Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lemon Souffles with Mulberries : Bake-Along #39 - Theme : Souffles

It's Bake-Along #39 today, and the theme is Souffles, Lena's selection. And a very nice choice. I have seen many souffles recipes and have always wanted to try at making souffles "one of these days" and so glad that Lena has chosen this theme. 

It was not easy to select a recipe as there are so many variations of Souffles that I've thought of making, wanted to try a few, but I'm really short of time. I've made this at the last minute yesterday, mixed the souffles in the afternoon, kept the ramekins in the fridge for a few hours, and baked them after dinner! I was pretty busy lately and have kept delaying the making of Souffles countless times. There was one chocolate souffle that I've been meaning to make for so long, but it requires some extra steps, so that will have to wait for another day. So for this theme, I have chosen a simple and delightful souffle, using one of my favourite ingredients, lemons! 

The original recipe is Lemon Souffles with Boysenberries, but I have used some frozen mulberries which I have been collecting for several months from my kind neighbour's mulberry tree.  A teaspoon of boysenberry jam which I have replaced with my own homemade plum jam, is placed at the bottom of the ramekin together with some frozen mulberries. 

Frozen mulberries

The lemon pudding is cooked and the beaten egg whites are mixed in with the warm lemon pudding. This mixture is then poured into the ramekins until it fills to the top.  I then chilled the ramekins in the fridge for a few hours and baked them at night after dinner. You can of course baked them immediately instead of chilling them. This recipe only yields 5 ramekins instead of 6 as stated. And this recipe uses only 3 eggs, unlike other recipes that calls for at least 4 eggs or more.

There's no need to bring the pudding to room temperature, preheated the oven at 400F and bake the ramekins taken straight out from the fridge for about 14 minutes until puffed and top is golden. I baked mine for 18 minutes, because that was what I thought I've read from the recipe! I was excited to see whether will these puffed up like a Souffle should! And gosh, these really puffed up beautifully! It looks so delicate and simply delightful to me!

Sprinkled with some sifted powdered sugar over and serve immediately. They will deflate about 5 minutes after baking! So these photos was taken in a hurry!

Very nice when eaten warm, immediately after baking! The lemony taste is just subtle but really nice, smells lemony delicious while it is baking, and goes so well with the plum jam and mulberries. The texture of the souffle is so fluffy and soft, it is like eating lemon-flavoured "clouds"!!  haha!  Best eaten when it is still warm, as when it deflates and no longer warm, it would not be as nice. This is the first time I'm eating Souffle, and this is the type of dessert that you would only eat, maybe only one ramekin serving. I'm glad that I've tried at making Souffle! I love seeing the puffed look! Thanks, Lena, for an interesting selection!

Please visit my baking buddies, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

Bake-Along will be taking a break in February and shall be back in March with the next bake, Banana Nut Bread, from The Williams-Sonoma Baking Book or here. The linky will start on 4th March right up to 13th March. Do join us, everyone's welcome.


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1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
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Lemon Souffles with Boysenberries
(adapted from Bon Appetit Desserts Cookbook, Barbara Fairchild)
Makes 6
6 teaspoons seedless boysenberry jam (I use homemade plum jam)
24 frozen boysenberries or blackberries (I use frozen mulberries)
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
3/4 cup sugar, divided
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup whole milk
3 large eggs, separated, room temperature
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
powdered sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Butter six 3/4-cup ramekins, coat with sugar. Spoon 1 teaspoon jam and 4 frozen berries into bottom of each ramekin. Place on baking sheet.
  2. Mash lemon peel and 1/2 cup sugar in heavy medium saucepan; whisk in cornstarch, then milk and egg yolks. Add butter. Bring to boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil until thick pudding forms, whisking constantly, about 1 minute. Transfer to large bowl; mix in lemon juice. Season to taste with salt.
  3. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in medium bowl to soft peaks. Gradually beat in remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat until stiff but not dry. Fold whites into warm lemon pudding. Spoon mixture over berries; fill to top. 
Do Ahead : Can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead. Chill.

Bake until puffed, set, and golden around edges, about 14 minutes. Sift powdered sugar over souffles and serve.
(I baked mine for 18 minutes)


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Monday, January 28, 2013

THB : Chocolate Streusel-Ribboned Bundt Cake

This week's bake at The Home Bakers (THB), Chocolate Streusel-Ribboned Bundt Cake is chosen by Louanne from Louanne's Kitchen.  A lovely choice, this cake bakes up beautiful and is so moist, soft and tender.

This cake has a cinnamon-chocolate streusel ribbons the center and the top. The streusel are made up of butter, all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, ground cinnamon, cocoa powder and chopped walnuts or pecans. Prepare the batter and half of the batter is then poured into the bundt pan and sprinkle the top with half of the streusel mixture. The remaining half of the cake batter is poured over and the top is spread with the rest of the remaining streusel. Bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350F until golden brown and cooked. 

I love the golden brown colour of the crust.  The only changes I made was to reduce the amount of sugar from the original 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons, and it was just right. And I have substitute the sour cream with my homemade yoghurt.

The top of the cake, with the streusel, is now the bottom.

The delicious streusel in the center of the cake and at the bottom.

The cake is so moist and soft with tender textured crumbs. I love the streusel, so yummy! This is a delicious cake. I had two slices with some Chinese tea, yum! A lovely cake for tea-time with a cup of your favourite tea and great too with a cup of black coffee at breakfast.

Please do visit the host of this bake, Louanne from Louanne's Kitchen for the full recipe.  To view the other members bake on this cake, please drop by The Home Bakers (THB).

Welcome to The Home Bakers

We are a group of home bakers who are currently baking from "Coffee Cakes" by Lou Seibert Pappas, until each recipe from this book has been baked. This is our bake no. 14 and we have 46 recipes more to go. If you are interested to be a member and join in our bakes, you may drop me an email at


Friday, January 25, 2013

Coconut Macaroons

Clearing my pantry : from the freezer, egg whites. Used some of the frozen egg whites for these lovely Coconut Macaroons. I love coconut in bakes and especially love it with chocolate! Just imagine the aroma of the coconut when these are baked in the oven, the whole house has that wonderful coconuty fragrance. 

These are super easy to make, the mixing takes only 5 minutes, the mixture is mixed by using your hands so that all the coconut, sugar, almond extract and egg whites are mixed evenly together. Instead of using an ice cream scoop to scoop the coconuts onto the tray, I just used my already dirty hand to "scoop" about a  little more than a tablespoon of coconut mixture and place on the baking tray, flatten it slightly and bake for about 15-20 minutes. I am lazy to wash the ice cream scoop, I really wish I have someone to do the washing up after every bake! Cool the macaroons and drizzle with melted chocolate over the top. 

The original recipe calls for the cooled macaroons to be dipped into melted chocolate, covering the macaroons halfway with the chocolate and leave the other side bare. The coated macaroons are then placed on the baking tray for the chocolate to set. The recipe states to use coating chocolate, I use semi-sweet chocolate, melt it over double boiler and drizzle over the macaroons instead. 

I made half a recipe and it makes 15 macaroons. The only changes I did was to reduce the sugar slightly. For half a recipe, the original amount of sugar is 1 cup, here I have used 2/3 cup minus 2 tablespoons. It is still slightly sweet, next time I'll just use 1/2 cup instead. 

These are so good, especially when eaten warm, when the bottom of the macaroons are crispy and the coconuts are chewy, moist and delicious with the drizzling of chocolate over the top.

Yum!  According to the author, this is very popular with her gluten-free customers. So if you are looking for a gluten-free snack, this is a delicious one!

I'm sharing this with :
Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Coconut Macaroons
(adapted from "Back In The Day Bakery Cookbook", Cheryl Day & Griffith Day)
8 cups sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups sugar
1 cup egg whites (about 8 large whites)
2 teaspoons pure almond extract
2 cups coating chocolate

  1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, toss the coconut and sugar until thoroughly combined. Add the egg whites and almond extract and mix by hand until the coconut is completely moistened.
  3. Use a small ice cream scoop to form the macaroons, about 1 rounded tablespoon each, and place on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1 inch between the macaroons to allow for spreading. Slightly flatten each macaroon with the palm of your hand.
  4. Bake the macaroons, one sheet at a time, for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly golden. Cool the macaroons completely on wire rack.
  5. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan filled with simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water), put the coating chocolate in the bowl, and melt it, stirring occasionally until smooth.
  6. Dip the cooled macaroons into the coating chocolate, covering them halfway, and put the dipped macaroons back on the parchment-lined cookie sheets. Let the chocolate set. Store the macaroons in an airtight container for up to 1 week at room temperature.

**kitchen flavour's notes :
~ for half a recipe, I reduced the sugar from original 1 cup to 2/3 cup minus 2 tablespoons. Next time I'll just use 1/2 cup as it is still a little on the sweet side for me.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Clearing my pantry : dried blueberries. I made this bread many months ago, when I found a small pack of dried blueberries in my fridge that I have completely forgotten about. Browsed thru some of  my bread books for a recipe and so happy to see that I have the exact amount of 2/3 cup for this recipe! If you're looking for a sweet (well, slightly sweet) bread that you can enjoy on its own or with a spread of butter, this bread would be a lovely one to try. It is a nice, soft,  no-fuss, simple sweet bread to be enjoyed with a cup of tea.

This bread was meant to be baked in the bread machine, of course as usual, I use the bread machine to do the kneading and then shape it into a loaf and finish off the baking in my oven. The stars in this bread are obviously lemons and dried blueberries. According to the book, in order to avoid staining the dough with the colour of blueberries, dried blueberries are used, as you can see from the photos above, even though I've used dried blueberries, a few minutes after I've added them in, I saw the dough turning from white to the tinge of blue as the machine continues to  knead the dough. But then, I'm not concerned with that. And it smells really lemony nice while the bread is being proved in the bread machine.

I used a 9x5-inch loaf pan to bake the loaf for 35 minutes at 175C .

A lovely bread, with specks of lemon zest in every slice. Soft, moist and good enough eaten on its own. And it stays soft too the next day, just wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and place in an airtight container.

I'm sharing this with :
See Ya In The Gumbo hosted by Ms. enPlace
Tea Time Treats hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked

Lemon Blueberry Bread
(adapted from : "The Artisan Bread Machine" by Judith Fertig)
Makes 1 loaf (750gm)
2/3 cup milk
3 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
1 large egg yolk, beaten
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour (I use bread flour)
1-1/2 tsp instant or bread machine yeast
2/3 cup dried blueberries

  1. In a small saucepan, scald milk, over medium-high heat until small bubbles form around the edges. Remove from heat and stir in butter and sugar. Tansfer to the bread pan and let cool to lukewarm (between 86F and 95F/30C and 35C).
  2. Add salt, lemon zest, lemon juice and eggs to the bread pan. Spoon flour on top of liquid. Add yeast. Place blueberries in the dispenser (or add at the "add ingredient" or "mix in" signal).
  3. Select the Sweet or Fruit & Nut cycle and press Start. When the cycle is finished, transfer the loaf to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour.

Kitchen Flavour's notes :
~ I use bread flour instead of AP.
~ Follow instructions up to step 2, select Basic Dough cycle (my machine takes 1hour 35 minutes for this cycle, first rise in machine and punch down by machine), remove dough to a lightly floured work surface, dough is slightly sticky, just sprinkle lightly with flour, roll out to 9" square and roll up dough like a swiss roll. Place in a greased 9"x5" loaf pan. Cover with a lightly greased plastic cling wrap loosely and leave to rise about 30 minutes until risen, about 1-1/2 inch above pan level. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 175C.
~ Bake for about 35 minutes until done. 


Monday, January 21, 2013

Double-Cooked Yard Long Beans

This dish may look very simple, but this is a very tasty and delicious dish. A dish of the Sichuanese people in China, and it is named Double-Cooked because the beans are first fried until tender and then cooked again with the seasoning and sauce.

This is quite "addictive"! Everyone keeps on spooning the beans off the plate and very soon the plate is empty!

The recipe uses preserved mustard cabbage, but since I have this packet of preserved szechuan mustard, I used that instead. There are various brands in the market, but I like this the most. They are not too salty, and can be eaten straight right from the packet. I would usually have this with white porridge. I like it when it is cooked with some minced meat and served over steamed white tofu, here, delicious with rice. There are many ways of using this veggie for various cooking, will share them in the future.

Just chopped them up coarsely for this dish. 

Long beans or french beans can be used for this dish. Here I have used long beans. The recipes calls for the beans to be deep-fried in quite a lot of oil. To avoid using lots of oil, I just heat up about 2-3 tablespoons of oil and stir-fry the beans over high heat for about 4-5 minutes, in two batches, until cooked but still crunchy. The beans are then put aside. The minced meat are then stir-fried in a little oil until cooked, then the szechuan mustard and chopped spring onion are added in, stir-fried over high heat until fragrant. The beans are then added in together with the seasonings to taste. Stir everything to combine and serve immediately.

Very easy, quick and delicious! Love the crunchy bite of the long beans and the szechuan mustard. This is one dish that will be repeated in my kitchen!

I'm sharing this with :
See Ya In The Gumbo hosted by Ms. enPlace
Recipe Box hosted by Bizzy Bakes
Food on Friday : Mustard hosted by Carole's Chatter

Double-Cooked Yard-Long Beans
(adapted from "The Food of China")
1 kg yard-long beans or French beans, trimmed (I used about 500-600gm long beans)
150gm minced ground pork or beef
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons Shao Xing rice wine
1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
oil for deep-frying
5 tablespoons finely chopped preserved mustard cabbage (I use one packet ready-to-eat preserved Szechuan mustard, 70gm)
3 spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons sugar (I use just a pinch of sugar)

  1. Diagonally cut the beans into 5cm (2inch) pieces.
  2. Lightly chop the meat with a cleaver until it goes slightly fluffy. Put the meat in a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of the rice wine and the sesame oil and stir vigorously to combine.
  3. Fill the wok one quarter full of oil. Heat the oil to 180C (350F), or until a piece of bread fries golden brown in 15 seconds when dropped in the oil. Add a third of the beans, covering the wok with the lid as they are placed in the oil to prevent the oil from splashing. Cook for 3-1/2 to 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until they are tender and golden brown at the edges. Remove with a wire sieve or slotted spoon and drain. Reheat the oil and repeat with the remaining beans. Pour the oil from the wok, leaving 1 tablespoon. (my method : heat up 2 tablespoons oil until very hot, add in half of the beans and stir-fry over high heat for 5 minutes, remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining beans)
  4. Reheat the reserved oil over high heat until very hot, add the meat and stir-fry until the colour changes, mashing and chopping to separate the pieces of meat. Push the meat to the side and add the preserved mustard cabbage and spring onion. Stir-fry over high heat for 15 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the beans with the remaining soy sauce and rice wine, sugar and 1 tablespoon of water, and return the meat to the centre of the wok. Toss lightly to coat the beans with the sauce.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Golden Sandwich Bread

Sometimes simple is the best! Just like this plain white bread. Soft, fluffy and tasty enough to eat it just as it is. This fantastic bread is from Nick Malgieri's newest book simply titled "BREAD". I ordered this book months ago before it was released, as I have tried one of the preview recipes, Old-Fashioned Raisin Bread, that Nick Malgieri posted on his blog, here, and that bread totally won me over! So has this Golden Sandwich Bread! This bread was chosen as a casual bake with my baking buddies, Lena and Zoe, and both of them have given this bread thumbs up as well. 

The dough is a pleasure to work with. It is soft and just a wee bit sticky, but a light sprinkling of flour on the work surface and your hands really helps.  The dough has a texture of a brioche dough, I just love the feel of it. This bread has three stages of rising, so plan ahead while making this bread. It has lovely oven spring. The top picture is the final rise in the bread pan, let the dough rise to about 1/2 inch above the rim of the pan and bake in an oven which was preheated first at 400C, then reduce to 375C as soon the pan is placed in the oven. At the 20 minute time into baking, I checked the bread and was really surprised how well they have risen further in the oven. So beautiful! I did cover the top with aluminium foil after that as the top of the bread is near to the heat element of my oven ceiling and I do not want an overbaked crust, just a light one for this bread. Continue baking for another 10 minutes and the bread is done. The second picture shows how high it has further risen in the oven during the first 15 minutes or so. 

I made only half a recipe. All that waiting during the 3 stages of rising is definitely worth it! The bread is really soft, fluffy and really tasty, good enough to eat on its own.

It has a soft crust and lovely springy interior. Definitely one of the best white bread I've made.

Just as a white bread should be, soft, fluffy and very tasty. Good, eaten plain on its own and I love it the best, when spread with a generous amount of cold salted butter, accompany with a mug of hot steaming black coffee! 

Yummy, spread with my homemade plum jam!

Great toasted! My kids requested this for their breakfast. Butter the bread, top with a mixture of chopped fresh tomatoes, sandwich ham, some chopped coriander leaves, dash of black pepper, some dried oregano and finish off with a sprinkling of shredded cheddar cheese. Toast the bread until crispy and cheese melts.  A satisfying breakfast!

Now this is my breakfast (brunch actually!). Nick Malgieri has included some ideas on using the breads that you baked. This sandwich is one that he enjoys with his father, which is just a simple regular sandwich that I do make sometimes, the only difference is, I spread the bread with some butter and usually spread the mayonnaise in between the fillings. Nick Malgieri spreads a generous amount of mayonnaise on the bread and top with the lettuce, sliced tomatoes, freshly cooked bacon slices and top with the second slice of bread, also spread with mayonnaise.  Just toast the bread lightly first, then proceed with the assembling of the sandwich. He uses bacon for this, but here I have used sandwich ham slices.

Golden Sandwich Bread
(adapted from "BREAD" by Nick Malgieri)
Makes two 9-inch loaves
6 cups / 800gm bread flour (spoon into a dry-measure cup and level off)
2 tablespoons / 30gm sugar
3/4 cup / 170gm room-temperature tap water, about 75degreesF
3 teaspoons / 10gms fine granulated active dry or instant yeast
1 cup / 225gms whole milk, scalded and cooled
3 large eggs at room temperature
4 tablespoons / 60gms butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened
1 tablespoon / 18gms fine sea salt
Two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans, buttered and the bottoms lined with parchment paper

  1. Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl and set aside.
  2. Pour the water into the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk in the yeast. Wait 5 minutes, then whisk again. Whisk in the cooled milk and eggs.
  3. Use a large rubber spatula to stir the flour mixture into the liquid a little at a time, stirring to combine between additions.
  4. Place the bowl on the mixer with the dough hook and scatter pieces of butter on the surface of the dough; mix on the lowest speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Increase the speed to medium, sprinkle in the salt, and beat the dough until it is smooth and elastic, for 2 to 3 minutes longer. Scrape the dough into an oiled bowl and turn it over so that the top is oiled. Cover with plastic wrap and let ferment until almost doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
  6. Invert the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Flatten the dough to a disk. Fold the two sides in to overlap at the middle, then roll the top toward you all the way to the end, jelly-roll style. Invert, flatten, and repeat. Return the dough to the bowl (oil the bowl again if necessary), cover, and let ferment until fully doubled, 30 to 45 minutes.
  7. Invert the dough to a floured work surface and shape it into a rough square. Use a bench scraper to cut the dough into 2 equal rectangles, each about 715 grams. Pull the narrow ends of 1 rectangle of dough outward to widen. From one of the wide ends fold the sides in about 1 inch or so, then roll down from the top as for turning the dough. Drop the roll into one of the pans, seam side down. Repeat with the second loaf and pan.
  8. Cover with oiled or sprayed plastic wrap and let the loaves proof until they have risen about 1/2 inch above the rim of the pan. Once they're close to the top of the pan, set a rack a notch below the middle level and preheat the oven to 400F.
  9. Place the loaves in the oven and immediately lower the temperature to 375F. Bake until well risen and deep golden, with an internal temperature of at least 200F, 30 to 40 minutes.
  10. Unmold the loaves and cool on a rack on their sides. Wrap and keep at room temperature, or double wrap and freeze.

Nick Malgieri's Sandwich
Lightly toast 2 slices of Golden Sandwich Bread, and generously spread with mayonnaise.
Top one slice with a leaf or two of rinsed and dried leaf lettuce or tender outer leaves of iceberg lettuce.
Add 2 to 3, 1/4-inch slices of tomato; salt and pepper lightly.
Top with 3 to 4 slices of freshly cooked bacon, preferably still warm, and the remaining slice of bread, mayonnaise side down.
Cut diagonally and enjoy immediately.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Chicken with Apricots : IHCC

"Dried Fruit" is our theme for this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC), where we are currently cooking from Madhur Jaffrey's recipes. What's my favourite dried fruit? Apricots! I love apricots and have used it in some bakes, but never in a savoury dish before. So when I came across this recipe of MJ using apricots in a chicken dish, I knew that sooner or later, I'll be cooking it! And when IHCC selected dried fruits as this week's theme, I just knew exactly what I will be cooking.

According to MJ, this is a sweet and sour dish of the Parsi community in India, and is one of their culinary tradition. "This dish is generally served with a mountain of very fine, crisp potato straws but it may also be served with rice".  Well, I served it with rice, but I do not like this dish very much.

Firstly the apricots are boiled in some water for about 15 minutes to soften the fruits. The chicken pieces are marinated with some salt and lots of ground black pepper, then fry in a little oil with cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds, remove and keep aside. Saute the sliced onions until lightly brown, add the ginger, tomato puree, and all the chicken pieces. Some water and salt is added, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, and add the garam masala, cayenne pepper and the apricots. Now the recipe calls for some sugar and red wine vinegar. I tasted the dish before I added in these two ingredients, and it was good. I thought of omitting the sugar and red wine vinegar, but then this is really a sweet and sour dish, so I followed the recipe and added these two ingredients in. However, I only used half a teaspoon of sugar (original is 1-1/2 tablespoons), as I do not like very sweet dishes, especially curries! And the apricots do have its own sweetness too. I added in only 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar (original is 2 tablespoons). And after the addition of these two ingredients, I tasted the dish again, and I did not like it! The taste is sweet and sour, just as MJ describes, but to me somehow, the addition of sugar and red wine vinegar does not blend well with this dish. Maybe it is just me, but if I happen to cook this dish again, it will be without the sugar and red wine vinegar, as I prefer this dish BEFORE these two ingredients are added in.

My son thinks this is OK, maybe he wants to make me feel better, seeing how disappointed I am with this dish. The hubby thinks that it is a little sweet. Overall review : There's nothing wrong with this dish, just that it is not my cup of tea, or my family's. But if you like sweet and sour dishes, then this might be for you, as I have read good reviews about this dish when I googled for it. This may not be my cup of tea, but it could be yours!

Please stop by I Heart Cooking Clubs (IHCC) to view the other yummies that my friends are sharing.


For the full recipe, you may get it here Curry Nation, Madhur Jaffrey

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Rosemary-Garlic Bread

Made another lovely bread from Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads. I have not baked any bread in December, as it was a busy month for me. But that did not stop me from thinking about baking a bread, any bread! So when the new school terms started in early January, and I was alone in the house in the mornings with the kids at school, my yearning for some homemade yeasted bread took over! I took out one of my favourite bread book, and decided on Rosemary-Garlic Bread, from the chapter on "Herb And Spice Bread". 

I made the full recipe which yields two medium sized loaves. Herbs and spices used are dried parsley, dried rosemary, ground black pepper and fresh chopped garlic.

This  bread is dense but soft, moist and very tasty from the garlic and herbs. I did reduced the salt slightly and I still find it a tiny tad salty, it may be OK for some, but I would prefer to reduce by another 1/4 teaspoon or so. The black pepper taste is a little strong, even though I've reduced the amount slightly, but I like it. For a milder taste, use half the amount called for.

Savory bread like this is great with soups. We had this with some canned mushroom soup.  Very nice too, just spread with some butter, or just eat it on its own. This is a nice bread but between this bread and another herb bread that I've made a couple of months ago, Briarpatch Herb Bread, I prefer the later. Briarpatch Herb Bread has a softer texture and  makes such a perfect sandwich bread. You might want to give that a try!

I'm sharing this post with :

Rosemary-Garlic Bread
(adapted from "Bernard Clayton's New Complete Book of Breads")
3 cups whole-wheat flour
2-1/2 cups bread or unbleached flour, approximately
2 packages dry yeast
2 teaspoons salt (I use 1-1/2 tsp)
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (I use 1-1/2 tsp)
2 cups hot water (120 degrees -130 degrees) (I use about 1-3/4 cups)
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley (I use 2 tbsp dried parsley)
3 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary (or 1 tablespoon dried)

Baking pans : 2 medium (8"x4") bread pans, greased.

  1. In a mixing bowl measure 1 cup each whole-wheat and white flours. Stir in the yeast, salt, and black pepper and blend. Add the hot water and olive oil, and beat for 2 minutes with the mixer flat beater, until the batter is smooth.
  2. Stir in the herbs. Mix well. Measure in 2 cups whole-wheat flour, and add the balance of the white flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the batter becomes dough and forms a rough, shaggy mass.
  3. Knead the dough with a mixer dough hook, for about 8 minutes.
  4. Drop the dough into a greased bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Put either in a warm place for 30 minutes, until doubled in bulk, or leave at room temperature for about 1 hour.
  5. Punch down the dough. Divide in half. Roll each half into a ball and put aside to rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Press each ball into an oval, roughly the length of the pan. Fold lengthwise, press the seams together, and place in the prepared pan, seam down.
  7. Cover the pans with wax paper and leave to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. The dough will reach the height of the pan.
  8. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees 20 minutes before baking.
  9. Uncover and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake until the loaf is a deep brown and crusty, 35 to 40 minutes. Turn one loaf from its pan and tap the bottom crust with your forefinger. The bread is done if sounds hollow and hard. (If using a convection oven, reduce heat 50 degrees).
  10. Turn the loaves onto a metal rack to cool before slicing. The bread is delicious toasted, keeps well at room temperature for several days, and can be held frozen for a year at 0 degrees.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cold Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake : Free and Easy Bake-Along #38

Our first Bake-Along for 2013 kick-off with Lena's selection, Cold Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake. This cake is different from other pound cakes; the batter is baked in a cold oven instead of preheating the oven before baking. According to Lauren Chattman, baking this cake in a cold oven gives it time to rise to great heights while developing a beautiful golden-brown crust.

I made the full recipe as I was rather curious about the "great heights" in a bundt pan! This is a rich pound cake, using 250gm of cream cheese and 250gm of butter! And a very interesting ingredient, it contains grated fresh ginger. Since I harvested my homegrown ginger a couple of days before from my garden, I was happy to use some of it for my bake! 

Some changes I made was, by reducing the sugar, from the original 2-1/2 cups to only 1 cup! Even with this drastic amount of reduction, you would not miss all that sugar, and it was just right! I always wonder why most recipes requires very high amount of sugar in the first place. Maybe it is all about baking science, but even with the lesser amount, the ones that I've baked always turned out fine for me. Can you imagine, 2-1/2 cups of sugar is half kilogram! You definitely do not need that much of sugar!

When the batter was poured into the bundt pan, the amount was rather huge, it almost reached the top of my bundt pan, maybe 1/2" almost to the top, and I was worried that it might overflow during baking, since the recipe says it will bake to "great heights"! I decided to take the chance and go ahead with the baking. Luckily it turned out fine. The cake rose nicely and the colour of the crust, like what Lauren Chattman says, a beautiful golden brown.

The cake has a very moist, soft texture. Since there are grated ginger used for this cake, you can get some gingery taste in some bites, though it is not overpowering at all, very nice actually. And with most pound cakes, I find the flavour improves and tastes much better overnight. Overall, a very nice cake.

Please visit my baking buddies, Lena from Frozen Wings and Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids, and all our friends who has baked along with us in the linky below :

For the next bake, we will be baking based on a theme, "Theme : Souffles". The linky will start on 30th January right up to 8th February. Do join us, everyone's welcome.


A friendly reminder when linking to our blog hop :
1. Please mention Bake-Along event in your own post linking direct to any of the hosts' post (JoyceLena or Zoe)
2. Please link only new and current post, related to the current bake or theme provided by us. Unrelated post will be deleted.
3. Feel free to display our Bake-Along badge in your post.

Cold Oven Cream Cheese Pound Cake
(adapted from "Cake Keeper Cakes" by Lauren Chattman)
3 cups cake flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2-1/2 cups sugar (I use only 1 cup)
6 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1-1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

  1. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position. Grease a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with flour. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the butter, cream cheese, and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  3. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla, ginger, and lemon zest.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last addition, mix for 30 seconds on medium speed.
  5. Place the cake in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 325F and bake, without opening the oven door, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 65 to 80 minutes.
  6. Cool the cake in pan for 15 minutes. then invert it onto rack. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
  7. Store uneaten cake in a cake keeper or wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Fried Mee Suah (Chinese Flour Vermicelli)

Looking back thru my blog of three years, I noticed that I only had one post on Chinese noodles! I do cook noodles quite often in my house, and we have a number of favourites. So for today, I'm sharing a fried noodle recipe, which I've recently tried cooking at home, we would usually order this when we have noodles at Chinese restaurants.  It involve a little extra work, but you would enjoy a lovely plate (or two!) of noodles later.

A plate of Fried Mee Suah 

Mee Suah (Flour Vermicelli)

Mee Suah (Chinese Flour Vermicelli) is a dried, thin, brittle, lightly salted Chinese noodles made from wheat flour. This noodle is very popular among the Chinese, and mostly it is cooked as noodle soup. The uncooked noodles is brittle and must be handled gently to avoid it from breaking to pieces. There are many brands of Mee Suah in the market, I bought these as these are what I found from the supermarket near my house. I usually use the ones packed in a box.

Most families have their own way of enjoying this noodle. During a ladies confinement period, just after child-birth, this noodles are cooked in soup, with lots of ginger and Chinese wine, and usually with some meat, added. The ginger is to dispel the postpartum wind from the body, the Chinese wine is to give strength and warmth, and the noodles is soft enough for the fragile tummy just after childbirth. This noodle is also known as the "Longevity Noodle" and is usually served at birthday dinners, where it signifies long life in the Chinese culture. I have fond memories of this noodles when I was a little girl. My beloved late mom would cook for us a bowl of this noodle soup, whenever we are down with fever or flu, and usually she would break an egg in the soup, and it will be served all nice and round and so delicious with the noodles with a splash of soy sauce. For today, I'm sharing the fried version..

Let's get started :
Boil some water in a pot, preferably with a pot strainer. Have the boiling pot of water ready before you start to fry the noodle.
  1. Heat some oil over medium low heat for deep frying in a small pot. Here I have used my Chinese wok, with the minimum amount of oil, just enough to cover one skein of the Mee Suah at a time, as I am rather stingy with the oil and do not want so much of leftover oil after all the frying. Best handle one skein of noodle at a time, as they gets brown very fast.
  2.  As soon as the oil is medium hot, place one skein of Mee Suah in the hot oil. Wait for about 20-30 seconds, and flip over gently using a pair of chopsticks, taking care not to break up the noodles. Fry until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Lift noodles and shake off excess oil.
  3. Immediately place noodles in hot simmering water. It will bubble up when the hot oily noodles touches the water. Do not stir at this point or the noodles will break up! 
  4. Let it sit in the simmering water for about 20-30 seconds until soften. 
  5. Loosen gently with the chopsticks and lift the pot strainer up to drain the noodles. 
  6. Pour the noodles into a colander to drain excess water. Repeat all steps until all the noodles are done. The noodles are now ready to be used in making a plate of Fried Mee Suah.

I cooked this Fried Mee Suah with whatever veggies I have in the fridge, and I always have a head of cabbage, my favourite "emergency veggie"! I love storing cabbage as they keep well in the fridge and very good as a stir-fry veggie dish or use them up for simple noodles dish like this. I have used slices of chicken meat, shiitake mushroom, carrots cut to julienned strips, spring onions and fried crispy shallots for garnishing. Though it can't be seen from the picture, there is an egg used!

I enjoyed this noodle very much ...

that I cooked this again, two weeks later, this time using some pork fillet meat and added in some bean sprouts, I love bean sprouts, crispy and crunchy, gives that added umph.. to noodles!

and of course, my favourite condiment to everything, especially noodles, some sliced birds eye chillies with some soy sauce, and sometimes with a squeeze of lime. 

I'm sharing this with :
See Ya In The Gumbo hosted by Ms. enPlace
Recipe Box hosted by Bizzy Bakes
Full Plate Thursday hosted by Miz Helen's Country Cottage

Fried Mee Suah
(adapted from "Tasty Noodles" with some changes)
4-5 skeins of mee suah

300gm chicken or pork fillet, sliced thinly to small pieces
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp water
pinch of salt
1 egg white
2 tsp sesame oil

150gm cabbage (cut to small pieces)
200gm bean sprouts
6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked to soften, remove stalk and sliced caps thinly)
1 small carrot (cut to julienned strips)
1 medium onion, peeled, halved and sliced thinly
2 eggs, beaten lightly
2 teaspoon black soy sauce (or more depending on how dark you want your noodles)
2-3 tablespoons light soy sauce, or to taste
dash of white pepper powder
1 tsp chicken stock powder
cooking oil

Getting the Mee Suah ready (same steps from above, refer to the photos) :
Boil some water in medium pot, and let it come to a simmer before you proceed with the steps below.
  1. Heat some oil over medium low heat for deep frying in a small pot. Here I have used my Chinese wok, with the minimum amount of oil, just enough to cover one skein of the Mee Suah at a time, as I am rather stingy with the oil and do not want so much of leftover oil after all the frying. Best handle one skein of noodle at a time, as they gets brown very fast.
  2. As soon as the oil is medium hot, place one skein of Mee Suah in the hot oil. Wait for about 20-30 seconds, and flip over gently using a pair of chopsticks, taking care not to break up the noodles. Fry until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Lift noodles and shake off excess oil.
  3. Immediately place noodles in hot simmering water. It will bubble up when the hot oily noodles touches the water. Do not stir at this point or the noodles will break up! 
  4. Let it sit in the simmering water for about 20-30 seconds until soften. 
  5. Loosen gently with the chopsticks and lift the pot strainer up to drain the noodles. 
  6. Pour the noodles into a colander to drain excess water. Repeat all steps until all the noodles are done. The noodles are now ready to be used in making a plate of Fried Mee Suah.

To cook Fried Mee Suah :
  1. Stir the cornflour and water in a medium bowl to combine, add in salt and egg white, stir to evenly combine. Add in the pork or chicken fillet, stir till meat is evenly coated, stir in the sesame oil, keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in wok. Pour marinated meat in hot oil and keep stirring to separate pieces until cooked, about 3 minutes. Remove and drain.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a clean wok. Pour in beaten egg and keep stirring until egg is golden and in pieces. Add in the sliced onions, fry until fragrant, add in the mushrooms. Keep stirring for a couple of minutes until the mushrooms are fragrant. Add in the prefried meat from step 2 above, stirring constantly to evenly combined. Add in the sliced cabbage and carrots, keep stirring for a minute or two. 
  4. Add in the Mee Suah and beansprouts, together with the black soy sauce, light soy sauce, dash of pepper, to taste. If using chicken stock powder, dissolve in light soy sauce first. Stir to combine for a couple of minutes, until beansprouts are lightly cooked and still crunchy.
  5. Serve garnished with chopped spring onions and crispy fried shallots.