Friday, August 28, 2009

Pork Floss Swiss Roll Cake

Words like weird...,unorthodox..., strange or even funny comes to mind when you read my post title. No my friend / dear readers, no mistake or typo error here, it is indeed Pork Floss Swiss roll cake that I made today. Some of you probably cannot accept this....sweet and salty all roll up in a nice bundle? Did I run out of fresh fruits or fresh cream? Nah! I have been planning to make this swiss roll flavor like since forever, haha! I actually saw this recipe several times on some Taiwan blogs and all comments were raving over it! Yup! In fact it is such a yummy desert, I highly recommend it to everyone to try out this delicious recipe! I like it so much that I ate 3 slices in one shot! If you are a meat floss lover, you should not give this a miss...Ingredients For Pork Floss Swiss Roll:
70g cake flour
10g corn flour
3g baking powder
4 egg yolks
15g caster sugar
pinch of salt to taste
50ml fresh milk
50ml vegetable oil
4 egg whites
65g caster sugar

Ingredients for topping & filling:
1 sprig of green onion (green part), finely chopped
1 cup meat floss (I used pork floss with seaweed and sesame)
1/3 to 1/2 cup store bought mayonnaise

  • In a large heat proof bowl, add the egg yolks, 15g of sugar, salt, fresh milk and vegetable oil and beat till mixture is thick and double in volume.
  • Add the flours and mix well. Set aside first.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Butter a baking tray of about 10cm by 14cm. Line with parchment paper and butter the top of the parchment paper.
  • Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Continue to beat the egg whites and slowly add the sugar to it. Beat till mixture is stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold in the egg whites to the flour mixture in 3 portions. Making sure most of the white is not visible after folding.
  • Sprinkle the chopped green onion all over the prepared baking tray before pouring the batter in.
  • Pour the cake batter into baking tray and bake at 180°C for 15 mins. Then lower the temperature to 170°C and bake for another 5 mins.
  • When done, remove cake from oven and immediately remove from baking tray. Let cool on rack for 5 mins. Then using another parchment or clean kitchen towel, flip the cake over and peel off the parchment paper. Continue to let cool for another 15 minutes.
  • Spread enough mayonnaise on the cooled cake to cover 3/4 of the surface. Then sprinkle the floss all over the mayo. (The amount is up to one's preference).
  • From the short side, roll up the cake gently, making sure the filling does not fall out. Kept the cake rolled up in the parchment / kitchen towel till the cake is "stable".
  • After about 20 mins, remove the parchment paper and slice cake. Serve!
The green onion adds a nice color to the cake. Though it does not really contribute much to the taste...perhaps more fragrant. Some how my roll's crust kind of peeled off when I unroll the parchment away. Must be the hot weather!When my husband knew I wanted to make this, he was very skeptical at first. But when he finally tasted it, his conception totally changed! He say" Quite nice horr." Heehee, see...another one of those "looks is deceiving" desert! Everyone that tasted it loves it...even my neighbor too, heehee. My little daughter has already devored 3 slices too...can you believe that! The mayonnaise goes really well with the pork floss...really yummy! And surprisingly, the sweet cake compliments the pork floss and mayo too, a great combination! I think I will make it again to let more people try it. This is really an unusual but delicious cake and it is so easy to make too! In fact I felt so great to have this courage to try making this cake which turned out great. Victory!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Making sure my girls are settled in their sleep. I set myself a glass of drink right at my table. I seat comfortably in front of my computer. Edited and uploaded the photos for my post and all ready to script up another "interesting" paragraph for my readers out there. But....blank,,...nada, whatever you call it...I have nothing to offer my readers! It seems like my mind is too lazy to think or it's too clouded with other stuff. *sigh...God knows what!* I wonder if it happens to any of my fellow bloggers out there. I know some has such nice looking bakes that their pictures do all the "talking"....huh, mine? I cannot say anything close to it (nice looking?) as to what I've baked today. Behold...I present to you, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies....even the name sounds a little creepy, haha!
If you don't look carefully, it seems like a pile of brown crackly stuff with some white dust on it! Well, looks is really deceiving...this crackly, brownish, dusty looking thing is really a delicious cookie. Got this great recipe from my "Essentials of Baking" from William Sonoma. In fact my girls point it right out of the book, telling me to bake it for them! Even kids know that looks is not everything!

Ingredients For Chocolate Crinkle Cookies:
125g Semisweet dark chocolate (70% cocoa), chopped
60g unsalted butter
235g all purpose flour
45g unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

4 large eggs
350g granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (essence)
250g chocolate chips
60g confectioner's sugar

  • Place chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler placed over simmering hot water. Heat and stirring constantly till chocolate and butter melts. Remove from heat and set aside to cool before use.
  • In a large bowl, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Beat till mixture is double in volume, thick and pale yellow in color.
  • Stir in the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. beat at low speed till everything is incorporated.
  • Add the dry ingredients in, and mix till well combined. Lastly add the chocolate chips.
  • Cover the bowl and refrigerate batter for at least 3 hrs before baking.
  • Preheat oven at 180°C. Line parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  • Using a teaspoon, scoop out a heapful of the batter and then roll the batter between the palms of your hands to make it into a ball.
  • Then drop the ball in the confectioner's sugar and roll it around to coat it evenly with the sugar.
  • Then gently place the ball on the baking tray and repeat till the tray is filled with cookie balls about 3 inches apart.
  • Bake for 14 minutes till the cookies crackle like the picture below. Do not over bake as it will dry out the cookie.
  • Remove from oven, cool on baking tray for 5 minutes before removing it onto the cooling tray.
How to describe the has a crispy, crackled exterior and a chewy, fudgy interior. And it's chocolaty good...another chocolate craving fixed! Perfect with a tall glass of ice cold milk...mmmm!
My girls and I have at least 3 each once it came out of the yo so heaty horr! But it's so good! Do note that you have to refrigerate the batter long enough so that it is firm enough for you to shape it into a ball before baking. Also I have greatly reduce the amount of sugar (from 500g to 350g) because I thought it'll be way too sweet if I were to use that large amount of sugar! But I did use semisweet chocolate rather then unsweetened ones as mentioned in the original recipe. Mine turned out just right for my taste buds. :)
These cookies can be kept fresh in air tight containers up to 3 days. Do try it out when you want a chocolate's delish! This can also be a fun family "project" you can do with your kids at home. Get them to roll the cookie dough balls in the confectioner's sugar for you...they''ll have so much fun! Enjoy! ;)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pumpkin Sun Bread

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. You make me happy, when skies are gray. You never know dear, how much I love you. So please don't take my sunshine away." :D Heehee, I wonder if you know this sweet little kid's song "You are my sunshine". Well, this is the song that is going on in my mind while I am making this bread. :) It's the start of school holiday here in Malaysia. And I wanted to do something fun with my girls at home, so decided to try this fun and delicious bread together with my little ones. :) For a moment my younger daughter keep saying we are shaping the bread into a lion! Come to think of it, it does look a little like a lion, haha! We had loads of fun doing it together (mostly mommy though)...excellent quality time spent with my kids.
Have been wanting to try making bread with pumpkin, and this was a great opportunity. Reason being the color that the pumpkin gives such a nice golden yellow that it really makes the bread looks like it's radiating with sunlight, haha! This excellent bread recipe actually contains no sugar nor butter but it still turned out yummy good! It is pretty similar to my Purple Sweet Potato loaf, but without the sugar & butter, sounds good huh?

Ingredients for custard sauce:
400g bread flour
230g pumpkin, peeled, sliced, steamed and mashed
70g quality honey
1 large egg

1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant active yeast
60ml fresh whipping cream
100ml fresh milk (more or less depending on the moisture left in the mashed pumpkin)

Couple of chocolate chips (for eyes)
One cranberry (for nose)

For the cream cheese filling recipe, please refer to my earlier post, Cream Cheese Custard Oat Buns.

  • Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Knead the dough till it is not sticky, about 20 minutes.
  • Continue to knead till the dough is shiny and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, pull a small piece off and stretching it with your fingers. If dough is very elastic and pulls to almost see through without breaking, then it's done.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for at least 90 minutes.
  • Punch out the air. Divide out 1/3 of the dough and set aside for making mini buns with dried cranberries / raisins.
  • With the rest of the 2/3 dough, take half and fill it with the cream cheese filling. Seal the edges tight and press flat in to a round disc. Place it on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  • With the other half, divide into 10 small portions. Roll round and let rest for 10 mins before shaping.
  • Take one of the small balls and roll into a thin log. Then curl it up like a snail shell and place it on one edge of the big disc. Repeat with four other balls but placing it such a way that there's space in between but all around the round flat disc.
  • Take the 6th ball and mold it into a triangular shape, and also place between 2 curls and beside the big flat disc. Repeat with the remaining 4 balls.
  • Using a clean kitchen sears, cut out a mouth for the sun. Place the eyes and nose using cranberries/raisins/chocolate chips. Let proof for another 30 mins.
  • As for the 1/3 dough that was reserved earlier, divide it into 6 equal portions. Roll round and let rest for 10 mins before shaping.
  • Take one portion of the dough and roll flat into a long oval. Place some raisins or cranberries on top and roll it up like a swiss roll and seal the edges tight. Then roll it round and place it in a 6" round cake pan. Repeat with the rest of the 5 portions. Let proof for another 30 mins.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Brush bread surface with egg wash and bake in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes. If top browns too quickly, cover with foil and reduce heat to 170°C and bake till time is complete.
  • Remove from bread tin immediately when done and cool on rack completely before slicing. Enjoy!
So besides the Pumpkin Sun Bread that I made, I also made mini buns using 1/3 of the dough with cranberries in it.
Either way, with sweet & tangy cranberries or creamy cream cheese, the pumpkin bread was delicious. Soft and light, good to eat on it's own. :)
Haha, seems like a sun-burnt Sun bread to me! O well...can't complain, this oven of mine is all I have...whether it has uneven heat distribution or what, I'll just have to live with it! ;-P
Personally, I like the Sun bread with the cream cheese filling better verses the cranberries one. I guess I'm a cream cheese person! My girls had fun "destroying" the Sun bread this morning during breakfast. They were going like...I'm eating the eyes now,...I'm eating the "cheeks" now, haha! Love this bread, will definitely make it again....maybe with oats again, haha!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ariana Swiss Roll

I am currently undergoing something I would call "mood-less" situation. Sounds familiar to any one of you out there? I feel so lazy and unmotivated lately. Do not have the mood to make or bake anything interesting at all. Just wishing time would swish by faster and sweep this staleness away. I would catch myself staring at nothing at times of the day, lost in thoughts or things that people tell me face to face but did not really register into my mind. Geeze! And the funny part is when I was talking to a few of my friends...they seems to be experiencing this similar "mood-less" thingy. They told me they haven't been baking for awhile too...must be something in the air. :-P

My girls has been asking me to bake a cake for them...."a pretty cake with pink icing on it!" That is what they usually ask for. :) Since I'm in this lousy mood, all I can concoct out was a Swiss roll, haha. To make it more attractive (to my girls)...I added coloring to the batter to create this "wanna-be" Ariana Swiss roll.
I have to admit it was not very nicely done. Good thing my little ones were still very impressed with it and likes the colors in the cake. ;) They even label it "rainbow cake", haha! I got this recipe from Yochana's blog, so interested bakers can proceed to her link. Unfortunately mine did not turn out anything close to Yochana's, haha. But I have to give myself some credit for taking the courage to make it for the first time!
The sponge cake turned out really soft and goes really well with the fresh whipped cream. I guess the main difference in my recipe is I used fresh whipping cream verses buttercream. Since me and my girls love fresh sweetened whipped cream, it was an obvious choice to go with it in this cake. That kinds of explain the thick layer of yummy cream in the roll itself, haha!
We each devour a thick slice after dinner. I was glad I kept it simple and not adding more decorations or icing over the swiss roll because it was already very tasty. Anyway, I really need to brush up my technique on baking sponge cakes...looks kind of flat to me...don't you think?! Nevertheless, will attenpt this again, perhaps twigging it to have chocolate batter in it. :)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

又见叉烧包 / Char Siew Bao II

You must be wondering why have I named my post as "又见叉烧包 " or in other words Char Siew Bao déjà vu? :) Actually this is not the first time I made Char Siew Baos (A.K.A. Barbecue Pork Steam Buns) and not the first time I blog about it too. :) In fact I love char siew bao, and so is my little daughter, so making it is really a treat for us. Reason being we get to eat as much as we want! But getting the right taste in the BBQ pork filling and the right texture in the buns is really no easy business. Having practice making it for several times now...I can finally say I have found the recipe that I am contented with. :) BTW, not sure why my baos looked a little "yellowish" this time... I did use the usual bao flour. Might be from the BBQ sauce? Don't care! Eat first, haha!
I actually got the bao dough recipe from Rasa Malaysia, but did some changes to it, like I omitted the vinegar and have slightly different amount of flour and water. I will post my version here for my own future reference. As for the BBQ pork filling, it is originated from Gina of Kitchen Capers. Thanks Gina!!

Ingredients for Char Siew filling:
300g Char siew pork, chopped finely (store bought)
3 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
6 shallots*, sliced thinly and fried till golden brown

Note: original recipe calls for 4, I like more

120ml water

2 tbsp light soy sauce

1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp dark soy sauce

2.5 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp tapioca flour

1 tbsp corn flour

1 tsp plain flour

2 tbsp store given char siew sauce (optional)

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the seasoning ingredients together and mix well.
  • In the saucepan with medium low heat, add the seasoning mixture and cook till it thickens.
  • Add the chopped char siew pork and fried shallots and stir till well combined. Then add the toasted sesame.
  • Off the fire and dish up to cool till ready to use. This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 24 to 48 hrs.
Ingredients for Bao Dough (makes ~20):
8g active dry yeast
175ml water
280g Bao flour*
120g wheat starch
120g caster sugar
40g shortening

12g double active baking powder
15ml water

Note:*I only had 250g Bao flour left, so I substitute the rest with Hong Kong flour

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix all flour and sugar together with the shortening till well combined.
  • Add water and yeast and knead it till it become a soft dough.
  • Let dough proof for at least 2 to 3 hrs before use.
  • After the dough is done proofing, dissolve the baking powder in the water and knead it into the Bao dough. Continue till everything comes together, then let the dough rest for 20mins before shaping.
  • Divide the dough into 20 equal portions. Roll round and the then flat with a rolling pin into a flat disc. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the BBQ filling in the center. Gather the edges and seal.
  • Get ready the bamboo steamer with hot water boiling and some cut out parchment paper (2.5"by 2.5") for the baos to be placed on.
I can safely say this is one recipe that I have made several times and my family and friends are still raving over it every time they eats it. Sometimes I wonder can it be the BBQ pork I bought play a major part in that, or that particular bao flour brand I used that makes it all so good. Nevertheless, I hope to keep it consistently yummy so everyone gets to enjoy it every single time I make them. :)

I was really glad that this time the bao did "smile" after steaming. The "crack" on the top shows the fluffiness of the bao texture...nice!
Need I say more...the picture already shows you how delicious it is! Go make will "rock" your world! Figuratively speaking only, heehee. :D Soon, I will not be the only one with the déjà vu feeling...I am sure you will be making it over and over again. ;)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Potato Gnocchi

I guess when I say the term "Gnocchi"...not many people would be familiar with it. So for the benefit of those who are interested to know a little more about the term on. It is actually a traditional Italian pasta, usually made with potato, eggs, wheat flour or similar ingredients. It is a thick, soft noodle or dumpling, usually served with tomato or cream sauces, just like any other pasta you would consume. The name in Italian means "lumps", which in actual fact looks more like silk worm cocoons to me, haha! Anyway, look a little closer my what I am about to show you. Hope you don't loose your appetite! I'll probably shudder if I don't know what is that, haha!

If you wonder why in the world would I ever in my right state of mind want to make such a funny looking pasta...let alone to eat it? Believe me when I say this, " Looks is deceiving." :) If you have ever tasted gnocchi before, especially freshly made ones, you would understand what I mean. One bite and you will feel the smooth and soft texture of the fresh pasta slowly blending into the sauce. It will then ever so nicely melt away in your mouth that will leave you craving for the next bite. Haha...okay, I might be exaggerating a little (just a little), but it is really a simple yet delicious pasta that you can make at home for youself and your family to enjoy!
The first time I encounter gnocchi was watching an Italian ma-ma making it on TV. She makes it look all so easy and delicious! I was sold! I knew I had to try it out after that show. :) I got my recipe from I have been using this recipe for a long time now, like 3 years now. I used to make it so often, even my elder daughter knows how to make a gnoochi! She is actually a gnocchi number 1 fan! I have portioned the recipe so that it is just enough for a small family. :)

Ingredients for Potato Gnocchi:
1 pound russet potato, boiled, peeled and mashed while still warm
75g all purpose flour

1/2 whole egg, lightly beaten
1/4tsp salt

  • In the center of the mashed potato, add flour, salt and egg. Mix everything together to form a soft dough.
  • Set a pot of water to boil. Also prepare a big bowl of ice water to cool the pasta after it is removed from the boiling water.
  • Divide the dough into half and work with one half first. Roll the dough into a long rod of about 1cm in diameter. Using a kitchen scraper, cut the rod into small cubes.
  • Using either a fork or the gnocchi board (or gnocchi paddle as shown below), roll the small cubes on the fork/tool to get the ridges on it's body. Purpose of doing that to create the grooves on the pasta, so as to let the sauces can adhere to it more easily. Nice!
  • Boil the gnocchi in the boiling water for about 1 minute. Those that are cooked will float to the top. Scoop out and shock the cooked pasta in ice water till completely cooled down.
  • You can serve it now with your favorite pasta sauce or you can refridgerate the gnocchi up to 48hrs before serving.
It might not look that appealing or appetizing to you, mainly because I am really not good at garnishing my dishes! But nothing beats fresh homemade's REALLY good. ;) Perhaps next time I should make fresh fettuccine (haven't done that for awhile), that would be such a treat! In any case, be adventurous! Try out this potato gnocchi today! Have fun. ;)