Category Archives: Breads

Steamed Cakes

Hi dear blog …..it’s been almost a year again since my last post so I guess it’s time for another update. I will strive to maintain you a bit more than I have done. For some time now I’ve lacked the inclination to maintain blogging but that is no fault of yours. At any rate, it’s good to have my favorite recipes compiled together and I hope they will be useful for other people.

The recipe below is for Steamed Cakes and is one of my mother’s. Like most of the other recipes here, steamed cakes is also a form of comfort food for me.

As the seasons are changing and we enter cold, drizzly Autumn, my craving for comfort food has returned.

My life is also going through its own seasons and some recent experiences have left me feeling confused, shocked and with my nerves worse for wear.

There have also been some changes at work which have added to my feelings of tiredness. I work for a charity organisation that supports people with disability.  It is for me something I love. I’ve been doing volunteer work since I was in high school and have always wanted to work in the community sector. A job that allows me to do this which also focuses on promoting social inclusion and diversity is something I always dreamed of. However the sector is also changing with the introduction of a new insurance system  for people with disability.  

With all these changes and recent experiences, I feel physically and emotionally tired. I am definitely wanting comfort food these days. The fortunate thing for me is that I live at home so at the end of a long day, a most beloved and comforting sight is there to greet me (mom) along with warm, comfort food which she has already cooked.  I’m very blessed that for me cooking is something I do optionally and as a hobby (although this has resulted in you dear blog becoming somewhat neglected).  So, on to her recipe for steamed cakes:

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Ingredients

About 1/2 cup melted butter
3 cups self raising flour
1  1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
Approx 2 cups water
1/2 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Cream together the sugar and butter.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  4. Add the flour and water, beginning and ending with the flour. The batter should have the consistency of a pancake mixture.
  5. Pour into individual molds and steam for about 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.Serve warm with butter or a little bit of cheese.  

The recipe above is for basic steamed cakes to which  you can add your favorite flavor extracts and coloring. In the picture above, I had made  buko-pandan, yam and strawberry flavored steamed cakes. To make this, just divide your batter into 3 separate bowls and add your extracts and coloring respectively before pouring them into the individual molds and steaming. 

Puto

Puto is a traditional Filipino steamed bread which is generally served as an accompaniment to meat dishes although it can be eaten on its own. There are many variations of the basic puto ranging from savory to sweet flavors. The basic version can be made with all purpose or rice flour and has a slightly sweet taste with a wonderful crumbly, cake-like texture.

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To make it, you’ll need:

About 1/2 cup melted butter
3 cups self raising flour
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
Approx 2 cups water
1/2 tsp baking powder.

Instructions

  1. Cream together the sugar and butter.
  2. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder together.
  4. Add the flour and water, beginning and ending with the flour. The batter should have the consistency of a pancake mixture.
  5. Pour into individual molds and steam for about 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean

Date Scones

scone is a British type of quick bread originating from Scotland. It was originally made in a round, flat form and baked in a griddle. After baking, it was divided into triangle quadrants. The whole, flat bread is called a bannock and the triangle segments called scones.* The introduction of baking powder to commercial and household kitchens led to the scone’s development into the leavened, oven-baked version commonly seen today. Scones are popular in the UK, New Zealand, Australia and other countries in the Commonwealth.

This scone recipe incorporates dates and is delicious served warm with a dollop of cream and jam. To make it you’ll need:

3 C self-raising flour
1 C milk at room temperature
1 tbs caster sugar
80g butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/2 C sliced dates
Extra flour for dusting.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius.
  2. Mix the flour and sugar together. Rub the butter into the mixture using your fingertips. Continue until you achieve the consistency of breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the milk and dates. Mix with a spatula using a cutting motion until the mixture begins to hold. The dough should become soft and a little sticky.
  4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead gently for about 4 mins. (Do not over handle the dough as this will cause your scones to become tough and heavy).
  5. Flatten the dough to a thickness of about 2cm and cut into rounds. Lightly dust the tops with flour
  6. Place onto a greased sheet tray, spaced about 1 cm apart.
  7. Bake for about 15-20 mins until golden.

Serve warm with clotted cream and jam.

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is an appetizer originating from 15th century Italy and is one of my favorite things to eat. Bruschetta was developed out of necessity as a way to salvage bread that was going stale. It traditionally consists of bread rubbed with garlic, then sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. A variety of toppings have developed over the centuries and this recipe incorporates one of the more popular kinds outside of Italy. I loove to eat it as a snack and one of my favorite things to do is curl up with a good book, a plate of bruschetta and a cold drink. Yum!

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Ingredients

  1. Handful of fresh basil or parsely
  2. Extra virgin olive oil
  3. Several cloves of garlic
  4. Handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  5. 1 red onion, finely chopped
  6. Balsamic vinegar
  7. Crusty bread cut into thick slices.

Instructions

  1. Chop the basil or parsley, onion and tomato. Finely slice the garlic
  2. Combine ingredients in a bowl and add approx 2 tbs balsamic vinegar and 2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil. Set aside and allow the ingredients to marinate.
  3. Brush the bread with extra virgin olive oil and rub with a garlic clove.
  4. Sprinkle the bread slices liberally with salt and pepper.
  5. Lightly toast the bread in the oven.
  6. Add the topping onto the toasted bread and serve.

Sweet Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet cinnamon rolls are delicious served warm, soft and straight out of the oven. They’re great for breakfast or brunch, especially when served with a hot cup of coffee. However, like other brioche types of breads and sticky buns, these rolls are a little high on the butter and sugar content. For that reason, it’s best to have them as an occasional treat rather than a regular breakfast item. But if you’re like me and prefer to have these delicious rolls more often than occasionally, then I suggest that the best way to enjoy them is to eat them slowly….savor each morsel of the soft, warm bread and the sweet, chewy caramel filling…have one roll…then two ….if you really must, have three….. then get on the treadmill and run for your life.

Ingredients

Dough:
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
5-6 cups self raising flour
2/3 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant yeast
2 teaspoon cinnamon

Filling:
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
2 Tbs ground cinnamon
Ground peanuts

Glaze: 
1 cup powdered sugar
3 Tbs warm water
Vanilla essence

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Instructions

  1. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Mix until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the eggs.
  2. Place the milk and water in a large saucepan. Heat over a low setting until it reaches about 37 degrees celcius.
  3. Combine the milk and water mixture with the batter. Add the cinnamon, yeast and salt. Mix the ingredients well.
  4. Gradually add in the flour, beating well.
  5. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes until well blended.
  6. Place the dough into a well-oiled bowl and set aside to rest for about 1-1.5 hours.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll out into a 14 x 20 inch rectangle.
  8. Using your fingers, gently cover the dough’s surface with the butter.
  9. Combine the brown sugar, ground peanuts and cinnamon for the filling. Sprinkle the filling over the buttered dough.
  10. Carefully roll the dough then pinch the seams, sealing it well.
  11. Liberally cover a large sheet tray with butter and sprinkle the bottom with brown sugar.
  12. Cut the dough into about 16 pieces and place onto the sheet tray.
  13. Cover the dough with cling wrap and allow it to rise for about 1.5 hours.
  14. Place in a preheated 175 degree (celcius) oven and bake for about half an hour.
  15. When the rolls have finished baking, remove from the oven and allow it to rest about 5 minutes.
  16. Combine the powdered sugar, water and vanilla essence to make the glaze. Turn the rolls out onto a serving platter and top with the

Bicho Bicho

Bicho Bicho is a traditional Filipino doughnut so good they had to name it twice. It’s great for breakfast especially served with a hot cup of coffee. Even better, its great dipped in melted chocolate. The only draw back is that it can be a little time consuming to make, so it’s best to cook it when you have adequate time. It’s a favourite Filipino sweet bread and most Filipino bakeries make them. Unfortunately, if there are no Filipino bakeries in your area, then you have a problem that only time and a bit of baking can solve. Or you can eat a regular cinnamon doughnut and dip it in melted chocolate – if you squint hard enough and use your imagination, it’s almost like a bicho bicho. But not quite.

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To make the real thing, first you have to wash your hands, roll up your sleeves and collect the following ingredients:

1 C lukewarm water
2 Tbs active dry yeast
1 tsp salt
2 C self raising flour

Combine the above ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Cover and allow it to rise about 30 mins.

Add:

1/2 C melted butter.
2 eggs, beaten.
1 C sugar
2 C self raising flour

Beat the dough well. Cover and allow it to rise about 1.5 hours.

Punch the dough down. Turn out onto a floured surface and add more flour if the dough is too soft to handle.

Divide the dough into two portions.

Cover and allow it to rest for about 20 mins.

Roll out the dough to about 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into 8x 1 inch strips.

Cover and allow the dough to rise for about 1.5 hours.

Fry in hot oil until golden brown. Roll in caster sugar and serve warm.

Doughnuts

It’s getting noticeably cooler these days as Summer begins to make way for Autumn. The hot, balmy mornings are gradually being replaced by cool, fresh ones. It’s just the right weather for waking up to a tall cup of coffee and warm freshly made doughnuts on lazy weekend mornings.

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Most doughnut recipes take a long time to make and though its generally enjoyable to make traditional raised doughnuts, sometimes I just want to whip up a quick batch for breakfast. Thankfully, I’d come across a doughnut recipe in the past which I recently (and gratefully) dug out again. Its an uncomplicated recipe and great if you want to make doughnuts but do not have the time or inclination to make the traditional raised kind.

Ingredients

Doughnut 
1 cup milk
4 tsp yeast
1/4 cup sugar
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
4 Tbs oil

Chocolate Glaze 

1 cup icing sugar
2 Tbs hot water
2 Tbs melted butter
2 Tbs hot drinking chocolate

Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat milk until warm. Add yeast and 1/4 cup sugar. Allow it to stand about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 cup sugar and mashed potatoes. Add the milk mixture and oil.
  3. Mix the dough well.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until the ingredients have combined well (about 8 minutes)
  5. Roll the dough to about 1/2 inch thick.
  6. Cut the doughnut shapes.
  7. Set the dough aside and prepare the glaze.
  8. Heat the oil then fry the doughnuts until golden (ensure your oil is about 375F to prevent the doughnuts becoming soggy).
  9. Drain the doughnuts on kitchen paper.
  10. Dip one side of the doughnut into the glaze and add sprinkles if desired.

Glaze

  1. Mix the icing sugar, water and butter until well combined.2
  2. Mix in the powdered chocolate. Add more or less to taste. If you prefer a thinner glaze, add a little more hot water to the mixture.
  3. Cover one side of the cooked doughnuts in glaze. You can also sprinkle toppings on top of the glaze if you prefer.

Serve warm.