Sweet Potato Balls x Ginger Soup

Who says late night TV shows are bad for your health? Not when they end up inspiring you to cook sweet potato balls after watching a health TV programme at least. I love everything about sweet potatoes, especially when they are cooked in the most unhealthy way possible (think sweet potato fries.. mm yum).

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The TV hosts made the recipe sound so easy, and kept playing up the fact how tasty the sweet potato balls were despite the lack of sugar and other ingredients – so of course I had to try it. I wasn’t quite keen on the ginger soup though, even though I know how beneficial to the health ginger is.

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One of the reason why I would attempt this dish again, had so much fun playing with the dough and making them into bite-sized balls! Guess it brought me back to the days when I was a kid playing with play-doh… Who says you can’t play with your food? 😉

So the verdict? It tasted a bit too healthy for my liking (duh I know, considering where I got the recipe from), but texture-wise it a win for me. The next time I make this, I would consider adding in more sugar and pandan to the recipe.

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But until then, here’s the current recipe for keepsake. Who’s to say no to late night TV now?

Sweet Potato Balls with Ginger Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 1hr30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  1. 2 sweet potatoes (approx 300g)
  2. 120g sweet potato flour
  3. 30g potato starch
  4. 1 tbsp rock sugar
  5. 1 ginger
  6. 800ml water

Directions:

  1. Wash and slice the sweet potatoes, steam them for 20 min (ensure the potatoes are soft before removing).
  2. Mash the sweet potatoes and mix in sweet potato flour and potato starch slowly to form a dough mixture.
  3. Divide dough into small equal portions  and roll them into bite-sized balls.
  4. Cook the balls in pot of water for 6-8 mins, and leave it in for another 1 min when the balls surface to the top. Remove to cool.
  5. In a separate pot, add in the water, ginger and sugar and boil. When ready, serve together with the cooked sweet potato balls.

Dutch Pancakes

I first tried Dutch Pancakes at Panary Cafe when I was on holiday in Bangkok. The cafe is located at an up-and-coming hipster neighbourhood, Soi Ari. We checked out several cafes that day, but Panary Cafe stood out for their pancakes which had us at love-at-first-bite.

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The baby pancakes were nothing like the pancakes I’ve had before – these babies were fluffy and delicate, with their sides crisp and slightly turned up. It was like a cross between traditional pancakes and crepes.

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H challenged me to make them when I came back, and I gamely took it up. Then wedding planning started with a vengeance when I came back from my trip, and this got shoved back on my priority list. So when I proposed to cook for Sunday brunch, this was one of the first recipes I searched for. 

I modified this recipe I found on Pinterest to make two versions, both savoury and sweet. For the savoury, I threw in honey baked ham and cheddar cheese 5 minutes before the time was up, and put it back in for roasting. 

For the sweet, I dusted icing sugar at the top and had a selection of condiments from Margaret River Dairy Company and fruits. It was only on this third and final attempt which I managed to balance the thickness of the pancakes vs easier removal of the pancakes from pan, similar to what I had at Panary Cafe. This was the only pancake which had the turned up side which I presume would be crucial to having a good dutch pancake. 

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Cooking can be truly one of the best ways to reminisce holidays and feed the wanderlust soul 🙂

Roasted Tomato Soup

Tomatoes aren’t one of my favourite food to be honest, so it’s odd how this recipe has been on my mind for at least two months now.

There are moments when I feel the urge to go into the kitchen and just experiment, and I guess yesterday was one of those days. I made D go with me to the supermarket, and for being an accommodating husband, he gets to go home with a new humidifier which he promptly set up the moment we got home.

The recipe I came across looked too easy to be true, but hey – I guess there some things in life which we can be thankful for! I prepared the vegetables the night before, and this saved me some snooze time by just popping them into the oven the next day. Also added some cayenne pepper and greek yoghurt to the recipe I came across which worked really well for us as it balanced the flavours and textures of the soup.

And I just realised D loves his tomatoes… Hmm maybe that’s why this recipe has been on my mind, and would make a reappearance again.

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Roasted Tomato Soup

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 1hr
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  1. 6 plum tomatoes
  2. 1 carrot
  3. 1 leek
  4. 1 tsp greek yoghurt
  5. 1 tsp dried herbs (e.g thyme)
  6. 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  7. cayenne pepper (adjust accordingly)
  8. pinch of salt & pepper
  9. 250ml stock (e.g. vegetable, chicken)

Directions:

  1. Chop up the plum tomatoes, carrot, and leek and put them together in a baking dish. Add in dried herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well.
  2. Cover baking dish with aluminium foil and roast in oven at 230 degree celsius for 45mins.
  3. Allow mixture to cool before blending them together. Add some stock to dilute mixture slowly until desired consistency.
  4. Add in yoghurt and mix well.
  5. Add in cayenne pepper and mix well. Taste and adjust accordingly depending on spice preferences.
  6. Serve into soup bowls and garnish with pinch of dried herbs and cayenne pepper.

Tzatziki Dip

Tzatziki will always remind me of Greece, it was where I first had my first taste of the dip and instantly fell in love – both the dip and the country. It had the winning formula, which I realised after googling for the recipe, of all the things I love – yoghurt, cucumber and garlic.

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When I came back from the trip, I told myself I would attempt to recreate it. That was three years ago.

Three years later, I still craved for the dip but refused to pay a hefty price for it. Especially not after googling for the recipe, I didn’t think it was that difficult.

And I was right not to. It was ridiculously easy, even though I may have been a bit over-zealous in adding the garlic, more than the recipe called for. The end product was so good, and so versatile.

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I ate it with my salad, wraps, and even by itself with raw carrots as a dip. But my breath after each time was so bad, vampires would definitely be a mile away from me!

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And that was my taste of Greece again, simple and healthy.

Tzatziki Dip

  • Servings: 3 cups
  • Time: 15mins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  1. 1/2 cucumber, peeled
  2. 2 cups Greek yoghurt
  3. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  4. 1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  5. Pinch of salt
  6. Pinch of pepper

Directions:

  1. Dice the peeled cucumbers, and get rid of excess juice with clean paper towel to ensure mixture will not be too watery.
  2. Combine the cucumbers, yoghurt, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
  3. Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Salted Caramel x Macaroons

The first time I made macaroons with J, we didn’t think it would be difficult. But we quickly found out that getting the shells to be shaped in a perfect circular shape was going to be an uphill task – much less achieving a smooth textured macaroon shell. And while our first attempt didn’t look aesthetically pleasing, the saving grace was the texture. It was how we envisioned it to be, that crispy shell with a light-weight fluffy interior when one bit into it. That texture kept us going for a second attempt, not before researching massively on what could have possibly gone wrong before. But despite it all, attempt #2 was even more of a failure – and we had to throw away the entire batch, in shame, pretending like our baking escapade never happened.

Then came along S – it was my first time baking with her, and between her flexible work arrangements and my very flexible timetable, we arranged to meet up on a weekday to challenge these macaroons again.

S brought along a recipe which she had tried before, and presumably this translated to a higher success rate for our macaroons to work. Having the past two failed attempts under my belt, I was no longer as ambitious and told S – let’s aim to have an instagram-worthy macaroon, and we can consider this a success, okay? 

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The macaroons definitely weren’t perfect by a long shot, you can see how grainy the texture was, but through our own definition – we had succeeded.

Each macaroon baking session gained me some insights, and these were what I learnt from my third attempt – to set my oven at a lower temperature than what the recipe calls for; trusting your instincts and mixing the batter to ensure a smoother texture; greasing the parchment paper for easier removal of shells after baking.

More importantly, these elusive macaroons taught me perseverance – to have courage to try again despite numerous failures, analyse what could have gone wrong in previous attempts, and then try again. Oh of course, and to also appreciate the amount of effort which goes into baking a macaroon, and savour it a bit more instead of gulping it down in three mouthfuls.

Salted Caramel Macaroons

  • Servings: 30 macaroons
  • Time: 2hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: intermediate
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Ingredients (Macaroon Shells):

  1. 100g egg white
  2. 60g fine sugar
  3. 180g icing sugar
  4. 120g extra fine almond ground
  5. 5g egg white powder
  6. Pinch of salt

Directions (Macaroon Shells):

  1. Mix icing sugar & almond together. Sieve the mixture. Set it aside (Mixture 1).
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg white, egg white powder & small pinch of salt until soft peaks. Add fine sugar a little at a time until mixture is semi-firm, looking white & glossy (Mixture 2).
  3. Gently stir in Mixture 1 into Mixture 2 (note: mixture should be of smooth consistency and should fall off the spatula when held up).
  4. Scoop into piping bag & pipe (note: draw circular shapes on parchment paper for better consistency of macaroon shells sizes).
  5. Leave the macaroon shells to dry for 15 min (note: to better remove the air bubbles, try knocking the baking tray against a flat, hard surface a few times).
  6. Bake the macaroon shells at 150 degree celsius for 20min.
  7. Remove tray and leave to cool.

Ingredients (Salted Caramel Filling):

  1. 200g whipping cream
  2. 300g fine sugar
  3. 1 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions (Salted Caramel Filling):

  1. Pour the sugar into a pot and cook it to a viscous caramel mixture.
  2. Add in the whipping cream and stir until dissolved.
  3. Add in sea salt and taste.
  4. Cool the mixture and leave it in the fridge for 15 min before piping the filling into the cooled-down macaroon shells.