Savory Breakfast Muffins...

with quail egg...

I'm sure you've seen The Rebel Within muffin before, the most popular muffin at Craftsman & Wolves in San Francisco. I'm taking their idea to make these bacon cheddar muffins. 

I prefer hard boiled eggs, so I cooked the quail eggs for 2.5 minutes in boiling water. If you like soft boiled eggs, cook them for 1.5 minutes. Stop the cooking process by shocking them in an ice water immediately.

If you use chicken eggs, find your perfect egg from this article How to boil an egg. You want to cook the eggs, peel them and keep them refrigerate before you start making a batter. When your batter is ready, spoon the batter into the mold, then put the cold boiled egg in the middle. This way you don't over cook the yolk in case you prefer a runny yolk. 

These muffins are everything you could possibly want for breakfast. They taste great and easy to make. Don't like bacon, use turkey or ham instead. Don't like chive, rosemary or parley will work
Make too many, no worry. They keep well in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 days, just warm them up in microwave for 30 seconds.. 

makes 12 muffins

- 1 cup + 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup potenta
- 1 1/2 tbsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. black pepper
- 3 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp. buttermilk, room temperature
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup cooked bacon, chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
- 12 cooked quail eggs, cold
- 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Sift all dry ingredients together in a medium bowl, set aside.
3. Whisk all wet ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Mix dry into wet, just until incorporated.
5. Fold in cheeses, bacon and chives.
6. Spoon the batter into prepared mold, put the egg in the middle. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
7. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.


Galette des Rois

Galette des rois, one of my favorite French pastry. It is made of two puff pastry sheets and filled with frangipane. 


- 2 sheets puff pastry, 
- 1 cup almond flour or almond meal
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup salted butter, cubed at room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 orange zest (optional)
- 1 tbsp. Disaronno Amaretto or Rum (optional)


1. Roll out puff pastry, cut into 9" round.
2. Combine the rest of ingredients in a food processor until it comes to a smooth paste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Spread the filling onto the first sheet, then cover with the second sheet. Seat them together with water. 
4. Brush the top with egg wash (a mix of 1 yolk and 1 tsp. milk), careful not to go on the sides.
5. With the point of a knife, make any kind of design on top.
6. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


Merry Christmas!


Mud Cake:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tbsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 2 cups unsalted butter
- 2 cups dark chocolate
- 2 tbsp. ground coffee
- 1 1/3 cups water
- 1 1/3 cups buttermilk
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Peppermint Milk Chocolate Ganache:
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk chocolate
- 1 tsp. peppermint extract


Mud Cake:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour the pan.
2. Sift all dry ingredients. Set aside.
3. Combine butter, chocolate, coffee and water in the mixing bowl. Melt together over a bain-maire until butter and chocolate are melted.
4. Using a whisk attachment, transfer the mixing bowl to a standard mixer. Add buttermilk and sugar, mix on medium speed until sugar has dissolved.
5. Add all dry and mix until just combined.
6. Add eggs, one at a time. mix until just combined.
7. Add extract, continue mixing for 10 seconds.
8. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for an hour or until the tester inserted in the cake comes out clean.
9. Cool in pan for 30 minutes, then de-pan.
10. Let the cake cool completely before put the icing on.

Peppermint Milk Chocolate Ganache:
1. Bring cream to a boil.
2. Remove from heat, whisk in chocolate.
3. Whisk in extract.


Decorated Sugar Cookie for Holidays!

If you're looking for sugar cookie recipe that won't lose their shape while baking, try this one. These sugar cookies are amazing. They are soft, buttery and delicious.  I flavor the dough with cardamom and orange blossom extract. You can definitely flavor it with anything you like, for example extract, spice or herb. I'm going to flavor it with earl grey leaves next time.

I use fondant for all the cookies, except the wreath cookies that I use royal icing. I think using fondant is much more easier than using royal icing. You just cut it out and put on top of the cookie.


- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cardamom powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 egg, room temperature
- 1/2 tsp. orange blossom extract

Preparation :

1. Sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a standard mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.
3. Add the egg and extract, beat until fully combine.
4. Lower the speed to low, add dry ingredients. Beating until just combine.
5. Roll out the dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Refrigerate for an hour.
6. Peel off the top parchment paper and leave the dough on the bottom parchment paper. Stamp cookies out of the chilled dough. Place cookies on baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes, depending on the size. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much.
8. Cool completely before decoration.


Meyer Lemon Curd

I woke up this morning to lots of Meyer lemons from the tree in the backyard. I didn't want to make marmalade due to time consuming. End up making curd from all the juice I squeezed for an hour.  My neighbors will be happy to see this in front of their front door tomorrow. 

This recipe is not too sweet and slightly thicker in texture. If you prefer runny texture, omit the gelatin.

makes 6 (8 oz. jar)

- 21 yolks
- 1 3/4 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups Meyer lemon juice
- 1 tbsp. Meyer lemon zest
- 1 3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened and cut into small cubes
- 1/2 tbsp powdered gelatin
- 2 tbsp. water, room temperature
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract


1. Whisk yolks and sugar together over a bain-marie until sugar has dissolved.
2. Whisk in juice and zest. Stir occasionally until the curd reaches 195 degrees.
3. Remove from a bain-marie, stir in butter.
4. Bloom gelatin with water for 5 minutes, add to the warm curd and stir until dissolved.
5. Strain the curd into a bowl that sits over an ice-bath. Stir in extract.

Note : Fresh curd should be eaten within 2 weeks, and you need to refrigerate it. It you make too many, freeze them.


Happy Halloween!

Gingerbread Man for Trick-or-Treat...

I know the best part of Halloween for kids is Trick-or-Treat. Me too, every year I try to create something good for kid to eat. Nothing wrong with a bit of candy, but too much candy is no good. This year I made this gingerbread man mummy cookie, wrapped in a thin white cloth made from fondant. I hope kids will like it. 

Check out : Trick-or-Treat 2013
Check out : Trick-or-Treat 2012

makes 12 (6" gingerbread man)

- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup molasses


1. Sift all dry. Set aside.
2. Cream butter and sugar together until light. 
3. Add egg and molasses, beat until combined.
4. Gradually add dry ingredients, beat until incorporated.
5. Wrap and refrigerate until firm.
6. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4" thick. Use a gingerbread cutter to cut the cookies. Transfer to a baking sheet. Freeze for 10 minutes.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cookies. They are done when they are firm.


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