Monday, April 25, 2011

my baking diary #30 pizza, #31 smoked duck crepe rolls and #31 no-bake cheesecakes!

after a short hiatus, i finally had time to do some baking - not the usual cakes or cookies, but some minimal baking to make sure my oven is still in a good, working condition :P

#30 Quick and Easy Pizza

my next visit the dentist is in mid-may, so i will get to have my usual bakes on most saturday morning when dear is working... had wanted to bake some oatmeal cookies, but dear requested for pizza... so pizza it is! and i did not even get to taste the pizza! dear finished it up on his own!!!


i prefer an 'hawaiian' style pizza topped with ham and pineapple chunks, but not dear.. so this time, the pizza is only ham and cheese... realised i forgot about the cheese in the morning, so a trip to the supermarket after having breakfast at the market near my place... being a supermarket in the market area (prime supermarket btw), it is rather small and hence, products they carry are rather limited... could not find my usual cheese, and was rather panicky till i set my eye on this block of kraft cheddar cheese! only solution, so i gotten a block and grate it myself...

there are recipes for doing the pizza crust - i tried a couple myself but thought it was too tedious to do it up from scratch (i am just plain lazy since i stopped baking for a while...) so i used a packet of Betty Crocker pizza crust premix! Read about this in a forum, and though a premix, still gives a diy feel to it...

Quick and Easy Pizza
1 packet Betty Crocker pizza crust premix
Pizza or Pasta sauce (i used the tomato pasta sauce)
Ham (and whatever toppings you want)

1. Mix the pizza crust premix with half cup hot water (not boiling water). I add in some mixed herbs into the mix for some flavoring (but not sure how the taste turn out since i did not get to eat it!)
2. Stir the mixture till dough is form. Leave it for 5 mins or so before you start working on it - this will make the dough much easier to handle
3. Flour surface and hands before kneading out the dough to desired size
4. Place dough in baking pan, top with pasta sauce, cheese and ham
5. Bake in preheated over for about 10 - 12 mins

Note that one packet of premix churns out about a 9" size thick pizza crust. I split the dough into 2 and hence made 2 smaller and thinner pizzas

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #6: Say Cheese! (April 2011), hosted by Jean of Norms I Must

#31 Smoked Duck Crepe Rolls

next up on what i did over the weekend... smoked duck crepe rolls!

the more common one is Peking Duck rolls, which we usually see at most restaurant... hmm, price for some may be on the high side, so how often does one order this dish whenever we dine at restaurants...

this was first introduced by my colleague, C, when we had a popiah party in the office for J's farewell! Since its a popiah party, of course we had to had popiah and kueh pie tees... Wanting to provide more varieties, C suggested preparing some smoked duck which we can wrap with popiah skin...

the smoked duck provides an alternative to peking duck, and it's really quick to fix this up at home!

Smoked Duck Crepe Rolls

1 box of frozen smoked duck meat (note this is breast meat so no bones!)
1 packet of crepe
Sweet sauce (or hoi sin sauce)

1. Microwave the frozen smoked duck meat according to instructions on the box (alternatively, some supermarkets like NTUC does sell ready cooked duck meat at the deli section) and slice
2. Cut the crepe and zucchini into suitable size.
3. Apply some sweet sauce on the crepe, top it with the smoked duck slices and zucchini
4. Roll it up (and pop it into your mouth!)

a quick and easy dish to put together!

#32 Oreo and Mango no-bake cheesecake

set my mind to prepare this for aspiring bakers after the theme was announced since its a chesse theme this month! but only got around to doing this after a month!!

i got this recipe from Kraft, but modify it, especially the amount of sugar required.

Cheesecake (adapted mainly from Philadephia Peaches N Cream no bake Cheesecake)

Digestives biscuits and Oreo cookies (without the cream) - Amount largely dependent on how big your baking pan is and how thick you like the base to be
Butter, soften (i use moderate amount to make sure the biscuit mixture sticks together) 
Sugar, divided 
4 blocks Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
Dry Gelatin (i used Knox Gelation - see picture below)
Cubed Mangos
Whipped Topping, thawed

1. Crush or grind Digestives or Oreo cookies - i usually divide my recipe into half so i can do the cheesecake in two flavours
2. Mix crushed bisuits or oreo with some sugar and soften butter (note: you can refer to Kraft webby for the exact measurement, but i usually go with gut feel as i want to control the level of content in my cheesecake)
3. Press the mixture into pan and chill in the fridge while working on the cream cheese mixture
4. Mix soften cream cheese and sugar till well mixed
5. Mix in dry gelatin (i used about 2 - 3 pkts of gelatin for 4 blocks of cream cheese. and this gelatin does not require any water, can use as it is)
6. Stir in cubed mangos (or coarsely chopped oreo cookies or other fruits) and whipped topping and mix well
7. Scoop mixture into the chilled biscuit base and leave in fridge to set (for at least 4 hours or overnight)

this is the usual recipe i turn to when doing cheesecake... started on this way before i got my oven since this is a no bake cheesecake... have made a couple of varieties over my attempts - peach cheesecake or topped with blueberry fillings.... otherwise, keep it plain for an original taste!

I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #6: Say Cheese! (April 2011), hosted by Jean of Norms I Must

 i like this brand of gelatin - its fine enough to be used in the cream cheese mixture, without giving a 'sandy' taste... i tried using other gelatin mixed with water before, but did not like the texture of the cheesecake... so far, i only managed to locate this particular brand of dry gelatin at Sheng Siong.

sneaked a quick trip to Sun Lik today since i had some time to while away before a meeting at 4pm! got some sugar decos, so will be working on some cupcakes this weekend if possible

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