Saturday, April 30, 2011

Stir Fry Glass Noodles With Potatoes

Can't stop munching on this - it's supposed to be a dish but everytime laying eyes on it, it's like calling "come and eat me" :P
For the family, it's a dish to eat with rice... for me, it's a meal on its own

What you need:

5 shallots - cut thinly
2 large chillies - cut
3 potatoes - diced
1 packet of glass noodles
oil, water, salt, sugar, pepper, dark sweet soya sauce (kecap manis)

Heat oil in a pan, fry diced potatoes til golden brown - make sure they're submerged in the oil
Set aside
Bring to boil a pot of water, add in glass noodle and boil til soft - strain and set aside
On the same pan with a little oil, stir fry shallots til fragrant, followed by chillies til soft
Add in potatoes, a little water - stir well
Add in glass noodles, followed by salt, pepper, dark sweet soya sauce
Mix well - adjust the taste
Off heat

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Steamed Cheesy Brownies With Chocolate Chips

Another recipe to keep - especially when u're a cheese lover :)
Soft, light, fluffy, cottony cheese brownies - it's a popular cake among Indonesians (it's a modification from the original chocolate version)
I added some chocolate chips since my family loves chocolate :)
For some reasons, the chips sank to the bottom but some survived in the middle - I wonder if mixing a little plain flour to the chocolate chips can help them to stay at their original place?
Anyhow, the taste is really yummilicious! And the best part, it's easy to make :)

You see the chocolate chips at the bottom:

And those managed to hang on at the middle part:

What you need:

A (beat til pale and thick+creamy)
3 eggs
1 tbsp ovalette
100g caster sugar

B (sieve together)
60g plain flour
20g cornflour
1 tsp salt
40g milk powder

C (beat til well incorporated and smooth)
250g cream cheese
50g butter

Process each group of ingredients
Fold in B into A til well mixed
Add in C - mix well with wooden spoon
Pour half the batter onto an 8 inch round pan which has been buttered and sprinkled with plain flour, sprinkle with chocolate chips on the batter
Pour the remaining batter, arrange some more chocolate chips at the top
Heat steamer, put a plate on the steamer, and put the pan on the plate (this is to avoid water below going up to the pan when it's bubbling) 
Let it steam without cover for the first 5 minutes - on medium heat
Continue steaming with cover for the next 30 minutes - on medium heat
Take out from steamer once it's cooked

Note: please wrap the cover with clean cloth to prevent the steam drops on the cake during steaming process

I'm submitting these soft cheesy brownies to Aspiring Bakers#6: Say Cheese! (April 2011) hosted by Jean from Noms I Must at this LINK

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mum's Signature Barbeque Chicken & Chicken Ball Soup

Just wanna share my mum's signature dish - barbeque chicken - her own creation
Using some secret ingredients, this dish is a hit among her friends, and by words of mouth, this dish has been giving her good business :)

She cooked this dish many times for us and we never get tired of it :)
This time, again, and still enjoyable
I added simple chicken ball soup to go with it

What you need:

1 chicken bone
3 cloves of garlic - crushed
1 pack chicken balls
1 pack bokchoy - cut
oil, water, salt, pepper

Boil a pot of water with chicken bone in it - discard all the floating residue
Stir fry garlic on heated frying pan with oil til fragrant
Add in the fried garlic on the chicken stock
Add in chicken balls - simmer til balls floating up
Season with salt and pepper
Add in bokchoy, bring to boil
Off heat

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chocolate Loaf - Another Recipe (Bread maker)

After baking the super soft chocolate loaf the other day - and fell in love with it, I wanted to try when I saw a different recipe for chocolate bread at ReeseKitchen
Was lazy to do the chocolate chips thingy though, so I just did the bread
The result...another wonderful chocolate loaf, more to the sweeter side - guess cos I added some chocolate chips in it, but texture wise, it's as soft as the first recipe I did! Yum!

Very soft bread!

What you need:

20g castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
15g beaten egg
165g cold water
5g instant yeast
40g condensed milk
5g cocoa powder / chocolate powder (I used cocoa)
250g bread flour
50g cake flour
5g milk powder
30g butter
60g chocolate chips

Using breadmaker:
Put in egg, water, condensed milk followed by bread flour, cake flour, sugar, salt, cocoa powder, milk powder, and lastly, yeast
Set into basic programme for 500g bread with medium crust and press start
Once all incorporated, add in butter
Add in chocolate chips when the machine gives signal
Take the loaf out from the pan as soon as it's finished baking, and leave to cool for 30 - 45mins before cutting
Keep the balance in airtight container or sealed plastic bag

I'll definitely bake this loaf again - next time with the chocolate chips in it, visible ones :)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cheese Envelopes (Topfengolatschen)

Saw this at Vivi's site, I reckoned this as something unique, which intrigued me to give a try - lemon, cheese, puff...great combo!
It's supposed to look like envelope but if you compare from the original recipe, mine was far from envelope shape :P
I did exactly as instructed but one thing - as usual, I was being greedy generous by giving too much filling so resulting in the big fat envelopes *grin*
The shapes are similar to the banana chocolate cheese puffs I made previously
Ok, aside from the shape, these puffs do taste yummilicious! :)
I changed the raisins to chocolate chips - not because I dislike raisins, it's just to make my kids interested to eat - they don't really eat raisins :)

After bite:

What you need:
(makes 12)

25g butter
50g icing sugar
10g agar agar powder (white)
125g cold cream cheese
50g chocolate chips
1/2 tsp grated lemon skin
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
a pinch of salt

1 egg yolks, beaten -> for glazing
icing sugar to sprinkle just before eating

Beat in medium speed butter and icing sugar til well mixed
Add in salt, vanilla, agar agar powder, ceam cheese til smooth
Off mixer
Add in chocolate chips, stir with wooden spoon
Prepare puff pastry, flatten with rolling pin and cut into square shape - 10cm x 10cm
Add in filling - approximately 2 tbsps, at the centre of each square
Fold in as if you're folding an envelope, cover the centre part with a little square pastry to seal
Brush with egg yolk (I brush the other side)
Arrange on a lightly greased cookie pan
Bake in preheated oven of 200degC for approx 15minutes
Sprinkle with icing sugar before eating

For step by step instruction, please view Vivi's site at the link above (her site is in Indonesian language, but u can always see the pics :P)

Some asked me which puff pastry I used, here's the picture after I googled, so far I see NTUC and Cold Storage sell this

I'm submitting these chubby cheesy envelopes to Aspiring Bakers#6: Say Cheese! (April 2011) hosted by Jean from Noms I Must at this LINK

Sunday, April 24, 2011

5 Recipes To Celebrate Easter

Invited by Lena to join in an Easter Party by suggesting 5-10 recipes, upload the photos with respective links
It's a kind of late I guess to tag 10 other bloggers to do the same, so I will just join in the party :)

Thank you Lena for the invitation and to everyone, Happy Easter! :)

Indonesian Style Stir Fry Chicken In Soya Sauce (Bistik Ayam)

Haven't cooked this dish for quite sometime, the whole family loves this
A typical dish Indonesians like to cook - bistik. Basically it's stir fry chicken using sweet soya sauce. Some use beef or pork, too
Recipe is from my mum :)

What you need:

1 medium onion - julienned
400g chicken breast - lightly pounded and cut thinly
3 carrots - cut as desired
to marinade chicken: salt, pepper, dark sweet soya sauce (kecap manis), 1 heaped tbsp cornflour, a pinch of ground nutmeg
a little oil, water, salt, pepper, sugar, kecap manis, tomato ketchup, cornflour

Marinade chicken and set aside for at least 1 hour
Heat oil in frying pan, stir fry onion til soft and fragrant
Add in chicken, stir well til cooked, add in carrots, stir well
Add in water, salt, pepper, sugar, kecap manis, ketchup - mix well
Adjust the taste
Add in more cornflour if it's not thick enough
Simmer til the carrots soften (approximately 5mins)
Off heat

Friday, April 22, 2011

Creamy Chicken & Sweet Corn Pasta

Kids asked for pasta then I realized it's been quite sometime since the last time I cooked pasta for them
Found the recipe at Rita's site, easy to make - another creamy pasta my kids love :)

What you need:
(modified to suit my taste)

your choice of pasta (I used macaroni since that's what I still have left)
5 cloves of garlic - crushed
sweet corns from 2 corns - blanch for 1 minute (for convenience you may use canned sweet corns - this one no need blanching done)
1 skinless, boneless chicken breast meat - diced
2 tbsps cream
100ml fresh milk
100ml water
a pinch of dried parsley
olive oil, salt, pepper, a bit of corn starch
parmesan cheese powder

Cook pasta according to the direction on the packet - set aside
Cut chicken breast into bite sized chunks, season with salt and pepper, dust lightly with a bit of corn starch, mix well.
Heat up a frying pan, add a bit of olive oil, stir fry garlic til fragrant
Add chicken pieces, let cook on one side until you get a bit of brownage, flip and cook thoroughly. Add corn kernels, heat thoroughly, add cream, milk and water and parsley. Season with salt and pepper
Adjust the taste accordingly - off heat
Pour pasta over sauce in the pan, mix well
Sprinkle with parmesan cheee powder

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Custard Raisins Bread

Saw these bread made by Melly, highly recommended by her
It's indeed a keeper, soft, fluffy and yummy!

After bite:

Recipe adapted from dailydelicious - an avid baker I always admire, and love her way of blogging, not only sharing the recipe but with a detailed step by step instruction, great for a beginner like me :P

I made some with chocolate chips too instead of raisins, but I still prefer those with raisins

After bite:

One thing I should have not done - being greedy and put too much filling - quite messy during cutting and needed to rearrange again on the tray - struggled quite abit when rolling them up and somehow I think it did affect the end result, should have been more fluffy otherwise...too much glaze too, so it's a little too sweet for me
Learnt my lesson, the next time I make, just being realistic :)

What you need:
(I made 1.5 recipe = 18 pcs)
Below is 1 recipe

For the bread:
140g milk
200g bread flour
20g sugar
3g salt
3g instant yeast
20g unsalted butter

For the custard cream:
2 egg yolks
40g sugar
20g plain flour
150g milk
20g unsalted butter
1/4tsp vanilla paste

-raisins mixed with rum
-chocolate chips

Apricot jam for glazing -> heat in a small saucepan over medium heat until liquid. Remove from heat and strain the jam to remove fruit lumps

To make custard cream:
Put egg yolks, flour and sugar, whisk together, meanwhile put the milk in microwaveable cup and heat for 1 and a half min. Gradually pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisk all the time til all milk is in the pan
Put the pan over low heat, whisk all the time til the mixture is thicken
Take the pan off the heatm put the butter into the custard, stir to combine, add in vanilla paste and stir again
Let the custard cool, if there are some lumps, strain

To make the bread using bread maker:
(please hop on the site I mentioned above for manual way)
Put into the bread maker pan in the following order: milk, flour, sugar, salt, yeast, butter
Set to dough (it usually takes 1.5hour)

Roll the dough into a rectangle about 1cm thick
Spread the dough with the custard cream
Sprinkle raisins over the custard. Roll up the dough as you would a swiss roll
Then cut into pieces (I cut into 6pcs) - custard will ooze out a bit but its ok
Place in the prepared foil cup, leave to prove under a tea towel for about 30minutes
Put the bread in the oven, bake for 10-15mins or til golden brown
Brush the bread with the glaze, and let cool completely

I did the custard cream after the dough was out from the bread maker - meantime I left the dough for further proofing under a towel til the custard cream cooled - approximately 30minutes
For step by step instruction, you may hop on the link I gave above

Great sweet bread base recipe! Will definitely use it for other kinds of sweet bread :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Stir Fry Scrambled Eggs & Petai

Pardon me, but I'm a fan of petai *grin*
Many dislike the taste and mainly the strong fragrant they have, but still I like them :P
To me, the fragrant is not something that can be described as nice, but it's not a bad smell either
But what I like is mainly the taste :)
Not too often though, cos eating them doesn't go easy on my budget for buying mouthwash hehehe...

This recipe is from my mum whom also a fan of petai hihihi...

What you need:

4 eggs - lightly beaten with 2 pinches of salt
20pcs petai - halved (approximately half packet)
5 shallots - cut thinly
2 big red chillies - discard the seeds and cut
salt, pepper,  a pinch sugar, dark sweet soya sauce (kecap manis)
a little oil, water

Heat oil in the frying pan, stir fry shallots and red chillies til soft and fragrant
Pour in beaten eggs, stir continously til it forms scrambled eggs
Add in salt, pepper, kecap manis and sugar - stir well
Add in petai and water, stir well
Bring to boil, then let it simmer til petai soften - approximately 10minutes
(add water when necessary, adjust the taste)
Off heat

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Cream Cheese Minicakes

These cakes were so soft, moist and fluffy! My kind of cake! :)
Recipe taken Aunty Yochana's site - one of the blog I religiously followed when I just started to learn baking, still do til now to admire her ever pretty cakes :)

Cream cheese+raisins filling:

Cream cheese+chocolatechips filling:

What you need:

230g butter
100g icing sugar
1 egg
200g self-raising flour
30g toasted ground almond
100ml fresh milk

Mix all the fillings together till smooth
(I mix all ingredients except raisins and choco chips and then divide into 2 portions - one mixed with raisins and the other ones mixed with choco chips)
100g cream cheese (I prepare 120g)
2 tbsps icing sugar
60 g raisins (I prepared 40g choco chips and 40g raisins)
20g whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
Cream butter with icing sugar till creamy. Add in egg and cream till well mixed
Add in self raising flour, ground almond and fresh milk alternately till finished
Prepare pan as preferred (I use muffin papercups since I don't have mini loaf pans)
Scoop some batter into pan then scoop some filling in the center and top up with some batter
Bake at 175C for about 20 mins or till cooked
Remove from oven and overturn cakes onto wire rack to cool

I'm submitting these minicakes to Aspiring Bakers#6: Say Cheese! (April 2011) hosted by Jean from Noms I Must at this LINK

Monday, April 18, 2011

Steamed Chicken With Garlic & Pandan Leaves

Time for something hearty and healthy dish :)
Recipe is from Ellena's site, this dish is loved by the whole family :)

The chicken stock from steaming

What you need:

1 kampong chicken (I removed most of the skin since we dislike chicken skin)
6 slices of ginger
7 garlic bulbs - wash clean, lightly pound (skin intact)
1 stalk of spring onion, cut into half
2 bundles of pandan leaves
salt and sesame oil

Clean, trim and rinse the chicken thoroughly, pat dry with kitchen paper towels
Place chicken (breast side facing up) on deep steaming plate and rub ½ teaspoon of salt all over the chicken
Stuff cavity with 2 garlic bulbs, 1 ginger slices, 1 pandan leaves and half portion of spring onion and scatter the rest of the ingredients on the sides and bottom of the chicken
Steam in a covered pot/wok over medium high heat for 10 minutes, flip the chicken over on another side and continue to steam for another 15 – 20 minutes (remember to take note of the water in the pot and add in more hot water if necessary to avoid it from evaporating)To test if the chicken is cooked, insert a chopstick into the thigh area if the liquid run out clear, it is cooked
Remove the chicken from pot to another plate, quickly rub 1 tsp of sesame oil all over it and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting the chicken into bite size pieces and serve

This might look gross but just wanna show how the chicken arranged before steaming :P

We prefer to eat this dish with chicken rice chilli sauce
Best eaten with chicken rice but today we ate just with plain rice, put the chicken part on it and pour a little chicken stock over it - yum! :)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cheese Loaf (Bread maker)

I'm not sure why (again) the cheese couldn't retain its shape - just like what happened to the chocolate chips in the Chocolate Loaf  I made the other day - I guess the heat in the breadmaker melted them away
Aside from that, this loaf tasted yummy and cheesy
Texture wise, it's soft and fluffy but not as soft as the chocolate loaf, I guess the main reason was because I added more cheese into the dough and it's cubed instead of grated

Where's the cheese cubes?

What you need:
(for 750g loaf)

1 tbsp sunflower oil (I use canola)
200ml water
100ml fresh milk
500g bread flour
65g grated cheddar cheese (I use 100g cubed)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp dried yeast

Using breadmaker:
Pour in the ingredients into the bread pan in the above order - except cubed cheese
Pour in the cubed cheese when the signal is given by the machine
Choose basic programme for 750g white bread with medium crust
Take the loaf out from the pan as soon as it's finished baking, and leave to cool for 30 - 45mins before cutting
Keep the balance in airtight container or sealed plastic bag

Anybody can advise me on keeping the cheese cubes in shape in the loaf??? Help!

I'm submitting this cheesy loaf to Aspiring Bakers#6: Say Cheese! (April 2011) hosted by Jean from Noms I Must at this LINK

Indonesian Style Blanched Veggies With Spicy Peanut Sauce (Pecel)

Another type of Indonesian salad besides gado gado. No, this is different from gado gado which many are familiar with - the difference is the vegetables used - same sauce used though
This is called 'pecel' in Indonesia - quite famous especially with Javanese people

My mum brought the sauce from Jakarta, only need to dilute with a little water for preparation
To eat with blanched spinach, beansprouts and cabbage
To eat with prawn crackers or any other type of crackers of your choice
For me, I like to eat this dish with a dash of sweet soya sauce (kecap manis)
Best eaten with hot rice

This is the recipe for the sauce:
(same as gado gado sauce)

500g fried peanut powder (can use store bought peanut powder - this one usually has been fried and mixed with sugar - taste first to make sure, in this case please omit sugar and no need to fry them)
5 large red chillies - blend (can use store bought blended red chillies, but this usually already mixed with salt - please taste to be sure, in this case please omit the salt)
5 cloves of garlic - blend
2 lime leaves
1 tbsp salt (if not using store bought red chillies which usually already mixed with salt, to be sure please taste the chillies first)
3 tbsps sugar
1 tbsp juice of large lime
1 litre water
a little oil

Heat oil in frying pan, stir fry garlic, chillies and lime leaves til fragrant
Add in water, mix well
Add in peanut, stir well, followed by salt, sugar when neccessary
Bring to boil til thicken and oil is visible at the sides of the pan, add in lime juice - stir well
Off heat

Thursday, April 14, 2011

So Cheesy Cheese Sticks

This savoury snack is so addictive you can't stop eating them! Crisp and delicious!
The only thing was I made them not the ideal way, it should be shaped with noodle maker, but since I don't own one, I did them with a dough roller just like when making rolled cookies and cut thinly
Not so easy, I ended up still having some thick sticks which texture is different from the thin ones
Thicker sticks get softer faster, while the thinner ones could maintain their crispiness
Nevertheless, the taste is a winner! :)

It looks like muruku - famous Indian savoury snack, only that this one is really cheesy without any spice added :)

Recipe is from Pawonike (it's in Indonesian language)

What you need:

600g plain flour
150g tapioca starch
300g grated cheddar cheese
100g grated edam / gouda cheese
(please note not to grate the cheese too coarse/long, it will make the sticks looks dotty - if u know what I mean :P)
1 tsp salt (depending on the cheese you use - if you use both above, salt can be ommitted, if you use only cheddar then you need to use the salt)
100ml egg whites (I used from 3 eggs)
100ml water (I used 200ml)
115g butter - melted but not til completely melted (I put in microwave for 15secs)

These 2 ingredients below only to be used when you don't really fancy cheesy snack, I love cheese so I didn't use them:
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp chicken stock powder

lots of frying oil (can use deep fryer too)
some parmesan cheese powder to sprinkle

Mix butter and egg whites til well combined
Add in plain flour and tapioca starch as well as salt, mix well  (you may do it by hand of electric beater - I did by hand)
Pour water bit by bit til it forms dough, knead til it's smooth (approximately 10minutes)
Roll the dough and shape accordingly (ideally by noodle maker, I don't have one so I cut thinly using knife)
Heat oil in a chinese wok, fry and stir while frying til golden brown
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese powder
Keep in the airtight container

Ian who's a fan of savoury snack loves eating this snack, calling them "cheese french fries" and requested to bring them to school tomorrow in his lunch box :)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Chocolate Loaf (Bread maker)

Soft, fluffy even til the next day - this loaf was well received by the whole family including the kids
One thing is I wish the chocolate chips could retain their shapes instead of melting and blended together with the bread.. That way would have been more chocolatey in taste...

No chance to take a snap of the whole loaf, DH cut it in hurry of great starvation (read: greediness) before I knew it hohoho...
Anyway, it's for 750g loaf, but it turned out tall, too tall til it's a little flooded out of the bread pan!

The texture was really really soft, in fact this was the softest loaf I've ever made recently!

What you need:
(for 750g loaf)

1 egg, mixed with water to 225ml
100ml fresh milk
450g bread flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2tsp salt
40g caster sugar
25g butter
1 1/2 tsp yeast
100g chocolate chips

Using breadmaker:
Pour in the ingredients into the bread pan in the above order - except chocolate chips
Pour in the chocolate chips when the signal is given by the machine
Choose basic programme for 750g white bread with medium crust
Take the loaf out from the pan as soon as it's finished baking, and leave to cool for 30 - 45mins before cutting
Keep the balance in airtight container or sealed plastic bag

***UPDATE: 6March2016
For those who want to try the 500g loaf, here's the recipe (there's 1kg loaf too!)

Jolly Jammers

Love these cookies! Soft crumbly - everything's just right!
I personally love those with jam filling but since my family is chocoholic, I also used nutella filling for variety
(wanted to use dark cooking chocolate but too lazy to do the melting process hehe...)

Recipe is from dailydelicious
(for 25-30 cookies)

What you need:

200g butter*
100g icing sugar
2 egg yolks 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
250g plain flour , plus extra for rolling 
strawberry jam for the filling (I also use nutella for variety)
icing sugar for dusting 
*If using unsalted butter add a pinch of salt

Beat the butter, icing sugar, salt and egg yolks until thick and creamy, then add the vanilla extract and flour and beat until the mixture forms a dough
Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for at least 1hour
Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut out 50-60rounds using a 2 inches cookie cutter. Cut a heart or other shape out of the centre of half of the rounds. Put them on trays lined with baking paper and bake for 14-16 minutes until golden brown
If they spread slightly and lose their shape, just re-cut them as they come out of the oven, while the biscuits are still warm. Allow to cool
Dust the heart cut-out rounds with icing sugar
Put the jam in microwavable bowl, and heat for 30 seconds
To assemble, sandwich the whole rounds and heart cut-out rounds together with  jam

These cookies was my contribution for LBT April challenge - nice looking with great taste

Hope the next time I make these again, they can be as pretty as what's shown in the original recipe *grin*

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Stained Glass Cookies

Amazed by how pretty these cookies are, I gave it a try
It's indeed pretty, but tastewise, it's not my kind of cookies, it's way too sweet for me and not sure why it tasted as if its underbaked when it's actually not - or perhaps it's just me whom doesn't prefer chewy cookies except for chocolate chips one :)
Anyway, the kids love looking at them but they didn't really eat much
Perhaps if I make again next time, I will reduce the sugar

Recipe is from Doris' site
(for 3 dozen cookies approx)

What you need:

300g All-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
110g unsalted butter
225g Sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
around 30pcs assorted clear colored hard candies, colors separated and finely chopped

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder into a large bowl, set aside
Beat butter and sugar in the bowl on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes

Add egg, mix until smooth, 1 minute
Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture, and mix until combined
Stir in vanilla. Wrap dough in plastic, and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour

Roll out chilled dough on a well-floured surface to a little more than 1/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes using a cookie cutter
Using a metal spatula/jam knife, space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper
Using the tip of a paring knife, make a cut out in center of each cookie for candy filling (I use small heart shape cookie cutter)
After ready cutting all the cookies, refrigerate with the baking pan about 10-15 minutes
Once refrigerate, bake it in preheated oven of 160degC for 6 minutes, taking out to fill with the cut out candies, bake for another 3 minutes to check whether the candies fill up the cookies, if not then add more candies

Don’t try to overfill the cut-out with candies otherwise they will flow out and create a stain outside
Bake cookies until candy has melted and completely filled cutout and cookie edges are just starting to turn pale golden brown. Do not let the cookies brown, or the candy centers may become bubbly

Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Allow the cookies to cool slightly on baking sheet (for the candies to set) before transferring to wire rack for cooling
Use a metal spatula to remove cookies from parchment
Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 5 days

I found another recipe for the same type of cookies from Vivi's site which seems worth trying - perhaps next time I might try to bake again and put them in the kids' goodie bags on their birthday parties
Definitely a good choice - it's really pretty! :)

At first I planned to contribute these cookies for LBT's April challenge, but changed my mind to another cookies which I have made and liked by the whole family - will post soon! :)

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stir Fry Steamed Egg Whites With Chilli & Soya Sauce

When I have egg whites leftover from my bakings, I usually just steam them and eat with salt or light soya sauce, but it's so easy to get bored with that
This recipe from my mum is good for an occassional change :)

What you need:

3 shallots - thinly cut
1 big red chillies - remove seeds and cut
steamed egg whites from 3 eggs - diced
a little oil, water, salt, sugar, sweet dark soya sauce (kecap manis), pepper

Heat oil on the frying pan, stir fry shallots and chillies til fragrant
Add in egg whites, stir well
Add in salt, sugar, sweet dark soya sauce, pepper
Add in water, stir well - simmer for around 10minutes or so to let absoprtion
Adjust the taste - off heat

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Indonesian Style Hot & Sour Soup (Sayur Asem)

You're not Indonesian if you never try this soup before - it's a trademark in Indonesia, just like tomyum soup in Thailand (they actually taste similar, with a strong hint of sour and spicy taste)

What you need:

6 shallots
2 big red chillies, throw away the seeds
a little fried prawn paste (belachan)
6 candlenuts - chopped

1 tomatoes, cut into 8
a pot of water
tomato ketchup, palm sugar, sugar
tamarind -> mix with half bowl of water, strain

cut as desired: long beans, cabbage, chayote
sweet corns - cut into 4pcs
wing beans - cut and trim the leafy edges

Bring a pot of water to boil, add in the blended ingedients
Add in sweet corns, chayote, wing beans
Followed by long beans and cabbage, tomatoes
Add in tomato ketchup, palm sugar, sugar, salt
When the vegetables are half cooked, add in tamarind water
Stir well - adjust the taste
Bring the soup to boiling, when the vegetables is cooked, off heat

Mango Mousse Cake 4Mummy's Bday

Can you imagine? Baked a cake for somebody's birthday and the cake turned out not as expected's mum's birthday!
That's what happened to me today...below is the story....

Have been planning to bake a birthday cake for my mum's birthday since she's in town - I asked her whether she prefers chocolate or fruity cake and she said she likes the latter one

After browsing many blogs and online recipe resources, I decided to bake mango mousse - since Thai honey mangoes are still available even though not as much
This was my first time making mousse cake as well as sponge cake
With so many recipes around, I chose the one from Happy Home Baking

At first I thought this gonna be a tedious, need a whole day to bake kind of cake, but I was wrong
This cake can't be categorized in simple cake (all layered cakes can't) but really, it's not so bad at all

Baking something that I never tried before for birthday cake for somebody as important as my mummy -WRONG!!!

The problem is not the cake, its in fact turned out perfect!
The sponge cake was perfect! It's really a keeper to use as cake base - unfortunately I didn't take a snap when it's just out of the oven
It's the mousse and the topping that messed the whole thing up!

The mousse: Since I'm still not so familiar with how "mousse state" looks like, I overbeat the whipping cream (lucky it's yet to turn into mashed tofu like texture, but very very close!)
No doubt the taste was excellent, but I ended up with lumpy and a little runny texture for the mousse, even after keeping in the fridge for more than 3 hours :(

Another big big big mistake I did...
The topping: Since I was disappointed with the mousse, I didn't want to use it as the cake topping, so it's only in between the 2 layers and I threw away the balance
Didn't want to have a bare plain birthday cake, but couldn't follow the recipe for the topping since I didn't have mango cordial
Cracked my unskilled brain and decided to arrange mango cubes on top and pour yellow agar agar

The top cake layer absorbed the agar agar so much that the texture changed, it expanded to double in size, became stiff and tasteless - it's like biting a sandy pudding :(
Luckily the mousse and the bottom cake layer was safe - still soft and moist, tasted yummy too

This is the cake before I knew about the "stiff sandy pudding"

Now you see the 2 pics below and you know what I mean when I said I'm really lousy at beautifying my bakings? So messy! I guess it's partly cos of my failed mousse *sigh*

I was shocked after see below - the expanded stiff top cake layer :(

This is what I did - I cut and disposed the top cake layer only, assemble the remaining and eat! hihihi...
While munching, I imagined if only all is perfect, this cake were really superb!!!

Aside from the mistakes I have done, this recipe should have resulted in a beautiful and yummy mango mousse cake
As usual, mistakes made will leading to another try - soon! Hope my family can bear with me haha...
Perhaps I'll switch to strawberry or peach for the next try :P

This is the recipe:

For the sponge cake: ( I used 20cm round springform pan)

100g cake flour
3 eggs, room temperature
90g caster sugar
20g unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons fresh milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift cake flour, set aside. Line bottom and sides of an 20cm round pan with parchment paper, set aside
Pre-heat oven to 170degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven
With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7 mins, until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like texture when the batter is lifted up)
Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter
Add sifted cake flour into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended. Take care not to deflate the batter. (To ensure proper folding in of the flour, you can add the flour in three separate additions)
Add the melted butter, fold with spatula until well blended
Add in fresh milk, vanilla extract and fold in gently with spatula
Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 30-35mins (mine was 25mins), or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and invert onto cooling rack, cool completely

For the mousse:

350ml whipping cream (35%) + 3-4 tbsp icing sugar (depending on the sweetness of the mangoes)
300g mango puree
200g mango cubes
17g gelatin powder
60ml hot water
1 tbsp rum

Dissolve gelatin powder in the hot water - keep warm for use later
Whip cream til 70% stiff or mousse state
Add gelatin solution into mango puree – mix well
Add mango gelatin solution into whipped cream, combine well

To assemble:
Cool the cake, cut into 2
Line the inner circumference of the springform cake pan with pectin / plastic cake tape (can grease the pan and line with parchment paper)
Put 1 layer cake onto cake pan, top with mango mousse
Add mango cubes, top with some mousse just enuf to cover the mango cubes
Chill for 15mins
Put in the other cake layer and pour all mousse over it
Chill cake 3 hrs b4 serving

Another way to assemble (with mousse circling the sides of the cake):
Line the inner circumference of the springform cake pan with pectin / plastic cake tape (can grease the pan and line with parchment paper) and trim the cake smaller than the cake pan
This way the mousse will cover the whole cake and no need to cream the cake – just add deco on top (mango slice will do)
The rest is the same as above method

Recommended topping:
=> mirror layer: mixture of mango cordial, water and gelatin powder
=> drop teaspoon on mango puree on the cake surface and swirl the puree with toothpick
1 tsp at the centre, and the rest at the clock position: 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12

Some tips:
*** If the whipping cream cant go stiff like mousse:
Chill stainless steel bowl and beater b4 using
Whip over a bowl of ice water
When cream starts to thicken, beat a further 10counts -> mousse state
If overwhip, fats will separate from the cream and will get mashed tofu like mixture -> what has happened to mine *hiks*
*** Take note:
Dry cake:
Over beat the egg whites
Bake in too high temp too long
*** When the cake is chilled and set, use hair dryer to warm all around the sides of the cake pan to release the cake

Having said all the terrible 'should have not been done' things, we still enjoyed the cake minus the stiff cake layer
In the future, I will save the first time trial bakings for normal days!

Happy birthday mum! Sorry for the cake incident *hugz and kisses*


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