Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baby 'Kai Lan' With Homemade XO Sauce

Did you notice that we have all kinds of imported green vegetables from China at our local market place recently? And the price is quite reasonable as well. I seldom eat 'Kai Lan' or Chinese broccoli and so is hubby. But I really wanted to give this baby 'Kai Lan' a try.

And here's what I did.

Ingredients :
300gm baby 'kai Lan'
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
2 shallots, sliced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp grounded dried shrimp/minced meat

XO Sauce Seasoning :
1 tbsp XO or Brandy
1-1/2 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
1 tspn light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp water
1/2 tspn cornstarch
(combine all and mix well)

Method :
(1) preheat a pot of water with 2 tbsp of cooking oil.
(2) cook baby 'kai lan' over boiling water for about one(1) mins.
(3) drained and leave aside.
(4) preheat a frying pan/wok with enough cooking oil.
(5) sautee ginger, shallots, garlic & dried shrimp/meat untill fragrant.
(6) stir in cooked baby 'kai Lan' and cook for about one(1) min.
(7) finally, add in seasoning and cook over high heat untill thickened.
(8) off the heat and serve hot.

Clean and cut baby 'Kai Lan' using the same method as cleaning wild fern shoots. Split the stem into half or even quartered them. And always remember to add in oil when cooking any green leaves in boiling water. This is to prevent or minimize clorophyll, the pigment releasing from the leaves. So that the vegetables always stay green and pretty even after cooked.

A little extra oil is alright to our body! We need good fat for essential nutrients. Try to cut down saturated fat for example animals fat or lard and butter. Yeah, I know animals lard always smell so good! Healthy living starts with healthy diet!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Black Sesame Biscuit

Do you have any clue what's the benefits for eating black sesame? Black sesame seeds actually very rich in all sort of minerals that benefit our body. It helps to lower blood pressure, relief for rheumatoid arthritis, fortifying the kidney, to prevent colon cancer, osteoporosis, migraine, constipation and so on. It is believed can blacken hair as well. Still remember the POWER OF COLOURS? Black colour food is actually very rich in antioxidants as well as green. According to the Chinese, the Emperors of China began eating black rice since 3000 years ago although it's forbidden. Can imagine how important that is! So, I should eat more. :o) I was eyeing on Lena's chocolate hazelnut cookies the other day and love the texture very much. So, I've decided to make something out of that recipe by using black sesame. Thanks Lena for sharing the lovely recipe.

And here's what I did.

Ingredients :
375gm butter
200gm icing sugar
480gm all purpose flour
180gm rice flour
100gm ground black sesame seeds/powder
1/4 tpsn baking soda
1/4 tpsn baking powder
2 tspn salt
The black sesame powder I purchased is a product imported from China. The price is quite reasonable and it has very strong natural aroma.

Method :
(1) combine both flour, black sesame powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a big bowl and mix well.
(2) cream butter and icing sugar untill fluffy.
(3) then fold in the dry ingredients and mix to combine to form a soft dough.
(4) use a small portion of dough and slightly flatten it then cut with desire cookie cutter.
(5) place it to baking tray and keep chilled for about 30 mins.
(6) finally bake at preheated oven 140'C for 35 mins for small size cookies, 150'C for about 30 mins for bigger size cookies.
(7) leave cool before transferring to wire rack.

This cookie has a slight crunch which I like about and not to mention about the aroma. You should know! Completely seducing and I am having one right now. Hope you will like it too! Enjoy everyone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Pineapple Tart Roll

I guess you guys have been seeing all those pineapple tarts over and over again for the past whole month, right! Getting tired! haha.... Frankly, this is one of the most popular goodies during the Chinese New Year. It has the meaning of bringing good luck and fortune to the family. And that's why I'm so tempting to make mine this year too. There's so many versions of pineapple tarts out there but still I love the most is the Malay version Pineapple tart rolls. Since there's too many recipes to choose from, I finally came up a few (rolls & round ones as well) and let my family and neighbours to make the votes. haha... Good idea huh! They all voted for this roll tart but still the original recipe wasn't exactly what I'm looking for. So, finally I came up with this.

Ingredients for Tart Dough :
150gm butter, softened
1 tbsp sugar
2 egg yolks
120gm corn flour
80gm all purpose flour
30gm milk powder
* 1 egg yolk for glazing.
* pineapple jam for fillings

The above shown is the pineapple crust dough gadget that the shop owner recommends me to use. Though, it's a finger press gadget yet it's fast and easy to handle.

Method :
(1) combine corn flour, all purpose flour and milk powder in a big bowl.
(2) cream butter, sugar and egg yolks untill fluffy.
(3) fold in the dry ingredients and mix well to form a soft dough.
(4) form a dough sheet by using a flat shape gadget.
(5) place on pineapple jam and roll it up.
(6) brush on egg glaze and bake at preheated oven 165-170'C for about 20 mins.
(7) cool for 5 mins before removing to wire rack.

Of course, these have to be tested by two of my Q.C. for approval! haha.... All I heard was a BIG shout out "YES!" from my boy and another "YES!" from my girl. My boy even explained to me why he called it a "yes". He said the texture is not even falling apart eventhough it's so very soft and everything hold on so well together. It's smell terrific as well. This is exactly the kind of tart roll he is expecting! Hope you will like it too.
Another related post, click here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Vietnamese Fried Net Roll

I've been looking forward to make Vietnamese net wrap for a very long time but failed to find the recipe. I think god is answering my call~*sigh*. At last, I found the recipe on the latest local FLAVOURS magazine. This is darn good! But the only thing was the recipe request for hand drip the batter. I'm not so sure about the hand drip method, so I'm using a special gadget instead.

Ingredients for Hand Dripping Net Wrap:
250gm rice flour
200gm water

Hand Drip Method :
(1) stir water into rice flour with wire whisk to form a smooth batter of dripping consistency.
(2) preheat a non-stick pan with low heat and grease with little corn oil.
(3) drip your hand into the batter then working fast, drip batter in the pan smoothly.
(4) circular motions onto the pan to form a circle net.
(5) remove from pan once it sets.

Ingredients for Gadget Dripping Net Wrap :
250gm rice flour
280gm water

Method :
(1) stir water into rice flour with wire whisk to form smooth & runny batter.
(2) fill the 'Roti Jala' gadget with batter.
(3) then working fast by dripping batter over preheated greased pan, with extreme low heat.
(4) circular motions onto the pan to form a circle net.
(5) remove from pan once it sets.

Ingredients for Crab stick fillings :
5 commercial crab stick, halved
some sliced cucumber
some sliced carrot
1 sliced green apple
1 whole medium size cabbage, boiled soft

Method :
(1) wrap all ingredients with soft boiled cabbage & sealed properly.
(2) next, wrap the fillings with rice net wrap.
(3) then fry the rolls till golden brown.
(it's best to fry them 10 mins before serving)

You must be wondering why there isn't any sauce for these rolls, right! Frankly, you don't need any! Cause the fillings already have everything you need..... sweet fresh crunchy salad and nice yummy crab stick. An addition of cooked shrimp would be nice too! Wrapping the fillings with cooked cabbage is a total success. It helps to keep the fillings away from hot oil. And to stay fresh and juicy. Hope you will love it too!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Licorice Sour Plum Cookies

Is there anyone doesn't like tidbits? Well, I especially like snacking on those imported sweet & sour preserved plums. There is one I love the most, that is sweet preserved plum coating with licorice powder. No kidding! I'm going to transform those little tidbits into cookies.

And here's what I did.
Ingredients :
230gm butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tspn vanilla extract/essence
2-1/2 cups flour
2 tspn baking powder
1/2 tspn salt
2 tbsp sour plum powder
*1/2 cup licorice powder for coating

This is freshly grind licorice powder and those are licorice root slices.

Method :
(1) cream butter and sugar untill fluffy.
(2) stir in Vanilla & eggs one at a time untill well combined.
(3) fold in all the dry ingredients and mix to form a soft dough.
(4) shape about 1 inch ball dough then roll in licorice powder, slightly flatten by a spoon.
(5) finally, bake at 185-190'C for about 10 mins or untill set.
(6) cool cookies beofre transfer to wire rack.

Gosh, the licorice tasted fantastic when it bakes directly under the oven (without any liquid contact). I was surprise! It makes such a big difference. Remember the last recipe, I used to sprinkle the licorice powder over the egg glaze. I can hardly tasted it. Did you notice the yellowish coating over the cookies? Those are baked licorice powder. Imagine the mild sour plum cookies covered with baked licorice. Oooooo....Don't you love them! :o) Hope you will like it too.
For more Licorice infor or products, do check out Marina Market, US based.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Caramel Mud Cake

Yes, it's Mud cake! NO, not cake made with clay and soil.... haha.... Well, basically, Mud cake is a dessert made with dark chocolate cake and dark chocolate icing. And the cake itself has a very moist, crumbly texture which also typically dense. But now, Mud cake comes in any form and flavour. As you can see here, mine is caramel flavour mud cake.

And here's the recipe.

Ingredients :
250gm butter
1-1/2 cup brown sugar
150gm white chocolate, chopped
200ml milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups flour
3 tspn baking powder

Method :
(1) melt butter, sugar, milk and chocolate in a saucepan without boiling it.
(2) then transfer mixture into a big bowl and cool for 15mins.
(3) stir in egg, flour & baking powder and mix well.
(4) pour batter into a 8" tray lined with parchment paper.
(5) bake at preheated oven at 165-170'c for about one(1) hour & 30mins.
(6) leave the cake cool 30mins before removing from the tray.
(7) finally, ganache with spreadable white chocolate.

It's very common to have crack top mud cake especially by using a 8" pan. So, don't worry! Just turn the cake upside down. It looks as gorgeous!
To prevent crack top : Use a 9" pan and cover the top with aluminium foil, bake for about an hour. Then remove the foil and bake for another 30mins.
Ingredient for White Chocolate ganache :
130ml heavy cream
350gm white chocolate, chopped
(bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan and pour it over the chopped chocolate, stir untill chocolate melts and keep refrigerated untill spreadable.)
Perfect colour for the perfect cake...... colour of mud.*sigh* You dare to eat! haha....

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nasi Briyani Or Biryani

Actually, Biryani rice is quite similar to a pilaf. It is cooked by adding a large amount of spices, some meat and rice in one pot. But here, we called it Briyani rice; another famous rice dish of Malaysia. Our local Briyani rice is rice cooked with ghee or butter, some spices and saffron and it's cooked separately with the meat. It is very common that Malaysian serving briyani rice with Kurma Chicken and some pickled vegetables for side dish.

And here's the recipe as follow.
Ingredients for Briyani Rice : (for 6-8 persons)
3 cups long grain basmathi rice, rinsed
4 cups water
50ml corn oil
100gm butter/ghee
a pinch of salt
1 stick 2" cinnamon
2 star anise
5 cardamon pot
4 cloves
3 cloves garlic, skinned
3 shallots, skinned
* 1/2 tspn pounded saffron (add with 2 tbsp water)
handful of green raisins

Since I don't have any saffron with me. So, I'm using the little magic seasoning sent by Lyndsey. Yay.... it works like wonder!

Method :
(1) combine rice, water, garlic, shallots & salt in a cooking pot and on the switch.
(I'm using rice cooker)
(2) preheat frying pan with butter and oil.
(3) add in cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom pods & star anise, saute untill fragrant.
(4) off the heat, pour hot oil & all the spices into the rice pot, mix well.
(5) sprinkle on the raisins & saffron mixture once the rice is cooked.
(6) keep the rice covered for 10 mins before serving.

This kind of Briyani rice easily pair with anything ~ curry, rendang, fried chicken, any stewed.... you name it! Don't just sit there and crave..... quickly make a move! And have fun!

I'm sending this to 3 Hungry Tummies & Shaz @ Muhibbah Malaysian Monday event and Lyndsey @ Tailgating Time.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Licorice Spelt Cookies

Don't you love licorice candies! What is licorice, anyway? Licorice is also known as 'kum chou' and it's believe to have antiviral and anti-bacterial properties, and it's often used to treat cold & influenza. It can also be used with other Chinese herbs to increase the body's vitality and general well-being. It's very common to use licorice root slices to boil with chrysanthemum flowers for cooling drinks. While I prefer chewing on those dried root slices which tasted a little bitter sweet.

What about spelt flour! Spelt is similar to wheat species. It tasted more or less like wheat flour but the price is way so pricey compare to any other flour due to the nutrition content. Spelt contains of more protein than wheat and it's more easier to digest.

I got lucky and found a packet of spelt flour on my last vacation. Now.... how about joining them into one!
Ingredients :
225gm corn flour
150gm spelt flour
1 tbsp licorice powder
1/2 tspn baking powder
110gm icing sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
155gm butter, at room temperature

* egg glaze : 1 egg yolk + 1 tspn milk
* extra licorice powder for topping

Method :
(1) combine corn flour, spelt flour, licorice powder, baking powder & icing sugar in a big mixing bowl and mix well.
(2) stir in egg & vanilla and mix to combine into crumble form.
(3) then add in butter and mix well to form a soft dough.
(4) roll dough onto a piece of plastic sheet in about 1cm thickness.
(5) cut with desired cutter and place it to the baking tray.
(6) brush with egg glaze and dust on some licorice powder.
(7) bake at preheated oven at 160'C for about 10-12 mins.
(8) leave to cool for 5 mins before removing to wire rack.
Licorice powder is very mild in flavour compare to licorice extract. So, I used extra for dusting the top. You can always replace the recipe with licorice extract and add in an extra tablespoon of flour.
The cookies tasted more to wheat flavour than licorice . Yet it's a good trial. I'm still working on some licorice recipes . So, stay tune for more!
I'm sending this to Jess Kitchen @ Aspiring Baker #3 CNY Cookies & Chaya @ Meatless Monday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Earl Grey Tea Ring

You've seen earl grey tea in cookies... in quick cupcakes...... anything else!? What about in soft bread slice! I have yet tried anything with earl gray tea before and I hope this is something that I am expecting for.... light, refreshing and fluffy.

Ingredients :
Starter Dough :
50gm flour
40gm milk, at room temperature
2/3 tbsp yeast
(combine all ingredient & mix well, leave to ferment overnight)

Main Dough :
100gm warm milk
2 pkts earl grey tea
200gm bread flour
2-1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tspn salt
1 egg, lightly beaten

* egg glaze : one egg yolk + 1 tspn milk

Method :
(1) combine warm milk and earl grey tea together, leave aside for 30mins.
(2) combine flour, sugar & salt in a big mixing bowl.
(3) then add in earl grey tea mixture, egg and starter dough.
(4) mix well to form a sticky dough and let to rest for an hour.
(5) punch dough to release air and place dough onto a slightly floured working table.
(6) roll dough into a ball and make a big hole in the centre.
(7) let to proof untill double in size or about 45 mins, brush with egg glaze.
(8) bake at preheated oven at 160'c for about 25-30mins.

My oven is too small for this soft ring bread causing the missing hole in the centre! :o) I should have place in a cup in the center.

The bread seem so lovely, looking like a gigantic bagel! I like the softness and the mild tea aroma. Simply refreshing! Just perfect with a spread of butter and a cup of tea. Enjoy everyone!
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