chocolate souffle with hot fudge

5:41 PM sians 0 Comments

p.s. okay. i'm having a writer's block and find myself not being able to write as smoothly as i'd like for the continuation of my seoul trip. i think part 3 might be the hardest to write just because i have so much i want to say without boring you with every little detail. lame excuse? perhaps but pls wait for the entry in the very near future :)

as a consolation, here is another recipe entry while i work on writing about the hansik event.

remember the chocolate molten lava cake recipe i blogged about a couple of months ago? while it was absolutely delicious, it came with a price - lotsa butter and possibly fatter thighs (?)! lol.  so i was searching for a lighter alternative that still satifies your chocolate cravings with a fraction of the calories and guess what i found?

there are two parts to the recipe - the chocolate hot fudge and the chocolate souffle. i'm gonna be honest. i'm terrified of making souffle especially i have never made one before. reason being that i've heard that souffles don't always turn out well because it has to have enough air in the batter to turn into fluffy, light and cloud-like cake.

regardless, there are always firsts for everything and i took extra care to reread the recipe and took a lot longer since i was definitely more thorough with every step. chocolate is definitely the star ingredient in this recipe so i tried to get better quality chocolate bar and based on my chocolate molten lava cake experience, it was also rather important to get at least 60% dark cacao content.

one thing that you have to prep before starting the recipe is the ramekins where you have to brush it with soft butter, then coat with sugar before putting it into the freezer. also, it's important to use a double boiler to melt the finely chopped chocolate till  smooth without scorching it and it's essential to cool the melted chocolate a tad before using it in the subsequent steps.

the next part was what i was most nervous about - to know what consistency to whip the egg yolks and whites to since it determines how high your souffle was gonna rise. even with description but without photos, i wasn't sure if i was beating the eggs enough.

a few useful pointers to get better peaks:: to use a non-reactive bowl that is completely dry and it also helps if the bowl and mixer used is chilled. i whipped the egg yolks till it turns into a pale yellow and frothy. when you fold the yolks and whites into the chocolate mixture, be rather careful and gentle as you blend the mixtures completely just so you don't lose all the air you've worked so hard to beat into the eggs. and oh, you've gotta work quickly too..

once the batter is ready, it's scooped carefully into the prepared ramekins and it's off to be baked at 400 F. this is when you keep your fingers crossed and hopes it puffs an inch off the top of the ramekin. this could be your proudest or disappointing moment as you anticipate the success of your souffle making skills! oh and please don't open the oven door as it bakes because the souffle is just going to fall flat and you'd be really sad.

while the souffle is baking, you can get started with the fudge. definitely need to give some extra love & attention while stirring the mixture constantly. the great thing about this dessert is you can always make the hot fudge the day of or a couple of days in advance. you could also leave it out completely but i totally recommend the hot fudge for needed richness ^^ very simple to make - just throw everything into a pot until everything melts, the sauce thickens until it becomes smooth and shiny.

verdict omg when i took it out of the oven, i had the greatest satisfaction to see my souffle rise (albeit not as high as i expected it to). probably could have beaten the egg whites and yolks a lil longer to get more air into the batter.

i might have baked it a minute too long in the oven but i suppose that contributed to the crispy edges that contrasted the fluffiness inside with the lightness to its taste.. i have to admit though, it's not as satisyfing as the chocolate molten lava cake because it was somewhat lacking that richness.

however, that's the great thing about the hot fudge sauce on the side because you can choose how much fudge you'd want to indulge. so you can either feel good about yourself for not eating half a stick of butter (that was how much butter that went into each ramekin for chocolate molten lava cake) or..not...hahah.  btw, if you make your hot fudge sauce in advance, blitz it in the microwave or on the stove for a few minutes before serving.  sprinkle the top with powdered sugar to make it pretty and if like a lil extras, it pairs well with fresh fruits and/or vanilla icecream :)

yup, you know the drill :: the recipes are here if you'd like to test it out yourself :)

chocolate souffle
taken from kitchens

ingredients |
  • 7 oz finely chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate (i'd recommend at least 60% cacao)
  • 4 tbs unsalted butter, plus for preparing the ramekins
  • 1.5 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 3 tbs warm water
  • 1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tbs
  • 8 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • confectioner's sugar for garnish
directions |
  • brush 6 (6-oz) ramekins with soft butter, then coat with sugar. put the prepared ramekins in the freezer. (this can be done a day ahead)
  • set an oven rack in lower third of the oven and preheat to 400 F
  • put the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl. bring a saucepan filled with an inch of so of water to a very slow simmer; set the bowl over, but not touching, the water (this is the set up for a double boiler). stir the chocolate occasionally until melted and smooth.
  • remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. set aside
  • combine the egg yolks and warm water in a bowl of a standing mixer or a large bowl and beat until frothy. gradually add 2 tbs sugar, and continue beating until ribbons form, about 5 minutes.
  • very lightly fold the yolks into the chocolate mixture (rinse the bowl well, if using for beating the egg whites)
  • remove the prepared ramekins from freezer
  • put the egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer, or a large non-reactice bowl, add the lemon juice
  • beat on medium until frothy; then gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and increase speed to high. beat until the whites hold a stiff but not dry peak
  • working quickly, fold about a third of the egg whites into the chocolate to lighten then fold in the remaining whites until blended
  • gently ladle or spoon the souffle mixture into the ramekins, and place on a baking sheet (level off the surface with a straight edge, scraping any excess mixture back into the bowl)
  • immediately bake until the souffle rises about 1.5 inches from the ramekins, and the tops are touched with brown, about 18 to 20 minutes
  • remove from oven, dust with confectioner's sugar and serve immediately

hot fudge sauce
taken from saveur's website

ingredients |
  • 8 oz chopped, unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 8 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/3 cups water
directions |
  • in a 2-qt saucepan, combine all ingredients. place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil
  • cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens and becomes smooth and shiny, about 10 minutes
  • let cool slightly before serving, or transfer to a glass jar with a lid and store in the refrigerator for up to a week
  • before serving, reheat the sauce in a saucepan over low heat or in a bowl in the microwave for about 30 second, as it will thicken when refrigerated.

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


crispy rice patties

2:36 PM sians 0 Comments

p.s. i have been extremely busy at work and dealing with personal stuff but i will be working on part 3 of my trip to seoul - the event and meeting of sj! ^^ look forward to it. so in the meantime, enjoy this entry i have written which has sitting as a draft for the longest time. hehe

just before you start reading , thought i might warn you that i made another dish that is inspired by although this wasn't a winning recipe for the 'discover korean's delicious secret', i thought this is a fun take on a rice ball dish ^^

the inspiration for this dish came from a southern dish in the US called fried boudin balls which are meat-rice dressing shaped into balls, coated and deep fried. in fact, i also found some korean recipes that involved frying filled rice patties which i thought was a delicious idea :) to take more of a korean approach, i leaned towards bibimbap for the filling and panko breadcrumbs for the outer crust instead of regular breadcrumbs.

if you had leftover ingredients from bibimbap kimbap, it's perfect to use that in this dish. if you are starting from scratch, fear not.. i've got a quick short cut recipe you could use so these delicious crispy patties can get in your belly sooner.

a few notes :: there are a few short cuts to the recipe - using leftover bulgogi/pre-marinated meat from the store or even using pre-made red pepper paste sauce (so you could skip making it yourself) and you can use any leftover fresh vegetables that is in your pantry.

instagram-ed :: the making of rice patties

quite honestly, this was quite a challenge to make sure they didn't fall apart. i had to squeeze a couple of times to make sure it's compact and holds it shape.

instagram-ed :: frying of rice patties


verdict |  it was actually pretty good. with the flavors of bibimbap paired the salty sweetness from the gochujang sauce all encased in a crispy shell, it was a great surprising pairing. it wasn't heavy as i imagined it to be since it was rice fried with panko bread crumbs. the crispy panko breadcrumb aspect probably makes the dish but i do certainly wish i could have a better filling to rice ratio without the patty falling apart - well, that is certainly a work in progress. one great thing about this dish is the versatility since you could use whatever filling you would like - one other option that i've read is kimchi with cheese and meat - that would be an interesting flavor combination :)

if you'd like to try out something different and fun, here is the recipe:

crispy rice patties
inspired by boudin balls and fried rice patties

ingredients |
  • 3 cups of cooked rice
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 medium zucchini, halved and diced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • Sesame seeds for sprinkling
  • 1 cup of bulgogi (if you don't have any in hand, look below for the substitute recipe)
red pepper sauce [gochujang sauce]
  • 3 tbs red pepper paste :: gochujang
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp mirin
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1.5 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
panko crust
  • 1 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup of flour
[substitute recipe for a quick and simple bulgogi filling]
Quick and simple bulgogi subsitute for filling
The list of ingredients are as such:
  • 1/3 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 stalk green onion, chopped roughly
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1.5 tbs soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbs sugar
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbs cooking wine
  • A sprinkle of sesame seeds
Marinade all the ingredients together for about 30 minutes.  Add them in a pan at medium heat and saute till the meat is cooked through and the shallots and green onions are softened (about 8-10 minutes)

directions |
  • firstly, saute all the diced zucchini, carrots and spinach in 2 tsp of sesame oil. add about 1/4 tsp of salt to season the vegetables - taste and adjust to personal preference. this will only take about 5 minutes. remove from pan
  • using the same pan, add 1 tsp of vegetables oil. season the beaten egg with a pinch of salt and pour into pan. scramble the egg until it's cooked and set aside with the vegetables
  • prepare the meat (be it the quick recipe/bulgogi) and once cooked, mince it up to smaller pieces and add it to the mixture of vegetable and egg
  • mix the egg, meat and vegetable to get a consistent filling
  • for the rice, add a pinch of salt as well as a sprinkle of sesame seeds (optional) and mix well
  • meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a separate bowl. with that, we have all the ingredients ready to make the rice patties. 
  • take a palmful of rice and flatten it on your palm. spread some sauce in the middle of the rice layer
  • then add a couple of tablespoonful of filling (dependent on the amount you can fit without overfilling). be careful not to overfill it. 
  • add more rice on top and gently squish it to mold it into shape (you can be creative here). make sure the parcel is compacted and holds it shape. set aside and continue making the patties until you run out of ingredients
  • have 3 bowls ready - one with flour, one with beaten eggs and another with panko bread crumbs to coat these rice patties. meanwhile, heat up some oil in a frying pan on medium heat
  • coat first with flour, then carefully drench in the egg and finally coat it liberally with panko breadcrumbs
  • deep fry them until they are nice and golden brown all over. the rice and its filling are cooked through so this step is to just crisp up the crust
  • serve it while warm and it's great as a snack on the go as well :)

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.


{서올} the start of a love story

9:51 AM sians 0 Comments

as promised, part two::

flying on asiana airlines is quite comfortable ^^ it felt like i was already in korea since announcements and conversations were done in both korean and english throughout the flight. anywho, what i really want to talk about is the food they served.. honestly, i've skipped on flight meals before even if that meant i have to starve myself just cos i get nauseous just looking at it. however on this flight,  i was actually looking forward to it with. they offered korean and western meal options and guess which one i went for? (+1 if you guessed korean! and bibimbap was what they were serving)

yes, i am one of those ppl who takes pictures of airplane food! but i love it!
i was quite excited and impressed and could not wait to dig in - it was pretty tasty! :) i loved how good their service was. the air hostesses came by serving drinks to all the passengers ever so often that i didn't have to ring for a glass of water/orange juice.

14 hours of flight, three in-flight movies, two pretty tasty meals on top of a snack and an interesting book read later... i was finally in south korea! a country i've wanted to visit for the longest time - definitely a dream come true... (i'm semi-sad that i did not use my phone to take my first picture in korea at the airport to commemorate the moment!) in case you're wondering what i picked up to read at the airport ::

so i had to figure out how to get to the hotel myself since apparently it's really easy and accesible via airport limousine bus and it only costs 10,000 won. (if you're there for the first time, there is a bus ticket kiosk just outside one of the airport entrances. once you've figured out where you need to go, you could either buy the tickets at the kiosk or you could just pay the bus driver) and the great part was, it dropped me right in front of the hotel!

i have to admit that i was a tad nervous trying to figure out what to do in korea with my very limited knowledge of korean language but it was a lot easier than i thought. if you're afraid you don't know where to stop once you get on the bus, don't worry :: the stops are translated into multiple languages (korean, english & japanese), chances are you'd understand one of them.

here are some photos of seoul i captured on my phone while on the bus since i was lazy to find for my camera. not the prettiest but i like it :)

it took me another two hours before i got to sejong hotel (including immigration & travel) - i was exhausted, jetlagged and feeling a lil icky from the long travel. i just wanted to take a shower, relax with the TV and go to bed which was exactly what i did although i did consider adding dinner to the list but was too tired to even go out to get a quick meal..

did i mention my hotel was just adjacent to myeongdong {명동} area which is a very popular shopping spot?! definitely the best location to be :) eek! more on that very soon! ^^

i woke up at 4am >.< (all thanks to jetlag) and was lying on the bed, watching tv although i should've probably forced myself to go back to sleep. i was just waiting for the hotel restaurant to open so i could feast on my complimentary breakfast since i was really hungry (although, really my appetite is all messed up and confused from the time difference)

breakfast buffet (continental, korean and japanese selections)
photos taken by melika^^

okay let's be honest here. i don't really like eating alone if i was out at a restaurant (infact, i actually get my meals to go if i have to eat on my own) but since i didn't know where the other winners were, i had to eat breakfast alone rather awkwardly.

when i was almost done with breakfast, i met melika (the winner from germany) - it was inexplicable but we somehow just knew who each other was (well, she's seen my picture and i guessed it was her lol). oh, i also somehow managed to recognize peyxen, the winner from malaysia (i am just that awesome ;) haha) honestly, i supposed it helped that i've seen her picture on fb and she was with her mom, which she had mentioned to me before that her mom was coming along to korea.

i love this photo! me grabbing a second round of french toasts (thanks melika!)
melika and i planned for a quick myeongdong shopping session together before we met the other winners for quick rehearsal for event.

the winners finally meet  except for one - nhung (the vietnamese winner) because she was only getting in later that evening. i loved that everyone was so friendly and we just effortlessly clicked! the only thing was... i felt so old when we were discussing age >.< man..i kinda miss being 21. sigh....

our next destination was the korea house which was walking distance from our hotel. that also happens to be the location of the event the next day. actually, it was the building across from it.

rehearsal mainly consisted of us practicing our dish while getting useful pointers from a korean chef  which was totally awesome! that and also having the representatives from kff to try out our food before the event - i guess it's to reaffirm their choices of winners? it's a good sign when they came back for seconds! or not i'd thought they were just being polite when they said it was delicious.. lol

i learned a few new cooking techniques and loveeee the 선생님 [teacher]. she's so motherly and friendly :) she even hand-fed some of us while we were cooking with the kimbap i made so they could try out my food. (so sweet, right?) although she was speaking in korean the whole time while i was nodding with a confused look on my face, i knew she was trying to gesture what she meant. (oddly, i understood some of what she was saying to me) if the kff staff were standing at my station, i'd look so lost that they'd translated what she said - thank goodness! i'd share the picture we took with our teacher but i don't too good in the picture.. so it's a no go!  >.<

we had the most pleasant surprise when the teacher asked us if we wanted to wear a 한복 [hanbok], the traditional korean dress to take pictures in... to which we immediately agreed! omg loveeeeee! i was planning to wear one while i was in korea cos it's absolutely adorable! the teacher said that the younger ladies usually wear bright, vibrant colors and have their hair up to show off the design around the collar. and eeeeek they dressed me up in my favorite color, RED (!) and blue. AND it's in the perfect shade of red too <3 

melika, yuiko (winner from japan), me, peyxen and her mom :)

think i can pass as a korean? :p

a few of them mentioned that i look korean-ish :) now if i learn the language, they won't be able to tell the difference and i could fit in perfectly in seoul! haha. ^^

i loveee the hanbok - even though it was too long for me (i know..i know...i am so short >.<) that i was stepping on the bottom of chima (the skirt). hanbok are typically worn for formal events (i.e. weddings, new years day, etc).. now i want one of these for myself...aren't they the prettiest outfits?! <3 but oh so expensive! bummer! :'(

after some final discussion about the event for next day including which super junior members who were attending the event... i held my breathe when they said only five of them were attending and i was keeping my fingers crossed that 동해 would be on the list!

i could not stop smiling when they said the five were leeteuk, ryeowook, sungmin, eunhyuk and most importantly.. donghae! <3

then we were finally shown to the actual venue of the award ceremony held the next day... yup nerves started to kick it and omg we're gonna be demonstrating our cooking skills!

want more? guess you'd have to wait for part 3 ^^ ㅋㅋㅋ