COCONUT MILK SUGAR BUNS

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup full cream milk

1 egg, room temperature

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 cups white bread flour

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/4 cup caster sugar

3 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon active yeast

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoon demerara

Method:

  • Pour the coconut milk, milk, egg and vanilla into a mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the flour, ensuring that the liquid ingredients are completely covered. Add the salt, caster sugar, butter and yeast.

  • Mix until it forms a soft ball of dough then knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover and leave in a warm place for bout 1 hour until it doubles in volume. Lightly oil two baking sheets.

  • After 1 hour, punch down dough gently and divide into 12 equal pieces. Cover them with oiled plastic wrap. Take one piece, leaving the rest covered and roll it into a rope about 40cm long.

  • Curl the rope into a loose spiral on one of the prepared baking sheets. Tuck the end under to seal and repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, spacing spirals well apart on the sheets.

  • Cover the dough spirals with oiled plastic wrap and leave to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes until they are doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 220 oC/ 425 oF/ Gas Mark7.

  • Brush the buns with melted butter and sprinkle with demerara sugar. Bake them for 12 to 15 minutes until they turn golden in colour. Turn out on a wire rack to cool. Makes 12 pieces.

Home Bread Baking

Gourmet declares this as “one of the best ice creams ever” and I cannot agree more. The most blissful thing about this homemade dulce de leche ice cream is that the delicate caramel essence is not obscured by excessive sweetness. Not wastage of egg whites, no careful monitoring to get the correct custard consistency and no long hours of churning in the ice cream maker to do away with large ice crystals, this recipe is a keeper for stifling summer days.

DULCE DE LECHE ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

2 cups whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

1 2/3 cups dulce de leche

1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted

Method:

  • Bring milk and cream just to a boil in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, then remove from heat.

  • Whisk in dulce de leche until it is completely dissolved. Whisk in vanilla extract and transfer to a metal bowl.

  • Quick-chill by putting bowl in a larger bowl of ice and cold water. Stir occasionally until cold, 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Freeze mixture in ice cream maker until almost firm. Fold in pecans and transfer to an airtight container.

  • Put in freezer to harden, at least 1 hour. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts. Dulce de leche ice cream keeps for 1 week.

Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

My brother’s birthday cake this year was a Pandan Chiffon cake, adapted from Dr Leslie Tay’s blog, IeatIshootIpost. In addition to the recipe, Dr Tay’s post includes several tips and techniques to perfect this classic sponge from South East Asia. Flavoured with coconut milk and pandan leaves extract, the tall chiffon cake relies on beaten egg whites and sugar for its light and airy structure. I took me a while to get hold of the main ingredient for this cake; pandan is not grown in Mauritius and its derivates are hard to come by in your regular supermarket.

I got lucky when I met one of my patients who is also an avid baker and food photographer. She graciously shared with me a small bottle of Koepoe Pandan paste which she says works as well as the natural pandan juice extract. Since it was my very first time baking with this product, I added only 1/4 teaspoon to my cake batter to prevent the flavoring from overpowering the subtle taste of coconut. The delicate pale green colour was just right for me but you can top it up to your liking if you prefer a more brilliant shade of green.

PANDAN CHIFFON CAKE

Ingredients:

6 egg yolks, room temperature

100g white caster sugar

115ml vegetable oil

140ml coconut cream

175g all purpose flour

25g pure corn flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1/4 teaspoon pandan paste

1 teaspoon pandan extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

9 egg whites, room temperature

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

100g white caster sugar

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C. Beat the egg yolks and caster sugar together until thick and pale.

  • Gradually add vegetable oil and coconut cream and beat until well combined. Add the pandan paste.

  • Tip in the pandan and vanilla extracts and combine well until the mixture turns pale green in colour.

  • Sift all purpose flour, corn flour, baking powder and salt into a large mixing bowl to remove lumps.

  • Gradually whisk in the egg yolk mixture in a slow and steady stream until it is thoroughly combined.

  • In another bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, add in cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form.

  • Gradually add sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites in the flour mixture.

  • Take care not to deflate batter. Spoon into an ungreased 25cm tube pan and bake for 55-60 minutes.

  • Remove cake from the oven and immediately invert the hot pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Release the sides of the cake with a thin knife if it does not fall off from the tube pan while cooling.

  • Dust the cooled pandan cake lightly with icing sugar before cutting into servings. Makes 20 pieces.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

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PrerrnaMirchi
Mauritius

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