I’ve been absent from here for way too long. I miss having fun in the kitchen showing my audience what I cook. I kept thinking of how to make my cooking more exciting, how I can perfect my content, and so on. That kept me away from coming up with something for awhile.
Finally, I decided that I should just do it! Anything would be a good new start.
Last weekend, I went to Berkley Bowl supermarket in Berkley, California. It is one of the best supermarket in my area, in my opinion. I love their selections of produce, meat, and most importantly, they sell French butter and fresh yeast (I know it’s important, right?!)
Anyway, I found this beautiful cut of uncured pancetta from Italy. What else can I make with it other than a hearty bowl of spaghetti carbonara with chunky piece of that salty fat.
My recipe is very simple and contain just few ingredients; spaghetti, egg, pecorino Romano cheese, black pepper, and of course that good pancetta!
My tips are…..lots of cheese, lots of freshly ground black pepper (usually it’s about 20 turns on my peppermill for one serving portion), and make sure you cut that beautiful pancetta nice and thick.
Here is my quick YouTube video on this dish
When I bake, I can do better when I know whom I’m baking for.
Lately, I haven’t been baking much. I’m just not very inspired by what I see at local market. Luckily, I have a next door neighbor who happens to be gluten intolerance (unfortunately) but loves sweets. Even though he enjoys his gluten-free bread and stuff, I can’t help but feeling sorry that he can’t enjoy fluffy cake.
I’m thinking what sort of cake can I make that doesn’t require much help from gluten in the flour and this Japanese style cheese cake came to my mind. My mission was to find substitute for the flour.
I was pleased with my experiment. This cheese cake is soft and velvety; the sweetness and the texture are well balanced. It goes well on its own, with berry sauce, or any fruit that you like. I found it very pleasant to eat, so did my neighbor!
Here’s the recipe of the cake that everyone will enjoy even if you’re not allergic to the flour.
Gluten-free Cream Cheese Soufflé Cake
200g cream cheese (Philadelphia cream cheese is desirable)
30g unsalted butter
3 large eggs
100ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon lemon juice
30g rice flour
10g potato starch
1 teaspoon baking powder
icing sugar for dusting
- bring cream cheese and unsalted butter to room temperature
- line 7” cake mould with parchment paper, this cake will rise to 3-4” high
- preheat oven 160 Celsius (without fan)
- sift rice flour, potato starch, and baking powder, set aside
- divide egg yolk and egg white
- in a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 25g of sugar, unsalted butter until smooth (I use Kitchenaid with paddle attachment)
- add egg yolk into cream cheese mixture, one at a time, then add the whipping cream and lemon juice and mix until well combined
- mix sifted rice flour, potato starch into the mixture, set it aside
- make meringue by whisking the egg white with 50g of sugar to stiff peak
- combine 1/3 of the meringue in the cream cheese mixture, gently fold the rest of the meringue in (half at a time)
- transfer the mixture into the cake mould, smooth the top
- place the cake mould in a deep tray, pour hot water into the tray about 1” high
- bake for 90 minutes, check for the doneness by sticking a knife or bamboo skewer in the middle, it should come out clean. Leave it to cool down completely in the oven to minimize shrinkage
- refrigerate at least 2 hours
- before serving, leave it at room temperature for 10-15 minutes, dust it with icing sugar (optional)
Mini Teatime Cake
40 g caster sugar
30 g flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
granulated sugar and raisins for topping
- preheat the oven at 200c, put a madeleine mould (or other shallow mould) in there
- separate egg yolk and egg white
- whisk egg white with half of the sugar to firm peak
- whisk egg yolk and remaining sugar until pale
- whisk together 1/3 of egg white mixture, egg yolk mixture, and flour
- fold the remaining egg white in the above mixture
- take the mould out of the oven, spray it with cooking oil, pipe the batter in the mould, put some raisins and sprinkle some sugar on top
- bake for 10 minutes, remove the cake from the mould while they’re still hot