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Lets Tuck In

Food January 2018 Lifestyle

Lets Tuck In

There’s nothing a well-cooked meal cannot fix. Especially when it is a tangy, saucy, spicy mix. Our pick for this month is classic Chinese tofu, and for those with a sweet tooth, a typical English chocolate tart with a spin.

So put on your aprons and get those whisks and ladles ready. It’s kitchen time!

Mapo Tofu

You’ll need:

  • 300g diced tofu
  • 1tsp chili bean paste
  • 1/2tsp Sichuan oil
  • 2tbsp cooking oil
  • 1tsp spicy black bean
  • 100ml water
  • 1/2tsp dark soy
  • 1/2tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2tsp sugar
  • 1tbsp potato starch
  • 2tbsp water
  • 2tbsp leeks, sliced
  • 1tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1tsp ginger, chopped
  • 1tsp spring onions, chopped

How to prepare:

  • Heat the Sichuan oil and cooking oil in a pan. Add the spicy black bean and the chili bean paste, and sauté well.
  • Sauté the ginger, garlic, and chili powder for a while.
  • Add water (100ml) and dark soy to the sauté mix.
  • Throw in the spring onion, leeks, tofu, and sugar. Bring it to boil (2 minutes).
  • In a stainless steel container, mix the potato starch and water (2 tbsp) to prepare the thickening starch. Adjust the thickening and add it to the previous mix.
  • Serve hot with a bowl of steamed rice.
Lets Tuck In 1

Chocolate Pecan Tart

You’ll need: 
For the pastry

  • 125g plain flour
  • 2tbsp icing sugar
  • 2tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • 135g cold and cubed unsalted butter

For the filling:

  • 80g shredded dark chocolate
  • 45g unsalted butter
  • 160g granulated sugar
  • 235ml maple syrup
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 235g chopped pecans
  • Vanilla ice cream or double cream, to serve

How to prepare:

  • Mix the icing sugar, flour, and cocoa powder in a large bowl. Lightly whisk the egg with lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of ice-cold water in a measuring jar and set it aside.
  • Throw the butter cubes into the dry mixture and rub them in slowly. Pour in the egg mixture and mix to form a dough.
  • When the dough is ready, roll small balls out of it. Knead the dough smooth on a floured surface. Wrap the pastry in cling film and leave it to cool in the fridge for half an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 190C and heat the baking tray.
  • Roll the pastry out on a floured surface and use it to line a 10-inch baking tin. Poke the base of the pastry using a fork and leave it to chill for 10 minutes.
  • Line the tin with butter paper and fill it with uncooked rice. Place the tin on the hot baking tray and bake until the pastry turns golden brown.
  • Now, remove the rice and the butter paper from the tin. Adjust the oven temperature to 180°C and place the tin in the oven until the base is well cooked.
  • For the filling, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Once it melts, set it aside to cool.
  • In a saucepan, boil the granulated sugar and maple syrup together. Stir constantly. Set aside to cool.
  • Beat the eggs in a large bowl and fold in the chocolate mixture. Whisk in the sugar syrup mixture, and add vanilla extract and pecans. Mix it well.
  • Pour the pecan filling into the baked pastry and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until set.
  • Cool and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipping cream.
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