Friday, December 23, 2011

Brownie cookies with peanut butter frosting

Adapted from Donna Hay's 10th birthday magazine

Brownie cookies
350g dark chocolate,chopped ( I used buttons )
40g butter
2 eggs
150g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
60g plain flour,sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder, sifted

Peanut butter frosting
Somehow, the peanut butter frosting was very soft. I seriously hate the Malaysian weather when it comes to frosting or making desserts. Having no air conditioning at the moment, it's pretty annoying to get the right consistently for the frosting.=(

160g icing sugar
280g peanut butter
80g butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
80ml single cream *
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Melt 200g of the chocolate and butter using the double boiler method. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.

  • Place the eggs,sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk for 15minutes or until pale and creamy.
  • Stir through the flour,baking powder,chocolate mixture and remaining chocolate and allow to stand for 10 minutes.
  • Spoon tablespoonfuls of the mixture,at a time, onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper.
  • Bake for 8-10minutes or until puffed and cracked.(8minutes is sufficient because if longer, I reckon it would be dry and crunchy like) Allow to cool completely on trays.

  • To make the peanut butter frosting,place the sugar,peanut butter,butter and vanilla extract and whisk it using a stand mixer or hand held mixer for 6 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  • Add the cream and beat for a further 2 minutes.
  • Spread peanut butter frosting on half of the cookies and sandwich with the remaining cookies.

*In Malaysia, it's called whipping cream,check fat content, it should be 35 % fat content.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Jam Donuts

I asked my cousins the other day if they liked my jam doughnuts I made earlier, and they said yes so I was gonna make it again, because I enjoyed making the doughnuts. While browsing through facebook, Monday Morning cooking Club posted their pictures of jam doughnuts and the doughnuts looked delicious. So I put my doughnut making on hold until they posted the recipe on facebook.

I made a pavlova recipe from their book and everyone who ate it said it was really good.A few who didn't know what a pavlova was thought they were eating cream or ice cream,LOL! I hope to make their cinnamon rolls & date slices soon after the kitchen renovation is completed.

I had to ask for an opinion of comparison between this jam doughnuts & the earlier jam doughnuts and everyone said they liked this better,it was fluffier,I must admit but I need to work on my photography.

Adapted from Monday Morning Cooking Club Facebook notes

2 sachets (15g) dry yeast
2 tablespoons caster sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) tepid whole milk
1 tablespoon plain flour
450 g (3 cups) plain flour
50 g butter or margarine, melted
½ teaspoon salt
50 g (3 tablespoons) caster sugar
2 egg yolks, beaten
270 ml (1 cup plus 1 tablespoon) tepid milk
1 small jar strawberry jam for the filling
3-4 cups (or more, depending on size of pan) vegetable oil, for frying
Extra caster sugar, for rolling

  • To test the yeast is active, combine the first 4 ingredients in a small bowl. Mix well. Cover and leave for 20 minutes until it froths up.My first batch did not froth up as much so I had to redo this process.
  • Mix the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, then egg yolks, milk and melted butter. Using a whisk, slowly  incorporate the flour mixture and then, using a wooden spoon or spatula, mix until you have a smooth and thick dough (a little like a heavy batter).
  • Cover with plastic wrap and a tea towel and put in a warm place for 1 – 2 hours until it has doubled in size.
  • After it has risen, scoop out the dough with plenty of flour in your hand onto a very well floured surface and roll or pat out flat. Use a small cookie cutter (I used a scone cutter) to cut out small circles. Place half of these on a well floured tray. Place half a teaspoon of jam in the middle of each circle and cover with the remaining cut circles. Press the edges together to ensure they are sealed. Cover with a floured tea towel and allow to rise for 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oil in a deep frypan or saucepan to very hot, 175°C (350°F). There needs to be enough oil so that the donuts can float, at least to a 2 cm depth.
  • Fry the donuts (no more than 6 at one time) on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towel and then roll in caster sugar.
  • Eat almost immediately.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chocolate chip Ice cream

Adapted: Jeni's Spendid Ice Creams At Home

2 cups whole milk

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups double cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons liquid glucose
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped ( I used 2teaspoon vanilla essence because of circumstances)

100g broken lindt chocolate pieces

1. Prep: Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry. Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth. fill a large bowl with ice water.

2. Cook: Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, glucose and vanilla seeds and bean in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heat-proof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

3. Chill: Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag into the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

4. Freeze: Remove the vanilla bean. Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.Add in chocolate pieces. Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Thai fish cake with thai chilli sauce

Everytime on the way to catch the bus to uni, I would walk pass this little Thai take way place in Westfield,Parramatta to buy their fish cakes. The price of their fish cakes are a rip off but for Australian standards it's pretty cheap. It costs me 1AUD for a thin fish cake. I made once in Sydney using ready made red curry paste in a tin but it was very salty and didn't taste anything like the ones I bought from the take over shop. Mum didn't allow me to make it again but apparently it was costly. Every damn thing is costly in Sydney, it was frustrating. Coming to Malaysia for just under 3 weeks I missed my almost daily dose of fish cakes. Having made one really good thai green curry from my one and only Thai cookbook and another really disastrous sweet dish, I wanted to try another recipe to convince myself my purchase
was not to waste.

Adapted from Thai Street Food - David Thompson


2 fresh long red chillies
1-4 chilli padi
good pinch of salt
2 coriander roots,cleaned
1 large garlic clove,chopped
1/4cup vinegar
1/4cup caster sugar

Red curry paste

5 dried long red chillies
10 chilli padi
good pinch of salt
1 tablespoon chopped galangal
2 tablespoon chopped lemongrass

2 teaspoon finely chopped kaffir lime leaves
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
2 1/2 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoon shrimp paste

400g Spanish mackerel fillet
2 tablespoon fish sauce
1tablespoon sugar
1 egg
5 long beans(snake beans) finely sliced
pinch of salt
vegetable oil,for deep frying
  • First make the sauce.Chop all ingredients for the sauce and put into a bowl.Add vinegar & sugar, mix until well combined. Pour everything into a blender and wizz for two seconds, creating a coarse chilli sauce ( that is the best way I could describe it)
  • Second make the curry paste. Soak dried chillies in hot water for about 10 minutes. Remove dried chillies from hot water and roughly chop them.Roughly chop chilli padi .Using a pestle & mortar ( you can use a blender/food processor), pound chillies with salt, then add the remaining ingredients in the order they are listed,reducing each one to a fine paste before adding the next.
  • Mince fish. Scrap flesh away from the skin with the edge of a spoon.Place the fish in a pestle & mortar and pound until it is sticky yet firm.

    • Combine mince fish & curry paste, add egg then season with sugar and fish sauce. Mix properly before adding beans.
    • Check seasoning.I tried it raw or you can deep fry a little to test the seasoning.Grease your hand slightly,shape the fish cake mixture small discs.
    • Pour deep frying oil into a large,stable wok until it is about 2/3 full.Heat the oil over a medium-high flame until a cooking thermometer registers 180C.
    • Deep fry the fish cakes-only few at a time,turning them once or twice to promote even cooking.The fish cakes should be ready when they start floating to the surface and slightly puffed.Drain on paper towels.Repeat with the remaining fish cakes.
    • Serve with chilli sauce.

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Tapioca cake

    This is a typical nyonya kuih you get in the hawker stalls in Malaysia. I personally like the ones I make better than the ones you get in the hawker stalls because the ones you get in hawker stalls taste very starchy,yes I know it's tapioca but it tastes very different when you make it yourself. I personally feel the ones you get in hawker stalls are made from tapioca flour and not tapioca itself.I found this amazing recipe from Anges Chang's Hawker's Delight.Excuse the look of my tapioca cake,I used the wrong tin for the tapioca cake,hence the cake became 'thin looking'

    500g grated tapioca
    200g caster sugar
    150g thick coconut milk
    1 egg
    75g melted butter, extra for lining the top of the tapioca mixture
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    1 piece banana leaf,for lining the tin

    • Line a baking tin with softened banana leaf.*
    • Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until well combined.Pour into the lined baking tin.
    • Brush mixture generously with butter on top.
    • Bake in a pre heated oven at 190 C for about 45 minutes until golden brown.
    • Remove and leave to cool completely,if you can wait that long before cutting into pieces!
    * leave banana leaf under hot sun to softened

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Sponge cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

    Adapted from Creative Making of Cake-Alex Goh

    Traditional Sponge cake

    5 eggs
    250g caster sugar

    120g cake flour

    80g corn oil
    • Put (A) in a mixing bowl and whip till light and fluffy,double in size

    • Fold in (B) and mix till well blended.
    • Stir in (C) and mix until well incorporated. Pour batter into a well lined with butter & flour/greaseproof paper baking tin.
    • Bake in a preheated oven of 180 C for 30 minutes.
    • Remove from tin immediately after removing from oven.
    Vanilla buttercream
    150g unsalted butter,softened slightly
    100g icing sugar
    A teaspoon vanilla extract
    • Cream butter,sugar & vanilla extract from 5 minutes until pale and frosting just have the grainy feeling.
    • Frost completely cooled cake.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Pavlova with passion fruit

    I just came back from Italy two days ago.And it was a beautiful trip. I baked a pavlova with whipped cream and passion fruit pulp as topping before I left for Italy.Having made pavlova twice before this, I was a little nervous making it again but I had the craving a nice pavlova with passion pulp so made this pavlova from the Monday Morning Cooking Club cookbook I bought from Amazon UK.And it was the best pavlova I've ever eaten.6 months ago, I made Indonesian Layer Cake and it required 25 egg yolks so I had the egg whites as leftovers. I kept the egg whites in the freezer. Over time after baking cakes and pastries, the amount of leftover egg whites had increased.I used to give my dogs the egg whites before,thinking it was pointless to keep the egg whites, stupid I know but I've learnt.=P The combination of tangy flavour of passion fruit has and the sweetness of the pavlova was a perfect match.

    Adapted from Monday Morning Cooking Club cookbook
    6 egg whites, at room temperature
    pinch of salt
    460g caster sugar, I found this a little too sweet to my liking
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar

    350g pure cream
    pulp of 6 passion fruits
    1. Preheat oven to 150 C. Grease an ovenproof platter, I used a cookie pan.
    2. Place a mixing bowl & whisk in the fridge.
    3. To make the meringue base, whisk egg whites with salt until soft peaks form, then add the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, continuously until all the sugar is incorporated.
    4. Continue to whisk for another 5-10 minutes until the meringue base is smooth,creamy and glossy, the meringue base doesn't have a grainy feeling when you rub the meringue mixture with your fingers.
    5. Using a metal spoon, gently fold vanilla extract & vinegar.
    6. Pile the meringue on top of the cookie pan and flatten a little with a spatula.
    7. Bake for 45 minutes, don't open the oven door until the last minute to check the meringue and quickly close it back, turn the oven off and leave the pavlova in the oven for 1 hour with the door closed.
    8. Pour cold pure cream in the cold mixing bowl and whisk until stiff.
    9. When meringue has cooled completely, top with the whipped cream and passion fruit pulp. You can make this ahead of time and refrigerate the meringue with cream until needed, and add the passion fruit just before serving.