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Thursday 30 June 2011

Steamed Fruit Cake

I have made this steamed fruit cake for the third time now.  You know what, all fruit cakes are best eaten overnight and I understand too, some fruit cakes if well kept can kept till a year!  Usually fruit cake takes very long hours to either bake or steamed.  This steamed fruit cake takes about 3 hours in the steaming pot to complete.  I have read some cookbooks that some fruit cakes takes about 4 hours to bake!! 

I remember when I was young, my mum used to bake fruit cakes for us. 

Steamed Fruit Cake

170g butter
150g caster sugar
150g caster sugar
150g plain flour, sifted
3 eggs
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g water

150g plain flour, sifted
300g mixed dried fruit

1.  Mixed 150g sifted plain flour and the mixed dried fruit together.  Combined well and set aside.
2.  Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
3.  Add in eggs, one at a time until well combined.  Add in vanilla essence.
4.  Put in sifted flour, bicarbonate soda and cream of tartar.  
5.  Add in the fruit mixture.  Mix all well together and set aside.
6.  Meanwhile, place the 150g caster sugar into a saucepan and pour in the 50g water at the side of the
     saucepan.  Cook till the sugar turn caramel.
7.  Mix a well centre in the dough batter and pour in the caramel in the well and quickly mix all well
8.  Grease an 8 inch square pan and pour the cake mixture in.  Cover with aluminium foil.
9.  Steam for about 2 hours 45 minutes.

Just out immediately from the steaming wok.  Beautiful delicious brown colour.
Care for a piece?

Wednesday 29 June 2011

Lor Mai Kai 糯米鸡

This Steamed Glutinous Rice With Chicken a.k.a Lo Mai Kai usually served at the Dim Sum Restaurant.  Going for Dim Sum at the Chinese Restaurant during weekend usually will be packed and sometimes have to wait for long before we can get a table.  And not only that, we might have to wait and wait for our favourite prawn dumpling or lo mai kai or egg tart coming over to our table!

There was a time I read an article, a famous well known singer commented that she will not eat Dim Sum at any restaurant because most the Dim Sum using lots of msg in it.  No wonder Dim Sum is so tasty and delicious served in the restaurant!

This easy Lo Mai Kai I have adapted from NasiLemakLover.  Thanks to her that I am able to cook this simple dish at home.  I only uses half of the ingredients here makes about 9 small bowls.

Lor Mai Kai (Steamed Glutinous Rice With Chicken) 
*makes 16 aluminium foil bowls

1kg glutinous rice, wash clean and soak for 4hours (do not need to soak overnight)

Marinate chicken and mushroom
20pcs Chinese dried mushrooms (soak in water to shorten, rinse few times)
650g of debone Chicken, cut small pieces
2 tbsp ginger juice
1½ tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
2 tbsp cornstarch or tapioca flour

Seasonings for rice
4tbsp shallot oil
1/2tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp oyster sauce
3tbsp light soy sauce
3tbsp dark soy sauce
4tbsp sugar
2 and 1/2tsp salt or to taste
1/2tsp white pepper powder
800ml water
2 Chinese dried sausages , sliced and pan fried, set aside (optional).  (I have omitted this out)

1. Rinse and drain chicken in hot water.
2. Mix all seasoning with chicken and mushroom in a bowl, set aside for 1 hour.
3. Mix all seasoning and water with drain glutinous rice in a rice cooker.
4. Cook glutinous rice in rice cooker and fluff the rice with a fork when rice is cooked.
5. To assemble Lo Mai Kai- place 1-2 pcs of chicken, mushroom and sausage in a aluminium bowl.
    Cover with steamed glutinous rice.
6. Cover and steam Lo Mai Kai over medium high heat for 30 mins.
7. Turn out Lo Mai Kai on a plate and serve hot.

 Placing the chicken meats and mushroom in the foil.

Fill up with the glutinous rice and cover the top.  Ready to steam for 30 minutes.

Serve with chilli sauce.

Tuesday 28 June 2011

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken is the all time favourites among adults and children as I got to know this dish when I was staying in NZ few years back.  My niece loves this Butter Chicken very much. When my brother-in-law ordered this dish in one of the foodcourt in Auckland, the first look at it, I thought it was really nothing special in it as it does look normal kind of curry like but after I tasted it, it is indeed very yummy.  

I've tried to search and search for this Butter Chicken recipes and there are so many in the website and each recipes called for different types of ingredients.  And this is my first Butter Chicken I'm cooking.  I believe there will be more Butter Chicken I will be cooking.

This recipe adapted from A Daily Obsession

Easy Butter Chicken
1-1.5kg deboned chicken
1 brown onion, chopped finely
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
2.5 cm piece of ginger, grated and 5 cm piece ginger, in thin julienne strips
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp paprika
40g butter
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
150ml thickened cream
1 cup water
3 tsp garam masala
3 tbsp veg oil

1. Put the onion, garlic, grated ginger, lemon juice, chili powder, paprika and 2 teaspoon of garam masala
    into a food processor, adding 1 to 2 tablespoon of water to make a paste.

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a frying pan and pan fry the chicken, in batches if necessary, until browned on all
    sides. Remove and set aside.

3. Add the butter plus 1 tbsp oil to a pot large enough for the ingredients. Add the spice paste and fry 5 to 10
    minutes until oil starts to separate from the paste. Add the water, tomato paste, sugar and salt and let
    sauce simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the ginger strips, cream and chicken and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.

5. Garnish with spring onion or coriander.  Serve hot with steamed rice.

I will try to cook for another version of Butter Chicken until I find the right one.  Hopefully I be able to get the right recipe!!

Monday 27 June 2011

Chicken Burger

Why not try to make homemade burger for lunch for the family instead of eating out at the McDonald which could be costly?

This Chicken Burger recipe is adapted from one of the children cookbook my sister borrowed from the library.  This cookbook for children make it easier for children to learn how to make simple dishes, cookies, bread and etc.  I have bookmarked a few recipes for it and will post once I have tried it.

Chicken Burger

1 Tbsp light olive oil
40g onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, chopped
225g minced chicken or turkey
15g fresh breadcrumbs
4 fresh sage leaves, chopped
40g grated apple
Salt and pepper
Sunflower oil, for greasing

1)      Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion and garlic for about 2 minutes.  Allow to cool.

2)      Mix the chicken, breadcrumbs, sage, apple, salt and pepper with the cooled onion and garlic.  Shape into 4 burgers.

3)      Heat a little oil over a high heat and cook the burgers for 2-4 minutes each side or until completely cooked through.

4.  On the bottom bun, spread some mayonnaise, lettuce, cheese slice, chicken burger, some tomato
      ketchup, slice tomato, slice onion ring and top bun on.

You may put any ingredients to your liking.  My niece Tiffany requested her Chicken burger to be transformed into "Chicken Hotdog" style!

Friday 24 June 2011

Buttermilk Chocolate Cake With Fudge Icing

My little niece Tiffany has been requesting for a chocolate cake, hence I search for an easy moist chocolate cake at the web.  And so, here this is what I bake for her, Buttermilk Chocolate Cake With Fudge Icing.  I am sure she will loves this chocolate cake.  All children loves chocolates, don't they?

This recipe is adapted from allrecipes
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
Fudge Icing
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and baking soda. Set aside in a warm place.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 2 cups sugar, eggs, 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, oil and 2 teaspoons vanilla until blended. Stir in the boiling water, then gradually beat in the flour. Stir in the buttermilk mixture.
  3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.
  4. To make the Fudge Icing: In a saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, milk, butter and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Bring to a boil, and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Using an electric mixer, beat icing for 3 minutes, or until it thickens to spreading consistency. Pour over completely cooled cake.

Cake just out from the oven.  It was so high up in the middle like a volcano about to erupt!

Thursday 23 June 2011

"A Guilty Snack"

Have you ever eaten something and later feeling very guilty about it?  Well, I did, and many times too.  Some guilty pleasure I called! When you talked about eaten guilty food, it definitely be meaning talking about food that is unhealthy, fattening, oily, deep fried, etc. etc.

Here I have made an easy light snack, yet I still feel it is a guilty pleasure snack!  I called it Chocolate Rice Toast.  This is the first time I made it and really, it does taste very yummy!

1.  Spread butter all over on two pieces of bread.

2.  Sprinkle chocolate rice all over on both  pieces of the butter spread bread.  If you are a chocolate lover,
      you can put more to your desire.

3.  Once you have sprinkle the chocolate rice all over both the breads, fold it up together.  Spread butter
     again on that two pieces of bread top and bottom.

4.  Pour a small teaspoon of vegetable oil on a flat frying pan, and put in the two pieces folded bread in.  Pan
     fry on both sides till golden brown and crisp on the edges.

5.  Golden brown and crisp on the edges..... look at that.

6.  And here it is, guilty pleasure of Chocolate Rice Toast.  Really very yummy and delicious, with a glass of
     cold milk to go with it.

So what do you think?  You can make this as for Breakfast too.

Wednesday 22 June 2011

Cranberries Cookies

I have not been baking any cookies lately.  Thought of making something light to munch and bake something difference from its original recipes, which called for California Raisin, I changed it to dried cranberries instead.  I have bought the dried cranberries quite sometime and been sitting inside the fridge, so I better make used of it before it expired.

And here it is Cranberries Cookies

270g plain flour, sieved
160g butter
100g dried cranberries, chopped small (original recipes called for raisins)
120g icing sugar
1 tsp grated orange rind
1 small egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1)  Preheat oven to 170C.
2)  Sieve plain flour into a mixing bowl, rub butter into the flour till it resembles breadcrumbs.
3)  Add chopped cranberries, icing sugar and orange rind into the flour mixture and mix well.
4)  Add in the beaten egg and vanilla essence in and mix to firm dough.
5)  Drop mixture teaspoon by teaspoon of the dough into the lightly greased baking tray.
6)  Bake at a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

Munching this mini cookies with a cup of coffee or tea is out of words........... though I think sticking the original recipe for raisins is much better.  The dried cranberries seems to be a little hard to chew on.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Stir Fry Beef Slices in Ginger & Scallion

I have bookmarked this recipe for quite awhile and only till today I have cooked it as I seldom cooked beef though I love to eat beef.  When you stir fry beef slices, it is advisable to get the rump part or the tenderloin slice. 

300g rump steak, thinly sliced
2 stalks scallion/spring onion, cut into 5cm length
50g ginger, thinly sliced
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tbsp oil
Salt & white pepper
Splash of sesame oil

1. Marinate beef slices with soy sauce, cornflour and oil for 15-30 minutes.
2.  Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok under high heat until smoking hot.
3.  Add sliced ginger and give it a quick stir for a minute.
4.  Add beef and scallions and quickly stir fry for a further 1-2 minutes until the beef turned brown and just
     cooked and scallions are slightly wilted.
5.  Season with salt and white pepper and add a splash of sesame oil. Mix well and serve immediately with
     steamed rice.

The scallion/spring onions supposed to be cut into 5cm length but my "kitchen helper" voluntarily helped out without consulting me has cut into small pieces!  :-(

The splash of sesame oil at the end completed cooking, brings out the aroma and taste to the beef.  In have dash in black pepper instead of white pepper.

Monday 20 June 2011

Pickled Cucumber

Pickled cucumber is easy to make.  I can eat pickled cucumber taking it as a snack.  This is why when I have the time, I will make pickled cucumber.  Previous when we had our Korean Restaurant back in the early 90's, we used to make this pickled cucumber and pickled cabbage.  Hmmm......delicious!

Rinse clean the cucumbers.  I am using here is mini cucumbers.

Slice thin the cucumbers and marinate with some salt first.  Let it rest for 5 - 10 minutes.   After some 10 minutes rinse off the salt and pat dry it.

Pat dry with kitchen towel.

Put the cucumber in a glass container.  The ratio of sugar and white vinegar for marinating the pickled cucumber goes in this way; every one tablespoon of vinegar, add two tablespoon of sugar.

                                         1 tbsp White Vinegar + 2 tbsp Sugar

Sunday 19 June 2011

Homemade Soya Bean Milk

Soya Bean milk is a nutritious drink but buying for a glass outside cost about $1.00 plus.  So why buy that much of price when you can make a whole pot of it for a packet of organic soya bean that cost a little extra more!!  And the whole family members can enjoy this nutritious drink.

Ingredients serves for 2 glasses :
100g soybeans, rinsed and soaked overnight
25g sugar or to your taste of sweetness
800ml water
1 screwpine leave, washed and tied into a knot

1.  Discard the soaking water and blend soya beans in an electric food blender with a little water. 
2.  Mix with the rest of the water. 
3.  Strain mixture through the muslin cloth. 
4.  Boil the soyabean milk and the screwpine leaves for 10 to 15 min over low heat.  Once boil, add sugar.
5.  Serve warm or cold.

Organic Soya Beans.  The beans are slightly smaller than the normal soya beans.

Thursday 16 June 2011

Braise Duck Wing (Mel's Style)

I'm cooking this Braised Duck Wing without a proper recipe.  It is just according to my "tongue" taste and overall it is still delicious.

  If you like to try my this recipe, it is just all based on my assumption.  The ingredients goes like this ;

Braised Duck Wing adapted by Mel
8 pieces duck wing
4-5 slices ginger
1 clove garlic, chopped finely
1 shallot, chopped finely
2 star anise
1 (about 2" long) cinnamon
1/2 cup of Shao Xing Wine
2-3 tbsp soya sauce
1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup water
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1.  Bring a pot of water to boil and put in the duck wings to blanch for about 20 seconds.  Dish out and
     pick off any feathers sticking in the wings if there's any.  Usually there is.
2.  Put oil in a frying pan and put in the ginger slices.  Fry about 1 minute and put the chopped garlic,
     shallot, star anise and cinnamon in.  Fry for about 1 minute or till fragrant.
3.  Pour in all the duck wings and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
4.  Stir in the Shao Xing Wine, oyster sauce, soya sauce, dark soya sauce, pepper and water.  Once it is  
     boil, lower the heat to slow and let it simmer till the wings are tender.
5.  Serve hot with steamed rice.

My method of cooking this braise duck wings may not be in a proper way, but I think it is still taste to 80 points!  Care to join me for dinner for this dish?

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Cherry Clafoutis

I have been craving to eat something sweet, something like dessert lately..........  and since I have just bought some cherries, why not make something out of it as a sweet dessert.  And here it is Cherry Clafoutis. 

This recipes adapted from Joyofbaking.

Well, what do you think of this?  Though it is yummy but I find it a little too sweet.  If I'm going to make this again for Blueberries Clafoutis, I think I will cut down the sugar content or should I go for different dessert for Blueberries Flaugnarde.

Monday 6 June 2011

Dried Candy

Before I intend to make this Dried Candy, the weather/the sun has been scorching up to 36 degrees everyday!  So I thought, this is a good time of making this and might take a shorter days to complete drying the candy.  But instead, it end up more than 6 days of drying.  Right after I start putting out to dry, it has been raining everyday in the afternoon! This is why it took about 6 days of drying.

 Dried Candy adapted from Table for 2 ..... or more

25gm agar-agar strips
750ml water
200gm rock sugar
150gm sugar
food colouring to your desire

1. Put water and  the agar-agar strips into a saucepan.
2. Bring to a boil and cover with lid. With low heat, boil until all agar-agar strips have dissolved.
3. Throw in the rock sugar and sugar, cook until all sugar dissolves. The texture should be thick.
    Put in your desire food colouring in.
4. Pour into the pan and once it has solidified, cut with a serrated knife.
5. Arrange cut pieces, serrated side down on a large tray lined with non stick baking paper.
6. Sun dry until a whitish crunchy crust appears. Turn jelly pieces every other day for proper exposure to
    the sun.

                          Before the drying time........ ready to go under the sun!