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Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas Pudding

I know some of you will be hosting Christmas lunch or dinner having families members and friends get together.  There are so much to prepare for this special day, right?  

There are food and dishes that you can prepare ahead of time.  What dessert are you preparing for this day?  I know when you see this dessert that I have made, it might scared you off but nevertheless this type of dessert or cake is my all time favourite.  This type of mixed fruits cake if very well done, it can be kept for very long; in months and can be year too.



Mixed Fruits & Dates Christmas Pudding
Recipe sourced from The Kitchen Finesse with changes

Ingredients
250g flour
200g cane sugar (I used only 160g light brown sugar)
250ml water (I used only 200ml)
120g butter
2 eggs
400g mixed dried fruits
100g dates, chopped small
1/3 cup cognac 
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
a pinch of ground nutmeg

Method
Combine dried fruits in a bowl and macerated with cognac overnight.

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan and cook until sugar dissolves. Place in butter to melt and cool to room temperature. Sieve together flour,  spices, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in butter mixture and eggs then add soaked fruit mixture.  

Brush a 2 liter capacity pudding bowl with butter, line the base with a circle of baking paper and dust with flour. Pour pudding mixture into bowl.
Cover with a layer of  greased proof paper followed by foil. Place pudding into a large saucepan with a wire rack or a plate lining the base. Fill with enough water to come halfway up the side of the bowl. Cover and simmer for 4.5 hours, topping up water when necessary. 

 




 Serve this with your favourite whipped cream or vanilla custard as suggested by



 I am submitting this to the "Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013" event which is hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out.







Christmas Tree Dinner Rolls

Christmas is drawing near and I am sure some of you would have starting to plan the menu for the day.

But are you planning to bake some dinner rolls too?  If you are, why not bake the rolls that look and shape like a Christmas tree.  It sure impress your guests having this Christmas tree dinner rolls as the centre piece on the dinner table.

Again I used back the Plain Milky Buns (Kopitiam Buns) with some slight change.
 



Christmas Tree Dinner Rolls


Overnight sponge dough

215g high protein flour
125g milk (cold)
2g instant yeast (1/2 tsp)

Method

Add all ingredients in a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients to a rough dough by hands , the dough is dry and rough and don't need to knead till pass window pane. Cover tightly with cling film and immediately store in the fridge for overnight (at least 12 hours).



To prepare milk buns

1 quantity of above overnight sponge dough
90g high protein flour
30g egg (1/2 large egg)
4g instant yeast (1tsp)
3g fine salt (1/2tsp)
60g sugar (I used only 50g)
45g butter (room temperature)
1 tbsp milk (cold)
3-4 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
1-2 tbsp Sea Salt



Method
Tear the overnight sponge dough into pieces and add all ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl, knead till smooth dough.

Add in the butter and knead until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with cling film and set aside to proof till double in size.

Punch down the dough to expel air, equal divide the dough to 19 portions (about 30g each), shape into round balls. Place dough in baking sheet and placing the dough balls shaping it like a Christmas Tree. Let it proof for another 30-45mins.
Brush some melted butter on top of the buns, sprinkle/scatter the chopped rosemary and then sea salt on top. 


Bake at pre-heated oven at 170C for 20mins.


This "Rosemary/Sea Salt topping was inspired from The Pioneer Woman of her Buttered Rosemary Rolls



I have made this "Christmas Tree" Butter Buns last year and thought of doing this Xmas tree shape again just to inspire you.



 I am submitting this to the "Baby Sumo's Christmas Recipes Collection 2013" event which is hosted by Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out.




Thursday, 28 November 2013

Coffee Sponge Cupcakes

I'm so addicted with sponge cake lately because of the cottony soft texture.  As I still have some balance of meringue buttercream from my last Sponge Cake With Kumquat Jam Topping, so I thought I quickly whipped out something to go along with this buttercream.




Coffee Sponge Cupcakes
Recipe sourced from Shirley @kokken with slight changes
makes for 8 cupcakes

Ingredients
3 Egg Whites  (from 3 large eggs weighing 60g with shell)
60g Sugar
3 Egg Yolks  (from 3 large eggs weighing 60g with shell)
¼ tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Coffee extract (I used coffee oil)
65gPlain flour
30g Vegetable Oil  (I used canola oil)
30g Milk

Butter Cream
75g Egg white
60g Castor sugar
225g Unsalted butter
1tsp Vanilla Extract
1tsp Mocha/ coffee paste

Instructions
Whip the egg whites until foamy then add sugar in 3 additions and whip until egg white forms soft peaks form.

Add egg yolks one at a time, mixing well before adding more egg yolks.
Add in vanilla and coffee extract and mix until combined.
Add in plain flour and fold to mix well with a spatula.
Add oil and mix well with spatula. Repeat the same with milk – taking care not to over deflate the foam.

Spoon batter into a lined muffin mold. (filled to ¾ of the cupcake mold)
In an oven preheated to 170C, bake the cupcakes for 25mins.
Set aside to cool completely.

Swiss Meringue Butter Cream
Place egg whites, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg whites over a water bath until sugar and salt completely dissolves.

Remove from heat and continue whisking the egg whites using a stand mixer.
Whisk at low speed and gradually increase speed. Whisk the egg whites until glossy and firm peaks are formed. (The meringue should cool down by then)

Lower mixing speed and add butter in spoonfuls until well mixed. Add in vanilla extract and coffee paste.

Change balloon whisk to paddle and continue mixing for another 10mins at low speed until smooth and fluffy.

Decorate cupcakes by frosting with butter cream using a open star piping tip.


                      As I add Coffee Oil instead of coffee extract, the sponge colour is darker
                       as the coffee taste ...........awesomely delicious!!!


 Even if you don't intend to make the buttercream, eating it plain is as good too.
Well for me, I PREFER to eat it plain!  




Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Sponge Cake With Kumquat Jam Topping

Kumquat is back on the supermart shelf lately and being me the Kumquat lover, of course would not hesitate to grab at least 2 punnets at a go!

When Shirley @Kokken posted her Jam Topping Sponge Cake early last year, it just brought back some memories in those days when cakes were sold and decorated in that way.  I remember when I am still a little girl staying in Kampar,  we don't usually able to buy cakes with cream and jam topping.  And there was year a small moderate new shopping outlet called "Emporium" (does Emporium sounds new to you?) open at this very small town, it is like a total heaven to the Kamparians!   Still remember those days my dad will cycling down to Emporium and my younger sister would hop in at the back seat of the bicycle; almost everyday they will patron to Emporium!

So, this little Sponge Cake With Jam Topping has indeed brought back some memories to me and back in those days, it was coated with peanuts bits.






Sponge Cake With Kumquat Jam Topping 
Recipe sourced from Shirley @Kokken

Ingredients
(A)
120g Sugar
15g Cake Emulsifier (Optional)

(B)
5 Eggs
130g Plain Flour
1tsp Baking powder

(C)
40ml Water

(D)
85g Melted butter

Desiccated coconut
Kumquat Jam or Strawberry jam or your favourite jam

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
75g Egg white (about 3 egg whites)
70g Castor sugar
Pinch Salt
225g Unsalted butter
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2tsp Instant Espresso powder

Instructions
Preheat oven to 190C. Mix (A) until well blended in a mixing bowl. Add (B) into the same bowl and start to whisk with balloon whisk until thickened.
Add (C) and continue to whip until light and fluffy. (ribbon stage – with the help of the cake emulsifier, this can be achieved very quickly and it stays very stable)
Fold in (D) and mix till well blended.
Pour the batter into a 12 inch square tin lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 190C for 20mins.
Remove from oven. Lift cake out of baking pan (so you should cut the parchment paper such that it overflows and allow you to grip the edges to lift the cake out of the tin) and leave to cool on a wire rack.
Peel off parchment paper when cake is completely cooled. Cut into 2 equal slices.

Sandwich  the 2 slices together with butter cream.
Using a 3 inch round cutter and cut the cakes into rounds. (alternatively, you can just slice into rectangular slices which will reduce wastage)

Coat the outside of the rounds with butter cream and cover with desiccated coconut.
Pipe a ring of butter cream at the top of the cakelet. Fill center with your favourite jam.

To make butter cream
Place egg whites, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl. Whisk egg whites over a water bath until sugar and salt completely dissolves.
Remove from heat and continue whisking the egg whites using a stand mixer.
Whisk at low speed and gradually increase speed. Whisk the egg whites until glossy and firm peaks are formed. (The meringue should cool down by then)
Lower mixing speed and add butter in spoonfuls until smooth and fluffy.
Mix coffee powder with vanilla extract.
Change balloon whisk to paddle and continue mixing for another 10mins at low speed to deaerate the cream.





                          I managed to make 4 round ones and one small rectangular ones. 







                               I put a slice of kumquat on top and it look like an egg yolk.....

                               How was this cakelet taste?  Must I say it?  
                              With Kumquat in my cake, of course.....it is "Deeeeeeeelicious"






Thursday, 21 November 2013

Pumpkin Angku Kuih

When I made my first Angku Kuih just less than two weeks ago,  the filling was a bit too dry to my taste.  Well, can't blame me as this is my first attempt.  

When Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY left comment on my post advising to steam the green bean with some added water, I have kept that in mind.  And when Doreen made Pumpkin Angku Kuih lately, I was adamant to try it again.





Pumpkin Angku Kuih
Recipe sourced from Mui Mui of my little favourite DIY

Ingredients for the skin:
200 g glutinous rice flour
 2 tbsp oil
100 g steamed pumpkin
1 tbsp sugar
100 ml thick coconut milk

Ingredients for the filling: 
150g split green bean, soaked overnight
60 g castor sugar 
4 tbsp of canola oil

Banana leaves
Method
Filling
Soaked the split green bean overnight or at least 4 hours. Drain and steamed until it is soft. 
(Sprinkle a few tablespoons of water onto the split green bean before steaming).

Mashed the steamed split green bean while it is still hot or blend it in a food processor into a paste. 
Heat up the 4 tbsp oil in a frying pan, add in the mashed green bean, sugar, and stir fry until it can leave the side of pan.  Remove and leave to cool.  Form  into small balls (approx. 13g per ball).

Skin Dough  
Mixed sugar, oil and mashed steamed pumpkin together.  Make a well in the centre of the glutinous flour and slowly pour the mixture in bit by bit. Keep mixing until it form into a dough.

Mixed and knead the mixture into a pliable dough. Divide them into small portion of 17g each.
Wrap up 1 part of filling with 1 part of skin, press into the Angku mould and knock out.  Line with a piece of greased banana leaf and steam with high heat for 3-5 minutes.

Remove and brush the Angku kuih with oil.



I don't know why my Pumpkin Angku Kuih looked in yellowish colour rather than in orangey pumpkin colour.   You might have thought I used the Yellow Sweet Potato instead!




Well, at least this time my filling is not dry but smooth in taste (I blend the green bean in food processor)........this is what I am looking for!  Thank you Mui Mui!







Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Simple Hainanese Chicken Chop

When Sonia of NasiLemakLover posted her Hainanese Chicken Chop recently, she has reminded me how much I missed my mum's Chicken Chop instead!  And so much as we are the Hainanese descent ourselves!

After my mum left to NZ to stay, I missed all her home cooked food and dishes.   And lucky for me, when I was young, I used to watch my mum cook this in the kitchen and now roughly I try to replicate her easy and simple version of our Hainanese Chicken Chop!  





Simple Hainanese Chicken Chop
Recipe source from Mel’s Mum
Serve for 1

Ingredients
1 boneless chicken thigh
1 small potato, peeled and cut to wedges
1 small tomato, cut to wedges
1 small onion, sliced
1-2 tbsp frozen green peas or canned green peas (light blanched or cook in saucepan)
Oil for frying

Marinate ingredients
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
Salt & pepper (add to your preference taste)
2-3 tbsp plain flour

Sauce
1-2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp worchestershire sauce
½ tsp sugar
¼ cup water (or slightly more if you prefer more sauce)

Method
Lightly marinade the chicken thigh with salt and pepper, and add in the 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce for about 15 minutes.  
Before frying, coat the marinated chicken with plain flour all over, and lightly sprinkle some water to the chicken.
(Don’t wash the bowl that marinate the chicken)
Add in all the sauce ingredients into this bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Using a small saucepan, pour in some oil (about 2”-3” deep) and fry the potato wedges till brown on the edges.  Drain on paper and sprinkle some salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Heat a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp oil and frying the chicken thigh on low-medium heat on skin side down first then turn the other side till cooked.  Dish up and put to the serving plate.

Pour in the sliced onions and lightly sauté till soft, add the sauce ingredients in.  Once the sauce comes to boil and thicken up, remove from heat and pour the sauce mixture onto the chicken chop.
Serve in with other ingredients; fried potato wedges, tomato and the green peas.  


                            
                                Back in those days, we used the canned green peas........


       




Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Orange Pound Cake

Buttery or pound cake is my all time favourite cake.   I guess I grown up eating butter cake when I'm still staying in Kampar and used to buy the fresh baked butter cake at one of the "kopitiam" in Jalan Gopeng.    We will usually know when the cake be out from the oven, and will go and buy it at around that time.  

When Wendy of Table for 2...or more posted this Orange Pound Cake yesterday, I immediate went to my kitchen to do the same.  While the butter and sugar were mixing in the mixing bowl, I continue to weight my plain flour, and found out I just left 100gm only.  So I just used the remaining 100gm of cake flour instead.    To avoid too sweet, I just used 180g of caster sugar and this is just perfect taste for me. 





ORANGE POUND CAKE
Recipe sourced from WendyinKK

Ingredients
200g butter (I used salted, do use good quality butter)
200g caster sugar (I only used 180g, just nice)
200g plain flour (I used 100g plain flour & 100g cake flour)
4 medium eggs (at room temperature)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
50ml-60ml fresh orange juice
Orange Zest from 1 orange

Method
Preheat oven to 180Celcius.  Line base of 8” round pan or two small loaf pans.
Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl till light and fluffy.
Beat in eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add in the vanilla extract.
Sift flour and baking together and add half of flour into the butter mixture.
In low speed, pour in the orange juice and zest.
Add in the remaining flour and mix till all combined.
Pour into the pan and baked for about 50-60 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.




                             

Friday, 15 November 2013

Kumquat Almond Pie Cookies

Aaah.....has the title of this post the word "Kumquat"  makes you recall Mel being the Kumquat lover?  Kumquat is available now at Tesco!!  I bought it at RM3.70 per pack.....isn't it a bargain?

I have been eyeing to bake this recipe for quite awhile......at first I was thinking of using pineapple as filling....and everyday I've been looking, and looking at this recipe but lazy bug was inside me and wasn't even feeling wanted to lift up my legs to stand long hours in the kitchen.    But at last, it was the kumquat makes me do it!  




Kumquat Almond Pie Cookies
Recipe inspired from Sweet Explorations

Ingredients
226g butter, room temperature
160g sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups (I used 420g) plain flour

Filling
½ cup Kumquat Jam *
(puree the sweetened kumquat with 2 tbsp almond meal)
 

Method
In a bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed till soft and fluffy.  Add in egg and vanilla extract.  Add in all the flour on low speed till dough comes together.

Divide the dough equally into 2 and wrap each dough in between plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180Celcius.

Roll out dough and using your cookie cutter, cut out round or square shape to your likings (I used a 3" round cutter).  Sandwich in between with 2 tsp Kumquat Almond Jam and light press to seal the edges.

Bake the cookies for 12 minutes or lightly brown at edges.

* To make the Kumquat Jam
20 kumquats
Sugar
Water

Weigh kumquats and prepare half amount of water (in weight) and half amount of sugar (ratio: 2:1:1, kumquat:water:sugar, eg : 200gm:100gm:100gm)

Slice half kumquats and remove seeds. Put cleaned kumquats, sugar and water into a saucepan and cook (on medium heat) until the kumquat looks glossy and soft. 



My cookies didn't do that good compare to Francois of SweetExplorations, as the top was not smooth looking compare to his!  BUT.....nevertheless it was good in taste the cookies!  I wasn't really happy the result of my cookies and was not prepare to post to share it out but the yummylicious make me do it!





                                                                          YUM!


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

This is it.......Delicious Char Siew!!

This is it.......I guess.......almost there to my search for the taste for delicious Char Siew!  I have made Homemade Char Siew just merely a month ago but I still feel some lacking of some flavour in there.... I think that version is just slightly salty .... only if doesn't add that teaspoon of salt into the marinated pork before cooking; I think that would be nice.

But I guess everyone has different taste bud.  And there is no harm to try another recipe to look which one suit to our taste.


Delicious Char Siew
Recipe from "Delicacies Of China Town" cookbook

Ingredients
1 kg pork belly 
2 tbsp chopped garlic

Marinade
2 pieces reddish cheese (fermented beancurds/"nam yue")
1 tbsp malt sugar
150g caster sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp five spices powder
1 tbsp "Shaoxing" wine
Few drops of red colouring (optional)

Method

Remove the skin of the pork belly, cut into thick large strips.

Mix the marinade ingredients well until the sugar is completely dissolves, add in chopped garlic and pork belly, mix well, marinate over night or at least 4 hours.

Arrange the marinated pork belly on the roasting wire ract, roast ina preheated oven at 200Celcius for 15 minutes.  Dish out, dip the belly with some marinade sauce.  Continue to roast for further 20-30 minutes until cooked through.  Dish out.

Bring the remaining sauce to the boil in a sauce pan, cook until thicken, remove from heat and pour over to the roasted pork belly.  Serve.








             Do let the meat rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing after removing from oven.




                              Drizzle more sauce onto the meat.....



   
                  Everyone gives thumbs up to this Char Siew !  Worth to give this a try.....
                  And it is fuss free too.......



Friday, 8 November 2013

"Angku Kuih"

I had wanted to try my hands to make "Angku Kuih" for quite some time eventhough wasn't really prepare to do it any soon.  Since my dad pluck some banana leaves for me few days ago so just make use of it.

Really, I would have called myself looking for extra work to do as this Angku Kuih, I can buy it at the shop easily for just $0.50 per piece.  But sometimes when you food blogging, looking at others making it so beautifully, it just motivate you to do so.  But hopefully in the end process, I won't complain of aching here and there, looking for trouble just to make this kuih where I can buy it easily....lol.


ANGKU KUIH
Recipe from Agnes Chang’s Hawkers’ Delights
(I half the recipe here and makes only 15 pieces, with mould of 5cm long)

Dough Skin
50g rice flour, mixed with 210ml water & 3 ½ tbsp oil, stirred and boiled, till thick in texture, cooled
300g glutinous rice flour
Few drops of orange red colouring
Enough water to mix into dough

Filling
150g green peas without skin, washed, soaked for 4 hours, steamed and mashed
2 tbsp oil
3 shallots, flattened
100g sugar
¼ tsp salt

Banana leaf, cut into oval shape
½ cup oil, for brushing the skin

Method
Filling : Heat up oil, stir fry sliced shallots till golden brown.  Discard shallots.  Add in the mashed green peas, sugar, salt and stir fry until it can leave the side of pan.  Remove and leave to cool.  Form  into small balls (approx. 13g per ball).

Skin : Mix and knead all ingredients until it forms into a pliable dough.  Divide the dough to 17g per ball.

Wrap up 1 part of filling with 1 part of skin, press into the Angku mould and knock out.  Line with a piece of greased banana leaf and steam with high heat for 3-5 minutes.

Remove and brush the Angku kuih with oil.


*  You can visit Jessie - Cooking Moments which she uses the same ingredient recipe too.


                                                  Ready to go into the steamer.


                              After steamed...... brushed surface with some oil.



I find the filling a bit dry....probably oil is not enough when frying it.








Thursday, 7 November 2013

Tub Tim Grob (Red Rubies in Coconut Milk)


Asian Food Fest No. 2 (November) ~ Thailand
I believe this famous Thailand dessert, Tub Tim Grob (Red Rubies In Coconut Milk), need no introduction and this dessert is always well receive by everyone.

Do feel free to use the beetroot juice to substitute to the red food colouring or use soya milk over the coconut milk if you prefer a more healthier version to this dessert.





TUB TIM KROB (Red Rubies in Coconut Milk) 

Ingredients 
½ cup water chestnut, cut small into cubes size
Red food colouring / or ¼ cup beetroot juice
½ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup water
¼ cup sugar
½ cup coconut milk
Ice cubes 

Method

In a blender, whisk the coconut milk, water, sugar and some ice cubes together till become thick and smoothie.  Place the smoothie into the freezer.

Peel the water chestnuts and cut into small cubes. Mix the few drops red food colouring with some water (depends how red colour you desire) and coat the water chestnuts into the red colouring mixture. 

OR if using the natural beetroot juice, soak the water chestnuts cubes into the beetroot juice for 5-10 minutes, and drain.

Add the red rubies into the tapioca flour and coat them all over.  (If you prefer to have a thicker starch coated, spray the red rubies with some water, and coat another layer of tapioca over again.  Repeat if you want more thicker coated starch.)

Place the coated red rubies into the hot boiling water and gently stir it so the rubies will not stick together.  Once the red rubies float to surface, remove and immediately put into a bowl of ice cube water. 

To Serve

Scoop some coconut smoothie into the serving bowl and some red rubies on top.  Serve immediately.

* The multi coated of tapioca starch to the water chestnut was inspired from Wendy (Table for 2....or more) .  Please feel free to hop over to view some tutorial photos too.








I am submitting this post to 
 Asian Food Fest ( Thailand ) - November Month hosted by