Eggs, Eggs, Eggs….. Join Me To Cook Eggs….

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INTRODUCTION

I doubt if any one from my generation have never try eggs and if they try, never like eggs. Of course they are some unfortunate people in this world that have egg allergy and can only have cakes or other cuisines that are eggless. Bearing this in mind, I would think that majority of the people (at least in my circles of friends) would not reject the offer of a simple fried egg dish to go with their meal.

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This is an updated post that I have issued a year ago. Due to some technical reasons, I can’t retrieve my old files and have to treat this an a new post. Hope this will benefit new house chefs who are looking for advise on cooking eggs. 



WAYS OF COOKING EGGS

There are many ways of cooking eggs and this post will by pass all the descriptive flowery languages and go straight to the following ways of cooking eggs. You may have known this better than me but just took some time to read if there are any thing that you can add to my post and constructively criticise about my ways of preparing eggs. The methods that will be covered here are:

  1. Soft Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)

  2. Hard Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)

  3. Coloured Eggs (上色蛋)

  4. Poached Eggs (水波蛋)

  5. Scrambled Eggs (炒蛋)

  6. Eggs Omelette (蛋饼)

  7. Braised Eggs (卤蛋)

  8. Steamed Eggs (蒸蛋)

  9. Adding eggs to Chinese Soups (蛋花)

  10. Fried Eggs (煎蛋)

  11. Lava Eggs (溏心蛋)- Ni-tamago



1。2。SOFT BOILED EGGS AND HARD BOILED EGGS (水煮蛋)

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To have perfect soft boiled eggs and hard boiled eggs, there are some timings that need to be followed An over boiled egg will have solid egg yolks slightly bluish in colour.  If it is fresh farm eggs, additional 5 minutes is needed. It is easier to boil eggs keep in the refrigerator than those keep at room temperature.

In a big pot filled with water, add in two big tablespoon of vinegar (to prevent egg whites flow out in the event the eggs crack), one teaspoon of salt and bring the water to boil under high heat. Once boiled, turn to medium heat to let the water simmer. Place the eggs using a spoon and gently lower down to the pot. The range of timing to get the desired textures of eggs are as follows (source: :adapted from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Soft-Boiled-Egg)

  • 2 minutes – very soft yolk and egg whites

  • 3 minutes – the white is set and the yolk is just starting to thicken

  • 4 minutes – the white and yolk are set, with the centre of the yolk still creamy.

  • 5 minutes – the white and yolk are set with centre starting to set

  • 10 minutes – the white and yolk are all set

  • Any further timing than this will result the eggs yolks to start turning to a bluish colour.

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Please note the colour changes of the egg yolks.



3。COLOURED EGGS (上色蛋)

At birthday or other important occasions, Chinese like to colour their eggs red. If you do not colour the eggs properly, the eggs will stain your hand or when you touch it. Therefore, it is important that your eggs do not lose its colour when you hold it.

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  • In a bowl, put some colour gel or permitted food colouring. Add few drops of vinegar. Stir well.

  • When ready, transfer your hard boiled eggs directly from the pot that it was cooked and use a spoon to roll the eggs. The hotter the egg, the easier it is. Continue rolling until you get your desired colour tone. It will dry very fast because of the heat inside the eggs. Look for any areas not covered with the colouring and make sure the colour is as even as possible.

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4。POACHED EGGS (水波蛋)

As per Wikipedia:

A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching, that is, in simmering liquid. This method of preparation is favoured because a very consistent and predictable result can be attained with precise timing, as the boiling point of water removes the temperature variable from the cooking process. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poached_egg)

A poached egg is consider as perfect if all the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny. It is good to be served in soups or with breads.

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  • In a hot pot of water, add one teaspoon of vinegar. Let it boil under high heat and once boiled, turn down to low heat and let it simmer.

  • Crack your eggs in a bowl or some kitchen utensils, slowly place it in the water. Don’t stir the water. If you want to stir the water, it must be done in a circular motion quickly such that the egg whites would not dispersed the the near by areas. Let it simmer until all the egg whites solidify.

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5。SCRAMBLED EGGS (炒蛋)

Per Wikipedia:

Scrambled eggs is a dish made from whites and yolks of eggs (usually chicken eggs). Eggs are poured into a hot greased pan and coagulate almost immediately. The heat is turned down to low and the eggs are constantly stirred as they cook. The pan and the stirring implement, if kept in constant motion, create small and soft curds of egg. (Source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambled_eggs)

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  • In a big mixing bowl,  put some eggs. Put in some milk and beat until the eggs are well “mixed”, The purpose of this step is just to ensure the egg yolks and the egg whites are well beaten, You can also used a hand whisk to whisk it.

  • In a frying pan, put in some butters (or other cooking oils of your choice) and melt the butter.

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  • Pour in the beaten eggs and constantly stir it. Once the eggs have solidify into smaller curds, off the heat, add in seasonings such as salt and pepper and scoop up to a plate for servings.

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6.  EGGS OMELETE (蛋饼)

Per Wikipedia:

In cuisine, an omelette or omelette is a dish made from beaten eggs quickly cooked with butter or oil in a frying pan, sometimes folded around a filling such as cheese, vegetables, meat(often ham), or some combination of the above. To obtain a fluffy texture, whole eggs or sometimes only egg whites are beaten with a small amount of milk or cream, or even water, the idea being to have “bubbles” of water vapour trapped within the rapidly cooked eggs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omelette)

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In this illustration, I have prepared seaweed omelette with tomatoes. An omelette is deemed perfect if both sides have solidified whereas the insides are still moist but not runny. Milk is usually used to achieve that effect. Please refer the scrambled eggs above.

  • Follow the steps as mentioned in scrambled eggs above. Add in the seaweeds to the eggs. Add seasonings or your choice.

  • In a big shallow frying pans, add in the seaweed beaten eggs. Let it fried the bottom layer start to solidify.

  • Add in cut tomatoes strips and when all the eggs are not runny in the centre, fold into half.

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7.  BRAISED EGGS (卤蛋)

Chinese like to braise eggs and usually the eggs were braised together with meat broth such as from braising of ducks, pork belly etc. It appeared in Chinese cuisines such as Kuey Chap, a Teochew type of flat broad rice sheets and served with dark braised meat broth.

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To prepare Chinese styled braised eggs:

  • In a sauce pan, stir fry big pieces of galangal, garlics and gingers until aromatic. Add cups of dark soya sauce diluted with adequate to cover the meat or eggs that are to be braised. Bring to boil under high heat.

  • Once boiled, turn to medium heat, add in five spice powder,  some rock sugars and items to be braised including eggs.

  • Depending on the items to be braised, if without meat, eggs will need about 15 minutes before the colour sets in the eggs.

  • Off the heat and let the eggs sits in the broth for another 15 minutes for the flavour to penetrate the eggs.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing braised eggs and bean curd. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D10 – Braised Eggs and Taukwa (卤蛋和豆干).

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8. STEAMED EGGS (蒸蛋)

Steamed eggs is another common household dish for Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese. It is also common in Korean and Japanese cuisines. The challenges of steamed eggs is to ensure that the eggs are flat, soft and without any bubbles or holes appearing on the eggs. In order to achieve that, one important point to note is the usage of boiled water when making the egg solution. If tap were used, the water is full of air or oxygen and this will cause the steamed eggs to have lots of holes. Cooked water are free of air and therefore when steamed, the eggs will be silky and soft.

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  • In a big bowl, crack one egg and add in about half a cup of cooked or boiled water (meat broth can also be used). If you want it softer, you can add in more water., Add in all your preferred seasonings, beat until well combined. Sieved and put in a bowl to steam at medium heat.

  • It is considered as done when the eggs are set. Drizzle with additional seasoning such as sesame oils, light soya sauce if necessary.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing steamed eggs. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D8-Steamed Tofu With Eggs (豆腐蒸蛋)

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The following is another simple recipe you can try: Crack one egg, add 1/2 teaspoon of corn flour, add one cup of warm to hot water, stir until well combined. Sift the egg mixture to a steaming bowl and steamed under medium to high heat for 15 minutes. You should have a bowl of nice smooth steamed egg.

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9. ADDING EGGS TO CHINESE SOUP (蛋花)- Egg Flower or Egg Drop Soup

Certain Chinese cuisines required soups to be thickened with egg solution. In the illustration, I have used some old images that I have photographed for the preparation of Lor Mee. A type of noodle dish where braised meat broth were first diluted and further thickened by using eggs and starches. A perfect addition of eggs should see small pieces of eggs floating in the soup or broth and there should be no lumps of eggs in the soup.

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  • Slightly beat your eggs until well mixed.

  • Use high heat to bring to boil. Once the soup is boiling, slowly add in the beaten eggs and use a ladle to stir the soup in a circular motion as quickly as possible. In that case, you will be able to break the egg solutions even before it solidifies.

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There is a detail pictorial instruction of using the same method to prepare another Chinese starchy soup. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe S6 – Vegetarian Shark Fin Melon Soup (素鱼翅瓜羹)



10. FRIED EGGS (煎蛋)

Everybody how to fry an egg and there is nothing much to say about egg frying techniques except one point. In order to have a “sunny top” type of eggs, you can consider the procedures below. If you follow the procedure, your egg yolks will not be easily broken.

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  • Heat up your frying pan and put a teaspoon of oil (optional).

  • Crack your eggs and put a few drops of water around the frying pan. Cover the frying pan to capture the water vapour.

  • Open the cover as soon as the egg is set and egg white is cooked. Off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Note that this way of frying eggs is possible without any oils (if using a non stick pan). You can heat your frying pan under high heat, crack your eggs and off the heat immediately. Put a few drops of water around the frying pan and cover the frying pan immediately and let the water vapour cook the top part of the egg yolk. Once the egg white is cooked, the top part of the egg yolk should also have cooked while inside, the egg yolk remains runny. You may want to refer to my Nasi Goreng Aruk  post on how to fry eggs without oil.

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11.  Lava Eggs (溏心蛋)- Ni-tamago

Ni-tamago or lava egg is an Japanese style of cooking eggs usually served with ramen. It is supposed to be with a well cooked firm egg whites but with a semi cooked runny gooey yolks. To prepare this is not really difficult。

WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons of mirin (Japanese rice wine)
  • 4 tablespoons  of Japanese light soya sauce
  • 2 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 2 cups of water

STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • In a pot, heat up the water, sugar, mirin and light soya sauce until sugar dissolved. Set aside for later use.
  • In another pot, put adequate water to cover the eggs. Place the eggs in the cold water. Bring the water to boil under medium heat.Once it boil, let it boil for 30 seconds.

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  • When it reaches 30 seconds, cover the pot with the lid and 10 seconds later off the heat. Let it rest in the hot boiling water (with heat off and lid covered) for another 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, transfer the eggs to another pot of icy cold water. Let it rest in the icy water until when the egg is not hot to touch.  Peel the shell in the egg in a pool of cold water. Transferred the peeled eggs to the about marinate. Marinate the eggs for at least 4-8 hours before serving. For serving, use a dental floss to cut across the eggs carefully.

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On more other egg related dishes, you can refer here:

 

 

 

 

 

 



  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 28 July 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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Guaishushu’s Report Card–Top 30 posts For The First Blogging Year From 1-5-2013 t0 30-4-2014

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TOP 30 POSTS DURING THE FIRST BLOGGING YEAR FROM 1-MAY 2013 TO 30 APRIL 2014

These posts have squeezed in the top 30 listing. However,bearing in mind that some posts are issued and some posts are issued for a shorter period of time. What shocked me is entry No.14 – Pandan Huat Kuih that was only issued in one day. Please clicked on the blue coloured linked or the pictures to enter individual post if you are interested.


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

2   Creams and Milk Make These Buns Worth To Try –Hokkaido Soft Milk Buns

3   Huat Kueh- Chinese Steamed Rice Flour Cake–A Cake That Brings You Luck And Prosperity

4    The Plights of Kuey Neng Ko…The Traditional Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake…

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5   Easy Peasy Muah Chee(花生芝麻糍粑)

6   Extra Large Chinese Barbecue Pork Buns–Char Siu Bao (蜜汁叉烧包)

7   Another Alternative To Butter Cake–Cream Cheese Butter Cake (奶酪牛油蛋糕)

8   My Childhood Cake–Bee Hive Cake/Malaysian Honey Comb Cake or Kueh Sarang Semut (蜂巢蛋糕)

EASY PEASY BASIC MUFFIN RECIPE

10  What A Golf Ball Have To Do With A Pineapple? Well, It Is The Famous South East Asian Pineapple Tarts

11  Baked or Steamed,You Decide Yourself–Glutinous Rice Cake, Nian Gao (年糕)

12  Condensed Milk That Are Not Sweet? Home Made Condensed Milk

13  One, Two, Three…….Let’s Start Making Traditional Short Bread Biscuits.

 

14  An Auspicious Steamed Cake To Celebrate My Blog Anniversary–Pandan Huat Kuih (香兰发糕)

15  Yoghurt + Condensed Milk + Cream + Grapefruit = Grapefruit Yoghurt Ice Cream

16  This Is Different From Kek Lapis, This is Kueh Lapis–Nonya Kueh Lapis

 

17  Eggs, Eggs, Eggs….. Join Me To Cook Eggs….

18  Old Man Like Old Cuisines–Traditional Butterfly Cupcakes    

19  Not A Lapis Legit But A Rich Dense Lapis–Lapis Horlicks (Horlicks Layered Cake)

20  Another Uniquely Chinese Cuisine–Chinese Style Barbecue Pork–Char Siu (蜜汁叉烧)

21  I Have Decided To Make My Own Japanese Curry Roux–Japanese Curry Chicken Rice

22  A Noodle Dish That Chinese Sarawakian Would Not Be Able To Let Go… Sarawak Kolo Mee

23  Another Lapis For Your Consideration–Cream Cheese Chocolate Lapis Cake

24  Nothing To Shout About–A Simple Walnut Butter Cake

25  Out Of Gift Ideas This Christmas? Try Some Homemade Marshmallows

26  Hey, This is not Italian Meat Rolls, It Is Chinese Meat Rolls Called Ngoh Hiang

27 My Mum’s Tapioca Cake–Steamed Tapioca Cake Or Kuih Ubi Kayu (木薯蒸糕)

28 Homesick Buns? Yes, I am homesick of Sarawak Style Butter Buns..

29 My Steamed Sponge Cake (Kuey Neng Ko) Is Full Of Gas。。。。 (汽水鸡蛋糕)

30 Lets Have Something Different–Steamed Cream Cheese Layered Cake


5 POSTS THAT I THINK IT SHOULD BE IN BUT NOT IN THE LISTING

These are posts that I believed should squeeze in the top 30 listing but probably not because of their late issuance or lack of promotion of the posts.


“40 Minutes Bread Roll” with Sarawak Butter Bun’s Filling (四十分钟快速面包和特有牛油馅)

A Cuisine With A Long Chinese History– Dongpo Meat (东波肉)

Hey, I have invented my own Sarawak Laksa Paste Recipe !!!……… An In Depth Analysis and Pictorial Procedural Description Of The Famous Sarawak Laksa (PART II)

Back To Basics–Modified Traditional Butter Pound Cake

Back To Traditional Recipe of 1egg:1sugar:1flour- Traditional Steamed Sponge Cake (古早味鸡蛋糕)


CONCLUSION

Guaishushushu have issued slightly more than 300 recipes last year and the above accounted for about 10% of the recipes. If you are interested to get more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX  here. Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.



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

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If you are a Pinterest user and you are interested to have more recipes, you can join or follow this Pinterest Board set up by me  where there are more than 1800 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

You can also join the Food Bloggers and Foodies United Group Facebook Group to see more recipes. Currently there are about 4500 members sharing various food photos . I would be more than happy if you can  post in Groups for the recipes that you tried from Guaishushu’s blog.

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What I Cooked Today Series (Special Post)- 2013 Mid Autumn Festival

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INTRODUCTION

I have not forgotten about this series –  “What I Cooked Today Series”! I have discontinued for a while because I am a vegetarian and the dishes were usually cooked by my mother in law who is visiting me. Therefore, I can’t claim the credit of the dishes cooked if I posted it.

Well this series will be starting soon in one two weeks time after end of my vegetarian diet. This year, I have calculated wrongly about the starting date of my diet, therefore, I am having slightly more than 2 months of vegetarian diet and it was pointed out by my neighbour when I keep on rejecting her meat dishes. She asked curiously why the diet is so long this year, she said it cannot be ! I asked my wife to recalculate again and yes, we are wrong as both of us are not that concern about anniversary dates.

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Yesterday is the Mid Autumn Festival, one of the very big festivals for the Chinese worldwide. Even People’s Republic of China’s government have declared this day as a holiday in recent years. Usually, in big festivals, family gathering and get together is very important.

I only confirmed to invite my nephew’s family for dinner yesterday morning and I told them that I would only cooked what I have at home. As they are my very close relatives, I need not really concerned about what I should cooked as he have been staying with me for the past few years. I did not have the time to plan for the meal as I have to take care of the kids and I have to rush out my report for Eight Treasure Porridge.

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I only started cooking at 4.00 pm in the afternoon. I looked at the fridge, I have some tofu, one pumpkin, one luffa, some chicken fillets, some asparaguses, minced meats, chicken thighs, drumsticks and fish fillets.

What influenced my dish menu last night was what I perceived what my family members like to have. I know anything soft and silky will be welcomed by them, so tofu and pumpkins would be good choices.

While the family always have bitter gourd with minced meat, but luffa with minced meat is something new to them. In addition, my kids loved luffa so luffa with minced meat was in the menu.

Preparing these two dishes had resulted some mesh pumpkins, minced meat and tofu left, therefore, I have decided to turn these 3 ingredients into  a dish.



PORK STUFFED LUFFA (丝瓜酿肉碎)

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This is a dish adapted from pork stuffed bitter gourd (苦瓜酿肉碎). The luffa was first de-skinned, and cut into 2 cm chunks. Make a hole in the centre and set aside. Minced pork were marinated for about 10 minutes with sesame oil, corn flour, light soya sauce, flavour enhancers, sugar, pepper, chopped coriander leaves and chopped winter vegetables. Stuff the minced pork into the hole of the luffa chunks, placed it in a serving plate nicely and put a goof berry on top of minced meat for garnishing. Before steaming, put some water in the plate of the meat stuffed luffa. (A bit of water is important as it will speed up the process of cooking the luffa. The luffa will be “water bathed” causing it easier to get cooked). Steamed for about 20 minutes or until your luffa is soft.  More juices will be secreted out and these gravy was very tasty as it was essentially a meat and vegetable broth.  You can put some corn starch to thicken this juices if desirable.

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TOFUS SAIL IN PUMPKIN SEA (豆腐金瓜海)

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I have to admit that I do not know how to name this dish. Since it looks like a seas of mashed pumpkins, I  named this as “tofu sail pumpkin seas”. Firstly, I cut opened a pumpkin, de-seeded and steamed the pumpkin until the pumpkin was soft. I then scratched out the pumpkin flesh, put some sesame oils, salt, mushroom concentrate, mixed well and let the mashed pumpkin to cool.

Two packets of tofu’s were cut into 8 pieces and arrange in a serving plate. I used a teaspoon to make a hole on the tofu, put some mashed pumpkins to cover the hole. Use the remaining pumpkin to put beside the tofu and steamed for about 10 minutes. Surprisingly, the tofu and pumpkins really blends well.

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MINCED PORK FRIED WITH MASHED PUMPKINS AND TOFUS (山寨蟹粉豆腐)

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From the above two dishes, I have some mashed pumpkin left , some tofu left (from making a hole in the tofu cubes), some minced meat left (as I have prepared one package of minced meat for the luffa dish, therefore, I still have about half of the minced meat left). With these 3 ingredients, I have decided to mash the tofu and fried these 3 ingredients together.

I first stir fried some spring onion (white part) in a frying pan of hot oil until aromatic, followed by the minced meat and once the meat was 50% cooked, add the mesh pumpkin and mesh tofu. Stir fried for another 2-3 minutes, add white pepper, sugar, light soya sauce and salt and it become a rather presentable dish..like the famous Shanghai dish, “Tofu With Hairy Crab Roe”. Therefore I have named this dish in Mandarin the “Fake Tofu With Hairy Crab Roe”.

The dish was very tasty and smooth, it is well liked by the kids because of the aromatic spring onions.  I have placed the cooked dish in the empty shell of the pumpkin for serving.

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BLANCHED ASPARAGUS WITH CHICKEN FILLETS (芦笋鸡柳)

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This is really an easy dish.

Asparagus were de-skinned (depends on whether it is too mature or not) and cut into same length. Chicken fillet were first cut into the desired sizes, marinated with sesame oil, pepper and light soya sauce for about 10 minutes,

Have a pot of boiling hot water, drizzle a few drops of cooking oil and pinches of salt. Get ready a serving plate and put some oyster sauce on the plate.  Blanched the asparagus in the hot boiling water for 3 minutes and dip in icy cold cooked water.

Place these asparagus neatly in the serving plate on top of the oyster sauce. Coated the chicken fillet with some corn flours and blanched the chicken fillets in the hot boiling water for about 5 minutes. Scoop out and placed on top of the blanched asparagus. Sprinkled some fried shallots on top of the chicken and the dish was done.

This was definitely an easy and healthier dish as it involved no frying like the traditional method. Though I did not taste the asparagus but I can tell you that it was sweet as all the juices were being sealed inside the asparagus via blanching method of cooking.

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CENTURY EGGS WITH PICKLED GINGER (皮蛋酸姜)

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This dish was usually treated an appetizer in Chinese full course dinners and did not really need any preparation. As I have quite a lot of pickled ginger left from my demonstration in Guaishushu’s Page, therefore, I have decided to prepare this dish as an appetizer. You may want to learn about how to prepare the pickled gingers HERE.



POMELO (柚子/文旦)

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When I was young, we did not celebrate Moon Cake Festivals with pomelo.

However, in recent years, it seemed that it is very common that pomelo became one of the festival fruit  during the  Moon Cake Festivals. I checked the internet, pomelo have the syllables as “have kids” (有子)in Mandarin, therefore, having pomelo means that it will bring you luck in conceiving a kid. Well, definitely not for me.

It is my usual way to de-skin my pomelo like what is in the picture to make it easier for my kids to eat. Therefore, all my kids loves to eat pomelo as they do not need to peel the internal white membranes separating the lobes in the fruit. They have been pampered, Unlike me, I never like to eat pomelo when I was young because of the difficulty to peel of the internal white membranes.



GREEN DATES (甜枣)

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This is nothing to do with this festival. I just spotted in the supermarket a few days ago and I really love these green dates. I always called it mini apples. In my humble opinion, it taste like apples and is a one bite size. I am able to finish one box within a day. I don’t know but I do believe it is a very healthy snack, much healthy than any carbohydrates and sugar loaded snacks. Yesterday, it was served together with pomelo after dinner.



MOONCAKES (月饼)

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I have a few boxes of moon cakes and I have decided to  serve a durian moon cake that my nephew gave me from the international “Three” Seasons Hotel.  However, I am rather disappointed with the moon cakes. Put in bluntly, it is just pure durian flesh wrapped in snow skin. When you eat the moon cakes, it is very soft and just like when one is eating fresh durian (though it don’t taste that fresh any more after so many days).

It was definitely not cheap and my nephew told me even after discount, one small moon cake cost SGD 12. I honestly believed that should I received the moon cake earlier, I will be able to replicate the moon cake  .. and how much is one durian is this season? May be 3 durians for SGD 10?  Well the one below is equally disappointing as they have incorporate orange flavour in the lotus seeds fillings.

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Lastly, I hoped that you like my cooking adventures today and unlike previous festivals, I have cooked something very simple. In other festivals, majority were meat dishes and I managed to locate an old picture in my Facebook to share with you. This was taken by one of my nieces in 2012 to celebrate Chap Goh Me (元宵)during Chinese New Year.

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Have a nice day and cheers.

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How About An Eggless, Butter Less, Milk Less Chocolate Almond Cup Cakes?

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UPDATED POST ON 5-11-2014

I will include in this post another recipe that I have developed this morning, it is gluten free, dairy free, egg less and fatless. It is a rather healthy moist and aromatic snack.  I hope this post will benefit those who are on a certain diet.

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It is the same recipe for both cookies and cupcakes. For cookies just make it in smaller size and bake slightly longer.. It can be crispy or chewy. It will not be as crispy as those using flour.

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Taste wise is satisfactory. You can imagine taking some almond meal, add some cocoa powder, water and sugar.. It is definitely acceptable to most. Please scroll down for the second recipe.

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INTRODUCTION

Seriously, when I looked at the recipe, I was curious how it would turn out to be. When I prepared the batter and baking, I am even more doubtful about its outcome.. I did not have any picture to compare and I did not know whether what I have prepared and baked was correct or not. Not until I took the first bite this morning that I am confident to issue this post…

This is an eggless, butter less and milk less cup cake that I have adapted from a 2003 recipe. I have printed out this recipe as early as year 2005 when I just started to have interest in doing some baking. Then, I have been cracking my head to look for recipes that were suitable for niche markets like health conscious people or people that are less fortunate like diabetes . While flipping my recipe file yesterday, I saw this piece of printed paper and I thought I might wanted to give it a try.

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While I am writing this post, I try searching this recipe in All Recipes Cake Recipes website, I am rather happy that the recipe is still there but with no picture, that proves that it is a very old recipe. The recipe was submitted by Ms. Kathy Thurston and some body named Ms. Bernadette Beaupre had gave some explanation of this cake:

“This cake comes in handy when all you have left in the cupboard is the tin soups just before shopping day. It really was a treat served warm when we came in from the cold. And it was c-o-l-l-l-d-d-d, North of 53′. Sprinkle brown sugar or dust confectioner’s sugar over the top.” — Bernadette Beaupre (Source: All Recipes Cake Recipes website,)

Since it is an eggless, butter less and milk less, what should be the structure liked. If you looked at the recipe in detail in later part of the post, you will note that there are some shortening and water. Butter less can be substituted with cooking oil or vegetable shortening (as in this recipe) and milk less can be substituted with any liquids (be it eggs or water). Therefore, the crucial element that determine the outcome of the cup cake will be eggs.

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Eggs have the role of supporting the structure of the cup cake or in general any baked products. They are binder which help to hold the ingredients together. In addition, it contributed to the liquid component in a cake recipe. Therefore, it is expected that without eggs, the cake will be dense and the rising of the cake will depend entirely with the leavening agents such as baking powder and baking soda. 

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I am worry about whether the dense cake will be dry and difficult to swallow. The conclusion is not, as the recipe have minimal vegetable shortenings and some liquids which is adequate to make the cake moist.

In this recipe, I have increased the amount of water, addition of cocoa powder and some almonds chunks. The final baked products were well beyond my expectations and I concurred it was some form of good snacks. As I was experimenting with this recipe, I have reduced the volumes and managed to make 4 small cup cakes. As with any other cakes, serving with additional sauces and whipped cream will heighten the palate to another level.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipes adapted from: Eggless, Butter less and Milk less Recipe by Kathy Thurston (make 8 cup cakes)

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  • 2 cups plain four

  • 1 cup white sugar

  • 1 cup almond chunks

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening

  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius and get ready some cup cake moulds.

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  • In a sauce pan under medium heat, bring  the vegetable shortenings, water and sugar to boil and continue boiling for about 2 minutes.

  • Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda together into the liquid.

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  • Use a spatula to stir the batter until it is well mixed.

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  • Stir in the almond chunks and ensure it is well mixed.

  • Scoop into the paper cups for cup cakes and baked in the oven for about 20 minutes or when the skewer inserted come out clean.

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CONCLUSION

This is a rather unusual cake. So who should prepare this? In fact this cake is very suitable for people who are vegetarian in accordance with Buddhist principles.

In my circle of friends, I have a few friends who are vegetarians. However, though all are  vegetarians, there are certain ingredients that fell into “grey area” and subject to arguments.

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One of the ingredients is eggs. Some of my vegetarian friends do not eat eggs as they believed there may be an embryo attached to the eggs. However, other Buddhist vegetarians believed that current eggs are commercially “produced”, therefore , it is impossible to have any embryos in the eggs.  Even if you hatch the eggs, no chicks will be born,

Another two special ingredients are two diary products, milks and butters. Some vegetarian will not touch any food “produced” by an animals, therefore milks and butters were excluded in their diets. Whereas some choose to believe that as there is no need to kill a cow to get milks and butters, therefore, these can be included in the vegetarian diets.

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These belies have an impact in pastry terms. Every year, when I baked my pineapple tarts for my relatives and friends, I will have to bake two types, the normal with milk, eggs and butter and another version, which is rather hard to prepare that is eggless, milk less and butter less! Of course the onus will lie on me to find relevant substitute for the ingredients.

Hope you like this rather strange post today. But, I have to admit that looking at the picture, you may not be convinced until you take a bite of it. Have a nice day and cheers.

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RECIPE 2 – GLUTEN FREE, DAIRY FREE, EGG LESS AND FATLESS CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE AND COOKIES

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

  • 1 cup of almond meal or almond flour
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160 degree Celsius
  • Mix all the ingredients above until well combined
  • Transfer to cup cakes cup .
  • Baked in the pre-heated oven at 160 degree Celsius for about 15 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean

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  • For cookies, add about 1/8 teaspoon of baking powder to the batter, bake at 160 degree Celsius for about 20 minutes. Let it sit in the tray for 5 minutes before transfer to the rack for cooling. If you want it to be crispier, can extend baking time by another 5-10 minutes.

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  • For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX (updated as at 15 October 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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Eggs, Eggs, Eggs….. Join Me To Cook Eggs….

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INTRODUCTION

I doubt if any one from my generation have never try eggs and if they try, never like eggs. Of course they are some unfortunate people in this world that have egg allergy and can only have cakes or other cuisines that are eggless. Bearing this in mind, I would think that majority of the people (at least in my circles of friends) would not reject the offer of a simple fried egg dish to go with their meal.

I do not wish to elaborate more about eggs but this special egg write up is with the intention for the submission of “Little Thumbs Up: Eggs (August 2013)” and Ms. Yen Simpson have a quite a detail write up of all sorts of eggs in her blog here.



WAYS OF COOKING EGGS

There are many ways of cooking eggs and this post will by pass all the descriptive flowery languages and go straight to the following ways of cooking eggs. You may have known this better than me but just took some time to read if there are any thing that you can add to my post and constructively criticise about my ways of making eggs. The methods that will be covered here are:

  1. Soft Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)
  2. Hard Boiled Eggs (水煮蛋)
  3. Coloured Eggs (上色蛋)
  4. Poached Eggs (水波蛋)
  5. Scrambled Eggs (炒蛋)
  6. Eggs Omelette (蛋饼)
  7. Braised Eggs (卤蛋)
  8. Steamed Eggs (蒸蛋)
  9. Adding eggs to Chinese Soups (蛋花)
  10. Fried Eggs (煎蛋)


1。2。SOFT BOILED EGGS AND HARD BOILED EGGS (水煮蛋)

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To have perfect soft boiled eggs and hard boiled eggs, there are some timings that need to be followed An over boiled egg will have solid egg yolks slightly bluish in colour.  If it is fresh farm eggs, additional 5 minutes is needed. It is easier to boil eggs keep in the refrigerator than those keep at room temperature.

In a big pot filled with water, add in two big tablespoon of vinegar (to prevent egg whites flow out in the event the eggs crack), one teaspoon of salt and bring the water to boil under high heat. Once boiled, turn to medium heat to let the water simmer. Place the eggs using a spoon and gently lower down to the pot. The range of timing to get the desired textures of eggs are as follows (source: :adapted from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Soft-Boiled-Egg)

  • 2 minutes – very soft yolk and egg whites
  • 3 minutes – the white is set and the yolk is just starting to thicken
  • 4 minutes – the white and yolk are set, with the centre of the yolk still creamy.
  • 5 minutes – the white and yolk are set with centre starting to set
  • 10 minutes – the white and yolk are all set
  • Any further timing than this will result the eggs yolks to start turning to a bluish colour.

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Please note the colour changes of the egg yolks.



3。COLOURED EGGS (上色蛋)

At birthday or other important occasions, Chinese like to colour their eggs red. If you do not colour the eggs properly, the eggs will stain your hand or when you touch it. Therefore, it is important that your eggs do not lose its colour when you hold it.

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  • In a bowl, put some colour gel or permitted food colouring. Add few drops of vinegar. Stir well.

  • When ready, transfer your hard boiled eggs directly from the pot that it was cooked and use a spoon to roll the eggs. The hotter the egg, the easier it is. Continue rolling until you get your desired colour tone. It will dry very fast because of the heat inside the eggs. Look for any areas not covered with the colouring and make sure the colour is as even as possible.

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4。POACHED EGGS (水波蛋)

As per Wikipedia:

A poached egg is an egg that has been cooked by poaching, that is, in simmering liquid. This method of preparation is favoured because a very consistent and predictable result can be attained with precise timing, as the boiling point of water removes the temperature variable from the cooking process. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poached_egg)

A poached egg is consider as perfect if all the egg whites are cooked and the yolks are still runny. It is good to be served in soups or with breads.

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  • In a hot pot of water, add one teaspoon of vinegar. Let it boil under high heat and once boiled, turn down to low heat and let it simmer.

  • Crack your eggs in a bowl or some kitchen utensils, slowly place it in the water. Don’t stir the water. If you want to stir the water, it must be done in a circular motion quickly such that the egg whites would not dispersed the the near by areas. Let it simmer until all the egg whites solidify.

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5。SCRAMBLED EGGS (炒蛋)

Per Wikipedia:

Scrambled eggs is a dish made from whites and yolks of eggs (usually chicken eggs). Eggs are poured into a hot greased pan and coagulate almost immediately. The heat is turned down to low and the eggs are constantly stirred as they cook. The pan and the stirring implement, if kept in constant motion, create small and soft curds of egg. (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scrambled_eggs)

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  • In a big mixing bowl,  put some eggs. Put in some milk and beat until the eggs are well “mixed”, The purpose of this step is just to ensure the egg yolks and the egg whites are well beaten, You can also used a hand whisk to whisk it.

  • In a frying pan, put in some butters (or other cooking oils of your choice) and melt the butter.

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  • Pour in the beaten eggs and constantly stir it. Once the eggs have solidify into smaller curds, off the heat, add in seasonings such as salt and pepper and scoop up to a plate for servings.

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6.  EGGS OMELETE (蛋饼)

Per Wikipedia:

In cuisine, an omelette or omelette is a dish made from beaten eggs quickly cooked with butter or oil in a frying pan, sometimes folded around a filling such as cheese, vegetables, meat (often ham), or some combination of the above. To obtain a fluffy texture, whole eggs or sometimes only egg whites are beaten with a small amount of milk or cream, or even water, the idea being to have “bubbles” of water vapour trapped within the rapidly cooked eggs. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omelette)

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In this illustration, I have prepared seaweed omelette with tomatoes. An omelette is deemed perfect if both sides have solidified whereas the insides are still moist but not runny. Milk is usually used to achieve that effect. Please refer the scrambled eggs above.

  • Follow the steps as mentioned in scrambled eggs above. Add in the seaweeds to the eggs. Add seasonings or your choice.

  • In a big shallow frying pans, add in the seaweed beaten eggs. Let it fried the bottom layer start to solidify.

  • Add in cut tomatoes strips and when all the eggs are not runny in the centre, fold into half.

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7.  BRAISED EGGS (卤蛋)

Chinese like to braise eggs and usually the eggs were braised together with meat broth such as from braising of ducks, pork belly etc. It appeared in Chinese cuisines such as Kuey Chap, a Teochew type of flat broad rice sheets and served with dark braised meat broth.

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To prepare Chinese styled braised eggs:

  • In a sauce pan, stir fry big pieces of galangal, garlics and gingers until aromatic. Add cups of dark soya sauce diluted with adequate to cover the meat or eggs that are to be braised. Bring to boil under high heat.

  • Once boiled, turn to medium heat, add in five spice powder,  some rock sugars and items to be braised including eggs.

  • Depending on the items to be braised, if without meat, eggs will need about 15 minutes before the colour sets in the eggs.

  • Off the heat and let the eggs sits in the broth for another 15 minutes for the flavour to penetrate the eggs.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing braised eggs and bean curd. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D10 – Braised Eggs and Taukwa (卤蛋和豆干).

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8. STEAMED EGGS (蒸蛋)

Steamed eggs is another common household dish for Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese. It is also common in Korean and Japanese cuisines. The challenges of steamed eggs is to ensure that the eggs are flat, soft and without any bubbles or holes appearing on the eggs. In order to achieve that, one important point to note is the usage of boiled water when making the egg solution. If tap were used, the water is full of air or oxygen and this will cause the steamed eggs to have lots of holes. Cooked water are free of air and therefore when steamed, the eggs will be silky and soft.

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  • In a big bowl, crack one egg and add in about half a cup of cooked or boiled water (meat broth can also be used). If you want it softer, you can add in more water., Add in all your preferred seasonings, beat until well combined. Sieved and put in a bowl to steam at medium heat.

  • It is considered as done when the eggs are set. Drizzle with additional seasoning such as sesame oils, light soya sauce if necessary.

There is a detail pictorial instruction of preparing steamed eggs. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe  D8-Steamed Tofu With Eggs (豆腐蒸蛋)

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9. ADDING EGGS TO CHINESE SOUP (蛋花)

Certain Chinese cuisines required soups to be thickened with egg solution. In the illustration, I have used some old images that I have photographed for the preparation of Lor Mee. A type of noodle dish where braised meat broth were first diluted and further thickened by using eggs and starches. A perfect addition of eggs should see small pieces of eggs floating in the soup or broth and there should be no lumps of eggs in the soup.

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  • Slightly beat your eggs until well mixed.

  • Use high heat to bring to boil. Once the soup is boiling, slowly add in the beaten eggs and use a ladle to stir the soup in a circular motion as quickly as possible. In that case, you will be able to break the egg solutions even before it solidifies.

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There is a detail pictorial instruction of using the same method to prepare another Chinese starchy soup. Please refer to Guaishushu’s page recipe S6 – Vegetarian Shark Fin Melon Soup (素鱼翅瓜羹)



10. FRIED EGGS (煎蛋)

Everybody how to fry an egg and there is nothing much to say about egg frying techniques except one point. In order to have a “sunny top” type of eggs, you can consider the procedures below. If you follow the procedure, your egg yolks will not be easily broken.

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  • Heat up your frying pan and put a teaspoon of oil (optional).

  • Crack your eggs and put a few drops of water around the frying pan. Cover the frying pan to capture the water vapour.

  • Open the cover as soon as the egg is set and egg white is cooked. Off the heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Note that this way of frying eggs is possible without any oils (if using a non stick pans). You can heat your frying pan under high heat, crack your eggs and off the heat immediately. Put a few drops of water around the frying pan and cover the frying pan immediately and let the water vapour cook the top part of the egg yolk. Once the egg white is cooked, the top part of the egg yolk should also have cooked while inside, the egg yolk remains runny. You may want to refer to my Nasi Goreng Aruk  post on how to fry eggs without oil.

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On more other egg related dishes, you can refer here:



CONLCUSION

Everybody knows how to cook eggs. This post is just a summary of various ways of cooking eggs and of course there are still many other ways to cook eggs. This post will be classified as “special cooking ingredients” series. In the series, there are two other special cooking ingredients which are chillies and belachan.

This is a post that have been compiled over a period of almost a week. Hope you  like the post and share with me additional methods of cooking eggs. Cheers and have a nice day ahead.


I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up “Eggs” event organized by organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.

 

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One Number Baking Ratio Adventures Continues… Grapefruit Cognac Pound Cake With Grapefruit Posset…

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INTRODUCTION

One number baking ratio adventures continues and gradually extends to other pastry. I have explained in this post about how I want to apply this ratio to cup cakes, muffins, fruit cakes, layered cakes and other pound cakes. The main objective is to further testify this ratio and giving assurance that this easy to remember simple ratio will beneficial lazy people like me. Very briefly, Guaishushu believes that egg : flour : sugar : butter : milk (or other liquids) can be 1 : 1 : 1 : 1 : 1, hence called it “one number baking ratio”.  You may also be interested in the following posts based on principle of one number baking ratio:

Today, he is going to twist a little bit to become a fruity pound cake and served with grapefruit posset – a traditional Western drink/dessert.

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ONE NUMBER BAKING RATIO VS FRENCH’S QUATRE à QUATRE

As one reader pointed out that the ratios that I am using is basically the “quatre à quatre” ratio used in French cake making and I am basically just reinventing the wheels and revert back to the traditional ratios.

I tends to agree  with this and in fact, I am ignorant about the above ratios before the reader pointed out. I have to thank him for his knowledgeable input.

It is really a coincidence that all the while I am fond of using one number and it would be ideal if it applies to all cakes. I have written in the reply to the reader: I do not think that I am brilliant enough to create a good theory as cooking is just my passion! However, if you analyse in details,“quatre à quatre” ratio differs from Guaishushu’s “one number baking ratio” in that there is a portion of milk (or other liquids) which I insisted to be included in this ratio. So, Guaishushu is just promoting this modified traditional ratios instead of remembering different ratios for different ingredients and for different cakes.

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WHY THIS CAKE?

Grapefruit again? Yes, though Guaishushu just issued a post on Grapefruit Chiffon Cake – Grapefruit Chiffon with Grapefruit Citrus Glaze,… Ever Try This?, however, as grapefruit is very cheap in Singapore this month, I can’t help but to grab another 5 large and juicy grapefruits for SGD2.85 and I am thinking of preparing some other cakes with this fruit. While thinking of what cake to bake, i realized that I have a cognac sitting in my kitchen shelf for many years that I have never used it because I am allergic to alcohol. In fact, when I tried to open it, the cork on the bottle have broken (too dry) and I have to sift the alcohol and transfer to another small bottles.

This cake is rather simple to make and again it is based on Guaishushu’s one number baking ratio. To make is slightly different, I have substituted some portion of milk with grapefruit juices and  addition of some grapefruit peels. With the aim of differentiating this cake with other cakes, I have made the cake slightly pinkish and of course all these colouring are optional.

Note that the recipe applies equally well to an orange cake. Just substitute grapefruits with oranges.

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SELECTION OF GRAPEFRUITS AND PREPARATION OF GRAPEFRUIT PEELS

I will take this opportunity to share with readers about the selection of grapefruits that are juicy after many years of observation!

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The grapefruits on the left were smooth with lights reflection. As it is smooth, it implied that the air holes in the skin are very small and therefore moisture loss will be less than the grapefruit on the right. As contrast to grapefruit on the left, grapefruit on the right appeared to have more holes and if you touch it, you will find some unevenness on the surface. More moisture will be lost and at times, it will feel a bit like a sponge when you squeeze it. Therefore, when one buy a grapefruit, just ensure that it is smooth and full when you squeeze it.

Preparing The Grapefruit Peels

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I am peeling the grapefruit using the above peeler. I just peel in the S shape and a nice pattern will evolve. Try not to peel too deep as the white spongy skin can be rather bitter. Make sure the grapefruits or oranges was thoroughly wash before it the peeling begins. Cut into small strips and chopped fine before adding to the batter as required below.



WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 250 grams of white sugar (divided into 100 grams for beating of egg whites and 150 grams for beating of egg yolks)

  • 250 grams of self raising flours (sifted)

  • about 250 grams of egg white and egg yolks (about 5 eggs separated into egg yolks and egg whites) (Note below for calculation)

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  • 150 grams of milks (Note below for calculation) – Balancing

  • 100 grams of grapefruit juice (Note below for calculation) – Fixed

  • 150 gram of grapefruit peels

  • 5 tablespoons of rum or any other alcoholic drinks (cognac, whisky or others) – Optional

  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar (optional)

Note: Calculation of liquid required

In accordance to one number baking ratio – eggs plus milk should be equal to 500 grams.

Today, my eggs yolks and egg whites worked out to be  298 grams, therefore, the balancing of milk used is 500 grams (total milk + eggs) less 100 grams (grapefruit juice) less 298 grams (egg yolks + egg whites) =  102 grams of milk (actual usage after considering egg size)

 


STEPS OF PREPARATION

The steps of preparation will involve:

  • Beating of egg whites , creaming of butters, mixing of flours and folding of egg whites

  • Making of pinky patterns (optional)

  • Baking

  • Making the grapefruit posset (optional)

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Preparation…

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius



Beating of egg whites , creaming of butters, mixing of flours and folding of egg whites

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  • In a clean, grease free mixing bowl, add egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Beat using the machine whisk to whisk the egg whites until firm peak. Spoon the filling into a clean bowl and set aside for later use.

  • Change your whisk to a K beater, place your remaining 150 g sugar and butter, beat until light and creamy.

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  • Add in the grapefruit peels and eggs yolks and use slow speed to “mix” until well mixed. Eggs yolk should be added one by one and scrap the bottom of the bowl to ensure no unmixed egg yolk settled at the bottom of the mixing bowl.

  • Add in 1/3 of the sifted flours, add in 1/3 of milk and 1/3 of the grapefruit juice, used slow speed to mix together. Repeat for the other 2/3 portion. Off the machine and bring out the mixing bowl.

  • Once well mixed, fold in the egg white swiftly and lightly until the batter are smooth.



Making of pinky patterns (optional)…

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  • Take out about 1/4 of the of the batter and add 2 drops of red colouring (optional). Mix well.

  • In the greased cake tin (note that I have also slightly floured it but this is optional), start with 4 big tablespoons of the beige batter. Add 2 tablespoons of pink batter on top of the beige batters. Shake it slightly so that the batter spread over a wider surface. Add another 3 tablespoons of beige batter on top of the pink batters follow by 1 tablespoon of pink batter on top of the beige batter. Do the same for the next step using 2 tablespoons and finally one tablespoon until all the batter have finished. In the event you still have left over, just create another pattern with the batter that you have!



Baking….

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  • Shake the baking tin slightly and baked at 180 degree Celsius from the first 30 minutes.

  • Reduce the temperature to 150 degree Celsius and bake for another 15 minutes or until the top turn yellowish brown and until a skewer comes out clean.

  • Transfer it to a wire rack and let it cool for at least 1 hour before cutting the cake. It is best to let it rest overnight if time permits.

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Making of Grapefruit Posset

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

  • 120 grams of white sugar

  • 1.5 cups of cream

  • 150 grams of grapefruit

Note: Most posset will called for double thick cream, however, since I wanted it to use as some form of toppings, I will use normal cream for whipping. As such, the curdling will not be less strong and easier to pour.


STEPS OF PREPARATOIN

  • In a sauce pan, place the cream and sugar.

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  • Cooked under low heat and bring to boil and let it boil slowly for 2-3 minutes.

  • Off the heat and add in the grapefruit juice. Chilled for at least 3 hours or overnight.

  • Pour on top of the cake and let it drip naturally.

Note that whether you posset will successfully curdled will very much depends on the acidity of your grapefruit. If your grapefruit is sour, it will curdle easily. If it can’t curdle, add in few drops of fresh lemon juice. The use of normal cream and grapefruit juice will produce a posset that are slightly runny which is easier for you to pour on top of the cakes.

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CONCLUSION

A simple cake to make using one number baking ratio. However, the twist to add in grapefruit peels and cognac transformed it into a cake that is full of fruity and cognac fragrance. While posset is generally served with biscuits, the modified grapefruit posset goes well with this cake and will heighten and wake up one’s palate especially  with a cup of Earl Grey tea!

Hope you like this cake and have a nice day. Cheers

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I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up “Eggs” event organized by organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.

I am also submitting this to #recipeoftheweek and Marvelous Monday and Welcome to all My Bloggy Friends

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What I “Ate” Today (家常便饭系列)…. 17 August 2013- Special

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You may be surprised about this title! In fact, the title is not correct either. What I am going to post is not “what I cooked today” or “what I ate today”. It was a gathering at one of my relative’s house and she had cooked some Chinese dishes that are not common among Fujian or Guangdong Province.

My relative is from Jiangxi Province and therefore the food that she cooked were rather different! As you all know, Singaporean and Malaysian Chinese are descendants of immigrants mainly from the South Eastern Coastal Fujian and Guangdong Province.


JIANGXI CUISINES

Per Wikipedia:

Jiangxi (Chinese: 江西; pinyin: Jiāngxī; Wade–Giles: Chiang-hsi; Postal map spelling: Kiangsi, Gan: Kongsi) is a province in the People’s Republic of China, located in the southeast of the country. Spanning from the banks of the Yangtze River in the north into hillier areas in the south and east, it shares a border with Anhui to the north, Zhejiang to the northeast, Fujian to the east, Guangdong to the south, Hunan to the west, and Hubei to the northwest. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jiangxi)

As compared to Nanyang Chinese (Malaysian and Singaporean Chinese), in a household meal, they are more dishes but with a smaller portion. For us, we will usually serve 3 dishes and 1 soup, for them the dishes can be as many as 6-12 dishes. Today, the host is kind enough to cook us 7 dishes (excluding desserts and sweet soups). Jiangxi dishes were rather spicy (chilli hot) and as my kids were having meals with us, for some dishes, they have to prepare both the spicy and non spicy version.

Note than I am currently on a vegetarian  diet and since I did not told them in advance, I have taken my meals before joining them.  Therefore, I did not join them for meals.


SPICY AND SOUR SHREDDED POTATOES (酸辣土豆丝)

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Yes, this is my favourite. Potatoes were julienned into thin strips. There were then soaked in cold water until all the starch were gone. This will make the potatoes “crunchy” and water have to be changed regularly. Look at the thin strips, these were all manually done. They were then stir fried with spring onions, black vinegars and chilli. This is something that I have yet to share the cooking illustrations with readers but I can assure you it is something simple yet the taste is superb. Kids are fighting for this.



BRAISED BEEF (酱牛肉)

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I do not know if there is any translation of this dish. It is basically beef braised in dark soya sauce (and herbs and spices). It was then air dried. If it was kiln dried, it will become smoked beef. This is a form of meat preservation that can be commonly found in many parts of China. My relatives have prepared these meat in China and brought it over.

I still remembered  when I was stationed in Changchun, China about 10 years ago, one of the past time is to buy some braised chicken drumsticks and ate it in the hotel. It is delicious and thinking about it make me drooling. Depending on the regions, the preservations can be sugar based or salt based.



TOMATOES FRIED WITH EGGS (番茄炒蛋)

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A common household dish in China. Besides stir frying, another way of cooking this combination is making it into a soup.

Tomato is not a common vegetable in my  traditional house cooking. Tomatoes are considered vegetables imported from other countries (though this may not be true any more). This is evidenced in its Chinese name literately translated as Western Persimmon (西红柿)or Foreign brinjal (番茄)。In Hokkien dialects, it was called Caucasian Brinjal (angmokio)!  Therefore, my mom seldom cooked tomatoes in the house.

As my girl is a tomato fanatic, this will definitely her top choice. However, as my boy is tomato phobia, this is definitely a good dish to make my boy eating tomato.  Though he is a tomato phobia but he is an egg fanatic. I usually requested that if he wanted to eat 2 tablespoons of eggs, he will need to finish 1 tablespoon of tomatoes. Haha



STEAMED CHINESE SAUSAGE WITH CHINESE BLACK FERMENTED BEANS (腊肠蒸豆豉)

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The Chinese sausages were prepared by my relatives in China and brought it over. You can hardly find any fats in the Chinese sausages. Before I am on my vegetarian diet, I have tried the sausages before and it is delicious.

The Chinese sausages were cut into slices, steamed with Chinese black fermented beans and chopped garlics. May be after my vegetarian diets end, I shall cook this. Good thing about having this post is that it can remind me of what I should cooked when I run out of ideas.



PIGTAILS PORK BELLIES SOUP (猪尾猪肚汤)

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I never have this combination before, pork bellies plus pigtails. The reason is because both meats have different cooking times. You know pork bellies are rather difficult to cook until soft. So, it is not easy to cook this soup. Even if you used pressure cooker, both items will have to be cooked separately. There is no vegetables or white peppers. It is pure meat broth!

If you ask me whether it is yummy or not, of course, I can’t tell you directly because I did not taste it. However, from my years of cooking experience, I can tell you that it is a good soup because the soup had turn milky meaning all the gelatine from the meat have been dissolved in the soup/broth.

Don’t believe me, freeze it and you will see that it become jellish and you can use a knife to cut it into small pieces. Teochew dialect group also have a dish that after braising certain meat for a long time, they cut the meat into very small pieces, freeze the broth and become a jelly. The jelly was then cut into small pieces and served as cold dish (猪头粽)



STIR FRIED CHINESE WATER CRESS (清炒西洋菜)

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I remembered when I told my mother in law and wife to stir fry water cress previously, they are against it as they always used water cress to cook soup. It is generally true that most Chinese dialect groups like to boil soup with this vegetable. However, when I travelled to China, I always have stir fried water cress in restaurants. Usually, this vegetable were stir fried using garlic without any other ingredients.

Try and tell me whether it is nice or not! Remember that you have to stir fry the vegetables using high heat, otherwise, it may be bitter.



STEAMED KUDZU FLOUR COATED PORK WITH PUMPKIN (南瓜米粉肉)

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When I asked for the name of the dish, I was told  “namguamifenrou”. However, I can’t find any rice vermicelli or Beehoon. Later she explained the 米粉 is not rice vermicelli, it means “rice flour”. Though the name is called rice flour, the coating of the meat can be any types of flour. It can be corn flour, sweet potato flour, potato flour and etc.…But today the flour that she used is kudzu flour (葛根粉). Again this is brought from Jiangxi and she disclosed that this was made from wild kudzu roots.

Kudzu has many health benefits and among them are relief symptoms of postmenopausal women, reducing alcohol intake, alleviating cluster headaches, managed metabolic syndromes etc. etc. etc. In Singapore, we do have a type of Chinese instant flu medicine called Kudzu soup (葛根汤) that you consumed when you have a fever and it is believed that it will help to reduce your body temperature. You may want to know more about kudzu from here.

Coming back to the dish. Meat were seasoned and coated with kudzu flour. The meat was then placed on top of the pumpkins and steamed under high heat until the pumpkins were soft. The purpose of the flour is to retain the meat juiciness in the process of steaming. Any meat juices that escaped will dripped into the pumpkins those flavoured the pumpkins.

Lastly, I want to convey my sincere thanks to my relatives who cooked us a sumptuous meal and we really appreciate that.

Hope you like the post today and I find this post is meaningful to share with readers about other different types of Chinese cuisines.

Have a nice day and cheers.