Friday, January 31, 2014

Homemade Bak Kwa (Chinese Pork Jerky) & Gong Xi Fa Cai!

My first attempt on homemade bakwa :)
Abby, DH and I finished everything in two days. Ian was not keen in trying - not yet :)
After all, this snack is too irresistible to say no to LOL





Worried too much I would get thick bak kwa, I got too thin ones LOL



Recipe is from Sonia from Nasi Lemak Lover

What you need:

450g minced pork (at least with 10% fat)
100g sugar

1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp Chinese rice wine
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp dark caramel soy sauce

1/8 tsp Chinese five spices powder 
a dash of pepper
3/4 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp honey


Method:
  1. Put all ingredients in a big bowl and start mixing them with a pair of chopsticks. Blend and stir the mixture in one direction until the meat becomes gluey so the meat will not break out). Keep in the fridge for several hours (I kept overnight)
  2. Spread the marinated minced pork thinly onto the baking tray (using fingers to spread)
  3. Bake at pre-heated oven at 160degC for 15mins. Remove from oven. Increase the oven temperature to 240cdegC
  4. Wait to slightly cool, cut into squares scissor, place them in the same baking tray
  5. Grill (top heat only) one side at 240degC for 10mins (mine was about 5mins - I guess it's because mine is thinner), remove from oven, flip over another side, wait oven back to 240degC and grill until golden brown with slight burnt
  6. Remove from oven and transfer to serving plate

Enjoying mum's homemade bak kwa with her self made decoration at the background :)
 
 

Going to have a short break and will be back mid next week. To all, GONG XI FA CAI :)

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cheddar Cheese Pound Cake

This cake is so easy to make and very well received by my family
Very cheesy, soft and fine - yummy cake!


 
 
Recipe is from HERE
 
What you need:

(A)
250g butter
230g sugar

(B)
4 eggs

(C)
80g grated cheddar cheese

(D)
100ml milk
280g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
 
grated parmesan cheese for topping
 
Method:
  1. Preheat oven at 180deg C. Line 2 loaf pans 
  2. Cream (A) till light and fluffy
  3. Add (B) and cream till smooth and light
  4. Add (C) and mix till well combined
  5. Add (D) and mix till well incorporated
  6. Pour into prepared loaf pans and top with shredded cheese
  7. Bake at 180deg C for 45mins
 
Don't skip the parmesan cheese topping. It's really delicious and crunchy! 



This lovely buttery cake is for Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by me, Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake
 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bake Along #57 (CNY Cookies) - Three Cheese Cookies (Kaasstengels - Eggless)

These super addictive cookies are so cheesy and so easy to pop into your mouth
Crisp and crunchy with slight chewiness on the inside - perfect texture
A combination of edam, parmesan and cheddar cheese - who can resist?

These cookies is famously called "Kaasstengels" in Indonesia
It's Dutch for 'cheese sticks'

This time I tried eggless dough, but prior to baking egg wash applied
So I can't say it's purely eggless cookies




Can I say that the shape resembles gold bar? Hence the perfect choice of cookies for Chinese New Year :)
 


Recipe is from Ricke from Just Ordinary Kitchen

What you need:

300g butter (original recipe used a combination of butter and margarine)
350g plain flour
50g corn flour
2 tbsp milk powder
100g grated aged edam
100g grated parmesan

1 egg yolk - lightly beaten
grated cheddar cheese

Method:
  1. Sift together plain flour, corn flour and milk powder. Set aside
  2. Beat butter til soft - about 1-2 minutes
  3. Add in edam and parmesan cheese, mix with wooden spoon
  4. Add in flour mixture, mix with wooden spoon
  5. (to mix in the cheese and flour, please do not stir in circular movement, but use cutting, pressing and scrapping movements)
  6. Shape into a big ball and flatten with rolling pin til about 1cm thick
  7. Cut into little rectangle shapes and arrange on a lined baking sheet
  8. Brush with egg yolk and sprinkle grated cheese on top
  9. Bake in preheated oven of 150degC for about 20 minutes til golden brown (original recipe was 125degC without specific timing mentioned)
Note:
This eggless recipe yields a crispy and crunchy cookies on the outside with a slight chewiness on the inside
Those who prefer softer texture, 2 egg yolks are to be added and beaten together with butter




These cookies are for Bake Along , a baking event organised by  Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids
Too bad today is the last day of submission, as I still have a couple more cookies to bake :)

 
 
Also, these cookies are for Little Thumbs up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by me, Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake
 
 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bake Along #57 (CNY Cookies) - Crunchy Butter Cookies


These butter cookies is really delicious, crunchy and buttery, we all love it
I believe this will be well accepted in any festive season
 
 


 
I can't remember the source of the recipe
Here it is...
 
What you need:
 
A
200g butter
150g icing sugar
 
B
4 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanillin
 
C
300g plain flour
100g milk powder
 
Method:
  1. Preheat oven 150degC
  2. Beat A in medium speed for 10mins
  3. Change to low speed and add in B, beat for a while only
  4. Off beater, add in C and mix well
  5. Flatten the dough between 2 plastics using roller for approx. 0.5cm and shape as desired
  6. Bake for 15mins or til the cookies are lightly browned
 
 
 
 
These cookies are for Bake Along , a baking event organised by  Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids
We are now baking Chinese New Year cookies all the way to 27 January :)
 
 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Cheesecake Bread

This is the kind of bread you will go hhhmmm in every bite
The bread was so fluffy and soft and the cheesecake topping was so delicious and creamy with raspberry jam on top making it just perfect!




Yum yum yum!
 


Recipe adapted from Cathy's Joy

What you need:

For bread:
250g bread flour
45g caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp instant yeast
10g cream cheese
100g egg whites
20g shortening

For cheesecake:
I made 1.5 half recipe as follows:
225g cream cheese
53g castor sugar
27g egg yolk
57g melted butter

I skipped dessicated coconut and chopped walnut as topping for the cheesecake as the original recipe used. Instead I used raspberry jam

Method:

For cheesecake:
Beat cream cheese til soft, add in sugar and beat til creamy and fluffy
Add in egg yolk, mix well. Add in melted butter and mix til well blended
For the bread:
Using breadmaker, put cream cheese, egg whites followed by flour, sugar and salt
Lastly add in yeast and let the machine start kneading
After 5 minutes, add in shortening and let the machine do the rest of the kneading and first proofing
Divide dough into 25 equal portions, shape into small balls and proof for another one hour
Pour cheesecake batter on top, and spread evenly with spatula. Add in about 1/2 tsp of raspberry jam on each of the bun
Bake in preheated oven at 160degC for 25 minutes

Note:
This bread is so so so addictive. Best eaten warm!


 
 
This bread is for Little Thumbs up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by me, Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

AFF Hong Kong/Macau - Macanese Minchi

Saw this dish at Peng's Kitchen and I knew my family and I would enjoy it
Yes, they did! So delicious when mixed all the ingredients to eat




Recipe adapted from Sonia from Nasi Lemak Lover

What you need:
(I made half recipe below)

100g ground beef
200g ground pork
(original recipe calls for more beef but we do not fancy beef hence the changes in the amount)
2 medium potatoes, cut small cubes
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 garlic, chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1/4 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1/4 tsp cumin powder (I didn't use)
a dash of black pepper
1/4 tsp sugar
salt

Method:
  1. Deep fry potatoes til golden brown, set aside
  2. Use 3 tbsp of the oil to sautee garlic and onion til fragrant and soft
  3. Add in bay leaf, both meat and stir fry and break the meat, fry on medium high heat til meat turned color
  4. Add in light and dark soya sauce, stir
  5. Lower heat, cover for a few minutes (I did for about 5 minutes), check to make sure it doesn't burn
  6. Add in Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, cumin powder (if used), salt, sugar and lastly, fried potato cubes. Stir well
  7. Serve with rice, vegetable (I used French beans, blanched and sprinkled with garlic salt) and fried egg

Note:
As my family and I do not fancy beef, we still can smell the beef. In the future I will still prefer to use only ground pork




I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest (Hong Kong/Macau) hosted by Annie from Annielicious Food


Sunday, January 19, 2014

ABC January 2014 - Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies

Our first bake of the year for Avid Baker's Challenge (ABC)
This year of 2014 we continue baking great recipes from King Arthur Flour (KAF)
And the first bake chosen was this delicious fudgy chocolaty with yummy cheese topping brownies


 
 

I followed the recipe making half recipe with some changes:
For the brownie batter:
* I used 180g sugar (reduced from 224g for half recipe)
* I omitted chocolate chips
For the cheese batter:
* I used 60g caster sugar (reduced from 75g for half recipe)
* I used 1 tbsp plain flour (reduced from 29g for half recipe)
* I used whipping cream instead of heavy cream

For full recipe, it's required to use 9" x 13" pan
I did half recipe and used a rectangle pan which was a little too small. Hence the tall brownies. Luckily it didn't overflow during baking :)

Please view the full recipe HERE

My family loves this indulgence. DH still mentioned that it's a little too sweet to his liking but I found it's just nice. Who can enjoy brownies with no sweetness at all, anyway? LOL

This post is for Avid Baker's Challenge January 2014, a baking event hosted by Hanaa from Hanaa's Kitchen

 
 
 
 
You see the birthday decoration on the brownies?
I would like to dedicate this bake to Let's get Baking Together (LBT) to celebrate its 3rd year birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY LBT :)
 
 
 
Lastly, this post is also for Little Thumbs up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by me, Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake
 
 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Bake Along #57 (CNY Cookies) Pineapple Tarts - Open Tart, Melt In The Mouth (Third Recipe)

The cookies I only bake once a year, during Chinese New Year time :)
This year, I used another recipe, but still did the open tart
The texture was very similar to the recipe I made last year
But I reckoned this recipe is easier to make (read: no mixer required - my fave! It used rubbing method)




 
 
Source: The Little Teochew

What you need:
(below is 2/3 recipe of the original)

For the dough:
267g plain flour
34g corn flour
1/4 tsp salt
187g cold unsalted butter (don't allow to soften)
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cold water
4 tbsp icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Glaze: mix 1/2 egg yolk with 1/2 tbsp milk (original recipe used water)

Method:
  1. Rub butter into the flour til it looks like fine breadcrumbs (using pointed end of a fork or pastry scrapper). Can use fingertips to continue rubbing lightly the bigger pieces into finer pieces (I did this) Note: Only use fingertips to avoid the butter from melting cos of the contact with heat
  2. Whisk egg yolks, cold water, vanilla and sugar til foamy. Add into the butter flour mixture
  3. Using fingertips, gently coax all the crumbs into one large dough ball. Do not knead! As the crumbs come together, stop
  4. Chill in the fridge for about 10 mins, covered (I did for 30 mins)
  5. Roll out til about 8mm thick. Cut using cutter. Arrange on the baking tray about 1/5cm apart. The dough is very oily and buttery, use a small portion at a time. Keep the rest covered in the fridge, otherwise it'll ooze oil
  6. Glaze them (the entire surface) then place the pineapple jam balls on the centre of each tart shell
  7. Bake for 20-30 mins at 160degC, turn tray halfway through baking



I used recipe from Wendy from Table for 2... or more for the pineapple jam

What you need:

2 large Morris pineapple (yes, I found it!)
400g sugar
1 cinnamon stick

Method:
  1. Peel and clean pineapple, cut into chunk, do not discard the core
  2. Put half pineapple into a blender, add 1/3 cup of water and blend. Pour 80% of the blended pineapple into a large heavy based wok (not pot - for better evaporation process)
  3. Repeat blending with the remaining pineapples with the remaining 20% of the blended pineapple so you won't need more water
  4. Cook with cinnamon stick on medium heat til very pasty, no need to stir
  5. Add in sugar - it'll turn water again. Turn heat to lower medium and cook til very pasty, stir once awhile only to avoid splattering
  6. Increase the heat to high, do not stir, let the base takes on some color - it'll caramelize the jam. Stir once a while til you meet your preferred color
  7. The jam will be a little thicker after cooled
Note:
* I find the jam is a little too sweet for me, while the pineapple is not sweet, more to sourish. I think I'll reduce slightly the next time I make this again, perhaps 300g depending on the condition of the pineapple. Texture wise, it's fibrous, really good
* I made two days in advance before the day I made the tart. The next day was for me to roll them into balls. Then the following day I made the tart


 
 
These little cuties are for Bake Along , a baking event organised by  Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids
We are now baking Chinese New Year cookies all the way to 27 January :)
 
 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

AFF Hong Kong/Macau - Hong Kong Style Soya Sauce Fried Noodles

A typical Hong Kong breakfast
But to me and my family, this is a meal :)




Recipe is from Christine's Recipes

What you need:

200g fresh Hong Kong egg noodles
100g bean sprouts, trimmed heads and tails (original recipe used 120g)
40g chives, cut into about 5cm length
1/4 from large onion, julienned (original recipe used 1/2)
shredded ginger (I used a thumb size)
2 shallots, sliced (original recipe used 1)
sesame seeds, toasted for garnish (I didn't use)

Sauce:
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 1/2 tsp dark soya sauce (original recipe used 2 1/2)
1 1/2 tsp raw sugar
2 tsp oyster sauce
sesame oil, to taste

Method:
  1. Combine all the ingredients of sauce well til the sugar is dissolved completely. Set aside
  2. Blanch the noodles in boiling water for about 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t over cook it as you don’t want your noodles turn mushy. Use a pair of chopsticks to help loosen the noodles. Drain well. Set aside
  3. Heat oil in a wok over high heat. Quickly stir fry the bean sprouts and chives until slightly softened. Dish up and set aside
  4. Add oil in the same wok. Sautee the onion until translucent. Make sure not to burn it. Push the onion to the sides of wok. Add more oil in the middle. Sautee the ginger and shallot. Toss in the noodles. When the noodles are heated enough, sprinkle the sauce in and combine the noodles well. When you’re satisfied with the colour and taste. Toss back the bean sprouts and chives. Quickly combine well. Dish up. Top with some sesame seeds for garnish. Serve immediately
 
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest (Hong Kong/Macau) hosted by Annie from Annielicious Food

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Egg In A Cup

Simple and yummy breakfast I doubt anybody will say no :)


 
 
There's no recipe for this
You simply need to put beaten eggs, sliced ham, chopped broccoli and a pinch of ground black pepper in a bowl. Mix well with fork
Spoon on a lightly oiled (or buttered) muffin pan, sprinkle grated cheddar cheese and bake in a preheated oven of 200degC til golden brown
 
That's it! It's that simple
You may use any available preferred meat and veggies if you're not into ham and/or broccoli
 
 
 
 
This recipe doesn't need salt. The saltiness comes from the ham and cheese
It's so tasty and I love the texture, too. Slightly crisp on the outside, soft and moist on the inside




This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by me, Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Bake Along #57 (CNY Cookies) Melt In The Mouth German Cookies

Since Chinese New Year is less than a month, and to participate in Bake Along event, baking cookies is the first thing came on my mind as my first bake of the year
And my first cookies this year will be German cookies, the cookies once was highly raved about but I never try somehow

I didn't regret choosing these little bite size munch. Melt in the mouth texture with buttery and yummy taste. Quite similar to melting moments. Pretty addictive you will not be able to stop at one. And I'm pretty sure you will still want to keep munching on it even after five LOL


 
 
Recipe is from HERE
 
What you need:
 
125g butter
40g icing sugar, sifted
125g potato starch
80g superfine flour
 
Method:
  1. Beat butter and icing sugar till fluffy and light
  2. Sift in potato starch and flour, mix to form a soft dough
  3. Roll into small balls (about 2cm diameter), arrange on lined baking pan and press lightly with a fork (dip the fork in water after each press to prevent cookie dough from sticking to the fork)
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 15 mins, upper rack
 
 
 
This post is for Bake Along , a baking event organised by  Joyce from Kitchen FlavoursLena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids
We are now baking Chinese New Year cookies all the way to 27 January :)
 
 
 
Okay, the next cookies would be the ever popular pineapple tarts :)
 

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Rosemary Cheesy Salmon (Happy Call)

Simple dish but really delicious!
Thanks for the inspiration to Peng's Kitchen




What you need:

a piece of salmon fillet
1/2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 tbsp honey
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp black pepper (I only used 1/2)
1 slice cheddar cheese, shredded
a handful of broccoli, blanched
pinch of salt

Method:
  1. Combine butter, honey, rosemary & pepper together. Rub the mixture evenly over fish fillet. Set aside for 10mins
  2. Heat up Happy Call pan for 1 min. Add fish, skin side down and closed pan (locked). Cook for 3min on medium heat
  3. Flip the pan and cook the other side of the fish fillet for 2mins. Flip over the pan again, place shredded cheese over fish and scatter blanched broccoli around the fish
  4. Sprinkle pinch of salt over the broccoli. Close the lid (do not lock) and cook till cheese melted. Serve immediately



This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by me, Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake

Say Cheese With Little Thumbs Up!

What's the best resemblance of smile? To me, it's cheese! You have the smile by just saying the word :)
Do you like cheese? I do! Almost all kinds! :)
Hence my choice of ingredient for this month's Little Thumbs Up (LTU) which I host


 
 
It is a brilliant idea initiated by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite D.I.Y.
It's a cooking and baking event where everybody is welcomed to participate. A different theme is chosen for every month, in particular is the ingredients used
You may view the details HERE


*Source: creeklic.com

A little sharing about cheese
(from my brief googling result LOL)

Basically, cheese is a food derived from milk that is produced in a wide range of flavors, textures, and forms by curding of the milk protein - casein
It comprises proteins and fat from milk, usually the milk of cows, buffalo, goats, or sheep.  During production, the milk is usually acidified, and adding the complex of enzymes causes curding. The solids are separated and pressed into final form. Some cheeses have molds on the rind or throughout. Most cheeses melt at cooking temperature
*Source: Wikipedia

 
 

So many types of cheese available all around the world
Texture and flavours are highly dependant on the milk used (from which animal)
Also the processing does matter. As well as additional flavouring agent used, such as herbs, spices, etc

I never knew there are so many types of cheeses!
Also I was not aware there are so many kinds of texture of cheese
There is this website called cheese.com where I found out about those facts. It's really informative!
It has information about types of cheeses by country, by milk used, by texture, and even cheeses for vegetarian. You can click on each type of cheese for more detailed info
There's tips to about storage and serving cheese, how to cut cheese, and even cheese and wine pairing




So, please join us! You may cook and/or bake any recipe with cheese as one of the ingredient
Do take note:

(1) Your post must be a current post within this month January 2014
(2) Don't forget to display the LTU badge or just include your thumbs up
(3) Please include this info in your post:

This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Alice from I Love.I Cook.I Bake

(4) Link with us at this post which opened starting from now all the way to 1 February


Let us all have a cheesy month this January :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

First Bake in 2014 - Rainbow Cupcakes

Hello! Welcome to the brand New Year 2014!
Hope you all had a great celebration! :)

I as usual always prefer my cosy home with families. My parents were not in town so it's just me, hubby and the kids. Even the kids were asleep when the clock ticked to midnight :)

Just a normal, usual and simple dinner I cooked, I didn't even take any pic of the food. Nothing fancy, really. A dish of meat and a dish of veggie, eaten with rice
As dessert, I made two kinds of bread pudding. One with chocolate chips, golden raisins and marmalade. The other one was with chocolate chips and grated cheddar cheese
I used recipe from HERE
We were pretty stuffed! :)

The next day, on New Year day, we were invited to my sis' boyfriend's place, spent the day there. The kids were swimming and we had lunch together.
Just ordered pizza and had some beer and chips. Oh and dessert was the bread pudding I made the day before as dessert :)

So, that's it. Simple way of celebrating but we did treasure every minute of togetherness :)


Okay, now back to baking
Just want to share my first bake of the year - rainbow cupcakes

It's been so popular everywhere but I was always too lazy to bake some cos it's so troublesome! And will leave me with piles of dishes to do
But Abby has been asking me to bake this one so I just did, with her help :)


 
 
 
What you need:
 
113g unsalted butter, room temperature
130g caster sugar (original recipe used granulated white sugar)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
195g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
60ml fresh milk
(original recipe used zest of 1 large lemon but I skipped this)
 
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degC and line 12 muffin cups with paper liners
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the lemon zest (if used), flour, baking powder, and salt
  4. With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed
  5. Divide the batter into 6 small bowls. Add in colouring accordingly, just a few drops each bowl will do. I used red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. The orange and yellow were too similar I couldn't see the difference. I should have added more of the orange colour. And there's a little accident for the purple. I mixed red and blue but somehow after adding the red, I took brown instead of blue. It's just a drop or two when I realized it, then I added the blue. Hence the brown like purple colour LOL
  6. Starting from purple, drop a tablespoon to the centre of each muffin cup. Followed by blue, green, yellow, orange, and lastly red (this all done by Abby)
  7. Bake for about 17 - 20 minutes or just until set and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean (always check a few minutes before the stated baking time. Do not over bake or the cupcakes will be dry)
  8. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool
 
 
 
We all loved the texture of these cupcakes. Soft, fluffy and moist
The kids were thrilled with the rainbow colour. But mummy was not so after seeing the dishes in the kitchen. Especially after hearing Abby asked me to bake more rainbow cakes in the future LOL
But I must admit, seeing the colours made me happy :))
 

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