Authentic Lapis Legit (Spekkoek 印尼千层蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

I am very disappointed with my authentic version of the Lapis legit because the color tone for each layer are not even.. Sorry for being not humble to say that I know I can do much better than this as baking lapis is nothing new to me. I have to tell all readers frankly that some layers are slightly burnt. and those layer with a very dark lines are those that are burnt..However, I knew the exact reasons and if you follow this recipe closely, your lapis will definitely look much better than the one in this post.

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I prepared this lapis with a spoilt oven. My oven fan mode and temperature control were out of order but can still be functioned.. I made a gamble to bake this expensive cake by investing 500 grams of butter and 30 egg yolks.  I lost as with the same grilling temperature of 180 degree Celsius, some of them refused to brown after 5 minutes but some were burnt at 3 minutes. I have to adjust the temperature up and down, keeping a really close eye for the entire bake…Hmmm, as the date of issuing this report, this problem have been solved because I have ordered a new oven for the Chinese New Year. Ha-ha

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The reason that I proceed to issue this post is because I do not foresee I will be preparing this cake in the very near future… Well, it is a very delicious cake but it is just too taxing for my body with the rich ingredients.. So, shall the readers bake this cake? Sure, why not? Bake and give it as Chinese New Year gift and it is definitely a presentable gift.

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If you ask me whether preparing lapis is difficult or not? I will say NO if your oven is normal.. Is it very time consuming? I have baked numerous times and I do have a way to enjoy the process. However, it did not  apply to this bake because of the fluctuating oven temperature and I have to monitor closely every layer..

Being a poor blogger without any helper, I need to clean the kitchen and cooking utensil myself after every bake. For the first 1-2 layers, I will generally monitor the progress. from the third layer onwards, I will start dishing and cleaning the kitchen. By the time the cake is done, my kitchen is cleaned too. How long does it take? Possibly 20 layers times 5 minutes = 1 hour and 40 minutes..

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If you think that it is time consuming, why not bake 2 cakes at one go.. or even 4 cakes (top 2 and bottom 2). But you have to rotate the baking tin systematically and it basically means that your oven door is always open which is okay since what you need is basically top grilled heat to brown the layer.

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Why lapis need so much butter and egg yolk? The answer is very obvious, it is a cake that requires high temperature to bake with long baking hours, the cake will be dry if you use whole egg or less butter..Egg yolks and butter do make the cake “moister”.

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Per Wikipedia:

“Spekkoek (spekuk in Indonesian), also more popularly called (kue) lapis legit in Indonesia, is a Dutch-Indonesian layered cake. It was developed during colonial times in the Dutch East Indies and may have been based on Dutch cake recipes using local ingredients. The firm-textured cake is the Indo (Dutch-Indonesian) version of baumkuchen, but without a chocolate or sugar shell. It contains a mix of spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, clove, mace and anise. The cake is very rich – a 20 cm × 20 cm (7.9 in × 7.9 in) cake can contain up to thirty egg yolks, 500 grams (18 oz) of butter, and 400 grams (14 oz) of sugar. In Indonesia, the cake is popularly known as (kue) lapis legit, literally “delicious layers (cake)”, because it consists of many thin layers of cake. As a good lapis legit has more than 18 layers, baking it is a very labour-intensive process requiring much patience. Each layer is made by pouring a small amount of batter from a cup into the baking tin, which is then put into an oven until the layer has turned golden from the heat. The tin is then removed from the oven and the process repeated to build up the remaining layers.Dutch ovens with a charcoal fire on top of the lid are said to produce the best results, while electric ovens are superior to gas ovens as cakes bake much faster in the former.”

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe modified from: All About Lapis Legit – Recipe & Tips on the Indonesian …

Servings: Prepare a 20cm x 20 cm cake

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  • 500 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 100 grams of condensed milk
  • 200 grams of icing sugar
  • 120 grams of cake flour
  • 30 egg yolks
  • 1.5 tablespoons of kueh rempah or mixed spice
  • Additional 100 grams of melted butter for layering (optional)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

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  • Beat the butter, condensed milk and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the cake flour and mixed spice. Use the standing mixer’s lowest available speed to mix for 1 minute or until well mixed.

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  • In another mixer, beat the egg yolks until ribbon stage which took about 10-15 minutes. Ribbon stage means that the beaten eggs will drip slowly rather than very liquid. Add the beaten egg yolks gradually to the batter and use the lowest speed to mix until well combine. If the mixer mixing are not thorough, use a spatula to manually mix the batter,

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  • Pre-heat the tin in the preheated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 2-3 minutes. Once done, TURN THE OVEN TO TOP GRILLING MODE. Place about 1/2 cup of the batter to the baking tin. Put it back to the oven for about 15 seconds to let the heat melt the batter, swirl around the tin to make a thin layer.

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  • Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the top part starts to brown. Once it browns, put another 1/2 cup of the batter to the baking tin, repeat the same process. If there are bubbles noted, use a toothpick to break it and use a icing smoother to lightly press the layer. Repeat the same for all the layers until all the batters are used. For the last layer, reduce the temperature for 160 degree Celsius and bake for 15 minutes. Keep an eye on each layer to ensure browning are even.

  • For moister cake, you can brush the melted layer on each layer. However, I have by passed this step and come out with equally moist cake.

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CONCLUSION

Pardon me for the poor layering but I am happy that this cake have 26 layers that meets the Wikipedia’s definition of kuih lapis. Lapis is not difficult to prepare if your oven temperature is operating normally. After seeing the ingredients, it is up to readers to decide whether to proceed to bake the lapis. What I can say is that it is a nice and delicious cake but everything have to be eaten in moderation.  If you have a yearly ritual of buying lapis for Chinese New Year, this recipe will save you some money and what you get is this delicious cake plus sense of achievement.

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For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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

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I’m submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event Theme: My Homemade Cookies organized by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

 

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Snow White Mini Popiah Rolls

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INTRODUCTION

I have seen these cookies year’s ago but I do not know the name of the cookie. In fact, I have a hard time to get the right name for this cookie and until now, I am still puzzling. As such I have decided to name this cookie as “Snow White Popiah Mini Rolls” since it was dusted with sugar powder.

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This is a Chinese New Year goody without any history or background to write.. It is extremely simple with only two ingredients. You can either deep fried in hot oil, oven baked or air fried.

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For the sake of recent health trends, I have decided to select oven baked  method and the taste will not be compromised much .

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • Some spring roll pastry
  • Some beaten eggs for sealing .
  • Some icing sugar for dusting

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius.

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  • Brush the spring roll pastry generously with beaten eggs. If you want some egg fragrance, use whole egg and the colour will be darker. If you want it to be very white, you can use 100% egg white.

  • Put a satay stick at the corner of one end and gradually roll up as tight as possible. Take out the satay stick and start rolling the next piece. once all the pieces are done, use a scissor to cut into 3 cm length in your desired pattern. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 150 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or until crispy. Give it a quite stir in every 5 minutes to ensure even browning. (Note: If preferred, you can deep fry in a pot of hot oil using medium heat until your desired colour tone).

  • When out of the oven, place these rolls in a bowl of icing sugar and coat it as evenly as possible. Let it cool completely before storing in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

This is a simple recipe and hope all will like it. It is definitely a healthier recipe compare to the deep frying version.

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For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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

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I’m submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event Theme: My Homemade Cookies organized by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

 

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Shrimp Floss Rolls aka Sambal Udang Kering Mini Rolls (虾米卷)

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INTRODUCTION

This Chinese New Year goodies is not something new, I remembered that I have helped my families before when I was a kid..

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It is an easy job but laborious.. What make your cookies stand out as compared to other households will be the neatness of the cookies that you have prepared with love. As I have rather large fingers, I do have difficulty in wrapping these mini rolls.. Pardon me for the fat and rather ugly wrapped rolls. For those who slimmer fingers, it should be much better.

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I do not know who started to blend this Chinese style of pastry with the Malay style of condiments. What I can conclude is that it is definitely a good fusion. The slightly salty, aromatic and spicy shrimp floss was wrapped by the Chinese spring roll skin. After deep frying, the skin will become very crispy..It definitely provide an alternative to the house guest in a tray of sweet buttery cookies.

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As contrast to other recipes in the internet, this recipe uses oven bake. It is fast and you do not need to deal with the messiness in the kitchen resulting from oil deep frying. Taste wise will not be compromised much though definitely oil fried items will be tastier than oven baked or air fried.

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As for the sambal udang kering, you can refer to the post here: Sambal Udang Kering–Dry Shrimps Spiced Condiments (辣椒虾米松)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings : About 4o mini spring rolls.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius . You are advise to pre-heat towards the end of the wrapping as these wrapping can be rather time consuming.

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  • Cut each sheet of spring roll pastry into 4 equal squares. Line up as in the picture.. Spread the flour paste on the edges of the square. Put a small quantity of shrimp floss on the centre, fold both sides inwards and followed by the sides nearer to you. Roll up quickly..Ensure that the edges stick to the pastry. Otherwise, use more flour paste to seal places that start to loosen. For best result, do not have too much shrimp floss as it will make the rolls hard.

  • Bake in the pre-heated oven of 160 degree Celsius for about 10-15 minutes or until your desired colour tone. I prefer my rolls to be whiter and therefore I have effectively baked for about 12 minutes only. Seal in an air tight container when completely cool. (Note: You can also deep fry the rolls using medium heat until golden brown. )

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CONCLUSION

Oven baked version is very much healthier. In addition, as the recipe for the shrimp floss uses very limited amount of oil, the snack is not as oily as what is commercially sold. Do give it a try and let me know whether or not this suit your taste buds.

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For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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

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I’m submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event Theme: My Homemade Cookies organized by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

 

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Cherry Blossom Stained Glass Cookies (樱花玻璃曲奇)

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INTRODUCTION

Stained glass cookie is a rather trendy bake in Asia in recent years ..The cookie is also named as “Cathedral or church window “ cookies. It  is a cookie that have a candy in the centre resembling the tinted glass windows in some old European buildings.

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Many people have baked this as last year’s Christmas cookies…. However, I have decided to push back this recipe to Chinese New Year as I believed it is a perfect cookie for this auspicious Chinese festival.

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I purposely choose one design that shaped like flowers.. Since it is spring festival, flowers will blossom signifying a new year has arrived. After consultation with members of some Facebook Groups, I have decided to name this as Cherry blossom cookies since I already have a plum blossom cookies recipe.

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Unlike other recipes in the net, this recipe is very simple.. no difficult ingredients and what you need are just 4 main ingredients: flour, sugar, butter and some hard candy. No complicated and specialized mould is required. I use my pineapple tarts mould and do an additional step of cutting of the centre. It was pretty easy actually.

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For the hard candy, it can be of any type, any brand, and any colour. For purpose of Chinese New Year, I am quite insistent that the colour has to be red… I did not go until the extent of searching in the supermarket to look for the candy that I wanted. I just went to the neighbourhood provision shop, asking for red hard candy.

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Apparently, hard candy seems to have “lose out” to soft candy. I can’t get any one and I eventually bought the Strepsil cherry flavour for this illustration. However, i am rather confident that you can get it in larger supermarkets with Fox brands or others.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: about 30 cookies depending on size of the mould

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  • 90 grams of plain flour
  • 60 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 30 grams of icing sugar
  • Some hard candy of your choice

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius.

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  • Cream the butter and icing sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the flour, stir until well mixed. Transfer the dough out to a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough into about 5 mm thickness.

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  • Use your preferred mould to mould the dough. Cut off the centre of the flower (I have use a simple piping nozzle).  Bake in the preheated oven of 160 degree Celsius for 10 minutes.

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  • While the cookies are baking, use something to break the hard candy. When the cookies are ready, take out, put a small amount of hard candies in the cavity at the centre of the cookies. Send back to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes. Let the cookies cooled completely in the baking tray before removing it and store in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

This cookie is definitely not a difficult cookie to prepare. It is rather easy and do not ask me where I get my mould.. In fact, any pineapple tarts mould will be able to give you a beautiful design. I got mine in a neighbourhood shop and have been with me for many years.  Do play around with the colour and patterns of your mould ..

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For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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

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I’m submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015 Event Theme: My Homemade Cookies organized by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

 

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Chocolate Coated Almond Shortbread Cookies aka London Almond Cookies (伦敦杏仁饼)

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INTRODUCTION

Last year when I issued my Chinese New Year recipes, readers are asking me for London Almond Cookies recipe. This year, I will share with all this recipe of mine ..

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As I really can’t trace the how the place London was associated with the cookie, I find that it is rather funny and amusing to use the name, as such, I will name the recipe as Almond Shortbread Cookies… However, feel free to change it to London Almond Cookies if you feel that is more convenience for your purpose.

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Preparation is not difficult but taste is rather good. Whether sweet or not will depend on your cooking chocolate. I have toned down the sugar level in the cookie so as to compensate the sweetness of the chocolate.

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There is nothing much to write about the cookie  and it is really en easy bake… Shaping is not that difficult as it will be coated with melted chocolate should there be any imperfections. Pardon me for my less than smooth coating as I have used much less chocolate that what I have indicated in the recipe for the illustration.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 30 cookies

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  • 150 grams of top flour or plain flour
  • 75 grams of butter
  • 40 grams of icing or castor sugar
  • 1 egg

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  • 150 grams of semi sweet cooking chocolate
  • 30 toasted whole almonds
  • Some sprinkles (or chopped nuts)

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 STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 150 degree Celsius (You can preheat the oven towards the end of your preparation as the preparation can be rather time consuming).

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  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add in the beaten eggs. Sift in the flour and stir until well mixed.

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  • Pinch some dough (about 10 grams), shape round, wrap an almond in the centre. Shape it oval and bake in the pre-heated oven of 150 degree Celsius for 8-10 minutes or when the bottom turn slightly brownish. Cool completely before the next step.

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  • Melt the chocolate in a microwave oven for about 1-2 minutes (you can also melt the chocolate over the stove via baine marie, i.e. placing a bowl on top of a  pot of hot boiling water). Dip the baked cookies in the melted chocolate and coat the entire cookie as smooth as possible. Transfer the cookies to paper cups, dust with some coloured sprinkles (or chopped nuts) and let it set at the room temperature. Once set, store in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

A rather simple cookies which is well liked by all races. Feel free to call whatever name you like but I shall call this as Almond shortbread cookies.

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

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No Bake Peanut Butter Cornflake Cookies (免烤酥脆玉米片曲奇)

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INTRODUCTION

All these while, i am blogging traditional cookies and never really blog a trendy cookie.. In order to diversify my cookies recipe, I have decided to blog this rather trendy cookies commonly served during Chinese New Year..

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Most kids will like this cookie as it is prepared using corn flakes. As contrast to other melt in the mouth cookies, is a crispy cookies full of cereal flavour.

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I am not new to this cookies as my nieces like to prepare this during Chinese New Year. Most of the recipes in the net need to bake this simple cookies for about 10 minutes and I have purposely chosen one recipe that is no-bake version. It was prepared using peanut butter instead of normal butter.. It is a real simple easy to remember recipe. Variations are many including the nuts and the type of breakfast cereals to be used. I have added some sunflower seeds to the cookies and I loved the crunchiness of both the nuts and the corn flakes.

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For those who do not have oven at home, this is one cookie that you can try.. Trust me, not only kids love the cookies, even adults like my wife love it very much .. lol.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 24 cookies

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  • 45 –60 grams of corn flake 
  • 45 grams of peanut butter
  • 45 grams of castor sugar
  • 45 grams of honey or corn syrup
  • Some small paper cups

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a non stick pan, melt the peanut butter, honey or syrup and castor sugar. Bring to boil under low heat. Let it simmer for 1-2 minutes until all the sugar dissolved. Off the heat, add in the corn flakes, stir until well mixed. While it is hot, put a teaspoon of corn flakes on the paper cups. Let it rest in the room temperature until it hardens. Once hardened, store in a air tight container.  (Note, if the cornflake is too big pieces, you can crush it into big pieces before using)

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CONCLUSION

The family have finished the whole bottle of cookies within one day. It is easy to prepare and rather addictive. If you are concern about the sweetness, you can either use more corn flakes or reduce the castor sugar by 10%. Remember that you can always add in some nuts to the recipes, be it walnut, sunflower seeds, pine seeds, almond or others..

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

This recipe was included in Page 24 and Page 25 of the following E-book. 

For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Asian “Potato” Chips–Arrowhead Chips (香脆慈姑片,茨菇片)

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INTRODUCTION

While western countries have potatoes chips, in Singapore and Malaysia, we have arrowhead chips which is as crispy and tasty. In recent years, this snack have become a very common Chinese New Year item to serve visiting house guest and commercially, it was sold at quite a steep price.

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There is actually no recipe for this snack, it is just deep frying some thinly sliced arrowhead and what I am sharing will be some pointers during the preparation of this snack.

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As this is a rather uncommon root during the year round, it will be interesting to know a bit more about arrowhead. As per Wikipedia:

“Sagittaria sagittifolia (also called arrowhead due to the shape of its leaves) is a flowering plant in the family Alismataceae, native towetlands most of Europe from Ireland and Portugal to Finland and Bulgaria, as and in Russia, Ukraine, Siberia, Turkey, China, Australia,Vietnam and the Caucasus. It is also cultivated as a food crop in some other countries. The round tuber is edible. In China, it is known as cigu (Chinese: 慈菇; pinyin: cígū; literally: “benevolent mushroom”), and its tuber is eaten particularly on the Chinese New Year. It tastes bland, with a starchy texture, similar to a potato but somewhat crunchier, even when cooked. ”(source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sagittaria_sagittifolia

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As per Chinese Baidu Baike, it was written that:

“茨菰 – 慈姑属(Sagittaria)淡水植物,约20种,广布全球。多年生,草本生长于浅湖、池塘溪流。叶似头,有肉质球茎,可食。花有3枚圆形花瓣北美常见种是宽叶慈姑(S. latifolia),叶箭形至禾草状,被广泛引种以扩大禽类食源。慈姑(S. sagittifolia)分布欧洲部分地区,在中国则栽培以食用其球茎。一年生植物本草纲目》说:“慈姑一株多产十二子,如慈姑之乳诸子,故以名之。燕尾,其叶之象燕尾分叉,故有此名也”。《本草纲目》称其“达肾气、健脾胃、止泻痢、化痰、润皮毛”,是无公害绿色保健食品中的上等珍品。中医认为茨菇性味甘平、生津润肺、补中益气,对劳伤、咳喘等病有独特疗效。茨菇每年处暑开始种植,元旦春节期间收获上市,为冬春补缺蔬菜种类之一,其营养价值较高,主要成份为淀粉蛋白质和多种维生素,富含铁、钙、锌、、硼等多种活性物所需的微量元素,对人体肌能有调节促进作用,具有较好的药用价值。” (Source: http://baike.baidu.com/view/1421405.htm?fromtitle=%E6%85%88%E5%A7%91&fromid=1128865&type=syn)

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From Chinese definition, it was written that this root was planted during summer and was harvested usually during winter those provide a source of vegetable during Spring festival. That possibly explains for the common consumption of this root during Chinese New Year.

I have to be frank that this is the first year I am preparing it and I am still not good at slicing using the mandolin. So pardon me for the big and small pieces of the chips..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • Some arrowhead bulbs
  • Some cooking oil for deep frying
  • Some salt for tossing.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Peel the arrowhead bulb. Clean and slice using a mandolin or a knife with even thickness. Place the sliced arrowhead on top of some kitchen towel to absorb the moisture. However, this is optional.

  • Heat a pot of cooking oil under medium heat. The oil is considered as ready when the tip of a chopstick is placed in the hot oil, bubbles starts to come out. Put the sliced arrowheads, use a chopstick to stir the arrowheads to avoid sticking. Use low to medium heat to deep fry the chips until golden brown and there is no visible bubbles emitted from the chips. 1-2 minutes before dishing up for draining, turn the heat to high.  Drain and toss with some salt if desired. Once completely cooled, stored in an air tight container.

Notes:

  • If your chips become burnt but not crispy, your heat is too high. Only medium to low heat is needed in the earlier part such that the interior part of the arrowhead can be cooked properly and it is very important that before dishing up, the heat has to be as strong as possible to avoid oil chips.

  • If you chips are oily, it is likely that you did not turn the heat to high for the last few minutes before dishing up for draining.

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  • If your chips have brown colour rings at the outermost part, you have not peel deep enough and any skin component remain will show up dark brownish colour. In addition, arrowhead that are not fresh will also have this dark brownish colour.

  • The thickness of each chip will have to be as even as possible. Otherwise, some chips may be ready whereas some are not, some are burnt but some are soggy.
  • You can also directly peel or slice the arrowhead into the hot oil without pre-cutting in this example . If you are interested of how other are doing, you can refer to: Frying arrowhead corms chips – YouTube

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ONCLUSION

The cost of this illustration is SGD1.oo and what I get is a medium bottle of arrowhead chips that is fresh and crispy. If you are concerned about deep frying, I honestly believed that it can be deep fried using air fryer. However, it may lack the aroma of   deep drying using hot oil. As what I said earlier, I am still new in this preparation, let’s learn together to prepare this. Why not invest S$1 and find out the best way to do the snack?

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

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This recipe was included in Page 50 and Page 51 of the above E-book. 

For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Golf Ball Pineapple Tarts (凤梨酥)- Part 2

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INTRODUCTION

I have decided to rewrite the procedure of this golf ball pineapple tarts as the first post : What A Golf Ball Have To Do With A Pineapple? Well, It Is The Famous South East Asian Pineapple Tarts (凤梨酥) was too detailed and readers may be confused. Therefore, this post have summarized the procedures for easy reference. For more write up on pineapple tarts and detail explanation of the procedures and the vegetarian pineapple tarts, please refer to the above post.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 100-120 golf balls pineapple tarts

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  • 500 grams  of plain flour
  • 350 grams of salted butter (softened at room temperature)
  • 50grams of icing sugar
  • 4 egg yolks (note that in the picture there are some egg whites which is not supposed to be there)
  • 4 tablespoons of icy cold water. You can have 3 tablespoons of water from the fridge and one ice cubes.
  • Pinches of salt
  • 2 egg yolks (for egg washing)

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Take some jam of about 10 grams and shape it round. Arrange it in a container to be stored in the freezer later. The jam may be sticky and if it is overly sticky, pat your hands with some water before the shaping. Once done, deep freeze for 1-2 hours or until you feel comfortable to handle. Do not worry if the dough is too too hard, it will start to turn soft in  the subsequent step and start defrosting while you are shaping the others. if you are able to handle the soft jam, deep freezing step is optional..

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  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks one by one and beat until well combined.

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  • Sift in the flour in three phases and alternate with icy cold water until well mixed. Chill the dough in the fridge if it is too soft for you to handle. This step is optional if you are able to handle a soft dough.

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Pinch a dough of about 10 grams each, shape round, lightly flatten it, put a pineapple jam ball on top of the dough, seal the edges and shape round again. Egg wash the pineapple tarts before baking in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for about 20 minutes. If you prefer, you can have the second egg wash after 10 minutes of baking. It will help to repair cracks. Cracks will arises if the dough is too thin.

  • For egg washing, hand beaten 2 egg yolks and add 2 big tablespoons of water and 2 drops of oil. Sift before application.

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CONCLUSION

Remember that this is the simplify recipe for the golf ball pineapple tarts recipe. Please refer to the original post for more elaborate explanation. What A Golf Ball Have To Do With A Pineapple? Well, It Is The Famous South East Asian Pineapple Tarts (凤梨酥) and if you need homemade pineapple jam, please refer to this post – Quick and Easy 30 minutes Homemade Pineapple Jam (30 分钟简易凤梨酱). Lastly, if you need pure vegetarian pineapple tarts recipe, you can refer the same post also.

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Cheers and have a nice day.

This recipe was included in Page 34 and Page 35 of the following E-book. 

For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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Sarawak Pickled Cucumber – Acar Timum Sarawak

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INTRODUCTION

Per Wikipedia,

Acar is a type of pickling made in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore. It is a localised version of the Mughlai Achaar. The South East Asian variations are usually made from different vegetables such as yard long beans, carrots and cabbage which are pickled in vinegar and dried chillies. The vegetables are then tossed in ground peanuts.Variations of Malaysian Acar include Acar Awak or Nyonya Acar and Malay Acar. Acar Awak is more elaborate, containing additional vegetables such as eggplants as well as aromatic spices in the pickling mix. Acar is commonly served as a condiment to be eaten with a main course. In Indonesia, Acar is commonly made from small chunks of cucumber, carrot, shallot and occasionally pineapple, and marinated in a sweet and sour solution of sugar and vinegar.Some households add lemongrass or ginger to spice it up.”

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Sarawak Acar Timun or pickled cucumber is very different from West Malaysia’s Acar Awak or Nonya Acar..If as per Wikipedia’s definition, Sarawak Acar should belong to Malay Acar..

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Sarawakian don’t usually eat Acar that was freshly prepared. It was preserved in vinegar and sugar for days, weeks or even months before it was served. As such, the pickles are sweet and sour and full of turmeric and other spices flavour. The julienning of the cucumber are much thinner and longer than Nonya Acar and they usually do not have cabbages. The julienned carrot is usually used for purposes of adding colour to the Acar.

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Another distinction of Sarawak Acar is that it was eaten with keropok or fish crackers…We do not eat Acar with rice… For Sarawakian Chinese families, Acar and fish crackers are the must haves during Chinese New Year…. The keropok was usually served next to the Acar together with many other sweet cookies.. Is it not something rather unusual to serve savoury dishes together with cookies? I do not know the answer either but it is definitely very appetizing after eating too many sweet cakes and cookies.

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As usual, for many Sarawakian traditional cuisines, there are not many recipes in the internet. I really have a hard time of finding one be it in Bahasa Malaysia or English. I can only find one slightly more detail recipe that I used it as a basis of my Acar preparation.

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I am generally satisfactory with the Acar that have been prepared especially the taste. However, the colour of the Acar looked much lighter than what I used to eat. I have no idea what went wrong and I believed it may be due to the use of candlenuts or buah keras in the recipe (original recipe used macadamia nuts). In my next attempt, I will not use buah keras  since buah keras is not something very common in Sarawak traditional cooking. However, for the recipe, I will list it as an optional ingredient.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Acar Timun (Spicy Pickled Cucumber)

Servings: Prepare one small jar of Acar

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  • 500 grams of cucumber (I have used Japanese cucumber)
  • 200 grams of carrots
  • 3 shallots*
  • 5 cloves of garlic*
  • 4 bird eye chilli or 2 big chilli* 
  • 1/2 inches of ginger*
  • 5 candlenuts (buah keras)* – optional
  • 2 tablespoons of dry prawns, soaked
  • 1/2 tablespoon of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chilli powder – optional
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of salt

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Julienne the cucumber into about 3mm x 3mm x 8cm matchstick size. Do the same for the carrot.  For the cucumber, cut away the centre seeded part . Sprinkle the cut cucumber and carrots with salt and toss until well mixed. Let it marinate for at least 1-4 hours. In this process, you will witness osmosis happen and juices will be secreted leaving some soft but crunchy cucumber and carrots. Before adding to the spice, these water need to be drained out by squeezing the cucumber. If prefer, you can also dry it under the sun for 1 day before preparing the Acar.

  • Cut the chilli into long stripes about the same size as the cucumber and set aside.

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  • Put all the ingredients marked with “*” into a blender. Add a small amount of water and blend until fine.

  • In a wok or frying pan, add the oil, transfer the blended spices to the oil and sauté the spices under medium heat until fragrant and oils have separated.

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  • Add the cut chilli,  Acar (remember to squeeze all the juices out until as dry as possible) and stir fry for about 1-2 minutes until well mixed. Add sugar and sesame seeds. Stir fry until well mixed. Transfer to a sterilized container, add adequate vinegar to cover the vegetables.  close the lids only when the Acar is completely cooled. Served after resting for 1-2 days.

Notes;

  • The above procedures have slightly stir fry the cucumber to make it slightly soft. But the stir frying shall not be too long so that the cucumber maintain its crunchiness.  Another alternative is not stir frying the vegetable. Once the rempah or mixed spice is done, add sugar and vinegar. Let it cooled completely before adding the marinated cucumber and carrots. Topped with sesame seeds. I will try out this method in my next attempt.

  • If you are looking at Nonya Acar, I will issue another separate post. But you can use the above spices as a basis but with the following differences: (1) Cut thicker and shorter: (2) no need to marinate with salt, if you wish, just marinate for less than 1/2 hour; (3) Stir fry it lightly and add vinegar and sugar to taste. (4) Serve immediately. (5) Can add cabbages and long beans but it must be blanched in hot water first.

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CONCLUSION

It is very likely that I will be preparing the Acar at a date nearer to the Chinese New Year. Should I have any better recipes or method, I will update the blog and shared with all.

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

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Almond Biscuits – 杏仁饼干

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INTRODUCTION

I have to say that I am a bit disappointed with the appearance of these almond biscuits after baking…

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The moulding imprint was still there but was not as sharp as I wanted it to be.. Well, I should have expected that most cookies will expand after cooking and imprints will be blurred..

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Do not ask me what is my cookies cutter? It is just a simple snow flake pattern and when I want to dislodge it from the mould, I use a chopstick to push it out those created this petal pattern.

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You can always used your creativity to get the pattern you want. As a word of advise, simpler pattern will create a more elegant cookie design.

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I also did not do well in taking images for this batch of cookies or biscuits. The biscuit looked much better physically then what you seen in the picture. I found the angle of taking the photo is not very satisfactory and the complex patterns overlapped each other and become a stack of cookies with odd design… Sigh

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Nothing much to write about this cookie. It is a simple cookie well liked by many especially during Chinese New Year or other festivals..  It is made of ground almond and some people do sprinkle almond nibs or almond flakes on top of the cookies. As for shape wise, it can be of any shape and feel free to choose your favourite cookies cutter.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Almond Biscuits

Servings: Depending on size of mould  60-80 cookies

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  • 200 grams of plain flour
  • 150 grams of butter soften at room temperature
  • 80 grams of castor sugar
  • 80 grams of ground almond or almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon of potatoes starches
  • 1 tablespoon of mung bean flour (can be substitute with potatoes starches)
  • 1 egg yolk

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolk, beat until well combined. Add the ground almond followed by sifted plain flour, potatoes starches and mung bean flour. Fold until well mixed. You can also use the standing mixer’s lowest speed to do the mixing.

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  • Transfer to a lightly floured surface, put the dough on top of a clingy wrap. Cover the dough with another clingy wrap, roll the dough until it is about 2-3 mm thick. Take out the clingy wrap on the top, use your preferred cookie cutter to cut into your desired shape. Transfer to the baking tray, egg wash the cookies and bake in the preheated oven of 160 degree Celsius for 12-15 minutes. or until golden brown. For egg washing, crack one egg yolk and mixed with 2 drops of oil and 1 tablespoon of water, stir well, sift before applying the egg glazing.

  • After the cookies were baked, let it rest in the baking tray before transferring to a cooling rack for cooling. Cooled completely before store in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

Quite a simple recipe to try out.. In fact there are many almond related cookies recipes and this is one of them. Rest be assured that this is a delicious light cookie and I especially like the buttery fragrance and crumbly texture of the biscuit..

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This recipe was included in Page 28 and Page 29 of the following E-book. 

For more Chinese New Year related cookies, snack and steamed cake recipes, you can have a copy of Easy Chinese New Year Recipes – A step by step guide” that was packed with 30 recipes, 60 pages at a reasonable convenience fee of USD3.50. The recipes covered various recipes from auspicious radish cake to nian gao to traditional kuih bangkit to trendy London almond cookies. Of course not forgetting both type of pineapple tarts. You can purchase by clicking the link above. You can either pay using Pay Pal or Credit card account. Please ensure that you have an PDF reader like Acrobat or iBooks in your mobile phone or iPad if you intended to read it in your ipad or mobile phone. Should there be any problems of purchasing, feel free to contact me at kengls@singnet.com.sg and separate arrangement can be made.

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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 26 November 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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