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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Figurine Mooncakes 2011 [Goldfish and Pineapple Designs]

Since my last attempt making figurine mooncake whereby the cakes do not look nice with those moulds, I tried to make another 2 batches using the 'goldfish' and 'pineapple' designs.  Ingredients and method wise is exactly the same as per my previous posting [please refer to my earlier figurine mooncake postings for the recipe].  There is nothing wrong with the recipe or method and I am convinced it is the moulds.
Here are the pictures which show clearly the before and after baking of the mooncakes.  This time I am happy with the result and I can present them to relatives and friends as gifts in conjunction with Mooncake Festival.
With the same portion of ingredients, I made 36 pieces each of the 2 designs.
Before baking - goldfish design
After baking
Before baking - pineapple design
After baking
Notes:
  • Be careful when selecting the mooncake moulds.
  • The mooncakes are very nice with golden brown colour without egg glaze.  It looks lighter in the picture because of the lighting.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Figurine Mooncake 2011 [Assorted Design]

Baked some figurine mooncakes last weekend.   Please see my other posting for the ingredients and recipes. This time, I used 3 different figurine mooncake moulds.  These moulds look cute with Minnie, Winnie the Pooh and clown designs.  Moulding is easy and the design looks nice before baking but after baking, the designs disappear.  I think probably is because the wood cutting of these designs are too shallow or my mooncake dough is not good for these moulds. Taste wise, it is the same.
Not so good moulds
Clown design - before baking
 

Clown design - after baking [design disappeared]
Before Baking
After baking 
 
After baking, design no longer sharp
When I used the goldfish and pineapple designs, the pattern remains after baking.  Next time, I will stick to using the goldfish and pineapple design.
These are good mooncake moulds [design well craved]
Before baking
After baking - design still visible

After baking - design still visible

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Crispy Roast Pork Belly [Siew Yoke 脆皮燒肉] With Pictures

Roast Pork Belly from home kitchen
Although pork prices have dropped slightly, it is still quite costly to buy roast pork especially during 'peak season' [praying times]. During the Phor Thor Festival, although prices do not vary vastly but sometimes to get a good piece is quite impossible.
Two weeks ago a friend of mine bought a piece of roast pork at Ringgit 36 per kilogram but the piece of roast pork does not look appetising at all. When she asked the butcher why, she was told that 'Can help it, during festive time it is like that'. So this time around, I decided to roast a piece myself since I have a good and simple recipe [please refer to recipe posted on 16 May 2011].
Here are the pictures for preparing roast pork.  I paid Ringgit 19.00 for this lot of pork.
Marinade: 1-2 tsp salt, 2 tsp 5 spice powder and 1 tbsp cooking wine.  Some coarse salt for the skin
Scalded pork belly and marinating ingredients
Rub marinade on the meat side only. Leave in fridge for 2 days before roasting. This is to dry the skin and to flavour the meat
Put coarse salt on skin side and roast @ 250 C for 25 minutes
After 25 minutes, remove salt, turn oven to top heat 
Roast pork on top rack  for 30 minutes or until skin is burnt
Remove from oven, scrape burnt skin with serrated knife
The skin will be crispy after scraping the burnt part
You will hear the crackling sound when you chop the siew yoke
Notes:
  • If the skin is not crispy or burnt after 30 minutes, leave to roast for further 10 minutes.  Different oven may have different heating but with practice you will get a good piece of roast pork where the skin remains crispy the whole day.  Always put the skin side facing up before cutting.
  • Definitely worthwhile to try it if you do not mind cleaning the oven after that.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Black Fungus With Dates Drink

Black Fungus With Ginger Drink
This drink is said to help reduce high blood cholesterol.  How effective, I do not know but it certainly helps to keep cholesterol in check if you tend to eat a lot of fried and fatty food. 
Main ingredients - Black fungus, red dates and ginger
Ingredients 
50 gm black fungus- soaked and rinsed
500 ml water
3-4 thick slices of old ginger
9 red dates
Boil until water is reduced to 1 cup
  • Put all ingredients in a pot or slow cooker.  Bring to a boil and simmer on low fire till drink is slightly thick.  Pour into a bowl or mug [about 240 ml].  Serve warm [best on empty stomach].  Discard the ingredients.  
  • Prepare this drink fortnightly or once a month would be good for all.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Figurine Mooncake 2011 [Koong Chye Pneang] With Sesame Seeds and Meat Floss Filling

Baked Figurine Mooncake with Meat Floss Fillings
Once you have mastered the skill to prepare the basic figurine mooncake skin, you can use any fillings [home made or store bought] to add various flavours preferred.
Here, I tried adding roasted sesame seeds to the golden syrup mixture before folding in the flour and also use meat floss [store bought] as fillings.
Goldfish figurine mooncake before baking
Ingredients
For Dough - add 2-3 tbsp roasted sesame seeds to golden syrup mixture before folding in flour

Add roasted sesame seeds before adding flour
Fillings - 50 - 100 gm meat floss
Meat floss, mooncake dough and moulds
Filling dough with meat floss
Figurine mooncake before baking
Figurine mooncake after baking for 20 minutes @ 180 degrees C

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Tom Yam Flavoured Herbal Fried Rice


This is a very fragrant and aromatic fried rice with daun kadok [wild betel leaves],cekur leaves [sand ginger leaves], kaffir lime leaves and tom yam paste. More ingredients such as lemongrass, indian curry leaves, mint leaves and wild ginger flower 'bunga kantan' can also be added if available.  You can mix and match any of these ingredients, it is still okay.   These ingredients have to be finely cut for frying this fried rice.  Since, I am only frying for 2, I just used daun kadok, cekur leaves and kaffir lime leaves from my garden.   The spiciness [from tom yam] can be adjusted to suit own preference.
Ingredients
4 bowls of cooked rice [big portion]
2 tbsp tom yam paste
4 calamasi lime juice
some fish sauce to taste
salt and sugar to taste
100 gm prawns - shelled [can substitute with 1 tbsp dried prawns]
2 eggs
2 shallots - sliced
1/2 red carrot- shredded
10 or more daun kaduk leaves - clean and shredded
some cekur leaves - clean and shredded
some kaffir lime leaves - clean and keep whole or  shredded 
2 tbsp oil
  1. Prepare all the ingredients above.  Heat up oil and saute prawns till cooked.  Push aside, add in eggs, stir and push aside.  Put in the tom yam paste, fry and add in rice [fry on low heat] and stir to combine rice and paste well. 
  2. Add in carrots, stir and all the shredded ingredients. Continue to stir to combine all the ingredients well. Then add in fish sauce, salt and sugar [if necessary] to taste [these depends on the saltiness of tom yam paste].  Continue to fry till the vegetables are cooked and rice is light and fluffy.  Off fire and squeeze in the lime juice before dishing out to serve.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

China Barley Drink



This drink is said to help eliminate urine infection or traces of blood in urine and some minor problems with urinary bladder.

The barley comes in a ready pack from the Chinese medical shops and is cheap.  I bought a packet for Ringgit 1.00 [in Penang].  Some shops sell at a higher price but I believe the quantity and composition is more.

Here is the content of the packet of barley.  There are 2 types of barley and another dried plant [I do not know the name]. Should be able to get them at any Chinese medical shops when you tell them it is for the above purpose.  For this drink I added another herbal plant [picture below] from my neighbour's garden which is said to have better effect but it is optional.  This drink is suitable for all and not only those with urinary tract infection.
Contents of the packet

Have you seen this herbal plant?
Ingredients
1 packet of China barley [as above] - put in colander and rinsed under running water
1 litre water

  • Put barley and water in a saucepot. Bring it to a boil then turn down to medium low heat and continue boiling until barley breaks and is soft.  Cover and off fire.  Serve the drink warm.  Discard the barley and other ingredients.



Monday, August 22, 2011

STARTER DOUGH BREAD LOAF

 
This is a very good loaf bread recipe. After trying out many times and each time the result is good, I would like to share with all of you. I have tried to simplify the measurement and method so that all who are interested to make their own bread can follow easily to bake soft and moist loaf bread for the family.  It is worth baking your own.  I usually will measure the ingredients earlier in separate containers for later use. I am using a Kenwood mixer.
Kenwood Mixer - so far a reliable kitchen aid
The quantity here is for making 2 loaves of 1/2 kg bread.  You can always bake 2 loaves at a time and freeze up 1 loaf if you cannot finish them in 2-3 days.  This bread remains soft and moist even on the third day provided it is kept in airtight container and in a cool place.

Starter Dough Ingredients
240 gm bread flour
60 gm plain flour
3.5 tsp instant yeast
200 ml warm water
  • Pour water into a mixing bowl and add instant yeast.  Leave for 15 minutes until yeast activates.  Add in flour and use a spatula to stir into a sticky dough.  Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave to rise for 1-2 hours or double in size.  [Can do this earlier , leave to rise for 30 minutes, then put in plastic bag, tie up and keep in fridge overnight or keep for 1-2 days.  When using, remove from fridge and leave in room temperature for 30 minutes before adding bread dough ingredients].
Bread Dough Ingredients
240 gm bread flour
40 gm plain flour [60 gm is not adding wholemeal flour]
2 tbsp wholemeal flour
3 tbsp castor sugar
1.5 tsp salt
1 tbsp skimmed milk powder
150 - 160 ml warm water

1-1.5 tbsp butter
  • When starter dough is ready for use, add in the dry bread dough ingredients [except butter].  Using the dough hook, turn on low speed [speed 1] to mix all the ingredients then gradually add in the water.  Kneading the dough all the time for about 5 minutes.  Then turn to medium speed [I used speed 3] to knead for another 5 minutes.  Add in soft butter and continue to knead for 10 minutes or until dough is soft, smooth and elastic.  Remove mixing bowl from machine, shape dough into a ball and cover with kitchen towel.  The dough is not sticky but soft.   Leave to rise for 10-15 minutes or until double in size.
  • Punch down dough.  Remove to a floured board, divide dough into 2 equal portions and fold in third for each portion, then roll into flat rectangular piece and roll up swiss roll.  Put in loaf pan, leave to rise for 50-60 minutes [I put in oven to proof].  Do the same for the other portion. Please refer to my earlier bread posting for pictures on how to roll the bread dough.
  • After dough is doubled in size [about 50 minutes], remove from oven.  Preheat oven at 180 degrees C for 10 minutes.  Bake bread for 25 minutes on lower rack.  Remove baked bread immediately to cool on rack before storing or slicing.
Proofing dough in oven
Notes
  • Here I divide the dough into 6 equal portions because I wanted to make 3 small loaves in 1 bread pan.  More rolling but for a change in looks it is alright.
  • With this method, less washing to do.

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