Saturday, May 29, 2010

Banana, Coconut Cake with Passionfruit Icing



Recipe courtesy of  NorB. I have tried many times and each time... my banana cake would turn out 'perfect' ... moist and not too heavy... the way we like it.

I was fond of her recipe... but didn't think to rewrite in my 'recipe book' or scan it... I just used the same piece of paper she wrote ... and of course... that piece of paper tend to 'wander off'... It was left and 'lost' in one of my recipe books... and I couldn't remember which one!! 

What a pain!! Everytime I wanted to bake banana cake.. I'll look everywhere ... (and have been looking eversince we shifted our belongings... which is more than 5 years ago!)
Finally... with determination...  I searched each book and flipped pages one by one ... and voila!! found NorB's handwritten piece of paper...   
Thus to avoid another dissapointment...and the pain of searching ....again!! I am documenting it in my post...

A slight change or addition to the original recipe ~ adding dessicated coconut and drizzle with passionfruit icing..... 
  • 125g cold butter - chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup castor sugar
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 5 ripe bananas - mashed
  • 1/2 cup dried dessicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • a pinch of salt
Pre heat oven to 180C
Beat the sugar and butter until creamy. Add eggs, followed by flours, mashed bananas, dessicated coconut and salt. Mix well. Then add milk... mix until just combined.
Pour into a well greased pan or baking tin.
Bake for 55 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

For the icing:
Mix 1/2 cup of icing sugar with 1/4 passionfruit pulp. Drizzle on top... serve

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Chicken Soup with Peanuts...


Chicken soup for the soul? Try this Chinese version of chicken soup.

This soup is simple to make... just need to buy an old chook (remember...its not for the meat...as the meat will turn out dry and hard..), put all the ingredients (which is not a lot!!) in a slow cooker. The broth is sweet and refreshing.. good for the cold winter and rainy days ...

  • 1 whole chicken -preferably layers or broil or ayam pencen
  • 500g raw peanuts with skin on - washed and soaked for few hours or overnight
  • 4 cm whole ginger
  • 4 cups of water (or more if prefer)
Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker with enough water to cover the chicken. Cook for 4 hours on High or 6 hours on Low. Seasoned with salt.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Swedish Meatballs



 

IKEA = 'Swedish meatballs' ... comes to mind...everytime I drove by IKEA.. on the way to Miss E's school... 
And most of the time... the kids will subtly put forward their cravings for IKEA's meatballs.... 'Mom, Its been a long time since we last had Ikea meatballs'... and as usual this mom would reply ..' Yeah...' and it took a long time before this mom actually cook it for her kids... they eventually forgot about their request ... and cravings... poor kids... :)
so here it is... Swedish meatballs... minus the cute Swedish flag!!! 
  • 700g mince beef
  • 1 brown onion - chopped
  • 1/4 spoon mixspice
  • 1/4 spoon nutmeg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 slices of bread - process into breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
Saute chopped onion until slightly brownish. Leave it to cool. Then mix all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll into a ball.
Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan. Pan fry the meatballs until brown.

For the sauce:
  • 1 can of evaporated milk (can be substituted with cream)
  • 2 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 50g of butter
  • 1 cup of beef stock  or 1 cube of beef stock and 1 cup of water (depending on the consistency... may have to add more beef stock or water)
Using the same frying pan, melt the butter. Then stir in the flour and pour in the stock. Stir to avoid lumpiness... (may have to strain to have a smooth consistency). Cook on low fire until slightly thickened.

Serve the meatballs with steam potatoes, steam vegetables and cranberry sauce.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Cinnamon Bun



My second installment of Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Just imagine the smell of bread and cinnamon baking in the oven.... All our senses will be awaken by the gorgeous aroma permeating and teasing us... hmmmm....
We couldn't wait to get our hands on and gobble up these beautiful cinnamon rolls. It has a tinge of lemon... fresh and crisp .... and the fondant ..ooh so yum...  I could go on and on raving non stop about them.
Peter's book and his thorough thoughts ... easy to understand methods has made me a 'brilliant baker'...... lol
  • 3 1/2 cups of unbleached flour or bread flour
  • 2 teaspoon yeast
  • 6 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter or margarine - at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups of milk - at room temperature
  • 1 large egg - at room temperature
Cinnamon sugar: 5 tablespoon sugar mix with 1 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Fondant : 1/2 cup icing sugar mix with 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 1 tablespoon milk. Mix well..

Dough:
Cream the sugar, salt and the butter. Whip in the egg and lemon zest until smooth. Then add flour, yeast and milk. Knead on medium speed for 10 minutes (using KitchenAid or Kenwood mixer), or until the dough is soft, supple and not sticky! Must pass the window pane test!!
Lightly oil a large bowl ...transfer and roll to coat the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.

Ferment at room temperatute for 2 hours or the dough doubles in size.

Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface into a 2/3 inch thick and 35cmx30cm rectangle. Sprinkle over the Cinnamon sugar. Roll the dough into a cigar shape with the seamside down.

Cut the dough into 8-12 pieces. Proof at room temperature for 75-90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180C and bake for 20-30 minutes...Leave it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes...

drizzle with fondant ... while the buns are still warm not hot...let it rest 20 minutes before serving..

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bittergourd Stir Fry



Have you tried bittergourd? Some may wonder what bittergourd is...??
Bittergourd or bitter melon is from cucurbitaceae or cucumber family... also known for its medicinal values too... for further information... check out on wikipedia.

From young... I would detest anything with 'bitter' taste... I don't like bittergourd and pomelos (it has a bitter aftertaste!!)...
My mom used to cook bittergourd as she loves anything bitter.... but I refused to even try it...
Mr H too... loves bittergourd and so is Mr H Jr..... My mom would cook Malay style: stir-fry with sweet soya sauce and pounded chillies, whilst Mr H would cook Chinese style (recipe as follows...).
Of late... I would try one or two slices... if its bitter... that's it...sayonara!! but I would still buy bittergourd if I see one... but its up to either Mr H or Mr H Jr to cook it... since I am not eating ..then I am not cooking.... :) 

  • 1 bittergourd - thinly sliced
  • 2 garlics - chopped
  • 2 eggs - lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • salt and white pepper
  • optional: chopped up chillies
Heat the oil in a wok on high. Give a good swirl... saute garlic until golden (careful not to let it burn). Toss in the bittergourd. Keep stirring until the bittergourd is tender, add in the egg and keep stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with steamed rice.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Fragrant Beef Soup


Mornings and nights are getting colder as we gear ourselves to welcome winter months... nice wholesome hot soup (plus chillies) .... is simply wonderful :).
Note: Need to exercise some precaution when cooking thus eating this meal... I was using 2 bird's eye chilli but the heat was so overpowering... even I could feel the 'chilli burning sensation...' ...let alone my little Miss E ... who can't take any spicy food at all.. :(
  • 500g beef tortellini or ravioli
  • 1 litre beef stock (or 1 1/2 litre of water with 2 cubes of Massel Beef Style Stock)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass - sliced lengthways
  • 2 red birdseye chillies
  • 200g mushroom - thinly sliced
  • 150g baby spinach
Place 1 litre of stock with 2 cups of water, lemongrass and chillies in a large saucepan. bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes. You have the option of removing the lemongrass and chillies or as I prefer to leave them in.. to let the flavour fuse in with the tortellini. Add tortellini and mushroom, cover and return to a gentle boil for 6 to 7 minutes until the pasta is tender. Lastly add spinach and remove from heat. Serve....
~sfi

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Lavash Crackers



 

When it comes to breadmaking... Peter Reinhart will definitely be my No.1 choice... having tried many bread recipes from countless bakers/chefs... nothing compare to Peter's ~The Bread Baker's Apprentice...

Our favourites are baguette, cinnamon rolls (next on my list), pizza (base), foccacia, his amazing white bread and celebration bread... Some of his recipes may test one's patience... as it may take as long as 2 days before we could enjoy the smell of freshly baked bread baking in the oven and the taste of homemade bread... oohh so heavenly...

My zillion thanks to Mr H ... I received this book as a birthday gift from him, 6 years ago, but have yet to try them all... so my challenge would be ~ try to bake all the bread in his book.... good luck to me!!
  • 1 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water at room temperature
  • topping: poppy seeds, caraway seeds, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, paprika, mixed herbs
Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl (except water and toppings), add water just enough to bring everything together into ball. Dust the working counter and dough with flour. One can either knead by hand or use the mixer... and knead for at least 10 minutes until the dough pass the 'window pane' test (photo below).


Ferment at room temperature for 90 minutes (or more in cooler weather) and doubled in size.

Roll out the dough into square with your hand... dust with flour... and roll out to a paper thin sheet, 30cmx40cm size or to fit your baking tray. May have to stop from time to time to let the gluten relax...

Line baking tray with baking paper and carefully transfer the paper thin dough. Cut off the the excess with scissors.

Pre heat oven to 180C.. using the middle rack.

Mist the top of the dough with water and sprinkle toppings .... pre-cut crackers with pizza cutter to have a nice long thin crackers or if you wish to have shards... then bake and snap into pieces...


Thursday, May 13, 2010

Lemony Chicken


Few events happened in the last 10 days... computer just gave up on me, previous ADSL provider made a 'boo-boo', Miss E went on her 5 days school camp to Ningaloo Reef and had fun snorkelling and swimming (and here I was worried about her all the time...I know I am being silly!!!). But its all good now...

And I am back in my kitchen....

  • 700-800g chicken breast - thinly sliced
  • 3 egg white
  • 2 tablespoon corn flour
  • oil for frying
Mix the egg white with cornflour in a bowl until cornflour dissolved. Mix in the chicken slices. Heat up oil in the wok and fry the chicken pieces by batches until golden in colour. Put aside.
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoon of cornflour
  • 1 cube Maggi chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon honey
Dissolve the cornflour in water. Add in sugar, honey, lemon juice and stock. Stir on low fire until thickened.

Drain the oil and use the same wok... and re-fry the chicken pieces until heated thoroughly. Pour the lemon sauce and stir until all are well coated.. Serve with steamed rice and steam vegetables.~Janelle's cookbook

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Banana Pikelets with Maple syrup


An easy, yummy... Mothers' Day breakfast to serve... Miss E will be too tired to make me these... after her trip... and she'll be sleeping in the whole weekend!! Mr H Jr said he'll make me profiterolles... we shall see.. :)
  • 150g pikelet/pancake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 ripe bananas - mashed and extra for serving
Mix all in a mixing bowl and serve with maple syrup.

Happy Mothers' Day to all mothers....

Note: My internet connection is still not OK... stay tuned... I'll get back to emails and comments as soon as it is sorted out.... TQ

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Apologies..

My apologies ... as I have not been able to post any new articles ...
all due to:-...
  1. my computer had not been well. ~ virus attack and ... 
  2. I am in the midst of changing internet provider and it takes ages for the change...yes!!I am going to 'war' with my previous internet provider...
Hope all will be well soon...

Stay tuned (I have scheduled for my 'Sweet Saturday' article... :)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Honey SemiFreddo


Semi-freddo or semi frozen dessert is the next best thing to ice-cream. Its creamy, rich and easy to make... plus always get a thumbs up from everyone. 
Anyway... I wouldn't just go out and buy an ice-cream maker just to make ice-cream... its much easier to buy a tub of ice-cream and there are varieties of flavours, full cream. less fat.. etc to choose from. So far I have not seen semi-freddo tubs sold in supermarket yet...

My first attempt ... was a total disaster.  and there I was 'blaming' Nigella for not giving out the correct recipe ... as it turn out ... I was the culprit...being impatient and mix everything while honey mixture was still warm... so.. duh!!
This is my second attempt in making semi-freddo... it tasted so good ... that you'll want second helping... but I have to be a 'party pooper' and stop everyone after 1st serving as it is so rich and sweet (not yucky sweet...)... don't want that extra baggage around the waistline... ;)
my apologies to Nigella... hehehe..[chances are slim ~ that she reads my piece...:)]
  • 600ml double cream
  • 180-200ml honey
  • 8 egg yolks plus 1 egg
  • roughly crushed pistachios
  • extra honey
Whisk egg yolks, egg and honey on double boiler until creamy and smooth. Leave it to cool.
Whisk double cream until peak and stiff.

Fold in the honey custard gently and freeze for at least 1 day before serving. Sprinkle pistachio and drizzle some honey...