Monday, June 30, 2008

Sugarpaste & Gumpaste

Wow.. it has really been a very hectic week for me, plus the fact that I had food poisoning, complete with the works. Will not go into the details. Don't intend to spoil anyone's day *grins* . Anyway, I am so glad that the week really ended with a wonderful time at Min's place on Sunday. That was my basic Sugarpaste & Gumpaste class at Min's. I thought it would just be me and Sue, but had to pleasure of making a new friend, Sarah and I am sure Sue and Sarah had as much fun as I did.

Finally meeting Min was indeed a pleasure for me as I have been following her blog Baking Project way before I even started my own blog (this one, I mean heehee) and her creativity has always inspired me. Looking at her creations and my own, I realize that I have a long way to go and I was very happy that she does carry out classes. However, due to my hectic schedule, I could only finally make it for a class yesterday.

Wow... looking at her well equipped kitchen immediately sets my mind planning on how I could afford to buy my first heavy duty mixer :). At the moment, I only have a hand mixer at home :(. But I think Sue and I felt the same about the maid though.... sure could do with one to help clean up all the mess after we are done "playing", especially when it comes to washing up buttercream and shortening... you can use half a bottle of detergent and the utensils are still oily... yucks!

Min sure has a lot of tools and I was totally impressed. This is truly a sign of a real artist in the making. Which great painter or sculptor or cake decorate goes without his (in this case, her) tools of trade? I am not sure about Sarah or Sue, but I think I have a long long way to go. At the moment, I am living on borrowed tools .... heehee.. the flower cutters which I am using actually belongs to my neighbor. Will have to go and buy my own set soon.

We were taught the basics of marzipan, fondant and gumpaste making before we were let loose on creating our cake's deco... I wonder if I'll turn out to be the next pro-cake decorate or the guy who created Frankenstein ?? *Sweats*

3 of us really got into the heat of things that by lunch time, Min was telling us to take a break and grab some of the spaghetti she made for lunch. Looks like there were no takers. I hope Min's not insulted. There was nothing wrong with the spaghetti but the thrill of watching our cakes take shape was just too exciting.

At 3 plus, I think Min cannot take it anymore... made some coffee and virtually made us drink it up. I dare not take any as I was still recovering from gastric pains caused by the food poisoning. Thanks Min.. I'll take up the offer the next time ... :)

We finished off our cakes at almost 4pm..... and thanks to Min's guidance all the way, these are our cakes.....

Sue's beautiful Sunflowers on a Sunday

Sarah's Sweet Spring Daisies

My Roses from the Heart

There are lots more ideas and if you are really interested, do go to Min's blog. Her classes are really absolutely fun and the best part is you also get to meet people who shares the same interests as you....

mmm.. how to work today, when I am still living in yesterday.....sigh!!!

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Cream Pasta Sauce with Prawns

I must say that I do prefer cream pasta sauce to tomato based pasta sauce. Maybe I had a bit too much of that during my University days. I can still remember the yucky beef balls in tomato sauce in a can that I used to purchase to be eaten with home cooked pasta.. could I have eaten those almost every other week. Maybe because it was the cheapest thing on the supermarket shelves.

This is a relatively simple sauce which can be made in a jiffy. Whilst preparing the sauce, I had a boiling pot of water for my spaghetti. Before putting the spaghetti into the boiling water, add a bit of oil and salt into the water.

I bought large prawns from the hypermarket. I cannot remember how much they were selling but I got 10 of them for RM8.60. The rest of the ingredient were what I could rummage from the kitchen cabinet, including a can of large button mushrooms.


1 can of button mushrooms (fresh would have been much better)
115g butter
2/3 cup flour
5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
4 c. chicken stock
2 c. light cream
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Heat up some butter in the pan and put in some of the chopped garlic.
  2. When the garlic turned aromatic, put in the prawns and fry them until they turn orange in color.
  3. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add in the remaining butter and when hot, put in all the garlic and fry.
  5. Drain the button mushrooms from the tin and add into the hot pan.
  6. Saute the mushrooms for a minute
  7. Mix the flour and chicken stock before pouring it all into the hot pan.
  8. Lower the heat and stir until the sauce thickens.
  9. Add in the cream, salt and pepper.
  10. Finally, put in all the prawns into the sauce.
  11. For garnishing, use parsley and the grated Parmesan cheese

I know that I will not have that much time in the kitchen to cook or bake from tonite until the end of the week. Nope, I am not going away. It is just that there will be quite a number of activities lined up right up to Sunday.

Tonight, I will be watching Beauty and Beast at the KL Convention Centre.

Tomorrow night, I will be at Sukhi Hotu, who will be hosting a Dhamma Talk and Concert by Ravenna Michalsen..

Thursday night, I’ll be at DanSing Thro Broadway at the Pangung Bandaraya.

Friday is Casper’s birthday dinner, likely to be at Jaya33

Saturday, phew.. a breather here… dinner at mum’s

Sunday… yippppppppeeeeeee…..gumpaste and sugarpaste class at Min’s.. soooo excited lah.

Looks like the only rest I'd be getting is when I am working in the office...heehee

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Friday, June 20, 2008

Why Eat Out when you can Eat In

I was really wanting to see how expensive it would cost to have a decent western meal at home. Previously I tried cooking a simple Japanese meal at home to see how much it would cost (approximately RM30). Not too bad hor? I attempted to do the same for a western meal to see how much my savings would be.

I bought a piece of lamb shoulder and a few slices of beef steaks from one of the hypermarkets one weekend ago. The piece of marinaded lamb shoulder costs RM2.89 and 3 pieces of also marinaded beef steaks for RM7. A tray of button mushrooms for RM4.99. Some broccoli for RM2.30. 2 eggs for RM0.80 (rounded upwards). Oil and gas...hard to calculate, decided to omit the cost.

These are the results for a total of less than RM20 ...

I suppose this is the ideal substitute for a western meal at the end of the month when you have that craving but the pocket is light. Perhaps a meal like this would cost RM40 at the restaurants and there is also the nasty bit of tax we have to pay :(

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Steamed Chocolate Cupcakes

I know that my dear superheroes have just embarked on their new adventure in baking and as they have quite successfully made an Oreo Cheesecake, Well done supes :)

I decided to share this very simple fuss free steamed chocolate cupcake as there is no need for an electric mixer or oven. Good for those who do not have an oven yet in their kitchen. This was the original recipe that I got from a girl friend but she cannot remember where she got it. I made it for the first time last night and as they turned out pretty ok, I reckon that for less than an hour kind of effort, it is worth doing.


1 3/4 cup of flour
3/4 cup of cocoa powder
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
3/4 cup cooking oil (vegetable oil)
1/2 cup of fresh milk
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

  1. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda bicarbonate in a bowl
  2. Add in the sugar and mix well
  3. Pour in the oil and the milk and make sure that everything is mixed thoroughly
  4. Add in the beaten egg a little at a time and mix well
  5. Add in the vanilla essence. Stir until the mixture looks well blended
  6. Put your wok or pan with water. If you have a steamer, that would be easier.
  7. Line cupcake foils or tray with cupcake cups and scoop in the mixture
  8. As the mixture will rise, only fill up to 3/4 of the cup.
  9. Steam for about 15 to 20 mins.

You can top these little cuppies with cream cheese or you can just leave it plain. The texture is smooth and moist. But I didn't do the topping as there was no more cheese at home (phew...good excuse as I will probably be too lazy to do toppings even if I had cheese at home).

But the difference between the baked cuppies and steamed cuppies is the aroma whilst the cakes are being cooked. When it is oven baked, the kitchen smells wonderful and aromatic. When cuppies are steamed, one does not get this aroma but nevertheless, it tastes good as sometimes the baked ones can turned up coarse and dry (also depends on the recipe).

Cream Cheese toppings: - 6 oz. low fat cream cheese (cold) - 1/2 cup (or more) icing sugar - 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Coffee Biscotti - Food Exchange Program

This week, the Food Exchange Program was delayed. Sue was on leave on Monday, and Tuesday was a rather busy day at work for her as there was quite a lot to catch up with. Babe is going through a sad rough bump in her life's journey. She will be recuperating for the next 3 or so weeks. Get well soon Babe. Can't wait for you to get back into the Food Exchange Program.

As the Food Exchange was not going to happen on Monday, I took my time during the weekend to look through some of my cook books. I recently bought this one by Catherine Atkinson called Coffee Cakes and Desserts.

There were so many yummy cakes and desserts that were so tempting but as I had to do whatever it was that I wanted to do on a Monday evening after work, I selected something which was relatively simple. I decided on her Coffee Biscotti recipe. I have never tried doing a biscotti before, hence I read and reread her recipe a few times to make sure I understood it. These days, we cannot afford to make mistakes as mistakes are rather expensive with the increased price of all ingredients (Sue understands this best as we both have thrown out our fair share of failures in the past *sob*).

The recipe and the method have been reproduced below. The aroma from the coffee during the baking was so heavenly. I wonder if the neighbours could smell it. It lingered almost the entire night until morning..... mmmmmm....


25g of roasted coffee beans (i only used 10g of nescafe powder)
115g of blanched almonds
200g of plain flour
1 1/2tsp of baking powder
1/4tsp salt
75g of unsalted butter, cubed
150g of caster sugar
2 eggs beaten
25-30ml strong brewed coffee
1tsp of ground cinnamon for dusting

  1. Preheat oven at 180C/350F
  2. Put the espresso coffee beans in a single layer on one side of the baking sheet and the almonds on the other side.
  3. Roast for 10 mins and leave to cool.
  4. Put the coffee beans in the food processor or blender and process until fairly find. (Using instant nescafe powder sure saved me a fair bit of time and probably tasted as yummy. The smell was absolutely heavenly)
  5. Tip it out and set it aside. Process the almonds until fine.
  6. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
  7. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  8. Stir in the sugar, ground coffee and almonds
  9. Add in the beaten eggs and enough brewed coffee to form a fairly firm dough.
  10. Lightly knead for a few seconds until smooth and shape into 2 rolls about 7.5cm in diameter.
  11. Placed on a greased baking sheet and dust with cinnamon. Bake for 20 minutes
  12. Using a sharp knife, cut the rolls into 4cm slices in diagonal slices.
  13. Arrange the slices back onto the baking tray and bake for another 10 minutes or until lightly brown. Cool on a rack.

There was a cook's tip at the end of the recipe which read "Store the biscotti in an airtight tin for a day before serving". That explains why Sue is only getting her biscotti this morning :)

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Fruit Tartlets

Ah Mah means grandma in some of the chinese dialets and last Saturday happened to be Ah Mah's 99th birthday. You say... ah.. 99 years old? That is 1 year short of a being a century old. Yup. That she is. But if you were to look at her photo, she sure does not look that old. See....

The 99 years young Ah Mah

Ah Mah used to smoke ciggies (I think it was either Benson or Dunhill), drinks the truly caffeinated local coffee by the mug-fulls and she can at this age still scold you silly or kill you with one of her piercing looks. We used to go out to restaurants to celebrate her birthdays but at 99, she does get tired and needs to lie down ever so often. Hence, it was going to be a home-cooked makan session. Most of the dishes were cooked by her 1st daughter, my Tai Ku Cheh, who is a rather good cook. Together with the maid, she cooked up a vegetarian dish (chai choy), fried chicken, fried wonton, french fries for the kiddos and the obligatory longevity noodles. The people were rather hungry as some were waiting (like mua) since 11 plus to eat. By the time we started eating, it was almost 1:30pm. The way the food was being attacked, it was just like a whole bunch of piranhas attacking a juicy succulent piece of meat.

I decided to compliment the birthday cake which was bought at a bakery at Isetan KLCC with some fruit tartlets. After having put up the Fruit Tart post and receiving suggestions on how to improve the tarts, I decided to do it again but this time as tartlets. Well, I must admit that I cheated a little this time. As I was really short of time to do the custard, I went over to a bake ware shop to purchase a packet of instant custard to do the job. Sure saved me a fair bit of time (phew).

This was how the instant custard looked like before the fruits went on. Tasted quite ok. I think perhaps I will stick to this the next time.

Before the fruits

After the fruits were added

Ah Mah is probably thinking...."don't light me a candle... light be a ciggie"....haha

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Assam Fish Curry

Mum has a lot of curry and assam dishes and this is one of my favorite. I don't know if it is the tamarind in the recipe that really makes this dish so appetizing for me as I could eat platefuls of rice with just the curry gravy. I can do without the fish or any of the rest of the accompaniments for it is the gravy that I like.

Mum cooked that for us 2 weekends ago and she was rattling off the ingredients and method of doing it. Apparently you can use any type of fish or fish fillet for this dish, but most of the time, garoupas and pomfrets are used. I used the bawal hitam (promfret) for the dish.

Apparently this curry dish tastes better overnight but sometimes, there just isn't any left at the end of the meal to be kept for the next meal even, let alone the next day :).

This is mum's version of the Assam Fish Curry.


1 large bawal hitam (pomfret) cut into slices about an inch thick
10 pieces of okra (ladies fingers)
2 tbsp of assam jawa (tamarind paste). Soak this in 2 cups of warm water and strain, keeping the juice only
3-4 stalks of daun kesom (polygonum)
1 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of turmeric powder
3-4 stalks of lemon grass (white part only)
1 tbsp of sugar
salt to taste
3 tbsp of oil

Paste ingredients
1 clove garlic
5 shallots
8-10 dried chillies (depends how spicy you like)
1/2 tablespoon of belacan (prawn paste - optional as some people don't like this)

  1. Blend the paste ingredients in a food processor and set aside.
  2. Heat up 3 tbsp of oil in the wok and put in the blended paste and fry until fragrant
  3. Add in the tamarind juice, curry powder, turmeric powder, lemon grass stalks and bring to a boil.
  4. Add in the okras and the daun kesom.
  5. Add in the fish and about 2000ml of water
  6. Simmer on low heat until the fish is cook
  7. Add in the sugar and salt to taste.
  8. Best eating with steaming hot rice on a rainy evening

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Cream Cheese Brownies

I love brownies but a lot of people would prefer to only eat it sparingly. I understand as this is really a terribly sinfully sweet food. I was looking around for a brownie recipe and found a very good one at Joy of Baking's website. The picture really won me at first look.. Hence, I decided to do last Friday as I was on leave.

The marbling effect of the cake was simply gorgeous but i probably left too much of the chocolate dough for the top layer. Hence, I was not able to achieve the nice results at that shown at Joy of Baking's website.

I have reproduced the recipe here. Most of the brownie slicers were given away. I only had too and they were very very sweet. I don't think I will be making this again anytime too soon :). The test bunnies who ate the lot has probably hit their sugar quota for the month..hahaha


Brownie Layer
1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 oz (114g) of unsweeten chocolate, coarsely chopped (yikes.. i only had sweeten chocolate)
1 1/4 cups (250g) granulated white sugar
1 tsp pure white vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 cup (70g) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

Cream Cheese Layer
8oz (227g) cream cheese at room temp
1/3 cup (65g) granulated fine sugar (white)
1 tsp pure vanilla essence
1 large egg

  1. Preheat oven at 325F or 160C and place rack in the center of the oven
  2. Have ready a 9x9 inch (23x23 cm) sq baking pan lined with foil
  3. Melt butter and chocolate over a simmering pan of water
  4. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla extract
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition
  6. Stir in the flour and salt and beat with the wooden spoon until the batter is smooth and glossy and comes away from the sides of the pan (about 1 minute)
  7. Remove 1/2 cup of the brownie mix and set aside
  8. Place the remaining of the brownie batter evenly into the pan
  9. Cream cheese until smooth, either by hand or with a mixer
  10. Add sugar, vanilla and egg and process until creamy and smooth
  11. Spread cream cheese over the brownie layer filling
  12. Spoon small drollops of the remaining brownie batter evenly on top of the cream cheese filling
  13. With a table knife or skewer, swirl the 2 batters without mixing them
  14. Bake in a preheated oven for about 25mins or until the skewer comes out clean
  15. Brownies will start to pull away from the pan and edges will start to brown
  16. Remove from the oven and cool over the wire rack
  17. Refrigerate brownies before cutting them
  18. Use a damp cloth to wipe between cuts.

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Monday, June 9, 2008

Fruit Tarts - Food Exchange Program

I was browsing through the recipe books on Sunday afternoon and even though I still have a block of cheese in the fridge, but the sound of cheese does not turn me on any more.. perhaps a bit of an overdose...of baking, not of eating though :). So, please sue, bake more cheesecake, I will eat them all up haha.

Mmm.. Sunday afternoon at about 4pm. Not much time for too fanciful recipes to experiment on. I have never tried to make tarts before. Was considering either the egg tart or the fruit tart but as I have quite a fair bit of Red Globes grapes, Kiwi fruits and some blueberries in the fridge, I decided to make the Fruit Tarts for the Food Exchange Program.

This recipe is from the Cakes & Pastries Cook Book and the pictures in there is simply mouth watering.

Firstly, the tart shells have to be made. To do this, I needed the following items:-

Ingredients for the Pastry

100g butter
35g icing sugar
1 egg beaten
140g cake flour
35g almond powder (which I didn't have)

Method for the pastry
  1. Melt butter under room temperature
  2. Add icing sugar and beat mixture until it turns pale yellow
  3. Pour in beaten egg and mix well
  4. Sift in cake flour and stir in almond powder to form dough
  5. Divide into small portions and press each portion into a greased tart mould.
  6. Poke holes in dough base with a fork
  7. Bake at 170C-180C for 10-12 mins.
  8. Remove and cool.

Whilst the tart shells are cooling, I commenced on the fillings.

Ingredients for the fillings

100g white chocolate (I used dark as I had half a block left)
3 egg yolks
65g of sugar
40g cornflour
350ml of fresh milk
A dash of vanilla essence
150g of whipped cream
Various fruits

Method for the filling
  1. Heat chocolate indirectly until melted
  2. Brush over pastry and cool until chocolate is solidified
  3. Combine egg yolks, sugar, cornflour and fresh milk.
  4. Stir well and bring to boil
  5. Allow mixture to cool and thicken before adding in the vanilla essence
  6. When the mixture is cooled completely, add in the whipping cream which has been beaten until 60% fluffy. Stir well to make custard. Allow to cool
  7. Fill custard in a pastry bag. Squeeze custard into pastry and top with fruits.

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Thursday, June 5, 2008

Cranberry and Currant Bread

With the increase in petrol price, it will be a matter of time when we will see a rise in price in everything else. This is a clear indication of an on-coming austerity drive for many of us. What we can save, we save. What we can recycle, we should. If we could eat in, why eat out. What we wanted to throw away, we have to consider whether we are able to salvage. And that was precisely what happened yesterday.

I was reaching into the kitchen cabinet for a can of tuna when I saw this can of Cranberries which upon checking, was due to expire in June. Could not quite see the date but it was definitely June 2008. Normally, I would have seriously considered throwing it out but with an afterthought, put it aside and went to check my trusty bread bible "One Hundred Bread Machine Recipes" - Vicki Smallwood (this could have been a pressie from JW) to see what I could do with this soon-to-be expired (or already expired??) can of cranberries.

Found 2 recipes actually but decided on the simpler one. I do believe the recipe asked for dried cranberries but don't matter. I will not feed my test bunnies expired or expiring foodstuff. So, I will be the only one eating up this bread.

I followed the recipe and instructions to the letter but was not sure about the end result. I did not see the dough raising in the proportion that it was supposed to. In fact, it rose only very little. I am not sure what actually happened. I have reproduced the recipe below. Could it have been the yeast (I used instant yeast)? Could it have been the cool night temperature? Or the bread only can work with dried cranberries? I seriously don't know why the dough did not rise up twice the original size. The bread turned out edible, but it did not have the cottony effect (or rather was it meant to be like that?).

Since the dough did not inflate like it should, I didn't even bother to plait it. Just rolled them up and baked them. Had some for breakfast this morning. Will finish the rest within the next few days.


1 cup water, tepid
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups white bread flour
1 cup wholemeal bread flour
1 tsp yeast

To finish
75g (3oz) dried cranberries
75g (3oz) currants
beaten egg for brushing over

  1. Place the first seven ingredients in the baking pan. Set the program to "DOUGH"
  2. When the dough is ready, transfer it to a floured surface. Knead in the cranberries and currants int ht dough until they are evenly dispersed.
  3. Divide the dough into 3 equal sized pieces and then roll each piece into a long sausage measuring approximately 30.5cm (12in) in length.
  4. Loosely plait together the three lengths of dough, pinching the ends together to seal them.
  5. Place plait on a greased baking sheet, cover it with a piece of oiled cling film and leave it to prove in a warm place.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/GM6.
  7. When the dough has almost doubled in size, remove the cling film and lightly brush the plait with some beaten egg.
  8. Bake the plait in the oven for 20 to 25mins or until golden.
  9. Transfer plait to a wire rack and leave to cool before serving.

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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stir Fried LaLa (Clams)

I was at the supermarket yesterday after work, just to pick up some stuff for the bak kut teh soup that I had in mind to make when I walked pass the fish section. Saw their la la selling at RM1.09 per gram. They were very nice and fresh (as most of them were sticking their little tongues at me). Decided just to get about 300g of these lovelies back and when they are all so nice and fresh, 300g is enough for 2 to 3 people. Normally when they are less fresh, you end up throwing quite a fair number away, which is such a waste. I have bought some before at another supermarket when they were not as fresh. Ended up throwing more than half away as they were either just empty shells or dead (they do not open even after cooking).

I love Kam Heong La Las but have not really asked mum how to cook that dish. She has only taught me how to do to stir fried la la in fermented beans style. Anyway, for kam heong style la la, I would need curry leaves, and they didn't have any left in the shelves at this time of the day. So that decided it for me. I'll do the stir fried la la in fermented beans.

This stir fry dish is done in a matter of minutes as there was not much preparation need. All you needed were some chopped garlic (I used 2 large cloves, but you can add or reduce the amount depending on how partial you are to garlic. Took 2 tablespoons of fermented beans out from the bottle and mashed them up a bit. Julienned some spring onions and 1 red chillie (these are part of the garnishing actually).

Rinse the la las in running water but the ones that I bought were so clean that I didn't see a single speck of mud in them. They really made my job easy. Set them aside to drain off all the water.

Heat about 2 tablespoon of oil in a hot pan and put in the chopped garlic first. Fry these until they are aromatic and add in the 2 tablespoons of fermented beans. You should really be getting a very aromatic smell now. Add a little bit of water if the gravy is getting too dry (this happens when your fire is too hot).

Stir in the la las. The fresh la las will all open up now. Stir it around to make sure the gravy covers all the lovely fleshy la las. Add in the spring onions and chillie. Dish up and ready to be served for dinner :)

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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Fish Paste Soup

Of late, I have been getting a little lazy trying to think of what to cook for dinner. Must be all the baking and cupcake decorations that I have really been indulging in. Cooking dinners seemed less exciting :).

Anyway, for me, simplicity is always to the key. Must be these lazy bones of mine. Dinner normally consists of 2 dishes or 3 and where possible a soup... to make the rice go down easier in case the dishes don't turn out too good. A relatively simple soup that I like to do is a fish paste soup. And the best part of it is that the soup appears to be quite oil free. Fish, unlike chicken or pork, does not really expel oil (even if it did, it would be relatively less), hence it gives one the feeling that it is a more healthy soup.

This simple soup only needs some fish paste from the market. I got about RM4 from the auntie selling fish at Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur. Marinade it with some soya sauce, sesame oil, some salt and pepper and a dash of pepper. Leave it aside for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, chop up some chinese parsley to be added into the fish paste. I do not want to add more than that into the fish paste as I wanted it to be simple.

Boil some stock using dried anchovies (ikan bilis) and when the water is boiling, dunk in the fish paste. Make little balls with a spoon before you plonk them in. Cut up some lettuce or any of your preferred greens into the soup. When the soup starts to boil, give it a little taste. Add some salt if the soup is too bland. Serve with hot steaming rice on a rainy day like today would be nice :)

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Monday, June 2, 2008

Buttercream and Fondant

As I was driving home on Friday evening in the jam, I was wondering what to make for the niece and nephews when they came over to mum's. Actually getting stuck in a jam is not that awful, especially when you have things to think about. And as I was slowly inching my way in traffic and thinking really hard, this little fella (actually I have 2 of them in my car) was swinging left and right, each time I braked. And that is when I had my idea and inspiration.

These were some of the mini cuppies that I made for the kids... my first attempt in trying to decorate a cuppie without trying to copy someone else's design :). Well, I must say, it was a case of "ngak sai lo kor" (con little children).

The cuppies were actually blueberries cuppies. Simple vanilla cupcake recipe with blueberry fillings added. I also tried to do some roses and flowers with fondant and buttercream leaves to impress them.

But sadly, none of these were really to their liking. To the kids, yeah, it is just another cupcake....until they saw this one...
Nearly started a kiddo war at mum's house over a cuppie :(. Mum's words of advice "Next time don't decorate cake like that... eat already sure get sore throat".. :(

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Woo Tow Koh - Yam Cake - Food Exchange Program

On Sunday afternoon, I was still deciding what to cook for the food exchange program. Actually I have a vague idea of what to make as I already have 2 yams sitting in the kitchen :). I did not want to do anymore cupcakes or muffins as it was getting a little boring (but that did not stop me from making them for the kiddos on Saturday though). I went and hunted down the recipe which I used the last time from Lily Ng. That is really and truly a recipe to keep.

I made absolutely zero alterations to her recipe but I think I may have to reduce the amount of salt the next time. This could be due to the type of soya sauce I used this time. Just recently changed brand from the normal one that I usually used. They have already discontinued that brand of soya sauce.


250g yam, diced and coat with 1 tsp 5 spice powder
1 cup water

(B) Mix together and sieve:

125g rice flour
20g tapioca flour
1 cup water
1/4 tsp potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution(optional)
150 g yam, sliced thin, steam then mashed


1 tbsp chicken stock granules
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
Dash of pepper
1 tsp sugar

For garnishing:

100 dried prawns, soaked and chopped coarsely - use the food processor
4 shallots, sliced and mix with 1 tsp oil, microwave on high until crispy
2 stalks spring onions, chopped
2 red chillies, chopped

Chilli sauce :

10 red chillies, (chop or blend in the food processor)
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon/lime juice (can be substitue with vinegar)


Heat 4 tbsp oil and saute dried prawns till fragrant. Remove 3/4 and set aside for garnishing.

Add 2 tbsp oil to the remaining oil in the wok, add diced yam and stir fry well. Mix in water and bring to a boil.

Add in (B) and seasoning and cook till batter is fairly thick.

Pour thick batter into a well-greased 25cm round tray.

Steam till kuih is set and cooked through. Spread the garnishing on top and press lightly. Leave aside to cool.

Serve yam cake with chilli sauce.

The only hiccup that I faced last nite was that half way through the steaming process, I ran out of gas :(. Yikes.. and it was at 10pm in the night. Where to get gas delivery at this hour?? Luckily I also have an electric steamer but as it rather small, I had to cut up the half-baked Yam Cake to continue steaming it in batches. Could that have resulted in a saltier cake?? Nah.. it was probably either the soya sauce or my heavy handedness when measuring the 1tsp of salt :).

I didn't realize that Babe will be on leave the entire week as I bought her a portion of the cake. Never mind, I can easily eat it up for lunch later :). So, today's food exchange was only with Sue and wow.. Sue baked some cheesecake and made some yummy sushi (complete with dipping sauce) for me.. wow...this is where I definitely "untung" (gain).

I also managed to pass some of the woo tow kow to some test bunnies. Hope they will like the yam cake, albeit a little too salty :)

Some of these were for the test bunnies

Yummy Sushi from Sue

My favorite baked Cheesecake from Sue also

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