Wednesday, August 24, 2011

English Trifle,my version

1 Loaf sponge cake
2 boxes Nona's Lychee Flavoured Jelly Box
1 tin mixed fruits,whatever you prefer
500ml ready made custard, I used Foster Clark UHT Vanilla Custard
400ml whipping cream

  1. Slice sponge cake in thick slices.
  2. Generously line a trifle bowl with the sliced sponge cake.
  3. Prepare jelly,according to the instructions given at the back of the box.
  4. Pour jelly over sliced sponge cake, and scatter fruit on top.
  5. Set the jelly set in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  6. Pour custard over jelly and let it set again for a couple hours.
  7. Whip cream and pour over the custard.
  8. Let it set further for another half hour before serving.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rich Sugee Cake

Been looking for a really rich moist sugee(semolina) cake. Wasn't quite sure how to make a sugee cake besides my maternal grandmother's christmas sugee cake which my aunty used to make for Christmas every year when I was younger. The basic rule to a nice moist buttery sugee cake was one - the quality of butter NOT margarine & two - the semolina needs to be 'soaked' in butter and brandy (or other flavours) for a few hours, preferably over night. Anyways this is my version of a rich moist sugee cake.=)

Part A

250g butter, softened

1 teaspoon brandy essence

175g semolina flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Part B

5 eggs

225g caster sugar

Part C

80g cashew nuts

150g almond meal

2 tablespoons self raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1tablespoon honey

100ml double cream

1.Line a square tin with GladBake with double lining to avoid the sides from being burnt.

2.Beat butter until light and fluffy then add semolina flour, brandy essence and vanilla extract.Leave it to sit for a few hours or overnight.

3.Preheat oven 150 Celsius.

4.Beat eggs and sugar until you get a thick pale creamy consistency (ribbon stage). Bubbles should appear.

5.Cream the butter,semolina,brandy essence and vanilla extract mixture until fluffy.

6.Add egg and sugar mixture to the butter semolina mixture and fold gently.

7.Add cashew nuts ,almond meal and baking powder to the Part A and Part B mixture, continue
to fold the mixture, do not over beat.

8.Lastly add double cream and honey to the mixture.

9.Transfer batter to prepared tin and bake for an hour or until baked.(golden brown)

Coffee Cake

I was inspired to make coffee cake after watching Masterchef 2011 winner Kate make a Retro Coffee Cake in the what dish change your life challenge and it was a hit!! But when I read the recipe it seemed like it was a coffee flavoured butter cake but I wanted to make a sponge cake like the ones you get in Chinatown or Vietnamese populated areas like
Cabramatta in Sydney. The Vietnamese bakeries here in Sydney make really good cakes. I searched the internet for a something similar but opted for the recipe in cornercafe's blog cause I wasn't sure the difference between a victoria sponge cake and the chinese sponge cake. The outcome was exceptional. Honestly, I was surprised to see half the cake gone when I woke up yesterday morning, mind you, I only finished at midnight the night before. I would take that as a success. =) However, I found the cake too small for my baking tin so the outcome of my cake just a single layered cake with buttercream. I would revise the portions and upload it again when I get back to Malaysia in November.

Recipe will be posted when I get my two layered cake successfully.=)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vanilla Sugar & Lavender Sugar

It's almost spring here in Sydney and the day was beautiful today. Mum was excited that spring is just around the corner and flowers start to bloom but of course she was most excited about beautiful flowers blooming in the courtyard. The topic of lavenders came up and thought, hey, I should try making lavender sugar since all the ingredients were available at home. Sugar in the pantry and lavender flowers in the courtyard. And I also wanted to make vanilla sugar. I made vanilla extract back in Malaysia last month and can't wait to taste the outcome when I go back at the end of November. This would be a rough estimate for both vanilla and lavender sugar.

Vanilla sugar

4 good quality vanilla beans ( I used Queen brand)
1 kg fine sugar
1 1000ml jar
  1. Sterilise the jar using hot soapy water for 10 minutes.Let it dry.
  2. Place vanilla beans and sugar in the jar.
  3. Close it tightly and let it infuse for about 2 weeks. The longer you let it infuse the more fragrant the vanilla sugar becomes. Alternatively if you have dried vanilla beans, DON'T throw them away, grind them and mix it together with the fine sugar.

Lavender sugar
( I dont quite like lavender but I know a few recipes that require lavender sugar so I thought I might try it out)

100g fine sugar
6 fresh lavender flowers
1 sprig lavender leaves
Reusable net bag ( When you buy garlic and onions in the supermarkets, sometimes they come in a net package.)

  1. Wash thoroughly the reusable net bag and let it dry.
  2. Tie a knot at one side and fill the net with lavender flowers and leaves. Tie a knot.
  3. Place the lavender filled net in a container with the sugar.
  4. Let it infuse. Lavender sugar can be used after a few hours.

Savoury Egg custard

Adapted from Poh's Kitchen
  • 160g raw prawn flesh, chopped
  • 2 tsp shaoxing rice
  • 1 tsp light soy
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 4 free range eggs
  • 1 ¼ cup plain chicken stock ( I used two tbsp of Maggi Concentrated stock and 1 cup warm water)
  • pinch salt and white pepper
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp light soy
  • 1 ½ tbs peanut oil with a hint of sesame oil ( you don't want too much sesame oil because sesame oil will over power the nutty flavours of peanut oil.
  1. Fill a wok half full of water, with a large bamboo steamer on top.
  2. Pound the prawns with the marinates(shao xing wine,pepper,sugar and soy) and let it marinate for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium bowl mix the eggs with the chicken stock. Using a pair of chopsticks do slow figures eights, to do the mixing, rather than madly whisking, you will achieve a much silkier result.
  4. Divide the ingredients into the four bowls and steam with the bamboo lid on, for seven to ten minutes.
  5. The custards should be an opaque creamy colour when done and still very wobbly.
  6. Remove bowls from the steamer, sprinkle each one with chopped spring onions and a half teaspoon of soy.
  7. Heat the peanut oil in a small pot or pan, until beginning to smoke. Immediately pour one teaspoon over each egg custard and serve whilst hot.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Jam Doughnuts

(adapted by Donna Hay's APR/MAY Magazine 2011)

It was love at first sight, I mean the cover on Jam filled doughnuts. I made baked doughnuts last summer but somehow it didn't turn out right. I opted for the baked one previously because I didn't like the idea of frying my doughnuts and it being oily.There was a certain temperature you had to fry your doughnuts so that you don't get oil dripping doughnuts, that's a turn off I would say.=P I love doughnuts. And I wanted to succeed in making something I love and when I saw the cover of Donna Hay's Apr/May 2011 issue I knew I had to get it. Donna Hay's recipes always worked for me. It's simple and fool proof.

  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (125ml) + 1 1/2 tbsp lukewarm milk
  • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 2¼ cups (335g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 2 eggs
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 1 cup Strawberry Jam (store bought or home made )

  1. Place the yeast, milk and 1 tablespoon of sugar in a large bowl and set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until bubbles appear on the surface.
  2. Add the butter, flour, eggs and remaining sugar to the yeast mixture and use a butter knife to mix until a sticky dough forms.
  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  4. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic.
  5. Roll out to 1cm thick and use an 8cm-round cutter to cut 10 rounds from the dough.
  6. Place the rounds on a baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and set aside for 30 minutes or until risen.
  7. Place the oil and a sugar thermometer in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat until temperature reaches 180°C (350°F).
  8. Cook the doughnuts, in batches, for 1–2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
  9. Let it cool for a few minutes, make a slit and use the nozzle of the piping bag to poke a hole in the side of the doughnut and fill with a bit of jam.
  10. Serve warm.

Home made vanilla extract

  • 250 ml Vodka
  • 6-8 vanilla beans

  1. Have ready a 250ml bottle with a tight-fitting lid preferably a cork lid.
  2. Pour boiling water into it, let rest for 10 minutes to sterilize, and pour out the water.
  3. Using a sharp knife, slice the beans open lengthwise to expose the seeds. Tuck the beans in the jar and fill with liquor.
  4. Close the jar, shake it a few times, and place it in a cool, dark cabinet.
  5. Just it a shake every few days for the first 3 weeks then once a week for 6 months.
  6. Infusing time is about 6 months but if you keep it longer, the stronger the vanilla extract will become.

Mud Cake

(Adapted Donna Hay's 50th birthday magazine.)

  • 200 g butter, chopped
  • 200 g dark chocolate, chopped (I combined Lindt Excellence 50 % Cocoa Dark chocolate and Lindt Excellence Extra creamy milk )
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 30ml cup water
  • 115 g self-raising (self-rising) flour, sifted
  • 25 g Dutch Processed cocoa
  • 3 eggs
  • 220 g Brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 160° C (325° F). Lightly grease round cake tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the butter, chocolate, vanilla extract and water in a saucepan over low heat and stir until melted. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Using a fine-mesh sieve, sift the flour and cocoa into a small bowl. Repeat an additional 2 times.
  4. Place the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat for 6 minutes or until pale and thick. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined.
  5. Using a large spatula, fold through the flour-cocoa mixture.
  6. Pour into the lightly greased baking tin. Bake for 1 hour 30 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer**.
  7. Allow to cool in the baking tin for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Donna Hay's tip:
**To test mud cake, insert a skewer into the centre; it will emerge coated in cake. Roll the cake from the skewer on your fingertips, if it balls and feels tacky, it’s time to take the cake out of the oven.”

Chocolate Ganache
I always believe the best chocolates would make a huge difference in the ganache and also in the cake. My preference of chocolate is the Lindt Excellence Bar. Even though Lindt Excellence Bar is not cooking chocolate , you can still use it for baking. I have always used Lindt in my baking.

  • 150ml Double cream **
  • 150 g chocolates, chopped ( I combined Lindt Excellence 50 % Cocoa Dark chocolate and Lindt Excellence Extra creamy milk)
  1. Place the cream and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Spread ganache over the cooled cake to serve.

** Instead of using single cream as stated in the orignal recipe, I used double cream. It would give you almost similar taste but With double cream having 48 -60% fat compared to single cream only having 35% fat, The texture would be slight different. With double cream it would hold its shape better but with single cream in hot and humid climate like Malaysia, the texture would be a little runny.