Monday, January 9, 2017

Seaweed Almond Cookies ~ 紫菜杏仁饼 ~ CNY 2017


Here's a recipe that you may like to add onto your baking list for the coming Chinese New Year.  These shortbread like, slice and bake cookies are a bit crisp and crumbly, taste a little bit sweet and a little bit salty.  For those of you who like to snack on seaweed or nori, do give this a try.







Seaweed Almond Cookies ~  紫菜杏仁饼
Ingredients

  • 230 gm unsalted butter
  • 320 gm plain flour
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 sheets Japanese roasted seaweed ( 24 x 19 cm)
  • 110 gm icing sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 50 gm lightly toasted almond nibs
  • Lightly toasted white sesame seeds for garnishing (optional)

Method
  1. Sift the flour with bicarbonate of soda, salt, set aside.
  2. Cut up the seaweed and place in a chopper to chop into small pieces.
  3. With a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the icing sugar till well blended.
  4. Add in the egg yolks and mix well.
  5. Add in the sifted flour, mix well.  Mix in the seaweed bits and almond nibs (You can do this by hand), to form a soft dough.
  6. Place the dough on a sheet of plastic, shape and roll up.  You can roll into a cylindrical or square shape.  I roll up the dough and press it into a biscuit shaper mould.  Chill it in the fridge for about 2 hours till firm.  (I left it in the fridge, overnight).
  7. Cut up the chilled dough into 1/4 inch thick slice, place on a parchment lined baking pan,  1 inch apart, sprinkle on the white sesame seeds.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 13 to 15 mins. till lightly golden brown.
  9. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack before storing them in an airtight cookie jar.
  10. Yield :  48 cookies





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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Mixed Fruit X'mas cake ~ 混合干果蛋糕


This Mixed Fruit Cake is not so dense but more cake-like than most other fruit cake recipes.   Feed it
regularly with Rum, Brandy or Whiskey to keep it moist and flavourful.   You can bake this early, age it for a while, and serve to your guests or as a gift on Christmas Day!






A moist and not too sweet mixed fruit cake ....... tastes great with a cup of hot tea!

Mixed Fruit X'mas Cake  ~  混合干果蛋糕
          Ingredients
  • 600 gm mixed fruits  (raisins, black currants, green and red cherries, pineapple, mixed peel and cranberries)
  • 1/2 cup rum
  • 250 gm butter
  • 100 gm dark brown sugar 
  • 4 eggs
  • 230 gm plain flour
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • Zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
  • 1/8 Tsp salt
  • Rum, Brandy or Whiskey to drizzle
Soak the mixed fruits with rum and keep in the fridge for about a week.

Method
  1. Prepare a  9 x 5 inch loaf tin, lined with double parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till soft, light and creamy
  3. Add in eggs one at a time.
  4. Mix in the lemon and orange zest.
  5. Add in the fruits and mix well.
  6. Fold in the flour sifted with baking powder and salt.  Mix well.
  7. Pour batter into the prepared tin.
  8. Make a shallow well in the centre for even rising. Throw the tin on the table from a height of 6 inches to eliminate any air bubbles.
  9. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 degC for 1 hr. 15 mins., then reduce to 150 degC for another 10 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  10. Let cool in the tin before removing the cake.
  11. Overturn the cake and use a skewer to poke holes at the base, drizzle more rum or brandy.  Wrap the cake with parchment paper and keep for a few days for it to mature.
Note :  Wrap it up with alluminium foil, drizzle in rum or brandy once a week.  This way, the cake can be kept for 3 months, in the fridge.




I'll be taking a break from blogging and will be back in 2017

and on this note


I wish all my readers and friends 
A Very Merry Christmas and A Blessed New Year!

祝大家圣诞快乐!新年快乐  
*****************
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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Chicken Rendang


I picked up this dish from a very old neighbour, fondly remembered as 'Malay Aunty' as hers was the only Malay family in a totally Chinese dominated neighbourhood, back in the late 50's. Young children addressed her as "Grandma'. She liked her rendang to be cooked dry, with some 'kerisik' (fried coconut) tossed in at the end. On the contrary, I prefer mine to have a little bit of gravy and omitted the 'kerisik'.


Chicken Rendang

Ingredients :
  • 900 gm Chicken cut into medium size
  • 20 gm young ginger (cut into fine strips)
  • 20 Shallots (cut into slices)
  • 3 stalks of Serai/Lemon grass (crushed)
  • 4 fresh Red Chillies (blended)
  • 3 to 4 pieces of Kunyit/Turmeric leaves (cut into fine strips)
  • 500 ml Coconut milk
  • Salt to taste
  • 'Kerisik'/Fried Coconut - Optional
Method :

1. In a wok, put in the chicken pieces, ginger strips, shallots, turmeric leaves, coconut milk, blended chillies, lemon grass and salt.
2. Cook on high heat and once it starts to boil, cook on low for about an hour or till the chicken is thoroughly cooked and tender. Do not cover the wok during the whole cooking process.
3. Cook to the desired consistency, add salt to taste, dish out.
4.  Serve.

Note :

If fresh chillies are not available, you can replace with dried chilles, soaked and blended.
You can also substitute Turmeric leaves with Limau Purut aka Kaffir leaves.





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Monday, December 12, 2016

Strawberry Chiffon Cake ~ 草莓戚风蛋糕


This strawberry chiffon cake is a light and airy cake which is packed with strawberry flavour.   I used our locally grown strawberries from the Cameron Highlands and the taste of this cake is natural and not overly sweet.  It is great on its own but you can serve it with more strawberries or a dollop of whipped cream if so desired.







Strawberry Chiffon Cake ~  草莓戚风蛋糕  (adapted from  'here'  with modification)

Ingredients

(A)  6 egg yolks
       20 gm caster sugar
       120 gm plain flour
       110 gm strawberry puree, strained
       60 ml canola oil
       20 ml milk
       2 to 3 drops of red food colouring
       1/2 tsp vanilla (optional)

(B)  6 egg whites
       80 gm caster sugar
       1/2 tsp cream of tartar OR 2 tsp lemon/lime juice

Method

  1. Puree the strawberries and strain it, set aside.
  2. With a ball whisk, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar, add in oil, milk, vanilla and strawberry puree, mix till well combined.
  3. Sift flour into the egg yolk mixture, mix evenly.   Add in 2 to 3 drops of red food colouring, mix till well combined.   Set aside.
  4. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites till foamy, sprinkle in the cream of tartar.   Continue beating till soft peaks form, add in sugar in three batches, beat till shiny, glossy and stiff but not dry.
  5. Fold in 1/3 of meringue into the egg batter, mix well with  the ball whisk.   Gently fold in the remaining meringue, mix well, then change into a spatula.  Tap the bowl of mixture gently on the worktop, then pour the mixture into an ungreased 23 cm chiffon cake pan.  Tap the pan gently on the worktop to dispel any air pockets.
  6. Bake on a lower shelf of a preheated oven @ 170 deg.C for 55 to 60 mins.   Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.   Immediately invert the cake to cool completely before unmoulding by hand.




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Monday, December 5, 2016

Salted Fish with Pork Belly ~ 咸鱼花腩


It's the norm to cook and serve this dish in a claypot but in my case, I used a wok as I do not own a claypot.  This is a classic dish which very often appears in the menu of most Chinese restaurants.  A very appetising dish which pairs well with a bowl of fluffy white rice or plain porridge.





Salted Fish with Pork Belly ~  咸鱼花腩
Ingredients

  • 450 gm pork belly, cut into bite size
  • 3 dried chillies, soaked in hot water till soft
  • 50 gm salted fish, sliced
  • 5 pips garlic, chopped
  • 6 slices ginger
  • 1 onion, cut to wedges
  • 1 Tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1.1/2 cups water
  • sugar to taste 
  • spring onions to garnish
Seasoning for Pork Belly
  • 1/2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 3/4 Tbsp cornflour
Method
  1. Marinate the pork belly with the above seasoning, set aside.
  2. With some oil, lightly saute the chopped garlic, ginger and dried chillies till fragrant.
  3. Toss in the salted fish, stir-fry.  
  4. Add in the seasoned pork belly, stir-fry.  Add in the water and let the pork belly simmer till cooked and tender.
  5. Toss in the onion.  Fine tune to taste.
  6. Drizzle on the Shaoxing wine and add in the spring onion.
  7. Dish out and serve immediately.



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Strawberry Choc Chip Cookies ~ 草莓巧克力曲奇


These fairly large cookies baked with dried strawberries from my recent holiday up in the Cameron Highlands, are crispy at the sides and slightly soft and chewy in the centre.  These will come in handy as a gift for family and friends during the coming festive season.   If you prefer the cookies to be crunchy, just bake them a little longer, say about 5 mins.  Also, you can substitute the dried strawberries with other dried fruits that you have at hand.




Strawberry Choc Chip Cookies ~  草莓巧克力曲奇
Ingredients

  • 115 gm butter
  • 40 gm brown sugar
  • 40 gm caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 190 gm plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 70 gm dried strawberries, chopped
  • 70 gm choc chips
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  1. Beat butter and sugar till creamy, add in the egg and vanilla till well combined.
  2. Sieve in plain flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.  Mix well.
  3. Add in chopped strawberries and choc chips.  Mix till well combined.
  4. Let chill in the fridge for an hour.
  5. Spoon rounded spoonfuls of batter, 2 inches apart onto a parchment lined baking tray.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 12 to 15 mins.
  7. Yield :  16 large cookies




Continue reading "Strawberry Choc Chip Cookies ~ 草莓巧克力曲奇"

Monday, November 28, 2016

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake ~ 花生奶油蛋糕


I spotted a recipe calling for peanut butter in a cake and since I had some creamy peanut butter and dark chocolate at hand, I didn't procrastinate to bake this.  This is a moist, dense but flavourful cake as the peanut butter blends well with the melted chocolate, perfect with a hot cuppa tea.








Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake ~   花生奶油蛋糕
Ingredients

  • 300 gm plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 180 gm dark chocolate, melted
  • 125 gm butter
  • 125 gm creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 75 gm Panela sugar (or you can use brown sugar)
  • 100 gm caster sugar
  • 1 cup milk
Method
  1. Melt the dark chocolate, set aside.
  2. Sift flour with baking powder, set aside.
  3. Beat butter and sugar till light and creamy, add in the egg yolks one at a time, add in vanilla, beat till well incorporated.
  4. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate, peanut butter, flour and milk.  Mix well.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form.
  6. Fold the egg whites into the  batter.  Mix well.
  7. Pour the batter into a greased and lightly flour dusted 23 cm springform pan.
  8. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for about 45 mins to 50 mins. till a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 mins. before unmoulding and cooling completely on a wire rack.







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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Bake & Celebrate : Cookies & Treats Cookbook


I am thrilled to announce that one of my recipes will be featured in this new 'Bake & Celeberate :  Cookies & Treats' cookbook.  Many thanks to Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Ltd for giving me the opportunity to be part of this joint cookbook.


The book will be sold at S$14.90 once launched at the bookstores in Singapore in December which comes in handy as a gift to your family and friends for the coming festive seasons.  But there will be a special pre-order sale for this book at a special price of S$11.95, which is a 20% discount from the actual retail price.  There will be a delivery charge of S$10 for orders of 4 copies and below.  Free delivery will be provided for 5 copies and above.  The pre-order starts from now till 9 December 2016.  Kindly direct all orders to [email protected]

As for Malaysian readers, you can place your order @  http://www.mphonline.com/books/nsearchdetails.aspx?&pcode=9789814771689

Thank you for your kind support!

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Rice vermicelli and cuttle fish salad ~ 米粉和墨鱼沙拉



What do you do when you're told last minute that you are eating alone?   That was what happened to me recently and fortunately I had some chicken breast meat, a Japanese cucumber and some rice vermicelli.  So I just mixed all these together and  topped with some homemade sauce and lightly toasted cuttle fish, whipped up this salad...... Yum!






Rice vermicelli and cuttle fish salad ~  米粉和墨鱼沙拉

Ingredients
2 pcs dried cuttle fish, lightly toasted and shredded
150 gm rice vermicelli, blanched and drained
100 gm chicken breast meat
2 kaffir lime leaves, cut finely
2 shallots, sliced thinly
1 Japanese cucumber, seeds removed and sliced

Seasoning for chicken - season with some salt, a bit of sugar, pepper

Homemade dressing
2 bird eye chillies, cut
1 heaped Tbsp peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
1 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
lightly toasted sesame seeds to garnish

Method
Poach or steam the chicken, let cool and shred into pieces
Soak the dried vermicelli in water to soften , then blanch in hot water,
drain and set aside
Place the sliced cucumber on the base of the serving plate
Mix the peanut butter with 1 Tbsp of hot water, add in lime juice, fish sauce,
bird eye chillies and honey
Pour this sauce into a mixing bowl
Mix in the kaffir lime leaves and shallots
Add in the blanched rice vermicelli, shredded chicken, toss gently to mix
Mix in the cuttle fish and sesame seeds
Put the mixed rice vermicelli over the cucumber
Serve





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Monday, November 21, 2016

Choc Mint Cupcakes ~ 薄荷巧克力蛋糕


I gave these simple cupcakes a light 'makeover' by dressing them up with toffee shards . together with a light dusting of icing sugar.  These cupcakes are moist and soft with a hint of mint chocolate and it will be great to serve them at family gatherings or to your guests during the coming festive season.








Choc Mint Cupcakes ~  薄荷巧克力蛋糕

Ingredients

  • 300 gm plain flour
  • 45 gm cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150 gm butter
  • 370 gm brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 200 ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 12 After Eight mint chocolate, chopped
  • Toffee shards and icing sugar to decorate (optional)
Method
  1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, set aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar till pale and fluffy.   Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  3. Add in flour alternating with the milk.
  4. Stir in the choc mint and spoon batter into paper cups.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for about 20 to 25 mins.   Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
  6. Yield :   20 cupcakes





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