Friday, November 21, 2014

Festive Season Fruit Cake

Can you imagine Christmas is just about 5-6 weeks away ! Can't really express my feelings. Wow.... I'm getting excited though I'm not celebrating it. Just feeling excited like I used to even since I was a kid. In my memories, Christmas is something really special cause its very near to Chinese New Year. You know what I mean ! haha.... The continuously festive mood.just blow me away but this year my family is not celebrating the Chinese New Year cause according to the Chinese custom, it is forbidden to celebrate anything within a year after my father in law passing. However, we will still go home to have our New Year eve dinner like every year. So, just to lift up the festive spirit I baked myself a festive fruit cake. Oh yeah, this is just so delicious. I wrapped them into few small portions then keep frozen, where I can enjoy anytime I want.

I didn't add in the candied cherries as my family didn't like it at all especially the smell of it. However, I replaced some other dried fruits instead such like apricot & cranberries.

Ingredients :
250gm butter, softened
250gm  brown sugar
4 eggs
1 TB  ground mixed spice (I used five spice powder)
300gm   all purpose flour

250gm  dried apricot, chopped
250gm  raisins
250gm  sultanas
250gm  dried cranberries, chopped
5 TB  brandy

*extra 4 TB  brandy (for final topping)

Method :
(1) soaked ingredients (B) over night.
(2) beat butter & sugar till fluffy pale then whisk in eggs one at a time till everything well combined
(3) now, fold in flour & mixed spice and mix well.
(4) next, stir in ingredients (B) and blended well then pour batter to a 7" baking tray lined with parchment paper.
(5) finally, bake at preheated oven 175'C for about an hour or till tester came out clean and pour in the extra brandy liquor immediately.

* chocolate ganache : 200gm chocolate (chopped) melted into 60ml  hot heavy cream

Lastly, I covered the cake with an extra touch of chocolate ganache.... just playing greedy. haha..... Hope you guys are having a great time during the weekend & enjoy your early Christmas shopping. >o<

Monday, November 17, 2014

Guyanese Garlic Butter Roll

Guyanese is actually comes from the word Guyana. Guyana is a sovereign state on the northern coast of South America. This is the first time I ever get to know Guyana while I accidentally bump into one of the famous & special Guyanese bread recipe called Guyanese Butter flap..Guyanese butter flap is also under the category of Caribbean cuisine which I'm not familiar with. (More info from here) However, I just can't resist good food especially bread. So, this is definitely something I shouldn't miss out. I didn't fold the bread as it was but making them into bread rolls instead. And here's what I did.

By the way, this is my number 700th post after 6 years blogging. Job well done ! >o<

Ingredients :
2 cups  bread flour / all purpose flour
1 Tb  milk powder (optional)
2 TB  sugar
1-1/2 tspn  yeast
1/4 tspn  salt
1/2 cup  warm milk
2 TB  corn oil

2 TB  salted butter, softened
3 cloves  garlic, skinned & crushed into fine paste
(mix together till well combined)

*1/2 cup  parmesan cheese powder

Method :
(1) stir yeast, sugar & milk together then let to rest for 10 minutes.
(2) now, combine flour, milk powder & salt into a big mixing bowl then stir in the yeast mixture till soft dough is formed.
(3) add in oil then continued kneading till well combined, set aside to rest for an hour or till double in size.
(4) punch dough to release air, mix in half of the garlic butter mixture & knead till combined.
(5) place dough to working table then flatten into 6x8" size, divide into 8 portions equally.
(6) next, rub each dough with the remaining garlic butter paste & then make a knot, place it to a greased baking tray, let to rest for another 30-45 minutes or till dough nicely rose
(7) finally, sprinkle the top with some parmesan cheese then bake at preheated oven 190-195'C for about 20-25 minutes or till nicely brown.

Yes, who can resist good food ! And these rolls are perfect to serve on Christmas Eve dinner table.

I have to admit this bread is super duper delicious. It is super soft, buttery, aromatic & addictive. Double the recipe if possible. I'm not joking here !
I'm sending this to Yeastspotting @ Wild Yeast Blog.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Homemade Chwee Kuih @ Steamed Savoury Rice Cake

Do you have any idea how the Asian elderly spend their evening or night everyday after dinner ? Well, majority will stay at home with their kids & grand kids or maybe watching tv, partial will spend their night out joining the society activities and some will rather spend their night out with friends for tea & chit chat. And not to miss out some will most probably spending their night playing 'mahjong' or 'mahjiang'. haha..... No matter what activities they were about to join or already started, I would like to congratulate them. They have chosen to spend their time wisely. This will keep them motivated. Of course, gambling is not recommended. Well, hubby & I spending most of our evening accompany these range of friends almost every night. We are the youngest in the group. I really enjoy listening to the story behind each of them and the experience they've been through all those years. I was amazed & honour to have the chance to get to know them. Life is just too short. No matter how long you have live, all you need is only an hour or two to tell the story. That it !!!

Then there is one night, one of them has asked me to buy some chwee kuih for the next meet up. I promised I'll get them the chwee kuih. Who knows ! Its raining heavily that day, the only chwee kuih food stall is taking the day off. So, there's no way I can get any chwee kuih that evening. Not thinking for long, I quickly took out the ingredients. Mix them up and put them to the steamer. Its my first attempt, I rather worried if they won't turned out as expected.

(Recipe adapted from here)
Ingredients for rice cake :
150gm   rice flour
4 TB  tapioca flour
1 TB  wheat starch
250ml  water

350ml   water
1 tspn  salt
1 TB   cooking oil/corn oil

Method :
(1) combine ingredients (A) and mix well, set aside.
(2) mix together ingredients (B) into a pot then bring mixture to boil, off the heat then immediately add boiling water into mixture (A) and continuously stirring till everything well blended.
(3) preheat a steamer with 12-13 greased cupcake cups, cover the cups & let them heat before used.
(4) next, pour rice batter into hot cups then let them steam over high heat for about 25-30 minutes or till set..
(5) once its done, let them cool completely before removing the cakes from cups.

Well.... I am happy dancing over the moon. The kuih turns out great.

Ingredients Radish topping :
1 packet (120-150gm)  preserved chopped white sweet radish, rinsed
1 tspn     vegetarian oyster sauce
1/2 tspn    sweet dark soy sauce
1 tspn     sugar
1 TB   chopped garlic
1 TB  cooking oil

*if you're using salted white radish then soaked them for 30 minutes before used.

Method :
(1) toast the sweet white radish over low heat on frying pan till dry without adding in any oil, then set aside.
(2) preheat frying pan with cooking oil then saute garlic till aromatic, add in toasted radish & continue stirring over low heat till nice & fragrant.
(3) now, add in oyster sauce, sweet dark soy sauce & sugar till well blended then immediately off the heat. And its ready to serve.

I have some red sweet sauce & Thai chili sauce parking in the kitchen which is just nice to go along the serving.  It gives such presentable colours to the plater as well.

After packing everything, we headed to the coffee shop as usual meeting our friends there. And chwee kuih is served. They were amazed when I told them I made the kuih. haha.... They love it and they said it tastes as good as the stall bought ones. Wow... what a compliment ! I was thrilled and thanking them for giving me the chance to present them my homemade chwee kuih. I am happy when they're happy. So, its all worth it. Hope you guys are having a wonderful evening too. >o<
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