Chawan Muah Piah or Sesame Cake (诏安麻饼)

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INTRODUCTION

I am contemplating whether or not I should issued this recipe… This is one of the childhood mooncakes that I can only find in Kuching. After due consideration and requests from members of my Facebook Group, I have decided to issue this recipe and keep a record in my blog.

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However, I am unsure about the name this simple moon cake with no filling.. I remember my late parents called it as generic as mid autumn mooncake (tiong qiu gue pia) .. But at least 3 members in the Facebook Group called it muah pia aka sesame cake.. Since i have no better name for this cake, I shall called it sesame cake or muah pia.

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This is a mooncake that is hard to trace the origins. I suspect that it is a dialect related mooncake belong to the Chawan (Zhao An 诏安)。 It is definitely not a common mooncake, even thus elders who lives in Kuching but do not belong to this dialect may not know this mooncake at all.. It is slightly fudgy and can turn hard if it is put in the dining table for too long. When i was young, we used to “barbecue” this biscuit over the charcoal stove to make is softer before we consumed it.

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After I posted my picture, one of my Facebook friends – Mr. Edgar Ong from Kuching, managed to get hold of some being sold in the shop. i wish to take this opportunity to thank him for letting use his pictures to show all of you.

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This is a cake that I have not eaten for a long time and I have forgotten how it looks like. When I saw the picture that was sold in the stores, I realized that only one side was coated with sesame seeds as opposed to my illustration here. I remembered very clearly that in the olden days, the bottom side was written with red Chinese characters but I was told that such practises was abandoned because foodies nowadays do not like to have cakes that has food colouring in it. Well, is it not the traditional practise has lost in the battle to the current health trend? To me, it is a very sad fact if the reason is true.

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I have posted in one Chinese Food Group  and written what I knew  and felt about this biscuit: “这是很小时候贫穷人家的月饼。简单朴实耐放,符合以前辛苦的年代。人穷,中秋还要过,莲蓉不必妄想,那是大户人家的专利。一般穷苦人家就一个无馅圆饼写个红字就可以当月饼拜拜。 现在呢,有钱要买还要也不一定能够买得到,还有碰运气。现在吃起来回味无穷。 再回想起来,这些月饼很耐饿,适合工人,农夫,虽然简单,比起现在甜甜的月饼的确健康许多。”

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Before you tried this recipe, you must be somebody who like simple food .. The cake is slightly sweet, floury and yeast flavoured. It is addictive and I really love this biscuit for its simplicity.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Servings: About 25 biscuits depending on size

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Starter Dough

  • 300 grams plain flour
  • 300 grams of sugar
  • 260 grams of lukewarm water
  • 10 grams of instant yeast
  • 50 grams of cooking oil

Second portion

  • 300 grams of plain flour
  • Adequate sesame seeds for coating

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Put all the ingredients of starter dough in a mixing bowl, stir until well combined. Let it proof for at least 1.5 hours. Ensure that you saw some bubbles. It will be better if you have the time to proof for 2-3 hours until the dough turns a bit sour.

  • Once the starter dough is ready, pre-heat the oven to 170 degree Celsius.

  • Add in the remaining plain flour, use the machine to knead until it forms a pliable smooth dough. If the dough is too wet, add flour tablespoon by tablespoon and knead until it leaves the side of the mixing bowl.

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  • Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Lightly knead and divide the dough to about 50-60 grams. Shape round and coat with sesame seeds , use a rolling pin to roll flat the dough with about 0.5-1 mm thick.  Bake in the pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes. It is ok if the centre remain slightly soft .

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Note:

  • It is up to you if you want to coat the biscuit double or single side. 

  • You are advised to test bake one biscuit and see if it fluff up , if no, let it proof for 10-15 minutes before baking.

  • The biscuits are supposed to be slightly under baked. It is softer in the centre. It can keep for a long period of time in a container.

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CONCLUSION

This recipe is doable and whether or not you like it will very much depends if you have ever tasted it before. It is supposing to be simple, rather soft, not extremely fluffy and yeast flavoured simple cake.  In my next attempt, I would have to brush up with the shaping of the biscuits  .  To me, it is very addictive and I usually ended up eating 3-4 pieces per session.. What surprised me is my boy liked this biscuits too. If you are game enough, do give it a try.

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

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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 2600 recipes worldwide and pinned by various bloggers: FOOD BLOGGERS AND FOODIES UNITED PINTEREST BOARD.

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Famous Amos Copycat Chocolate Chips Cookies (山寨版之Famous Amos 巧克力曲奇)

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INTRODUCTION

I have not share cookies post for quite a while and when I was shopping yesterday, I saw the Famous Amos Cookies store. I sudden have a craving for their Chocolate Chips Cookies. Hmmm, I doubt if there is any one who specifically reject cookies from this famous worldwide chain. I loved them but I do not purchase from them too often as it can be quite costly.

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Since it is costly, why not prepare it at home. Cookies are cookies, the method of preparation will never far away from other cookies.  Are there any special ingredients? I do not know but since it is such a famous worldwide franchise, there must be at least copycat version of their cookies in the internet.

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I searched and yes, lots of copycat recipes surfaced. I compared the recipes, and most of the recipe are basically the same.. Therefore, I just picked one recipe and prepared it.

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Hmmm, outcome is satisfactory and I wouldn’t insist that it is 100% like what is sold in the stores (otherwise there will be no more Famous Amos Franchise stores) but it is close, pretty close, may be 80-90% close to what I have eaten before.

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I thought it might be fun to share with all the history of this famous cookies. It is rather new and I am day dreaming that one day, I will be another Wally Amos. Lol. Per Wikipedia:

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Wally Amos, an Air Force veteran who worked as a talent agent with the William Morris Agency, would send home-baked chocolate chip cookies to celebrities to entice them to meet with him and maybe sign a deal to be represented by the William Morris Agency. Amos was from Tallahassee, Florida. On March 10, 1975, Amos took the advice of some friends and opened a cookie store in Los Angeles, California, naming it “Famous Amos”. In the first year he sold $300,000 worth of cookies, followed by more than $1,000,000 in sales in the store’s second year of operation.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famous_Amos)

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from: Famous Amos Copycat Chocolate Chip Cookie

Servings: Prepare about 30 pieces of medium size cookies

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  • 250 grams  of plain flour or all purpose flour
  • 150 grams of semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 60 grams of butter (at room temperature)
  • 60 grams of vegetable shortening
  • 100 grams of brown sugar
  • 50 grams  of white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

  • Preheat the oven to 175 degree Celsius.

  • Get ready 2-3 baking trays lined with baking paper

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  • Cream the butter, shortening, white sugar and brown sugar until light and creamy. Add eggs, vanilla essence and milk, beat until well combined (about 1 minutes). Add in flour and baking soda followed by the chocolate chips, use the machine’s lowest speed to “stir” until well combined.

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  • Scope a tablespoon of the cookie dough and place it on the baking tray. Leave adequate space for expansion. Use hand to lightly press down. Bake at the pre-heated oven at 175 degree Celsius for 13-15 minutes. Once taken out from the oven, leave the cookies in the tray for another 5 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack for cooling. It will be slightly soft when hot and become crispy when cooled.

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CONCLUSION

Football matches are in seasons now. Need a snack? Why not prepare this Famous Amos Copycat Chocolate Chips Cookies..

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

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

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Re-Creating My Homesick Snack–Citrus Zested Kite Mooncake (风吹饼,风筝饼, 烘吹饼)

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UPDATED POST – on 14 August 2014

Last year, I have prepared this mooncake but I cut it in square shape and I have put sesame seeds in the crust. It doesn’t look that authentic and this year, I have decided to prepare again in the traditional shape which is round and without any sesame seeds. The recipe is in the post proper itself.

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This is how it was being packaged and sold in Kuching Teochew Cake House. Picture courtesy from Mr. Tan Sia Hong who take the trouble and go around taking picture for me.

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ORIGINAL POST


INTRODUCTION

I am a rather sentimental person. I am always homesick of the snacks that I have eaten when I was young.I have a detailed post on the unique Sarawak Butter Buns (砂朥越牛油面包) (http://wp.me/p3u8jH-vg) and a fusion of famous Sarawak Tomato Noodles with West Malaysia Yee Min on (茄汁伊面)(http://wp.me/p3u8jH-ud)。

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Mid-autumn festival is approaching and I am now homesick of this special pancake (and some dialects group) treat it as moon cake. I am not really fancy about current type snow skin moon cake or the traditional Cantonese moon cake but I have the inclination to like the Teochew style of moon cakes with the flaky skins. I never fancy lotus paste (should be the most expensive) filling and I usually opt for the white mung bean filling (白豆沙)。But this just suddenly came across my mind that it is another type of moon cake that I missed.

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CITRUS ZEST CHINESE PANCAKE

This special pancake can be found in East Malaysia rather easily. I have to be very frankly I do not know how to translate this traditional Chinese delicacy. Literally, it was translated as the Kite Pancake. The origins have yet to be traced but I seriously believed that it is a type of Zhaoan or Teochew sweets. This is because I can get it in Singapore during moon cake festivals from the famous Teochew cake house called “Yang Hua Teochew Cake House) (荣华饼家).

Apparently, there are not many bloggers who blog about this special sweets and in fact you will have a hard time to search for a recipe on the net. I managed to get a recipe from HERE and immediately I just bookmarked it and today, I have recreated it but modified to include sesame seeds. This blogger is also from the State of Sarawak, Malaysia.

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As I did not manage to get Maltose (麦芽糖), I have substituted with home made golden syrup . Overall, the results are satisfactory especially for those who craved for this snacks. As there are very limited or only one recipe available, I have difficulty to compare between recipes but overall, I will think that it is 90% resemble those who sold in Kuching market and definitely something that I would do in the near future.

I have purposely do it a rectangular shape because it is easier for me to cut for serving.

The snack shall be a bit crunchy on the crust and the inside a bit chewy and sticky full of citrus flavours.I missed this pancake.   It goes well with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

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The preparation of the pancake will involve:

Part A – “Crystalizing” the Sugar

Part B – Preparing the Skins

Part C – Preparing the Fillings

Part D – Wrapping, Rolling and Pan Frying

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PART A – “CRYSTALIZING” (反沙)THE SUGAR

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What is required

  • 300 gram of castor sugar

  • 50 gram of water

Steps of preparation

  • Have a sauce pan, add water and sugar.

  • Heat the sugar and water over “MEDIUM HEAT” and constantly stir it until it melts.

  • Let it boil until it re-crystalized.

Special notes required

  • Please avoid using non stick pan as I have a hard time to get it crystallized.

  • If you use high heat, instead of re-crystalizing, your sugar will become caramelized and you will have a hard time to “break” the sugar.

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PART B – PREPARING THE SKINS

What is required

  • 300 grams of plain flour

  • 100 grams of vegetable shortening

  • 100 grams of hot water

  • 1 big tablespoons of icing sugar

  • 1 big tablespoons of maltose/golden syrup

Steps of preparation

  • In a big mixing bowl, add vegetable shortening, plain flour, golden syrup/maltose, icing sugar and hot water.
  • Slightly mix using a tablespoon. Knead until it form a soft dough. Set aside of later use.

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PART C –  PREPARING THE FILLINGS

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What is required

  • 1 big table spoon of orange zests or dried Chinese Oranges (桔饼)

  • 20-30 grams of candied winter melon (冬瓜条) – diced in very small pieces (optional)

  • 75 grams of cooked glutinous rice powder (糕粉)

  • 150 grams of plain flour (普通面粉)

  • 300 grams of crystalized sugar (as from PART A)

  • 100 grams of sesame seeds (optional)

  • 1 big tablespoons of golden syrup or maltose (maltose preferred)

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  • In a bowl, put golden syrups/maltose together with crystalized sugar. Add 50 grams of water and let it slightly dissolve.

  • In a big mixing bowl, add plain flour, cooked glutinous rice flours, orange zests.

  • Make a hole in the centre of the flour mixture, pour the liquid mixture and knead until smooth.

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PART D – WRAPPING, ROLLING AND PAN FRYING

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  • Divide the dough and the fillings into 4 equal portions.

  • Slightly flatten the rough dough and wrapped the fillings with the dough.

  • Use a roller pin to roll it in a round shape with a height of about 5mm thick.

  • Sprinkles additional sesame seeds on both side and pan fry using the lowest heat until the dough is cooked and turned golden brown in colour.

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  • For servings, cut into your desired shapes and sizes.

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CONCLUSIONS

I have tried to re-create pancake based on the only recipe that I have. I have decided to post in the blog as I want to introduce this to my international readers.  Do give it a try and see if it suit your taste bud.

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Hope you like the post today and cheers.

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  • 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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