Saturday, May 31, 2014

Spiced Indian Yellow Cabbage

If you are a frequent visitor to the indian banana leaf restaurant, you may be familiar with this veggie dish. It is often served as a side dish alongside with some other veggies like stir fried beansprouts, sauteed chopped spinach to name a few. Its bright yellow colour of the dish comes from the turmeric powder, though hardly detectable so i guess its purpose is more for colour. I cant really recall if the dish comes with dried anchovies or ikan bilis but to me it is a good addition. We can add more water and cook a little longer if we want the cabbage to be a little more softer or if we want it to be more crunchier, we just put less water. To me, i really enjoy eating this veggie dish, cabbage is sweet, a lovely vibrant dish and great for accompanying some curry dishes.

Recipe ( from Yum Yum Magazine April/May 2012 Issue ) sightly changed
Ingredients A
2tbsp oil
Handful of dried anchovies ( ikan bilis ), washed and drained
300gm cabbage, shredded
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
some water

Ingredients B
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
2 pips garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 dried chillis, cut into 1 cm length
1 green chilli, shredded
1-2 sprigs curry leaves

Salt to taste

Heat up oil, add dried anchovies/ikan bilis and fry until lightly brown. Remove and set aside.
In the same wok, stir fry mustard seeds, chopped garlic and diced onion until aromatic. Add the dried chillies, green chilli and curry leaves and stir well.

Put in the shredded cabbage, a little water and stir fry until well mixed. Add in the turmeric powder. Lastly, add in the fried ikan bilis and salt to taste. Dish up and serve.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest ( Indian Subcontinent ) hosted by Chef And Sommelier

Also linking this post to Cook Your Books #12 hosted by Kitchen Flavours

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Kerala Style Chicken Curry

I love curry, so i thought of trying out this kerala style indian curry dish. It turns out to be quite heavily spiced for me. This curry is also a bit unusual from the indian curry that i normally had at the indian restaurant but anyway i have never tried a kerala curry before. There are quite a long list of ingredients needed but most are already available in my kitchen here except for bay leaf and that is why i did not put in the bay leaf as  required.  The herbs and spices were roasted and then grinded to powder form before adding it to the cooking process later. The taste of some spices are quite significant here but i'm not sure if it comes from the coriander powder or everything in all. I am just okay towards this curry, kerala style curry is quite popular and i am very sure a lot of people love it , just that this is not too favourite on my tastebuds. I have also made an indian spiced vegetable to go along with this dish to serve with rice , i love that and will be posting it next.

Recipe ( adapted from here )
For marination
Chicken 1/2 kg, chopped into pieces
Chilli powder 1tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp

Dry Roast
Fennel seeds 3/4tsp
Cardamon 2 pods
Cinnamon stick 5 ( around 2 inches )
Cloves 4
Bay Leaf 1 ( omitted )
Dried Red Chilli 2
Coriander Seeds 1 tbsp
Black Peppercorns 1/2 tsp

For Gravy
Coconut Oil/ Vegetable Oil  2tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tbsp
Dried Red Chilli 3
Onion 1 , chopped finely
Ginger Garlic paste 1 tbsp ( i used 1/2 tbsp each of chopped ginger and garlic )
Thick coconut milk 1 cup ( i didnt use all, left abt 50ml )
Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig

Marinate the chicken for about an hour. Dry roast the ingredients mentioned in dry roast in a wok or pan until slightly brown , about few minutes. Transfer the dry roasted ingredients to a food processor or mill and grind to coarse powder

In a pan or wok, add the oil.When hot add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the dried chilli . curry leaves and stir for a minute. Add chopped onions and saute till soft. Add in the ginger garlic paste. Put in the chicken and sprinkle water ( from time to time ) to allow to cook.

When it is half cooked ( about 10minutes ), add the ground powder and mix well .Stir and cover the pan to allow the chicken to cook further, about 2-3 minutes. Add the coconut milk and salt.Cook till curry becomes thick. If it's very thick, add a little water. Add in the garam masala and cook for another 5 minutes. Dish up and serve immediately.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest- Indian Subcontinent hosted by Chef and Sommelier

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hot Milk Sponge Cake

This is a nice sponge cake or maybe a nice tea cake. It is fairly simple to make and no egg separation needed. A little different compared to making a normal sponge cake where hot milk mixture is added into the batter, hence the name and it yields a very moist texture to the cake. There are various hot milk sponge cake recipes on the internet and this original recipe comes from Tish Boyle . I also see some pictures on the internet of this cake that really shows a very airy kind of texture, mine was not exactly airy of fluffy but still i regard it as one nice cake to be eaten on its own. I can have few slices at one time. Because i never thought of doing any frosting and just want to remain it plain, i did not reduce much sugar. At times i do think simple cake like this or butter cake is just so comforting.

As i'm writing this post, Malaysia is now playing the Thomas Cup 2014 badminton finals against Japan. At least this is something good to hear after a few unfortunate events happening in the country, Cmon Malaysia, Fight!

Recipe  ( from ) with slight changes
makes one 9 inch cake
135gm sifted cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk/120ml ( i used 100ml )
4 tbsp /57gm unsalted butter
3 large eggs
3/4cup/150gm sugar ( i used 120gm )
1tsp vanilla extract

Position the rack in the center of oven and preheat oven to 350F/175C. Sift together the cake flour, baking powder and slat 2 times and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine butter and milk and heat over medium heat just until butter is melted. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with bubble whisk attachment until well combined and frothy, about one minute.Gradually add in sugar and vanilla extract and continue beating at high speed for 6 mins until pale and tripled in volume. Sift one third of flour mixture over egg foam and gently fold it with a rubber spatula. repeat with remaining flour in 2 more additions. Heat up milk to just until boil. Add in all at once to the egg mixture and gently fold it to combine.

Pour batter into a 9 inch cake tin and bake the cake for 20-25mins until it springs back and a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10 mins and invert the cake onto the wire rack and let it cool completely.

I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Tze of AwayofMind Bakery House with the theme 'MILK'

On another note, i would like to inform that there is a Rice Cooker Cake Challenge over at Everybody Eats Well in Flanders...meaning baking cakes using a rice cooker instead. So to those of you who do not own an oven or interested to know more abt baking using a rice cooker, please hop over to Everybody Eats Well in Flanders. You can find a list of bloggers who had tried and posted their cakes and recipes using rice cooker there.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Lemon Scented Pull Apart Bread

Incredibly delicious. Even when i first read the recipe, it already sounds delicious to me. Filled with sugar and lemon plus orange zest over a buttered bread and top with cream cheese icing. How's that? Only thing is that i was hoping that the dough recipe is a good one and seeing butter, milk and eggs there hmm.i think it shld be good as well...well, it did turned out to be good and soft , very nice. However, the dough is very sticky and i wouldnt recommend handknead, please use the machine unless you like messy hands messy jobs. I needed to add a couple more of tablespoon of flour to the sticky dough, it will still be a sticky dough in the end, less try to adjust by adding the flour by tablespoon.

if your the dough slices got cramped at one end like mine here, then can take 2-3 slices fit in nicely:)
gosh, i just realised i left some fingerprints marks on the bread when pulled those slices apart.
Pls pretend you dont see them, okay? 

This is my first time making this kind of pull apart bread and such fun and easy when all i have to do it is just pull the slices apart and eat. No need the knife..:D I really love the sugar and the zest flavours filling in the bread and also the cream cheese topping. I wld love to make this bread again perhaps using another more familiar or favourite bread recipe. Me together with Joyce and Zoe are baking these for our bake along this round and the linky will be opened from today up till may28, 2014. Everyone welcomed to join. Thanks!

Recipe ( adapted from )
made in a 9"x5" loaf pan
For sweet dough
350gm all purpose flour ( i used bread flour )
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/3cup whole milk
2 oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup water
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs

For the lemon filling
1/2 cup granulated sugar
zest from 2-3 lemons
zest from 1 orange
2 oz unsalted butter, melted

Cream cheese icing ( there will be leftovers )
3 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3cup confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice ( i put 2 tbsp )

Make the sweet dough
Stir together 250gms of flour, sugar, yeast and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. In a saucepan, heat the butter and milk over low heat until butter is just melted. Remove from heat, add the water and set aside until warm ( i set aside for 10 mins until milk is lukewarm) . Add the vanilla.

Pour the milk over the flour-yeast mixture and using a rubber spatula, mix util the dry ingredients are moistened. Attach the bowl to the mixer and fit with the paddle attachment ( i used hook attachment ). With mixer on low speed, add eggs , one at a time, mixing just until incorporated adter each addition. Stop the mixer and add in the remaining flour and resume mixing on low speed for about 1 minute. Add more flour if needed as the dough is quite sticky ( i added about 4 more tbsp ) and mix till dough is smooth, soft and slightly sticky.

Remove the dough from the bowl onto a floured surface and knead gently. Add a little flour by tbsp if the dough is unworkably sticky. Place the dough in a large bowl , cover and let it proof until double its size, about an hour.

Make the lemon filling
Mix together the sugar, lemon and orange zest and set aside.

Assemble  the coffee cake/bread
Gently deflate the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a 20inch by 12 inch rectangle. Using a pastry brush, spread the melted butter generously over the dough. Cut the dough crosswise into 5 strips, each about 12 inches by 4 inches. (can use a pizza cutter ) . Sprinkle 1.5tbsp of the zest sugar mixture over a buttered rectangle. Top with second rectangle and sprinkle with 1.5tbsp of zest-sugar mixture. Repeat with remaining dough rectangles and zest sugar mixture, ending with 5 rectangles. Work carefully when adding the zest filling or it will fall off when you have to lift the stacked pastry later.

Slice the stack crosswise through the 5 layers to creare 6 equal strips, each about 4inches by 2 inches. Fit these layered strips into the prepared greased and floured loaf pan side by side . Loosely cover the pan and let it rise until puffy and almost double is size, about 45minutes. Bake the bread in a preheated oven at 175C for 30-35 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in pan for 15 minutes.

Make the cream cheese icing
In a medium bowl, using a rubber spatula, vigorously mix the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the milk and lemon juice until mixture is creamy and smooth.

Remove the bread from the pan and let it sit on the wire rack. Slip a sheet of paper under the rack the catch any  drips from the icing. Using a pastry brush or pastry bag, glaze the bread with icing all over . ( Cover and refrigerate the leftover icing for another use, can keep up till 2 days )

To serve, pull apart the layers or you can cup the bread into thick slices. If you decide to cut, wait till bread is completely cool down before cutting.

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 I am also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up event ( Milk ) organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY and hosted by Tze of AwayofMind Bakery House

Monday, May 5, 2014

Easy Chocolate Cake for Bake Along 3rd Anniversary

Happy birthday to Bake Along! This is my 3rd year baking along with Joyce and Zoe , i am truly appreciative of both of them for all they have done for the event, for supporting me, not just on bake along but others. Being one of the hostess, i would also like to say thanks to my baking friends who have been taking part in our bake along event, thanks for your support despite the challenges at times, believe me, it is just as challenging for us!

And so we have decided on Chocolate Cake as the theme for our Bake Along Anniversary. This recipe comes from Donna Hay Easy Chocolate Cake which i just saw it recently on Amy's Baking Dairy. It sounds really good to me, dark and rich, moist and fudgy and this is exactly what it is!

I have made this twice since then. I love this cake. The first without the ganache , a full recipe in a 9 inch pan and the second with the ganache, a smaller recipe in a 7 inch pan. If you prefer no ganache, i can tell you that it is just as good, the cake itself is rich in flavour. As you can see, the cake that i'm having here looks dark, it is because i wanted to try out this dark cocoa powder which i see it selling here. Quite a contrast if compared to some other chocolate cakes that i have made. But dont bother, i was just a little curious to try this dark cocoa powder. As for the ganache, i used a little less cream than the recipe for a thicker ganache, you can adjust to your preferred consistency. Happy Baking!

Recipe ( from amy's baking dairy )
made in a 7" pan
167gm butter        
135 gm brown sugar
2 eggs
200gm all purpose/ plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
25gm  cocoa powder
1/3 cup sour cream
160gm dark chocolate, melted

Chocolate Glaze
100gm dark chocolate, chopped
50ml single cream ( i used 36% fat whipping cream)

Preheat oven to 160C . Grease a 22cm cake tin. Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat till light and creamy. Add the eggs and beat well. Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa over the butter mixture, add the sour cream and chocolate and mix until just combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 55mins-1 hour or until just set. Cool in the tin.

To make the chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Allow the gloaze to stand for 5 minutes before spreading over the top of the cake.

* this is 2/3 of the original recipe. For full recipe, pls refer here

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