Wednesday, November 29, 2006
ghopa skin / dadar
1 cup all purpose flour
a pinch of salt
enough water to make this a thin batter
add everything in, and prepare a heavy skillet. brush a little oil, and drop a few tablespoonfuls of the batter (i used 6) onto the hot skillet, moving the spoon in circular motion so that the batter is thin and bigger. the idea is not to make it a thick skin, as it will break when you try to fold it.
flip to the other side, make sure you dont overbrown it. place it on a plate.
100g beef, cut into small pieces
100g potatoes, cubed into 1 cm
2 onions, minced
sweet soya sauce
salt and sugar to taste
note: you can also use curry powder if you dont like soya sauce filling.
heat the oil into a frying pan. sautee the onion, add in the beef and the potatoes. add some water and the seasoning. make sure the potatoes are nearly cooked.
put a teaspoon or 2 of the filling onto the skin. roll the skin as if making kuih dadar. to seal it, dip the ghopa into a bowl of a beaten egg, then fry in a hot frying pan. serve.
Thursday, November 02, 2006
most cant resist the smells of freshly baked breads or cakes, but none can beat the smell of freshly baked pastries especially danish and croissant. this is a heavenly smell, one that smells so sweet that seems to be calling out to us to sample (or savour) its rich texture and taste. i tried to make croissant years ago, and even earlier this year, but i didnt know how to make the pastry. until my niece intan the chef taught me how.
the ingredients are always there in the house, so it's not a problem. it started when i watched anthony bourdain visit a boulangerie in paris, and i could see croissants and baguettes and brioches and cinnamon rolls. and after watching the show, i went straight to the kitchen, and made the dough. and then the long arduous task began - of rolling the pastry and folding it into 3 and letting it rest for 20 mins. i had to repeat this task 4 times. and this morning... i smelled the sweet smell in the oven and it reminded me of the mornings i visited the victoria market and bought almond croissant at the pastry shop. and the danish and croissants were puffed up and were soft and delicate when i tasted it. ah! happiness is the feeling of a baker whose creation is soft and sweet.
Friday, September 08, 2006
Basic Scones (10 pcs, depending on the size of the cutter)
2 cups self raising flour
a pinch of salt
30g butter, cut into small pieces (better to use butter than margarine as the former has a delicate flavour)
1/2 cup of fresh milk (i used less than 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup of water
sift flour and salt together into a large bowl. add butter and rub in lightly using fingertips. combine milk and water. make a well in the centre of the flour. pour in the liquid all at once, reserving about a teaspoon for glazing. mix quickly to a soft dough. turn onto a floured board. knead lightly. roll out to form a round about 2cm thick. cut using a floured plain round cutter. place on a greased oven tray and glaze with milk. preheat the oven to 220C and bake for 10-12 mins ( it takes me 20 mins, but ovens vary in terms of cooking time) until the scones sound hollow when tapped. cool on wire rack. serve with jam and cream.
how to serve the scone. split the scone in half, so that you have 2 rounds, and spread with some jam or cream or butter.
pie crust (8 inch pie tin)
8 oz flour
a pinch of salt
5 oz butter, diced
1 egg yolk
3 tb cold water
apple pie filling
4 medium Granny Smith apples - peeled, cored and sliced
4 oz sugar (you may decrease to 3oz if u prefer it to be less sweet). i used brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 egg whites
1 0z sugar
to make the crust, rub the butter and flour with your fingertips. you may use pastry cutter if you have it, or just plain knife and cut the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs.
add in the yolk and water bit by bit until the dough sticks together. begin to knead on a floured surface. do not knead long, as this is not a bread dough. wrap it in a clingwrap and refrigerate it for at least half an hour. take an 8 inch pie tin and spread some breadcrumbs. take out the dough and on a floured surface, roll out using a rolling pin until you get about 1 cm thickness. transfer the crust onto the pie tin and use a fork to pierce some holes so that hot air can escape (to avoid the crust becoming soggy). we have to blind bake the crust, so in order to do that, take a piece of greaseproof paper or aluminium foil and place it on top of the crust. pour in some rice or dried beans to lend some weight so that the pie crust will not rise while it's baking. bake at 200 C 15-20 mins. remove the weight from the pie crust and continue baking for another 5 mins.
to make the filling, cook the apples, sugar and the cinnamon on slow fire until the apples are mashed.
to make the meringue, beat the egg whites until it is stiff then add sugar.
spoon the apple pie filling onto the pie after it has been baked the 2nd time. then fold in the meringue on top of the filling. bake for another 10 mins or until the meringue peaks turn golden.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
i fell in love with kek lapis sarawak more than 9 years ago, when a friend of the family gave some during raya. it was the moistest and sweetest cake i've ever tasted, besides the colourful layers of the cake, which makes it uniquely malaysian, unlike the kek lapis betawi (i dont like the spices in it). one of my sisters used to order benji roll every single raya, with colourful checks nestled in the heart of the roll. all of these recipes are featured in rabiah amit's book, kek lapis sarawak. yes, the number of eggs used in the recipe will make the eyes of the weight conscious bulge, nevertheless, because of its richness, the cake should be eaten in smaller slices (as it is damn expensive if you buy them, and if you make them, it's because it's time consuming so u'd better make it last as long as you can), so those who're watching their weight need not fear.
2 days ago, i had this craving for swiss roll. when i was a little girl, my mother always bought a simple but delicious strawberry jam filled swiss roll from a bakery. nowadays, it's difficult to get an ordinary swiss roll as every cake house or bakery will sell the cream version. full of ovalette, and god knows what...so, using the ERT book, i made swiss roll. yeah, it broke 3/4 of the length, but who cares...nigella always says homecooking is supposed to be as it is, and it's not about perfection. perfection is so pretentious, dont you think?
3 oz castor sugar
3 oz sifted flour
beat the eggs until light and double in volume (or triple). add in sugar, then fold in flour lightly. pour into a rectangle baking sheet (lined with grease paper) and bake for 7-10 mins at 220 C (the cooking time will vary for different ovens). take the sponge cake out frm the oven, and invert it onto a tea towel lined with a grease paper which has been sprinkled with some castor sugar. spread with some jam, and roll it up.
Monday, April 10, 2006
one of my nieces specialises in pastry making, and right now she's in London for a few more months before her course is complete. before that she studied in KDU majoring in culinary arts. the rose decoration on the cake is her creation - in 20 minutes, when she entered a competition in paris. she grew up in an environment where entertaining and food blend together - especially since my family loves to eat. her mother, my sis in law, would do a lot of cooking, so we would have rich curry or big chunks of meat in our soup, or creamy lasagne or shepherd's pie...or her sinful durian mousse cake.
i often told my sis in law that i wished i could ask my intan a lot of questions, mostly relating to pastry and cake making, which i think i havent really mastered (thus, the adage the more you know, the more you dont know, is really true). so, last saturday, when intan was back for a week long holiday, i took the opportunity to fire questions as we had limited time... (as i was hogging on my kuey teow and she on her penang laksa). it's interesting to note that my italian country bread was hard as a rock not because i failed to knead well, but because the technique i used wasnt correct. she kept telling me about the steam oven, which all professional kitchens have, creating that crust on the outside and soft on the inside....and despite the malaysians' tendency to favour soft sponges (which means stabiliser is added), she said the chefs over there DO NOT use stabilisers and make fresh batches of sponges daily...i should think the malaysians too, like the british kids in jamie's school dinners should be re-trained to appreciate the basic ingredient foods instead of overly processed foods...
in the end, 1 hour isnt enough to berguru with intan.... i shall have to wait until she returns for good in july.
but now that i'm older, i began to note the different tastes, and i began to become a connoisseur. and there goes my quest to search for the best penang char kuey teow. a few years ago when i was in KL, i would dine at little penang cafe in midvalley, because for me they make the best char kuey teow. only that a plate of char kuey teow costs RM8...or may be now they've raised the price...last year, i went to penang, and shahul took me to this 1 stall which he claims to be one of the best in penang. the taste of the char kuey teow is similar to that of little penang cafe, and a lot cheaper.
last weekend, when my sis in law invited me to join for breakfast, we went to a restaurant next to FAM - it's done in hawkers style, so there are a lot of stalls there. and i sampled the char kuey teow. up till now i'm still thinking about it...it's the best char kuey teow i've ever tasted. still hot, a bit soggy and not dry, which is what i like the best...and it has that ummph taste...i could taste the spicyness, the sesame oil...
i'm trying to recreate the taste last night, but the fire's too big so my onions were burnt. today i hope to make a second attempt...and hopefully i can recreate the symphony of taste
Thursday, March 02, 2006
100g kuey teow
50g cooked beef, sliced thinly
1 pip of garlic,sliced
1 slice of ginger, sliced
beef or chicken stock
1 tb of cornflour
1 tb of sesame oil
some oyster sauce
some soya sauce
heat the oil in a wok and saute the the garlic with ginger. pour in some soya sauce and oyster sauce, then add in the kuey teow. add in the veggie as well. stir until the veggies are cooked. then pour in the stock and the beef. add in the seasoning, then cornflour. voila!
Wednesday, March 01, 2006
since i have leftover non-dairy whipping cream, i thought it best to make cream puffs (aka profiteroles). my sister was going back to kl and announced that my niece syahirah loves her cream puffs with custard filling and not cream filling. okay, so i obliged her wish.
cream puffs and chocolate eclairs are made from choux pastry. it requires you to boil water and butter, and to add flour until it's not sticky. eggs are added later on.
1/4 litre cold water
125g flour with a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon castor sugar
boil water, butter and sugar. on low heat, add the flour and fold with a wooden spoon until the mixture no longer sticks to the pan. remove the mixture from the pan and put it in another bowl and let it cool down for 15 mins. beat in one egg at a time until it is well-blended and looks glossy.
use a pastry bag and a star nozzle to pipe the pastry onto a greased pan. bake in 200 C for 20 mins. slice the puffs and fill them with custard filling or cream
custard filling (pastry cream)
1/2 liter warmed milk
1 egg yolk
25g custard flour
100g castor sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
beat the eggs, the flours, sugar and vanilla essence. pour in the milk and mix them well. cook on a medium fire until the custard boils and thickens. cool before using.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
a few weeks ago, a teacher proudly brought her orange chiffon cake for us to taste. it was nice, though a tad tangy. i was thinking, if she could make a chiffon cake, that also means i could too.
so today, i bought a tubed pan, and made the cake. seriously, 10 years ago, i wouldnt have dreamed of making the cake. especially light and airy cakes. i was pleasantly surprised to see that mine is really a chiffon, springy, wobbly, airy pandan chiffon!
here's the recipe, which i've taken from amy beh's column in the star
6 egg whites
125g castor sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
5 tbsp corn oil
2 tbsp pandan juice
100ml thick coconut milk (squeezed from 1/2 a grated coconut)
140g self-raising flour, sift
5-6 pandan leaves, cut into small pieces
3-4 tbsp water
To obtain pandan juice, put pandan leaves and water in an electric blender and blend to a fine pulp. Strain the juice and measure out two tablespoonfuls for use.
Preheat oven to 180ºC. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in an electric mixer until just stiff.Whisk egg yolks, sugar and vanilla essence until light and creamy. Add in corn oil, pandan juice and thick coconut milk. Mix well.Stir in sifted flour and fold in carefully and gently to mix.Pour egg yolk mixture lightly into the egg white mixture. Mix evenly with a metal spoon or a plastic spatula.Pour batter into an ungreased 22cm tube pan. Bake in a preheated oven for 40-45 minutes or until cake is well browned and firm to the touch.Remove cake from oven. Invert pan immediately. Leave to cool, then remove cake from pan with the help of a thin-bladed knife.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
i had always hated making sponge cakes. why? i think, to make sponge cakes, one must have a lot of patience. 2 years ago, i made a black forest cake that someone ordered. the cake sank in the middle! later, it turned out that i used a lot of raising agents. then, last week, the cake i made shrank! it wouldnt matter if it's just 1 layer, but i wanted to make 2 layers using 2 different pans, so 1 cake was smaller than the other.
yes, making sponge cake can be frustrating at times. i find making cheesecake easier. but this doesnt deter me from continuing my quest to become a perfect baker.
yesterday, i had this mood for making coffee cream and nut roll, except that it's not in the form of a swiss roll, but a normal cake. i used blue key recipes, and i was surprised to find that the cake actually taste nice! so here's the recipe for coffee cream and nut roll:
100g self raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons ovalette
1 teaspoon vanilla (i put in some instant coffee diluted in water)
1/4 cup melted butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon evaporated milk
2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
2 teaspoons water
whisk all the ingredients except for melted butter. using a spatula, blend in cooled melted butter into the sponge batter. pour the batter into the pan (or tray). bake at 200 C for 7- 10 mins or until cooked.
spread cake with coffee cream and sprinkle chopped nuts.
coffee butter cream
cream the butter, icing sugar and milk together until light and fluffy. dissolve coffee with water. blend into the cream.
i'm so pleased with the cake that today i made another one - it's chocolate sponge with coffee topping. it's the cake in the pic. i used non-dairy whipping cream and added some coffee essence and instant coffee powder.
here's the ingredients for chocolate sponge cake:
3/4 cup self-raising flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup caster sugar
sift the flour and cocoa 3 times. beat the eggs until thick and pale. add in sugar gradually and continue to beat until it turns pale yellow and glossy. using a metal spoon, fold in sifted ingredients quickly and lightly. bake for 20 mins 180 C or until the sponge cake is lightly golden and shrink from sides of the tin.
Friday, January 13, 2006
for the italians, the must haves in their cooking r garlic, basil leaves n tomato. oh yeah, and also cheese.... for 1 serving, i used half a tomato (the redder the tomato is, the better...it has lycophene or lyco something which is a cancer fighting agent) n some garlic, which i liquidised in the blender... then i poured the content into a frying pan (which is coated with some olive oil) n added some basil, pepper n salt...then i added some pasta (i used linguine, which is cooked al dente) n coated the pasta with the sauce... n voila! the dish is done :o)
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
when i was in melbourne, i loved eating the almond croissants that r sold at victoria market. i loved them so much that i tried to find one in KL. well...i wasnt lucky. went to delifrance but at that time almond croissant wasnt ready yet. so i had to make do with some danish, which unfortunately, was very dry.
i returned home n tried to find an almond custard croissant recipe. n i found one at http://www.recipelink.com/mf/2/16163 . the dough was a bit hard tho', so next time i'll have to put more milk. the reason y i dont really fancy making puff pastry is the fact that u've to roll the dough n put knobs of butter n then fold the dough n then roll it again....u've to repeat this a few times. my problem is that the dough actually burst n the butter just spilled, which made rolling harder. nevertheless, despite the uneven croissant shape, they tasted nice that my nephew wanted to bring them back.
i would definitely make the croissant again - but when i've ample time, as i treat this as a marathon.
Thursday, January 05, 2006
i like eating potato bread. it's soft due to the potatoes added (n also due to bread improver n softener which r widely used in commercially produced bread) n it has a subtle pleasing flavour, which is not unlike donuts, but a little bit different.
years ago, i had a recipe sent by a chef on how to make potato bread, but sadly i lost it. the one that i made for breakfast today is featured in celebrity chefs don yong's bread recipe book. i'm sorry but due to the copyrights i cant feature the recipe here.
i was pleasantly delighted when i was kneading the dough, bcoz it's soft n pliant but not sticky, unlike some recipes (esp. those taken fr. western recipes) in which u have to make some adjustments. probably it's bcoz don yong is a local baker. pls bear in mind that there's nothing wrong in using a western bread recipe, but u've to take into consideration the humidity of our place, the kind of yeast n the kind of flour we use.
for first time bread bakers, please wear an apron. make sure u have a clean surface to knead ur dough. i purchased a large tile fr the tile shop so that i have ample space to knead the dough. make sure that u measure ur ingredients, bcoz making a bread is also like making a cake. any mistakes in measuring will yield a very flat bread, or a baling-dinding-hard kind of bread. i personally love american recipes just bcoz they use measuring cups instead of metirc measurement. also, make sure that u have a proper measuring cup, not the tea or coffee cup that u have at home. most bread recipes require bread flour, or known as high protein flour. i've used plain flour b4, bt the texture of the bread isnt the same as wat u'll expect fr a typical bread. nevertheless, it's not a sin if u dont use high protein flour. u can find high protein flour at shops selling cooking ingredients n utensils. i use instant yeast, or mauripan, which is so much better than its predecessor of a few yrs ago. a basic bread recipe only needs high protein flour, sugar (which acts as food for the yeast as it begins to ferment), water, yeast n oil. other ingredients such as milk, honey, eggs r used to enhance the flavour n also soften the texture of the bread.
i had a chat with another teacher who's also interested in cooking, n she prefers to knead her dough using the mixer. those who dont have the time can opt for a mixer, but personally, i prefer to use my own hands to knead. after all, i'm a purist...n i just dont feel satisfied with machine kneaded dough, it's as if it's incomplete. by using ur own hands, u'll know when the dough is ready for proofing. normally, kneading a dough takes 8-10 mins. any later than that will make ur dough hard, as the gluten begins to stick.
i'm sorry again for not giving the recipe. pls dont hesitate to ask me regarding bread making.
A -kayu manis, bunga lawang, buah pelaga, bunga cengkih
B -bawang merah, bawang putih, halia, lengkuas, a bit of kunyit, buah keras, serai, some serbuk ketumbar, jintan manis n putih, plus white pepper (blend)
some chicken meat n chicken cubed stock.
tumis rempah A, then masukkan B, masukkan chicken. add water n chicken stock. biar menggelegak lama.condiments:meehoon or nasi impitkacang, tauge, daun sup, bawang goreng n shredded chicken taken from the kuah soto, n fried soohoon
a pinch of salt
75g melted butter.
beat the eggs with electric beater for 8-10 mins. fold in flour and cocoa alternately with melted butter. pour the batter into greased n lined baking pan.bake at 180C for 10 mins (note : time for baking may vary from an oven to another oven)
2 cups of non dairy whipping cream
1/2 cup of milk or cold water
1 cup of chocolate sprinkles
1/2 canned of black cherries
100g cooking chocolate, grated
to assemble the sponge cake should be cut into 3 layers. beat the cream with milk until it becomes stiff. moisten each layer of the cake with some cherry syrup. pour some cream onto 1st layer n arrange the cherries on top. repeat with the other 2 layers. top the top layer with the remaining cream n decorate with grated chocolate, chocolate sprinkles n cherries
okay, here're some recipes for u out there
a few chicken breasts
some pepper,garlic, olive oil, salt n soya sauce for marinate.
grill for 20 minutes or until it's done.
1 pineapple, cubed
a screwpine leaf (daun pandan le)
in a pot, add in pineapple cubes, sugar n enough water. cook for around half an hour, then put in screwpine leaf b4 u turn off the stove.
chocolate ice cream (taken frm hershey's recipe)
14 oz condensed milk (i used less than a can of our local produced condensed milk)
1/3 cup of cocoa
2 cups of cream
1 cup of light cream (i used evaporated milk)
1 tb vanilla essence.
In medium saucepan, stir together sweetened condensed milk and cocoa. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.2. Gradually add whipping cream, light cream and vanilla, beating with whisk until well blended; refrigerate until cold.3. Place in ice cream freezer container. Freeze according to manufacturer's instructions.when it's about to crystallise, i took the container out frm the freezer n beat it with a beater. u may do this once or twice. the ice cream will turn out perfect! oh, i added in extra cocoa since i'm a chocoholic, n i added in choc chip as well
as i grew up, more family gatherings were held - most of the time they're barbeques. we're a very tolerant lot, so the barbeques were often western styled concoction, complete with beef steaks, frankfurters, lamb chops, mashed potatoes n gravy n salad.
all of my sisters took home ec., except for yours truly. they love to bake, n cookbooks r plentiful at their houses. 2 of my sister-in-laws also love to cook, one of them being a Filipina born in a family who also love to eat.
we do enjoy local fare as well, our absolute favourite being nasi beriyani. in fact, when my siblings talk of the old days, they will talk abt my mother's nasi beriyani recipe (written in jawi) with such reverence n awe. my mother is a purist who believes in cooking almost every dish from scratch. being the youngest n the most who spend time with Mother, i've also become a purist. Aside fr the nasi beriyani, i love nasi minyak, which is eaten as breakfast here in terengganu (yes, we love heavy food here - breakfast menu consists of nasi dagang, nasi lemak, nasi minyak, pulut kuning or laksam).
it is no surprise then, with such passion for food in the family, that i've become passionate abt food as well. cooking, in my opinion, is an art that one should master, n should not be treated only as a means of survival. wat more better way than to make ur loved ones happy by presenting them with ur work of art?