Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Pineapple Balls (Enclosed Pineapple Tarts)

My fourth cookies for Chinese New Year
Of course, pineapple tarts! But this time, I made the enclosed version, pineapple balls, and I had fun making them

I usually always prefer the open tarts, easier and faster to prepare. Tried to make into balls once previously but I got cracked balls. And the process was more tedious. But this year I just wanted to try again, and this time I enjoyed it. The dough was easy to handle and the whole thing was a breeze. Of course, it's still more time consuming than open tarts, but it's a nice feeling when I saw those round balls out from the oven, no cracks :)

I used the most talked about recipe recently, from Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover
Love it! So melty, milky and yummy combination of the sweet pastry and tangy pineapple filling
Only one downside to me was the appearance, it couldn't give me golden balls. Instead they were whitish and pale. After some thoughts, my guess was I shouldn't have mixed the egg yolk glaze with fresh milk, and also I should have baked without fan. Okay, lesson learnt, must take note of that the next time I bake this recipe again :)

What you need:

350g butter
100g sweetened condensed milk
510g plain flour
2 egg yolks

1 egg yolk + 1 tsp milk, for glaze
(I will omit the milk next time)

700g pineapple jam filling, roll into 8g balls

  1. Cream butter and condensed milk til light. Add in egg yolk one at a time, beat til combined
  2. Mix in flour, mix til the dough becomes soft and not sticky
  3. Roll the dough into 10g balls
  4. Flatten a piece of dough ball, make a dent at the centre and place the pineapple jam ball on it. Bring the edges of the dough together and pinch to seal. Roll it in between palms to make a perfect ball shape
  5. Make a pattern on the balls if desired (I didn't do it) and brush with egg wash
  6. Bake at 165degC for 23mins (fan forced) (mine was 170degC for 30mins but I still got whitish pale balls, I will off the fan the next time I bake this again)
  7. Cool completely before storing them in an airtight compartment


Salted Egg Yolk Cookies

My third cookies I baked this year. The ever popular salted egg yolk cookies. I saw them everywhere. I must try too :)
Happy with the result. A combination of sweet and salty in each bite. Very addictive. Yum!

Recipe is from Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids
Decided to choose this recipe among a few others as I was convinced the dough is easy to handle. This is important for me when doing cut out cookies in order to complete the process in full happiness haha..

What you need:
(below is double recipe)

170g unsalted butter, room temperature
80g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
4 cooked salted egg yolks, mashed
250g all purpose flour
20g corn flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 egg yolks, lightly beaten, to glaze
chia seeds to sprinkle (original recipe used black sesame seeds)

  1. Beat butter, sugar and salt til light and fluffy
  2. Sift in flour, corn flour and baking powder and mix gently with spatula til the flours are absorbed
  3. Add in mashed salted egg yolks and stir til evenly incorporated. Gather the crumbly dough to form a soft pliable dough. Wrap using cling wrap and keep refrigerated for at least 30mins
  4. Line cookie sheets and preheat oven to 170degC
  5. Place dough on a lightly floured surface and roll to about 6mm thickness (original recipe rolled to 3mm thickness) and shape using your preferred cookie cutter
  6. Brush the cookies with the beaten egg yolks and sprinkle with chia seeds. Bake for 15mins (mine was about 25mins as the cookies are bigger in size) and let cool in the tray for about 10mins before transferring them to a cooling rack. Cool completely


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Horlicks Cookies

My second cookies for Chinese New Year
This was really popular some years ago, but I didn't get the chance to bake it. Until now :)

Too lazy to make all in dog shape haha.. and my little dogs have flattened heads with big nose, some of them with no nose LOL

Recipe is from Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover

What you need:

250g butter
120g Horlicks
40g corn flour
40g milk powder
250g cake flour
30g caster sugar*
1 egg yolk

  1. Beat butter and sugar til creamy. Add in egg yolk, mix til just combined
  2. Add in sifted corn flour, milk powder and cake flour, mix til just combined (do not overmix)
  3. Shape 1 tsp dough into ball
  4. If making the dog shape, decorate each ball with: KokoKrunch (ears), chocolate chips (nose), chocolate rice (eyes). Otherwise, just press in 1 chocolate chip in the centre of the ball
  5. Bake in preheated oven of 150degC for 25-30mins depending on your oven

*If not making dog shape, it's advisable to increase the amount of caster sugar used to 45g. Without the Koko Krunch I found it not sweet enough

Nice and crunchy :)


Friday, February 5, 2016

Plum Blossom Cookies

The first month of year 2016 was gone - just like that, with me posting zero post! Haha..
And now is going to the second week of February soon! Let's start now! :)

I started baking cookies last week. This was my first cookies I baked for Chinese New Year. They had no chance to celebrate the festive season as all ended up in our tummies haha...

Firstly, pardon my not so pretty flowers here haha..
I guess I should have shaped them smaller. The original recipe stated 10g dough while I used heaped 1/2 tbsp. Too big. When I used the end of a wooden ladle to make a cavity at the centre, I found it's too small and I had to press deep to create cracks around the dough. What I never thought will happen was some of the jam filling leaked during baking haha.. Now I know what to do if I bake these cookies again in the future
Nonetheless, I still love them. Taste yummy with a hint of cream cheese taste, go well with strawberry jam. Texture wise, they are firm yet soft to the bite. Delicious!

Recipe is from Kenneth Goh of Guai Shu Shu

What you need:

450g plain flour
110g cream cheese
200g butter
150g caster sugar
1 hard boiled egg yolk
3 tsp vanilla paste
1/2 cup strawberry jam

  1. Cream butter, cream cheese and sugar til light and fluffy. Sift in hard boiled egg yolk. Stir well
  2. Sift in plain flour and beat at the slowest speed. Take the dough out and knead slightly
  3. Take 1 levelled tsp of dough and roll into a ball. Using the end of a wooden ladle, make a cavity at the centre of the ball, it will create cracks around the sides of the cookie making it look like flower
  4. Spoon strawberry jam into a piping bag. Snip the tip into a very small round hole and pipe into the cavity of the cookies
  5. Bake in preheated oven of 175degC for 10-12mins (my cookies were bigger it took about 25mins to bake)


Thursday, December 31, 2015

Xmas Dinner.. Eve & Day

So, after the Xmas gathering, my family and I, just the four of us, had a descent dinner at home on the eve of the Xmas
And I made this easy crispy roast chicken which my family likes including the kids

The kids love tearing the crisp skin apart and eat it just with plain rice. I used carrots and corn to roast together with the chicken, as these are vegetables they love the most

I just estimated the recipe...
What you need:
1 free range chicken, discard the head and feet and all the extra fats. Keep skin intact
juice of a large lime
salt, black pepper, butter
carrots - peeled and chopped
sweet corns - peeled and chopped
1 garlic bulb
  1. Rub chicken all over with lime juice including the cavity, let it stand for about 15mins and then rinse well, pat dry with kitchen towel
  2. In a bowl mix salt, and black pepper. Rub chicken with butter all over and continue with rubbing it with salt/pepper mixture. Refrigerate uncovered for a few hours
  3. Before roasting, preheat oven to 200degC
  4. Take the chicken out of the fridge and fill up its cavity with garlic bulb and the chopped carrots
  5. While waiting, prepare a baking dish enough to fit the chicken plus all veggies
  6. Rub the cut veggies with butter all over and place them in the dish
  7. Place the chicken at the centre over the veggies and roast for about 20mins
  8. Remove the dish from the oven and check on the veggies (at this point the chicken will not be browned yet). If the carrots have softened and the corns are cooked, remove them from the dish and transfer to a serving plate (if not you may continue roasting for about 10 more mins)
  9. Put the baking dish with the chicken back into the oven and continue to roast until the chicken turned golden brown (mine was about 75mins - it depends on the size of the chicken)
  10. Once cooked, remove from oven and transfer to carving board. Let it stand for about 15mins before carving (I didn't do this step as my family likes to rip it off by hand LOL)
We love this birdie. The skin was so crispy and tasty. The meat was still juicy. The roasted carrots and garlic were really good as well as the corns, cooked to perfection. Yum!

The next day on Xmas day, my sis & her DH came over for the usual Xmas dinner and gift exchange time. This time I cooked chicken cordon bleu, avocado mango salsa and scalloped potatoes au gratin and I also baked light fruits cake. My sis and her DH brought their homemade Dutch bitterballen which I always love :)

So here's the recipes I used for my cooking that day...

For the Cordon Bleu, I adapted from Emeril Lagasse

What you need:

4 boneless and skinless chicken breast
salt and black pepper
4 slices ham (I used honey baked)
4 slices Swiss cheese
1 cup all purpose flour
2 large eggs
2 tbsp. fresh milk
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 tsp garlic salt
some cooking oil

  1. Place chicken breast on a cutting board, layer a clingwrap over it and pound til evenly flattened
  2. Remove the clingwrap, rub salt and pepper over it and place ham on one side of the chicken followed by cheese on top of the ham. Fold the other side of the skin over to the other side so it'll cover the ham and cheese slice
  3. Press lightly to flatten and seal the edges, making sure the ham and cheese tucked securely inside the chicken
  4. Pour flour on a plate. Mix together egg and milk, whisk in a bowl. And pour breadcrumbs on another plate and mix in garlic salt
  5. Heat cooking oil in a
  6. Put stuffed chicken breast on the flour, coat evenly. Transfer to the egg mixture bowl, making sure it's dipped thoroughly and then next to the breadcrumbs mixture, coat evenly
  7. Do the same to the rest of the chicken and keep in the refrigerator for about 30mins
  8. Heat oil in a non stick skillet over medium heat
  9. Place the chicken slowly, top with 1/2 tbsp butter, be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. Fry til golden brown at the bottom about 4 to 5mins. Flip to the other side and put another 1/2 tbsp butter over it and fry for another 4 to 5mins til the chicken is evenly browned and cooked through
  10. Serve immediately while it's hot with Parmesan Dijon mustard cream sauce (recipe below)

Recipe for Parmesan Dijon mustard cream sauce...
Source: Mel's Kitchen

What you need:

2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Melt butter. Stir in flour, whisking constantly, cook for 1-2 minutes
  2. Slowly pour in milk while whisking quickly. Stir in chicken stock powder and salt. Whisk constantly over medium heat until the mixture begins to simmer and thicken, about 3-5 minutes
  3. Once it has bubbled and thickened, remove from heat and stir in mustard, worcestershire sauce and parmesan cheese. Stir until cheese is melted. Serve warm over the chicken

***I made a mistake on that day, thanks to my ignorance not reading the recipe thoroughly first. Instead of using one chicken breast for one cordon bleu, I used two! So I put the ham and cheese on the chicken breast and then I put another slice of chicken breast over it. I ended up with giant and thick pieces of chicken cordon bleu! After frying them, I found that the centre part wasn't fully cooked so I cut them into two and place them on a slightly buttered baking sheet, and baked them til cooked, about 200degC for 20mins. I couldn't get the cheese oozing out because of this :(
Well, I will give this a try the right way next time and update here...

Next dish is Scalloped Potatoes Au Gratin
Yummy cheesy and creamy, a great companion to the chicken dish
Source: Ellie Krieger

What you need:

1 1/2 kg potatoes, rinse well and slice into 1/8" thick
750ml cold skimmed milk
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
2 cloves of garlic, minced
a little dried thyme
1 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 180degC. Grease a rectangle baking dish (I used 20x30x5cm)
  2. Boil potato slices til just tender. Drain and let slightly cool
  3. Put milk and flour in a saucepan and whisk til the flour dissolved. Add in garlic and thyme, heat over medium fire and stir to a boil and is thickened. Remove from heat, stir in salt and 1 cup of the cheese until melted
  4. Arrange half of the boiled potato slices in the baking dish. Pour half of the cheese sauce over it. Arrange the remaining potatoes and lastly pour the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese
  5. Bake for about 25mins til bubbling. Change oven to broil function and broil til the top is evenly browned, about a few minutes. Serve immediately

Now the last dish for the main meal is the refreshing avocado mango salsa

This is the second time I made this and I still enjoyed it a lot
Recipe can be found HERE

The quantity doesn't look much but I was really stuffed. Yum yum...

 As for the light fruits cake, I used recipe from Kenneth Goh of Guai Shu Shu

Fresh from the oven
This impatient me cut the cake while it's still quite warm, hence the messy cut :)
What you need:
250g butter, room temperature
250g mixed dried fruits (I used dried cranberries and golden raisins)
250g castor sugar
150g self raising flour
100g unbleached all purpose flour
4 eggs, lightly beaten
50ml fresh orange juice
1 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Soak mixed dried fruits in orange juice for 15mins. Drain and squeeze excess juice out of the fruits and set aside, also the juice in separate bowls. Mix a little flour with the dried fruits
  2. Preheat oven to 160degC. Grease and line an 8inch square pan
  3. Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy and light. Add in egg one at a time, beat thoroughly after each addition
  4. Fold in mixed fruits. And then fold in orange juice and flour, doing it alternately start and end with the flour
  5. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 45mins or until the skewer comes out clean and the top is evenly browned
  6. Cool in the pan for about 10mins and transfer to a cooling rack
Sweet, light, soft, and delicious pieces of fruity cake accompanied by Kronenbourg 1664 :)

This post is linked at Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2015 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids at here.

***Please pardon the quality of all the pics above, they were quickly taken just with my mobile phone LOL

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Xmas 2014 - Small Gathering 4The Kids (& The Parents Too)

We had a jolly time on that one evening when my kids together with their friends, which happen to be my kids school mates and my neighbors too, gathered at my place. The kids were busy playing together while we the parents had so much fun catching up (read: gossiping LOL)
The kids had presents under Xmas tree and they happily ripped off all of them in no time, and they didn't even want to wait til after dinner hehe..

Posing with all the Xmas gifts :)
We had potluck for dinner, all the yummy food that made us so stuffed!

I cooked Indonesian style yellow rice, turmeric fried chicken and sambal eggs and I had beef floss sent from Indonesia which goes well with the yellow rice. I also baked fruit pastry cake and Xmas tree brownies with my kids as the decorator :)
One mummy made very yummy ondeh2 (we call it 'klepon' in Indonesian) and also really delicious samosa. Another mummy cooked fried noodles, fried chicken nuggets, made veggies achar and yummy agar2 too. Also my sis came and she cooked delicious begedil (we call it perkedel in Indonesian)

Now I will share all the dishes I cooked and the cakes I baked :)

First, I start with the delicious Indonesian style yellow rice, cooked in rice cooker
It's one yummy and tasty rice which I forgot to take picture of aarrggh! I only had 1 picture which has been mixed with chicken pieces taken with my handphone

Source: Diah Didi

What you need:

500g long grain rice
about 900ml water
11/2 tsp ground turmeric
4 pcs Indonesian bay leaves
4cm blue ginger, peeled and lightly pounded
2 stalks lemongrass, lightly pounded
2 pandan leaves, tied a knot
11/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp instant coconut milk (I used Kara)

  1. Mix together all ingredients except coconut milk in rice cooker, give a quick stir and let it start cooking
  2. When the cooking process stops (usually when the light switched to "keep warm" mode), quickly pour in coconut milk and stir well. Close back the rice cooker and after about 30mins open up and give a thorough stir, discarding the lemongrass and blue ginger. And it's done :)

Second is turmeric fried chicken. Tasty and tender very well marinated chicken fried til golden brown. It's a must when one eats yellow rice :)

Source: Herti Kitchen
What you need:
1 free range chicken, cut into pieces
2 pcs Indonesian bay leaves
2 stalks lemongrass, lightly pounded
250ml coconut water mixed with 100ml water (original recipe used 250ml water)
cooking oil for frying
1 large lime to pre wash the chicken
Blend together:
5 candlenuts
1 tsp ground coriander
8 cloves of garlic
1 tsp ground turmeric
4cm blue ginger, peeled and sliced
4cm old ginger, peeled and sliced
11/2 tsp salt
  1. Squeeze large lime over the chicken and let it stand for about 15mins. Rinse
  2. Slather the blended spices all over the chicken including inside the cavity, cover in cling wrap and keep refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hours
  3. In a large wok, pour coconut water mixture, together with bay leaves, lemongrass. Bring to boil and then add in chicken. Let it cook til the liquid is much lesser and thickened
  4. In another wok, heat cooking oil and fry the chicken pieces til golden brown

Third is sambal balado egg. Another must dish to accompany yellow rice. I am not too tolerant to super spicy dish using bird's eye chili so I used all large red chilis and I discarded most of the seeds. Those love super spicy dishes, you may retain all the seeds and/or add bird's eye chili into it

Source: NCC (Natural Cooking Club)

What you need:

10 hard boiled eggs, peeled (original recipe fry the eggs)
400g large red chilis, discard the seeds, cut in chunks and blitz in food processor but not too smooth
120g shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
25g garlic, peeled, halved and blitz in food processor til smooth
1 stalk of lemongrass, lightly pounded
1pc Indonesian bay leaf
1cm blue ginger, lightly pounded
salt, sugar and chicken stock powder (to your preference)
150ml cooking oil

  1. Heat oil in a wok and sautee shallots til translucent. Add in chilis and garlic and continue to cook til fragrant
  2. Add in lemongrass, bay leaf and blue ginger, stir well and cook for a few mins
  3. Add in salt, sugar  and chicken stock powder, stir well and adjust the taste
  4. Add in eggs, stir well, let boil for a while and remove from heat

So those are the three dishes I cooked. Now is the cake I baked that day. It's actually an old recipe I once tried to make too and my family and I loved it. Fruit pastry cake. You may view it HERE
This cake has been popular lately in some Facebook baking groups. I followed the modified recipe I found there. My apology as I can't remember who did the modification hence no mention here. Anyway, it turned out really good :)

Original recipe is from Happy Home Baking
What you need:
100g butter
180g caster sugar (reduced to 165g) 
50g low fat yogurt (I used 70g)
30ml fresh orange juice (addition)
3 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp lemon zest
210g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
500g fruits (I used canned peach, fresh raspberries and blueberries)
  1. Wash, cut and drain fruits - set aside
  2. Grease with butter the side of a 9" or 8" round pan and line the base with parchment paper
  3. With an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and yogurt till light and fluffy
  4. Add in the eggs gradually and beat till incorporated in the batter. (the mixture may appear slightly curdled)
  5. Add vanilla extract and zest. Mix to combine
  6. Sieve over flour and baking powder and mix till smooth
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula
  8. Arrange fruits on top, don’t press the fruits down into the batter. Decorate the fruits as desired
  9. Bake in pre-heat oven at 180degC for 60minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Cover the top with foil in the last 15 mins of baking to prevent the top from getting over browned
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 5~10 mins
  11. Dust the cake with some icing sugar if desired
The last thing I baked was decorated Christmas tree fudgy brownies. Please refer the recipe is HERE
I used 2 brownies pans so that it turned out not so thick. Then I cut into long triangle to Christmas tree shape. After it's completely cooled, I poked each triangle with ice cream stick and let my kids decorating them with whatever I had on hand - with a little help from me :)

This is my favorite :)
So, that's all what I have prepared for the gathering. We all enjoyed it so much and can't wait for another one next year! LOL
This post is linked at Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2015 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids at here.
***Please pardon the quality of some of the pics above. They were taken using my mobile phone in a rush LOL

Tender Loving Crackle Cookies

I missed out this bake for ABC (Avid Baker's Challenge) in June so when I was looking for cookies recipe I wanted to make for this year's Christmas, I decided to give it a try
And, I wasn't disappointed at all. The cookies were yummy, so fudgy and chocolaty with some crunch on the outside while soft and chewy on the inside. Really good!

And I also find the cracked cookies look pretty :)

Recipe is from Scientifically Sweet

What you need:
(I made double recipe as stated below)

142g unbleached all purpose flour
50g unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
200g brown sugar (original recipe used normal white sugar)
1 tsp baking powder (I used double acting)
1/2 tsp salt
84g cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
170g 70% dark chocolate, cut small (original recipe used bittersweet chocolate)
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups icing sugar for rolling

  1. Preheat oven to 190degC. Line baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Pour into food processor and add in cubes of cold butter. Blitz til it resembles breadcrumbs (original recipe used rubbing method by hand which I found more time consuming). Stir in chopped chocolate
  3. Whisk together eggs and vanilla, add into the chocolate mixture and stir with fork til moistened and well combined. Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate for 30mins (mine was more than 1 hour)
  4. Pour icing sugar to a wide plate. Scoop dough (1 heaped tsp each) and drop to them on the icing sugar and roll them until fully covered
  5. Place on the lined baking sheet and bake for about 8mins until set but slightly soft at the centre
  6. Let cool on the baking sheet for a minute and then transfer to cooling rack
  7. Keep in an airtight container when it's completely cooled

My kids love these cookies that 10pcs were gone within a minute after the first batch out from the oven LOL

Every chocolate lover temptation :)

This post is linked at Cook and Celebrate: Christmas 2015 hosted by Yen from GoodyFoodies, Diana from The Domestic Goddess Wannabe and Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids at here.


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