Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Handburger 313 Somerset

I love burgers. My hips do not. I love fries, especially fresh-cut and twice-fried. My thighs hate them. So.. though there're many burger joints in SG, I've been to few.. Everything with Fries, Veganburg are the couple few that I recall. Recently added The Handburger to my repertoire. 

Kimchi Chicken on Sundried Tomato Bread
Love the deep-fried chicken drenched in some very fragrant sauce, topped with a sunny side up that runs gooey over the burger and tangy kimchi as the icing on the cake! The chicken was crispy and there were 2 large pieces on the burger which keeps me n the hubby happily satisfied. The bun was soft but lacking in sundried tomato flavor though it could be due to the kimchi overpowering the burger. The side serving of shoestring fries were crunchy and when sprinkled with the coarse black pepper provided on each table, were more or less decent (though I prefer the fat fries that came with Veganburg).

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom Burger on Spinach Bun
The hubby enjoyed this burger thoroughly. It certainly belies its simple looks. The huge portobello mushrooms were stuffed full with spinach and ricotta cheese. It lends a savory creaminess to this burger where many other joints tend to just do portobello with avocado. The spinach bun was uber fragrant, one of the best buns I've tried and pairs very well with this choice of filling.

Service was lacklustre though, it seems understaffed. .. we arrived 7pm and had no problems with seating but the crowd was pretty heavy around 8pm with people forming queues outside. Pricing was around $14-$15 for above burgers and came with a side serve of salad or fries (can't remember if they offer any other sides). Service taxes apply so 2 of us came up to around $33 in total bill. Though not bad and may warrant another visit if friends so suggest, my opinion is that Everything with Fries at Orchard Central may satisfy just as well at half this price.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

What a mouthful in the name! These are busy cookies; chockful of varied ingredients, it's melt-in-your-mouth goodness. I'm not much of a cookie fiend and my to-go recipe for cookie has always been a soft cookie with touches of cornstarch to create the softness. But these cookies by BrownEyed Baker has just elevated my respect (& gluttony) for soft cookies! No more subway cookies!

Each cookie is filled with rolled oats, dark chocolate chunks, chunky peanut butter and topped with just a teeny weeny bit of seasalt. The top is crispy and the interior texture almost resembles that of a scone, its soft and tender, crumbles easily when bitten and just melts in your mouth (Did I say that twice already??) I went "OMG" when it came fresh out of the oven and I could not wait out the cooling process. Even the husband, who's not a fan of sweets... loved it. We had to stop ourselves before we finish them all. Please please please bake it and spread the word. Goodness (& fats) are meant to be shared. =)

Recipe Source :
Makes around 35 – 38 cookies approx  5-cm in diameter

2 cups plain flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 teaspoon sea salt
227g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup white fine sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup rolled oats
250g chopped dark chocolate chunks
Fleur-de-sel for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line baking trays with parchment paper, I used the typical oven tray 4 times in total.
2. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.
3. Using the paddle attachment, cream butter, peanut butter, both sugars and vanilla extract for around 3 minutes on medium speed.
4. Add slightly-beaten eggs and combine using mixer. On low speed, gradually add flour until just combined. Stir in the oats, then the chocolate chunks. Do not over mix.
5. Scoop 1 tablespoon full of cookie dough, round into a ball and place apart on the oven tray. These create puffy fat round cookies rather than flat round ones. Flatten the dough if flat cookies are preferred.
6. Sprinkle some fleur-de-sel on each cookie top.
7. Bake for around 10-11 minutes until cookies are slightly crispy around the edges and the center still soft to the touch. Leave cookies on the oven tray for it to continue firming up slightly, around 5minutes (I used another tray for the next batch of cookies.) Cool completely before storing. Store up to 1 week in a air-tight jar.
Remember to grab some straight from the oven tray… it melts in ur mouth when warm. I also like to warm the cookies in the microwave for around 20 sec before enjoying it. Delish!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tangzhong BreadMaker Loaf

Woo hoo! 1 year after we received our wedding gift of a breadmaker, we finally opened it. Kenwood. Same brand as my kitchen mixer. Good! It's should be manageable then.. it's the same brand right? If I can handle a mixer, I think I can manage a breadmaker...

It took another week of procrastination, before I opened the instruction manual. Alright..sounds easy enough, I chose the basic recipe, french bake option and followed the step by step instruction. Screen came alive and told me that I'll have a fresh loaf in 3 hours 15 minutes. 2 hours later.. we were wondering where's the usual yeasty fragant smell as the machine rumbles on. hah! turned out I didn't lock the pan down tightly and the kneader could not catch on. It was still a pan of water, flour, salt and yeast, in separate forms. Anyway another 3 hours later, we had our first loaf. Emm.. nothing fantastic, a little too yeasty for my liking and though quite soft in texture, it turned hard the next day.

1 week later.

I decide to try again! This time, I wanted to use the Tang Zhong or otherwise also known as 65C or Water Roux method to make a softer slightly sweet/milky loaf. Not too sure if it will work as my google search showed that most people only use the breadmaker to knead the do the first proof. But I thought completing the whole bake process with the machine would save me so much trouble. It's so easy to just scoop, dump, press and wait! So.. I decided to try it.

TADA! a freshly-baked loaf of TZ bread with herbs.

Recipe from here (below portion will make one loaf)

Tangzhong recipe:
25g bread flour
60ml water & 65ml milk (or all water or all milk) (I like to use soy milk)

Mix all ingredients in a metal pot and stir until there are no lumps. Cook over med heat until mixture becomes very thick, and lines start to appear when mixture is stirred. (Alternatively, test the temperature, you will get Tangzhong at 65C). Remove from heat and cool to room temperature before using.

Bread recipe:
1 large egg
125ml milk (I like to use soy milk)
All of above Tangzhong (should have 120g)
350g bread flour (I sub 1/2 with whole wheat flour before, loaf is more packed and dense but still softer than usual wholemeal bread)
50g sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon instant yeast
30g unsalted butter, softened
Herbs (amount is up to individual preference)
Method of making bread (in a breadmaker):

1. Combine all wet ingredients in breadmaker's loaf pan
2. Place flour, sugar and salt into the wet mixture and stir the dry ingredients lightly. Add the yeast, ensure that it does not come into contact with the salt.
3. Choose baking program (basic bake, 3hours 30 minutes)
4. Machine will start to knead the mixture. When gluten starts to form, around 5 minutes onwards, add the butter and herbs
Alternatively, use the dough program to do first round of proofing. After dough cycle completes, bring it out and roll into a ball. Divide into 3 and roll into a standalone loaf pan. Let it proof for another 45 minutes.
5. If you are using breadmaker, just wait impatiently for the 3.5 hours to pass and you'll have the fresh smell of bread baking. If using your oven, place loaf pan into oven at 180 to 190C, for 35 to 40minutes.
(Remember to apply a thin layer of egg wash)

Once bread is baked, remove from bread machine/oven and leave to cool completely before slicing.