Monthly Archives: August 2012

Donut French Toasts & “Almost Instant” Homemade Strawberry Sauce

Doughy texture. Check.

A slightly crispy (and greasy) exterior. Check.

Vanilla-ish aroma. Check.

Sugar coating. Check.

Doesn’t all of the above remind you of a classic donut?

Well, I’m delighted to say that this donut french toast shares the similar qualities listed above. I love that the idea of being able to make donuts at home, minus the effort of deep frying. I’ve tried baked donuts. I have now tried making french toasts that will remind of you donuts. It is without a doubt that I’m avoiding the real of way of donut making. Maybe I will fry donuts one day but until then, please enjoy this makeshift “donut” that will satisfy your donut cravings. And I emphasise – no deep frying is necessary! If you have a day old bread waiting to be put into good use, this may just be the justification you need to try this recipe. :)

Donut French Toasts

(Recipe sourced from Nigella Express)

Serves 2

What you’ll need:-

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tsps vanilla extract
  • 60ml/2 fluid ounces milk
  • 4 slices from a small white loaf or 2 slices from a large white loaf, each large slice cut in half ( I used 3 dinner rolls from the Racine Bakery, sliced about 1.5 cm /0.5 inches thick)
  • 25g/ 0.8 ounces butter, plus a drop of flavourless oil (I omitted the butter and used oil instead)
  • 50g/1.6 ounces caster (superfine) sugar

“Almost Instant” Strawberry Sauce (from Nigella Express also)

  • 150g/5 ounces hulled strawberries
  • 4 tbsps icing sugar

To make the strawberry sauce: In a small processor, process the strawberries and icing sugar together as smooth as possible. Set aside while you move on to make the french toasts.

To make the donut french toasts: In a shallow bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla extract and milk with a fork. Soak the bread slices in the egg mixture until the bread feels soggy (however, Nigella’s instruction was soaking for 5 minutes a side). Then heat butter (if using) and oil in a frying pan. Fry the egg-soaked bread until golden and scorched on both sides ( I would suggest to do it over medium to low heat). Put sugar on a plate and dip the cooked bread in the sugar until very well coated. Serve immediately with drizzles of strawberry sauce.

[Recreation - Out & About] Orange FEAST Lemon Night


There’s a saying “too many cooks spoil the broth”.

However, in my first Orange Feast meeting, it turned out to be more like more hands make light work….

(Okay, maybe none of this makes much sense to you. I’m writing this post at 11.25 pm and just got back from my road trip to Sydney. Maybe I was still under the lingering effect of my travelling pill ha!)

So first question: what is Orange Feast (held in Orange) meeting all about?

It is basically a social club held every 3rd Friday each month whereby a group of ladies get together to cook, eat and talk about food.

{Team main dish – Katy was briefing us what needs to be done for making the Orriechetta with Lemon Zest, Basil and Chilli Garlic Masala, tweaked from David Bitton – A French-inspired cafe cookbook. Recipe is available here.}

Two Fridays ago, I was invited to attend their third meeting and the theme was lemon. And yes, there’s a theme for each meeting. We were asked to bring our favourite lemon recipes to share and some lemony nibbles and snacks. My contribution was the lemon, leek and feta quiche. The structure for the night was this: we were splitted into the main dish and dessert teams. We prepared and cooked/baked together over tonnes of nibbles, wines, chatters and laugthers. I can only wish every kitchen adventure on my own was as fun as this.

{Shara from What Share Cooked was briefing team dessert about the Lemon Delicious recipe.}

  {End Result of our hard work}

{Fresh from the oven}

I would like to thank Katy and Shara for inviting me to the night out. If you live in Orange and interested in joining the next night out which will be on the 17th August 2012, let me know and I will relay it to the organisers (for now) until I can confirm the appropriate contact details. The theme will be pizza. :)

For more information and past meeting from the Orange Feast, please check out:

Indian Spiced Brussels Sprouts

I like to pleasantly surprise people by taking a different route from what they used to when it comes to cooking certain food. I have friends who are scarred by their mums’ overboiled brussels sprouts. Hence, their impression of brussels sprouts are soggy, tasteless and perhaps bitter. So the last thing I want to do is to boil brussels sprouts and serve them plain.

I like to pan fry my brussels sprouts. It is important that my brussels sprouts are “al dente” or otherwise I will be on the next train ride to the brussels-sprouts-hater ville! :P

I also like my brussels sprouts to be full of flavours and seasonings. Vinegary and sweet, cheesy and  in this case, spicy and buttery with a subtle sweetness from the dried cranberries.

So, what about you? How do you like your brussels sprouts?

Indian Spiced Brussels Sprouts

(tweaked from The Food of India – A Journey for Food Lovers)

Serves 4 as a side dish with rice and another main curry dish (or for two people with rice only)

What you’ll need:-

  • 500g Brussels Sprouts (mine was slightly under), trimmed the ends and halved
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp store bought garlic paste (or 1 garlic clove, roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp store bought ginger paste (or 2.5cm/ 1 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • About 3 rounds of freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsps ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Garnish: a handful of dried cranberries + finely chopped coriander leaves + finely sliced fresh chilli
  • A large frying pan with a lid

(1) Heat a tbsp of cooking oil in a frying pan over low heat and fry the onion, garlic and ginger paste until aromatic (make sure it is NOT brown) – see Note 1. (2) Add cumin seeds and ground turmeric to the pan and stir for 1 minute, over low heat.  (3) Stir in the brussels sprouts and mix the brussels sprouts to coat with the yellow paste over low heat. (4) Add salt, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder and about 2 tbsps of water. Stir to coat the brussels sprouts, then cook for about 10 minutes with the pan partially covered, stirring occassionally until the brussels sprouts are just tender, over low heat  (I like my brussels sprouts to have a bit of a bite). If the brussels sprouts become too dry and start sticking to the pan, add another tablespoon or two of water. When the brussels sprouts are just tender, stir in the butter and check the taste. Season with more salt if it is required.

Note 1 – If you are using fresh ginger and garlic, process the onon, garlic and ginger in a food processor and process until finely chopped but not a paste. Alternatively, you can chop all these ingredients with a knife.

{This can be the vegetable dish served with other dishes. For me, I actually like this with rice and garlicky yoghurt. Although I am not a vegetarian, I think it is nice to include a couple of vegetarian meals during the week. A good way to give my body a break from my meaty diet. ;)}