Thursday, December 22, 2011

Free and Easy Bake Along #15 : Apricot and Walnut Bars

Somehow my apricot bars look quite different from the original recipe here. I have a bad habit of not drafting my post after i bake something..this was written 2 weeks after i baked and also never realised that i've done a mistake here until now..i suspected i could have measured out my ingredients wrongly cos i've marked my flour as 94gms. It should hv only been 42gms instead. But these bars still can be eaten..infact i wouldnt say it's not delicious but it should have been much much better. Instead of  a bar, they look something like a type of crisp, firmer crisp. Yeah, at times i'm just that clumsy and disorganised. So let me just put down the original recipe here instead of what i actually put in in order not to mislead you. Now i'm eager to see how my other fellow bake buddies' apricot bars turned out.

This will be our last bake along for the year . Our next bake along on the 9th Jan, 2012 will be making brownies, you are welcomed to make any brownies you like. Lastly, i would like to wish all of my friends,  everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ! Catch up with all of you when i come back next year. Enjoy the holidays! Bye!

Recipe ( original from Bon Appetit Book or here)
Shortbread Layer
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

Apricot Layer
2/3 cup dried apricot halves, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 cup golden brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Powdered sugar for dusting

Shortbread Layer: Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Spray 8x8x2 inch glass baking dish with nonstick spray or butter your baking dish. Blend flour, sugar and salt in a food processor. Add butter, using on/off turns ( pulse mode) process until coarse meal forms. Press crumbs firmly onto bottom of prepared dish. Bake until center is golden, about 25 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.

Apricot Layer :Meanwhile, place apricots in a small saucepan, add enough water to cover. Boil until soft, about 4 minutes, drain.Set aside and let cool.

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into small bowl. Using electric mixer, beat eggs in large bowl. Add brown sugar and vanilla, beat until blended. Stir in flour mixture, then nuts and apricots. Spread over shortbread.

Bake until puffed and dark brown and tester inserted into topping comes out with small moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes. Cool in dish. Cut into bars, transfer to waxed papers. Sift powdered sugar over bars.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Tree on Potato

While i was looking for ideas on what to make for the White Christmas Challenge, i came upon this Christmas Sushi. I thought it was pretty cute. I could have made a sushi since i have all the ingredients in my kitchen but i was just a little lazy to cook the sushi rice, well it's not difficult to cook sushi rice , it's just that i  didnt feel like doing that at that moment. So this idea is very much inspired by that Christmas Sushi. Actually i think making this is more like playing with food. I was just looking around in the kitchen and see what else can i used instead of making a sushi christmas tree. Ok , i see potatoes. Going to use that as a base for that christmas tree then. OK friends, my christmas tree may not look as pretty as the sushi christmas tree, or maybe you think it doesnt look like a christmas tree at all..hohoho! I roasted  some potatoes but now i think probably i need not roast the potatotes , maybe just boil it till just a little tender, i also think we need not flavour the potatoes because the tuna and avocado spread is quite a lot here, i dont think we would be able to taste the flavour of that little piece of potato here. The base of the christmas tree is potatoes, the tree itself is tuna with avocado spread, the fish eggs is for decoration and the mayonnaise is for ..errr..artificial snow.

2 potatoes, peeled and each cut into halved
2 avocados
1 1/2 tsp of lemon juice
1 can of tuna ( i used ayam brand tuna chunks in water, drained )
some fish eggs and mayonnaise for decoration.

Here's what i did:
1. Boil the potatoes till their edge is a little soft ( takes around 10 minutes ), remove the water from the pan, place the lid back, shake the potatoes in the pot so that they turn floury. Remove and season them with salt and drizzle some olive oil onto your roasting pan and bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 30 minutes.  ( after eating this, i would think you can just boil the potatoes till cook is good enough , not necessary to roast them )
2. Meanwhile, you can make your spread. Mash the avocado , put in the lemon juice. In another bowl, mash the tuna till they become flakes, then add in the mashed avocado by spoonfuls till you get a spreadable or workable consistency. Mix them all together. Cut off a little top of the potatoes so that your spread can sit nicely on the potatoes. Using a gloves, take a small piece of that spread and shape into a cone shape and place that on top of that potato. Using a butter knife, slowly cover the base with more avocado spread and a little on the tree.
3.Sprinkle with fish eggs and pipe some mayonnaise around the tree.

Will be submitting this to the White Christmas Challenge organised by Very Good Recipes via Quay Po Cooks

Also am submitting this to the Aspiring Bakers Event #14 - Creative Christmas Bakes (Dec 2011 ) organised by Hankerie

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Yeasted Apple Strudel ( Strucla Jablkami )

This is a kind of strudel but a yeasted type instead of pastry . I read from the internet that  in Poland, these yeasted strudels are very popular and eaten all year round but are more commonly served around christmas and holidays and the most popular ones are the poppy seeds strudel ( Strucla Makiem ) because the Poles believe that poppyseeds bring good luck. But instead of a poppy seeds strudel, i made an apple strudel (strucla jablkami ) also in a yeasted form. The fillings are delicious with sliced apples and  i replaced the raisins with dried  cranberries and comes with a mixture of ground cinnamon, butter and icing sugar. There's also some  breadcrumbs in the fillings but i dont know what happened to them, i cant get to feel them. The strudel is rich, soft and flavourful and i'm sure many of you will enjoy eating this.

Recipe ( adapted from la petite patisserie diza with some modifications )
To make strudel dough
200gm bread flour ( you may need to add in more, i added 4 more tbsp during the kneading )
50gm cake flour
1 tsp instant yeast
55gm caster sugar
1/8 tsp of salt
1 egg
120ml milk
40gm butter

1 apple ( i shld have used 2 apples )
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tbsp bread crumbs
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
30gm butter, diced
20gm cranberries

1 beaten egg for brushing and icing sugar for dusting

1.Put in flour, yeast, sugar, salt in a mixing bowl and using your dough hook, mix them around. Slowly add in the egg and milk and with your machine still running , continue beating till a round dough is formed. Add in the butter and continue beating until the dough is smooth to touch. It takes about 10 minutes. The dough is slightly wet, i added 4 tbsps of bread flour to it during the beating process. Remove to a floured surface, shape into a ball and let proof for about 1.5-2 hrs in a slightly floured big bowl.
2. After almost the dough completes it proofing, you can start making the fillings. Slice the apples thinly. Set aside. Mix the icing sugar, bread crumbs, ground cinnamon together in a bowl and leave aside.
3.Remove the dough from the bowl to a floured surface and with a rolling pin, roll them to a large and thin sheet. Spread the cinnamon, sugar and bread crumbs mixture followed by cranberries and sliced apples and diced butter. Roll them up like a swiss roll and seal the edges.  Let proof in a baking tin for another 45mins to 1 hour.
4. Brush with egg wash ( optional ) and bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 40minutes.

Will be submitting this post to participate in the White Christmas Challenge organised by Very Good Recipes via Quay Po Cooks

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

French Baguette and Avocado Crostini

Really nice to get to know some of you thru the last bake along. It is always fun to have friends joining along to bake together through the blogsphere here. Please feel free to display our bake along badge on the sidebar of  your blog if you join in the bake along. For more information, you can refer to the 'bake along' column on the header above.

I really enjoy baking regardless the asian preferably soft and fluffy type of bread or european breads. I consume bread a lot, even when there's no homemade bread in the house, i will still get a loaf from the bakery nearby. Now this baguette that i made though i think it looks quite good in the picture, it lacks the really crisp crust that i'm looking for could be my oven problem..i suspect probably my oven wasnt hot enough. Anyway, i made some simple mashed avocado and crabsticks to go with these baguettes, simply good.. that the not so crispy crust was not a concern anymore!

Hi protein flour 250gm
low protein flour 50gm
salt 1 tsp
instant yeast 1 tsp
sugar 1/2 tbsp
water 190ml

1. Put all of the above in a big mixing bowl except water. On your machine to knead, pour in the water little by little till a dough is formed. Continue beating till dough is smooth. This will take around 10-15 minutes by machine.
2. Remove the dough from machine and transfer to a lightly floured bowl and let proof for 30 minutes. Deflate it a little and shape into round again to proof till double its volume.
3. Divide into 2 portions. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
4. Line your baking tin. Dust your hands with some flour and pat your dough into a oval shape and fold in half lengthwise and seal in the edges. ( you can roll over the whole dough then to get the shape more even ). Let it proof in the lined baking tin till double its size again.
5.Sprinkle some flour on top and with a very sharp knife, make some slashes on the dough. Spray some water with a sprinkler and bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 4 minutes. Spray water again and bake for further 3 minutes. Reduce temperature to 180C and bake for another 18minutes.

Avocado crostini
Mash one or 2 pieces of avocado, squeeze a little lemon juice,  put in some chopped filament crabsticks and add salt and black pepper to taste. Spread on plain or toasted baguettes.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bake Along #14 - Korean Sweet Pancakes

I love these pancakes. They are slightly crispy on the crust and it's fluffy. A little resembles of a pau. You can just mix all the ingredients in a bowl and no kneading required. These sweet pancakes are filled with a mixture of cinnamon powder, brown sugar and also some chopped walnuts. Really nice, would love to make these again.

Me, Joyce and Zoe have decided to make some Apricot Walnut Bars in our next bake along on 22dec. If you're interested to make, you can click on the link above to get the recipe and bake along with us.

Recipe ( can refer to video here )
Ingredients ( makes 8 pieces)
1 cup slightly warm water
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups all purpose flour

Fillings  ( you can double this filling,  originally this filling is for 4 pancakes or cheese filling as shown in the video)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tbsp chopped walnuts

1.Pour 1 cup of slightly warm water into a big mixing bowl. Add in the instant yeast, sugar, salt and vegetable oil and mix all together with a hand whisk.
2. Next add in the flour and continue mixing till all is well incorporated. Leave to proof in the bowl for 1 hour till double its volume.
3.After an hour, stir the mixture ( it will deflate ) and let it rest for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, you can prepare your fillings. Just mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and leave aside.
5. Flour your working table and remove the dough from the bowl ( from step 3) and divide into 8 portions.
6. Lightly pat each dough with your palm to flatten it , wrap in fillings , seal tightly and pan fry them in a pan with little oil. Leave them fry on one side for about 30 seconds and flip over to the side. Once flipped over, use your spatula to flatten the dough and fry till both sides are golden brown, you can then cover and cook for another minute. Remove from pan. Done.  You can cook these pancakes 2 or 3 at a time .

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Butter Prawns ( 奶油 虾 )

I guess most malaysians especially chinese know what this dish is. I can say that we are able to find this butter prawns being served in all chinese restaurants. What makes this dish special i think is the egg floss. It was first started with butter prawns and now they have butter fish and butter chicken , all with egg floss. I wouldnt say that we need skills to make the egg floss. We just need to keep stirring the egg yolks in the wok with a big soup ladle until you see them turning into floss and crispy. In previous times, i've tried making egg floss recipes using evaporated milk as seen in many cookbooks but i just couldnt get it, the floss didnt turn out as the way it should be. I really dont know why. Now without milk, i find it easier to create those egg floss. It  is very similar to the ones we had in the restaurant, only sometimes i find that my egg floss is not dry and crispy enough but still good.

Medium size prawns ( i got 12 prawns here), shells intact, trimmed and cut off the top part of the head
2 sprigs of curry leaves
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp of chicken powder
3 egg yolks, stir mix with a fork
1/2 block of butter ( around 110gm)
oil for frying the prawns

1. Shallow fry or deep fry the prawns till they turn pink and cooked. Remove and set aside.
2. Make the egg floss. On medium fire, melt the butter in the wok and pour in the egg yolks. Switch to high heat , quickly use a ladle to swirl the egg yolks in one direction. After a few seconds, you will see the mixture becomes foamy , keep stirring until you can see the egg floss ( it's not easy to see though ) turns crispy lookalike, stir for another 10 seconds.
3. Remove from heat and strain through a siever. Press the egg floss against the siever to get rid of the oil. Set aside.
4. Wash your wok and pour some oil back into the wok and fry the curry leaves . Return the prawns to the wok and add in sugar and chicken powder, sir to mix and add in half of the egg floss and give them a toss.
5. Remove to a serving plate . Garnish with the remaining egg floss.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Pulut Pandan With Thai Red Curry Seafood

There's nothing wrong with your eyes. The rice is green. These are glutinous rice ( nasi pulut ) which has been soaked with pandan water. I soaked them for 4 hours and also i cooked them in my rice cooker with pandan water before i put them to steam. I did not steam them right away after soaking because i actually wanted them to look noticeably a little more green. You see, just soaking them alone, my rice did not turn out ' green' as it should already had if it was soaked in blue pea flower juice and it got blue. It was just very very light in green only if you look near. That's why i took another step to cook them in pandan water. I am quite happy the way they turned out. Now you may ask me why do i want them to look green? Ha! Simply because i'm making these for the Christmas Giveaway organised by Swee San from The Sweet Spot. Cook or bake anything in red and/or green. The closing date for this giveaway is on the Dec11, 2011. Come and join, for more details, just click on the link above.

Along with these pandan pulut rice, i cooked some Thai Red Curry Seafood. If you have a blender at home, making the paste itself isnt too difficult. You can always adjust the spiciness to your liking. It's not very spicy and fragranced with lemongrass and kaffir leaves. I really enjoyed my meal. Have a great weekend!

Recipe ( enough to feed 2 persons)
To cook Pandan Glutinous Rice ( Nasi Pulut Pandan)
250gm glutinous rice, washed and soaked in pandan water for 4 hours, drained
70ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp of salt
pandan water for cooking rice

To obtain pandan water:
i used around 20 pandan leaves here, wash and cut them into pieces and blend them in batches in  a food processor with water. Sieve twice. You will need around 800ml of pandan water here or maybe less if you dont mind use the same soaking water to cook the rice. I did not.

1. Place the glutinous rice in rice cooker and pour in coconut milk and salt. Add the pandan water to be just about 1/4 inch above the rice and cook till the on/off switch flips up.
2.  Transfer them to a tray lined with banana leaves and steam them on high heat for further 15-20 minutes till they are completely cooked.

Thai Red Curry Seafood
Ingredients for red curry paste
5 pcs shallots
2 pips garlic
15pieces of dried chillies, soaked in hot water till soft, drained
1 small piece of turmeric ( about 1/2 thumbsize)
3 slices of galangal ( lengkuas)
2 stalks lemongrass
6 pieces of kaffir lime leaves
1/2 inch of cinnamon stick

Blend all the above except for the cinnamon stick

Main ingredients:
8 medium large size prawns
2 squids
3 filament crab sticks
some baby corns
some french beans or long beans
2 chillies, cut into lengths
6 pieces of kaffir lime leaves
2 tsp of fish sauce
1/4 tsp of salt
pinch of sugar
60ml coconut milk
200ml water

1. Pour some oil into wok, fry the cinnamon stick and put in the pounded ingredients and saute them in low heat till aromatic, takes around 15 minutes. Remove and clean your wok cos there may be burnt substance at middle part of the wok after frying the pounded ingredients.
2. Put your curry paste ( no 1) back into the wok, pour in the water , add in the kaffir leaves and let them boil. Put in baby corns, french beans , chillies, coconut milk and boil till the beans turn a little soft. Just a few minutes. Add in the prawns, squids, filament crab sticks, fish sauce, salt and sugar for final seasoning and cook for further 5 minutes.

I am submitting this to the Christmas Giveaway in The Sweet Spot

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Floral Vanilla Cupcakes

I've not been to any Magnolia Bakeries, have not tasted any of their famous cupcakes but i see a lot of  these magnolia cupcakes recipes in the internet. Are they the real recipe of their famous cupcakes, i wonder? These vanilla  cupcakes are soft and moist , comes with a nice light vanilla flavour and they are not sticky as they will stick to your teeth when you take a bite. There's nothing really spectacular about these cupcakes after all it's just a simple plain vanilla cupcakes but it's a good recipe. But i do hope that i would be able to taste the real Magnolia cupcakes together with their buttercream one day.

just out from the did not reach to the brim of the liners. If you look carefully at the rest of the photos, it even shrunk a little more after completely cooled down, more batter next time or undermixing?   

If it's not for the cupcakes aspiring bakers event, i don't think i will make good use of my piping tools. I hardly use them, this is my 3rd time this month using these piping tips to decorate the cupcakes. My previous ones were the Carrot Cupcakes and the recent Key Lime Cupcakes. Not that easy for me to pipe designs..with rare practise and also here with buttercream, it's quite a messy thing for me besides washing up. Even though it only takes around 8 cupcakes to complete the frosting, i had to move the buttercream in and out of the fridge 2 or 3 times. Blame it on my slow piping, my not so perfect buttercream consistency, my warm kitchen and also maybe the plastic piping bags. As much as i wanted to pipe something that looks like flowers, some of them turned out really funny, i was piping and piping and the more i piped, the more funnier it looks. The  ones that you're looking at the photos here are the better looking ones.

Recipe ( from the internet, made 1/3 of the recipe, makes around 8 cupcakes )
62gm self raising flour
52gm cake flour
75 gm unsalted butter, softened
60gm sugar
1 large egg
80ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla ( i used wilton vanilla extract and poured in one whole capful from the bottle)

Method for cupcakes
1.Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Line your muffin pan with cupcake liners.
2.In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
3.In another larger bowl, cream the butter until smooth at medium speed. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy. Add the egg and beat well.
4.Add the dry ingredients in 2 parts, alternating with milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until all ingredients are well incorporated but do not overbeat.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl
to make sure they are all well blended.
5.Spoon the batter into cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full.Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes, remove and let cool completely before frosting them.

Buttercream icing  ( or any of your preferable frosting)
113gm unsalted butter
250gm icing sugar, sifted

Beat them till smooth and creamy to the right consistency.
Submitting this to the Aspiring Bakers Event #13- Enjoy Cupcakes ( Nov 2011 ) hosted by Min

** updates** at 9.36pm on Nov30, 2011- some of you asked abt the 2 tone colour on the flowers. I divide the buttercream icinginto 2 parts, one with plain white and the other tinted with colour. Then scoop the white buttercream into one corner of the piping bag and the coloured buttercream on another corner of the bag. Squeeze out the icing till you get the 2 colours out from the tip and you can start piping. I'm using a Petal Tip which is very similar to the wilton tip 125.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Spaghetti with Prawns and Breadcrumbs

I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a wonderful time with your family and friends. I do not know the history of thanksgiving day, how did it actually come about and i do not celebrate thanksgiving but i do like the idea and concept of thanksgiving...very all things, we give thanks. When we recognise and truly express gratitude, it makes us all feel good and immediate joy fills our heart. Here at this moment, i want to say thank you to all of you and i really appreciate all of you friends who constantly drop by to support and encourage me. I hope all of us will always be in gratitude, not only just to anyone but to ourselves too. Each day is a gift.. and i just want to, learn to appreciate the every moment of every day and remember all the love that created me and keeping me aliveeeee.

There are no exact measurements in this recipe, it's a simple one, you can throw in whatever you like, just that i added some breadcrumbs here for some crunchy texture. These are dry bread crumbs and it took almost immediately to fry them. Just pour some oil into your wok or pan, throw in the breadcrumbs and they sizzle immediately. Set aside. Cook the pasta , leave them aside. Pan fried some prawns with oil and garlic, put in some halved cherry tomatoes , coriander leaves, pour in around 1/8 cup or more of dry white wine and let them simmer for a while. Taste and you can add in some salt if you want. Return  the cooked pasta to the pan and toss them to combine. Lastly sprinkle the breadcrumbs and black pepper over the spaghetti.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bake Along #13 - Key Lime Cupcakes

Mention key lime , the first thing related to baking, i would think of a key lime pie and a key lime cheesecake. Scrolling thru the pages of the Bon Appetit book, i came across a key lime cupcakes recipe. Yes, i wanted to try that, key lime seems like a welcomed flavour for me , i have never put them in my bakes and am glad that Joyce and Zoe both had also agreed to bake these.  As i was preparing the ingredients for some grated lime peel, i actually confused myself with a key lime and a calamansi lime. I took some calamasi lime from my garden and it's like taking me forever to grate the peel. Either it's too soft, too hard,too small, brownish,  i just couldnt get a proper zest. i think i've wasted quite a number of limes there. I then thought of the bigger type of lime ( we call that limau nipis in malay) which i believe is the right type of lime should be used here and quickly get that from the market. One reason why i got confused is because most of the time i just call them lime in regardless of calamansi ( limau kasturi) or key lime ( limau nipis) . Also dont confuse yourself with kaffir lime, kaffir lime is more rough and bumpy on the peel.

These cupcakes are moist and soft and  I also put in more lime peel than required in the frosting, i feel like i'm falling in love with  these cupcakes. You can also choose to use colouring or not, i pyscho some of you a bit for that lime effect..!

effect from the sun..the cream cheese appears quite yellow here

Recipe ( from Bon Appetit Desserts or here )
this is 1/2 of the original recipe, makes around 6

62gm cake flour
47gm self raising flour
56gm unsalted butter, room temperature ( i used salted butter)
140gm sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tbsp finely grated lime peel
3/8 cup buttermilk ( i add 1 tbsp of lemon juice plus enough milk to make one cup and then pour out 3/8 cup)

92gm powdered sugar
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
56gm butter, room temperature
1 tbsp finely grated lime peel
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Method for frosting:  Using an electric mixer, beat all ingredients in medium bowl until smooth.

Method for cupcakes:
1. Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Line a 12 or 6 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk both flour in medium bowl to blend.
2. Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, beat to blend. Beat in eggs, then lime juice, lime peel and food colouring. ( batter may be curdled). Beat in flour mixture in 2 additions alternately  with buttermilk. Spoon batter into each liner.
3. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, 20-25 minutes. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove cupcakes from pan, cool completely.

I am submitting this to the Aspiring Bakers #13 - Enjoy Cupcakes ( Nov 2011 ) hosted by Min

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Olive and Rosemary Focaccia

My first focaccia. I got this recipe from a chinese baking book, 手工面包the same book that i got  to make my Chocolate Cherry Bread. All breads in this book are actually handmade, no machine used but as usual knowing myself, i prefer to delegate all these hand work to the word..lazy. I havent eaten a focaccia before..they are sold here but just that i havent tasted them before. My focaccia looks alright to me..afterall it's still a bread..ha! the crumbs ok, maybe the surface a little pale but overall still good to me. Perhaps the next time i should put a little more rosemary onto the holes instead. Actually there are a few versions of focaccia i would like to make but as at now..just this first.

hi protein flour 300gm
salt 5 gm
instant yeast 4 gm
caster sugar 1/2 tbsp
warm water 200ml
olive oil 1 tbsp
some pitted olives and fresh rosemary

Here's how i did using my machine:
1. Combine flour  and salt in a mixing bowl.
2. In another small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water, stir them together and pour into the flour and salt mixture. On the machine and put in that 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Let it knead for about 10-15 minutes on medium speed until you get a fairly smooth dough. Remove from machine, shape them into a big  ball and let it proof in lightly greased bowl until double its size.
3.After proofing, remove from bowl, lightly pat the dough into a square shape and shape them into round again ( by folding the square into 3 parts vertically , turn 90C and fold into 3 parts again and shape them into round) . Divide the dough into 3 pieces. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
4. Flatten each dough with a rolling pin, with a thickness of 1 cm and transfer the dough into a lined baking tin for 2nd proof until almost 1.5 or double its size.
5. Using your finger, poke holes all over the dough and top them with pitted black olives . Brush the dough all over with olive oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 15 minutes .

I'm sharing this with the Have the Cake  with their bread challenge for this month.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Homemade Kimchi

I never thought of making my own kimchi..even when i saw Elin making her own kimchi at her blog , i was telling myself.."hmm..not sure if i really know how to make it and not sure if mine would turn out tasting otherwise" , not until i got the chance to really taste Elin's Kimchi that she made again. I told her that i like it very much and i must make it my own some day. Thanks Elin, not only for the kimchi but also your helpfulness in telling me how to go about making it.

If we can get those ingredients ready, making kimchi is not really so difficult as i had imagined. One of those is the gochujang paste and the other one is the fermented shrimp paste ( cincalok). The rest of the ingredients are fairly common like cabbage of course, cooked rice, green onions, fish sauce and garlic. However, we will need to give some time for the kimchi to ferment, the best is 5-6 days in the fridge and your kimchi will then be ready for consumption. I would say my batch of kimchi turned out to be fairly good, maybe mine a little salty , the next time i know i probably will add more sugar or a little less shrimp paste. Thanks to elin again for sharing this homemade kimchi recipe!

turn in the leaves so that you see the uncovered parts of the leaves, apply and cover them with the mixture

after applying the mixture, leave them in an airtight container to ferment.

Recipe ( from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner )
Napa Cabbages ( i used around 700gm, quartered with stem attached, soak in brine)
6 heaped tbsp gochujang paste
1/2 bowl cooked rice
the kimchi mixture
i onion, chopped
1 radish ( omitted )
50gm spring onions, cut into lengths
50gm chilli flakes/chilli powder
10gm sugar
50gm minced garlic
4 tbsps fermented shrimp paste ( cincalok)
50ml fish sauce

1.Soak the cabbages in soak water about 4 hours, weighing the cabbages with with a heavy plate during the soaking process.Remove cabbages from salt water and drain well.
2.Pound the garlic and rice till fine. Transfer them to a medium size bowl and add in fermented shrimp paste, fish sauce,gichujang paste and chilli powder and mix well. Add in the cut green onions and the rest of the ingredients , mix well and leave to rest for about 1/2 hour.
3. Stuff the cabbage with the mixture, apply them starting from the innermost leaves and making sure every part of leave is covered.. Repeat until the entire cabbage is covered well with the mixture as well as possible.
4. Put the kimchi in an airtight container and let it ferment at room temperature for half a day. After than, transfer the container to the fridge( temperature below 20C) and allow to ferment for about 3-6 days. ( on the 2nd or 3rd day, you will probably find some water or juices drawing out from the cabbages in the container, just remove them or pour them away and wipe the cover of your container with a dry clean cloth and continue to ferment. Only cut the cabbages upon serving )

***Update*** from the comment i received from Lisa L : 
Lisa advises not to throw away the juices that were drawing out from the cabbages, the juices can be kept and reserved for making kimchi stew, fried rice or kimchi pajeon. Thanks lisa for the valuable feedback. Lisa also suggested we can add in pears or apples to the kimchi for more sweetness.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Me and My Friends

No recipe today but wanted to note down one of those memorable moments i had couple of weeks back. First, thanks to all my blogger friends who are dropping by to read this post. Me and my buddies..all of us were primary school mates but the time we got really close with one another was when we reached our secondary one.. have been close since then. That's more than 30 years of friendship! We had a reunion cum my birthday celebration back in our hometown, Ipoh few weeks ago.  We booked an apartment and all of us sleptover for the night.

this part of Ipoh town..taken from our apartment..

 My buddies, fussy friends they really are..deciding what type of food they want to have for dinner..Japanesefood? said, singapore's japanese food is much much more better. Western? no..someone said KL has got so many nice restaurants serving western cuisine, ipoh cannot beat..true true.. How about Korean BBQ? Big no no, someone said she wants to smell nice ..all the sizzling smoke and the steam from the BBQ will stink her, stink her hair, stink her clothes. Steamboat? same much smoke, will make her face oily! They asked me, what is nice in ipoh? i told them, 'hawker food ' how? do we want to have hawker food and then celebrate my birthday in the food court? argh! save those for breakfast , please! Chinese food? seems like everyone like it. Yeah, Ipoh has got nice Chinese food..unfortunately the restaurant that we wanted to go to has been fully booked, even it's a month before. After checking a few, finally we managed to get a room in one of the chinese restaurants here..quite nice. clean and comes with private restroom and karaoke too!

the little bosses...singing songs from abba, lady gaga., justin least now i know who justin bieber is!

friend, steady pls...can you drink or not?

me..second from left here

One of my friend got expensive taste, she wanted to have " buddha jumps over the wall" dish. It is a chinese soup.. take long hours to prepare, cooked in superior stock and consists of abalone, fish maw, sea cucumber, shark fins, mushrooms, scallops, chicken, ham and is a very expensive dish, about RM2000 ( usd 670)  just for that dish alone. Sorry, too expensive, i'm afraid we have got not enough money to pay the bill, all of us must really jump over the wall then ! So instead of " buddha jumps over the wall" , we ordered  a mini version of buddha jumps over the wall, some restaurants named it as " tiger jumps over the wall" abalones, no shark fins, no fish maw but still nice..acceptable and affordable.
the cheat and cheap version of ' buddha jumps over the wall'

lemon foot scrub, given by a friend to all of us..for how to do it,  click  here
FAT FREE Peach Cake from Secret Recipe. Good that they didnt ask me to bake my birthday cake..shut down the oven and shake my legs!!

Still not enough of singing in the restaurant, we proceed to a karaoke nearby for our second round of singing. By the time we reached back at the hotel, i think it was almost 2am. I thought all of us were not going to sleep but i guess, we were all very tired too and went to sleep around 5am. Managed to grab 2 hours of sleep though! Few of them got to go back the next day, quickly packed and went for breakfast. A friend of mine wanted to get chicken and duck here..haha.. Ipoh's famous salt baked chicken, then smoked duck, kaya puffs for her mum. Such long queue at the kaya puffs shop, hey friend..i timed you..i waited for an hour, almost went to slumberland in my car! zzz..zzz.

sending my friend off at the train station

eating rojak at the train stylo!

I know it's not easy for all of us to come together, thank you for giving me such loving time, i really appreciate all of you taking your time to come back and all the travelling..and am so thankful that all of you are 'around' me always.  I love you all.