Monday, January 30, 2012

Bake Along #17 - Cherry Vanilla Tea Cake with Vanilla Sugar

Another week to go before the Chinese Lunar New Year ends on the 6th Feb, 2012. For the past one week, i didnt really go out that much except meeting up with a few close friends and to a wedding dinner. No party, no drinking , no karaoke, no mahjong but good, still contended. Also didnt really cook that much but has been baking quite a bit..some breads and thinking of some breakfast ideas which i share in the next or two posts.
As for now, cherry vanilla teacake. JoyceZoe and myself have decided to bake this cake for our bake along this time. I like the texture of the cake very much, soft with moist crumbs and the cherries complement well with the cake, not very sweet and not too rich. The sugar topping on top is vanilla sugar, i was expecting it to melt into the cake but it didnt , maybe it got a little cool when i sprinkled that on top. Nevertheless, i still claimed that it's a very nice teacake. The recipe below is half of the original recipe, baked in a 7" round cake tin.

For our next bake along on Feb13, we will be baking Red Velvet cupcakes in conjunction with Valentines Day. You can use any red velvet cupcakes recipes of your choice , post it and link it back to one of our blogs. Thanks!

Recipe: ( from Bon Appetit Desserts )
93gms cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
57gm butter, at room temperature
80gm sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup sour cream
1/2 cup canned pitted dark cherries, halved, drained

For sprinkling
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1tbsp sugar
2 tbsps powdered sugar
( i used vanilla sugar)

1. Preheat oven to 177C. Lightly butter and flour a 7 " diameter baking tin with 2 inch high sides.
2.Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until well blended. Add egg, beating well and blend in vanilla extract.
3.Transfer 1 tablespoon dry ingredients to small bowl. At low speed, beat half of the remaining dry ingredients into butter mixture, then mix in sour cream . Beat in remaining half of dry ingredients . Mix cherries into reserved 1 tablespoons dry ingredients, fold cherries into batter.
4.Spoon batter into prepared tin, smooth top. Bake until tester inserted into center of the cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Transfer cake to rack and cool for 10 minutes. Remove cake from springform tin if using or invert cake onto plate.
5. If you do not have vanilla sugar, using a small knife, scrap seeds from vanilla bean into small bowl, mix in 1 tbsp sugar, rubbing with fingertips to distribute seeds, add powdered sugar and rub again. Sift vanilla sugar over hot cake and cool.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

hi, i thought of wanting to make another post before Chinese New Year but just a lil lazy of doing it now, maybe next week. Not really that busy for me, think i will just sit and watch a movie after this. I would like to wish all my chinese readers and blogger friends and those who are celebrating a very Happy Chinese New Year and may the dragon brings us all good health and abundance of happiness , love and prosperity!! Gong Xi Fa Cai!!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Sweet Potatoes Muffins or Huat Koh

If anyone looking for a kind of huat koh (发糕) lookalike but doesnt taste like huat koh, then maybe you would like to try this. It's a nice recipe, original recipe uses pumpkin but i replaced it with sweet potatoes. Now the best thing about this recipe is not that it blossoms and rises so well, it is the smiling cracks that greet you upon opening the lid of the steamer. Dont you like it when you see those cakes smiling back at you? You need not make a cut across the dough to get the crack and it's good to eat too. Sweet and not like some traditional huat kohs, where some tasted quite yeasty. Try it.

if you 're making this for cny, do not use the white cupcake liners like mine..colourful ones preferably! 

Recipe ( adapted from Wendy, original source from Aunty Yochana  with slight changes )
125gm steamed orange sweet potatoes flesh
1 egg

120gm sugar
120gm milk
30gm vegetable oil
180gm cake flour
20gm rice flour
1.5 tsp baking powder

1. Prepare your steamer and bring water to a boil.
2. Blend steamed sweet potatoes, egg, sugar, milk and vegetable oil till it becomes a smooth paste.
3.Sift cake flour, rice flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
4.Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the blended ingredients into the well. Mix until well combined.
5.Spoon into lined steaming cups or cupcake liners and steam on high heat for 15 minutes.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Mushroom Garden

I do not know what to name this dish so i just simply call it ' mushroom garden'. There are 3 types of mushroom here; chinese mushroom, shimeji mushroom and Bai Ling mushroom. I tried to look at the can for the english name of this bailing mushroom but there isnt any, it just states as bailing mushroom. It's my first time cooking this mushroom, i've seen it in a magazine sometime back..something like this dish so i wanted to try bailing mushroom. After cutting it looks like slices of abalone..the fake abalone..quite tasteless.  As i've have some anchovies stock and shimeji mushrooms left from my simple noodle lunch, i just went ahead and cooked this. If i were to cook this during chinese new year, i probably would use chicken broth, i think this would taste much better using chicken broth. There are 3 pieces of bailing mushrooms in the can, i just used can also use some other variety of mushrooms like straw mushrooms or the whole button mushrooms if you wish and the quantity is really up to you. Now what am i going to do with the 2 pieces left in the can? i  guess just dump it again for my next noodles and eat with chilli or else just keep it till CNY next week and cook it.

8 pieces chinese mushrooms, soaked till soft and drained
1 piece of bailing mushrooms, cut into slices
just a small bunch of shimeji mushrooms, washed and cleaned
140gm brocolli , cut into florets
150ml anchovies/chicken broth

bai ling mushroom

1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
little dark soya sauce for colouring
salt to taste
chicken powder( optional)
cornflour solution, for thickening ( 1 tsp cornflour + 2 tbsp water)

1. Blanch the broccoli under boiling water in the pot till they are tender. Remove.
2. Using the same boiling water, blanch the bailing mushrooms just for a minute ( i dont think it's necessary but i did that). Remove.
3. In a wok, pour in the stock, let it boil and put in the oyster sauce, sesame oil, dark soya sauce and taste. You can add in some chicken powder here if you are using.
4. Put in all the mushrooms and let them cook under medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary. Pour in the cornflour solution, stir for about few seconds and off the fire.
5. You can then arrange them on a plate and pour the sauce all over.

Will be submitting this post to the Aspiring Bakers Event#15 : Auspicious Chinese Dishes for CNY( January 2012 ) hosted by Wen from Wen's Delight

Monday, January 9, 2012

Black Sesame Brownies

i like the aroma of black sesame, its nutty aroma and smells tantalizing. When i came across this black sesame brownies recipe here, i thought this is pretty interesting. Brownies are always a very american thing to me and black sesame i believe it's more commonly used by asians, i also see soya sauce in this brownies recipe which the author said that it's a substitution for salt i am very eager to find out how do these black sesame brownies actually taste like. Okay, they are very aromatic, some members of my family like it , i wouldnt say i love these a lot cos i  find  the taste a little buttery for my liking despite its nice cakey texture, i probably prefer a black sesame chiffon.

Recipe ( adapted from Green Cilantro  with minor changes) makes one small loaf
80gm unsalted butter, room temperature
30gm sugar
2 egg yolks
40gms black sesame paste
1/4 tsp soya sauce
1 egg white
10gm caster sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
50gm cake flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp black sesame seeds , for sprinkling

1. In a bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer on low, until it lightens in colour and texture, then add 30gms of sugar and carefully combine.
2.Add in the yolk one by one, making sure to fully blend into the mixture before each addition.
3.Add the black sesame paste and soya sauce into the mixture.
4.In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites with cream of tartar for 2 minutes, then add the remaining sugar ( 10gm) and beat till the egg white is fluffy and stiff.
5.Combine and sift flour with baking powder. Add half of the whipped egg whites into the black sesame mixture as well as half of the flour mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold and combine.
6.Add the remaining egg whites mixture into (5) and also the remaining flour mixture, fold and combine.
7.Pour the mixture into a prelined baking tin, sprinkle the black sesame seeds on top and bake for 15minutes at 150C.

p/s - as Joyce from Kitchen Flavours has some personal matters to attend, she wont be able to join in the bake  along for this round. Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids has chosen a Cherry Vanilla Teacake for our next bake along on Jan 30. If you are interested to bake along , you can get the recipe here.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Kimchi Fried Rice with Pineapple

Thanks everyone for all of your holiday and new year wishes. Likewise, i would also like to wish all of you  here a very happy and a fruitful 2012! I had a good break, all is well and am now back to blogging. Yeah, as if blogging can make me rich and must not forget to blog..haha. The thing is i'm enjoying what i am doing now and i hope to continue as long as i can if there's still this little passion in me. And it's not just only about food, i am enjoying the interaction between me and all of you here. I know i sometimes never replied to each and every one of your comments, be assured that i'm reading it and appreciate all of them. Also even though sometimes i think that my food is not that really nice or appealing but all of you are always so sweet and nice with your words, i really thank you.

This post has been sitting in my folder for quite sometime, not long after i made my Homemade Kimchi. Fried rice with kimchi is something not unusual..just here i've added some pineapples to it.  If you have kimchi at home, you can always make this, it's so easy and you can also put in some meat and beans if you like. I never put in any seasoning as the rice has already got its taste from the kimchi and its juices. But i did put in a little syrup from the cubed pineapple tin.

2 bowls of cooked rice
1/2 bowl of kimchi
80gm pineapple cubes
2 tbsps of syrup ( from the can)

1. Pour a little oil into your wok and stir fry the rice for a minute. Put the kimchi in and continue to stir fry till they are well mixed.
2. Add the pineapple cubes plus the syrup and keep frying for another 2 minutes. Done.