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25.3.14

Prawn Bisque

Prawn Bisque

Prawn or shrimp?

The names "prawn" and "shrimp" are often used interchangeably - what differentiates them is their gills. Shrimp have branching gills while prawns have lameller gills (source). To be honest, I have no idea what that means and don't have much interest in finding out. I only know they are delicious!

I have wanted to make prawn bisque for a very long time, but was always too lazy to get down to it - but I decided to give it a go for the Little Thumbs Up event!

Prawn Bisque

Bisque is a smooth and creamy French soup, usually made with crustaceans. The shells of crustaceans are roasted and then simmered to create a delicious soup base. Traditionally, it is thickened with rice, but modern bisques are now often thickened with roux (source).

While browsing for recipe, I decided to adapt mainly from these 2 recipes - UK TV and Simply Delicious - keeping the recipe simple so that I don't have to get rarely used ingredients such as paprika. The most tedious part of the recipe is probably the peeling and de-veining of prawns as well as the chopping of vegetables. The rest of the steps are a breeze!

Prawn Bisque

I really love how this soup turned out - it's creamy but not too overly so, just the right creamy consistency for me as I'm not a super huge fan of overly creamy soups. It is chokeful of prawn flavour - no part of the prawn goes to waste (except for the feelers which I snipped off). I will definitely whip up a huge pot in the future so that I can freeze some for a quick meal!

And here are the step-by-step photos!

butter
1) Melt butter in a small pot.
shells
2) Add in prawn heads and shells and sauté.
stock
3) Add in chicken or vegetable stock and simmer.
blend
4) Blend the prawn heads and shells.
drain
5) Strain and squeeze out every drop of the prawn essence.
saute
6) Sauté the prawns in oil and butter.
remove
7) Remove and set aside.
vege
8) Sauté onion, carrot and celery in oil and butter.
paste
9) Add in tomato paste.
tomatoes
10) Stir it around and add in chopped tomatoes.
essence
11) Pour in the prawn essence and more stock.
leaves
12) Add in bay leaves and simmer.
blend
13) Blend the soup with half of the cooked prawns.
cream
14) Add in cream, remaining cooked prawns and season.
Prawn Bisque
Love the chunky bits of prawns in the soup!
Serve with crusty bread!

1abbb-th_littlethumbups1-1
I'm also going to submit this to Little Thumbs Up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids. This month's theme is Prawns - hosted by Food Playground. The recipes are all linked at this post!

20.3.14

THB #32: Blueberry-Almond Coffee Cake

Blueberry-Almond Coffee Cake

Time for the The Home Bakers event again! All these baking/cooking events are what keep me going despite the busy schedule - it really motivates me to not neglect my blog too much! And it's also motivating me to hit the gym / yoga studio more often... a moment on your lips, forever on your hips!

Blueberry-Almond Coffee Cake

Blueberries were on a discount recently (I've never really seen raspberries on discount), so that's what I used for this bake. I creamed the butter and sugar by hand as I made a small batch, and used berries yogurt (instead of plain one) and a whole punnet of blueberries - with some in the middle so that the whole cake is dotted with purple beauty.

The nutty streusel on top is amazing, I love how the crunch of the almond and streusel combined with the sweet and juicy blueberries in a very soft, moist and tender cake. I wish I have a cup of tea / coffee to make it even more perfect!

And once again, here are the step-by-step photos!

streusel
1) Make the streusel - butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon.
mix
2) Rub with your finger tips
stir
3) Stir in almonds and refrigerate.
cream
4) Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
egg
5) Beat in the egg until incorporated.
vanilla
6) Add in some vanilla.
yogurt
7) Followed by some yogurt.
dry
8) Fold in the flour mixture.
scatter
9) Spread half of the batter and scatter the blueberries on top.
more
10) Spread with remaining batter.
decorate
11) Decorate if you'd like.
sprinkle
12) Then destroy the decoration by sprinkling the streusel on top.
Blueberry-Almond Coffee Cake
Bake and serve warm! Wish I had made a cleaner cut for this cake!

The Home Bakers

This is for The Home Bakers #32 organized by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.This time round the theme is hosted by Angela of the Charmed Cupcake. Hop over here for all the submissions and here for the original recipe!

Blueberry-Almond Coffee Cake (makes 8x5-inch cake)


Baking Note: I baked 1/2 the recipe and modified the recipe a little - wish I had baked the whole cake instead! Love how the juicy blueberries contrast with the crunchy streusel!

Streusel
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (15 grams)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup almond flakes

Batter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter (75 grams)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/8 to 1/2 cup yogurt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries

I baked my cake in a 8 x 5-inch tin at 175 degrees Celsius for 25 - 30 minutes. 

For the full instructions, please refer to Angela's blog!

Happy baking!

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