Strawberry & Fig Balsamic Jam

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With fresh figs being in season now, we fig-ure that one of the best ways to utilise this delicious fruit is to make a luscious jam. Paired with strawberries, the jam is decadently rich and gooey with the fig seeds adding texture and crunch—a perfect mainstay for any breakfast table. We simply dig having this awesome spread with ice cream, but knock yourselves out pairing with just about anything you fancy.

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Ingredients:
200g Figs
200g Strawberries
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 - 3 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar (to taste)

Methods:image

imageimage1. Cut figs and strawberries into small chunks.image2. Combine figs, strawberries and sugar in a saucepan.imageimage3.Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring regularly. Add in balsamic vinegar to taste. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes or until the mixture is reduced and coats the back of a spoon.image4. Transfer jam into a sterilised jar, allowing it to cool completely. Seal and store in the refrigerator. Enjoy!imageimage




"Happiness is like jam. You can’t spread even a little without getting some on yourself." Learn how to make happiness in a bottle with our strawberry fig balsamic jam recipe, coming up next on Cookism! 




Unadon (鰻丼)

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We are unabashed suckers for Japanese cuisine, and the Unadon is without a doubt our Achilles heel. With the portions sold outside both miserable and pricey, we figured the best way to enjoy our favourite donburi is to whip it up at home. A bowl of unadon has to be the perfect epitome of the essence of Japanese food—exquisitely presented with the fragrant pearls of Japanese rice, sake-infused runny egg and the gloriously umami slab of grilled eel that brims with the goodness of the sea. This dish is easily put together and is best enjoyed with a Haruki Murakami book.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Unagi Kabayaki
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion (cut into thin slices)
  • Nori (cut into strips, to serve)
  • Roasted Sesame Seeds (to serve)
  • 1 Cup of Japanese Short-grain Rice


Unagi sauce:

  • 1 tbsp Sake + extra for brushing
  • 2 tbsp Mirin
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Honey

Egg sauce:

  • 50ml of Dashi Stock
  • 1/2 tbsp of Sake
  • 1/2 tbsp Mirin
  • 1/2 tbsp of Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce


Serves 2

Methods:
image1. Place rice in a heavy bottom pot with a tight-fitting lid. Using your hand, wash and rinse the rice 3 times to remove surface starch and dirt. Drain well with a sieve and transfer rice back to the pot. Soak rice in 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon of water for 30 minutes. Bring the covered pot to a boil over medium heat, Listen carefully for signs of boiling like the chattering lid or bubbling. Refrain from lifting the lid. Turn the heat to low and let the rice cook for about 5 minutes or till water has been absorbed. If unsure, take a quick peek. Turn the heat up to high for about 30 seconds to dry the rice. Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand covered for 10 minutes. With a rice paddle, fluff the rice and divide it into two rice bowls.image2. While the rice is soaking, make the unagi sauce. Combine sake and mirin in a small saucepan. Cook slightly to evaporate the alcohol, then add in soy sauce and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and transfer it to a sauce bowl.image3. Drizzle a little unagi sauce over steamed rice.image4. Preheat oven to 200C. Place the unagi onto a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Lightly dab it with sake and bake for about 8 minutes.imageimage5. In the meantime, cut onion into thin slices and lightly beat the eggs.image6. Over medium heat, combine the egg sauce ingredients in a frying pan. Stir well and add in the onion slices. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to soften the onion. Pour in half the egg into the pan, distributing it evenly over the surface. Cover and cook for 1 minute until the egg is slightly firm. Add in the rest of the egg, turning off the heat and covering the pan for 30 seconds. Divide and top egg onto the rice.image7. Cut the unagi into two and place it on top of the individual bowls of egg and rice. Drizzle a litle unagi sauce and serve with nori strips or sesame seeds. Enjoy!image

“Yes, eel is one of Nakata’s favorites.”




Have a nice bowl of Unadon to tide you through the week!
Recipe coming up next.




Masala Chai

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When we were in Nepal, two things in particular made a lasting impression on us among the many pleasant memories: the stunning Annapurna peaks and the humble masala chai. While the coffee in Nepal is hit-or-miss, nothing warms the heart and soul quite like a cup of steaming hot masala tea, brewed with the finest organic leaves and a myriad of spices to give this beverage its distinctively rich and unique taste—one that lingers on the palate and in the mind.


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Ingredients:

  • 11/2 Cup of Milk
  • 11/2 Cup of Water
  • 2 tbsp of Organic Black Tea Leaves
  • 4 Cardamon (crushed)
  • 2 Cloves
  • 2 Slices of Ginger
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 3 to 4 tbsp of White Sugar (to taste)

Serves 2

Methods:
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imageBoil water in a teapot and reduce to a simmer. Add in milk, tea leaves and spices. Allow it to steep for 10 minutes or until the flavours are infused. Strain the tea before serving! Enjoy!image

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With the warmth of masala chai sitting in your belly and a view to die for, this is what life is about.image




Fancy a tea for two, Nepali style? Stay tuned for our masala chai recipe!




Turkish Künefe

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Our perception of the world of desserts was irrevocably turned upside down when we tasted our first künefe. Who would’ve known (maybe besides the Turkish) that such a divine fusion of art and delicacy exists? The uber-crisp shreds of phyllo dough sandwich a strata of savory, stringy cheese, and the whole mishmash of textures is doused with the syrupy nectar of gods to create an unforgettable dessert, with every morsel an explosion of flavours and unspeakable sensations. We have created a recipe that, albeit not the most traditional, is one that we simply love. 

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Ingredient:

For syrup:

  • 2 Cups of Sugar
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 1 tbsp of Lemon Juice
  • 2 tsp of Orange Blossom Water


For Künefe:

  • 450g of Shredded Phyllo Dough
  • 300g of Shredded Unsalted Mozzarella
  • 1 Cup of Melted Unsalted Butter + extra for frying
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • Ground Pistachios (to taste)

Makes 16 - 18 Künefe

Methods:image1. For the syrup, boil sugar and water in a large saucepan. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer while adding in lemon juice and orange blossom water. Stir well and set aside to cool.imageimage2. Cut shredded phyllo dough into bits and loosen them slightly.imageimageimage3. Drizzle melted butter and milk onto the dough in batches and mix well with your hands until they are evenly incorporated. For large clumps, loosen them with your fingers.imageimage4. Using metals rings (about 8cm wide, 2 to 2.5cm thick), fill the bottom and sides with 2 heaped tablespoons of shredded phyllo dough. Slightly compress using the back of a spoon. Next, top up 2 heaped tablespoons of cheese, compress again and pack in with another 2 heaped tablespoons of shredded phyllo dough to seal in the cheese.image5. Heat up a large pan and add in some butter. Scoop up the künefe with a cake server and carefully placed it in the pan. Fry each side for 3 minutes or until golden brown. Remove metal rings along the way and transfer onto a serving plate.image6. Drizzle syrup and sprinkle ground pistachios to taste! Ready to dig in!image




Cheesy. Crisp. Decadent. Just three words to describe our homemade künefe. Stay tuned for the recipe!




Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake

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It is one of those days when you feel like donning an apron, clapping some flour off your hands and get baking. Cakes are not merely for celebrations, and even so, there’s something worth celebrating everyday. This Strawberry & White Chocolate Cream Cake is light and simple—a toast to beauty in simplicity and the little things in life. A slice contains a mishmash of tart strawberries, smooth silky chocolate cream and decadent crumbly cake, which epitomises the multi-textural nature of the everyday. Here’s a baking gem that satiates the eyes and the palate.

(Adapted from The Great Britain Bake Off)

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Ingredients:

For the sponge cake:

  • 150g of Good Quality White Chocolate (broken into smaller chunks)
  • 200g of Unsalted Butter + extra for greasing (diced & softened)
  • 3 Large Eggs (at room temperature)
  • 150g of Caster Sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 Orange
  • 200g of Self-Raising Flour


For the filling & topping:

  • 450g of Strawberries
  • Zest and Juice of 1/2 Orange
  • 1 tbsp of Caster Sugar (to taste)
  • 300ml of Whipping Cream (Chilled)
  • 50g of Good Quality White Chocolate (to decorate)
  • 100g of Raspberry Jam


Makes one 20cm cake

Methods:
imageimage1. Preheat oven to 180C. Prepare 2 cake tins by greasing the sides and baste with softened butter, then line the base with grease-proof paper and grease it again. Place chocolate into a heatproof bowl and set it over a pan of simmering water (a bain-marie), making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the hot water. Allow the chocolate to melt gently, stirring frequently. When the chocolate has melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in butter till well-combined.image2. In a large mixing bowl, add the eggs and whisk until frothy with an electric mixer, followed by sugar and orange zest. Whisk again on high speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the mixture is pale yellow, very thick and falls in ribbons. This process takes about 4 to 5 minutes.image3. Stir chocolate-butter mixture before adding it to the egg mixture. Gently and briefly stir till just combined, then sift and delicately fold in the flour in two batches. Weigh and divide batter between the prepared tins to achieve evenly-sized cakes. Spread the batter and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cakes are light golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.imageimage
4. Run a knife around the insides of the tins to loosen the cakes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool. Remove the greaseproof paper when it is cool enough to touch.image5. In the meantime, prepare the filling. Set aside 7 presentable, evenly-sized strawberries for the topping later. Hull and thinly slice the rest of the strawberries into a bowl.imageimage6. Add in sugar, orange zest and juice and mix lightly. Leave for 30 minutes to marinate.
image7. To prepare the topping, heat jam in a saucepan, stirring frequently until melted. Bring it to a boil, then remove from the heat. Dip and coat whole strawberries (leaves removed) into the jam. Carefully place strawberries top side down on a plate for later use. To make whipped cream, place your beaters and mixing bowl in the freezer for about 30 minutes before use. Prepare an ice bath and place the mixing bowl over it. Pour cold cream into the mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer on low to medium speed until thick. image8. Place one sponge cake, topside down on a serving plate. Spoon sliced strawberries and juice evenly onto it.image9. Spread half of the whipped cream on top and set the second sponge cake, topside up on the cream. Spread the rest of the cream on top.imageimage10. Decorate the cake with glazed strawberries in the middle and grated white chocolate around it. Ready to serve!imageimageimage




Beer Can Chicken with Corn on the Cob

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'Tis the time of the year we fly our flag high. To celebrate the nation's big 49, we go all rustic with the Beer Can Chicken with Corn on the Cob. Tender and moist on the inside, crispy and fall-off-the-bone on the outside, there's everything to love about this whimsical dish. Being the patriots that we are, our beer of choice is the local lager Tiger beer—available now in limited edition red. If you want a dish you can count on, our beer can chicken recipe will do you proud.

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Ingredients:

For beer can chicken:

  • 4 lbs of Whole Chicken
  • 1/2 Can of Beer

    For chicken marinade:
  • 100g of Malt
  • 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp of Salt
  • 1 tbsp of Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp of Paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Clove of Crushed Garlic

For corn on the cob:

  • 2 to 4 Ears of Corn
  • Large knob of Butter
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Cayenne Pepper (to taste)

For honey beer sauce

  • 2 Shallots (Minced)
  • 1/2 Cup of Beer
  • 1 tbsp of Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tbsp of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tbsp of Honey
  • Pinch of Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
  • Olive Oil

Serves 4

Methods:
image1. To prepare the marinade, combine malt, salt, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper and crushed garlic in a bowl. Mix well. If the mixture is too thick, pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to loosen it.imageimage2. In a large baking dish, evenly rub chicken with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.imageimage3. Preheat oven to 190C. Allow chicken to come to room temperature before roasting. When the chicken is ready, open the beer can and reserve 1/2 cup of beer for the sauce later. Carefully stuff the chicken’s bottom with the can. Roast in a upright position for 40 to 50 minutes or until golden and cooked through.imageimage4. In the meantime, prepare corn on the cob. Generously coat corn with butter and evenly season it with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes until soft at 180C.image5. To make honey beer sauce, heat a saucepan and add in a little oil. Fry shallots till translucent and stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients. For added flavour, add in the jus from the roasting dish as well. Stir well and continue to cook till the mixture is slightly reduced. Transfer to a dipping bowl.imageimage6. Remove the beer can from the chicken (be careful! It’s hot) and serve with corn on the cob, honey beer sauce and cold beer! Enjoy!




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