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Wednesday 30 December 2015

Flower Doughnuts

I really really love to eat doughnuts eventhough it might sound fattening to indulge to this snack.    Whenever I passed by the bakery shops, I would usually take a glimpse at their doughnuts, whether it is the normal traditional hole in the center doughnuts or the mini balls doughnuts.

It do really look very tempting at those bakery shops but one thing is I'm not into those with heavy coated chocolate or strawberry look so overly sweet to me.  I'm the those old fashioned type....just love the traditional icing or caster sugar coated doughnut is the one for me. 

Recipe inspired from Donna Hay (Spiced Snowflake Doughnuts)


125ml lukewarm milk
1½ tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

335g plain flour or all purpose flour
1 tablespoons caster sugar
50g melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For Dusting
55g icing (confectioner’s sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
 Some vegetable oil for deep frying

In a  large bowl, add the lukewarm milk, water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar together, lightly stir and set aside for about 10 minutes till bubbles appear on the surface.

Add in the plain flour, melted butter  flour, eggs and 1 tablespoon sugar to the yeast mixture.  (You may use your mixer with hook attachment and let the mixer do the mixing job for you).  If not,  use a butter knife to mix until a sticky dough forms.  Then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Lightly floured your counter top and knead the dough for about  5 minutes.  
Roll the dough out into 1 cm thickness and using your cookie cutter with 8cm round diameter, cut out round.
Using a small knife, make 6 deep shallow cuts from the edge to the centre of the rounds.  Alternatively you can use a sharp scissor to do the cutting job which I find more easier.

Place the nicely cut out shape doughnuts on a non-stick baking pan till you finished the rest of the dough cutting shape.  Rest the doughnuts for another 20 minutes .

Place the oil and a sugar thermometer in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat until temperature reaches 180°C.  Fry the doughnuts, in batches, for 1–2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
Dust with the spice nutmeg icing  sugar and serve immediately.

+ It’s important to let the dough ‘prove’ to ensure it achieves a light and airy texture. A little warmth is essential to help the yeast work and allow the dough to rise. When letting the doughnuts rise for a second time after you’ve kneaded the dough, they should become slightly puffy with a firm, stretched top.

I think this will be my last post for 2015!  Soon we will be heading into 2016.  

Here, I like to wish everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!  May 2016 brings to you GOOD HEALTH & Lots of happiness in your life

Saturday 19 December 2015

Deep Fried Sesame Balls / "Jin Dui" 煎堆

I believe most of you all love this Deep Fried Sesame Balls (or Jin Dui).  But wasn't keen to make it at home because of the deep frying and later have to clean up the kitchen stove etc.  And while we can easily buy this delicious yummy Sesame balls at the night market with just less than a dollar for a standard size.

I have tried making Deep Fried Sesame Balls   two years back.  Though everything seem to be perfect while frying the Sesame Balls but some burst out the filling and make a mess in the hot oil.

Last week I accidentally stumbled upon this site while searching for some other recipes and after watching her video, I just got to try it out myself.

Recipe sourced from China Sichuan Food 


1 ½ cups glutinous rice flour (I weight it this 1 ½ cups is equivalent to 190 grams ) **
80 grams caster sugar or granulated sugar
100ml water + 10ml (please adjust accordingly)
½ tsp baking powder (you can add this or opt out)

1 cup lightly toasted white sesame seeds
80g or more red bean paste


Preparing the cooked dough

In a small medium bowl, scoop two tablespoon glutinous rice flour out and mix it with 10ml water.  (you can add a little more water if there’s a need).  Knead till all come together and smooth. 

In a small saucepan, bring some water to a rapid boil.  Add in the small dough and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Scoop out the cooked dough and transfer it to a small bowl with some cold water to cool down the cooked small dough.  Set aside.

Preparing the Main dough

In a medium large size bowl, put the balance glutinous rice flour, sugar and baking powder and mix it together.  Then add in the cool cooked dough in.  Using your hand, break out the cooked dough to mix in to the flour sugar mixture.   Slowly add in the water bit by bit the water and mix till all come together. (adjust the water accordingly if there is a need). Continue to knead till the dough is smooth.

Shape the dough into a long log and divide in to 20 equal balls. (I weight each into 20 grams).

Assembling the Sesame Balls

Shape the small balls into like a shape of small bowls or just flatten the dough.   Scoop 1 teaspoon of red bean paste in (more if you like) and seal it up completely and roll in your palms to shape it round again.  Repeat the rest.

Prepare 1 bowl with some water and another bowl  with the toasted sesame.

With one hand,  a quick dip one of sesame ball into the bowl of water and immediately transfer to the bowl of sesame seeds.  Using your other hand, roll the ball to coat with the sesame seeds; lightly press it in order all surface are coated with the sesame seeds.

The frying process

Using a medium size saucepan or your frying pan/wok, heat up some enough oil and once the oil has reached to a 120 Celcius, carefully drop in the few sesame balls to deep fry (in batches) , turn down the heat to slowly deep fry the sesame balls till golden brown.   Remove and drain on a paper towel to remove assess oil.  Repeat the rest until all are done.  

Let it cool down few minutes, and enjoy!

 ** I tried to google searched for that 1 cup of glutinuous rice flour in grams and its indicated 200 grams.  But when I weighed my 1 cup flour in a digital scale it was just 130g.  

I am indeed so pleased this time that none of my sesame balls exploded in the frying process.  In fact, they looked so gorgeous in golden brown.

As I have read some tips that Elaine of China Sicuan Food has mentioned about "How to avoid explosion during deep frying process?"  And this is the main thing that has caught my eye and wanted to try out her recipe.

She mentioned that " The key skill here is to boil around 1/10 of your flour first and then mix with the balance flour. When glutinous rice flour meet heat or hot water, it will becomes sticky and prevent explosion in deep-frying process as long as the oil temperature is controlled well." 

Well, hopped over to her site to read more of the tips she has shared out.

The sesame balls taste absolutely so yummy when it is still warm... but after few hours it will turn soft.    Have you bought and eaten any Sesame Balls still stays crispy after few hours?  You know what I mean?  What secret ingredient have added  in to deep fry?




Wednesday 16 December 2015

Baked Chinese Cake / "Kai Dan Koh 鸡蛋糕"

"Kai Dan Koh or Ji Dan Gao" is a cake that I grew up eating during my childhood times.  I love the spongy soft texture of the cake.  "Ji Dan Gao" is just more or less like a sponge cake.

I have tried searching for the recipe previously in the internet but most of the Kai Dan Koh was those steamed cake or of that "Ma Lai Koh".  Until one day as I was going through some of my cookbooks, I found this Baked Chinese Cake which is very similar to the "Ji Dan Gao" which Ive been looking for.


3 large eggs (cold)
140g caster sugar / granulated sugar
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
70ml vegetable cooking oil 
160g plain flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp baking powder


Preheat oven to 180 celcius.  
Grease and lightly flour 10 baking moulds (the mould about 4" diameter x 1.5" height).

Sift the plain flour, corn flour and baking powder together.  Set aside.

In an electric stand mixer, beat the cold eggs, sugar and honey on high speed till mixture is light and fluffy (ribbon stage).  This takes about 8-10 minutes.

Turn down to low medium speed, slowly add in the water, thereafter vanilla extract and the vegetable cooking oil.

Turn off speed.  Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture till combined.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared greased flour moulds slightly till to the edges.

Bake for 15 minutes or till the cake edges are separated from the mould.  Removed from oven.  Let cool for 5 minutes before popping the cakes out.

                           Try it and see whether you like this version of "Ji Dan Gao".....
                            Well, this is my 2nd batch already.... 

** My friend were asking me whether can she bake this at a normal round pan.  I guess it can be done in a normal 7" or 8" round pan.... but have to greased and lined with a greased proof paper at the bottom of the pan and the baking time would be longer.


Tuesday 1 December 2015

Pumpkin Steamed Buns / Pumpkin Xi Pan

Wow.... it has been months I have not updated my blog.  I guess I wasn't as active like before and I know some of you have long forgotten who is Mel of Through The Kitchen Door already.

It is not that I have not done any new recipes to try out, it just I haven't found myself up to do anything else and some failure in my try out recipes which resulted making me feeling down .... see I don't even know what am I talking about here... !

Well, my post for December 2015, is Pumpkin Xi Pan.  This is my 2nd time try out as the 1st time the dough is too  wet resulting too difficult to handle to shape it round at all.  So this time I make sure I won't over steamed the pumpkin.    

Pumpkin Steamed Buns (Xi Pan / Hee Pan)
Recipe adapted from My Little Favourite DIY


Sponge dough:  
80g plain flour  
1 tsp instant yeast  
75ml water

120g pumpkin
60g glutinous rice flour  
30g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder  
50g sugar  
2 tbsp cooking oil

some banana leaves or greased proof paper ( cut into round shape)


In a medium bowl, combined the Sponge dough ingredients together and mixed well. 
Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 – 2 hours.

Peel the pumpkin and cut into small size and steamed till soft. Mashed into

After the sponge dough done in proofing, scatter in the baking powder and mixed to combine. Then add in the rest of the main dough ingredients (glutinous rice, plain flour, sugar, oil and mashed pumpkin) and knead into a smooth and soft dough. 
Brush a thin layer of oil on the surface of the dough and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Roll the the dough long and divide into 30g each.
Shape it round then flatten it a little and place on a greased round banana leaf.
Let it proof for another 20 minutes.

Steam over medium high heat for 10 minutes.


Note: The dough might be quite soft and sticky. Oil your hand while kneading or use disposal ploythene gloves or a plastic spatula to help to manage this sticky dough.

                                   Love this pumpkin buns as it is so soft and fluffy

Friday 25 September 2015

Hydrangea Mooncake

Two days away and we will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival;  and here I am trying out another new type of Mooncake this time.  What intrigue me when I saw Sonia posted her Hydrandea Mooncake as it look so pretty and gorgeous looking.  I'm sure you will totally awe too looking at this unique flower mooncake!

Hydrangea Mooncake 
Recipe adapted from Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover
makes 6

Water dough
63g plain flour
25g unsalted butter
8g caster sugar
25g water

Oil dough
62g cake flour
35g unsalted butter

150g red bean paste  (or any of your favourite filling paste)

Egg wash- 1 egg yolk + ½ tbsp milk


For water dough :  In a mixing bowl, place the plain flour, butter and sugar in and rub till resembles crumbs, add in water then combine well, do not over mix. Wrap the dough with cling film and rest for 20 mins. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape it round.

For Oil Dough : Rub cake flour with butter, slowly combine till soft dough. Wrap the dough with cling film and rest for 20 mins. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape it round.

For the filling :  Divide the red bean paste into 6 portions (25g each).

Flatten water dough and wrap oil dough inside. Roll out into long oval shape and roll it up like swiss roll. Repeat the same for the rest, keep aside to rest for 10 mins.

Place the swiss roll with seam side up, roll it into long oval shape and roll up like swiss roll. Repeat the same for the rest, keep aside to rest for 10mins.

Take a swiss roll dough, place your thumb at the middle, then bring both ends to the centre, lightly shape into ball. Repeat the same for the rest.

Place a piece of cling film or plastic sheet on the chopping board or worktop, roll dough ball into a round disc (around 11-12cm diameter, this diameter is important as it should be able to cover the whole red bean ball ), make 4 cuts but remain about 3cm at the centre, then continue to cut, each ¼ segment should have 16 cuts, total 64 cuts.

Slowly hold the cling film together with cut round disc, place a red bean ball at the centre, then wrap and seal the red bean ball, remain some strips to let it look like hydrangea flower. Important : Please make sure secure it tightly to avoid it break while baking. Place on lined baking tray.

Apply egg wash at the top, bake in pre-heated oven at 170C for 30mins.
Let the mooncakes cool well before cutting and storing.

For full tutorial pictures.... please hob over to Sonia's blog;  as I just manage to took these few pictures only...

Happy Mooncake Festival to you all!!

Monday 14 September 2015

Homemade Tau Foo Fah (豆腐花)/ Soymilk Custard

I've never ever thought of making "Tau Foo Fah" (Soy milk custard pudding) at home because it is so easily can get it at the local market here.    But it is always fun to make it at home.

Its all because of my girlfriend "J" .... after having the fragrant tau foo fah at our classmate friend's house in Kampar, she was so determine to do it at her home too.  And from there on, it has inspired me to follow suit....

You can always buy the Soya Milk at the shop but just to make sure that the soya milk is of concentrated and not too diluted type.  But if you are more hard working type, you can always make your own soya milk at home; but hopefully someone with strong hands to help you to squeeze out the milk ... 

Recipe adapted from Lena of Frozen Wings

Soymilk ingredients: 
300gms soya beans, soaked overnight
1.8L water
4-5 shredded & knotted pandan leaves

1. In 4 portions, blend the soya beans with water.
2. Pour the soya milk into a cheesecloth or muslin cloth to strain and squeeze out the soya
milk into a large pot.  Once done, strain the soya milk once again to ensure it is
3. Boil up the soya milk together with the knotted pandan leaves (but do keep a watchful eye as 
it can easily overflow out once boiled).

Making of Tau Foo Fah (Soymilk Custard Pudding)

Ingredients A
5 1/2 cups of hot boiling soy milk

Ingredients B 

½ tsp GDL (Glucono Delta Lactone)
1 tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup cold water

Ginger sugar syrup
6 tbsp sugar
1 cup water
1 piece of old ginger, thumbsized, crushed
 (bring all the above 3 ingredients to a boil until sugar dissolves)

1. In a small bowl, mix ingredients B, whisking till combined.  Pour it into a bigger pot or

    a larger stainless bowl.
2. Once the soy milk in hot boiling stage, immediately pour the boiling soy milk in a gushing 

    motion at about 1 to2 ft high above the pot into GDL mixture pot.
3. Give the mixture a light quick stir and cover it with a cloth before putting the lid on. 
    Leave for 30 minutes to an house.
4. Scoop away the layer of bubbles on top of the soy milk custard
5. Serve the custard with sugar syrup or with some palm sugar syrup.

* GDL (Lactone) ~  you may try to get this at the bakery ingredients shop or any Asian grocery shops.

                              I served myself a fragrant tau foo fah with palm sugar syrup.

Thursday 3 September 2015

Pumpkin Sago Dessert

I was on holiday back to my hometown Kampar and Ipoh Perak two weeks ago meeting few of my secondary friends whom I have not met for over 30 years!  Time flies.... but it was really good to see them again.

We were all on food hunting trip in Kampar and Ipoh, patronizing restaurant and cafe right one after another;  in a way like taste testing the food instead of having a hearty meal at each restaurant.  Kind of fun too.

Of course every savoury meal we have tried out, we can't miss out to go for sweet dessert too.  We were at this 100% Natural Cafe in Ipoh to try out their dessert ("tong sui").  So we order each bowl of different dessert from the menu;  one dessert caught my friend's eye and she ordered this Pumpkin Sago dessert.  I never had anything like this before.  Just one mouthful of this dessert, I immediately fell in love with it.  It was so delicious and yummy.

Pumpkin Sago Dessert
Recipe sourced from My Humble Kitchen  with changes

1 Pumpkin about 1.3kg
  (after skin removed and cut into dice is about 760g)
2 cups water
1 cup sago pearls
3-4 pandan leaves (tie into knot)
140g rock sugar (adjust according to your sweetness)
1 can (350ml) evaporated milk


Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Once the water comes to a bubbling boiling, pour all the sago pearls in.  Cook the sago in high heat for about 10 minutes or translucent.  (do not worry if the sago still has white spot in the middle).

Cover the pot with lid and let it stand for 5-8 minutes for the sago to cook further in the pot.

Using a sieve, run the cooked sago thru running water to remove access starch.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Steam the dice pumpkin until soft.

Put the pumpkin with the 2 cups water into the blender and blend till into smooth paste.
Pour the pumpkin puree into a big pot and using medium heat, heat up the puree to 10 minutes stirring it continuously to avoid sticking to the bottom.

Once boiled, add in the pandan leaves and the rock sugar.  Stirring it occasionally till the sugar dissolves.  (You may remove the pandan leaves at this point). Pour in the evaporated milk and bring to a boil.  Off the heat and pour in the sago pearls and mix till all combined. 
(at this stage the dessert may look a bit watery but once cool it will thickens up).

Serve the pumpkin sago dessert either warm or cold from fridge.
(it taste good when it is warm).

Wasn't prepare myself to update any post here but one of my girlfriend wanted to have this recipe so I have to write up the recipe for her and moreover..... I don't have a camera to take good pictures... so have to use my Samsung handphone instead.

Give this dessert a try..... pumpkin is healthy!!

Saturday 23 May 2015

Someone's trash is someone else's treasure

Hi everyone!

I couldn't believe it ..... May is about to come to an end and this is my first post of 2015!  I know I have been missing in action and have not been updating my blog.  Well, I'm on long holiday right now.  If you do wonder whether have I been cooking while I'm on holiday, I do. Most of the posting is posted at my sister's blog, My Happy Apron.  Please feel free to hop over there.

Whenever I'm back here in Auckland, there are few places I love to go.  And 2nd hand stores are one of my favourites place to go.

The 2nd stores here are those people donated out their unwanted items stuff like old clothing, bedsheets, books, kitchen & cooking wares, electrical items and etc etc.  And they will sort out these things to sell it out with very affordable and economical price.   The collections will to go the charity needs.

The other day I help out my sister to clear up her unwanted items (loadful of toys, books and clothings) to donate out to this Eastgate 2nd Hand shop.

Rattan basket and wood bowls and trays available here.

Pots & pans 

Every time I come here, I usually will look at this rack whether I can still find more of this rustic type brass fork & spoon.   Other than crazily looking for enamelwares, brass forks & spoons are my kind of thing now!

Am I crazy to buy these brass forks & spoons?  Well anyway, it is just $1 each and I think it is cheap as you won't be able to get this brass type utensils nowadays.   After giving a good scrups, it looks so shiny; its a gem to me now.  

If you're lucky enough, you can get nice looking saucers and plates.


That blue saucer plate cost $2.00 each. It was those Churchill England type of plates.  

Bedsheets, linen, table cloths.........

Women & Men Clothings

Furnitures too ..... and they do delivery with a minimum cost of NZ$25.00 per trip.

My sister couldn't resist these items today. That beautiful bowl only cost $0.70 whereas the plate is just $0.20!