Cornflake Chicken Bites

I bought an entire box of cornflakes to adore my sweet corn macarons and it is only natural that I now work at using the box up before they go stale. Sure, I could eat cornflakes like a normal person for breakfast with milk. But I like to do things with my food. And so here it goes – cornflake chicken bites.

Recipe as follows:

200g minced meat of choice (I choose chicken)
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 egg yolk
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 cups cornflakes, crushed

  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Mix all of the ingredients together except the cornflakes and shape into balls.
  3. Roll in crushed cornflakes until well coated.
  4. Bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.
  5. Serve with choice of sauce (I stuck with plain old tomato ketchup).

I really enjoyed eating these – it tastes like a healthier version of KFC’s popcorn chicken with some heat to it from the chilli flakes.  I added some chicken salt after the baking as well but that’s only if you want to be unhealthy.

Parmesan Puff Pastry Sticks

I have about 8 sheets of puff pastry sitting in the freezer, slowly dehydrating around the corners. It’s clear that it’s time for me to go on a puff pastry baking extravaganza (well, in my mind it is) to use it all up before it all goes off.

Incidentally, my parmesan cheese is also nearing the end of its shelf life so what better way to consume than to make some parmesan puff pastry sticks!

It’s extremely simple and easy and quick – perfect for munching on a dinner party with some dips if puff pastry and parmesan cheese  does not seem fattening enough as it is.

Recipe below:

Makes 12 sticks
1 sheet puff pastry
Handful of parmesan

  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Sprinkle parmesan liberally over the surface of puff pastry and press in a little to increase adherence. One could egg wash the surface but I just couldn’t be bothered.
  3. Pick a strip up and twist until desired spiral is achieved and lay down on a baking sheet. Repeat with the others.
  4. Bake for about 12 minutes or until crisp and golden.

What Would Have Been Spritzer Cookies

I received a cookie press as a Christmas present a year and a half ago but had never bothered to use it. I didn’t think much of plain butter cookies – seemed a tad boring to be honest. But I’ll be visiting an elderly friend in a few days and she loves plain butter cookies. So I decided to break out my brand new cookie press and get pressing!

Except it didn’t work as it should.

The cap holding the template kept unscrewing itself every time I pressed down – leading to leaking dough everywhere. It was not a pretty sight. At all.

I thought it was me – I didn’t know how to screw the lid on. But after 10 tries of various possibilities and YouTube-ing and googling and swearing I had to conclude it wasn’t me – it was the press.

And that’s how I got stuck with a batch of spritzer cookie dough with no idea what to do with it. Ended up just rolling it into balls and pressing nuts into them. Still reasonably pretty and tasty – but not like what spritzer cookies were meant to be.

Almonds in front, walnuts in the middle and the few flower shaped spritzer cookies that I managed to wrestle out of the cookie press before giving up.

The dough was lovely and light and buttery though – here’s the recipe. And I wish you all the best with your cookie presses.

225g butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
295g plain flour

  1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla essence – beat until fully incorporated
  4. Add flour. Roll into a narrow log and insert into cookie press and press onto unlined cookie pans.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.

If your cookie press fails – feel free to try out my option.

Puff Pastry Pizza

I admit it – I am absurdly happy every time I harvest some basil leaves from my basil plant that has yet to die under my care. Every time I cook with it I feel a sense of pride – I grew these leaves!

Anyway, I have several sheets of puff pastry in the freezer and decided it was time to put it to good use. Decided for something quick and simple for lunch – a pizza of sorts using puff pastry. Who has the time or the patience to make their own dough? Not I.

Lovely fresh ingredients, all ready to go into the oven.

Post baking – flaky puff pastry covered with melted cheese, slightly soaked with the juices from the tomatoes. Heaven.

Recipe as follows:

1 sheet puff pastry
cherry tomatoes
basil leaves
ground pepper
parmesan cheese
olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 200 Celcius.
  2. Cut sheet of puff pastry in half. Brush with olive oil and place tomatoes, bocconcini, parmesan in a pleasing pattern. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Bake in oven for about 10-15 minutes or until puff pastry is crisp and brown.
  4. Artfully scatter some basil leaves over the top. Slice into pieces. Eat.

For such a simple recipe, I really enjoyed it. Or perhaps because it was simple.

Strawberry Basil Macarons

I headed out to the little town of Benalla yesterday and visited the local fruit grocer. They had beautiful strawberries for only $2 a punnet and I knew right then that I would love to make some strawberry macarons with them.

I made plain macaron shells and painted them with red and gold lustre dust mixed with vodka. The colors don’t show up very well unfortunately. I filled them with a white chocolate strawberry ganache and a small basil leaf. The basil really cuts through the sweetness making this macaron a very satisfactory mouthful.

Filling recipe as below (fills a 100g almond meal shell recipe)

50g white chocolate
50ml cream
50g strawberries, roughly chopped
1 tsp powdered gelatine

  1. Heat white chocolate and cream together in microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between each heating until chocolate is fully dissolved.
  2. Add chopped strawberries into ganache and incorporate.
  3. Sprinkle 1 tsp of powdered gelatine into 2 tablespoons of cold water and heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds or until gelatine dissolves.
  4. Pour ganache mixture into gelatine while stirring to avoid gelatine clumps.
  5. Leave in fridge to cool and thicken.


Watermelon, Basil and Balsamic Canapes

During my Pinterest surfing I came across a photo for these darling little canapes and just had to make my own version!

It’s simply a matter of chopping watermelon into cubes, hollowing out a hole with a melon baller at the top, sitting it on a basil leaf and filling the concavity with some a balsamic vinegar reduction. It was delicious – the watermelon that I bought was not very sweet so the balsamic really helped it along.

Simple and pretty – my favourite kind of recipe.

Sweet Corn Macarons

I’m always looking for new and interesting flavors to try out when it comes to macarons. Sure, I do enjoy the traditional flavors but I can buy those easily. If one is going to make something at home one should experiment, right?

I had some leftover creamed corn from my previous corn egg drop soup venture and decided to give corn macarons a try. Growing up in Malaysia, I really enjoyed eating corn ice cream and I wanted to emulate that flavor in a macaron.

It really wasn’t that hard and I am absolutely thrilled with the results!

Recipe for sweet corn filling below. Shells can be made according to your favourite macaron recipe and colored orange. I topped mine with a corn flake.

2 egg yolks
30g sugar
50g creamed corn
100ml cream
salt to taste

Over a bain marie, whisk egg yolks, sugar and cream together until mixture becomes thick (custard like consistency).

Passionfruit Cocktail

It’s unseasonably hot in Melbourne now – today is forecasted to hit a top of 30 Celcius, which is pretty much like a summer day. After my morning 10 minute yoga session (that’s the most that I can tolerate at the moment before getting sick of it), I felt so warm I decided to make a cocktail. Which is very unusual for me because I don’t usually like drinking.

Passionfruit, soda water and a splash of Cointreau, topped with the last of my earl grey passionfruit macarons. Yum.

Veal Meatballs with Dipping Sauce

I stood and stared at the many rows of packaged minced meat, trying to decide which to get. Lean? Extra lean? Premium mince? Pork? Chicken? Beef?

Finally decided on extra lean beef and brought it home. When I unpacked it turns out I was so confused at the store I brought home extra lean veal instead. Oh well – it’s still the same thing only it’s a baby? 😦

I am a meat eater but I get pretty guilty every time I see documentaries or read articles about how the meat industry is destroying our planet. So I try to cut back on it.

Anyway, back to the veal meatballs.

It was very simple and tasty – I ended up eating a lot of them in one sitting.

I followed the recipe from here very loosely – I didn’t have hoisin at home so I used barbecue instead for the dipping sauce and I added some chilli paste as well. Also, I didn’t have any breadcrumbs so I just made my meatballs without – it still turned out fine.