Healthy Kitchen Smells Fresh

October 16, 2009

A Malaysian Wedding Cookie , Biskut Mazola

Filed under: Asians, Bakings, Cookies, Desserts, Snacks, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 11:35 pm

Biskut Mazola

Before baking

Biskut Mazola ( Makes 2 dozen (24 pieces) medium size cookies)


  • 1 ¼ cup finely grounded toasted peanuts
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup white sugar ( preferably icing (superfine) sugar)
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 200 L canola oil, extra 2-3 tablespoons if needed

For topping:

  • Egg wash (1 large egg yolk + 1 teaspoon fresh milk or water )
  • Toasted sesame seeds , for sprinkling (optional)


1- Preheat the oven to 300 F / 150 Celcius. Grease a cookie baking sheet with oil or line parchment paper or silicon mate on.


2- In a large mixing bowl, stir together grounded peanut, all purpose flour, cornstarch ,  milk powder ( if using) ,sugar,  baking soda, baking powder. Mix to well combine.


3- Gradually stir the oil in bit by bit until a firm glossy dough is formed. If the dough is crumbly ( when packed in palm and it falls apart) , add more oil 1 teaspoon at a time.

4- Scope out 1 Tablespoon of the dough, roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a prepared baking sheet. You should get 20 – 24 balls . A dough ball should be 1 inch apart from the other balls, the cookie spread slightly.

5- Brush each top with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on it, just before baking.

6- Bake them for 8- 10 minutes or until browned but not burned. The cookie will be slightly fragile to touch right after baked, that’s ok. It gets hardened as cooled completely. Enjoy with your tea or coffee.


September 16, 2009

Lemon Curd

Filed under: Bakings, Cakes, Desserts, Snacks — nshahida @ 8:36 pm

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is somewhat a bright citrusy yellow custard . To make this lemon curd needs some large amount of lemons and egg yolks, that’s why we call it custard.. the more yolks we add.. the more creamier it gets. No.. no milk required but butter. You can’t really think about health and diet for while if you want to indulge this. Should we consider skipping dinner just for this luscious custard? Hmm.. I sure would!

Lemon curd can be served as a topping to your dessert.. cheesecake like I did from the previous post, doughnut, may be cookies , cakes or anything you desire. According to Lori Longbotham, “ this spread is very popular in Great Britain, where it is eaten on toasted bread or cake, on scones fresh out of the oven, in tart fillings, and in triffle.”

Lemon Curd

Adaptation:Lori Longbotham , Luscious Lemon Dessert


½ cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

¾ cup sugar

½ cup fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

Pinch of salt ( if using salted butter, please skip this)

6 large egg yolks


1- Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

2- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. Whisk in the yolks until smooth.

3- Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and leaves a path on the back of a wooden spoon when a finger is drawn across it, do not allow the mixture to boil.

4- Immediately pour the lemon curd through a strainer into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally, refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Storing: If not using immediately, store in a dry and clean glass jar or plastic container . Refrigerate up to a month and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Note:If somehow your lemon curd gets unspreadable, warm on the stove on low heat or microwave it just until just smooth and slightly warm again.

Lemon Curd on top of my cheesecake

August 25, 2009

Simple Basic Cheesecake with Lemon Curd Topping

Filed under: Bakings, Cakes, Desserts, Uncategorized — nshahida @ 12:02 am


Creamy, rich, decadent and very satisfying, this basic cheesecake recipe.  Plus all  ingredients are easy to be found at your local supermarket wherever you are. I can vouch it because I made this very recipe a few times for my family back home, Malaysia.

This easy to follow recipe I adapted from some of my cookbook ,gathered and finalized them as one recipe. The outcome is impressively amazing to look at , once it hits your taste buds.. you know you are addicted. Light, citrus-y , sweet not overly – delicious . The crust is easy to make as well. I used regular tea biscuit or we call it ‘biskut marie’.

As for the topping, you can definitely remix with your own creativity but it’s totally up to you.. some day it’s better with the decoration and the other days just go plain. Either way works as great. I love it without any toppings but this time I made lemon curd slathered on top of my cheesecake for a change. I tried with fruit jam as the topping, everyone loved it. Or… drizzle it with melted chocolate.. yumm!!


Simple Basic New York Style Cheesecake. ( Makes 8 medium slices)

Source : Luscious Lemon Dessert (Triple-lemon Cheesecake) by Lori Longbotham

The Professional Pastry Chef ( New York Style Cheesecake ) by Bo Friberg

For the crust, you can use any type of cookies/biscuits or digestive biscuits such as vanilla wafer, graham crackers, oreo cookies without the cream – this is recommended , Mc Vities biscuits and the like. I used Marie tea biscuits and it works wonderfully, inexpensive and always in my pantry.

If you have springform pan , use it if otherwise, a medium round pie pan works just fine. I didn’t have any problem using regular baking pan , it is that we need to be careful when slicing the cake so that it won’t crumble or fall apart.

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups Marie tea biscuits crumbs ( approximately 15-16 medium size biscuits processed in a food processor or even in a dry clean blender.. trust me, it works)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melt in a microwave or on stove, let it cool at room temperature. ( if salted butter is used , please omit the salt)



1- First off, preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 Celsius . Butter the bottom and side of a 8 – inch springform or round baking pan.

Crust 1

Crust 2

Crust 3

2- Stir together the crumbs , brown sugar , salt and cooled melted butter with a fork or rubber spatula in a medium bowl until well combined. Press firmly and evenly the crumb mixture into the bottom and the side of the pan with your hands. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the the crust is set. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F / 163 Celsius .

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 packages ( 8 oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour or cornstarch
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 whole large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks , at room temperature
  • ½ cup (125 mL) plain yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Filling 1

1- Mix the cream cheese and granulated sugar together using electric mixture at low speed, until completely smooth. Mix in the cornstarch or all purpose flour, lemon/lime zest, lemon/lime juice. Mix until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in the whole egg and egg yolks, one at a time, blending thoroughly with spatula after each addition until well incorporated. Incorporate plain yogurt and cooled melted butter .

Filling 2

2- Pour this mixture into the prepared crust. Slowly tilt the pan to even out the mixture.

3- Bake in the preheated oven at 325 F / 163 Celsius until set, approximately 40 – 45 minutes or until the center is almost set but still slightly jiggly ( just like when we make agar-agar or pudding). Do not overbake; the cheesecake will firm as it cools.

4- Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate the cheesecake in its pan, loosely covered, for at least 8 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

5- Ready to serve if you are not planning for the topping. Slice it with a sharp knife , into wedges and serve.

I proceeded with the topping before serving, again, this is optional.

Filling 3


Spread the lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes or chilled in the refrigerator for another 1 hour.

Cut into wedges and serve.

August 5, 2009

Summer Berries Crostata ( Rustic Pie)

Filed under: Bakings, Desserts, Snacks, Uncategorized — nshahida @ 10:31 pm


I will update more on this later..iA but nothing more interesting than the recipe itself, correct? So feel free to try this with your own creativity and variation for the filling.. make it fascinating.


Summer Berries Crostata (Rustic Pie)

Source: Ina Garten Cookbook, (Ina at home)



For the pastry (makes 2 crostatas)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated or superfine sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) ice water.

For the pastry:


Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and toss quickly (and carefully!) with your fingers to coat each cube of butter with the flour. Pulse 12 to 15 times, or until the butter is the size of peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Keep hitting the pulse button to combine, but stop the machine just before the dough comes together. Turn the dough out onto a well-floured board, roll it into a ball, cut in half, and form into 2 flat disks. Wrap the disks in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If you only need 1 disk of dough The other disk of dough can be frozen.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Roll the pastry into an 11-inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Transfer it to the baking sheet

For the filling (makes 1 crostata)

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh cherries , seeded and sliced in half
  • 1 tablespoon
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 Tablespoon for sprinkling
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh milk, for brushing, optional

For the filling:



1-Place blueberries and cherries in a bowl. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of the flour, 1 tablespoon of the sugar, the orange zest, and the orange juice.


Place the mixed fruit on the dough circle, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border.

2-Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the fruit. Gently fold the border of the pastry over the fruit, pleating it to make an edge. Brush the pastry with fresh milk. Sprinkle with a little bit of sugar.


3-Bake the crostata for 20 to 25 minutes, until the crust is golden and the fruit is tender. Let the crostata cool for 5 minutes, then use 2 large spatulas to transfer it to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


July 26, 2009

Explosively Delicious Banana Muffins

Filed under: Bakings, Breads, Breakfasts, Cakes, Desserts, Snacks — nshahida @ 12:33 am

Banana Muffins

What would you make when your bananas go uber and unpleasantly juicy with the flesh oozes out from the cracked skin? Not so pleasant to be devoured just as is – though they smells great when they go overly ripen . If you ask me, I’d say Banana Bread at most . Can’t go wrong with banana bread with some favorite add ins of mine – bitter still sweet chocolate chip or bites of chopped toasted walnuts or spice it up with hint of cinnamon .. ginger it a little bit… or may be the combination of all. Plain as is , you ask me? Why not, right..

Whenever I wish to go on the fancy side.. I transform loaf size into muffin. How? Of course by scooping out the batter into a muffin pan.. then tadaaa!! let it be as fancy as I imagine. As long as the end result pleases everyone…

I adapted the recipe from Ina’s Tri-berry Breakfast muffin with some major alteration, it’s obvious.. isn’t it? I love this recipe and all I could think of is.. I’d make this over and over.

Or.. do you have any other suggestions?


Banana Muffins (Makes 16-18 medium muffins)


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger ( optional)
2/3 cup milk
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled

½ cup canola oil
3 over ripen medium bananas, ( about 1 cup)  mashed till smooth
1 cup white sugar

Add ins:

½ cup walnuts, Toasted and chopped

1/3 bittersweet choc chips


1- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

2- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger (if using) together in a large bowl. Stir with your hand to be sure the ingredients are combined. In another bowl, combine the milk, mashed bananas, eggs, canola oil and melted butter. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, pour the wet mixture into the well, and stir until just combined. There will be some lumps but don’t overmix the batter! Add the chopped walnuts, choc chips and sugar and stir gently to combine.

3- Using a 2¼-inch ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the muffin cups to fill the liners. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned.

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