Friday, December 28, 2007

Wholemeal Buns









Sigh! Just noticed that the fresh milk I bought last week is expiring today!!! (Now, why didn't I check properly in the first place???)


Another recipe taken from "Bread Magic" : Wholemeal Bread. However, I replaced the iced water with fresh milk and shortening for butter. Instead of the egg glazing, I used a cooking oil with blend of carrot, that's why the orange coating on the buns.




May be because of the milk and butter, these buns tasted exceptional even on its own! I think my oven temperature is quite erratic, because the outercrust is slightly on the hard side. But, my younger son liked it very much. Next time will use less oil for coating because it's kind of oily...! :-( Overall, this is a good wholemeal bread to make again :) But I may not bake it often because my husband's tummy can't take "wholewheat".... and I can't much either!


Hot dog buns



Made these buns on Wednesday for our next morning breakfast and lunch! These are my kids' all time favourite. Think most kids love hot dog buns, though I would steer clear most of the time. :) I used a combination of chicken hot dog and some german sausages bought from ntuc.


I follow the recipe from "Bread Magic" except that I used a frozen sweet bun dough which I'd kneaded and kept in the freezer for close to 2 weeks. Well, after searching in the web I discovered that you can actually freeze the dough. The dough will rise in the fridge. And as it thaws, it will go through its first rise.





Sometimes, I just feel a bit lazy to let the mixer knead the dough everyday. So I would just double the quantity of the recipe. However, if you consider all the washing and clearing, this is one way of killing one bird with two stones. Haha! Lazy lazy me!


Friday, December 21, 2007

Low-fat Orange Almond Yogurt Cake




Bought a tub of yogurt not long ago. As the expiry date is getting nearer, have to find ways to use it fast...
I had tried this recipe from Happy Home Baker quite a few times. Each time the cake was well-received by my family (my kids simply love it!) and others.

For your info, I'm not adventurous in cake baking. The cakes I usually baked are either Yogurt cake or Chiffon cake, quite boring... :( And I'm still struggling with beating egg whites.... :(

Anyway, made this cake today. However, made some modification to the original recipe.


Ingredients:

250g cake flour
1 tsp vanilla powder (I added this cos' I love vanilla!)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

70g butter (soften @ room temp)
zest of 1 orange
160g caster sugar (original recipe calls for 200g of sugar)
2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tbs orange juice

Some Almond slices - I toasted the almond slices. Thought that may bring out the flavour
better


Method:

1. Preheat oven @ 180 deg C. Grease a 20 cm (8 inch) round pan.

2. Sift: cake flour, vanilla powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

3. In a bowl, mix together: yogurt, vanilla essence and orange juice.

4. With an electric mixer, beat butter and orange zest for 1 min.
Add in sugar and beat on high speed for about 3 mins.

5. Add in eggs gradually, abt 1 tbs at a time, beating constantly for about 2 mins .

6. On low speed, beat in 1/3 of the flour mixture;
On medium high speed, beat in 1/2 of the yogurt mixture;
On low speed, beat in half of the remaining flour mixture;
On high speed, beat in the remaining yogurt mixture;
On low speed, beat the rest of the flour mixture.

7. Scrape into prepared pan and bake for 45 mins or until a toothpick inserted into the centre
comes out clean.

PS: I almost forgot about the almond slices until I'd poured the batter into the pan. Anyway,
put the almond slices into the pan and gave it a stir.

The cake took another 10 mins to bake partly becos' I place an aluminium foil on top
to prevent it from browning too quickly. Did you notice? my cake is not brown on top.

I let the cake cool in the pan for about 20 mins. Thereafter, umould and let it cool on a
wire rack.

The cake tasted soft and light hmm.... My younger son requested for a piece during the cooling period....





However, husband remarked that it wasn't that sweet and the sweetness was uneven (centre sweet, side not that sweet!!) as compared with the previous cake! :( I used lemon instead of orange the last few times., exactly 160g sugar leh...) What a picky eater..... :(


Nonetheless, my kids said YUM,YUM,YUM! :))









Wednesday, December 19, 2007

My first homemade pizza



Made this very first pizza last thursday as our dinner. Follow exactly the recipe from Happy home Baking.

The dough was fairly easy to work with. It double in size in less than an hour (thanks to the good sunny weather outside!)





As I don't have a pizza tray, I lined my long baking tray with parchment paper(?). I divided the dough into 3 parts: 1 large and 2 medium.







I topped my pizza with tomato sauce, some hams, button mushrooms, some mixed vegetables, morzarella cheese and some minced parsley.



Though the pizzas'appearance wasn't that pleasing :(, the four of us nearly finish the 3 pizza with 2 small leftover :). Judging from the eating from my younger son, ws, the pizza was really good. Haha! Though my husband remarked that not enough cheese topping ... OK, next time I'll know what to do..
Think that I lined the wrong paper? Gosh! The pizzas were sticked to the papers and we literally had to tear the papers and the base away....! what a pity! and the crunchy base were the best part of the pizza....... :(


So, is parchment paper the same as greaseproof paper? Anyone out there can tell me please?



Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Spring Onion Buns





Made this Spring Onion buns for tomorrow's breakfast. Hmmm.... I simply love the smell of sesame seeds...

Recipe was taken from "Bread Magic" :

Ingredient A:
300g Bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
1+1/2 tbsps milk powder
50g caster sugar

Ingredient B:
125ml water
1+1/2 tsps instant yeast
1 egg

Ingredient C:
40g butter

For topping:
1/2 egg, 70g spring onion (finely diced)
70g mayonnaise, some salt

For garnishing:
Some white sesame seeds

For glazing:
1 egg (beaten)

Method:


1. To make th topping: mix all ingredients together and keep chilled till needed.


2. For bread dough: combine ingredient A in a mixer. Blend well before adding in ingredient B. Beat until a a dough is formed. Add ingredient C and beat till dough is smooth and elastic to the touch.


3. Leave dough in a big bowl and covered with a damp cloth in a warm place for 40 minutes.


4. Once the dough has doubled in size, divide dough into 35g portions. Shape into small balls.
Flatten and roll out each ball of dough into long strips. Roll up like a mini swiss roll.


5. Arrange 3 pcs in a row. Lay them on a greased baking tray. Arrange the 2nd row spaced apart, to allow spreading. Cover and rest for a further 40 minutes.


6. Glaze with beaten egg wash. Spread some topping of no.1 and sesame seeds on top before baking in a preheated oven @ 180 deg C for 10-15 minutes. Cool well on wire rack.


Enjoy!




Monday, December 10, 2007

Zhenjiang Pork Ribs 镇江排骨




The other day my husband mentioned that he would like to eat this. So, bought the pork ribs from the wet market yesterday and decided to cook this for dinner tonight. It was well-received by my family;)


This recipe was recommended by my eldest sis. Receipt as follows:


Ingredient A:

Prime Ribs (I bought 1 strip & get the butcher to chop into small pcs)
Ginger - a few slices
Shallots - 3 pcs & sliced
plain four - some for coating


Ingredient B:

Vinegar 浙醋 - 3+1/2 tbs
Sugar - 3 tbs
Chinese wine 花雕酒 - 2+1/2 tbs (more if you like)
Water - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp or adjust to taste


Seasoning:

Soy Sauce - 3 tbs
Salt - 1 tsp or more if you want
Sesame oil - 1 tbs or adjust to own preference
white Pepper - a dash


Method:
1. Marinade Pork ribs with seasoning for half hour or more. (I marinade for 3 hours.)
2. Heat up wok with some oil. Sauteed ginger slice and shallots separately. Remove from wok and lay the fried ginger slice and shallots into a slow cooker.
3. Coat pork ribs with flour and fry till golden brown. Place the fried pork ribs onto some kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.
4. Put the fried pork ribs into a slow cooker. Pour ingredient B into the slow cooker.
5. Set the slow cooker to "High" and let it cook for at least 2 hours. Enjoy!





After 2 hours of slow cooking, the pork was soft and tender. The gravy goes well with white rice and increase your appetise. My eldest son finished his meal in no times... ;) Yum, Yum, Yum!!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Tips for the Novice Cook

The following are extracted from "Female Cookbook Vol 13":

  1. Cut one lemon in half and rub inside the bowl where you mean to beat the egg whites. As well as removing any eventual remains of grease, the lemon's acidity makes the whites stiffen better.
  2. When cooking cucumber soup, include a touch of fresh mint with the seasoning. It is delicious.
  3. It is very convenient to keep always at hand some butter seasoned with herbs. The basic recipe is simple: 120g unsalted butter (at room temp)combined with grated lemon rind and a 2 tbs of finely chopped parsley, chives or spring onion.
  4. Season boiled veg with herb butter. Potatoes, beans, peas acquire a new taste.
  5. Herb butter is also delicious added to vegetable soup.
  6. Instead of using plain butter or margarine, rub herb butter all over a chicken before roasting.
  7. For preparing chicken, ham, roast beef sandwiches, spread on the bread herb butter.
  8. For decorating open sandwiches, try putting some herb butter making pretty designs on the surface with a confectioner's beak.
  9. Always verify the seasoning of soups and sauces when adding cream, since it tends to soften most of the flavours.
  10. Add some strained peach halves to your roast chicken/beef. Place the fruit in the pan during the last minutes of cooking.
  11. Put some peeled apples to bake together with your leg of pork and you will have them ready to make apple sauce.


......to be continued

Friday, December 7, 2007

Lunch - malan noodle

This is our favourite makan place @ Expo!

We had our lunch here today and at the same time went to the various sales held there. My elder son ordered the "小笼汤包", whereas my younger son had the special fried rice.


小笼汤包



No wonder he liked it very much. The shop used short-grain rice 珍珠米. It's not easy to fry with this rice as its texture is sticky. The fried rice tasted hmmm....delicious!


麻辣面

Next we ordered this 麻辣面 with some minced meat. The noodle was spicy and very good except that there were little minced meat:( Overall we had a great meal :)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Simple Meal - Fried Mee Thye Mak

My husband whipped up this meal yesterday as our lunch using some leftover: frozen oysters, prawns, some chinese lettuce. As the mee was not enough, I bought a small packet from the wet market. Also bought some spring onion to add on some green.

Judging from my eldest son's eating, the mee wasn't that bad, though a bit on the bland side. However, after adding some sambal chilli, it was real yummy:) We also topped some bacon bits to add more crunch.


I noticed that the mee thye mak bought from the supermarket had a strange smell after blanching with boiling water. Fresh one from the wet market are the best!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Black Sesame Seeds Sausage Bread

My "Black Sesame Seeds Sausage Bread"!!




This recipe was taken from "Bread Magic". I think something wrong with the recipe!
Instead of sprinkle "some" black sesame after 2nd proving, the recipe indicated adding "100g"black sesame together with 50g butter during the kneading process! So end up my dough became a "Bao Kong" face - black like a charcoal :( Another problem: with the 100g sesame seeds, the weight of the dough exceeded the 8 portions of 60g each...


"Bao Kong" face

One thing to note though is that this recipe called for "icing sugar". May be I'm new in baking, for most of the recipes I came across called for caster sugar. Icing sugar in bread baking is very new to me... However, it didn't affect the taste. The bread remained soft the next day.
Because of the 100g black sesame seeds, the bread was on a bit of crunchy side. I used a mixture of chicken hot dogs with some german sausages. These sausages are tasty unlike those pre-packed ones which are loaded with sodium...:-(

The next time I make ,I'll just omit the 100g sesame and just sprinkle some on top before I do the rest of the topping. :)