Super Easy No-Bake Peanut Butter Chocolate-Coated PIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Ridiculously easy to make pie of uber tasty DOOM! I've been experimenting with pies, starting off with a decent no-bake key-lime pie that somehow evolved into this.

This pie is like having a HUGE Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, only it's a fluffy, creamy pie that has all the nomminess of peanut butter without any of the stickiness. The chocolate coating is thin, soft, and delicate - so it's easy to cut through neatly, even without a heated knife. Having been a 'wallet chef' (i.e. I use my wallet to make people make me food) for years, I am delighted to give this pie of doom my highest wallet chef praise: "I would happily pay for this."

Sweetness level is just right - it's not a super-sweet pie - and the filling only needs needs 4 ingredients. I used a pre-made pie-crust because I have a) no oven, b) no idea how to bake anything.

Chocolate coating is made from Nugget's Haxx Chocolate Sauce for Dummies, and is easy peasy lazy mode as well.

Giant Peanut Butter Cup Pie
4 portions of sweetened condensed milk (1 can = 4 portions)
4 portions of cream (whipped to stiff peaks)
2 portions of peanut butter (melted)
1 portion of lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

  1. Melt peanut butter in rice cooker (if you dunno what this means, see the chocolate sauce)
  2. Combine melted peanut butter with condensed milk until all is one smooth happy colour
  3. Add lemon juice to peanut butter + condensed milk mixture, combine once again until happy
  4. Take 20 minutes to whip bloody whipped cream into stiff peaks by hand! !@#@^!#@#!
  5. Fold whipped cream into PB/condensed milk/lemon juice mixture until just incorporated
  6. Pour the whole lot into pie-crust
  7. Stick in fridge, ignore for 12-24 hours
  8. Spread chocolate sauce satisfyingly over top of pie
  9. Stick in fridge another 3-6 hours
  10. Cut big slice and NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!

Note:
The stoopid cream has to be hand-whipped, because that apparently makes the whole thing hold up better. Aerosol whipped cream will NOT work, your pie will ooze and sludge and never solidify. On the bright side, if you DO choose to use aerosol whipped cream, you can then stick the mixture in the freezer, where it will NOT freeze solid, and tell everyone you made soft-serve icecream. XD

Kopi luwak - what's the big deal?

Disclaimer: I'm not a habitual coffee drinker, don't really like the taste of most coffees.

I experimented with cold-brewing some store-brand ground coffee a few weeks ago, and the result was rather pleasant to my ugh-its-coffee sensibilities. Very similar to a good oolong, only far more concentrated.

The nuggetboy though, is a mad coffee gulper, so when a Balinese colleague went home for the holidays, I got her to buy me some kopi luwak. It's much cheaper if you buy it back in Bali - the 50g bag of ground kopi luwak she got for me cost about US$15 - and a Balinese native is going to be able to get the authentic stuff.

Having brewed up this coffee and had some, both the nuggetboy and the nugget agree that the taste is incredibly similar to cold-brewed coffee, only of course, it's hot!

...so to all you coffee-gulpers out there who've tried kopi luwak - what's the big deal? It's so similar to cold-brewed (to my unrefined palate) that there's basically no difference - other than how you can have it hot. Is that it? If you like cold-brewed coffee, but want it hot, kopi luwak is your solution?

Because otherwise, it seems silly to pay that much for coffee when you can get a very close equivalent by using a store-brand and cold-brewing. Not to mention, you don't even need sophisticated equipment to cold-brew. A french press and some disposable tea-bags will do. (The tea-bags are for better coffee filtering.)

More stuff on the Interwebs about kopi luwak from an actual coffee drinker.

P.S.: Nuggetboy's review, after much wailing and gnashing of teeth that I was making him drink POOP COFFEE OMG POOP COFFEE was, 'Yeah, it's pretty good. Very smooth.' >.> While that's not a bad review, I'm still not seeing where the omgbestcoffeefeeintheworld is coming from.

Pan-fried miso-marinated steak with onions, salted fermented soybeans, and strawberries

DA TASTIES!!!!

Zomg this is absolutely lovely. Particularly because I have trouble getting steaks as rare as I like in most restaurants. They look at me and insist on hearing 'well-done' when I say, 'rare', which results in my having to start repeating, 'BLOOD, I want BLOOD.' The blood trick gets me rare steaks, but also very strange looks.

But nao, nao I can cook my OWN! Mooohahahaha.

Steaky Goodness Requires
Miso - enough to liberally coat and massage into your steak bits
Cooking wine - I use Chinese plum wine
Onions - enough to cover 2/3 of your pan after slicing
Salted fermented soybeans - roughly 1/6th of the amount of onions you use
Steak! Any sort, after the 24-hour miso marination it'll be juicy and tender
Strawberries - enough to arrange prettily around the plate
Ghee - dollops for frying

Side Dish
Sweet corncob - 1 per person
Ghee -  to taste
Salt - to taste

Marinade da Steak

  1. Slice steak into 1.5 inch thick bits
  2. Massage with miso till steak is coated and happy
  3. Plop in a soup dish
  4. Pour plum wine over the lot till the bottom of the dish is covered
  5. Cover dish with aluminium foil, toss in fridge
  6. Ignore for 24 hours

Make da Steak

  1. Dollop ghee into frying pan, use more than you think you'll need
  2. Wait till ghee does a kinda nice streaky thing when you tilt the pan
  3. Scrape miso off steak bits with spatula (if you have paper towels you can blot with those, I am too primitive a cook to have them)
  4. Plop in pan, steak bits should sizzle nicely but not attempt to kill you via oil splattering
  5. If steak attempts to murder you with oil splatters, turn heat down until it stops doing that XD
  6. Cook to the doneness you like
  7. Put on plate to let it rest

Make da Tasty Soybean Onions

  1. Mix sliced onions and soybeans into your leftover miso and plum wine marinade
  2. Pour the whole lot into the pan of tasty leftover cow-juice and ghee
  3. Cook until onions are nicely caramelised with just a hint of bite

Make da Silly Corn

  1. Violently yank corn leaves and silk off corn, cackling all the while
  2. Pour a mug of water into rice cooker
  3. Put (empty) bowl in rice cooker
  4. Balance corn on empty bowl
  5. Close, hit cook, ignore till it beeps

 

Serve da Tasties

  1. Move steak bits to new plate, so their juicies don't bleed all over and offend your eyes - and so kittehs can lick the resting plate
  2. Cover with tasty soybean onions
  3. Slice strawberries and arrange around steak bits
  4. Steal corn from rice cooker
  5. Dollop ghee on corn
  6. Sprinkle salt on corn


EAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT! YAY! EAT! EAT! EAT!

Particularly try eating strawberries with steak AND onion and soybeans all in one mouthful. O.O It is surprisingly wonderful - the strawberries sit on top of everything like a sweet fruity melody, and the rest is just amazingly umami.

Sneaky White Chocolate Cranberry Pancackles

For some reason, no one on the interwebs seems to make white chocolate pancackles that are entirely white-choccy suffused (or is that infused hrm). There are lots of recipes for making blondies, and even a few for white chocolate pancackles, but in both cases, the white chocolate is always chopped up, then folded in, not melted throughout the whole lot.

>.> And so here we have, in another late night nugget crafting spree...

Sneaky White Chocolate Cranberry Pancackles

Why are they sneaky? They're sneaky because you can't (or I can't anyway) tell that these pancackles contain a ridiculous amount of white chocolate.

They are wonderfully rich, crisp and fluffy on the outside, and shading to soft, almost mochi-like moistness on the inside.

The melted white chocolate comes through in two surprisingly different ways. Flavour-wise, it delicately scents the whole pancackle with a mixture of vanilla and white chocolate; mouth-feel-wise, it makes the pancackle seem incredibly buttery, with a luxurious sweetness that intensifies with every bite, without getting cloying. O.O Add in the chewy sweet tartness of the dried cranberries and, OoOoOoh... um. Let's just say I gobbled one while I was waiting for the others to cook, and I don't normally do that. XD

And since the Interwebs doesn't easily turn up any recipe for these evil things, if you wanna try them yourself, here's what goes in 'em.

220g Dream white chocolate bar
5 sachets of white sugar
2 heaped dollops of ghee
2 eggs
Milk (yes, sorry, sorry, vague, you'll see)
1 tablespoon baking powder
Flour (woot vague again!)
Dried cranberries

  1. Dump sugar, chocolate, and the 2 heaped tablespoons of ghee into a bowl
  2. Plop bowl into rice cooker, set to bake (or just press down the button for single button rice cookers
  3. Ignore for 15-30 minutes (15 will do it, 30 is fine if you're... gaming...)
  4. Remove bowl from cooker
  5. Whisk the melty mess until smooth
  6. Add 2 eggs, whisk until smooth again
  7. Add and whisk milk until everything is a melty milkshake consistency (vs a freezy milkshake)
  8. In go the 1 tbs of baking powder and as many dried cranberries as you like, more whisking!
  9. Add and whisk flour until the mixture is so thick and gloopy you can barely move your whisk. It should look like the first piccy in the series up dere. You need it really really thick, because otherwise once it goes in the pan, it runs and melts everywhere and is generally sad.
  10. Grease pan (more ghee, wheeee!) and cook on very low heat (pic 2). If you have a cast iron pan, you probably want to cook on very high heat instead. >.> I dunno this, I've never owned a cast iron pan, so this is just what I've been told.
  11. When the pancackle goo looks mostly done at the edges but is still gooey in the centre (pic 3), flip it! Flip it naaaaaaoooo! It should take about 6-8 minutes to get from goo to this state. Yes, that's an awfully long time, but since we're essentially baking in a pan...
  12. Wait about 2 minutes before boffing the pancackle around and checking the bottom. To be honest, I have no idea how I know when the bottom side is done, I just do. But each pancackle took me roughly 10 minutes to cook, so 2 minutes should be just about right.
  13. Plop pancackle on plate, then try not to burn fingers and tongue while gobbling.

Makes roughly 8 sneaky white chocolate cranberry pancackles. Of doom.

Easter Weekend Food Orgy! (of Doom)

A mad three-day weekend of eating... yaaaaaay! (There were also two, yes TWO meals of chilli crab at my favourite neighbourhood family restaurant, but alas, too busy eating to take photos.)

Brownie Pancackles Topped with Bacon and Slathered with Haxx Chocolate-Baileys Sauce

The chocolate-Baileys sauce sets off the brownie pancackles amazingly - somehow the chocolate sauce on top of the chocolate brownie pancackle doesn't result in an overwhelming sameness of chocolate. The zingy choccy-Baileys sauce makes the brownie pancackle taste even more decadently chocolatey, and it's somehow made even better by the savoury baconny goodness in the middle.

._. I don't have a recipe for this since I (lol) don't use recipes. But what I did take away from making brownie pancackles is that unsweetened chocolate requires roughly half its weight in sugar in order to make it barely sweet enough, more if you like it sweeter.

The chocolate-Baileys sauce is total haxx. It looks so difficult and restauranty and all that, but it actually takes no work at all. All you have to do is stir it for less than 30 seconds. Really! XD

Chocolate Baileys Haxx Sauce for Dummies
Dump this stuff in a bowl in a 1:1 ratio for everything
Sugar
Chocolate, unsweetened
Ghee (butter will do, who cares if it's salted or not)

  1. Plop bowl in rice cooker.
  2. Do not put ANYTHING else in the cooker. Not even water.
  3. Set cooker either to cook (one-button), or bake (if you have it).
  4. Ignore for 15-20 min.
  5. Take bowl out (carefully)!
  6. Whisk together the whole melty mess, don't worry if it isn't all melted, by the time you're done whisking, which should take less than 30 seconds, it'll be a nice smooth sauce.
  7. Add Baileys (or whatever alcohol) to taste, whisk. The alcohol should immediately turn your sauce much darker and gluey-er, don't worry about it.
  8. Add milk or cream, whisking until it's of a thinness/consistency you like. Go slow, it only needs a tiny bit.
  9. Go mad pouring it all over everything!

If you use good semi-sweet chocolate, you can omit the sugar. I'd advise using a good chocolate for this (I used Ghirardelli's the second time round), because you can really taste the difference. Using Ghirardelli's gave the sauce that luxurious zomg-I'm-paying-a-lot-for-this-meal-but-it's-worth-it kinda mouthfeel. XD

 

Pomegranate & Brandy-Butter Icecream Filled Lemon Peels

This was kinda hard to set up initially, the lemon halves kept falling over! (I cut them in half along the middle of the lemon). Then I figured out I could stand the pointy bottoms on an empty icecube tray, and it all went smashingly after that.

Very cute presentation-wise, but I was a bit unsatisfied by how the lemon peels weren't edible...

 

Fish-Head Curry of TASTY DOOM @ Segar Restaurant

Some of the best fish-head curry in Singapore, in the nugget's book. Before I discovered this place (so near my place yay), I had to go all the way down to Amoy Street to have something comparably good. I could drink this rich, tamarindy, creamy curry sauce in a glass. >.>

 

Jelly-Filled Candied Lemon Peels, Sprinkled with Sugar

Having been disappointed with the inedibility of the lemon peels in the icecream version of this, I decided to candy the things before filling them with jelly! I used some cheap brand from my childhood called Tortally, but really, any jelly will do.

I also discovered that ice-cream scoops make amazing juicers. cut the lemon in half, then abuse it with the icecream scoop, and all the juice squishes out wonderfully.

  1. Juice lemon (or as many lemons as you want to make).
  2. Stab lemons once on each of their four sides, between their pith and pulp.
  3. Insert thumb into the stab wounds, and yank on the pulp. It should all come out cleanly, and you should end up with neatly gutted lemons.
  4. Scrape the insides with a knife to remove as much pith as you can - but try not to make any holes!
  5. Boil the lemon halves 5 times, simmering for 10 minutes each time (total 50 minutes).
  6. Melt an equal portion of sugar in hot water, dump your lemon peels in the mixture.
  7. Put the bowl of lemon peels in sugar water in the rice cooker, add enough water OUTSIDE of the bowl, in the rice cooker pot itself, to cook for 1h45min.
  8. Fish out lemon peels, turn them hollow side down on a plate, plop in the fridge to dry for half a day or more.
  9. Make jelly mix.
  10. Stand lemon peels, pointy end down, in empty icecube tray.
  11. Put empty lemon peels in fridge.
  12. Ladle jelly mix into lemon peels. You have to do this in the fridge, otherwise it'll slosh and slop everywhere. XD Or maybe you just need more points in dexterity than me.
  13. Ignore for 2-3 hours / till jelly sets.
  14. Take lemon peels outta fridge, slice down the middle.
  15. Sprinkle liberally with white sugar.
  16. NOM!

In hindsight, I should have coated the lemon peels themselves in white sugar before they dried, THEN filled them with jelly for a better effect, but oh well. Next time!

Bacon-fat-fried kou rou bao, five-spice chicken skins, cajun fries, and (unfried) masala coffee granita

This Weekend's Test Subjects
(The usual pancackles were there on account of their being a safe, tasty staple.) Cajun fries leftover from dinner at Popeye's, and kou rou bao - a traditional steamed, savoury stewed pork bun. And um. Chicken skins. Yup. Chicken skins. That I stole from my cats, whom I feed raw. Rubbed up with 5 spice seasoning and left to sit in the fridge overnight.

The Results

Kou Rou Bao Fried in Bacon Fat
Oooh glorious. Super light and crispy outside, fluffy and airy inside, and right in the middle - savoury stewed pork oozing fatty goodness. OoOooO. If you've ever had pan-fried or deep-fried mantou, this is exactly what they would be like if you stuck meat in them, then fried them in bacon fat. ;)

Cajun Fries Re-fried in Bacon Fat
Hrm... Well they were nice, but I can't say they were hugely improved one way or the other. Not going to do these again.

Five-Spice Chicken Skins Fried in Bacon Fat
TBH the five-spice seasoning kinda overpowered the baconnyness of it. Nuggetboy supplies that they were very much like pork rinds, which makes sense, considering they're... welll - chicken rinds? Not bad, but horribly, horribly dangerous to cook. O.o The oil was spitting and jumping and bouncing everywhere. I think next time I'll just marinade the chicken itself in the five spices for a less dangerous and equally satisfying bit of chicken.

Masala Coffee Granita
Having seen the Error of My Fork Whacking Ways, I made up this batch by whacking it regularly as it froze, resulting in a much airier, finer texture. (Not that you can see it here. -_-) It's definitely less coarsely icy and granular than the lemon attempt, and I'm really quite pleased with it. Not to mention, a cup of coffee turns into a lot more granita than coffee! The combination of freezing and whacking seems to intensify the flavours. All in all - very pleased with this. In fact... dangerously so, because now I'm plotting a whole series of granitas! And I've gone so far as to buy more kitchen implements (eeeee!) because one of the instructions I turned up mentioned using a whisk in the initial stages for an even finer, creamier texture...

Oh well then, I guess I know why my sorbet - isn't. XD

Another option for those without an ice cream machine is to turn this sorbet into an icy granita. To make a granita, transfer the chilled mixture to a large, shallow pan and place in the freezer, rather than processing in the ice cream machine. When you see ice crystals beginning to form around the edges of the pan, stir the granita using a fork, scraping it off the bottom and sides of the pan to ensure an even consistency when freezing; continue to stir and scrape, breaking up the ice crystals, every thirty minutes until it is completely frozen, about 3 hours. Stirring is a crucial step in making granita, as the goal with granita is to create coarse granular crystals of ice to achieve the perfect grainy texture.

Moar info here too! I think I'll change the name when I make this again. I WILL MAKE IT AGAIN DAMMIT.

That, and next time (and this time too haha!) I'll call it 'granita'...

A Soba Noodles Class in Tokyo

The noodles must be 1.6mm wide. 'How do you achieve such regularity?' I asked. 'Easy. Just place your knife at a 1.5° angle and it will push back the guiding board just enough so that the next noodle will be exactly 1.6mm'. Right. There is nothing to tell the chef when he reaches 1.5° so I guess the pupils must get their money's worth if they learn to do it right in 30 days!

Mini bacon explosions, bacon-fat-fried McGriddle buns, and penis spoons - oh my!

Mini Bacon Explosions
Take some small good cocktail smausages. Wrap with bacon, stick with toothpicks to hold bacon in place, panfry! Next time we will glaze them with barbecue sauce and they will be TROO MINI BAYCUN ESSPLOSHUNS! Other than the lack of barby sauce, it's very very similar.

McGriddle Buns Fried in Bacon Fat
Oh this is absolutely amazing. O.o The evil things are maple syrup (or maple syrup flavour - more likely with McDs) infused, and are absolutely GLORIOUS when fried in bacon fat. Arguably better than the jellydonuts. This Friday, I'm going to have to try to remember to soak two of our mini pancakes in maple syrup and see how they turn out.

McD's Hashbrown Fried in Sausage Juice + Bacon Fat, Then Refried in Bacon Fat
This was a bit odd, the frying didn't look like it was doing anything. >.> But sopping up a ton of grease. But when we ate it, it didn't taste greasy at all. In fact, it was really good. But seeing the amount of grease it soaked up and simply erm... vaporised (as far as eating could tell anyway), it was kinda disturbing...

Butterscotch Bread Fried in Bacon Fat
We've been doing this one for the past 2-3 weeks, it's just plain tasty. Like if you fried slightly crumbly and dry Sara Lee pound cake in bacon fat. Hm we may just have to do that...

Oh yes, and we put icecream on top of everything except the MBEs and the bacon itself. Weis Mango Sorbet with Cream for me, and Ben & Jerry's Vanilla for the nuggetboy.

~_o Kudos to nuggetboy who makes this possible! He's the one at the stove, I just come up with ideas and hide from the spitting bacon. XD

...oh yeah the spoon. The spoon is totally unrelated. The spoon was on the menu of a Japanese restaurant we went to. Came with the kid's meal. Hmmmm.