Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fried Vermicelli with canned Stewed Pork Chops

I was left dwelling on what to have for my dinner on a Sunday night as hubby had to attend his company annual dinner. We have been slogging since 11+am on spring cleaning, mending, repairing and rearranging stuffs for the forthcoming chinese new year. I didn't have much energy left in me but I didn't know what to buy for my dinner either. In the end, I found a can of stewed pork chops and settled my dinner with it by frying it with vermicelli. It was simple enough because all it needed was some chopped garlic which I had it in my fridge and some greens to go with it.

Here's a picture of the brand I bought. Normally I will fry it along with another can of stewed pork legs but I guess the chops will do just for now.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

All time favorite Pineapple Tart

As I was baking this last night,  I marvelled at how I managed to accomplish baking this tart last year out from 5kg of flour because last night 900g of flour already had me to the brink of breaking my back. My shoulders ached terribly too. By the way, I didn't really finished the entire 900g flour because I ran out of the pineapple jam (which was a relief actually).  I gave glad cries when I finally popped the last tray to the oven and couldn't help feeling happy that this once a year baking ordeal was finally over. I have a serious addiction to pineapple tarts. Once I start eating one piece, I just couldn't stop eating it. I especially love the soft texture of the pastry where it melts in your mouth instantly. Coupled with the sweet pineapple jam, it produces a heavenly taste which leaves you craving for more. Since it's a once a year affair, I think I deserve to indulge in this tart because you can't anyhow buy it anywhere once the chinese new year is over (unless of course you go to Jonker Streee in Malacca). So everyone out there, if you have the same addiction on the tarts like me, eat all you can now.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fruit Crumble Cake

I was getting stiff bored with the cakes which I've been baking over and over again. Whenever I come across a well tested and proven  successful recipe, I am bound to repeat baking it repeatedly especially when I need to bake for my friends or relatives. Thinking I need to be a little more adventurous, I started browsing for some newer recipes and one finally caught my attention. The irony was I found the recipe in one blog which didn't even get me remotely close to think of baking it. Then I click on the link where she obtained the recipe from. It was the pictures of the cake in this blog that made me wanna bake the cake and bake it right away. This recipe needed blueberries and plums which are expensive imported fruits. I told myself I cannot fail. The cake turned out to be edible and that left me asking myself : how do I rate whether a cake has failed? Anyway, two days later, I found myself baking the same recipe again but this time, there weren't any kiwi left in my fridge but what I did have is rambutans. So, I diligently sliced the sweet juicy flesh of the fruits to be part of the fruit topping. The mistake I learnt from my 1st attempt was to reduce the baking time substantially and that was exactly what I did for my 2nd attempt. The cake turned out very much softer than the previous batch. The fruity taste from the fruits gave a nice sweet and sourish twist to the cake. I baked a square tin for myself  cum office consumption and another tiny round foil pan for cousin Soo. According to cousin Soo, both Latysha and Lashaeya enjoyed eating and cake and I do hope she wasn't just being polite to me by saying so :)

This pan above was the 1st attempt in which the fruits consisted of plums, blueberries and kiwi ( I wanted the color). In my 2nd attempt (1st picture shown above), I substituted the kiwi with rambutans. If I had strawberries in my fridge, I think it might just go well with it.

Ingredients :
3/4 cup/1 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened ( or 115g butter)
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 eggs
2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup (60ml) whole milk
5 plums, stoned and thinly sliced
5 apricots, stoned and thinly sliced (I used plums & kiwi & rambutan)
1 tbsp sugar - for sprinkling

Crumble topping:
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons caster sugar
2 ½ tablespoons (35g) cold unsalted butter, chopped

Method :
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter an 8” x 12” (I used 8” x 8” so the cake turns out much thicker than her) baking pan and line with baking paper – butter the paper as well.

2. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy. Gradually add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour and baking powder over the mixture, add the milk and beat in low speed until combined. Spoon the mixture onto prepared pan, arrange the fruit over the top and sprinkle with the extra sugar. (I omitted the sprinkling of sugar)

3. To make the crumble topping, place the flour, sugar and butter in a bowl and rub with your fingertips until fine crumbs form. Scatter over the fruit.

4. Bake for 50 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. (I baked for 35 - 40 mins)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fried Eggs with Shredded big onions & Spring Onions

For the past few days, we've been busy with spring cleaning of the house in anticipation of chinese new year. It seems like only several months ago that we scrambled to do exactly the same thing while at the same time I was also rushing and filling every spare time I have to bake the cookies for sale. It also just occured to me that our blog is already 1 year old. With so many things on hand and so much on my mind,  I told hubby apart from the fruits,  I'm just gonna fry a simple egg to go with our creamy shrimp tom yum instant noodles. He looked at my blankly and I told him okaaay... this egg will be loaded with strips of big onions, spring onions , some cut chilli and this is something my mom used to make as one of the dish in Batu Pahat. Hubby mumbled an 'ok' but I think he knows deep down that whether it is ok or not, I will still go ahead and fry it.

The eggs were whisked with soy sauce, pinch of pepper, dash of salt, some chilli flakes and little mushroom powder. When the olive oil was hot, I threw in the big onions and sauteed for a while before pouring the whisked egg. Just before the egg was cooked, I took a handful of chopped spring onions and sprinkled them on top of the egg. When the bottom of the egg was done, I flipped to the other side and cooked it till done. All in all, it took less than 5 minutes and our frugal simple dinner was done.

Friday, January 14, 2011

My 1st Swiss Roll - Green Tea

It has occured to me for the longest time possible that I could make my own swiss roll so that I can spread as much cream as I desired before rolling the cake up. After seeing cousin Fern's swiss rolls a few months back, it further fuelled my intention to bake one. Well that didnt' really happen until I chanced upon a recipe found in christinesrecipe website. I will always study through all the recipes I browse, weighing on the chances of my success to get the results I want,  the ingredients must be easy to obtain & relatively affordable but most important of all, the recipe must not be too time consuming. The Green Tea Swiss Roll I found fits the bill.

I baked it on Monday, the same day I had my 3rd attempt on the Hong Kong Sweet Bun. Since I need to wait up for my dough to proof, I started preparing all the ingredients to bake the swiss roll. When the sponge cake was done and on its way to cooling on the rack, I started to beat the whipping cream for the spread. To my utmost dismay, the cream failed to become stiff for spread but instead, it was lumpy and watery. It was already past midnight and I fervently look for my cousin online. He was online alright and told me I had used the wrong whipping cream. To salvage my already baked sponge cake, I rolled it up and chilled it in the fridge overnight. The only good thing that came out of this was I had a chance to practice the rolling before the spread.The next day, I got the correct whipping cream and rushed home to beat it for the spread. Well, when I got home, I knew I won't be satisfied if I spread on an overnight sponge cake roll. I just had to bake a new one. That's me. Yes, I baked a new one all over again and threw away the cake I made the night before.

The results?? Oh... it was outstanding! I made the rightest decision because this time, I didn't overbeat the egg whites and was able to fold in with the flour mixture easily. The sponge cake turned out to be very soft. I was more than satisfied with the texture. What disappoint me were the pictures. Those taken later on with a different lens went missing mysteriously. By the time I realize it, I've eaten the last bite of the roll and couldn't re-take anymore :(

Prepare one 31.5cmx23cm baking tray ( I used the pan that came with my Fagor oven)

6 egg whites
9 egg yolks
100 + 60 gm caster sugar
90 gm plain flour
25 gm corn flour
50 ml olive oil (or vegetable oil)
3 Tbsp hot water
2 Tbsp green tea powder

Ingredients of filling:
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 tsp caster sugar

1. Preheat oven to 220C (428F). Line a baking paper/parchment paper on a greased baking pan. Stir in green tea powder into hot water and mix thoroughly. Mix plain flour and corn flour.

2. Whisk the egg yolks with 100gm sugar until smooth, creamy but not bubbly. Stir in tea powder mixture and combine well.

3. Whisk egg whites for a while until bubbles form. Mix in 60gm sugar with small amount at a time for 3 times, beat until stiff peaks form.

4. Fold in egg whites to egg yolks mixture, 1/3 portion at a time.

5. Sift in the plain flour and corn flour to the mixture. Then quickly add in oil.

6. Pour the batter in the lined baking tray and level it. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

7. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack. Let the cake cool down.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Hong Kong Sweet Bun - 3rd attempt

Yes, folks. It's another Hong Kong Sweet Bun. I failed in my 1st attempt while 2nd attempt was successful but I was feeling it could be better because I had let the dough over proofed. So on Monday, I scurried off as soon as the time in my pc showed 5.30pm. By the time I took the dough out from the machine and rolled into oval shape, I had a strong intuition that this time, finally, I will get the bread correct and the way it ought to be. My major concern was how long was it gonna take for the dough to proof a second round before I can bake it in the oven. Apparently, my concern and worry was justified.  It took more than 5 hours to proof.  From the time I started out this bread making, with simple arithmatic I'm sure you can add up and derive at the time I finally finished baking it. came close to 2.30am in the morning when the bread was finally baked, out from oven and I needed another 10 mins of cooling on the rack before putting the loafs in the container. Oh.. ok.. and taking pictures of them too. So when my head finally hit the pillow, it was way past 3.00am. 

With the triumph of this 3rd attempt, I guess the 4th attempt will be a long long time from now. Fatigue has consumed me totally and I was actually walking like a zombie in office the following day and my brain definitely worked slower.  It may be a long time before I bake this again BUT... I was already planning what other interesting recipe I could venture next.  If you need the recipe, please visit my previous post and click on the link.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Sauteed Garlic Asparagus with Erngii Mushroom

The recent spate of  frenzied baking is slowly taking its toll on me. Apart from baking, I gotta attend to the daily chores and not to mention the work in my office which never seems to lessen. I really gotta take things slow after today and by that, it means no more baking after today. Well... not until next week at least. With chinese new year just round the corner, I don't have many weekends left to start baking my cookies.

I left office on the dot today and obviously that means I already had something in mind. 1st I set off my bread machine to do another round of bread making later on. Thereafter, I cut some assorted fruits to go with my dinner, something which we usually have before our main dinner (be it a chinese homecook dinner or a simple salad). So what's gonna be my main dinner then? Feeling slightly out of time, I took out the remaining asparagus and eryngii mushroom. Placing these 2 together, an idea slowly formed in my brain. I came up with the idea to saute the garlic with the blanched asparagus, then it aside. Next, with a little olive oil in the work, stir fry the slice mushrooms with some garlic, a little chicken powder with a little oyster sauce. I just added a little water to it and after a while,  added in the garlic sauteed asparagus. With just a few stirring and flipping, I turned off the fire. Just before eating it, I sprinkled some chilli flakes to give an additional hot flush taste. So that's that for dinner. A couple of hours later, someone crept stealthily to the kitchen to steal my hidden bottle of Pringles chips. Apparently, his stomach was already growling with hunger :-)

Friday, January 7, 2011

Hong Kong Sweet Bun (Pai Bao)

Oh my God!! Ohh.. myyy... God! It was totally out of my expectation. On Wed, I rushed home from work to try my hands on Hong Kong Sweet Bun, a recipe I found from christinesrecipe .She's into baking bread lately using the 'tangzhong' method. It had never crossed my mind to use my own hands to make bread since I have a very reliable Kenwood bread machine. The machine basically does all the kneading, proofing and finally baking. When I saw the pictures of the bun in christine's site, I was bowled over. The picture clearly indicated a super soft and fluffy bun and that was the very moment I told myself I have to make it coz I have to eat it. Furthermore, the bread machine will aid me in the dough making. Filled with complete confidence and anticipation, I started baking at 6pm but by 10pm, I was defeated.  It was clear that my dough wasn't going to rise any further. I knew in my gut that the tangzhong was overcooked. The bitter taste of defeat was something I couldn't stomach so today Friday, instead of taking half a day off as I intended to, I took a whole day off.  I set off my bread making at 9am and by almost 12pm, the dough was on it's 2nd proofing. At 1.45pm, I left house for hair salon and before that, I sneaked a peak at my dough and oh, how disappointed I felt. The dough size was exactly the same as 1.5 hours ago. I heaved many many sighs and left the house with a heavy heart.

Guess what? I came back at 8.15pm just now and the dough had risen to the top and was slightly overflowed! Despite my acute migraine, I gave a whoop of delight. I quickly preheat my oven, whisked an egg and brushed it lightly on the dough. If the dough had not over risen, you'll be able to see the shape clearly. But anyway, right now, I couldn't care less of the shape. The bread is definitely soft. Maybe not as soft as the picture shown in christine's recipe but it's definitely soft. The recipe yields 2 loafs and since I still have some tangzhong leftover in my fridge, I'm gonna make another bread again. Emm... time is needed for this feat. Making bread is very time consuming as it takes a long long time for it to proof. If my tangzhong is still in good condition by Monday, I'll stay up and bake the bread again. Oh yeah.. I damn will.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mom's well loved Fried Mee Siam

Seriously, if not for our mini christmas gathering for office colleagues, I really would have to think thrice about frying my mom's famous mee siam. I wouldn't say it's extremely tedious work but I seemed to have spent a considerable amount of time preparing this dish. I even blended, sliced, cut, washed and did everything I could prepare , one day earlier. The last time I fried the mee siam was like 9 months ago or so. Naturally, I've forgotten how to get it done and so naturally, I again had to place a long distance call to my mom in Sydney. The recipe cost me RM 7 because that was what the call cost me. I'm pretty happy with the results this time compare to last because the vermicilli wasn't too soggy and wet. The taste of the pounded shrimp was just right. I'm glad cousin Soo enjoyed eating it though the portion for her wasn't huge enough to fill up 2 stomachs. I myself didn't had enough of it so perhaps it'll be very soon before I fry it again.

Welcoming 2011

I can't believe another year is gone. Just wanna wish everyone here a very Happy New Year. I hope 2010 had been great year for everyone but if not all, let's just cast away the unpleasant memories and embrace 2011 with open arms. For me 2010 was just like any other year. It was just work , work and more office work but despite the hectic schedule I had, I managed to squeeze in time to do what I enjoy doing most : baking, cooking, lots of reading, lots of tv, blogging , visiting my lovable nieces in Singapore and finally, finding time to go for a few short break with hubby. It seems like an 'in' thing to set a resolution with the start of a new year because almost everyone I know seems to be doing so. For me, I too have an unwavering agenda; an agenda to have something I have yearn to have for a long long time but seems to be beyond my grasp. If you have known me better, I am not one to give up easily without a fight or resistance. In God, I believe. In determination, I believe. In hope, I believe. And lastly, with utmost sincerity, I believe God will bestow. So, don't give up on whatever you hope to have. Do what you wanna do for a long time without further delay. Treasure your loved ones and cherish what you have now. Finally, remember to cherish each and every moment of the time you have. 

Happy New Year, Everyone.