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Thursday 29 November 2012

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart 

Shortbread Crust:

Recipe from Joy Of Baking
1 cup (130 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (35 grams) confectioners sugar (powdered or icing sugar)
1/2 cup (113 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Lightly butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, an 8 or 9 inch (20-23 cm) tart pan with a removable bottom. 

In your food processor, place the flour, sugar, and salt and process to combine. 
Add the cold butter and pulse until the pastry starts to come together and form clumps. 
Transfer the pastry to the prepared pan and, using your fingertips, evenly press the pastry onto the bottom and up the sides of the pan. (Can use the back of a spoon to smooth the surface of the pastry.) 

Gently pierce the bottom of the crust with the tines of a fork. (This will prevent the pastry crust from puffing up while it bakes.) Cover and place the pastry crust in the freezer for 15 minutes to chill. (This will help prevent the crust from shrinking while it bakes.)

Preheat oven to 220 degrees C  and place rack in the center of the oven. 
Place the tart pan on a larger baking sheet and bake the crust until golden brown, about 13 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. It is now ready to be filled.

Lemon Cream
Adapted from Rima of BisousAToi
3/4 cup lemon juice
lemon zest (as much as you want)
4 eggs
245g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

To make the lemon cream, place the sugar in a large bowl.
Finely zest the lemons and add the zest to the sugar. Mix with the tip of your fingers.
Add the eggs and lemon juice and whisk well.
Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water without touching, in order to thicken the cream. Stir constantly, it is ready when it coats a wooden spoon.
Remove from the heat and let cool a little before adding the pieces of soft butter tablespoon by tablespoon. Mix well by hand first until the butter is melted, then with a hand mixer to lighten the cream. It can take a few mins.
Once the crust is cold, fill with lemon cream. 
Level it and chill in fridge overnight, before serving.

The shortbread crust still stays crunch and crispy the next day...... I thought I make a blunder when I make the crust because it shrunk and puff up while baking and makes my heart bob, bob, bob....thinking it is a flop again..... nevertheless I just use it.
And I complain to my sister that this shortbread crust is no no good.... but it turns out SO GOOD!!

The original recipe for Lemon Cream is using Meyer Lemon but I just use the normal lemon which resulted a little sour.... unless you want to add more sugar in it but I chose not!

And finally I have this beautiful rectangular pan which I have been looking for so long........... and thank you my dearest Sister S for getting this for me......all the way from NZ from my favourite shop... Briscoes... and it is half price!!
I remember I used to go there almost everyday.... oh my....

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Curry Puff

When you are craving for curry puff and don't wish to buy at the shops or at the 'roadside' stalls, we have to make it ourselves.  And when we feel lazy to make the dough pastry, we can always use the ready made puff pastry.  So easy!



1 (10" x 10") sheet ready made/store bought puff pastry (cut into 4 squares)

 Potato and chicken filling
Recipe source from Sonia's

250g potato, diced
150g chicken, diced
1tbsp chili paste
2tbsp meat curry powder
1 big onion, chopped
3 sprigs curry leaves
1tsp salt or to taste
1tsp sugar or to taste
1tsp light soy sauce

1. Heat oil in wok, sauté chopped onions until aroma
2. Mix in chili paste, curry leaves and curry powder till fragrant.
3. Add in diced chicken and potatoes, mix well.
4. Add in some water and simmer for 10-15min, season with salt, sugar and light soy sauce, cook
     until potato tender and mixture is dry.
5. Dish out to cool.

*  Preheat oven to 200C.
* Place one square of puff pastry and scoop the filling to one side of the puff pastry.
* Fold/wrapped it up and seal the edges by pressing it with a fork.
*  Egg wash the curry puff.
*  Bake for about 20 minutes or puff up golden brown.

* Left over extra filling have it with your rice for dinner.....

I remember, when my family they still resides here, we used to make sardine puff and had so much enjoyed this together with our tea.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Fried Cubic Noodles (Char Kuih Kak)

In food blogging we always seem to find one recipe posted by a blogger and later on another fellow blogger will posted right after one another.  Isn't it great we can find recipes through food blogging and tagging from one blog to another?

Would you mind if I say cooking and baking can make a person addicted and it is being contagious too?  In one way or another I am being addicted and baking is contagious!  But I do feel good about it as I can learn to bake and cook good dishes and cakes for my family, don't you think so?  Of course, we will feel so satisfied if our cooking is appreciated and the plates being swept clean after your hard worked!

Well, let's talk about my post today, Fried Cubic Noodles (Char Kuih Kak).  Previously I have made something similar like this before; Stir Fried Radish Cake (Loh Pak Koh) with the shredded radish in which is much more tedious and 'hardwork' in preparing.  After I have tried this version, this is so much easier.  I love it and in fact this is my second time making and frying it!!

I am sure you have eaten this in the hawker stalls, right?  Well you can always make this at home.  So easy.... prepare to steam the 'kuih' at night and then fried it for breakfast next day!

Fried Cubic Noodles (Char Kuih Kak) 
Recipe source from Minty's Kitchen 
Serves for 2-3 person

Ingredients for Cubic Noodles
110g rice flour
2 tbsp tapioca flour (or cornflour)
1 tbsp wheat starch (tang mien flour)
1/2 cup cold water
1 1/4 cup boiling water
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
In a mixing bowl combine rice flour, tapioca flour, wheat starch, salt and cold water together.  Stir in oil. 
Pour boiling water into the batter and stir until batter is smooth.
Pour into a 17cm (6") round or 19cm loaf pan and steam over boiling water for about 25 minutes or until cooked.  
Cool the rice cake thoroughly before cutting into cubes.  

Ingredients for frying cubic noodles:
3 tbsp chopped pickled radish (chai poh)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
a few sprigs of chinese parsley
beansprouts (about 3  handfuls)

Seasoning:  (to taste)
dark soy sauce
light soy sauce
salt & pepper

With about 2 tbsp of oil, pan fry the cubic noodles until golden brown.  Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Stir fry the pickled radish and garlic until aromatic. 
Return the cubic noodles to the wok.
Push the cubic noodles to the side of the wok then crack eggs into the centre and scramble until egg is just set.
Pour in seasoning.  Toss well to combine.
Finally add in beansprouts and chinese parsley.  Toss until well combined and heated through.
Serve while it is hot.  


It is easy to make to steam "kuih"....

 ..... and the frying the cubic noodles, of course you can add in other ingredients like prawns too if you like.  Serve with your favourite chilli sauce or sambal ....

And I noticed Helena's  also has made this too!



Friday 23 November 2012

Strawberry Swirl Swiss Roll

I've made swiss roll many times and in fact I have bought a recipe book mainly in making swiss roll (this recipe book is in Chinese though I am illiterate in Chinese).    I believe some of you might have bought recipe or cookbook that you doesn't even read of that language, right?  We been caught dying to buy books just because the food photos was so beautiful and looking so deliciously.....

Whenever I met failure in my baking, I am too shy to post it out of the ugly looking baked... but I do admire those who share out their failures.....  But sometimes, things shouldn't need to be perfect in looking and the quality is the most important.

Today, my first post of Swiss Roll, though while rolling it up, it crack but who cares now....

Strawberry Swirl Swiss Roll
Recipe adapt from  Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover with minor changes

Decoration batter
50g unsalted butter
1 tsp corn oil
40g icing sugar
30g egg white
50g cake flour  (I did not use up all the flour)
Abt 2 tbsp strawberry puree
A drop or two red food coloring

1. Melted butter and corn oil over a double boiler.
2. Sift in sugar, stir well.
3. Add in egg white and strawberry puree, combine well.
4. Add in cake flour, mix well.
5. Put in the color.
6. Pipe the patterns onto the swiss roll pan that line with paper.
7. Chill in the fridge for 20mins.

(Please note :  I have strained the batter to give it a smooth consistency to pipe out the swirl).

Swiss roll sponge
5 egg yolks (medium)
50g corn oil
50g milk
20g caster sugar
85g cake flour

5 egg white (medium)
1/4 tsp lemon juices, optional
50g caster sugar

Whipped Cream Filling
120g dairy whipping cream
20g icing sugar
(Whip fresh cream until thick.  Add in sugar and whisk until stiff. Chill before used)
2 big strawberries, cut into small pieces 

 1. Lightly whisk egg yolk with sugar.
2. Add in corn oil, stir to combine.
3. Add in milk, combine well.
4. Fold in cake flour, mix well, set aside.
5. Add lemon juices into egg white, beat till foamy.
6. Gradually add in sugar, beat till stiff peaks.

7. Take 1/3 portion of egg white mixture and use hand whisk to mix with egg yolk mixture till

8. Fold the balance of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture, combine well.

9.  Remove the pan from the fridge (the pan that you pipe out the swirl remember?)
10. Pour the batter over to cover the swirl and careful level the surface.
11. Bake at 160C (at middle rack) for 25mins.

To assemble Swiss roll

1. Carefully turn the baked sponge cake onto a piece of baking/parchment paper.
2. Slowly peel off the attached baking/parchment paper from the cake.
3. Place a new piece of baking/parchment paper over the sponge. Invert the sponge again.

4. Slice out a small piece of sponge on a 45-degree angle at another end, so the end of sponge
     will neatly attached to the sponge at the end of rolling.
5. Make few slits on the whole cake. Spread evenly a layer of whipped cream and spread all
     over the strawberries cut pieces.
6. With the shorter side/breadth facing you, roll the cake up tightly to form a swiss roll. 
    Wrap with cling wrap and chill in the fridge to allow the swiss roll to set. Slice to serve.  

I draw out a stencil of the swirl pattern and I draw out again on the line parchment paper.

I believe some of you have come across strawberry print like or teddy bear, or angry bird on the swiss roll, right ... hmm...I'm just no good in drawing, it might come out something else...
This swiss roll sponge cake texture is so soft and Sonia is right, and I loves this very much!
Thank you Sonia!

Thursday 22 November 2012

Spaghetti with Sardine & Sesame Sauce

Just last week, Sonia of NasiLemakLover posted her Japanese Avocado & Crabstick Pasta, which I think it is such a brilliant idea to make for a quick lunch when she used the sesame seed dressing recipe which was origin from Nami of Just One Cookbook created for salad dressing.  

Isn't it great that we can use salad dressing for pasta as well too.  I am so thrilled for this!!

.....though my picture doesn't do much justice, but for sure the food is good enough already!

Spaghetti With Sardine & Sesame Sauce
Inspiration from Sonia of NasiLemakLover
and Sesame Dressing from Nami of JustOneCookbook

Sesame dressing ingredients
4 tbsp white sesame seeds
3 tbsp Japanese mayonnaise
3 tbsp rice vinegar (I use Heinz vinegar)
1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce
1½ tsp caster sugar or to taste
1 tsp mirin
A pinch of salt or to taste

150g spaghetti, cooked till al dente
1 small can of sardine in olive oil, mashed
one bunch of spinach, blanch and chopped fine

some cherry tomatoes

Toast sesame seeds in a frying pan on low heat until golden brown and aroma.
Grind the sesame seeds in a spice grinder (don’t grind too fine, keep it a bit coarse gives better texture when eating)
Mix sesame dressing seasonings in a mixing bowl, add in grinded sesame seeds, mashed sardine and the chopped spinach; mix till combine.
Mix sesame dressing with cooked spaghetti 
Serve with cherry tomatoes.

The sesame seed dressing taste real good, and of course you can always substitute with other ingredients other than the sardine I put in to my spaghetti.

Thank you Sonia for this great idea for using the dressing in pasta and thank you Nami for this great delicious dressing!



Wednesday 21 November 2012

Nyonya Tamarind Fish (Ikan Gerang Assam)

I always loves to eat fish in tamarind sauce; it is so appetizing.  Just mentioned cooked spicy sour sauce will just makes me drool.

Previous I used to buy the ready mix sauce which is much easier and thought I would like to give it a try to make the tamarind sauce my own.

Gerang Asam
Nyonya Tamarind Fish
Recipe source from masam manis
(I only cooked half of the recipe here)
Original By: Chef Florence Tan
 Recipes from the Nyonya Kitchen

175 ml or 3/4 cup cooking oil
3 cups tamarind juice or 750 ml water + 75 gm tamarind pulp
900 gm Spanish Mackerel or any fish 
2 kaffir lime leaves ~ optional
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
20 young lady's fingers (I didn't add)

Finely Ground Paste
20 dried chillies, soaled in water and drained
18 shallots, peeled
2 cloves garlic, peeled
5 candlenuts
1/2 inc fresh turmeric, peeled
1 inc galangal, peeled
4 stalks lemon grass, sliced
11/2 teaspoons crushed dried shrimp paste

Heat the cooking oil and fry finely ground paste until fragrant
Add the tamarind juice and bring to a boil. Simmer for 4 minutes
Increase the heat and add fish, kaffir lime leaves, sugar and salt.
Cook for 4 minutes.
Add lady's fingers and cooked for another 5 minutes until the fish is done and lady's fingers are tender.

If you loves this type of spicy and sour sauce, you will go for second helping!
Was it spicy?  No, I don't think so.....though the colour looks like sooooo hot and spicy here!

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Earl Grey Pound Cake

When I first came across those using the Earl Grey tea leaves into baking cakes, I felt that it is kind of "unique" as I only know tea leaves only use to infuse or extract out the flavour to make beverage.  Just never came across that the dried tea leaves can be eaten or into making cakes.  

The next thing came to mind was, "Was it good using tea leaves to make cakes?"  Well, if I want to get the answer I have to bake it myself to find out.  

I am a coffee and tea person.  Every morning I must have a cup of coffee to get my whole self to full charge.  Else, seems like something is missing in life already.   And after my lunch, a cup of tea is a must too...and if there is a piece of cake to go with my tea, that would be just perfect!

So, today, out of curiosity how the Earl Grey cake turn out to be, herewith Earl Grey Pound Cake....  

Recipe sourced from Piggy's Cooking Journal  with slight change

130g self raising flour
7g earl grey tea leaves, crushed
120g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 170 deg C. Lightly grease and line a 19cm x 9cm loaf pan  with baking paper.

Sift flour and tea leaves into a bowl. Set aside.

In an electric mixer,  cream the butter with 50g of sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the egg yolks one at a time, follow by milk. Beat well with each addition.

Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture till all combined.  Set aside.

In a separate bowl, using a hand mixer, beat egg white until soft peak forms,  add the remaining 50g of sugar gradually and continue to beat until the egg whites are glossy and form firm peaks.

With a spatula, fold 1/3 of egg white into butter mixture until just combined; and fold in with the remaining egg white.
Scrape the batter into cake pan.   Make a dent lengthwise in the centre.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake turns out clean. Let the cake cools on wire rack.

The Verdict of this cake?
Soft like chiffon, and not forgetting the Earl Grey aroma when chew inside the mouth. 
As I am a tea person, you bet, I loves this cake!

Join me for an afternoon English tea with a slice of Earl Grey Pound Cake!

Monday 19 November 2012

Fudgy Nama Chocolate

I think all young girls and boys, do loves to eat chocolates, don't they?  And I am no exception.  During my teenager's time, I craved so much for chocolates BUT..... because I want to be pretty, so I have to give up eating chocolates.  Know why?  Whenever I eat chocolates those days, the next day, I will have one or two pimples popping out!! Grrrr........... 

This is why, I rather go pretty than to indulge in those chocolates those days.  But now, getting old now, pimples don't grow on old ladies.... ha...ha....ha.... I can eat as much of chocolates I want but of course I got to be careful for my weight too!

When I saw Nami of JustOneCookbook  posted her Nama Chocolate, I immediately bookmarked it hopefully one day I can make this one tooThat time I wasn't aware that this Nama Chocolate (Royce Brand) is one of the famous brand in Japan.   Then later on, I saw Fern of To Food With Love  made this too.  And then just week ago, another blogger my friend, Hui of Butterfly Waltz made it out of by chance when she intend to make something else instead.

When they commented that this Nama Chocolate is soooooo good, I just had to give this a try.  In fact, today this post, is my Second time making this chocolate.  so you should know how yummy it is.

The first time I made using the low quality chocolate and it turn out to be soft and fudgy (don't judge it eventhough made from the low quality but it was real good too!).  So the second time I used good quality chocolate (a mixed of 70% & 80%)  and mixed with 45% cocoa in to make it.

Nama Chocolates
Adapted from Nami of JustOneCookbook

400g dark chocolate (between 45% - 70%, up to your preference)

200ml heavy whipping cream
Liquer of your choice (or use vanilla extract if you like)
Cocoa  powder to coat

Cut the chocolate into smaller pieces using a knife so that they will melt faster and more evenly.

Lay parchment paper (baking sheet) on baking pan or any square tray (about 8" x8"). Choosing the right size tray is important as the height of chocolate is decided depending on how much you pour.

Put cream in a saucepan and heat it up until it almost reaches a boil. Turn off the heat.

Add the chocolate and stir till the chocolate and cream are completely combined. 
Add liqueur of your choice (optional).

Pour the mixture into the tray. Smooth the surface and refrigerate until firm.

Remove the chocolate from baking tray and chop them into cubes using a warm knife. Make sure to warm the knife after each cutting to prevent splintering. 
(You can use hot running water but wipe it off completely before cutting.)

Sprinkle the cocoa powder and serve it chilled. You can keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days but enjoy soon.

*  Hop over to Nami's site for her great tutorial photos !

* Tips

*  Make sure you chopped your chocolate to small pieces so it will melt easily.
*  Try not to boil the heavy cream too hot and pour the chocolate in or else the oil will 
    split out and there goes the chocolate.........
    (chocolate that are above 70% cocoa tends to get oil split easily so just got to be cautious
    if your cream too hot).
    (I pour the warm hot cream into the chocolate pieces instead of dumping the chocolate 
    to the hot cream; just to be on safe sides).
*  Try not to drop  water into the chocolate .... and use a dry spatula to mix.!

My duckie wants to steal a piece of my chocolate!!

If you ask how does this chocolate taste, well I already made this...oh... consider I made it for twice and special request from "My Dear".... he is so addicted now...... it is already proven this chocolate taste so heavenly delicious!   

If you intend to make this, please don't blame me if you got addicted too..........  

** Latest note:

The good and higher % of cocoa quality of tends to be on bitter taste.  
And my D prefer the lower % of cocoa which gives sweeter in taste.  This is all based on individual preference.

Friday 16 November 2012

Lemon Pound Cake

I've been cooking something delicious for the past few days, but I just been lazy to take shots of it .... though I wanted to share it with you what I have been cooking!!  

Well, at home, everything is me, me, me...... doing all the house chores, cleaning, washing, ironing, cooking, baking, typing the office work at home.  So sometimes, I have to juggling running up and down, doing this, then doing that.......

So to find solace... and away from stress, I will bake eventhough sometimes I'm tired after the housework!  Hee...hee...
To make something simple for my tea break today, I have baked a Lemon Pound Cake..... a recipe from Okashi...sweet treats made with love

Lemon Pound Cake 
Recipe from Okashi...sweet treats made with love

150g cake flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
150g unsalted butter, soften (room temperature)
150g icing sugar
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs (about 150g), beaten lightly
1 lemon, grated for zest

Preheat oven to 170C.
Line a 19cm x 9cm loaf pan with parchment paper.

Sift flour and baking powder together twice.  Set aside.

Beat butter, icing sugar and salt together in an electric mixer until light, fluffy and pale.  Gradually add eggs and beat well.

Add flour and baking powder mixture and fold through completely using a spatula.  Surface of batter should be glossy and smooth.

Pour batter into prepared cake pan and make a lengthwise dent in the middle with a spatula.
Bake cake for about 50 minutes.

 Does it look like the original one....from the Okashi cookbook?  Hee...!!