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Friday, May 31, 2013

VIETNAMESE COFFEE COTTONY CAKE [OGURA CAKE]

I have baked the Coffee Souffle Cake with 3 eggs [see this post] which was very nice and always my favourite. Here, I tried using Vietnamese Coffee [a friend gave me a packet containing 50 sachets of '3 in 1' coffee] to bake this cake. This coffee aroma was quite strong and the cake was not disappointing - texture was fine, spongy and moist. 
Ingredients for Egg Yolk Mixture
[using  9" square tin]
65 gm superfine flour - sifted
1/4 tsp salt
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
60 ml corn oil
3 sachets 3 in 1 [16 gm/sachet] Vietnamese Coffee dissolve with 80 ml hot water - set aside to cool
  1. Place the dry ingredients in the mixing bowl and make well in the centre.  Add in eggs, corn oil and coffee milk mixture.  Using a paddle hook, beat ingredients until creamy and well combined.   Set aside. 
  2. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups water into baking tray, place baking rack on the tray and  preheat oven at 160 degrees C for 10 minutes.
Ingredients for Egg White Mixture
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
65 gm castor sugar
  1. Using an electric mixer, whisk egg white until frothy, add in cream of tartar and whisk until  slightly foamy.  Add in sugar in 3 batches.  Whisk until soft to stiff peaks formed.
  2. Using a spatula, fold in 1/2 of the meringue into egg yolk mixture.  Lift and fold until well combined, then add to rest of meringue.  Fold again until well mix.
  3. Pour batter into a 9" square tin [line base with baking paper at the bottom only]. 
  4. Smooth the surface with a spatula and steam bake in oven at 160 degrees C for 10 minutes, lower heat to 150 degrees C and bake for a further 55-60 minutes.  [Note: for the water bath, use 1 and 1/2 cups water for the duration of baking.  This way the cake base will not be soggy after baking].
  5. Invert the cake after baking on a wire rack and let it cool slightly [about 5 minutes] before removing the pan and baking paper [there maybe some vapour on the baking paper].
  6. Cool cake completely before slicing to serve or refrigerate before slicing to serve later.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Black Glutinous Rice Loaf Bread [Overnight Dough Method]

Already quite awhile I have not bake this bread.  The previous bakes [see here for the straight dough method], I used the straight dough method.  This time, I used the overnight dough or sponge dough method where I divide the ingredients into two parts.  I also used yoghurt to replace the water and milk.  The bread turns out soft, moist and has a slight scent of the pulut hitam [black glutinous rice].
Ingredients for Overnight Dough
[makes 2 loaves]
200 gm bread flour
100 gm black glutinous rice flour [obtained from grinding black glutinous rice]
3 tsp instant yeast
150 ml water
  • Mix all ingredients into a soft rough dough.  Cover and leave to proof for at least 1-2 hours or put in plastic bag, tied up without proofing and keep in fridge for at least 4 hours.  Thaw for 15 minutes before adding bread dough ingredients.
Ingredients for Bread Dough
300 gm bread flour
1 tbsp skimmed milk powder [omit if using plain yoghurt]
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp  salt
1 egg 
120-150 ml water [I used plain yoghurt]
60 gm butter 
  1. Add all the ingredients [except butter] to the overnight dough.  Knead [from low speed to medium] until well combined and dough is soft for about 10 minutes then add in butter.  Continue kneading until soft, smooth and elastic.  Knead a further 5-10 minutes and dough does not stick to the fingers or window pane stage.
  2. Shape into a ball and cover with a clean cloth to proof for 20 minutes or until double in size. Punch down dough.
  3. Divide dough into 2 equal portions.  Roll and fold each portion into thirds, then roll swiss roll style into a log.  Place in baking tin [Pullman's tin] and leave to proof in oven for an hour or until double in size [almost reach the rim of the baking tin.  [You can divide dough into any number of equal portions to make smaller loaves].  Remove from oven before preheating it.
  4. Bake in preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 40 minutes.  Remove to cool on rack immediately after baking.
Notes - To prepare black glutinous rice flour
-  Grind 100 gm black glutinous rice in grinder until fine.  Sieve and grind a few times until the rice  flour is really fine.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

PUMPKIN BROWN SUGAR BUNS

This is a very popular steamed bun dough recipe which I noticed several blogger friends have tried and shared.  By chance, I came across the similar recipe in a food magazine [sorry, can't remember which one].  
These buns are very soft, fluffy and light.  I have made them into croissant shape with a sprinkle of brown sugar inside.  I wouldn't mind making these again especially when I'm not in the mood to prepare any pau fillings...  Fast and easy, lol.
Ingredients
[makes 16 buns]
250 gm pau flour - sifted
20 gm wheat flour
50 gm icing  sugar
50 gm pumpkin puree
100 ml water 
1/2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tbsp instant yeast
1 tbsp shortening 
some brown sugar
Using a Dough Mixer or Hand Knead
  1. Combine all the ingredients [except shortening] in a mixing bowl.  Knead until soft [about 5-10 minutes].  Then add in the shortening, continue to knead until soft, smooth and elastic.  
  2. Shape into a ball and cover to rest for about 30 minutes or until double in size.
  3. Punch down dough and remove dough to a floured surface, divide into 2 round balls.   Take one portion, roll into a rectangle, then cut into tall triangles.  Sprinkle some brown sugar on each triangle.
  4. Roll up each triangle into a croissant.  Place on parchment or greased proof  paper in the steaming tray.
  5. Leave to prove for 20-30 minutes or until double in size.
  6. Steam over high heat for 10 minutes in a steamer.  Off heat and leave paus for a further 3 minutes before uncovering to cool on rack. This is to prevent wrinkle, rough skin [sometimes  they may be a little wrinkle - probably because of proofing time but the texture is unaffected].
    Serve immediately or reheat before serving.
I'm sharing this post with Aspiring Bakers#31 - Bao Ho-Chiak -  May 2013 event hosted by Miss B of everybodyeatswell in Flanders.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tauhu Tod with Spicy Sauce

Tauhu Tod is a Thai dish.  It is fried firm beancurd served with a tangy sweet peanut dipping sauce.  Simple dish yet appetising.   I wouldn't mind just eating this for a light meal or snack.

Ingredients
3 pieces firm bencurd [taukwa]
enough oil for frying beancurd

Peanut Dipping Sauce [Mix together]
2 tsp freshly ground chilli paste
1 tsp fish sauce [use salt to taste for vegetarian version]
4 tbsp each of sugar and vinegar [I used calamansi juice]
1 stalk fresh coriander - chopped
4 tbsp ground peanuts
  1. Heat oil to fry beancurd pieces one at a time [if you do not want to use too much oil] until edges are crispy and golden.  Remove and set aside.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients.
  3. Cut the fried beancurd into quarters or 6 pieces.
  4. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Asian Food Fest
I'm submitting this post to Asian Food Fest - November 2013  
hosted by Lena of Frozen Wings



Monday, May 27, 2013

Zha Jiang [Spicy Minced Meat Sauce]

This Zha Jiang [spicy minced meat sauce] is good served with rice or over blanched noodles dry or with soup.  Very tasty [a little spicy, salty, sourish sweet], flavourful and appetising.  I served it with shredded cabbage and rice.  Kept some to serve with blanched noodles [rice vermicelli].  
Very versatile sauce which can be prepared earlier, stored and serve anytime just by reheating.  
Ingredients
200 gm minced meat
1-2 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 tbsp fine preserved bean paste [taucheo]
1 tbsp chilli paste [chilli boh or freshly ground chilli]
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tbsp white vinegar [I used Apple cider vinegar]
1/2 tbsp wine
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp water [more if you want some gravy]
1 tsp cornflour mix with 2 tsp water for thickening
some finely shredded cabbage - soaked in cold water and drained [optional]
some chopped spring onions for garnishing
  1. Heat oil in pan, saute garlic until aromatic.  Add in chilli paste and taucheo.  Continue to fry until aromatic.
  2. Add in minced meat.  Stir fry until meat is well mixed with the paste.  Add in all the seasoning.  Continue to fry for several minutes.
  3. Add water, bring to boil.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Add thickening once meat is well cooked.
  4. Dish out to serve with shredded cabbage and rice or spread over noodles.  Garnish with chopped spring onions.
    Notes:
You can substitute the chopped garlic, taucheo and chilli paste with 2 tbsp store bought spicy preserved bean paste [spicy tau pan cheong] or 1 tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste.

Friday, May 24, 2013

PUMPKIN COTTONY CAKE [OGURA CAKE]

After baking the cottony cake with purple sweet potatoes, I attempted baking another cottony cake, this time using pumpkin puree.  The cake turned out beautiful not only in looks but texture and taste wise - thumbs up.   Spongy, cottony and firm to touch.  I can say I have no complains about it.  I brought some to share with friends at the health centre and the feedback 'it's good'. 
Lovely yellow colour comes from the pumpkin and custard powder.  I added poppy seeds too [can omit if you don't have it].
In this post, I'm sharing quite a number of photos to accompany the various steps of baking this cake.  Hope they are of use and help to some readers who have not tried baking this cottony cake before.
Ingredients
[9 inch square baking tin]
5 egg yolks
1 egg
2 tbsp castor sugar
60 ml corn oil
30 ml milk [depends on pumpkin puree] - can omit
60 gm cake flour  - sifted - set aside
1 1/2 tbsp custard powder
50 gm pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp salt
5 egg whites
4 tbsp castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp poppy seeds [optional]

  1. Line base of a 9" square tin with grease proof paper.   I greased the sides, too and sprinkle lightly with a little flour [this way, the cake sides are a little crusty and can be easily removed from pan after cooling].
  2. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.    Place a baking tray on the lowest rack, pour in enough water [about 1.5 cups] for steam baking, then place a baking rack over it.  
  3. Whisk egg yolks and 1 whole egg until creamy then gradually drizzle in the corn oil followed by milk.    Whisk until well combined.
  4. Fold in pumpkin puree and sifted flour, stir until batter is smooth.  Add in poppy seed [if using].  Set aside. 
  5. Use a cake mixer, whisk egg whites until frothy, then add in cream of tartar.  Beat until soft peaks then gradually add in the sugar in 3 batches and whisk until stiff peaks formed.  Do not over beat egg whites otherwise it may be difficult to fold in to egg yolk mixture.
  6. Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into the egg yolk mixture until combined.   Then fold in the rest of the meringue lightly in two portions until well combined. 
  7. Pour the batter into prepared cake tin [smoothen with a spatula].   Tap baking tray on work surface a few times to release trapped air bubbles before baking. 
  8. Place it over the baking rack to steam bake cake in a preheated oven at 160 degrees C for 70 minutes [by then the water bath would have dried up] OR bake at 160 degrees C for 10 minutes, lower temperature to 150 degrees C, continue to bake for 50-60 minutes until cake is done.
  9. Remove cake and invert it to cool for about 5 minutes [otherwise the cake base may be moist because of vapour from steam-baking].   Remove baking tin and the paper linings immediately and leave cake to cool on a wire rack [base facing upwards].  The cake may shrink a little when cooled because of less flour used [low gluten cake].
  10. Turn the cake over when cooled completely. Slice to serve or refrigerate before slicing if preferred.  
Notes:
Cake keeps well in an airtight container if refrigerated [about 10-14 days].

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