Guess who I got to meet today?! Let me give you a hint…if he can cook, so can you!
No takers? You sure…? Come on, take a wild stab at it…Give up?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve never used a single one of his recipes and I’ve never reached near obsessive state with him, unlike my love for Nigella or Buddy. But he has got to be one of the first TV chefs I ever watched. He taught me how to steam food in those bamboo steamer baskets over a wok of boiling water. He taught me the word ‘julienne’ and he’s definitely the one who taught me the cornstarch + water slurry for thickening. All the very fundamentals of Chinese cooking I must say.
And he’s coming to Singapore for a tour and presenting a couple of masterclasses and dinners. OOOOH BOY! I was sooo excited. He steamed things in the little steamer baskets!
He used the cornstarch slurry. And julienned things. Whoah!
Madness aside, I made crispy blondies yesterday, crispy only because I added Crunch (the chocolate with the rice krispies- they’re NOT gluten free so please use another if you’re coeliac) in it. So good. I love knowing that brown sugar, butter and chocolate will always create magic in the oven. Throw in a lovely swirl of cream cheese and it’s practically self-frosting heaven. Plus, it looks all top chef-y when there are swirls involved.
Crispy Blondies with Cream Cheese Swirl (adapted from The Complete Magnolia Bakery by Allysa Torey and Jennifer Appel)
Cream Cheese Filling:
4 ounces cream cheese (not too soft)
2 tbsp caster sugar
1 tbsp GF flour blend
1 large egg yolk
1) In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Slowly blend in the egg yolk and flour until fully incorporated. Set aside.
1 1/2 cups GF flour blend
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup caster sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Crunch chocolate bars, chopped (or a gluten free version for those who are Coeliac)
1) Preheat oven to 170°C. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add in the oil and beat well.
2) In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder and salt together.
3) Add the eggs to the butter mixture and blend well. Add in the flour mix and vanilla extract. Mix well.
4) Stir in the chocolate bars and pour into a 13 x 9 inch baking pan, greased and lined with parchment paper.
5) Bake for 35-40 minutes, but check at the 30 minutes mark. Skewer inserted should come out clean. Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.