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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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Pandan Kaya or Screwpine Egg Jam ~ 班兰咖椰


Kaya is a Malaysian egg jam made with coconut milk, sugar and eggs.  Contrary to most people who like their kaya to be smooth and spreadable, I prefer mine to be a bit coarse, not lumpy but a wee bit grainy so that I can really taste the egg jam.

Pandan kaya is kaya made with additional juice from the pandan or screwpine leaves hence giving it the natural green colour.  Kaya on toasts is a very common Malaysian breakfast and I do like to occasionally add a light spread of peanut butter to my kaya toasts as well.





Pandan Kaya aka Screwpine Egg Jam ~  班兰咖椰

Ingredients
  • 5 medium size eggs
  • 250 ml coconut milk (I used Ayam brand UHT Coconut milk)
  • 230 gm caster sugar
  • 2 Tbsp pandan aka screwpine juice
  • a few pandan leaves tied into a knot
Method
  1. Snip about 20 pandan leaves (depending on size) and blend with 60 ml water.
  2. Strain and set aside 2 Tbsp juice.
  3. Boil some water in a pot, big enough for the mixing bowl to rest on.
  4. In a mixing bowl, stir the eggs with sugar till sugar is dissolved.
  5. Add in the coconut milk and pandan juice, stir and mix well.
  6. Strain the mixture into another mixing bowl.  Add in knotted pandan leaves
  7. Place this mixing bowl of mixture over the big pot of simmering water, (double boil) and keep stirring the mixture with a ball whisk.
  8. After about 15 mins., the mixture will start to thicken a bit, lower the heat and keep stirring after every 10 mins.
  9. Gradually the mixture will start to be grainy, keep stirring and after about an hour, the kaya will be smooth, not so grainy and is done.  Discard the pandan leaves.
  10. Use a clean, dry spoon to scoop up the kaya into sterilised and dry bottles,   Let the kaya cool completely before closing the lid.
  11. Keep refrigerated.
  12. Yield :  2 Bottles




Continue reading "Pandan Kaya or Screwpine Egg Jam ~ 班兰咖椰"

Monday, November 14, 2016

Banana chiffon with cocoa layering ~ 香蕉戚风蛋糕


I was attracted by the Banana Chiffon with Cocoa Layering recipe posted by Wendy and was keen to give it a try.  What really caught my eye was the fine lines of cocoa in the cake.  Since I had some very ripe Pisang Berangan, I didn't hesitate to bake this chiffon cake and was delighted when the cake turned out nicely with the cocoa designs. The chiffon was soft and moist as in most bakes with bananas and my kitchen was filled with sweet smelling banana fragrance while it was baking in the oven!









Banana chiffon with cocoa layering  ~  香蕉戚风蛋糕   (adapted from 'here' )

Ingredients (A)

250 gm peeled over-ripe bananas
50 ml milk
60 ml oil
5 large egg yolks
125 gm plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cocoa powder for dusting

(B)
5 large egg whites
80 gm caster sugar
1/2 tsp vinegar

Method

  1. Puree the bananas with milk, mix in oil, vanilla and egg yolks till smooth.
  2. Sift flour with bicarbonate of soda into the banana mixture, stir till smooth.
  3. Beat egg whites with vinegar till very foamy, then gradually add in the the sugar in batches and beat till stiff peaks form.
  4. Fold in 1/3 egg whites into the banana mixture, mix well, followed by the remaining egg whites.
  5. Scoop 1/3 of batter into an ungreased 23 cm chiffon cake pan, level the surface and sift a thin layer of cocoa powder over it.
  6. Gently spoon another 1/3 batter over the cocoa layer, repeat step (5).  
  7. Level the remaining batter.  (No need to tap the cake pan).
  8. Bake in a preheated oven @  180 deg.C for 50 mins., test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  9. Immediately invert the cake and let cool completely before removing by hand.


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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Steamed Purple Sweet Potato Kuih


This Steamed Purple Sweet Potao Kuih is my second attempt as the top layer was too thick on my first try.  So, this time around I decided to reduce the recipe for the top layer and it does look much better!  Taste wise, you may ask .... mmm, soft and not too sweet, good for breakfast or snack, any time of the day!












Recipe for Steamed Purple Sweet Potato Kuih

    Ingredients - Bottom Layer
  • 180 gm rice flour
  • 30 gm green pea flour
  • 300 ml water
  • 480 ml water
  • 220 gm granulated sugar
  • 50 gm steamed sweet potato bits
Method
  1. Mix the rice flour, green pea flour and 300 ml water thoroughly.  Sieve the mixture into a pot.
  2. Add in 480 ml water and sugar, keep stirring and cook on low heat.
  3. Once the mixture  starts to thicken, turn off  heat.  Pour mixture onto an oiled 8.1/2 inch square tin.
  4. Toss in the steamed sweet potato bits.  Steam on medium heat for 25 mins. or till the surface is a bit firm to the touch.
Top Layer
  • 85 gm plain flour
  • 60 gm granulated sugar
  • 100 ml egg, lightly beaten
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 3.1/2  Tbsp sweet potato paste
  • 270 ml water
Method
  1. Mix the plain flour, coconut milk, eggs, sweet potato paste and water.  Mix well and sieve the mixture into a pot.
  2. Add in sugar, keep stirring and cook on low flame.
  3. Once the mixture starts to thicken, turn off heat.  Pour mixture onto the surface of the bottom layer.
  4. Cover with a piece of foil to prevent water from dripping onto the kuih.  Steam on medium heat for 35 to 40 mins.
  5. Remove from steamer and let kuih cool completely before cutting it up with a plastic knife.
  6. Serve.



.
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Thursday, November 10, 2016

French Bean Omelette ~ 四季豆煎蛋


Eggs are very versatile and you can easily stir up dishes with eggs.  This French bean omelette is a very popular homey dish and I'm sure that many Chinese households have served this dish one way or another.  This dish can be easily prepared with a few ingredients and  can be served with white rice or plain porridge.




French Bean Omelette ~  四季豆煎蛋

Ingredients

3 Large eggs
100 gm French beans cut into small pieces
1.1/2 tsp light soya sauce
1/8 tsp salt

Method

Beat up the eggs with a fork or a pair of chopsticks
Add in the light soya sauce 
Shallow fry the French beans with salt, dish out
Add some oil to the pan and pour in some beaten egg
Add in the French beans on top
Pan-fry till light brown and flip the omelette over
and pan-fry till cooked
Dish onto serving plate




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