Sunday, September 21, 2008

Cookie Carnival (September) : Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies

For September's challenge at Cookie Carnival, Kate decided to choose Martha's Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies suggested by Mari of Mevrouw Cupcake. When I read Kate's email, I think to myself, "Not, grapefruit!! So sour..." I remember, I ate this fruit long time ago and it was so sour, I never had it again!!!

Anyway, I had a hard time looking for this fruit. I couldn't find any grapefruit at the big supermarkets here but I found the fruit at "Sheng Shiong", a local grocery store. The cashier told me that the fruits just arrived that morning. I was so happy and immediately bought the fruit. As grapefruits are generally sour, I thought the cookies and the filling would be sour too but with the right amount of sweetness from honey and sugar, they taste great. But one thing for sure, my dad commented that the cookies were a little hard! :(

Well, you can get the recipe from Martha's website and also watch a video demo, Martha with Brenda Chenoweth of "Pushing Daisies." Click here to watch the video:

So here is the recipe:
Pink Grapefruit Sandwich Cookies
You can bake the cookies and make the filling a day ahead.

Ingredients for cookies

Makes 15 sandwich cookies. (I used a smaller cookie cutter so I had more than 15 cookies. hehe.. )

* Grated zest of 1 Ruby Red grapefruit, plus 1/4 cup freshly squeezed juice
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
* 3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising)
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
* 2 large egg yolks
* Pink Grapefruit Cream Filling


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a small bowl, combine zest with 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and remaining sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add egg yolks, and beat until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in reserved zest-sugar mixture. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the juice, and beat to combine.

3. Turn out dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, and shape into a 1-inch-thick disk. Wrap in plastic, and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out disk to 1/8 inch thick using a lightly floured rolling pin. Using a lightly floured 2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out rounds and place about 1 inch apart on prepared sheet. Bake, rotating sheet halfway through, until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer sheet to a wire rack to cool 5 minutes. Transfer parchment paper and cookies to rack to cool completely.

5. Using an offset spatula, spread 1 tablespoon filling onto flat sides of half the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, keeping flat sides down. Once filled, cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Ingredients for filling
Makes enough to fill 15 sandwich cookies.

* 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
* 2 cups confectioners' sugar
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Ruby Red grapefruit juice

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Beat in honey. Add juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until filling holds together and is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, cover, and set aside until ready to use.

Thanks Mari for your suggestion and Kate for choosing Mari's suggestion. Have a good day everyone! :)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Ayam Masak Merah

This recipe is called "Ayam Masak Merah". It is a spicy chicken Malay dish. To translate it in English >> Ayam~Chicken, Masak~Cooking, Merah~Red. Anyway, I was at work today, and people at work was wondering if I can cook for the 'break-fast'!! No! No! not breakfast but to break the fast.

Let me share with you what is fasting all about... It is the Islamic month of fasting which takes place during the 9th month (RAMADAN) in the Muslim calender. Participating Muslims do not eat or drink anything from dawn until sunset. Every day during the month of Ramadan, Muslims around the world get up before dawn to eat "sahur", the pre-dawn meal. We do not eat or drink anything after first prayer is said, until the fourth prayer of the day, is due. Well, after the sun has set, we may continue to eat and drink until the next morning's "fajr" prayer. The fast is intended to be an exacting act of deep personal worship in which Muslims seek a raised level of closeness to God Almighty. The act of fasting is said to redirect the heart away from worldly activities, its purpose being to cleanse the inner soul and free it from harm. Properly observing the fast is supposed to induce a comfortable feeling of peace and calm. It also allows Muslims to practice self-discipline, sacrifice, and sympathy for those who are less fortunate. It is also intended to make Muslims more generous and charitable. After the whole month of fasting, we celebrate "Hari Raya Aidilfitri" :)

So that it is, about fasting... but my post today is not about that. It is about "Ayam Masak Merah"! Back to my story.... Hmm... since I am working with my sister, she said "Don't ask her, she enjoys cooking and she is down with it and she'll do it.." hehe... my sister knows me well... So I asked them what do they want me to cook.. To make a fast and simple dish, I thought of just cooking pasta.. but they said for that, it is easy for them to make... Then one of them said, "Ayam Masak Merah"... I was like... hmmm.. I do not know, but I can find out! So since all my recipe books at home, and all I have is the Internet in the office, so I searched for this recipe. I found one from The Star Online - Kuali, Malaysian Recipes. After they got the ingredients from the supermarket, I start with my cooking.... :)

Recipe: Ayam Masak Merah
Serving: 4 people

1 kg chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces (I used a whole chicken and cut into 12 pieces.)
2 onions, quartered
3 potatoes, cut into wedges
2 tomatoes, quartered
1 small can tomato paste
150ml water
4cm piece cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 star anise
3–4 tbsp oil

Ground spices (A):
10 shallots
4 cloves garlic
12 red chillies, seeded
3cm ginger
2 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder

Seasoning (B):
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp sugar or to taste

Heat oil until hot, sauté ground spices (A) until fragrant. Add in cinnamon stick, cloves and star anise. Fry for 1–2 minutes. Add onions, tomato paste and potatoes. Stir-fry well. Mix in water and tomatoes. Cook until mixture starts to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is tender and gravy turns thick. Add seasoning to taste and serve this mildly spiced curry dish with bread slices or with plain rice.

Enjoy and have a good day everyone! :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Sweet & Simple Bakes (August) - Victoria Sandwich Cake

First of all, thank you, Rosie and Maria for this great and simple recipe. Sweet and Simple Bakes selected Victoria Sandwich Cake for August Bake. A classic cake which is so simple and easy to make. You can enjoy this cake while you having your afternoon tea or anytime of the day.

The ‘creaming’ method is used which means creaming fat & sugar together to incorporate air, and then adding the liquids slowly to avoid curdling the mixture and gently folding in the flour. This is no problem for me, since I used this kind of method before in the past.

Top Tip from Rosie, to have all ingredients at room temperature before you commence, should the mixture curdle when incorporating the eggs, add 1 tablespoon of flour and all will come together without any problems. In this recipe, it said to use 2 sandwich tins (cake pans) 2 x 20cm (8 in) with depth of at least 5cm (2 in) but I used 2 aluminum cake pans when I baked this cake so the cake does not look even on the sides. I did thought of just using one pan but I used two instead. Looks like I should have used one and cut into half.. But its all good because the cake turned out great. The cake finished fast as soon as I served. The whole family enjoyed this classic cake.

Recipe can be found here : Victoria Sandwich Cake

Check out for the rest of the entries too @ Sweet and Simple Bakes.
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