Thursday, April 17, 2014

Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake


I am losing my blogging mojo.. dont know where has it gone to. I am not really that busy and am now hoping just to catch up and revive that blogging momentum of mine. I have seen few of my blogger friends made this during the Nigella Lawson - Cook Lika A Star event, sometime last year and they were all happy about this cake. I made this last month and tell you, i am a lousy blogger. I cant even find my notes when i jotted it down somewhere on my little book, the texture and the baking time.. All i can remember is that it is a nice cake, not entirely bursting with flavours but a simple and good enough for a chocolate cake that comes with some hint of oranges. I am sure you will like it too.


Recipe ( from kitchen flavours, adapted from the book, Nigella Kitchen )
i made this in a 9"x5" loaf pan
160gm unsalted butter, oftened, plus extra for greasing
2 tbsps golden syrup ( such as Lyle's ) or dark corn syrup
3/4 cup dark or light brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbps good quality unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
2 eggs
zest of 2 oranges and juice of 1 orange

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325F/163C and line your loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the sides.
Beat the soft butter with syrup, if you dab a little oil on the syrup spoon, the syrup shouldnt stick to the spoon and beat till you have a fairly smooth cafe americano cream, though the sugar will have a bit grit on it.
Mix the flour, baking soda, cocoa powder together and beat into the syrup mixture 1 tablespoon of these dry ingredients before beating in 1 egg. Then add another few spoonfuls of dry ingredients before beating in the 2nd egg.
Carry on beating the remaining dry ingredients and then add in the orange zest and juice. The batter may look dimpled or slightly curdled but it's okay.
Pour and scrap the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 mins, though check 5 mins before and can keep in the oven 5 mins longer if needed. The cake tester may not come out entirely clean as this point of the cake though light, there;s a hint of inner stickiness. Let cool a little in its pan on the wire rack and then turn out with care and leave completely to cool on the rack.



I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event organised by Bake for Happy KidsMy Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Ann of Anncoo Journal


Also linking this post to Cook Like A Star organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, co hosting with Joyce of Kitchen Flavours and Mich of Piece of Cake


Monday, March 31, 2014

Indonesian Fried Noodles ( Bakmie Goreng ) and a Meetup


Here's a simple fried noodle dish , in indonesia it'a called Bakmie Goreng, their version of Chow Mein. In Indonesia, yellow noodles is one commonly used type of noodles and besides that, i also see quite a number of bakmie goreng which uses air dried noodles. So if we're using air dried noodles, we just do it like how we normally boil the air dried noodles till they are cook and then fry with the rest of the ingredients. Chicken meat is also commonly used in noodle dish as the majority population there are Muslims, you can use pork or any seafood if you like. There's no stock required, the initial sauteing of the onions and garlic and also the seasoning from the sweet soya sauce and fish sauce already made it a very tasty noodle dish.

Recipe adapted from here with some changes made


Ingredients
250gm yellow noodles
napa cabbage 60gm, cut into 1/4 inch width
2-3 bok choy leaves
10 prawns, peeled
80gm chicken meat
2 eggs
3-4 tbsp kicap manis ( sweet soy sauce )
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
3 shallots
2 cloves garlic
3tbsp cooking oil
some cut chilli ( optional )

Directions
Pound the shallots and garlic together. Heat up oil in wok and add in the pounded ingredients and fry till aromatic. Add in the chicken meat and prawns and cook till done Break the egg in and cook, stir a little and cook till done.  Put in the vegetables and cook till they are soft then add in the noodles, chilli, kicap manis and fish sauce. Give them a good stir and mix well. Remove from wok.


I am linking this post to Asian Food Fest : Indonesia ( March 2014 ) hosted by Alice of I Love. I Cook. I Bake


Just over the weekend, i had a meet up with some of our friends here at Gertrude's place. Gertrude or some of you may know her as Gert, runs her blog My Kitchen Snippets. She is one of the earliest who started blogging among our circle here, back in 2006 and is still blogging actively now. She has tons of delicious recipes in her blog, do drop by and visit. Gert is just coming back to Malaysia for holidays and will be returning to US next week, very happy to meet her for the first time. So everyone contributed something to the lunch gathering and here are some photos..

photo courtesy of Jen@Chasing Food Dreams



from Lto R : Jen ( Chasing Food Dreams )Abbygail ( Abbygail's Kitchen )Wendy ( Table for 2..or more )Shannon ( Just As Delish )Gertrude ( My Kitchen Snippets ),  Swee San ( The Sweet Spot )
Pic courtesy of Jen

Shannon said it's a good view from the top but oi shannon! please dont fall on the food..we still havent eaten yet :D

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Marbled Butter Cake


It is always exciting making a marble cake, not so much excited into eating it but rather more excited to see how the marble turns out when the cake is cut. It's fun doing the marbling thing. I have baked 2 marble cakes, both Martha Stewart's recipes; well actually the 2nd recipe i got it from Sharon's site, using Martha's recipe as a guide, some changes has been made. One uses cocoa powder and the 2nd one uses semisweet chocolate or dark choc in mine. It has been a while since i last baked and when i started back to bake , i baked 3 marble cakes. One flopped and these 2 made it. No, not that i'm obsessed with marble cakes but just trying out to see if i can achieve a better looking swirls.

this is the 1st one that uses cocoa powder


this is the 2nd one with chocolate. Chocolate Marble Cake

The 1st one looks pretty okay to me and the 2nd one ( call it chocolate marble cake )..hmm..the pattern didnt turn out as appealing as the 1st one. What i did to the first cake was basically follow the steps in making a zebra cake, put the plain batter on the centre of the loaf pan, followed by the cocoa batter on top of it, i do need to tilt the pan left and right a little to spread it out. And what i did the the chocolate marble one was just dollop the plain and chocolate batter here and there. Both of these cakes are nice, they are moist and soft but if i really hv to pick one, i will choose the chocolate marble cake, it is more tender and the tastes better...so in the end..it is still the taste that matters, my less attractive one wins..hehe..


Recipe ( from marthastewart.com )
113gm butter , softened
220gm cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt ( omitted )
1 cup sugar ( reduced to 150gm )
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup buttermilk
1/4cup plus 1 tbsp dutch processed cocoa powder

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350F/177C and butter and line a 9"x5" loaf pan. Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Mix in vanilla, add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Set aside 1/3 of the batter.
3.In a bowl, mix cocoa powder and 1/4plus 2 tbsp boiling water until smooth. Add the cocoa mixture to the reserved 1/3 cake batter, stir until well combined.
4. Spoon batter into prepared pans, alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and cocoa mixture or any way you like to create a marble effect. Bake, rotating halfway until a cake tester comes out clean 40-50 minutes, transfer pan to rack for 10 minutes, turn out can from pan and cool completely on the rack.


Chocolate Marble Cake ( from featsoffeasts , adapted slightly from marthastewart.com )
Ingredients
225gm salted butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
11/4cup all purpose flour
`/2tsp salt ( omitted )
3/4tsp baking powder
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract ( omitted )
1 cup milk
4 oz semi sweet chocolate /bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Directions
1. Butter and line a 9"x5" loaf pan, In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate.
2.Preheat oven to 180C ( i set mine at 175C) . Sift together flour, baking powder and salt
3. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, making sure each egg is properly mixed in before adding the next one. Add in vanilla.
4.Add in the flour and milk in alternate batches. Flour first and then milk and so on.
5. Pour half of the cake batter into the melted chocolate. Fold in gently till well mixed. Drop large spoonfuls of chocolate batter, then plain batter till the pan is filled. Using your spatula or a knife, swirl the batter gently in number 8 motion only once or swirl anyway to create marble effect.
6. Bake for 1.5hrs. ( I baked mine for 1 hour and 15mins ) and if the top seems brown quickly, cover with foil. Check the cake after an hour to see if the cake is done. Remove from oven and when it's a little cooler, remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.



 If you are interested in making a marble cake, join JoyceZoe and myself and link it us by March 29 2014. It can be any flavour you wish, chocolate, cocoa, matcha, coffee...Bake Along will be taking another break in the month of April and will be back with Chocolate Cake Theme for our 3rd Anniversary on May05, 2014.  hope yo see you joining us. Cheers! get the InLinkz code


Also linking this post to Cook Like A Star, All Stars Anniversary organised by ZoeJoyce and also Mich of Piece of Cake


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Cream Cheese Brownies



Hi, it is a little difficult to start writing after being away from blogging for a month. I was telling my bake along buddies,  Joyce  and Zoe that i might still be taking a break if it's not for the post today. Please excuse me for not dropping by at any of your blogs , i know i have a lot to catch up, give me time yaa :)

This cream cheese brownies recipe comes from the book, 'How to be a Domestic Goddess' by Nigella Lawson and it is a little unusual that instead of blending the cream cheese mixture for brownies, the cream cheese here got to be cold and then slice them thinly and layer them in between the brownies mixture. I have to tell you that i was having a not so easy time slicing the cold cream cheese, it was quite messy and got a little frustrated that i didnt use all the cream cheese required :) These brownies are quite delicious and because that i didnt use all the cream cheese, the taste of cream cheese was just a little mild. I know if i put in all the cream cheese that was called for, it would have tasted even better.


Recipe ( from How to be A Domestic Goddess , page 194)
this is halved recipe, you can refer to Joyce for full recipe )
2oz bittersweet chocolate
56gm butter
1 large egg
60gm sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract ( skipped )
20gm plus 1 tbsp all purpose flour
pinch of salt
3 oz cold cream cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 350F/177C.  Melt the butter and chocolate over medium to low heat in a heavy based saucepan. While waiting for it to melt, idly beat the eggs in a bowl with the sugar and vanilla. Measure the flour into another bowl and add in the salt. When the chocolate mixture has all but completely melted, take the pan off the heat. The bits of unmelted butter and chocolate will continue to dissolve if left. Leave to cool slightly before beating in the eggs and sugar. Finally, add the flour and beat until smooth. Pour half the mixture into the pan, slice the cream cheese as thinly as you can and top the brownies mixture in the pan with these cheese slices. Pour over the remaining half of the brownie mixture, using a rubber spatula to make sure each bit of cheese is covered. Then put in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, the top should be slightly pale ( mine was not ) and dry, but a cake tester poked within should reveal a still sticky center. Cool for about 10 minutes before cutting them into squares.




While i was away, here are some of the photos taken during a trip to Ha Giang, Vietnam. Ha Giang is a province located at the far north of Vietnam and it contains Vietnam northernmost point where it shares the border with China. It is a highly mountainous region and travelling within the province is not easy. I was told that this province is recently opened up to travellers from abroad but still there are certain areas that we were required a permit to enter. It is also regarded as one of the poorest region in the country and during the trip, we were able to visit the villages and meet the local ethnic minorities from this region and see their way of life....

These are some that i managed to share as i still havent sorted out all the photos yet. Hope you enjoy.


the mountains..






a boy was kind enough to let me into his house to take photo of the cooking area...


and his room..



another nice man who was willing to stop to let us took pics of him..and his donkey..


From what we saw, there is fairly a large number of  the local tribes that had to walk a long distance to the market to sell their goods..



at the market..



even women from the mountains love shopping , ok?


these are items for prayers


this is the kitchen of a shop where we had one of our meals..




2 young ladies doing a traditional dance..the dog too! :D



works at field..







the faces of children...



learning to shoot...:)



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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Baked Pork Chop with Rice ( 焗豬扒飯 )




This is a dish that is good enough not just for adults only to eat but it's kids friendly too. Regarded as one classic and popular dish that can be found in many HK's style cafe, this tasty dish is made up of few portions that is fried rice at the bottom, then on top of that comes pieces of fried pork cutlet, covered with some tangy tomato ketchup and lastly a layer of melted cheese at the top. The next time when i cook this, i am going to bake the dish a little bit longer so that the cheese gets really golden and perhaps more cheese. Apart from that, i am pretty happy with the taste



I would like to say thank you to all who have participated in our Bake Along Chinese New Year Cookies Event, thanks for your support , i hope to drop by your blogs and the rest in the next few days after i get myself more organised with all the Chinese New Year preparation. Hopefully we can get some inspiration from one another cos i know some of you are still baking. So here i would like to wish all of you who are celebrating CNY,  have a wonderful Chinese New Year celebration, May the Year of the Horse bring us all good health and prosperity, a cheerful year and Gong Xi Fa Cai!


Recipe ( from The Missing Lokness ) with some changes made
Ingredients
3 bowls of cooked rice
2 pieces of pork chop, pork cutlet
1 medium sized onion, cut into wedges
1 tomato, cut into widges
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsps plain flour
1 cup of shredded mozarella cheese
salt and pepper for seasoning the meat
oil for frying

Sauce
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup of anchovies stock ( or chicken stock )
1tbsp sugar, or to taste
1tbsp soy sauce , or to taste
1tbsp Worcheshire sauce

Method:
1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and set aside.
2. Pat dry the pork chops and season with salt and pepper, leave for 30 mins.
3. In a large pan, heta up 1 tbsp of oil and pour in 1/2 of the beaten egg. Scramble the eggs until almost cook through, add the rice and stir fry with a spatula. Add in 2 tbsps of beaten egg into the rice , season with some salt. Transfer the rice into a baking dish.
4. In 2 plates, place flour and the balance of the beaten eggs separately. Pour enough oil into a large frying pan . Dip the pork chop into the beaten egg and then into the flour and fry the pork chop till they are cook through. Drain with paper towels. Cut them into strips and place them onto the baking dish on top of the fried rice
5. Lastly, heat up some oil in the pan and cook the onions till they are slightly softened.. Add the tomatoes and , stir and cook till they are softened. Pour in the sauce and let cook for about 2 minutes. Taste and see if more sugar and soy sauce are needed. .
6. Remove from heat and pour the sauce over the pork chop and fried rice. Scatter with shredded cheese and bake in a preheated oven at 220C for about 15 mins or until cheese is golden brown. ( I  baked them for around 8 minutes till the cheese has all melted. )


I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Hong Kong and Macau ) Jan/Feb 2014 hosted by Annie of Annielicious Food


Also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Alice of ILove ICook IBake with the theme " Cheese"

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Salted Egg Yolk Cookies



These cookies are rather unique for me. Well if you ask me whether do they really taste like salted egg, i will tell you no but there is this taste that i find it hard to describe, savoury kind , not really saltish but tasty and nice. Once in melts in the mouth, the unique saltishness lingers in my mouth that makes me want another piece. Yeah...one fellow in the house commented that it is actually quite addictive.


I have attempted making these cookies last year from another recipe but somehow it didnt turn out the way i like them, they were a little bit light for me, in terms of texture though they were tasty and i think i overbaked them too then. One of my girlfriends made the same cookies but she liked them. So i am very keen to make them again, almost a similar recipe , just small changes. They are still light but not as light as previously and funny thing is that, i find that the texture gets better after several days..a little more solid..i cant understand why but it's good. Crispy and almost melt in the mouth.


Recipe ( from We Dare Food ) with slight changes
original recipe and my half recipe in blue
250gm plain flour ( 125gm plain flour )
20gm corn flour ( 10gm corn flour )
1/4tsp baking powder ( 1/8tsp baking powder )
1/8tsp baking soda ( omitted )
4 cooked salted egg yolks , mashed ( i used 2  )
170gm butter, softened ( 85gm butter )
80gm sugar ( 40gm )
black and white sesame seeds ( optional )

glaze : 1 egg yolk

Method:
1. Sift together plain flour, corn flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and salt till sugar is dissolved.
3. Add in the mashed salted egg yolks and sifted flour, mix to a soft pliable dough (mine is not pliable, soft but manageable). If dough is too soft, wrap in cling film and keep in the refrigerator for 30 mins.
4. Line baking tray with baking paper and preheat oven to 170C
5. You can divide the dough into 2 and then keep one dough in the fridge while you are working on the other dough. Place the dough between 2 plastic sheets and roll out dough to 5mm thickness ( i rolled mine to 2-3mm as it will expand a little bit during baking ) and cut them using your desired cookie cutter. Apply glaze , sprinkle some sesame seeds and bake for about 15-20 mins ( The dough is quite soft and i have used a small spatula to lift them up to the baking tray and i baked mine for 16 mins.)


Here i am baking Chinese New Year cookies along with Joyce and zoe, the linky will be opened till Jan27. Please do check out other recipes shared by my other blogger friends in the linky below. Thanks.


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