Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sweet & Sour Gluten Puffs

Seitan or wheat gluten is a very popular vegetarian meat substitute that has been eaten in Asian countries for generations. There are so many varieties of preparation for this 'meaty' texture of seitan or wheat gluten and my all time favourite is the sweet & sour gluten puffs. I am a super fan of anything with sweet & sour and this sure will lift up my appetite easily at anytime. So, here's what I did with my recently made gluten puffs.  

Bring a pot of water to boil then add in the fried gluten puffs and immediately off the heat. Let them soaked into hot water for about 15 minutes or till softened then discharge the water. Rinse soaked puffs with cold tap water (with running water) till puffs has actually cooling down. Squeeze out the excess water from the puffs then set aside to drain dry. Later then, I packed some up into a few different bags for storage purposes. These can be kept in the freezer for at least one month or stored in broth and kept in the refrigerator for at least one week.

I am drooling already ! haha.....

Ingredients :
15 pcs  homemade gluten puffs
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite size
1  tomato, cut into bite size
2 slices  pineapple, cut into bite size
1 red chili, cut small (I used bird eyes chilies)
1 cup  tomato sauce (ketcup)
1/2 cup  water mixed with 2 tspn tapioca starch
1-1/2 TB  sugar (or to your taste)
1/2 TB   vinegar

Method :
(1)  preheat frying pan with enough cooking oil, saute bell pepper & pineapple till slightly cooked then add in gluten puffs and continue cooking for another few more minutes.
(2)  now, add in chili, tomato sauce, sugar, vinegar & water mixture, let to boil over medium heat till thickened.
(3) finally, off the heat & stir in tomato to mix well then serve.

The seitan or gluten puff is very chewy, dense & yummy but a little thick compare to the store-bought ones. Doesn't it look so much alike to those tofu puffs? Hopefully, I'll be able to try some other versions of  seitan as well. Probably.... soon ! >o<   Hope you guys will love it too ! Enjoy.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Homemade Gluten Puffs @ Wheat Gluten Food 面筋

Gluten is the strong, sticky, stretchy protein that is form when wheat flour & water mix together. Wheat Gluten or seitan food (麵筋 'mien jin' in Mandarin) is very popular among the vegetarian & non vegetarian all over in Asia, as it can be used in many way of cooking. The Chinese has been using the hydrated wheat gluten or seitan as meat substitute ingredients for more than hundreds of years. However, wheat gluten is not suitable to those whom has digestion problem as you may suffer hours of bloating. I have learnt making this gluten puffs from my neighbour for the very first time when I was 14 and this is my 2nd attempt after 31 years. haha.... Can you believe that ! I was told that by adding in boiling water into flour will helps to generate better wheat gluten. Then later days, I was told to add in salt as well for better result. Anyway, I tried it my way this time and here's what happened.

Ingredients :
1 kg   bread flour / high protein flour
600ml   warm water or hot water
2 TB  salt

*if possible get a packet of wheat gluten flour instead of using bread flour for better result.

Method :  Combine flour together with salt then stir in water to form a soft & smooth dough. Then cover dough & let to rest for 5-8 hours.

The dough became soft & elastic after 5 hours of fermentation. However, it still best to work on the flour the night before and let to rest overnight.

Finally, I started washing the dough after 5 hours of fermentation. The dough must be handle with care. Gently squeeze & knead the dough in a big pot of  water. Try to hold & keep them into one piece at all times. Discharge the milky or starchy water away and repeatedly changing the water for about 8-10 times. Or till the wheat starch has totally melts into water.

This is how the wheat gluten dough looks after changing the water for the 5th time. You can clearly seen the gluten formed. Nicely form into one piece.

Oh wow.... at last, the wheat gluten has turned out perfectly. Make sure the wheat gluten is nicely drained before cutting them.

I then keep the wheat gluten refrigerated for about 2 hours before cutting.

Finally, fry the wheat gluten till golden brown over low heat. Flip the puffs on & off gradually. Make sure they're all nicely expand.

Ta...da..... here's my 100% homemade gluten puffs. Absolutely gorgeous. Aren't they ?

Friday, November 21, 2014

Festive Season Fruit Cake

Can you imagine Christmas is just about 5-6 weeks away ! Can't really express my feelings. Wow.... I'm getting excited though I'm not celebrating it. Just feeling excited like I used to even since I was a kid. In my memories, Christmas is something really special cause its very near to Chinese New Year. You know what I mean ! haha.... The continuously festive mood.just blow me away but this year my family is not celebrating the Chinese New Year cause according to the Chinese custom, it is forbidden to celebrate anything within a year after my father in law passing. However, we will still go home to have our New Year eve dinner like every year. So, just to lift up the festive spirit I baked myself a festive fruit cake. Oh yeah, this is just so delicious. I wrapped them into few small portions then keep frozen, where I can enjoy anytime I want.

I didn't add in the candied cherries as my family didn't like it at all especially the smell of it. However, I replaced some other dried fruits instead such like apricot & cranberries.

Ingredients :
250gm butter, softened
250gm  brown sugar
4 eggs
1 TB  ground mixed spice (I used five spice powder)
300gm   all purpose flour

250gm  dried apricot, chopped
250gm  raisins
250gm  sultanas
250gm  dried cranberries, chopped
5 TB  brandy

*extra 4 TB  brandy (for final topping)

Method :
(1) soaked ingredients (B) over night.
(2) beat butter & sugar till fluffy pale then whisk in eggs one at a time till everything well combined
(3) now, fold in flour & mixed spice and mix well.
(4) next, stir in ingredients (B) and blended well then pour batter to a 7" baking tray lined with parchment paper.
(5) finally, bake at preheated oven 175'C for about an hour or till tester came out clean and pour in the extra brandy liquor immediately.

* chocolate ganache : 200gm chocolate (chopped) melted into 60ml  hot heavy cream

Lastly, I covered the cake with an extra touch of chocolate ganache.... just playing greedy. haha..... Hope you guys are having a great time during the weekend & enjoy your early Christmas shopping. >o<

Monday, November 17, 2014

Guyanese Garlic Butter Roll

Guyanese is actually comes from the word Guyana. Guyana is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America. This is the first time I ever get to know Guyana while I accidentally bump into one of the famous & special Guyanese bread recipe called Guyanese Butter flap..Guyanese butter flap is also under the category of Caribbean cuisine which I'm not familiar with. (More info from here) However, I just can't resist good food especially bread. So, this is definitely something I shouldn't miss out. I didn't fold the bread as it was but making them into bread rolls instead. And here's what I did.

By the way, this is my number 700th post after 6 years blogging. Job well done ! >o<

Ingredients :
2 cups  bread flour / all purpose flour
1 Tb  milk powder (optional)
2 TB  sugar
1-1/2 tspn  yeast
1/4 tspn  salt
1/2 cup  warm milk
2 TB  corn oil

2 TB  salted butter, softened
3 cloves  garlic, skinned & crushed into fine paste
(mix together till well combined)

*1/2 cup  parmesan cheese powder

Method :
(1) stir yeast, sugar & milk together then let to rest for 10 minutes.
(2) now, combine flour, milk powder & salt into a big mixing bowl then stir in the yeast mixture till soft dough is formed.
(3) add in oil then continued kneading till well combined, set aside to rest for an hour or till double in size.
(4) punch dough to release air, mix in half of the garlic butter mixture & knead till combined.
(5) place dough to working table then flatten into 6x8" size, divide into 8 portions equally.
(6) next, rub each dough with the remaining garlic butter paste & then make a knot, place it to a greased baking tray, let to rest for another 30-45 minutes or till dough nicely rose
(7) finally, sprinkle the top with some parmesan cheese then bake at preheated oven 190-195'C for about 20-25 minutes or till nicely brown.

Yes, who can resist good food ! And these rolls are perfect to serve on Christmas Eve dinner table.

I have to admit this bread is super duper delicious. It is super soft, buttery, aromatic & addictive. Double the recipe if possible. I'm not joking here !
I'm sending this to Yeastspotting @ Wild Yeast Blog.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Homemade Chwee Kuih @ Steamed Savoury Rice Cake

Do you have any idea how the Asian elderly spend their evening or night everyday after dinner ? Well, majority will stay at home with their kids & grand kids or maybe watching tv, partial will spend their night out joining the society activities and some will rather spend their night out with friends for tea & chit chat. And not to miss out some will most probably spending their night playing 'mahjong' or 'mahjiang'. haha..... No matter what activities they were about to join or already started, I would like to congratulate them. They have chosen to spend their time wisely. This will keep them motivated. Of course, gambling is not recommended. Well, hubby & I spending most of our evening accompany these range of friends almost every night. We are the youngest in the group. I really enjoy listening to the story behind each of them and the experience they've been through all those years. I was amazed & honour to have the chance to get to know them. Life is just too short. No matter how long you have live, all you need is only an hour or two to tell the story. That it !!!

Then there is one night, one of them has asked me to buy some chwee kuih for the next meet up. I promised I'll get them the chwee kuih. Who knows ! Its raining heavily that day, the only chwee kuih food stall is taking the day off. So, there's no way I can get any chwee kuih that evening. Not thinking for long, I quickly took out the ingredients. Mix them up and put them to the steamer. Its my first attempt, I rather worried if they won't turned out as expected.

(Recipe adapted from here)
Ingredients for rice cake :
150gm   rice flour
4 TB  tapioca flour
1 TB  wheat starch
250ml  water

350ml   water
1 tspn  salt
1 TB   cooking oil/corn oil

Method :
(1) combine ingredients (A) and mix well, set aside.
(2) mix together ingredients (B) into a pot then bring mixture to boil, off the heat then immediately add boiling water into mixture (A) and continuously stirring till everything well blended.
(3) preheat a steamer with 12-13 greased cupcake cups, cover the cups & let them heat before used.
(4) next, pour rice batter into hot cups then let them steam over high heat for about 25-30 minutes or till set..
(5) once its done, let them cool completely before removing the cakes from cups.

Well.... I am happy dancing over the moon. The kuih turns out great.

Ingredients Radish topping :
1 packet (120-150gm)  preserved chopped white sweet radish, rinsed
1 tspn     vegetarian oyster sauce
1/2 tspn    sweet dark soy sauce
1 tspn     sugar
1 TB   chopped garlic
1 TB  cooking oil

*if you're using salted white radish then soaked them for 30 minutes before used.

Method :
(1) toast the sweet white radish over low heat on frying pan till dry without adding in any oil, then set aside.
(2) preheat frying pan with cooking oil then saute garlic till aromatic, add in toasted radish & continue stirring over low heat till nice & fragrant.
(3) now, add in oyster sauce, sweet dark soy sauce & sugar till well blended then immediately off the heat. And its ready to serve.

I have some red sweet sauce & Thai chili sauce parking in the kitchen which is just nice to go along the serving.  It gives such presentable colours to the plater as well.

After packing everything, we headed to the coffee shop as usual meeting our friends there. And chwee kuih is served. They were amazed when I told them I made the kuih. haha.... They love it and they said it tastes as good as the stall bought ones. Wow... what a compliment ! I was thrilled and thanking them for giving me the chance to present them my homemade chwee kuih. I am happy when they're happy. So, its all worth it. Hope you guys are having a wonderful evening too. >o<

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Crispy Apple Samosa

There are some frozen apple pie fillings in my freezer, think its about time to clear them off before the new stuffs coming in. So, hop over to the supermarket to get a packet of spring roll pastry skeet (or you may use pyllo sheet) for a quickie preparation. Its my first attempt trying them on spring roll pastry sheet. An absolute surprise ! And here's what I did.

Ingredients for apple pie fillings :
4 apples, skinned & diced
51/2 cup  brown sugar
1 lemon juice & rinds
1 tspn  cinnamon powder
1 TB  all purpose flour
20gm  butter

Method :
(1) preheat frying pan then throw in all the ingredients except flour, cook till apples became softened.
(2) off the heat then add in flour and mix well.
(3) keep them refrigerated overnight before used, it works better.

Ingredients : 1 packet (12 x 12cm) spring roll pastry sheets & 1 egg white for brushing.

Step 1  :  Place a table spoon of apple pie fillings on a spring roll pastry sheet then fold it to make an angle at one corner. Next, fold the bottom part upwards to form a complete triangle.

Step 2  :  Place the folded samosa to the second sheet of spring roll pastry skin then brush on some egg white. At this point, fold the bottom part upwards first.

Step 3  :  Then follow by folding the other two corner of the spring roll pastry sheet to form the triangle shape.

And here's how it looks ! Mission completed. Finally, deep fried them till crispy brown. Its best to serve warm.

Hmmm....mmm.... Oh yeah, these are really addictive. SO women, behave yourselves ! haha..... Bet you will love it too. Enjoy !

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Mable Butter & Margarine Cake

Does it sound weird when I mention butter & margarine cake on my post title ? haha..... I was at first cause I don't often bake this way. However, you'll be surprise after I go deep down to the point. Margerine vs butter ! Why butter often used in baking but not margarine, except vegan baker ? Well, its mainly because butter adds a delicious flavour that margarine can't match. Butter is made of concentrated creamy milk where margarine is made of neutral oils which are flavourless. For pastry & cookies, butter is highly recommended cause it gives better flavouring to the crust which is very important or you may as well by mixing half butter & half shortening together for a flaky crust. Since butter is made of animals fat, it contains of cholesterol and high level of saturated fat. So for plainer cakes, you can always try mixing them together by using 50% butter & 50% margarine. In this way, you can now easily finished off any leftover margarine at anytime & for a healthier living.

This butter & margarine cake turns out as awesome. Perfect for afternoon tea !

Ingredients :
125gm  butter, at room temperature
125gm  margarine,
180gm  sugar
5 eggs
2 TB heavy cream
180gm  all purpose flour
1 tspn  baking powder
1 tspn  salt
1 tspn  vanilla paste

*1 TB  cocoa powder + 1 tspn  dark cocoa powder
  (mix with 1 TB boiling water to turn into smooth paste)

Method :
(1) combine flour, salt & baking powder and mix well.
(2) beat butter and sugar till fluffy pale in colour then whisk in eggs one at a time till creamy smooth.
(3) now, add in vanilla paste or essence and flour mixture & continue beating till everything well combined.
(4) pour 2/3 batter to a greased 8" baking tray and then mix 1/3 batter with cocoa paste till well blended.
(5) next, add the remaining well blended cocoa batter onto baking tray as well, make a nice swirl between the batter.
(6) finally, bake at preheated oven 150'C for about 45-50 minutes or till tester came out clean.

The texture of the cake is silky smooth & tasty good. I will make another batch soon. Hope you guys will have a nice weekend, enjoy everyone !

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Steamed Red Beans Pandan Oh Ku Dumpling

Happy Halloween to all my readers. Gosh, its November already !!! Soon Christmas will be arriving and the white chilling snow will take over the land of green. Can you imagine how time flies ? And pumpkin should be the one on season right now, I noticed everyone is busy preparing the pumpkin menu. >o< However, its the monsoon season over in Asia by this time of the year. Rainy days ! My family would love something warm to fill up their stomach. I thought maybe these sweet delicious Oh Ku dumpling will treat them well. This Oh Ku dumpling as well translated as 'Oh' meaning black in Hokkien dialect & 'Ku' meaning tortoise because the shape of the dumpling. The whole thing also brings the meaning of dark tortoise kuih or dumpling. Though mine isn't dark enough ! >o< And the one called 'Ang Ku Kuih' where 'Ang' meaning red in colour and the rest will be the same. So, lets come & join me in the kitchen.

Ingredients for dumpling skin :
350gm  glutinous rice flour
50gm    tapioca flour
2 TB  sugar
2 TB  cooking oil
300ml  pandanus juice, hot
(from 15 pcs pandanus leaves blend with water)

Fillings : 600gm  red bean paste or homemade paste
(divide into 40gm each)

Method :
(1) combine glutinous rice flour, tapioca flour & sugar into a big mixing bowl.
(2) now, stir hot pandanus juice into flour mixture to form a soft dough then add in oil and knead to combine & smooth. Then divide into 50gm each.
(3) next, coat both hands with cooking oil then press dough to flatten. Place in fillings and nicely sealed then the dumplings.

(4) then place dumpling onto banana leaves and steam at preheated steamer for 8-10 minutes.
(5) once its done, cooled for 5 minutes before serving. You may trim off the leaves after steamed.

This kind of dumpling is fantastic serving them warm. The skin is perfect soft & a bit chewy due to the additional of tapioca flour. You may replace tapioca flour with rice flour which will gives the dumpling softer light skin. Hope you guys will love it too.
Enjoy & have a fabulous weekend everyone !
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