Lemon Slice Recipe

Someone once said “When life gives you lemons, make a lemonade.”

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But in case you don’t feel like having some lemonade, you can also consider making a yummy lemon slice. This is one of the desserts I prepared for a recent birthday celebration.

LEMON SLICE

Ingredients:
(For the bottom layer)
150 g salt-reduced butter
1/2 t vanilla essence
1/4 c caster sugar
1 T cornflour
1 1/3 c plain flour
Icing sugar

(For the top layer)
4 eggs
1/3 c plain flour
3/4 c caster sugar
2/3 c lemon juice

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 160 deg C.

Prepare the bottom layer by melting butter in a bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and mix well. Sift the flours on the mixture, then stir thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Set aside.

Line pan with baking paper. Transfer the bottom layer mixture to the pan. Spread it evenly and press to compact. Bake for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the top layer by whisking eggs, flour and sugar until smooth. Add lemon juice and continue whisking.

Pour the top layer mixture over the cooked bottom layer. Bake for 20 more minutes and let it cool in the pan. Dust with icing sugar, slice and serve.

Tapioca Pudding

Tapioca pudding is one dessert you can serve at a Chinese themed event.聽It’s actually called by many names. I think some call it Tapioca Pearls With Coconut Milk, and the most interesting name (which I think is how most Chinese folks call it), the Frog Egg Dessert.
A guest in one of our dinners before was this guy from Taiwan. Yup, he speaks and reads Chinese, but he also knows English. Anyway, when I served this tapioca dessert at that dinner, I asked him (for confirmation), “Is this a Chinese dessert?” He said, “Yes, it is” and commented further that they call it as Frog Egg Dessert.
Unfortunately, one of our female guests didn’t quite get what he had said, and she thought that the dessert was made of real eggs of real frogs….and refused to have any!聽 Oh dear, we had a good laugh at that, and so we had to help her understand that it’s just a name, because its appearance closely resemble frogs’ eggs, but that those round little things are actually tapioca pearls. She was quite relieved, and finally agreed to have some. 馃檪
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聽And so, here’s the basic recipe for this delicious dish:
TAPIOCA PUDDING
2/3 cup of small uncooked tapioca pearls
Water
1 cup whole milk
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup sugar
Note: Start preparing this recipe hours before you need it. You can chill it in the fridge while waiting for your guests.
In a pan, heat about 3 cups of water. Dissolve sugar in it before bringing it to a boil. As soon as it boils, lower the heat and add in the whole milk. Mix well.
Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk. (Do not boil the coconut milk, as it would turn the mixture rather oily). Let the mixture cool in room temperature, then place in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile (or about a couple of hours later), soak the tapioca pearls in water for at least 30 minutes. The tapioca pearls will be absorbing the water and expand and turn into soft, bright white pearls. Drain.聽 Place in a pot with some water and bring to a boil. Remember to constantly stir the tapioca pearls in the water, so they cook more evenly and so they don’t stick together in huge masses.
When the tapioca pearls have all turned clear, remove from heat.聽 Drain and add the tapioca pearls into the coconut milk mixture. You may continue to chill them in the fridge, or you can serve them right away in smaller bowls or cups, with a bit of sliced fruits on top.

Basic Polvor贸n Recipe

Polvoron 1

Polvor贸n is a Spanish shortbread made mainly from flour, sugar, milk, and nuts. Lard or butter is used to help hold the powder mixture together. It may be baked or chilled. The name of this treat came from the Spanish word polvo, which means powder.

Because the flour is first toasted before it is mixed with the rest of the ingredients, the entire crumbly powder mixture is a perfect beach sand look-alike. 聽If you have little buckets of various sizes, using Option 1 below (chilled, not baked), you can create a “sandcastle”, a splendid feature at your next beach or mermaid themed party. 聽You can also use a round or oblong cookie cutter or molder to mold them into little cookies, then wrap each with coloured tissue paper or cello.

Polvoron 3

Basic Polvor贸n Recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups plain flour
2 cups powdered milk
1 1/2 cups raw sugar
1 1/8 cups softened butter

Toast flour on a pan over medium heat, stirring often to make sure it doesn’t get burnt, until the colour of the flour turns into light brown. Let it cool before transferring into a mixing bowl. Add powdered milk and sugar and mix well, using a wire whisk.

Add butter and, using your clean hands, combine the mixture thoroughly. Let cool for about 10 minutes, so the butter solidifies a bit.

Option 1:

To mold and wrap polvor贸n, have several pieces of tissue paper or cello ready, cut into 6″ x 6″ squares. On a square, place your cookie cutter in the very center. Spoon the mixture into the cookie cutter, then push the mixture in with your fingers or back of the spoon to compact it. Add more powder mixture into the cookie cutter until it reaches your desired thickness when compacted. The polvor贸n should be compacted enough so it doesn’t collapse when you carefully remove the cookie cutter. After removing the cookie cutter, carefully wrap the polvor贸n by securing the ends. Chill before serving.聽(This option works best for a beach sand-imitation dish at your beach themed party.)

Polvoron 2

Option 2:

Use the same technique in compacting them into round or oblong pieces using the cookie cutter or mold, but instead of wrapping each individually, place them on baking sheets (lined with paper) and bake them at聽180潞C/350潞F for approximately 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool before serving. (Sprinkle icing sugar on top and this option is perfect for serving them at Christmas.)

Mermaid Jello Salad

This recipe has been adapted from an old sweetened fruit salad recipe. While the original recipe required slices of various types of fruits, this recipe omitted that and, instead, used only gelatin cubes in colours associated with the mermaid party theme. As well as shredded young coconut, you may also add cooked tapioca pearls (the larger sized ones, almost similar in size to the gelatin cubes) to this sweet salad to balance its sweetness, and for that additional “mermaid” appeal.

Mermaid Jello

Ingredients:
1 packet green gelatin powder (any flavour)
1 packet blue gelatin powder (any flavour)
1 packet purple gelatin powder (any flavour)
Boiling water
Cold water
Thick cream
Condensed milk
Shredded young coconut (optional)

In separate bowls, prepare the gelatin (separately, by colour) according to packet instructions, using the boiling water, then cold water. (For firmer gelatin, slightly reduce the amount of water to be added to each bowl of gelatin powder.) Chill gelatin until completely set.

Slice gelatin into small cubes. Place all the gelatin cubes in a large bowl. Add cream and shredded young coconut (optional). Add condensed milk, until desired sweetness is achieved. Mix well. Scoop into small bowls to serve.

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Love the mermaid themed label card used in the photo? Get it HERE.

Bantha Milk Pudding

This recipe was derived from my Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta recipe聽but tweaked especially for the Star Wars themed party that we had. I didn’t聽make the chocolate layer because of time constraints, but you are welcome to include it if you want. Here is how I did my Bantha Milk Pudding dish for hubby’s Star Wars themed party:

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup cold water
2聽packs unflavoured gelatin
1聽can condensed milk
2聽cups cream
Few drops of blue food coloring
Chocolate syrup (optional)
2 Oreo biscuits (optional)

Melt gelatin in cold water.聽 Set aside.聽 Mix cream and condensed milk in a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot.聽 Add the melted gelatin and stir until well blended (approximately 10 minutes).聽 Remove from the stove and continue stirring to cool down the mixture. 聽Gradually add a few drops of food coloring until desired color is achieved. Stir well until color is evenly distributed.

Transfer the mixture into a mold. 聽Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To serve, turn the pudding聽upside down on a serving platter. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top and position the Oreo biscuits on the top center.

Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta Recipe

Near the end of my senior year in high school, a good friend of mine invited me to her birthday party. Actually, she invited probably half of the whole class, which was probably around 25 kids or so. At her party, I came across this super delicious milk and chocolate dessert. For me at that time, it was just about the most delicious dessert I’ve ever tasted. Right there and then, I asked her for the recipe of the dessert, which was prepared by either a family member or a friend of hers. The next week, she gave it to me.

Unfortunately, at 16, I was really more of the eating type and not the cooking type of a person. So even though I was honestly very impressed with the dessert and genuinely wanted a copy of the recipe, also like a real non-cooker, I kept the recipe but never tried making it. An embarrassing admission, I know.

Recently, while being best friends with Mr. Google, I came across an image of that very dessert. Now that I and my husband share an almost similar passion for cooking, I just have to make this dish. I’m glad I did. It turned out to be quite a success and tasted just as amazing as that dessert at my friend’s birthday party. A few friends of mine felt a bit bad that I did not invite them over to have some.

After tweaking the recipe enough to make it mine without deviating too much from the flavour, I’m sharing it with you so you too might enjoy it. My high school friend had called it by an odd name which, nowadays, might be misunderstood as offensive.聽 For that reason, I’ll go with the basics and call this dish Milk Chocolate Panna Cotta.

MILK CHOCOLATE PANNA COTTA

Ingredients:
(Chocolate Layer)
2 packs unflavoured gelatin
1 cup cold water
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup hot water
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup raw sugar
聽(White Milk Layer)
1 cup cold water
2 packs unflavoured gelatin
1 can condensed milk
2 1/2 cups cream

In a small bowl, melt 2 packs of gelatin in half cup of cold water. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix cocoa powder and 1/2 cup hot water thoroughly. Set aside. Heat evaporated milk in a saucepan on low heat and stir in sugar until well dissolved. Blend in the melted cocoa.聽 Add the gelatin mixture and stir well until dissolved.聽 Let this mixture cool by stirring continuously, before transferring to a deep tray. Refrigerate for at least two hours to make sure it has completely set.

Prepare the white milk layer while the chocolate layer sets in the fridge.聽 To make the white milk layer, melt 2 packs of gelatin in half cup cold water.聽 Set aside.聽 Mix cream and condensed milk in a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot.聽 Add the melted gelatin and stir until well blended (approx. 10 minutes).聽 Remove from the stove and continue stirring to cool down the mixture.聽 (It is very important that this mixture has completely cooled down before adding it to the chocolate layer, or else you’ll run the risk of melting and destroying the chocolate layer.)

Take the tray of chocolate layer out of the fridge.聽 Using a ladle or a cup, gradually and carefully transfer the white milk mixture over the solid chocolate layer on the tray.聽 Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

To serve, turn the panna cotta upside down on a serving platter. If you like, you can also drizzle chocolate syrup and sprinkle chocolate shavings on top.

Update:

Instead of chocolate shavings, you can also garnish with strawberry slices, just like these two that I made for a friend’s baby shower party.

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