Saturday, September 29, 2012

Foochow Braised Fried Noodles ( 炒煮面 )

I'm here cooking one dish believed to be quite popular among the the Foochows community. The Foochows is one of the main chinese group in the state of Sarawak, particularly in Miri. I am not a Foochow, i dont understand the dialect neither do i know much about Foochow dishes. But over the last few weeks, i've seen and know more about Sarawak dishes in Facebook page here, submitted by both bloggers as well as non bloggers. Just click on the link to visit our MFF Sarawak Food Fest page, you can see some of the entries there. Do not also forget to check the roundup of our Malaysian Food Fest for Sarawak month over at Sharon's blog on October 1st.

Now coming back to this dish, i'm sure everyone can cook this at home. If you do not have the famous foochow red rice wine, you can just use the chinese Shiao Hsing wine like i did. It's very tasty despite no stock was used, the oil was aromatised by frying the prawns and meat in it , so it's advisable not to peel off the head of the prawns when you cook this and with a couple spoonfuls of sauce and wine, this is really good. Try it. Thanks Kelly, i know i'll be cooking this again.

Recipe ( from Kelly Siew Cooks)
Serves 1
1 serving of yellow noodles
2 large prawns, cleaned and trimmed
2 fish balls, sliced in half
few thin slices of pork fillet
1 clove garlic
some chinese spinach ( choy sum )
1/2 tbsps of dark soy sauce ( or more if you prefer darker )
1 tbsp of light soy sauce
1 tbsp of Shiao Hsing wine/ Foo chow red rice wine
1 tsp of cornstarch + 1 tbsp water for thickening gravy
some oil for frying ( i used my leftover lard oil)

1. Rinse the noodles and set aside.
2. Pour some oil ( i used my leftover lard oil) into the wok, set on high heat and saute garlic, prawns and fish balls till oil is fragrant . Add in the noodles and toss it around. Add wine, dark and light soy sauce followed by the vegetable. Then add enough water ( around 1 cup or more ) to cover the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes. Do not overcook as it will cause the noodles to turn soggy.
3. Pour in the cornstarch solution, turn off the heat and add a splash of wine. Serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Sarawak Month ) hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Swan Cream Puffs

It's time for our bake along again and this round we are making cream puffs. I think this is my fourth or fifth time making cream puffs but the first in my blog. The successful ones were made before i started to blog and last year i tried making twice and both times i didnt get nice puffs, they were all flat when taken out from the oven and funny thing is that all along, i was just using the same one recipe. I know it's not the recipe problem, it's my own. They were all rised and puffed up really nice in the oven during baking but once they were out , they just fall flat. After trying a few times, i know my problem lies in the baking time of the puffs. A tip to share is that when the baking time is complete, just check if they are really golden though they may be cooked. If they are not golden and dry enough, from my experience, they will deflate. You may need to extend the baking time for a few more minutes to ensure that they are dry and i also leave them in the oven for about 5-8 mins after turning off the heat.

Actually these cream puffs were made several months back after Quay Po and myself baked some Hokkaido cupcakes in my house. There were some leftover vanilla custard filling from the cupcakes and i told her that i will just use that custard to make some cream puffs later. This vanilla custard is very nice, very natural and you do not need custard powder to make it, you can get the recipe from Quay Po's blog here. Thanks, Veron for sharing. I decided to make something a little fancy this time, swan cream puffs  though baking something fancy is not really in my baking repertoire. I just dont have the hands and fingers that can come up with fancy creations! I tried to do some step by step photos on making the swan and i realised it's not really step bystep, just see if you can understand this...

pardon the colour of the photo..
cut the puff horizontally into 2, top and bottom..
the top piece cut into 2 again, these are the left and right wings ..

the bottom piece is the body, put in the filling 
fill in the some cream or the same filling to above body level, stuck
in the neck and the wings and they are ready to fly!
these are the neck piped and baked separately.

baby swan?? haaiz, part of the neck was broken ..hence a short neck..

still dont understand?  i think you better go and take a look at the video here then!

Recipe for Choux Pastry ( from Aunty Yochana )
85gm water
50gm butter
60gm plain flour
125gm eggs ( about 2 eggs )

For filling  : Vanilla custard cream from Quay Po Cooks and some whipped cream.

1.Boil butter and water till boiling. Put in all the flour and stir vigorously using a wooden spoon till paste is not sticky and leave the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and let it cool till lukewarm.
2.Stir in eggs and mix till it becomes a smooth paste. Scoop out 4-5 tbsps of paste set aside to make swan necks. Fill the rest into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe onto the baking paper. Bake at 180C for about 20-25 mins, puffed up and golden, turn off heat and leave in the oven for several minutes before removing them out. ( i baked at 200C for 10mins, reduced to 180C for around 15 mins)

For swan necks
Fill them into a piping bag, snip off the end of the piping bag leaving a small hole and pipe out the neck shape. Bake for around 10-13 minutes.

Also check out my buddies, Joyce and Zoe on their cream puffs and also my baking friends who have joined  baking along. Just a little note regarding our bake along recipes ( for specific bake, not theme baking ) do use the recipe that we provided at the link given so that we can review the same bake. If there are enquiries on this, just write to me, joyce or zoe . Thanks!

get the InLinkz code

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Brazilian Quick Rolls- # Twelve Loaves

Do not get the impression that these are just another kind of bread rolls, they are not. It has a special ingredient that is tapioca flour, just this flour alone and no other flour to make these bread rolls. When i first came across this recipe, i was very tempted to try. First of all, it is very easy and quick to make, if you get ready all the ingredients, it will just take you around half an hour to get a batch of these done. Secondly, you dont need to do any kneading, no arms exercise and can ignore your electric mixer for a moment.  However, you will need a blender to do the job and the job i'm referring here is just blend in everything together, blitzzz..that's it, pour it into your mini muffin pan or cases and then put it into the oven. Simple, right?
i do not have a mini muffin pan and used this silicone cases instead
fill them till 3/4 full
puffed up !

As these are made from tapioca flour, it does not have a bread or bun texture. When i had my first bite, it was a little crispy and as i continued eating, i thought it resembles something like a mochi. That chewy texture of a mochi, i also like the flavour here, cheesy and a little salty. I had these together with a bowl of pumpkin soup( recipe will be shared later ),the rolls were nice, the soup was delicious and i'm happy. It was mentioned that these rolls are best to be eaten when it's warm and not recommended to reheat it. Not to worry, this is also a small recipe, makes around 15  small rolls.

Recipe ( from )
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese ( i put in 2 slices of cheddar cheese )
1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese

optional: you can sprinkle extra cheese on the top and any herbs you like to add.

1.Preheat oven to 400F/205C. Place egg, milk, oil, tapioca flour and salt in a blender and blend till smooth. Add in the cheeses and pulse 2 times.Immediately pour batter into your mini muffin pan ( spray lightly with a nonstick spray or oil them first) , filling each about 3/4 full
2. Bake for 15-20 minutes until puffed up and golden. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes before removing them from pan. Serve warm.

I'm linking this to Twelve Loaves with the theme ' Cheese' hosted by lora@Cake Duchess, Barb@creative-culinary and Jamie@life's a feast

Also linking this to BYOB ( Bake your own bread) hosted by Girlichef, Delectable Musings and My Discovery of Bread
and Recipe Box 15 hosted by Chaya

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chocolate Semifreddo with Chestnut Creme and Candied Oranges

Plating a dessert is never something easy for me to do..i mean how often do i make a dessert and then plating or arranging it with all the different components? Never. That is the theme of this month's Aspiring Baker's Event - Desserts on a Plate. While making some of the components may not be too complicated, it's actually  how we match each of the flavours of the components and what comes with what and arranging them that is  really cracking my head. This may be an easy peasy job for a chef to to do it but for me, not easy man! I mean it's really rare for me to prepare desserts on a plate like this, not even on special occasions or friends coming over for meals or what. This is really to participate to support all the hosts!I'm glad that i found a recipe on Masterchef Au website, a recipe that i have all the ingredients ready and happy that it's just a very small recipe. It's made up of 3 components or maybe 4 if we consider the candied orange as another component.

Main: chocolate semifreddo
2nd component : chestnut creme
3rd component : caramel orange
4th component : candied oranges

the block of semifreddo. the white thing you see there is not's a sign of the folding of the cream
not properly done!!
the semifreddo was cut lengthwise and i got about 4 slices of this size.

It's my first time making a semifreddo. Not sure if  I got it right but it's like ice cream when it's hard and when it gets softer, is like mousse. I dont know, maybe there were something somewhere i didnt do it quite right, it was not really smooth but i still enjoyed eating that, just like eating a block of chocolate ice cream! The chestnut creme wasnt too bad, just a little sweet for me.

chestnut puree got it from hkg last, not expired yet.
wonder when can i be able to finish the whole jar?

The most difficult thing to do here was actually the orange caramel, couldnt believe that! The instruction says after cooking the caramel, pour in the orange juice and the orange segment to toss. The moment i poured in the orange juice, the caramel solidified and i couldnt get the oranges in so what i did the 2nd time, i just left out the orange juice and i dont like this, i think the orange caramel here tasted a little weird for me. On the other hand, the candied oranges were very nice, i really like it and apart from putting that 2 slices on the plate, i just snacked on them!

my chestnut creme is melting..but the semifreddo seems okay, still tolerating...

Recipe ( from with minor modifications )
Chocolate Semifreddo ( made in a 7" x3"x2.5" tin)  i made this 2 days ahead
4eggs, separated ( i used pasteurised eggs )
100ml hazelnut liquer ( i used 20ml rum and dilute in 80ml water )
5-6 tbsps hot water
175gm caster sugar ( I used 125 gm, see my notes * )
50gm cocoa powder, sifted
100gm dark couverture chocolate, finely chopped
150ml dairy cream, whipped to soft peak
1/2 tsp of cream of tartar ( I added this to beat the egg whites)

Chestnut creme
3 tbsps of sweetened chestnut puree
150ml dairy cream, whipped to soft peak

Orange caramel
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 orange, peeled into chunks ( i segment it )
juice of 1 orange ( i skipped )

To serve
Candied oranges ( easy recipe from )

1.Line your tin with clingwrap. For semifreddo, whisk egg yolks, liquer , hot water and 50gm sugar in a large metal bowl over bain marie until mixture starts to thicken.Whisk in cocoa powder, remove from heat, whisk in chocolate and whisk until mixture is cool.
2.Place 75gm sugar and a little water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, increase heat to high and cook until syrup reaches 121C on a candy thermometer. Meanwhile whisk 4 egg whites together with cream of tartar in the bowl of an electric mixer until soft peaks. While whisking,slowly pour in hot sugar syrup in a thin stream and whisk on high speed until mixture is thick and shiny.
3.Whisk half of the meringue into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the 2nd half of the meringue. Fold cream through.Pour into the prepared tin, tap gently and smooth top.Cover and freeze for 1.5 hrs or until firm.
4. For chestnut creme, whisk chestnut puree and whipped cream until well combined, refrigerate until required.
5.For orange caramel, place sugar in a large frying pan an dplace over medium high heat. Agitate until sugar melts and begins to caramelise.Allow to form a thick caramel, it will turn dark reddish brown and remove from heat. Pour in the orange juice and orange segments, tossing to coat and allow to steep in caramel. ( I skipped the orange juice )
6. Cut a slice out from the semifreddo and assemble the rest of the components on a plate and serve.

* notes: original recipe indicates 175gm sugar but 50gm sugar is missing from the recipe so i just used 125gm  total in all.

This post is linked to the Cook Like A Star Event ( Masterchef) hosted by Zoe, together with Anuja of simple baking and Baby Sumo from Eat Your Heart Out

and also submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #23 - Desserts on a Plate ( September 2012 ) hosted by Swee San of The Sweet Spot

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Cinnamon Apple Walnut Torte

Me like some of the members of The Home Bakers ( THB ) too got a little confused with the word 'torte' here. All along, torte is something like a layered cake to me but now after baking this, i understand that a torte can also be something like what you see in the picture, that's made with very little flour. Something like a cross between a pudding and a crisp if you ask me. If you enjoy eating crisps, i think you will like this too. Packed with lots of nuts and apples and the addition of cinnamon really warms up the flavour of the whole torte here. I also put in some almond slices besides walnuts for more more crunchiness. The author suggested we can top it with yogurt for a morning treat or ice cream as a lovely dessert, i couldnt resist too putting that scoop of ice cream there to eat with this torte. My breakfast. Nobody says eating  ice cream for breakfast is a crime, right?

This is our 9th bake from the book, Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas and we have 51 more recipes to go before completing the whole book! whooh! wonder if i still be blogging by then.. :D For full recipe, please visit Jasline's blog, the host for this bake and to view the group baking, click here

This is half of the recipe made in 0.6 ltr baking dish
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 tsps ground cinnamon
2 oz chopped walnuts
2 green apples, peeled, cored and diced
handful of dried cranberries
handful of sliced almonds
1/2 tbsp sugar

1.Preheat the oven to 177C. Butter your baking dish.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs until frothy and beat in brown sugar and vanilla until light.
3.In another bowl, sir the flour, salt and 1/2 tsp cinnamon to blend. Stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
4.Reserve a handful of walnuts for the topping. Mix the remaining nuts, apples and cranberries into the batter, spread into the prepared pan.
5.In a small bowl, mix the 1/2tbsp sugar and the remaining 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, the reserved walnuts and sliced almonds and scatter evenly over the batter. Bake for 25 mins or until the cake is set and golden brown. Let cool slightly and serve warm.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Red Beans Crystal Jelly Mooncakes

In less than two weeks, chinese around the world will be celebrating the Mooncake Festival. Actually i have no intentions of making any mooncakes this year, not even last year but then somehow the mooncake bug sort of got into me after seeing some of you making mooncakes recently, not too serious though and made jelly mooncakes instead, just these. Am already seeing so many types and colourful lanterns now selling in shops and departmental shops, when i was small i used to play with those wire framed cellophane type of lanterns, you know those transparent ones and i was never good at playing with that, i kept burning the lanterns one after another and my parents had to keep buying one after another. But i guess nowadays more people will choose to buy the battery operated lanterns cos they are much safer and last longer, comes with music too! how entertaining! Did you play lanterns when you were small?

i didnt cook my own red beans , i used this..the can was taken  here upside down:)
the filling, make sure the mould you use is smaller than your jelly mould,
i filled them to 3/4 of the height
the skin jelly, pour 1/3 into the jelly mould
put the red bean jelly onto the skin jelly and fill  up the jelly to
the brim of the mould ( this is not filled up yet)

the balance i made into these small jellies

Recipe ( from an old issue of Y3K magazine )
this recipe can make 10 mooncake jellies, i only hv 8 moulds, the rest i made into small jellies
For filling
A.150gm precooked red beans
    350ml water
    100gm caster sugar
    2tsps agar agar powder
    1/2tsp instant jelly
    1 blade pandan leaves (knotted)
B.100ml coconut milk
    1tbsp cornflour, dash of salt
    ( mix coconut milk with corn flour and salt together )

For skin:
650ml water
100ml coconut milk
100gm caster sugar
2.5tsp agar agar powder
1/2 tsp instant jelly
2 tbsp condensed milk, dash of red colouring

1.Blend/mash lightly precooked red beans. Combine it with the rest of ingredients filling (A), bring to a boil and add in ingredient (B) and let it come to another boil. Turn heat to low, cook a further 2 mins. Turn off heat, remove pandan leaves.
2.Pour the jelly mixture into the moulds till almost full ( depends on the size of your mould ), leave them cool to set, dislodge then only proceed to make skin.
3.For skin, combine all ingredients for skin in a small pot. Stir till it boils and turn on low heat. Stir for 2 mins, turn off heat.
4.Pour (3) into plastic jelly moulds to one third only. Place in one piece of red bean jelly (2) into each jelly mould, then fill in the rest of the skin jelly (3) to the brim. Leave them to set, keep chilled.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Kolo Mee

If it's not for the Malaysian Food Fest this month, i probably would never knew of Kolo Mee. When i saw these dried kolo mee ( pic below) selling at a local confectionary shop here, i couldnt help to grab a packet of this, i remember reading kolo mee when Sharon of featsoffeats wrote about it being one of the popular food in Sarawak so i wanted to give it a try. I have never eaten Kolo mee, when i looked thru some of the kolo mee pictures in the internet, they look quite like a plate of wanton mee or hakka mee minus the darkness but if you read the reviews from those who've tried kolo mee in Sarawak and from fellow sarawakians, they will tell you how goooood it is, simple but fragrant and taste unique.  There's even a blog ( sorry i couldnt remember which blog cos i was reading from blog to blog about kolo mee )and he or she was telling that even a bad kolo mee will still taste good so you can imagine how tasty it is this signature dish from Sarawak. Much of the flavours actually comes from the seasoning that is from shallot oil or pork lard, minced meat and also a little bit of vinegar. So after some conversation with Wendy, the organiser of Malaysian Food Fest, i had a better idea and came up with this version of kolo mee with a recipe guide from here. I've cooked this 2 times now since i have some leftover lard, not sure how close is this to the real kolo mee but it still taste good and nothing similar to wanton mee or hakka mee.

dried kolo mee
wriggly and after cooked, much more springy than wanton mee ( egg noodles )

crispy pork lard and oil
it may appear dry but it's really not so after tossing with the oil ;)

serves 3
4 bundles of dried kolo mee
pork lard 120gm, washed and fry with 4 tbsp oil to obtain lard oil ( there will be leftover lard oil. Alternatively, you can use shallot oil. To make shallot oil, you can click here )

130gm minced pork marinate with 1.5tsp fish sauce,1/4 tsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp of tapioca flour for about 1/2hour

3 tbsp lard oil( from the above )
3/4 tsp chicken powder
2.5 tsp rice vinegar

some green veggies ( boiled and cooked)
char siew ( bbq meat )

* There is also a halal version of kolo mee which uses beef in replacement of pork *

1. Fry the pork lard in oil till they turn brown and crispy ,remove and keep aside, leaving some oil in the wok to fry the marinated mince pork. When the meat is cooked , remove from fire and leave aside. If you want to put some fried shallots, you can also fry the sliced shallot after frying the pork lard, just remove them before putting in the meat to cook )
2. Mix all the seasonings in a bowl.
3. Cook the dried noodles in a pot of boiling water for about 2-3 minutes and drain the noodles. Pour some of the seasonings mixture in each serving plate and put in each serving of noodles and toss them with the oil.
Put some veggies and char siew( bbq meat ) and fried shallots in each plate and serve.

I am submitting this dish to Malaysian Food Fest ( Sarawak Month ) hosted by Sharon of featsoffeasts

A talented blogger friend, Kelly also just posted her kolo mee few days ago. You can also click here to see hers. For those of you who are staying in Ipoh, you can get the kolo mee at Jalan Yau Tet Shin, the confectionery shop next to the famous Lou Wong Taugeh Chicken.