Pumpkin Soup

20140326-155640.jpgokay i know that this is not a dessert post. This is not going to be something sweet. It’s just that i haven’t got the time to buy stuff for my baking ingredients. I don’t even have flour and i only got a little stock of sugar left in my house. I really need to do a grocery shopping. But anyway i’ve been making more savory food lately. Pumpkin soup is a great seasonal food. I used the spices i got in my house and they just add a whole lot of aroma and flavor.

First thing first is that i roast the whole pumpkin (i used a small pumpkin since i only had that. About 1kg) until it gets squishy. By roasting it whole it will gives it a nicer color and more sweetness to the soup.

20140326-160345.jpgi just take the nice fleshy bits. You could roast the seeds if you want.

Pumpkin soup ingredients:

20140326-160716.jpg chopped onion and garlic, roasted pumpkin flesh, spices and seasoning (i used oregano, cumin, coriander, nutmeg, salt and pepper), cream (i use it for presentation only) and vegetable stock (i forgot to put it in the picture)

20140326-161519.jpgsauté the onion and garlic in a little bit of oil

20140326-161815.jpgadd in the pumpkin and sauté it for a moment

20140326-162026.jpgadd in vegetable stock, let it boil then add the cumin, oregano, and coriander into the soup.

20140326-162936.jpgblitz everything up (i think that it’s best to use a hand blender but i don’t have one) and pour it back to the pan and let it boil again.

20140326-172315.jpg grate in the nutmeg and add pepper and salt to taste.
The soup is ready to serve. Serve them with a drizzle of cream and some croutons. I made a simple croutons by just tossing some stale bread with olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano and garlic powder and bake until crispy

20140326-173506.jpg

Now i think that cooking doesn’t really need any precise measurements such as baking. Feel free to add, eliminate, subtitute, or use any little or any more ingredients i’ve written. Experiment on your likings.

Pumpkin soup ingredients:
• Pumpkin (i use the little one about 1-2kg)
• 250ml vegetable stock
• 1 small onion
• 2 cloves garlic
• some spices (i use oregano, coriander, cumin, nutmeg)
• salt and pepper to taste
• cream for presentation
• croutons (just toss stale bread with olive oil/butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano, or any other spices you’d like to add and then bake until crispy)

How to make pumpkin soup:
1) Stab the pumpkin a couple of time and then put it in the oven for 1 hour depending on your pumpkin size. If you’re not sure just take out when they’re squishy.
2) Let cool and then scoop out the nice fleshy bits of the pumpkin.
3) Sauté onion and garlic in a little bit of oil for about a minutes, then add in the pumpkin.
4) Add in the vegetable stock and the oregano, coriander and cumin.
5) Blend the soup in a blender or with a hand blender until nice and smooth
6) Put them back on the pan and heat it until it boils again. Add in the freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper.
7) Serve the pumpkin soup with a nice drizzle of cream and croutons, garnish with a little bit of fresh parsley.

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Triple layer cheesecake

20140309-142245.jpgthe first layer of this cake is chocolate, that is my whoopie pie cookies dough. I had some leftover from my dough i thought it will be a good idea to bake it not just to make whoopie pie since the texture of the whoopie pie is kind of cakey. The second layer is red velvet cake. Now, i made the red velvet from scratch but feel free to use the box cake mix one since i know it will be a lot of work to make every single layer from scratch. But in my local grocery store, finding a red velvet cake mix is not that easy so i decided to make the cake from scratch. The last layer is the cheesecake. This is a no-bake cheesecake which mean gelatin is used in this cheesecake. Shall we start?

First thing first, be sure to make the chocolate layer first. As i’ve said before i’m using my whoopie pie dough recipe. Next, is to make the red velvet. If you’re using the box cake mix then go ahead and make it as the direction stated. This is for those who want to make the red velvet from scratch
Red velvet ingredients:
Dry ingredients are:

20140310-003728.jpgsugar, flour, coco powder, salt+baking soda

20140310-004030.jpgsift all the dry ingredient and set aside
Wet ingredients are:

20140310-004551.jpgbuttermilk, vinegar, vegetable oil, red food coloring, vanilla essence

20140310-005208.jpgcombine everything together and mix until incorporated.

20140310-005647.jpgpour the wet to the dry ingredient

20140310-155331.jpglook at that lovely red color

20140310-193918.jpgmix them up. I love the color

20140310-225306.jpgpour the batter into a greased pan, use whatever pan you’d like, it doesn’t matter since you’re going to crumble it eventually. I use muffin tin just to save up some cooking time.

20140310-230025.jpgonce done, cool them off then crumble it into these pretty red crumbs.
You could most certainly use this red velvet recipe for the actual cake, just bake it in a pan or maybe double the recipe. Ice them with some cheese frosting and that would be a perfect red velvet cake. Maybe i’ll do an entry on that soon.

20140311-133356.jpgmy chocolate dough and my springform pan is ready to work

20140311-133523.jpgspread the chocolate dough on the greased springform pan. Bake and let cool.

Now let’s get to the cheesecake
Cheesecake ingredients:

20140310-230734.jpglemon juice and the zest, agar-agar (or gelatin), sugar, condense milk, vanilla essence, cream cheese, yogurt, water, double cream.

I use agar-agar for this recipe because i love the way agar-agar is a lot more stable than gelatin. It doesn’t melt as easily and it’s a great vegetarian substitute. But you can use gelatin if you can’t find or don’t want to use agar-agar.
For the yogurt, i only had strawberry drinking yogurt when i made this cheesecake but i would definitely suggest you to use greek yogurt or any other plain thickened yogurt.
The sugar in this recipe is optional. I didn’t add any on the cheesecake because i thought that it had got the sweetness it needed from the condense milk and just to balance out from the sweetness of the base. For those who got a sweet tooth feel free to add sugar as much as you desire.

20140310-231757.jpgfirst thing first is to mix the agar-agar (or gelatin) with the water

20140310-232111.jpgheat the agar-agar/gelatin until it boils and thickens, set it aside to cool a little

20140311-131306.jpgto the cream cheese, add in the lemon juice and zest (add the sugar too if you’re using sugar),

20140311-131944.jpgand condense milk

20140311-132157.jpgbeat them all together

20140311-132143.jpgadd in the yogurt and vanilla essence

20140311-132706.jpgbeat them again

20140311-132945.jpgadd in the cream and beat until fluffy

20140311-133142.jpgadd in the agar-agar/gelatin and give a quick mix

20140311-133841.jpgpress the red velvet crumb over the chocolate dough

20140311-134201.jpgpour the cheesecake over the base and tap a few time to remove any air bubble

20140311-134356.jpgscatter some of the red velvet crumb over the cheesecake

20140311-134522.jpgput in the fridge until set. Overnight is best.

20140311-134807.jpgto take out, run a knife over the edges and carefully remove the springform pan. Use the back of the knife and run it around the cake to smooth the edges just in case you did a messy job (like me).

20140311-135143.jpglook how creamy it looks when i cut into it

20140311-135220.jpg see the layers? Indulgent chocolate with bits of marshmallow and chocolate chips, moist red velvet, and the creamy and light cheesecake. In case you’re wondering what’s the pink bits are, its just pink chocolate. Why i add it? I don’t really know either. Just because….

Red Velvet Cake
Ingredients:
• 1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
• 1 cups sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp baking soda
• ½ tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 egg
• ½ cup buttermilk
• 1 tbsp vinegar
• ¾ cup vegetable oil
• 1 tsp vanilla essence
• 5-10 drops red food coloring

How to make red velvet cake:
1) Sift in the flour, salt, baking soda, coco powder into a bowl and mix well with sugar.
2) Mix in the egg, buttermilk, vinegar, vegetable oil, vanilla essence and food coloring (use the food coloring until you reach the desired color)
3) Add the wet ingredient to the dry ingredient and mix until incorporated
4) Pour to a greased pan and bake on 180°C or 350°F for about 20-30 minutes depending on your oven and what pan you use or until a toothpick inserted come out clean.
5) Cool on a counter and once cooled crumble the red velvet cake (add in about 1 tbsp of cream to moistened the crumbs)

Triple Layer Cheesecake
Ingredients:
• whoopie pie dough
• crumbled red velvet cake
• 1 small lemon (take the juice and zest)
• 9 gram gelatin (or 1 tsp agar-agar)
• ½ cup water
• 1 package cream cheese (softened)
• 1-2 tbsp sugar (if using)
• ½ can condense milk
• ½ cup yogurt
• ½ cup whipping cream
• 1 tsp vanilla essence

How to make:
1) Spread the whoopie pie dough on a greased springform pan. Bake and let cool.
2) Combine the agar-agar (or gelatin) with the water and bring to a boil. Set aside to cool a little.
3) To the softened cream cheese add the lemon juice and zest, sugar (if using) and condense milk, mix until coorporated.
4) Add yogurt and vanilla to the cheese mixture and beat again. Add the whipping cream and beat until fluffy.
5) Add in the agar-agar (or gelatin) to the mixture and mix for a little just to combine the agar-agar.
6) Press the red velvet crumb over the chocolate dough. Use a flat bottom utensil to neatly press it.
7) Pour the cheesecake batter to the chocolate and red velvet base.
8) Refrigerate until set. It is best to be refrigerate overnight.