Amarula Carrot Cake

Carrot cake, do you love it or loathe it? A couple of weeks back, The Pom and I had a rather intense debate and things got heated up over… that’s right, the humble carrot cake. We were at the local cafe and from all the sweet treats behind the glass cabinet, I decided to order a slice of carrot cake. Yes, it was rather unusual for me to order something that didn’t contain chocolate or caramel, but instead filled with orange vegetable! The Pom argued that you simply don’t put vegetable in a dessert, full stop. Well, he also doesn’t like rhubarb either. I probably would have agreed with him that carrot cake is generally dull and just some beautified “rabbit food”, but then most of the carrot cakes I’ve had were also store bought, so I can’t really vouch that I’ve tried the best carrot cake in my life until recently. My recent trip to South Africa had shone a new light and changed my attitude towards this humble cake, it was definitely, if not the most delicious carrot cake I’ve ever tasted. And the secret is easy, *drum rolls please* … simply by soaking the cake in Amarula. Amarula is same same but different to Baileys, the flavour is very similar but the cream liqueur is actually made from the fruit of African marula tree. So if you do not have a bottle of Amarula at home, you are more than welcome to substitute it with Baileys or any other creamy liqueur. Apart from using the liqueur in the cake mixture and icing, we also going to soak...

Get your jelly on #08 – CARROT CONSOMME

Day 8. Thank you for all the birthday wishes! Despite I actually spent my birthday working at MasterChef Live event, I had a great time and got to meet a lot of MasterChef fans. This weekend will be busy for me, as I will be at MasterChef Live again today, and then tomorrow I will be at Darling Harbour for Malaysia Festival, cooking a couple of Malaysian desserts. Maybe I can use the jelly mould for my cooking demo too! Ha! 😀 To continue with my Royal Selangor 30-day ‘Get your jelly on’ Challenge, I’ve made my very first savoury jelly – a carrot consomme jelly. It is difficult to come up with a savoury jelly. Stuff the mould with savoury food, easy; but turn it into jelly is odd, unless you like to eat congealed fat. But jellied consomme is very common in French cooking, especially in fine dining restaurants. I came across a jellied consomme in one of my French cookbook which sparked my imagination what I can do for this challenge. I kept it simple by making a clear stock with Asian flavours, and carrot. For the carrot, I peeled them into strips, not just for presentation but will also cooked quicker that way. And the trick to make a clear consomme, is to make a raft. The raft is easy to make, simply by adding beaten egg white and egg shell into the stock. Yep, I used egg shell. Trust me, give it a try and you’d be amazed! Jelly or not jelly, a consomme is still a soup, you simply do not want to...

Filo-wrapped Snapper with Fennel and Ricotta

It’s Royal Foodie Joust time again at the LOQ’s forum! I have had a lot of fun last time with my first tribute of the flattened spicy chicken, and Peter G at Souvlaki for the Soul won the title with his gorgeous Halvas. As the winner of last month’s challenge, the ingredients that Peter has put down on the table for this month challenge is: Fennel, Parsley, and Dairy (any kind). It’s good to have a winner who is from the same country, as I can see Peter has picked the ingredients that are in season, and one of them is fennel. I picked up 2 massive fennels from the local Harris Farm Market at only $1.49/kg, really can’t complain. Fennel, a strange looking thing, dare I say I’ve never cooked a fennel before. It is not a chinese vegetable of sorts, so my culinary experience with a fennel is very limited. I was really struggling with the ingredients this time round, and I did a fair amount of research on internet. Most of the fennel recipes I found led me to a fish dish, the aniseed taste of the fennel seems to go well with fish. Hence, fish that is… I wanted to get a nice piece of fish fillet with skin on, so I can grilled the skin until crispy and served on a plate of fennel salad. However, most of the fillets at the fish shop already been de-skinned and so I had to change my plan and went for a filo-wrapped dish instead.  I am glad that I chose this method actually even though there...