Blueberry Icebox Pie

14 Aug

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I imagine there is a cup of hot steaming coffee by my side. If it sits close enough to my keyboard, my pinky finger would briefly brush the warm glass when I press Enter. Maybe the earthy smell would slowly nudge my brain awake like the morning chaste kiss mothers give to their toddler.

But no, no coffee here. I don’t even know if I like coffee enough to have it everyday. I have always been a tea drinker.

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It’s just that I always have this romantic thinking that early morning writing would be accompanied by coffee. (Does this even make sense?)

I don’t usually write in this ungodly hour, (Hi! 5 AM here in Jakarta) but my classes would start in 2 weeks and I can’t afford the luxury of “Writing-at-midnight-until-early-morning-session” if I want to be completely awake for that itty bitty details of marketing plans or business research *arghh*

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The fact that the sun is slowly rising distract me. The shine creeps through my window and I imagine myself covering my eyes with blanket, wishing the night would last a little longer.

Since I can’t have any of that, I think coffee might be my next best friend for the next year of college.( Which my last year and most probably the worst)

I still don’t know what kind of coffee would be my favorite- but what I do know is that I do not mind having coffee with this blueberry icebox pie every morning.

I would say this pie is a pure kick-ass-blueberry-goodness. The ingredients are pretty much only blueberries and chocolate wafers.

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Yup. That’s it.

Simple flavors. Fresh. Best eaten cold. ( with coffee!)

Blueberry Icebox Pie
Inspired from At Home with Magnolia by Allysa Torey

First there’s the fruit itself, shiny blue little things, gleaming in light. Second, (and my favorite) is the jam-like filling. Deep blue, almost purple even.. It’s like seeing into a pool of sapphire. It is soft and a little bit chewy, with sharp tang that will wash away any sleepiness that hover your mind in the morning.

Serves one 9 inch pie

Crust
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups chocolate wafer crumbs

Filling
5 cups of fresh blueberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping
1 cup of fresh blueberries
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To make the crust:
In a bowl, combine melted butter and the chocolate wafer crumbs. Butter lightly the 9 inch pie dish then dump the crust mixture on it. With the back of a spoon or your fingers, spread and firmly press the crust. Cover tightly in cling wrap and freeze for one hour.

To make the filling:
In a medium-size saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar and cornstarch and stir constantly over medium heat until it reaches the consistency of jam, 10 to 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and cook just a slight more until the mixture thicken. Remove from the heat and whisk in vanilla extract. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Take the pie crust out from the freezer and spread the now cool filling evenly onto it. Dot with fresh blueberries, cover with plastic wrap again and chill the pie in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.

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Pots & Pans

9 Aug

Say hello to the newest additions of my family. Rrr… My kitchen family, that is.

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Mr Loaf Pan, readers.

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Readers, Mr Loaf Pan.

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Here are Mr and Mrs Springform 9 inch pan. Mr SP (Lets just make up some fun nicknames, shall we?) has been a member of my kitchen family for years and has been quite lonely.

“I need a (girl)friend so you can make layer cakes, Dee!”

I hear ya, big guy.

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They are so happy together now.

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Last but not no mean the least, Miss 4 quart Sauce Pan. Look how glamorous she is. All shiny and gleaming.

She makes a huge difference in my life already. No more overflowing custards on-too-small-saucepan! I can make stocks now! Stews! Oh, the possibilities!

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I’m gonna go to the kitchen and introduce them to Mr Stove and Mrs Oven now.

See ya around,

Dee

Deconstructed Lemon-Blackberry Trifle

5 Aug

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I’m trying to come up with a good first liner in this paragraph to draw you in. Nothing interesting comes up, so I decide to write about being confused instead. I stare at the blank page as seconds tick by, wondering what I should say…

The words are stuck on the tip of my tongue, a little shy from my fingers that are dancing on the keyboard. It is there, somewhere, hidden like the ingredient in a cake that you can’t place, but somehow you know it is something that makes the cake so different, so unique.

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I try harder. I believe in trying, I believe that behind every greatness there are hundreds of hours of bawling, melt-downs or just plain banging-your-head-to-the-wall kind of activity.

Which is what I feel like doing right now, hitting the same buttons over and over again, putting words with words, only to press backspace with such force my finger feels bruised.

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If you’re still here, listening, thank you. I hope I do not turn you away from this ranting and rambling, because what comes next is good. Really good.

This deconstructed lemon-blackberry trifle to me, feels like a rainbow after a storm. It feels like a rush of words coming beautifully, dancing and laced by a delicate pink ribbon, after hours of punching the keyboards madly.

It is so easy, a no brainer and it is both alluring and comforting. It might as well be called assembling rather than baking.

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You cut a lemon loaf in half and slice it thinly. Arrange the slices in a platter, soak them with a mixture of sweet and dashing apricot marmalade that has been swimming in orange juice.

Get the heavy cream, chilled as the first breath of winter. Whip it and once the pure white liquid turn into fluffy cloud of goodness, Spoon carefully on top of the soaked loaf then bring out the blackberries.

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I like the way sometimes the little black pearl would puff out and smear my fingers purple. Funny how it looks like midnight, named black, but leaves a soft, violet hue.

Arrange the proud, bouncy berries on top of the cream. Sprinkle with little speckle of orange zest. Cut it, eat it, share it and be merry.

Deconstructed Lemon-Blackberry Trifle
Inspired by Nigella Kitchen

This trifle taste like a light, fluffy sweet pudding. I made it for my cousin baby shower. I’ve been told by my Aunt ( who has been who complaining she couldn’t find the trifle in the morning) that the lovely couple and their friends inhaled it in one serving.

This is more of a guide then a recipe. It all depends on your choice of the platter. I chose a circle platter with a 9 inch diameter, so if your presentation vehicle is either bigger or smaller than this, feel free to adapt accordingly.

A half of Lemon Loaf ( Baked in 9×5 inch loaf pan)
1 cup of fresh orange juice
Two heaping teaspoons of apricot marmalade
2 cups of heavy cream
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
170 Gr/ 6 0z of Blackberries
Orange zest (Optional)
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Slice the loaf with a serrated knife about 1 inch thick. Arrange it on your choice of platter. If it is round like mine, put one slice in the middle and circle the rest of the slices around it so the center will not be hollow.

In a small bowl, combine the apricot marmalade with the juice from the orange. Whisk slightly, breaking the pulps.

Spoon the juice over the slices, making sure each of them is soak through.
With electric mixer or with hand, pour the cream and powdered sugar in a bowl and whipped until it thicken and forms loose peaks when the whisk is lifted

Drop the whipped cream on top of the slices, covering it.
Take out the blackberries and dotted them on top of the fluffy cream.

If you want to, make the trifle more festive by zesting an orange and sprinkle the little dots of
orange skin over the trifle.

Serves 10

Banana Muffin

31 Jul

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It seems like I picked the perfect time to missed all weddings, engagement parties, pregnancy celebrations and birth when I was away in Sydney. I knew I couldn’t make up my absence, so I baked this muffin instead and sent them to my loved ones.

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I love the simplicity of this muffin and the way it gives my whole house a new sweet, warmth perfume which reminds me of the orange and golden leaves in Autumn.

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All you need are 2 overripe-on-the-edge of stink bananas, brown and handsome. Butter, melted together with honey and vanilla. A little beating is in order, just until they marry together in harmony. Baking soda, baking powder, all purpose flour and a dash of cinnamon, sifted and mixed together.

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The key to success is the mixing. Mixed everything just until they are combined, no more. Over mixing will create a tough muffin and biting into dense cake surely is no pleasure!

Banana Muffin
Adapted from How to Be a Domestic Goddess, Nigella Lawson

2 large, ripe-in-the-verge-of-stink bananas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 heaping tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (optional)
Muffin pan and paper baking cups
Makes 8
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Preheat the oven to 375F and line your muffin pan with liners.

In a bowl, mashed bananas until resemble a puree of baby food, set aside. In another bowl, sift the dry ingredient and combined slightly.

In a small saucepan, put the butter, honey and vanilla extract over low heat to melt.
Combined the butter mixture to bananas, then make a little circle in the middle of the flour and dump the butter-banana mixture in it.

With a spatula or a wooden spoon, stir the mixture a couple of times, just until it resemble a gooey of banana mixture goodness, soft and lumpy. It wouldn’t look very attractive, but no worries, It would still come out all right.

Fill the muffin cups about two-thirds full of mixture. If you, like me, cannot comprehend the existent of anything banana dessert without chocolate, then drop a few of chocolate chips on top.
You might need to press that little buttons a little to sink into the mixture.

Put in the oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Leave in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove the muffin cups to a wire rack and leave cool for another 5-10 minutes.

I would suggest to eat it warm with a cuppa tea. Enjoy!

Homemade Life by Molly W

28 Jul

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I’m pretty sure my past self was half insane to even think Homemade Life by Molly W is boring. I want to hit her in the head with a pan. How could you? I would demanded.

To say it was a good book was an understatement. Now I understand where she got all her awards! The words she say flow smoothly as a gentle river. Her description over food was almost poetic. She takes us with her, as if she was telling us her life story in a small cafe in midst of Paris, warm and friendly- over an array of sweet cakes and cafe au lait.

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She shares her passion over food and how it interlace delicately with her life. How it shapes her in her early life, help her to overcome her grieve and most of all, meeting her future husband, Brandon. I swoon and my knees got weak. For a food lover, her story was the true fairy tale.

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She shares with us her tears and her laugh accompanied with mouth-watering recipes.
Her last chocolate cake recipe had me jump on my fluffy couch and straight to the kitchen (it doesn’t happen very often, I’m telling you.)

I’m listing the ingredients now and going to bake it for my break-fasting tomorrow.

I don’t know yet whether this chocolate cake going to be my perfect chocolate cake too; but one thing I am sure, it is going to be damn good. (Apparently I have that much faith in Molly)

The Perfect Chocolate Cake

24 Jul

The way I see it, looking for the perfect chocolate cake is like looking for the perfect man. I don’t think they exist at all; but still, a girl can dream. And oh, do I dream.

With the right balance of melted chocolate and cocoa powder, my perfect chocolate cake should have a deep, rich taste but not overwhelming. Spoonful after spoonful would make you coming back for more, craving for the soft sponge to disintegrate on your tongue. The last bite would induce such a content sigh. Problems dissolves, and for once your whole being is at peace and satisfied.

The batter would be silky and smooth, baked at 180C for 30 minutes. Then it would be springy to touch and the aroma of velvet chocolate roaming freely around the house.

It would be perfect eaten with simple dusted sugar, the process of dusting itself would leave your nose white with powder as you watch the white particles fly around like fairy dust. For days you want that kick of extra sugar, a chilled whipped cream would do the trick, as well as fresh strawberries.

I haven’t found the right recipe yet (emphasis on yet. I am determined to find it or die trying) but maybe just like the perfect guy, it would worth the trouble and the wait.

Mojo

11 Jul

My kitchen mojo is currently taking a vacation. I suspect she is still in Sydney, enjoying the breath taking combination of the greens of royal botanical garden, gray steel of the bridge and shimmering blue water.

In return, my chocolate cakes have been out from the kitchen and went straight to the dumpsters. They sunk, burnt and all tasted strangely like styrofoam.

I am, in grieve.

So I painted my nails light pink and enjoy how it glimmer under the light.

See ya later, (hopefully real soon)
Dee