Friday, 31 January 2014

Valentine Hearts and Roses

Valentine's day is just 13 days away.

An idea came to me this morning using our new year Bak Kwa n eggs n parsley.

Fry an egg seasoned with Kikkoman soy sauce.
Roll the egg up n cut into 5 sections. 
Unroll each piece n roll again slightly angled to give it rose petal effects.
Wash n tear up some stalks of parsley n line the plate.
Put the roses on the plate next to the parsley leaves.
Use a biscuit heart cutter to cut out the bak kwa hearts - I used Fragrance brand bak kwa - soft n tasty.
Plate like my photo. 
Enjoy with your loved one.

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Baked Scallops

These scallops are baked n so easy to do. They remained sweet n juicy!

Thaw the frozen scallops according to packet instructions.

Heat the oven to 170c.
Oil the baking tray with olive oil. 
Pat dry all the scallops.
Place them on tray n scatter chopped garlic, salt n garlic powder on them.
Bake for about 15 minutes.
You can also add pepper if you wish.

Stewed Lion's Head meatballs

These meatballs are tasty on their own but as it is Chinese New Year - I had decided to use meatballs to make Lion's Head Stew.


Ingredients for meatballs part 1
Minced pork about 450gm
Sesame oil 1/2 tsp
Some white pepper
Salt about 3/4 tsp
Fine sugar 1 tsp
Hua Tiao wine 1.5 tsp
Kikkoman Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
Chopped spring onion 2 pcs
Grated ginger 1/2 tsp
Corn flour 2 tbsp n 1 tsp
3-4 Water chestnuts skin removed n chopped not too fine 

Use the above by mixing n form about 20 pcs of meat balls.
Slightly coat them with a light coat of extra corn flour before frying.
Fry with oil at low- medium heat.
Brown one side before flipping to brown other side.
Change the oil after frying 2 batches.

Part 2
Wong bok 400 gm cut to smaller pcs.
Vermicelli 2 pcs from a packet n soaked in water till soften. Hot water can hasten the process 
Chicken stock 1.5 cups or more if preferred 
1 tsp Kikkoman soy sauce
A few slices of ginger
Some corn starch to thicken gravy
Cooking oil

Use a claypot n warm up some oil inside - about 2 tablespoons
Add ginger n fry short while 
Add Wong bok n fry
Add softened vermicelli n fry till Wong bok softens 
Add the chicken stock , soy sauce n meatballs.
Mix evenly
Add the cornstarch in n stir.
Cover n cook about 10 mins.

Serve warm.

I am mixing the ingredients

Mix the ingredients in one direction as advised in cookbooks

Fry both sides till brown

The inside of meatballs 

Vermicelli (dang hoon) soaked till softened use 2 rolls

Wong Bok - used about 400gm

Pan fry in the pot some ginger then add cut up wongbok stir fry. 
Then add the vermicelli n chicken stock 
1.5 cups.

After frying a while add in the meat balls 

Mix n Cover n simmer for 5-10 mins.
Best served warm and the vermicelli will absorb the gravy inside if served late.
You can add extra chicken stock if preferred if it becomes too dry.

Prosperity Pomfret

Chinese New Year reunion dinner is celebrated in my home today n fish is a must.

Today I tried a recipe from my cookbook Gourmet of Fortune.

It is so easy to do n is so delicious!

1 pomfret (800 gm to 1000gm)
20 gm shredded ginger
20 wolfberries 
Some chopped spring onion
3000 ml water

2 tbsp light soy sauce ( I replaced with Kikkoman soy sauce)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp hua diao wine
1 tsp fragrant oil ( I omitted)

If your pomfret is smaller like mine I lessen the soy sauce n oyster sauce a little. My fish weighed about 550gm.

1. Clean the fish n remove entrails n rinse n make criss cross slits on it.

2. Bring water to a boil . Put the shredded ginger n wolfberries on top of fish.  ( I rubbed some oil on the plate before I placed the pomfret). Add in the oyster sauce n light soy sauce, cover n steam for 15 minutes.

3. Pour in sesame oil, hua diao wine n fragrant oil, sprinkle chopped spring onion on top n serve warm.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Koi fish jelly

This recipe is from Ann of Anncoo Journal simple ingredients to form these beautiful creations. You may check her recipe in this link
650 ml water
100g sugar I used caster sugar
8 g agar agar
2 pandan leaves 
5 large koi fish mold 
Raisins cut till quarters
A few bottles of colouring - red green n mango colour

Cut the raisins to quarters. Roll them up if you can to form tiny nibs to use as fish eyes.

Boil water, sugar, agar agar powder n pandan leaves together. Keep stirring until water boils using medium heat. Off the heat n stir the agar agar liquid for another 2-3 minutes. 

Put agar agar liquid under double boiler or low heat to prevent agar agar from setting quickly.

Using tweezers, dip the raisin into agar after liquid then place on the fish mold eyes.

Prepare small sauce dishes. Take 2 tsp of agar agar n add a drop of colour n mix with teaspoon. Quickly use the back of teaspoon to apply colour randomly to the fish mold body. If the colour sets , add more hot agar agar liquid to dilute it.

After the coloured liquid sets, pour in the plain agar agar in the fish mold.

Chill agar agar in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours or overnight before removing from the fish mold.

Note : you will need a soup bowl to hold up the fish mold

Agar agar powder

Mixing colours

Apply colours

More fishes
Using yellow agar agar powder

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Butter Cake with Almond Nibs

Fragrant Butter cake with almond nibs. 

I did so many cookies for the Chinese New Year, I needed a break. So I did Butter Cake. This helped to clear one block of butter from my fridge!

This is an easy butter cake recipe that uses 5 ingredients, almond nibs optional.

Recipe from Alex Goh cookbook using creaming method

250g Butter - softened
200g caster sugar
5 eggs
210 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

1. Cream the butter and sugar in the mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
2. Add eggs slowly and mix evenly.
3. Cream the batter till smooth and light.
4. Fold in the flour and baking powder till well blended using a spatula.
5. Pour the batter into a loaf tin ( I used my 9 inch round pan) and bake at 180C for about 50 minutes. Your cake tin should be greased and lined.

Optional - I scattered  almond nibs on the surface before I baked.

I used about 45 mins for my cake. Using the lower tray.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Pineapple Rolls

I am using a recipe from Phoon Huat baking class from 2009 but I can no longer find a certain butter in its store. 

Hence for this batch I have replaced with Golden Churn butter.
Recipe from Phoon Huat
No Machine Recipe
Butter salted 125gm
Plain Flour 160gm
Egg Yolk 1 no
Milk Powder 1 tablespoon
Caster Sugar 25gm
Vanilla Flavour 1/4 tsp
Pineapple Filling 200 gm for about 25 pcs
Egg wash - I used one egg yolk and 1/2 tablespoon milk beaten together.
1. Prepare your pineapple balls. Line your baking tray.
2. Mix the Butter (soften slightly and cut into pcs into mixing bowl) and sugar and vanilla and slowly add in the egg yolk.
3. Pour in the flour, milk powder, and mix into a dough.
4. Pinch from the dough and weigh to form 11gm.
5. Roll into ball and flatten lightly in the palm of your hand to form a circle.
6. Cover the pineapple filling with the pastry.
7. Shape into rectangular shape.
8. Roll it across the pattern shaper from one end to the other gently but with enough strength so that the pattern can be seen.
9. Apply with egg wash.
10. Bake at 180 or 170 for about 18-20 mins till golden colour.
11. You can apply the glaze again at about 12 mins.
12. For the Cornell oven, I used 160 convection mode 23 minutes middle tray.
Happy Baking!

This is Phoon Huat Pineapple Paste I bought this from Phoon Huat store

This is Bake King Brand Pineapple Paste
I bought this at Fairprice

You can shape the paste into 8 gm balls

Preparing the dough 

After kneading by hand

Just pinch a small ball weigh into 11 gm
Shape to ball n press into circle in your palm
Put in the pineapple ball n cover

Shape into bolster or rectangular shape n roll it down the pattern shaper

After rolling

Apply egg wash n bake

Original recipe is 180 for 20 mins or golden brown 

Using my cornell oven - I used 160 convection mode middle tray. 

You may line the trays for easier removal of the pineapple rolls.

A few of mine stuck to the tray.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Butter Cookies


These Butter Cookies are really quite tasty n I especially like it because this is my first "rounded" cookies.

This recipe is from Lurpak butter. 

I used unsalted butter n added 1/2 teaspoon of salt. 
I also used maple glazed crushed cashew nuts n baking chocolate.

The dough n cashew nuts n baking chocolate used

It was a challenge to use my new oven for this new recipe.

Finally made the best batch at 160 deg cel using convection mode n upper tray for 17 mins.

I attempted again using bake mode upper tray fan mode on 150 deg cel for 19 mins.

I also added a glaze using only beaten egg white to give it a golden shine.

Top n bottom of cookies nicely browned

Recipe in the following photo

Roasted cashew nuts n Hershey semi sweet chocolate 

All mixed in

Unglazed version  of cookies

I found it difficult to cut into slices so I shaped into balls instead

Do try them out today. Happy baking

In addition I also tried heart shaped cookies

These are my latest cookies 

350gm plain flour
125 gm icing sugar
Unsalted butter (slightly soften)1 block cut into cubes -today I used SCS butter
1 egg
About 3/4 tsp salt 
1 beaten egg for glaze

I sifted the flour, icing sugar n salt together
Added in the egg
Added in the slightly softened cubed butter
Knead into a dough by hand
Place the bowl into the fridge about 40 mins
Prepare your baking trays lined with grease proof baking paper 
Use a teaspoon to scoop n form into round
Press slightly on tray
Apply egg wash
You can decorate with toppings such as chocolate chip, almond nibs n whole almonds
Bake at preheated oven 150 degree celcius for about 19 mins at upper tray.

Please take note my temperature is much different from original temp given in recipe.
Please explore and adjust 
You can also just use egg white as glaze as in my first few batches

Happy baking :)

Friday, 3 January 2014

Crunchy Golden Almond Balls

These are crunchy almond balls - not the melt in your mouth type which uses icing sugar.
Almond Balls recipe from 

Ingredients used

The dough 

Before baking 

After baking