Friday, November 27, 2009

lemon cream cake with homemade strawberry jam

everybody's perennial favourite is always chocolate cake or cheesecake but i don't want to stick to the norm and thought that it'd be interesting to make lemon cake, since the feasting would involve a lot of rich food. i thought the slight tartness would balance it. i studied some recipes and thought that it's best i use my own recipe. it's simple, actually. all i did was make a pound cake flavoured with lemon juice and zest, add in some sour milk.

here's the recipe:

250g pure butter

225g caster sugar
3 large eggs
250g flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup milk with some lemon juice added

zest of 1 lemon juice of 1 lemon
use creaming method, pour in one deep 8 inch pan or 2 shallow 8 inch pans and bake at 180C until it is cooked.

homemade strawberry jam

200g strawberries, sliced
some sugar
lemon juice

cook the berries with lemon juice. when they are soft, add in the sugar, to suit your taste. mine isnt that sweet because i want the tartness to stand out.


400ml whipping cream

some sugar lemon
whip all the ingredients.

to assemble
if you use a deep pan, slice the cake horizontally so that you have 2 pieces. on top of the first piece, spread a dollop of whipped cream and then the strawberry jam. put another piece of cake on top and cover the cake with the remaining cream. chill in the fridge as the cream cannot withstand warm temperature.

Friday, October 30, 2009

white bread (from All About Cookery)

when i was 12 years old, i was given a big brown book entitled "All About Cookery" by my brother who was in Liverpool Uni to do his M.A.

granted, i was ecstatic to receive such a huge book, but i was unsure how to cook everything. there were no interesting pictures to attract a12 year old girl. i was disappointed, and let my Filipino sis in law borrowed the book.

i asked for the book back when i was in my 20s. now a grown woman, i could appreciate the contents and what a treasure trove i have in there.

the book is divided into courses - so there are chapter on soups, starters, and then a separate chapter on fish, poultry and game, meat, suppers and snacks, vegetables and salads, puddings, baking, and even preserves and drinks.

it's a good thing i'm a hoarder.

this morning, without any storebought bread left, i contemplated what to make for breakfast. i finally decided on delicious but simple white bread, one that i used to bake every few days when i was in terengganu and fed me and my late mother for a few years.

this bread can be shaped into cob loaf, or cottage load or farmhouse loaf. it's a bit bland for my taste, so for those who like their bread a bit sweet, add some more sugar.

makes 4 500g loaves or 2 1kg loaves

1 tsp sugar
900ml lukewarm water
15g dried yeast
1.5kg strong flour
1 tb salt
25g margarine
salted water to glaze

stir the sugar into the water until dissolved. sprinkle the yeast on top and leave in a warm place until frothy.
sift the flour and salt into a bowl. rub in the margarine. make a well in the centre and put in the yeast liquid. mix to a firm dough.
turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or untilt eh dough is elastic and smooth. cover and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 hour and 1/2 or until doubled in size.
knock back the dough, then knead again for 5 minutes. divide the dough into four portions and shape each into a loaf. place in four greased 500g or two 1kg loaf tins. cover and leave to prove in a warm place for about 1 hour or until the dough has risen to the tops of the tins.
brush the tops of the loaves with salted water, then bake in a preheated hot oven (230 celcius) for 30-40 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. cool on a wire rack.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My Favourite Raya Cookies

butterscotch buttons - trust me, the taste is divine!

my favourite raya cookies are all simple cookies that have become a raya tradition. despite all the newcomers like Bunga Tulip or Mama Carie or Almond London, i always prefer the simple cookies. my favourites include:

1. Biskut Kacang/Mazola
2. Semprit
3. Chocolate Chip Cookies
4. Butterscotch Buttons
5. Biskut Arab

i'm always ambitious to bake a lot, but this year i baked only 2 types - Butterscotch Buttons and Biskut Arab. i don't like the ostentatious decorated cookies, nor the gaudy ones because you just know the taste is just ordinary. i place much importance on taste. the form isnt necessarily have to pass the aesthetics.

i like Butterscotch Buttons for their caramel taste. it's also very simple to make.

125g unsalted butter
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tb golden syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup self-raising flour.

beat butter with sugar, golden syrup and vanilla. sift in self-raising flour. the book instructs shaping the cookie by using teaspoon, by i prefer making small balls and flatten them with a fork. bake in 180C oven at 20 mins.

Biskut Arab

these cookies arent for those on a diet! i hope i can resist after a few. kak dah always told me that the ratio for flour and sugar is 2:1

500g flour
250g icing sugar
200g ghee, melted

rub in all the three ingredients. shape the dough into small balls. bake 170C at 20 mins.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Puding buih with custard

i think years ago i had written about my mother's puding buih. it is a jelly made of meringue, hence the name buih. my late mother would serve this during fasting month, simply because it is easy to digest and is cool to the throat and the sugar from the custard gives that instant energy that the tired body needs. for the family tahlil, i decided to make this puding buih, (and also my niece nana who had returned from KK had requested this). my filipina sister in law was nonplussed to see the puding, probably because most of the time i serve western desserts during the family gatherings. but later, when everybody dug in, my siblings reminisced the times when my mother served this - during fasting month. i think it's appropriate for me to make this dish, as it reminds us of my late mother.

for those of you pudding lovers, this is the recipe

1 packet of agar2
6 glasses water
3 tb sugar red food colouring
7 egg whites, beaten until stiff
rose essence

boil the agar2 with the water. when dissolved, add in the sugar and red colouring. add in meringue and rose essence, and fold in the meringue into the agar2 mixture. turn the fire off. pour the mixture into a larger bowl and beat until the meringue is incorporated into the jelly. a good puding buih will not have separate layers between meringue and non- meringue.


7 egg yolks

2 cans evaporated milk
sugar (i didnt measure this, so use your discretion)
vanilla essence
1 tsp cornflour (according to Delia Smith, this is to stabilise the custard)

Warm the milk on the stove. while warming, beat the yolks with the eggs. pour in the milk into the eggs gently, so that the yolks are not cooked. pour the egg mixture back into the pan and onto the fire, and stir. add in vanilla and cornflour and stir. the custard is cooked when there is a line when you run your finger across the back of the ladle or wooden spoon.

serve chilled.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Fudgy Brownies

since today i took another MC (i'm not playing hookie, i just have the flu bug), i decided to lie in and come afternoon i felt the sudden yearn for the denseness of brownies. i have so many recipe books and it's only right that i browse through the recipes. i found this recipe for Chocolate magazine by Better homes and garden. it's really dense and decadent, so you cant eat a lot. more like eating a slice of cheesecake.

1/2 cup butter
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut up (you can substitute with 9 tb of cocoa powder and 3 tb of fat, since an oz of chocolate is equivalent to 3 tb cocoa powder and 1 tb fat)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

1. preheat ovent o 180C. grease 8 x 8 x 2, set aside. in medium saucepan, combine butter and chocolate. cook and stir over low heat until melted. cool.
2. stir sugar into chocolate mixture. add eggs, one at a time, beating with wooden spoon just until combined. stir in vanilla.
3. in small bowl, combine flour and baking soda. add flour mixture to chocolate mixture stir just until combined. if desired, stir in nuts.
4. spread batter in prepared pan. bake for 30 mins. cool in pan on wire rack.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Philadelphia Cheese Steak Sandwich

woops! the hoagie bun is upside down!

from the first time i sank my teeth into the buttered bun at chilli's, i was hooked. and that was years and years ago. unfortunately though, when i dined at chilli's last month with mozie, the cheese steak sandwich was off the menu. they must be crazy because it's damn good! deprived of my favourite sandwich, i, as usual, searched for the recipe so i could relive those moments of sheer happiness. i found this recipe on BHG.


  • 1 12-ounce boneless beef rib eye steak
  • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced and separated into rings
  • 1 medium red or green sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 4 French rolls or hoagie buns, split
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced cheddar cheese


1. Partially freeze beef. Thinly slice beef across the grain into bite-size strips. In a 10-inch skillet melt margarine or butter; add onions and pepper. Cover and cook over medium-low heat about 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.(i added in some soya sauce as well as some black pepper)

2. Remove onion-pepper mixture from skillet with a slotted spoon. If necessary, add additional margarine to skillet. Add beef; cook and stir over medium-high heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until done.

3. To serve, spread rolls open face on a baking sheet. Divide beef and onion-pepper mixture among rolls. Top with cheese. Broil 4 to 5 inches from the heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Homemade Spicy Chicken Burger

it's so easy to just go and buy McD (especially for me, because it's just a 2 min walk from home) or if you have a family or on a tight budget, you'd figure it out that buying Ramly is a better deal than the expensive McD. however, what people choose to ignore (because of convenience and time constraint) is the fact that those burgers are loaded with extra calories - from the animal fat and all the other parts of the animal, MSG and god knows how much more alien sounding preservatives are added.

i was tempted to buy at McD, but instead i made my way to MaxValu and bought some minced chicken, low fat cheddar cheese and some organic lettuce. i made my own recipe, loosely following jamie oliver's recipe - which calls for some breadcrumbs and some ground onion. my own concoction is as follows

some minced chicken
toasted cumin and coriander seeds, ground
chilli powder
hungarian paprika powder
some fresh breadcrumbs
chopped onions

if you find that your meat mixture is dry, then add in an egg to bind everything together. shape the meat into patties and grill.

My mother's karipap recipe

most karipap recipes use curry powder, hence the name. however, my late mother decided to make some changes and used terengganu kurma powder instead. the result? a fragrant and mild tasting karipap, suited for those who do not favour the overpowering curry taste. i used to remember when i was in form 2 returning to SSP after 2 weeks of leave due to chicken pox, my mother made probably around 100 karipaps for my siblings and they smelled heavenly on the plane.

unfortunately though, i can't give the full scale recipe as i like to throw things without measuring them.


all-purpose flour
butter (my mother used to put some ghee which smells and tastes delicious!)
a pinch of salt

mix all and knead until the dough becomes smooth


beef, cubed
potatoes, cubed
shallots, chopped
some kurma powder (use terengganu kurma powder and not the white kurma powder found in most stores)

heat some oil. mix ingredients in a pan and cook for awhile.

roll the dough and use a round cutter. fill in the filling and seal the edges by crimping. a few years ago, my mother made the filling and it was up to me and my niece nana to do the rest. being true gourmand eaters, nana and i made the biggest karipap - probably the size of two palms held together. those were the days *sigh*

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pulut Gaul Nyor - Sticky Rice with Grated Coconut

This morning i thought of making scones at first, but as i neared the kitchen i remembered that i still had some fresh grated coconut (frozen) and some glutinous rice. so i made the simplest breakfast, eaten by Terengganu folks for breakfast. yes, you can find this in any local food stalls in terengganu early in the morning.

soak the glutinous rice, i took only half an hour to soak. then i cooked the rice just like any normal white rice. prepare the coconut filling by mixing with salt and sugar (the filling must be sweet). fry or grill a fish, as an accompaniment to the dish. enjoy!

Friday, April 17, 2009


Malaysians now begin to like tiramisu, an italian dessert named such (Pick me up) because that's what the courtesans fed their lovers. there are a lot of recipes on Tiramisu. some are just mere imitations, and not fit to be called a Tiramisu. a popular Malaysian eatery serves tiramisu but sadly, it's just a cake, and not a tiramisu.

so, what is the real mccoy tiramisu?

it is layers of spongefingers soaked in coffee syrup (to which liqueur is added), mascarpone cheese, whipped cream and meringue, and finally dusted with cocoa.

now, that's the real tiramisu, of which you can see when Nigella shows it on tv.

here i'm going to share with you the recipe that i used, taken from the Better Home & Garden's Italian magazine.

Liqueur syrup

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tb espresso

Stir and let boil until 1 minute. cool.

Mascarpone filling

500g mascarpone cheese (this is really expensive and those made in italy can cost RM30 a bar)
1/4 cup sugar


Whipped Cream

1 1/2 cup cream
3 tb sugar

Beat until soft peaks form.


3 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar

beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. add sugar then continue beating until it reaches hard peak stage.

6 oz spongefingers
2 tb cocoa

Add 1/2 of the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. place half of the spongefingers into a dish of 9 x 9 x 2. brush with half of the liqueur syrup. on top of the spongefingers, put half of the mascarpone cream. layer it out. then put half of the whipped cream, layer it out. put half of the meringue mixture, layer it out. dust with 1 tb of cocoa. repeat the same process with all the other half mixtures, ending with another dust of 1 tb of cocoa. refrigerate 4- 24 hours before serving.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Kuih Cucur Badak

the cucur badak fried for bekal. the karipap ikan is made by my friend shidah

of all the kuih melayu, i like currypuffs, kuih cucur badak and serimuka. which means it is an imperative that i become a connoisseur for these kuihs and know how to make them, and make them well.

i tried to make cucur badak several attempts, but although those were edible, it was nowhere near perfect. or at least, my standard of perfection. the sweet potatoes were always too soft, although the filling was okay.

i couldnt remember how, but a few days ago i had this craving for cucur badak. i did my research through my small library of recipe books, and after ditching Betty Saw's recipe (because nowhere was sweet potatoes stated, probably it was a misprint) i finally settled for a recipe in Berita Publishing's Traditional Malaysian Cuisine. and i must say, after making it, the recipe was not bad, the most important thing is, the skin made of sweet potatoes was just nice, and the filling was tasty. okay, i know i didnt have the pic of my cucur badak, i keep them in the freezer for any emergencies. here's the recipe for it.


300g sweet potatoes
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup flour

boil until the potatoes are cooked. scrape the skin and mash the potatoes. add 1/2 cup of flour and knead until soft. divide into equally sized portions (you can make about 6-8 depending on the sizes)


1/2 grated coconut
to be ground together:
20gs dried shrimps (i used fresh ones. don't grind the fresh shrimps with the spices)
1 stalk lemon grass -
2 fresh red chillies
2 cloves of garlic
2 shallots

1/2 tsp turmeric powder (i used fresh turmeric)
salt and sugar

mix all the ingredients together and fry in 2 tbs of oil until dry (usually until the coconut is light) take 1 portion of the sweet potato mixture and flatten slightly. put in 1 tsp of the filling in the centre and seal. heat oil and fry the cakes until golden.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Steak with Garlic Brown Sauce, Mashed Potatoes with Chives and Corn-on-cob

i always crave for different things to eat everyday. a few nights ago, i suddenly had this urge to eat steak - something i try to avoid since it's pure red meat. i marinated the steak in garlic and pepper for one hour (they always recommend 4-24 hours of marinating but i didnt have the time, i was hungry!).

while marinating, i boiled some US potatoes which is waxy, but never mind, i was hungry! following Delia Smith's book, i mashed the potatoes and added some butter and milk. and since i grow chives at home, i chopped the chives and added them in.

meanwhile, i boiled an ear of corn with some butter (this according to chef michael smith, works...unfortunately i didnt taste any butter when i ate) and sugar. then on a hot griddle, i fried my steak (which i had put on some oil and salt). it didnt take that long, probably a few minutes on each side, depending on your preferred doneness.

and finally, for me a steak won't be a steak without sauce so with the dripping on the griddle, i made some roux with some flour and olive oil (actually the recipe calls for butter but i thought i had too much butter in the potato and the corn) and then added some homemade beef stock. cook until it's thickened.

and then voila! time to eat!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Raisin and Date Buns

my bread's nearly gone and i thought of making bread with the leftover high protein flour. i'm in luck, because i just had enough flour to make half of the portion of the bread recipe that i always use. nowadays i follow the Amish bread recipe, but today i made some adjustments by adding an egg and some milk, ground cinnamon, and the dried fruits. only when the buns were baked did i realise that i forgot to add the oil in, but the buns are still soft and taste okay.

here's the recipe, the adjusted version

1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1/6 cup sugar (can increase to 1/3 cup if you wish it to be sweet)
1 1/2 tsp yeast
1 tsp salt
1 egg, beaten
3 cups high protein flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
chopped dates and raisins

dilute the sugar with the liquid, add in the yeast and let it rest until the mixture becomes frothy. add in the salt, the egg and stir. add in the dry ingredients and blend until it resemble a dough. transfer the dough onto a clean flat surface and start to knead for 8 minutes. if the dough sticks to the surface, sprinkle some flour on the surface.

let the dough rise double in size in an oiled bowl and cover with a cling wrap. some people punch or knock the risen dough, but i prefer to briefly knead the dough again. then shape your dough into your desired shape, and let it rise again. bake in a preheated oven of 200C for 15-25 mins.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

blueberry muffins, sardine rolls and chocolate cake

i was walking down the aisle at one of the supermarkets when suddenly i saw a markdown price for fresh blueberries. imagine, RM5.99 per packet. i bought 2 (well, i can't simply borong, blueberries afterall, are expensive) and decided to freeze, a tip given by nigella.

and on one morning, i decided to make blueberry muffins, and how delightful it is to eat fresh blueberry muffins instead of blueberry filling muffins!

Blueberry muffins

180g flour
60g sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
55g butter, melted
175ml milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated lemon rind
170g (i used half the amount) fresh blueberries

preheat a 200C oven. grease a 12 cup muffin tin. sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a bowl. in another bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. add the melted butter, milk, vanilla and lemon rind and stir to combine. make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. with a large metal spoon, stir just until the flour is moistened. fold in blueberries.spoon the batter into the cups, leaving the room for the muffins to rise.bake until the tops spring back when touched lightly, 20-25 mins.

Next on the list is sardine rolls. the recipe is featured in ERT book, but i used the recipe from Roti Kek Pastri, written by Norani Sidek, a lecturer of Hotel Management and Tourism of UiTM. i normally have the urge to eat the rolls once a year. can't have too much of everything everyday, i don't know why but the sardine gives me the bloatedness. here's the recipe:

Pastry (for savoury dishes)

200g flour
2-3 tb cold water (i used 5-6)
100g butter
a pinch of salt

add flour and salt in a bowl. add in butter, and use the rubbing method until the flour resembles breadcrumbs. add in the water and knead a little bit. rest the pastry for half an hour before using.

Sardine filling
2 small cans of sardines
1 red chilli, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp of lime juice

flake the sardines (without the tomato sauce) and add in chilli, onion and lime juice.

to assemble: roll the dough on a flat surface until it is 1/8 inch thick, and in rectangle shape. cut into squares of 2 inch, put the sardine filling onto each square and roll. egg wash the roll using 1 egg and 2 tb of milk. bake on a preheated oven of 200 Celcius for 15-20 mins.

since i'm a chocoholic, i'll have this craving from time to time. usually i use the hershey recipe, but today i used the recipe taken from Classic Essential Cake book. as i'm typing this, the whole house smells of the divine smell, nevermind its unappealing pic, since i'm not much of a photographer.

Favourite Chocolate Cake

185g butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup self raising flour
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup milk

use the creaming method and bake on a preheated oven of 180 Celcius for 45 mins.