Monday, March 20, 2017

Banana Nut Muffins ~ 香蕉坚果马芬


A scattering of walnuts gave an added crunch to these moist and delicious muffins.  Swap the nuts out with chocolate chips if your prefer, as bananas do pair well with cocoa and chocolate too.





Banana Nut Muffins  ~   香蕉坚果马芬
Ingredients
  • 1 cup over-ripe mashed bananas  (3 or 4 depending on size)
  • 76 gm butter, melted
  • 190 gm plain flour
  • 110 gm caster sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp strong coffee 
  • a pinch of salt
  • 80 gm lightly toasted walnuts, chopped
  • 20 gm lightly toasted walnuts, chopped, to sprinkle (optional)
  • warm honey to brush the top of the muffins 
Method

  1. Mash the bananas, stir in the melted butter.  Mix in the sugar, eggs, coffee and vanilla.
  2. Combine dry ingredients by whisking the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture.  Add in the chopped walnuts.  Mix till just combine, and do not overmix.
  4. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into paper lined muffin pan.
  5. Bake  in a preheated oven @  180 deg.C for 20 to 25 mins. till golden brown.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven, lightly brush on the warm honey and sprinkle on some chopped walnuts.
  7. Yield :  9




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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Steamed Black-Eyed Bean Cake ~ 五香眉豆糕


This is a delicious recipe that is easy to make and great to serve as a snack or a gathering.  It tastes somewhat like the yam cake except that there are plenty of beans to bite in this steamed cake.  The combination of dried shrimps, Shitake mushrooms and bits of pork made this steamed cake all the more flavourful.   Leftovers can be kept in the fridge and either reheat or pan-fried.



Steamed Black-Eyed Bean Cake  ~   五香眉豆糕   (adapated from 'here')
Ingredients  

(A)  300 gm rice flour
        75 gm tapioca flour
        1050 to 1070 ml water
        1 Tbsp Knorr chicken powder
        1 tsp salt or to taste
        2 tsp fish sauce
        1/4 tsp pepper
        1/2 tsp lye water

(B)   4 Tbsp oil
        1 Tbsp chopped garlic
        50 gm dried shrimps, soaked for 10 mins
        6 Shitake mushrooms, soaked till soft and cut to small pieces
        100 gm pork fillet, diced, seasoned with oyster sauce, salt and sugar
        1/2  five spice powder
        250 gm black-eyed beans, soaked for 4  hours and boil for 30 mins till soft, drained.

(C)  Fried shallots, chilli and spring onion to garnish

Method

  1. Mix (A), set aside
  2. Saute chopped garlic with oil, stir-fry the dried shrimps, add in the pork fillet and five spice powder.  Mix in the benas.
  3. Reduce heat, pour in (A) and contnue to stir till thickened.  (Batter starts to stick to the pan and wooden spoon).  Turn off heat and stir till smooth.
  4. Pour mixture into a well greased 9 inch pan.  (I used a square Corningware dish).
  5. Steam for 1 hour till cooked through.  Let cool before cutting up to serve with sauce of your choice.





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Monday, March 13, 2017

Sultana Banana Bread in a Nut Loaf tin ~ 葡萄干香蕉面包


This banana bread baked in a cylindrical tin or a Nut Loaf tin has a soft, steamy texture and I especially like the top part of the bread which rose up like a mushroom.  It is crunchy and chewy with a slightly sticky centre.  Best to serve it warm with a slather of butter and some piping hot tea!






Sultana Banana Bread in a Nut Loaf tin ~  葡萄干香蕉面包

Ingredients 

  • 115 gm plain flour
  • 50 gm sultana, chopped coarsely
  • 40 gm caster sugar
  • 57 gm butter, melted and cooled
  • 227 gm over-ripe bananas, mashed with a fork.
  • 1 egg slightly beaten
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
Method
  1. Grease the tin generously with melted butter and dust it with flour.  Set aside.
  2. Combine and whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sultanas.  Leave aside.
  3. Combine mashed  bananas, egg and melted butter and vanilla.
  4. Lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients till just combined.  (Mixture is thick and chunky, Do not overmix).  Overmixing will result in rubbery and tough bread.
  5. Scoop mixture into the prepared pan.  Mixture should only be half-filled.  Close the lid and bake, Upright in a preheated oven @ 170 deg.C for 55 to 60 mins.
  6. Remove the tin form the oven, stand it upright to cool in the tin for about 5 to 10 mins.  Gently open the lid and test with a skewer till it comes out clean.  
  7. Gently shake the tin and loosen the bread and let it slide out and onto a wire rack to cool.



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Thursday, March 9, 2017

Salted fish steamed with chicken ~ 咸鱼蒸鸡


A very appetising dish full of fragrance which will surely whet your appetite.   Pairs well with either a bowl of piping hot white rice or plain white porridge.





Salted fish steamed with chicken  ~  咸鱼蒸鸡
 Ingredients

  • 300 gm chicken wings
  • 30 gm salted fish sliced and lightly toasted till brown
  • 10 gm young ginger, julienned
Seasoning

  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 2-3 Tbsp water
  • a pinch of salt
  • some garlic oil
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine to drizzle 
Method
  1. Season chicken with the seasoning for about half an hour.
  2. Mix in the ginger and place on a deep heat proof dish.
  3. Sprinkle the toasted salted fish on top.
  4. Steam over high hat for about 20 mins, till meat is cooked through.
  5. Drizzle on the Shaoxing wine.
  6. Serve immediately.

         





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Monday, March 6, 2017

Durian Chiffon Cake ~ 榴莲戚风蛋糕


I baked this Durian Chiffon Cake quite some time back, during the durian season where the King of Fruits as the durian is called, was in full swing.  If you like the taste and strong overpowering smell of the durian, then you'll enjoy this light, soft chiffon.  But on the other hand if you don't, then you better keep your distance for the smell does linger on for quite a while!




Durian Chiffon Cake  ~  榴莲戚风蛋糕
Ingredients 
(A)  5 egg yolks
       125 gm superfine flour, sifted
       15 gm caster sugar
       58 ml oil
       75 ml milk or more  )                
       75 gm durian puree  )   Blend to get 150 ml durian puree
     
(B)  5 egg whites
       65 gm caster sugar
       1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Method

  1. Whisk egg yolks with the sugar with a ball whisk till light and creamy.
  2. Discard the fibres from the durian pulp.  Blend with about 100 ml or more milk, then strain the mixture till you get 150 ml durian puree.  
  3. Add the oil, durian puree into the egg mixture, mix well.
  4. Add in the sifted flour.  Mix well.
  5. In a clean bowl, beat egg whites till foamy, then add in the cream of tartar.  Increase speed and beat till egg whites thicken, then gradually add in the sugar and beat till egg whites form peaks but not dry.
  6. Fold in meringue into the egg yolk mixture, in batches.  Mix till well incorporated.
  7. Pour batter into an ungreased 23 cm chiffon pan, tap it a few times from the work top to dispel any air bubbles.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven @ 170 deg.C for about 45 mins.   Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.   Immediately invert the cake onto a wire rack.  Let cool completely before unmoulding by hand.





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Thursday, March 2, 2017

Bak Kwa Omelette ~ 猪肉干煎蛋


 There are only two primary ingredients which go to make this delicious yet simple omelette dish.  Undoubtedly it's eggs and bak kwa or pork jerky with some salt, pepper and light soya sauce thrown in.  Perfect on its own or as a snack or to serve alongside with bread, rice or plain porridge.


Bak Kwa Omelette  ~  猪肉干煎蛋
Ingredients

  • 4 eggs (65 gm each)
  • 100 gm bak kwa, cut into small pieces
  • a dash of pepper
  • 1/2 tsp seasalt and light soya sauce or to taste 
Method
  1. Beat up the eggs, add in seasalt, light soya sauce and pepper.
  2. Heat up some oil in a non-stick pan, lightly fry the bak kwa, dish out.
  3. Pour some egg mixture into the pan, add in the bak kwa bits, fold the omelette into half.
  4. Dish out and continue with the rest of the egg batter.
  5. Serve.
Note :  Add in some sliced onions if desired.



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Monday, February 27, 2017

Mandarin Orange Butter cake ~ 橘子奶油蛋糕


I made this butter cake with Mandarin oranges which were abundant during the recent Chinese New Year.   Baked this cake in a loaf pan and initally there was a slight crack in the centre which is quite common when cakes are baked in a loaf pan but I was very pleased when the gap closed up upon cooling.  Perfect to have this for breakfast or for tea as it was moist, soft and full of orange flavour.


Mandarin Orange Butter Cake  ~  橘子奶油蛋糕

Ingredients
(A)  173 gm unsalted butter
        110 gm caster sugar
        3 egg yolks
        150 gm self-raising flour, sifted
        45 ml Mandarin orange juice
        Pinch of salt

(B)   3 egg whites
        37 gm caster sugar

Method
  1. Line a 24 x 13 x 7 cm loaf pan with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Beat butter with sugar till pale and fluffy.  Add in the egg yolks one at a time, mix well.
  3. Fold in the sifted flour alternating with the Mandarin orange juice till well combined.
  4. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites till foamy and frothy, add in the sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks form but not dry.
  5. Fold in the egg whites into the egg yolk mixure, mix till well incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
  7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for about 35 to 40 mins. till golden brown.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.  
  8. Let cool in pan for about 10 mins. before unmoulding and letting it cool completely on a wire rack.



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Friday, February 24, 2017

Kuih Talam ~ 绿白双层香兰糕


Kuiih is commonly referred to as a Malaysian or Nyonya dessert which can be sweet or savoury.  It is normally served in bite-size portions, at breakfast, tea, snack or at the end of a meal.  Kuih Talam literally means kuih steamed in a tray and mostly kuih are steamed rather than baked or fried.  Kuih Talam consists of two layers, a sweet bottom green layer with natural colouring from the pandan or screwpine leaves and a slightly salty top layer made with coconut milk.  The green layer is made with rice flour, green pea flour and tapioca flour and its texture is dense compared with the top layer of rice flour and greeen pea flour which is softer in texture.






Kuih Talam ~  绿白双层香兰糕
  • 120 gm rice flour
  • 40 gm tapioca flour
  • 20 gm green pea flour
  • 180 gm sugar
  • 350 ml water
  • 1 tsp alkaline/lye water
  • 15 pandan/screwpine leaves, cut into  small pieces and blend with approx. 350 ml water or more to get 300 ml pandan juice
Ingredients for the top white layer
  • 50 gm rice flour
  • 15 gm green pea flour
  • 200 ml coconut milk
  • 200 ml water
  • 1.1/2 tsp salt
Method
  1. Blend the pandan leaves with water, strain and measure out 300 ml pandan juice, set aside.
  2. Mix the rice flour, green pea flour, tapioca flour with sugar.  Add in the 350 ml water, mix well.
  3. Pour in the pandan juice, mix well.  
  4. Strain the mixture into a pot.  Add in the alkaline water, mix well.
  5. On medium heat, cook the mixture, keep stirring till the batter starts to stick onto the sides of the pot and coat the wooden spoon, but still liquid.  Turn off heat and pour this mixture into an oiled, 8 inch square or round pan.
  6. Steam this on medium high heat till cooked, about 30 mins.
  7. Mix all the ingredients for the top layer, strain into a pot.
  8. Cook, keep stirring the mixture on medium heat till it starts to stick onto the sides of the pot and coat the wooden spoon, but still liquid.  Turn off heat and pour this mixture onto the green layer.
  9. Steam for 15 mins, till cooked.
  10. Remove and cool completely before cutting to serve.  (This may take several hours or you can chill it in the fridge before cutting).




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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Figs & Walnut Tea Bread ~ 无花果和核桃蛋糕


This is a moist quick bread bursting with the flavour of sweet figs and crunchy walnuts with a slight hint of cinnamon.   The chopped dried figs need to be softened by adding boiling water, a bit of salt, baking soda, stir and leave to cool to room temperature.  The whole lot together with the liquid is then added into the batter.  I used Rapadura sugar which is an unrefined sugar from the Uva province in Sri Lanka.  You can read more about Rapadura sugar from 'here'.








Figs & Walnut Tea Bread ~  无花果和核桃蛋糕   (adapted from 'here' with modifications)



Ingredients

  • 225 gm Figs, softened and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 50 gm walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
  • 260 gm plain flour
  • 70 gm Rapadura sugar (can use brown or caster sugar)
  • 1.1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 113 gm cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Method
  1. Chop up the dried figs, add a pinch of salt, baking soda and pour a cup of hot boiling water over it.  Give it a stir and leave to cool to room temperature, about 20 to 30 mins.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Stir in the Rapadura sugar, mix well.
  3. Add in the cold butter and cut in or rub with your finger tips to resemble bread crumbs.  Make a well in the centre and add in the lightly beaten egg,  chopped walnuts, vanilla, figs and the water.  Mix till just combined.
  4. Transfer the batter into a greased and flour dusted 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.  Level the surface with a spatula.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 50 to 60 mins. or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven, let cool in pan and then remove the bread from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.


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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Dairy-Free Coconut Pancake ~ 椰子薄饼


This is a delicious and easy pancake but instead of milk I used thin coconut milk.   Since coconut milk is lactose free, it can be used as a milk substitute by those with lactose intolerance.   The natural sweetness of coconut milk does add extra flavour to these panckes.  They are light, delectable, moist with a slight hint of coconut.  Great to go with fresh fruit and here I've served them with honey and persimmon.





Dairy-Free Coconut Pancake ~  椰子薄饼

Ingredients

  • 150 gm self-raising flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 200 ml thin coconut milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying
  • Honey, maple syrup and fresh fruits of your choice
Method
  1. In a bowl, whisk together self-raising flour, sugar and salt.  Make a well in the centre and add in the lightly beaten egg. Mix well.
  2. Gradualy add in the coconut milk and mix till free from lumps.  Let rest for about 20 mins. Stir again before using.
  3. Place cooking oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat.  
  4. Place a heaped tablespoon of batter into the pan.  When bubbles appear or when the edges turn slightly brown, flip the pancake over and let cook till golden brown.
  5. Repeat till all the batter is used up, stirring the batter in between and adding more oil if necessary.
  6. Serve with maple syrup, honey and fresh fruits of your choice.
Note:
  1. You can use plain flour and add in 2 teaspoons baking powder.
  2. Add in a tablespoon of dessicated coconut into the batter, if desired.


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