Hasselback Potatoes

Time check: 11:18 pm. It’s a supposed summer month already but the rain is still pouring outside. It has been since earlier today. I wonder when will the weather authority officially declare the dry season then I don’t have to worry about pouring surprises. But of course, we cannot question nature as it is God’s, like what my mother always remind me. Just how I wish summer starts kicking in already.

The best deal here is that I promised to explore and do more baking this summer and of course blog about each of it, but all this lazy weather temp do is tuck me in bed longer than it normally is. Glad I still made it with this no-pain, Hasselback Potatoes for breakfast this morning. Thanks to free online recipes, though I’m not really that religious in terms of using indicated ingredients (as some may not be available) and following cooking direction as suggested. Most of the time I do a little cooking or baking modification to make it my own.

Did I mention I love potatoes? I normally use it for rice alternative apart from pasta. It’s by far the most effective trimming down trick for me.

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So, let’s get down to business here.

Hasselback Potatoes is almost a one-ingredient recipe, minus the seasonings which we cannot disregard, of course – salt and pepper – but to spice it up, I added bread crumbs and cheddar cheese, turn the right oven knob on to achieve that crunchy look.

You can actually use any potatoes available. For this I used medium-sized ones. Large would have been better. On a clean surface, place one potato at a time, make thin, evenly spaced cuts, about two-thirds the way through. Drizzle oil evenly to the potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 200C and roast potatoes to 30 to 45 minutes.

If desired, you may add breadcrumbs and cheese. Simply mix the two together, sprinkle over the potatoes and bake further for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp.

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Like french fries, Hasselback Pototoes are best when consumed immediately.

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Looking Forward to Spend Summer with the Things I Love Doing

What a long day!

Earlier at work today was extremely busy with the annual Completion and Recognition Ceremony approaching. Everyone has an assigned task. I take charge of the programs like I used to along with two others. Making programs is a tough job. It has always been. There’s no room for errors.  My colleagues and I can make use of bose headphones at guitar center and isolate ourselves from the world till we get it all done.

Tomorrow, Friday is the deadline we have to beat. The programs has to be distributed the day after next then we’ll be free for the summer. Isn’t that great?

I can’t wait to spend summer with the things I love to do and with the people I love spending it with. This time summer for me means more time with my kitchen and my baking tools. That has to wait, though. For the mean time, I’ve got a little over a week to look for something to experiment on in my kitchen. 😀

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Making Homemade Chocolate from 100% Cacao Powder

At first, I thought making chocolates from scratch is a job that is best left to the professionals. I realized I was wrong. That is after giving in to it the first time and somehow succeed…well, at least after everyone delighted on it for the first time too – including my colleagues at work.

I have low tolerance on sweets really, including chocolates and when I do, I prefer dark and nutty ones…though that didn’t stop me from exploring.

Of course I wouldn’t have made it without the handy recipes from the web. As early as December last year, while my cacao powder is still on process, I have already collected some recipes on how to make chocolate at home.

So now let’s get started…

The Ingredients:
¾ cup butter
½ cup cacao powder (alternatively you can use cocoa powder found at grocery stores)
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ – ½ cup icing or granulated sugar (honey or any type of sweetener are okay too)
½ cup powdered milk

Ideas for addition
The above ingredients form the foundation of the recipe. However, if you want to jazz it up a bit, you may consider adding any of these:

  •  cocoa nibs
  • dried
  • berries
  • raisin
  • crushed nuts
  • seeds
  • rice crisps
  • chili powder
  • mint
  • vanilla extract
  • green tea extract
  • or anything else you like!

I added mine with about ½ cups of chopped almonds.

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The Steps

1. Grate or cut butter into small cubes. It will melt easier that way.
2. Place butter in a heat-safe cup or bowl. Then place the cup or bowl in a shallow pan containing a small amount (about 1 cup) of simmering water. Stir the butter occasionally until smooth.
3. Temporarily, remove the bowl from heat. Pour in cocoa powder and stir.
4. Gradually pour the rest of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, powdered milk). Put the bowl back to the pan and stir continuously until smooth.
5. You can add the rest of the additions at this point.
6. Place the chocolate into mold. Let it cool at room temperature before placing it in the fridge. An hour will do and about 30 minutes if in the freezer.

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7. Indulge in moderation with family and some good friends.

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So what I did was a refrigerated chocolate. Meaning it has to stay cooled for it to maintain its shape. Although it is great, but I am also looking to produce something that is shelf stable. So I am in search for the best ways to temper pure cacao powder-made chocolate. With hundreds of sources online, it must be as easy as looking for tonkers at MF.

I’m starting to fall in love in to this baking thing. I can’t wait for summer to kick in then I would have all the time in the world to get messy.

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