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Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Ricotta Bombolini

I'm a big fan of Australia Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules and so does my sister.  By just watching these shows you can learn so much of the different type techniques in preparing and cooking the dishes.  It is just feeling wonderful by just watching the contestants cooking....

Last year when Emma & Jane of MKR presented their dessert to the judges, the judges gave good praises to their Bombolini (I never ever heard of Bombolini that time).  Well, Bombolini or Bombolone is an Italian filled sweet dessert similarly like doughnut balls.  

I have bookmarked this recipe since that episode was aired last year and only today I got the mood to make it!  Because for this, I specially had to make my homemade ricotta.



Ricotta Bombolini (Ricotta Doughnut)
Recipe adapted from MKR Recipes


Ingredients

112g plain flour
50g caster sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
250g ricotta cheese or Homemade ricotta
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Vegetable Oil for deep frying
Caster sugar or icing sugar to coat


Method

Sift the plain flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.  Add in the sugar.  Stir to combined and set aside.

Gently in stir in the eggs, ricotta and vanilla.  Mix till all combined.   Cover the mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 - 40 minutes.

In a heavy deep medium saucepan, add and heat up the oil about 4" deep high in your saucepan (enough to allow your bombolini to float in your saucepan).

Drop a tablespoon of the mixture into the heated oil and fry in batches.  Fry till crisp and golden brown; and cooked through. 

Drain on absorbent paper. 
In this stage, you can roll your bombolini in caster sugar or once the bombolini cool down a bit, just lightly dust and coat with icing sugar.







One thing good about this recipe is, you don't need the yeast and wait for hours and hours to proof the mixture.  And yet resulted so soft and fluffy.



These Bombolini (doughnut balls) are so delicious and yummy!  Can you see the texture is so soft, light, moist and fluffy?  I wish I can share this out together with you but I can't, so you got to make this yourself.  







A Courtesy note:
My photos here though are not professional photos but please do not download it and use it without my consent.  Thank you!



Friday, 5 August 2016

Pumpkin Milky Sago Dessert

Do you like pumpkin?  And do you know pumpkin is a fruit instead of vegetable.  Or just because pumpkin consist of seeds that it is considered as a fruit.  Pumpkin is very versatile in cooking.  You can used pumpkin as a sweet dessert and you can used it as savoury dish too.

I preferred to use pumpkin as a sweet dessert.  I have made Pumpkin Sago Dessert last year and it taste absolutely heavenly good this dessert.   Today I am posting a very similar pumpkin sago sweet dessert but this time is more diluted watery.



 PUMPKIN MILKY SAGO DESSERT

Ingredients

500gm pumpkin (deseeded &  skin removed, cut into cubes)
100gm sago (tapioca pearls)
100gm rock sugar (adjust to your sweetness preference)
3-4 blades pandan leaves
1000ml water
1 can (390ml) evaporated milk

Method

Bring a medium pot of water to boil.  Once the water comes to a bubbling boiling, pour all the sago pearls in.  Cook the sago in high heat for about 10 minutes or translucent; stirring constantly.  (do not worry if the sago still has white spot in the middle).
Cover the pot with lid and let it stand for 5-8 minutes for the sago to cook further in the pot.
Using a sieve, run the cooked sago thru running water to remove access starch.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.

Steam the dice pumpkin until soft.
Drain the pumpkin if there's water in it. While the pumpkin still warm, using a potato masher, roughly mash the pumpkin.  (You can blend till fine the pumpkin; but mashing it roughly give some biting texture when you are eating it later). Set aside.

In a clean medium pot, add the 1000ml water, sugar and pandan leaves.  Bring to boil till sugar dissolves.  Boil another 2-3 minutes to bring out the pandan leaves aroma.  Discard the pandan leaves.  
Add in the mashed pumpkin and sago.  Once it's come to a boil, pour in the evaporated milk and immediately removed from heat.  Done!

Serve warm or cold.








For this dessert, I am using this Australian pumpkin; big portion in flesh with little seeds in it...  I love this pumpkin with its dark vibrant in colour though it is quite costly.








One thing good about this sweet dessert is,  you can enjoy either warm or cold whichever way you want.  Taste absolutely delicious and yummy!

Go on, give it a try!





Thursday, 21 July 2016

Pikelets

Breakfast is the first meal of the day and and is also the most important meal of the day.  My breakfast is usually light and easy; either cereal or a toast.  But if I am in the mood I will make something special too.

Pikelets.  You heard of pikelets?  Or pancakes should be more familiar to you.  Well, the difference between pikelets and pancakes are the pikelets are made smaller in size than pancakes; about 3" to 4" diameter.  Pikelets are more widely known to New Zealand, Australia and Britain.  The ingredients to make the Pikelets and pancakes are similarly the same; only thing is pikelets are more heavy in texture.

I have made Pikelets for breakfast uncountable times  and my niece has even getting good at her hand making this for us all by herself.



Pikelets

Ingredients

150g self raising flour
A small pinch of bicarbonate soda
55g caster sugar (fine or granulated sugar)
1 medium egg, lightly beaten
180g (or 3/4 cup) fresh milk, approximately


Method

Sift the self raising flour, bicarbonate soda and sugar in a medium bowl.  
Using your hand whisk, gradually stir in the egg and milk whisking to mix into a smooth pouring consistency batter.

Lightly oiled a large frying pan and using small to medium heat, drop one tablespoon of batter into the pan; allowing some room for spreading.  When bubbles started to appear on top, flip the pikelet over.  Cook until it is lightly browned on the other side.
Serve warm with butter or your favourite jam or fruits.





I usually love to drizzle honey or maple syrup to my pikelets and with lots of blueberries. 
Well, Pikelets can be served cold at breakfast time or even at afternoon tea.  




Sunday, 24 January 2016

Peanut Cookies

In another two more weeks we will be welcoming the "Monkey" for the coming Chinese New Year.  I am sure those who are celebrating the Chinese New Year, will be busying themselves baking all sorts of cookies.

And my first bake for the CNY cookies is Peanut Cookies.  Though it is quite laborious to make this, I guess it is worth it.  So fragrant and nutty flavour!  




PEANUT COOKIES
Recipe sourced from Food-4Tots 

Ingredients 
300g raw peanuts
250g plain flour
130g icing sugar
135ml peanut cooking oil
15g butter (softened – optional)
Pinch of salt 


Egg Wash 
1 egg yolk (from 1 large size egg; lightly beaten and diluted with 1 tsp milk 


Preparing the peanuts 

Rinse the raw peanuts and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Dry fry the raw peanuts in a big wok or frying pan under medium heat; stir frying from time to time till golden brown.
Remove and set to cool before removing the skin.
Grind the  peanuts till fine or  superfine (to your preference) in a food processor. 


Making the peanut cookies 
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, icing sugar and salt together.  Add in to the ground peanut and mix it up all together with a hand whisk.
Add in the butter (if you are using it) and slowly pour in the peanut oil till a smooth dough is formed.  (you may have to add extra oil in in order to combine a smooth dough).

Take a small dough weighing about 8g and roll into round size.  Flatten it slightly with your palm.  Repeat till all dough has finished.
Using your clean ballpen cap, lightly press it to the centre top to imprint a design.

Brush the cookies with egg glaze.
Bake the cookies at pre-heated oven 160Celcius for 15-20 minutes.
Cool before store in an air tight container.




I grind my peanuts till superfine to get into a melt in the mouth texture. 




Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Flower Doughnuts

I really really love to eat doughnuts eventhough it might sound fattening to indulge to this snack.    Whenever I passed by the bakery shops, I would usually take a glimpse at their doughnuts, whether it is the normal traditional hole in the center doughnuts or the mini balls doughnuts.

It do really look very tempting at those bakery shops but one thing is I'm not into those with heavy coated chocolate or strawberry topping.....it look so overly sweet to me.  I'm the those old fashioned type....just love the traditional icing or caster sugar coated doughnut is the one for me. 



 
FLOWER DOUGHNUTS
Recipe inspired from Donna Hay (Spiced Snowflake Doughnuts)

Ingredients

125ml lukewarm milk
1½ tablespoons lukewarm water
1 tablespoons caster sugar
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

335g plain flour or all purpose flour
1 tablespoons caster sugar
50g melted butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For Dusting
55g icing (confectioner’s sugar, sifted
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg (optional)
 Some vegetable oil for deep frying


 Method
In a  large bowl, add the lukewarm milk, water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon sugar together, lightly stir and set aside for about 10 minutes till bubbles appear on the surface.

Add in the plain flour, melted butter  flour, eggs and 1 tablespoon sugar to the yeast mixture.  (You may use your mixer with hook attachment and let the mixer do the mixing job for you).  If not,  use a butter knife to mix until a sticky dough forms.  Then turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean, damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.

Lightly floured your counter top and knead the dough for about  5 minutes.  
Roll the dough out into 1 cm thickness and using your cookie cutter with 8cm round diameter, cut out round.
Using a small knife, make 6 deep shallow cuts from the edge to the centre of the rounds.  Alternatively you can use a sharp scissor to do the cutting job which I find more easier.

Place the nicely cut out shape doughnuts on a non-stick baking pan till you finished the rest of the dough cutting shape.  Rest the doughnuts for another 20 minutes .

Place the oil and a sugar thermometer in a large, deep saucepan over medium heat until temperature reaches 180°C.  Fry the doughnuts, in batches, for 1–2 minutes each side or until golden. Drain on absorbent paper.
Dust with the spice nutmeg icing  sugar and serve immediately.

+ It’s important to let the dough ‘prove’ to ensure it achieves a light and airy texture. A little warmth is essential to help the yeast work and allow the dough to rise. When letting the doughnuts rise for a second time after you’ve kneaded the dough, they should become slightly puffy with a firm, stretched top.



I think this will be my last post for 2015!  Soon we will be heading into 2016.  





Here, I like to wish everyone HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016!  May 2016 brings to you GOOD HEALTH & Lots of happiness in your life

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Deep Fried Sesame Balls / "Jin Dui" 煎堆

I believe most of you all love this Deep Fried Sesame Balls (or Jin Dui).  But wasn't keen to make it at home because of the deep frying and later have to clean up the kitchen stove etc.  And while we can easily buy this delicious yummy Sesame balls at the night market with just less than a dollar for a standard size.

I have tried making Deep Fried Sesame Balls   two years back.  Though everything seem to be perfect while frying the Sesame Balls but some burst out the filling and make a mess in the hot oil.

Last week I accidentally stumbled upon this site while searching for some other recipes and after watching her video, I just got to try it out myself.






DEEP FRIED SESAME BALLS ~ JIN DUI
Recipe sourced from China Sichuan Food 

Ingredients

1 ½ cups glutinous rice flour (I weight it this 1 ½ cups is equivalent to 190 grams ) **
80 grams caster sugar or granulated sugar
100ml water + 10ml (please adjust accordingly)
½ tsp baking powder (you can add this or opt out)

1 cup lightly toasted white sesame seeds
80g or more red bean paste


Method

Preparing the cooked dough

In a small medium bowl, scoop two tablespoon glutinous rice flour out and mix it with 10ml water.  (you can add a little more water if there’s a need).  Knead till all come together and smooth. 

In a small saucepan, bring some water to a rapid boil.  Add in the small dough and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.  Scoop out the cooked dough and transfer it to a small bowl with some cold water to cool down the cooked small dough.  Set aside.


Preparing the Main dough

In a medium large size bowl, put the balance glutinous rice flour, sugar and baking powder and mix it together.  Then add in the cool cooked dough in.  Using your hand, break out the cooked dough to mix in to the flour sugar mixture.   Slowly add in the water bit by bit the water and mix till all come together. (adjust the water accordingly if there is a need). Continue to knead till the dough is smooth.

Shape the dough into a long log and divide in to 20 equal balls. (I weight each into 20 grams).


Assembling the Sesame Balls

Shape the small balls into like a shape of small bowls or just flatten the dough.   Scoop 1 teaspoon of red bean paste in (more if you like) and seal it up completely and roll in your palms to shape it round again.  Repeat the rest.

Prepare 1 bowl with some water and another bowl  with the toasted sesame.

With one hand,  a quick dip one of sesame ball into the bowl of water and immediately transfer to the bowl of sesame seeds.  Using your other hand, roll the ball to coat with the sesame seeds; lightly press it in order all surface are coated with the sesame seeds.


The frying process

Using a medium size saucepan or your frying pan/wok, heat up some enough oil and once the oil has reached to a 120 Celcius, carefully drop in the few sesame balls to deep fry (in batches) , turn down the heat to slowly deep fry the sesame balls till golden brown.   Remove and drain on a paper towel to remove assess oil.  Repeat the rest until all are done.  

Let it cool down few minutes, and enjoy!


 ** I tried to google searched for that 1 cup of glutinuous rice flour in grams and its indicated 200 grams.  But when I weighed my 1 cup flour in a digital scale it was just 130g.  



I am indeed so pleased this time that none of my sesame balls exploded in the frying process.  In fact, they looked so gorgeous in golden brown.

As I have read some tips that Elaine of China Sicuan Food has mentioned about "How to avoid explosion during deep frying process?"  And this is the main thing that has caught my eye and wanted to try out her recipe.

She mentioned that " The key skill here is to boil around 1/10 of your flour first and then mix with the balance flour. When glutinous rice flour meet heat or hot water, it will becomes sticky and prevent explosion in deep-frying process as long as the oil temperature is controlled well." 

Well, hopped over to her site to read more of the tips she has shared out.





The sesame balls taste absolutely so yummy when it is still warm... but after few hours it will turn soft.    Have you bought and eaten any Sesame Balls still stays crispy after few hours?  You know what I mean?  What secret ingredient have added  in to deep fry?



PLEASE DO NOT DOWNLOAD OR COPY ANY PHOTOS FROM MY BLOG WITHOUT MY PERMISSION!  THANK YOU


 



 

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Baked Chinese Cake / "Kai Dan Koh 鸡蛋糕"

"Kai Dan Koh or Ji Dan Gao" is a cake that I grew up eating during my childhood times.  I love the spongy soft texture of the cake.  "Ji Dan Gao" is just more or less like a sponge cake.

I have tried searching for the recipe previously in the internet but most of the Kai Dan Koh was those steamed cake or of that "Ma Lai Koh".  Until one day as I was going through some of my cookbooks, I found this Baked Chinese Cake which is very similar to the "Ji Dan Gao" which Ive been looking for.




BAKED CHINESE CAKE / "Ji Dan Gao 鸡蛋糕"

Ingredients
3 large eggs (cold)
140g caster sugar / granulated sugar
1 tbsp honey
3 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla extract
70ml vegetable cooking oil 
160g plain flour
1 tbsp corn flour
1 tsp baking powder

Method

Preheat oven to 180 celcius.  
Grease and lightly flour 10 baking moulds (the mould about 4" diameter x 1.5" height).

Sift the plain flour, corn flour and baking powder together.  Set aside.

In an electric stand mixer, beat the cold eggs, sugar and honey on high speed till mixture is light and fluffy (ribbon stage).  This takes about 8-10 minutes.

Turn down to low medium speed, slowly add in the water, thereafter vanilla extract and the vegetable cooking oil.

Turn off speed.  Using a spatula, fold in the flour mixture till combined.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared greased flour moulds slightly till to the edges.

Bake for 15 minutes or till the cake edges are separated from the mould.  Removed from oven.  Let cool for 5 minutes before popping the cakes out.




                           Try it and see whether you like this version of "Ji Dan Gao".....
                            Well, this is my 2nd batch already.... 






** My friend were asking me whether can she bake this at a normal round pan.  I guess it can be done in a normal 7" or 8" round pan.... but have to greased and lined with a greased proof paper at the bottom of the pan and the baking time would be longer.


 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Pumpkin Steamed Buns / Pumpkin Xi Pan

Wow.... it has been months I have not updated my blog.  I guess I wasn't as active like before and I know some of you have long forgotten who is Mel of Through The Kitchen Door already.

It is not that I have not done any new recipes to try out, it just I haven't found myself up to do anything else and some failure in my try out recipes which resulted making me feeling down .... see I don't even know what am I talking about here... !

Well, my post for December 2015, is Pumpkin Xi Pan.  This is my 2nd time try out as the 1st time the dough is too  wet resulting too difficult to handle to shape it round at all.  So this time I make sure I won't over steamed the pumpkin.    






Pumpkin Steamed Buns (Xi Pan / Hee Pan)
Recipe adapted from My Little Favourite DIY

Ingredients: 

Sponge dough:  
80g plain flour  
1 tsp instant yeast  
75ml water

120g pumpkin
60g glutinous rice flour  
30g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder  
50g sugar  
2 tbsp cooking oil

some banana leaves or greased proof paper ( cut into round shape)




Method 

In a medium bowl, combined the Sponge dough ingredients together and mixed well. 
Cover with plastic wrap and let proof for 1 – 2 hours.

Peel the pumpkin and cut into small size and steamed till soft. Mashed into
puree.

After the sponge dough done in proofing, scatter in the baking powder and mixed to combine. Then add in the rest of the main dough ingredients (glutinous rice, plain flour, sugar, oil and mashed pumpkin) and knead into a smooth and soft dough. 
Brush a thin layer of oil on the surface of the dough and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Roll the the dough long and divide into 30g each.
Shape it round then flatten it a little and place on a greased round banana leaf.
Let it proof for another 20 minutes.

Steam over medium high heat for 10 minutes.

 

Note: The dough might be quite soft and sticky. Oil your hand while kneading or use disposal ploythene gloves or a plastic spatula to help to manage this sticky dough.




                                   Love this pumpkin buns as it is so soft and fluffy







Friday, 25 September 2015

Hydrangea Mooncake

Two days away and we will be celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival;  and here I am trying out another new type of Mooncake this time.  What intrigue me when I saw Sonia posted her Hydrandea Mooncake as it look so pretty and gorgeous looking.  I'm sure you will totally awe too looking at this unique flower mooncake!





Hydrangea Mooncake 
Recipe adapted from Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover
makes 6

Water dough
63g plain flour
25g unsalted butter
8g caster sugar
25g water

Oil dough
62g cake flour
35g unsalted butter

Filling
150g red bean paste  (or any of your favourite filling paste)

Egg wash- 1 egg yolk + ½ tbsp milk


Method

For water dough :  In a mixing bowl, place the plain flour, butter and sugar in and rub till resembles crumbs, add in water then combine well, do not over mix. Wrap the dough with cling film and rest for 20 mins. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape it round.

For Oil Dough : Rub cake flour with butter, slowly combine till soft dough. Wrap the dough with cling film and rest for 20 mins. Divide into 6 equal portions and shape it round.

For the filling :  Divide the red bean paste into 6 portions (25g each).


Flatten water dough and wrap oil dough inside. Roll out into long oval shape and roll it up like swiss roll. Repeat the same for the rest, keep aside to rest for 10 mins.

Place the swiss roll with seam side up, roll it into long oval shape and roll up like swiss roll. Repeat the same for the rest, keep aside to rest for 10mins.

Take a swiss roll dough, place your thumb at the middle, then bring both ends to the centre, lightly shape into ball. Repeat the same for the rest.

Place a piece of cling film or plastic sheet on the chopping board or worktop, roll dough ball into a round disc (around 11-12cm diameter, this diameter is important as it should be able to cover the whole red bean ball ), make 4 cuts but remain about 3cm at the centre, then continue to cut, each ¼ segment should have 16 cuts, total 64 cuts.

Slowly hold the cling film together with cut round disc, place a red bean ball at the centre, then wrap and seal the red bean ball, remain some strips to let it look like hydrangea flower. Important : Please make sure secure it tightly to avoid it break while baking. Place on lined baking tray.

Apply egg wash at the top, bake in pre-heated oven at 170C for 30mins.
Let the mooncakes cool well before cutting and storing.






For full tutorial pictures.... please hob over to Sonia's blog;  as I just manage to took these few pictures only...
 
 





Happy Mooncake Festival to you all!!