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Monday, May 4, 2015

Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I've seen cupcakes baked in ice cream cones in books but have never tried it.  Then one day, my daughter saw this on TV in one of Anna Olsen's episodes and requested that I replicate it for her.  Like most moms, of course, I said ok and did this for her.  Else, I'll never hear the end of her request.

It's actually quite fun to watch the whole family eating cupcake that looks like an ice cream.  This is great to serve at a party.  You can use any cupcake recipes and any frosting that you like.  Here, I made vanilla cupcake and lemon cream cheese frosting.  They tasted really good.

Get the flat-bottomed ice cream cone and fill them up 3/4 full. 

If you run out of ideas on what to do for your kids, do try making this.  They will be thrilled.


Sunday, March 8, 2015

Nastar (Pineapple Rolls)

Hey guys!  It's super hot Sunday today.. feels like wanna walk around in the house with bare minimum of clothing.!!  Of course it ain't gonna happen. :)

Or maybe I should just join my fishes in the pond eh! Lol . In Malaysia the weather is really unpredictable. It gets real hot in mid morning till the afternoon and sudden cloudiness in the late afternoon before it pours like crazy in the evening.  Even with the rain, some parts in Klang Valley are facing water rationing.

Chap Goh Mei, also known as the Chinese Valentine's Day in the Lunar calendar is the last day of Chinese New Year.  This was on Thursday, 4 days ago.  In one of my previous posts, I mentioned that I planned to make Nastar rolls for the Chinese New Year celebration and I did.  This is my first attempt and glad to say that it tasted quite good.  My sisters warned me that it's not that easy to make this cookie as the dough is difficult to manage.  Reason being, it's too soft and it breaks when piping out the dough.  With advanced cautioned and tips from my two lovely sisters, I googled for success stories.  Finally, I settled with this recipe from Amy Beh, a local chef.  I vouched that this recipe is GREAT and for amateurs like me where Nastar rolls are concerned, you can never go wrong with this. Only thing is that I added and extra 1/4 cup of flour to the dough.

Here's the recipe:

Pastry: (pastry does not yield many Nastars, I suggest you double this recipe)
150g butter
100g margarine
75g icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tap vanilla (I omitted this)
1/4 tsp salt

Sift together:
350g plain flour
50g cornflour

Combine and lightly beat for glaze:
1 egg yolk
1 tap condensed milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. water

(my version is really simple for the glaze:  whisked 1 whole egg and that's it)

450 g grated pineapple
200g caster sugar
1/2 tap pineapple essence
1/4 tsp. lemon essence

(my version for filling: 3 large pineapple peeled, cored and grate.  Cook in a wok and add sugar to taste.  You can add cloves if you like but it's optional.  Keep stirring until the moisture dries up and take off heat to cool.  Can be frozen for many months).

1. First and foremost, you need to prepare the filling ahead of time.  You can do this and freeze the filling.  Defrost to room temperature before use.
2. Pre heat oven to 180dC
3, Cream butter and margarine and sugar until light. Beat in egg yolks one at a time.  Add essence (if use), salt and beat until fluffy.
4.  Fold in sifted ingredients and mix into a soft pliable dough.
5. Put dough into a nastar mould and press into a strip of about 6-7cm length.  Place pineapple jam (roll into small balls - 10 cents coin) on one end, and roll up pastry similar to making sushi. Cut off excess pastry.  Place rolls in baking tray and glaze with egg wash.  Bake until it's golden brown.
Transfer to wire rack and let cool. 

You can google for the Nastar mould if you don't know how it looks like.  The mould is not expensive. There are plastics ones or chrome ones as well.  There are many YouTube videos that you can also check out on the step-by-step in making these rolls.

This cookie is soft and I love the buttery dough.  It just melts in the mouth and the pineapple jam is thick and sweet with a tinge of tangy-ness.  I have extra jam in my freezer.  I shall make this again in the near future... definitely!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Belimbing Lemak Udang and Nyonya Tumeric Fried Fish

Belimbing Lemak Udang is a prawn dish cook in coconut milk.  Belimbing is a type of tropical fruit, scientifically called Averrhoa Bilimbi.  You can find out more about the fruit and how it looks like from this Wikipedia link.

This is a Nyonya dish which we enjoy with hot steaming rice. All the ingredients are julienned and only take minutes to prepare.  Belimbing is very sour which goes well with the coconut milk.  I remember when I was little, my mom used to cook this for us and I will be only eating this with rice.  Until today, this is one of my favourite dish and now it became my hubby's and kids as well.

I grow belimbing in my garden.  For me, nothing is more satisfying than getting all the fresh ingredients from your own garden.  It bears lots of fruits but they don't last long.  Belimbing is a great substitute for dishes that uses tamarind juice and they make great pickles as well.  Other than the belimbing, the lemon grass and kaffir leaves are from my humble little garden too.  Lol..

Here's the recipe:
2 stalks lemon grass
5 shallots
4 garlic pips
3 kaffir leaves
2 red chillies
1 bowl of belimbing
300gm prawns (shelled)
200ml thick coconut milk
Salt to taste

1. Julienne the lemon grass, shallots, garlic, kaffir leaves, red chillies and belimbing.
2. Heat wok with a little oil.  Fry the ingredients in the order above.
3. Add in the coconut milk and add salt to taste. Let boil and it's done.

Nyonya Turmeric Fried Fish is very simple, fast and delicious.  I harvested about 3kg of turmeric from my garden yesterday and used some to marinate the fish.  All you need is, marinade with pounded fresh turmeric mix with ground Chili powder and salt.  Rub the paste in and all over the fish.  Marinade for an hour or more and deep fry until  crispy.

Here, I used garoupa fish. Other fishes that's suitable for this dish are red snapper, baramundhi, black pomfret and thread fins amongst other marine fishes.

Try this. You'll love it.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2014 Vacation and Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake - Nigella

My first post for 2015! Finally!

It took me more than a month to open my netbook and post this.  It's been a compact month of January and don't think it's going to slow down in the next few months either.  So, yes, I made it a point not to let February past by without me post at least one bake-off.  Besides that, I do have to admit that I'm getting lazy as well.  Especially with my aging netbook with takes forever to start-up. 

Chinese New Year will be here in two weeks.  I baked some choc chip cookies yesterday and will probably make Nastar if I have the time.  Nastar is an Indonesian pineapple cookie.  The dough is very soft unlike the texture of the Nyonya Pineapple Tarts.  Although I love Nyonya Pineapple Tarts, I do not mind the soft melt in the mouth Nastar version.  Well, we shall see.. if I do make them, it has to be by next week end.  Else, there's not enough time for me to make anything at all for the festive occasion.

Well, guys, here's my first bake-off which I did early Jan.  Hope you will try this recipe.  This is really a great recipe from Nigella.  So moist and super soft.  Best part is, it's not too big so you don't have to keep it for many days.

Cholocate Orange Loaf Cake (Nigella Kitchen)
150g soft butter
2 c 15ml tbsp golden syrup
175g dark muscovado sugar (I used 125g)
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp b.o.s.
25g cocoa powder
2 eggs
zest of 2 regular oranges and juice of 1

1. Grease 1 (900g) loaf tin with some vegetable oil and line with parchment paper. Heat oven at 170dC.
2. Beat the soft butter with the syrup and sugar until smooth.
3. Mix the flour, bicarb and cocoa powder together, and beat into the syrup mixture 1 tablespoonful of these dry ingredients before beating in 1 egg. Then add another couple of spoonfuls of dry ingredients before beating in the second egg.
4. Carry on beating in the remaining dry ingredients and then add, still beating, the orange zest and finally, gradually, the juice.  Batter may suddenly look curdled.
5. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake till done.

And as promised, here are some of my December vacation photos ... miss the winter!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Happy 2015 everyone!

My family and I ended 2014 with a great vacation in the UK and Europe.  We had month-long of great time and now looking forward to even a greater 2015.

However, my heart goes out to the families of Malaysian plane incidents, MH370, MH17 and most recent, Air Asia crashed en route from Surabaya to Singapore.

Although we cannot stop natural disasters nor accidents from happening, I do wish everyone to be extra careful and be safe for your family and love ones.

Here's wishing all of you happiness, good health, good fortune, kindness, wisdom and most of all be safe.  It's going to be a better and greater 2015!

These pictures are taken from my vacation in Innsbruck, Austria.  I'll post more pictures once I have the opportunity.. (Louise, these are for you!)


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Coffee and Cream Muffins

This will be my last baking post for this year as I'll be going for a month vacation in December. We've been planning for this holiday a year ago and we are very excited about this. Let me give you some clues on our vacation destination. Its gonna be someplace where its going to be winter, about 8 hours behind KL and expensive. Can you guess? If I have the time I might just post some pictures of our holiday... :)

So here's my last bake off - Coffee & Cream Muffins .. perfect for winter with a cup of hot latté! The photos are quite blurry. Snapped these with my new tablet and I need to figure out how to get the settings right.

2 cups plain flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp granulated coffee
Pinch of salt
100 ml milk
185 ml double cream
100 ml oil
2 eggs
light brown sugar
1. Heat oven to 200d C and line tray with cupcake cases.
2. Sift all dry ingredients together. Mix all wet ingredients and beat together until combine.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix till batter is lumpy.
4. Fill cupcakes 3/4 full and sprinkle brown sugar on top. 
5. Bake for 20-25 mins until done.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Halloween Week!

I know I'm a few days ahead of Halloween but hey, I'm in the mood!!  I'm excited. I feel like a kid. I can't wait to showcase my creations.. and after today - it's Sunday today, I'm back to work tomorrow and will not have time to post anything during weekdays.  Since Halloween falls on Friday, yeah well, that's why I'm early this year.

Halloween is a time for one to have fun and be creative. Unfortunately, Halloween is not popular in this part of the world. Although some toy stores and costume stores do sell all kinds of scary and ghoulish items, not many will make a purchase unless someone throws a Halloween party.

We don't have kids going around 'treat or trick' in the neighborhood especially since kidnapping cases are on the rise. Parents will not usually allow their young children to be out of the house unattended. However, this does not stop one from being in the mood to be creative, rite.. Err hmm!

I look forward to Halloween each year as I have a different agenda.. that is to bake, to create and to share. This year I got my kids to put on their creative hat and be artistic. They simply love doing this as much as I.. So here, as promised in my earlier post, sharing our colorful creations and wishing you a wonderful and a very Happy Halloween!!




H A P P Y    H A L L O W E E N !