Thursday, August 30, 2012

All about Tau Huay/Tau Foo Fah ( Soybean Pudding)

There is a reason for today's post. Before that, for the benefit of some of my blogger friends who have not heard of tau foo fah or tau huay as it's more known in Singapore ( soybean pudding or soybean curd ), it is an Asian delicacy made from tofu, a very smooth and soft kind of like pudding , usually served sweet in sugar syrup and can be eaten warm or chilled. It is not only popular in malaysia, singapore and hong kong, many asian countries have their own version of tau foo fah too.

A week ago, Alan from travellingfoodies has created an event in Facebook, "Make and Eat Tau Huay Day- 30th August 2012" and i was invited to take part. Why eat tau huay or tau foo fah on this day? Apparently there is this social-picnic foodie event, "Diner en Blanc" originated from Paris organised worldwide, a white party meaning the guests will have to wear entirely white and bring their own food, to be held today in Singapore. I guess many are getting thrilled there as it is reported that Singapore is the first country in Asia to host this 'glamorous' event today until this problem when a food blogger was asked to remove his blog post by the organisers of the event and uninvited to the event together with some other bloggers after he made a food menu suggesting some local delights to diners what to bring to the picnic.. chicken rice, fishballs, tau huay being some of the food.  Reason being local delicacies are not in line with the image of the picnic. It has sparked an uproar among netizens, citizens over the past week , is it that local food and tau huay are not classy enough for the event? Hmm..not classy enough. You can read it in Alan's post here. Well, classy or not classy, we ought to respect one different culture and food. Anyway, things have been cleared i presume..misunderstanding, miscommunication, misinterpretation, apology made and this isnt a protest post or what, just to show our love for our traditional food, our street food, i  love eating tau huay and  i grew up eating a lot of tau huay or tau foo fah.

Today what i'm posting is no fancy tau huay but just going back to basics, making our own tau huay or tau foo fah at home. I've posted a version of tau foo fah quite some time back in my blog here using GDL as the coagulant to set the pudding, i'm doing it again today and also another 2 more versions using agar agar powder and gelatine. The recipe for GDL version can be found from my previous post.

using GDL
GDL version

Tau Foo Fah Agar Agar Version( recipe from Peng's Kitchen and Nasi Lemak Lover )
Ingredient ( makes about 3 bowls )
600ml homemade soya milk or store bought
1/2 tsp agar2 powder

1.Divide soy milk into 2 portions ( 300ml for each). Stir in agar2 powder into one portion of soya milk and mix well. In a saucepan, heat up another 300ml portion of soy milk over low heat. When the soymilk turns slightly hot, pour in the soya milk with the dissolved agar2, stir to mix well.
2.Keep stirring on low heat until it starts to boil and you see bubbles and remove from fire. ( i actually let them boil for about another 5 more seconds after seeing bubbles )
3.Pour into the glass bowls or ramekins and let them set at room temperature. Serve with sugar syrup or ginger syrup ( mine was set in about 4 hours' time  )

using agar agar

using agar agar

Tau Foo Fah Gelatine Version ( recipe from Peng's Kitchen, adapted from Cuisine Paradise )
Ingredients ( makes around 3 bowls )
500ml soya milk ( i used Vitasoy mik)
2 tsp of gelatine powder ( i put 2.5tsp )

1. Heat up soybean milk in a saucepan. Do not let it boil.
2.Put gelatine in a small bowl , scoop a ladle of warm soya milk into the gelatine and stir till gelatine melts and well mixed.
3.Pour in the gelatine mixture (2) into the remaining soy milk in the saucepan and let it simmer for about 30 seconds. Do not boil. Remove from heat and pour it into the prepared bowls or ramekins and let cool completely before chilling.( i chilled them overnight to set )

chilled..gelatine version

this is also using the gelatine ones.

Peng, thanks a lot for your advice on the gelatine method

This is my first time using agar agar to make tou foo fah. The texture is almost like GDL version, very very smooth and i find that this texture is light, like melt in your mouth type. Very nice. As for the gelatine version, a very different taste becos of vitasoy and the texture is also very smooth. Actually i wanted it to be a little more firm, a different mouthfeel that's why i increased a little gelatine but somehow it came out not that firm, also quite similar to using GDL. If you like the very smooth and woobly type, try the agar agar version.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Stir Fried Pork With Cincalok

I believe most malaysians know what cincaluk is, even though if one has not really tasted it before, i guess most have seen it selling in supermarkets or in groceries stores here. It is made up of tiny shrimps or the locals call it 'udang geragau', cooked rice and salt which all are mixed together and leave to ferment before consuming. It is a very popular food or condiment in the state of Malacca and i'm not surprised at all if some Malaysians have not tasted it before. I 've yet to come across a cincaluk dish being served at restaurants here where i live or maybe some Malay restaurants have it, i dont know and my mum only knows how to cook one and only dish with cincaluk , that is steamed pork with cincaluk but i cant really remember how it tasted like, that was a long time ago.

The other day when i was at the bookstore, i came upon this cincaluk dish in a book. As i'm not well knowledged in cooking a cincaluk dish, i snapped a photo of the recipe with my phone.  I know..i know..that's not a very nice thing to do..i felt like a thief. I'm not able to provide the name of the book cos i forgot the look at it, ok shall not elaborate. Cincaluk is saltish on its own, with a couple of more ingredients like kaffir lime leaves and torch gingerbud, this makes quite an appetising dish.

Over the past few weeks, i've seen my blogger friends cooking dishes with cincaluk,  Cindy even made her own cincaluk at home. Here are the links:

1) Home Made Cincaluk by Cindy
2) Chicken Cincaluk by Sonia
3) Cincaluk Omelette by Joyce

3 tbsps cincaluk (do not take too much of the brine, it's quite saltish)
150gm pork belly ( sliced thinly)
3 tbsp oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
1 chilli, sliced

Ingredients A
4 shallots , sliced
20gm ginger, shredded
1tsp kaffir lime leaf, shredded
1/2 tbsp torch ginger, minced ( bunga kanthan)

Ingredients B
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp sugar

1. Saute ingredients A with oil till aromatic and add in cincaluk, onion and chilli.Stir fry them for a minute
2. Add pork and continue stir fry for 2-3 minutes, add ingredients B and simmer till almost dry.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Malacca Month ) hosted by Cindy of yummylittlecooks

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

First of all, I would like to apologise to some of you that i've made a mistake in the date for posting this whoopie pies for our bake along . Earlier, i had indicated August 28 on the sidebar of my blog for our whoopie pie bake, i didnt realise that the posting date is today until i saw my baking partners, Joyce and Zoe posting theirs this morning. oh gosh and i'm only writing the post now...i was actually thinking to take a break for a week. So friends if you are baking along with us, the linky will be opened from today till August 29, 2012. My apologies.

As i've never made whoopie pies before, i wanted to choose something that's not too fancy with the flavours. Whoopie pies have always been described as a cake like cookie with some frosting sandwiched between the two cookies. i'm quite excited to make these when i know that i'm going to make them.  I"m happy the way the whoopie pies turned out, the cookie itself is something like a cross between a cake and a cookie , kind of hard for me to describe, i guess you will have to try it yourself. They are very delicious and i would like to try making it again with different flavours next time.When dropping the batter onto the parchment paper to bake, you can choose to drop them by tablespoons or use a piping bag . As for me, i used a piping bag to do it, for me i think it's easier and just remember to leave  about 3 inches apart between each cookie as they will spread when they are baking. Whenever whoopie pies are mentioned, i always thought of whoopi goldberg..i wonder if she likes eating whoopie pies...

Recipe ( from )
makes around 36 cookies/18 whoopie pies
113gm butter, at room temperature
225gm sugar ( i used 175gm )
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
219gm all purpose flour
2/3 cup cocoa powder
11/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1cup buttermilk

Cream Cheese Filling
220gm cream cheese, softened
76 gm butter, softened
250gm icing sugar ( i didnt use all )

Beat the butter and cream cheese till smooth , add in icing sugar bit by bit until you reach the desired consistency and taste. 

Method for whoopie pies: 
1. In a large bowl, beat butter with sugar until light and fluffy , beat in eggs and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Stir into butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour and 2 additions of buttermilk.
3. You can drop by tablespoons of batter onto the parchment paper, leaving 3 inches apart and bake in a preheated oven at 180C until the top is slightly crack and spring back when lightly touched, about 12-14 minutes. ( i used a piping bag to pipe the batter onto the parchment paper, i piped them round about diameter 3.5cm each ) Let them cool in a wiring rack.
4.To assemble, take a dollop of filling and sandwich between 2 cookies.

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Friday, August 17, 2012

Cranberry and Cream Cheese Muffins for 'Twelve Loaves'

I know it's not cranberry season now but i've been keeping this packet of frozen cranberries since last december or perhaps november. At first when i bought these cranberries, i thought of making some cranberry sauce over some meat and then i delayed and delayed...and in the end didnt do anything about it.. Just 2 weeks ago, I saw Elisabeth from Food and Thrift making a delicious Blueberry and Peach Bread for a bread event , Twelves Loaves that her daughter, Lora is organising and that the theme for this month is bake any bread, quick or yeasted, loaf or individual filled with fresh summer fruit or berries. After checking with Lora, i'm glad that she has no objection with the frozen cranberries.  I kind of forgotten that i have these cranberries, they were chucked at the deep end bottom of my freezer with some other stuffs..

These cranberry muffins are a little different from what we normally do for a muffin that is we make a cranberry sauce or sort of compote and mix them together with the batter instead of just putting the cranberries into it where we normally do. The batter itself will turn into dull pink and before we put them into the oven, we put a blob of cream cheese on the topping. Love eating this cream cheese part especially, the cake itself is soft and moist. I wouldnt say that these muffins are tart, just some hint of that cranberries taste.

Recipe ( from ) with some modifications
makes 6 muffins
Cranberry compote
90gm frozen cranberries plus 1.5tbsp sugar

Heat the cranberries with sugar in a small saucepan until the cranberries pop. Remove from heat and let cool.
This takes just about few minutes.

50gm cream cheese, room temperature, mix with 1 tbsp of sugar ( i just use a fork to do this )
90gm sugar
100gm cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
40ml sunflower oil or any flavourless oil
1 tbsp buttermilk ( i added this )
about a teaspoon of vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. Heat oven to 190C/170Cfan. Line your muffin pan with cases.
2. Sift the flour into a large bowl and add in baking powder and pinch of salt. Use a fork to mix together. Add the oil, egg, buttermilk, vanilla extract and the cranberry mixture and stir together. Divide it between the cases, about 2/3 full, make a small dip in the centre of each and put a blob of softened cream cheese in. Bake for 20 minutes or until tester inserted in comes out clean.

this is from the 2nd batch

* i've made these twice. The first time i baked them for 25 minutes and found that the cheese is slightly hard, the 2nd time i baked them for 20 mins, i find them better, the cheese is softer and more creamier. 

I'm linking this post to Twelve Loaves organised by Lora of Cake Duchess

Here, i would also like to wish all my Muslim friends and readers ' Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri ' and to those who are travelling back to reunite with your family, 'Selamat Balik Kampung"

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ayam Tempra ( Chicken Tempra )

One of the popular chicken dishes from the state of malacca is this Ayam Tempra ( Chicken Tempra). It is quite like a braised soya sauce chicken dish but what makes it a little unique is the addition of lime juice and comes with lots of onions. The gravy relies heavily on the soya sauce for flavour and also the sweetness from the onions and yet you find this appetising due to the lime juice..yea, that little twist of lime i find it stimulates my appetite, i'm not sure about you. However, I do want to highlight about the use of dark soya sauce here in case if you're cooking this. Just start off with a tbsp of dark soya sauce or a little bit more, i used 2 tbsp here and you can see that it's already quite dark, not sure if there's a misprint on the book or what, it calls for 6 tbsps for half a chicken, so just be careful, never mind if stingy ;)

Recipe ( Truly Nyonya Malacca ) with little changes
1/2 chicken ( mine is about 600gms)
1.5cup of water
2 cloves of garlic, flatten
2 stalks of spring onions
5 slices ginger
4 big onion ( sliced )
1 fresh chilli ( sliced )

6 calamansi limes ( squeeze for juices )
2 tbsp dark soya sauce
80ml lightsoya sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix dark soya sauce, light soya sauce, lime juice, sugar , salt with that 1.5cup water. Bring to boil and remove from heat. ( alternatively, you can add the lime juice just before dishing up )
2. Heat up some oil in the wok to  fry onions, garlic, chilli, spring onion and ginger for a minute. Discard spring onion, add chicken pieces and fry for 5 minutes. Add mixed sauce from (1) , cook for 15 minutes on medium fire till gravy is lightly thickened. Remove from heat.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Malacca Month ) hosted by yummylittlecooks

Friday, August 10, 2012

Strawberry Coffee Cake

Another good coffee cake that we are baking at The Home Bakers ( THB ), Strawberry Coffee Cake. Besides layering the strawberries in between the cake, the cake itself is made up of mixture of cream cheese and butter, giving it a mild cheesy taste, it is moist and i would say this is a quite delicious cake to eat. I didnt toss the sliced strawberries with flour before mixing it into the batter, could it be the reason why most of my strawberries got sunk to the bottom of the cake? Anyway, i know that's not really important, i have been telling my blogger friends sometimes 'hey, as long as it tasted good, doesnt matter' so i shldnt be complaining so much..just that if  those berries could have been evenly spread, it will look more appealing. What's on the topping are some sugar and nuts mixed together but i dont know why my sugar topping didnt melt, it looks like pieces of sugar crust on top of the cake . How come?

I've already took a peek at the strawberry cakes made by the rest of the members, some use blueberries, i;m sure it is delicious as well and the berries didnt really sink to the bottom unlike mine. You can look at the group baking here. This round, Alice from ILoveICookIBake has picked this cake to bake, you can look at her blueberry cake which she has baked in a cupcake form, very pretty, you can get the recipe there. I've made 1/3 recipe in a 7 inch round pan.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Acar Fish for Malaysian Food Fest

Remember the Malaysian Food Fest that i was telling about earlier? It has already started and Malacca is the first state to kick off. I've only been to Malacca once and i'm not really familiar what are their traditional or authentic cuisine found in malacca other than their famous chicken  rice balls. I must say that through this event, i've come to learn more of the state dishes, not only Malacca but also Trengganu. Why Trengganu? Because i'll be hosting the state of Trengganu this coming October. Well, will talk about that when October comes. If you want to know more about malacca, you can visit Cindy's ( yummylittlecooks) blog , the host for the Malaysian Food Fest this month. Just in case if you have missed my little information on the Malaysian Food Fest earlier, its main objective is to introduce culinary specialties in each state of Malaysia, modern or traditional and with these, we hope to encourage everyone to replicate and cook it at home and we are not claiming nationality or origin of dish and with this month on malacca, as what the organiser of the event, Wendy says, let's have some " Melaka" in your kitchen and here's mine.

Chicken Tempra, Acar Fish and Cincalok Pork
Today what i'm going to post is Acar Fish. The other 2 dishes, Chicken Tempra and Cincalok Pork will  get posted next week. I got this recipe from a nyonya cookbook which i own and i tried to replicate as much as i could because i made some adjustment here and there for just a little piece of fish here. First, i pan fried the fish which was earlier rubbed with some salt and turmeric powder, later i fried the pounded spices and lastly added some acar ( pickled vegetables). It's a little tangy sourish, just like the taste of acar, very appetising. Infact the rest of the 2 dishes are just as appetising . Please forgive me if this doesnt look like the real thing, i wished that there was a real nyonya standing next to me when i was cooking these :)

Recipe ( from Truly Nyonya Malacca) with some changes
1 piece of fish fillet (mine is 160gm, red snapper) rubbed with some salt and turmeric powder
1/2 cup of water

Side Ingredient
Nyonya acar or pickled vegeatable ( i used about 3 tbsp )

Spices ( Pound)
1 stalk lemongrass
1/2 tbsp dried shrimps
8 shallots
4 cloves garlic
10gm turmeric
10gm ginger

1tbsp white vinegar
1/4tsp salt
1/4tsp sugar

1. Pan fry the fish fillet which has been rubbed with salt and turmeric powder until cooked. Remove and set aside.
2. Heat up some oil in a wok, fry pounded spices until fragrant and add in 1/2 cup of water, nyonya acar and seasonings. Turn to low heat and cook until the fish absorbs the gravy. Serve.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Malacca Month ) hosted by Cindy of yummylittlecooks

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Apple Cornmeal Upside Down Cake

When talk about an upside down cake, the first thing that comes into my mind is a pineapple upside down cake, probably the most popular and heard of, of an upside down cake. It is believed that an upside down cake has came about during the 19th century but the term 'upside down' wasnt much used, it was called a 'skillet cake' due to the fact that oven was not commonly used in those days and the cakes were actually cooked in skillets, on top of the stove. The fruits were first cooked on the skillet, followed by the batter and once it's done, flip the skillet over a plate to show the pretty fruits. And also apples and maraschino cherries upside down cake actually came first before the pineapples. The pineapple cake was made popular only after the invention of canned pineapples.

This apple upside down cake today has been chosen for our bake along this week. Actually me, Joyce and Zoe just realised that the recipe that we are using from the Bon Appetit cookbook is a little different from the one that we found at the earlier in regards to the flour amount, eggs, milk and slightly different steps of mixing but i hope that it turns out just as good as the one that the three of us are making from the book.  It is a nice cake to eat with very soft and tender crumbs along with the baked caramelised apples. If you have not tried making any upside down cakes, try it someday and have a little fun flipping your pan over for some delicious treat.

Recipe ( from bon appetit Desserts book )
3/4 recipe in a 7 inch round pan
85gm butter, room temp divided 22gm and 63gm
84gm sugar for caramelising apple plus 80gm sugar for batter
3 green apples, peeled, cut into eighths, cored
94gm cake flour/ all purpose flour
23gm yellow cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8tsp salt
1 medium size egg, mine about 52gm
3/8cup buttermilk

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 175C. Grease or spray your baking tin with 2 inch high sides with  nonstick spray. Melt 22gms butter in a pan over medium high heat. Add 84gm sugar and stir until sugar melts and turns golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add apples and saute over medium heat until apples are just tender and coated with caramel, about 12 minutes. Immediately pour mixture into prepared pan, distribute apples and caramel evenly over bottom of pan.

Whisk flour, cornmeal, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat remaining butter 63gm and sugar 80gm sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Beat in egg. Add half of flour mixture, stir in buttermilk. Add remaining flour and mix well. Drop batter by spoonfuls evenly over apples amd spread gently with a spatula.

Bake until cake is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool cake in pan for 5 minutes, using a round bladed knife go around the cake sides to loosen the cake, place a plate over the pan. Using oven mitts as aid, firmly grasp pan and plate together and turn over. Gently lift pan off cake.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Strawberry Balsamic Pizza with Chicken, Onions and Applewood Bacon

Delicious! Delicious! One of the best pizzas that i've ever had! No wonder Chris said that it's a love at first bite!Quite an unusual combination of ingredients really.. with chicken, strawberries, applesmoked bacon, strawberry jam, chilli sauce, balsamic vinegar but if you never try, you will never know that all these flavours blended so well that makes it extremely flavourful and so good. Chris from The Cafe Sucre Farine had made a repost on this pizza several months back at her blog, considering some of her new readers might have missed the earlier post and also mentioned that this is one of her popular recipes in her blog. I knew i would have to try that. Do visit chris's blog if you have not been there, i'm sure you will find something you like.

This is one portion of the Jamie Oliver's Pizza Dough which i had kept in my freezer earlier. Here, I tried to follow closely to Chris's recipe especially the sauce making which was made up of strawberry jam, balsamic vinegar and Sriracha chilli sauce. The Sriracha sauce is a very fiery hot sauce on its own,  i suspect it's probably made from bird's eye chilli but after blending it with jam and balsamic vinegar, believe me, it's really not hot and i'm sure your kids can take it. Otherwise you can use a normal chilli sauce. As for the chicken, i've pan seared it till lightly browned before coating it with the sauce and have used ordinary onion and all mozzarella cheese here. When i was taking the last piece of this pizza, i was kind of missing it already cos i do not know when will i be making it again..Chris, you are right, i've fallen in love!

Recipe ( from The Cafe Sucre Farine )
makes one 12 inch pizza
1/2 cup strawberry jam
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Sriracha Chilli Sauce
1 ball pizza dough
1 cup diced chicken breast ( i've pan seared mine ) or leftover roasted chicken
1/2 cup applewood smoked bacon, cut in 1inch pieces, cooked and drained ( i lightly pan fried it )
1/2 cup thin sliced sweet onion ( i used regular onion)
12 oz shredded Italian blend cheese ( i used 8oz of mozzarella )
1/4cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh strawberries, diced small

1. Place balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan, bring to boil and reduce heat, simmer for 4-5 minutes or until reduced to half of the original amount and mixture is thick and syrupy. Add strawberry jam and chilli sauce and mix well, set aside to cool.
2.Roll out pizza dough on your pizza pan. If you find it a little difficult to roll to the edges of the pan, let it rest for a while and roll out again.
3.Combine chicken with 2 tbsps of the balsamic strawberry mixture and mix to coat all chicken with sauce. Pour rest of the sauce onto pizza dough and spread to cover. Leave a 1" border around the edge and scatter chicken over the sauce.
4.Place about 3/4 of the cheese on top of the dough, spread to cover sauce evenly, scatter bacon and onion over cheese to distribute evenly. Scatter remaining cheese.
5.Bake in a preheated oven at 230C for approximately 8-10 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is golden brown. Remove from oven, let it cool slightly and sprinkle with diced strawberries and fresh cilantro.

Sharing this with Recipe Box 8 hosted by Bizzy Bakes