Monday, May 29, 2017

Herman Hakka Hee Ban 赫爾曼客家喜粄

I was very pleased to have started my Herman project. I worked on most of my recipe from scratch and still experimenting. Its quite a challenge to work with the Asian food without an actual measurement by using Herman starter. Surprisingly, the result is overwhelming especially this Hakka steamed bun which I made the other day.

These buns are super light, airy & fluffy and its extremely delicious. I am totally blown away.

To activate the Herman culture by mixing the following ingredients 3 hours before working on dough.
**1 cup Herman starter + 1 cup  all purpose flour + 1 cup water + 1/3 cup  sugar

Ingredients :
2 cups  herman starter
1 cup   glutinous rice flour
1 cup   all purpose flour
3 TB  sugar
1/3 cup  corn oil /peanut oil
1 tspn   pandan paste /red  ros water

*banana leaf cut into 4x4" length then greased with oil

Method :
(1)  combine both flour & sugar then mix well.
(2)  stir in herman starter & pandan paste till sticky dough is formed, add in oil and continue kneading till smooth and no longer sticky.
(3)  divide dough by using an ice cream scoop then round them with your oil coating hand.
(4)  place dough to banana leaf and set aside to rest for at least 3 hours.

**Tips :  I have chosen to activate my previous Herman starter with water instead of milk. I personally prefer water to go into this particularly Chinese Kuih and not milk. I did note that milk works better than water. Milk helps to generate more bubbles than water.

(5)  the dough rose beautifully after 3 hours and its ready to go into the preheated steamer to steam for 15 minutes over high heat.
(6)  once its done, let them rest in steamer for 5 minutes with a closing lid before transferring them onto rack.

Another successful yummy bun from Herman starter ! Hope you guys will like it too. Have fun.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

My New Pet ~ Herman 我的赫爾曼酵母

Finally, I started my little Herman project from scratch. Herman is a natural yeast which was grown from the mixture of flour, milk, sugar & instant yeast (please refer recipe here). And then feed them every five(5) days with the ratio 1 : 1 : 1:1 , meaning 1 cup Herman starter, 1 cup flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk. Unlike wild yeast, Herman starter is sweeter and watery. As for me, I grew my Herman with my old age leftover wild yeast which was kept in the fridge months ago and no commercial instant yeast added  I simply convert my wild yeast into Herman starter by adding in the ratio as given. I am truly happy that my natural yeast is working fine. The baby bubbling actively after feeding the first 5 days. You may keep your Herman in the fridge and reactivate it a day before, of course it may take some time. For further natural yeast info, you may check on my right hand side bar from USEFUL LINK.

However, I am still struggling if I should follow the recipe as given. I experiment my first attempt but failed. The bread tasted really unpleasant with a sourish aroma duel to long hours proofing. I too found that working with natural yeast is totally different from the commercial instant yeast. You don't need double proofiing method, unless you're working on a sourdough recipe. The most appropriate timing to proof your Herman soft bread is in between 3 hours after each feeding. It is the most active and appropriate period in generating carbon dioxide gas for your bread dough. Honestly, working with natural yeast is quite time consuming. So, I decided to plan for a double feeding process as follow. Please read on for more.

My second attempt on making Asian eggless soft bread from scratch as follow.

To activate the Herman culture, mix together the following ingredients overnight :
**3 TB Herman starter + 3 TB  flour + 3 TB water + 2 TB sugar

Ingredients :
150gm  Herman starter
150gm  bread flour
50ml   water

150gm   bread flour
80ml    water
1/4 tspn   salt
50gm   cold butter, chopped

Method :
(1)   since Herman already activate overnight, now start the 2nd batch of starter by mixing in the starter ingredients till well cooperated then leave to rest for 2-3 hours.
(2)   next, stir the main dough ingredients (except butter) into starter dough till everything well combined and became quite sticky at this stage.
(3)  add in butter and continue kneading till everything is well cooperated, the dough shouldn't be sticky anymore but elastic. Keep on kneading till smooth.
(4)  transfer dough to working table and divide into 9 equal portions, round them into ball shape and coat with some flour.
(5)  place shaped dough to a 7" (8" or 9" is better) greased baking tray and let to rest for at least 4 hours in the oven, with a cup of hot water.
(6)  finally, cover the dough with some dusting flour & bake at preheated oven at 185'C for 20-25 minutes or till brown.

These soft buns turned out beautifully, proving the yeast has did its job wonderfully. For the proofing stage, the shaped dough reached around 70% bigger instead of double its size. However, the dough expanding rapidly when baked under high heat. These buns rose almost double the size and bye bye to sourish aroma. Now I am one happy baker !

 So, stay tune for more Herman project from My Little Space. Enjoy & have fun !

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Asian Spicy Roasted Chicken 亚洲香辣烘烤鸡

Last week I finally experiment my homemade steamed fish sauce in roasting chicken. Surprisingly, my boy became a big fan of this special roasted chicken. He is loving the sauce so very much and addicted to it since then. It is a blessing ! And here's what I did.

Ingredients :
1 whole free range chicken
2 cup   homemade steamed fish sauce
some cooking oil

Method :
(1)  cleaned & wash the chicken then marinade chicken with 2 cups of homemade steamed fish sauce and keep refrigerated overnight.

(2)  place chilled marinated chicken to baking tray the next day and let to rest for 30 minutes before going into oven.
(3)  finally, bake at preheated oven 190-195'C for about an hour or till brown. And at the same time, reheat the leftover sauce from the marinade chicken to serve it with the roasted chicken later on.

I'll have to say this is a super unique pairing between the two ingredients and it turns out to be so good. Highly recommended to all my readers and I'm sure you're going to love it too. Enjoy !

Monday, May 22, 2017

Homemade Steamed Fish Sauce 自制八宝蒸鱼酱料

There is a restaurant in Kahang (Johor), where steamed fish was served with this aromatic glossy red spicy sauce. I am in love with the sauce eversince then. After travelling so frequent to Kahang, finally a friend gave me the recipe. I am truly honoured & thankful for the generosity.  I would be happy to share this with my readers.

Ingredients :
3  blue ginger flower / bunga kantan
1/2 inch  ginger
1 inch  blue ginger/galangal
2  stalk  lemongrass, take only the white part
10  red chilies, seeded
10  garlic cloves, skinned & finely chopped
2 bottles of Maggie chili sauce
1 bottle  sweet plum sauce

Method :
(1)  put together ginger, ginger flower, blue ginger & lemongrass with some cooking oil, grind into paste and set aside.

(2)  grind red chilies into chunk and set aside as well.
(3)  now,  preheat wok or frying pan with 1/2 cup cooking oil.

(4)  stir in ginger paste and saute till fragrant, then add in chopped garlic and continue saute for another 3-4 minutes till fragrant as well. Make sure its not burnt.

(5)  now, add in chili sauce & plum sauce and bring it to boil, for at least 5-10 minutes.

(6)  finally, stir in chili chunk and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.

Finally, off the heat and let it cool before bottling. Keep refrigerated for further storage and reheat anytime you want to serve with steamed fish or fried fish. I'm sure you guys going to love it too !

Friday, May 19, 2017

Mulberry Slices 澳式桑莓茶点

As I mentioned earlier, there are still plenty more of mulberry to be harvested at my neighbourhood. So I just collected another 2 cups of fresh mulberries yesterday. I made some refreshing slices with them ! The word SLICES here meaning bake goods which is baked and serve in a flat thinner sizes, and this is something quite popular in Australia & New Zealand. Other places would called this as BARS. Please read on for more.

150gm   butter softened at room temperature
220gm   castor sugar
2 eggs
230gm  all purpose flour
3 TB corn flour
2 tspn  baking powder
160ml  full cream milk mixed with 1/2 TB  lemon juice
1 tspn   vanilla extract/paste
2 cups  mulberries

Method :
(1)  combine both flour & baking powder then mix well.
(2)  cream butter and sugar till fluffy then beat in egg, one at a time till cooperated.
(3)  now, add in both flour mixture and milk alternately till everything well cooperated.
(4)  stir in vanilla extract and mulberries till well mixed.
(5)  pour batter to a 9x13" tray lined with parchment paper then bake at preheated oven 180-185'C for about 40 minutes.

Once its done, leave to cool on rack then serve with icing sugar dusting on top.

This is a perfect afternoon tea treat with a bunch of girlfriends. Light & presentable ! Bet no one can resist such a treat. Happy Baking !

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mulberry Coffee Cake Muffin 桑莓松饼

I just discovered this lovely coffee cake muffin recently and can't wait to attempt the recipe. This is definitely something new & interesting, since more eggs required. Other than that batter need to be chilled overnight before baking. I kept questioning myself if the leavening going to work after chilled ! Well, as you see here it works wonderfully. Please read on for more.

Ingredients :
120gm   butter, softened room temperature
3/4 cup  brown sugar
3 large eggs
1-1/2 tspn  vanilla essence
1 cup   heavy cream mixed with 1 TB lemon juice
1/4 cup  milk
2-1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tspn  baking powder
1/2 tspn  baking soda
1/2 tspn  salt
1-1/2 cup   fresh mulberries

Method :
(1)  mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt till combined.
(2)  beat butter and sugar till fluffy then add in vanilla essence & egg, one at a time till everything well combined.
(3)  now, beat in flour, milk and cream alternately till cooperated.
(4)  finally, fold in fresh mulberries and keep batter cover then refrigerated overnight.
(5)  leave batter to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes the next day, then scoop batter about 3 quarter full to muffin cups lined with paper cups then bake at preheated oven 180'C for about 25-30 minutes or till golden brown.

And it happened that I collected about 2 cups of fresh mulberry from my neighbourhood, which is just perfect for these little muffins. There are still plenty more to harvest <3  These muffins are really soft with slightly crisp crust on the top. Bet you will love it.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Xin Jiang Big Plate Chicken 新疆大盘鸡

Xin jiang is the largest Chinese administrative division in China. The well-known route of the historical 'Silk Road' ran through this territory from the East to the north-western border. And due to the Muslim population in Xin jiang, their food mostly refer to Uyghur cuisine where meat.and many kind of spices are used in their cooking. I am lucky to have discovered this flavourful dish not long ago. Big plate chicken is one of the popular dish in Xin Jiang. And beer is used on this recipe to braise the meat. However, I skipped the beer and used shaoxing wine or rice wine instead. Please read on for more.

You may choose not to fry the chicken as its an extra work for you. I personally prefer to do so cause it gives the meat a tremendous aroma after cooking instead of meaty smell.

Ingredients :
2  chicken thigh, cut into small piece
5  medium potatoes, skinned & quartered
6 slices ginger
1 large onion, quartered
4 garlic cloves
5  dried chilies, soaked for 20 minutes
1  cinnamon stick
1 tspn   cumin seeds
1 tspn   sichuan peppercorn
2 pieces  star anise
150ml   shaoxing wine
1 TB   bean paste
2 cups  water
2 TB  oyster sauce
3 TB  light soy sauce
1/2 TB  sugar
* some corn flour for chicken coating
* thickening :  2TB  water mixed with 1 tspn  corn flour

Method :
(1)  coat chicken pieces with corn flour then fry till golden brown, set aside.
(2)  fry potatoes till brown as well, set aside.
(3)  now, discharge extra oil from wok or frying pan and leave just enough cooking oil for cooking.
(4)  preheat wok and stir in cumin seeds, sichuan peppercorn, star anise, dried chilies and cinnamon stick let to saute till fragrant.

(5)  next, stir in chicken meat, potatoes and bean paste, let to cook for about 5 minutes over medium heat.
(6)  now, add in water and the remaining seasoning, bring it to boil till potato & meat became tender. Add in extra water if possible.
(7)  when ready, stir in thickening till gravy became thicken but not too dry.

Another highly recommended dish to serve on your dinning table. I love especially the gravy. It smells so inviting.  Its best to reduce the dried chili if you can't handle hot & spicy food. I'm sure you're going to fall in love with this beautiful exotic dish.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Savoury Steamed Sponge Cake 蒸咸蛋糕

My weekend chores when we have no where to go, cleaning and clearing off leftover from the pantry. Its always the best to spend my day in the kitchen making a little magic from the mystery leftover. haha...... This morning I have prepared a savoury Chinese steamed cake with mushroom floss. This recipe used to be a HIT over fb and I finally give it a kick ! Honestly, this is the best steamed sponge cake I've ever tried so far.  The combination between the sweet & savoury, it's like drinking a glass of iced cold coffee, totally satisfying. Please read on for more.

Ingredients :
5 large eggs separated
100gm   castor sugar
120gm   cake flour
1 tspn   baking powder (optional)
2 TB  corn oil
1/4 tspn  salt
1 TB   nori flakes
1 TB   sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup   mushroom floss / meat floss

Method :
(1)  mix together nori flakes & toasted sesame seeds, then divide into 2 portions, put half into mushroom floss and mix well then keep the remaining aside for later use.
(2)  place egg white into big mixing bowl and whisk till peak foam, add sugar & salt and continue beating till stiff and glossy.
(3)  next, add in egg yolk two at a time and beat till cooperated.

(4)  now,  fold in flour and hand mix till cooperated then stir in the oil till well blended.
(5)  greased a 7" pan with a parchment paper lined on bottom.
(6)  pour half of the batter to baking pan then spread on mushroom floss till fully cover batter.

(7)  finally, pour the remaining batter to baking tray and sprinkle on the nori flakes.

(8)  preheat steamer and steam for 20 minutes over high heat.

Once the cake is done, leave to cool for 30 minutes before inverting to serving plate.

This is a very healthy, light and delicious recipe, and its highly recommend to all lazy baker. Its easy & quick to prepare. There's NO reason to say NO !  Hubby is not a cake person but he can't stop at one either. LOL  So, enjoy & have fun guys.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Ipoh Salt-Baked Chicken 怡保盐焗鸡

I always thought making this traditional salted chicken is a tedious job but this has proved me wrong !  It is actually so easy to prepare and as well to handle too, especially if you're using an oven. Unlike beggar chicken (乞丐鸡), salt-baked chicken (盐焗鸡) only uses very few ingredients. There are actually a few very popular places selling Salt-Baked Chicken throughout Malaysia, but still Ipoh considered as the most famous one for time being. Thanks to Elin for the inspiration. Please read on to find out more.

Ingredients :
1   free range chicken or ayam kampung (around 1.3kg)
4 slices   dang gui (angelica root)
4 TB   Chinese rice wine or shaoxing wine
1 tspn   fine salt
1 tspn   dang gui powder
1/2 tspn  vegetarian granule
1/4 tspn   pepper
2 kg   coarse salt (3kg for wok user)
* double layer greaseproof paper

Method :
(1)  mix together dang gui powder, salt & pepper and granule till well combined. Then marinade chicken with the seasoning mixture and let to rest for an hour.
(2)  at the same time, soak "dang gui" into rice wine and let to rest as well.
(3)  now,  gather 2kg of coarse salt into a wok and cook over medium heat till salt became hot enough.

(4)  place marinated chicken to a double layer large baking paper, and pour rice wine mixture into the chicken core then fold paper to wrap it nicely by making sure no leakage. (as picture shown above)

(5)  at this point, coarse salt should be hot enough. Prepare a small pot which is just nice to fit in the chicken. Place some hot salt to the bottom of the pot.

(6)  place in the chicken and there should be spaces in between (as picture shown above).

(7)  now, slowly cover chicken with coarse salt. To prevent coarse salt from falling apart, I secure it with aluminium foil.
(8)  finally, bake at preheated oven 200'C for an hour then 180'C for another 60 minutes.

And this is how it looks after fully covered with coarse salt. The salt became harden after baking and you need to crack them off to dig out your meal, of course. hahaha...... 

Well, it's all worth it though !  It tastes so much difference from the common steamed chicken. The smell and taste of angelica root and wine has totally infused into the chicken, and the meat is absolutely scrumptious & tender. My boy took half bird. So, do I need to explain more ! >o<  Another winner indeed. Hope you guys will love it too. Enjoy !

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