Traditional Nyonya Lapis


375 g butter
170 g sugar
1/2 tin condensed milk
2 tbsps Brandy
18 egg yolks
6 egg whites
110 g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp mixed spice


  1. Sift flour and mix it with mixed spice.
  2. Cream butter together with condensed milk until creamy.
  3. Whisk egg yolks with 100 g sugar till thick.
  4. Add the remaining sugar and 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar to egg whites. Use high speed to beat up the egg whites till stiff.
  5. Fold in alternately the egg yolk mixture and the egg white mixture to the creamed butter while adding a little of flour at a time. Lastly add in the brandy.
  6. Grease on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch square tray. Place a piece of 9-inch square greaseproof paper to fit the base of the tin and grease again with butter.
  7. Preheat oven’s upper element at 200°C. Place greased tray under grill for 1 minute.
  8. Pour 3 tbsps of the batter into the tray and spread mixture evenly. Bake for 5 – 7 minutes or till light brown.
  9. Remove tray from grill. Use a skewer or toothpick to prick holes on top of cake to prevent air bubbles from forming. Repeat this step layer by layer till mixture is used up. Unmould cake at once. Turn it over on a cooling rack to cool for 1 hour.

Source: Delicious Nyonya Kueh and Dessert

Languedoc Beef Stew with Red Wine, Herbs, and Olives


2-1/4 lb thickly sliced braising or stewing beef
2 tablespoons flour
5-6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1-1/4 cups Faugeres or other full-bodied fruity red wine
1/2 cup homemade or organic beef broth
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence
1 thin strip of unwaxed orange zest
2 bay leaves
1/3 cup black olives
3 heaped tablespoons roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Slow-roasted Carrots

1 lb carrots
a pinch of cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Trim any excess fat from the beef, then cut the meat into large cubes. Put the flour in a shallow dish and season it with salt and pepper. Dip the cubes of beef in the flour to coat.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet, add the beef, and saute on all sides until the meat is browned — you will need to do this in batches, adding extra oil as you go. Transfer the beef to a cast-iron casserole.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in the skillet, add the onion, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until softened but not browned.
  4. Add the garlic and tomato puree and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
  5. Add 1 cup of the wine, the broth, herbes de Provence, orange zest, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then pour the sauce into the casserole.
  6. Heat the casserole over medium heat and bring the sauce back to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer very gently for 2-1/2 to 3 hours until the meat is completely tender. Check the contents of the casserole occasionally to ensure there is enough liquid (add a little extra broth or water if it’s dry).
  7. About two-thirds of the way through the cooking time, prepare the slow-roasted carrots. Cut the carrots into long, thick diagonal slices. Put the carrots, salt, and cayenne pepper in a large, shallow ovenproof dish, pour the oil over, and toss well. Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F for 45 to 60 minutes until the carrots are soft and their edges are caramelized.
  8. About 30 minutes before the stew should be ready, stir in the olives. Just before serving, season to taste with salt and pepper, then stir in the parsley and the remaining wine, and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve with the slow-roasted carrots.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Source: Cooking with Wine

Omelet Gargamelle


2 cups chopped fresh mushrooms
2 or 3 green onions, minced
5 tbsp vermouth
1/4 cup half and half cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp cornstarch
6 eggs
4 tbsp butter
1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
3 thin slices Swiss cheese


  1. Combine the mushrooms and onions in small heavy saucepan, then stir in the vermouth and 1/4 cup of the cream. Simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Add a small amount of the pan liquid to the cornstarch and stir until smooth, then stir back into pan. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Set aside.
  3. Break the eggs into a glass or stainless steel bowl. Place a 9-inch omelet pan over very low heat. The pan should be hot when butter is added.
  4. Beat the egg lightly with a fork until well mixed.
  5. Cut 3 tablespoons butter into tiny pieces and drop into the beaten egg. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix again to distribute the butter.
  7. Increase heat under the pan to medium hot, then add 1 tablespoon butter and swirl the pan around until butter is melted and just beginning to turn brown.
  8. Pout the egg and butter mixture into the hot pan.
  9. Work with the side of a fork and lightly pull the thickened edge away from the side of pan, allowing the still soft parts to flow underneath. Cook until bottom is set but the top is still moist.
  10. Spoon half the mushroom mixture over half the omelet.
  11. Slide half the omelet onto an ovenproof platter, then flip over the remaining half. Cover with remaining mushroom mixture.
  12. Pour the remaining cream over top. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and arrange Swiss cheese over all. Sprinkle with paprika.
  13. Place in preheated broiler and broil until cheese is melted and browned on top. Serve at once.

Makes 3 servings.

Source: The Creative Cooking Course

Pecan Bread Pudding with Caramel Whiskey Sauce


8 cups cubed egg bread or brioche (about 10 ounces)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
1-2/3 cups sugar, divided
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
1/3 cup whipping cream
2 to 3 tablespoons Irish whiskey or bourbon


  1. Grease 13 X 9-inch baking dish or shallow 2-quart casserole.
  2. Combine bread cubes and pecans in prepared dish.
  3. Beat 3/4 cup sugar, eggs and egg yolks in medium bowl until blended. Add milk, vanilla, salt and nutmeg. Beat until well blended.
  4. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes, pressing down on bread occasionally.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle over bread mixture.
  6. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Cool on wire rack 15 minutes.
  7. For sauce, place butter in small heavy saucepan. Add remaining 2/3 cup sugar. Shake pan to make even layer but do not stir. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until golden and bubbly.
  8. Stir mixture and cook 2 minutes or until deep golden brown.
  9. Gradually stir in cream. (Mixture will sizzle.) Cook and stir until smooth. Remove from heat.
  10. Stir in whiskey, 1 tablespoon at a time.
  11. Serve bread pudding warm or at room temperature topped with warm sauce.

Makes 8 servings.

Source: Irish Cooking Bible

Quick Chicken Ragu


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 (1/4-pound) piece pancetta (Italian unsmoked cured bacon), cut into 1/4-inch dice (2/3 cup)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1-1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 cup light dry red wine, such as Pinot Nair
1 (14- to 15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice, drained
coarse gray sea salt
coarsely ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil and butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet (2 inches deep) over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes.
  2. Add sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.
  3. Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink on outside, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Add onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes.
  5. Add wine and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
  6. Add tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve over polenta.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Gourmet Italian