Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Belanda Hu

In Penang's nyonya cuisine, I have come across some dishes with the word "Belanda" in its name previously, and one of it was Belanda Egg.  And it was quite similar to today's dish - Belanda Hu (with Hu meaning fish in hokkien), with the similarity being the tamarind used in the gravy.  It is a nice sweet and sour dish that goes very well with steamed white rice as I recalled. 
One important point to note is to use tamarind pulp with seeds in order to get a thick gravy.  From my past experience of using seedless tamarind pulp, the gravy turned out very diluted and it won't thicken at all so I had to resort to cornstarch solution in the end. 
Source:  WendyinKK
300g threadfin (kurau/senangin) steaks
6 shallots (sliced)
4 large cloves of garlic (sliced)
50g tamarind pulp rubbed with 125ml water, then strained to get the juice
1cinnamon stick
1 red chilli (sliced)
2 tbsp sugar *I used 3 tbsp*
salt to taste *I omitted*
1/  Put in 3-4 tablespoon of oil into a frying pan and slowly sauté the shallots on medium heat until golden, then drain and dish up.
2/  Saute the garlic slices until golden and crisy, then drain and dish up too. 
3/  Fry fish steaks until golden with the remain oil, then drain and dish up. 
4/  Put cinnamon stick into the pan (still with oil) and on medium low heat, cook this for 1 minute. 
5/  Pour the tamarind juice into the pan, put chilli and reduce gravy to the desired consistency.  Adjust the taste with sugar and salt.   
6/  Put half the crispy shallot and garlic into the gravy, then add in the fried fish steak to simmer for 10 seconds and dish up. 
7/  Serve sprinkled with the remaining crispy shallot and garlic. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dual-coloured Ogura Cake


While I was stopping by Crystal's blog to read up on her Kopitiam Milk Buns, I chanced upon the photos of her Ogura Cakes on the left panel which featured her hot recipes.  The cake was so tall and neat, yet very fluffy and moist.  So my adventure begins... 

Source:  Crystal's blog
Yield:  8" square
45g Corn oil
60ml milk
1/4 tsp salt
5nos egg yolks (100g)
1nos whole egg
65g superfine flour

5nos egg whites (200g)
75g castor sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1/  Whisk everything except the flour till batter is thick and pale. 
2/  Add in the sifted flour till batter is smooth and keep aside (away from any wind). 

3/  Whisk egg whites till frothy, then add in sugar and cream of tartar to continue whisking till stiff peak. 
4/  Add this meringue to the above mixture in 3 batches till well mixed, then divide mixture into 2 portions. 
5/  Into one portion add in the cocoa powder, then pour this into a mould lined with grease-proof paper followed by the other portion of plain batter. 
6/  Bake with water bath at 170 degree Celcius for 50 minutes. 
7/  Once cake is baked, remove from oven, and let it cool for 10 minutes before inverting on a rack to cool completely. 

My first attempt was not very successful because eventhough the cake passed the skewer test, the bottom chocolate layer was quite wet.  I would need to bake the cake longer in my next attempt.  And while I was googling to find out why my cake turned out to be a flop, I stumbled upon this very useful video for a step-by-step with lots of tips and useful details.  Shall reference that for my next trial. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Kopitiam Milk Bun

The buns baked by Sonia were a beauty, they were like little gifts wrapped using natural "wrapper", the pandan leaves.  Not only that, the buns were topped with a curry leaf "sticker" each, making them looking so pleasant.  So attractive were the buns that I was keen to give it a shot. 
The method employed in the recipe was new to me.  It involved making the starter dough first, then let it rest overnight (12-16 hours) before using it the next day.  As I wasn't keen to wait that long, I checked on the source link, and hopped over to Crystal's blog.  What a relief when I read that the started dough can be used within 4-5 hours when stored at room temperature. 
Here is the photo of the starter dough after 4 hours at room temperature.  It expanded slightly. 

Sonia made hers with filling, whereas I made mine blanco, just to try out the texture of the buns.  As I was using an 8" square mould and wanted squarish buns, I divided the 600g dough into 9 pieces only.  Each bun was slightly more than 65g each, and it turned out to be a tall bun. 

Look at the shiny buns!!  I triple-glazed the buns - before, during and after baking just to finish up the 1/2 egg that was remaining after using the other half in the recipe. 

The fine texture of the tall buns.  A bit on the sweet side, so it was good to eat on its own. 

Source:  Sonia on modified recipe, Crystal on timing and method
Yield:  9 pieces (65g each) using 8" square mould
Starter sponge dough
215g high protein flour
125g full cream milk (cold)
2g (1/2tsp) instant yeast

1/  Mix all ingredients till combined into a rough dough (I used KitchenAid) and store in a container (with extra room for dough to rise) for 4-5 hours at room temperature or 12-16 hours refrigerated. 

Bread dough
1 quantity of the above starter sponge dough
90g high protein flour
30g egg (1/2 size A egg)
4g (1tsp) instant yeast
60g castor sugar
1 tbsp full cream milk (cold)
45g butter (softened)

30g egg (for glazing the buns) 

1/  Place all ingredients except butter in a mixing bowl, then tear the starter sponge dough into smaller pieces and knead everything together to get a smooth dough (I used KitchenAid speed 2). 
2/  Add in butter to knead dough further till it is shiny, elastic and passed the window-pane test. 
3/  Leave dough aside for 10 minutes, then scale according to size preferred. 
4/  Place dough into tray and let it double in size, about 45-60 minutes. 
5/  Egg wash the buns, then bake them in a pre-heated oven for 20 minutes at 160 degree Celcius. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Super Moist Chocolate Chiffon Cake

This Chocolate Chiffon Cake was very moist, and also full of chocolate flavour.  Just look at the colour, extremely dark and inviting.  So chocolate-ly yet very light, I can't stop at one piece. 
Thanks for sharing the recipe, Mothering Corner. 
This shall be my go-to recipe for Chocolate Chiffon from here on. 
Source:  Mothering Corner
Yield:  18cm
4nos egg yolks
30g castor sugar
1/4 tsp fine salt
50ml vegetable oil
50ml UHT milk
30g cocoa powder dissolved in 100ml hot water
100g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

4 nos egg white
60g castor sugar

1/  Whisk egg yolk, sugar and salt till well incorporated, then add in vegetable oil followed by milk and mix well. 
2/  Add in sifted flour and baking powder to form a thick batter, set aside. 
3/  Add the cocoa powder mixture into the above. 
4/  Beat egg white with sugar on high speed till stiff peak. 
5/  Scoop 1/3 of the meringue and fold into the egg yolk batter till well combined. 
6/  Add the batter from step 5 into the rest of the meringue and fold till batter is homogeneous, careful not to deflate the air bubbles. 
7/  Bake in preheated oven at 160 degree Celcius for 40 minutes till cake is done. 
8/ Invert cake upon removal from oven and let it cool completely before slicing. 

The original recipe stated 50g of vegetable oil, but I used 50ml only because I used the measuring jug for the liquids.  50ml of water would weigh 50g, but 50g of oil would come up to about 75ml of oil since oil is lighter than water.  Same goes for the milk, I used 50ml and not 50g.  Which means my total liquid used was 100ml, and the cake turned out fine. 

Double-Boiled Wintermelon Chicken Soup

After making the Petaling Street's famed dessert drink, I was left with half a wintermelon so the decision was to make it into a soup by double-boiling it.  I vaguely recall my green grocer giving me this suggestion in order to use up a whole wintermelon when he didn't want to sell me portions of it.  He used to sell cuts of wintermelon, but not anymore now.  So his brilliant idea (which was also to increase sales, by the way), was to slice of the top of the wintermelon and retain that as a cover.  Then using a spoon, scoop out the seeds within and stuff ingredients into the cavity.  The next step was to double-boil the whole wintermelon over low fire for a nourishing soup. 
It turned out to be a brilliant idea actually, but I only did half a portion.  With half a wintermelon, the capacity of the cavity was also half.  Luckily I had some deboned chicken thighs meant for chicken chop, so I managed to fold the chicken thigh easily and tucked it into the wintermelon cavity together with 2 red dates and 3 pieces of small dried scallop. 
The wintermelon turned out to be very soft, that all I had to do was to scrap it out with a spoon.  The soup was also very sweet, without any seasoning!  It's almost like drinking chicken essence. 

1/2 wintermelon (skin scrubbed clean, seeds scooped out and wintermelon left intact)
1 deboned chicken thigh
2 red dates
3 dried scallops

1/  Put the chicken, red dates and scallops into the wintermelon cavity. 
2/  Place the wintermelon in a bowl, and place this bowl into boiling water in a pot. 
3/  Boil this for 1 hour over slow fire till wintermelon turns soft. 

Friday, July 26, 2013

Petaling Street's Lohanguo Dried Longan Drink Wannabe - KL Selangor MFF

I have seen this "stall" at Mid-Valley Megamall, down at the Lower Ground floor couple of years back.  However, at that time, I wasn't tempted to try it, probably because it was cold in the air-conditioned mall, so there was no urge to down an icy drink.  Fast forward to today, what's with the haze returning -- I found myself yearning for such a cool concoction to whet my thirst. 
The list of ingredients on Table for Two's was not intimidating.  Even the steps were pretty straightforward, but it was the duration that held me back for a little bit, just a little.  But what did the trick was Wendy's fascinating photos (as usual), and before long I found myself driving to the nearest Chinese Medical Hall to gather the necessary ingredients for this bowl of slurping good dessert. 

Yes, it was superdy-duper KAW and sweet!!  I tried the first bowl spoon on as-is basis to figure out how it tasted originally, and I cringed.  It was too too sweet for my tastebud, but very very refreshing.  And the best part was the longan still tasted sweet and yummy. 

For future attempts, I would still follow the recipe to the dot and not change a thing.  Then do per Wendy's suggestion, which was to treat this like a cordial and dilute according to individual taste bud.  This was, one can also save fridge space and make this drink stretch longer with more servings to make the cooking time worthwhile, a total of 3 hours 10 minutes over the stove. 

Source:  WendyinKK
Yield:  10 bowls (served with ice cubes) 
2 liter water
300g wintermelon
3 nos lohanguo
300g rock sugar
100g dark dried longan flesh
1/  Scrub the skin of wintermelon, discard the seeds and cut wintermelon into large chunks with skin on. 
2/  Bring water and wintermelon to a boil, then lower to simmer for 2 hours with lid on. 
3/  Place lohanguo in between your palms to crack them, then put lohanguo and rock sugar into the pot for another hour. 
4/  Strain the infusion (you should have around 1 liter of liquid, not too much). 
5/  Put in dark dried longan flesh and simmer for 10 minutes before switching off the heat. 
6/  Let the infusion cool totally and serve over a full bowl of ice cubes.   

Note:  I placed the strained remnants back into the empty pot with 1 liter of water and bring it back to a boil to simmer for 1 hour, and it was still very flavourful. 

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest,
Kuala Lumpur Selangor month hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish