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.

Pi Pa Tofu in Crabmeat Sauce

I have tried to recreate this restaurant favourite tofu dish of mine for many times but failed. The sauce is tasty but the tofu fritters were not

I have added plain flour to the masked tofu which I should not have done so. But the mashed tofu looked so watery..............

I will try again.....

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Muachi - Sweet Glutinous Rice Balls

Left (top and bottom) : Black sesame seeds paste coated in toasted dessicated coconut
Right (top and bottom) : Peanut praline coated in toasted crushed peanuts

I love eating these glutinous rice balls either boiled in syrup stock flavoured with pandan or made into these QQ balls.
Steamed and mashed sweet potatoes is used in the skin hence the orange hue (all natural no colourings used). The skin is still soft after keeping for 3 days.

Skin ingredients:
1 sweet potato (doesn't matter what size)
glutinous flour

1. Cut the sweet potatoes into cubes and steam it on high heat for about 10 minutes or until soft enough to be mashed using a fork.
2. Add glutinous flour to the mashed sweet potatoes while still hot. Continue to add while kneading the dough until the mixture can be formed into a ball and does not stick to the hand. Add water if dough is too dry.
3. Cover the dough with a cling film and set aside until cool.

Black sesame paste filling:
100g black sesame
sugar (please put according to your taste)
20g butter, melted

1. Wash the black sesame, dry on kitchen towel.
2. Heat up non-stick saucepan on low heat and dry toast the black sesame until you can hear the sesame making 'pop pop' sound (stir the sesame seeds every now and then to ensure even distribution of heat).
3. Remove from heat and let them cool down before whizzing in food processor together with sugar until fine and powdery like. Add in melted butter, combine well and refrigerate until required (also makes it easier to mould)
4. When paste has harden in the fridge, form them into small balls so it's easier to wrap into the skin.

Peanut praline filling (I never measure make as much as you like):
Peanuts (with skin on), washed and dry on kitchen towel
Melted butter

1. Roast peanut in a preheated oven at 170°C for 12 to 14 minutes.
2. When peanut has cooled, deskin by rubbing in between your fingers.
3. Take a portion of peanuts and whizz them until fine (do not overdo or else you'll end up with peanut butter!). Put aside.
4. The rest of peanuts whizz them until coarse like.
5. Return to the pan and sprinkle over the sugar and stir fry until sugar dissolves and become paste like, add in melted butter.
6. Refrigerate till hard enough to form into balls.

To form into balls:
1. Roll the skin dough into longish strip and divide and cut them according to the size you want.
2. Flatten the divided dough and put 1 ball of filling on top and shape into balls.
3. Bring a pan of water to boil and cook the glutinous rice balls until they float to the top. Remove and quickly roll in dessicated coconut or peanuts. Let them cool completely before storing in airtight container.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Cloud like afternoon tea - Heavenly Souffle Cheesecake (updated with recipe)

Light cheesecake with green tea (in the cup not the cake)

Originally posted 6/9/2005.

It's very hard to describe the texture of this cake. I felt like I was eating cotton wool, er no, cloud more like.

I have tried so many recipes all either failed or does not come up to my taste. Finally success smiled on me when I came across this recipe from EUPHO Cafe

The top still cracks a little bit, my heart sank when I saw the crack, I thought to myself,"Oh no, another failed cake". Nevertheless, I still let the cake cooled and refrigerate overnight before eating it, forbidding Big King to touch it and warned him,"You can only eat it for breakfast the next morning." His face sank.........

I was still enjoying my sleep when Big King charged into the room the next morning and exclaimed, "The cheesecake, chin ho jia (translated: very yummy)". I was so excited and cut myself a piece for breakfast and entered cloud nine (I normally prefer hot food for breakfast). Then I have another piece for tea, another piece when Big King came back from work, yet another piece for dessert. I couldn't stop. The cake was gone in a record 2 days! Normally 1 cake will last us a week!

Recipe below:-

Souffle Cheesecake

8" round cake tin

A. Plain cream cheese 250g, fresh cream 50ml, milk 100ml, butter 80g
B. Cornflour 25g, milk 50ml
C. Egg white 150g, cornflour 10g, sugar 100g
D. Egg yolks 138g, butter and plain flour (for buttering the mould)

1. Melt A. over a pan of simmering water until the mixture liquefies (stir every 3 minutes), use spatula to stir the mixture well.
2. Mix B. until cornflour dissolves and pours into 1, stir until well-combined. Add in beaten yolks and strain the mixture.
3. Preheat oven to 150°C/300°F. Line bottom of mould with baking parchment paper. Butter the sides of the mould and coat it with plain flour, remove excess flour. If using loose bottom cake tin, cover the outside of the tin with 2 layers of aluminium foil.
4. In a clean bowl (make sure oil less and waterless), beat the egg whites till foamy and add in sugar and cornflour in 3 batches and beat until soft peak.
5. Take 1/3 egg white and stir into the cream cheese mixture to loosen the batter. Pour the cheese batter into the remaining egg whites and using cut and fold method quickly fold in the egg whites, do not over fold or else the air in the egg whites will escape.
6. Pour batter into cake tin. Sit the tin in a bigger mould or baking tray. Bake in a bain-marie (water-bath). Water must be boiling hot when poured into the baking tray or bigger mould. Water level should come up to ¾ of the height of the cake tin, at least half if you cannot manage ¾.
7. Put in oven and bake for about 25 minutes or when top is brown, reduce the heat to 125°C/260°F, continue to bake for another 1 hour or until a cake skewer comes out clean. Let the cake cool in the cake tin and remove from tin when cooled and refrigerate (it’s ok to leave the cake in the tin and refrigerate).

I normally use 4 eggs (4 whites and 4 yolks) for this recipe. It’s cumbersome measuring out the whites and the yolks.
It is natural that the cake will contract when it’s cooled leaving a small gap between the cake and side of the cake tin. The top of the cake should not sink and should be smooth.
You can also omit buttering the side of the cake tin and line it with baking parchment paper instead.
If your cake came out dense or separated into layers, it could be:
a. the oven temperature is too low, use an oven thermometer, do not believe what it says on the switch dial;
b. the water bath is not hot enough, remember to pour in boiling water just before baking;
c. the egg whites have not been folded into the batter completely.
Remember to check the height of the water every now and then, add in more boiling water when necessary.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe - at sister's request

200ml cream
200ml milk
6 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
3-4 pieces bread
A little butter
A handful of currants/raisins (I omitted here)

Pre-heat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

You will also need a 2 pound loaf tin (one of the oblong kind) or use the disposable aluminium container as I have done here, well buttered.

1. Butter the bread and cut each slice of buttered bread in 4 (triangular shape) – leaving the crusts on. Now arrange one layer of buttered bread over the base of the baking dish, sprinkle the half the currants over, then cover with another layer of the bread slices and the remainder of the currants.

2. Combine the cream and milk in a saucepan and heat up using a low heat (do not boil), test with finger remove from heat when it’s just warm.

3. In a bowl, stir the sugar and eggs together. When they are well-combined pour the cream and milk mixture into the eggs, stirring all the time.

4. Strain 3 and pour over the bread. Rest for 5 minutes before putting into oven.

5. Bake for 20 minutes. Lower the heat if top is too brown.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Taiwan Delicacy - Salted Crispy Chicken

This is on my 'must eat list' when I visit Taiwan. Thank goodness this is easily replicated at home.

Marinate the chicken with salt, sugar, five spice powder, rice wine, white pepper and a splash of dark soy sauce for colour. Leave to marinate for at least 4 hours.

Coat the chicken with a layer of egg wash and then with tapioca starch before deep frying.

Delicious! I love fried chicken!

Nasi Lemak - Coconut Rice with Spicy Chicken and Condiments

It's been ages since I had nasi lemak! I miss it so much so I DIY again.......

If it wasn't for the coconut rice, this is a very healthy version.

Both peanuts and ikan bilis (dried anchovies) were roasted in the oven with just a spray of oil to prevent sticking. Result is still crispy!

I serve the nasi with Korean spicy chicken which make this a Korean nasi lemak???