Friday, June 16, 2017

Herman Streusel Coffee Cake 赫爾曼脆皮奶酥茶点

This is an easy bitsy streusel cake you can bake at anytime for an afternoon tea. Has anyone told you that SIMPLE IS BEAUTIFUL !  Another recipe working with my Herman starter. I'm sure Herman starter group members can easily prepare this simple recipe for a start. So, here's what I did.

To activate the Herman culture by mixing the following ingredients 3 hours before working on dough.
**1/2 cup Herman starter + 1/1 cup  all purpose flour + 1/2 cup milk + 1/3 cup  sugar

Ingredients for cake :
1 cup  Herman starter
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tspn  baking soda
1/2 tspn   cinnamon powder
1/2 tspn  salt
1/2 cup  sugar
1 large egg
1/3 cup  corn oil

Ingredients for streusel topping :
1/2 cup  all purpose flour
1/4 cup  brown sugar
1 tspn   cinnamon powder
50gm   butter, chopped

Method :
(1)  mix together struesel topping then rubbing butter in with your fingers till mixture became crumbly and be able to stick together when you press it. Keep refrigerated.
(2)  combine flour, baking soda, sugar, salt & cinnamon powder and mix well then stir in Herman starter, egg and oil till stick paste is formed.
(3)  pour batter to a 9x9" tray lined with parchment paper then sprinkle chilled crumb evenly over the batter.
(4)  Let cake rest for 30 minutes in a the oven, finally, bake at preheated oven 180-185'C for about 35 minutes or till set.

The cake turns out nice & fluffy. An extra whipped cream should be perfect !

Did you notice air bubbles inside the cake ?  That means my Herman starter is doing its job. Well done baby ! Happy baking everyone.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Herman Danish Loaf 赫爾曼丹麦酥皮面包

As I am a super big fan of danish pastry, so this famous danish loaf definitely something that I shouldn't missed out. I worked on the bread recipe shared by Herman Starter fb group members and combining it with the pastry folding. Honestly, I didn't expect much from my first attempt but it actually turns out really good. The bread is so soft and aromatic. Thumbs up !

To activate the Herman culture by mixing the following ingredients 3 hours before working on dough.
**1/2 cup Herman starter + 1/1 cup  all purpose flour + 1/2 cup milk + 1/3 cup  sugar

Ingredients :
1 cup  herman starter
350gm   bread flour
2-1/2 TB  sugar
1   whole egg
100ml   milk
1/2 tspn  salt
20gm   butter, diced

**200gm   margerine (for folding)
**Extra flour for dusting
**egg glazing :  1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tspn  milk

Method :
(1)  stir together ingredients from main dough (except butter) till sticky dough is formed.
(2)  add in butter and continue kneading till smooth, at this stage, dough no longer be sticky.
(3)  place dough to a slightly floured working table and flatten into 12x16" sheet.
(4)  spread margarine over half of the flatten dough sheet and fold the other half over margarine then sealed the edges nicely.
(5)  now, roll to flatten it into even larger sheet. and fold them into 4 layers as picture shown below.

Note :  I used margarine instead of butter for the folding, which makes it easier.

(FOLDING STEP 1.)

(FOLDING STEP 2)

(5)  placing both end of dough facing the center, as picture shown the above. Then make another folding by placing one overlap the other, as picture shown below. Looking like a 4 layers stacked dough.
(6)  keep dough freeze for 20 minutes after each turn, meaning prepare the 4 folding for 3 times and keep dough freeze after each turn. This will helps to generate better layers. Next, rotate dough in 90 degrees so that the opening is facing the left or the right and then repeating the same process once and again freeze it for the 2nd time. Try to press dough by rolling pin to flatten it before rolling it out after each freeze.
(7)  now, for final rolling, flatten dough into 4x16" rectangle shape which is twice the size of the loaf tray. Then cut into 4 strips and braid the dough strips into pony tail.
(8)  place shape dough to a 4x9" greased loaf pan and let dough rest in oven with a cup of hot water for at least 4-5 hours.
(9)  finally, brush with egg glazing and bake at preheated oven 210'C for about 30-35 minutes.

WA..LA.... Finally, my Herman danish loaf is done ! Clap... clap... clap.... I am definitely a happy baker. LOL

I am truly admired the beauty of the layering.  Don't you love it too !!!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Herman Cinnamon Rolls 赫爾曼桂皮麵包卷

This is the best cinnamon rolls I've ever baked. I can bake this over and over and over again. Even my kids are addicted to it. The exact texture that I'm looking forward to ....... not the kind of soft thick fluffy bun but cinnamon rolls of its own unique way, especially when working with Herman ! I am in love the way it turns out. Just perfect !

Can you imagine how delicious it is..... just by looking at it ! haha....

To activate your Herman culture by mixing in the ingredients as follow 3 hours before working on dough :
**1 cup  Herman starter + 1 cup all purpose flour + 1 cup milk + 1/2 cup  sugar

Ingredients :
2 cup   Herman starter
2 cups  all purpose flour
3 tspn  baking powder
1/2 tspn  baking soda
1/2 cup   sugar
1/2 tspn   salt
1/2 cup  peanut cooking oil

For fillings :  2 TB  cinnamon powder & 100gm   butter at room temperature

Method :
(1)  combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt & sugar into a big mixing bowl and mix well.
(2)  next, stir in Herman starter till sticky soft dough is formed.
(3)  stir in oil and continue kneading till smooth and no longer sticking to hands.
(4)  place dough to slightly floured working table and roll it out flat into 14x16" sheet.

(5)  spread on butter evenly then sieve cinnamon powder over butter evenly as well.
(6)  now, roll dough to form swiss roll (as shown in picture).
(7)  cut into 12 equal portions and place it to 9x13" tray lined with parchment paper.    

(8)  let shaped dough to rest for an hour and then bake at preheated oven 185-190'C for about 35 minutes or till brown.
(9)  drizzle on sugar frosting once its cooled.

Just in case, you prefer a fluffy soft bread kind of texture. Let dough rest for 4 hours before baking. I still prefer the present texture. It stays as good on the following day.

Ingredients for sugar frosting :
3/4 cup  icing sugar
2 TB   calamansi juice
(mix to form thick paste then transfer to pipping bag)

Perfect taste with perfect size and what can I say more !

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Eight Treasure Beggar Chicken 八宝乞丐鸡

Still remember the beggar chicken I prepared one month back ! And during the previous Chinese Dumpling Festival, I prepared another ultimate beggar chicken dish for my family to celebrate this special day. This special chicken dish is stuffed full with chestnuts, mushroom, dried shrimps & dried oysters, together with some tasty gravy. I'm lucky still stocking up some dried lotus leaves that I bought 2 years ago. Probably, need to start looking for more leaves later on. >o<   Please read on for more.

Ingredients for one chicken filling (about 1.5kg) :
4  shitake mushroom, soaked & quartered
120gm   chestnut (storebought ready to eat)
5  dried oyster, soaked
2  garlic cloves, chopped
1 shallot,  sliced
1 TB  chopped ginger
1 cup   water (mixed 1-1/2 tspn  cornflour)
2 TB  oyster sauce
1 TB  light soy sauce
1/2 tspn  granules
pepper to taste

Method :
(1)  preheat wok or frying pan with 1 TB cooking oil, stir in shallot, garlic & ginger till fragrant.
(2)  add in mushroom, chestnut & oyster and continue stir fry for 2-3 minutes.
(3)  now, add in seasoning to your taste and keep on stirring till well mixed.
(4)  add in water and bring it to boil till liquid almost thicken.
(5)  off the heat and transfer to a bowl, leave to cool.

Ingredients for marinade chicken :
1-1/2  tspn  five spice powder
1 tspn  ground sichuan pepper, toasted
1 TB  oyster sauce
2 TB  light soy sauce
pepper to taste

Method :
Mix all ingredients together then rub all over the chicken and keep chicken refrigerated overnight.

Items for wrapping beggar chicken :
2 large lotus leaves, soaked overnight
a string
2 pcs  large aluminium foil
600gm  all purpose flour
water for dough mixing

TO ASSEMBLE :
(1)  wash soaked lotus leaf and pad dry with towel then place it onto aluminium foil.
(2)  next, put chicken (from fridge) onto lotus leaf and stuffed in the filling including the thick gravy, then seal chicken with a toothpick.

(3)  fold in lotus leaf to wrap up the chicken then tight it with a string.
(4)  then to secure it, wrap it with another layer of aluminium foil, then set aside.
(5)  place flour into a big mixing bowl then slowly add in water till soft dough is formed. You need roughly  more or less 500ml water  Then knead dough till smooth.
(6)  now, flatten dough into thin sheet and place in the well wrapped chicken, push dough to stick to aluminium foil till everything is fully covered.
(7)  finally, bake at preheated oven 195'C for about 2 hours.

This round the crust turns out really thin & crispy and it cracked beautifully.as well.... Just the way I wanted !

The aroma busting out immediately once I unwrapped the aluminium foil. It smells truly amazing !

 
The meat is so juicy & tender. No wonder the Chinese Emperor is loving it so much.....

You can just skip the rice and wallop those juicy meat and the fillings. It such a blessing to have this on my dinning table. A very satisfying dish for the feast. Hope you guys will love it too !

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Herman Mantou Roll 赫爾曼饅頭卷

Another project from my Herman starter, I'm making Chinese steamed bun out of it from scratch. Oh yeah, I am having fun with my new pet. I am thankful yet another successful bun produced by my natural yeast. Did you know there are so many beneficial from using natural yeast ! Natural yeast can break down harmful enzyme in grains, makes vitamins & minerals more easily available for digestion. It can improves your digestion system and reduce bloating problem. This is so encouraging and we should start using natural yeast more often from now on. Please read on for more.

To activate the Herman culture, mix together the following ingredients 3 hours before working on dough.
**3 TB Herman starter + 3 TB  flour + 3 TB water + 2 TB sugar

Ingredients for main dough  :
150gm  herman starter
300gm  all purpose flour
1 TB   sugar
100ml  water (depending on flour)
40gm  shortening

*300gm  red bean paste filling
(flatten into 10x14" sheet between two plastic sheets)

Method :
(1)  stir together ingredients from main dough (except shrtening) till sticky dough is formed.
(2)  add shortening and continue kneading till smooth, at this stage, dough no longer be sticky.
(3)  place dough to a slightly floured working table and flatten into 12x16" sheet.
(4)  transfer red bean paste sheet onto flattened dough, then roll it up like a Swiss roll and make sure its nicely sealed and place onto a piece of parchment paper.
(5)  let dough rest in oven with a cup of hot water for at least 4 hours.
(6)  once its ready, steam at preheated steamer for 30 minutes over high heat.

* Tips :  always adding in water slowly to test the level of moisture when kneading the dough. Some flour need more than other and some need less. When dough turns sticky enough but not paste like, meaning its ready for you. Never afraid of sticky dough, the dough will turns out great once cooperated with shortening or butter or cooking oil. You can actually feel more & more air in the dough when kneading it.

 
The mantou should be extremely hot at this moment, you need to wait till its completely cooled before slicing it.

This steamed bun turns out so soft and bouncy, just like the Chinese festive turtle bun or steamed Mee Koo. If it is made without the filling, you'll be able to turn them into eastern French toast. hahaha.....  Hope you guys will love it too ! Enjoy.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Herman Hakka Hee Ban 赫爾曼客家喜粄

I was very pleased to have started my Herman project. I worked on most of my recipe from scratch and still experimenting. Its quite a challenge to work with the Asian food without an actual measurement by using Herman starter. Surprisingly, the result is overwhelming especially this Hakka steamed bun which I made the other day.

These buns are super light, airy & fluffy and its extremely delicious. I am totally blown away.

To activate the Herman culture by mixing the following ingredients 3 hours before working on dough.
**1 cup Herman starter + 1 cup  all purpose flour + 1 cup water + 1/3 cup  sugar

Ingredients :
2 cups  herman starter
1 cup   glutinous rice flour
1 cup   all purpose flour
3 TB  sugar
1/3 cup  corn oil /peanut oil
1 tspn   pandan paste /red  ros water

*banana leaf cut into 4x4" length then greased with oil

Method :
(1)  combine both flour & sugar then mix well.
(2)  stir in herman starter & pandan paste till sticky dough is formed, add in oil and continue kneading till smooth and no longer sticky.
(3)  divide dough by using an ice cream scoop then round them with your oil coating hand.
(4)  place dough to banana leaf and set aside to rest for at least 3 hours.

**Tips :  I have chosen to activate my previous Herman starter with water instead of milk. I personally prefer water to go into this particularly Chinese Kuih and not milk. I did note that milk works better than water. Milk helps to generate more bubbles than water.

(5)  the dough rose beautifully after 3 hours and its ready to go into the preheated steamer to steam for 15 minutes over high heat.
(6)  once its done, let them rest in steamer for 5 minutes with a closing lid before transferring them onto rack.

Another successful yummy bun from Herman starter ! Hope you guys will like it too. Have fun.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

My New Pet ~ Herman 我的赫爾曼酵母

Finally, I started my little Herman project from scratch. Herman is a natural yeast which was grown from the mixture of flour, milk, sugar & instant yeast (please refer recipe here). And then feed them every five(5) days with the ratio 1 : 1 : 1:1 , meaning 1 cup Herman starter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Unlike wild yeast, Herman starter is sweeter and watery. As for me, I grew my Herman with my old age leftover wild yeast which was kept in the fridge months ago and no commercial instant yeast added  I simply convert my wild yeast into Herman starter by adding in the ratio as given. I am truly happy that my natural yeast is working fine. The baby bubbling actively after feeding the first 5 days. You may keep your Herman in the fridge and reactivate it a day before, of course it may take some time. For further natural yeast info, you may check on my right hand side bar from USEFUL LINK.

However, I am still struggling if I should follow the recipe as given. I experiment my first attempt but failed. The bread tasted really unpleasant with a sourish aroma duel to long hours proofing. I too found that working with natural yeast is totally different from the commercial instant yeast. You don't need double proofiing method, unless you're working on a sourdough recipe. The most appropriate timing to proof your Herman soft bread is in between 3 hours after each feeding. It is the most active and appropriate period in generating carbon dioxide gas for your bread dough. Honestly, working with natural yeast is quite time consuming. So, I decided to plan for a double feeding process as follow. Please read on for more.

My second attempt on making Asian eggless soft bread from scratch as follow.

To activate the Herman culture, mix together the following ingredients overnight :
**3 TB Herman starter + 3 TB  flour + 3 TB water + 2 TB sugar

Ingredients :
STARTER DOUGH
150gm  Herman starter
150gm  bread flour
50ml   water

MAIN DOUGH
150gm   bread flour
80ml    water
1/4 tspn   salt
50gm   cold butter, chopped

Method :
(1)   since Herman already activate overnight, now start the 2nd batch of starter by mixing in the starter ingredients till well cooperated then leave to rest for 2-3 hours.
(2)   next, stir the main dough ingredients (except butter) into starter dough till everything well combined and became quite sticky at this stage.
(3)  add in butter and continue kneading till everything is well cooperated, the dough shouldn't be sticky anymore but elastic. Keep on kneading till smooth.
(4)  transfer dough to working table and divide into 9 equal portions, round them into ball shape and coat with some flour.
(5)  place shaped dough to a 7" (8" or 9" is better) greased baking tray and let to rest for at least 4 hours in the oven, with a cup of hot water.
(6)  finally, cover the dough with some dusting flour & bake at preheated oven at 185'C for 20-25 minutes or till brown.

These soft buns turned out beautifully, proving the yeast has did its job wonderfully. For the proofing stage, the shaped dough reached around 70% bigger instead of double its size. However, the dough expanding rapidly when baked under high heat. These buns rose almost double the size and bye bye to sourish aroma. Now I am one happy baker !

 So, stay tune for more Herman project from My Little Space. Enjoy & have fun !

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Asian Spicy Roasted Chicken 亚洲香辣烘烤鸡

Last week I finally experiment my homemade steamed fish sauce in roasting chicken. Surprisingly, my boy became a big fan of this special roasted chicken. He is loving the sauce so very much and addicted to it since then. It is a blessing ! And here's what I did.


Ingredients :
1 whole free range chicken
2 cup   homemade steamed fish sauce
some cooking oil

Method :
(1)  cleaned & wash the chicken then marinade chicken with 2 cups of homemade steamed fish sauce and keep refrigerated overnight.

(2)  place chilled marinated chicken to baking tray the next day and let to rest for 30 minutes before going into oven.
(3)  finally, bake at preheated oven 190-195'C for about an hour or till brown. And at the same time, reheat the leftover sauce from the marinade chicken to serve it with the roasted chicken later on.

I'll have to say this is a super unique pairing between the two ingredients and it turns out to be so good. Highly recommended to all my readers and I'm sure you're going to love it too. Enjoy !

Monday, May 22, 2017

Homemade Steamed Fish Sauce 自制八宝蒸鱼酱料

There is a restaurant in Kahang (Johor), where steamed fish was served with this aromatic glossy red spicy sauce. I am in love with the sauce eversince then. After travelling so frequent to Kahang, finally a friend gave me the recipe. I am truly honoured & thankful for the generosity.  I would be happy to share this with my readers.


Ingredients :
3  blue ginger flower / bunga kantan
1/2 inch  ginger
1 inch  blue ginger/galangal
2  stalk  lemongrass, take only the white part
10  red chilies, seeded
10  garlic cloves, skinned & finely chopped
2 bottles of Maggie chili sauce
1 bottle  sweet plum sauce

Method :
(1)  put together ginger, ginger flower, blue ginger & lemongrass with some cooking oil, grind into paste and set aside.

(2)  grind red chilies into chunk and set aside as well.
(3)  now,  preheat wok or frying pan with 1/2 cup cooking oil.

(4)  stir in ginger paste and saute till fragrant, then add in chopped garlic and continue saute for another 3-4 minutes till fragrant as well. Make sure its not burnt.

(5)  now, add in chili sauce & plum sauce and bring it to boil, for at least 5-10 minutes.

(6)  finally, stir in chili chunk and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

Finally, off the heat and let it cool before bottling. Keep refrigerated for further storage and reheat anytime you want to serve with steamed fish or fried fish. I'm sure you guys going to love it too !

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mulberry Slices 澳式桑莓茶点

As I mentioned earlier, there are still plenty more of mulberry to be harvested at my neighbourhood. So I just collected another 2 cups of fresh mulberries yesterday. I made some refreshing slices with them ! The word SLICES here meaning bake goods which is baked and serve in a flat thinner sizes, and this is something quite popular in Australia & New Zealand. Other places would called this as BARS. Please read on for more.


Ingredients:
150gm   butter softened at room temperature
220gm   castor sugar
2 eggs
230gm  all purpose flour
3 TB corn flour
2 tspn  baking powder
160ml  full cream milk mixed with 1/2 TB  lemon juice
1 tspn   vanilla extract/paste
2 cups  mulberries

Method :
(1)  combine both flour & baking powder then mix well.
(2)  cream butter and sugar till fluffy then beat in egg, one at a time till cooperated.
(3)  now, add in both flour mixture and milk alternately till everything well cooperated.
(4)  stir in vanilla extract and mulberries till well mixed.
(5)  pour batter to a 9x13" tray lined with parchment paper then bake at preheated oven 180-185'C for about 40 minutes.

Once its done, leave to cool on rack then serve with icing sugar dusting on top.

This is a perfect afternoon tea treat with a bunch of girlfriends. Light & presentable ! Bet no one can resist such a treat. Happy Baking !
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