Chili, Wine Steamed Fresh Clams
A quick appetizer to start a dinner off. The great thing about cooking with fresh seafood is that they never need too much seasoning and time to cook. You just need to pick the right ingredients to work with to bring out the seafood’s fresh flavor.
This recipes only take around 10 minutes to make altogether.
INGREDIENTS:
1 lb clams
1 lemon
1/3 cup water
1/2 white wine
1 chilli
salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp parsley
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a pot, at medium heat, cook wine, paprika, cumin, parsley and chilli together.
2. When the mixture boils, add 1/3 cup water.
3. Place a steam rack into the pot. Then poke holes with a toothpick into a piece of parchment paper and place it on the steam rack.
4. Carefully put the clams on top of the parchment paper and sprinkle salt on top. Steam for 5-10 minutes at low hear - until all the clams have opened. Make sure you keep the lid of the pot on.
5. When ready, put clams in a bowl and drizzle some of the sauce and squeeze lemon juice on top.

Chili, Wine Steamed Fresh Clams

A quick appetizer to start a dinner off. The great thing about cooking with fresh seafood is that they never need too much seasoning and time to cook. You just need to pick the right ingredients to work with to bring out the seafood’s fresh flavor.

This recipes only take around 10 minutes to make altogether.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 lb clams
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 white wine
  • 1 chilli
  • salt
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp parsley

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a pot, at medium heat, cook wine, paprika, cumin, parsley and chilli together.

2. When the mixture boils, add 1/3 cup water.

3. Place a steam rack into the pot. Then poke holes with a toothpick into a piece of parchment paper and place it on the steam rack.

4. Carefully put the clams on top of the parchment paper and sprinkle salt on top. Steam for 5-10 minutes at low hear - until all the clams have opened. Make sure you keep the lid of the pot on.

5. When ready, put clams in a bowl and drizzle some of the sauce and squeeze lemon juice on top.

Tiramisu Cake
This year has been quite the year and getting lots of cooking experience with Jazz Cafe at university! So for a little celebration at the last event - a special birthday cake & Happy Birthday Jazz Cafe!
It’s definitely been awhile since I’ve made Tiramisu. The recipe was uploaded when I first started the blog, but here is an updated recipe for all of you!
Tiramisu is such a popular dessert. The name when translated to English means ‘pick me up’. this remains to be one of my favorite dessert.
INGREDIENTS:
275g Mascarpone Cheese
6 small to medium eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 packs lady fingers
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong coffee
2 tbsp rum (optional)
DIRECTIONS:
1. Prepare ingredients accordingly and any equipment to make the cake. Be sure to make sure that any equipment you use is free of water. Excess water will prevent the cake from setting properly.
2 Once ready, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Place back into the fridge to chill. Then beat egg yolks in a separate bowl and mix in sugar to create a smooth paste.
3. Scoop Mascarpone Cheese into a large bowl and blend it with a mixer until it’s smooth.
4. When the Mascarpone Cheese is ready, add in the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Mix well.
5. Add in the vanilla extract and rum into the mixture.
6. Fold in the egg whites into the Mascarpone Cheese mixture. Do NOT use an electric mixer to do this step. Use a spatula to scoop in egg whites and fold egg whites into the Mascarpone in a horizontal motion. You want to create a fluffy mixture to allow as much air into the egg whites as possible.
7. Set the cheese mixture aside. Soak the bottom half of the lady fingers into the coffee.
8. Lay the lady fingers into the bottom of the pan and scoop some of the mixture on top. ( you can add another layer of lady fingers before scooping in the mixture if you want your cake to look taller or want a heavier crunchy texture to
10. Place in the fridge overnight before serving. And strain the coca powder onto the top of the cake to cover the top when set.
11. Add any fruits or marshmallows.. etc to it before serving!

Tiramisu Cake

This year has been quite the year and getting lots of cooking experience with Jazz Cafe at university! So for a little celebration at the last event - a special birthday cake & Happy Birthday Jazz Cafe!

It’s definitely been awhile since I’ve made Tiramisu. The recipe was uploaded when I first started the blog, but here is an updated recipe for all of you!

Tiramisu is such a popular dessert. The name when translated to English means ‘pick me up’. this remains to be one of my favorite dessert.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 275g Mascarpone Cheese
  • 6 small to medium eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 packs lady fingers
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup strong coffee
  • 2 tbsp rum (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare ingredients accordingly and any equipment to make the cake. Be sure to make sure that any equipment you use is free of water. Excess water will prevent the cake from setting properly.

2 Once ready, beat egg whites until they hold soft peaks. Place back into the fridge to chill. Then beat egg yolks in a separate bowl and mix in sugar to create a smooth paste.

3. Scoop Mascarpone Cheese into a large bowl and blend it with a mixer until it’s smooth.

4. When the Mascarpone Cheese is ready, add in the egg yolks and sugar mixture. Mix well.

5. Add in the vanilla extract and rum into the mixture.

6. Fold in the egg whites into the Mascarpone Cheese mixture. Do NOT use an electric mixer to do this step. Use a spatula to scoop in egg whites and fold egg whites into the Mascarpone in a horizontal motion. You want to create a fluffy mixture to allow as much air into the egg whites as possible.

7. Set the cheese mixture aside. Soak the bottom half of the lady fingers into the coffee.

8. Lay the lady fingers into the bottom of the pan and scoop some of the mixture on top. ( you can add another layer of lady fingers before scooping in the mixture if you want your cake to look taller or want a heavier crunchy texture to

10. Place in the fridge overnight before serving. And strain the coca powder onto the top of the cake to cover the top when set.

11. Add any fruits or marshmallows.. etc to it before serving!

Creamy Capellini Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, Spanish Egg
This delicious pasta dish was introduced to me a few weeks ago. It has a heavy creamy texture which makes it so tasty. The asparagus adds a crunchy texture to the dish as well.
Not to mention, the sauce is made with bacon fat - yes, quite fattening, but you got to spoil yourself once in awhile with amazing food.. at least that’s what I think! It’s topped with a Spanish Egg - crisp bottom with a runny, sweet yolk.
Everything about this dish is amazing. I think it’s the best pasta I’ve ever tasted! Highly, highly, highly recommended!!
Enjoy!
INGREDIENTS:
1 pack capellini pasta (or any thin pasta)
1 bundle asparagus - coarsely chopped
1 tbsp garlic - diced
5-8 slices bacon - diced
1 cup cream (heavy or light)
1/5 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh chilli - diced (or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)
salt & pepper
4 eggs (optional)
2/5 cup (5 tbsp) olive oil (optional)
1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the capellini (or other thin pasta) and asparagus to the water. ****(Remove the asparagus from the pot around 5 minutes into cooking time, otherwise the asparagus will be soggy).
2. While the pasta is cooking, pan fry the bacon for one minute then add in diced garlic, fry for another 2-3 minutes until most of the fat has been cooked through.
3. Spoon out the bacon aside but leave the fat in the pan. Add cream to the pan and cook, mix it well with the bacon fat.
4. Add Parmesan cheese, chili and lemon juice. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
5. Drain the pasta of excess water. Fold in the pasta and asparagus into the cream sauce and toss well.
(Optional): to make each egg separately
6. Set aside a bowl and prepare the olive oil.
7. To make Spanish style fried egg to top, use a small pan (preferably with taller sides) and bring 1.2 tbsp olive oil to a simmer on high heat.
8. Crack an egg into the pan and bring the heat to medium. Coat the surface of the egg with hot olive oil as well.
9. Cook for less than 1 minute and drain the olive oil back into its bowl (so that you won’t waste more oil than needed).
10. Plate the pasta and the egg. Sprinkle on top some Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Creamy Capellini Pasta with Asparagus, Bacon, Spanish Egg

This delicious pasta dish was introduced to me a few weeks ago. It has a heavy creamy texture which makes it so tasty. The asparagus adds a crunchy texture to the dish as well.

Not to mention, the sauce is made with bacon fat - yes, quite fattening, but you got to spoil yourself once in awhile with amazing food.. at least that’s what I think! It’s topped with a Spanish Egg - crisp bottom with a runny, sweet yolk.

Everything about this dish is amazing. I think it’s the best pasta I’ve ever tasted! Highly, highly, highly recommended!!

Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pack capellini pasta (or any thin pasta)
  • 1 bundle asparagus - coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp garlic - diced
  • 5-8 slices bacon - diced
  • 1 cup cream (heavy or light)
  • 1/5 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp fresh chilli - diced (or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes)
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 eggs (optional)
  • 2/5 cup (5 tbsp) olive oil (optional)

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the capellini (or other thin pasta) and asparagus to the water. ****(Remove the asparagus from the pot around 5 minutes into cooking time, otherwise the asparagus will be soggy).

2. While the pasta is cooking, pan fry the bacon for one minute then add in diced garlic, fry for another 2-3 minutes until most of the fat has been cooked through.

3. Spoon out the bacon aside but leave the fat in the pan. Add cream to the pan and cook, mix it well with the bacon fat.

4. Add Parmesan cheese, chili and lemon juice. Then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

5. Drain the pasta of excess water. Fold in the pasta and asparagus into the cream sauce and toss well.

(Optional): to make each egg separately

6. Set aside a bowl and prepare the olive oil.

7. To make Spanish style fried egg to top, use a small pan (preferably with taller sides) and bring 1.2 tbsp olive oil to a simmer on high heat.

8. Crack an egg into the pan and bring the heat to medium. Coat the surface of the egg with hot olive oil as well.

9. Cook for less than 1 minute and drain the olive oil back into its bowl (so that you won’t waste more oil than needed).

10. Plate the pasta and the egg. Sprinkle on top some Parmesan cheese and parsley.

Baked Mini Apple Tarts
A small and wonderful dessert. Instead of making a pie dough, you can get some frozen mini tarts at the supermarket as a substitute. 
These bite-size desserts are perfect for a small gathering or potluck parties! 
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 of an apple
whipping cream
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp lemon juice
6 mini tarts
DIRECTIONS:
1. Use 1/2 of the apple and diced them finely. Then use another 1/4 of the halved apple and julienne.
2. Mix the diced and julienne apples with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and lemon juice.
3. Scoop a spoonful of the apple mixture into the tarts. Bake in the oven at 300’C for 20 minutes or so.
4. When the tarts are ready, assemble the tarts. First - slice the remaining apple into thin slices.
5. Add whipping cream on top of the tarts and decorate with the sliced apples.
6. Serve!

Baked Mini Apple Tarts

A small and wonderful dessert. Instead of making a pie dough, you can get some frozen mini tarts at the supermarket as a substitute. 

These bite-size desserts are perfect for a small gathering or potluck parties! 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 of an apple
  • whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 6 mini tarts

DIRECTIONS:

1. Use 1/2 of the apple and diced them finely. Then use another 1/4 of the halved apple and julienne.

2. Mix the diced and julienne apples with sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract and lemon juice.

3. Scoop a spoonful of the apple mixture into the tarts. Bake in the oven at 300’C for 20 minutes or so.

4. When the tarts are ready, assemble the tarts. First - slice the remaining apple into thin slices.

5. Add whipping cream on top of the tarts and decorate with the sliced apples.

6. Serve!

Scallop Corn Chowder
Since summer is arriving soon, that also means that corn will start selling for cheaper prices. Its quite amazing what you can make with corn.. from soups to fritters to salads and even desserts. Yes desserts! It’s that faint sweetness that makes it a versatile ingredient.
Everytime I make a dish with corn I fall more in love with it. it definitely has become my second favorite ingredient (second after mushrooms).
This corn chowder has many layers of texture. I like having fresh corn in my dish but I also like having that creamy corn flavor in the soup. If it’s too much work you can always skip one ingredient or the other.
INGREDIENTS:
2 tbsp butter 
1 cup flour
1 cup cream
1 cup water
1 can creamy corn
1/2 cup fresh corn
1/2 onion - diced
salt & pepper
4 scallops
1 tsp paprika
DIRECTION:
1. In a pot, melt the butter and when it’s ready add in the diced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.
2. Stir in the flour and once that turns into a ball, stir in the cream until the mixture is well mixed into a creamy sauce.
3. Add in the water and the can of creamy corn and let it cook for around 20 mins. If the water is reduced add some more water in.
4. As for the scallops sprinkle paprika and salt and pepper on them for a flavor. Then heat up a pan and cook the scallops around 1 minute each side.
5. Return to the corn chowder and add in the fresh corn. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Remember to keep stirring to avoid burning on the bottom.
6. Before serving add in salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add on top the cooked scallops.

Scallop Corn Chowder

Since summer is arriving soon, that also means that corn will start selling for cheaper prices. Its quite amazing what you can make with corn.. from soups to fritters to salads and even desserts. Yes desserts! It’s that faint sweetness that makes it a versatile ingredient.

Everytime I make a dish with corn I fall more in love with it. it definitely has become my second favorite ingredient (second after mushrooms).

This corn chowder has many layers of texture. I like having fresh corn in my dish but I also like having that creamy corn flavor in the soup. If it’s too much work you can always skip one ingredient or the other.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp butter 
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can creamy corn
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn
  • 1/2 onion - diced
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 scallops
  • 1 tsp paprika

DIRECTION:

1. In a pot, melt the butter and when it’s ready add in the diced onions and sauté until they turn golden brown.

2. Stir in the flour and once that turns into a ball, stir in the cream until the mixture is well mixed into a creamy sauce.

3. Add in the water and the can of creamy corn and let it cook for around 20 mins. If the water is reduced add some more water in.

4. As for the scallops sprinkle paprika and salt and pepper on them for a flavor. Then heat up a pan and cook the scallops around 1 minute each side.

5. Return to the corn chowder and add in the fresh corn. Let it simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Remember to keep stirring to avoid burning on the bottom.

6. Before serving add in salt and pepper to taste.

7. Add on top the cooked scallops.

Ahi Tuna with Tomato Mango Jam
This is another one of my new favorite dish! Ahi tuna is so easy to work with and require a little amount of seasoning.
I had something similar to this dish at a restaurant in Vancouver during its Dine Out Event. I decided to try it out at home. They added more olive oil to the dish whereas I didn’t add any. (I like trying to keep the dish as healthy as possible) If you like a smoother texture on your fish, you can always add some. The tomato jam (and mango) tastes wonders: it’s quite a unique flavor.
INGREDIENTS:
12 slices Ahi Tuna (around 0.5cm each)
5 tbsp chopped olives
1 egg
1 handful of arugula
1 tomato
1 tsp gelatin or 2 tsp mango jelly powder
salt & pepper
DIRECTIONS:
1. Prepare the tuna first. Wash if frozen, otherwise cut them into 0.5 cm slices. Place back into fridge to chill.
2. Chop the tomatoes coarsely.  In a small bowl, boil some water and place in chopped tomatoes.
3. Once the tomatoes soften, drain out some of the water and mash the tomatoes. Add in gelatin or the mango jelly powder to make the mixture thick like sauce. (This will be the tomato jam to serve on the side). Chill until it’s cooled.
4. (optional) Next, boil a pot of water and make a soft boiled egg. (Boil at highest heat for around 5-10 minutes). Cut it in half when ready.
5. Start assembling the dish. Lay out the sliced tuna on a dish. Top with arugula and chopped olives. Place a few spoonful of tomato jam on the side. Then finish by topping with the egg.
6. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top.

Ahi Tuna with Tomato Mango Jam

This is another one of my new favorite dish! Ahi tuna is so easy to work with and require a little amount of seasoning.

I had something similar to this dish at a restaurant in Vancouver during its Dine Out Event. I decided to try it out at home. They added more olive oil to the dish whereas I didn’t add any. (I like trying to keep the dish as healthy as possible) If you like a smoother texture on your fish, you can always add some. The tomato jam (and mango) tastes wonders: it’s quite a unique flavor.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 12 slices Ahi Tuna (around 0.5cm each)
  • 5 tbsp chopped olives
  • 1 egg
  • 1 handful of arugula
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 tsp gelatin or 2 tsp mango jelly powder
  • salt & pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare the tuna first. Wash if frozen, otherwise cut them into 0.5 cm slices. Place back into fridge to chill.

2. Chop the tomatoes coarsely.  In a small bowl, boil some water and place in chopped tomatoes.

3. Once the tomatoes soften, drain out some of the water and mash the tomatoes. Add in gelatin or the mango jelly powder to make the mixture thick like sauce. (This will be the tomato jam to serve on the side). Chill until it’s cooled.

4. (optional) Next, boil a pot of water and make a soft boiled egg. (Boil at highest heat for around 5-10 minutes). Cut it in half when ready.

5. Start assembling the dish. Lay out the sliced tuna on a dish. Top with arugula and chopped olives. Place a few spoonful of tomato jam on the side. Then finish by topping with the egg.

6. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on top.

To my 15,000+ followers!

Hello my dear followers and visitors!!

I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to all of you! My Secret Recipe Book has reached over 15,000 Tumblr followers! Thank you so so much for your support! The blog would not have gone this far without you!

As some of you may have know, the blog has recently gone through some re-organization and rearrangements. Recipes are now grouped into categories, so no more days of endless scrolling just to find your favorite recipes!

Feel free to drop by my newly launched Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mysecretrecipebook?ref=hl for the newest updates as well!

Thank you again and I will continue to share my recipes and findings with you all! Happy Cooking!

-mysecretrecipebook

Individual Pavlova Desserts
I had a chance to try a traditional Pavlova recipe from New Zealand around 2 years ago and haven’t forgotten about it since! The difference of the texture inside and outside of the baked egg whites was amazing- a hard, dry shell with a soft marshmallow-like inside. 
The Pavlova is a meringue based dessert named after a Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova. The dessert is related to honouring the dancer after her tours to Australia and New Zealand. 
This dessert is quite easy to make, although it does take some practice to make it to near perfection- which I haven’t been able to do. Most Pavlovas are very white on the crust- if you want a white crust, make sure you use white sugar (confectioner’s sugar) and not to use any vanilla extract. (My recipe here uses brown sugar and vanilla extract, hence the slightly browned crust).
INGREDIENTS:
4 egg whites
1 cup brown sugar (or confectioner’s sugar for a white crust)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white vinegar
3 tsp vanilla extract
various fruits: strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit (you can use any fruits you’d like!)
whipping cream
DIRECTIONS:
1. In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer, whip room temperature egg whites until they form soft peaks. 
3. Combine sugar and the corn starch in a bowl.
4. Gradually, add in sugar and whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks. NOTE: Add the sugar in small amounts (divide the cup into 10 times), to make sure you’re dissolving the sugar well.
3. Add in vanilla extract and vinegar and combine thoroughly.
4. Spoon the prepared mixture onto a baking sheet - you can make the meringues as large or as small as you want. Make sure to make a large enough dent on the meringues so your fruits won’t fall off later. Try to make them as flat as you can (I didn’t and the fruits kept falling off). 
5. Bake in the oven at 160’C for an hour. If they start to burn or turn brown very fast then turn the heat down. 
6. Let them cool in the oven before taking them out after they bake (around 15 minutes.)
7. Assemble your variety of fruits and whipping cream on top of the baked meringue before serving!

Individual Pavlova Desserts

I had a chance to try a traditional Pavlova recipe from New Zealand around 2 years ago and haven’t forgotten about it since! The difference of the texture inside and outside of the baked egg whites was amazing- a hard, dry shell with a soft marshmallow-like inside. 

The Pavlova is a meringue based dessert named after a Russian ballet dancer, Anna Pavlova. The dessert is related to honouring the dancer after her tours to Australia and New Zealand. 

This dessert is quite easy to make, although it does take some practice to make it to near perfection- which I haven’t been able to do. Most Pavlovas are very white on the crust- if you want a white crust, make sure you use white sugar (confectioner’s sugar) and not to use any vanilla extract. (My recipe here uses brown sugar and vanilla extract, hence the slightly browned crust).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup brown sugar (or confectioner’s sugar for a white crust)
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • various fruits: strawberries, blueberries, grapefruit (you can use any fruits you’d like!)
  • whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, and using an electric mixer, whip room temperature egg whites until they form soft peaks. 

3. Combine sugar and the corn starch in a bowl.

4. Gradually, add in sugar and whip until the egg whites form stiff peaks. NOTE: Add the sugar in small amounts (divide the cup into 10 times), to make sure you’re dissolving the sugar well.

3. Add in vanilla extract and vinegar and combine thoroughly.

4. Spoon the prepared mixture onto a baking sheet - you can make the meringues as large or as small as you want. Make sure to make a large enough dent on the meringues so your fruits won’t fall off later. Try to make them as flat as you can (I didn’t and the fruits kept falling off). 

5. Bake in the oven at 160’C for an hour. If they start to burn or turn brown very fast then turn the heat down. 

6. Let them cool in the oven before taking them out after they bake (around 15 minutes.)

7. Assemble your variety of fruits and whipping cream on top of the baked meringue before serving!

'Home Styled' Napoleon Cake
I made this for a few of my friends over the weekend. To be honest, it tasted very different than Napolean Cakes they sell at bakeries. The Napolean cakes they sell at bakeries seem somewhat more crunchy.. they must have added nuts into the cake. Personally, I do like the crunchiness more. I did do some research, Napolean Cake is not quite suppose to be crunchy, but rather a little soft and moist since the pastry should ‘soak up’ the pastry cream.
This recipe tastes quite good. My friend and I loved the flavor. However I wouldn’t recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight if you prefer crunchy pastry in the cake like me.
The recipe is definitely worth trying though. In the meantime, I’m going to dig around for some more recipes and see how you can get the pastry still crunchy and make something more similar to what you can find at bakeries.
INGREDIENTS
puff pastry
8 egg yolks
6 tbsp corn starch
6 tbsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups milk
DIRECTIONS:
1. Prepare the puff pastry sheets first. Set up a station with a rolling pin. Sprinkle some flour on the table surface and also the rolling pin to avoid the pastry from sticking to any surfaces.
2. Lay out your pastry dough (either bought or home-made). Make sure you cut your dough into 4 squares (around 2 x 2 x 1 inch) or otherwise the pastry will be too thick. Or if you want more layers you can always cut a few more squares of that size.
3. Roll out the pastry until it’s about 1cm thick. Poke a few holes in the pastry with a fork so your pastry wont make huge bubbles when it’s baking.
4. Place the pastry in baking pans and then into the oven at 200’C and bake until they brown slightly.
5. While the pastry is baking, prepare the pastry cream.
6. Heat the milk in a saucepan until it just about to boil. (When it’s ready, small bubbles will form on the rims) Meanwhile, mix together sugar and egg yolks then the cornstarch and flour.
7. Whisk the milk into the yolk mixture until well mixed. Then pour back into the pan and cook at medium heat until it thickens into creamy mixture.
8. Let chill in the fridge before using.
9. When the pastry is ready and the pastry cream is well chilled, you can assemble your cake. First, layer the bottom of a pan or atop of a cutting board with a layer of pastry. Then spoon on the pastry cream. Repeat until you use all the pastry cream and pastry layers. Since this is rectangular shaped, you can trim the edges using a sharp knife for a nice finish. 
10. To finish off, decorate the top of the cake with leftover pastry - you can crunch them up and sprinkle on top of the cake. (Or you can use fruits, icing, nuts.. in a non-conventional way) 
11. Serve!

'Home Styled' Napoleon Cake

I made this for a few of my friends over the weekend. To be honest, it tasted very different than Napolean Cakes they sell at bakeries. The Napolean cakes they sell at bakeries seem somewhat more crunchy.. they must have added nuts into the cake. Personally, I do like the crunchiness more. I did do some research, Napolean Cake is not quite suppose to be crunchy, but rather a little soft and moist since the pastry should ‘soak up’ the pastry cream.

This recipe tastes quite good. My friend and I loved the flavor. However I wouldn’t recommend leaving it in the fridge overnight if you prefer crunchy pastry in the cake like me.

The recipe is definitely worth trying though. In the meantime, I’m going to dig around for some more recipes and see how you can get the pastry still crunchy and make something more similar to what you can find at bakeries.

INGREDIENTS

  • puff pastry
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 6 tbsp corn starch
  • 6 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare the puff pastry sheets first. Set up a station with a rolling pin. Sprinkle some flour on the table surface and also the rolling pin to avoid the pastry from sticking to any surfaces.

2. Lay out your pastry dough (either bought or home-made). Make sure you cut your dough into 4 squares (around 2 x 2 x 1 inch) or otherwise the pastry will be too thick. Or if you want more layers you can always cut a few more squares of that size.

3. Roll out the pastry until it’s about 1cm thick. Poke a few holes in the pastry with a fork so your pastry wont make huge bubbles when it’s baking.

4. Place the pastry in baking pans and then into the oven at 200’C and bake until they brown slightly.

5. While the pastry is baking, prepare the pastry cream.

6. Heat the milk in a saucepan until it just about to boil. (When it’s ready, small bubbles will form on the rims) Meanwhile, mix together sugar and egg yolks then the cornstarch and flour.

7. Whisk the milk into the yolk mixture until well mixed. Then pour back into the pan and cook at medium heat until it thickens into creamy mixture.

8. Let chill in the fridge before using.

9. When the pastry is ready and the pastry cream is well chilled, you can assemble your cake. First, layer the bottom of a pan or atop of a cutting board with a layer of pastry. Then spoon on the pastry cream. Repeat until you use all the pastry cream and pastry layers. Since this is rectangular shaped, you can trim the edges using a sharp knife for a nice finish.

10. To finish off, decorate the top of the cake with leftover pastry - you can crunch them up and sprinkle on top of the cake. (Or you can use fruits, icing, nuts.. in a non-conventional way)

11. Serve!

Blueberry Creme Brulee
I decided to make something a bit more different this time. Instead of making the traditional creme brulee, I added blueberries to it.
A little worried about how it might turn out and that it looked different than the traditional kind during the cooking process, it turned out amazing! 
I was anticipating that the blueberries might stay unbroken so that the creme brulee is still golden yellow with specks of blue, but the blueberries that floated to the top all broke - though the inside didn’t. Hence, some decoration with strawberries and icing sugar made the dessert more appealing!
INGREDIENTS:
1/2 cup blueberry
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
DIRECTIONS:
1. Place blueberries into 4 ramekins. Divide them equally between the 4 ramekins.
2. Beat the egg yolks until they’re smooth, then add  sugar and beat once more until the sugar is well incorporated.
3. In a pot, heat the heavy cream until almost simmering (bubbles should form on the rims only).

4. Slowly stir in the heavy cream to the egg yolks little by little. Stir for a 1-2 more minutes to avoid the cream from curdling.


5. Blend in the vanilla extract into the mixture.

6. Pour the mixture into four medium sized ramekins.

7. Fill up a baking pan (about 2-3 inches deep is best) with boiling water, about 1/3 up, then place the filled ramekins into the pan.


8. Place in an to 250°C for about one hour. (The rims should be completely cooked, while the center should be jiggly).

9. Sprinkle sugar on top and torch. Decorate with berries and icing sugar if wanted!

Blueberry Creme Brulee

I decided to make something a bit more different this time. Instead of making the traditional creme brulee, I added blueberries to it.

A little worried about how it might turn out and that it looked different than the traditional kind during the cooking process, it turned out amazing!

I was anticipating that the blueberries might stay unbroken so that the creme brulee is still golden yellow with specks of blue, but the blueberries that floated to the top all broke - though the inside didn’t. Hence, some decoration with strawberries and icing sugar made the dessert more appealing!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup blueberry
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place blueberries into 4 ramekins. Divide them equally between the 4 ramekins.

2. Beat the egg yolks until they’re smooth, then add  sugar and beat once more until the sugar is well incorporated.

3. In a pot, heat the heavy cream until almost simmering (bubbles should form on the rims only).

4. Slowly stir in the heavy cream to the egg yolks little by little. Stir for a 1-2 more minutes to avoid the cream from curdling.

5. Blend in the vanilla extract into the mixture.

6. Pour the mixture into four medium sized ramekins.

7. Fill up a baking pan (about 2-3 inches deep is best) with boiling water, about 1/3 up, then place the filled ramekins into the pan.

8. Place in an to 250°C for about one hour. (The rims should be completely cooked, while the center should be jiggly).

9. Sprinkle sugar on top and torch. Decorate with berries and icing sugar if wanted!