Chicken Paprikash

The holidays seem ten million years ago but it was only 4 months ago that I returned from my epic Eastern Europe adventure, where I tried loads of cuisines and visited beautiful places. I got so inspired by the hipster food scene that I am dreaming of  setting up my own hummus bar and open face sandwich shop hahahahaha.

My favourite place was definitely Budapest, with pretty grand buildings and a hip culture.

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Except they had really lousy ice cream. Ice cream so bad that we just threw it away unfinished because it wastes calories. Anyway, Hungary has more good things going for it than bad. Hungary is famous for its Paprika, something that I didn’t know until I wandered around the local market and saw every shop selling Paprika. I knew I had to buy a few packs back home because Hungarian Paprika is definitely a class above the usual paprika. It has a sweet, nutty and smoky aroma to it, making it so good that it can be the star of a dish. Like Chicken Paprikash.

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Chicken Paprikash is basically chicken in paprika sauce. It is a Hungarian classic that I tried once at a Hungarian restaurant. I mopped up all the sauce but left the Spatzle untouched (one of the few things that I dislike), and happily made a mental note to try cooking it in Singapore. It didn’t seem that difficult to replicate.

And it isn’t!

The hardest part of this dish is probably procuring that treasured Hungarian paprika. It’s found on Amazon but I haven’t come across it in actual shops in Singapore. So that’s a bit tricky.

Other than that, all you need is time and patience as the wonderful flavours of paprika develop in that pot.

Ingredients
4 chicken thighs
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, finely sliced
15g of Hungarian paprika
1 cup of chicken broth
1/2 cup greek yogurt

Directions
1. Heat vegetable oil in a pan, fry the chicken thighs skin side down, in one layer, without moving it until deep golden brown, about 8 minutes.
2. Flip the chicken over and fry until the second side is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan, throwing away most of the oil but leaving enough to cook the onions, about 1 tablespoon.
4. Fry the onions until soft and translucent.
5. Add in the red bell pepper and fry until soft.
6. Add in the paprika, stir until nutty and fragrant, about 1 minute.
7. Pour the chicken broth into the pan.
8. Nestle the chicken into the pan in a single layer, making sure that all the chicken is covered by the broth.
9. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 30 minutes, until the chicken is tender and pulls easily from the bone.
10. Serve this over a plate of pasta, macaroni or spatzle. Serve with greek yogurt for that creamy texture.
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Apple Crumble Cake

It’s been raining really heavily for the past few weeks, which makes it perfect weather to stuff myself silly with a warm apple crumble cake. If only I had some vanilla ice cream to top it off, that’ll be perfect.

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Ice cream’s good for any weather. Okay maybe not, I remember freezing my butt off in Prague while eating their famous ice cream in a doughnut cone. That was the only time in my life that I regretted buying ice cream. But in Singapore, ice cream is good all day and every day.

Ok today’s post is not on ice cream, anyway, but on this perfect apple crumble cake. When you can’t decide whether you want cake or crumble, you make both. The cake base is a basic cake with the addition of yogurt because yogurt makes everything fluffy and soft. My apples are cut into slices but if you’re a cube person, then cut yours into cubes! The star is definitely the crumble.

I’ve tried making crumble a lot of time and I’ve always been making them wrongly. Because no one ever teaches you how to make proper crumble >: I used the rubbing in method which resulted in sand-like crumbles. Bleah. The best crumbles to me are those huge big bulky blocks of flour-butter-sugar and you make those with your fork. It’s so simple. Just fluff your fork around while you drizzle in the melted butter and you get those glorious crumbles!

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Ingredients
for the crumble
1/3 cup dark muscovado brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 (113g) cup salted butter, melted
1 3/4 cup all purpose flour

for the cake
1/2 cup (113g) salted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp all spice
2 eggs
3/4 cup greek yogurt
5 green apples, sliced

Directions
for the crumble
1. Whisk the sugar, ground cinnamon and all-purpose flour together.
2. Pour the melted butter into the dry ingredients while fluffing with a fork to make crumbs.
3. Place crumble in the fridge.

for the cake
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius
2. Prepare a 9 inch baking springform pan, lined with baking sheet.
3. Using a cake mixer, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4. At low speed, add in eggs one by one.
5. Add in yogurt.
6. Add in the flour.
7. Fold in sliced apples or alternatively, you could arrange the sliced apples neatly after pouring the batter.
8. Pour batter into the tin.
9. Top with crumble.
10. Bake for 1 hour until skewer comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Enjoy!

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Matcha Cake with Sesame Frosting

I fell in love with the Matcha-Black Sesame Frosting when my father scooped
both those flavours into the same bowl at a dinner buffet in Hokkaido. Have I told you how delicious Hokkaido ice cream is??? It was so good that I even ate it for breakfast hahahaha.

Anyway, the combination is so amazing, it definitely needed to be translated into a cake form.

Y’s birthday was today and tadah, no surprise that he loved matcha (everyone does) so it was a perfect opportunity to use the matcha and black sesame that I brought back from Japan.

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At first, I was going to follow mynameisyeh’s recipe to the T but the cake didn’t seem very nice to eat. It looked pretty but there’s more to cakes than appearances right? (as with everything, I hope)

So I was basically free styling a matcha cake and hoping that everything would turn out good, especially since it was someone else’s birthday cake.

I figured buttercream could be replaced with yogurt, since the purpose of both ingredients was the same, which was to make the cake moist. In addition, I replaced the boiling water with boiling milk to add more taste to the cake. Lastly, the directions in the original recipes were so vague, I had to come up with my own way of making the cake, with past experience of course.

So I present with you my Matcha Cake with Black Sesame Frosting 🙂

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Makes 3 layers of 6 inch round cake or 2 layers of 9 inch round cake

Ingredients
2 1/2 cup plain flour
1 cup caster sugar
4 tbsp matcha
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup boiling milk
4 tbsp black sesame, toasted
2 cups butter
1/2 cup icing sugar

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius
2. Line a 6 inch round tin with baking paper
3. Sift plain flour, baking soda, baking powder and matcha powder together. Mix in salt.
4. Using a paddle attachment, beat sugar and oil until smooth and well-mixed
5. Add yogurt and continue beating for 1 minute
6. Add in eggs one by one until well-mixed
7. Using a spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients
8. Fold in the boiling milk
9. Pour batter into lined baking tin (divide batter into 2 / 3 batches depending on tin size) and bake
10. Check for doneness at 25 minute mark
11. Beat black sesame, butter and icing sugar together, adjust icing sugar according to desired sweetness
12. Frost the cake and enjoy!

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