Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lemon Glazed Buttermilk Cake

To the host of this bake, Grace , i apologise for posting this extremely is just less than 3 hours before the submission closes for this bake. I'm still behind the current schedule for The Home Bakers ( THB)  and as i was telling Joyce, the organiser of this home bake event, I would prefer not to skip any bakes if i can manage it all through. This is our 19th bake at the The Home Bakers and we are all currently baking from the book, Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas. A lemon glazed cake.. the cake itself actually doesnt contain any lemon juice but with lemon zest instead and further enhanced with a lemon glaze on top of the cake. I did not follow the lemon glaze recipe in the book but made a simple lemon glaze with confectionery sugar. Sorry that i did not really hv the exact measurement  to the glaze, i took about 1/8 cup of confectionery sugar and slowly add in the lemon juice till the consistency i wanted and also added in the lemon zest. Now looking at the cake, it kind of look sunshin-ey to me. I have made half the recipe in a 9"x5" loaf pan and you can see that it is a very short cake here, should have made it in a smaller loaf pan. Tasted good especially with the lemon glaze but texture ..hmm..wished it was more moist. I have read the notes from my fellow members from THB and their cakes turned out very i may hv done something not so right here. Never mind..still finished the cake :)

For full recipe, please visit Grace of Life can be simple and to view the group baking whom some have made it in mini bundts, regular bundt, loaf..pls click HERE

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nasi Ulam Nyonya ( Herbed Rice Nyonya )

My 3rd time making herbed rice. Basically, it is a rice dish mixed with a generous portions of variety of fresh herbs, it is  a healthy and non oily dish at all.  Previously , the ones that i made were more towards the malay version of nasi ulam ( herbed rice ) . Besides the common herbs or leaves like basil, laksa, lemongrass found in both versions,  this nyonya nasi ulam uses cekur leaves, kaduk leaves and kaffir leaves. To me, i dont find a huge significance in the taste comparing the two , both just as good, just as refreshing. Leaves like mint, kaffir, thai basil have a stronger taste and aroma, you can adjust to your preference , just be prepared to allocate some time to do the slicing job. Clean and let the leaves dry before slicing, it will make the job much easier..also do not let the laksa leaves out for too long, i find that these leaves can wilt very fast.

from bottom left clockwise - cekur leaf, kadok leaf, thai basil, lemongrass, torchginger flower, turmeric, mint  and kaffir lime .
toasted coconut
toasted dried shrimps and salted fish
the sliced ingredients

Recipe ( from Nyonya Flavours ) with slight changes
serves 2-3 person
3 chinese bowls cooked rice, cooled
1 small piece salted fish, about 15gm
40gm dried prawns
1tbsp toasted grated coconut
1 thumb sized belacan, crushed and toasted
2cm fresh turmeric, chopped
sugar and salt to taste

Finely sliced ingredients, some with estimated amount
5 shallots
1 lemongrass
1 torchginger flower
2-3 stalks laksa leaves
2-3 stalks basil leaves
2 stalks mint leaves
2 cekur leaves
2 kaduk leaves
1 small turmeric leaf
2 kaffir lime leaf

1. Place cooked rice in a large mixing bowl. Deep fry the salted fish until golden and crisp, cool before shredding finely. Soak the dried prawns in hot water for a few minutes before pounding and toast in a preheated wok until aromatic and lightly browned. Pound the toasted coconut and toasted belacan.
2.Add all the sliced ingredients to the cooled rice in the bowl and stir to mix well. Add salt and sugar to taste. Serve with sambal belacan if desired.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Penang month ) hosted by Alan of Travelling Foodies

Also linking it to Cook Your Books #1 hosted by Kitchen Flavours

On another note, i'm pleased to share this news on an online food delivery services, Foodpanda. On any days when you dont feel like cooking, lazy to cook, no time to cook, nothing to cook, try to check out their website at They have a wide variety of food selections, you can view all the restaurants in your area and select your favourite cuisine, with just a click away. Do visit the above link to find out more information. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Light and Soft Japanese Cheesecake and the Picnic Game

I must admit that i do have fears baking a cheesecake. So far i have only made one cheesecake ever since i started blogging. I have seen various versions of these type of soft light cheesecake, by various names..cottony soft, featherlight, japanese cheesecake, light cheesecake, souffle cheesecake..Though i have yet to try most of them, i believe ( obviously ) that all those cheesecakes above are of soft and lighter version. Since i do not have good confidence in baking a cheesecake, i have referred to a video in youtube here for guidance and instructions.

I am quite impressed with the results of it . First of all, it did not create any major cracks...pheew...but the surface should have been nicer..i guess it's becos i didnt level the batter surface. Secondly, the texture of the cheesecake is just what the name suggests..soft and light. If you like those creamy and rich type of cheesecakes, then this is just the opposite. For myself, i still much prefer the very rich type of cheesecake to  eat but on the other hand, i  have been wanting to bake these kind of soft cheesecakes for a very long time, so here it is...and baking along with Joyce and Zoe. Go over and check out their light version of cheesecakes too and also those who will be joining us. The linky will be opened today up till July 03, 2013.

At the same time, i would like to bring this dish over to a Picnic Game hosted by Louise of Month of Edible Celebrations. Louise has been hosting this picnic game for years, this is my second year going to the 'picnic' and each of us will pick an alphabet and make something with the dish name starting with that alphabet and my chosen alphabet is " L" ..Light and Soft Japanese Cheesecake. For those of you who are keen to join The Picnic Game, do hop over to Louise's blog here quickly for contact as those alphabets will be gone fast! Let's fill up the picnic basket! The roundup of the picnic game will be 01July 2013 over at Louise's blog.

Okay, i have to put this down as the rule of the game. I'm going on a picnic and i'm bringing...
A-Aloo Gobi by Mae's Food Blog
B-Blueberry Cucumber Salsa by Chan Knits
C-Crispy Curry Fried Chicken by Kitchen Flavours
D-Dying for Chocolate Chocolate Cake by Dying for Chocolate
E-Eton Mess by Squirrel Head Manor
F-Fish in a Jar by girlichef
G-Golden Pillow Hee Ban by My Little Space
H-Hummingbird Cake by Savannah Granny
I-Ice Cream Sandwiches by Art of Natural Living
J-Jersey Style Hot Dogs by Nee's Place
K-Kahlua Mocha Ice Cream by Kitchen Flavours
L-Light and Soft Japanese Cheesecake

And here's the recipe for the cheesecake:

Recipe ( from video here )
in a 9 inch springform pan
Ingredients A
160gm cream cheese, room temperature
25gm butter
120ml milk

Ingredients B
40gm flour
30gm cornflour

Ingredients C
4 egg yolks

Ingredients D
4 egg whites
80gm sugar
pinch of salt ( replaced with 1/8tsp of cream of tartar )

1.Line the springform pan with 2-3 layers of aluminium foil .
2.Sift Ingredients B and leave aside. Place ingredients A over double boiler and stir till butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let mixture cool before proceeding the next step.
3. After the cream mixture has cooled down, add the egg yolks, stir in to combine followed by ingredients B.Mix with a spatula to combine evenly.
4. Whisk egg whites and cream of tartar and add in sugar gradually and whisk till medium stiff peaks form. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the egg whites mixture and fold till evenly combined.
5.Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bang the pan onto the kitchen top a few times to get rid of air bubbles. Put spring form pan in waterbath ( another large tray filled with boiling water ) halfway and place it in a preheated oven at 160C for 45-50mins. Test with skewer to check if cake is cooked. Remove from oven. ( i let it sit in the oven for 15minutes after completed baking time with oven door slightly ajar )
6. Remove from pan and transfer to a plate.( i only removed it from pan after the cake has cooled down completely )

* i baked this using a 8 inch springform pan and only filled the batter about 3/4 of the height of the pan. The rest of the batter i poured them into cupcake liners and bake in another smaller oven. Original recipe uses 9 inch springform pan. I have covered the top of the cake with foil after 25mins of baking as there is a tiny crack on the surface.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Whipped Cream Cake

This is a not so complicated cake from the book, Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Yeah, usually i find that Rose's cakes involve many parts or steps ...maybe it is not really so.. but sometimes just by reading the long recipes that usually comes in pages already makes me tired. This whipped cream cake is a little easier and in fact i've seen a few of you had already attempted this cake before. When comes to baking this cake, must not miss out  on the fact that this cake doesnt contain butter and oil. Yet it is moist and tender and the secret to this is the use of whipping cream which contains the butterfats or milkfats that made it so. Oh, i didnt discover the secret,  it was Rose of course! I have used Anchor whipping cream which contains 35% milk fat, the result was moist and soft crumbs so i believe Rose's analysis was correct. Do not expect the cake to taste like your usual favourite butter cake although it may look like one, it still has a little mild buttery taste..quite a nice cake, i would say.

Me and Wendy  actually baked this cake about the same time today we are posting it together. Go and take a look at Wendy's Whipped Cream Cake too and see if she any baking tips to share :D

Recipe ( from Rose's Heavenly Cakes )
10 cup or 12 cup capacity bundt pan
225gms cake flour
2 tsps baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1.5cup cold heavy cream
3 large eggs, 150gms
1tsp vanilla extract
caster sugar 150gms ( reduced from 225gms)

1.Grease and flour the bundt pan. Preheat the oven at 190C 20 mins before baking.
2. Whisk the cake flour, baking powder and salt in a big bowl and sift. Keep aside.
3.In a bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with whisk beater, whip the cold cream starting on low speed and gradually to medium high speed and beat till stigg peaks form.
3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and vanilla just until combined. On medium speed, add the egg mixture into the whipped cream. The mixture will thicken into mayonnaise consistency, gradually add in sugar, takes approx 30 seconds to incorporate them.
4.Add half the flour mixture and using a spatula, fold into the cream mixture until traces of flour disappears. Add the rest of the flour and continue folding. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, run a small metal spatula or knife through the batter to prevent large air bubbles, avoiding the bottom of the pan. Smooth the surface evenly and bake for 25-35 mins or until a cake tester inserted in comes out clean. Let cake cool in pan for 10 mins before removing them out of the pan.

Linking this post to Cook Your Books #1 event hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours

Monday, June 17, 2013

Jiu Hu Char ( Stir Fry Jicama with Dried Cuttlefish )

Jiu Hu Char is a one popular nyonya stir fry dish. I have been cooking this dish for years but not aware that this is a nyonya dish. Perhaps mine isnt really a genuine jiu hu char because all along i added dried shrimps to it and no cabbage leaves, something like a typical jicama dish that we find at the rice stalls. After deciding to make jiu hu char for the Penang Food Fest this month, i referred to the internet to check the ingredients again and decided not to put in the dried shrimps and added some cabbage leaves this time. Usually when i cook this jicama dish, i will add in more water for more gravy to go with the rice   A popular way of eating this is also to wrap it with cabbage leaves and if so, you do not need to cook more gravy and this time i go for the drier version. So adjust the amount of water here to your liking but most importantly, cook till the vegetables are soft while still maintaining its crunchiness. Oh yes, do not miss out the dried cuttlefish as this is the star ingredient to make this dish more tasty and flavourful.

this is normally how i cut the jicama into shreds, you can use a shredder if you like..but cutting it manually
will give a better mouthfeel

1 medium jicama ( sengkuang) 450gm, shredded
1 piece carrot, shredded
2-3 pieces cabbage leaves, shredded
60gm shredded dried cuttlefish
4 pieces dried mushroom, soaked
100gm pork meat, sliced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
1.5tsp salt or to taste
1/2tsp sugar, or to taste
dash of pepper
a little dark soya sauce for colouring
1-1.5 small chinese bowl of water

1. Heat up some oil in the wok and saute garlic till fragrant. Add in the dried cuttlefish and fry till aromatic,  followed by the pork slices and mushroom and stir fry them till the meat is cooked. Add in the shredded jicama, carrot and cabbage and stir fry them for a couple of minutes till they turn soft. Add in the water bit by bit to cook and soften the vegetables and keep stir frying .
2. Season with salt, sugar and pepper and pour in more water to further cook the vegetables. Cover the wok for about 5 minutes , taste to check the crunchiness of the vegetables or add more water if you need more gravy.

I am submitting this dish to Malaysian Food Fest ( Penang Month ) hosted by Alan of Travelling Foodies

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Penang Nyonya Chang ( Rice Dumplings )

Really tiring making these was the wrapping that's killing me, hey and i am only talking 10 dumplings here! I was really struggling wrapping them, this is my 2nd time doing this. The first time was many years ago and that was really gone case, most of the fillings were leaked out during the boiling process. At least this time it is not that terrible...still it was tough for me, i had to use  the string to go round and up and down everywhere round the dumpling so that the fillings couldnt escape..ha! not in perfect shape though..

some dried butterfly flowers to extract the blue colour. 

Ok, before i start doing these dumplings, i was googling and noticed that most of the recipes online use fermented bean paste, do not have cekur ginger root and also grounded peanuts as part of the ingredients which i had followed from this book, Nyonya Flavours, a complete guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine. Maybe that's the Malaccan version..i'm not sure. Also here in the book, coconut milk is added to the rice but i decided not to put that in. Just like many mentioned, this is a sweet and savoury type of rice dumplings and at the same time, i also find it quite peppery and unique as there's a kind of aroma coming from the corainder powder and cekur root. Well if you like it, then you will find it aromatic.,otherwise you may find it a little strong for your liking, this is very unusual compared to the normal bak chang ( rice dumplings ). Have you tasted one before?

A blogger friend of mine , Adeline of Lite Home Bake also posted a slightly different version of Nyonya Chang yesterday, drop by to have a look too!
cekur root
Ingredients for grinding..
...and becomes this..
the filling..meat, candied winter melon and peanuts

Today is the 5th day of the 5th month of the Lunar Chinese Calendar, it is the Duan Wu Festival and one of the activity that we do today is to eat rice dumplings, not a public holiday here but would like to wish all my chinese friends and readers, Happy Duan Wu Jie!

Recipe ( from the book,  Nyonya Flavours, A Complete Guide to Penang Straits Chinese Cuisine )
500gm glutinous rice, divided into 350gm and 150gm

Wash glutinous rice until water runs clear. Boil around 30 butterpea flowers to 2 cups of water for about 5 minutes, let cool and add that to the 150gm rice. Soak the remaining 350gm rice in water and soak both rice overnight, drain before use next day.

Spice paste ( ground/grind)
1tbsp peppercorns
4tsp coriander powder
8 cloves garlic
20gm cekur root

3tbsp cooking oil
300gm belly pork, cut into small cubes
2tsp salt, or to taste
2-3 tbsp sugar, or to taste
a little dark soya sauce ( i added )
150gm candied winter melon, chopped
100gm roasted peanuts, pounded

250ml thick coconut milk, mixed with 1tsp salt ( i did not put )

dried bamboo leaves, soaked until soft and wiped dry
hemp strings, soaked
2 pandan leaves, cut into 3cm lengths

1. Heat oil in a wok to saute the spice paste, until fragrant. Add the pork belly and stir until cooked. Season to taste with salt and sugar. Add candied melon, fry for a few seconds before removing from the heat. Leave filling to cool and mix in the pounded peanut.
2. Bring water to a boil in a wok and steam the glutinous rice for 1 hour or until cooked. Stir in the coconut milk and steam for another 10 minutes. After wrapping, steam dumplings over rapidly boiling water for 20-30 minutes. ( I did not follow this step, i boiled the glutinous rice for 2 hours from raw and did not put in the coconut milk. )

To wrap the dumplings, i referred here and several youtubes video. Fill the cone with some  blue glutinous rice, then the filling and lastly some white glutinous rice. Top with a piece of pandan leaf and boil in a pot of water for 2 hours.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest, Penang Month hosted by Alan of Travelling Foodies

Also linking this to Cook Your Books #1 hosted by Kitchen Flavours

Monday, June 10, 2013

Sri Lankan Tamarind Fish Curry

My love for curry..there isnt a week that i eat without curry..I'm trying out this sri lankan curry for the first time. It's quite similar to the Indian Style Fish Curry which i hv cooked a couple of times.. this sri lankan curry is more sourish in taste , doesnt contain coconut milk and not as heavily spiced compared to the former in my opinion, but just as good, just as shiok! If you love indian food or indian curry, then i suggest you can also try out the Indian Style Fish Curry and Sardine Curry. Also i know Joyce has a couple of good curry recipes in her blog when at a time she participated in an event where she had cooked a lot of Madhur Jaffrey's curry recipes. So drop by to check if you are interested.

It is fairly simple to cook this sri lankan tamarind curry. Start by frying the fenugreek, followed by the garlic and onions and just pour the rest of the ingredients to make the curry, simple right? Curry dishes endanger my waistline but such appetising dish, how to resist? how to stop? Happy to link this to Little Thumbs Up  organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids  and Doreen of My Favourites 123 and this month hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders with the theme, Curry Powder/ Curry Paste. If you are a lover of curry of any sorts, do check out the link here 

Recipe ( from the book, South Indian Temptations ) with some changes made
3 mackarel fish cutlets
4tbsp oil
1/2tsp fenugreek
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 onion, sliced
a sprig curry leaves
50gm tamarind mixed with 2 cups of water, then strain the mixture
4 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsps chilli powder
2 tomatoes, quartered
1tsp salt, or to taste
1.5 tsp sugar, or to taste

1. Heat oil and fry fenugreek till you can smell the aroma. Add the sliced garlic, onion and curry leaves. Fry the onion till golden brown.
2. Pour in tamarind mixture, add the curry powder, turmeric powder and chilli powder ( you can put all these powder in a bowl first ), boil for 5 minutes. Add in the salt and sugar to taste followed by the fish cutlets and tomatoes.
3. Remove from heat when fish is cooked.

Also linking this to a new event, Cook Your Books #1 organised by Kitchen Flavours

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Strawberry Hazelnut Cake

This is our 18th bake at The Home Bakers where all of us in the group are baking every single recipes from the book, Coffee Cake By Lou Seibert Pappas and now we're almost half way there. Just like Kit mentioned, i guess not many of us have actually baked so many recipes out from the same book. I'm actually now one bake behind, currently my fellow friends at THB already doing their 19th bake..ok, i'm catching up.

The original recipe supposed to be a marionbery hazelnut cake but we can choose to use any berries or combination of berries either with hazelnut or almond meal. I have chosen strawberry and hazelnut and baked them in cupcake form . I had halved the recipe and it comes to about 5-6 muffin sizes cakes. Some changes i made to the original recipe were i did not add reduced the sugar to 80gm, skipped the nuts and did not make the sugar crust topping. Am still glad with the outcome of the cake. For original recipe, please visit Janis of The Kitchen Is My Shrink, the host for our 18th bake and to view the group baking,  you can click here.