Sunday, May 30, 2010

Garlic Hearth Bread

This flatbread is strictly for garlic lovers! Yes, it is full of garlic flavour and for those who loves garlic would definitely love this flatbread. For those who can't stand garlic would probably run off by the smell of it! How does my family fare to this flatbread? I made it in the evening and finished by morning! My family loves garlic and this flatbread can be eaten plain as it is with all the garlic flavours in every bite. I ate this with some leftover sambal petai. It's really good together.

The garlic (one bulb 0nly, believe me it is enough for that wonderful garlic flavour and aroma) has to be roasted first. I chose the biggest bulb I have. I was tempted to roast two bulbs but afraid that the taste might be too garlicky. I'm glad I stuck to one bulb, the flavour is just right. After that, it is a simple process to a flavourful garlic flatbread.

The next time when I'm making this, I will add some cheese as suggested by the recipe book under their "variations". If you love garlic, give this a try, it is great with sambal!

Garlic Hearth Bread
(adapted from 500 pizzas & flatbreads by Rebecca Baugniet ~ Page One)
Ingredients :
1 head fresh garlic, top removed
105ml (7 tbsp) plus 5ml (1 tsp) extra-virgin olive oil
400gm (14oz) strong white bread flour
10ml (2 tsp) easy-blend dried yeast
10ml (2 tsp) salt
325ml (11 fl oz) warm water

Method :
  1. To prepare roasted garlic, preheat oven to 190C (375F/Gas Mark 5). Place head of garlic on large square of foil. Drizzle oil (1 use about 1-1/2 tbsp) over garlic and wrap foil around garlic, twisting at top to make neat parcel. Place in oven for 45 minutes. Leave to cool, then squeeze garlic out of skins into small bowl. Mash garlic and stir in 30ml (2 tbsp) oil, until smooth.
  2. To prepare hearth bread, place baking stone or tiles on middle rack and preheat oven to 200C (400F/Gas Mark 6).
  3. Place flour, yeast and salt in large bowl of standing mixer. Combine olive oil and warm water in measuring cup. Slowly incorporate tablespoons of oil mixture into flour, then change to dough hook attachment and knead for 5 to 6 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic. Turn dough into lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film, and place in warm spot to rise for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Knock dough back once to deflate and turn onto lightly floured board or counter. Using sharp knife, divide dough in half. Using fingers or rolling pin, shape first piece into oblong shape, roughly 25 x 15cm (10 x 6 in). With fingertips, dimple surface of dough, and spread half roasted garlic on each piece. Cover breads with a few overlapping damp paper towels and set aside for 20 minutes.
  5. Lightly flour pizza peel. Gently shake hearth breads, one at a time, onto baking stone or tiles. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffy and golden brown. Transfer to wire rack and cool for 20 minutes.
my notes : - when mixing oil and water mixture to flour, gradually pour until dough sticks together. I did not finish all of the mixture, there was about 70ml extra as the dough is becoming a little bit sticky. - I do not have baking stones or tiles, I use a baking tray instead. - I do not have a pizza peel either. I use the back of two round baking trays, with the help of a floured spatula when transferring dough to baking pan.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Made another tub of ice-cream again! Couldn't resist it! Finished the mango ice-cream and my kids are asking "what flavour" next!, Besides, the weather is kinda of crazy lately, blazing hot in the morning and mid afternoon. Sometimes light thunder sounds can be heard and followed by a light drizzle of rain for about five minutes and then stopped. That's it! I guess the hot weather will be bugging us now after the recently wet spell. A bowl of delicious creamy cold ice-cream is just what we need! Went through the ice-cream book, thought of making the chocolate fudge ice-cream, but I do not have any chocolate bar around. Finally decided to make the vanilla ice-cream and add on the blueberry pie filling. It turned out really creamy and delicious. Definitely will be making this again, probably with strawberry or maybe kiwi pie filling. It tastes great as plain vanilla ice-cream too. Here's the recipe, the original, and my version in green text:

I'm sharing this lovely ice-cream at Making It With .....Mondays at Couscous & Consciousness

Italian Vanilla Ice-Cream
(adapted from "The Ice Cream Maker Companion" by Avner Laskin)
Ingredients :
1 cup whole milk (I use 300ml)
1 cup whipping cream (I use 300ml)
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
3/4 cup sugar (I use 1/3 cup, just the right amount of sweetness for us)
4 egg yolks

some blueberry pie filling (my add on)

Method :
  1. In a saucepan, bring the milk, cream, vanilla bean, and half of the sugar to the scalding point over medium heat.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg yolks and the remaining sugar with a wire whisk until smooth and uniform.
  3. When the mixture in the saucepan begins to foam, reduce the heat and quickly stir in the yolk mixture. Remove the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds back into the saucepan.
  4. Stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, cook the custard over low heat until it reaches 175F.
  5. Remove immediately from the heat and continue stirring, so that the custard does not overcook.
  6. Pour the custard into a clean bowl through a fine mesh strainer, so that the liquid is smooth and lump-free.
  7. Cover the custard with plastic wrap and let cool slightly, then place in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, until very cold.
  8. Transfer the cold custard to the bowl of your ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's instructions.

To add blueberry pie filling : When churning is done, scoop half of ice cream into container. Pipe or spoon randomly a layer of the blueberry pie filling on ice cream and use a fork to gently swirl the filling. Top with remaining ice cream and a layer of the filling. Swirl gently. Freeze ice cream. Enjoy!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Golden Pillow Bread (Kampar Curry Chicken)

It was my brother-in-law's birthday last weekend. The whole gang (sisters and family) went over to celebrate and as usual when we get together, there will be lots of munching and chewing. My sis baked a delicious cheese cake for her 'birthday boy' hubby. She made a tray of yam cake, fried beehoon and a beautiful rose jelly. I baked two golden pillow bread stuffed with curry chicken. This bread is popular in Kampar, Perak. I remember eating this bread, goodness, more than a decade ago! The bread turned out really soft. This recipe is from one of Alex Goh's books, and is one of 'my list of recipes to try out' (one down and many more to go!) I did not follow his recipe for the curry chicken but cook my own version instead. Any chicken curry will do, as long as it's your favourite! This recipe may require a few extra steps. You need to prepare the gelatinized dough a day earlier. Preparing the curry chicken may take about two hours to complete. But I think that it is worth the effort. I'm giving the curry chicken recipe as per Alex Goh's, you can use your own favourite curry recipe if you want to.

Place a piece of alunimium foil in a bowl or container, handle carefully to avoid any holes in the foil. Make sure the foil is large enough to wrap as a parcel. Next, place a large piece of greaseproof paper over the foil. Scoop some curry chicken onto the greaseproof paper and wrap it up into a parcel.

Wrap the aluminium foil around the greaseproof parcel to make the outer parcel.

Roll out dough and place the wrapped curry onto the centre of the rolled dough. Bring both sides over the aluminium parcel, followed by the other two sides, enclosing the aluminium parcel.

Press the edges together to seal. Place on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil or a greased greaseproof paper and leave to proof for about one hour, covered loosely with cling wrap.

Bake at 175C for about 25-30 minutes.

When done, let bread rest 5 minutes. Cut the top of the bread open with a sharp knife.

Be careful when open the curry parcel, it will be hot !

Soft fluffy bread !

This is my handsome nephew, patiently waiting for the curry chicken bread while his auntie (ahem... that's me!) busy clicking away with her camera! Bon appetit!

Basic Sweet Bread Dough
(adapted from "Magic Bread" by Alex Goh)
Ingredients A :

100gm bread flour
70gm boiling water

Ingredients B:
300gm bread flour
100gm plain flour
80gm sugar
6gm salt
20gm milk powder
9gm instant yeast

Ingredients C :
175gm cold water
60gm cold eggs

Ingredient D :
60gm butter

Method :
  1. Add the boiling water from A into flour, mix until well blended to form dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Keep it into refrigerator for at least 12 hours.
  2. Mix B until blended. Add in C and knead to form rough dough. Add in A and knead until well blended.
  3. Add in D and knead to form elastic dough.
  4. Let it proof for 40 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into required weight and mould it round. Let it rest for 10 minutes and ready to use.
(my notes : to make two loaves of golden pillow bread, I did a 1-1/4 recipe. I put everything in the breadmaker!)

Ingredients for Curry Chicken :
50gm oil
50gm curry spices
8 shallots
500gm chicken
1 stick lemongrass
2 sprigs curry leaves
3 potatoes
6cm cinnamon stick
1 pc clove
250gm coconut milk
1-1/2 tsp salt
250gm water

Method :
  1. Heat up oil in pot, add in curry spices and shallots, stir-fry until fragrant.4
  2. Add in chicken, lemongrass and curry leaves, cook until fragrant.
  3. Add in water, potatoes, cinnamon stick, salt and clove, stir well and continue to cook for 20 minutes. Add in coconut milk and bring to boil.
  4. Remove and set aside to cool. Take 500gm of the curry chicken and wrap it with aluminium foil or greaseproof paper.
  5. Roll out the sweet bread dough. Place the wrapped chicken filling in the centre of the dough and wrap it up.
  6. Let it proof for 45 minutes.
  7. Bake at 175C for 25-30 minutes.
(my notes : I did not use the above curry recipe. My own version does not use any coconut milk and require a few extra steps and ingredients. I cooked two chickens for the curry! Everyone loves curry! We ate the remainder with fried beehoon.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cantonese Style Fried Noodles

One dish meal. Simple and quick. Delicious and yummy. Cantonese Style Fried Noodles. This is a very common noodle meal which can be found at hawker centres and restaurants all over Kuala Lumpur. It is delicious when eaten hot and especially popular among children. I just love this noodle meal. It is usually served for lunch or dinner. The broad rice noodles are first fried briefly and the gravy is cooked and pour over the noodles. Usually, a stock (either chicken or pork) is required for the gravy. Ingredients such as pork fillets, prawns, squids, fish ball, vegetables and lightly beaten eggs, all goes into the gravy, making the gravy really tasty. This is a simple and quick meal to prepare. I clean and cut the ingredients in the afternoon and store everything in containers and leave them in the refrigerator until it is time to have our meal. That leaves me free to do other "other chores " . I did not even prepare any stock for this. The amount of ingredients that I use is sufficient to make the gravy so tasty! This dish has to be eaten while it is still hot. Once it is cold, the gravy and noodles gets all soggy. Cornflour is used to thickened the gravy and too much of it makes this dish too starchy! Here's the recipe if you would like to try it out.

Cantonese Style Fried Noodles
(serves 4-5)
Ingredients :
1 kg broad rice noodles
300gm pork fillet (sliced thinly, marinate with 1 tsp cornflour and 1 tsp water)
20 medium sized prawns (shelled and devein)
3 squids (cleaned, cut to rings)
12 fish balls (halved)
3 fish cakes (sliced)
300gm chinese mustard greens
300gm chinese long cabbage
3 pips garlic (minced)
2 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2-3 tbsp water
3-4 cups water
salt to taste
light soy sauce
black soy sauce
some cooking oil
3 eggs (lightly beaten)

Method :
  1. Heat about 1 tbsp oil in wok. Saute half of chopped garlic till light brown. Add in broad rice noodles (make sure that you separate noodles before frying) and stir for a minute. Add about 1 tbsp of black soy sauce and 1 tbsp of light soy sauce. Stir well till evenly mixed. Dish out and keep aside, covered in a bowl. Just before serving, divide noodles in individual bowls.
  2. For the gravy : Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok. Saute the rest of garlic till light brown. Add in pork fillet and stir for about 2 minutes. Add in prawns, fish balls and fish cakes. Stir till prawns turns white. Add in squid and stir briefly. Add water. Cover and leave it to boil.
  3. Add in vegetables and cover for a minute. Add salt to taste. Gravy should be really tasty by now. Let it boil for about a minute or two and quickly stir in eggs. Pour in cornstarch solution a tablespoon at a time until gravy thickens slightly.
  4. Pour gravy on noodles and serve hot. Enjoy your meal.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Peach Chiffon Cake

This chiffon cake is light, moist and soft, unlike the ones that we buy from the bakeries which is usually soft and light but dry. It is a great cake to have at tea time break, a slice or two for a light breakfast. There's no butter but uses the minimal of vegetable oil, great for those who are watching their weight. This recipe makes a rather small cake. I make one and a half recipe and use a 18cm tube pan. I would usually prefer to eat chiffon cake as it is, without any cream or topping, as the cake is light and airy, and somehow it doesn't taste right with all the creams, toppings or glazes. Here's the recipe :

Peach Chiffon Cake
(adapted from "Chiffon Cake Is Done" by Kevin Chai)
Egg Yolks Batter
2 egg yolks
90gm canned peaches
20ml peach syrup
2 tbsp coooking oil
1 tbsp caster sugar
60gm self raising flour

Egg White Foam
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
40gm caster sugar

Method :
  1. For the egg yolk batter : Blend 80gm peaches with syrup until fine. Dice the rest of peach slices. Combine with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl until forms batter.
  2. For the egg white : Beat egg whites and cream of tartar until mixture forms soft peaks. Gradually add in sugar, beating at high speed until frothy and stiff peaks form.
  3. Gently fold beaten egg white foam into egg yolk batter until blended.
  4. Pour batter into ungreased 6in (16cm) tube pan. Bake in preheated oven at 170C for 30 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Remove from oven, invert cake onto table until completely cool.
  6. Drizzle with orange colour piping jelly and decorate with peach slices.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mango Ice-Cream

Mangoes are in season now. Bought 3kg of mangoes for RM10.00 from the market. Wanted to make mango pudding but ended up making mango ice-cream instead. We finished the rest of the mangoes. Really juicy and sweet. Everyone's favourite. My children have been 'complaining' that I have not made any ice-cream for quite some time. It's true. It's been awhile since I last made any ice-cream. If you have an ice-cream maker, try out this recipe of mine. The ice-cream turned out really creamy and delicious, with a slight taste of the lemons which really complement the sweetness from the mangoes. A wonderful combination. It is really easy. There's no cooking, cos there's no custard, cos there's no eggs! Simple and yummy! Here's the recipe. (I'm still thinking about the mango pudding, will have to buy some more mangoes and make some soon!).

Ingredients :
2 cups diced mango flesh (about 440gm)
1 lemon zest
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup icing sugar
130ml mango flavoured yoghurt (or plain)
300ml whipping cream

Method :
  1. Put mango cubes, lemon zest, lemon juice, yoghurt and icing sugar in blender and puree until smooth. (Adjust amount of icing sugar to taste, depending on sweetness of mangoes).
  2. Put mango puree in chilled bowl of ice-cream maker and churn for about 10 minutes until mango is mushy.
  3. Add whipping cream and continue churning for about 30 - 40 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Scoop into a container and freeze preferably overnight.
  5. To serve, take container from freezer and leave in chiller compartment of fridge for about 20 minutes to soften ice-cream before serving.
  6. Serve with thin slices of fresh mangoes or simply enjoy it as it is !

Monday, May 10, 2010

Herb Roast Chicken

Running out of ideas what to cook for dinner? Roast a chicken! That will definitely be a hit with the kids. Kids being kids never seems to get tired of fast food like roast chicken, fried chicken, chicken burgers, chicken fingers, chicken nuggets......... and so on. Homebaked chicken is the best, and I don't think that it is categorized under fast food, do you? I don't, it takes at least a few hours to marinate and an hour in the oven, now that is definitely not fast. Easy but not fast! I did a simple marination of some dried herbs and the result is a delicious, moist roast chicken. Roast some potatoes and microwave some vegetables and we have a complete meal. A glass of red wine for hubby and myself, and the kids, a glass of iced 'Ribena' each. As for dessert, I made "homemade mango ice-cream". Yummy! Here's the recipe :

Herb Roast Chicken
Ingredients :
1 whole chicken, cleaned, remove heads and feet
1 tbsp dried tarragon
1 tbsp dried rosemary (or fresh)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
generous sprinkle of coarse black pepper
generous sprinkle of garlic salt or table salt
1 lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
3 big bombay onions, quartered

Method :
  1. Clean chicken, pat dry and sprinkle the dried herbs, garlic salt and black pepper all over chicken and cavity. Cover and leave in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven at 200C. Arrange quartered bombay onions on baking tray, lined with aluminium foil if necessary (skip this if using a glass baking dish). Sprinkle some garlic salt and pepper.
  3. Take chicken out from refrigerator and squeeze lemon juice all over chicken and cavity. Place the rosemary sprigs in cavity.
  4. Place chicken on onions and drizzle some olive oil all over chicken.
  5. Bake for about 1 hour, drizzle chicken every 20 minutes with drippings collected in the baking tray.
  6. Serve with vegetables of your choice.
Baked Potatoes
Ingredients :
4 large USA potatoes
4 clove garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves (chopped)
coarse black pepper

Method :
  1. Clean and scrub potatoes well. Do not peel skin. Put potatoes in a small pot and cover with water. Boil for about 10 minutes, only till about half cooked. Drain. Cut into quarters when cool.
  2. Place potatoes in a bowl. Add chopped garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix till evenly coated. Arrange potatoes in baking tray in a single layer. Drizzle with some melted butter or olive oil and bake at 180C for about 20 minutes or until cooked.

My very own "Homemade Mango Ice-Cream". Yummy! Look out for the recipe in my next post.

Special Dedication:
To all my sisters, my mother-in-law, all mothers and mothers to be, 'HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY'. And to my dear belated mom, thank you for being our mom. Maybe in the future, our roles would be reversed, you being our daughter, one of us will be your mom and we will take care of you just like you took care of us. We all miss you very much. Love from all your daughters.


A lovely flower gift from hubby and the kids.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Blueberry Cheese Tarts

Made some Blueberry Cheese Tarts today, one of my daughter's favourite. Sometimes we buy this from the bakery and it is quite costly, about RM2.50 each. It is much cheaper to make and we can eat all we want! It really is not difficult to make. Just invest in some tart moulds, you won't regret it. Think of all the yummy tarts that you can make. This recipe is from Alex Goh's book "Irresistible Pastry". It is really very good and so easy to make. I will definitely be making this again. The kids and hubby gave the thumbs up for this. Here's the recipe :

Blueberry Cheese Tarts
(adapted from "Irresistible Pastry" by Alex Goh)
For the Pastry
Ingredients A
200gm butter
100gm icing sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Ingredients B
1 egg

Ingredients C
420gm flour
1 tbsp milk powder

Method :
  1. Cream (A) lightly and add in (B). Cream until smooth.
  2. Add in (C) and mix until well blended.
  3. Press into the tart mould.
(The weight of pastry is 780gm)

For the filling
300gm pastry

Ingredient A
250gm cream cheese
50gm sugar
25gm butter

Ingredient B
1 egg

Ingredient C
25gm whipping cream

Ingredient D
20gm flour

Topping :
some blueberry pie filling

Method :
  1. Press the pastry into the tart mould. Prick some holes onto the pastry shell and bake at 190C for 15 minutes or until light golden brown. Leave it to cool.
  2. Filling : Cream (A) until light and smooth. Add in (B) and cream until well blended. Add in (C) and mix until well combined. Lastly add in (D) and mix until well incorporated.
  3. Put the cheese filling into the baked pastry shells. Place some blueberry filling onto it and swirl it into a marbling effect.
  4. Bake at 200C for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Glaze with apricot gel if desired.
Note : Baking the cheese filling too long will cause it to crack.

(my notes : This recipe makes about 20 tarts. 300gm pastry is not enough. I make the full recipe for the pastry and I have about 8 extra shells, keeping this to make orange tart. I weigh 35gm of pastry for each shell, maybe you could try it at 30gm)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies

I'm not particularly crazy over cookies. Usually when I make them, I would eat a small piece, for "testing". I have a few packets of cookie flour in my baking pantry and got to do something with all those flour before they expire. (given some away and still left with a few packets!) So the hunt for new cookie recipes begins. I bought this cookie book sometime back and have not tried any of the recipes. Now is a good time to try one. I chose 'Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies' as I love cranberries. This cookie turns out to be really good. It is light, crispy and delightful. I made them big (about 3" or so). When I take a small piece "just to try", I end up eating the whole piece, I even surprise myself! I made some changes to the recipe, firstly, the original amount of sugar is way too much! I reduce the sugar to half. Instead of using chocolate chunks, I use chocolate chips (that's what I have). But if you are a chocolate lover, I suggest you use chocolate chunks to enjoy the full flavour of "double chocolate" as the name of this cookie! Next, I add some chopped walnuts (guess what, I have that in my baking pantry too!). This recipe turns out to be very good, I have chosen the next cookie that I'm going to bake very soon. If you are a cookie junkie, then this recipe won't let you down. I suggest that you give it a try. I have listed my own measurements next to the original. Happy Baking.

Double Chocolate Cranberry Chunkies
(adapted from "Simple 1-2-3, Cookies & Treats" Favorite Brand Name)
1-3/4cups all-purpose flour (I use 225gm cookie flour)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (25gm)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (1/4 tsp salt as the I use salted butter)
1 cup butter, softened (250gm)
1 cup granulated sugar (I use 120gm instead of original 200gm)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I use 50gm instead of original 110gm)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks or
large chocolate chips (1 use 100gm choc chips)
3/4 cup dried cranberries or dried tart cherries (I use 100gm)

I add 80gm walnuts to the dough and extra to decorate on cookie

Method :
  1. Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
  2. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in a small bowl, set aside. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar in large bowl in electric mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well blended. Gradually beat in flour mixture at low speed until blended. Stir in chocolate chunks and cranberries. (Add walnuts if using).
  3. Drop dough by level 1/4 cupfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, spacing 3 inches apart. Flatten dough until 2 inches in diameter with bottom of glass that has been dipped in additional granulated sugar. Bake 11 to 12 minutes or until cookies are set. Cool cookies 2 minutes on cookie sheets, transfer to wire racks. Cool completely.