Friday, October 30, 2009

Honey Twist

Prepared a foundation dough with the help of my Breadmaker and made this.  It  did take a bit of effort to coil up the dough as it was fairly long and was not so adept at it as this was my first try.  Nonetheless, it turned out quite well and was lovely, especially eaten warm.




the crunchy topping of chopped almonds and honey...... mmm... especially when your teeth sinks into it, beautiful....



picture on the left, before proving, and picture on the right, after proving and topped with a mixture of honey and nibbed almonds, just before going into the oven



just out of the oven and the sweet smell of freshly baked bread, fills the air



a bit of a heart shape ?




Recipe for Honey Twist

Ingredients for Dough, using a Breadmaker

  • 1 egg + water to make up 1 cup  -  250 ml
  • Butter/Margarine  -  3 Tbsp
Salt  -  1/2  Tsp
High Protein Flour  -  410 gm
Skim Milk powder -  2  Tbsp
Brown Sugar  -  3 Tbsp
Yeast  -  2 Tsp
For the Topping
Mix together the following :-
    3 Tbsp Honey
2  oz Brown Sugar
2  oz melted Butter/Margarine OR 3 Tbsp Olive Oil (I used this)
1  oz Plain Flour
1.1/2 oz  nibbed Almonds
3  Tsp water
Method
    At the end of the dough cycle, turn the dough onto a floured surface and knock it a bit for any air to escape.
Shape the dough into a long, narrow roll, 1 inch thick.  Coil the roll into a lightly greased 10 inch shallow tin, beginning @ the outside edge and twisting as you go.
Leave a little space between the coils.
Cover the tin with a damp cloth and allow to prove until double in bulk, around 35 to 40 minutes.
Spoon over the topping mixture and bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C, for about 25 to 30 minutes.
Serve warm.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cranberry Pumpkin Tea Bread



Tried this tea bread with the balance of pumpkin after cooking pumpkin rice.  The squash helps the loaf stay deliciously moist and the cinnamon blends well with the pumpkin flavour.







Yummy ....... easy to make, yet easier to eat

Recipe for Cranberry Pumpkin Tea Bread

Ingredients
9 oz Plain Flour
2  Teasp. Baking Powder
1  Teasp Cinnamon
1/2  Teasp Salt
2 eggs
4 oz Brown Sugar
15 oz Pumpkin Puree
1/2  Cup Canola Oil
60 gm dried Cranberries - chopped 
and coated with a bit of flour from above
1  Teasp Vanilla

Method
Grease an 8.5 x 4.5 x 3 inches loaf dish
Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt and mix in cinnamon
Cream eggs and sugar till fluffy, light and creamy
Add oil, vanilla and mix well
Add pumpkin puree, mix thoroughly
Fold in sifted flour, mix well
Fold in dried cranberries, mix thoroughly
Bake in preheated oven @ 180 deg C
for about 1 hour
Test with skewer till it comes out clean

Note :  Any excess pureed pumpkin can be freezed for future use


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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Steamed Herbal Chicken



Steaming preserves the vitamins and minerals in foods and healthy as you do not need to add any oils or fats.
Also, steamed food has a stronger, more flavourful taste, more so with foods steamed with herbs......



Simple, quick and easy to prepare, nutritious too

Recipe for Steamed Herbal Chicken

Ingredients
3 free range chicken drumsticks, cut into bite size pieces
3 slices Dong Quai/Chinese Angelica, break into small pieces
2  Teasp Kei Chi/Wolfberries
Seasoning
4  Teasp Fish Sauce/Nampla
1/2  Teasp Sugar
1/8  Teasp Pepper
2  Teasp Cornflour mixed with 3 Tbsp water
2  Teasp Shaoxing wine (optional)
Garnishing
Spring Onions, chopped

Preparation
Marinate the chicken pieces with the above seasoning
together with the Dong Quai pieces and kei chi
for about 2 to 3 hours, or preferably overnight
Steam over rapidly boiling water for about 10 to 15 mins.
or till chicken pieces are cooked
Turn off heat
Drizzle 2  Teasp of Shaoxing wine
Garnish with choppped spring onions
Serve immediately



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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Pumpkin Rice




Yet another one pot meal, introduced by a close friend of mine, easy and simple to cook especially for two people.



the rice is just cooked in the rice cooker .......... give it a stir, add salt to taste 




this is indeed delicious, wholesome, full of pumpkin goodness, protein, all in one ........


Recipe for Pumpkin Rice

Ingredients
  • 300 gm Pumpkin, cut into cubes
  • 100 gm pork fillet, diced
  • 20 gm dried shrimps
  • 3 pips garlic, chopped
  • *1 cup Taj Mahal Herba Ponni rice
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tbsp ol for frying
  • Spring onions for garnishing
Seasoning
  • 2  Tsp light soya sauce
  • 2  Tsp Oyster sauce
  • 1  Tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2  Tsp salt
  • 1/2  Tsp dark soya sauce
  • 1/2  Tsp sugar
  • a dash of pepper

Preparation
  1. Saute the chopped garlic till fragrant, add in the dried shrimps.
  2. Add in the seasoned meat, pumpkin cubes and 2 Tbsp of water and fry till semi-cooked.  Dish out and set aside.
  3. Wash and cook rice in rice cooker with 3 cups of water.
  4. After cooking for about 10 to 15 mins., place the semi cooked pumpkin, meat on top of the rice.
  5. Let rice rest in 'keep warm' cycle for 5 min. 
  6. Mix up the rice, add salt, light soya sauce to taste and drizzle in some sesame oil.
  7. Garnish with chopped spring onions, a dash of pepper and a sprinkling of shallot crisps, if desired.
  8. Serve with some chopped bird's eye/ chilly padi.
Note
*  Taj Mahal Herba Ponni rice absorbs more water and increases in bulk when cooked. 
    Ratio : 1 cup rice to 2.5 or 3 times water
    1 cup rice gives 4 servings.
    For ordinary rice, use 2 cups rice and 3 cups water. 

Also View
Corn and Pumpkin Soup
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Pan seared Salmon

This is yet another first attempt .... Pan seared Salmon.  I normally bake or grill salmon, but pan seared turned out just as good.
Besides convenience, salmon is an excellent source of high quality protein, rich in antioxidants, high in heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, in short, a great source of nutrients for both the young and old alike.




just rub in some sea salt and freshly ground pepper and marinate for about half an  hour





salmon is done when it is opaque on the outside yet slightly translucent in the centre





serve with  Portabello Mushrooms, squeeze in some lemon juice, some lettuce and ....... yummy

Recipe for Pan seared Salmon

Ingredients
200 gm Salmon block
1/4  Teasp Sea Salt
Freshly  ground Black Pepper
Lemon juice
2  Teasp Olive oil for frying

125 gm Portabello Mushrooms
50 gm Garlic -  chopped
2 Teasp Olive oil for frying
A sprinkling of Salt and Pepper

Salad  -  Lettuce

Preparation
Saute 2 teasp Olive oil  with chopped garlic in a non-stick pan 
Add in the mushrooms, cook, stirring often for about 5 minutes
until the mushrooms release their moisture 
and it then evaporates
dish out

Smear 2 teasp Olive oil in the pan, on low heat
pan sear the salmon till cooked
Dish out

Serve immediately with the Portabello mushrooms and some lettuce

Enjoy 

*********

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Creme Caramel

One of my friends recently requested for a Caramel Custard recipe.  So, I browsed through my collection of recipes and chanced upon this recipe which I believe is quite close to her request.  As I'm not a milk fan, I tweaked it a bit and substituted milk with soymilk, just to try, and I'm pleasantly surprised and pleased with the result as this is my first attempt.




after being refrigerated overnight and inverted onto a serving dish




Yummy .........

Recipe for Creme Caramel

Ingredients for Caramel :
    4 oz. granulated Sugar
1/4  cup water
Preparation :
    Warm a small heavy-based saucepan over low heat, pour in the granulated sugar followed by the water.
Using a wooden spoon, keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.  Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring and let the syrup boil.  If you continue to stir at this stage, the syrup will crystallise.
Shake the saucepan a bit and keep a close eye on the caramel as it can burn quickly towards the end of the heating process.
Monitor the colour of the syrup and let it boil to a golden brown.
Remove from heat and immediately pour into two, 6 inch souffle dish or six, 3 inch ramekin dishes.
Ingredients for Custard :
    4 Eggs
    1  Tbsp Brown Sugar
600 ml Low Fat Milk/Soymilk
1/4  Teasp vanilla
Preparation :
    Whisk the eggs and brown sugar in a bowl till the sugar has dissolved. 
Add in the milk and whisk in the vanilla, then strain the custard onto the cool caramel.
Bake in water bath, by standing the dishes in a roasting pan containing enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dishes, in a preheated oven at 170 deg C for about 45 minutes.  The custard should be just set and firm to the touch.
When cold, cover the dishes and leave in the refrigerator for several hours or preferably overnight.
To serve, carefully loosen the edge of the dish with a palette knife and invert onto a serving dish.
continue reading "Creme Caramel"

Monday, October 19, 2009

'Lam Meen'/Noodles

Ipoh is famous for its white, fatty Bean Sprouts which have short roots.  They grow very well here because of its water from the surrounding mountains and streams, as it's in a valley ...... the Kinta Valley.










Won Ton Noodles, whole and loosened, ready to be cooked




blanched Bean Sprouts




'Lam Meen' served with sambal belachan, a spicy shrimp paste.  This is not soupy, just enough soup/gravy to pour over the noodles, to moisten them,  'lam' meaning to pour, hence the name 'Lam Meen'.

Recipe for 'Lam Meen'
Ingredients :
  • 300 gm Chicken Frame
  • 150 gm Pork fillet
  • 100 gm Prawns, shelled with tail intact
  • 70  gm Shallots - sliced to make shallot crisps
  • 1 egg - to make an omelette
  • 3 Won ton mee/noodles
  • 150 gm Bean Sprouts
  • 4 cups of water to make chicken stock
  • Spring onions  - chopped for garnishing
  • Salt and Light Soya Sauce to taste
Seasoning for pork fillet :
  • 1 Tsp  salt
  • 1 Tsp light soya sauce
  • 1/4 Tsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp oyster sauce
  • A dash of pepper
Seasoning for prawns :
  • 1/2 Tsp sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • A dash of pepper
Method :
  1. Soak the brean sprouts in water to prevent browning, set aside.
  2. Make stock with chicken frame , 4 cups of water, add salt to taste. 
  3. Cut the pork fillet into strips and marinate with the above seasonsing, set aside.
  4. Likewise, marinate the prawns with the above seasoning.
  5. Fry shallots with 3 Tbsp oil till light brown to make shallot crisps.  Dish out and drain.
  6. Fry an omelette with the lightly beaten egg, roll out and cut into strips.
  7. Cook the pork fillet with 1/2 cup water, thicken the gravy with some cornflour mixed with water.
  8. Cook the prawns in the soup and dish out.
  9. Boil some water and when it's rapidly boiling, blanch in the bean sprouts, dish out and drain in a colander.
  10. In the same pot of  boiling water, toss in one loosened won ton noondles,  keep stirring for 2 minutes.  Dish out with strainer and 'kor lang hor', i.e. rinse in running water.  This is to make the noodles crunchy and also remove the 'kan sui'/lye water used in making the noodles.  Return the noodles to the boiling water, keep stirring for 2 minutes.  Noodles are done once they are translucent.
  11. To serve, in a bowl put noodles, bean sprouts top up with with the pork fillet, prawns, omelette and some soup.  Garnish with shallot crisps, spring onions and a dash of pepper.  Serve with some sambal belachan.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Prawn Omelette

This is a very simple and quick universal dish, common in most households.  It will certainly come in handy if you have unexpected guests who stay for dinner.










Recipe for Prawn Omelette


Ingredients

120 gm Prawns
2 Big Onions  -  sliced
3 Large Eggs
1 Teasp Light Soya Sauce
Oil for frying

Seasoning for Prawns

1/2  Teasp Salt
1  Teasp Sugar
Dash of  Pepper

Method

Lightly beat up the eggs with the light soya sauce
Heat up the pan with some oil
Saute the sliced onions with the seasoned prawns
Dish out
Pour the beaten eggs onto the pan
Add in the prawns and onions
Once the bottom is brown, flip omelette
and brown the other side
Dish up and serve



*****
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Low Wong Kua aka Yellow Squash Soup

My daughter told me that in the eight years that she's been in Melbourne, she's never seen the 'Low Wong Kua' aka Yellow Squash in the Asian grocery stores or in Victoria market.  We normally prepare soup with this gourd/squash which is said to contain vitamins A and C besides minerals like manganese, copper and potassium.   It's supposed to be a cooling soup too, very suitable for our Malaysian hot, humid weather.


My mum used to say that should the 'Low Wong Kua' tastes bitter, it means that the same plot of land has just been planted with Bitter gourd, hence the bitter taste.










top picture  .... the 'low wong kua'/yellow squash, whole



bottom picture .... the squash, scrubbed, washed, cut and seeds scrapped off, ready for cooking





Recipe for 'Low Wong Kua' aka Yellow Squash Soup

Ingredients


370 gm Pork bones, near the tail  
650 gm low wong kua
10 gm dried Fish bones - soaked
3 Large Preserved Dates  (mut choe)
3 litres of water
Salt to taste


Method


Wash and scrub clean the skin of the low wong kua
Split it open, scrape off the seeds
wash and cut into 1.1/2 inches width, set aside
Bring some water to the boil
Blanch the pork bones to get rid of scum, drain
Boil the 3 litres of water with the fish bones
and preserved dates
Once the water is rapidly boiling,
add in the cut low wong kua and pork bones
Continue boiling for about 15 mins. on medium heat
then lower heat and boil for another 2 hrs. 45 mins.
Add salt to taste
Serve



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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Japanese Cheesecake

I baked this Japanese Cheesecake for my niece and hubby from Aussie land who dropped by for a weekend visit.  Served it as a dessert much to their delight.  It's not too filling as it's not overly sweet.









after baking for 1 hr. 15 mins. in 'water bath'...... leaving oven door ajar for about 30 mins.
before taking out to cool











Recipe for Japanese Cheesecake

Ingredients :
A)  250 gm Cream cheese
      180 ml Low fat Milk

B)  9  Tbsp Plain Flour
     4.1/2  Tbsp Cornflour

C)  6 Egg Yolks
      120 gm Caster Sugar

D)  6 Egg Whites
      1  Tsp Cream of Tartar
      120 gm Caster Sugar

Method:
  1. Line the base of a 10 inch sq. cake tin with parchment paper, set aside.
  2. Cook cream cheese with milk on low heat, stirring all the time, till the cream cheese has melted.  Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, cornflour, mix well.  Set aside.
  4. Beat egg yolks with sugar till light, creamy and thick.
  5. Slowly add in the cheese mixture, beat well.
  6. Fold in the flour mixture, mix well.  Scoop from the bottom of the mixing bowl, scrape the sides, to ensure thorough mixing.
  7. Beat egg whites till bubbles form, sprinkle in the cream of tartar, beat till white, add in the sugar and beat till stiff peaks form.
  8. Fold in 1/2 egg whites into cheese mixture, mix thoroughly.
  9. Fold in the balance of egg whites, scoop from the bottom of the mixing bowl, scrape the sides, mix well.
  10. Pour the batter into the lined 10 inch square cake tin.  Bake in 'water bath' by placing the tin onto a bigger roasting pan.  Pour boiling water onto the pan, water level should be half-way of the cake tin.
  11. Bake in preheated oven at 150 degC for about 1 hr. 15mins. to 1 hr. 25 mins., or till set or golden brown.  Test with skewer till it comes out clean.
  12. Leave the oven door ajar for about 30 mins. before taking out the cake.
  13. Let the cake cool in the tin and remove it when cooled and refrigerate, OR let it refrigerate with the tin intact, and cover with a piece of foil.
  14. To slice the cake, dip the knife in icy cold water before cutting.
continue reading "Japanese Cheesecake"

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chrysanthemum Cooling Tea

Ipoh, besides boasting of its white, fatty beansprouts and smooth, soft Hor fun/Kway Teow used to be famous for its 'Leong Char' aka 'Cooling Tea'.  Actually, not so much the 'leong char',  but for the 'leong char mui' meaning 'cooling tea maiden'.

Back in the late '60's and early '70's there were many of these stalls set up by the roadside at night and they were manned by those pretty maidens, well you can say 'pretty maidens in a row'.  There was a great variety of cooling tea to choose from, 'loh hon kor', winter melon, sugar cane, chrysanthemum, not forgetting the very bitter, black as coffee, king of 'leong char', 'Wong Low Kat' , just to name a few.  They were cheap, those days, ranging from 20 to 50 sen per glass.

I remember that my mum used to make this concotion of 'Wong Low Kat' at least once a month and more frequently if the weather was unduly hot and dry.  Then me and my siblings were each 'served' with a rice bowl of this black stuff and a small tiny packet of sweet plum, 'Chan Pei Mui' as a sweetener.  My mum would then be hovering behind our backs with a cane in her hand.
We had a choice though, either we gulp down the black stuff all at one go and quickly toss the sweet plum into our mouths or slowly sip the black stuff and 'enjoy' the bitter taste........... delay tactics, and bite the sweet plum at intervals.  Whatever it is, she made doubly sure that every drop is consumed.

Today, made this 'Kook Far Leong Char' aka 'Chrysanthemum cooling tea', a refreshingly delicious, soothing drink, which can be taken at all times, throughout the year.





clockwise  .......  Chrysanthemum, Kam Choe/Liquorice, Yeong Sum Soo/Ginseng whiskers and Rock sugar


traditionally, Chrysanthemum has been used in Chinese medicine to treat fever, heatstroke and sore throat


Recipe for Chrysanthemum Cooling Tea

Ingredients

70 gm dried Chrysanthemum
10 gm Yeong Sum Soo
4 pieces Kam Choe/Liquorice
90 gm Rock Sugar
2.75 litre water

Method

Wash and rinse chrysanthemum a couple of times
to rid of dirt and grime thoroughly, then set aside
Bring to the boil the 2.75 litre of water
and once boiling, add in the
chrysanthemum
yeong sum soo
kam choe and
rock sugar
Cover the pot and let it simmer under low heat
for half an hour
when cooled, strain and
Serve




continue reading "Chrysanthemum Cooling Tea"

Thursday, October 8, 2009

'Chau Lup Lup'

What a funny name, 'Chau Lup Lup', curious to know what it is?  It's one of my late mum's signature dishes, and it's her favourite whenever she cooked plain white porridge.  She called it 'Chau Lup Lup', which literally means 'fry all the small pieces'.  That's why all the ingredients are either diced or sliced.
When eaten with plain porridge, it resembles the 'Hakka' dish, 'Looi Char', where everything is mixed together with rice and a vegetable tea.  Like 'Looi Char', this dish also requires a fair bit of biting and chewing power.











Recipe for Chau Lup Lup

Ingredients :
  • 150 gm French Beans  - diced
  • 100 gm Dried Bean Curd  - diced
  • 50 gm Preserved vegetable/Choy Poh  - diced
  • 20 gm Dried Shrimps, wash and drained
  • 80 gm Roasted Pork  -  diced
  • 40 gm Groundnuts
  • 1.1/2 to 2 Tbsp oil for frying
  • 2 shallots  - chopped
  • 1/2  Tsp Salt
  • 1 Tsp light Soya Sauce
  • 1/2  Tsp sugar
  • Waer for sprinking while frying
Garnishing   -   1 red chilly, sliced

Method :
  1. Lightly fry the groundnuts till cooked, discard the skin, and set aside.
  2. Heat up the oil, add in the salt and saute the sliced shallots with the diced roast pork.
  3. Add in the dried shrimps and the diced preserved vegetable and continue frying.
  4. Next, add in the diced dried bean curd, fry lightly.  At this juncture, add in the light soya sauce and sugar.
  5. If the dish is a bit dry, wet it by sprinkling in some water just to keep it moist.
  6. Lastly, add in the diced french beans and add salt to taste.
  7. Dish up and garnish with  a sprinkling of the roasted groundnuts and sliced red chilly.
  8. Serve.
Note :   This dish will go well with plain white porridge.

See also Taiwanese Porridge aka Sweet Potato Porridge.
continue reading "'Chau Lup Lup'"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Savoury Corn Bacon Muffins

This is my second attempt at making savoury muffins.  On my first attempt, I baked them in paper cups   and there were not much to be savoured as much of them got stuck onto the paper.  Had to scrape the crumbs off the paper in order to get more bite.  So, today I just lightly greased the patty tins and after baking, they could be easily dislodged.  Had them with some green tomato chutney made with brown sugar, compliments from my neighbour and they were delicious ........ a hearty meal.






second attempt, baked in patty tins without the paper cups







first try, with paper cups, much of the muffins got stuck onto the paper












Yummy, straight from the oven and served with some chutney.  The tangy green tomato chutney made a nice accompaniment for the slightly savoury muffins.

Recipe for Savoury Corn Bacon Muffins
Ingredients :
  • 8 oz Plain Flour
  • 1 Teasp Baking Powder
  • 1/2  Teasp Baking Soda
  • 1 egg
  • 250 ml milk/Sugarless soymilk
  • 2  Tbsp Cannola/Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup can Corn Kernels
  • 70  gm streaky Bacon
  • 150 gm Red Capsicum  -  diced
  • 50 gm Carrots  -  diced
  • 1/8  Teasp Cinnamon
  • 1/8  Teasp Pepper
  • 1.1/4  Teasp Salt
  • 2  Shallots  -  chopped
Method :
  1. Remove the fat from the streaky bacon, diced and saute with the chopped shallots, set aside.
  2. Sift the flour with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Add in the pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. In another mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg, add in the soymilk, oil and mix well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients together with the corn kernels, bacon, red capsicum and carrots into the flour mixture.  Mix till just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into a greased 12 hole patty tin
  6. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 degC for about 25 to 30 minutes, till lightly brown.  Test with skewer till it comes out clean.
  7. Serve warm, with or without chutney.
continue reading "Savoury Corn Bacon Muffins"

Monday, October 5, 2009

'Tung Hu' fish ball soup

'Tung Hu', a kind of Chinese spinach is widely grown in the cool, hilly resort in Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands.  It is usually served with other vegetables in the very popular 'Steamboat'.  However, not many people will acquire a liking for this vegetable because of its unique smell, some may like it, while others may not.
















Recipe for 'Tung Hu' Fish Ball Soup


Ingredients

350 gm Chicken frame
20 fresh Ikan Tenggiri Fish Balls
200 gm Tung Hu vegetable
4 cups of water
Salt to taste

Method

Put the 4 cups of water to the boil
Once the water is boiling, add in the chicken frame
Meanwhile, wash and pluck off the leaves of the vegetable
Let soup simmer for about 45 minutes
Add in the fish balls
followed by the Tung Hu
Add salt to taste
Dish out and serve hot
Add a dash of pepper, if desired


~  ! ~ ! ~

Do read more on Cameron Highlands, a very popular holiday resort in Malaysia.

continue reading "'Tung Hu' fish ball soup"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Simple Carrot Walnut Cake

I was going through my picture folder and stumbled upon these pictures. Have totally forgotten to post this, better late than never.













Recipe for Simple Carrot Walnut Cake

Ingredients

3 oz Plain Flour
3 oz Self-raising Flour
1.1/2 Teasp Cinnamon
1.1/2 Teasp Baking Soda
Pinch of Salt
(all the above to be sifted together)

3 eggs
3/4 cup Cannola/Olive Oil
4.1/2 oz Brown Sugar
2.1/4 cups Carrots  -  Shredded
70 gm Raisins 
(chopped and coated with some flour from above)
100 gm Walnuts
(slightly toasted and coarsely chopped)
1 Teasp Vanilla

Method

Cream sugar with eggs till light, fluffy and thick
Slowly add in the oil followed by the vanilla
Cream thoroughly
Fold in the sifted flour, mix well
By hand, slowly mix in the shredded carrots,
walnuts and finally the raisins
Mix thoroughly
Pour batter into a greased and floured
8 inch tin or a 10 in. Bundt tin

Bake in preheated oven @ 180 deg C
for about 50 mins to 1 hr
Test with skewer till it comes out clean



********



continue reading "Simple Carrot Walnut Cake"

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival



Mooncakes - red bean paste, lotus bean paste with and without salted duck egg yolk, nonbaked  pandan snow skin lotus bean paste, mini yam (taro), 'leng kok' aka Water Caltrop and Chinese tea, a must have with sweet mooncakes.  Both the mini yam and water caltrop have been cooked by boiling in water for about 45 minutes.  To taste the mini yam, remove the skin and dip it in some caster sugar.  To break open the water caltrop, you'll need a hammer to crack up the hard shell  ........ it sure is a tough nut to crack!

Today, 3rd October 2009 is the Mid-Autumn Festival and each year it falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month where the moon is at its brightest and fullest.
When I was young, I looked forward to this day because I  got to play lanterns with my neighbours' kids, my contemporaries.  I would be happier if the festival were to fall on a weekend as I could play lanterns later into the night and not have to get up early for school the next day.  Those days the lanterns were made of tinsel and colourful glass paper, of all shapes and sizes, dragons, rabbits, butterflies, aeroplanes, just to name a few.  Normally, I remembered that after the festival my late mum would wrap up it up with newspapers and put it away for the next year.  Old folks were so thrifty those days.
Of course, festivals cannot go by without a merry feast and those days my working siblings would usually take time off to come home for a family get together.  After the feast, we would wash up the courtyard and lay the table to give offerings to the Moon Goddess, for good fortune, family unity and blessings.
Traditionally, the offerings would be mooncakes, boiled mini yam (taro), pomelo, a green fruit which signifies abundance and not forgetting the black horn like type of water chestnut, which we called 'Leng Kok', known as Water Caltrop.  We only get to see the mini yam and 'leng kok' once a year during this festival.
The water caltrop is an annual aquatic plant, growing in slow-moving water up to 5 metres deep.  They bear ornately shaped fruits that resemble the head of a bull.

Do check in @ Wikipedia to read more about this specie of water chesnut.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my readers A very Happy Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival.


Edited
This post made it to Foodbuzz Today's Top 9 (5 October 2009)
A Big Thank You for all those buzzes

******


continue reading "Mid-Autumn/Mooncake Festival"

Friday, October 2, 2009

Chelsea Buns

The advent of the Breadmaker has certainly helped making bread, a breeze, taking away the tedious task of mixing and kneading the dough.  I used the Breadmaker to churn out this dough for these Chelsea Buns.






Buns before proving  .................



After 30 minutes of proving ..............





Sniff, sniff , sweet smell of cinnamon wafting from the oven .............







Sweet, crunchy top and soft, fluffy inside  ...................  mmmmm

Recipe for Chelsea Buns

Ingredients :
Dough Cycle - 1 hr.30 mins
  • 1 egg + water to make up 1 cup - 250 ml
  • Butter/Margarine - 3 Tbsp
  • Salt - 1/2 Tsp
  • High Protein Flour - 410 gm
  • Skim Milk powder - 2 Tbsp
  • Brown Sugar - 3 Tbsp
  • Yeast - 2 Tsp
Filling :
  • 1 oz Butter/Margarine
  • 1 oz Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 oz Sultanas/Raisins
  • Additional Brown Sugar for sprinkling, before baking
Method :
  1. At the end of the dough cycle, turn the dough onto a floured surface, knock back the dough to expel some air.
  2. Roll or stretch it out into an oblong.  Spread the butter over the top 2/3 of the dough and then fold from the bottom up, in 3 folds, making sure there's butter between each fold.
  3. Roll out again to about 18 ins. square, sprinkle with the sugar, cinnamon, sultanas and roll up like a Swiss Roll.
  4. Cut the roll into twelve, 1.1/2 in. slices and put them close together, cut side down in a lightly greased 8 in. square tin.
  5. Cover with a damp cloth or a lightly greased cling film, set in a warm place to prove for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until double in bulk.
  6. Sprinkle with more brown sugar, and bake in a preheated oven, middle shelf, @ 190 deg C for about  20 minutes.
Note :  These buns are best eaten on the day made.
continue reading "Chelsea Buns"

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