Fig and Chocolate Slice


My poor little Jake has somehow contracted ringworm. Not a dangerous or threatening condition, but rather an uncomfortable rash that keeps my little man up at night. So to keep me alive during the day, I’ve been surviving on sugar hits in one form or another. Today’s sugar rush is brought to you by figs and chocolates!

Estimated Cooking Time – 30 minutes

Serves 6

Ingredients;

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup of oil
  • 1/4 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 cups of wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup of oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup of chocolate buttons
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 4 Tbsp of sugar
  • 4 ripe figs cut into slices

Method;

  1. In a bowl, roughly mash the banana and pour the chocolates buttons in to combine well.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the egg, milk, 2 Tbps of sugar and beat well till the egg mixture goes from a dark yellow to a light fluffy yellow shade.
  3. Add the wholemeal flour and oats and fold in the banana and chocolate combo. Mix well and pour into a baking dish.
  4. Add the fig slices on top and sprinkle the remaining 2 Tbsp of sugar over the figs. Pop into the oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes (depending on the size of your baking tin/dish). The slice is ready when you put a skewer into the middle of the slice and it comes out clean.
  5. Serve warm with either ice-cream or a bed a dried coconuts.


Banana and Tapioca Dessert (Chuoi Chan)


Evie, my cousin in law and Lynda my other sister in law are fanatics when it comes to Vietnamese desserts, especially this traditional banana and tapioca dessert. It’s rather simple to make and although any banana will do, there’s a special type of banana we refer to as the “angel banana” that really lifts the dish. The only problem is as they are an uncommon variety, it’s rare to find them. They’re intensely golden on the inside, with a silky thin peel. The size of your thumb at most, they pack alot of flavour so you can imagine the sheer joy I had when my mum found them! Sorry it took so long to finally do this post Evie and Lynda, but I had to wait for the right banana to come by to make it truly special!

Estimated Cooking Time - 15 minutes (excluding pre-soak)

Serves 4

Ingredients;

  • 3 just ripe sugar/lady finger banana cut in half. If you had the angel bananas, they can remain unsliced.
  • 4 strands of sweet potato noodle, broken up into 2cm bits
  • 1 Tbps of Tapioca pearls
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 Tbps of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4-5 Tbps of coconut creme, depending on your preference for richness in the dessert. For a richer dish, simply add more coconut creme and 1/2 tsp of sugar.
  • Sprinkle of crushed toasted peanuts or a nut of your choice.

Method;

  1. Pre-soak the tapioca pearls and sweet potato noodle separately in a bowl for 1/2 hour beforehand.
  2. Dissolve the salt and sugar together in a bowl. Add this liquid to a pan with the banana and sweet potato noodle.
  3. Bring to the boil and return back to a low simmer. Add the tapioca pearls and coconnut creme and gently stir making sure you don’t bruise the banana.
  4. Serve hot in winter and ice cols in summer for a wonderful dessert after any asian meal. Garnish with peanuts or a nut of your choice.

 



Mango Dessert


It’s 3am in the morning and after a long battle with my little boy’s relentless crying, I felt really peckish. I went to the pantry to see what I can find… instant noodles would be too heavy… chocolate will see me bouncing off walls and sour cream and chives chips isn’t much of an option either. I needed something fresh, soothing and light … time for another culinary experiment! 

Estimated Cooking Time – 10 minutes

Serves 1

Ingredients;

  • 1/2 fresh mango
  • 3 strands of sweet potato noodle, broken to 1cm pieces in length
  • 1/2 Tbsp of condense milk (1 Tbsp if you like your desserts really sweet)
  • 20 mls of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup of ice cold water
  • 1/4 cup of boiling water

Method;

  1. In a bowl, add the sweet potato strands and pour 1/4 cup of boiling water into the bowl. Microwave on a high setting for 2 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, add the condensed milk to 20mls of boiling water and stir till the milk is dissolved into the liquid.
  3. Add the chopped mango to the milky soup and add the 1/4 cup of icy cold water. If you like your desserts really sweet, you can add another 1 Tbsp of sugar.
  4. Take the cooked noodles out of the microwave, strain the hot liquid and run cold water over the noodles to cool it down. Drain well and add to the milky soup.
  5. You can garnish this dessert with toasted sesame seeds or as it is. For a real wake up call, add crushed ice!



Banh Bot Bang – Tapioca Balls


With two kids to chase around these days, I rarely get the chance to spend it with my gorgeous mum. Mum is the reason why I love cooking and more importantly the reason why I love eating. Today, mum and I are making our favourite vietnamese dessert…. Banh Bot Bang, which is a sweet tapioca dessert.

Estimated Cooking Time - 60 minutes

Serves 4-5 

Ingredients;

  • 375g of tapioca pearls or seeded tapioca (you can get these fro your asian grocery store)
  • 200g of mung beans or split lentils soaked in water for 30 minutes beforehand
  • 2 Tbsp of white sugar
  • 2 cups of brown/raw sugar
  • 100ml of water
  • 100ml of coconut milk
  • toasted sesame seeds for garnish
  • 20ml of vegetable oil

Method;

The Filling

  1. Drain the lentils/mung beans and pour into a pot. To that, add the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Once the mixture reaches boiling point, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 – 30 minutes dependent on the size of the beans. The mixture is ready when it becomes dough like in texture and can be rolled into balls.Roll into bite sized balls and set aside to cool.

The Coconut Dressing

  1. Pour the coconut milk and 2 Tbsp of sugar into a bowl and mix well. Cover with cling wrap and microwave the mixture for 30 seconds and whisk again. Once whisked, microwave again for another 30 seconds and whisk again. Repeat this step for another 2 times.

The Dough

  1. Pour the tapioca pearls into a bowl and pour boiling water over the pearls till the water is just slightly level with the pearls. The instant hot water will make the pearls expand in size and will stick to each other and form a dough like mixture.
  2. With a spoon, mix the pearls around and knead the mixture softly with your finger tips, so the pearls become dough like and feel flexible. Cover the mixture with cling wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover the cling wrap and add 2 Tbsp of boiling water to the dough mixture again to loosen the dough. This will help in separating the dough into little sections to wrap around the filling above.

Making the Balls

    1. Take abit of the oil and rub it around your hands to prevent the dough sticking to your hands. Take a Tbsp of the tapioca dough and roll it around your palms till you form a ball. Squash the balls between your hands so it forms a sheet. Put the bean ball mixture onto this sheet and wrap the tapioca dough around the bean ball. Place in a steamer.  You’ve just made your first tapioca ball!
    2. Repeat this step till you have used up all the dough and bean mixture. Steam the balls for 15 – 20 minutes. The balls are ready once the dough becomes transparent. Once cooled, the dough will decome slightly opaqgue again.
    3. To serve, arrange the balls out on to a plate, drizzle with the cocount dressing and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. This dish is to die for!

 

 



Chocolate Bites


I had a couple of belgian chocolate boxes left over from Xmas which I’ve been meaning to tuck into. So while hubby started the coffee machine and I whipped out the trust worthy frozen puff pastry to surprise him with a treat! 

Estimated Preparation Time – 25 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients;

  • 2 puff pastry sheet
  • 4 pieces of chocolate of your preference
  • 4 dried apricot
  • 4 roasted almonds
  • 4 bite size pieces of brie
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of fine brown sugar
  • Melted butter for brushing

Method;

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 350C.
  2. Cut the frozen piece of puff pastry in half and repeat this with the second sheet.
  3. To each sheet, add the brie, apricot and almond and roll the pastry into a round roll.
  4. Repeat this step with the remaining ingredients.
  5. Brush the pastry parcels with abit of melted butter and sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar on top.
  6. Pop the pastry in the oven and turn the heat to 200C.
  7. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes and serve warm with your favourite hot drink. A spiked coffee is also an added bonus!