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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Belimbing Lemak Udang and Nyonya Tumeric Fried Fish

Belimbing Lemak Udang is a prawn dish cook in coconut milk.  Belimbing is a type of tropical fruit, scientifically called Averrhoa Bilimbi.  You can find out more about the fruit and how it looks like from this Wikipedia link.

This is a Nyonya dish which we enjoy with hot steaming rice. All the ingredients are julienned and only take minutes to prepare.  Belimbing is very sour which goes well with the coconut milk.  I remember when I was little, my mom used to cook this for us and I will be only eating this with rice.  Until today, this is one of my favourite dish and now it became my hubby's and kids as well.

I grow belimbing in my garden.  For me, nothing is more satisfying than getting all the fresh ingredients from your own garden.  It bears lots of fruits but they don't last long.  Belimbing is a great substitute for dishes that uses tamarind juice and they make great pickles as well.  Other than the belimbing, the lemon grass and kaffir leaves are from my humble little garden too.  Lol..

Here's the recipe:
2 stalks lemon grass
5 shallots
4 garlic pips
3 kaffir leaves
2 red chillies
1 bowl of belimbing
300gm prawns (shelled)
200ml thick coconut milk
Salt to taste

1. Julienne the lemon grass, shallots, garlic, kaffir leaves, red chillies and belimbing.
2. Heat wok with a little oil.  Fry the ingredients in the order above.
3. Add in the coconut milk and add salt to taste. Let boil and it's done.

Nyonya Turmeric Fried Fish is very simple, fast and delicious.  I harvested about 3kg of turmeric from my garden yesterday and used some to marinate the fish.  All you need is, marinade with pounded fresh turmeric mix with ground Chili powder and salt.  Rub the paste in and all over the fish.  Marinade for an hour or more and deep fry until  crispy.

Here, I used garoupa fish. Other fishes that's suitable for this dish are red snapper, baramundhi, black pomfret and thread fins amongst other marine fishes.

Try this. You'll love it.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

2014 Vacation and Chocolate Orange Loaf Cake - Nigella

My first post for 2015! Finally!

It took me more than a month to open my netbook and post this.  It's been a compact month of January and don't think it's going to slow down in the next few months either.  So, yes, I made it a point not to let February past by without me post at least one bake-off.  Besides that, I do have to admit that I'm getting lazy as well.  Especially with my aging netbook with takes forever to start-up. 

Chinese New Year will be here in two weeks.  I baked some choc chip cookies yesterday and will probably make Nastar if I have the time.  Nastar is an Indonesian pineapple cookie.  The dough is very soft unlike the texture of the Nyonya Pineapple Tarts.  Although I love Nyonya Pineapple Tarts, I do not mind the soft melt in the mouth Nastar version.  Well, we shall see.. if I do make them, it has to be by next week end.  Else, there's not enough time for me to make anything at all for the festive occasion.

Well, guys, here's my first bake-off which I did early Jan.  Hope you will try this recipe.  This is really a great recipe from Nigella.  So moist and super soft.  Best part is, it's not too big so you don't have to keep it for many days.

Cholocate Orange Loaf Cake (Nigella Kitchen)
150g soft butter
2 c 15ml tbsp golden syrup
175g dark muscovado sugar (I used 125g)
150g plain flour
1/2 tsp b.o.s.
25g cocoa powder
2 eggs
zest of 2 regular oranges and juice of 1

1. Grease 1 (900g) loaf tin with some vegetable oil and line with parchment paper. Heat oven at 170dC.
2. Beat the soft butter with the syrup and sugar until smooth.
3. Mix the flour, bicarb and cocoa powder together, and beat into the syrup mixture 1 tablespoonful of these dry ingredients before beating in 1 egg. Then add another couple of spoonfuls of dry ingredients before beating in the second egg.
4. Carry on beating in the remaining dry ingredients and then add, still beating, the orange zest and finally, gradually, the juice.  Batter may suddenly look curdled.
5. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake till done.

And as promised, here are some of my December vacation photos ... miss the winter!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Happy 2015 everyone!

My family and I ended 2014 with a great vacation in the UK and Europe.  We had month-long of great time and now looking forward to even a greater 2015.

However, my heart goes out to the families of Malaysian plane incidents, MH370, MH17 and most recent, Air Asia crashed en route from Surabaya to Singapore.

Although we cannot stop natural disasters nor accidents from happening, I do wish everyone to be extra careful and be safe for your family and love ones.

Here's wishing all of you happiness, good health, good fortune, kindness, wisdom and most of all be safe.  It's going to be a better and greater 2015!

These pictures are taken from my vacation in Innsbruck, Austria.  I'll post more pictures once I have the opportunity.. (Louise, these are for you!)


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Coffee and Cream Muffins

This will be my last baking post for this year as I'll be going for a month vacation in December. We've been planning for this holiday a year ago and we are very excited about this. Let me give you some clues on our vacation destination. Its gonna be someplace where its going to be winter, about 8 hours behind KL and expensive. Can you guess? If I have the time I might just post some pictures of our holiday... :)

So here's my last bake off - Coffee & Cream Muffins .. perfect for winter with a cup of hot latté! The photos are quite blurry. Snapped these with my new tablet and I need to figure out how to get the settings right.

2 cups plain flour
3/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tbsp granulated coffee
Pinch of salt
100 ml milk
185 ml double cream
100 ml oil
2 eggs
light brown sugar
1. Heat oven to 200d C and line tray with cupcake cases.
2. Sift all dry ingredients together. Mix all wet ingredients and beat together until combine.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix till batter is lumpy.
4. Fill cupcakes 3/4 full and sprinkle brown sugar on top. 
5. Bake for 20-25 mins until done.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Halloween Week!

I know I'm a few days ahead of Halloween but hey, I'm in the mood!!  I'm excited. I feel like a kid. I can't wait to showcase my creations.. and after today - it's Sunday today, I'm back to work tomorrow and will not have time to post anything during weekdays.  Since Halloween falls on Friday, yeah well, that's why I'm early this year.

Halloween is a time for one to have fun and be creative. Unfortunately, Halloween is not popular in this part of the world. Although some toy stores and costume stores do sell all kinds of scary and ghoulish items, not many will make a purchase unless someone throws a Halloween party.

We don't have kids going around 'treat or trick' in the neighborhood especially since kidnapping cases are on the rise. Parents will not usually allow their young children to be out of the house unattended. However, this does not stop one from being in the mood to be creative, rite.. Err hmm!

I look forward to Halloween each year as I have a different agenda.. that is to bake, to create and to share. This year I got my kids to put on their creative hat and be artistic. They simply love doing this as much as I.. So here, as promised in my earlier post, sharing our colorful creations and wishing you a wonderful and a very Happy Halloween!!




H A P P Y    H A L L O W E E N !

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Cupcakes! Cupcakes! - Lavender! Carrot!

Hi everyone!  I'm back.  I've not forgotten you.  Even though I've not been posting anything in the past few months, I did however been visiting your blogs to have a peep at what you are up to. I'm glad to see you guys have been busy whipping up your goodies in your kitchen and I bet with Halloween coming, your ovens will be fully utilized.. I can't wait to see what you have in store for me.

Just so you know, I have started making Halloween cupcakes.  The mood strikes me like a sudden rainstorm in this monsoon season in this part of the world.  It comes and go without warning. Don't worry guys, I save all my clicks of the festive ghouls goodies and shall post them in time for The Halloween.. I promise! In the meantime, here are the recipes for the Lavender and Carrot Cupcakes.

When I first saw the lavender cupcakes recipe in the 'Hummingbird Bakery Cook Book', I was like 'Really!  Isn't Lavender used in soap or in aroma therapy of some kind?  Is this edible at all?'. Actually there is an edible lavender flower that is dried and used in tea or baking.  I bought some from one of my earlier vacation retreat at the highlands in Malaysia.  I add some of it into my tea.  The taste and smell is rather strong and I recommend that you use them sparingly or else it can be quite overwhelming.

 Here's my little assistant in the background decorating the cupcakes with fondant flowers.. :)

This lavender cupcake is quite unique in its flavor.  The taste is alright and actually quite nice washing down with a cup of hot tea.  However, I am not a fan of it though.  But do give this a try.  You might like it better than I do.. :)

Lavender Cupcake:
(makes 12)
1/2 cup whole milk
3 tbsp dried lavender flowers
1 cup plain/all purpose flour
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg

1. Put the milk and lavender flowers in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
2. Preheat oven to 170dC.
3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter in an electric mixer and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
4. Strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the flour mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are well mixed.  Add the egg and beat well.
5. Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases until two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 mins or until cake is done.  leave to cool and frost with Lavender Frosting.

2 tbsp whole milk
1 tbsp dried lavender flowers
2 cups icing sugar
5 tbsp (80g) butter
a couple of drops of purple food coloring

1. Put the milk and dried lavender flowers in a bowl, cover and refrigerate for a few hours.
2. Beat the sugar,, butter and food coloring with electric mixer on medium speed.  Turn to slow speed and strain the lavender-infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture.
3. Once incorporated, turn the speed to high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy.

Next, Carrot Cupcakes.. this recipe is simply irresistible.  I love the cream cheese frosting too. Baked these yummy cupcakes for my colleagues and they love it..!

Carrot Cupcake:
(Makes 36 of 3.25oz cups)
2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 ts ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3 cups shredded carrots
1 cup walnut, chopped
3/4 cup dark raisins

1. Preheat oven to 180dC. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
2. With electric mixer, beat eggs and granulated and brown sugar, until blended.  Beat in oil, milk and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low, add flour and beat until smooth.  Fold in carrots, walnuts and raisins.  Mix well.
3. Spoon batter into cupcake cases slightly more than half full.  Bake for 20-25 mins or until cake is done.  Cool and frost.

Cream cheese froting:
250 cream cheese
150g butter
1 1/3 cup icing sugar

Mix all ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.