Monday, March 30, 2015

Pomelo Pound Cake ~ 柚子 蛋糕


Someone posted a Pomelo cake recipe on FB recently which prompted me to give it a try.   Since pomeloes are also  citrus fruits, I adapted the recipe from my Orange Cupcake post, 'here'  and the result was a moist, not too sweet delicious pound cake which tasted much better the next day!




Recipe for Pomelo Pound Cake ~ 柚子 蛋糕 
    Ingredients
  • 250 gm butter
  • 250 gm self-raising flour
  • 179 gm caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp pomelo zest (add more if you wish)
  • 85 ml blended pomelo juice
  • a pinch of salt
Method
  1. Sift the self-raising flour with the salt, keep aside.
  2. Beat butter, pomelo zest and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Add in eggs one at a time, mix well.
  4. Fold in the sifted flour alternating with the pomelo juice till well incorporated.
  5. Pour the  batter into a prepared loaf pan.  Lightly tap the pan on the worktop a few times to expel any air pockets.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 45 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for about 10 mins., after which, lift the cake onto a wire rack to cool completely.



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Thursday, March 26, 2015

A one-stop on-line shopping platform ~ iprice

A one-stop online shopping platform ~ iprice
I’m considering getting a cooker hood or cooker chimney for my kitchen and have been surfing the internet for a suitable one with regards to brand, size and of course to fit my budget.  I stumbled upon this website,  iprice  a one-stop shopping platform in South East Asia.  I was surprised that they offer a wide range of products, from household goods, apparel, health, accessories, you just name it and they have it.  And they boast of housing more than 1,000 brands under their umbrella, that’s interesting!

Moreover, they also provide product information of the different brands that they have on offer, which is indeed an added advantage to online customers.   Banana Republic, Longchamp, Sony, Adidas, Converse, just to name a few, are some of the top brands available in iprice.


What makes iprice different from Amazon or Alibaba is that iprice does not sell directly to customers online.  Instead they gather coupons, promotions and discounts from other online websites in the country  like Lazada, Zalora, Groupons and others and post these on their platform.  This is indeed of great help to online customers looking for a product as they can pick and choose the most affordable price available, all in the convenience at their homes.  

They do not need to get dressed, jump into a car and go round looking for a parking space, enter a mall, and perhaps even after walking around for an hour or more, yet they don’t get what they’re looking for.  Online shops open 24/7 and do not observe any public holidays!

Visit iprice to get the best deal  of the day and sign up for their Newsletter to get their latest updates and promotions!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Longan soymilk agar agar ~菜燕龙眼豆花


This is an absolutely fuss-free, quick and easy to whip up dessert made with leftover packets of soymilk from the recent festive season.   Added in some longan and it became a most welcoming dessert to beat the heat in this scorching weather!





Recipe for Longan Soymilk Agar Agar ~ 菜燕龙眼豆花

    Ingredients

    • 10 gm agar agar powder
    • 1 litre soymilk, slightly sweetened
    • 1/2 cup longan syrup
    • 60 gm sugar
    • 2 to 3 pieces of pandan/screwpine leaves, knotted
    • 1 can of longan, cut into quarters

    Method

    1. In a pot, dissolve agar agar powder in soya milk.
    2. Add in longan syrup, sugar and pandan leaves.  Keep stirring and bring to a light boil over low heat.
    3. Mix in the quartered longan.
    4. Ladle the mixture into moulds, let cool.
    5. Refrigerate till ready to serve.


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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Stir-fry arrow head with leek and pork fillet ~ 慈菇大葱炒肉片


Arrow heads which are only available here during the Chinese New Year are much sought after for making chips during the festive season, or just slicing them up to steam with Chinese sausages or waxed meat, also available during this time of the year.   I cooked them in a stir-fry with leeks and some pork fillet.  You can also check out  another recipe which I posted some time back.





Recipe for  Stir-fry arrow head  with leek and pork fillet  ~  慈菇大葱

    Ingredients

    • 150 gm pork fillet
    • 350 gm arrow heads, about 6
    • 2 China leeks
    • 2 tsp oyster sauce
    • 1/8 tsp sugar (optional)
    • 4 cups water
    • Salt and light soya sauce to taste
    • 2 tsp cornflour + 1 Tbsp water to thicken
    • Shaoxing cooking wine
    Method
    1. Slice up the pork fillet, season with some salt and pepper.
    2. Peel off the skin from the arrow heads and smash them up.
    3. Slice up the leeks, diagonally.
    4. Heat up the wok with some soil, lightly stir-fry the pork fillet, then toss in the smashed arrow heads.
    5. Add in the water, mix in the oyster sauce and sugar. Let it cook and simmer, close lid.
    6. Once the arrow heads are soft and cooked through, add in the leeks, stir-fry.
    7. Fine tune to taste with salt and light soya sauce.
    8. Add in the cornflour thickening and drizzle on the Shaoxing cooking wine.
    9. Dish out and serve immediately with rice.




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Monday, March 16, 2015

Waxed Meat Rice aka Lap Mei Fan ~ 臘味飯


The name 'waxed' meat or 'lap mei' can be misleading as there's no waxy stuff on the meat at all.    Instead the meat has been cured by a long process of salting, smoking and drying thus resulting in a waxy sheen on the surface.  This is the how food or rather meat was being preserved before refrigeration in the olden days.  Nowadays, Lap mei fan is a special  item on the menu of restaurants during the Chinese New Year period.   There is a selection of 'lap mei' available during this festive season, like goose or duck liver sausages, lap yoke or pork belly, pork sausages and lap arp or waxed duck.  What I'm going to share with you today is a very simple one-pot meal and I only used pork sausages and a waxed duck thigh.






Recipe for Waxed Meat Rice aka 'Lap Mei Fan' ~  臘味飯

Ingredients

  • 1.3/4 cups brown rice (rice cups)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 waxed duck thigh
  • 2 Chinese sausages
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 12 Tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1/2 Tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • Sesame oil to drizzle
Method
  1. Rinse the sausauges and slice them up.
  2. Rinse the waxed duck thigh, steam it for about 10mins., discard the oil and slice up the meat.
  3. In a wok, stir-fry the sliced sausages and duck meat, add in the sauces, mix well.
  4. Wash the rice and add water into the rice pot.  (I have to use more water as I'm using brown rice).
  5. Pour the ingredients on top of the rice and turn on the rice cooker.
  6. Once rice is ready, fluff up the rice, drizzle on some sesame oil, garnish with the chopped spring onions and a dash of pepper.
  7. Serve immediately.






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Thursday, March 12, 2015

Mandarin Orange Marmalade 橘子果酱


After the Chinese New Year, there'll be so many Mandarin oranges left and I'd be scratching my head thinking what to do with them.   Normally I'd give them away but this time,  I was a bit adventurous and tried my hands at making them into marmalade.  Although it was a bit time consuming and standing in the kitchen in this heat, my efforts paid off when the marmalade turned out  great and was well received by family members.  Initially I was afraid that the marmalade wouldn't set as I've reduced the amount of sugar.  Mandarin orange marmalade works well  as a gift too and the taste is so much different from store bought ones.  One thing for sure, it has less sugar!







Recipe for Mandarin Orange Marmalade  ~ 橘子果
(adapted from  'here'  with modifications)

    Ingredients

    • 2 kg, about 16 Mandarin Oranges
    • 700 gm sugar  (reduced from 1.2 kg)
    • 5.1/2 cups water  (reduced from 6 cups)
    • Peels from 3 Mandarin Oranges   (reduced from 8)
    • Juice from 1 large lemon
    Method
    1. Wash and scrub the Mandarin oranges.  Peel the oranges carefully and cut the peels of 3 oranges into thin strips with a sharp knife.  
    2. Place the peels into a pot, put enough water to cover the peels and bring to a light simmer. Remove the peels, set aside.  Discard the water.  (This step is to remove some bitterness from the peels, but if you like your marmalade to be a bit bitter, then omit this).
    3. Remove the piths or membranes from the oranges.  Set aside.
    4. Cut the oranges in half, crosswise, break out the segments and remove the seeds.  Wrap the seeds and piths tightly in a clean muslin cloth.
    5. Put the orange segments, lemon juice, sugar, water, peels and the bag of  piths and seeds into a large pot.  Stir over medium heat without boiling.
    6. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and let it bubble for about an hour, uncovered, stirring occasionally until gel point is reached.
    7. Ladle the jam into the sterilised jars, leaving about 1/2 inch gap from the top and twist the lids while the jam is still hot.
    8. Yield :  Four to Five, 340 ml jars
    Note :  The seeds are full of pectin and pectin is needed for jam setting.

    Jell point testing

    Put a few saucers into the freezer to chill for a few hours.  Turn off heat, then spoon a dollop of jam onto a cold saucer, leave to cool for a few mins.  Then push your finger into the jam and if it wrinkles, it's done.   If not, then boil the jam for another 10 mins. and check again.  Click 'here' for more tips on how to test whether the jam is done.

    Sterilising the jars
    1. When the mixture is boiling, sterilise the jars.  Wash the jars with washing liquid, rinse well.
    2. Place the jars in a large pot, completely immerse the the jars in water.
    3. Bring to a boil over low heat and boil for 15 mins.
    4. Turn off heat, if the jam is not ready to fill the sterilised jars, leave them in the hot water for up to an hour.  Longer than that, need to sterilise again.
    5. Place the hot jars on a clean towel, upright.
    6. Do not boil the lids, add into the hot water after turning off heat when jars have finished boiling.




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Monday, March 9, 2015

Lychee Cupcakes 荔枝紙杯蛋糕


I had wanted to try this cupcake  recipe for quite a while but was contemplating on the decoration for the topping.   As my family members are not keen on creamy frosting and the like, I've decided to just give it a very simple facelift.  I cut off a bit of the topmost part of the cupcake, filled it up with some fruit paste, dusted on some snow powder and lo and behold, the cake did look attractive!







Intoxicating aroma, soft and moist cupcake with a juicy lychee innard!

Recipe for Lychee Cupcakes (adapted from  'here'  with modification)

Ingredients                                                                              

  • 3 oz self-raising flour
  • 2 oz plain flour
  • 2 Tbsp Hazelnut meal
  • 4 oz butter
  • 3.1/2 oz caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 Tbspmilk
  • 1.1/2 Tbsp Cointreau (substitute for rose water)
  • 12 whole Lychees (if too big, cut into halves, pat dry)
  • Fig paste or any jam (optional)
  • Snow powder or icing sugar for dusting
Method

  1. Sift the self-raising flour and plain flour.  Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar till fluffy.  Add in the eggs one at a time.  Mix well.
  3. Fold in the sifted flours, alternating with the milk.  
  4. Mix in the hazelnut meal followed by the Cointreau.  Mix well.
  5. Spoon 1/3 batter into the paper lined pan.  Add in a lychee and top up with some batter.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 20 to 25 mins.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.  Once the cake is cooled, cut  off a bit of the top, and fill up the depression with some fruit paste/jam or cream.   Dust with some snow powder or icing sugar before serving.
  7. Yield :  12 cupcakes.



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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Chocolate Banana Tea Bread


The method of preparing this Choc Banana Tea Bread is somewhat similar to preparing muffins and you needn't have to use your stand or handheld mixer.  All you need to do is just to mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, pour into a pan and bake.  I enjoyed it when taken warm especially the crunchy sweet sugary top!










Recipe for Chocolate Banana Bread ~ 巧克力香蕉面

    Ingredients

    • 113 gm unsalted butter, melted and cooled
    • 230 gm plain flour
    • 30 gm unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 130 gm caster sugar
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1/8  tsp salt
    • 100 gm dark chocolate chips
    • 2 eggs lightly beaten
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 454 gm,  net wt., very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
    • Demerara sugar or coarse brown sugar (optional)
    Method
    1. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan.  Set aside.
    2. Whisk flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt till well combined.
    3. In another mixing bowl, mash the bananas, eggs, melted butter and vanilla.
    4. Lightly fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.   Mix well.  
    5. Fold in the chocolate chips.
    6. Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the top with Demarara sugar or coarse brown sugar.
    7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 deg.C for 55 mins to 1 hour till golden brown.
    8. Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.  
    9. Remove from the oven, let cool and unmould the tea bread.
    10. Serve warm or @ room temperature.







     I'm linking this post to the  'Little Thumbs Up' event, the theme for March is "Banana"
    organised by Zoe of  Bake for Happy Kids, Doreen of  My Little Favourite DIY  and 
    hosted by 



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Monday, March 2, 2015

Simple Chicken Salad


After having stuffed in so much food during the Chinese New Year holidays, I made myself a very simple salad.  Had to make do with what was available from my larder and it turned out to be a satisfying and refreshing lunch.






Not much of a recipe for this dish, just personal preference for what you'd like to put into your salad and dressing is totally up to your wishes.  But for my own reference I append below what and how I made this salad.


Simple Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken thighs, deboned and skin removed
  • 1 small carrot, cut into strips
  • 2 sticks of celery, sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into strips
  • some fresh Coriander leaves
Dressing
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed and chopped
  • 2 tsp sweet chilli sauce
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp chicken stock
  • Sugar and fish sauce to taste
Garnishing
  • Peanuts, roasted and finely chopped
  • Lightly roasted sesame seeds
  • Bird eye chillies, finely chopped (optional)
Method
  1. Season the chicken with some salt and pepper for about 30 mins.
  2. Steam the chicken, take out the meat and shred to fine pieces.  Set aside the stock.
  3. Combine the carrot and cucumber strips, celery and coriander leaves in a mixing bowl.  Toss in the chicken.  Mix well.
  4. To make the dressing, place the sweet chillli and fish sauce, chicken stock, sugar and lime juice in a bowl and whisk till well combined.
  5. Pour the dressing over the chicken and toss to coat thoroughly.  Place on a serving plate.
  6. Sprinkle on the peanuts, sesame seeds and bird eye chillies.
  7. Serve immediately.
Note :   This salad can be made in advance, keep chilled and sprinkle on the garnishing just before serving.


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