Thursday, January 31, 2013

#BundtaMonth : Guinness Chocolate Bundt Cake

This is a luscious rich, moist chocolately cake.  The Guinness stout does pair well with the chocolate, although the taste of stout is not overwhelming.  Definitely tastes much better the next day.

Recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cake  (adapted from Nigella Lawson with slight modification)

    • 250 ml Guinness Stout   
    • 250 gm butter
    • 45 gm cocoa powder
    • 220 gm brown sugar
    • 110 gm caster sugar
    • 3/8 cup yoghurt (measuring cup halfway between 1/4 and 1/2)
    • 2 eggs
    • 1/2  Tbsp vanilla
    • 275 gm plain flour
    • 2.1/2  tsp baking soda
    • A pinch of salt
    1. Sift the flour with baking soda and salt, set aside.
    2. Melt the butter and Guinness stout.  Remove from heat, add sugar, cocoa and whisk together.  Let cool.
    3. Beat yoghurt, eggs and vanilla till thoroughly combined.
    4. Add to stout mixture and whisk together. 
    5. Add sifted flour and whsk again till smooth.  Batter is a bit runny.
    6. Pour batter into a well greased and floured Bundt pan.
    7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 50 to 60 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
    8. Let cake cool in the pan and unmould the cake when it is completely cooled to prevent sticking. 
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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Bak Kwa Cookies ~ CNY 2013

I was curious when I saw this post by Ann of  Anncoojournal.  Never thought of adding 'Bak Kwa' or BBQ meat into cookies....hmmm wonder how the cookies would taste.   To satisfy my curiosity I made them and was not disappointed at all.  They were not too sweet, a wee bit savoury,  fragrant and chewy, not a bad choice cookie for the Chinese New Year!

Recipe for Bak Kwa Cookies ~ CNY 2013  (adapted from Anncoojournal but with slight modifications)

    • 75 gm butter
    • 50 gm shortening
    • 35 gm icing sugar
    • 1/2 an egg
    • 1/2  tsp vanilla
    • 200 gm plain flour, sifted
    • 65 gm Bak Kwa, diced small
    1. Cream butter, shortening and sugar till light and fluffy.
    2. Add in egg and beat till well mixed.
    3. Add vanilla, mix well.
    4. Fold in sifted flour and add in the Bak Kwa pieces, mix thoroughly.
    5. Shape the dough roughly into a rectangle,  wrap up in cling film and chill in the fridge for 30 mins. till firm.
    6. Cut up the dough into slices and place them on a parchment lined baking tray.
    7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 16 - 18 mins. till lightly  browned.

I'm submiting this post to  Chinese New Year Delights 2013  hosted by  Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover
      Continue reading "Bak Kwa Cookies ~ CNY 2013"

      Monday, January 28, 2013

      Braised Spare Ribs with Mushroom and Oyster

      This is my first attempt cooking this dish and I'm glad that it turned out well.  The dish is indeed very tasty and the briny oyster proves to be a perfect compliment to the mushroom.  It tasted much better the next day.  I'll definitely be making this dish for the Chinese New Year reunion dinner as it can be prepared a day or two ahead and kept in the freezer.   Moreover, oysters are called 'Hoe Si' in Cantonese which means 'good tidings' and it's most auspicious for the New Year!

      Recipe for Braised Spare Ribs with Mushroom and Oyster

        • 600 gm spare ribs                                                             
        • 8 Shitake mushrooms, soaked overnight and stemmed
        • 6 dried oysters, soaked in hot water for 5 mins.
        • 4 to 5 slices of young ginger
        • Rock sugar to taste
        • 1.1/2 Tbsp dark soya sauce
        • 1  Tbsp light soya sauce
        • 1.1/2 tsp cornflour + 2 Tbsp water to thicken
        • Seasalt to tast
        1. Marinate the spare ribs with 1/2  teasp salt, set aside for about 2 hours.
        2. In a wok, saute the ginger slices with some oil, toss in the the mushrooms followed by the oysters.  Stir-fry for a while.
        3. Add in the marinated spare ribs, stir-fry.
        4. Add in enough water to cover the ribs, add in the sauces and rock sugar.  Bring to a boil, lower heat to low, cover and let the spare ribs cook through.
        5. Thicken the sauce with the cornflour mixture, fine tune to taste.
        6. Dish out and serve with white rice.

      I am submitting this post to  Chinese New Year Delights 2013  hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

      Continue reading "Braised Spare Ribs with Mushroom and Oyster"

      Thursday, January 24, 2013

      Pineapple Tarts ~ CNY 2013

      Chinese New Year is not too far away and a quick look at the supermarkets and bakeries revealed that the prices of the festive goodies have gone up again.  Prices of  food stuff have gone up drastically and look like they are here to stay.  It's much more economical  to DIY when you know how to do so.......
      These Pineapple 'Closed' Tarts are a bit different from the  Nastar  I posted previously.  Shaping the tarts this way is less time consuming and moreover they taste just as good!

      Recipe for Pineapple Tarts ~ CNY 2013

      • 125 gm butter/margarine
      • 25 gm icing sugar
      • 1 egg yolk
      • 190 gm plain flour
      • 1 Tbsp cornflour
      • 1/8  tsp salt
      • 1/4  tsp vanilla
      • 370 gm pineapple paste
      • 1 egg yolk + 1  tsp water = egg glaze
      1. Sift the plain flour with salt, mix in the cornflour, set aside.
      2. Cream the butter with icing sugar till light, add in the egg yolk, vanilla.  Mix well.
      3. Add in the flour and cornflour mixture till just combined.
      4. Chill the dough for about 30 mins.
      5. Pinch 10 gm pineapple paste and make into a ball, repeat with the rest of the pineapple paste.
      6. Divide dough into 10 gm each.
      7. Flatten the ball of dough and wrap up with the paste.  Mould into desired shape and use a cookie pincer to pinch some design on the surface.
      8. Arrange tarts on a parchment lined baking tray and apply egg glaze.
      9. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 20 mins.
      10. Remove from oven and transfer them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
      11. Store in an airtight container.
      12. Yield :  37  tarts.

      I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover
      Continue reading "Pineapple Tarts ~ CNY 2013"

      Monday, January 21, 2013

      #BundtaMonth : Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

      I was surfing the net for a lemon poppy seed bundt cake and this recipe  from TLC caught my eye.  Curious about the the recipe as it called for more egg whites, as well as the method, I set off to try.  After adding in the milk and vanilla, the batter curdled and I had to quickly add in flour to absorb the moisture.   I was quite dubious about the taste and texture of this cake then.  As I've brushed on lemon glaze I waited patiently till the next day before I could cut it up..........


      Not the least bit disappointed ...... because the cake turned out moist although a bit dense but it was crunchy and tangy ..... full of lemony oomph!

      Recipe for Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake  (adapted from TLC with modifications)


        • 4 oz caster sugar (reduced from 8 oz)     
        • 4 oz butter
        • 1 egg
        • 2 egg whites
        • 3/4  cup low fat milk
        • 2 tsp vanilla
        • 8 oz plain flour
        • 2  tsp baking powder
        • 1/8  tsp salt
        • 2  Tbsp poppy seeds, lightly toasted
        • 1  Tbsp grated lemon peel
        Lemon Glaze -  3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice + 4  Tbsp sugar.  Mix together till sugar has dissolved.
        1. Sift plain flour with baking powder and salt, set aside.
        2. Beat sugar, egg, egg whites and butter till well blended.
        3. Add in the milk and vanilla.  (Batter will curdle at this juncture).
        4. Fold in sifted flour, lemon peel and poppy seeds.  Mix well, scraping from the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl.
        5. Pour batter into a greased and flour dusted 8 cup Bundt pan. 
        6. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 35 to 40 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
        7. Remove cake from the oven, poke holes and brush with the lemon zyrup.  Leave cake in the pan for 10 mins. before unmoulding the cake onto a serving plate.
        8. Brush the cake with the remaining lemon syrup while the cake is still warm.
        Note :  This cake is best served the next day.

      Continue reading "#BundtaMonth : Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake"

      Thursday, January 17, 2013

      Pork Floss

      My family likes to eat meat floss, be it chicken or pork and this is getting to be very expensive these days especially with the approaching Chinese New Year.  So I tried my hands to make this with the slow cooker to  soften the meat and was quite pleased with the result.  If you don't mind the hours of standing and frying the meat till it becomes floss, then it's not a bad idea to make this a gift for CNY!

      I made a peanut butter sandwich with this pork  floss or you may opt to serve it with white porridge.  Do keep the floss in a container and store it in the fridge as there's no added preservative.

      Recipe for Pork Floss

        • 700 gm pork shoulder               
        • 3.1/2  Tbsp light soya sauce
        • 150 gm rock sugar or to taste
        • 1 tsp dark soya sauce
        • 3/4 cup water
        • Some seasalt and pepper to marinate the pork
        1.  Marinate the meat with some salt and pepper for an hour or more.
        2. Put the meat into a slow cooker, add in all the sauces, rock sugar and water.  Cook on high for 4 hours.
        3. Remove the meat and shred with a fork.
        4. Transfer the shredded meat onto a non-stick pan, add in the stock, lower the heat and fry the meat constantly with a wooden spatula and tear the meat with a pair of chopsticks.  Fine tune to desired taste.
        5. Keep on frying until the meat floss is dry and crispy.  This may take about an hour.
        6. Let cool and store in an air-tight container.  Keep refrigerated.

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      Monday, January 14, 2013

      Mango Upside Down Cake

      This cake was made some time ago from home grown mango given by a friend.  No idea about the specie of the mango but the skin was green in colour with very meaty flesh.  Yummy cake for any time of the day!


       Recipe for Mango Upside Down Cake  (adapted from BBC Goodfood magazine with slight modifications)

        • 2 large mangoes                                                                       
        • 175 gm butter
        • 120 gm sugar (reduced from 175 gm)
        • 3 eggs
        • 225 gm plain flour
        • 2 tsp baking powder
        • 75 ml milk
        • Pinch of salt
        • 2  Tbsp lemon juice to toss onto the mangoes
        • 3  Tbsp mango bits
        • 40 gm butter, 50 gm brown sugar, 1 Tbsp water
        1. Lightly grease  a solid based 22 cm round cake tin. ( I used a loaf pan.)
        2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and salt, set aside.
        3. Put the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan over low heat to allow the sugar to dissolve.  Bring to the boil and continue to cook without stirring until the sugar has turned a deep caramel colour.  Add the butter and swirl the pan to incorporate evenly.  Pour immediately into the prepared pan, covering the base with an even layer of caramel.  Leave to cool.
        4. Peel the mangoes, cut off the cheeks and slice the flesh into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Arrange the mango over the hard caramel in the pan.
        5. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.  Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition.  Fold the sifted flour into the cake mixture, mix well.  Add the milk and mix until smooth.
        6. Toss in the mango bits and mix well.
        7. Carefully spoon the cake mixture over the mango slices and level.
        8. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 45 to 50 mins. or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.  Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 5 mins. before turning out into a serving plate.
      I'm linking this post to Mrs. M's Recipe Link Party (Jan. '13)

      Continue reading "Mango Upside Down Cake"

      Thursday, January 10, 2013

      Eel soup

      This is an ABC soup with a difference.  Yes, there's fish in this soup ..... added a block of eel in it.  Curiosity was what prompted me to cook this soup.  I asked the fishmonger what is the best way to prepare this fish and he said that this eel makes a very tasty soup and I can't agree  more!

      Sweet and tasty soup with no fishy smell at all!

      Recipe for Eel Soup

        • 350 gm eel
        • 2 carrots, cut into cubes
        • 2 tomatoes,cut into wedges
        • 3 onions, cut into wedges
        • 2.5 lt of water
        • 20  white peppercorns, crushed
        • Seasalt to taste
        1. Clean up the fish, set aside.
        2. Put the water into a pot, bring to a boil and add in the carrots, tomatoes, onions and peppercorns.
        3. Simmer for a while and add in the eel.
        4. Cover, lower the heat to medium low and let the soup simmer for about 1.1/2 hours.
        5. Add salt to taste.
        6. Ladle and serve immediately.

        I'm sharing this recipe with  Recipe Box # 30  hosted by Bizzy Bakes

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      Monday, January 7, 2013

      Chicken Mushroom Pau

      Had a crush on Pau after having had some dim sum brunch lately, so set out to DIY and bring forth this Chicken Mushroom Pau.  This time, the dough took a little bit longer to prove perhaps due to the gloomy, wet weather but nonetheless the end result was just as satisfactory.

      Recipe for Steamed Bun ~ Pau    (Please refer  'Here'  for the recipe and method for the Pau skin)

        Ingredients for Chicken Mushroom filling
        • 450 gm free range chicken, cut into bite size
        • 10 Shitake mushrooms, washed, soaked and stemmed
        • 250 gm turnip (sengkuang), diced
        • 5 pips garlic, chopped
        • 1 pc kwai far yoke in lieu of sausage, cut (optional)
        • 1.1/2 cups water
        • 1/2  tsp salt, light soya sauce to taste
        • 2.1/2  Tbsp cornflour + 2 Tbsp water to thicken
        • 1/2  tsp each of  :  salt and dark soya sauce
        • 1 tsp each of :  oyster sauce, sugar and light soya sauce
        • a dash of pepper
        1. Season the chicken and mushrooms, set aside.
        2. Saute some oil with the chopped garlic till fragrant, add in the chicken and mushrooms, stir-fry.
        3. Add in the kwai far yoke/sausage and turnip, continue frying.
        4. Add in water, salt and light soya sauce.  Simmer.
        5. Once the chicken and mushroom are tender, test for taste and add in the thickening.
        6. When cooled completely, keep refrigerated till ready for use.  (Best to make this a day before).

      Continue reading "Chicken Mushroom Pau"

      Tuesday, January 1, 2013

      Carlsberg Beer Coffee Cake

      Happy New Year everyone!  Packed with walnuts, dates and cinnamon fragrance, this coffee cake gets it leavening from beer.  Soft and moist, this is great for breakfast as well as for tea!  Something boozy to usher in the Year 2013!   

      Recipe for Carlsberg Beer Coffee Cake

      •  12 oz plain flour                                          
      •   9 oz brown sugar
      •   8 oz butter
      •   2 eggs
      •   2  tsp bicarbonate of soda
      •   1.1/2  tsp cinnamon
      •   2 oz lightly roasted chopped walnuts
      •   5 oz pitted chopped dates
      •   a pinch of salt
      •   2 cups beer
      •   Icing sugar  (optional)
      1. Sift flour with baking powder, salt, cinnamon set aside.  Dust the dates with some of this mixture.
      2. Cream butter with brown sugar till smooth and creamy.
      3. Add in eggs one at a time, mix well.
      4. Fold in  flour alternatively with the beer, blend well.
      5. Stir in walnuts and dates, mix well, scrapping from the bottom and sides of  the mixing bowl.
      6. Spoon batter into a  well greased and flour dusted 10 cup Bundt pan.
      7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 1 hr. 10 mins. till brown, test with a skewer till it comes out clean.  
      8. Let cake stand in pan for about 20 mins. before unmoulding and letting it cool completely on a wire rack.
      9. Dust with icing sugar, if desired.

      Wishing each and everyone of you a wonderful 2013!

      Continue reading "Carlsberg Beer Coffee Cake"


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