Saturday, February 15, 2020

Cook: Ondeh-ondeh



Ondeh-ondeh is this little tiny glutinous rice ball filled with palm sugar, coated in shredded coconut. I love eating this when I am back in Malaysia. I found some shredded coconut in Waitrose, Dubai Marina Mall and I brought some palm sugar back from my last visit back home in Malaysia, so decided to give it a try since the recipe looks pretty straightforward.


I love how the palm sugar came bursting into my mouth when I pop the ondeh-ondeh in.

INGREDIENTS (Makes 24 ondeh-ondeh):

1. 250g glutinous rice flour
2. 200ml water plus few drops of pandan extract or 200ml pandan juice (blend 10 pandan leaves with 220ml of water and squeeze the juice out)
3. 150g palm sugar (Gula Melaka), chopped into small pieces
4. 100g grated coconut
5. A pinch of sea salt

METHODS:

1. First, mix the shredded coconut with a pinch of salt.

2. Steam them for 2 minutes, then set aside to cool down.
3. Mix the glutinous rice flour with water until it becomes pliable dough, then add the pandan extract and mix well.
4. Take 40g of the dough and place them into boiling water.
5. When the dough float to the surface of the water, remove them and place them back into the remaining dough as shown.


6. Mix well and at this point, you can see that the texture of the dough changed into a more sticky version. 
7. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.


8. Divide the dough into 24 little balls. Then flatten them and add the palm sugar pieces in the centre. Then roll them.


9. Place the balls into boiling water and remove them once they are cooked and float on the surface.

TIPS: Once you make the balls, put them into the boiling water within a few minutes, otherwise the palm sugar will start to seep out as shown in the photo. 


10. Roll the cooked ondeh-ondeh in shredded coconut and serve.
11. Enjoy!





Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Cook: Potato Salad

Potato Salad
Salad is usually not my "thing". I hardly eat salad, probably because I prefer my meal to be hot but I chanced upon potato salad on my flight on Emirates recently and I was wow-ed by the potato salad. In-flight meal is usually not great (no, I am not taking Business class, just the usual economy class) but the potato salad served was deeeeelicious. I make it a point to make it once so when I got back, I did some research and decided to give it a try.
Most recipes called for a specific type of potatoes but I just use what I have, its just a common normal potato and it tasted great too. I guess the important bits is to drizzle some vinegar(I use apple cider vinegar) on the potato after cutting them.
There are many variations in the recipes I found online, ingredients really depends on what you like. I simplified mine to just a few ingredients plus one type of dressing to make things really simple. So I am gonna share the potato salad the way I like it.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 6):

1. 4 large potatoes
2. 1 cucumber, remove skin and cut into little cubes
3. 3 hard boil eggs, cut into small pieces
4. 1 stalk of green onion, cut into small pieces
5. Half a medium onion, cut into small pieces
6. Mayonnaise , to taste
7. A pinch of salt and pepper
8. Some bacon (optional)

METHODS:

1. Clean the potato and boil them on medium low heat.
2. It is cooked when you can put a fork through it.
3. Pour away the hot water and let the potatoes soak in cold water for a bit.
4. Remove the skin by just peeling them off using your hand. If it doesn't goes off, use the back of the spoon to scrap them.


5. Cut the potatoes into small cubes.
6. Prepare and cut all the other ingredients (hard boiled egg, cucumber, red onion and spring onion).
7. In a bowl, toss the ingredients together with some mayonnaise, salt and pepper. 


8. Give them all a good mix and put them in the fridge for at least an hour or more. It keeps in the fridge for 2-3 days.


9. Top with some bacon before serving to give them an extra wow!
10. Enjoy!



Saturday, January 18, 2020

Cook: Pineapple Tarts



This year, besides attempting the easy cornflakes cookies (recipes can be found here if interested), I have decided to attempt pineapple tarts as well. Actually I have made it once when I was in Singapore using store bought pineapple paste but the previous recipe for the outer crust that I tried was not ideal. 

I tried another recipe this time and it turns out to be much better and this is a keeper. The pineapple tarts tasted much better the next day after you bake so do prepare it at least one day in advance.

INGREDIENTS (makes 36 tarts):

For pineapple paste:
1. 2 fresh pineapples
2. 5 tablespoon of sugar (amount can be adjusted to suit your taste)

For the crust:
1. 150g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2. 210g all purpose flour
3. 15g cornflour
4. 25g white sugar
5. 25g milk powder
6. 1 medium egg
7. 1/4 teaspoon of salt

METHODS:

For pineapple paste:
1. Cut the pineapple into chunks
2. Blend the chunks
3. Sieve the pineapple and remove as much water as you could (I kept the juice and serve as fresh pineapple juice :P)

4. This part will take time. Place the sieved pineapple into a pan and cook on medium low heat until the paste thickens and turns brownish as shown. 


5. Then let it cool down and roll them into little balls, I then placed them into fridge until I am ready with the crust.


For the crust:
1. Cream the butter with until it is light and fluffy.
2. Next, add in the salt and egg. Mix well.
3. Add in the flour, cornstarch and milk powder, mix well.
4. Then using hand, I roll the dough together. 


5. If the weather is hot, the dough might be a bit sticky at this point of time. If that happens, keep the dough in fridge for 30 minutes before working on them.
6. When you are ready, roll the dough into a tiny circle and place the pineapple paste inside. Roll them into ball shaped.
7. Apply egg wash using pastry brush.
8. Bake for 12-15 mins until the egg wash turns golden in oven preheated to 180 degree celcius.


9. Remove from oven and let it cool down before placing them into airtight container. 
10. Remember to enjoy them after at least 8 hours/ overnight for best enjoyment.


Cook: Crispy Honey Cornflakes for Chinese New Year

Required ingredients
Chinese New Year is just around the corner. This is the first year we are celebrating it in Dubai. Besides digging out my previous recipes for Chinese New Year cookies, I thought I should try out something new. I have finally muster my courage to try pineapple cookies (making it from scratch nonetheless-recipes to be uploaded soon) and also make some easy seaweed crisp.

Today I will be sharing another easy treats and this is really easy and I even involve the kids in helping to have more Chinese new year mood. By the way. it only involves 4 ingredients and all can be purchased easily in Dubai. 

It turns out to be a hit in our household, getting thumbs up from all.

INGREDIENTS (make 80 cookies):

1. 260g corn flakes
2. 180g honey
3. 170g salted butter 
4. Some sprinkles (optional)

METHODS:

1. Melt the butter and honey in a pan.


Getting some help from Qin Qin
2. When all the butter melted and the mixture starts bubbling, remove the pan from heat.


3. Next, add the cornflakes and mix well.


4. Then scoop the cornflakes and place them into mini cupcake film.




5. Finally, add some sprinkles to make it more colourful. Kids love the sprinkles!


6. When its all done, place them into preheated oven at 150 degree Celcius and bake for 5 minutes.


7. Remove from oven, let it cool down and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Cook: Fried Sticky Rice Cake (年糕)

Deep fried sticky rice cake

Sticky rice cake is a tradition during Chinese New Year and I have yet explored how to make it since it is easily available in Asian countries over Chinese New Year period. Since moving to Dubai, I have explored many new recipes and it is actually very easy to make and only require 3 ingredients. 

I have made it and it was a success, it is not too sweet just the way I like it. If you would prefer it sweeter, do increase the amount of brown sugar.

I will share two recipes, one to make the sticky rice cake and one is recipe for the batter if you like it deep fried. Having share that, it is also yummy to just eat on its own :)

INGREDIENTS:

For the sticky rice cake:
1. 454g of glutinous rice flour (1 lb)
2. 1 1/4 cups of brown sugar
3. 2 1/4 cups of water
4. 2 tablespoon of oil

For the batter:
1. 60g of plain flour, sifted
2. 60g of rice flour, sifted
3. 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric powder (optional)
4. 3/4 cup of water
5. 1 teaspoon of baking powder
6. 1/4 teaspoon of salt 
7. 1/2 cup of white sesame seed (optional)

METHODS: 

For the sticky rice cake:
1. Place the brown sugar into the water and put it on low heat. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat and let the mixture cool down to room temperature.
2. Once the sugar mixture has cooled down, add sieved glutinous rice flour into the mixture bit by bit and mixing it in gradually.
3. Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove the clumps and add the oil. 
4. Mix the oil into the mixture and steam for 50 minutes. 
5. Place a stick into the rice cake after 50 minutes, if it comes out more or less clean, the rice cake is ready. 
6. Remove from steamer and let it cool down to room temperature. Then place into the fridge overnight to firm up.

For making the batter:
1. Add plain flour, rice flour and turmeric powder into a mixing bowl, gently mix them up.
2. Add water and mix it evenly. 
3. Then add in baking powder and salt and mix them in. 
4. Lastly, stir in the sesame seed.

For making the deep fried rice cake with sweet potato:
1. Slice the sweet potato and rice cake into thin slice.
2. Sandwich a piece of rice cake in between two slices of sweet potato.
3. Dip in the batter and deep fried until golden.
4. Serve warm.



Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Cook: Russian Honey Cake

Melt in your mouth honey cake
Have a piece :)
Honey cake is new to me. I was only recently introduced to them after moving to Dubai. They are really popular and sold widely from supermarket to bakery. Having a piece of them is really good, the sweetness of honey complemented the sour cream mixture that goes between the layers. You have to try it to know it. However, the honey cake sold in retail are really sweet and I usually could only eat half a piece at a time....

I was contemplating on making my own for the longest time because it is not really straightforward. I will need to first take the biscuit layers piece by piece and then assemble them with the cream and let it set in the fridge so that the cream moisture can be absorbed into the cookies, rendering them soft and melt in your mouth. 

Anyway, it was a long school holiday break and I decided why not go for it. The results was great although when I first assemble them, it looks so bad that I thought it was going to fail but after waiting for one night, I was surprised- a good surprise that is.... I receive many good feedbacks on them but I don't think I will be making it anytime soon. Too much work to do but nevertheless, it is a good recipe to keep.

INGREDIENTS:

For the biscuit layer
1. 4 tablespoon of honey
2. 1/3 cup of granulated sugar
3. 2 tablespoon of unsalted butter
4. 4 medium eggs, beaten using a fork
5. 1 teaspoon of baking soda
6. 3 cups of plain flour

For the cream layer
1. 800ml of sour cream
2. 1.5 cups of icing sugar
3. 200ml of heavy whipping cream

METHODS:

Preparing the biscuit layer
1. Add sugar, honey and butter into a saucepan.
2. Slowly melt them on low heat until the sugar dissolved. 


3. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and add in the beaten egg slowly. Whisk the eggs into the mixture promptly to prevent the egg from becoming scrambled egg. Do it in small batches, 1-2 teaspoon at a time. 
Add in the eggs slowly
4. Once all the eggs are in, add in the baking soda and mix well. 
5. Next fold in the flour until the dough does not stick to your hand. 
6. Roll the dough out while still warm and cut them into 8 equal parts.
Dough
7. Take one part and roll them into a round flat piece. 
8. Use a springform pan base as a mould and cut out using a pizza cutter or knife. 
9. Bake two to three pieces at a time (depending on the size of your oven) at 175 degree Celcius for 4-5 minutes until it turns golden. After baking all the pieces, bake the scraps (from the sides that we cut off earlier)
TIPS: Once the biscuit turned golden, take them out even if it's still soft. The biscuit will harden slightly once it cools down.
10. Set aside the biscuit and let them cool down.
11. After the crumbs has cooled down, crushed them and set aside. 

Preparing the cream layer
1. Beat the heavy whipping cream until stiff peak. Set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and icing sugar. Then fold in the whipped cream into the sour cream mixture and it is ready to use. 


Assembling the cake
1. Spread around 1/3 of cream frosting on each biscuit and layer them up. Press the layers down gently to avoid any air gaps. The biscuit needs to absorb the cream to be soft.
2. Spread the rest of the frosting at the top and sides.
3. Dust the top and the sides with the crumbs prepared earlier and cover the cake up so that it doesn't dry up in the fridge. 
4. Refrigerate overnight for the cake to absorb the cream and soften. 
5. Enjoy!

Add caption

Cook: No Bake Original Cheesecake

A piece of goodness
I have made a few versions of cheesecake- chocolate ones, Oreo etc etc......Decided to go back to basic and searched for recipe for an original cheesecake. I am surprise my first attempt was successful. I would suggest leaving the cheesecake at least 24 hours before consumption
so that the texture is more firm. 

INGREDIENTS (makes 9 inches cake)

1. 300g digestive biscuits (Crush into crumbs by placing them in a food processor or place them in a plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin)
2. 90g butter, melted
3. 400g of cream cheese, at room temperature
4. 315g of whipping cream
5. 1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
6. 1/8 teaspoon of salt
7. 60g of sugar

METHODS:

Preparing cheesecake base
1. Place the digestive crumb into the springform pan and add in the melted butter.
2. Mix well, and press down the biscuit mixture using the back of a spoon.
3. Chill in fridge for at least 1 hour.


Preparing the cheesecake mixture
4. Whip the whipping cream using mixer until medium peak. Set aside.
TIPS: Use high speed for 3-5 minutes or until the cream thickens, then reduce to low speed until it reached medium peak. This is how it will looks like: Medium Peak Whipped Cream.
6. In a stand mixer, blend the cream cheese, lemon juice, salt and sugar until it is creamy. It should just take 1-2 minutes.
7. Add the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture by batches and stir in using a spatula. Do not over mix.
8. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and smoothen the surface using a spatula.

9. Place the cheesecake into fridge and leave it overnight before serving.

TIPS: The texture might be a bit soft if just leaving it overnight, I would suggest chilling for at least 24 hours before serving.