Spicy Tomato Soup


Thank you for your birthday greetings! We didn’t do anything too elaborate, just dinner. A huge thank you to my friends who made the effort and forwarded presents from all over the world to me. =)

Many of you know that I love my soups. This one is something I put together one day after seeing that the pantry have lots of leftover veges. It’s simple, quick hearty and cheap! It has a minestrone feel to it except it is not vegetarian.

I like my soups chunky so that it is a meal by itself. I guess I like a bite to it too.

Sometimes if we have leftover bread and when I’m feeling slightly hardworking, I make croûtons. I usually make mine using Parmesan cheese and dried herbs. Let me know if you have other variations of it!


Spicy Tomato Soup
1 can of diced tomato
3 fresh roma tomatoes
2 honey chicken sausages chopped into bite sized pieces
3 cups of vegetables of your choice (capsicum, beans, mushrooms, carrots..etc)
2-3 cups of chicken stock
2 teaspoon of chilli powder
1 tablespoon of garlic
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Heat soup pot. Add the olive oil and fry garlic till the aroma fills the kitchen. Add the chicken sausage pieces and cook till about done.

Add the can of tomatoes, fresh tomatoes and chicken stock. Turn the heat up high till the liquid is boiling. At this point, add the remaining vegetables and chilli powder. Stir. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare croûtons.

Season soup to your taste. I usually do not put any salt as the stock provides enough flavor (and salt!) to the soup.

Ladle and serve with croûtons.

Parmesan Croûtons.
2-3 pieces of old bread
Generous dash of olive oil
3 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of italian mix dried herbs
Sea Salt and cracked pepper.

Cut bread into cube size. Using your hands, toss bread in olive oil, cheese and herbs. Season with pepper and salt. Arrange on a tray and bake for 15-25 minutes in a 200C preheated oven.

Happy Birthday to me!

In the midst of the excitement over the engagement…comes my birthday as well! Interestingly enough, birthdays are just not the same as I get older. In fact, my mother and I had a VERY interesting conversation

Mum: “Happy birthday to you for Tuesday! How will you be celebrating?”
Me: “Thank you!!! Just dinner with AR and maybe lunch with friends on another day. Simple.”
Mum: “Yes! See, you are now OLDER”
Me: “Wah… your turn to make fun of me…….”
Mum: “HAHAHAHHAHA..yes! Finally my turn!! You are reaching your mid-twenties finally! hahhahaha

I couldn’t stop laughing either…

It may seem bizzare to you but mum being mum, it’s rare for her to tease!

So anyway, since it’s my birthday, I guess it makes sense to share a cake I baked earlier in the month. This is one UGLY cake. Seriously. Really ugly. The surface uneven, the batter looks messy… just not what you will expect from a cake.

See how uneven the surface is? It looks like a blob of mess!

I even tried to use the software program to add “Stars” to make it look nicer.. Still it is one ugly cake.. Maybe kids will think it is the surface of Mars or another planet..

HOWEVER, I was pleasantly surprised by how moist and chocolately the cake was. The flavors were deep and rich. It’s Mocha cake, so there was also a hint of coffee in the sauce. More importantly, the cake is LOW fat without taste being compromised! Seriously yummy. I had 2 helpings of it.

It doesn’t look like it but as the saying goes… Looks can be deceiving.

Mystery Mocha Cake

Cake
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) low-fat cocoa
3/4 cup (6 ounces) skim milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Sauce
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (3/4 ounce) low-fat cocoa
1 cup double-strength coffee, room temperature

Cake: Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a cake pan.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and cocoa. Add the milk and vanilla; beat till smooth. Pour the batter into pan.

Sauce: In a small bowl, mix together the white and brown sugars. Sprinkle evenly over the cake batter in the pan. Pour the coffee over all. This may look kind of strange and messy, but never fear; everything will turn out fine.

Bake the cake for 40 minutes, or until the top springs back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. This cake is best enjoyed warm, between half an hour and an hour after you’ve taken it out of the oven.

Adapted from the King Arthur Flour Company

Tagged! + a surprise proposal

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?

AR- my fiancé 🙂

2. What were you doing at 0800?

Driving home from Mandurah. =)

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago?
Answering emails from my girlfriends regarding details of the proposal and wedding.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Busy completing practicums, research (collecting data) + working as a tutor in uni.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud?
Oh MY GOODNESS! WE ARE REALLY ENGAGED! bye dear, have a great day at work!

6. How many beverages did you have today?
2 cups of coffee….

7. What color is your hairbrush?
Light brown.

Pink for comb though :p

8. What was the last thing you paid for?

Groceries yesterday.

9. Where were you last night?
Mandurah, Western Australia. We had a beautiful dinner in Red Manna Waterfront Restaurant. He proposed near the jetty shortly after dinner.

10. What color is your front door?
Brown-it’s wood!

11. Where do you keep your change?
Coin purse.

12. What’s the weather like today?
Cold and cloudy- really weird for Spring!

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor?
Rum and Raisin/cookies and cream/pistachio

14. What excites you?
Finding a good result for my research.

Traveling.

My bakes turning out really well. General cooking and trying out new recipes.

New recipe books/mags

Clients feeling better.

Currently-the proposal and the shock of getting engaged.

15. Do you want to cut your hair?
Not for some time. I like my hair long! =)

16. Are you over the age of 25?
haha.. not yet! 1 day to my ___ birthday!

17. Do you talk a lot?
Depends. Most of the time, quiet but with the right people-very talkative.

18. Do you watch the O.C.?

Erm..like 3-4 years ago?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven?
Yes.

20. Do you make up your own words?
all the time.

21. Are you a jealous person?

Depends on what. generally no. God provides for all.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’.
Armand. =)

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’.
Kaiyan!

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list?
Granny- she accidentally pressed the call button yesterday….

25. What does the last text message you received say?
“You take care too. Enjoy your day. Saturday’s playlist is still on the computer. Play it. Your fiance, mand”

26. Do you chew on your straw?
yes!

27. Do you have curly hair?
Wavy now…

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to?
Uni…. hahaha Class tonight!

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life?
I don’t remember and don’t want to remember.

30. What was the last thing you ate?
Smoked salmon omelette for breakfast- in front of the jetty in a nice old cafe that we used to go to. Name of the cafe “Egg-O-Mania” . Who can resist such a place?

31. Will you get married in the future?
Now that I’m engaged… YES!

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks?
Haven’t seen a movie in the past 2 weeks.

33. Is there anyone you like right now?
I like alot of people. Engaged to one.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes?
45 mins ago.

35. Are you currently depressed?
no. Will be if I can’t finish this thesis. Nevermind, since all my coursemates are fantastic clinical psychologists, I’m in safe hands….

Btw-I prefer mindfulness to treat my depression than CBT. ;p

36. Did you cry today?
haha.. no. Cried alot last night though.

37. Why did you answer and post this?
1) Little corner tagged me and I love her posts and blog.

2) Good way to share the news with everyone.

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey.

Xiao Hei – my dearest little aunt! love u lots.

Wandering Chopsticks – to your funny posts that never fail to make my day.

Tigerfish- – For the information and inspirations I get from your blog.

Singairishgirl – for reminding me how good SG’s food is!

Ruthie – Need I say anything?

A different kind of quiche

I like eggs. They are cheap, delicious and so versatile. From eggy sandwiches to créme caramel, you can transform this little wonder to so many sorts of dishes.

Sunday lunches are usually a simple affair. There is something about Sundays that make me feel lazier than usual. Sandwiches, wraps, home-made burgers, porridge or noodles soup are usually on the agenda. That Sunday afternoon however, I cut a piece of corn bread into 4 pieces and used it as a “casing” for quiche filling.


Being a fan of cheeses and spotting a tub of bocconcini cheese in the supermarket- I thought that is a good chance to have a go at it. I was surprised by the creamy texture of this cheese. Although the cheese itself is rather tasteless, a dash of lemon olive oil, paired with Roma tomato revealed its natural goodness. The crunchiness of bread together with the softness of the cheese and tangyness of the tomatoes was just plain lovely.

I’m not sure if you come across this corn bread . It’s my “must” for the pantry. Preservative free and low in fat and calories, I can’t get enough of this. Cutting them into squares and oven baking them = pita chips to serve with chunky salsa!
Do they have this in other countries?

A different kind of quiche (Serves 3)

2 pieces of corn bread
5 eggs
1/4 cup of milk
Salt n Pepper
3-4 slices of ham-sliced
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spray some olive oil onto your muffin pan. Divide corn bread into 4 pieces and line the pan accordingly. Place some sliced ham into the cavity of corn bread.

In a jug, whisk the eggs, milk. salt n pepper till well combined. Carefully pour the mixture into 8 cases. Top with grated cheddar cheese. Placed it in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Serve hot with your favorite bruschetta or salad.

Chunky Salsa

During my first week in Perth, mum n granny came with me to make sure everything went smoothly (e.g. not going to stave, know how to do my laundry and have a roof over my head). For everyday that week, mum ate an avocado. (*waves hi to mum*)

I distinctly remembered asking her what kind of fruit is it. I also remembered her turning around and say “try but I don’t think you will like it.” Till this day, I’m not sure why she said that. Perhaps it’s the texture or the taste. Contrary to her statement, I found myself enjoying this fruit.

A medium avocado contains 1/2 the required amount of fat intake for an average person a day (Wikipedia, 2007). Fortunately, the fat is mono saturated, which is the good kind of fat.They are also rich in Vitamin B, E and K. I guess this provides me with another reason for having this healthy fruit!

I usually have my avocados in salads. I love the contrast it provides. Especially when paired with walnuts/pecans and spinach leaves. Other times, I have it in a chicken sandwich.

Occasionally, I make this chunky salsa for lunch or as a topping for tacos. If I’m cooking an elaborate dinner, I make this as a pre-dinner snack and serve it with crackers. It’s cheap, simple and quick.


Chunky Salsa

1 medium ripe Hass avocado
1 roma tomato
freshly grind cracked pepper
squeeze of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of dukka

other variations
-add chopped zucchinis or cucumber
-Add corn kennels
– add handful of crushed nuts
-add chili powder for a spicy hit.

Chopped avocado and tomato up into tiny pieces. Pop them in a bowl. Squeeze lemon juice over them. Sprinkle with cracked pepper. Give them a good stir, top it up with dukka and serve with your favorite crackers.


Any other ways of using this humble fruit?

Pancakes Weekend


A couple of weekends back, I felt like a good breakfast. Usually I have to rush to work or attend church so cooking up a good hearty breakie is out of the question. Since I have changed my work schedule, it allows me a little more time in the mornings on weekends to whip up something else other than muesli/yogurt/fruit combi or bread with peanut butter/kaya/nutella.

Pancakes are a classic. Whether is it for breakfast or dessert, they are fast to whip up and is most definitely a sure-hit within family members and friends. Out of all the pancake recipes I have, I like this one best. It’s easy, fast, fail proof and the end result is always more than satisfying. Strawberries are in season-and what better way to eat them but with pancakes?

Classic Pancakes
Makes 5

1 cup of plain flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon of caster sugar

¾ cup of milk

1 egg

30gram of spread, melted and cooled.

Strawberries, caster sugar and honey to serve.

Sieve flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Stir in sugar. Whisk milk, eggs and melted spread together. Add liquid to dry mixture. Using a wooden spoon, mix till well combine.

Cover and stand for 15 mins (if you are short of time, you can skip this step. Resting the batter will help create fluffier pancakes).

Heat a non-stick frying pan. Pour 1/3 cup batter into pan. Use a spoon to spread the batter out into a 12cm circle. Reduce heat to low and cook for approximately 2-3 mins, or until bubbles start appearing on the surface.

Turn and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Wrap pancakes in clean tea towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining batter.

Serve warm with sliced strawberries, sprinkled caster sugar and honey.

Day 5: Chocolate Day


Having heard so much about chocolate cafes in Sydney, we decided to search for 2 of them that day. While walking towards the ladies section of David Jones (7 stories high I think, facing Elizabeth Street), we passed by Max Brenner…. and decided to have a mug of hot chocolate for lunch!

Dig the hug mug!

Rich and smooth…just the way I like my hot chocolate. Like what Ruth says-chocolate is pure comfort food. Sipping a mug of real hot chocolate really hit a spot in me. I felt better straight away.
Moving along, we managed to locate Lindt Cafe along Martins Place in Sydney.

This beautifully decorated place is filled with many visitors. I love the decor.

Lindt Cafe opened its first cafe in Sydney, so I really glad that we managed to find it on our last day.

hmm… decisions decisions…


Since they served desserts, we decided to go with Passion.

Passion- Mousse of passion fruit. Within it lies layers of dark chocolate. This was really really good! Rich and smooth….
We also tried their hot chocolate. Interestingly, it came with a tiny jug of melted lindt 70% dark chocolate and a larger jar of frothed milk.


To be really honest, I was slightly disappointed in this. It was quite….ordinary? Maybe Lindt chocolate is over marketed in supermarkets. I can get a block for less than Aus$2 so to pay $6 for a mug of hot chocolate just seems over the top.

Max Brenner-on the other hand, has a much smoother and richer taste. I wonder why?

Oh! That’s the dessert counter. I would love to have my birthday cake ordered from Lindt! Wouldn’t you?

I asked for macarons to be packed away… I couldn’t resist and finished it in the airport anyway! kekeke. They were delicious but I think Evan’s homemade macrons will probably taste so much better. For some reason, these looked too commercialized….

These were dark chocolate and champagne.

And that pretty much sums up my trip to Sydney! Hope you guys had fun looking at the pictures as much as I did posting them up! =)

Day 3 and 4 Sydney: Bondi Beach, Opera House and Sydney Bridge

Phew, finally some time to resume blogging. We are having major problems with hot water pipes-having it burst 3 times! Over the weekend, we took the plunge and decided to go with solar hot water instead-to save us some electricity and get good plumbing work done. The initial cost is high but we will save in the long run and help the environment as well. Imagine our horror when we came back from Sydney and found the pipes burst again!

Anyway, Day 3 and 4 of our trip is when the fun begins.
We departed from Castle Hill at around 10am and went straight to Bondi Beach. I’m a big market fan so we headed to Bondi Beach Weekend markets straight away. I got a bargain beach dress for $35- fantastic material as well. With these sorts of design- we will be looking at around $50 and above in Perth shopping centres.

The beach. There is something about water that is so calming….

Ok-this is the real reason why we are here. We are looking for this shop.

In this little fish and chip shop, the world first fried Mars bar is sold.

Waited for about 20 mins for our order.

Finally, the sinful treat has arrived. We waited another 5 mins before it cooled.

I told myself that despite this high calorie, fat ladden dessert… i’m going to have a few bites just to see what the fuss is about. The soft melting caramel inside with crisp fritter outside is the killer combi. It’s nice but I don’t think I can finish one by myself.


Later at night, we met up with a friend we haven’t seen for a few years. We were supposed to meet in Darling Harbour Lindt Cafe but it closed really early (6pm). Finally decided to head to this Ice and Slice place in Newtown which serves fab gelato desserts.

This was the Poached pear slices with pistachio and vanilla bean ice-cream. The pistachio Gelato was full of flavor. I wouldn’t mind having that one by itself.

Similar to chocolate affogato from KoKo black- hot chocolate with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. It’s ok but the hot chocolate is obviously from syrup and not the “real thing”.

Fast forward to day 4 of the trip.

I can’t get enough of the Opera house and the bridge!

Just beautiful.

We headed to Sydney Fish Markets. Decided quickly that we want to eat at Peters just because their seafood looked fresher that day.

Sashimi-can’t complain much. It’s ok.

Seafood platter for 3. We couldn’t finish the lot. I surrendered first. RR looked at me shocked… I’m sure the guys could have finished it but we needed to rush back for RR’s flight back to Melbourne. The oysters were terrific and so were the fried fish, prawns, chilli calamari and mussels. The grilled fish wasn’t anything to shout about-in fact it was dry and tasteless.



After sending RR off, AR and I took a long walk to Sydney for a walk. No shopping done. Just walking, talking and enjoying what’s around us.

Before that we walked into Queen Victoria Building (QVB). What a grand building this is. We headed to the 4th floor to look at the figures and replicates of tiaras and crowns.

Finally the sun is setting and we took a slow walk to circular quay.

We went in search for Pancakes on the Rocks. After looking at a few maps, we found it.

For some reason I wasn’t too hungry. We ordered Monte Cristo to share. Chicken and Ham crepes and topped with chilli sour cream sauce. Surprisingly the chilli sour cream did give us a spicy kick!

Mr AR wanted an entree so we had the oven toasted pesto and pine nuts bread. We actually regretted ordering this. Although it was nice, I just didn’t have the appetite to finish the food!

For dessert, we took the “Hot and Troppo”. Buttermilk pancakes with walnuts, chocolate sauce, banana and chocolate ice-cream. This was fantastic. The pancakes were fluffy and they were generous with nuts and sauce. If we didn’t order the bread, we could have finished the dessert I’m sure.

We haven’t gone out for a date in months. It’s really rare to have some time for us. Our busy schedule means we don’t often get to talk. You know. A real chat. I think we stayed at Pancakes at the Rocks for nearly 2 hours just chatting and laughing away. It wasn’t too busy and the waitress there were pretty good at topping our glasses of water and leaving us to have a good time talking despite it being so obvious that we finished our meal already. That’s a huge bonus I think.

It’s scary sometimes knowing that we are just dating and we don’t even have time for each other. This was a special time for us. Just talking and it was not about work or anything else. Just our dreams and plans for the future.

So we took a 2 hr stroll back to the hotel again. Usually that walk would have taken us 30 mins but my poor feet was suffering from 2 really really bad blisters hence each step was agonizing. This is what happen when you forget to pack proper shoes and slippers.

If you are wondering how many kms we walked that day… we counted. It was approximately 20kms+++++ not including walks around some centers and the long stroll along Martin Place + the walk from darling harbor to fish markets.

I’m hoping that means I worked out the bites of fried mars bar, seafood platter and the sinful looking pancakes…. =)

Next post- A day full of chocolates!

Day 1 and 2 Sydney: Cafe De Wheels, Kogarah, Castle Hill and the BEST coffee in Australia.

I know I have a backlog of drafts to be posted. I’m sure however, that the following few posts on Sydney will not disappoint.

The first purpose of this trip was to attend Josh and Pris’ wedding. The 2nd purpose was to grab some RnR-not much of that happening as we tried to cramp in as much as we can through the trip!

On arrival, KTS transport took us to the airport AND a joyride (dropping passengers off). We were SO hungry by then. The plane landed at around 6am (4am Perth time) but we arrived in the hotel at around 8:30am! Since hotel was not ready for the check in, we decided to begin our first meal and hunt for the day….


Cafe De Wheels-We rented a DVD showcasing the highlights of Sydney and this was featured in it. A quick search on goggle revealed its yummy goodness.


Look who ate here! Mr Colonel from fried chicken!

Their most famous pie is “Tiger Pie”-consisting of chunks of beef, mushy peas and mashed potato with gravy. We didn’t order that because we were distracted by their seafood pie!


Chunks of salmon, tiny cubes of scallops (but at least they do have it!), prawns and white fish in white creamy sauce. Can’t resist! We did ask for the potato and mushy peas topping…they combi was LOVELY! Excuse my lip gloss stain on the fork. *oops* I strongly think that the mushy peas and mashed potato are the items that make this pie sooo special. Just thinking about it make me crave for one! For Au$6.40-it kept the both of us satisfied and full.

On our 5th day, we went back and tried the “Curry Tiger” which essentially is the same as Tiger except it’s has a touch of curry in it. I’m impressed with the chunks of lean beef but I think I will stick to the seafood one next time. I guess beef pies to me are pretty ordinary but a good seafood one isn’t! This was cheaper-around $4.95. Again, we shared between the both of us and we were both full and happy after having one. MUST try in Sydney!!!

Harry’s Cafe De Wheels
730-742 George St
Haymarket, NSW 2000, Australia
+61 2 9281 6292



Next, we headed to Paddy’s Market and/or Market City. Not much to see or do, just jalan jalan (Walk around)…and then I spotted this…


YEAH! bbq corn for snack… How can I resist corn?


We continued walking to the Darling harbour. Isn’t the view lovely?
We saw this cute train ferrying little children and the not so little ones (adults..). Which made me wonder, is there really a Lindt cafe? After some searching, we did find it! Look forward to DAy 5 post on the day full of chocolates…


I didn’t take any pictures of food during the Friday night reception-felt a little… u know…shy… My first time meeting Uncle Alan, Auntie Rina, Joshua, Pris, Aaron and Andrew. But this was a teaser to let u know what we had that evening. Superb food!

Fast forward to 2nd day of the trip! We were told by Joshua to drop by at Campos in Newtown. It’s a small detour but the trip was worth it.
This tiny little coffee place won the best coffee award in Australia. Unfortunately car travel wasn’t good for having affogato but their cappuccino was silky. What got my attention was their layer of foam-creamy.

The cafe serves small sweets-which wasn’t we wanted for breakfast. A short walk and we found a 24 hr bakery

I had the fruit bagel-surprisingly warm and nice. A little dry on the side but most bagels are dry anyway. I did wish I have some cream cheese or spread to go with it however.


Mr Ar chose the almond crossiant- so crumbly and yummy!! Good stuff.


Back to traveling…

That’s the world famous bridge!! Yes! We drove under it!

Oh! the wedding you ask?

What a beautiful ceremony. This great couple dated for 7 years before tying the knot. Their ceremony was also dedicated to their parents. They even did a slide show for them! I was so moved that my tears couldn’t stop running down my cheeks. I’m such a baby! hahaha.

This was me before I started with tears in my eyes. I really like this dress. Took me some time before I found this. Perfect for attending a church wedding.

Reception was fanatistic. We had canapes and wine in the courtyard of Hills Lodge. Then we were directed to a cozy little place for dinner. Again, I didn’t want to seem rude so I didn’t take any photos of the food (still shy!).


The couple’s first dance as a married couple. A splendid evening: beautiful and magical.

The next post will be exciting-beach babes, fried chocolate and fish market! *smile*

Cherry Brandy Cupcakes


I’m back!

I had the honor to attend a wedding in New South Wales over the weekend. Wedding receptions were held in Kogarah and Castle Hill so we did plenty of traveling. The wedding ceremony was so touching that I couldn’t help tearing… I did not believe there was a dry eye in the chapel. It was also my first time meeting Mr Ar’s first cousins so that was pretty exciting and nerve-wrecking too!

Sydney itself was terrific and we did lots of walking and eating. Once I organized the pictures, I will be sure to post them up here.

In the meantime, enjoy these little cupcakes that I made before I left. Ok, correction, I made these few weeks before I left. Nevertheless, these little goodies are waiting to be posted here. =)

I’m not sure how I thought of these but it came to me that a cherry brandy theme cupcake may be worthwhile experimenting. Perhaps it’s my love for blackforest cakes, hence my inspiration was drawn from it. I’m sure there are tons of similar recipes out there but this time round, I played around with these ingredients to get the right texture.

The result was a dark rich cupcake with brandy soaked cherries in the middle. I think I could have added a few more cherries in the center to give that extra ophm. Thankfully I did receive positive feedback from neighbors and friends and so my confidence for making cupcakes went up a small notch; just enough for me to consider baking other types of cupcakes.


Cherry Brandy Cupcakes
12 little goodies

Rich Chocolate Cupcakes
100grams of choc buttons (at least 61% cocoa content)
1/4 cup of butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup of self-raising flour
3 eggs
2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
pinch of salt
add choc bits for abit more crunch

Preheat oven 180 degrees C.
1) Melt choc and butter over water bath (or zap it in the microwave-just be careful!)
2) Add sugar, stir. let mixture cool for about 5-10 mins.
3) Beat it using electric beater for 3 mins
4) add egg one at a time. Beat well.
5) sift in flour, cocoa powder and salt.
6) Mix well.
7) Scoop and fill 1/4 of lined muffin/cupcake trays.
8) Using a teaspoon, scoop in 2-3 cherries soaked in brandy in the middle. Top with chocolate mixture till 3/4 full.
8) Bake for 20-25 mins.
9) Cool and frost with brandy chocolate icing. Top with cherry.

DARK CHOCOLATE BRANDY BUTTER CREAM FROSTING
5 cups of. confectioners’ sugar
8 teaspoons of brandy syrup-reserved from marinate!
2 cups of unsweetened cocoa
12 tbsp. butter
3 tsp. vanilla
Combine confectioners’ sugar and cocoa in a small bowl. Cream butter with 1/2 cup of the cocoa mixture in a small bowl. Alternately add remaining cocoa mixture and milk; beat to spreading consistency. Stir in vanilla. Frost!

Brandy Cherries

1 can of pitted red cherries
1/2 cup of brandy

1) Drain some of the liquid from can of cherries, reserve about 1/2-3/4 cup.
2) Place cherries, reserved can syrup and brandy in a glass bowl. Marinate overnight. Do not throw the marinate away. Use it in the buttercream.