Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mixed Fruits Cake with Brandy

Hi all, tomorrow is the last day of 2010!! How are you going to celebrate? Here, I'll like to wish everyone a joyous, merrier and fruitful year ahead...Happy New Year!
Well, I'll sure to have lots of funs with family and friends tomorrow. Will be going out for dinner, karaoke then countdown for the year of 2011...and of course there'll be fireworks and streetdance here..WOOO!!!
Let's see's a cake that brings a little meaning to the end of the year...a fruit cake ~ I find that it's suitable for my last post in year 2010, and quite meaningful. Don't you think? I'll like to have a fruitful year!

Freshly baked yesterday and tightly wrapped in my fridge before I give it a try this morning...yummy! A recipe from my mother who did it every year without fail for us during Chinese New Year. Guess now its my turn to bake for her...:)

Here's the recipe I'll like to share....
200g butter
180g brown sugar
5 medium eggs
300g flour
500g mixed fruits (soaked in 5-6 tbsps of brandy for at least 2 days)
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp orange juice
3/4 tsp mixed spice
~ Cream butter and sugar till light and creamy, gradually add in eggs.
~ Fold in flour and mixed spice, then follow by orange juice and golden syrup.
~ Lastly fold in the drained mixed fruits and mix well.
~ Pour into a tray line with parchement paper. ( I used 3 trays~2.5"x6.5")
~ Level the top and bake at 160'C for at least 50 mins to 1 hour.
~ Shower with some extra brandy on the cake once done and wrap with aluminium foil immediately. Let cool and chill for 1 day before serving.
** Cake taste better after 1 or 2 days.
Hope you like this recipe as much as I do. Cakes can be kept in the fridge for at least a month or two. But normally its all gone after 2 to 3 days..;p

Before I sign off, I'll like to wish everyone again...
A WonDerFul & HApPy NeW YeAr!!!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

Ho Ho Ho!!! Merry Christmas everyone..:)
We are having a party tonight at my friend's house later this evening. Every year we'll have a Christmas party cum gathering with my old school mates, and this has been carry on since we were teenage...haha!
Well, alittle different from "Last Christmas", I've made a log cake instead. Ah....and yes! I managed to mould a Santa, a Snowman, Gingerbread man and also a house made of sponge fingers!! The rest of it...oh I bought from the nearby store...;p

A "Black Forest Cake" for the log....hope my friend's will like it...:)
At the same time I'm submitting this post to Swee San, of the Sweet Spot.....
"This is my entry for the Christmas Giveaway hosted by Swee San of the Sweet Spot"

A house built with finger sponge and some icing for the snow. Building this house was stagging sme legos..haha!

Oh the gingerbread man....this is a girl..;p LOL!! I didn't bake any, cutting out from some fondants may do the trick..;D

Below was the left over from the log..heehee! Have a peep of the cherries and the sponge...yummy! Recipe was adapted from Kevin Chai.
5 eggs
100g sugar
100g plain flour
20g cocoa powder
60g butter (melted)
Some whipped cream
Shredded chocolate
Pitted cherries
** I've brushed some coffee syrup + rum on the sponge before spreading the whipped cream and fillings.
Method for the sponge:
~ Beat eggs and sugar till light and fluffy. Gently fold in flour and cocoa powder, add in melted butter and mix well.
~ Bake at 180'C for 8-10 minutes on a swiss roll pan (10x14")


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Festival / DongZhi Festival

The Winter Solstice Festival or DongZhi Festival is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese and other East Asians during the DongZhi solar term on or around December 21st when sunshine is weakest and daylight shotest.
Traditionally, the DongZhi Festival is also a time for the family to get together. One activity that occurs during these get togethers is making and eating Tang Yuan or balls of glutinous rice which symbolize reunion.
Same as before, I always prepared some Tang Yuan for breakfast or supper on that festive day serve with ginger soup and peanuts for dipping. But this year there'll be some changes on preparing the Tang Yuan. Anyway the peanuts for dipping is a must..;p

I've prepared some plain white and also some red ones with beetroot juice. That was the special one..:) I admit that the colour was not as bright red as those using colouring, but its acceptable.
There are 2 types of soups I prepared for the serving, one with sweet ginger tea and another with soybean milk. About the Tang Yuan, there are 2 types with black sesame seeds filling and the other is plain.
Recipe for plain Tang Yuan:
250ml water (not neccessary to use all)
150g sugar
500g glutinous flour
Recipe for Black Sesame fillings:
Some Black sesame powder (can get from any organic shop)
Some sugar to taste
1 or 2 tsps water (purpose is to make the sesame powder into small balls for easy wrapping)
~ Mix all all dough ingredients together to form into a dough. Knead for about 5 minutes and warp with cling film. Keep in fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.
~ Take a small portion of the plain dough and wrap in the sesame filling. Seal tight and bring to boil in a hot pot of water. It is cook when the balls float.
** I didn't make the soy milk myself, but added few pandan leaves and sugar and bring the milk to boil before serving.
Recipe for the Beetroot Tang Yuan:
** Same as the plain ones, but change the 250ml of water into 250ml beetroot juice.
** Cut the beetroot into small cubes and bring to boil with water. Use only the water.
These are serve with sweet ginger tea soup and some toasted grind peanuts.
Ingredients for the Sweet Ginger Tea:
1 tbsp good quality chinese tea leaves
250ml water
2 large pieces of old ginger (pounded)
few pandan leaves
800ml water
some rock sugar or honeycomb rock sugar
~ Boil the tea leaves with 250ml water, drain and keep the water.
~ Add in all ingredients except sugar, bring to boil. Then simmer for 20 minutes.
~ Add in sugar to taste.
What do you think with these kind of servings? I like both especially the the soybean milk..:)
~Happy DongZhi Festival~

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Banana Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcakes

Another week to X'mas!! Woo-hoo....there are so much to do and so many to bake!! Before that, I have to go for a quick-shopping for some X'mas gifts for the coming celebration. There will be a X'mas + Gathering + housewarming at my good friend's house on X'mas day. Of course I'll be baking something for this party, and the kids will have gifts and surprises on that day. Oh I can't wait.
Well, actually there were already a pre-X'mas party at my house last week with my parents, sisters and cousins. We had great fun, and everyone has a surprise gifts from my cousins from Singapore..:) Thank you dear cousins..:D
Then my youngest sister and me had brought the kids for a short trip to a beach resort for a 3 days 2 nights stay. Well, well of course we had great fun and we were all got tanned...LOL!

Alright, what did I bake for this trip.....some banana lemon poppy seed cupcakes for my parents and the kids. It was a new recipe from my collection and also a 1st attempt. Result was surprisingly soft and delicious.

My kitchen was filled with the wonderful smell of bananas that day and I took one right after baked. heehee! But I find that the cake was even nicer the next day..;p

Recipe for the cupcakes:
340g butter
180g sugar
2 tsps lemon juice
1 tsp lemon rind
8 egg yolks
125ml fresh milk
300g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
200g bananas (mashed) ~ I used beranggan banana
70g poppy seeds
100g raisins
8 egg whites
10g sugar
~ Cream butter and sugar together until pale, add in lemon juice and lemon rind and mix well.
~ Add in egg yolks one at a time, then follow by milk and fold in the flour, baking powder and baking soda.
~ Mix in mashed bananas, poppy seeds and raisins.
~ Lastly beat the egg whites with sugar until half stiff and fold into the batter slowly.
~ Spoon into papercups and sprinkle some raisins on top. Bake in a preheated oven for 30-35 mins at 180'C.
Super yummy and I was so glad that everyone loves it so much. My grandmother said she loves it and was great to have it with her favourite cup of tea..:) I'll prefer coffee then...haha!

And I'll try to come up with my X'mas post as soon as possible..:)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hakka Steamed (Vegetarian) Pork with Yam

How's everyone doing during this year end holiday? Mine is super excited with full of visitors in my house and full of programms and food!! Yes, visitors are still having fun here right now, but I managed to have some quiet time for myself to update a post here..:)
Well, this was a dish that I've cooked 2 weeks ago, but only have the time to post it now. It was another of my 1st attempt, a Hakka dish which is quite porpular. Anyhow, I've cooked it with some vegetarian meat instead. Result was acceptable.

I can say this sauce was super duper delicious. It can be cook with any other dishes with meat and vege. A recipe adapted from "Hawker's Fair....Sauces"

Ingredients for Hakka Nam Yee Sauce:
8 pcs Nam yee (fermented red bean curd)
3 tbsps chopped garlic
3 tbsps chopped shallots
1 tsp chopped ginger
2 star anise
5cm cinnamon stick
3 tbsps oyster sauce
2 tbsps sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsps Shaoxing wine (chinese cooking wine)
500ml water
a little constarch (for thickening)

~ Heat up some oil, saute chopped garlic and shallots until fragnant. Add in remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Add in some cornstarch and cook until thicken.

** Storage time : 1 month (in the fridge)

Hakka Steamed Pork Belly with Yam:
1 kg pork belly (I used vegetarian meat)
500g Yam
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tsp five spice powder
4 tbsps Hakka Nam Yee sauce
200ml water
Some oil for deep frying
~ Cut belly into 3-4 big pieces and mix with marinade ingredients. Dee-fry in hot oil until golden brown. Dish up and rinse with water. Use fork and prick some holes on the skin. Cut into 1.5cm thick slices. Set aside.
~ Cut Yam into 1 cm thick slices and deep-fry until golden brown, Dish up and drain. Set aside.
~ Arrange pork belly and yam onto a steaming bowl or pan and pour over gravy.
~ Steam pork belly and yam for 1-2 hours until tender. Serve hot.
** If using vegetarian meat- steam for 1 hour.
Good with a bowl of steamed hot white rice...YUM!!
Happy Holiday!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Surprise Birthday Cake (Black Berry Cheesecake)

Surprise surprise!! Today is another of my dear dear friend's birthday..:) I gave her a surprise!! Of course its a cake, what else?!...haha!
Since she's staying nearby, I surprise her by sending the cake over in the morning once she wakes! And a birthday song was sang while she's still in her!

This is a cheese cake which was my 1st attempt. Luckily it turns out nicely or else....stress!!
A Blackberry Cheese Cake by Kevin Chai. Love the taste of the blackberry mixed with the cream cheese...yum yum!

Layered of vanilla sponges was added, and the result is perfect! Somehow the sponges can be avoided if you like a more cheesy cake.
Recipe adapted from the book Cheese Cake with Kevin Chai but with my own version of vanilla sponge and some changes from the original recipe.

Ingredients for Vanilla Sponge:
250g eggs (weigh without shells)
110 sugar
125g plain flour
50ml water
2 tsps emulsifier
1 tsp vanilla
60g melted butter

~ Whisk all the ingredients except melted butter at high speed until light and fluffy.
~ Then fold in melted butter and bake in a 9" square tin lined with parchment paper for 40-45 mins at 180'C. Cool and sliced into 2.

Ingredients for the Cheese:
350g cream cheese
115g sugar
120g black berries (blended)
1 tbsp gelatine powder
3 tbps water
350g whipping cream (lightly whipped)

~ Beat cream cheese with sugar until smooth, stir in blended black berries.
~ Melt gelatine powder with water over simmering water. Stir into cheese mixture. Then fold in whipped cream.

~ Place a slice of vanilla sponge into a 8" square loose base tin. Spread in half of the berry cheese mixture. Cover with another sponge cake. Top with remaining berry cheese mixture and smooth the top.
~ Chilled in fridge for over night. Remove cake and decorate as desired.

Happy Birthday Grace...!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Nice Moment

Well well...look whose there? We, bloggers had a nice chatting and dinner @ The Curve, PJ here last weekend. This was fun and I really hope that we have more time to chat next time. Well, with friends with the same interest is not that easy to find, and I'll treasure every moment I spent with all of them.

Even there were only five of, Swee San (The Sweet Spot), Pei-Lin (Dodol & Mochi), Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) and Wendy (Table for 2), we had lots of fun!! And of course our kids were there too. I'll make sure my girl will not be that tired if she tag along next time..haha! (sorry gals, she used to sleep early...;p)
Here's some picture I took that day but too bad...miss the super yummy nice cake Swee San brought, and the yummy pancake from Pei-Lin...haizz..:( That was too delicious, that I kept munching and forgot about taking picture of it. A delicious snack that I love from Wendy, gula melaka coconut! I'm eating some right now..haha!! Have to eat very slowly or else the whole bottle will be gone in minutes! Oh and that's the butter cake Sonia brought...yummy!
(Btw, these pictures was taken before we started

Mmm...and alittle gift from me. A small paper cups with light clay top. Well, again forgot about the picture! It's not hand made by me, but I've been looking for it since our gathering has been confirmed. I like them so much so I guess my friends will like them too..;p
Hope to meet up again soon..^^


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