Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Japanese Potato Salad

Eating this reminds me of an egg sandwich , the taste quite resembles the egg fillings that we make for sandwiches and it brought some memories back to those days when i was in school selling egg sandwiches on school Canteen Day.  Those days even when i reached secondary,  i wasnt exposed to the kitchen at all and i didnt really know how to go about making egg sandwiches. Is that a hard boiled egg or fried egg that goes in ? i dont know, i was really lousy, very ignorant, not keen to know and learn too. I only know i enjoyed eating them a lot, i like the creaminess and i guess it was the mayonnaise thing. Just like this potato salad, it is creamy, it also has mashed egg that comes along with mashed potatoes and some other vegetables that give a good crunch. Some potatoes were left to small chunks to provide more texture and bites to the salad. I wouldnt say this is light salad , quite filling actually but yummy. If you like a little tanginess in the salad, i suggest you can add in a little bit of vinegar or chopped small onions to it.  At the same time, i have some wanton wrappers at home and made some wanton cups with the potato salad. The wanton skin stays crispy , i'm not sure how long will they stay crispy as this is my first time making it but after 2 hours , they were still very cripsy. Not a bad idea to serve it in wanton cups for a gathering, i guess...

Recipe ( from Just One Cookbook ) with some changes
2 russet potatoes
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 small carrot
1 Japanese cucumber
1/2 cup corn kernels
2 ham slices ( omitted )
1/3 to 1/2 cup of japanese mayonnaise
Salt and ground black pepper

Peel the potatoes and cut them into around 1.5inch pieces, cut them all roughly about the same size so they cook at the same time. Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil the potatoes on medium heat till they are tender. Remove and drain them on a colander.

Meanwhile prepare a boiled egg. Remove the shell and mash the egg in a small bowl . Leave aside. Mash the drained potatoes in a big bowl, leaving some chunks for texture. Sprinkle salt and let it cool . Cut the carrots into half and slice thinly. Peel the cucumbers ( leave some skin on to create patterns ) and slice them them. I hv cut them into cubes. Dice the ham slices. Boil the corn kernels ( i did boiled them ) for just a minute.

Add ham and all the veggies into the mashed potato bowl. Grind some pepper and mix well. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Lastly add in the mashed egg, dont over mix it and keep the salad cool in the fridge before serving.

For wanton cups
Grease a mini muffin pan with a little oil and brush a little oil on the edges of the wanton wrapper. Place the wanton wrappers on to the mini muffin pan and press them down to line the base and sides. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for about 7-8 minutes of till they are golden brown.

This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up ( Potatoes ) event organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite and hosted by Jasline of The Foodie Baker

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Alex Goh's Butter Rolls

As i was flipping through this book, The World of Bread by Alex Goh, i saw this rather unusual process of baking these rolls as compared to his other bread recipes. After mixing the ingredients to form a dough, it was let to rest for 15 minutes. Then from there, we make them into individual balls and put them into the freezer for another 30 minutes, after which we do the necessary shaping. Though unusual, i have no doubt about alex goh's recipes, especially his bread recipes. I believe that this book was one of his very early books , the recipes are simple and i think it is a good book especially for people who likes to start to learn making their own bread.

Shaping these rolls were not as easy as i would hv thought. Alex Goh has suggested to make them into cone shape, then flatten them before rolling them up. My first few ones were kind of horrible then got slightly better, far from perfect of course. I also tried another method for similar shapes but it was not that easy too. So if you have a better way of shaping them, just do it your own way. Though there was a bit struggle with shaping these rolls, the end result was satisfying. It was soft and light..wonderful! The recipe here has been scaled down and made around 12 rolls, if you want the full recipe, get the book :D

this is not a good sample, just want to show you so that you get an idea of the cone shape,
flatten and roll them long and roll them from the wider end. 

Recipe ( from The World of Bread by Alex Goh )
Ingredients A
300gm bread flour
1tsp instant yeast
35g sugar
1/2tsp salt
1 tsp milk powder ( omitted )

Ingredients B
1 egg, lightly beaten ( 1/2 for the dough and 1/2 for egg wash)
90ml cold milk ( increased to 120ml)
50 ml cold water

30gm butter

Mix the bread flour, yeast, sugar, salt, milk powder in a mixer bowl. Using low speed on the mixer, then add in half of the beaten egg, cold milk and cold water to form a dough. Add in the butter and beat to form a smooth dough, about 10 minutes. Let it rest for 15 minutes.

Divide the dough into 40gm pieces and shape them into balls. Put them in the freezer for 30 minutes to become firm.  Shape into cone shape, then flatten the cone shape dough. Roll them up from the wider ends.Transfer them onto the baking tray and let it prove for 50 minutes. Brush with egg wash ( remaining half egg plus a little water ) then bake at 190C for about 10-12 minutes.

I am sharing this post to My Treasured Recipe #1 - Alex Goh ( June/July 2014 ) hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also linking this post to Cook Your Books #14 hosted by Kitchen Flavours

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Chocolate Zucchini Bundt Cake

This is my first encounter with zucchini to bake a cake. I remember when i first heard of a zucchini cake, i thought it's rather strange...cos i tend to think they are like cucumbers..and so i thought cucumber in a cake? hehe...but actually do you know that there is really a cucumber cake....not many when i googled but there is. But later on after reading all the zucchini cakes that i come across, that perception slowly changed and reading mostly how good a zucchini cake is, i am now baking one. Also one common thing that i read is that they hardly can tell that there is zucchini in the cake. So i wasnt really expecting a 'zucchini-taste' cake but somehow this recipe exceeds my expectation. The cake is incredibly moist and has a wonderful rich chocolate flavour. I dont know how do the zucchini works here, they kind of like melted in... the crumbs are soft and some parts a little fudgy due to the chocolate chips in there, you wont be disappointed, just dont expect to see the zucchini in the cake. I have cut the whole cake and hardly can see one shred of it..and if you want to tell your friends that this is a vegetable cake, they might just think you are fooling them :D

I am baking this wonderful recipe with Joyce and Zoe and if you are interested to bake one, do link your post with us starting today up till aug02, 2014.

Recipe ( from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman )
makes in a 12 cup Bundt Pan
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch Process cocoa powder,
plus more for dusting pan
1/2 cup sour cream ( i used greek yogurt )
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanila extract
310gm all purpose flour/ cake flour
2.5tsp baking powder
1.5tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant espresso powder ( i used nescafe decaf )
170gm butter, softened
1 cup castor sugar ( reduced to 110gm)
1 cup brown sugar ( reduced to 75 gm )
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini ( squeezed excess water )
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup sliced almonds ( did not put )

Preheat oven to 350F/177C. Grease the bundt pan and dust with unsweetened cocoa powder.

Whisk together the sour cream, eggs, vanilla in a large glass measuring cup. Sift together the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder and whisk them in a medium bowl.
Combine the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.

With the mixer on low speed, add 1/2 of the flour mixture and beat until incorporated. Add 1/2 of the sour cream mixture. Repeat , alternating flour and sour cream mixtures and ending with flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Stir in the zucchini, chocolate chips and nuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert it onto a wire rack to cool completely. Slice and serve.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Coffee Rice Flour Chiffon Cake

As i have said earlier in my previous post that i was quite keen to make a coffee chiffon cake, and so i did one. I had also tried out using the rice flour method which Kimmy had been using for few of her chiffon recipes. This is where a small portion of rice flour is used to make up of all the flours needed in the recipe, like in this case, 30% of the total flour. If you do not wish to use rice flour, then you can use all 100gm of cake flour as per original recipe. I do not have a comparison between using rice flour vs non rice flour for the same recipe but the chiffon that i made here using some rice flour is really good. Just like what everyone wanted in a chiffon cake, soft and fluffy. I seldom drink coffee but i enjoy them in bakes, just like durian where i hardly eat them fresh but enjoy eating a durian flavoured cakes. I can smell the coffee during the mixing and yes, the cake gives a very nice coffee flavour. Thank you Kimmy!

I was also in the mood to make something to dress up the cake a little bit and i did a coffee glaze. Sorry that i do not have the exact measurement of the glaze as i was testing and adding a little more this and that along the way. I started off by 2/3 cup of icing sugar, followed by a few tablespoon of strong instant coffee and add in some milk and coffee bit by bit till the taste and consistency that i want. The consistency is pourable but thicker than the consistency of condensed milk. It is just a very thin layer of glaze that i made, so it wasnt too sweet for me, quite nice. Oh, also bcos i made the glaze, i stored the a few more remaining pieces in the fridge on the late second day and the cake still remains soft after refrigeration though not as fluffy.

The response to our bake along chiffon cake theme has been overwhelming and sorry that i have not visited all the links yet but meanwhile, if you do have a chiffon cake recipe to share, do link it up with us . Thanks very much and happy baking!

Recipe ( from Cooking Pleasure )
in a 7 inch chiffon pan ( or 8 inch for mine)
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
50ml warm milk
4 egg yolks
4tbsp castor sugar
4tbsp corn oil
70gm cake flour, sifted
30gm rice flour, sifted

4 egg whites
4tbsp castor sugar

Preheat oven to 170C/180C. Dissolve the coffee granules in the warm milk, set aside and let cool. Combine both the flours together. Using a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks and sugar till blended and slowly add in oil and whisk till well combined. Slowly drizzle in the coffee mixture and continue to whisk till well combined. Add in the sifted flour and mix till batter is smooth and well combined.

Whisk egg whites till foamy and gradually add in the sugar and whisk till soft medium peaks formed.( do not over beat ) Fold in 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture till well combined and fold in the remaining meringue into the egg yolks batter. Pour batter into a 7 inch ungreased chiffon pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Invert baked cake immediately to cool before unmoulding from pan.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Japanese Dark Pearl Chocolate Chiffon Cake

After seeing numerous of my blogging friends baking this chiffon cake for the past few months, i am now into action to bake one. Although chocolate chiffon is quite common, you know i have not tasted one before as far as i can remember. The most type i have eaten are orange chiffon and pandan chiffon which i think are the popular ones. I would also like to try out coffee because i have not eaten one too...which i also think it's a nice flavour.

I read from Ellena's blog that this recipe of dark pearl chocolate chiffon has long existed many years ago from Aunty Yochana.  I am not aware of this chiffon until only recently when some of you baked it and i also agree with what has been said about the cake, very chocolatey and nice. I dont know how if it's being compared to a normal chocolate chiffon or a double chocolate chiffon but i find this chiffon really nice. Hope those who have not tried it will give it a try too in the future.

i dont know why there is a thin chocolate skin surrounding the cake...look at the first picture too..perhaps this could be the dark pearls that the cake is wearing...heheheh.. 

I am baking along with Joyce and Zoe and Chiffon cakes is our Bake along theme starting today up till 19July2014. Are all welcomed to join us , please do not link sponge cakes or angel cakes ya! Bye!

Recipe ( from Baking Diary )
5 egg yolks ( mine about 110gm )
60gm vegetable oil
100gm full cream milk
130gm dark chocolate, break into pieces ( i used Hershey's special dark )
55gms plain flour
25gm cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

5 egg whites ( mine abt 215gm )
80gm sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

First melt chocolate over double boiler or microwave. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

Stir the egg yolks and oil together, then stir in the milk and the slightly warm melted chocolate. Sift in the flour and mix to a smooth batter.

In the mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy and add in the sugar, beat till stiff peaks. Fold  in the meringue to the egg yolks batter in 3 batches till no traces of egg whites can be seen. Pour into a 20cm chiffon pan, gently knock the pan on the table to release air bubbles. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for about 45-50 minutes. Remove and invert cake to cool.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Taisan ( Filipino Sponge Cake )

Some call it a chiffon cake, some call it a sponge cake. Whether it is a chiffon or sponge cake, it is one tasty cake. But if i were to label it, i would call it a sponge cake. But this is not an ordinary plain sponge cake, taisan is a popular cake in the Philippines and it comes with butter, sugar and cheese toppings and that's this topping that makes it delicious for me, sweet and a little saltiness. Not just the topping is delicious, i somehow like the texture of the cake very much. It reminds me of those soft old fashioned sponge cakes that is layered with buttercream that i get from market. It is moist, soft and compact. Let it sit for a few hours before eating, it gets even better.

I however had used 5 egg whites instead of 6 and i dont know an additional egg whites will make it more lighter but folding the egg yolks batter into the meringue was quite a daunting task because the egg yolks batter is quite thick and heavy, unlike the batter for making chiffon or sponge cakes and so i had separated the folding part into 3 parts, the first third to lighten the batter and the remaining two thirds to fold in. The recipe which i got from did not have the pan measurement so i had used a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan plus a 16cm chiifon pan and baked in 2 separate ovens. The chiffon one i did not put any toppings and tasted rather plain by itself, so that is not taisan :)

oh yeah, line the sides of the pan too. I didnt do it, so you see the sides are coming off..

Recipe ( from here with some changes )
125gm  + 4 tbsp cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
egg yolks from 4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract ( i skipped this )
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk ( i used 1/4 cup full cream milk + 2 tbsp )
1.5 tbsp water ( skipped )
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted ( skipped )
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Egg whites of 6 large eggs ( i used from 5 large eggs )
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

softened or melted butter
grated cheese ( i used cheddar )

Preheat oven to 160C . Line the bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.

In a big bowl, combine egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar, milk, water, butter and oil. Using electric mixer, mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients and continue mixing until batter is smooth. Scrape once in a while and set aside. ( Batter is quite thick )

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar gradually and beat till  medium peak forms. Take 1/3 of the meringue and mix with the egg yolks batter to thin the batter. Take the remaining meringue and fold in the egg yolks batter , i did the remaining meringue in 2 batches. Pour batter into prepared pan ( i filled 50% of my loaf pan )and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. ( i covered the cake with foil paper after baking for 20 minutes when it starts showing a small crack line, i baked for about 35 minutes )

Let it stand for 10 minutes on the pan before removing from pan. Brush the top lightly with butter, sprinkle with sugar and after cooling down more, sprinkle with cheese. Wrap unfinished cake with cling paper.

Original recipe states makes one loaf pan. I had used a 9"x5" loaf pan plus a 16cm chiffon tube pan to fill in all the batter 

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Philippines ) hosted by The Sweet Spot