Thursday, January 31, 2013

Negeri Sembilan MFF : Seremban Siew Pau

Okay, I will keep this post short since I am pretty tight down by other stuff. Why bother if I'm so busy? Well, I meant to bake and put up this post earlier this week, but waited till this very last day of the month!! *sucks to be so busy* Nevertheless, here it is, my version of Seremban Siew Pau, in support of this month's MFF, featuring Negeri Sembilan.
This is the 2nd time I attempted this. Frankly speaking I can't really remember how it was back when I first did it, but at least I remember the taste was not bad, lol! Anyway, here is the new version of this Siew Pau:

Ingredients (makes 12 pau)
Ingredients for Char Siew filling:300g Char siew pork, chopped finely (store bought)
6 shallots*, sliced thinly and fried till golden brown
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
  • 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.
  • 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. 
For making the pastry skin: (recipe adapted from Carol's "The First Book of Noodles for Beginners)
(Water Dough)
95g plain flour
15g confectioner's sugar
20g vegetable oil (I used ghee)
50ml water
  • In a large mixing bowl, add flour, confectioner's sugar, and ghee/oil then add the water to form a soft dough.
  • Knead dough until it's not sticky and smooth, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Let dough rest for 30 minutes and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Divide the dough into 15g each.
(Oil Dough)
90g cake flour
30g vegetable oil
  • Mix the shortening into the cake flour. It will feel crumbly at first, but continue to knead to form a dough that is pliable.
  • Divide the dough into 10g each.
  • Roll the water dough flat enough to encase the oil dough inside. Place oil dough inside water dough, cover and seal the edges.
  • Then press and roll out the combined dough into long flat oval. Then start rolling in from one end to make the dough like a swiss roll. Cover let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Then again repeat by taking a portion and roll it flat into a long rectangle and then roll it up from the short end into a swiss roll.
  • Using your rolling pin, roll out the dough into a roll disc at least 10cm diameter.
  • Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the filling in middle of the dough. Gathering the edges of the dough into top middle, pinching the edges together to seal up the top.
  • Preheat oven to 180°C.
  • Brush the surface of each Siew Pau with egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-23 minutes till golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.
I was very please with the siew pau. Although can't compare with the original Siew Pau in Seremban, but it was still tasty. ;) The filling was flavorful and the crust was crisp and flaky! As you can see, I might have over-filled the pau which causes the yummy char siew oozing out, waste! Lol!
Indeed packed full of yummy char siew~! Will reheat it in the oven (140C for 10 mins) next morning to have it for my breakfast with a cup of coffee. ;) 

I am happy to submit this post to this month's Malaysia Food Fest, Negeri Sembilan month hosted by Hody of Cook 4 you & me.

Okay, all have a great weekend ahead! Happy baking NY goodies that is, lol!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

CNY Bake : Almond Cookies

I am sure most of you have tasted almond cookies before. I would say a good recipe should be those that will slowly melts in the mouth. It should have a faint almond fragrant and sweet buttery after taste. I don't really fancy those that has almond essence nor small almond chunks in them. The essence taste artificial & those chunky almond bits get stuck in my teeth!  If I say I like almond cookies, it is an understatement...I can chow down a tub all by myself if I am not watching my waistline, lol! But hey, looking on the brighter side, almonds has so many health benefits, it's alright to indulge in it right?

It is essential you get whole blanched almonds for this. Roast them and then grind them to fine powdery texture. If you choose to use store bought fine almond flour, it should be okay if you know the store has fresh stock every time. Else those almond powder that has been shelved too long will loose its fragrant and might even have an old stale taste to it. :P

Ingredients for Almond cookies
250g whole blanched almonds
- Roasted at 200C for 10 minutes till slightly golden. Let cool completely then grind it till very fine.

100g plain flour
120g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
95g confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp fine salt

100 - 120 ml peanut oil (add enough to make a soft dough)
50g melted unsalted butter

Egg wash for glazing (omit if you want it vegetarian version)

  • In a large mixing bowl, sift both flours & baking powder in. Then sift in the confectioner's sugar and salt. Now add in the grind almond and mix well.
  • Add in both peanut oil and melted butter. Stir the whole mixture until it comes together to form a soft pliable dough.
  • Preheat the oven to 170C. 
  • At this point you can choose to cut out or shape the dough into rounds as desired. Lay them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Repeat till all the dough has been shaped out.
  • Glaze the cookie tops with egg wash.
  • Bake the cookies in the oven for 15-18 minutes till light golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool before storing. Enjoy!

Don't ask me how many of these cookies I have eaten...I've already lost count, lol! I had to seal the tubs to stop myself from sneaking a few cookies ever so often! 
Even though I baked double the above recipe, it still seems not enough. :P Anyway, I doubt I have the leisure to bake another batch for CNY...since I still have a few more cookies to bake!

I am happy to submit this to Sonia's blog event :Chinese New Year Delights 2013 新春送礼.

Okay folks, gonna go bake more cookies...until next time, happy baking all!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

CNY Bake: Multigrain Snake Buns

My, it's less then 20 days to Chinese New year!? Where did the time go? Didn't we just had a festive Christmas celebration last week? Well, nothing wrong with my sense of time, but it sure feels like last week, lol! I guess most of us home bakers are frantically baking the new year cookies in preparation for the celebration and to give away as well. As usual, I baking the pineapple tarts, almond cookies etc etc. But since there is a blog event over at Sonia's in lieu of CNY, I decided to join in the fun. :) I made snake buns! Lol, sound creepy and unappetizing isn't it. No worries, no snakes are harmed in the making of these buns. :P Haha...
 I know, not exactly snake looking buns...but you can imagine soft sticky dough ain't exactly that easy to mould either. :P But I had loads of bun making them! Haha, like a big kid with "play dough"!
 This dough recipe is actually similar to the one I used for my healthy cinnamon buns I baked last week. But instead of the red bean, red dates & black rice trio puree combo, I used almond, oats and walnut puree instead. I will still post the recipe here for easier reference.

Ingredients for Healthy Cinnamon Buns (recipe by HoneyBeeSweets)
420g bread flour
105g five grain flour (you can sub this with rice flour)
50g caster sugar
6g salt
7g instant active yeast
170g almond+walnut+oats puree
160ml fresh milk
200ml water (+- 10 ml ; add as per needed )  
30g unsalted butter


mini smoked sauages
tuna mayo (1 can of chunky tuna, drained and mixed with 2-3 tbsp mayo, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2tsp sugar, pinch of pepper)
some red beans for eyes 
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients except the butter. Stir and mix till everything comes together to form a pliable dough.
  • Continue kneading till the  dough becomes elastic and pulls away from the side of the bowl and not sticky anymore.
  • Add in the butter and continue to knead till it reaches window stage. 
  • Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover to let proof for 1.5-2hrs till it doubled in size.
  • Punch out the air and divide the dough into 40g and 50g portions. (Note:  I made at least 12 of these snakes buns. But you can make less and use the rest of the dough to make a loaf)
  • First take the snake body, so take a 50g portion and roll flat into a rectangular shape:
  • Roll it up lengthwise and seal the edges nicely. Then roll the whole thing into a coil to look like a snake body:
  • Next, make the snake head. Cut the sausages into 3 length wise and cut the tip to make it look like a snake tongue. Then wrap the sausage with the 40g dough portion like a drumstick shape. Then place the head over the coil dough:

  • Repeat till all the dough portions has been used up. Let proof for 30-45minutes covered. Preheat the oven 175C while waiting. Brush egg wash if desired.
  • Place 2 red beans on top of the head to make it look like it's eyes.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden brown. Enjoy!

Seems a little complicated, but I guarantee you that you will have loads of fun making this. Get your kids to involve too to make it a bonding project! How cool is that?
You can use any bread dough recipe you are comfortable to work with. The one I'm using can be a little sticky and require more kneading time. But the next photo will proof that it is all worthwhile, haha!
Feel free to use another kind of puree if you don't fancy nuts. And you can also reduce the recipe into half to make a smaller manageable portion. :)

I am happy to submit this fun post to Sonia's blog event :Chinese New Year Delights 2013 新春送礼. Have you submited yours? Do join in the fun! Thanks Sonia for hosting this! :)

Have a great week ahead everyone! And happy baking all!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Seremban Hakka mee - Seremban MFF

If you live in Singapore or Malaysia, I am sure that you are familiar or even tasted  "Ba Cho Mee" (肉挫面) which is essentially means minced pork noodle. This local delight can be found in essentially any hawker place in Singaproe. But my first time tasting the all traditional Seremban Hakka Mee was when I was staying in Petaling Jaya a few years back. This little store nicely hidden in a place call Arman Suria, sells the best Char Siew Fun (roast pork / BBQ pork rice) I have ever tasted...serious! The meat and fat literally melts in your mouth! And their other best seller was their Seremban Hakka mee. It was super delish! And frankly the taste is quite different from the version in Singapore. And every time I visit KL, that store is a must go, lol!

When I saw this month's MFF featuring Seremban, I was delighted! Knowing that there will be fellow Malaysian bloggers posting up this Hakka mee recipe, haha! But little did I know, there was already a good recipe around from Baby Sumo. :) And she has conveniently used Cintan instant noodle in place of the traditional Hakka noodle, I like! (Knowing that I won't be able to find the latter, lol!) So here it is, my Seremban Hakka Mee.

Since I made this for my little ones as lunch, I have decided to omit the step of making the pickled green chillies. I know I know...what a loss! But I swear I will do it the next time, heehee. :D I will repost the recipe for easier reference next time. Thanks to Baby Sumo for this great recipe!

Ingredients for Seremban Hakka Mee (Serves 4)
4 servings of  non-fried flat noodle (I used Cintan instant noodles)
250g ground pork
4-5 pieces of dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp chicken stock seasoning
1 tsp sugar for taste (optional)
Enough water for the mince pork gravy (about 300ml)
1/2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • In a large wok, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic and stir fry for 2 minutes till fragrant. 
  • Add in the minced pork and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add in fish sauce, soy sauce, chicken stock seasoning & sugar and stir in well. Lastly add in the water and let the meat stew over low heat for 10 minutes. Feel free to add more water if more sauce is desired.
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil and cook the noodles for 3 minutes,or until al dente. Drain and divide into two bowls. Sprinkle some sesame oil over the cooked noodles and toss to coat.
  • To serve, top the noodles with the minced pork with gravy, and some spring onions. Serve while still hot.
I love the addition of fish sauce in the meat sauce...really brings out the wonderful flavor, yum yum. By the way, I added a bit of sugar to balance off the taste, and it worked pretty well for me. :) And the addition of sesame oil in the noodle also makes it more fragrant. :) But all these are optional...base on your own preference of course.
Now, a look at the picture just want to make you say "Ahhh..." Lol! I really enjoyed this dish, will definitely cook it again. Thanks again Baby Sumo. ;)

I am happy to submit this post to Malaysia Food Fest, Negeri Sembilan month hosted by Hody of Cook 4 you & me.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Healthy Cinnamon Buns

Whenever I think of cinnamon buns, the image of the bread covered with a oogey layer of thick icing on top always pops up. If you have ever tasted one that looks like that, you will know how sinfully good but also sinfully sweet it is! But who can resist a good soft cinnamon bun? Not me for sure, haha! In order to satisfy my craving for cinnamon buns (meaning eating one after another without guilt), I came up with a pretty good recipe (if I do say so myself, lol!) that will satisfy anyone's cinnamon bun appetite!
Why would my cinnamon buns be healthy? Well, besides the addition of the 5 grain powder which I bought all the way from Taiwan, I even added a combination puree of red dates, red beans and black glutinous rice puree. You must be thinking where in the world can you get this 5 grain powder....well any orangic store will carry them. But here is a picture of the one I bought:
No worries if you can't find the same exact brand, I believe the quality won't differ much. As for the trio puree, I actually got it from my latest gardget Luby puree king, but you can of course get the puree yourself by cooking these 3 components together of equal amount without sugar till it is soft. Then using a blender to zap it till smooth.
You can even opt not to add this puree in if you find it too much of a trouble, the texture of the bread should not differ too much.
I actually shaped the dough the night before and left them in the fridge overnight to proof. I wanted them freshly baked the following weekend morning but by all means you can bake them anytime you like. :) 

Ingredients for Healthy Cinnamon Buns (recipe by HoneyBeeSweets)
420g bread flour
105g 5 grain flour 
50g caster sugar
7g salt
7g instant active yeast
100g red bean+red dates+black glutinous rice puree
165ml fresh milk
200ml water (+- 10 ml ; add as per needed )  
40g unsalted butter

3 tbsp salted butter, melted & cooled
6-8 tbsp light brown sugar (depend how sweet you want it)
1 tsp cinnamon power
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients except the butter. Stir and mix till everything comes together to form a pliable dough.
  • Continue kneading till the  dough becomes elastic and pulls away from the side of the bowl and not sticky anymore.
  • Add in the butter and continue to knead till it reaches window stage. 
  • Place the dough into a greased bowl and cover to let proof for 1.5-2hrs till it doubled in size.
  • Punch out the air and roll out the dough into a large rectangular, about 11" by 14".
  • Brush a thin layer of butter over the surface of the dough, leaving about 1" at one of the long ends.
  • Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon powder together. Then sprinkle the mixture all over the surface of the dough where there's butter. Spread evenly if needed.
  • Then taking the other long end of the dough, start rolling it in like a swiss roll till it reaches the other end which we initially left without brushing butter on it. Seal it tight.
  • Slice the roll carefully and place each wedge in a well greased baking dish (deep enough for it to bake up) Again brush a bit of the melted butter over the top, or you can omit this step.
  • Cover and let proof. At this point you can either let it proof at room temperature till it double in size or leave it overnight in the fridge till next morning to bake. If you do leave it in the fridge to proof, make sure you let it seat out at room temperature for 15-20 minutes before baking it.
  • Preheat the oven to 175C.
  •  Bake in the oven for 25 to 28 minutes till the buns are golden brown and your kitchen is filled with that wonderful buttery-cinnamon scent!!
  • Serve while it is still warm...yummy!
The cinnamon buns was a big hit, everyone loved it! Sorry about the arrangement though, looks kind of mis-arranged. :P I was trying to squeeze in a couple more buns into the whole dish, lol! My hubs said it's even better then those sold outside...*victory*!
A close up look of the soft, delicious can see the specs of the trio-puree and yet the fluffiness of the bread. This is what I say "Healthy can be delicious too!". I have actually baked this recipe twice already, once without the puree, so don't worry if you want to omit it. But be a bit watchful of the liquid addition. :)
Gotta show you all this last picture to temp you all further, hahah! The oogey sweet cinnamon sugary syrup oozing out, yummy! Do away with that thick icing coat over the buns, really not necessary to sweeten it up so much in my opinion. Do give this recipe a try, it really won't disappoint. :) Bake a batch this weekend and give your family a very good and sweet reason to wake up to... ;)

Okay, got to go, hope everyone have a great weekend ahead!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pandan Chicken Revisited

Hi hi! Happy New year one and all! Sorry again for the long silence. Have been trying to adjust to the new time schedule plus adapting back to "school life" after it reopened. :P It's never easy, but a mommy's got to do what a mommy's got to do right? Lol! Anyway, I'm also glad my kids are back in their school routine to keep them busy and I have more free time to bake, haha! (happily rubbing hands) I guess those friends in FB will notice I have been baking more often this month! So much so that I have already 5-6 backlogs for the past 2 weeks! :P 

Without further ado, let's start the new year post with a wonderful Asian dish, Pandan Chicken! Okay, I actually made pandan chicken years back, but somehow I remembered besides the wonderful pandan scent, the taste of the chicken was not flavorful enough. *bummer!* And just last Sunday, I had Pandan chicken at a Thai restaurant which left me wondering if I can replicate that wonderful taste myself! I searched on the net and realize some on the recipes online are leaning more to the "Chinese" flare rather then the authentic Thai taste, with the addition of oyster sauce? Hmmm....anyway, I found Gertrude's recipe (My Kitchen Snippets) is the closest version to Thai. She used turmeric and fish sauce for the marinate, pretty Thai I think. What's best, it can be baked! No messy frying and its healthier, I like! :)
This recipe indeed didn't disappoint. :) Although the chicken does look a little pale versus those fried ones. :P I reckon if I did fry it, it will taste pretty much like the ones I had at the restaurant. ;) However, being lazy to clean up the oily mess, I settled with baking. :) Nevertheless, the aroma from pandan was heavenly! And the chicken was still tender and very flavorful, score!
I made slight changes to the original recipe as I wanted a smaller portion and I didn't have all cilantro roots with me. :P Nevertheless, it turned out super! Thanks Gertrude!

Ingredients for Pandan Chicken (Serves 3-4)
300-400g boneless skinless chicken thighs, or chicken breast
1 tbsp of minced ginger
1 tbsp finely minced garlic
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp palm or light brown sugar
1/2 tsp of tumeric powder
pandan leaves (soaked in clean water for at least an hour)
  • Cut the chicken into pieces of about 1.5 to 2 inches cube/size. 
  • In a large mixing bowl, add in all the ingredients except the pandan leaves and the chicken pieces, mix well.
  • Marinate the chicken for at least for an hour or overnight in the fridge.
  • Preheat the oven to 200C. Remove the pandan leaves from the water.
  • Wrap the chicken pieces in the pandan leaves and secure it with a toothpick. Repeat till all the chicken pieces has been wrapped up.
  • Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes till clear juices oozes out and the pandan leaves turn brown.
  • Once cooked, remove from oven and serve while still warm.
I really enjoy this dish very much, and will definitely make this again for sure, especially since my picky eater daughter gave compliments on how delicious it was. :) Looks like I have ways to use up my pandan leaves besides baking cakes now, heehee. :)

Okay, have a wonderful night all! Will try to post up a bread recipe before the week ends.