8 Ways to get stuck into the Chinese New Year (part 1)

Image

A bit of pedantry here: some also call it the Lunar New Year, but the Chinese calendar isn’t exactly lunar. It’s lunisolar, which is why the months roughly line up with the Western (solar) months. A fully lunar calendar, like the Muslim one, will have its holidays wandering all over the place on a Western calendar because it goes by its own rhythms.

… what were we talking about again? OH YES. So it’s the day just before the Chinese New Year now, and how remiss it would be of me if I neglected to write something about the biggest day in the Chinese calendar. Here goes!

Continue reading

Advertisements

Salted Caramel and Cashew Brownies (of a Slightly Fluffy Nature)

Well, what does one do with an oven? The fact is that, growing up, we never had an oven at home; in Singapore, and across much of East Asia, the stove dominates cooking to such an extent that I never felt I was missing anything.

Then I went to London, and mostly used ovens to heat up yesterday’s pizza, but then I came across this: a recipe for salted caramel brownies from Smitten Kitchen. After thoroughly enjoying the well-written article, I set my mind on making this brownie.

That was a year and a half ago (thereabouts), and since then I’ve made this brownie a few times, with a few tweaks (there’s enough sugar in that caramel already) for special people, parties and the like. So it only seems fitting that it would be the first thing I make with my black, shiny monster of a new convection oven.

This might be mildly heretical, but I personally prefer my brownies to move more towards the cake end of the Gooey-Fluffy continuum; so the biggest change to the recipe as I make it is the self-raising flour. If you’re more the full gooey type, forego it. If you’ve got your own preferences (and why shouldn’t you), then adjust the ratios however you like. Go live your own life, for goodness’ sake!

Image

Continue reading