Matcha Almond Cookies(绿茶翡翠饼干)

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INTRODUCTION

If you doubt the texture of this cookie, it resembles something like pinwheel cookies, hermits, biscotti or other refrigerated and cut cookies. It is not the type of melt in the mouth cookies.. It is the type that is designed to pipe fanciful royal icing. In fact, I like to eat this type of cookies and is ideal together with a cup of Earl Grey Tea.

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The cookies can be crispy depending on your baking time just like biscotti. If you want it to be softer, you can reduce the baking time as flour cooked rather fast. The thinner the cookies, the more crispy it will be.

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Matcha originate from Asia Japan and I have purposely chose a square oriental moon cake mould to go with it.. If properly baked , this cookie will be very presentable as gifts to your friends. It is a classy design with an oriental touch. If you want to see the picture of the mould, you can refer to this post: Baked Matcha Moon Cake (绿茶翡翠月饼)

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Designing this cookie do have some technical difficulties. First I wanted a cookies with sharp imprint after it was baked. I do not wish that the cookies defaced after baking. That will ruin the entire experiment. Secondly, it must be maintain its green colour.. Brownish green cookies definitely is not appetizing and I am rather happy the colour maintain after about half an hour of baking.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Lavender Hearts – “ Quick and Easy Slices” Page 23 Parragon 2001

Servings:: About 30 cookies depending on size

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  • 225 grams of plain flour
  • 100 grams of chopped almonds or other nuts
  • 75 grams of butter, at room temperature
  • 100 grams of castor sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 tablespoons of matcha powder

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven 145 degree Celsius.

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  • Cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat until well mixed. Add the chopped almond, sift in the plain flour and matcha powder and stir until well mix and form a dough.

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  • Roll out the dough using a rolling pin to about 5mm thickness, Use your favourite cookies dough to cut into your desired shape (I have used moon cake mould).. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 145 degree Celsius by placing the cookies in the middle section of the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 of baking, over turn the cookies and bake for another 15 minutes. Once completely cooled, stored in an air tight container.

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CONCLUSION

This is a very simple recipe and it is a nice cookies. This cookies resemble the texture of pinwheel or refrigerated cookies and with properly selected mould, you can easily churn out some nice cookies as gifts to close one.. Of course, packaging is of prime importance also.

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

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Kaya Muffins (加椰小松饼)

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UPDATED POST ON 14 JUNE 2015

I have prepared another batch of kaya muffins using homemade caramel Hainanese kaya and the outcome is very good with the amended recipe as listed below. It is fluffier as expected.

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INTRODUCTION

I do not know how to convince you that this is a nice muffin as the colour combination is not beautiful.. In fact I find that it is rather awful. Actually, I should have used caramelized Hainanese kaya which is orange in colour instead of the greenish Nonya pandan kaya…

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Facebook Group members are assuring me that it looks ok and they are willing to try as they have trust with my recipe.. I have to thank them for  having confidence on me and that is why I am issuing the post today..

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I have a bottle of Pandan kaya sitting in my kitchen cabinet for ages and I desperately wanted to get rid of it. Since kaya is made of sugar, eggs and coconut milk, it forms the major part of my intended muffins. Therefore, what is needed is only flour and some liquid. In my illustration, I have only used melted butter and after tasting, I found that some milk should have been added to further moisten the cake.. In addition, I have amended the recipe for better fluffiness.

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As with all muffins, preparation is very easy. Just a bowl and a fork. It took me about 1/2 hour to transform the ingredients into muffins. Therefore, this recipe is very suitable if you want to get rid of your coconut jam and you are rushing for time.

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However, if you need homemade kaya recipe, you can read this post: Coconut Egg Jam – Pandan Kaya (香兰加椰)And Caramel Kaya (焦糖加椰)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings : about 3-4 medium size muffins

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  • 150 grams of coconut jam of your choice (Pandan Kaya or Caramelized brown kaya)
  • 100 grams of self raising flour
  • 80 grams of butter,melted or cooking oil
  • 50 grams of milk or water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Stir the melted butter, kaya and milk until well combined. Set aside. Sift the self raising flour and baking soda, make a well in the centre. Pour the Kaya mixture onto the flour. Use a spoon or fork to quickly and lightly fold it. A bit of lumps is acceptable. Transfer the batter to the muffin cups. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for 15-20 minutes or when a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean.

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CONCLUSION

This is a simple recipe.. If you like Kaya, you will like this. Your eventually output may look slightly different from this illustration as I have amended the recipe for a fluffier muffin. 

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

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Taiwanese Pineapple Cake (台式凤梨酥)

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INTRODUCTION

During my ex-job, I have my fair share of tasting many brands of Taiwanese Pineapple Cakes.. My Taiwanese clients, staffs, colleagues and bosses used to give us this rather uniquely Taiwanese gift to us.. 

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In my humble opinion, it is essentially like the pineapple tarts commonly found in this region.. comprising of a short crust pastry with some pineapple jam..

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However, there are still minute differences as follow:

  • For the jam, some recipes have winter melon and maltose in it.. No spices like cinnamon stick were added.. With the addition of maltose, the jam is easier to get cooked
  • The pastry are more crumbly but full of rich butter and milk flavour. 
  • Unlike the version here, the jams were fully wrapped by the milky pastry and hence jam is moister..

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Though there is no fixed shape for Taiwanese Pineapple Cake, but the most commonly sold pineapple cake is in the shape of very neat cubic shape.. Every cake was wrapped with nice packaging and those make it a very presentable gift.

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Due to its unique cake shape, a special cake mould is required.. The one I have can prepare 6 cakes at one preparation and I get mine in a Singapore bakery shop at a reasonable price of about S$10.

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“Pineapple cake (Chinese: 鳳梨酥; pinyin: fènglísū; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: ông-lâi-so͘王梨酥), contains butter, flour, egg, sugar, and pineapple jam. However, some bakers add or even substitute pineapple with winter melon to make the jam. Its crumbly, fragrant crust and the chewy, sweet fruit filling come together as an excellent companion for tea and other beverages.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pineapple_cake)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe Adapted from: 凤梨酥

Servings: Prepare about 12 pineapple cakes

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  • 800 grams of pineapple flesh, cut into small pieces
  • 800 grams of winter melon, cut into small pieces
  • 80 grams of maltose
  • 80 grams of white sugar
  • 80 grams of butter

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  • 170 grams of cake flour
  • 125 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 50 grams of milk powder
  • 30 grams of icing sugar
  • 1 egg

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Boil the winter melon in a pot of water until soft. Drained and squeeze dry using a piece of cloth and set aide.

  • For the pineapple puree, put the cut pineapple in a blender, add the drained winter melon , blend until fine.

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  • In a wok, melt the butter, put sugar and maltose. Bring to boil. Add the pineapple and winter melon puree.  Use medium heat to stir fry the puree until your desired texture.. It took me about 45 minutes to get this texture. Let it cool completely before shaping.

Note:

  • Occasional stirring is required throughout the process. As you stir fry, the colour will darken due to the caramelization of sugar. In addition, more water will be evaporated making it drier. The more sugar you have added, the more sticky it will be as syrup will be formed.

  • The timing of the stir frying will depend on the water content of the pineapple juice and winter melon juices. I did not request for squeezing out the pineapple juice out before the stir frying as I prefer the juice be evaporated in the work and hence all the sweetness will be captured in the jam,

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  • In the mixing bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and icing sugar until light and puffy. Add the egg, beat until well combined. Sift in the cake flour and use a spatula to fold the flour swiftly and lightly . If the dough is too soft to handle, you may need to chill for 10-15 minutes before proceed to the next step.

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  • Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree Celsius.

  • Depending on your mould size, you will have to determine the dough and filling weight ratio. As a beginner, it is advisable that your wrapping start with a dough : filling ratio = 3:2. Meaning if your dough is 30 grams, your filling will be 20 grams. As for this illustration, dough: filling ratio is about 1:1. I used about 25 grams of dough to wrap 25 grams of fillings.

  • Take a dough, shape round, flatten it, put a pineapple filling on top of the flatten dough. Seal the edges, shape round again, press the cake into the mould and bake in the pre-heated oven of 180 degree Celsius for about 15-20 minutes. Once out of the oven, keep the baked cake in a close container for 3-4 hours to let it cool completely before servings. Such method of cooling will help to moisturize the pastry and make it crumblier.

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CONCLUSION

I did not regret preparing this batch of pineapple cake as I find that the pastry is very different.. Of course, if you do not want to prepare the jam, you can always buy the ready made paste.  Do give it a try and let me know if it suits your taste bud.

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

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Light Marble Cake (轻云石蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

I never like chiffon for 2 reasons:

  • It is very dry and airy and I tend to get choked when I am eating this.. It is too soft for my liking
  • It is very bland because most chiffon used normal cooking oil and I personally prefer butter cake

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Based on the above two reasons, I have decided to modify my black sesame chiffon recipe and hopefully it can come out with a buttery chiffon. Since I wanted a buttery chiffon, I replaced the cooking oil with melted butter.. As I want it to be moister, I have increased the butter amount by about two fold..

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Prior to the preparation, I “visualized” that it will be a tall  but moist soft and fluffy chiffon.. But based on my amended recipe, during the preparation, I found that the batter is slightly different from the chiffon batter.. It is slightly more watery.. I am worried about it’s outcome.. Since I have already prepared everything, I  continued to bake and see what it came out..

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Constantly looking at the oven door, I noted that my “chiffon” did not rise that much, a bit of rising and I told myself that it may be a fail attempt and be prepared to throw the cake away.. I continue to bake for 45 minutes and when I took out the cake, well, it did not look like a chiffon but a butter cake.. Unsure if it will contract too much, I still used invert cooling method to cool the cake..

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After the cake had cooled, I cut a piece and tried…. I like the cake for its special texture and buttery taste.. It is not soft and fluffy, It is not hard either. It is moist, slightly dense but with a fine texture. It taste like a hybrid between the normal butter cake and an ogura cake…

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I have a hard time of naming this cake because:

  • It is not a chiffon cake though it was modified from a chiffon cake recipe and bake in a chiffon tube pan because it contain much more oil than a normal chiffon cake.. In addition, chiffon cake do not use butter as butter is much denser and that hinder the raising of cake..
  • It is not really a butter cake because its butter content is very little, only 80 grams (44% of total flour used).. Normal butter cake will have about 100% or more of butter to total flour ratio..
  • It is not a sponge cake though there are 6 eggs used because sponge cake uses very limited amount of oil or no oil too..

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According to cake classification, this cake actually falls between chiffon and shortened cake classification. Unsure how to name it properly, I have decided to name it as “Light marble cake”

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepared a 19 cm chiffon tube pan light marble cake

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Ingredient A – For egg yolk batter portion

  • 6 egg yolks
  • 75 grams of icing sugar
  • 180 grams  of sifted cake flour
  • 80 grams of melted butter
  • 1.5 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons of chocolate powder
  • 50 grams of fresh milk.

Ingredients B – For egg white beating

  • 6 egg whites
  • 75 grams of icing 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 170 degree Celsius.

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  • Beat the egg whites in a standing mixer until foamy. Add in 75 grams of icing sugar and 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Beat the egg whites until stiff peak form. Set aside for later use.

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  • In another separate mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and pale. Gradually add in milk  and followed by the melted butter. Beat until well combined. Add in the sifted  cake flour and baking powder. Beat until well mixed. Take out from the machine and fold in the egg whites in 3 stages as swiftly and as lightly as possible.

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  • Transfer 1/4 portion of the batter and sift in chocolate powder. Stir lightly and swiftly until well mixed. Transfer some beige batter to the chiffon tube pan followed by by the chocolate batter. Perform the same for the remaining.

  • Bake in the pre-heated oven of 170 degree Celsius for 40-45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Invert the chiffon tube cake pan during the cooling .

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CONCLUSION

 

I hoped my pictures will appeal to you and convince you to trying baking the cake. It has a unique texture that is worth trying. It is moist and can slice beautifully as party snacks..

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

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White Chocolate Cheesecake (白巧克力免烤芝士蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

I am rather busy and just felt tired these few days.. and I have not issued recipes last two days.. Don’t worry I am still on and I have many recipes that await for me to issue the post.. Some are lacking inspirations and some will be rather long winded..

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I promised this post will be as short as possible as this is a recipe of my own without reference to any other recipe.. I have this concept when I prepared my red velvet white chocolate ganache yesterday..

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I have experimented to use condensed milk, cream cheese, white chocolate and cream to come out with a frosting for the red velvet cupcake. The frosting was rather satisfactory and my family members loved the frosting very much..

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Then It struck my mind to design a cheesecake with slightly different proportion of the above ingredients.. It works very well and I am satisfied with this adventures as well.. The setting is rather fast even though it is a recipe without the use of gelatine.. Preparation is fast too, just cream and set..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: Prepare a 3” x 6” cheesecake

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Biscuit Base

  • 80 grams of non-sweeten biscuits
  • 50 grams of hazelnuts – optional or any other nuts
  • 50 grams of melted butter
  • 50 grams of castor sugar

Cheesecake

  • 300 grams of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 200 grams of white chocolate
  • 50 grams of condensed milk
  • 30 grams of heavy cream or whipping cream (optional)

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STEPS OF PREAPARATION

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  • Melt the butter either over the stove or using microwave to heat for about 1 minute.

  • In a food processor , blend all the base ingredients until fine.

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  • Pour the melted butter into blended biscuits, stir until well mix. Transfer the crumbs to a lightly greased tin (tin with detachable base preferred_ or line the 4 sides with baking paper. Press as firm as possible and chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until the base has hardened.

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  • Melt the white chocolate in the microwave for about 1 minute. Alternatively, you can use melt the chocolate using double boil method over a stove.

  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, put the cream cheese, condensed milk and cream until light and fluffy. Add the melted white chocolate and cream. Continue beating until well combined. Transfer the cheese mixture to the baking tin. Level it and let it chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours or when set. You can also let it set in the chiller of the refrigerator for about 5-6 hour until it set. Serve directly from fridge.

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CONCLUSION

As this is a recipe that do not use gelatine, the firmness will not be as firm as those that use gelatine.  However, the cheesecake will definitely be firm enough for your cutting and if it serves out of your fridge. If you need to bring for outside setting, you can consider adding 2 tablespoons of melted gelatine to enhance the shape. Therefore, this recipe will be beneficial for those readers who do not like gelatine either from religion standpoint or health view point.. 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 a nice day.

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Classic Marble Cake (古早味云石蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

When I was young, there are not many choices of cakes. “Butter” cake baked using margarine such as Planta was very common and another variation to the so called butter cake was marble cake with part of the batter being added cocoa powder. This cocoa portion was placed next to the beige better so as to create a visual effect of the cake resembling marble design.

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Subsequently,  bakers start to use the same concept but layer the two batter alternately such that design looks like the stripes in a zebra. So essentially, be it zebra cake or marble cake, they are essentially the same thing. Of course, subsequently, people start to improvise the texture of the cake by using egg separation matter and increase the butter content such that the cake are fluffier and “moister” and best of all, they hope to achieve a flat top cake that is currently a craze now.

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This is my own recipe that is nothing to shout about. As a respect to traditional recipe, I have purposely use direct creaming method. In order to suit the current taste buds, the butter content had slightly increased but trust me,  the butter content is still much less than the current trendy butter cake. It had a rather light texture if creaming is correct and I honestly do believe it will suit the current taste buds.

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“A marble cake is a cake with a streaked or mottled appearance (like marble) achieved by very lightly blending light and dark batter.[1] It can be a mixture of vanilla and chocolate cake, in which case it is mainly vanilla, with streaks of chocolate. Other possibilities are strawberry or other fruit flavours, or (particularly in marbled coffee cakes) cinnamon and/or other spices.The first print references to marble cake begin appearing in the last quarter of the 19th century. One popular variation of this recipe during Victorian times was “Harlequin cake,” which was baked with checkerboard patterns. Early recipes used molasses and spices to achieve the dark-coloured batter” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marble_cake)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: One 4” x 8” cake

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  • 200 grams of butter, softened at room temperature
  • 200 grams of self raising flour, sifted
  • 150 grams of white sugar
  • 50 grams of condensed milk
  • 50 grams or ml of fresh milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 tablespoons of cocoa powder

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STEPS OF PREAPRATION

  • Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius

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  • Cream the butter, condensed milk and sugar until light and fluffy, add in eggs and beat until well combined. Eggs should be added one by one and scrap the bottom of the bowl to ensure no unmixed egg settled at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

  • Sift in 1/3 of the self raising flour, milk and use the spatula to quickly fold in the flour.. Continue with the remaining 2/3 until all the flour  and fresh milk are added.

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  • Transfer 1/3 of the batter out , sift in the cocoa powder. use a spatula to fold until well combined. Use a tablespoon to scope 2 tablespoons of beige batter to baking tin and follow by 1 tablespoon of the cocoa batter. Perform the same until all the batter have finished. Knock the baking tin against the table 2-3 times to force out any trapped air bubbles. Use a spatula to level the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven of 160 degree Celsius for 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.

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CONCLUSION

This is definitely not a difficult recipe and the beauty of the cake is based on how you design or overlap the beige and cocoa batter. Remember that to create a nice visual effect, the cocoa batter shall not be too much. It is best that the cocoa batters are isolated by the beige batter instead linking to each other.

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

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Special Compilation of Teochew Cuisines (潮州美食食谱汇编)

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INTRODUCTION

This is a special compilation for all the Teochew or Chaozhou (潮州)dialect cuisines that I have issued recipe in this blog. Hope this will facilitate Teochew who are looking for the recipes. The list will be updated as and when required. Please click on the blue colour link or the picture to go to individual recipes .


Teochew Mee Pok And Fish Ball Noodles (潮州肉脞面 ,潮州鱼圆面)

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Simplicity Is The Best–Teochew Kailan Cai Poh Fried Kway Tiao (潮汕芥蓝菜脯炒粿条)

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Fish Head/Fillet Rice Vermicelli Soup (鱼头/片米粉汤)

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What Is The Dish That Have The Savoury White Or Sweet Black Version of Stir Frying–Char Kuih or Char Kuih Kak or Fried Carrot Cake (炒粿, 炒菜头粿, 炒萝卜糕, 炒粿角, 炒糕粿)

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Another Simple Hawker Dish– Oyster Omelette (耗蛋,耗煎)

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Teochew Huat Kuih or Ka Kuih (潮州发糕,潮州酵糕,米糕, 松糕)

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No Cudweed, I Used Mugwort–Teochew Chi Kak Kuih (潮州鼠麹糕)- Mugwort version

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Garlic Chives Steamed Rice Cake–Teochew Ku Chai Kuih (潮州韭菜粿)

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Rice Cake In A Peach Form?… Png Tao (饭桃, 米包米, 饭粿, 潮州红桃粿)

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Soon Kuih Or Chai Kuih? Teochew Soon Kuih (笋粿)

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Another Singapore Malaysia Hawker Food–Chwee Kueh or Steamed Rice Cake With Preserved Radish

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Teochew Traditional Moon cake (潮汕朥饼)

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Teochew Spiral Yam Mooncake (千层芋泥酥)

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Playing With Recrystallization of Sugar–Sugar Coated Yam Sticks (反沙芋头)

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Shiny Sugar Glazed Yam And Sweet Potatoes Sticks (金银糕烧)

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Split Mung Bean Sweet Soup (绿豆爽)Tau Suan

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Yam Paste With Gingko Nuts (Orh Nee 银杏芋泥)

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Teochew Braised Duck or Lor Ark (潮州卤鸭)

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Deep Fried Prawn Balls (干炸虾枣)

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Fish Steaming–A Healthier Alternative–Cantonese and Teochew Styles of Chinese Steamed Fish

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It Is Not Chinese Dansan, It Is Western Snack Angel Wings (Les Bugnes 法国蛋散,天使的翅膀)

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INTRODUCTION

Food history and evolution in between regions  are all intertwining…. and sometimes it is very difficult to know who have invented a particular cuisine.

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This is not Chinese snack Dansan, (蛋散) which is commonly prepared by cantonese families during Chinese new year. It looks alike but the ingredients apparently are different.. It has butter and it is commonly found in most European countries with different name. In English, it was called Angel Wings. However, since I get this recipe from a French website, it was name as Les Bugnes.

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As per Wikipedia:

“Angel wings are a traditional sweet crisp pastry made out of dough that has been shaped into thin twisted ribbons, deep-fried and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Traditionally present in several European cuisines, angel wings are known by many other names and have been incorporated into other regional cuisines (such as the United States) by immigrant populations.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel_wings)

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I really love this snack. It is very crispy and aromatic.. I passed the bottle to my children and asked them to take one each to try and they return to me the empty bottle.. I should have made more ..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: My French Cuisine: Bugnes – the recipe

Servings: Prepare 20-30 pieces of Bugnes depend on sizes

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  • 125 grams of self raising flour
  • 25 grams of butter
  • 25 grams of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 /2 tablespoon of orange blossom water (optional)
  • Icing sugar for dusting

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Sift in the self raising flour, pinches of salt, orange blossom water (optional)  and use the machine lowest speed to slightly mix the batter. Add eggs gradually and either use machine lowest speed to give it a quick stir.   .

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  • Transfer the dough out and lightly knead until smooth and let it rest in a bowl for at least 2 hours at room temperature. After two hours, transfer the dough out, roll them flat using a rolling pin with about 2mm thickness. Use a sharp knife to cut it into a rectangular shape of about 3 cm x 6 cm.

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  • In the centre of the rectangle, cut a straight line of about 4 cm.. Push one end through the centre line and make it as neat as possible by reshaping on the table. Deep fry in a pot of hot oil until golden brown. In between, use a chopstick to turn over the fritter. Once golden brown, drain and dust sparingly with icing sugar before serving. Once completely cooled, store in an airtight container immediately.

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CONCLUSION

You can use this recipe to prepare the Chinese snack – Dansan, However, you will need to substitute butter with lard. You can also add other flavouring such sesame and fermented bean curd. Instead of dusting with icing sugar, Chinese style is usually coated with caramelized sugar syrup or maltose. I may or may not have another recipe of the Chinese snack but what I can assure all that this recipe is delicious that I will not hesitate to recommend all to give it a try.

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

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A Healthier Traditional Butter Cake–Madeira Cake (马德拉牛油蛋糕)

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INTRODUCTION

If you do not accept the fact that a delicious cake cracks, this post is not for you.. There is nothing to be shy, embarrassed, anxious or rejected if the cake come out from your oven cracked.. Most of the traditional cakes cracked and it does not equate to not delicious.

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There are many factors that may cause a cake to crack, among them are: oven temperature, more flour to butter ratio, the size of baking tin, the ingredients and the recipe problems. But cracked cake can be healthier because the usage of butter is much lower.. Traditionally, most simple butter cake have much less butter than flour. Unlike the current flat top butter cake, butter is much more than flour those resulting cakes that are oilier. This was commonly misunderstood as “moist and soothing”.

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I have decided to locate a famous traditional butter cake recipe that uses less butter and try them out. I have chosen the madeira cake and I was utterly shocked that the butter content is very much less than the flour. The butter to flour ratio is on 66% meaning for 100 grams of flour used, only 66 grams of butter was used. With this low ratio, i am even more convinced to try out the recipe and see if it will suit the current taste buds.

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The cake may be very slightly drier and denser as compared to the current trendy flat top butter cakes. However, texture is fine and it is totally acceptable to me. Why asked for cake that uses so much butter to sooth your throat? That can be rather unhealthy and a drier teacake is traditionally supposed to be eaten with a cup of tea and coffee. Well, I will leave  it for reader to decide.

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For this illustration, I have also decided to prepare some lemon icing to go with the cake. As for the cake tin, since I do not have the suggested cake tin, I have decided to use a 5” x 5 “ cake tin instead. But this is not advisable as the cake though will be taller but chances of crack are higher.

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As per Wikipedia:

“The cake has a firm yet light texture. It is eaten with tea or (occasionally) for breakfast and is traditionally flavoured with lemon.Dating back to an original recipe in the 18th or 19th century,Madeira cake is similar to a pound cake or yellow cake. It is sometimes mistakenly thought to originate from the Madeira Islands; however, that is not the case as it was instead named after Madeira wine, a Portuguese wine from the islands, which was popular in England at the time and was often served with the cake. “ (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madeira_cake)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adopted from: The Essential Baking Cookbook Page 59., Murdoch Books 2000

Servings: A 20 x 10 x 7 cm (8 x 4 x 2.75 inches)

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  • 185 grams of butter, softened at room temperature
  • 185 grams of white castor sugar
  • 155 grams of self raising flour
  • 125 grams of plain flour/cake flour/top flour
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons of finely grated lemon or orange
  • 2 tablespoons of milk

Lemon Glaze (optional)

  • 1/2 cup of icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice

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STEPS OF PREAPRATION

  • Preheat the oven to 160 degree Celsius

  • Lightly grease an 8” x 4” baking tin preferably with a detachable base. Alternatively, line the baking tin with parchment paper.. (Note that as I do not have this cake tin, I have used 5” x 5” baking tin which is not advisable as it will worsen the crack)

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  • Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add in eggs, lemon/orange zest and use slow speed to “mix” until well combined. Eggs should be added one by one and scrap the bottom of the bowl to ensure no unmixed egg settled at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

  • Sift in 1/3 of the self raising flour, milk and use the spatula to quickly fold in the flour.. Continue with the remaining 2/3 until all the flour  and fresh milk are added.

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  • Transfer to the baking tin, level and bake in the oven (at the lowest shelf) at 160 degree Celsius at 40-50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. The baking time is for your reference and depends very much of the size of baking tin. Skewer test is still the final test. Transfer to a rack for cooling.

  • For lemon glaze, stir the icing sugar and lemon juice until well combined resembling a paste and drizzle over the cool cake. If the glaze is too dry, add lemon juice DROP by DROP. If the glaze is too wet, add additional icing sugar TEASPOON by TEASPOON. Cut only when completely cooled.

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CONCLUSION

This traditional recipe used very little butter but the taste is still great. Don’t worry if your cake cracks. Is it not health is more important than the look of the cake?

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

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“No forks, No rolling pin, No biscuit cutters but just two well practised hands?” American Style Biscuits (美国饼干)

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INTRODUCTION

Don’t confuse this USA biscuit , a type of quick bread with Commonwealth style of crispy biscuits or cookies. As per Wikipedia,

“A biscuit in the United States and parts of Canada, and widely used in popular American English, is a small bread with a firm browned crust and a soft interior. They are made with baking powder or baking soda as a chemical leavening agent rather than yeast although they can also be made using yeast (and are then called “angel biscuits”) or a sourdough starter.. They are traditionally served as a side dish with a meal. As a breakfast item they are often eaten with butter and a sweet condiment such as molasses, light sugarcane syrup, maple syrup, sorghum syrup, honey, or fruit jam or jelly. With other meals they are usually eaten with butter or gravy instead of sweet condiments. However, biscuits and gravy (biscuits covered in country gravy) or biscuits with sausage are usually served for breakfast, sometimes as the main course.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biscuit)

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Most of the readers should know that by now, I have a passion for traditional recipes . However, I have never wanted to try making Western biscuits as it is consider a niche recipe. A bake that is not common in Singapore and Malaysia until the arrival of Texas Fried Chicken and Popeye’s fast food chain of restaurant. Usually, the fried chicken served was not accompanied by potatoes chips but instead it was served with biscuits. I do not know exactly what is the difference between scones but it does taste like scones and rather salty. After a few tries, I found that both my kids and myself loves the biscuits..

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This morning while I was scrolling Facebook, there is a video shared by one Western friend on this dough bowl biscuits originated from Southern USA. Accompany with it is a Video of an old women who are preparing it with hand feel. It was written that the recipe : No forks, No rolling pin, No biscuit cutters but just two well practised hands. If you are interested, you can refer to : https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=553555134755798&set=vb.546160662161912&type=2&theater

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The title really captured my attention and I decided to lay my hand on it. As there is no quantity listed, i have decided to use my hand feel to do the traditional biscuits. Hmmm, I do not know if the outcome is exactly what the granny expected, but I found that it suits my taste buds and rather similar to those sold in Texas Fried Chicken and Popeye’s.

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I swore I did not cheat, I did not measure the ingredients and I will show you how I did it.. And if you are game enough, do give it a try. But before you try, I will encourage you to watch the video first..

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • Some self raising flour
  • Some butter, melted
  • Some buttermilk or fresh milk
  • Salt to taste

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Sift the self raising flour in a mixing bowl and make a well. Pour the melted butter and follow by milk gradually. Use hand to lightly swirl in a clock wise motion . Do it until it forms of pliable soft dough. Take some and shape round and transfer to a lightly greased tin. Bake in the preheated oven of 180 degree Celsius until golden brown.

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CONCLUSION

Personally, I like the outcome of this “blind” adventure.. I really need just two hands to do the job. Whether authentic or not I am unsure but it does suit my taste buds. I doubt many readers will be as crazy as I am but If i can do it, I am sure you can. Remember that butter and salt will make it smother, fragrant and aromatic. More butter will render less milk required. Your dough should be as soft as you can handle.. Don’t worry, if too sticky, add flour..

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Not a great investment. Why not try out this fun adventure. If you like scones, you will like this. Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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