Thursday, July 22, 2010

Citrusy Lemon Butter Cake

Knowing how lemon can be kept for a long time in the fridge, I normally will pick up a few while grocery shopping. Chances are, I forgot all about them and might end up with one too many lemons, as is the case the other day. So what to do other than making Ice Lemon Tea for the hot weather? Bake them into this lovely golden loaf of Lemon Butter Cake, quick and fuss-free. The special thing about this recipe is the glaze which added the extra zing. Never ever, I repeat, never ever take the short cut of omitting the extra step involved, and you will be rewarded abundantly with the aroma of lemon with each bite. In fact, I love the part with the glaze the most.

*makes 1 loaf tin of 7" x 3" size*

125g butter
100g sugar
1 lemon, finely grate the rind
2 large eggs
175g self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk
6 tbsp dairy whipping cream *I added this on my own accord as I wanted to finish up the carton of dairy whipping cream in the fridge*

Lemon glaze
3 tbsp sugar
1 lemon, extract juice
1 lemon, finely grate the rind
1/ Cream butter with the sugar until fluffy, then add in egg one at a time followed by the lemon rind.
2/ Fold in the sifted flour and milk alternatively till well combined.
3/ Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 40mins.
4/ Meanwhile, cook the lemon juice and sugar for the lemon glaze over low heat till sugar dissolved, add in lemon rind then set aside.
5/ When cake is done baking, remove cake from the oven and prick all over with a skewer.
6/ Pour the lemon glaze over the hot cake.
7/ Ideally, leave cake to set overnight to have better flavour.
The citrusly flavour of the lemon helped to cut down the greasiness that's usually associated with butter cakes, and even my other half liked this cake eventhough he's not a big fan of sourish stuff. Got to thank Sonia for her easy straight forwad recipe once again.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Chicago Rib House Gurney Plaza Penang AGAIN

We visited Chicago Rib House again, wanting to try their Roast Pork Pizza but unfortunately, pizza still not available. So we had to make do with their Roast Pork, and it was indeed good. Served simply over a bed of shredded lettuce, the green vegetable combined with the pork was an excellent pairing so that one doesn't feel too oily eating the meat alone. Dh and me jokingly said that it might be store-bought from one of those roast meat stalls and served ala-restaurant style, but we know for sure it's not because the meat was very tender.
Next came our combination main course of Beef Ribs and Steak. This way, we get to enjoy more variety as compared to trying the beef ribs and sirloin steak separately. The steak came done medium-well per our request and the beef ribs were succelent. Having tried the two different types of meat for their ribs, I can jolly well say that we enjoyed both.
I can foresee more visits to Chicago Rib House in time to come because we had been very happy with their food and service so far. Keep up the good work!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tau Eu Bak

This Sweet Soy Sauce Meat dish looks so enticing in the "Penang MaMa Authentic Home Cooking" cooking, page 25 that I just had to cook it. In fact, I did this two weeks in a row, but I altered it slightly when stir-frying it the second time because I wanted it to be darker in colour. The first attempt gave me a slightly lighter shade, so the change yielded better outcome for me.

500g meat, cut into thick shreds, then marinate in the following for at least one hour.
1 tbsp thick soy sauce *I added this for a darker colour*
1 tbsp dark soy sauce *original recipe used 2 tbsp of this*
1 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp cooking oil
Heat up another 1 tbsp of oil, add in the marinated meat and stir-fry until just cooked, about 5-8 minutes and there you have it, an easy meat dish.

I followed the recipe to the T by serving it with sambal belacan and sliced cucumber. Thumbs up!!!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stir-Fried UDON with...

LapCheong. Decided to try add a twist to my usual style of frying udon, I added slices of lapcheong (a type of waxed meat) which had been pan-fried till crispy. Glad it turned out well, rather than the same-old-same-old method of dishing out the same item.

Most importantly, the bowl was polished clean by dh, so that I won't need to eat leftovers. Anyway, udon can't be kept for the next meal as it gets soggy overtime, even if I fry it dry version. So win-win situation.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fresh Fruits Tower

Got the idea of doing this from one of the magazines which I browsed while Starbuck-ing at Borders, but can't recall the name of it now. Nevermind, with the visual still stuck in my rusty brain, I better execute this before I completely forget all about it. I used the smallest pineapple that I can find and don't be fooled by the size, with all the add-ons, this prooved to be too much for us two. Fruits can also be quite filling, we learnt that that day.

Starting from the bottom, sweet purple grapes followed by cubes of green apple. The next layer was strawberry alternating with yellow mango, then came rounds of banana. I topped this Fresh Fruits Tower with dainty blueberries with some heart-shaped food picks to add more colours, and I love it to bits.
The vibrant colours were so amazing, and best of all, dipped into the chocolate fondue. I merely heat up some fresh whipping cream (in liquid form) by double-boiling, then add in some chopped cooking chocolate when bubbles can be seen at the side of the pot. Stir this with a hand-held balloon whisk till chocolate is melted, and that's it. Oh, not seen in the photo was the ground peanuts which was added in at the last minute, which was used to coat the chocolate covered fruits. As it was a messy affair, I didn't snap any pictures after tucking into the Fresh Fruits Tower with Chocolate Fondue, so just let your imagination run wild how good it tasted. Or you just have to take my words for it...or better still, go do one yourself. It's not as complicated as it looked.

View from the top!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Coffee at Who's Bryan Cafe

Recently we were scouting for places with television that aired the FIFA 2010 matches live and came across Who's Bryan Cafe. Though sometimes we go to McDonald's to watch those football matches, it was not an ideal choice because the outlet that we went to, placed their television at the al fresco dining area, which is read as Smoking Area. Imagine enjoying those exciting games of soccer amidst a sea of smokers huffing and puffing away, definitely not something I fancy. So far the McDonald's outlet that I love most is that of Greenlanes because they placed the flatscreen television at the upper storey and we get to enjoy those games in the comfort of air-conditioner, yay!

Now back to Who's Bryan Cafe, our first visit there, we tried their coffee because we had dinner at home before setting foot there. Perusing their thick fat menu, which resembles a mini wedding album, we decided to check out their cappuccino and machiato. Their coffee creations were impressive in my humble opinion, with their milk frothed pretty well. Only let down was the coffee was not as strong as we like it to be, and mind you, we ordered double shot for each drink. Imagine if it's single shot, doubt we can taste any coffee. If only they get better beans, that would be superb!

Simply love how the tiers of colour in the tall cup were presented.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Bento Boxes New Members

Added 3 new family members in my bento boxes collection, two of which were very worth it because they came in sets of different sizes. Those are the ones on the left of this photo, and RM9.95 each only. What's more, I got 10% discount on them from the loyalty card, making it such a steal! The green frogie was cheaper, think only RM7.95.

Round Cookie Shape
600ml, 350ml, 250ml, 150ml
Looks like Oreo at first glance to me but it's not.
Square Chocolate Bar Shape
600ml, 400ml, 250ml, 150ml
There were chocolate wordings in different languages, namely
English, Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
There were 4 colours for these, with different animal for each shape.
This one kind of resembles Sakae Sushi's green frog.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Hokkaido Chiffon Cuppies

The photos in Sonia's blog were so inviting, it prompted me to bake therese cute little cuppies almost immediately. Hop over to her space to check out her awesome pictures! The list of ingredients was very short, and what I love most was that the quantity of the Hokkaido Chiffon Cuppies was small, only 1 dozen. Makes life so much easier as I won't need to bring out the calculator to half a recipe and can bake rightaway, and rightaway I did! Thanks for your kind sharing, Sonia.

Hokkaido Chiffon Cupcakes
*makes 10 cupcakes (I got 14 because the muffin cups I used were smaller)

50g egg yolks (3 eggs)
1/8 tsp of salt
20g corn oil
20g milk
25g self-raising flour

105g egg whites (3 eggs)
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
45g castor sugar

Custard cream filling (I omitted this and used the leftover buttercream I had in the fridge)
30g non-dairy whipped fresh cream
1tsp custard powder
*just mix these together

1/ Whisk egg yolk with salt. Add in oil and milk and mix well.
2/ Sift flour and baking powder into the egg yolk mixture.
3/ Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until foamy and then add in sugar and beat till soft peak.
4/ Fold in half of the egg whites into the mixture and mix well. Then add in the other half and mix them evenly. 5/ Fill the mixture into the cups and bake in pre-heated oven at 160c for 20mins.
6/ Leave cupcakes to cool, then make a small hole at the middle, pump the custard cream into the chiffon.
7/ Either chill before serving or consume it straight after filling in the cream.

These Hokkaido Chiffon Cuppies were indeed very light and fluffy, hardly filling to the stomach at all. I at 3 pieces at one go, oops, let the cat out of the bag now. Oh, I also dusted some icing sugar at the top for visual impact. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Walnut Powder

I bought this big can of Walnut Powder out of curiosity while at the wet market some time back. Not to mention, adding another choice of hot drink for my cuppa. It turned out to be very good, better than I expected as all I need to do was to add one big heaped scoop of the Walnut Powder into my usual mug and pour hot water in. Give it a stir and my hot drink was ready in no time at all. It has the nutty aroma despite being all white in colour. My guess woud be that the walnut used has been de-skinned, thus making this almost look like almond tea.

Apparently there are two versions, this one in the brown packaging was without sugar, so I either add some brown sugar or condensed milk to sweeten it a tad. I have yet to try the red packaging of Walnut Powder which has been sweetened. I presume that would make life even easier. May be one of these days when I chanced upon it again, I will bring back a can and do another review, who knows?!?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Pappa Rich at Penang E-Gate

Wohoo...Pappa Rich has reached Penang's shore so we now got one more choice to dine in for kopitiam kind of setting. Compared to our usual haunt of Old Town, we find that Pappa Rich's menu is definitely more extensive, and in a way, more appealing simply because it's NEW. That place was packed when we stepped foot there last Saturday for dinner. Thankfully we didn't need to wait long for a vacant table as we were quite hungry.

Malaysian Delights - That is Pappa Rich's tagline.

As E-Gate was very near the sea, the breeze that night was kind of chilly as a result of the on and off rain throughout that day, so I opted for this Ipoh Koay Teow Soup to combat the cold. This was so-so only, but the plate of steamed chicken that came with it was excellent. The meat was tender and done just right. Would definitely like to try their chicken rice next time because it looked appealing in the menu. I bet it would be just as good if not better since the chicken would be done the same way. RM9.80 for this two-dish item.

Dh's Hainan Cham Hot was quite diluted in our opinion as we really like our drinks to be thick with oomph. Food wise we feel that they excel but when it comes to drinks, hopefully we got better luck the next time. :)

Dh ordered the Pappa Nasi Lemak, which was extremely delicious! The rice was fragrant, as what nasi lemak should be. Now this would be our go-to when we crave nasi lemak. The gravy for the curry chicken was not too spicy, so it complemented the rice very well. This was RM8.90, cheaper and better than where we used to get our nasi lemak fill. We also ordered their Otak-otak, but sadly they ran out of this by the time our order was submitted. Nevermind, KIV for next visit. :)

If you notice, we only ordered one drink to be shared between dh and myself. Reason none other than this tall Pappa ABC Special with Home-Made Durian Ice-Cream. Just have to save some room for dessert, and it was good decision. The Durian Ice-Cream was made with reall stuff because this aroma was very pungent. And oh, they used the good ole gula melaka for this Ice Kacang, so there was a mixture of cendol strips within the usual suspect of red bean, cream corn, salted peanut, raisins in this mount of ice shavings. By the time this mountain was 'conquered', we were very very satisfied with the meal!

Lots more items in their dessert menu that I can't wait to return to savour such as Soy Milk with Sesame Seed Ice Cream, Soy Milk Cendol with Red Bean and Sago Pisang with Gula Melaka to name a few.

Bill came up to RM30+ after service charge.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Collage of Coffee Creation

I decided to combine all the photos for the coffee that dh made into one collage rather than to post them one by one. Other than saving time, I was actually having fun trying to arrange the photos for the best fit.

Hope you enjoy viewing them as much I had the pleasure of putting them together here, and of course, credit goes to dh for his artistic cuppa.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mushroom Ham Pasta

I cook pasta at least once a week because it's such an easy dish to prepare, no sweat at all. Yet another creamy pasta that I churned out using mushroom, but this time with the addition of ham, it was more fragrant and tasty. I know, tomato don't go gel well with creamy dish, I just used that for some colour, else this dish will only be a sea of dull yellow and brown.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Pandan Butter Cake

With more than half a box of coconut milk leftover after baking the Black Glutinuous Rice Flour Chiffon Cake, I had to find ways to finish them up lest it get wasted if kept too long. What better way than this Pandan Kaya Butter Cake which got rave review from those who had tried the recipe. I had actually KIV this for some time now so it was time to strike it off the ever-growing long waiting list of recipes that piqued my interest.

Pandan Kaya Butter cake without ovalette:
250g butter
200g sugar
1tbsp kaya *I omitted this because I don't have this at the time of baking*
6nos. eggs
300g cake flour
1tsp baking powder
200g coconut milk
1/4 tsp salt
3tbsp milk powder *I omitted this because I don't have this at the time of baking*
1tsp pandan paste
a drop of green colouring *I omitted this because the colour from the pandan paste was sufficiently green for me*

1)/ Cream butter and sugar till creamy, then add in kaya.
2/ Add in egg one at a time and make sure it's properly mixed before adding in another egg. Pour in coconut milk and salt slowly and if it cuddles, put in some flour. Lastly, add in pandan paste.
3/ Fold in cake flour, milk powder and baking powder and then pour into a 7" square tray and bake at 175C for about 60 mins.
+ I only halved the recipe and baked using 6" square tray. Should have used a loaf pan instead because the cake top didn't brown when the cake was cooked, thus I had to bake it longer which resulted in a dry cake.
+ Cake has a fine crumbs texture, and tasted lovely.

Thanks to Aunty Yochana for sharing this recipe so generously.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Bento #150 100615

Almost similar content as the previous bento #149,
just in a different box
and the fruits were arranged different.
I also threw in a handful of fresh blueberries in this.
Not forgetting the cute little bear sitting atop the bread sandwich.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Coke Chicken Recipe

Another easy dish to prepare and fuss-free as well. In fact, there was no traces of Coca-cola nor any hint of it after cooking. Do give this a try, it really can't get any easier with such a short list of ingredients needed. Eventhough original recipe stated Coke Light with Lemon, I had to try it out with just regular Coke because I could not grab hold of the former.

1/2 kg chicken *I used 3 drumsticks which came up to 450g*
1/2 can of coke light with lemon *I just use regular coke and outcome was ok for me*
1tbsp cooking oil
2 slices of ginger (cut into very thin strips)
1 tbsp light soya sauce *I used Lee Kum Kee brand*
1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce *I used Lee Kum Kee brand*
2 stalks spring onion cut into 2 inch length
Half red chilli(w/o seeds) cut into thin strips

1/ Poke the chicken with a fork then marinate chicken in coke for 30 minutes.
2/ Stir fry ginger in oil till fragrant in a pot, then add in chicken to stir fry till half cooked. *Be careful as there will be splatter when the chicken is added as it is wet with coke*
3/ Pour in the coke that was used to marinate the chicken and bring this to a boil on medium fire.
4/ Cover the pot and cook this for 10 minutes.
5/ Add in the light soya sauce and dark soya sauce, then boil the contents without lid for 5 minutes till gravy thickens.
6/ Lastly throw in spring onion and red chilli for a quick stir before serving.

Recipe adapted from here, thanks Mandy for kind sharing.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bento #149 100614

A choo-choo train bread with turkey ham plus lots of greens for fiber.

In the other compartment were slices of strawberries and succelent fresh peach for the colour and vitamin C.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jemput-jemput Pisang

Adapted from [Traditional Kuih-Muih Step By Step by Mdm Wong Sip Moi], page 13
75g pisang raja (diced) *I used pisang emas because pisang raja is hard to buy*
75g pisang raja (mashed)
20g plain flour {equivalend to 2tbsp}
20g glutinous rice flour {equivalent to 2tbsp}
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt *I used 1/8tsp salt*
1/4 tsp castor sugar (optional) *I used 1/2 tsp brown sugar because pisang emas is not as sweet as pisang raja*

1/ Mix everything and drop them into hot oil to fry till golden and cooked through.
2/ Drain on paper towels before serving.

I love recipes from this book as they serving size is small, perfect for my family. I managed to get 15 balls of this using my 3cm-diameter ice-cream scoop.
I love those brown bits on the edges as they are crispy!

This recipe is different from the one I featured previously as there were 2 types of flour used, namely plain flour and glutinuous rice flour, which I find is an interesting twist. Also, the bananas used were prepared in two way, mashed and diced, thus one can get more bites of banana when sinking one's teeth into these lovely balls of jemput-jemput pisang.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Bento #148 100614

In this 2 tiered white bento box, I filled one with fried vermicelli and then the other were chinese pear in cubes with 2 foodpicks for colour. And in the blue silicon casing were fresh blueberries surrounding a big fat juicy strawberry.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Black Glutinuous Rice Flour Chiffon Cake

Wah, such a long name for this cottony soft chiffon cake. I chanced upon this in this blog, which in turn got the recipe from this website, but as it was in Bahasa Indonesia, I had to refer to my dictionary for some terms. I didn't follow the steps stated as I do it the way I am used to, which was to have 2 mixtures, thus I had also re-arranged the list of ingredients as such. I also halved the recipe and used an 18cm tubed chiffon pan for this.

Egg Yolk Ingredients:
80g egg yolk (equivalent to 4 egg yolks from Size A eggs in Malaysian standard)
40g castor sugar
1/2tsp vanilla essence *I omitted this*
25g all purpose flour
50g black glutinuous rice flour
1/2tsp double-action baking powder
75ml coconut milk *I used Kara brand*
1 1/2 tbsp cooking oil

Egg White Ingredients:
120g egg white (equivalent to 3 egg whites from Size A eggs in Malaysian standard)
60g castor sugar
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp cream of tartar *original recipe didn't call for this, I added it on my own*

1/ Mix together all the items listed under the egg yolk ingredients and set aside.
2/ Whip the egg white mixture till soft peaks, then add 4 tablespoons of this egg white mixture into the egg yolk batter to lighten the egg yolk batter.
3/ Now with the lighter egg yolk batter, slowly add this back into the whipped egg white mixture till homogenous. Do this gently so as not to deflate the air bubbles.
4/ Pour into an ungreased 18cm tubed chiffon pan and bake in a pre-heated oven at 170 degree Celcius for 40 minutes or until skewer test comes out clean.
5/ Invert and leave to cool before slicing.

This is an interesting cake because with the combination of black glutious rice flour and coconut milk, it is like eating black glutinuous rice porridge in cake style. The hint of black glutinuous rice is not very strong though the subtle fragrance can be detected.

On a side note, a blogger friend first told me about this black glutinous rice flour and that she managed to buy it while holidaying in KL, and it was at Giant. So I tried scouting for it out of curiosity at two Giant outlets near my house but not luck. Then we happened to go to the next state for an event, and I managed to spot it at Giant Manjung, Perak selling at RM1.50 for a pack of 200g. Was so happy with this find and my guess would be that it is not as popular in the northern states compared to the south.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Crispy Cempedak Fritters

Durian season is on currently, and so besides the King of Fruits, there are a lot of other local fruits in abundance. One in particular is Cempedak which I bought to make fritters. As I checked through my blog-posts, it was RM3/kg back in 2008, then last year it was RM4/kg, and you guessed it...RM5 now. Not that I'm monitoring the price, I wouldn't be able to remember how much I paid for an item last week let alone something that I buy yearly if not for this blog.

The cempedak that the apek at the stall helped me choose was slightly less than 2kg at RM9, and I also asked for his help to cut open the fruit so that I won't need to deal with sticky knife and what-nots because of the sap of the fruit. He nicely obliged, making my life so much easier as I can plunge right in to make fritters out of it. But alas, I had forgotten to buy amonia powder which the recipe called for, and it was stated that this is a must-have item not to be omitted in order to achieve the bee-hive crispy texture.

Well, a quick call to the baking supply shop to check on their availability of ammonia powder, I dashed out to pick up this small bottle of 30g sold at RM1.20. So with the batter mixed and oil heated, I made about 20 pieces of these Crispy Cempedak Fritters. The batter was indeed lovely with a crispy crunch, as the recipe promised, and it tasted exactly like those sold commercially despite being home-made.

Adapted from [Traditional Kuih-Muih Step By Step by Mdm. Wong Sip Moi], page 11
100g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
120ml water
1tsp ammonia powder *added JUST BEFORE deep-frying process*
1tsp cooking oil *added JUST BEFORE deep-frying process*
Just look at the crispy texture of this Crispy Cempedak Fritters, paired with the sweet fruit, this was an excellent tea time treat.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Stir-Fried Pumpkin

This is an easy dish that has become a firm favourite in our household. I normally will use half a small pumkin for cooking this, else if the pumpkin is bigger in size, I will buy a quarter wedge. Usually this stir-fried pumpkin is paired with dried shrimps, but I find that it goes pretty well with dried silverfish also. Your choice as to which is your preference are equally good partners when talking about this easy home-cooked dish.

Although this is a very quick item to dish up, the long time needed to get the pumpkin to soften is nothing at all compared to the delicious outcome. Common practice for me is to fry the smashed garlic till aromatic, then add in the dried silverfish (which has been washed and squeezed dry to remove dirt and grime) for a quick toss in the oil till fragrant. This is followed by the pumpkin cubes to coat it with the oil, then drizzle hot water on the sides of the wok till pumpkin is half-covered by the liquid.

Put the lid on the wok so that water can be absorbed by the pumpkin cubes to soften them. Occassionally remove the lid to check for doneness and stir the contents so that there won't be any burnt spot. Once pumpkin is soft, I add in half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of sugar and half a tablespoon of light soya sauce as seasoning. Stir this another time and once again, I added some water because I prefer this dish with parts of the pumpkin smashed and wet in order to go with white rice.

Sprinkle some scallion and it's reasy for consumption.