some places on Peel Street. That was when we found Cavalli, aka Heaven. Kamil ended up ordering their pine-nut crusted filet mignon with a mushroom-spelt risotto, swiss chard, grilled artichokes, a pine-nut emulsion, and sultana raisins.

Is that not a beautiful presentation or what? I ended up ordering their fish of the day (which unfortunately I didn’t take a picture of) but it included grilled shrimp (by request, they were supposed to sear them), various grilled vegetables, and basmati rice which was divine.

The next day for lunch we settled on Reuben’s which didn’t look so appetizing from the outside considering they had giant slabs of meat as a display in their front window but honestly, the food was outstanding. It was so good we ended up going there for lunch two days in a row. The first day Kamil just got a burger but the second day he ordered a ham sandwich and the amount of meat they serve you on this one sandwich is truly more than one can fit in their mouth.

Both times we went I ordered their Mediterranean Salad which had mixed greens, grilled chicken, orange slices, shaved carrots, and pecans served with a balsamic vinaigrette. The chicken was so tender and juicy and oh how I wish I had that salad now…

Our last night there I hate to say it but yes, we went back to Cavalli. Both times we went we ordered drinks as well, bringing out total out to about $150 dollars each time. Was it worth it for the amount of food they served you? Not really. But if you were to ask me if it was worth it for the taste, I would have to say it was. The second trip we made there I again ordered their fish of the day which happened to be grilled salmon with vegetables and basmati rice again. Everything was perfect.

After dinner that night, Kamil and I went to a bar for some drinks (since the drinking age there is 18 after all). He also ordered a Bailey’s cheesecake for dessert. And I must say that for a restaurant/bar that didn’t even come close to looking like Cavalli, their presentation was pretty impressive as well.

Overall, I had another amazing time in Canada with the love of my life. We’re already planning on third trip there which will hopefully be sometime this summer! 🙂

Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Though I’m on Spring Break, it was my friend’s birthday from school yesterday and I had to make her something! She requested anything with caramel, so what’s better than a cupcake filled with caramel and topped with a caramel buttercream frosting? The answer to that is nothing :).

Vanilla Bean Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

The Culinary Chronicles

Cupcake

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • Caramel sundae topping, for filling

Dulce de Leche Buttercream Frosting

  • 3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar (sifted)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dulce de leche
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°degrees and place paper liners in pans
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
    In a standing mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and creamy for about 2 minutes. Add the butter, vanilla bean seeds, and vanilla extract. Mix until well incorporated. Slowly incorporate dry ingredients until well blended. Fold in sour cream until smooth and well incorporated
  3. Fill each lined cup ½ to 2/3 full. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, rotating halfway between baking time. Cupcakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean. Cool completely in pans on top of a wire rack
  4. While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until the butter becomes thicker and stiff. Add the culce de leche and whip until combined. If needed, add a few more spoons of confectioners sugar until desired consistency is reached
  5. Poke a hole in the center of each cupcake (I use a straw) and fill with caramel sundae topping. Top with dulce de leche buttercream

Pre-bakedI love the look of the vanilla beans 🙂

Post-baked

Filling the cupcakes is my favorite part!

And I guess frosting is always fun too 😉

Mini Caramel Chai Cheesecake

So tomorrow is my birthday and I couldn’t be more excited. My mom got me both things on my wish list- a mini cheesecake pan and cardamom so what else was I to do but use both at the same time?!

Mini Caramel Chai Cheesecake

Crust

  • 8 ounces cinnamon graham crackers, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 stick butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sundae topping

Filling

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dulce de leche
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325 degrees F
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the cinnamon graham cracker crumbs and 3 Tbs. granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter and caramel until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer the mixture to a mini cheesecake pan and press evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of each well (to press, use plastic wrap or a flat-bottom measuring cup). Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees F
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside
  4. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, dulce de leche, flour, and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and the paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese has no lumps. Add the 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth
  5. Add the chai spice mix and vanilla, and beat until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling onto the cooled crusts
  6. Bake at 300 degrees F until the centers jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, about 15 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges, and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled

Here are the crusts, ready to be baked

Pre-baked

Post-baked

It’s hard to believe all these spices went into this delicious, bite-size treat

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

This recipe was really done completely out of the blue. My mom went to the store and I asked her to get me some oreo cookies with the full intention that I would make cookies & cream ice cream, especially considering I bought some cookies & cream sprinkles from A.C Moore recently. But then I remembered I had some instant oreo pudding mix in my pantry and I guess I just went with it!

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (4.2 oz) package instant cookies & cream pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 20 oreo cookies, finely chopped

Cookies & Cream Buttercream

Adapted from Savory Sweet Life

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 10 oreo cookies, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract
  4. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to assure the batter is thoroughly mixed. Stir in oreo cookie crumbs. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling papers about 2/3 full. Bake about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks
  5. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.  Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter
  6. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt,  and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for for 3 minutes.  If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar.  If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time. Beat in oreo cookie crumbs

Close-up of the batter

Pre-baked

Post-baked

I made the frosting a little too thick so I wasn’t strong enough to push it through my mechanical pastry bag. Kamil did it for me and he said I’m not allowed to criticize his work on my blog so I’ll have to keep that part a secret. I’m just kidding, he did a really good job :)…

…Probably even better than me

%d bloggers like this: