Monday, October 28, 2013

Fluffly Hokkaido Cupcakes

Folks, I 'm sorry for delaying this post for more than 2 weeks as I was busy with work and attending the company's team building in Redang.  SL found the recipe, tested it at home, brought the cupcakes to office for us to try and I went totally ga ga over it. It was so soft and so fluffy that it felt like melting into my mouth. Yea... I went overboard with the cream but who doesn't love chocolate cream? I didn't want to make a flower shape but that's the only nozzle I have at that time.

I'm so gonna bake this again ... probably next week .... when I find time.

To view the recipe, please click here.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Red Bean Buns

It was a nice breezy cooling Friday morning but my mood was anything but that. I worked through all morning, diligently clearing my emails and paperwork , my fingers working furiously on the keyboard. By almost lunch time, I felt that I could breathe a little and decided to get the bread machine to work for me instead.
Using the same recipe as Walnut Cocoa Raisins buns,  I omitted the cocoa powder and the walnuts & raisins. I made the dough as plain as possible so that I could have red bean filling in the centre later on. The machine knead the dough for 30 mins and thereafter, I removed it from the pan, knock the air out from the dough, divide into 16 - 18 pieces to be rolled into a ball. Of course, I added in my read bean in the centre of the bun.
By 1.15pm, it was done and I let it proof for another hour or so to let it double its size. By 3pm, the buns were freshly baked in the oven and we all had a little mini party in office. Afterall, it was a quiet day for us as there were only 5 of us in the office + 1 student intern. They happily gobbled my buns and all of them packed some back too. Well...if only I have more people at home, I wouldn't be giving away things I baked and made all the time.

What have I achieve at the end of Friday? Well, my spirits lifted up by noon, I successfully baked the buns while I was  working at my desk and all of us were eating happily and chatted over coffee (for a while only!!) during the tea break. As we savoured the deliciously soft hot buns, I can't help wondering when exactly is the company gonna VSS me so that I can grab the compensation and then......stay at home to bake and read (oh..and fb) :D

Friday, August 2, 2013

White Chocolate Gateau

It's another recipe which I learnt from Tomoko of Caramel Factory, a nice cozy little place where she conducts her class. The cake texture is soft and moist. Everyone who had had a taste of this cake thought it was a cheesecake. It looked like cheesecake and it tasted like one BUT it ain't one. This recipe is pretty simple. The success of this cake depends on how much you beat the egg whites. The recipe (like many others ie chiffon, soufflĂ© etc) says : beat the egg whites to stiff perks. Now, that's the tricky part. How stiff is considered stiff? I've always got a problem with beating the egg whites because it is just way too easy to overbeat it which will result in lumpy texture when mix with the cake  batter. I'm still trying to learn and determine at which stage should I stop beating the egg white to refrain the protein from breaking down and I guess this will come naturally with more practice. 

We each baked our own cake from scratch. It is best to eat it chilled, on the following day. It was a good thing that I had that piece of white chocolate with the words Happy Birthday on it as a decoration.  I can't wait to another another class from Tomoko. Once again, I'm sorry that this recipe cannot be shared here as she is doing it for commercial. In case you're interested in her classes, check out her class schedule by clicking here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Focaccia bread

Kuali from The Star has collaborated with MIB (Malaysian Institute of Baking) for the past 2 years in which various baking classes has been held. Due to overwhelming responses, participants can only register for the baking class on a specific day at a specific given time. I wasn't very lucky in getting myself registered but I got lucky last week. I managed to get a place for the Saturday morning class which also happens to be the last baking class for year 2013. The remaining classes for year 2013 will be cooking class instead.
I'm not a great fan of focaccia bread as I'm more towards a sweet bread person. However this class will be teaching 2 other recipes and I thought to myself, why the hell not! I enjoyed the class tremendously. Don Yong himself, the founder of MIB, conducted the class. We spent first an hour or so on introduction and theory. The theoretical knowledge in baking is what I currently lack but of course, the next thing I lack is patience.
I find that bread baking is a splendid way to nurture one's patience. I still have a long road ahead to learn on this. This is the 1st time I made bread using a mixer instead of a bread machine or kneading  with my own hands. He taught us using the 'sponge' method, which is something pretty new to me. Bread came out looking great and tasted great as well. But like I said, I'm not much of a fan for savory bread so... I guess I won't be making this bread very often in the later days.
A friend of mine knew I was going for the class and asked the share the recipe. Well.. here it is..

Ingredients for sponge :
Bread flour  420g
Instant Yeast  4g
Cold Water  244g

Ingredients for dough :
Bread flour  180g
Instant dry yeast  6g
Malt Flour  24g
Oregano  4g
Rosemary  2g
Black pepper  2g
Salt  9g
Bread Improver (optional)  9g
Cold water  132g
Oven dried tomatoes  60g
Olive oil  48g
  1. Prepare the sponge and ferment for 3 hours at room temperature, which is about 27C.
  2. In an electric mixer, using a dough hook at slow speed, blend all the dry ingredients together for 1 minute.
  3. Add water, dried tomatoes and sponge on slow speed for 2 minutes. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes and add olive oil. Mix for another 10- minutes on medium speed until dough is fully developed.
  4. Place dough on floured bench and cover with a plastic sheet for 10 minutes. Divide dough into 6 pieces, each 190g.
  5. Roll out the dough to 6mm thick and place in a tray.
  6. Proof dough for 30 minutes and make shallo9w indentations all over dough with your fingertips, then brush with olive oil, letting it pool in indentations.
  7. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes at 220C. Once baked, brush with olive oil.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sausage galore !!

It's a cool lazy Saturday evening and I'd like to have a simple dinner at home. Afterall, I have zero idea what to eat out. Sausages and salad should be a rather quick fix for dinner. I took out my Happycall pan lookalike which I bought from Amway six months ago. The pan finally made its first "debut" to my old stove.

See the oil splattered all over the top of the pan? Well well well... it sure saved me the trouble of wiping the walls and mopping the floor. Besides, it was kinda fun turning the pan every now and then. My 3 variants of sausages : chorizo, Italian sausage and wine sausage were cooked to perfection and all done in less than 15 mins. I've steamed a sweet potato to replace corn on cob. Fresh vegetables are inevitable if one is having sausages.

Diner's done and now dishes are in the sink, waiting to be washed.... by someone. Who do you think it would be, huh??

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Tofu, Jam & Tahini Salad Dressing

We went back to GK Organic Farm today for another tour and another delectable organic lunch. It was so yummy that I had a 2nd big helping of the salad and  sweet potatoes. The chef there shared his own creation of salad dressing during my last trip there and I wanna make it for mom to try it out. So here's the ingredients to make the dressing:
These are the ingredients. Too lazy to run up to get the camera so the hp's quality will do.
1 packet of soft tofu
Tahini (1 put in 1 big tbsp)
Lemon Juice (freshly squeeze or bottled)
Organic Pineapple jam (or any other organic jam)
A little olive oil.
A little water
The finished dressing : tofu + pineapple jam + roselle + honey + tahini + lemon juice

I threw in everything in my food processor except the olive oil in which I added in upon serving of the salad. The measurement were deliberately left out because you can whip up your own dressing according to your preference. For me, I like it sweeter with a hint of citrus. Therefore, I was generous with the amount of lemon juice as well as honey and pineapple jam. Since I bought roselle this morning, I added some of the roselle into the blending as well. Yup... it became my own salad creation  :D  It would be fab to add in some fruit slices but since I had none, I replaced it with roselle and jumbo raisins. Mom wasn't too ecstatic over the dressing. Dad has no comment while hubby prefer caesar and thousand island over my dressing. It seems like I was the only one enjoying this healthy bit of homemade dressing.
The roselle freshly picked this morning.
Dad whom is not a regular vegan person, just couldn't stand another meal without any rice or meat. Hence, mom used leftover rice to fried some really tasty yet simple fried rice for him.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Lotus Root Peanut soup with a sweet hint (carrot)

Here's another soup cooked using my Noxxa pressure cooker. This soup is our main dinner, thus I added in some carrots so that we have more vegetables to eat rather than just the lotus , peanut and meat. It's awesome, thanks to Noxxa :) This was done in less than an hour

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bamboo Charcoal Rotiboy

I popped over to Ailing's house last Sunday to learn this Rotiboy recipe. The only difference is instead of plain white bun, we made bamboo charcoal buns. My hands got itchy and I wanna try this recipe out on my own so early this morning, I started to make the dough proof since 8am. My faithful Kenwood machine helped to knead the dough for 30 mins. While it was kneading and later proofing, I was doing my work.

I let it proof for a long long time because somehow, the dough isn't rising as fast as I had hope. So I just left it there till almost lunch hour before I started to pipe the coffee topping on top. The topping tasted marvelous. The smell of freshly baked bread with coffee aroma wafted through the entire lab but the smell was always most intense  for those who walk pass by our office door.
LW helped me to piped some buns and since neither of us has patience, we just anyhow piped the topping out without caring much of how it looks like. We just wanna get on and get done with this so that we can have our lunch together at the pantry. That explains the hideous looks of the coffee topping :D

Here's a pix of a better looking finished product.
Good things are meant to be shared and so... here's the recipe :

Ingredients for dough:
Water 300ml
Butter 50g
Sugar 2tbsp
Milk Powder 2 tbsp
Salt 1 tsp
Bread Flour 350g
Normal Flour 150g
Yeast 2 tsp
Bamboo Charcoal Powder 3 tsp

Ingredients for topping :
Butter (softened) 100g
Egg 1 no.
Icing sugar 50g
Low Protein Flour 100g
2 in 1 Instant Coffee 1 pkt
Coffee Essence 1 tsp
Preparation : mix all into bowl and start to beat till a creamy paste is form. Chill it in fridge for 15 mins before piping onto the buns

Filling : cut butter cube (frozen) - optional

Method :
  1. Put all ingredients of dough into the bread machine pan. Always pout the liquid in before adding the dry ingredients UNLESS stated by your machine manual otherwise.
  2. Once dough is ready, remove from pan and knock the air out. Divide dough into half. Shape them into 20 round balls.
  3. Stuff in one cube of butter into the centre of dough, close it and shape into round balls again. Repeat the same process for others. Let dough proof for another 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven at 180C. Once the dough have doubled its size, start to pipe out the cream on top of the bun in circular motion. To achieve a nicer look, leave no gap in between each circles.
  5. Bake the buns at 180C for 20 mins.

I was standing there sealing the Rotiboy in the bag to be kept for tomorrow's breakfast. It really comes in handy when you work in an environment where they have all sorts of equipments :D

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Loaf and buns

Cranberry and Raisin Loaf
I brought my bread machine to office a couple of weeks back and since then, have been having a bread making marathon. The above is a basic white bread recipe using the bread machine but I've added generous amount of raisins and cranberries in it. With bread machine, you can hardly fail but I'm just wondering how to achieve the light and less dense bread like Gardenia bread loaf. Homemade bread is always heavy and dense which is not to my liking.
The bread is good to eat on its own but since I have the jam in fridge supplied by cousin Soo, I just slathered the jam on it and ate it as my lunch.

The above picture is a simple bun recipe in which I've added cocoa powder and raisins to make the plain rolls taste slightly ......not-so-plain. I was supposed to use the cocoa walnut raisin recipe but had erroneously pulled out the tuna bun recipe. It was too late by the time I realized my mistake because I've already poured the flour and other ingredients into the bread machine pan. For the recipe of cocoa walnut raisin buns, please click here.


Saturday, April 20, 2013

My 1st scones : looks more like a cookie ...

I'm not really into scones but my cousins are and so is my colleague CYSL. She has been asking me to make scones and it so happen that last Sunday, I came across this recipe in my SIL's recipe book. Of course I can't read it since it's all in Chinese but SIL read it out for me and it seems kinda easy and quick recipe. Thanks to Ailing too who last minute translated some for me via watsapp. I said I'm gonna make it for the family next Sunday but before I make a laughing stock of myself, I tried out the recipe during lunch hour yesterday. It was really a fast and easy recipe. Now... I say fast and easy. I didn't say it would be nice and successful :P

 It's fun making this during lunch hour instead of early in the morning when I'm usually alone. Those who like baking/cooking will automatically comes into the lab to help/watch me doing it. Those who has zero interest in baking/cooking....well... will just wait for the food to be ready :D

Scones tasted okay to others while I'll rate it as absolute failure in terms of presentation. As for taste wise, well... it's still edible. At least I don't have the impulse to send them straight to the garbage bin which I usually do when the food fail in the QC I've set. Scones turned out looking more like a cookie instead. Even the kakak cleaner in office was asking me whether I'm making a 'biskut' ...hahaha... 

Scones didn't rise up high and puffy as it should be. One of the contributors could be that the dough I rolled out was not thick enough. Recipe says it should be 2.5cm but I rolled it thinner. I should've follow the recipe rather than do it on my own judgement. I've thrown in raisins and cranberry in the recipe. I've substituted unflavored yoghurt with strawberry flavored yoghurt and opted for salted butter instead.
Not sure if you wanna try it out this recipe but in case you wish to and prove the recipe is right while the failure is solely due to my skills, well... here it is :
Ingredients :
Low protein flour 200g
Baking powder 2tsp
Castor sugar 30g
Salt 2g
Unsalted butter 50g
Egg 1 nos.
Unflavored yoghurt 80g
Method :
  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and let it processed for 30 seconds until a ball is formed.
  2. Remove dough , floured the working surface and start to roll dough out in a rectangular shape. Shrink wrap it and chill it in fridge for 30 mins.
  3. On the floured surface, roll the dough out again. Fold half from top to centre and fold the bottom half to the centre. Flip the dough to the smooth side and start to roll the dough out again and repeat the folding pattern. (I forgot how many times I need to repeat this. Pls refer to the Chinese recipe attached)
  4. Preheatat oven at 180C for 15 mins. Brush some milk on top of scones before sending them to oven to bake for 12 - 15 mins.
Some leftover scones which my colleagues eagerly wanna packed home. really taste okay or.. are they just giving me 'face'? :P


Thursday, April 18, 2013

Maggi Magic Meals : Ayam Masak Merah

Ayam Masak Merah - just dump the meat in the bag and dump the bag in the rice cooker.

Yes, it's a new product from Maggi which comes in 3 different variants : Aromatic Chicken Curry, Spiced Soya Chicken and SavoryTomato Chicken (Ayam Masak Merah).  Of the 3 variants, what enticed me most was the Ayam Masak Merah though I honestly have not the slightest notion how it could be translated to  "Tomato Chicken" in English. Anyway, I tried it out today and I bet my colleagues are fervently waiting for my feedback.

That's how it looks like right after I've completed the cooking. Yea.. I mentioned rice cooker but I ain't have one at home so I substitute it with my steamer pot instead.
To start off, it is an awfully convenient way of cooking a dish in a rice cooker.  Just throw in the chicken parts into the Maggi cooking bag provided, add in the packet of seasoning, seal the bag and lastly, place the bag on top of the rice and switch on the rice cooker. Once rice is cooked, leave it on at "Warm" mode for another 25 mins. Chicken will be totally cooked and you've just completed a dish while the rice cooker was cooking the rice for you. Now... isn't that convenient especially for people like me who's constantly complaining of 'insufficient time'?
Magic Meals comes in 3 variants.
 I bet you are worried about placing a plastic bag in the rice cooker for health reasons. Well, the bag used was of food grade and tested to be safe and durable under the heat. Apparently, this method of cooking is not new in the market, I was told but it's definitely the first time I've heard of it.
Okay now.. my verdict on the taste. While it's no doubt a perfectly convenient way of getting a dish ready to eat, it doesn't have the 'wow' factor when it comes to taste. It's edible nonetheless but to me, it is lacking in the flavor. Perhaps I should try marinating the chicken in the bag for a longer period before throwing it into the rice cooker. This way the taste would probably absorb into the meat to give a more intense and kicking taste. 
Another angle of the Ayam Masak Merah from Maggi Magic Meals

 Although it says just add chicken and onion rings in the bag, I've added some tomatoes in it because it just doesn't do any justice to the name "Savory Tomato Chicken" if I don't add any real tomotoes in. 
 Dont' just rely on my verdict. Go grab a packet of these Magic Meals. It's available now in most major hypermart (except Tesco Paradigmn!). Try it out this fun and convenient way of cooking and let me know of your verdict instead. Have fun!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Old Cucumber peanut soup with carrots

I'm really not a typical Chinese who normally opt for soup with rice. On the contrary, I don't drink soup at all, at least not until I married into the Chong family. The soup made by my mom during those days in Batu Pahat  had an unusual smell which totally puts me off. I started to accept the taste of Chinese soup (minus the porky smell) with some training at my in law's place. Of late, I'm so into soup that I actually forked out another sum of money to invest in a pressure cooker. I promise, this shall be the last kitchen appliance I get in year 2013 (and hopefully 2014 too).
This amazing Noxxa pressure cooker from Amway comes with other function : low pressure, slow cook, stir fry and keep warm. It is ideal for someone like me who is always on the go and juggling with time. With just 40 mins or more, soup will be ready for dinner. And mind you, it's part of our one meal diet plan : soup cum meat cum vegetables.

I've been utilizing this machine intensively and aggressively since I bought it. Hubby is wondering how long this weekly soup routine is gonna last but I'm gonna prove him wrong.

Here are some of the variety of soup I've cooked thus far :
1) old cucumber + peanut + carrots + meat + scallop + red dates (as shown in picture above)
2) bitter gourd + tomatoes + red dates + meat + cuttlefish + corn
3) bitter gourd + tomatoes + salted vege + red dates + chicken
4) bitter gourd + anchovies + ginger + tomatoes + red dates + meat
5) lotus root + peanut + carrot + meat + corn
6) ABC soup
7) red bean soup

I'm contemplating to cook a curry chicken and pineapple rice soon. Yes, using this machine :D  Probably sooner than I think.
2 thumbs up for this Noxxa pressure cooker. I simply love it!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hokkaido Chiffon Cake

I learnt to make this from Tomoko again from Caramel Factory. Since she's a Japanese, she said in Japan, the chiffon is normally coated with a layer of fresh cream. In Malaysia, she realized that some bakeries are actually selling Hokkaido chiffon cake in a small tiny cup, topped with some cream custard filling. This inspire her to start a class on a Japanese Chiffon Cake.
Again I've selected the right class to attend. I made 2 portion of the chiffon because I'm a chiffon cake lover. I love the soft, light, fluffy and  moist texture of the cake. It is so soft and fluffy that I could actually 'tear' the cake easily and stuff into my mouth. So far, the only chiffon cake that I could 'tear' as I described, was made by my auntie in Batu Pahat and that was like years and years ago. It's really a great satisfaction that I could actually bake such a cake by myself and the cake turned out beautifully.
Major flavor in the chiffon cake was earl grey tea which we boil hot water and add in the tea leaves to let it simmer for a while before draining it. It makes me wonder whether I can substitute the earl grey tea with other fruit flavored tea or latte for an instance. Maybe I should just give it a try the next time. This is just an awesome cake to devour.