KBB #29 : Eccles Cake

eccles cake

Super delish flaky puff pastry filled with juicy dried fruit. I warn you, after making this pastry, you'll have popeye muscle :D. But believe me, it's worth it. The taste won't be the same if you use ready to use puff pastry, because it less flaky. Eccles Cakes
Makes about 50 smallish cakes Filling

Ingredients :
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
Peel from 2 lemons Peel from 2 oranges
2 cups dried currants
1/2 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons brandy (optional)
1/4 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice


Directions :
1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the spices and peel and fry until they are fragrant in the butter. Add the fruit, brandy, and juice. Simmer for ten or fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool, then put in the fridge overnight to let the flavors really meld.

Puff Pastry
Ingredients :
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
4 cups AP flour
1 teaspoon salt
Between 1 and 1/2 cups ice water

Directions :
1. Take three of the sticks of butter and slice them in half lengthwise and then again widthwise.

2. Arrange them into a rectangle on a large piece of wax paper. Put another piece of wax paper on top and roll them the butter out into a 9x12-inch rectangle between the sheets of waxed paper. Chill for at least four hours.

3. Put the four cups of flour into a food processor.

4. Cut up the remaining stick of butter and add it, bit by bit, to the flour and pulse into dusty crumbs.

5. Dump the butter-flour crumbs into a big bowl and add ice water gradually, stirring, just until the dough comes together. Knead for a couple minutes until smooth. Wrap and refrigerate four hours or overnight.

6. Roll the dough out into a 1/4-inch-thick rectangle and place the butter rectangle on top. Fold the corners of the dough over the butter and roll out to its previous size. Fold the sides of the dough up to the middle, like folding a piece of paper into thirds, then fold it again in half — like closing a book. You're working the butter into the dough in finer and finer layers; the butter if it stays cold will puff the pastry up in delicious and spectacular ways when you're finished. Wrap this parcel well and put back in the fridge for at least an hour or two.

7. Take the dough out and roll the parcel out into the rectangle again, then repeat the folding process. This is working the butter into the pastry in finer and finer layers. Continue this process - rolling out, then folding. These are called turns. Do at least four turns - six or more is even better. It's very simple: the longer you let the dough rest and chill between turns, and the more turns you do, the lighter and flakier your pastry will be. I did five turns over the course of about 8 hours, and mine was fine - but if I was doing some other kind of pastry I would definitely let it sit overnight at least once.

 eccles Collage

Assembly :
1. 1 egg, beaten.

2. Coarse sugar

3. Heat the oven to 375°F.

4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

5. Take a third of the the puff pastry dough from the fridge. It should be very cold and firm, but not hard. Roll it out to a thickness of about 1/8-inch. Cut small circles - I used a biscuit cutter that gave me four-inch circles. You could do larger, but I wanted a lot of individual pastries.

6. Put a small dollop of filling (about 1 teaspoon) in the center of each dough circle. Fold in half, like a potsticker dumpling, and seal the edges with your fingers. Now bring the two pointy edges up and fold them in the center, on the curved seam. Flatten out the little pouch with your fingers, and roll it into a small circle - just thin enough that the filling shows through the dough a little. Try not to let it leak out, though. Make two or three shallow slashes in the top of the finished round cake. Brush with beaten egg, and sprinkle with sugar. (Note: I think that my pastry dough was pretty warm by this point, from all the handling and rolling. I didn't try this at the time, but in the future I think I would put the finished, unbaked pans of cakes in the fridge or freezer to let them chill again - maybe for an hour. This would make a higher, lighter pastry.)

7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and puffy. Try not to eat one immediately - the hot raisin filling will scorch your mouth - believe me, I know. These are amazingly good even a few days later.

eccles4eccles cake


KBB #28 Torta Pasqualina

torta pasqualina

Torta Pasqualina is a typical Italian Easter recipe that comes from Liguria. It is a traditional tart made with a thin pastry stuffed with vegetables, ricotta cheese, Parmesan and eggs and it is traditionally prepared in the Easter day as an appetizer.

I didn't have enough time when I prepared this. Been busy the whole month. I was juggling between cupcakes orders, driving license paper works, my friend's wedding invitation and being a tour guide for my sister & brother whose visiting us this month.

It took times when you want to make this savoury cake. I better warn you, it's not easy to flatten each piece of dough into a very thin disk. Be careful not to tear it apart. But worth to try, I like the combo taste of cheese, eggs and vegetables.

Torta Pasqualina
Source: Old Time Cooking Recipes

torta pasqualinatorta pasqualina


600 g (1 lb 5 oz) white flour
6 Tbs olive oil
a pinch of salt

1 kg (2 lb) Swiss chard (silver beet) or spinach
400 g (0.9 lb) cottage cheese/ricotta cheese
100 g (3.5 oz) parmesan
10 eggs
2 teaspoons marjoram, chopped
2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
garlic, minced (optional)
olive oil
salt, pepper

-Combine flour, oil, a pinch of salt and enough cold water to make a medium soft dough.
-Knead well for 10 minutes or until the dough becomes elastic. -Divide the dough into 14 balls.
-Cover with cloth and let stand for about 1 hour.

-Clean, wash and dry the Swiss chard.
-Place in a saucepan with little boiling water and cook at high heat until wilted.
-Cool, then squeeze out excess liquid and chop finely.
-Add 50 g (1.7 oz) parmesan cheese, marjoram, parsley, garlic and 2 eggs. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Oil a round shallow oven dish, 9 inches (22 cm) in diameter.

4. Flatten each piece of dough, one at a time, making each a very thin disk, larger than the baking pan you are going to use.

5. Lay the pastry on the oven dish, allowing it to flow over the edges. Oil it lightly.

6. Place another disk over it and repeat until you have used 7 disks.

7. Spread the Swiss chard stuffing over the dough, and then spread the cottage cheese over the greens level with a knife.

8. Make 8 small cavities. Pour a raw egg into each cavity and sprinkle each with salt, pepper and remaining parmesan cheese.

Happy weekend kuwait! I'm baking torta pasqualina for breakfast #ditutbaking

9. Cover the whole lot with the same number of pastry sheets, each brushed with oil.

10. Pinch the borders and trim the excess dough, prick the top of the pie in a few places and then brush with oil.

11. Bake for 1 hour in 190 C (375 F) oven. Allow to rest before removing from the cake tin

torta pasqualina




Super easy, no mixer recipe that you'll love! This is my all time favorite recipe. Got it from Dapurnya Rita.


Ingredients :
75 g butter, diced
250 ml cup water
115 g plain all-purpose flour
15 g caster sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
chocolate for dipping or powder sugar

Directions :
1. Heat the butter and water in a small heavy pan until the butter has melted, do not allow the water to boil. Sift the flour and 15 g of caster sugar on to a piece of greaseproof paper.
2. Once the butter has melted bring to a boil, then add the flour and sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and beat the mixture vigorously. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then gradually beat in the eggs until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
3. Half-fill a large, heavy pan or deep-fryer with oil and heat to 375 degrees F. Spoon the mixture into apiping bag with a star nozzle. Pipe the mixture into the hot oil being careful not to cause the fat to splash or spit. Fry the churros for 2 minutes or until golden and crisp.
4. Remove the churros from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat until all the mixture has been used. Dipped in chocolate or powder sugar. Serve.



Caramel Popcorn

homemade caramel popcorn

Trully scrumptious treats for kids and also for me :D! We cannot stop eating it. I made a test batch with my friends, following exactly the recipe. When you eat it while it's warm, you have a delicious chewy caramelly popcorn. Once it's cooled, you have that sweet toffee crunch.

The next day I wanted to make the caramel popcorn still chewy when it's cooled. I did a little experiment in the caramel sauce, as soon as all of the sugar crystals have melted, slowly add 3-4 tbsp of cream/liquid whipping cream to the pan, and whisk to mix it in. And yes I prefer this version of chewy and sweet popcorn.

And an important tips from me, never ever use butter to pop the corn. It will easily get burned.

Caramel Popcorn
source : Taste
14 cups

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popping corn
125g butter, chopped
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped

Line a tray with baking paper. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add 2 pieces of popping corn. If corn slowly turns around in a circle then oil is hot enough.
Add remaining popping corn. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. When corn starts popping, shake saucepan gently. Remove from heat when corn stops popping. Transfer to a large bowl, discarding any unpopped corn.
Make caramel: Combine butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 to 7 minutes or until sugar has dissolved. Bring mixture to the boil. Boil, uncovered, without stirring, for 5 to 8 minutes or until light golden.
Remove from heat. Stir in pecans. Pour caramel mixture over popcorn and stir until popcorn is coated. Spread over prepared tray. Set aside to cool. Break into pieces. Serve.

caramel popcorncaramel popcorn


Quick and Easy Doughnuts

Just a quick update :)

simple & easy donuts

Quick and Easy Doughnuts
Ingredients :
source : videojug

2 eggs
170 gr sugar
1 cup yogurt
1 tbsp vanilla
a pinch of salt
45 gr melted butter
500 gr flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp baking soda

Directions :
1. Start your doughnuts by putting the 2 eggs and the sugar into a mixing bowl. Whisk them briskly until their appearance becomes very pale and fluffy.
2. Add the yoghurt, vanilla, salt and butter to the dough and mix it all together briefly.
3. Mix dry ingredients. You can now add the baking soda and the baking powder to the bowl of flour and mix them together a little bit. Next, add this dry mix to the egg mixture and combine them thoroughly. Be careful not to over-mix the dough or the resulting doughnuts will turn out tough.
4. Roll the dough out and cut it. Begin forming the doughnuts by sprinkling some flour upon the work surface and then dusting your hands with a little more flour. Now roll the dough out to a thickness of about half of a centimetre. Next, use the large cutter to cut out the doughnuts. You can then use the small cutter to cut out their centres. Set the doughnuts aside and combine the leftover dough with some new dough. Roll it out again and repeat the process until all the dough is used.

super easy donutssuper easy donuts

5. Fry. It is now time to fry your doughnuts. Place a saucepan with the oil over a medium heat. While waiting for the oil to heat up, you can prepare a tray by lining it with some paper towel. Now place the doughnuts into the hot oil a few at a time. Let them cook for about one minute until golden brown and turn them over. Cook the other side and place them on the tray. Repeat until all the dough is used.
6. Dust and serve. Place your doughnuts on a plate and liberally dust them with powdered sugar. Your doughnuts are now ready to serve! As a serving suggestion they can be glazed with strawberry, chocolate, or raspberry sauces.

super easy donuts


Baked Farfalle with Cheese

baked farfalle

My kids love pasta for their lunchboxes. This one is our all time favorite. Instead of farfalle, we usually use penne or macaroni. It's really easy to make, just boil the pasta al dente, add bechamel sauce/white sauce, add shredded cheese on top of it then bake for half an hour.

baked farfalle wth cheesebaked farfalle with cheese

My Kind of Bechamel Sauce/White Sauce

60g butter, chopped
garlic, chopped
1/3 cup plain flour
4 1/2 cups whipped cream (liquid)
75g parmesan cheese/cheddar cheese, finely grated
1/4 teaspoon salt
good pinch ground nutmeg

Directions :
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until foaming. Add garlic, sauteed until fragrant, then add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes or until bubbling. Remove from heat. Slowly add whipped cream, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Return to heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce comes to the boil, thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from heat. Stir in parmesan, salt and nutmeg.

Sometimes I add smoked chicken, mushroom, cubed carrot and chopped parsley in the sauce.

Mix together cooked pasta and sauce in the baking dish. Add shredded cheese. Then bake in a preheated 350 degree F(175 degrees C) oven for 30-45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.


Buttery Soft Pretzels

buttery soft pretzels

It was my first attempt on making pretzels. I tried to find a simple recipe and found this one. Surprise surprise, it turned out good. So happy because the result was pretty similar with Auntie Anne's pretzel.

Buttery Soft Pretzels
source : all recipes

Ingredients :
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 1/4 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

buttery soft pretzels

1/2 cup baking soda
4 cups hot water
1/4 cup kosher salt, for topping

Directions :
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt. Make a well in the center; add the oil and yeast mixture. Mix and form into a dough. If the mixture is dry, add one or two tablespoons of water. Knead the dough until smooth, about 7 to 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). In a large bowl, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
4. When risen, turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a rope and twist into a pretzel shape. Once all of the dough is all shaped, dip each pretzel into the baking soda solution and place on a greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 8 minutes, until browned.

buttery pretzels

Better eat warm! Enjoy!

Tossed Lettuce and Orange Salad

tossed lettuce and orange salad

Very simple, light yet flavorful green salad.

Tossed Lettuce and Orange Salad
source : all recipes

Ingredients :
1/2 cup orange juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar (Dita-I used red grape vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large head romaine lettuce - torn, washed and dried (Dita-I used regular lettuce)
3 (11 ounce) cans mandarin oranges (Dita-I used fresh orange)
(Dita) I added red radish
1/2 cup slivered almonds

salad saucetossed lettuce and orange salad

Directions :
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the orange juice, olive oil, vinegar, pepper and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the romaine and oranges. Add enough dressing to coat and toss well. Sprinkle with almonds and serve.

tossed lettuce and orange salad


Grilled or Roasted Chicken with Yogurt Sauce

grilled chicken with yogurt sauce

Winter is finally come! It means picnic in the beach! People in Kuwait used to go to the beach for picnicking and BBQ-ing in the winter. With only 12ºC-19ºC at noon, it's a perfect weather to do some outdoor activities.

Here's a recipe that I made with my friend for our picnic day, last weekend. I might say this is the easiest grilled/roasted chicken recipe yet so delicious. You only need a cup of yogurt for 1 whole chicken, a pinch of turmeric powder/saffron, sauteed chopped garlic, black pepper-salt-sugar to taste (I like to use a lot of garlic and black pepper). Marinate it overnight in the refrigerator, for the best result marinate it for 2 nights. You can grill it or roast it in the oven, I prefer charcoal grill. It smells heaven :)). Best serve with hot steamed rice and sambal kecap (sweet soy sauce with chili), it's the Indonesian way to eat it.

ingredientsgrilled chicken with yogurt sauce

Thanks to my friend, teh Dina for sharing the recipe :). I totally recommend this recipe!

KBB #27 Fortune Cookies

fortune cookies

Making fortune cookies by myself? Oh My...I did it! It wasn't that hard as I imagined :). Just need to practice how to fold the cookies,not perfect yet.

Fortune Cookie
Source: about.com

fortune cookies

Fortune cookies can be tricky to make - it's important to make sure that the cookie batter is spread out evenly on the baking sheet. Instead of using the back of a wooden spoon to spread the batter, it's better to gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth as needed. Wearing cotton gloves makes it easier to handle and shape the hot cookies. This fortune cookie recipe makes about 24 cookies.


2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons granulated sugar (dita-I used only 6 tbsp)
3 teaspoons water


fortune cookiesfortune cookies

1. Write fortunes on pieces of paper that are 3 1/2 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 2 9-X-13 inch baking sheets.

2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg white, vanilla extract, almond extract and vegetable oil until frothy, but not stiff.

3. Sift the flour, cornstarch, salt and sugar into a separate bowl. Stir the water into the flour mixture.

fortune cookies

4. Add the flour into the egg white mixture and stir until you have a smooth batter. The batter should not be runny, but should drop easily off a wooden spoon.
Note: if you want to dye the fortune cookies, add the food coloring at this point, stirring it into the batter. For example, I used 1/2 teaspoon green food coloring to make green fortune cookies.

5. Place level tablespoons of batter onto the cookie sheet, spacing them at least 3 inches apart. Gently tilt the baking sheet back and forth and from side to side so that each tablespoon of batter forms into a circle 4 inches in diameter.

6. Bake until the outer 1/2-inch of each cookie turns golden brown and they are easy to remove from the baking sheet with a spatula (14 - 15 minutes).

fortune cookies

7. Working quickly, remove the cookie with a spatula and flip it over in your hand. Place a fortune in the middle of a cookie. To form the fortune cookie shape, fold the cookie in half, then gently pull the edges downward over the rim of a glass, wooden spoon or the edge of a muffin tin. Place the finished cookie in the cup of the muffin tin so that it keeps its shape. Continue with the rest of the cookies

fortune cookiesfortune cookies