Friday, November 29, 2013

Gyoza (Japanese dumplings)

Hi!  It's been a while :P  Anyway no matter, let's get on with it :) 

Gyoza - they were a love affair from day one - I love these little guys!  so tasty and moreish! There are very few dumplings I do not like, but I must say that these have a special place in my heart (belly) heheh :) 

my favourite dumpling of all :) 
Apparently, they are Chinese in origin (as all this kind of dumpling seem to be), and they are made all over Asia (and the world) with some variations.  These are Gyoza, the Japanese take on these lovely little dumplings :)

I looked at a few recipes and they all seemed quite similar.  I ended up using the Hairy Bikers recipe for the mix, mostly because I like them, and also because of their informative video on how to fold the dumplings (see their take on this here)

I also bought the ready rolled and cut gyoza wrappers from my local Asian grocer.  There were around 50 sheets in the pack, and I had leftover filling so I think next  time, I'll just make my own dough!  

I used Pork as the filling, but you can make them with a variety of fillings!  You can serve them as a dumpling feast, or freeze in sets of 12 or so to have them ready for the next gyoza craving.  Now that I've found out how easy (albeit a little time consuming to fill) they are, I'll be sure to make them again! 

Mocha Cupcakes

It was my birthday a week ago, and I was being asked what cake I wanted for my birthday - the deal was, that my boyfriend would make the cakes (he's also a really good baker! win!) and I would get to decorate them!  Seemed like a great deal! :D

Anyway, we decided on a MybakingAddiction's recipe for Mocha cupcakes.  The cake mix itself is very similar to the Chocolate Ganache and dulce de leche cake, and the peanut butter ganache cupcakes  but instead of water, you used brewed coffee- oh so good!  Additionally, Mybakingaddiction  is one of my turn to blogs when it comes to baking, I'm simply in love with the way Jamie (the blog owner) does things :)  

Link to her recipe here

We didn't get "proper" photos of the cakes, but we did get one mobile pic :) 

"Coffee and chocolate" is one of my favourite combinations of flavours :D

The only things we did differently were:

Changed everything into metric.

In the cake mix:
Replaced buttermilk with natural yoghurt (runny, not greek style)
We used 1 cup coffee made with 4 shots of espresso

In the frosting:
Doubled the coffee.
We used much more liquid (6 tablespoons cream, and an extra couple of milk) in the mix, but possibly because it was simply freezing and the butter wasn't softening properly.  

We found triple choc rice crispies and put them on the cake as decoration.  It worked really well :)  


Oops!  I've been meaning to post this for ages!! I made this a couple of months ago, but only remembered it the other day.  Didn't take any pics after i'd served it, or while I was preparing, and only got a phone shot of it coming out of the oven!  I'm sorry!  I'll do better next time I promise!  And there will be plenty of food to come!

I have never tasted the proper, South African dish by this name, but this is a version of it that i made by looking at various recipes on the net.  A friend of mine was talking about it at work, about how this was her favourite food when she went to visit South Africa.  It sounded so good that i HAD to make it!  It reminds me of a  Shepherd's pie in a way, and Shepherd's pie is one of my favourite dishes and this seems like a lower carb version! Ideal!!  Plus it's spicier!  What more could I ask for?

One of the main differences to the recipes I'd seen is that rather than adding a bit of cornflour at the end, all the traditional recipes ask you to soak 2 slices of bread, and then to squeeze liquid out and add them to the mix at the end.  I figure i'll use less carbs with just a tablespoon of cornflour to thicken the mix a bit :)

soft custardy egg layer on top, spicy savoury sweet beef underneath - perfect for a cold night! :D