Thursday, July 17, 2014

Coffee Rice Flour Chiffon Cake

As i have said earlier in my previous post that i was quite keen to make a coffee chiffon cake, and so i did one. I had also tried out using the rice flour method which Kimmy had been using for few of her chiffon recipes. This is where a small portion of rice flour is used to make up of all the flours needed in the recipe, like in this case, 30% of the total flour. If you do not wish to use rice flour, then you can use all 100gm of cake flour as per original recipe. I do not have a comparison between using rice flour vs non rice flour for the same recipe but the chiffon that i made here using some rice flour is really good. Just like what everyone wanted in a chiffon cake, soft and fluffy. I seldom drink coffee but i enjoy them in bakes, just like durian where i hardly eat them fresh but enjoy eating a durian flavoured cakes. I can smell the coffee during the mixing and yes, the cake gives a very nice coffee flavour. Thank you Kimmy!

I was also in the mood to make something to dress up the cake a little bit and i did a coffee glaze. Sorry that i do not have the exact measurement of the glaze as i was testing and adding a little more this and that along the way. I started off by 2/3 cup of icing sugar, followed by a few tablespoon of strong instant coffee and add in some milk and coffee bit by bit till the taste and consistency that i want. The consistency is pourable but thicker than the consistency of condensed milk. It is just a very thin layer of glaze that i made, so it wasnt too sweet for me, quite nice. Oh, also bcos i made the glaze, i stored the a few more remaining pieces in the fridge on the late second day and the cake still remains soft after refrigeration though not as fluffy.

The response to our bake along chiffon cake theme has been overwhelming and sorry that i have not visited all the links yet but meanwhile, if you do have a chiffon cake recipe to share, do link it up with us . Thanks very much and happy baking!

Recipe ( from Cooking Pleasure )
in a 7 inch chiffon pan ( or 8 inch for mine)
2 tbsp instant coffee granules
50ml warm milk
4 egg yolks
4tbsp castor sugar
4tbsp corn oil
70gm cake flour, sifted
30gm rice flour, sifted

4 egg whites
4tbsp castor sugar

Preheat oven to 170C/180C. Dissolve the coffee granules in the warm milk, set aside and let cool. Combine both the flours together. Using a hand whisk, beat the egg yolks and sugar till blended and slowly add in oil and whisk till well combined. Slowly drizzle in the coffee mixture and continue to whisk till well combined. Add in the sifted flour and mix till batter is smooth and well combined.

Whisk egg whites till foamy and gradually add in the sugar and whisk till soft medium peaks formed.( do not over beat ) Fold in 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolk mixture till well combined and fold in the remaining meringue into the egg yolks batter. Pour batter into a 7 inch ungreased chiffon pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Invert baked cake immediately to cool before unmoulding from pan.

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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Japanese Dark Pearl Chocolate Chiffon Cake

After seeing numerous of my blogging friends baking this chiffon cake for the past few months, i am now into action to bake one. Although chocolate chiffon is quite common, you know i have not tasted one before as far as i can remember. The most type i have eaten are orange chiffon and pandan chiffon which i think are the popular ones. I would also like to try out coffee because i have not eaten one too...which i also think it's a nice flavour.

I read from Ellena's blog that this recipe of dark pearl chocolate chiffon has long existed many years ago from Aunty Yochana.  I am not aware of this chiffon until only recently when some of you baked it and i also agree with what has been said about the cake, very chocolatey and nice. I dont know how if it's being compared to a normal chocolate chiffon or a double chocolate chiffon but i find this chiffon really nice. Hope those who have not tried it will give it a try too in the future.

i dont know why there is a thin chocolate skin surrounding the cake...look at the first picture too..perhaps this could be the dark pearls that the cake is wearing...heheheh.. 

I am baking along with Joyce and Zoe and Chiffon cakes is our Bake along theme starting today up till 19July2014. Are all welcomed to join us , please do not link sponge cakes or angel cakes ya! Bye!

Recipe ( from Baking Diary )
5 egg yolks ( mine about 110gm )
60gm vegetable oil
100gm full cream milk
130gm dark chocolate, break into pieces ( i used Hershey's special dark )
55gms plain flour
25gm cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

5 egg whites ( mine abt 215gm )
80gm sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

First melt chocolate over double boiler or microwave. Stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

Stir the egg yolks and oil together, then stir in the milk and the slightly warm melted chocolate. Sift in the flour and mix to a smooth batter.

In the mixer, beat egg whites and cream of tartar till foamy and add in the sugar, beat till stiff peaks. Fold  in the meringue to the egg yolks batter in 3 batches till no traces of egg whites can be seen. Pour into a 20cm chiffon pan, gently knock the pan on the table to release air bubbles. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for about 45-50 minutes. Remove and invert cake to cool.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Taisan ( Filipino Sponge Cake )

Some call it a chiffon cake, some call it a sponge cake. Whether it is a chiffon or sponge cake, it is one tasty cake. But if i were to label it, i would call it a sponge cake. But this is not an ordinary plain sponge cake, taisan is a popular cake in the Philippines and it comes with butter, sugar and cheese toppings and that's this topping that makes it delicious for me, sweet and a little saltiness. Not just the topping is delicious, i somehow like the texture of the cake very much. It reminds me of those soft old fashioned sponge cakes that is layered with buttercream that i get from market. It is moist, soft and compact. Let it sit for a few hours before eating, it gets even better.

I however had used 5 egg whites instead of 6 and i dont know an additional egg whites will make it more lighter but folding the egg yolks batter into the meringue was quite a daunting task because the egg yolks batter is quite thick and heavy, unlike the batter for making chiffon or sponge cakes and so i had separated the folding part into 3 parts, the first third to lighten the batter and the remaining two thirds to fold in. The recipe which i got from did not have the pan measurement so i had used a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan plus a 16cm chiifon pan and baked in 2 separate ovens. The chiffon one i did not put any toppings and tasted rather plain by itself, so that is not taisan :)

oh yeah, line the sides of the pan too. I didnt do it, so you see the sides are coming off..

Recipe ( from here with some changes )
125gm  + 4 tbsp cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
egg yolks from 4 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract ( i skipped this )
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup evaporated milk ( i used 1/4 cup full cream milk + 2 tbsp )
1.5 tbsp water ( skipped )
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted ( skipped )
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Egg whites of 6 large eggs ( i used from 5 large eggs )
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

softened or melted butter
grated cheese ( i used cheddar )

Preheat oven to 160C . Line the bottom and sides of pan with parchment paper. Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and set aside.

In a big bowl, combine egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar, milk, water, butter and oil. Using electric mixer, mix until well blended. Add dry ingredients and continue mixing until batter is smooth. Scrape once in a while and set aside. ( Batter is quite thick )

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add in the sugar gradually and beat till  medium peak forms. Take 1/3 of the meringue and mix with the egg yolks batter to thin the batter. Take the remaining meringue and fold in the egg yolks batter , i did the remaining meringue in 2 batches. Pour batter into prepared pan ( i filled 50% of my loaf pan )and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean. ( i covered the cake with foil paper after baking for 20 minutes when it starts showing a small crack line, i baked for about 35 minutes )

Let it stand for 10 minutes on the pan before removing from pan. Brush the top lightly with butter, sprinkle with sugar and after cooling down more, sprinkle with cheese. Wrap unfinished cake with cling paper.

Original recipe states makes one loaf pan. I had used a 9"x5" loaf pan plus a 16cm chiffon tube pan to fill in all the batter 

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Philippines ) hosted by The Sweet Spot

Monday, June 30, 2014

Chao Tom ( Vietnamese Grilled Shrimp on Sugarcane )

 Chao Tom is a well known food that comes from the central Vietnam. It is grilled shrimp paste on a sugarcane, the sugarcane basically acts as a skewer and we can chew on it after eating the meat. The paste comes with the marination are steamed first and then grilled to finish. I have made this once many months ago and that time, i baked them instead, also i did not use sugarcane but lemongrass stalk. This time i had used lemongrass too but instead of baking them, i shallow fried them on a non stick pan. I find that by frying them, bits of the lemongrass flavour can be detected unlike baking. yes, can chew on that lemongrass stalks too.

There is a little tricky wrapping the paste around the lemongrass stalk, i find. Get ready a bowl of water beside you and wet your palms so that the paste doesnt stick to your palms and will make the wrapping much easier. Also make sure to pat the prawns real dry before chopping them otherwise the paste will be soft and watery and that will make the wrapping part difficult. I did not make the dipping sauce this time but i have included the link to make the sauce, i only served them with our local chilli sauce and it's still good. If we do not want to make them into stick form, we can turn them into patties, fry them and cut them up and serve with a variety of herbs or leaves with minimal sauce, that's how i see the restaurants at my place here serve them .

Recipefrom ) with minor changes
makes 8
600gm medium shrimps ( peeled and deveined, net weight is about 11oz/320gms for mine )
1/4tsp salt
2tsp cornstarch
2tsps pounded palm sugar/ brown sugar
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
13/4 tsp fish sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed into paste
2tbsp minced shallot
1tbsp canola oil

1 can sugarcane or fat lemongrass stalks ( i used abt 5 lemongrass stalks ), for skewing
oil for grilling or frying
some accompaniments like mints, cilantro
3/4 cup Nuoc Cham dipping sauce ( i just serve with chilli sauce )

Clean the shrimps and pat dry with paper towel. Coarsely chop the shrimp, then put them in a bowl. Add 1/4 tsp of salt, cornstarch, pepper, sugar, fish sauce, egg, garlic and shallots. Transfer to a food processor and process till just a coarse paste forms. Transfer to a bowl , add in the oil, cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 15-30mins at least. The mixture will stiffen as it sits  ( i let it sit overnight )

Cut off the end of the lemongrass and half or quarter it lengthwise, depending how fat the lemongrass is. Line a steamer with already oiled parchment paper or oiled plate and ready a pot of water for steaming. Have a bowl of water near you along with shrimp paste and sugarcane/lemongrass stalks. Wet one hand and with free hand put about 2 tbsps of shrimp paste onto the wet palms, spreading out into a circle about 2.5inches wide and 14inch thick ( estimate ) Centre the lemongrass stalk on the centre of the paste and close the palm to make the paste adhere to the stalk and surround it. You can turn the lemongrass stalk, patting the paste with wet hand to smooth out the surface. Repeat for all the remaining shrimp paste.

Set on the prepared steamer and steam over boiling water for about 3-4 minutes, slightly puffed and just cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside to cool. They can now be covered and refrigerated up till 3 days for grilling, return to room temperature before grilling.

Preheat grill to medium high and rub some oil over the shrimp portion and grill for 6-8 minutes or till golden brown. I shallow fried them in a non stick pan instead and fried them till golden brown . To eat, you can cut the fried or grilled shrimp paste vertically ino 3 parts, they can be removed easily from the sticks and wrap them with lettuce leaves, mints and herbs dip with the sauce. Chew on the sugarcane or lemongrass :)

Note : you can refer to the source of the recipe here on the picture of the canned or cut sugarcane or lemongrass stalks. 

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Indochina ) hosted by Kelly Siew Cooks

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Pumpkin Butter Cake

Do check out the participating links over at Jozelyn's blog here if you have not. There are many many nice bakes that i've been wanting to try..also some new recipes that i hope to try the Magic Custard Cake, Wu Pau Chun Bread, i already seen a few at the links there and also getting popular it seems the Japanese Condensed Milk Bread..there a few there too. Those bloggers are so quick! Well, i'm keen to do too but i know my actions are very slow....When i feel like making something, i always end up doing something else..just like this pumpkin butter cake. It was an instant bake when i saw part of the pumpkin which i got before i went on the trip starting to get soft. Although it was an unintended bake, it was good. The cake is very nice, comes with a faint sweet flavour of pumpkin..i had used a little less of the original recipe cos that's all i got . Moist and buttery, i think you will like it too.

Recipe ( from Table for 2 ..or more )
200gm sugar
200gm butter
seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean ( omitted )
5 large eggs
300gm cake flour sifted together with 1tsp baking powder
200gm soft steamed pumpkin flesh ( all i had was 160gm )
pumpkin seeds for garnishing

Preheat oven to 160C fan forced/180C . Line a 8 inch square pan.

Beat sugar, butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add in half of the sifted flour, beat on low speed until well combined. Put in the pumpkin and beat until all mushed up. Put in remaining flour and beat until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Bake for 50 mins or until done when tested with skewer.

I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up ( June 2014: Butter Theme ) event organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Joyzelyn of Spice Up My Kitchen

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Crisp Chocolate Bites

Hmm.. are these chocolate crinkle cookies? They do look the same to me, might just be a different name the source is using,  they are still cookies anyway..hehe.. It is quite fascinating to see how these cookies rise up and crack, creating pretty cracks on the cookies.  There is also a nice colour contrast of the almost black cookies and the white icing sugar and for it to leave behind big white patches, i did rolled and coated the dough generously with icing sugar.

I tried to stick to the recipe as close as possible in regards to the unsweetened chocolate and unsweetened cocoa powder. I am not really sure about totally unsweetened chocolate bars at my place so what i had used was the Lindt chocolate that contains 90% cocoa and my dutch process cocoa powder do contain a bit of sugar, hence i had reduced the sugar slightly as per in the recipe. The sweetness was okay for me but i can go for a little more sweeter than this.. I also find that taste of the dark chocolate that i used wasnt really intense enough for me and also i read that dutch process cocoa powder tends to be a little mellow on its flavour too compared to natural cocoa powder. If were to make this again, i'll get another chocolate, something that i enjoy eating . On the other side, the texture was nice, something that i like ..crisp but not real crunchy and what i got was still a little chewy on the inside. Well, it's still a good cracked cookie but if it could have been richer, that would be much more perfect for me: D

Recipe ( from )
6 tbsps ( 85gm ) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped ( i used 90% dark chocolate )
1 cup sugar ( 2/3 cup )
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour ( 95gm )
1/4 cup unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4tsp salt
confectioner's sugar for rolling

In a small saucepan over very low heat, combine the butter and chocolate. Cook, stirring occasionally, just until they are melted and the mixture is smooth.

Pour the chocolate mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in the sugar until lightly moistened. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until firm , about an hour.

Preheat oven to 375F/192C . Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the cookie dough from refrigerator . Shape the dough into 3/4inch balls and roll in the confectioner's sugar to coat completely. Place the balls about 1.5 inches apart on the pan and bake the cookies until puffed and cracked on top , about 12 mins. They may appear undone in the center but will turn crisp as they cool . Let cool on pan for 2-3 mins, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 42 cookies.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

I have missed a couple of bakes since my last post here with The Home Bakers ( THB ), a group which we are all currently baking from the book, Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas. This is our 35th bake, a recipe chosen by Mich of Piece of Cake. It is a simple cake that comes with pecan and brown sugar streusel toppings and undoubtedly, this is the best part of the cake. I did not reduce the sugar in the recipe, yes, it is sweet but not too sweet that i'm fine with it. I also scaled the recipe down by half and turned them into muffin sized cakes. The streusel did turned out a little too much for my smaller cakes but i just used it all up, hence i think my streusel toppings are a little overloaded..hehe..

I realised that i only have 15 mins up to put up this post and i must do it now and also after this, i will be away for a week so i hope to catch up with my blogging friends when i come back. To view the group baking, you can click here and for the full recipe, kindly refer to Mich's blog. Bye!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Chicken Cottage Pie

As some of you may know, i'm getting lazier these days so i thought of making pie without a pie crust ..i dont really have much idea what sort of crustless pie i want to make.. i remember Sonia making something like this before, a cottage pie here but this recipe was not adapted from her blog. I got it from a local magazine after learning that Sonia contributed a few recipes in that issue.. so this cottage pie recipe is one of those. I however made some changes, there are carrots , broccoli, button mushrooms and cauliflower in her recipe but i dont hv any of those, not even one carrot. But i have tomatoes and 1 small can of green peas, so these go in there. A packet of those frozen mixed peas would be good too ( that comes with carrots, green peas and corn ) if you wish, it is always our own choice, afterall the star ingredients here are the chicken and the chicken soup, Thanks for this tasty recipe, Sonia! Sure will making this again in the near future.

Also dont forget to visit my 2 other hostesses, Joyce and Zoe with their savoury pies or tarts. The linky for this theme will be opened from today up till June14, 2014. Happy baking!

RecipeSonia's recipe, adapted from Y3K magazine, may/june2013 issue ) with some changes
Ingredients A
2 large russet potatoes, peeled
3-4tbsp milk
dash of black pepper and salt

Ingredients B
300 gm chicken breast, cubed or ground
300gm green peas
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 large tomatoes, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
2-3tbsp olive oil/vegetable oil
dash of pepper and salt to taste
Dried parsley for garnishing

Boil potatoes in boiling water until fork tender. While the potatoes are cooking, cook the chicken fillings.

Heat up oil of ingredients B in a pan, saute chopped onions and tomatoes and cook till onions till soft
Add in chicken and cook till no longer pink. Add in green peas ( or other veggies ) and cream of chicken, cook for 1-2 mins. Season with salt and pepper. Place into a baking dish.

When the potatoes are soft, mash them with a fork, add in milk and season with salt and pepper. Spoon mashed potatoes over the chicken and rough the top with a fork. Sprinkle dried parsley over before or after baking. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 15-20mins, change to grill and continue to grill for 10mins or until top is golden.

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Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spiced Indian Yellow Cabbage

If you are a frequent visitor to the indian banana leaf restaurant, you may be familiar with this veggie dish. It is often served as a side dish alongside with some other veggies like stir fried beansprouts, sauteed chopped spinach to name a few. Its bright yellow colour of the dish comes from the turmeric powder, though hardly detectable so i guess its purpose is more for colour. I cant really recall if the dish comes with dried anchovies or ikan bilis but to me it is a good addition. We can add more water and cook a little longer if we want the cabbage to be a little more softer or if we want it to be more crunchier, we just put less water. To me, i really enjoy eating this veggie dish, cabbage is sweet, a lovely vibrant dish and great for accompanying some curry dishes.

Recipe ( from Yum Yum Magazine April/May 2012 Issue ) sightly changed
Ingredients A
2tbsp oil
Handful of dried anchovies ( ikan bilis ), washed and drained
300gm cabbage, shredded
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
some water

Ingredients B
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 pips garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 dried chillis, cut into 1 cm length
1 green chilli, shredded
1-2 sprigs curry leaves

Salt to taste

Heat up oil, add dried anchovies/ikan bilis and fry until lightly brown. Remove and set aside.
In the same wok, stir fry mustard seeds, chopped garlic and diced onion until aromatic. Add the dried chillies, green chilli and curry leaves and stir well.

Put in the shredded cabbage, a little water and stir fry until well mixed. Add in the turmeric powder. Lastly, add in the fried ikan bilis and salt to taste. Dish up and serve.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Indian Subcontinent ) hosted by Chef And Sommelier

Also linking this post to Cook Your Books #12 hosted by Kitchen Flavours

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kerala Style Chicken Curry

I love curry, so i thought of trying out this kerala style indian curry dish. It turns out to be quite heavily spiced for me. This curry is also a bit unusual from the indian curry that i normally had at the indian restaurant but anyway i have never tried a kerala curry before. There are quite a long list of ingredients needed but most are already available in my kitchen here except for bay leaf and that is why i did not put in the bay leaf as  required.  The herbs and spices were roasted and then grinded to powder form before adding it to the cooking process later. The taste of some spices are quite significant here but i'm not sure if it comes from the coriander powder or everything in all. I am just okay towards this curry, kerala style curry is quite popular and i am very sure a lot of people love it , just that this is not too favourite on my tastebuds. I have also made an indian spiced vegetable to go along with this dish to serve with rice , i love that and will be posting it next.

Recipe ( adapted from here )
For marination
Chicken 1/2 kg, chopped into pieces
Chilli powder 1tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp

Dry Roast
Fennel seeds 3/4tsp
Cardamon 2 pods
Cinnamon stick 5 ( around 2 inches )
Cloves 4
Bay Leaf 1 ( omitted )
Dried Red Chilli 2
Coriander Seeds 1 tbsp
Black Peppercorns 1/2 tsp

For Gravy
Coconut Oil/ Vegetable Oil  2tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tbsp
Dried Red Chilli 3
Onion 1 , chopped finely
Ginger Garlic paste 1 tbsp ( i used 1/2 tbsp each of chopped ginger and garlic )
Thick coconut milk 1 cup ( i didnt use all, left abt 50ml )
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig

Marinate the chicken for about an hour. Dry roast the ingredients mentioned in dry roast in a wok or pan until slightly brown , about few minutes. Transfer the dry roasted ingredients to a food processor or mill and grind to coarse powder

In a pan or wok, add the oil.When hot add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the dried chilli . curry leaves and stir for a minute. Add chopped onions and saute till soft. Add in the ginger garlic paste. Put in the chicken and sprinkle water ( from time to time ) to allow to cook.

When it is half cooked ( about 10minutes ), add the ground powder and mix well .Stir and cover the pan to allow the chicken to cook further, about 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and salt.Cook till curry becomes thick. If it's very thick, add a little water. Add in the garam masala and cook for another 5 minutes. Dish up and serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest- Indian Subcontinent hosted by Chef and Sommelier