Monday, September 11, 2017

The Famous Crater Cheese Honey Cake Copycat 芝士火山口蛋糕

My family & I have spent a day travelling to Kuala Lumpur last weekend. We are sending my girl to her new place for a 3 months practical training there and glad there's no traffic jam along the way. After settling down, we went for lunch around her residential area. Phew.... I realized that food is getting pretty pricey in the city these days. Well, I am NOT forgetting to get my girl some storage food as well before we're leaving. So, we went to a nearby bakery shop. And this is the cake I first spotted when I stepped into the shop. hahaha..... I bought one to try it. But still think the top cheezy layer is too thin and causing me craving for more. Sooo.... I knew I am going to make one when I got home and I did. I actually make two and its incredibly yum. Really something to die for. Please read on for more.

Ingredients for cheese honey topping :
( recipe for 3 units 6" cake)
90gm  butter
20gm  condensed milk
40gm  honey
140gm   cheddar cheese
1 TB  parmesan cheese powder
80gm   heavy cream

Method :
Put everything together into a stainless bowl then place bowl to double boiler and let to heat till everything melted. Then set aside to cool completely. Finally,  transfer cheese mixture to pipping bag and its ready for use.

Thanks to Sue Gan @ As The Deer for the inspiration.

I made two sponge cakes and almost messed up with one, due to my carelessness when setting the temperature. Luckily ..... the cake is still edible and yummy too !

Ingredients for sponge cake :
( recipe for 1 unit 6" cake)
50gm   butter
50gm   all purpose flour
60ml  milk
3 egg yolk

3 egg white
50gm  castor sugar
1/8 tspn  cream of tartar

Method : 
(1)  Ingredient (A), heat up butter & milk till just butter melted (not boiling) then add in flour to form a thick paste. Leave to cool for 10 minutes then stir in egg yolk and beat till everything well cooperated.
(2)  Ingredient (B), whisk egg white till foamy then add in cream of tartar and half of the sugar. Continue beating till thick & foamy. Add in the remaining sugar and beat till top foam.
(3)  now, fold meringue into mixture (A) till everything well blended. Do not over mix.
(4)  transfer batter to a 6" baking tray lined with parchment paper (only the bottom).
(5)  finally, bake at preheated oven 170'C for 20 minutes then 150'C for another 40 minutes.
(6)  discharged from tray and leave to cool completely, then keep chilled for an hour.

(7)  finally, squeeze on the cheese topping over the cake and then bake at preheated oven 230-240'C for about 6-8 minutes or till brown. And I love it really really brown. such great looking piece of work ! I am on cloud 9 already....

The burnt cheese topping is totally amazing. I dig in right away after a few shootings. Gosh, I am speechless ! The cake tasted soooooo sooooo good. Truly satisfying piece of cake. Oh yeah, this is a highly recommended treat to all my readers. Definitely something to die for !

Friday, September 8, 2017

Chinese Traditional Steamed Sponge Cake 古早蒸蛋糕

According to the Chinese Lunar calender, we're now celebrating the festival of hungry ghost (yu lan jie or zhong yuan jie). Most Chinese will take this opportunities to give away food to offer to the hungry ghost. Click here to read more culture explainer.  Well, I'll have to say it is always very interesting for being a Chinese and I love my culture.  And this year I made this lovely steamed cake to offer on this special occasion.  Please read on for more.

The cross sign preparation need to be quick, make sure the sugar didn't sink before sending into the steamer. Otherwise, you won't be able to get the nice bloom after steaming.

Ingredients :
5 large eggs
250gm  castor sugar
250gm  all purpose flour
20gm    corn flour
1 tspn   baking powder
a pinch of salt
170ml  soft drinks (highly recommeded 7up)
* extra coarse sugar for sprinkle the cross sign

Method :
(1)  combine all purpose flour, corn flour & baking powder till well mixed.
(2)  whisk eggs and sugar till light & fluffy.
(3)  fold in flour mixture alternately with soft drinks, till everything is well cooperated.
(4)  next, add in salt & corn oil and stir till well combined.
(5)  pour batter to a 8" tray lined with parchment paper.
(6)  now,  sprinkle sugar over the top of the batter to make a cross sign. (as shown in the above picture). This has to be done quickly, otherwise the sugar might disappeared in no time.
(7)  finally, steam at preheated steamer for 30 minutes or till tester came out clean.

I'm pretty much happy with the result. The steamed cake looks fantastic and the best thing is it's easy to prepare. Hope you guys will love it too. Have fun !

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Natural Remedy For Muscle Pain 清炖葡萄汁

I'm a big fan of natural remedies for body healing. Recently, I met a friend whom has given me this easy to prepare remedy for muscle pain especially twisted back. The only ingredient needed is green grapes & some pure rice wine. I actually gave it a go the following day and share it with a few friends. And the result is overwhelming ! An elderly friend said his upper arm muscle pain which has been bothering him since a year ago has suddenly relief on the next morning, after taking this remedy. I'm not sure how true it is but it works for him. So, this is definitely something good to share with my readers. Please read on for more.

I prepared 1 kg of green seedless grapes which feed about 6 persons in one course. Or ! kg for 2 persons by taking it continuously within 3 days. For washing away the wax on grapes, squeeze some toothpaste to your hand palm and rub between both of your palm evenly. Then rub grapes with your hands gently till shinny. Finally, rinse and wash away toothpaste.

Now, cut grapes into half or quarter it. Then transfer all grapes to a big clay jar without adding in anything.

Next, cover jar with a lid and seal it with plastic wrap.

Finally, cook it for 3 hours over a double boiler or slow cooker.

Once its done, leave cooked grapes to cool into room temperature or just warm. Add in pure rice wine about 1-1/2 cup into 1 kg of grapes (or 1 cup for less alcohol intake). Best to serve it just before bed time. Keep chilled for all leftover then reheat before consume each time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Braised Chicken With Pamelo Pith 自制柚子皮焖鸡肉

For the past couple of months, some elderly friends kept telling me how good this pamelo pith tastes. Their parents used to cook it during their childhood days. They said it tasted just like those sea cucumber. However, they have not taken this dish for a very long time. So, I collected some pamelo pith yesterday after enjoying the fruit. My friends are so very happy that I'm about to prepare this dish for them. By the way,  I am celebrating my number 900th post today !!! yay..... Please read on for more.

Ingredients :
1/2  pamelo pith from one pamelo fruit
1 whole chicken thigh, cut into bite size
5 inches   ginger, sliced (I used more than that)
3 shallots,  sliced
2 garlic gloves, chopped
2 TB   light soy sauce
2 TB   oyster sauce
1 tspn   chicken stock granules
1/2 tspn  pepper powder
2 cups   water

*Thickening  :  2 tspn  cornstarch mix with 1 TB  water

Method :
(1)  skinned the green part of pamelo pith then cut each piece of pamelo pith into 1/2" thickness strips, as picture shown below.

(2) bring a pot of water to boil mixed with 1 tablespoon of salt then add in pamelo pith and let to boil for about 15 minutes. Add more water if possible due to speedy absorption to pamelo pith.

(3)  pamelo pith will became translucent once its done, discharge water and transfer to a pot of tap water. Let it cool in room temperature.

(4)  now, squeeze out excess water and change the water. Repeat this for at least 3 times. Then dissolved 2 tablespoon of sugar into one Litre of hot water, then soak drain pamelo pith overnight (add in extra water to cover the pith if possible).  Squeeze out excess water the next day and its ready to cook. This will help to draw out the bitterness from the pith.

(5)  next, preheat a wok or frying pan with just enough cooking oil and saute ginger, shallot & garlic till fragrant.
(6)  stir in chicken meat and let to cook till brown then add in cooked pamelo pith and stir well.
(7)  now, add in the remaining seasoning (reduce or add to your taste) except thickening. Stir well then add in water and let it cook over medium till meat & pamelo skin became tender & juicy. Add extra water if possible.
(8)  once the gravy became lesser, add in thickening and let to cook over high heat for one minute. Off the heat immediately after that and serve.

I love loads of ginger on this special dish. And it helps to flavour up every single piece of pamelo pith as well. Yeap, no jokes ! It tastes just like sea cucumber. Anyone wants to take the challenge ??? hahaha...... But still its best to pair it with pork belly for non Muslim. Have fun guys !

Monday, August 14, 2017

Thousand Layer Water Chestnut Cake 港式QQ千层马蹄糕

This water chestnut cake is one of the many famous dim sum of the East. However, I don't see any local dim sum shops providing this on their menu so far. This water chestnut cake looks quite similar to our local nyonya kuih lapis but it tastes so much difference. Nyonya kuih lapis is made of rice flour and the texture is less chewy & springy compare to the one made with water chestnut flour. I bet you can imagine how lovely is the texture. Please read on for more.

Ingrediets :
1 packet    water chestnut powder (227gm)
100gm   white sugar
100ml    milk
400ml    coconut milk
150gm   brown sugar
600ml    water

Method :
(1)  divide water chestnut powder into portion according to this (A) 90gm and (B) 137gm.
(2)  mix together (B) 137gm w/chestnut powder into 300ml  water, then dissolved brown sugar into the remaining water over medium heat. Do not boil the syrup. Let to cool then stir together chestnut mixture & brown sugar syrup till cooperated.
(3)  mix together (A) 90gm w/chestnut powder and 400ml coconut milk then dissolved 100gm sugar into milk over medium heat, do not boil it. Let to cool then stir together chestnut mixture & syrup till cooperated.
(4)  now, preheat a steamer with a 9" greased tray.
(5)  pour one to two scoop of brown syrup batter to tray and let to steam for 3 minutes or till set. Make sure the batter is fully cover the tray.
(6)  once its done, pour in the white syrup batter for the second layer and let to steam for 3 minutes again. Repeat the brown ones alternately till everything completed. And let to steam for 5 minutes at the final layer.
(7)  leave cake to cool completely before keep chilled.

By right, the brownish layer looks translucent at the beginning but after the final steamed it turns out blur. I suspect that I've over steamed the cake. Anyway, it still looking good though. >o<  Enjoy everyone !

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Thai Pandan Chicken 泰式班兰鸡

There are actually a few version of this Thai pandan chicken, but still I go according to the original one. And based on their recipe, the meat is steamed before go into deep frying. I also noticed that Thai food don't often use turmeric on their recipe. However, they used loads of coconut and mostly fresh herbs & spices.  And that's why Thai salad is always my favourite thing. Please read on for more.

Ingredients :
4  deboned chicken thigh, cut into 9 portion each
5 cilantro root
1/2"  ginger
3  garlic cloves
2 TB  vegetarian oyster sauce
2 TB  light soy sauce
1 TB  brown sugar
100ml   thick coconut milk
1 TB  corn flour
1/2 tspn  ground pepper

Method :
Pound ginger, cilantro & garlic to paste then mix together with the remaining ingredients. Finally, marinade chicken meat with the mixture and keep chilled over night.

Prepare 30 pieces pandan leaves. Wash & trim off the edge.

Fold pandan leaf into a ribbon cross as picture shown above.

Now, insert a piece of meat into the core then fold the leaf by flipping the lower one over & insert into the core all the way to the edge of the hole. Just like making a knot.

It will look as the picture shown above after the leaf inserted through the other end. Then flip the other leaf overlapping the other and insert into the same hole as well.

It looks something like this on one side.

And looking like this on the other way round.

Now, steam pandan chicken for 10 minutes over high heat. Then leave to cool for 10 minutes and deep fry till golden brown.

I'll have to say this is one tasty dish you'll never want to miss out. The preparation is as easy as 1...2....3..... !  Hope you guys will love it too.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Spicy Fish Stick 香辣炸鱼柳

I discovered a very lovely blog lately which inspired me a lot. Honestly, this is the best fish fillet recipe I've ever tried so far and my children really love it very much. The crust is so crispy and the cooked fillet is not too dry nor too soggy. I'm pairing this fish stick with tom yum fried rice and lettuce salad. Please read on for more.

 (Recipe adapted from here )
Ingredients :
2 slices of dory fish, cut into chunk slices
ground pepper & black pepper
1 cup  all purpose flour for coating

Ingredients for batter :
3/4  cup  all purpose flour
1/4  cup  potato starch
1/2 tspn  black peppercorn, crashed
1 tspn   ground white pepper
3/4 tspn  baking powder
1/4 tspn  baking soda
1/2 tspn  chili flakes (chili powder)
salt to taste
1 cup  cold beer
2 TB  chopped herbs (basil or mint)

Method :
(1)  mix together all the dry ingredients from batter into a big bowl then mix well. Stir in cold beer and chopped herbs till well cooperated. Do not over work the batter. Lumpy is good.
(2)  marinade fish fillet with pepper powder then drench it to plain flour, pressing flour into fish so that it sticks well.

(3)  then place fish fillet to batter, making sure everything is well coated with batter.
(4)  next, deep fried coated fish fillet till golden brown over medium heat.

And ta....da....

This crispy crust recipe or may works well with other seafood too. Will definitely try it out in future. Hope you guys will have a great week ahead !

Monday, July 31, 2017

Chinese Thousands Layer Steamed Cake 千层油糕

Steamed buns are the most consumed food by the people from Northern China. And one of the many famous steamed bun is Thousands Layer Steamed Cake, which animal lard & sugar are both used in the folding. This particular steamed bun is one of the specialty in China, but it is now available in Taiwan & Hong Kong too, at 鼎泰豐 Ding Tai Fung Restaurant. There's still plenty of specialty food to discover in China. Hopefully, more inspiration from there to keep me motivate ! As for this recipe, I chose to prepare in a simple flavour which is hassle free. Please read on for more.

Ingredients for dough :
480gm  all purpose flour
20gm   corn flour
3TB  sugar
2-1/2 tspn  yeast
1 tspn  baking powder
250ml  water
2 TB  cooking oil
2 TB  shortening

Ingredients for custard paste :
35gm  custard powder
3 TB  water
3 TB  melted butter
(combine all ingredients and mix till cooperated)
* 1 cup rough sugar for sprinkle

Method :
(1) to prepare bun dough, combine both flour, sugar & yeast into mixing bowl and mix well.
(2) dissolved baking powder into water then stir into flour mixture, at the same time add in cooking oil.
(3)  stir mixture till soft dough is formed then add in shortening and continue kneading till smooth.
(4)  then let dough to rest for an hour or till double in size, make sure to cover dough with plastic wrap or damp towel.
(5)  once its ready,  punch dough to release excess air and knead till smooth.
(6)  place dough to slightly floured working table, then flatten it with a rolling pin into 36x12" sheet.
(7)  spread custard paste onto 2/3 of the sheet and sprinkle on some sugar.
(8)  next, fold dough into 3 layer folding then again flatten it with rolling pin into 36x12" sheet, as shown in pictures.

(9) again, spread remaining custard paste onto 2/3 of the sheet and sprinkle on some sugar.

(10) again, fold dough into 3 layer folding and flatten it with rolling pin. Repeat the folding one more time.

(11)  then after the 3rd folding, flatten dough into 24x12" sheet on the 4th folding.
(12)  now,  make the final 3 layer folding then place folded dough onto a parchment paper or silicon sheet and let to rest for 30 minutes.

(13)  once its ready, steam dough over a preheated steamer for 18 minutes on high heat.
(14)  when done, off the heat and let steamed bun rest for 5 minutes with lid on before serving.

Finally, its all ready for slicing !

I still think it needs extra more butter for the layering process, so that the cake layer looks more attractive. Yeap, definitely need more improvement on this one. Anyway, hope you guys will love it too !

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sweet & Savoury Alkaline Rice Cake 咸甜碱水糕

Another long waiting recipe from my list to do ! Finally, I have time to work this out recently. This alkaline rice cake is quite similar to chwee kuih, the common steamed rice cake. The only difference is the additional of alkaline liquid to the batter or some may use borax, which created a chewy & springy texture to this cake. This is actually a heritage Hokkien snack dish and it is normally served with gula melaka coconut gravy & spicy dried shrimp paste. Does it sounds good to you !

The water did help a lot to smooth up the surface beautifully.

(Recipe inspired by chef Agnes Chang)
Ingredients :
150gm   rice flour
1 TB  tapioca flour
1/2 TB   wheat starch
1/2 tspn  salt
1 tspn  alkaline water / lye water
600ml   water
1.2 TB  cooking oil

Method :
(1) combine all flour, salt, 300ml of water & alkaline water and mix well then set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
(2) next, bring the remaining water to boil and then stir in flour batter & cooking oil, continue cooking over low heat till batter became thickened and turns into paste form.
(3) now,  transfer mixture to an 8" greased plate or tray and smooth the surface with 2 tspn of water.

(4)  finally, steamed at preheated steamer for about 35 minutes or till tester came out clean.
(5) once its done, leave to cool to room temperature then refrigerated for an hour before slicing.

It is best to prepare some fried onion oil & fried shallots for serving along with other two beautiful condiment as follow.

Ingredients for gula melaka coconut syrup :
50gm   palm sugar/gula melaka, chopped
3TB   coconut milk
1/2 pce  pandan leaf

Method :  combine all ingredients and cook till sugar dissolved & became slightly thicken. Discharge the leaf.

Ingredients for spicy dried shrimp paste :
1 TB   red chili boh
100gm   dried shrimp, soaked to soften
3 shallots, skinned & sliced
1" ginger, sliced
3  garlic gloves, skinned
1 stalk  lemongrass, only the white part, sliced
1 tspn   rough sugar
salt to taste

Method :  grind all ingredients (except salt & sugar) into paste then cook over medium heat till thick & fragrant. Off the heat then add in salt & sugar. to your taste.

I simply add in some fried onion oil & sprinkle on some fried shallots to the cake before serving. It does brings out the heritage flavour to the eyes and you'll automatically swallow your own saliva , right away. haha....

Not to mention more ! This picture already says it ALL. You can imagine how satisfying to enjoy this simple snack with the exotic flavour of the east. And its best to serve it chilled. Hope you guys will love it too !
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