Four Seasons Blog Hop #54 (19 June 2014)

Four Seasons Blog Hop - Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

Welcome to the Four Seasons Blog Hop

A party where we can celebrate the greatness that each season brings to our lives.
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
Thank you to everyone who shared their wonderful creations last week and to all of you who are joining us new this week!

Meet Our Hosts:

Four Seasons Blog Hop Hosts

Terri/Shawna – Easy Life Meal & Party Planning Bloglovin  Google+  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter Kenneth – Guai Shu Shu  RSS  Google+ Facebook  Pinterest Twitter  Webstagram  Tumbler  Lynn – Turnips2Tangerines  Bloglovin  Google+  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter Sandra – Scruptilicious4You Bloglovin Google+  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter

So Let’s Get This Party Started!! Share your  food creations, gardening, clever projects, tablescapes, decorations, party themes, and inspirational knowledge … Ok, you get the point.  Join us every Thursday (opens Wednesday evening at 6:00 pm). Please stay for awhile and show some love to the guests, join us in the fun and grab a button.

 

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We will share your posts in a variety of ways on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.  We will also have features of the week! Be sure to follow our Four Seasons Board on Pinterest!

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Featured Bloggers

This week we are featuring two bloggers who never fail to brighten our days with their awesome posts. Their blogs and posts are like taking a mini vacation or a much needed break.

Meet +Echo A from Domain of the Mad Mommy  who brightens our days with humor, writes about parenting and has wonderful recipes – all around talented. Each week we look forward to her posts! Stop by and check out her blog and say hi while you’re there. :  

Meet +Sandra Morris from Clearwater Farm Journal who writes about farm life, living in the country and sheep. “… When we were contemplating moving to the country I read everything I could find about homesteading.  I decided very quickly that I liked sheep and that if I had a farm I just had to have some.”
Sandra Morris
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Chinese Steamed Bread–Mantou (刀切馒头)

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INTRODUCTION

One of the readers was asking me if I have a recipe of mantou days ago and I told her no but I promised her that I will search for one recipe real soon. I do not have. I have tried making mantou and failed rather miserably as it refuse to rise and the mantou is hard as stone.. Since then, I have not prepare mantou..

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Yesterday while I was searching for the mantou recipe, I am delighted to find this recipe in Mandarin which uses only single proofing. I am amazed by the look of her mantou. I told myself that I wanted to give a try.

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In fact I prepared 2 batches. For the first batch, taste is satisfactory but the texture is fluffier than the normal mantou and it did not look like the mantou that I have seen. It is rather fluffy.. Definitely not over proof and I suspected it is because of the water content of the dough. I have this doubt is because the dough that I have appeared to be much softer than the dough that I seen in her illustration.

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After the photo shooting for the first batch, i have decided to prepare the second batch. Well. preparation is easy and it did not take long since it is single proofing . I have decided to reduce the water content and make it a “tougher” dough. Yes, I am happy with the results as it resembles the one that I have seen. I do not doubt the original recipe and I do know that for bread and dough related recipes, water absorption of flour used can varies significantly depending on the batches of wheat produced.. 

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I love mantou for its simple taste and texture. We used to buy the frozen mantou from the supermarket. It is definitely a very healthy breakfast item that goes well with a cup of soya bean milk. In fact, when I was stationed in China, it is common that we eat couscous porridge with some mantou. It can easily satisfy hunger and the fat content were almost nil in this Chinese steamed bread.

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Per Wikipedia:

Mantou, often referred to as Chinese steamed bun/bread, is a type of steamed bread or bun originating in China. They are typically eaten as a staple in northern parts of China where wheat, rather than rice, is grown. They are made with milled wheat flour,water and leavening agents. In size and texture, they range from 4 cm, soft and fluffy in the most elegant restaurants, to over 15 cm, firm and dense for the working man’s lunch.”

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: 美味刀切馒头

Servings: Prepare 8 medium size mantou

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  • 250 grams of pao flour or low protein flour
  • 125-135 grams of lukewarm water
  • 1 teaspoon of instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar

  • 8 pieces of square paper

Note that water ranges from 125 grams to 135 grams. 125 grams will yield a more compact mantou and 135 grams will yield a more fluffier mantou.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Mix all ingredients and knead in a standing mixer until the dough leaves the sides of the whisking bowl. You can also manual do this until the dough is smooth and not sticky. Shape the dough into a cylindrical shape of about 3-4cm diameter.

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  • Use a sharp knife to cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Place in on top of a piece of paper or cupcake liner. Put in the steamer tray and let it proof until 1.5 times the size. When you lift the dough, you should feel that it is light.

  • Once the dough reach 1.5 times of the size (about 30-45 minutes), transfer the steamer tray to the steamer with COLD WATER. Bring the water boil under high heat and steam for 15-20 minutes (note that the 15-20 minutes starts from cold water until the end of the steaming).

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CONCLUSION

I have not much complain about this recipe. I like the fact that it is fast, since there are 40 minutes bread recipe, why not we have short cut mantou or Chinese steamed bun as well…

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Another French Bread? Yes, It is Baguettes… (法式长棍面包, 法式尖头面包)

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UPDATED POST ON 15 OCTOBER 2015

I have updated this post with new sets of picture and recipe instructions by adding some rice flour to improve the crispiness of the crust. The dough is a very sticky dough and you may not be able to knead by machine.. If that is the case, you will need to transfer out and knead it until a dough is form.

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In the new set of pictures. 3 proofing were done meaning, 1st proofing until double the size, punch and do second proofing until double the size, punch and do third proofing until double the size before shaping. For this type of bread, the longer you let it proof, the better and the hole structure will be better. However recipes still requires you to do 2 proofing only. 

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INTRODUCTION

I issued the post on Brioche yesterday and I have decided to issue another French Bread – Baguettes today. No special reason but just to add to my list of bread recipes.

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As per Wikipedia:

“A baguette (/bæˈɡɛt/; French pronunciation: ​[baˈɡɛt], feminine noun) is “a long thin loaf of French bread“that is commonly made from basic lean dough (the dough, though not the shape, is defined by French law). It is distinguishable by its length and crisp crust. A standard baguette has a diameter of about 5 or 6 centimetres (2 or 2⅓ in) and a usual length of about 65 centimetres (26 in), although a baguette can be up to a metre (39 in) long. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baguette)”

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As compared to brioches, baguettes are more common in Singapore and Malaysia. Probably, for most readers, when talked about baguettes, the very first thing that comes to their mind will be curry chicken… Hmmm, it has always pondered in my mind that why baguettes are connected to curry chicken, why can’t they use other bread to dip the curry chicken gravy… Is it because that baguettes were hard, therefore, it need a flavourful broth to dip in? But in the very first place, why do they need to buy this bread?

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I am writing this not because I am challenging the taste combination of baguettes with curry but more of understanding the reasons of why is there such a connection and who started this way of eating since Malaysia and Singapore have never been colonized by France before…

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Setting that puzzle aside, I do like to dip my baguettes in my curry chicken and besides this, I use baguettes in the preparation of bruschetta, garlic breads and for soups and etc.… I love its crispy exterior and softer texture in the inner bread.

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This is another faster recipe obtained from Mini Baguettes of www.finecooking.com. It did not requires overnight proofing or artisan style of bread preparation, it just requires exactly the same method of preparation like other breads. The outcome is satisfactory though I have hope that there are more airy holes as in some other baguettes that I have tried. Taste and texture meet expectation.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from:   Mini Baguettes of www.finecooking.com

Servings: Prepare about 4 mini baguettes

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  • 5.5 grams of instant yeast (about 1/2 packet)
  • 420 grams bread flour
  • 50 grams of rice flour
  • 380 grams  lukewarm water
  • 1.5 teaspoons of salt
  • Some semolina or polenta for sprinkling on the baking sheet

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Put all dry ingredients together. Make a well in the centre, add the lukewarm water. Stir until it make a wet paste. Use the dough hook to knead the dough in a stand mixer until the dough starts to pull from the sides of the mixing bowl. It will takes about 5-6 minutes. At times the dough can be rather wet and cannot pull from the side of the mixing bowl, you will need to transfer to the lightly floured surface to do the kneading by hand.

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  • Transfer the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead for 1-2 minutes. Shape it into a ball and let it proof in a greased bowl until it is twice the size. Depending on the weather, it can range from 30 to 45 minutes or more. Cover the dough with a clingy wrap or wet towel. Once the first proofing have done, transfer the dough out to the floured surface, lightly knead for 2-3 minutes.

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  • Meanwhile, get ready a baking tray lined with a baking paper that is sprinkled with polenta or semolina flour or rice flour

  • Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough in a rectangular shape (about 25-30 cm long and with about 1 cm thickness). Divide the dough into 4-6 equal portions. Take one portion, lightly flatten the dough and roll the dough into a long cylindrical shape. Transfer the dough to the baking tray. Perform the same for the other 4 portions. Cover with a clingy wrap and let it proof until it is double in size (about 30 –45 minutes)

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  • Meanwhile, heat the oven to 260 degree Celsius. Position some baking tray on the bottom and add 3-4 ice cubes to generate vapour during the baking process. Alternatively, you can use the water spray water to spray some water mist inside the oven before the dough are send for baking.
  • Once the proofing is ready, use a sharp knife to score the dough diagonally with about 1 cm deep. Note that the knife have to be very sharp to cut the pattern.

  • Open the oven door, add about 3-4 ice cubes top the lower baking tray (or you can spray about 10 squirts of water into the oven rack and sides.)

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  • Quickly put the baking tray with proofed baguettes inside the oven (one rack above the baking tray with water), close the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 245 degree Celsius and baked for 20 -25 minutes until golden brown.

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CONCLUSION

Hopefully you can fully understand the baking instruction as my pictures are not complete. Pardon me for this. There are many recipes in the net and this is the easier recipe, do give it a try and see if this is what you are looking for. If you want a crispier outside, you can extend the baking hour but do watch out for the colour tone. I do hope that you can get much bigger holes in the interior that I do..

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 8 June 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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This Bread Is Special… French Brioche (法国僧侣面包,奶头面包)

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INTRODUCTION

I told myself that I should not hold on this post anymore. I have prepared this brioche about a month ago and my number of outstanding recipes are going longer and longer. I have hold the post because it is going to be a rather lengthy post and be prepared to read with patience! Ha-ha

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I prepared this brioche because it is a famous French bread that are reputably soft and aromatic because of its high eggs and buttery content. One of the members in my Facebook Group: Food Bloggers and Foodies United have prepared some brioches after her trip back from France and I thought I might as well try preparing it as well…. Yes, I love the bread, for its buttery aroma and its soft texture. In fact, the egg and butter content are adequate to prepare a cake on its own.

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As per Wikipedia,

“Brioche (/ˈbriʃ/ or /ˈbriɒʃ/; French: [bʁi.ɔʃ]) is a pastry of French origin that is akin to a highly enriched bread, and whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb. It is “light and slightly puffy, more or less fine, according to the proportion of butter and eggs.”It has a dark, golden, and flaky crust, frequently accentuated by an egg wash applied after proofing. Brioche is considered a Viennoiserie, in that it is made in the same basic way as bread, but has the richer aspect of a pastry because of the extra addition of eggs, butter, liquid (milk, water, cream, and, sometimes, brandy) and occasionally a bit of sugar.

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Brioche à tête or parisienne is perhaps the most classically recognized form: it is formed and baked in a fluted round, flared tin; a large ball of dough is placed on the bottom and topped with a smaller ball of dough to form the head (tête). Brioche Nanterre is a loaf of brioche made in a standard loaf pan. Instead of shaping two pieces of dough and baking them together, two rows of small pieces of dough are placed in the pan. Loaves are then proofed (allowed to rise) in the pan, fusing the pieces together. During the baking process the balls of dough rise further and form an attractive pattern. “ (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brioche)

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As with all other bread recipes, there are many recipe in the internet. Some are higher yeasted but with a shorter proofing time, but some requires overnight proofing in fridge with minimum yeast. I have selected one recipe that is faster from my favourite baking recipe book “The Essential Baking Cook Book” issued by Murdoch Books in 2000. In fact, I always trusted the recipes from this recipe book and I have never regretted buying the book since I started baking about the same time as the book was published.

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Brioche have a special shape, Traditional, for Brioche à tête, there is a small dough  sitting on top of the bigger round dough sit in the special brioche moulds (resemble the egg tarts mould).  I am unsure how the special shape arises but I have follow the instruction exactly to come up with that shape. In recent years, the brioche was also prepared in loaf form and there are specially arrangement of the dough in the loaf tin which was not covered in this post. This type of Brioche is called Brioche Nanterre .

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Besides its shape, it was specially “egg washed” with cream and egg yolk to make it shinny and “tanned”. It is supposed to have a light texture and yellowish interior due to the amount of butter and eggs used.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Page 261, Brioche “The Essential Baking Cook Book” published by Murdoch Books in 2000

Servings: Prepare about 12 small brioche  

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  • 175 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 530 grams of plain flour
  • 125 grams of lukewarm milk
  • 7 grams of instant yeast
  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon of castor sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For Glazing

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon of cream

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly grease 12 egg tarts mould

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  • Leave about 30 grams of the flour, put 500 grams of plain flour, yeast, warm milk, eggs, salt and sugar in a big mixing bowl . Stir until it form a paste. Use the mixer to knead the dough (using dough hook) to knead until the dough leaves the sides of the bowl. Add in the butter gradually, continue kneading until it is smooth and leaves the side of the bowl. If you find the dough too sticky, add in additional flour (from the 30 grams of flour set aside earlier) tablespoon by tablespoon until a pliable dough is formed.

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  • Off the machine and pour the dough into a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead and shape it into a ball and place it in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a clingy wrap or wet towel. Let it rise for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until the dough is 2-3 times big.

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  • Punch down the dough and transfer it to a lightly flour surface. Divide into 12 equal dough. Take out one piece of the dough, take out about 25% of the dough and set aside. Shape the big dough in a ball and transfer it to the egg tarts mould/brioche mould. Shape the small dough into a ball and let it sit on top of the big dough. Push a floured wooden skewer through the centre of the top ball to the base of the bottom ball and remove the skewer. This will help to secure the two balls together. Perform the same for all the remaining 11 portion of the dough.

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  • Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 210 degree Celsius.

  • Beat the egg yolk and cream together and stir until well mixed. This is for egg washing the brioche.

  • Let the dough proof until double in size and egg wash the brioche as evenly as possible. Bake in the preheated oven of 210 degree Celsius for 10 minutes and reduce the oven to 180 degree Celsius and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool completely on a wire rack.

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CONCLUSION

Unlike my usual self, I did not alter much this recipe because it is a “celebrity” bread, a bread that have long established history and associated with a particular country. I have followed the recipe and it turns out good and do consider to give this famous French bread a try.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Pandan Green Or Gula Melaka Brown, You Decide–Kuih Kosui or Kuih Ko Swee (卡穗糕 or Kuih Kaswi)

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INTRODUCTION

First of all, I have to apologize that the images were not as satisfactory as I wanted it to be as it was captured at night after I prepared the Kuih. I made the wrong decision of preparing it at evening.. As the kuih cannot be kept for long (preferably not overnight), I have decided to have my photo shooting session at night.

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Kuih Kosui or ko swee or 卡穗糕 or kuih Kaswi is a type of nonya cakes steamed in small Chinese tea cups. It was usually served with freshly grated coconuts. It is supposing to have a springy texture and sweetened by the aromatic coconut sugar. However, in recent years, pandan flavour have developed have I have decided to share both variations in the same post.

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As compared to our Malay brothers, most nonya recipes uses alkaline water, rice and tapioca flour where as Malay recipes uses kapur (edible calcium carbonate or chalk), rice and wheat flour.

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WHAT IS REQUIERD

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Recipe 1 – For Gula Melaka or Gula Apong Kuih Kosui – prepare 20 small cups

  • 50 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
  • 50 grams of tapioca flour (木薯粉)
  • 450 grams of lukewarm water (温水)
  • 80 grams of gula melaka or gula apong (椰糖或其他棕榈糖)
  • 20 grams of white sugar (白糖)
  • 1 teaspoon of alkaline water or lye water or kansui(碱水)

Recipe 2For Pandan flavour Kuih Kosui – prepare 20 small cups

  • 50 grams of rice flour (粘米粉)
  • 50 grams of tapioca flour (木薯粉)
  • 450 grams of lukewarm water(温水)
  • 5-6 stalks of Pandanus Leaves or screw pine leaves (香兰叶)
  • 100 grams of white sugar(白糖)
  • 1 teaspoon of alkaline water or lye water or kansui(碱水)

For both recipes

  • 200 grams of freshly grated coconut (椰丝)
  • Pinches of salt   (盐巴)
  • 2-3 pandan leaves cut into smaller pieces (香兰叶)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Lightly greased 20 Chinese small teacups suitable for steaming.

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  • Heat the gula melaka or gula apong, white sugar and water in a microwave for about 1 minutes (until the sugar dissolved). Add the rice flour, tapioca flour and alkaline water, stir until well mix. Return the solution back to the microwave, heat for another 1-2 minutes. In the interval of 0.5 minute, take out the bowl and stir. As long as the solutions starts to thicken, you can take out from the microwave and transfer to the greased cups. Note that depending on individual microwave oven, it can be rather fast. Keep an eye and as long as it is thicken (but can still be poured, it is consider done).

  • If you do not have a microwave oven, perform the same procedures over the stove. Note that  you must use medium to low heat to heat the sugar and rice flour solution. Constant stirring is required until it thickens.

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  • For the Pandan Kosui, extract the pandan juice using the lukewarm water.  Once the juice is extracted, add all remaining water (if any), white sugar, rice flour, tapioca flour and alkaline water. Stir until well mix. Put the pandan flavoured rice solution in the microwave and heat for 1-2 minutes until it thickens but can still be poured. If you do not have a microwave oven, perform the same over the stove using medium to low heat and constant stirring is required until it thickens.

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  • Once the partially cooked rice solution is ready, transfer it to the greased cups. Steam in a steamer for about 10 –15 minutes under medium to high heat. It is consider as cooked when colour changes and a tooth pick inserted comes out clean. Leave it to cool completely and use a toothpick to unmould the steamed cake.

  • For the grated coconut, steamed the grated coconut in a steamer,pinches of salt and the pandan leaves. Steam in the steamer for about 10-15 minutes or until the pandan leaves are soft.

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  • For servings, scoop some grated coconut and put on top of the kuih kosui. Best served as a snack item.

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CONCLUSION

Happy to add another Nonya kuih to my recipe list. I would say this is not difficult to prepare but taste is very nice. Do give it a try and see if it suits your taste buds.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Smashed Your Chicken?–Indonesian Famous Fried Chicken – Ayam Penyet (印尼炸鸡)

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INTRODUCTION

Ayam means chicken and penyet means smashed – the chicken was usually cooked, smashed and seasons with herbs and spices. It was then served with special spicy sambal or chilli sauce and some special fritters called kremes. It is a popular chicken dish that was sold in restaurants and hawkers centre. I have my fair share of ayam penyet during my business stays in Jakarta, Indonesia years ago.

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As per Wikipedia:

“Ayam Penyet (smashed fried chicken) is an Indonesian dish consisting of fried chicken that is then smashed to make it softer, sambal, cucumbers, fried tofu and tempeh. It has recently surged in popularity across South East Asia, where various chains of franchises has opened selling the dish along with other Indonesian delicacies. It is also known for its spicy sambal, which is made with a mixture of chilli, anchovies, tomatoes, onions, garlics, belacan, assam and lime juice. Like its namesake, the mixture is then smashed into a paste to be eaten with the dish.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayam_penyet)

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I am sharing a rather unconventional method of cooking, using the microwave to pre-cook the chicken, marinate and deep frying instead of boiling the chicken over the stove before it was deep fried. If you do not have the microwave oven, you can just boiled the chicken using some water over the stove.

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There are a few things that I have to highlight here:

  • I have used a mixture of traditional mortar and pastel and modern blender depending on what is more convenience to me. Therefore, these two are substitutable. Using blender will yield a finer chilli sambal and that may look slightly different from the sambal that you are eating in the stalls. Those sambal usually comes with chilli seeds and tomato seeds as they are using a mortar and pastel to pound.

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  • The sambal and marinating recipe are very versatile. Most are optional ingredients and substitutable, therefore, feel free to add or minus the quantities or ingredients stated to suit your taste buds. It can also used for nasi lemak as well though the ingredients are slightly different. However, as far as sambal is concerned, one can hardly find two exactly similar recipe and as the saying goes, the number of sambal recipe can be as many as the number of grandmothers in a village.. Meaning, every household will have their own recipe that they are proud of.

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  • Whether smashing the chicken is before serving or before the deep frying is up to you. If you want more juicy chicken, you can pound before serving. As I prefer the chicken to be a bit crispy and chewy and full of herbs flavour, I have smashed the cooked chicken before marinating and deep frying.

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  • Most of the chicken that I have tasted are not actually juicy, but more of crispy, a bit chewy and rather dry. Having said that, it is full of herbal aroma. In fact, some recipes requires very lean chicken such as ayam kampong (chicken bred in a courtyard). Depending on what is your preference, if you want juicier chicken, deep fry for a shorter period of time and for this illustration, I have purposely deep fried until it resembles the one that I have eaten in Jakarta. If you do not want to deep fry, you can always try to air fry the cooked chicken.

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  • As for the special fritters or kremes, depending on the size of the sift you have, smaller holes will yield much smaller fritter and the fritter in this illustration is slightly bigger than what is commercially sold because i have made a wrong decision of using a sift with bigger holes. However, such fritters are optional and if prepared, it definitely goes well with the fried chicken.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: 3-4 adult servings 

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Spice for marinating the cooked chicken

  • 3-4 chicken drumsticks (鸡腿)
  • 6 cm long of lemon grass (Serai) (white portion) (香茅)
  • 5 shallots (bawang merah) (小葱头)
  • 5 cloves of garlics  (bawang putih)(蒜头)
  • 3-4 bay leaves (daum salam) – I have used curry leaves (月桂叶)
  • 2 cm long fresh turmeric (kunyit) (黄姜)
  • 2 cm long galangal (lengkuas) (篮姜)
  • 1 fresh red chilli (Cili)(辣椒)
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder (serbuk ketumbar) (芫茜粉)

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Sambal Recipe 1

  • 5 fresh chillies (cili) (辣椒) – or bird eye chilli or other types of chlli or green chilli
  • 2 big red onion (bawang – 红色大葱) or 10 shallots (bawang merah – 小葱头)
  • 10 cloves of garlics (bawang putih – 蒜头)
  • 5 candlenuts (buah keras – 坚果)
  • 4 cm lemon grass (serai – 香茅) – optional
  • 4 cm long shrimp paste (belachan – 虾酱)
  • 2 tomatoes (tomato – 番茄) –  I have used cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of baby shrimps or dry shrimps (udang kering – 虾米) – soaked – can be substitutes with anchovies (ikan bilis – 小鱼)
  • 3-4 tablespoons of white sugar or brown sugar (gula perang – 核糖或白糖)

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Sambal Recipe 2 – updated on 20.4.2015

  • 10 chilli padi
  • 2-4 big chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • About 2 cm long of toasted belachan or 2 tablespoons of belachan powder
  • 1 big tomato – sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Sugar to taste

Others

  • Juices extracted from 2-3 limes for the cooking of sambal
  • 1-2 tablespoon of self raising flours for preparing fritters
  • Some cooking oil for deep frying the chicken and kremes
  • Some vegetables such as ladies fingers, cucumber, kangkong or others and side ingredients like taukwa or tempeh to go with the chicken dish.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Cooked the chicken (to about 80 per cent cooked) in the microwave in accordance to microwave instructions. If you do not have a microwave oven, cooked the chicken in a hot pot of water (water adequate to cover the chicken), cooked under high heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is 80% cooked.

  • Meanwhile, blend the chicken marinating ingredients in a food processor or pound in a mortar until fine. Set aside for later use.

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  • When the chicken is ready, use something hard to slightly smash  the cooked chicken (optional, you can smash it before serving if you wish). Spread the chicken marinating ingredients over the chicken thoroughly. Marinate for at least one hour. Keep all the meat juices or chicken stocks from cooking the chicken.

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  • After marinating, set aside the chicken for later deep frying. Add some chicken juices to the chicken marinating herbs. Strain and add some (1-2 tablespoons) self raising flour , stir until well mixed. Set aside for later use.

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  • Heat up a pot of hot oil, deep fry the chicken until golden brown. If you prefer crispy chewy chicken, you will need to deep fry longer. Drain the chicken and pour the batter in a. Sift the batter into the hot oil and deep fried the fritters for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Note that this sieve’s holes are slightly bigger. Therefore, you may want to use a sieve with smaller holes. Drain the chicken and kremes or fritters in an oil absorbing paper.

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  • To prepare the sambal or chilli dip, put all the ingredients in the blender and blend until fine.

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  • Have a few tablespoons of cooking oil, cooked the blended herbs until the colour darkens, the sambal thickens and fragrances penetrates the house. Before off the heat, add the sugar and lime juice, stir until well mixed. Dish up and served with the chicken.

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  • For sambal recipe 2, blend all the ingredients together, add sugar and salt to taste. NOTE THAT belachan can be rather salty, please taste some before adding sugar and salt. In addition, belachan must be toasted until cooked, otherwise the sambal can be rather stinky. If you will like to know how to toast belachan, you can refer to this post: Belachan Bee Hoon (虾酱米粉)

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  • Before serving, smashed the fried chicken (if desired) and the dish is best serve with additional lime, some blanched ladies fingers, fresh cucumbers, fried tempeh, taukwa or any other ingredients that suit your taste buds.

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CONCLUSION

A rather long post and I hope that this post will serve as a starting point for you to cook the dish. Based on this, you can then adjust it to suit your taste buds in the next try.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Palm Sugar or Gula Melaka or Gula Apong Huat Kuih (椰糖发糕)

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INTRODUCTION

When I issued the pandan Huat kuih post, readers and members of Facebook  are asking for Gula Melaka (Coconut Sugar) Huat kuih.

This trip when I was back to my hometown Sarawak, I managed to get some Gula Apong or nipah palm sugar and I thought it is the time to share with all pure vegetarian palm sugar Huat kuih.

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I have used Gula Apong or nipah palm sugar instead of coconut sugar.  Gula Apong is another type of palm sugar and is a good substitute for coconut sugar or Gula Melaka.

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Unlike Gula Melaka of which the sugar were obtained from the coconut palm, Gula Apong is made by collecting juices from a type of mangrove palm called nipah palm or colloquially as “Atap”. For Sarawakian, Gula Melaka is never common and Gula Apong is commonly sold in the market.

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The recipe is adapted from my screw pine or pandan Huat Kuih recipe. However, instead of using eggs and butter, to make it pure vegetarian for religious praying ceremony, I have omitted the eggs and use vegetable cooking oil instead of the butter. The result is satisfactory and I am rather happy that the rice cake smile rather happily though I have hope that it “laugh with the mouth wide open” as in my Pandan Huat Kuih.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare 6 Huat Kuihs

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  • 250 grams of self raising flour (自发面粉)
  • 150 grams of Gula Apong or Gula Melaka (椰糖或其他棕榈糖)
  • 1 teaspoon of double acting baking powder or baking powder (双重发粉或发粉)
  • 1 packet or 200 ml of coconut milk (椰奶)
  • 50 grams of plain water (白水)
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil(食用油)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Get ready a steamer with water capable of steaming the Kuih for at least 20 minutes.

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  • Put the water, palm sugar and coconut milk in a microwavable bowl. Heat for 0.5-1 minute. Stir in between until all the sugar have dissolved. If you do not have a microwavable oven, just heat up the mixture on a stove using medium to low heat until all the palm sugar have dissolved. Sift in the flour and baking powder, add in the cooking oil, stir until well mixed.

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  • Transfer it to some cupcake cups and fill the cups with the batter until at least 95% full. Prior to steaming, lightly grease a scissor or a knife and cut a criss-cross on top of the batter. Steam in the steamer for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre come out clean. It is best that the cupcakes cups be pre-steamed before filling of the batter. You shall use high heat in the entire process of steaming. Best served hot as a snack .

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CONCLUSION

Do give this simple recipe a try. I am happy with this adventure and I believe by preparing this, it will also bring additional fortunes to you and your closed ones.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Four Seasons Blog Hop #53 (12 June 2014)

 Four Seasons Blog Hop - Easy Life Meal & Party Planning

Welcome to the Four Seasons Blog Hop

A party where we can celebrate the greatness that each season brings to our lives.
To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring.
Thank you to everyone who shared their wonderful creations last week and to all of you who are joining us new this week!
Meet Our Hosts:

Four Seasons Blog Hop Hosts

Terri/Shawna – Easy Life Meal & Party Planning Bloglovin  Google+  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter Kenneth – Guai Shu Shu  RSS  Google+ Facebook  Pinterest Twitter  Webstagram  Tumbler  Lynn – Turnips2Tangerines  Bloglovin  Google+  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter Sandra – Scruptilicious4You Bloglovin Google+  Facebook  Pinterest  Twitter

So Let’s Get This Party Started!! Share your  food creations, gardening, clever projects, tablescapes, decorations, party themes, and inspirational knowledge … Ok, you get the point.  Join us every Thursday (opens Wednesday evening at 6:00 pm). Please stay for awhile and show some love to the guests, join us in the fun and grab a button.

Four Seasons Blog Button
We will share your posts in a variety of ways on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus.  We will also have features of the week! Be sure to follow our Four Seasons Board on Pinterest!  By participating in this linky party, you agree to have your posts shared on social media and Pinterest and to receive email and Google notifications for reminders about the party. If you don’t want to receive notifications, please let us know.

Featured Blogger

This week we are featuring Taylor Made Ranch Homestead who has a great appreciation for their life and the most enjoyable posts every single week! Please stop by and check out her blog and say hi while you’re there. Meet Taylor Made Ranch “Living where we do has taught me a new appreciation for the beauty God has blessed us with each and every day . . .  I try to be as gentle as I can as I tread on this land and in this life . . .I’ve heard the phrase “Bloom where you’re planted” and I’m so blessed to have been planted here!  On this blog I hope to share a wide range of posts. There is of course the joy of a new calf and the worry of droughts and floods, but I’ll also share a glimpse into daily life on the ranch. So sit back & enjoy the ride – we love it and so will you!”

Registered Hereford Calf #TaylorMadeRanch

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Grilled Coconut Spiced Chicken (Ayam Percik or Ayam Golek) (椰汁香料烤鸡)

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I told myself I am not going to get disturb by this incidence of plagiarism. Somebody copy my recipe and picture and posted on his or her own blog. Besides my recipe, almost all the recipe from that particular blog were copied from elsewhere ..Despite our complaints to Blogger and Google, it seem nothing much have been done and if you are interested to look yes, do search for Ginne Pay from http://yummymakan.blogspot.sg/2014/06/mango-ice-cream.html. Any my original blog post is here: http://wp.me/p3u8jH-3up. This is not the only recipe copied, he/she copied my huat kuih recipe, coconut muffins,nian gao and too many recipe to check.

Am I not a fool of giving you the address to boost the blog’s traffic? No, by disclosing the blog’s address, I am hoping that some readers may be able to offer some advises or knew the person or provide hint and clues. I found that it is totally unfair for bloggers like me and many others who worked hard to maintain the blog and get this type of reward…


INTRODUCTION

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Putting this aside, what I am sharing with all today is ayam percik. Ayam is literally translated as chicken and percik means splash in Malay Language. It is believed that the dish originated from the Northern States of Kelantan, Malaysia. 

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As per Wikipedia, this is also known as ayam golek in some states, it is grilled marinated chicken basted with a spiced coconut milk gravy. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_cuisine). The dish is usually found in the restaurants, night markets and especially common during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the Muslim operated stores.

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I have my fair share of ayam percik during my university days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and have not been eating this for quite a while since I settled in Singapore. I stumbled across a recipe in the Malaysian Airlines inflight magazine about this special dish and I have decided to replicate the dish based on the pictures as shown in the magazine.

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I am pleased with the adventures and taste was very closed to what I have tasted before.

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Mas inflight magazine June 2014

This is the simplified procedure. Traditional, the chicken was being marinated and grilled over charcoal stove until it is cooked. However, for this recipe, the chicken was half cooked and grilled in the oven. This had cut short the preparation time significantly.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 5-6 adults

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  • 1 small sized chicken cut into 8 big pieces
  • 4 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind pulp
  • 200 ml or a packet of thick coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • Pinches of salt
  • 1 cup of water

Powder spice mix for chicken marinating (optional)

  • 1 big tablespoon of chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fennels powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric or curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Spice mix for blending and sautéing

  • 10 cloves of garlics (bawang putih)
  • 10 fresh red chillis (or more depending on your needs)
  • 10 big shallots (bawang merah)
  • 2 stalks of lemon grasses (serai)
  • 3 cm long fresh ginger
  • 3 cm long galangal
  • 3 cm long fresh turmeric (kunyit)
  • 10 candlenuts (buah keras)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius and get ready a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.

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  • Cut and clean the chicken, drain, add the powder spice mix and marinate the chicken for about 1 hour in the fridge.

  • In a blender, put all the spice mix ingredients for sautéing, some water (about 2/3 height of the ingredients) and blend the herbs and spices in coarse form. Please do not blend it too fine because the meat tastes better with the coarse herbs after grilling. Set aside for later use.

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  • In a hot pot, put the cooking oil and sauté the blended herbs until fragrant. In this process, you will witness the water getting less and less and the colour of the herb started to change. Add in the marinated chicken, stir fry for about 2-3 minutes until well mix. Add in the tamarind pulp,  thicken coconut milk or a bit more water just enough to cover the chicken. Bring to boil and turn the heat to medium. Let it simmer for about 10 –15 minutes. By then the chicken should be at least 50% cooked. Off the heat.

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  • Transfer the half cooked chicken to the baking tray lined with aluminium foil. Using the top grill mode, grill in the oven at 180 degree Celsius for about 15-20 minutes or until the top have signs of burnt. Timing is an estimation and you should keep a close eye on the chicken. By 15 minutes, your chicken to be cooked. Depending on your needs, you can always extend the cooking time and cooked until the desired texture you like. If you prefer more char flavour, you will have to grill it longer.

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  • Best served with some hot rice as a side dish in a typical Malaysian meal.

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CONCLUSION

Is it not as difficult as what you thought? Do give it a try and if you like curry, I believed you will definitely not rejected this more flavourful juicy spiced chicken.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Chiffon Cake (巧克力奶酪戚风蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

Hmmm, I baked a cream cheese chocolate chiffon cake. It was a successful bake. However, when I unmould , I broke the cake。Then I thought I might used up my leftover mirror glaze chocolate frosting to cover my “fault”. Somehow, being in a frustrated mood, I poured the chocolate frosting to the cake when it is too hot (in order for the chocolate frosting to stay in the cake, it should be at about our body temperature)…making the cake too wet. When I cut, the cake became less spongy, a bit soggy and messy.. It is definitely a wrong decision! However, I managed to salvage 2 pieces for picture taking and frankly speaking, the picture did not do justice to the cake.

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When I posted my pictures to the Facebook Food group, apparently, members of the Group can take this imperfections and asked for recipe. That is the reason that make me issued this post. Trust me, there is nothing wrong with the recipe and steps of illustration, it is my negligence on the handling of the cake. Following the recipe closely will definitely yield you a nice chocolaty cream cheese chiffon cake.

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The cake is moister than most chiffon due to the heavier cream cheese used. I found that it is especially nice after keeping it in the fridge for a few hours. In fact, it is very much like the Japanese cheese cake.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepared a 19 cm chiffon tube pan chiffon cake

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Ingredient A – For egg yolk batter portion

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 80 grams  of sifted self raising flour
  • 30 grams of butter
  • 80 grams of cream cheese
  • 80 grams of fresh milk.
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

Ingredients B – For egg white beating

  • 5 egg whites
  • 85 grams of castor sugar
  • 1 tsp. of cream of tartar

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Get ready a 19cm chiffon tube pan. PLEASE DO NOT GREASE THE CHIFFON TUBE PAN.

  • Pre heat the oven to 175 degree Celsius.

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  • Melt the butter, cream cheese and milk in a microwaveable bowl for about 1 minutes. Stir until well mixed and set aside. If you do not have a microwave oven, just heat up using double boiler method (oven a pot of hot water) until melted and well mixed.

  • Sift in the chocolate and self raising flour, stir until well combine. Gradually add in the egg yolks one by one. Stir until well mixed and set aside for later use.

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  • Beat the egg whites in a standing mixer until foamy. Add in 85 grams of castor sugar and 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Beat the egg whites until stiff peak form. 

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  • Fold in the egg whites in 3 stages to the egg yolk mixture as swiftly and as lightly as possible.

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  • Transfer the batter to the ungreased chiffon cake tin and baked in the oven at 175 degree Celsius for 45-50 minutes or when a skewer inserted comes out clean. In the event that the top starts to turn brown too soon, you can lower the temperature to 160 degree Celsius and continue the baking.
  • Once ready, take out from the oven, invert upside down over a wire rack and let it cool completely. To unmould, use a sharp knife to scrap the sides or use hands to slightly “peel” the chiffon cake. A successful and properly baked chiffon cake should be spongy enough for you to “peel” from the tin without breaking the cake. Cut using a serrated knife when completely cooled.

  • If you are interested in the Mirror Glaze chocolate frosting, you can refer to this post: Chocolate Mirror Glaze Recipe (镜面巧克力蛋糕装饰)

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CONCLUSION

Pardon me for the poor picture. Do give some confidence on this recipe. This is a rather moist chiffon and I am sure you will like it if you give it a chance. When time permits, I will prepare another cream cheese chocolate chiffon and I will have a separate section of photo taking.

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 21 March 2014)  here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit the blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE to keep abreast of my future posts.  

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