Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Black Sesame Seed Cake 黑芝麻蛋糕



Last weekend I decided to try out this recipe which I have bookmarked among my baking books collection. It is a relatively easy to make cake with minimum fuss with the usual preparation procedures as many other cake. 

The reason why I chose this recipe  was more towards the sesame part as I am a fan of sesame products and have used lots of sesames in cooking, particularly the oil. A good friend of mine gave me a kg pack of black sesame seeds some time ago and no matter how hard I tried I just could finish consuming it. Through this recipe, I was hoping to clear up the supply and also to find out for myself how it actually taste in baking. 

For the icing cream, you may use any frosting recipe of your preference.  This is the original version of icing proposed by the author of this recipe. Cake frosting is the part I am still shunning away from.  Instead of baking and icing the entire cake as per what the recipe called for, I baked mine in muffin cups and decorate the top with the proposed icing.


Black Sesame Seed Cake

Ingredients (A)
5 Grade A Eggs
140g Castor Sugar
160g Cake Flour
80g Black Sesame Seed Powder
40ml Fresh Milk
1 Tsp Ovalette (Optional)

(B)
200g Butter

Icing Cream (C)
100g Shortening
120g Butter
150g Golden Syrup
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence

Pandan Coloring

Method

Preheat oven to 170C degrees. Line bottom of a 13" x 13" x 1" baking pan, Set Aside.

Blend A with blender at high speed for 5 minutes till light and fluffy. Set Aside

Blend B till thick and creamy, gradually fold in batter. Pour batter evenly into prepared  baking pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. If using muffin cups 15-18 mins baking time.

Icing Cream
Blend butter until soften. Fold in shortening and whip till fluffy. Add in vanilla essence and golden syrup and mix till well incorporated. Scoop out a small portion and add pandan coloring. Stir well and set aside.

Cut the cake horizontally into 3 layers. Spread icing cream over the first layer of cake, place second layer onto it, then spread another layer of icing cream over and place the 3rd layer of cake on top (not applicable for cake baked in muffin cups).

Cover the cake with icing cream.

Pipe some green icing onto the cake and decorate as desired.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Vegetarian Yam Puffs 素芋头角........Simply Yummy

I have been itching to eat yam puff for a while but have not been successful in finding vegan versions in any of the eateries I visited in Jakarta. Even if its available as meat free, there would still be onion or garlic to consider. 

Under my desperate circumstances, I ended up adapting from a regular yam puff recipe into a vegetarian version.

The outlook may not seems as appetizing as the restaurant made ones...but the taste do taste like one. Worth the effort making it. Handling and wrapping the dough might be a 'wee bit' messy and challenging.

素芋头角
Vegetarian Yam Puffs

For The Dough
600g Yam

100g Wheat Flour
100g Shortening

Seasoning For Dough
1/4 Tsp Five Spice Powder
3/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Sugar

Method 
Peel Yam and diced into cubes. Steam until softened. Add wheat flour and shortening to the cooked  yam and mix well. Transfer the mixture onto a slightly floured work top, mash the mixture with the face of the knife. Add in Seasoning and knead until well combined. Set Aside.


For The Fillings
20g ginger (finely cut)
30g Diced Vegetarian Meat ( I substitute with Radish)
30g Diced Carrot
50g Diced Vegetarian BBQ Pork 
50g Diced Chinese Mushrooms
30g Green Peas
100g Mangkuang, shredded
300ml water

Seasoning for Fillings 
2 tbsp vegetarian oyster / mushroom sauce
1 Tbsp Light soy sauce
1 Tbsp Dark soy sauce
1/2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Sugar
3-4 Tbsp Sesame Oil
Oil For Frying
1 Tbsp each (Tapioca Flour, Plain Flour mix with Water)

Method

Soak diced vegetarian meat in water for 1/2 hour, squeeze out excess water.

Heat up sesame oil in a pot, saute ginger until fragrant. Stir fry all the diced ingredients till fragrant.   Add water and the balance of the ingredients and continue stir frying for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked. Add seasoning and cook till it boils. Lastly add in flour and tapioca flour solution. Remove and set aside for later use.

Divide the yam dough into 35g each. Flatten and place a spoonful of filling in the center. Wrap the fillings and seal the edges tightly. 

Heat up a pot of oil. Deep fry the yam balls till golden brown. Serve.


Pumpkin Pau 南瓜蒸包


Following my recent posting on pumpkin bread, I decided to adopt this ingredient into steam buns for its rich golden color and also the nutritional value it carry. Try choosing pumpkins with brighter orange color, the stronger color tends to be riper and sweeter in taste. And also, the concentration level of the pumpkin puree may differ, so do pay extra attention to the amount of water added to the dough. You may need to adjust the amount of water to be added to the dough accordingly.  For pau making, it is not required to knead the dough until it passes the membrane test. Once the kneaded dough becomes manageably soft and shiny, it's ready for proofing. 

I have studied many recipes on Pumpkin steam pau and not all of them propose the same cooking / steaming time. To be on the safe side, I opt to apply the steaming time based on previous pau recipes I had successfully experimented. 

Pumpkin Pau 南瓜蒸包

To Make Pau Skin (A)
1 Tsp Instant Yeast
160ml Water

120g Pumpkin Puree 

330g Pau Flour (sieved)
50g Caster Sugar
1 Tsp / 5g Double Action Baking Powder
25g Rice Bran Oil / Salad Oil

For Fillings (B)
Any store bought lotus fillings

(if you make your own) (C)
150g Fresh Grated Coconut
35ml Water
40g Caster Sugar



Method

To make pumpkin puree, remove skin and cut into small cubes. Steam till softened. Discard water and mash it immediately while it is hot. Leave to cool.

Place enough water in a steamer pot and bring water to boil. Place a steaming rack which has cloth laid on it.

To prepare the fillings, cook ingredients (C) while stirring till it turns to pale yellow color.  Dish up and cool. I use store bought fillings. 

To prepare pau skin, mix yeast with 1/2 portion of the water well and set aside. In another big mixing bowl, combine all ingredients from (A) as well as the yeast water mixture. Add the remaining water to the dough and adjust based on the concentration of the pumpkin puree. You may stop adding water once a rough dough is formed. Transfer the dough to a slightly floured work table and knead for approx 20 mins or more till the dough becomes shiny and soft. I did mine in a stand mixer for the first 15 minutes before kneading by hand.

Place dough in a slightly oiled bowl and wrap with clingfilm and proof for 30 mins.

Lightly dust the work table with flour. Gently punch down the dough to deflate the air and knead for 1-2 minutes.

Divide dough into 16 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and then flatten. Place a spoonful of filling into the centre. gather the edges, seal the opening and lay each dough ball downwards on a parchment paper or muffin liners.

Repeat the process for remaining 15 portions.

Cover the pau with clingfilm and proof for 30 mins until double in size.

Arrange the pau on the steamer rack and steam over medium high heat for aproximately 15-20 mins (depending on size of the pau) or till cooked.  Turn of the heat.

Open the steamer lid slightly to release the heat and let it stand for another 3-5 minutes before removing the lid. This is to prevent the pau from shrinking after cooling.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mocha Layer Cake

Mocha Layer Cake



It's been almost a year since I last played with cake frosting, the part which I just couldn't do well. I have tested many types of frosting but the outcome was not pretty. 

Seeing that there is leftover whip cream lying around in the fridge, I decided to give it a go without much expectations. Leafing through the neglected baking books in the study I found this relatively easy and less time consuming recipe to try out. The original recipe calls for the using of 3 separate 7 inch shallow cake pans but I only have 1 hence I just bake the entire recipe on a standard 7" round cake pan and worry about the layering the cake later.

True enough the layering is tough for novice baker like me as the cake was rather crumbly and instead of making 3 layers, I settled for 2 layer...phew! Cold sweat ! My advice would be to follow the recipe and bake with at least 2 separate cake pans if you don't have many spare baking pan of the same size. 

While layering the cake, lots of crumbs came loos. So, I kept it for use in decorating the sides of the cake while only opting chocolate shaving on the top surface of the cake. The feedback from my maid was the chocolate being too sweet. Luckily I cut down on the castor sugar from 120g to 90g and in the end, the using of the cake crumbs for the side also helps to even out the sweetness. 

Recipe adapted from the book "Simple & Delicious Desserts" published by Love Food.


Mocha Layer Cake
(Servings - 8 pax)

Cake

Butter (for greasing)
250g Self Raising Flour
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
95g Castor Sugar
3 Grade A Eggs
2 Tbsp Golden Syrup
150ml Corn Oil
150ml UHT Milk

Filling / Topping

1 Tsp Coffee Powder
1 Tbsp Boiling Water
300ml Double Cream
2 Tbsp Icing Sugar

Decoration

50g Chocolate Shavings
Loose Cake Crumbs (optional)
Icing Sugar (for dusting)


Method

Lightly grease 3 shallow 7" cake pans. I bake mine using one standard 7" cake pan (bottom and side line with parchment paper) instead of what the recipe calls for.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together into a large bowl. Stir in the castor sugar. Then make a well in the center. Add eggs, syrup, oil and milk to the well and gradually beat in with a wooden spoon to form a smooth texture. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans (if any).

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C degrees for 35-40 mins, or until springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly in the cake pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.


To make filling, dissolve the coffee in the boiling water. Add coffee mixture into a mixing bowl containing the double cream and icing sugar. Whip at high speed until the cream starts to hold its shape. Apply the cream to sandwich the 3 layers of cake together. I only layered mine  to 2 layers. Spread the remaining cream over the top and side of the cake.

To decorate, lightly press the chocolate shavings into the cream on the top as well as the side of the cake. I did mine with the cake crumbs (for the sides) and chocolate shavings (for the top).

To serve, lightly dust with icing sugar.



Vegetarian Nasi Lemak

Vegetarian Nasi Lemak


I believe many of the seasoned cooking members like me do not actually keep records or measure their cooking ingredients on a frequent basis. Particularly when you and I cook almost everyday and are used to playing around with flavors or food combinations based on personal preferences.


I have never given much thought the necessity to do so until when I started to post some of the home cooked food pictures on Facebook and from the response from people asking for the recipe. This morning I spent several hours cracking my head to recount the steps and going through the kitchen scales to weigh the ingredients used for the requested recipes.

Thank you for the interest and I hope you enjoy the outcome as much as I enjoy the preparation process. Cheers and have a wonderful day! 



Sambal Tumis

300g Dry Chili
Water (for boiling)

3 Red Chilis
2 Bird's Eye Chilis (Chili Padi), Optional
300ml Water (for blending)
100g Tomato, optional (diced, for blending)

75ml Cooking Oil
90g Sugar
15g Tamarind slice / paste (mix thoroughly with 1 cup water)
4 slices Galangal
1 stalk Lemongrass (crushed)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Vegetarian mushroom granules
Lime juice (optional)


  • Boil 300g of dry chilis with sufficient water for 10-12 mins or until softened. Remove from heat and discard the water.
  • Using a blender, combine the above dry chili, red chilis, chili padi and 300ml water and blend into fine paste.


  • Heat up oil in a wok, add in the above blended chili paste and stir fry under low heat until fragrant or when oil starts to separate. 


  • Add in tamarind water, galangal, lemon grass, salt, sugar and mushroom granules to taste. You may add further spices or seasoning based on your preference. Stir fry the mixture until slightly thicken but runny. Add lime juice (if using) and bring to boil.


  • Dish out to cool before storing in glass container.


Coconut Fragrant Rice

2 Cups long grain rice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
6 Pandan leaves (knotted)
3 Stalks Lemon Grass (crushed)
6 Slices of Ginger
1 Fresh Coconut (Grated only the white part & mix with water to get 4 Cups of coconut milk)


  • Wash the rice and strain.
  • Add all ingredients into the rice cooker.
  • Leave aside for 1 hour before cooking.


  • Serve with roasted groundnuts, sliced cucumber and vegetarian ikan bilis (anchovies). For me, I stir fry 30g of vegetarian ikan bills with 2 tsp of the samba paste and 1 tsp of sugar as I am not so much into plain ikan bilis (anchovies).





Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pulut Inti 蕉叶糯米椰丝糕 .......a memorable dessert from my past

Many of my close friends asked me how did I manage to resist from all eating all those sweet laden, dairy rich cakes and pastries which I frequently bake. Well, I guess I just switch my mind away from the cravings and put all attention to any baking at best I could. The same goes for cooking for the family members who aren't vegan, I just cook based on 'gut feelings' without actually testing the taste.  

Now I can relate to how my late grandmother capabilities in making lots of delicious desserts and chinese kuihs with only her 'agar agak' estimation using basic measuring tools such as cup  and bowl. Unlike our modern ways whereby we are all blessed with kitchen scales, food thermometers, ovens, mixers etc etc.

So... back to the subject of Pulut Ini, yes this is still a comfort food for me. It's meat and dairy free which works well as a substitute to curb my sweet tooth. I posted the photos in Baking Corner's page in Facebook and received lots of request to share the recipe.  Hence, I have to quickly arrange my works and share out the recipe today.


Pulut Inti
蕉叶糯米椰丝糕

(A) 
300g glutinous rice (washed and soaked overnight)
180ml coconut milk (from 1/2 coconut)
3 pandan leaves (knotted)
1/2 tsp salt

(B)
1/2 grated coconut (white part only)
100g gala melaka ( chopped)
4 tbsp water
2 pandan leaves (knotted)
1/4 tsp salt

(C) For thickening
1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp water

12 pcs banana leaves (18cm x 15cm) , softened and wiped clean

Method


  • For (A) - Place the well drained glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt into a steaming tray and mix well. Coconut milk should just cover the rice. Place the pandan leaves on top of the rice and steam for 30 mins until dry and fully cooked.
  • For (B) - In another heat proof sauce pan, combine water and gula melaka and boil until sugar is dissolved. Add grated coconut, pandan leaves and salt. Cook with medium low heat until the grated coconut is almost dry.
  • For (C) - Combine cornflour and water together. Stir it into (B) cooked grated coconut mixture until well combined. 
  • Remove the grated coconut toppings from heat and set aside to cool. Divide the toppings into 12 portions.
  • Fluff up the cooked glutinous rice and divide into 12 portions.
  • Place 1 portion of glutinous rice on the banana leaf and top it with 1 portion of the coconut toppings. Wrap it up neatly like nasi lemak. 
  • Repeat with the balance portions. 





Pumpkin Bread 南瓜麵包



Pumpkin and sweet potatoes have always the constant staple food for my eldest furkid ever since she was diagnosed with hereditary severe allergies to rice, yeast and wheat products, we had been using pumpkins, potatoes and sweet potatoes as her main source of carbohydrates. All those years of preparing food for her, never had I actually use for my baking or cooking. Usually I would only pumpkin meals for ourselves when we eat outside. I guess we just want to save every bit of our home supplies for our beloved furkid. 


Yesterday I came across a big packet of pre cut pumpkin cubes in the freezer which were in excess of what we have prepared for my forked consumption. Immediately I set about putting it to baking. And, finally... I get to try out the pumpkin bread recipe adapted from Alex Goh's 'Magic Bread 汤出面包香'. 


Pumpkin Bread 南瓜麵包
(Makes 2 x 24x13x7cm Loaves)

Ingredients

A  100g Bread flour
     85g   Boiling water

B  400g Bread flour
     40g   Sugar
     1 tsp Salt
     15g   Milk powder
     1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
      8 g   Instant yeast

C   200g Pumpkin (cooked and mashed)

D  150g Cold water

E  60g Butter

F  80g Pumpkin seeds


Method:

Combine boiling water from (A) with bread flour until well blended to form a dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Store into refrigerator for at least 12 hours before using.

Combine all ingredients from (B) into the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook and mix until all ingredients are well combined. Add (C), (D) and continue kneading to form a rough dough. Add in (A) and continue kneading on slow speed until blended. Add more water wherever necessary.

Add in (E) and continue kneading on medium speed until the dough is smooth and elastic. You may also tear a small part of the dough to test its readiness by performing the window pane test.

Add in (F) and mix until well combined.

Transfer the dough to a slightly greased bowl, cover bowl with either cling wrap or cloth and allow the dough to proof for an hour or until the dough doubled in size.

Punch down the dough. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces and mould it round.  Allow the doughs to rest for another 10-15 mins.

Arrange 6 pieces of dough into a 24x13x7cm bread pan. Repeat the same for the balance.  Sprinkle a mist of water onto the surface of the 2 bread pans and allow the dough to proof for another 45mins or until double in size.

Apply egg wash onto the surface of the bread and sprinkle some pumpkin seeds over the top.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180C degrees for 30 minutes.

Remove bread pan from oven. Drop the pan from a height of 1 feet onto the counter to release the hot air inside the pan. Unmold and transfer bread onto cooling rack.





       

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chapati ........my vegetarian dhal companion



Chapati, also known as Indian flat bread, is our very first Indian pancake attempt prior to the making of  Pita Bread last month. It all started with my cravings for curry lentils (dhal) as well as my maid's sudden urge to eat roti canai. Hence, I googled the net for the easiest recipe to create something equivalent instead of roti canai to go along with the batch of vegetarian curry lentils (Dhal) dhal / lentils sitting around in the fridge.


It's a very simple and straight forward recipe with minimal ingredients.  






Chapati 

2 Cups of Atta Flour
3/4 Cups Water
a Pinch of Salt



Directions 
  • Mix Atta Flour with a pinch of salt. Gently add in the water to the flour mixture, adjusting and adding as needed until the mixture forms a dough. 
  • Continue kneading until the dough is manageably soft and smooth. 
  • Cover the dough and set to rest for 15 mins.
  • Dust work space with flour. Divide the dough into equal portions each equivalent to a lemon size dough.  
  • Take each dough and roll between the palms with gentle pressure in circular motion until the dough is smooth and without cracks.  
  • Repeat the same for the remaining lemon size doughs. 
  • Lightly coat each dough with Atta flour. Using a roll pin, flatten and roll out each dough to form a 4' - 6' flat disc.  The rolled out Chapati must not be less than 1/6" thick regardless of the disc size.
  • Place the dough / disc on a heated pan on medium flame. Using a spatula, flip the chapati when raised bumps appears on the surface. Repeat the same for the other side until chapati is thoroughly cooked.
  • Serve with Curry Dhal or any gravy of your preference.








 

Chocolate Marble Swirl Bread 大理石面包


Being an avid baker, I landed up with lots of leftover ingredients in the freezer and sometimes I often forgotten about it until I started clearing stuffs to make way for newer leftovers such as cake frosting, cake toppings, bread fillings and many more I couldn't recall.

Anyway, last month I deliberately increase the quantity of the required cream cheese toppings ingredients while making a batch of strawberry cream cheese bread hoping to keep the leftovers as toppings to enhance a 2 tone / flavor bread recipe I have in mind. 


This recipe is an adaptation of several bread recipes whereby I took bits and pieces of certain information from various bread books hoping to create a different outlook cum tasty bread. The bread turns out soft and tasty as I hoped.  Do feel free to try making on your own and email me the outcome. Happy baking!



Chocolate Marble Swirl Bread

Sweet Bread Dough 基本麵团甜麵包
200g Milk
4g Instant Yeast
330g High Protein Bread Flour
70g Low Protein Flour
80g Castor Sugar
4g Salt
1/2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 Grade A Egg
40g Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Unsweetened Dark Cocoa Powder


Cream Cheese Toppings (A)
125g Cream Cheese
40g Sugar
50g Whipping Cream
10g Instant Custard Powder

Chocolate Rice for decoration (B)

Method (A) 
Cream the cream cheese until light. Add sugar and continue creaming until smooth. Add in whipping cream and mix until well blended. Add in custard powder and mix until well combined. Transfer batter into a piping bag and set aside. 


Directions
  • In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add all the ingredients except butter. However, leave around 30g of milk left to be added slowly later. 
  • Mix at low speed (speed 1) until all the ingredients are well mixed to form a coarse ball dough ( appro. 2-3 min). Add the remaining liquids if necessary.
  • Add butter and slowly increase the speed to medium for approx. 15-18 min until a smooth, window pane effect is formed. 
  • Divide the dough into two equal portions. One portion to remain as it is and the other portion to mix with 2 Tbsp of unsweetened dark cocoa powder and knead until fully combined to form a chocolate color dough. 
  • Shape the 2 doughs into a ball and allow it to proof in individual (lightly greased) bowls. Cover the bowls with cling film and allow to proof for 1 hour or until it doubles in size.
  • Test the readiness of the dough with a finger lightly dusted with low-gluten or cake flour.  The dough is ready when the dough remain indented after the finger pokes into it.
  • Punch down the doughs. Roll into balls and leave to rest for another 15 mins.
  • Lightly dust the work top with low protein flour, using a rolling pin, roll out the light color dough into a 10x14cm rectangle and set aside. 
  • Repeat the same for the chocolate dough and roll out the dough into the same rectangular dimension as per the light color dough of 10x14cm. 
  • Stack the chocolate colored rectangular roll dough on top of the light color dough.  Flatten the joint dough sheet with the rolling pin. 
  • Roll up the rectangular sheet dough like a roulade and place in a well greased bread loaf pan. Tuck the ends down. 
  • Spray some water over the dough with a fine-mist nozzle. Proof the final bread dough in the tin for 50 min until it almost reaches the brim of the tin. 
  • Pipe cream cheese batter over the top of the bread dough. Sprinkle and decorate with some chocolate rice.
  • Preheat oven to 200 degC but bake at 180 degC for about 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from oven and unmould immediately. Let the loaf cool off before slicing.

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