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




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