Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sira Labu

I came to know of this sweet dessert when K.Nor from Secubit Garam posted her sira labu in the Malaysian Food Fest Facebook page. A well known dessert that comes from the state of Kelantan, it is usually served at weddings and as far as i understand, this dessert is usually very sweet. But since i'm replicating this at home, i will try to limit the sweetness as much as i can. I have to thank KNor for guiding me thru the process, although the process is not difficult, there were some things that i were unsure of. For example the use of alkaline water. The pumpkin was first soaked in water with a bit of alkaline water to avoid the pumpkin from being too mushy at the end of the cooking process. You can also have a choice to use brown sugar or gula nisan if it's available at your place. Here i have used gula melaka ( palm sugar ). Just remember to cook the pumpkins on low fire during the entire cooking process otherwise it may burn the pumpkins.

after soaking and cleaning the pumpkins, arrange the pumpkins on top of the pandan leaves in a big pot
then pour the gula melaka syrup onto the pumpkins and cook on low fire for about 40 mins or till pumpkin is soft.

Recipe ( from Secubit Garam, whom adapted from linapg ) with some changes
1/2 small pumpkin, cut into wedges with skin on
1/8 cup alkaline/lye water
enough water to soak the pumpkins

85gm gula melaka/palm sugar, crushed
1/4 cup water
some pandan leaves
pinch of salt

1. Place the cut pumpkins in a big basin or pot and put in just enough water to to cover the pumpkins. Add the alkaline water and let it soak for 1 hour. Meanwhile can cook the gula melaka syrup. Place the gula melaka and the water together in a pan and cook till the sugar has melted. Set aside.
2. Discard the water, rinse the pumpkin and pat dry. Arrange the pandan leaves onto a big pot and put the pumpkins in.  Pour in the gula melaka all around the pot and let it cook on low fire for about 1 hours ( i cooked mine for abt 40mins ) or till pumpkin turns soft. Remove and serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest Event ( Kelantan Month ) hosted by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chicken Kerabu ( Kelantan Peranakan Dish )

I am not surprised that many of us are not aware of  the Peranakans and also the Peranakan dishes in Kelantan. From what i understand and read, the Peranakans in Kelantan is just a very small community. They live and speak just like the local kelantanese malay, and some with a little bit of hokkien with some influence from the Malay and Thai language and call themselves Cina Kampung as this community lives exclusively in the kampung ( village ) and their houses are just like the local malay houses and some Peranakans have even Malay nicknames. They are different from the urban Kelantanese Chinese and they communicate with each other by speaking the Kelantanese Malay though the scenarios may have changed now as more and more those in the younger generation can speak Mandarin. You can read further on the Peranakan Kelantanese by clicking here

There are strong influences from the Malays and Thais in the Peranakan dish and this chicken kerabu is one of the Kelantan Peranakan Dish. While the dish tastes very similar to the usual thai style kerabu, here we can see that it uses some local leaves like laksa leaves, gula melaka ( palm sugar) and also Budu, a local fish sauce which is very popular used by the people from the state of Kelantan. You can subsitute ordinary fish sauce for budu if you do not have one. I got a small bottle of budu just to make this from Jaya Jusco. I would say this is a very delicious kerabu dish.

bottle of budu

Recipe ( The Hungry Caterpillar )
1/4 of chicken ( i used 2 parts of chicken breasts)
enough water to boil the chicken

6 shallots, sliced thinly
2 stalks lemongrass, sliced thinly
1 medium sized torch gingerbud, sliced thinly
1 sprig laksa leaves, sliced thinly
1 pc cabbage leave, sliced thinly
5 bird's eye chilli ( i didnt put this )

10 limes , halved and squeezed for juice
1cm gula melaka /palm sugar, crushed
1tbsp budu ( local fish sauce )
1/2 cm belacan ( optional)
pinch of salt

1. Boil the chicken till cooked and then shred the meat.
2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and pour in the sauce. Mix thoroughly and serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Kelantan Month ) hosted by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets

Monday, April 22, 2013

Tres Leches Cake

Actually this cake has been made long time ago, about more than a year. That time i happened to receive some DDL from Elin and decided to make this cake as i have also seen it in Wendy's blog. I was very keen to try it out at that time becos it's something interesting to know eating a cake that is soaked in milk. I had adapted the whole recipe and method from wendy's blog and that time i didnt take any photos as to how to assemble the cake but you can refer to wendy's blog as to how to go about soaking the cake.

When Zoe made a choice for the bake along to make this cake, i was telling my 2 other hosts, Joyce and Zoe herself that i will not be making this cake again as i have made earlier but yet to post and am still keeping the photos in my file. First of all, i'm lazy to make this cake again as the earlier one i made did involved a bit of preparation work. Secondly, only me likes the cake in my family. The rest find it a little weird eating a soaked cake or rather a wet cake.  The milk mixture is actually very nice, like a mild coffee milk and i didnt pour in all the milk mixture onto the cake cos when i was doing that, it seemed quite a lot so i held back some of the milk mixture and just drank that up. But i think it's worthwhile trying this cake especially if you are just as curious as i was in the first place, a soaked cake.

the plain cake after baking..
you can see the different tone colours in the cake, that 's the milk mixture that has been
poured over the cake earlier on.

Recipe ( from Table for 2..or more, who adapted from Rose's Heavenly Cakes  )
Milk Mixture
600gm fresh milk
100gm Dulce de Leche ( DDL )
115gm whipping cream

Put DDL in a heatproof bowl and stir in whipping cream. Bring fresh milk to a boil and pour over DDl and cream. Stir to melt DDL and leave to cool in the fridge.

4 large eggs
133gm sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
133gm cake flour

1.Preheat oven to 180C and line the base of the pan ( i used 8 inch square pan)
2.Beat eggs, sugar on high speed for abt 8 mins then to low speed for 2 mins
3.Beat in vanilla and sift cake flour over eggs and fold. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30mins or until cooked.
4.Let cake cool in pan for 5 mins , remove and let cool on wire rack.

1. Using a cake pan, place 2 sheets of cling wrap crisscrossing each other over the pan. Scape off the top of the cake using a serrated knife and place the cake into the cake pan, top side up.
2. Pour the milk mixture over the cake all around, fold cling wrap over the cake and chill overnight. ( note that i didnt pour in all of the milk mixture, i left for about 150ml )
3. Next day, remove the cake from fridge and unwrap. Turn the cake over to a plate and turn it up again. Whip some cream and spread it on top on the cake.

For pics instructions how to soak the cake,  you can refer to Wendy's post here

The link will be opened from today till May01, 2013. You can pick any Tres Leches Cake recipe of your own choice. Just a reminder to all who are interested to do a link with us, please mention Bake Along event in your post and link it back to any of the hosts' post and link only new and current post. Thank you.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Kuih Bingka Jagung

While i was searching for some corn recipe ideas to take part in the Little Thumbs Up event, i came across this kuih bingka jagung in several sites. To my non asian friends, kuih is a term that we use to relate to our local cakes, mostly steamed but do have baked ones too like this kuih bingka. I do like eating kuih bingka, well actually i enjoy eating all types of kuih but never tried kuih bingka that comes in corn or jagung flavour. I set my mind to make this. Of course another factor that interest me to try was that it is so easy to make. Just put in all the ingredients into the blender and grrrr..grrr..grrrr.. and it's all ready to be baked! Yay! Easy! I have also made this kuih twice in the past week and was referring to a few recipes ..the first time i did that i didnt blend the creamy corn together with the rest..although it was still good but the kuih was full of  holes due to the corn kernels in the kuih. It is up to you whether you want to eat the whole corn kernels or not but i think blending it together makes the appearance better. This is a nice kuih and full of jagung/corn flavour.

Recipe (  with some reference from hana memories )
125gm flour
3tbsp custard powder
100gm sugar
350ml coconut milk
2 eggs
2tbsp oil
1 can creamy corn ( CREAM STYLE )

1. Lined a 8" x8 " with banana leaves and preheat oven to 170C
2.Put all the ingredients above into a blender and blend till all mixed well.
3. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60mins. Set the oven to upper  grill at 220C and grill for about 5 mins. Remove and let cool before cutting.

You can reduce the sugar amount to 70gm-80gm if you prefer less sweet but i think the above is good for me for a kuih. 

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Esther of Copycake Kitchen with the theme " Corn"

Friday, April 12, 2013

Rosemary Polenta Cake

Have you tried putting rosemary in a cake? This is our latest bake at The Home Bakers ( THB ), our 16th bake so far from the book, Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas. This recipe gives us the option to use fresh rosemary, fresh lavender or dried lavender blossoms and although i have some dried lavender at home, i chose to stick to the original recipe which calls for rosemary. I do not know if i like the scent of rosemary in my cakes therefore i put in less than the required amount in the recipe..about 1/2 tbsp.  I am glad that i did not put in all cos somebody in my family said it tasted strange...and to be honest, in the beginning i also thought it's a little strange..but not going to give this recipe a pass because i'm just curious to taste as well.

This cake has a nice texture, light and kind of fluffy and fragrant too with the addition of some cornmeal in the cake. As for the rosemary, i can say that it gives me a pleasant taste to the cake..just a little hint of the rosemary which i think it's quite unique too. Still, i think it's really up to individuals to accept the taste of rosemary in cakes. I have halved the recipe and made them in muffin pans and it yields 12 muffins altogether and i have skipped the rosemary lemon syrup which is supposed to drizzle onto the cake after baking. Not a problem for me, i still find it's a nice tea cake. For recipe, kindly refer to the host of this bake, Angela from The Charmed Cupcake and to view the group baking, you can click here.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Cek Mek Molek ( Fried Sweet Potatoes Dumplings )

I find the name of this kuih is rather cute..cek mek molek. The Malay word, Molek means pretty or i shall just call it Miss Pretty or molek. The making of this molek is quite similar to the sweet potato balls where we can find at our local kuih stalls but instead of round, these molek comes in oblong shape and also they are filled with sugar which will eventually melt into syrup after frying these molek.

This is a small recipe and it comes to about 10 moleks. Well, out of 10, there were 4 which the sugar has leaked out during the frying process. I thought i had sealed them nicely but it still leaked out , so when you want to do this, do make sure you seal up properly. I had made them cooked under low fire enabling the sugar to melt into syrup, i didnt time them but it takes probably about  8-9 mins. Do not tempt to eat this while they are still hot, the syrup will burn your tongue..i almost burnt mine.

my moleks got a bit out of shape :)

the melted sugar filling

Recipe ( with reference from Table for 2..or more )
240gm peeled sweet potatoes ( i used orange sweet potatoes )
70gm- 80gm plain flour
caster sugar for filling

1. Boil or steam the sweet potatoes till soft and mash them. Add the plain flour till a pliable dough is formed. I used  mixer to do this .
2.Divide the dough into 30gms each and shape round. Flattem them into disc and fill them with 1 tsp of sugar, seal and make into oblong shape. Repeat for the rest of the dough.
3. Deep fry them on low medium heat till a crust is formed on the outside. Let cool down before serving.

Try not to add too much flour into the dough. If you find it a little stickly, flour your palms. You can also watch the video created by Wendy on how to shape these moleks. 

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest ( Kelantan Month ) hosted by Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippets

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Deep Chocolate Pound Cake

Chocolate cakes are always welcomed in my house, not that i love baking chocolate cakes, they are usually fast to finish,  in regardless they are rich or light , plain or not plain type of chocolate cakes. I have baked this cake twice, also not because it's super delicious but it was gone quite quickly and the first time i made that, i find that the honey taste is a little strong for my liking and also forgot to put in the chocolate chips.

It is a nice chocolate cake even though i personally prefer the flavour and the taste of the chocolate could be more intense and i still enjoyed eating it . If you do not like the honey taste in cakes, it is alright to skip that.It was also suggested in the book that we can cut the cake into small cubes and then layered with some whipping cream, fruits and some chocolate sauce, making it a trifle. Zoe who had chosen this cake for our bake along is unable to post her cake up today due to some personal matters but she will be back next week  to post it up.  Meanwhile, dont mind just spare some time looking at mine and Joyce's cake first..haha.. and also the rest who will be joining us, ok?

Recipe ( from bon appetit Desserts ) with replacement made for some ingredients
280gm cake flour/ap flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4tsp baking soda
1/2 cup yogurt/sour cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1tbsp honey
2-3 tbsp boiling water
1/2cup sugar
113 gm unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

Position rack in the center of oven, preheat to 350F/175C. Lined a 9"x5"x3" loaf pan.

Whisk flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl. Whisk yogurt and milk in another small bowl. Sift cocoa powder in another bowl and whisk in honey and boiling water until smooth. Cool completely.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in a medium bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 egg at a time, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl. Add cooled mixture, stir until smooth, occasionally scraping down bowl. Beat in flour mixture alternately with yogurt/sour cream mixture in 2 additions each until just blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Transfer batter to prepared pans, smooth top and bake until tester inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour.

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