Thursday, 29 October 2015

Old School Birthday Cake (Chocolate)



It's my elder sister birthday today. So I decided to bake a cake for her. We seldom celebrate our birthdays during our childhood coz cakes are a luxury back then. Now we can have cakes everyday. Today I decided to take a walk down memory lane and bake an old school cake with wafer roses and chocolate rice like back in those good old days.


Old School Birthday Cake

Chocolate Sponge Cake

Ingredients for the sponge cake:

(A) 4 egg yolks
      100 ml corn oil
      100 ml water
      1 tbsp chocolate paste
      100 gms sponge cake mix or optima flour
      100 gms plain flour or Hong Kong flour
      3 tbsp cocoa powder
      1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

(B) 4 egg whites
      100 gms sugar

Method:

Mix ingredients (A) in a mixing bowl and stir till smooth using a hand whisk.
Beat (B) till stiff.
Scoop some of the egg yolks choc mixture into the egg white and combine.
Then transfer the remaining chocolate mixture to the egg white and combine well.
Pour into a 8 inch round pan and bake at 175° for 40 - 45 mins.
Cool before frosting.
Divide the cake into 3 layers. Use a palate knife and spread the buttercream on the cake.
Smoothen the buttercream and pipe rosettes on the edge of the cake.
Coat the sides of the cake with chocolate rice and pipe rosettes at the base of the cake.
Decorate with wafer roses and pipe leaves around the roses.
Refrigerate till serve.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

3 egg whites
250 gms butter ( cubed)
150 gms margarine (cubed)
100 gms sugar

Method:

Place sugar and egg whites in a bowl and place over boiling water in a pot.
Use a hand whisk to stir the sugar until melted.
Take away from the pot and whisk the mixture until stiff and cool.
Add in the butter and margarine and beat till smooth.
Leave aside for further use.

 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Cereal Prawns





Cereal prawns is a favourite in restaurants and Zhi Char stalls in Singapore and Malaysia.
This is a must cook dish on the dining table every CNY. I learnt to cook this dish from a TV programme and I did an agaration on the amount of ingredients used for the cereal mix . Nestum cereal is the main ingredient used in this dish and I heard people said that this is the weirdest dish ever invented.


Cereal Prawns

Ingredients ;


300 gms medium prawns ( trimmed)
1/4 tsp salt / pepper
1/2 an egg (beaten)
2 tbsps flour
2 tbsp butter
a few sprigs of curry leaves
3 chilli padi

Cereal mix

6 tbsp Nestum cereal
1 tbsp coffeemate or milk powder
1 tsp icing sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients well.
Leave aside for later use.

Method:

Marinade prawns with salt and pepper. Let it marinade for 20 mins then add in egg and mix well.
Sieve in the flour and coat the prawns evenly with the flour.
Fry the prawns till golden brown and transfer to a paper towel lined plate.
Heat up the butter in a pan and add in the chilli padi and curry leaves.
Fry over medium heat till fragrant and add in cereal mix.
Lower the heat and fry till cereal turn golden brown.
Transfer the prawns to the cereal and mix well.
Dish up onto a plate and serve hot.






Saturday, 24 October 2015

Cornflakes Cookies




One of my favorite Chinese New Year cookies. Many requested for this cookies during festive seasons. Crushed cornflakes are added and this cornflakes are what that made these cookies so crunchy. Sometimes brandy soaked raisins are added. Red and green cherries bits are placed on top to give the cookies the festive look. All my cookies recipes are straightforward and easy to follow.


Cornflakes Cookies

Ingredients:

250 gms butter    
375gm self raising flour              
80gms sugar/ 80gms brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
100gms cornflakes (crushed with a rolling pin)                              
1small egg.    

Method:

 Preheat oven to 170.
 Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy add in vanilla essence.
Add in the egg( do not use big egg or else the cookies will not hold it's shape and will spread) Slowly add in the s.r.flour and cornflakes alternately.
 Mix to a slightly wet dough.
 Drop a tsps of batter onto a lined greased tray and flattened the cookies dough.
 Make sure to spaced out the cookies( will doubled in size) Placed  cut cherries on top and bake for 10-15 mins or until golden brown.
Cookies will be soft when you take out from oven but will harden when cooled.
Happy baking!!




Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Chocolate Chips Cookies






Another Chinese New Year cookie recipe. This is one of the many recipes that I learn from the Community Centre. Not as famous as Famous Amos but it's famous in my own circle of family and friends. Very simple recipe but yumz and crispy.


Chocolate Chips Cookies

250 gms butter              
350 gms self raising flour ( sieved )
80 gms brown sugar
80 gms fine sugar
100 gms walnut (chopped)
80 gms chocolate chips
1egg ( 50 - 55 gms)

Method:                          

Cream butter and sugars till white and fluffy.
Add in the egg (use a small egg or else cookie will be flat).        
Add in the self raising flour and mix well.
Lastly add in the chopped walnuts and choc chips.
Using a teaspoon scoop little balls of mixture onto greased lined trays.
Make sure to keep them apart or else they will all stick together.
Flatten the cookies and stick a few choc chips on top.          
Bake in a preheated oven (170°) for 10-15 mins or until golden brown.
Cool before storing.




Sunday, 18 October 2015

Traditional Pineapple Tarts




Pineapple Tarts is one cookie one can never get tired of. This recipe uses both butter and.  ghee ( clarified butter). It will have a melt in the mouth texture. My sister learnt this recipe from her Malay makcik neighbour. This is one recipe that I hope will passed on and not be lost. My this recipe was published in a SCS cookbook ' Homemade With Love'.

Traditional Pineapple Tarts

600gms plain flour  
250gms butter
100gms ghee
2 eggs
1 kg homemade pineapple paste

Method:

Sift flour into a bowl, add in cubed butter, ghee and rubbed together ingredients till resembles breadcrumbs.
Then add in eggs and knead into a dough.
Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cutter.
Crimp the sides with the crimper and top with a ball of pineapple paste.
Roll little balls of pastry into strips for the lattice on top of the tarts.
Bake tarts in a preheated oven at 160° for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.
Cool tarts before storing.





Mi - Chang / Rice puff Crackers




Mi - Chang or Bee Pang is another name for this Chinese snack. Similar recipe to Sajima but puffed rice are used instead of the egg noodles. I bought the puffed rice from a Indian shop in Little India. It's not easy to make your own puffed rice and it costs only $1.20 for a packet of 200gms.  So better to buy than diy. I added cashewnuts instead of peanuts and also added fried sesame seeds. Just as yummy as Sajima.


Puffed Rice Crackers

Ingredients:

 (A) 200 gms puffed rice
       100gms fried cashewnut
        50 gms fried sesame seeds

(B) 750 ml water
       350 gms of sugar
       1 tbsp maltose
       I tbsp lime juice
       40 ml corn oil

Method:

Cook ingredients (B) in a wok over medium heat for 30 mins till mixture turns to a thick syrup.
Test it by dropping a drop into cold water.
If it solidify then it's ready.
Pour the puffed rice and cashewnuts into the wok and mix well.
Pour into a oil greased 14 × 14 inch tray and pressed mixture down.
Can also use a rolling pin to compact mixture.
Cool and cut into squares for storage.




     


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Ham Chim Peng




Ham Chim Peng or Chinese donuts is a deepfried bread snack popular in Singapore. The only complication to making ham chim peng is to make a starter dough. We can either made it sweet or savoury. I have always wanted to make Ham Chim Peng and came across this recipe in a Yum Yum Magazine.

Ham Chim Peng

Starter dough

100 gms plain flour
150 ml water
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast

Method:

Mix all ingredients and leave aside for 2 hours to proof.
Cover with a wet towel

5 spice seasoning for the salty Ham Chim Peng

Ingredients:

1tsp salt
1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 tbsp water

Mix ingredients together and leave aside for later use.


Ingredients for dough:

1 portion starter dough
300gms plain flour
120 gms sugar
140 ml water
1/4 tsp alkaline ( optional )
1tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp oil

Method:

Combine all the ingredients above in a bowl and slowly add in water.
Do not pour in all the water first or else you will get a very wet dough.
Use a wooden spoon to mix the dough because it will be sticky.
Knead into a smooth dough and leave aside for 15 mins.
After 15 mins , roll out the dough into 1 cm thick.
Brush with the 5 spice powder and roll like swiss roll.
Cut into 2 cm slices and use a roller to flatten.
Rest for 15 mins to let the dough rise.
Heat up 5 cups of oil and fry the ham chim peng over medium fire until golden brown.
Dish up onto kitchen towels to drain away oil.




Note : If you want a red bean ham chim peng divide dough into portions. Flatten dough and put in red bean. Roll back into a ball and flatten with a roller. Pat some water on dough and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Rainbow Pineapple Tarts






Pineapple tarts are a must in every home during Chinese New Year. I chance upon this recipe in a Baking group and fell in love with it. I couldn't resist the beautiful and lovely colors. The traditional pineapple tarts are made with butter, ghee and plain flour. But this recipe uses corn flour. So it's quite crumbly and a  melt in the mouth type of tarts. The best thing about this recipe is that you don't need a mould. Just use your hands to shape and crimp. Or also can use a piping nozzle tip 106 to pipe out the tart base.




                                       



Rainbow Pineapple Tarts

Ingredients for Filling:

3 pineapples
400 gms sugar
2 pandan leaves

Method:

Grate pineapples finely and leave in a sieve to drain away some of water.
Transfer to a pot and cook over medium heat till water evaporates.
Add in sugar, pandan leaves and cook till dry. Remember to stir occasionally this or else it will burn.
Cool before using.

Ingredients for dough:

300 gms plain flour
3 tbsps icing sugar
3 tbsp corn flour
200 gms butter (cubed)
2 egg yolks

Method:

Sieve the icing sugar, corn flour and plain flour into a mixing bowl.
Add in the cubed butter and mix until like breadcrumbs.
Add in the egg yolks. Knead lightly into a dough.
Divide dough into 3 parts and add desired colouring.
Leave aside for 10 mins. Pinch out 10 gms dough.
Roll into a ball and make a dent in the middle.
Crimp sides of tarts with a pastry crimper.
Top with a pineapple ball and bake in a 160°preheated oven for 15 - 20 mins.
Leave tarts to cool on racks before storing.


Note: I used a star nozzle to pipe the pattern on the tarts. Using the same non coloured dough.




Monday, 12 October 2015

Kueh Makmur




Kueh Makmur is a traditional Malay kueh. It's a peanut filled cookie shaped like a leaf and coated with icing sugar. The dough is made of flour, butter, ghee and icing sugar. Some recipe uses butter also. But my recipe uses butter and ghee. This is a popular cookie or kueh during Hari Raya and Chinese New Year.



Kueh Makmur

Ingredients:

300gms flour      
125gms butter    
50gms ghee  
40gms icing sugar

Filling:

150gms chopped peanuts    
75gms sugar

Method:

Sieve flour and icing sugar.
Add in butter and ghee.
Knead into a dough and roll into balls and fill with peanuts.
Shape into a leaf and and crimp patterns on the leaf.
Bake in a preheated oven(160°) for 15-20 mins or until golden brown.
Remove from oven and sieve icing sugar over the makmurs.




Sunday, 11 October 2015

Chilli Bak Kwa




Bakkwa or Rougan is a dried meat product or jerky that is sweet and salty.  It is made from pork or beef which are season with salt , sugar spices and soy sauce. The meat is season and spread thinly on a tray and bake. Then cut into square slices and grill till desired charness. Homemade is different from store bought but healthier. It's very popular during CNY. People buy Bakkwa as gifts during Chinese New Year.


Chilli Bak Kwa

Ingredients:

300gms minced pork
50 gms brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tsp rice wine
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp dark soya sauce
1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
2 tbsp sambal chilli
A pinch of char siew orange colouring
1tbsp maltose mixed with 1/2 tbsp water for glazing

Method:

Put minced pork into a mixing bowl.
Add in all the ingredients except maltose.
Mix and beat the minced pork with a wooden spoon for 10 mins till gooey.
Leave in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
After 3 hours spread mixture on a lined tray and placed a plastic sheet on top to roll out the mixture into a thin layer.
Preheat the oven for 10 mins at 160°.
 Bake for 20 mins . Let it cool for 10 mins.
Cut ito 6 squares and brush with the maltose water.
Put back into the oven to bake for 10 - 15 mins at 180° or till your desired charness.
Flip over to the other side and brush with maltose water when one side is done.
Do not walk away when you are baking the slices of Bak kwa because it will burn easily.
Transfer to a plate to cool before storing.






Note: This is the Char siew colouring that I used.






Kok Chye / Peanut Puffs





This is my first post on CNY cookies. My mak taught me this recipe. It's a very traditional recipe that I will share. I will start with Kok Chye first because it's a best seller during CNY. I will get lots of requests for it. It's time consuming but worth the time and effort. To make perfect kok chye needs many years of experience. To shaping the dough into a bowl , putting in enough filling  and pleating the edges. The edges must be seal well so that the kok chye won't open their mouth and smile at you during fying. Nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it.

Kok chai

Ingredients:

300gm plain flour.            
1/2 bowl knife brand cooking oil ( 6 tbsps)
1/2 bowl water or more, depending on the moisture in the flour

Method:    

Sieve the flour into a bowl and slowly add in the oil.
Mix until like breadcrumbs then slowly add in the water.
Add in water bit by bit. Don't pour in all at once.
Knead into a smooth dough.
Leave aside for 10 mins.
Pinch off desired amount of dough and shape into a bowl.
Spoon in peanut filling and seal edges.
Pleat the edges and finish the rest of the dough.
Heat up oil and fry till golden brown.
Cool before storing.

Peanut filling

300 gms chopped peanuts
100 - 150 gms sugar
Fried sesame seeds ( optional)

Method :

Mix peanut and sugar together.
Set aside for later use.








Saturday, 10 October 2015

Belachan pork



Belachan pork is a stirfried pork recipe that is passed on to me by my mak. It's a very unique dish.The gravy is so shiok with steaming hot rice.I used this recipe for a cooking competition organised by Straits Times many years ago but  lost to a duck recipe because the judge is an angmo. I guess he doesn't like the smell and taste of belachan. But this is one recipe my family love. I hope to passed on this recipe from generation to generation.

Belachan Pork

Ingredients:

300gms lean pork
1 tbsp shredded ginger
 1 red chilli  (sliced )
1 tbsp toasted belachan

Method:

Sliced the pork thinly and leave aside. Heat up 1 tsp oil and fry the ginger and chilli for a minute add in the belachan.
Fry until the belachan is broken up finely. Then add 100ml water to mix well before adding in the pork.
Add more water for more gravy and let the mixture comes to a boil.
Do not cook for too long or the meat will be tough.
No need to add salt as the belachan is salty.
Serve with steaming hot rice.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Kueh Dadar




Kueh Dadar is a sweet gula melaka oconut pancake roll. No idea if it is a Nyonya or Malay kueh. This kueh dadar pancake recipe taught by my mak is made of only plain flour, eggs and water. A simple and yet delicious kueh using simple ingredients. There's also a coconut sauce to go with the kueh dadar. Being homemade we can adjust the sweetness of the gula melaka added to the coconut. This is the kind of kueh dadar I grew up eating. The kind my mak would make for us every weekend. It's a walk down memory lane for me today while making this kueh.


Kueh Dadar

Pancake

150 gms plain flour
200 ml water
1 egg
A pinch of salt
1 tbsp of pandan juice or bluepea flowers colouring

Method:

Sift the flour with the pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.
Add in the egg, pandan juice and water. Use a hand whisk and whisk to form a smooth dough.
Set aside for awhile.
Heat up a nonstick pan and pour batter onto pan.
Swirl to form a circle. Flip to other side when you see the colour change on pancake.
Remove to a plate and add in the gula melaka coconut.
Roll like a spring roll. Finish with the rest of the pancake. Serve with a coconut sauce.


Filling:

200 gms grated white coconut
4 tbsp gula melaka
I tbsp water

Method:

Melt gula melaka and water in a pan.
Add in coconut and fry till dry.
Remove and let it cool.






Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Kway Chap




Kway chap is a classic and traditional Teochew dish of broad rice sheets in a braised pork soup served with braised belly pork, square beancurd puffs ( taupok) and braised eggs. It's a famous breakfast dish in Singapore.


Lor Bak or Braised Pork Belly

Ingredients:

500 gms pork belly, cut into three long sections
8 cloves of garlics
1 sprig spring onion (sectioned)
1|4 tsp five spice powder
2 tsp sugar
1|2 tsp salt
4 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp dark soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 litres of water

Method:

Pour water into a heavy bottom pot and bring water to a boil.
Add in the sauces, garlics and spring onion.
Add in the pork belly and let it comes to a boil.
Lower the fire and continue to cook for half to 1 hour for the pork to softens over small fire.
Add in seasonings and adjust the taste to your liking.
Top up water if  necessary.
Add in hard boiled eggs and square taupok to cook in gravy for 10 ~ 15 mins.  Turn off fire, cut pork belly, taupok and eggs.

How to serve kway chap.

Blanch the kway chap. Transfer to a bowl.
Ladle soup on kway chap and garmish with fried onions and spring onions.
Serve with the lor bak ingredients and garlic chilli.




Garlic chilli

Ingredients:

50gms red chilli
5 cloves garlic
1|2 tsp salt
3|4 tsp sugar
100ml water

Method:

Put all ingredients in a blender except salt and sugar.
Blend till fine and transfer to a pot.
Add in salt, sugar and cook over low fire till mixture boils.
Let chilli cools down before storing.