Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Almond Chiffon Cake

Well hello strangers! Sorry for the long silence here. It has been a rather hectic past few months and it is never easy trying to cope with the increasing amount of work apart from my usual household routines. No matter, my blog is still here where I can always come back to deposit some good recipes and catch up on posts from my fellow blogger friends. 

Today I am back with another keeper. An Almond Chiffon cake recipe which is quite amazing if I do say so myself. 

My initial plan was to use up that almond flour I left from all that CNY bakes. Since almond frangipane tart and pound cake aren't what I want to eat (too heavy), so I opted for a lighter bake.

So I went ahead and did a draft recipe and started baking. Had a couple tweaks and this cake turned out amazingly good. Most importantly I did not cave in to using almond essence, (thank god) and yet it still has that faint nutty fragrance which lingers after each bite.

Recipe for Almond chiffon cake

Egg yolk mixture

5 large egg yolks
30 g creamy almond butter (refer here for recipe)
60 ml peanut oil
70 ml fresh milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
60 g cake flour
60 g almond meal

Egg white mixture

5 egg whites 
1/3 tsp cream of tartar
105 g caster sugar 

1) In the blender, blend both almond meal and flour together till smooth and fine. 
2) In a large mixing bowl, add in egg yolks, almond butter, oil and milk in. Whisk till well combined. The almond butter might be clumpy, just use a spoon or the whisk to break it up.
3) Add in salt, baking powder and flour mixture into the egg yolk batter. Whisk well to remove any lumps and smooth. Set aside for use later.
4) In a separate bowl, add in all the egg white ingredients and whisk till it reaches stiff peaks.
5) Preheat the oven to 170C . Combine the egg white mixture to the yolk mixture in 3 separate portions. Be gentle and don't over whisk. 
6) Pour batter into a chiffon tube pan and bake in the preheated oven for 26-28mins till the tester comes out clean. 
7) Remove from oven and invert to co before removing from the mould/ slice. Enjoy!

To achieve that tender soft, melt-in-the mouth texture, creaming process of the fat and yolk is necessary. The more air is introduced the better. More air is incorporated next with the well beaten meringue. Stiff peaks is needed to hold the whole chiffon. 
So yeah, cake baking is like science! Having the correct proportion matters.

I will be baking another 2 more chiffons for a close friend this week. So stay tune for more chiffon goodness on my Instagram 

Have a great midweek everyone!
Thanks for reading and hope you will try this recipe out!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pumpkin Mee Hoon Kueh 金瓜面粉粿

Not sure why, but I think my parents had not really been fans of Mee Hoon Kueh. I made this conclusion because I don't remember eating it when growing up. Strange I know, especially we are such a traditional family, with both my parents Hokkien. And the first encounter with this Mee Hoon Kueh was when I lunched out with my husband (still BF that time) eon years ago at a hawker center. I remember asking to try it, but unfortunately it didn't leave me a good impression. I couldn't understand that slightly thick doughy mouth feel .....I much rather have Kwey Tiao or Bee Hoon haha. Nonetheless, the soup was rather delicious with sweetness from ikan bills and pork. And consecutive encounters with this dish, even at my in law's, never really turned out that memorable as well. Okay nothing wrong with my in-laws' cooking by the way if you're thinking about that haha. 

So why AM I posting this you ask? Well, because it is one of my husband's favourite childhood dish! Who else can better help him reminiscence this fond memory other then his lifetime partner. :) #goosebumps

And in view of the fall season and my love for pumpkin, I created this Pumpkin Mee Hoon Kwey! Okay, I shan't call it pumpkin flavoured Mee Hoon Kwey because frankly speaking, the pumpkin taste was not that evident. But it did give the kueh a nice orange hue nonetheless. Looks way better then the plain white ones if you ask me. And looks and presentation does play a big part in this modern world. :P
Taste of home right here. Rustic and yet so comforting in every way. And today I think I've fallen in love with this dish! Perhaps by making it from scratch allows me to truly appreciate the labour of love involved, every component that comes together to make this dish so wonderful. Transporting me back to my childhood moments that I actually missed eating it!

Recipe for Pumpkin Mee Hoon Kueh

Pumpkin Dough Recipe
250 g plain flour
1 large egg
100 g peeled, steamed pumpkin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
90-100 ml water 

  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the above ingredients and knead using a stand mixer. Dough will slowly come together but will be slightly sticky initially. 
  • Continue to knead with a 5 minute break in between to let the dough rest before continuing to knead. Allowing the dough to rest will make it easier to reach the elasticity stage you want.
  • Once the dough completely pulls away from the side of the bowl, it is ready. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover to let rest.

Stock for Mee Hoon Kueh

500 ml water
40 g ikan bilis in gauze bag
250 g pork ribs 
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced (reserve the soaking liquid for use later)
200 g minced pork
some bak choi 

  • Blanch the pork ribs once in a pot of boiling water. Drain and set the ribs aside.

  • Add the water into a soup pot. Place the ikan bills gauze bag and the balanced pork ribs in. Bring to a boil and then lower the fire to a simmer. Let the stock slow cook for at least 35-45 mins.

Marinate for minced pork
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chicken powder
1 tsp cornflour
  • First we marinate the minced pork with all of the marinating ingredients and let it sit for at least 20 minutes before use.

  • Pan fry the cleaned ikan bilis till light golden brown. Dish up and set over paper towels to drain. Be watchful while you fry it as it will get burnt easily and end up having a bitter burnt taste. #NotGoodEats

  • On a non stick pan, add 1 tsp cooking oil and minced garlic. Cook till fragrant and add the mixture into a small soup pot. 
  • Add in some soup stock, about 2/3 the amount. Bring to a boil and to a simmer.

  • Pinch small amounts of the marinated mince pork into the simmering pot of soup. Continue to add till all the marinated pork has been added.
  • Now you can pinch small pieces of the pumpkin mee hoon kueh dough (using a kitchen scissors  helps too) and drop them into the simmering soup. Once the dough pieces are cooked, they will float.

  • Add in the bak choi or any fresh greens you like. Cook for a minute and you are ready to serve.
  • Scoop the kueh and soup in to a serving bowl and top it off with those crispy fried ikan bills.

Not that bad right? Pretty much like cooking a pot of noodle soup, just that you need to make the kueh yourself. So rewarding when this whole pot of deliciousness is done!

The kids were a little apprehensive in the beginning when I presented them these. Since this is after all the first time I am cooking it at home. But they are too hungry at that point to think that much haha.

Love the slight chewy bite and yet soft enough texture of the kueh. And I believe adding the pumpkin into the dough makes it softer. So happy how it all turned out! Saved a portion for my husband and he had it for dinner. He loved it and gave me his seal of approval! Happy. :)

Will definitely be making this Mee Hoon Kueh again soon...perhaps another flavour! We shall see haha!

Hope you will give this recipe a try too. But as we all know, this is truly a family recipe which everyone has their very own version. Whichever way you like it, I am sure the family will enjoy it nonetheless, because it is made with love! <3 i="">

Happy cooking always everyone!