Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kumquat & Banana Chocolate Chip Ogura Cake

Okay, don't ask me why but I also can't believe I am so hardworking myself, lol! Up with another post on the following day!? Gee...haven't done that for ages! And because Jessie left a comment "motivating" me to post up, I decided to heed her "advice", haha! Thanks Jessie! Plus my hubby is out with friends can lah, hahaha! Sound like I'm cheating!! Lol! Shhhhh! 

Okay, today's recipe is another classic, it's none other then the Ogura cake (a.k.a. 相思蛋糕). I posted 2 different flavors before, namely Pandan and chocolate. Today, it'll be Kumquat flavor with chocolate Swiss meringue (in lieu of CNY, haha) and Banana with mini chocolate chip (my kids' favorite!).
It was quite awhile since I last baked an Ogura cake...forgotten how moist and soft it taste. :)) I was inspired by Cathy after she baked her Passion fruit version quite awhile back.

100g egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 tsp salt
60g vegetable oil
80g kumquat marmalade (pls refer to Wendy's recipe for detail, I used hers)

(B)80g cake flour, sifted

200g egg whites
55g sugar

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream: (Optional if you like cake plain)

75g chopped dark chocolate

300g Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and let cool for a minute before mixing into the room temperature buttercream. 

  • Whisk ingredients (A) together in a mixing bowl. Add in (B). Set aside.
  • Whisk egg whites until frothy & add in sugar. Continue to whisk until soft peaks. 
  • Gently fold in the whites into (1). Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle chocolate chips over the top. 
  • Steam bake in a preheated oven @ 150 degrees for 40mins.
  • Once tester comes out clean, remove from oven and let cool completely.
  • Slice the cake into 2 and spread the chocolate swiss meringue buttercream in between.
I'll let the picture do the talking....nom nom nom! Hahaha! Everyone that has tasted the cake all raved how good it was....*happiness*! I guess orangy citrus taste plus chocolate is a sure win situation! :P
You can opt not to spread any buttercream but I like mine with it since I'm all for buttery taste, lol! I also made kumquat compte, which in fact can be made in to the marmalade by just blending it. :)) Thanks Wendy! *muahs* lol!

The other Ogura cake is Banana flavor with mini chocolate chip. At first I was hesitant to post this but since my kids love this so much, I figured why not just share with everyone then. :))
This is another fabulous combo, banana and chocolate, you can't go wrong with it! I actually regretted not sprinkling more chocolate chips!!! Lol!
The recipe is very similar to the one above, will post ingredients needed but please refer to above the method, heehee.

100g egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/4 tsp salt
60g vegetable oil
2 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

(B)80g cake flour, sifted

200g egg whites
65g sugar 

Mini Chocolate chips

Note: Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the batter right before you place into the oven to bake.

Nice right, hahaha! Do try it out yourself, guarantee satisfaction! 

I am submitting these 2 lovely cakes to Sonia's blog event :Chinese New Year Delights 2013 新春送礼.

Okay folks! Will go hibernate another 2 more weeks now, hahaha, just kidding! 
Have a good evening all! Cheers

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sweet Glutinous Rice Cake (Nian Gao/年糕)

Hi hi everyone! Yes yes, I'm finally back...finally got my "heavy" bums off the couch and seat in front of the computer, lol! Actually, I haven't been lazing around. It's just that there was so much to do that I just brush off blogging to the last. :P So bad right, haha! My FB friends would know that I am still busy baking away, posting pictures and all, the easier "blogging", lol! Anyway, I am back to post up one last new year recipe in support of Sonia's CNY blog event before it ends this Thursday. :)) Unfortunately I do have 4 other CNY recipes that I didn't manage to post up...hopefully next CNY then. :P

I actually wanted to make my own nian gao(年糕) since last year, and this time I finally did it. Some would say why bother over things that cause you only a couple bucks? Well the satisfaction of making and eating homemade food is beyond description sometimes. :D Anyway, I was pretty inspired by Kelly whom posted earlier about her nian gao. She adapted the recipe from none other then our dear Sonia herself, haha! Since these ladies made it so easy, I had to try it myself too, so here it is:

I did make some adjustments by reducing the amount of sugar. Base on the ratio that Kelly stated, I came up with the following recipe. Feel free to adjust the ratio as needed. Mine made one 6" by 2.5" round and two 1-ounce ramkins. 

500g Glutinous Rice flour
500ml Water
400g Sugar (I used 200g caster sugar and 200g gula melaka)
4 tablespoons peanut oil 

Banana leaves (I used parchment paper instead)
3 Red Dates

  • In a large mixing bowl, sift in the glutinous rice flour. Then add in water and peanut oil and whisk till no lumps and well combined.
  • In another heat proof sauce pan, add in caster sugar and 3 tbsp of water and cook mixture till it starts to caramelize. Immediately remove from fire and add in the chopped gula melaka and stir well till everything has melted and smooth. Be extra careful not to burn your sugar or your end product will have a bitter after taste. :P
  • At this point, stir in the thick caramelized sugar into the rice mixture and stir well till all is combined.
  •  The mixture should have a creamy coffee color.
  • Pour the mixture to the prepared ramkins or baking pans lined with either banana leaves or parchment paper.
  • Steam at medium fire for about 1.5hrs. When it is done, stick a red date on the center top to give it a red coloring.
  • Let it cool completely before unmoulding it. And don't even think about slicing it yet as it will be pretty sticky. Let it seat covered for a day or two for it to harden slightly. 
See all those wrinkles on my nian gao? I covered it with plastic wrap when I chill it in the fridge which causes it to form when it hardens...sigh. :P

What is nian gao if you didn't fry it up with some batter or something creative to make it more tasty ? I presume most people eat their nian gao that way, lol! This year I decided to give Wendy's recipe a try, which is the Nian Gao Taro Rolls.
This is so yummy! Crispy crunchy exterior and creamy sweet interior...nian gao at it's best, seriously, lol! Thanks to Wendy's ingenious idea, it has become pretty popular in the blog sphere too! I made slight changes and omitted the grated coconut, so here is my recipe for easy reference:

Taro filling:
500g peeled taro
5 tbsp confectioner's sugar
pinch of salt
  • Slice the taro into chunks and steam at high heat till cooked and soft.
  • While it is still hot, mash it together with the confectioner's sugar till well combined. 
250g nian gao, cut into thick long sticks
Spring roll wrapper (190mm by 190mm -hubby bought wrong size, lol!)
1 egg white to seal the wrapper edges

  • Lay a wrapper on a clean work area. 
  • Spread about a tablespoon of taro filling at the center, spread it out a little.
  • Place a nian gao on top on the taro filling. Then fold in the corners of the wrapper.
  • Then seal the edges with the egg wash. (For more detail steps, head over to Wendy's)
  • Fry the rolls in medium fire till golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve up while still hot and crispy to enjoy it at it's best.
  • I kept some in the fridge and I reheated them the next day in the oven at 150C for 10 minutes and it crisp up.
I think I will try it with mashed sweet potato next time, yum! Do give this a try if you still haven't eaten up your nian gao. ;) Hope everyone has a great and prosperous snake year ahead, 一定要步步高升!

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

There, I finally finish this post, lol! Okay, have a good one all! Cheers!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bak Kwa (猪肉干)

Hi everyone! Happy Snake Year! 大家蛇年行大运!I trust everyone had a great celebration, with loads of good food and wonderful company...that is what Chinese New Year is all about. :) Well, I sure did...been avoiding the weighing scale for days, lol! And it took me much effort to come blog my first post after CYN, had too much fun, haha! But several of my friends had been asking me about how I made this Bak Kwa, (a.k.a pork jerky) for the past week, so I figured not to delay it any further. :P I first saw this recipe on Lena's blog which she in turn got from Sonia(yes again, these ladies are great inspirations, heehee). I knew I had to try it since Lena raved how yummy and easy it was to make it. :) So thanks again Lena & Sonia! Now, here is mine!
 Because of its color, I actually had a hard time taking nice pictures of these pork jerkies. :P Anyway I did very slightly over baked can see a few charred spots, haha! But overall I still love this recipe, it is gooood! As what Lena said, the meat was flavorful, still tender and yummy. Of course we cannot compare with those selling outside, but for a first timer, I'm pretty happy! And yes from now on, I will be only making my own Bak Kwa...well unless someone give me as a gift, lol!

I made little changes to the recipe, so it should almost taste the same....

Ingredients for Bak Kwa (猪肉干) (I made into a 13" by 14" tray)
450g minced pork (ratio of 30% fat preferably for a more tender flavorful result)
90g fine sugar
1tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tbsp fish sauce
1tbsp oyster sauce
1tsp sweet dark soy sauce (or dark caramel sauce)
dash of pepper

2tbsp golden syrup

Note:  I realize the ratio of the fat in the overall minced meat needs to be at least 30%. I took it for granted at first but I think it does help in the over texture. Use fresh and not frozen meat. Next is to preferably marinate overnight rather then just 4-6hrs. Drain away the "liquid" that is released after 15mins and reduce temp by 5C if needed after you flip and bake at a longer lower temp.
  •  In a large mixing bowl, mix everything together until well combined. Then cover with plastic wrap and let it marinate overnight or up to 6hrs in the fridge. Overnight will be preferred. 
  • Remove marinated meat from the fridge and spread it evenly on a greased and parchment paper lined baking pan. I used the back of a spoon to slowly spread a thin even layer.
  • Preheat the oven to 160C.
  •  Bake the meat for 15 minutes till it is half baked. Remove from the oven and cut it into squares of the size you like but not too small.
  • Return the tray into oven and up the temperature to 200C and grill for another 15 minutes. At this point, you do need to keep a close watch over the meat in case it over burnt.
  • Flip the slices over to the over side after 7-8 minutes and continue to grill it. Once both side is nice grilled and only slightly charred, remove from the oven and let it cool completely before serving or keeping it in air tight containers. 
Looks juicy and yummy isn't it? (thick-skin, haha!) But do try it, I guarantee you, you will not be disappointed. :)

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

Okay my dear readers and blog friends, have a super weekend!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Hakka Yam Abacus (算盘子)

I love yam, be it yam cake, yam kueh, yam buns or even yam bread loaf, (just to name a few) I won't miss a chance to try them out. And it goes without surprise that I love the Hakka  dish: yam abacus. But somehow it never occur to me to make it myself because I felt making those lovely chewy yam abacus can be pretty daunting. :P Until recently, when I saw Lena post up her version and after reading her recipe, it just strike me, it ain't as complicated as I imagined it to be! Thanks Lena!! *muaks*  So here it is, my first attempt of Hakka Yam Abacus(算盘子).

 I did make slight changes to the recipe to suit my liking. Here is my version with adaption to Lena's:

Ingredients for Yam Abacus (serves 4)
For the Abacus
240g yam fresh which has been peeled & steamed
110g glutinous rice flour
100-125 ml water (depending how wet or dry is the steamed yam)
2 tbsp fried shallot oil
pinch of salt
A pot of boiling water
  • After you have steamed the yam, place it in a large mixing bowl together with the salt. Then add in the tapioca flour while the yam is still warm. You can either use your hands to knead the yam, flour, water and shallot oil together, or be like lazy me, use the mixture to beat it together to forma soft pliable dough.
  • Roll into a long log and cut into chunks.
  • Roll the chunks in between your palms and roll round into balls. 
  • Press flat and use a chop stick end to make a indentation in the middle.
  • Boil the abacus in the pot og boiling water till it floats. Scoop out and drizzle some sesame oil/ vegetable oil over. Mix to coat and set aside first.
Accompanied ingredients:
2 garlic, minced
200g minced pork, marinated with 1/2tsp light soy sauce and dash of pepper
5 ears dried shitake mushrooms, soaked and sliced
50g dried squid, cut thinly
5 medium dried wood-ear mushroom, soaked and sliced
3 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp chicken seasoning
  • In a work, add 2 tsp oil at medium fire. Stir fry the garlic till fragrant, then add in the dried shrimp and dried squid. Add in the minced pork and cook till opaque.
  • Cook for a couple minutes till aromatic, add in the mushrooms and cook a  couple more minutes.
  • Add in the yam abacus and stir fry till everything mixed. Add some water if needed.
  • Lastly add in the seasoning and stir well.
  • Dish up and serve while still hot.
Although I have tasted better ones, but I am still pretty please with the outcome! The texture of the abacus was soft and chewy...with a hint of yam, yum!

Definitely a great dish to serve up during the Chinese New Year table. Anything that associate with calculation (算), the Chinese will like! Why? So that we are good at counting our money, haha!

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

Okay, got to go, tomorrow is another long day! Cheers!