Thursday, July 25, 2013

Beggar's Chicken (乞丐鸡)

Sometime end of last year, my friend, Cheah of No-Frills Recipes was checking  with me regarding a restaurant in KL, and it says that the glutinuos rice and pig trotters are very delicious, actually both of us are not very sure the name of the restaurant but we know that it is located out of town, somewhere near the palm oil estate. After some googling, managed to find out that this restaurant is located in Ijok, Selangor and not only it is famous for its eight treasure glutinous rice, infact the more well known and popular dish in this restaurant is their Beggar's Chicken which is baked in an open brick oven using charcoal fire.. The chicken are stuffed with chinese herbs, wrapped in aluminium foil and then covered in clay. It is then placed on top of the open brick oven and buried in charcoal and ash to be baked for several hours.

these are the common herbs that we used to bake this beggar's chicken
the gravy ...

Even though up to this day, i hv yet to try the real beggar's chicken from Ijok, will then do a homecooked version instead. Stuff the chicken with herbs and wrapped it up with some foil and parchment paper and instead of covered it with clay, it is now replaced by a dough crust and bake it in the oven for 2.5 hours. I can tell you that after breaking the crust, just like Shannon said, the aroma of the herbs baking in the chicken is wonderful! The gravy is so tasty and the meat of the chicken is just so so tender...totally worth your time! Do you know the hardest part of making this chicken is not the preparation, wrapping  or waiting time, it is the breaking of the dough crust! So hard..i mean really hard and very hot!! so friends, if any of you are preparing this in future, just be careful when breaking the crust, i did that with a kitchen scissors and also with my hands..with kitchen mittens on of course :)

stuff the herbs into the cavity of the chicken and pour the sauce over

wrap in foil paper or greaseproof paper..i used both 

then cover with dough

bake in oven for 2.5 hours

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest  ( Kuala Lumpur Selangor Month ) hosted by Shannon of Just As Delish

tastier if you eat that just with your hands :D

Recipe ( adapted from Just As Delish with some changes made )
1 free range chicken/ kampung chicken, mine about 1.1kg
1tsp salt

Herbal Filling
1.5 cup water
8gm dang shen
7 red dates
10gm dong guai ( angelica root )
15gm yuk chuk
1tbsp wolfberries
2tbsps cornflour +2tbsp water, for thickening
10gm rock sugar
1tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp chinese rice wine
1tsp sesame oil
3 pieces dried scallops
salt and pepper to taste

1kg plain flour
10gm salt
550ml- 700ml water

1. Wash chicken, pat dry and marinate with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
2. Preheat oven to 180C.
3. Bring water and 5 types of herbs to boil in a small pot. Let simmer for 5 mins over low heat, mix in the rest of the seasonings, remove from heat to cool down.
4. Combine salt and half of the water in a mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve salt then pour flour over. Mix and add enough water to form a dough. Rest dough for 30 mins, covered.
5. Get some aluminium foil or greaseproof paper, over a deep bowl large enough to sit the chicken or follow original instructions , place 2 sheets of greaseproof paper/ foil paper ( 55cmx40cm ), fold the 40cm sides about 1 cm thick 5 times to secure it into a big piece.
6. Place the herbs into the cavity of the chicken and place chicken in the bowl. Pour cooled herbal stock over the chicken.
7. Wrap up the chicken with greaseproof paper / foil paper to make into parcel.  I used greaseproof paper and another layer of aluminium foil.
8. Roll the dough out to circle about 1/2 cm thickness and wrap it over the chicken parcel. Place the whole parcel onto tray and bake at 180C for 2.5 hours
9. Break the crust with kitchen scissors and discard dough. Be careful of the hot steam. Quickly place chicken into a large bowl as the gravy will spill out.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Mixed Berries Buckle

Looking at this cake, it is almost similar to the Blueberry Pecan Orange Cake which i just last posted, except that this doesnt contain any nuts and the texture is much firmer compared to the former. According to various sites, it says a buckle is a type of cake with berries or fruits, lots of them added to the batter and a streusel topping. It is called a buckle because when the cake is baking, the cake batter rises up around the fruits, encasing the fruits in batter and causing the streusel to buckle, creating some ups and downs on the surface.

loaded with fruits and a crunchy streusel topping

It is a dense and moist cake and loaded with berries, and just i was comparing this recipe with the blueberry pecan orange cake which i made earlier, both recipes are almost quite the same with the exception of the fruits that ask for double the amount and more flour needed in this cake. Hmm..not really that important as long as it's nice to eat but personally i would prefer the Blueberry Pecan Orange Cake if you ask me. Joyce,  Zoe and myself are making buckles this week, everyone's welcomed to join us to make some fruity buckles, the linky wil be opened today up till August 2.

Recipe ( from the book, Cake Keeper ) with modifications
For the Streusel
20gm plain flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
28gm butter, chilled and cut into pieces

Combine the flour and sugar in a mixing bowl. Cut in the butter till it resembles coarse meal with some larger crumbs. Refrigerate until ready to use.

For the Cake
125gm plain flour/cake flour
1tsp baking powder
1.5 cup mixed blueberries and raspberries
28gm butter, slightly softened
115gm sugar
1/2 large egg
1/4cup milk

Preheat oven to 375F/190C ( mine at 185C) , grease a 6 inch round baking tin.

Combine the flour, baking powder in a medium mixing bowl, place the berries in another bowl and stir in 1/8cup of the flour to coat.

Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium high speed until fluffy, about 3 mins. Reduce to low speed and add in the egg. With the mixer still on low speed, add the 1/2 of the flour mixture, milk and the remaining flour mixture. Stir in the berries with a large rubber spatula, trying not to mash too many of the berries. The batter will be stiff. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

Sprinkle the streusel onto the batter evenly, making some large crumbs. Bake the cake until it is golden and a cake tester inserted in comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 mins before removing it from pan to let cool completely.

get the InLinkz code

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Blueberry Pecan Orange Coffee Cake

I made a mini loaf cake this afternoon, mini that i actually have the entire loaf by myself..almost.. cos i have already eaten 3/4 of it. You probably wouldnt like to see how i actually ate the cake, after slicing the one for photo taking, i just grabbed the whole loaf by hand and eat it just like that, like eating a burger or a bar of chocolate!  what manners, or eating etiquette..when nobody's watching? hehe..

I made half the recipe and the amount of each ingredient is actually quite little and all i did was to do that with a wooden spoon from the beginning up till the end. Cream the butter and sugar until light, add the egg and then the dry ingredients, throw in the blueberries and lastly sprinkle some streusel on the top. I baked this in my small mini oven too..felt like a kid baking this :D . This is a very nice and tender cake and although i did not use cranberry as per original recipe, the sweet and juicy blueberries were just as good! This is our 20th bake at The Home Bakers ( THB ) where we are all baking from the same book, Coffee Cakes by Lou Seibert Pappas. You can also take a look at all who have already made this cake by clicking here.

Some changes that i made was replacing the cranberries with frozen blueberries, used freshly squeezed orange juice instead of orange concentrate and the streusel topping are actually some leftover from a cake which i baked be posted later. For full recipe, please visit the hostess of this bake, Maria of Box of Stolen Socks

Friday, July 19, 2013

Durian Cottony Cake

I guess another name for this cottony cake is also called the Ogura Cake, which I find extremely popular especially among the circle of bloggers here in Malaysia and Singapore..and one of the reason why it is popular i think is because of the soft and light texture. Most of us living here, somehow do have soft spots for bread or cakes that is soft in texture, like chiffon cakes or fluffy breads. I have come across various flavours for ogura cakes in blogs and although durian is not my first choice, i want to try making this first to support my blogger friend, Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House who is hosting the Aspiring Bakers Challenge this month with the theme, Durians. The recipe here has been taken from Kimmy of Cooking Pleasure and if you are keen to make cottony cakes as well,  do visit Kimmy's blog for more ideas and inspiration. She has posted quite a number of cottony cakes in her blog.

I am always nervous when it comes to beating egg whites and the folding part. Here i have overbeat the egg whites, it has reached very stiff peaks and i must admit that i have some difficulty folding the egg whites into the rest of the batter. It actually took me quite a while to complete the folding part. Nevertheless, the cake did turned out to be soft and tender but it could have been much better if not of the overbeaten egg whites. I will need to be more careful next time and yes, i would like to try more ogura cakes in the future. Happy baking and happy weekend to all.

Recipe ( from Cooking Pleasure )
made in a 8' or 9 " square pan
5 egg yolks
1 egg
50ml corn oil
70ml milk
75gm cake flour, sifted
60-80 gm durian meat, mashed into smooth paste ( i used 100gm )
1/4tsp salt ( omitted )
5 egg whites
60gm sugar
1/4tsp cream of tartar

1.Line base of baking tin, grease and flour the sides of the pan. ( i used non stick pan, only line the base )
2.Preheat oven to 160C. Place a baking tray on the lowest rack and pour in water about 2 cups for steam bake.
3. Whisk egg yolks, egg then add in the oil and milk.  Add in the mashed durian meat and beat until well combined. Fold in sifted flour, stir until batter is smooth. Set aside.
4.Whisk egg whites until frothy, add in cream of tartar. Beat till soft peaks then add in sugar gradually and whisk till stiff peak. Do not overbeat egg whites otherwise it may be difficult to fold into the egg yolks mixture.
5. Fold 1/3 meringue into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the rest in 2 batches into the egg yolks mixture.Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Shake the pan lightly or tap the baking tin a few times on the countertop to release trapped air bubbles.
6. Place it on the middle rack ( over the tray which contains water ) for steam bake. Bake at 160C for 10 mins, then reduce to 150C for 55-60 mins.
7. Remove cake and invert cake immediately to cool for 3 mins ( otherwise the cake base will be moist due to the vapour from steam baking ). Remove from tin and paper linings and leave to cool on a wire rack with base of the cake facing upwards. The cake will shrink a little after cooling down.

I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #33 ( July 2013 ) Tropical Spiky Month hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cinnamon French Toast with Berry Sauce

I seldom have this kind of breakfast at home..i mean to me this is kind of luxurious breakfast. Very often my breakfast is really simple..i am a noodle person but i cant really take noodles in the morning, i find that a little heavy for me, so often breakfast is just slices of bread with jam, oat or milo or just a ham egg sandwich or a simple wrap..and although french toast is very common and simple to make, i rarely make it at home. The only time i have french toast is only at hotel breakfast. Most of the time breakfast is just me just go simple but nowadays have been making smoothies, easy smoothies that just perk up my mornings.

Have some homemade bread and berries at home so on this day treated myself to something other than my ordinary breakfast.  I cut the bread a little more thicker than usual to soak up the egg mixture, cook them and immediately coat them with cinnamon sugar. Again cinnamon sugar? if i've not gotten enough of cinnamon sugar in my doughnuts muffins earlier.  Anyway, the below portion is quite filling, a little heavy for me alone..would be nice if i can share this with someone..:D

Place the hot french toasts in cinnamon sugar immediately after cooking and coat them completely

Recipe ( from ) has been scaled down to serve 1 or 2
Ingredients for berry sauce
1/3 cup of mixed blueberries and raspberries
1tbsp sugar

Mix the berries and sugar in a pot and cook at medium heat, stirring occasionally and let it simmer for about 5 mins. Remove from heat and leave aside.

French toast
2 slices of thick bread/brioche
3 eggs
1 tbsp of butter
slightly less than 1/4 cup of sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
creme fraiche ( i used greek yogurt ) and some fresh berries to serve along.

1. Using a fork, beat eggs in a large flat plate to blend. Place the slices of bread in the eggs and let stand for about 5 mins, or until the eggs are absorbed, turning the bread slices once.
2. Melt the butter on a pan on medium heat, add in the bread slices and cook for 2mins or golden brown on the outside. Meanwhile, stir the cinnamon and sugar in another large plate. Immediately place the hot french toast in the cinnamon sugar and coat completely. Top with some creme fraiche or yogurt and spoon the berry sauce over the french toast. Scatter some fresh berries over and serve immediately.

Linking this post to Cook Like A Star Event hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy KidsBaby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Grace of Life Can Be Simple

Friday, July 12, 2013

Crabs with Ginger and Onions

Occasionally, i do get specially reserved crabs given to me by my father..and most of the time what i do with them is to cook them Sour and Spicy like in here..that's because i like the gravy so much. When i was small, i remember whenever my mum cooked spicy crabs , we will get a loaf of bread to mop the gravy to polish the plate clean. Since the theme ingredient for this month's Little Thumbs Up is ginger, i decided to cook them with ginger and spring onions. It was an impromptu dish i would say as i will usually cook them the spicy way and therefore here, i just used up all the green onions that i have at home at that time. If i have more, i will throw in even more spring onions here as this is one of the main ingredients and brings taste value to the dish. Yes, put in more spring onions :)

4 medium sized mud crabs, cleaned and cut into pieces
70gms ginger, sliced
50gms or more spring onions , sectioned, separate the white parts
1 medium size onion, cut into wedges
2 cloves garlic
3/4tsp salt
1 tbsp oyster sauce
cooking wine, from the bottle cap, 1 cap

1. Pour some oil into the wok and heat up. Fry the crabs till they turn orange or almost cooked. Remove from wok. Alternatively, if you do not want to pre fry the crabs, just go straight to 2.
2. Leaving some oil in the wok, saute the ginger, garlic and the white parts of the green onion and onion till aromatic. Add in the crabs and stir fry them for about a minute. Add in the salt and oyster sauce and continue to stir fry the crabs. You may add in some water if it's too dry. Just splash the water around the wok. Keep frying the crabs and splash some water round the wok if necessary. Cover for a couple of minutes to cook the crabs. Add in the green onions and splash the wine round the wok, fry for about a minute and remove from heat.

I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite and hosted by Alvin of The Chef and Sommelier with the theme ingredient, GINGER

Monday, July 8, 2013

Mini Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

The book says these taste just like old fashioned doughnuts, i 'm not sure how does an old fashioned doughnut taste from those days the only one type of doughnut i know is the very ordinary type of doughnut that is big round ring shaped one coated with sugar and to my chinese friends here, does anyone of you call doughnuts 牛车轮?  I used to call that when i was small and sometimes still do now.

We are not making ring shaped doughnuts today but in muffin form and these are baked doughnuts, a recipe picked by Joyce and am baking along with my other partner, Zoe. Oh, to those who have took part in our last bake along , the cottony cheesecake, thanks very much for your participation. As i still think i'm not good in baking a cheesecake, i am very delighted to see each of the entries in and learning as i go along with all of you.

I have made these doughnut muffins into minis as i have a mini muffin pan and have not been using that. The outside of these doughnuts are slightly crunchy when fresh and the inside is soft and i like them that they still nice the next day without reheating. I left some without any coating and filled them with some home made lemoncurd. The linky for this bake will be opened from today till July17, 2013 everyone's welcomed to join. Our theme for next bake along is Fruity Buckles. It is a dessert or a cake loaded with fruits and topped with streusels; blueberries, strawberries, peach..etc..your choice. Have a good week!

Recipe ( from the book, Back in the Day Bakery )
makes 24 mini muffins
187 gm all purpose flour (i used cake flour)
1/8 tsp baking soda
11/4 baking powder
1/4 fine sea salt
1tbsp buttermilk ( i used greek yogurt )
110ml whole milk/full cream milk
56gm unsalted butter, softened
60gm sugar
1 large egg

For doughnut coating
56gm unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar mixed with 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 177C. Grease and flour the muffin pans
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt . In a medium bowl, combine the milk and the buttermilk or yogurt.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter for 2-3 mins using a handheld mixer on medium speed. Reduce to low and gradually add in the sugar. Continue to mix until mixture lighten in colour. Add the egg, beating until  just combined. Add the dry ingredients in 3 batches, flour, milk and flour mixing just until smooth , do not overmix.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tray, filling approx 2/3 . Bake for 20-25 minutes, ubtil the tops are firm and lightly golden. While the muffins are baking, prepare the melted butter in one bowl and the cinnamon sugar in another bowl. Let the doughnut cool completely on a wire rack, dunk them in the melted butter, then coat them with cinnamon sugar.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Soy and Ginger Soba Noodles

I have only eaten soba noodles in a restaurant probably just 3 times and i have not tried cooking soba noodles before. Got to refer to the packet for cooking instructions but hey, all the instructions are in Japanese and i cant read. But i can see a numeric 7 on the front packet so i guess cooking time is 7 minutes and there's also a picture showing rinsing the noodles under the tap, so more or less i know it is to be  run over the water after boiling the noodles. Just to be assured that i am doing the correct thing, i surfed the net on how to cook soba noodles before doing it..:D cos i really dont know ..

I foresee that this dish will make its appearance on my table from time to time. It is well flavoured and yet light and easy. I still have some pumpkin tofu bought from an organic shop here, that would be a good addition i thik so i threw that in as well. Besides tofu, another popular choice would be salmon or you just have it even plain, i dont see any problem. How about char siew (bbq pork) ? do you think it's nice?

Just a note, after spending some time taking these photographs (  i think i spent around 20 mins ), i found that these portion of the noodles almost dried up, so i did put them back into the tossing bowl with the balance of the noodles and added a little more soy sauce and vinegar. So serve immediately after done with the cooking.

Recipe ( with some reference from here )
serves 3 
1 packet dried soba noodles, 200gm
1.5 tbsp ginger, peeled ,minced or grated
1 clove garlic, chopped
1.5 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
some chopped green/spring onions
6 tbsp light soy sauce
4 tbsp rice vinegar
pumpkin tofu/ordinary tofu , pan fried

1. Cook the noodles as per packet instructions. Meanwhile, mix the ginger, garlic, spring onions, soy sauce and rice vinegar in a small bowl.
2. When the noodles are cooked, drain them and transfer them into a big bowl. Add in the sesame seeds and tofu and spoon the sauce over. Divide to servings and serve immediately.

Linking this post to Little Thumbs Up Event organised by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of my little favourite DIY and hosted by Alvin of Chef and Sommelier with the theme ingredient, " GINGER"