Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Marbled Ping Pi Mooncakes

Posted by Quinn at Tuesday, September 29, 2009 8 comments Links to this post


I made these little babies last night with Aaron. He helped me make the lotus paste filling. Yes, we made the filling from scratch, stirred non stop. We took turns but still, it's very tiring... Partly because I really wanna make something for this year's mooncake festival. Partly because I love the texture of Ping Pi mooncakes and I still haven't try and no urge to try making baked mooncakes yet. I might or might not, depending on my tight schedule.

Anyway, I really like this recipe. It is steamed and uses glutinous rice flour rather than koh fun (cooked glutinous rice flour). However, I had so much blunder in making this.

First, I think I oversteam it. It's a fine line between able to knead and rock hard. Also, I did not grease my steaming tray because Angie's recipe didn't say so. When I remove it from the steamer, I think I cooled it too long before kneading in the shortening.

The dough was such a nuisance and oversteamed that the shortening just wouldn't mix in. I ended chopping the steamed disc into smaller parts, pop that in my food processor along with the shortening and pulse until it all became fine breadcrumbs.

Yes, it still didn't form a cohesive dough. At the verge of giving up and throw the whole dough away, I angrily knead the dough with my fingers in anger. To my surprise, it starts binding together. I further knead it like how I would knead my bread dough and it ended up turning smooth and workable. Still a little tough and cold as if it's just out of the fridge but I knead it to keep it at room temperature. It's really cold in Adelaide now so more effort.

Here comes the worst nightmare, I weigh and weigh and weigh until I really don't wanna see a weighing scale temporarily.

I knead in a little vanilla paste into the plain dough. Can't really see the speckles though. I knead in a little red colouring and rosewater essence into the other quarter. Finally, I kneaded in 2 tsp of cocoa powder and 1/2 tsp of pandan paste into the remaining dough. Kneading it was super tough. My perseverance and diligence finally pay and I then weigh each colour of dough into 14 parts. Grab 4 different colours each to form one and roll that out, dusting sparingly with cooked glutinous rice flour.

Plunge it out with my super awesome disney character mooncake and repeat that another 14 times.

Pop it in the fridge to chill for an hour or so and ate Doraemon after that. Had a few more with Aaron and give away the rest to friends who are really impressed now.

I like working with this dough better because it doesn't shrink back as much as the normal ping pei mooncake recipe does but I still like the texture of the normal ping pei mooncakes though. This is nice but it somehow ended on the more chewy side. I think I must have over knead it. It's soft but a little chewy. However, taste wise, I like this though. I'm a Dairy Girl and the taste of this was so milky due to the condensed milk and evaporated milk used. Bakingmum's one ended up rock hard the following day. Mine didn't though. I kept one until the third day and it remain soft but slightly chewy.

I really think it's the weather. If I were you and want to make this, I really wouldn't substitute anything and follow it exactly. Don't oversteam the dough if you wanna make half the recipe like me.

As for filling, I adapted the lotus paste recipe from Yum Yum Magazine. Here you go just in case you wanna try. I substituted maltose with honey. I have also tried substituting with maple syrup. I like both honey and maple syrup too. I can taste them in the filling along with the taste of not overly sweet lotus filling.

If you want the filling recipe, email me okay? I am so tired now I really don't feel like typing it. And nope, no cross section picture, it was gone as fast as a thunder!

Recipe is from Angie's, click here!


So, did I improve tremendously from my last attempt a year back? You be the judge!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Kuih Ketayap

Posted by Quinn at Friday, September 25, 2009 1 comments Links to this post


Filling:

80 gram palm sugar or brown sugar

40 ml plain water

200 gram granted coconut, skin removed

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp sifted glutinous rice flour


Cook palm sugar with water till palm sugar dissolves.

Add grated coconut and salt, stir-fry till mixture is fairly dry.

Remove and set aside.

Batter:

100 gram sifted plain flour

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp pandan juice + a lil 'green' food colouring/pandan paste (optional)

150 ml plain water

1/2 tbsp canola oil


Mix all batter ingredients till smooth and sift once into a spouted jug. Set aside for 30mins.

Heat up a non-stick pan and spray with a little oil. You only need to do this once.

Pour in enough batter to coat the pan in a thin layer. Lightly swirl pan to let batter spread into a thin pancake.

Heat till pancake is cooked then remove and let cool.

Place coconut filing on pancake ad roll up like a spring roll.


Kuih dadar, kuih ketayap or kuih gulung, they are all the same thing. Gulung means roll in Malay. No idea what's dadar and ketayap. Nonetheless, absolutely delicious and a perfect tea treat food.

Adapted from NibbleDish

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Pandan Ondeh Ondeh

Posted by Quinn at Wednesday, September 23, 2009 3 comments Links to this post

Get 2 pandan leaves, washed and blended with 1 tbsp water. Extract the juice by running it through a tea strainer or a fine sieve.

In another bowl, sift together 80g of glutinous rice flour and 1 teaspoon full of tapioca starch. Roughly whisk it and add in a dash of salt and whisk again.

Add in the pandan juice and 1/4 cup of water (or just enough depending on your glutinous flour quality) and mix to form a dough. Pinch a small ball off, the size of a ping pong ball and roll it round.
Gently flatten it in between your palms and drop it into boiling water. When it float to the surface, fish it out and drop it back into the raw dough. Now, knead them into submission very well.

Weigh (you can eyeball it if you want to) into 6-8 balls (depending on how big you want them to be) and roll them into rounds.

Now, do the filling. Grate enough gula melaka with the back of a knife. Press enough gula melaka into a measuring spoon of 5ml (1 teaspoon) capacity. Knock it out onto the table. Repeat this for as many ondeh ondeh as you have.

Wrap in the filling, one sugar lump for each of course and seal the edges and seam. Now, roll it in between your palm until no seams visible, you'll only see an entirely smooth round green ball.

Repeat for remaining ondeh ondeh. Drop them into boiling water and cook until it float to the suface. When all floated, let it boil another minute or so to make sure the filling are all dissolved into liquid.

When done, fish it out one by one using a tea strainer (that's what I think work best for me, you can use a slotted spoon) and drop them into a bowl of cold water. Let it float a while and fish it out with the tea strainer.

Drop them on a bed of dessicated coconuts. If you have freshly grated coconut, even better of course. Add a pinch of salt to the freshly grated coconut and steam it for 10mins or so. Use this to coat the ondeh ondeh.

Place all on a serving plate. Gather a few housemates or friends. Have everyone pop one in the mouth straight and experience the orgasmic sensation of one-of-its-kind taste of gula melaka bursting into your mouth along with the very chewy dough and flavors from the coconut and pandan.

For non-Asians readers, NO! pandan leaves cannot be substituted with banana leaves. They are totally different though they are leaves. You might as well get a bottle of pandan paste (Aroma brand is pretty famous) and that will last you forever.



You will like this, I promise. Try it!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Soybean Curd...Almost there

Posted by Quinn at Monday, September 21, 2009 0 comments Links to this post


This is what I said, was analogous to Mahalepi. This soft, custard texture dessert has the fragrance of soybean and it lingers in your mouth even after you finish it. The thickener used here to set these dou hu hua are either cooked gypsum powder (which are essentially calcium sulphate, those they plastered on your walls) or GDL/Lactone/Fruit Pectin.


I have on many attempts fail to achieve the smooth silky texture but I'm not ready to give up just yet. This is by far my best attempt but it was just way too soft. It is silky not not smooth to the mouth texture. Can soy beancurd really be way too soft?

I shall try again and hopefully, find out where's the problem and post the recipe real soon, fingers-crossed.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lemon Curd Tartlets

Posted by Quinn at Tuesday, September 15, 2009 10 comments Links to this post

Updated : 11:06PM, 17 Sept 2009

Sorry guys, yet another round of lemon curd tartlets. This time with a little more decorations on them.
Made the pastry cases and fill them with my remaining lemon curd. Ran out of it filled the remaining 3 with orange marmalade.

This time round, I didn't bother rolling, I go with my instinct and form them into 12 balls (approximately 15g each) and flatten them with my palms and stuff it into the muffin pan, a mini pan of course. That's how blind baking look like. Just use foil, don't bother about baking papers.


Aaron say he could just pop these empty pastry cases by itself because they are so buttery,, almost like eating butter biscuits. He asked when am I gonna make plain empty pastry shells for him, he likes the pastry shells a lot *faint!

I made these tartlets just now with Su En and I am so insane if I don't post it up now to share with you all. It's awesome, awesome, very awesome. I should have quadrupled the recipe!!!!


This recipe is adapted from Tessa Kiros, Falling Cloudberries, page 264, under the South Africa section. I envy Tessa because she is such had so much passion for cooking and that she had a great mixture. Born in London to a Finnish mother and a Greek-Cypriot father, she moved to South Africa when she was fur. She now lives in Italy with her Italian husband and for some years there, had had a housekeeper from Peru.

Having had such great mixture, she gets to see and taste food all around the world. From wonderful to weird kinky stuff, she owns it all...

I didn't expect the lemon curd filling to yield this much actually. I had a lot left after filling up 12 of the tartlets. Not like I would mine spreading them on toast every now and then but sometimes, I would prefer to not have leftover. My suggestion is to make 2/3 of the recipe but what I'll be posting below is the original recipe from her book.

Her recipe also mentioned juice and finely grated rind from 2 lemons and 1 cup of sugar. I find that rather inaccurate and not so suitable for beginners. Lemons do vary in sizes and I used small lemons just now so it was a little too sweet but not over cloyingly sweet.

It would be good if you can get hold of some Meyer lemons. Then you don't need that much sugar to mask the tartness of the lemon since Meyer lemons are generally sweeter. I could eat one just by itself, really.


Lemon Curd Tartlets (makes 12)

pastry
70g butter, slightly softened
30g sugar
70g plain flour
25g ground almond/almond meal
pinch of salt

lemon curd
75g butter
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sugar
JUICE AND FINELY GRATED RIND OF 2 LEMONS

To make the pastry, cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon. Add the flour, almond meal and a pinch of salt and mix well, using your hands when it becomes a little stiff, until the pastry comes together. Flatten slightly, cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30mins before using. (You can also freeze the pastry at this stage.)

Now make the curd. Melt the butter in a metal bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water to make a bain-marie. Whisk in the eggs. Add the sugar and whisk until thoroughly combined. Whisking continuously, gradually add the lemon juice and zest. Cook over the simmering water for about 20mins, stirring often, until thickened. Cool to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 180°C. Roll out the pastry thinly on a lightly floured work surface and cut out circles of pastry to line about 12 shallow tartlet tins. Line with baking paper, fill with baking beans and blind bake for 8-10mins, or until the visible pastry is golden brown. Remove the paper and beans and cook for another couple of minutes to dry the bases. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before gently removing from the tartlet tins. When completely cooled, fill with lemon curd.

Just my two cents:

I place all the pastry ingredients into the food processor and pulse it. When it all combined into breadcrumbs, I pulse it a few more times and stop when it start to clump together. I place a large sheet of plastic wrap on the table and pour everything over it. I use my hands and gather everything together and chill that in the fridge for 30mins or so.

I find that the dough is quit hard and fiddly to handle so I just separate them into 12 parts and roll them into balls. Simply press them between my palms until it's an inch larger than the tartlet tin. I slide it in an fit it in place with my fingers delicately. In fact, I don't have a tartlet tin and I've used my smallest 12-holed mini muffin tray to do the job. They look so cute in petite form!

I scrunched the baking paper really well before cutting them in squares and stuffing them into the holes. I find that they fit better into corners and crevices like that.

Cook the curd for as long as possible, even more than 20mins to get it as thick as you can over the stove. When cooled completely, butter is the only thing bringing them to set. If you are bold, whisk it non-stop, in fact, whisk it like mad and your curd thickens in under 10mins. Do not even step away from the stove if you're doing the vigorous whisking on med-high heat. It's a fine line that distinguish smooth lemony curd from scrambled egg curd.


Place a layer of cling film over the cooked lemon curd so a skin layer would not form on top when it's chilled.


Good night!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Mahalepi

Posted by Quinn at Monday, September 14, 2009 6 comments Links to this post



It's spring and it's nice and sunny outside today. I thought I should discipline myself and make it a point to blog once a week despite my busy schedule. This is a summer treat but I suppose we could do spring with it.

Spring in Adelaide is rapid, you could see the significant change. The above was taken just two weeks back when it was just the end of winter.

This one below, snapped today shows no green leaves, just lots and lots of flower and new flower buds shooting up!

Just a shot of my garden. I love the Irish-terrier, Finnigan (it's an Irish name by the way!). He is way too adorable and naughty! Love walking the dog! Mahalepi is a common Cyprus dessert by the Cypriot. I adapted this from non other then Tessa Kiros, my current new idol. Her book, Falling Cloudberries, with a cranberry sorbet as cover page is awesome.

These, I would say are like To Fu Fa to the Chinese Malaysian. We consume that as frequent as the Cypriots eat their Mahalepi. Difference is, this is really an acquired taste but I'm glad Aaron and me like it. I guess not everyone is a fan of rosewater but once you've tasted it in your bakings and cookings, you kinda fall for it. Having made this twice, I daresay you will fall for it, usually not on your first attempt! I made this with strong vanilla sugar and I like it better this way. It helped mask the rosewater making it milder and I love the fact that we have lotsa flavours going on here, the rosewater,vanilla, the sweet taste, rice flour taste was rather distinct too and all that smoothed out with milk and water. Have a try!


Mahalepi (serves 4)
adapted from Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros, Cyprus, pg. 211

80g rice flour
90g castor sugar
1 tsp rosewater
550g milk
550g water

Mix all the above in a pot large enough to accomodate all the liquids and bring to boil, whisking constantly. Continue whisking for a couple of minutes and remove from heat. Leave to cool slightly and pour into four serving dishes. Cool completely and chill in the fridge.


Rosewater Syrup
80g castor sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) hot water
2 tsp rosewater
3/4 cup (185ml) iced cold water

Dissolve the sugar in the hot water and leave to cool completely. Add the iced water and put the syrup in the fridge until it get very very cold.

To serve, drizzle a few spoonful of syrup over each dish at the last moment. If you want to colour the syrup, add a few red rose petals or cherries.

There's a few ways you can serve this. Some like serving this in the cup itself with syrup drizzled over, sometimes with a handful of chopped roasted pistachios. Some like turning it out on a plate and drizzle syrup over so it look more glamorous. The Cypriots scoop them out with a spoon in no patterns and drenched them in the rosewater syrup. I kinda don't like this one because if the syrup is red, it makes the whole thing look like chopped body parts floating in blood. Good for Halloween perhaps!


To turn it out on a plate, simply drizzle a few spoonful of syrup along the edges and the edges will loosen itself nicely. Flip it over in a swift motion and drizzle with more syrup.

Enjoy!

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Chocolate French Toast

Posted by Quinn at Friday, September 11, 2009 3 comments Links to this post



I'm sorry to have to say but after this post I'll be in hiatus again indefinitely until I can find time. Lots of things have not been going my way and I'm really unhappy but I'm glad to say I've got over it. It's spring now so I'll try to post more recipes and desserts using flowers and fruits as base, if I can find some time of course.


This chocolate french toast is what I had for breakfast. Not very healthy but I quite like it. You just need to indulge once in a while. I like it, a new twist to normal french toast with the addition of cocoa powder.

1 large egg
1/4 cup fresh milk
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla essence
2 slices of square stale bread, sliced into triangles

Mix everything together except the bread of course. I would sift the cocoa powder through a tea strainer the next time I make this again. Soak the trinagles in the mixture (hopefully you've already think a step ahead and had the mixture in a shallow bowl) and pan fry them with generous amount of butter on both sides until done and set. You probably won't see it turning golden brown.

Drizzle with more maple syrup or go crazy like me and drizzle with sour cream ganache and a light sprinkle of crumbled toasted walnuts. You're good to go!

Adapted from Baking Bites (She's awesome!)

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Starry Agar-Agar Batik

Posted by Quinn at Wednesday, September 02, 2009 5 comments Links to this post

For this starry agar-agar batik, I've adapted Aunty Lily's recipe. I didn't shred the condensed milk jelly like hers. Instead, I pour that into a round tray and firm it up. Then I do star cut-outs with it. I then pour half the gula melaka jelly over it.

As for the white stars cutout, I arrange that in another same size round tray and pour the remaining gula melaka jelly over it. Chill both until firm and serve.

You do get a thinner height of agar-agar but I like it that there's two trays and you can serve more people with smaller pieces for everyone. Not being stingy, but agar-agar came in as desserts after a heavy meal.


I hope you all have a lovely spring. I sure will!

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Goodbye Winter, Welcome Spring!

Posted by Quinn at Tuesday, September 01, 2009 0 comments Links to this post

Today is officially the first day of spring. Winter is officially over but it obviously hasn't taken away with it the chilly days and winter nights.

It's been raining and drizzling a lot, like almost everyday. Flowers are blooming waiting to usher in the new spring.

Our last trip to the Food & Wine Festival in Barossa is still very much lively and fresh in my mind. These photos are all taken by Su En when we're in Barossa. Looking at the flowers, one could tell winter has been raining upon us.

A new season yet again, but I'm still the same old me. I still like cutesy little thing, I'm easily amazed by rusty little chandelier, cakes in petite forms dfinitely taste better and anything pink is confirmed a yes to me.

My uni days has also started and it has not been productive ever since. I am still missing my long vacation. My advice to everyone, if you have a long vacation, treasure it You don't get that many long vacations in your life, like seriously.

I have a long way more to go in life and I really do hope my next long vacation would be very soon so I could feel like I'm treading on clouds with breeze blowing through my hair.

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