Thursday, December 29, 2005

More Pics by Big King

The pics turned out so bad......sigh.... don't know what to say no more..........

Egg roll
Steamed egg roll stuffed with mince meat and vegetable

Minced pork and vegetable spread on omelette, roll up and steam for 10 minutes. Cut into 1 in piece when cooled.

Ginger n spring onion chicken
Chicken and shiitake in ginger and spring onion sauce

I always cook this when either Big King or I fell ill, this is our sickie food, haha......

Winter Warmer - Ba Kut Teh

Ba Kut Teh
Ba Kut Teh (herbal version) served with chinese you char kway (cruellers)

Ba kut teh is a famous Hokkien dish, I do not know the origin or the history of the soup but it's something I have grown up with. The black herbal version is the original Hokkien version. Those peppery version you find in Singapore only exist in Singapore as far as I know. Hokkien people normally cook the peppery version of soup with pig stomach and of course the ubiquitous pork big bones.

My version is not black enough as I have gone easy with the black soy sauce, oh yes, the black colour comes from soy sauce. Hokkien people cook with the black soy sauce A LOT as evidence in our famous Hokkien noodles and Hokkien style braising sauce. Somehow food just taste more appetizing if they are darker in colour.

Herbs I used are 15 wolfberries, 1 piece angelica (tong kwai head), 6 red dates, 6 garlic pips (do not remove skin), 1 star anise. Other herbs required are mandarin peel, chuan siong, cinnamon and liquorice which I have omitted as I do not have them in my pantry.

I simmered the herbs together with spare ribs and some chicken bones for 1.5 hours. Add black soy sauce for colour and salt to taste when cooked. A very tasty winter warmer........

Friday, December 23, 2005

Chinese Tong Tze - Time for Tang Yuen

Sesame Glutinous rice balls
Black sesame tang yuen in sweet ginger broth

Today is the last Chinese festival of the year - tong tze. Hokkien people always cook tang yuen (glutinous rice balls) on this day because it symbolizes getting together of a family.
These little balls are so tasty I make them all year round and serve them in all kinds of sweet soup like red bean soup, purple glutinous rice porridge, green bean soup, etc.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Sweet and Sour Delight and Korean Pancake

Sweet and sour homemade fish balls and pork

Korean Pancake
Korean pancake with Choy Sum, beansprouts, shiitake and spring onion

I have also made the pancake with squid, also very tasty. You can put whatever you fancy like kimchi, seafood, etc. I find it tasted very much like our prawn fritters in Brunei. It's so easy to make using the pancake pre-mixed and 0% failing rate and cheap too making this at home.

Pancake pre-mix

Squid version - photo taken by Big King, STAY AWAY FROM MY CAMERA AND DISH, you hear??

Waffle dipped in chocolate with marshmallow sandwiched inside - bought from the German Christmas market. 50p each, expensive but tasted cheap. I can hardly taste the dark chocolate and the waffle has lost crispiness due to long time being exposed in open air.

Winter Warmer - Spare Rib and Walnut Soup

Winter is here, soup is good to nourish and warm me up. I have seen this soup in a cookery programme so decided to try it. Walnut is said to be good for the eyes and aid in brain development and not to mention good for the skin.
I was pretty excited when I put the ingredients into the slow cooker. But, 3 hours later, when I open the lid I was shocked to be faced with a pot of black soup @_@
Luckily the taste was alright but it still puzzled me why the soup has turned black!
4 strips spare ribs
handful of walnut (deshell, of course)
small piece of Chinese Jin Hua ham (I cannot find here, substituted with normal ham)
Put everything into a slow cooker and pour enough water and cook for 3 hours. Season with a little salt and rock sugar to taste.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

German Christman Market in Leeds

All the photos were taken with my new Kodak V550 except the first one which was taken with Sony DSC V1.

The photos taken with V550 has not been edited in any way and I reckon they give stunning pictures under maximum lighting circumstances and didn't do too badly in dimly lit surrounding but need the help of a tripod. The first photo has been edited both brightness and colour.

Princess, pretty in pink, enjoying the cold day out.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

German Sausages

The only German food I like is their sausages. There are hundreds of different varieties, all very tasty. It's not easy to find freshly made German sausage here but you can find pre-sliced ones in packet from Sainsbury's. Also available are dried ones in sealed packages. I tend to go for the pre-sliced ready to eat ones, lazy..........:P

Saturday, December 10, 2005

3.15 pm Afternoon Tea

Steamed pandan cupcake and Giotto chocolate

The Cantonese regards 3.15 as golden afternoon tea hour. I suppose this practice will die out soon as more and more people nowadays tend to have late lunch.

Here in England because of the nature of my job (dateline to be met for every job) I hardly have a proper lunch hour unless I go back to the office. Even then it's always 'grab a sandwich, go back, eat and work at the same time'. I always bring lunch so I never go out unless colleagues insist I accompany them.

Ever since I stopped working to care for my Princess, afternoon tea has become my luxurious 'mine-only' hour. As I am still eating at irregular hours, it's not everyday I get to enjoy this luxury. But I try to have one whenever Big King is home during the day.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Green Tea Panna Cotta with Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Sauce

Panna cotta is an Italian dessert which is simply softly set cream. It has the texture of a light mousse but made without the egg.
The chocolate sauce is simply melting a bar of unsweetened dark chocolate (I use Green & Black's organic dark chocolate) with some water and sugar.
I adapted Keiko's recipe which in turn is adapted from Delicious magazine (a food and drink mag in UK). This is a Jamie Oliver recipe who is a celebrity chef in UK.
Like Jamie Oliver said, "The best combo ever", which I totally agreed.
PS. Try to use matcha cooking powder instead of the much weaker drinking green tea powder or green tea teabag, the result is markedly different.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Chicken and Vegetable Green Curry served with Roti Prata

I love Thai green curry. This is cooked from pre-packed paste and the roti came from frozen packet. Delicious nonetheless.

Donna Hay's Self Frosting Cupcake

There seem like a Donna Hay baking frenzy in the food blogging world. I also joined in the fun adapting the recipe from Nic's tweaked recipe. I have, however, baked the cupcake for too long so I ended up with SELF CHOKING CUPCAKE. I suggest baking at 200 degree celcius for 10 minutes only.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Ham & Mushroom Fettucine in Creamy Sauce

Saw this unusual beer at supermarket, goes very well with the pasta.

Nacho Chips with Guacamole Dip

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Chicken Pie

Creamy mixed vegetable and chicken in white sauce encased in sweet short crust pastry. I don't know why the skin crack, maybe the dough was too dry?......
No recipe but if anyone is interested please leave me a note.

Lychee Mousse Cake

For the chiffon cake:
A. Sugar 10g
A. Egg yolks 2
B. Cakeflour 42g, sifted
B. Oil 35g
B. Milk 35g
C. Sugar 30g
C. Egg whites 2

1. Beat A till light and pale.
2. Add B to 1.
3. Beat C till stiff and fold into the cake batter.
4. Pour into a lined 7 in cake tin and bake at 150°C for 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a skewer, it should come out clean.

For the lychee mousse:
Cake 1cm high
A. Lychee 150g (without skin and stone)
A. Lychee juice 20g
A. Lemon juice 1 tsp (optional)
B. Water 15g
B. Sugar 45g
Gelatine 10g or 3½ leaves
Whipping cream 120g
Egg white 30g

1. Blitz A and set aside.
2. Boil B till 117°C and set aside.
3. Beat egg white to soft peak add in syrup from 2 and beat till stiff.
4. Soak gelatine leave (as per packet instruction) until soft and dissolve in a double boiler. Add to lychee mixture from 1 above.
5. Beat cream till spreadable consistency.
6. Fold egg white and cream into lychee mixture.
7. Arrange cake at the bottom of a 7in cake pan and pour the mousse over. Chill in refrigerator until set before serving.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Leeds Chinatown

Sien, I haven't make anything or did anything exciting to blog about lately. Some failed cakes and dishes which I have all blog about before......

Took a couple of pictures of Leeds Chinatown, or street more like, a while ago. Take a peek......

Not very exciting, that's why I visit Manchester's every now and then.

Hope to get out of this food rut soon........

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Blog Music - Kiss the Rain

I have received a number of enquiries regarding my blog music "Kiss the Rain". I have since done some research.....

The very moving music is the work of Yiruma, a Korean New-Age musician. Born on 15/2/1978 in Korea, the young musician was the first Korean to graduate from the exclusive "The Purcell Of Specialist Music School", "King's College Of London University". The track is taken from his 2003 album "From the Yellow Room".

The yellow room refers to Yiruma's apartment in London. The album is about 13 loveletters that were unable to be sent out of the room ....
Perhaps his most famous commercial music is the piece he wrote for the popular Korean drama 'Winter Sonata'. It's the piece you hear everytime the female lead is in emotional turmoil .........

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Chocolate Tasting

The freshest chocolates from renowned chocolatiers in Europe. The small bag of pure chocolate shavings drinking chocolate is FREE.

Chocolate menu and scoring card.

My favourite is the delicious dark Gianduja which melts in your mouth the second you pop into your mouth followed by the more-ish caramel chocolate buttons. (Both are lower left hand corner)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Blueberry and Blackcurrant Cheesecake

Sister BB has told me she craved blueberry cheesecake. I have made one last week so here it is I belanja you eat, hehe.......

Blackcurrant and blueberry cheesecake served with white chocolate sauce and blueberry compote.

Blackcurrant is from Ribena and blueberry is fresh blueberries cooked in sugar and it's own juices and then mashed.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

MeMe - Childhood Memories

I have been tagged by Lily over at Lily's Wai Sek Hong for this meme.

Most of my childhood memories are of food, hehe, no surprises there

#1 Milo
This is in my earliest memories of favourite drink. I much prefer it to Ribena. I always asked for a bottle just before sleep. Early sign of a later Chocolate Connoisseur......... I seldom drink it now, I much prefer freshly brewed coffee and tea now.

#2 French Toast
I love going to tuition during my first 3 years of primary school. People was a nerd mah....NOT. There is this restaurant opposite my tuition place which whipped up fantastic french toast, about 2 inches thick and perfectly golden brown, served with honey and a cold slab of butter........arrrrggghhh heaven.........Sadly the restaurant is not operating anymore, it also sold nice chicken pie (the size bigger than my face, people last time still small and young mah.......) and pork chop rice and baked spaghetti............

#3 Kolo Mee (dry tossed noodles)
My family and I frequented this unassuming cheap and cheerful restaurant when I was young (still in primary school so young lor) for it's char siew kolo mee and noodle soup (which is just kolo mee in soup). The restaurant has a funky name called '7-Up', think Fido Dido (last time was hip and popular mah...I even had Fido Dido t-shirts.... +_+). Noodles must be broad type, if they sold out, the corners of my mouth would droop and my face became dark, ordering a seafood fried kway teow through grittering teeth while shooting the waitress with murderous glances.........

#4 Pork Chop Rice
This has to be my only indulgence when I was young (childhood memories mah, right?). I only get to have it only once every month or sometimes twice a month as it was expensive. There were a few (or maybe 3 other) restaurants in town which sells good pork chop rice. But my #1 has to be the restaurant in Bangunan Guru-Guru called 'Gee Yu' which is more popular for it's dim sum (no I did not like the dim sum there, already so picky so young hoho). For me, pork chop has to be well marinated with subtle hint of wine (for fragrance), briefly deep fried in oil to seal the juice so the meat will melt tenderly in your mouth with juices scorching your palate when you take a bite.............The ruby coloured sauce must coat every mm of the meat but the meat must still retain a little crispiness. The restaurant served the rice with a soft centre fried egg, for me this is the highlight of the whole meal. The egg is perfectly crisp round the rim and bottom, full of wok hei (wok flavor?) with the yolk still runny, sitting proudly on top of the chops like a king in his throne.......... My stomach is grumbling like mad now........

#5 Maggi Mee
My mom used to be a lousy cook (when I was young lor) but picked up her skills later while cooking for family 'festivals' from my 2 uncle chefs. ALWAYS appearing on dinner table is bought gravyless char siew (tasted like tree barks), deep fried chicken wings (only edible stuff), stir fried vegetables (again tasted like tree barks, maybe overcooked?), canned sardine, canned meat, canned fish, canned whatever...........
You can tell my mom is also a lazy cook no? She seldom cook lunch, because there is always leftovers (surprise, surprise), I would tell her I want Maggi Mee (my childhood saviour) which she happily obliged. But now the Maggi Mee taste worse than rubber band, at least rubber band is springy..........

There you go, did you enjoy reading them? Nothing special to anyone but treasured memories for me.

I am one to throw away chain letters if I ever receive one and I only ever played 4D once just to humour my friends. So this is where the meme came to die.........

Friday, October 21, 2005

Custard Chiffon Cake

This is Rabbit's all-time favourite cake. This is the cake everyone requested (although in hot contending with chocolate cake) to my friend Rachel, who is both a fantastic cook and baker, whenever we organize a pot luck party. Oh, don't you know, there is not much to do in Brunei during our spare time except eating, eating and er.... more eating.

With a layer of moreish caramel custard sitting on top of what I reckon is the best recipe of chiffon cake with caramel dribbling down the side of the cake, what's not to like? Everyone always fight for the side, hehe.

Perhaps what is interesting about this cake is the texture of chiffon cake (or it should be called S. E Asian chiffon cake?), it is a cross between the extremely light chiffon cake and the classic butter cake. If you're familiar with Sara Lee's cake, it's almost identical in taste and texture but this cake uses vegetable oil which is different to Sara Lee's 'death by butter' pound cake.

Tada...this is my version! As I do not have a solid bottom cake tin, I used one of my bread tin to bake, turns out rather well I must say. As Big King does not like caramel :( , hence the 'anaemic' looking cake (see top view below).

Thank you Rachel for sharing this fantastic cake with us.

Recipe (in brackets are Rachel's modifications)

For the custard:

Condensed milk ½ can
Evaporated milk 400 grams (2 cans)
Sugar 230 grams (120g)
Egg yolks 100 grams (8 medium whole eggs)

1. In a rectangular baking pan caramelize 120g of sugar and set a side until cooled.
2. For the custard: Mix together the 2 types of milk and yolks and pour onto the rectangular pan on top of the cooled caramel (which should have harden).

For the cake:
Cake flour 100% 250g
Baking powder 3.6% 9g
Sugar 66% 165g (½ cup)
Egg yolks 57.2% 143g (6 yolks)
Water 48% 120g
Vegetable oil 57.2% 143g
Lemon/ orange flavor 1% 2.5g (juice from 2 limes)
Egg whites 85.8% 214.5% (6 whites)
Sugar 62.2% 155.5g (½ cup)
Cream of tartar 0.5% 1.3g (1 tsp)

1. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and sugar.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients (excluding the last 3) in the order listed and mix to a smooth consistency. Set aside.
3. Whip egg whites and cream of tartar to a soft peak. Add sugar gradually, continue whipping until medium peak.
4. Fold cake batter into the beaten egg whites. Drizzle the batter slowly into the rectangular pan on top of the custard (try to pour it from the corner of the pan). The cake batter is lighter than the custard so will sit nicely on top of the custard. Place the pan on a tray with water (bain marie) and bake at 375°F until done (about 35 to 40 minutes).

Let the cake refrigerate overnight before turning out. To turn out the cake: remove cake from fridge and let it sit on a pan of warm water (to melt the caramel) for 5 minutes. Divide cake and sides of pan with a knife carefully, scraping all the way down to the bottom of pan. Invert on a clean plate, tap all sides of the pan until you can hear the cake being released from the pan to the plate. Remove pan and serve. Unfinished cake can be stored in the fridge for about a week.

Note: As I have used an unconventional pan. I have butter and flour my mould but I still need to use a knife to divide the cake and the sides so I guess I shouldn't have bothered.......

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Spicy Sardine Bun and Cheesy Red Bean Bun

Spicy Sardine Bun

Sardine is one of my favourite bread filling. I opened up a can of sardines in tomato sauce (salty in taste), clean and mashed it then add Maggi Chilli Sauce for sweetness and Thai Chilli Sauce for spiciness, then add freshly grind black pepper liberally. Heat up the mixture in a saucepan to let the flavour macerate and pour in some cornflour solution to thicken the mixture. Set aside in the fridge when cooled until needed.

Cheesy Red Bean Bun

This is an experimental flavour. I never thought they will complement each other so well, the saltiness of the cheese somehow enchanced the sweetness of the red bean. I made my own red bean paste with some whole red bean which provide a more interesting texture to the not so sweet paste.

A piece of Gouda cheese (good for baking purposes) is wrapped inside some red bean paste and rolled into balls ready to be wrapped inside the dough.

A very interesting yet tasty bread with lots of different flavours and texture intertwined. The mere sight of the melted and gooey cheese when you tear the bread open is enough to make you ooh and aah!

Dutch Croquette

This is simply delicious

It's very similar to the Japanese Milk Korroke with a soft centre and crunchy skin.

I have taken photos of cut-open croquette but they came out blur, nevermind, this recipe is highly recommended, try it and taste for yourself!

The recipe is adpted from Bronwyn Shearer.

375 grams cooked meat (leftovers will do)
60 grams butter
50 grams flour
100 ml gravy
200 ml milk
10 grams gelatine/1 leaf gelatine leaf (make it soft in some water)salt
1 onion
1 egg yolk

Lightly fry in the butter a very fine chopped onion, add flour, then gravy and milk. This will make the sauce.

Add the gelatine, egg yolk, pepper, nutmeg and salt. Then add the chopped meat. Spread the mixture on a pre-wetted plate. Let it cool (it will get thick).Use to spoons to form 10 equal croquette shapes.

Roll in breadcrumbs, then through egg white (whish egg white a bit first) and again roll in breadcrumbs.

Take it easy and don't crack the outer layer. Fry in hot oil.

P.S. If you don't want to use gelatine, then instead of 50grams of flour and butter use 75 grams of each.