French Bistro Classic Pepper Steak


2 tbsp black peppercorns
2 fillet or sirloin steaks, about 8 oz each
l tbsp butter
2 tsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp brandy
2/3 cup whipping cream
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
salt to taste


  1. Place the peppercorns in a sturdy polythene bag. Crush with a rolling pin until medium-coarse or, using the flat base of a small heavy saucepan, press down on the peppercorns, rocking the pan to crush them.
  2. Put the steaks on a board and trim away any extra fat. Press the pepper on to both sides of the meat, coating it completely.
  3. Melt the butter with the oil in a heavy frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook for 6-7 minutes, turning once, until done as preferred (medium-rare meat will still be slightly soft when pressed, medium will be springy and well-done firm). Transfer the steaks to a warmed platter or plates and cover to keep warm.
  4. Pour in the brandy to deglaze the pan. Allow to boil until reduced by half, scraping the base of the pan, then add the cream and garlic. Boil gently over a medium heat for about 4 minutes until the cream has reduced by one-third.
  5. Stir any accumulated juices from the meat into the sauce, taste and add salt, if necessary, then serve the steaks with the sauce.

Makes 2 servings.

Source: Taste of France


Nyonya-style Coconut Golden Cake


15 g yeast
110 ml warm water
80 g plain flour
1 tsp sugar
4 pandan leaves
350 ml thick coconut milk
30 g butter
260 g sugar
120 g tapioca flour
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch of salt


  1. Mix yeast, warm water, 1 tsp of sugar and plain flour in a bowl. Stir till batter is smooth. Cover with a piece of cloth and leave it in a warm place for 50 minutes.
  2. Cook pandan leaves, coconut milk, salt and vanilla essence over low heat. Stir in butter and leave it to cool.
  3. Line a 8″ round baking tray with baking paper. Grease the baking paper with coconut oil on the bottom and sides of the tray.
  4. In a mixing bowl, pour in the batter from step (1) and sugar. Beat briefly. Add tapioca flour and eggs. Beat at low speed for a while and lastly add coconut milk mixture from step (2). Pour into tray and prove for 2-1/2 hours.
  5. Bake in a preheat oven at 170°C for 15 minutes. Then switch to 150°C and bake further till the cake is cooked.

Makes one 8-inch round cake.

Source: Delicious Nyonya Kueh and Dessert

Shrimp with Garlic Butter


2 tbsp olive oil
20 raw jumbo shrimp
sea salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
juice of 1/2 lemon
5 tbsp dry white wine 2 tbsp butter, diced


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottom skillet, Add the shrimp, season to taste with sea salt and pepper, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes. Turn the shrimp over, add the garlic and parsley, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the shrimp have changed color.
  2. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring constantly, until it has almost evaporated.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a serving dish and keep warm.
  4. Pour the wine into the pan, bring to a boil, and cook until reduced by about half.
  5. Whisk in the butter, a piece at a time until the sauce has thickened. Pour some of the sauce over the shrimp and set aside the rest for dipping. Serve at once with the extra sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Garlic

Maple Syrup Ice Cream


2 cups heavy cream
3/4 cups whole milk
1/4 tsp Maldon sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup


  1. In quart-sized (1 L) canning jar, combine heavy cream, whole milk, and maple syrup. Tighten lid and shake to combine ingredients.
  2. Pour mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to instructions.
  3. Place churned ice cream into an air tight container and freeze at least 2 hours before serving.
  4. Scoop into small dishes, top with Maldon sea salt, and drizzle with maple syrup.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Alive magazine

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies


1 cup rice malt syrup
1 cup dried pitted dates, chopped coarsely
1/4 tsp sea salt flakes
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp baking soda
6-1/2 oz butter, chopped
3 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup ground hazelnuts
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole roasted peeled hazelnuts, halved
1-1/2 tsp cocoa powder extra


  1. Preheat oven to 18oºC/35oºF. Grease a 8-inch x 12-inch slice pan. Line base with baking paper, extending the paper 2-inches over long sides.
  2. Place syrup, dates, salt and the water in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes or until dates are soft.
  3. Stir baking soda into date mixture, transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth.
  4. Return date mixture to pan. Add butter, stir over medium heat until butter melts. Pour mixture into a large bowl to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. Stir in sifted cocoa, ground hazelnuts, flour, sour cream and chopped nuts. Spread mixture into pan and level top.
  6. Bake brownie for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out with moist crumbs attached.
  7. Cool in pan. Dust with extra cocoa, then cut into squares.

Makes 24 servings (1 square per serving).

Source: The Australian Women’s Weekly