Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Cashew cookie with chocolate Nutella ganache (Kuih Raya)

I am bad... for neglecting my blog again.. :( I've been so busy the past couple of months. A trip back to Sunny City for a month. Then when I came back home, I had to start packing and cleaning the apartment cos we were moving out. At the new place, lots of unpacking, organizing, laundry and etc.. (even now still got a lot of things to do.) We out of the cyber world for a while and when we got the service back, the Internet connection was always giving me problems. :/ I got it fixed now but for the wifi, still going crazy on me. Well, good thing still got another alternative to connect to cyber world. :)

Anyhoo, I made this cookie for Eid this year. I meant to post it after Eid but I just didn't had the time.  I'm not sure what is the actual name of this cookie so I just called it cashew cookie with chocolate nutella ganache. This recipe you need to use the aluminum candy cups instead of the paper cups. I brought back some when I was in Singapore as it was much easier to get it there. The recipe is from my girl friend in Singapore. For the cookie mix, I used my home made cookie recipe. I used recipe from Crisco's website =)

Cashew cookie with Chocolate Nutella Ganache
500 gm cookie mix
40g gm cashew, blend very fine
250 gm butter, soften
Chocolate ganache 

In a mixing bowl, stir butter and a little cashew. Add cookie mix, bit by bit.
Add the balance of cashew and mix well. Make little round balls and place in the aluminum candy cups . Press slowly into the cup - 1/2 of the cup only as the other half for chocolate.
Bake at a preheated oven 350°F for 10-15 mins or until brown. (Bake all the cookies first before adding the chocolate.)
Prepare the chocolate ganache. Then using a pastry bag or just scoop with teaspoon and fill to the top of aluminum candy cups. Let the chocolate harden before store them in a air-tight container. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fried Green Tomatoes

I've been in TN for a little bit but I never knew about fried green tomatoes until last week. We went to visit our friends whom we haven't seen each other for a while. They had a big garden and before we were about to leave, they asked if we want some chillies and I was like yea, that would great, thank you. As they were picking some chillis, someone mentioned something about fried green tomatoes... you could make fried green tomatoes and I'm like huh?? really you can actually fry tomatoes? Then hubby goes... well its a southern food.. For the first time, when I heard about fried green tomatoes, I was intrigued. So when we got home, I prepared this little appetizers. #ohmygosh# when I tasted them, I was pleasantly surprised. they were indeed delicious... now this is a keeper.. hehe.. :D

Fried Green Tomatoes 
(Outstanding recipe from Southern Living but I adjusted the recipe a little bit. You can get the recipe from MyRecipes.)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
½ cup all-purpose flour, divided  
½ cup buttermilk cornmeal mix
1 teaspoon salt  
½ teaspoon pepper
3 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into ⅓-inch slices
Vegetable oil
Salt to taste

Combine egg; set aside.  Combine ¼ cup all-purpose flour, cornmeal, salt, and pepper in a shallow bowl. 
Dredge tomato slices in remaining ¼ cup flour; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in cornmeal mixture. 
Pour oil to a depth of ¼ to ½ inch in a large cast-iron skillet; heat to 375°. Drop tomatoes, in batches, into hot oil, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden. Drain on paper towels or a rack. 
Sprinkle hot tomatoes with salt (i did not do this).

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Honey Roasted Malay Style Chicken

Honey roasted chicken is one of our favorite dish. I used the Malay-style recipe this time. When you smell the aroma of chicken being cooked, it was wonderful... Have it with white rice or flavored rice or just dip it in your chilli sauce, delish! =)

Honey Roasted Malay Style Chicken
Adapted from Malaysian Recipes +>Ayam Panggang (Honey Roasted Malay Style Chicken) 
8 chicken pieces (make some slits on the meat)
1 tbsp coriander powder
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

  1. Rinse chicken and pat dry wit kitchen towel.
  2. Mix ginger, soy sauce, honey, oil & salt in a small bowl.
  3. Pour this over chicken together with spices and marinate for at least 1 hr ( I marinate overnight, covered with foil). 
  4. Grill chicken under preheated grill or roast in oven set @ 375 °F for 30 mins, turning halfway through cooking time.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nasi Minyak - Flavored rice

For this special occasion, instead of having the usually raya food, I decided to make just a few dishes. I cooked flavored rice called nasi minyak. For side dishes and condiments, there were dalca vegetables and baked honey chicken (asian style) and cucumber pickles ##iwillpostrecipeslater##. This rice dish is usually served for festive occasions and at Malay weddings. Here is the recipe for nasi minyak. 

NASI MINYAK - I found this recipe from Cooking with Marina Mustafa: Nasi Minyak but I made a little change with the steps.

3 cups Basmati rice, washed & drained
¼ cup oil
1 tbsp ghee
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
5 cardamom
5 cloves
2 pandan leaves, knotted
2 tsp salt
3½ cups water
2 inches ginger, blended with 1 cup water
½ cup evaporated milk combined with 2 tbsp lime juice

  1. Put the rice in the rice-cooker pot. Do not start yet.
  2. In a small pan, heat the oil & ghee.
  3. Put in the cinnamon, star anise, cardamom & cloves.
  4. Saute the onions & garlic till it becomes transparent. Turn off heat. 
  5. Then pour everything from the pan into the rice pot. Stir well, make sure each grain of rice is coated with the mixture.
  6. Add pandan leaves, water, ginger juice and salt.
  7. Stir everything in and start the rice cooker.
  8. As soon as the rice is ready, pour the milk & lime juice mixture over the rice. At this time also, you may like to drop one or more colorings of your choice.
  9. Allow the rice to rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eid Mubarak 2012

My husband and I would like to wish our families, friends and also all the Muslim around the world,  A very Happy Eid.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

Chocolate Nutella Ganache

I love Nutella. who doesn't right!? This is one item that is a must have in my pantry. Spread over a slice of bread or mix in your cakes or make a chocolate ganache.

It does not take long to make and it is super easy. I just used two ingredients. Other recipes have salt and brandy. I omitted those ingredients and it still taste good. =)

Spread the ganache over your cake or cupcakes and they are simply delish!!! :)

Chocolate Nutella Ganache
3/4 cup chocolate nutella
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place nutella in a medium bowl. Pour the heavy cream in a small saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Bring just to a boil and pour over the nutella. Whisk until smooth.  Let it cool for a little bit before pouring over a cake or cupcakes.

You also may like to refer to this simple but perfect recipe from Maris at In Good Taste: Chocolate Nutella Ganache.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chicken Curry - Cook and Share a Pot of Curry 2012 event

Today is "Cook and Share a Pot of Curry 2012" event on FB. So I cooked chicken curry and shared with hubby. hehe.. The Curry Team have also created a new Curry page, check it out and LIKE them.  =) I know I posted chicken curry recipes before but this is another version. The following recipe is a mixture from recipes that I collected. I changed and add just a bit here and there to suit my taste. 

Here is our chicken curry with colorful roti jala. =)

Chicken Curry
1 whole chicken, cleaned & chopped into smaller pieces
3 potatoes, peeled & cubed
4 hard boiled eggs, peeled
1 cup coconut milk
3-4 cups water or chicken stock
4-5 tbsp curry powder
2 stalks lemongrass, light part & bruised
1-2 bulb shallot, peeled & slice thinly
8-10 curry leaves
2-3 tbsp ghee or cooking oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
a little sugar
salt to taste

Paste: To grind in the blender or use Mortar and pestle :
3 bulbs shallots, peeled
5 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 candlenuts
3cm ginger, peeled
1-2 fresh red or green chilli (Omitted, cos if not, it will be too spicy for us)

  1. Mix curry powder with 2-3 tbsp of water to form a smooth paste. 
  2. Heat ghee or cooking oil in a large pot, saute the paste mixture, curry leaves, lemongrass until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the curry paste, sliced shallots and chicken pieces.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes to sear the mix. 
  5. Add in water and potatoes. Covered and bring it to a boil. 
  6. Then add the fish sauce, sugar (amount of sugar is how sweet you want but not too sweet) and salt to taste. Add hard boiled egg.
  7. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, semi-covered until chicken and potatoes are done. 
  8. Serve with roti jala or steamed rice. 
Here is the link for ROTI JALA

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Kuih Tart Nenas (Pineapple Tarts)

I've been using different version of recipes to make Kuih Tart Nenas (pineapple tarts). I have posted a recipe before but I think this version is very good.
Recently, I found a kuih tart recipe in one of my FB group. She shared her late mom's recipe with us. After I got all the ingredients, I give it a go..  ohmygosh!!!!! Both me and hubs felt that the kuih tart were perfect. They melt in your mouth and the sweetness is just right.  On the day, I made the kuih tart, I'm telling you... I have not even finished baking all the tarts, and  the tarts on the first tray were all gone!! <<now you see it, now you don't>> LoL!!! I gave hubs to try a few and next thing, I know, its almost gone so I just finished the last 4 tarts in that tray.. LoL!!!! 

I’m happy to share my findings and would encourage you to try out this excellent recipe cos I think it’s very good.  Thank you Lily for sharing the recipe. :)

Original Pineapple Tart (by the late Hajjah Rohanna Abu) 
Pineapple Fillings
2 pieces of pineapple (to be grated and sieve the juices out)
350gm sugar
1 cm cinnamon stick
3 pcs cloves (take out the send on top)
3 pcs cardamom 

Cook all the above (EXCEPT for sugar) for ½ hr. Mix in the sugar and cook on very low fire. The fillings will be ready when it is slightly darker in colour (at this point if you want to add a dash of yellow color to the pineapple mixture) 
 [ I wanted to give a few different colors. I used the yellow, green and blueberry color. ] 

here is a video of how to cut the pineapples:

1 medium size egg  ( I used large egg )
250gm soft butter, room temp - (I leave the butter overnight in a mixing bowl and seal it with cling-wrap)
50gm self raising flour
350gm all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 tsp white caster sugar
A dash of yellow color

Method to make Pastry
In a big mixing bowl, lightly beat egg, butter, yellow color, caster sugar with a spatula.
Add the self raising flour & all purpose flour and stir with the spatula until all mix well.
When all done, use your fingers to mix dough thoroughly but DO NOT over knead the pastry as this will cause the pastry to break when making the tart. Wrap dough in plastic foil and keep in fridge for 20 mins. 
(I forgot to put the yellow color earlier. I added later and the color was uneven.. ;P)

When ready: 
Line pastry board with a plastic sheet and place a small portion of pastry on it. Cover pastry with another sheet of plastic. Roll dough to about 4mm thick. Use tart mould to cut out the tart, place on ungreased baking tray. Continue until all the pastry is used. Then roll a small ball of filling, flatten slightly and place on center of tart. Decorate the top by placing bits of cut-out pastry . Bake in pre-heated oven at 350ºF for 15-20 mins or till tarts are a nice golden brown.

I bought a few different kuih tart moulds in Singapore cos I know I won't be able to get these easily in US.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Refreshing citrus drink in minutes!!!

Make a wonderful and refreshing citrus drink in minutes! I found a citrus drink recipe on FB. This would be a great drink for the hot days.  I made in one mason jar. After waiting for a several hours, the drink is refreshing but I think it is not sweet enough. I would not mind but I know hubby would add a little sugar to it.. hehehe.

Refreshing citrus drink in minutes
~Recipe fropm A Room With A View~

1 orange
1 lemon
1 lime
Some Mint leaves
Cut each fruit into ¼ slices and remove seeds. Using a Mason jar, add the above and slightly crush them using the end of a utensil but do not pulverize. Add ice and fill container, then fill with fresh water and let stand for a few hours in the fridge.

If you add the juice to ice trays, you can make some wonderful ice cubes to go with your drinks or smoothie.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Orange Chocolate Crisps

Aidilfitri is around the corner. How time flies and soon Ramadan will be leaving us. This year, it would be just me and hubs. We would love to be in Singapore with the family but not this year. It's just me and hubs here. Anyhoo, I baked just a few kuih raya (raya cookies) for us.  I remember, when I was in Singapore, I would baked so many different types and at the end, there would be like almost 10 different kuih raya.  Also with the ones that my relatives gave us, there would be like 15 or 16 kuih raya, not including the cakes (kek lapis, etc)... haha.. But before raya, some of the kuih raya would be gone.. coz there are plenty of cookie monsters in the house.. LoL!!!!!

On another note, i know... yes.. I've been neglecting my blog... <sigh>... well, here is a recipe for orange chocolate crisps. I can't remember where I got this recipe but it was in my recipe book. Happy Ramadan. :)

Orange Chocolate Crisps

cup white sugar
cup brown sugar
½ cup butter (1 stick)
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1½ tsp grated orange peel
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups crisp rice cereal, crushed to 1 cup
1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheet beat white sugar, brown sugar and butter until creamy. Add egg, milk, orange peel and vanilla essence. Beat well. Combine flour, baking soda and baking powder. Add to butter mixture, mix well. Stir in crushed cereal and chocolate chips. Drop by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 9 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Let stand 1 minute before removing to racks to cool.

Makes 3½ dozen.

Happy Baking! :)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sambal Goreng

Sambal Goreng is a traditional Malay dish that is made out of tempeh, tofu, long beans and shrimps. Growing up in Singapore, this is one of my favorite side dish. 

I was unable to get tempeh and long beans in my area so I used tofu, green beans and shrimps. I always thought it would be too difficult  and a long time to cook this dish, but it doesn't take that long. 

 ½ cup dried chilli, de-seeded
1 onion-medium size
5 cloves garlic
 3 lemongrass, stalks
1-inch square belacan (shrimp paste)
3-inch galangal
1 tbsp tamarind paste (mix with water to make ½ cup tamarind juice)
2 tbsp sugar
1 (8oz) tempe, cut to 1 by 2 inch blocks
1 (8oz) tofu, cut to 1 by 2 inch blocks
1 lb shrimps, shelled & de-veined
some long beans, sliced (like French beans)

Paste -  Blend chilli, onion, garlic, lemongrass, belacan and galangal. Grind until become paste.
Fry tempeh and tofu separately until golden brown. Fry shrimps lightly. Set them aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wok. Add the mixed paste. Fry until fragrant. Add sugar and tamarind juice. Stir often. Remove cooked paste and set aside. 
In a clean wok, heat 2 tbsp oil. Fry the long beans for 2 minutes. Add cooked tofu, tempeh and shrimps. Stir-fry for a minute then add the cooked paste. Stir occasionally and season with salt. Mix well and fry for another 5 minutes. 
Serve with hot white rice.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mee Prata (Fried Prata Noodles)

Last week, I made some homemade prata (Indian pancake). I remember a while back, I saw a recipe that has prata as one of their ingredients. So I used some of the dough to make Mee Prata (Fried Prata Noodles). I also made some Tahu Telur (Tofu Omelette) to go with it.

Mee Prata (Fried Prata Noodles) ~Source: Aneka Hidang Mi recipe book
Ingredients (A):
400g all-purpose flour
80g margarine/butter
salt to taste
sugar to taste
water  (to mix the ingredients together)

Preheat oven to 350°F Mix all together. Knead until well blended. Keep aside for 5 hours.  Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Place on the well-greased tray and bake in the oven for about 10 minute. Remove and slice lengthwise thinly.  (I did not use this recipe since I already made some prata. But mixing and kneading the dough is something like how you make normal prata)

Ingredients (B):
400g ground beef
400g shrimps
200g bean sprouts
200g white choy sum (Chinese vegetables), cut
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tbsp chili paste
1 red chili, cut
1 tbsp curry powder
cooking oil

Sauté the onion until golden brown. Remove from pan. Then fry the chili paste. Add the meat, curry powder, salt, and water. Cook meat until tender. Lastly, add bean sprouts, vegetables, cut red chillies and shrimps. Fry for 5 minutes. Serve hot. Garnish with diced tomatoes and chopped cilantro.

p.s: I don't have the some exact ingredients so I improvised and used what I had; potato, chicken hotdog, tofu, and 1 beaten egg. :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Grilled Prawns with Kiwifruit and Pineapple

This recipe is from a Singapore magazine but I can't remember the name of the magazine. I had cut out the page, paste the recipe on another paper and filed in my recipe folder. The method is grilling but I just cooked them in the oven. Whichever method you are using, it does not take too long to cook. :)

Source: Magazine cut-out. Makes 6 skewers
Grilled Prawns with Kiwifruit and Pineapple
12 medium-sized prawns (shrimps), washed & peeled, leave tails intact
1 tbsp Cajun spice
12 canned pineapple cubes
2 kiwifruit, peeled & sliced horizontally

Soak skewers in water before using. Season prawns with Cajun spice for 30 minutes. Alternate pineapple cubes and prawns on each skewer. Leave a 2 cm space near the top of the skewer for the kiwifruit.  Place the skewers on a tray and put them under the grill (medium heat) for 3 to 4 minutes. Take the skewers out from the oven and put a slice of kiwifruit on each skewer. Return the tray under the grill, and cook for another 2 minutes (check that prawns are pink and cooked).

Useful tips
Selection: When a kiwifruit yields to slight pressure, it is ready to be consumed. The softer the fruit, the sweeter it tastes, but don't allow it to get to squishy. 
If you don't want to eat it right away, ripe gold kiwifruit should be stored in the refrigerator. 
Kiwifruit that is still firm will ripen at room temperature, but you can speed up the process by placing it into a paper bag with a banana or an apple. Those fruits produce natural ethylene gas which quickens the ripening process.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baked Scallops

I had made baked scallops and simple fried rice for dinner the other night. Yums!

Baked Scallops Recipe
4 tbsp butter, melted
1½ lbs bay scallops, rinsed & drained
½ cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Pour melted butter into a 2 quart oval casserole dish. Distribute butter and scallops evenly inside the dish. Combine the bread crumbs, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, parsley, minced garlic and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle this mixture over the scallops. Bake for 20 minutes or until scallops are firm.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shortcrust Pastry

I had some fillings left, so I use the shortcrust pastry to finish those fillings. The shortcrust pastry does taste good but not as great as the puff pastry. I feel that it's a little dry and makes me thirsty faster.

The secret to making a good shortcrust pastry is to work the dough quickly and lightly, in a cool room if possible, on a cool surface, and preferably not on a hot day. Once the dough is formed, chilling it for 30 minutes or so helps relax the gluten and set the fat, making the dough manageable and less likely to shrink.

Source: Baking A Common Sense Guide, 
Bay Books 
This will make about 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) pastry; enough to line a 23 cm (9 in) tin.
250g (9 oz/2 cups) all purpose flour
150g (5½ oz) chilled, chopped unsalted butter,
2-4 tbsp chilled water or more

Sift the flour and pinch of salt into a large bowl, holding the sieve as high as possible, so that they get a really good airing before you begin. 
Now add the butter, cut into smallish lumps, then take a knife and begin to cut the fat into the flour. Go on doing this until it looks fairly evenly blended, then begin to rub the fat into the flour using your fingertips only and being as light as possible. As you gently rub the fat into the flour, lift it up high and let it fall back into the bowl, which again means that all the time air is being incorporated, but do this just long enough to make the mixture crumbly with a few odd lumps here and there. 
Now sprinkle 2 tablespoons of water in, then, with a knife, start bringing the dough together, using the knife to make it cling. Then discard the knife and, finally, bring it together with your fingertips. When enough liquid is added, the pastry should leave the bowl fairly clean. If this hasn't happened, then add a spot more water. 
Press, don't knead, the dough together into a ball. Handle gently, keeping your actions light and to a minimum. 
Press the dough into a flat disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest. 

Making the baked curry puff:
Preheat the oven 415°F (210°C). Divide the dough into six portions. Roll out each portion to 1/8 inch (3mm) thick on a floured surface. Using a 6¼ in (16cm) diameter place as a guide, cut six circles. (I used the cookie cutter to make the circles.) Divide the fillings among the circles. Brush the edges with beaten egg and bring the pastry together to form a semi-circle. Pinch the edges into a frill and place on the tray. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 350°F (180°C) and cook for 25-30 minutes, or until golden.

If you making shortcrust pastry for pies/tarts:
Roll out between two sheets of baking paper or plastic wrap, or on a lightly floured surface. Always roll from the center outwards, rotating the dough.
If you used baking paper to roll out the pastry, remove the top sheet, invert the pastry over the tin, and then peel away the paper. If you rolled on a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry back over the rolling pin so it is hanging, and ease it into the tin. 
Once the pastry is in the tin, quickly lift up the sides so they don't break over the edges of the tin. Use a small ball of excess dough to help ease and press the pastry shell into the side of the tin. Allow the excess to hang over the side and, if using a tart tin, roll the rolling over the top of the tin to cut off the excess pastry. If you using a glass or ceramic pie dish, use a small knife to cut away the excess pastry. 
However gently you handle dough, it is bound to shrink a little, so let it sit a little above the side of the tin. If your dough has 'bunched' down the sides,press the sides of the pastry with your thumbs to flatten it a little. Refrigerate the pastry in the tin for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Karipap Lapis (Curry Puff)

These puffs tasted so good! They remind me of the curry puffs that I always get from Polar (pastry & cake cafe) in Singapore. I was looking at my recipe file last week. The file that I had compiled in Singapore many years ago. So I was flipping thru the papers, I saw Karipap Lapis, then I knew I have to make this!

Puff pastry - check the recipe HERE

200 g ground beef/chicken
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
200 g diced potatoes
1-2 tbsp curry powder
salt to taste
cooking oil

Heat oil and saute minced garlic until almost crisp. Add the meat and curry powder. Saute well. Add the potatoes and enough water to cover the potatoes and meat. When the potatoes are almost cooked, add the diced onions and salt. (I added some peas too). Cook until dry. Remove and let it cool before using.

Unfold pastry sheet onto floured surface. cut round from the pastry with a 3 inch (8 cm) cutter. Spoon heaped teaspoons of the mixture onto one side of each pastry round, leaving a border wide enough for the pastry to be folded over. Brush the border with egg white. Fold the pastry over to make a half moon shape, pressing to seal. Transfer to the baking tray and brush top of the pastry with beaten egg. Bake in a preheated oven of at least 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) to get the maximum puff from your pastry for 15 minutes, or until golden.

I also tried to make some Vol-Au-Vents. The fillings on Vol-Au-Vents is from the curry potato & chicken filling and mushroom filling.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Homemade Classic Puff Pastry

Making puff pastry is time consuming but it's so worth it! The picture of the left is my first attempt to make homemade puff pastry. I was glad that the pastries turned out great. 

The main ingredients for puff pastry are flour, butter, water and salt. The most important thing to remember  when making puff pastry is everything gotta be chilled;  the ingredients, utensils, cool surface and including yourself. :-) 

Puff pastry consists of many fine layers. Between every layer of dough, there's a layer of butter. During baking, the melting butter will be absorbed by the dough. The moisture from the dough is converted into steam and the expanding air lifts the pastry, keeping the layers separated. Thus, this makes the pastry crisp and flaky:)
So for my first attempt, I decided to follow the recipe from Not Without Salt. She shared step-by-step pictures and video to make puff pastry too. Cool! ;)

Classic puff pastry
13 oz (390 g) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp (7 ml) salt
3 oz (90 g) unsalted butter, cold
7 fluid oz (210 ml) water, cold
10 oz (300 g) unsalted butter, softened

To form the detrempe (dough), sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Cut the cold butter (3 oz) into small pieces and then cut the pieces into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.

Make a well in the center of the mixture and add all the water at once. Using a rubber spatula or your fingers, gradually draw the flour into the water. Mix until all the flour is incorporated. Do not knead. The detrempe should be sticky and shaggy-looking.

Note: The detrempe can be made in a food processor. To do so, combine the flour, salt and pieces of cold butter in a food processor bowl fitted with the metal blade. Process until a coarse meal is formed. With the processor running, slowly add the water. Turn the machine off as soon as the dough comes together to form a ball. Process with the remainder of the recipe.

Turn the detrempe out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough a few times by hand, rounding it into a ball. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic and chill overnight.

To roll in the butter, first prepare the softened butter by placing it between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use a rolling pin to roll the softened butter into a rectangle, approximately 5 inches by 8 inches (12.5 cm by 20 cm). It is important that the detrempe and butter be of almost equal consistency. If necessary, allow the detrempe to sit at room temperature to soften or chill the butter briefly to harden.

On a lightly floured board, roll the detrempe into a rectangle approximately 12 inches by 15 inches (30cm by 37.5 cm) Lift and rotate the dough as necessary to prevent sticking.

Use a dry pastry brush to brush away any flour from the dough’s surface. Loose flour can cause gray streaks and can prevent the puff pastry from rising properly when baked.

Peel one piece of plastic wrap from the butter. Position the butter in the center of the rectangle and remove the remaining plastic. Fold the four edges of the detrempe over the butter enclosing it completely. Stretch the dough if necessary; it is important that none of the butter be exposed.

With the folded side facing up, press the dough several times with a rolling pin. Use a rocking motion to create ridges in the dough. Place the rolling pin in each ridge and slowly roll back and forth to widen the ridge. Repeat until all the ridges are doubled in size. Using the ridges as a starting point, roll the dough out into a smooth, even rectangle approximately 8 inches by 24 inches (20 cm by 50 cm). Be careful to keep the corners of the dough as right angles.

Use a dry pastry brush to remove any loose flour from the dough’s surface. Fold the dough in thirds, like a business letter. If one end is damaged or in worse condition, fold it in first; otherwise, start at the bottom. This completes the first turn.

Rotate the block of dough 90 degrees so that the folded edge is on your left and the dough faces you like a book. Roll out the dough again, repeating the ridging technique. Once again, the dough should be in a smooth, even rectangle of approximately 8 inches by 24 inches (20 cm by 60 cm).

Fold the dough in thirds again, completing the second turn. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Repeat the rolling and folding technique until the dough has had a total of five turns. Do not perform more than two turns without a resting and chilling period. Cover the dough completely and chill overnight before shaping and baking.

A short video from Ashley Rodriguez.

Puff pastry is cooked when the bottom of the item is browned and the pastry does not collapse into itself.
  • Use a very sharp knife to cut puff pastry. A blunt knife will crush the layers together and prevent the pastry from rising to full height.
  • Do not get egg wash or milk wash on the sides of the pastry. This will glue the layers together during baking and result in uneven lift.
  • Excess flour left on the item will burn easily in the oven. Dust it off with a soft pastry brush.
  • Always bake puff pastry in a very hot oven (220°C/425°F). A hot oven ensures the moisture in the dough turns into steam, which is what makes puff pastry rise.
  • Puff pastry should only be baked for a short time. 15 to 20 minutes usually suffices. This is dependent on the oven and recipe used.
  • Open the oven flue during baking to allow steam to escape and the pastry to dry, or failing that, open the oven door near the end of the baking.
  • When using puff pastry as a base, small holes can be cut into the pastry allowing airflow to reach the under side (sometimes referred to as puffin' holes).
  • Puff pastry can be refrigerated for a week, or frozen for three months. Stored puff pastry will have less lift than fresh pastry.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Homemade Chwee Kueh

Chwee Kueh is a type of steamed rice cake, served with fried preserved radish or some top theirs with a fried shallot oil and hot chilli sauce. This is a popular Chinese breakfast item in Singapore. 

60ml cooking oil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
100 gram ground beef or chicken
200g preserved radish(chai poh) (if you want less salty, soak for a while before you used them) 
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp black sweet soy

Rice cake
 180g rice flour
2 tbsp sago flour (I used 1½ tbsp tapioca flour + ½ tbsp cornflour)
750ml water
2 tbsp corn oil
½ tsp salt

Method for the topping:
Heat oil in a saucepan or wok and saute the minced garlic until fragrant. Add meat and preserved radish. Stir and add the seasonings (sugar, white pepper and black sweet soy). Cook until dry. Then set aside to cool. 

Method for the steamed rice cake:
Prepare your steamer and grease your molds/cups. 
Stir the rice flour and sago flour (tapioca flour+cornflour) in a large bowl. make a hold in the center and 300 ml water to form a smooth batter. Strain the batter to remove any lumps. Set aside. 
Bring the remaining of the water, salt and salt to a boil.  Pour the boiling water mixture to the batter and stir well and quickly. Pour the batter into the molds and steam it over high heat for 10-12 minutes or until the rice cake is cooked. (Depending on your molds, the timing varies). Remove and let it cool for 10 minutes. Remove the kueh, top it with preserved radish and serve. 

The recipe I used was from the newspaper cutting but I found an excellent info about chwee kueh from Gastronommy. Check it out!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Kawaii Panda Bread

This is a Japanese bread. It's called Kawaii Panda Bread... It looked so cute. I kept thinking about it ever since I saw the photo. Finally, I made it on last Thursday. It was quite a challenge, a lot of hard work and time consumed since it was my first time.

I found the recipe from Makansutra Blog Street!. Originally the recipe is from Taro Taro at www(.)cookpad(.)com. Thank you to Ms Lorriane Koh for the translation. Since I did not have green tea powder in hand, I substituted it with pandan essence. After all that hard work, I was very pleased with how my panda bread turned out. The bread taste really good but I feel I need to make it a little more lighter. Hubby said I did a great job and even suggested to create other animals' face... haha..

Spread butter over a slice of a warm fresh bread... ...Oooo... yummy! ;)

For the dough
3 cups of all purpose flour
3 tbsp of sugar
1 cup of milk together with 1 egg yolk
¾ tbsp of salt
1 ½ tablespoon of butter
2 ½ tsp dry yeast

For the coloring of the Panda face
1 tbsp green tea powder mixed with 2 tsp hot water (I used pandan essence)
3 ½ tsp of Cocoa powder mixed with 1 ½ tsp of hot water

Warm the milk and egg mixture by placing it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside.

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, butter and yeast together in a bowl.

Then add the milk and egg mixture. Mix together for about ten minutes. The dough should be soft but not sticky. Divide the dough into three portions – two about equal in size to each other, while the third should be sized about 1/3 of the other two. (Refer to image.)

Place one of the larger pieces in a bowl and add in the green tea. Mix together till the green is evenly spread out. Cover the green dough with cling wrap and set aside.

Take the smallest piece of dough and mix in the cocoa powder. Cover the brown dough with cling wrap and set aside. Do this for the white dough as well. Leave the dough pieces for about an hour (in a warm, covered surrounding) till they double in size.

Now it’s time to craft the panda face. Take the white dough and separate into three pieces – two about equal in size to each other, while the third should be sized about 1/3 of the other two (as you did earlier).
Take the brown dough piece and separate into four equal pieces.

Use one of the larger white pieces to form the face. Use two quarters of brown dough to form the eyes. Place the smallest white dough piece in the middle of the two brown “eyes”, to keep them in place. Flatten the other big white dough piece and wrap it around tightly. 

As for the other two brown dough pieces, roll them into “ears” and place them on top. Divide the green dough into two – the bigger piece is about 4 times the size of the smaller piece.Place the smaller green part in the middle of the ears. Flatten the bigger green part and wrap it tightly around your creation.
Place the whole piece into a lightly greased loaf pan, cover and let rise until doubled, for around 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven for half an hour at 400° F (200° C) in the meantime. Once the dough is doubled, place it in the oven for 30 minutes.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

HERSHEY'S Ultimate Chocolate Brownies

I asked hubby if he wants chocolate chip cookies or brownies. He said brownies with a big grin on his face! I was looking for the recipe in my favorite recipe book and guess what! I didn't have any brownies recipes at all. I thought I might just make chocolate chips cookies but when I looked at the HERSHEY'S semi-sweet chocolate chips packet, there's a recipe for brownies. Yay! (I didn't even think about it at first) 

The brownies turned out great, not dry. I did a little change. Instead of using 2 cups of white sugar, I used 1 cup of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar. For the frosting; in the middle of mixing, I did not have enough powdered sugar. So I took some of the white sugar and blend in my small blender. I thought I had it good but not good enough.. When I mixed those sugar with my not-done-yet frosting, it didn't turned out so smooth, a little grainy.  Well, we enjoyed the brownies and the smell lingering within the apartment. Yum-Yum!! :)

3/4 cup HERSHEY'S cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup butter, melted and divided
1/2 cup boiling water
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup HERSHEY'S semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
One-bowl Buttercream Frosting

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
Sift together cocoa and baking soda in a large bowl, stir in 1/3 cup butter. Add boiling water, stir until mixture thickens. Stir in sugar, eggs (make sure to stir quickly when adding the egg) and remaining butter. Stir until smooth. Add the flour, vanilla and salt; blend completely. Stir in chocolate chips and pour into prepared pan. 
Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. Frost with One-bowl Buttercream Frosting. Cut into squares. Makes about 36 brownies.

One-bowl Buttercream Frosting
6 tbsp butter
softened 2-2/3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S cocoa powder **
1/3 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat butter in a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar and cocoa alternately with milk, beating to spreading consistency (additional milk may be needed). Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting. 
** I did not add the cocoa powder in my frosting.

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