Daily Archives: December 11, 2010

Mexican Dark Chocolate Espresso Truffles – Ole!


Sometimes I wish I drank more often.

No, really. I feel like if I did, I would have this wonderful pantry full of liqueur to use in my baking recipes.

This recipe calls for (an irritatingly small amount of) Kahlua, and it just didn’t seem worthwhile for me to buy some to only use 1 tablespoon of it. Why are these truffles Mexican? Not because they are spicy, but because I made them in honour of a Mexican friend of mine. They are a perfect sweet treat to have with an after-dinner cup of tea or coffee ( or, if you are so lucky, Kahlua?). Enjoy!

You will need:

12 ounces (or, 1.5 cups) of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

1.5 tablespoons instant espresso powder

3/4 cup whipping cream

(optional: 1 tablespoon Kahlua)

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

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Easy to Make Chicken Satay

There are a lot of great peanut-satay products that one can buy, normally found somewhere in the asian food section of the grocery store. But I find it just as easy to make my own with an ingredient that is found in almost every cupboard – peanut butter.

 

Ingredients:

1 pound skinless boneless chicken, either cubed or sliced into 1 inch x 3 inch pieces

1/3 cup peanut butter, store bought or home-made

1/4 cup boiling water

1 tbsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp curry powder or paste

1 tbsp lemon juice

Red Chilli flakes, depending on taste (or 1 finely chopped chilli pepper if you are brave)

1 tbsp plain white yogourt or milk

1/2 tsp salt

 

Directions:

1. Cut chicken into pieces, as above. Mix remaining ingredients in medium bowl – the hot water will melt the peanut  butter into a creamy liquid consistency.

2.  Set oven to broil.

3. Immerse the chicken into the peanut butter mixture to cover each piece well and then line the coated chicken in an oiled pan or cookie sheet. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture for a second coating later on.

4. Broil the chicken for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and brush chicken with remaining mixture, then cook for another 5 minutes. Serve on a bed of jasmine or basmati rice. Sprinkle with chilli flakes if desired.


How to Make Perfect Muffins

For the longest time none of the muffins I made ever looked like the ones sold by a baker or handed to me by the local barista at Starbucks. Mine were the Ugly Betty of baked goods. Growing up, as well, I didn’t live in a house of positive muffin role models; we used to buy the Quaker muffin mix where all that was needed was water, like sea monkeys, and voila….a runt, mini-me version of a muffin would emerge.

I’ve since come across a muffin recipe in the March 2006 issue of Fine Cooking that makes bountifully large, delicious muffins every time. I’ve included it below with a few minor  tweaks of my own. Continue reading