Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nyonya Kuih Genggang

I'm off tomorrow to HK for a week of holiday! Yippeeee...as it means lots of good food, dim sum and flea market shopping! But before that, here's the traditional and popular Nyonya 'kuih genggang' which I made for M, a good friend of mine.
Other than in my hometown, Melaka, kuih genggang is more widely known by its commercial name - kuih lapis or layered cake - throughout Malaysia. There isn't any direct English translation for kuih and the closest is cake. However, unlike cakes as we understand them in the Western world, kuih refers to the traditional local cakes in Malaysia & Singapore and they are often made of plain flour or rice flour or glutinous rice flour or tapioca starch flour or wheat starch flour etc. Given that Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country, one can enjoy a wide variety of kuih- Nyonya kuih, Chinese kuih, Malay kuih etc. Kuih are normally either steamed, grilled or baked, and for Nyonya & Malay kuih, coconut milk is often a main ingredient.

Kuih genggang is easy and cheap to do, and also delicious to eat. Its texture is sticky and gooey. It is a favorite tea time treat for many. Kids enjoy eating it by peeling off a layer by a layer. It is made by steaming it a layer by a layer also but it doesn't take very long to complete. It is best eaten on the same day that it's made as it can't keep for very long.

(Other variety of Nyonya food from Malaysia can be found at Nyonyafood.com).

kuihgenggang

Recipe:
- 180 g rice flour
- 200 ml water
Mix the above together and leave aside for 1 hour.

- 180 g sugar
- 350 ml water
- 2 srewpine (pandan) leaves, knotted
Boil the above together and leave the sugar syrup to cool.

- 250 ml thick coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1-2 drops red/pink coloring

- Add the coconut milk, salt and sugar syrup into the rice flour mixture after 1 hour. Stir well and divide the portion equally into 2. Color one of it with 1-2 drops red/pink coloring.
- Heat up an 8 inch round pan in a steamer setting. Grease it lightly with cooking oil first. Pour half cup of the white batter, cover the steamer with lid and steam for 5 mins or until the layer is cooked. Do the same with the next batch of 1/2 cup red/pink batter. For the final top layer, you can add more red/pink coloring to distinguish it or for presentation sake. (Note: make sure to give the batter a really good stir each time before taking 1/2 cup to pour for steaming). Leave to cool completely before cutting into diamond shape.

Cheers, have a great week ahead & see you next weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brandy-Pecan Choc Fudge & Banana Cakes

1. BRANDY-PECAN CHOCOLATE FUDGE CAKE

Made these for M, a good friend of mine who is back visiting from the US. The original recipe from Nancy Baggett's "All-American Dessert Book" calls for Bourbon but I used Brandy instead. I made slight adjustments and simplified the baking steps as below.

The intro in the book took the words right out of my mouth when I was savoring a piece of this cake. "This is an immensely rewarding cake - moist, tender and very chocolatey on the inside, with a glossy, gooey fudge layer on the outside."

chocfudge1

For the cake:
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 8 tbsp butter
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp brandy, combined with 2 tbsp hot water
- 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 7 large eggs, at room temperature

1. In a bowl over a double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Remove from the heat, stir in the brandy-water mixture, then the cocoa powder until the mixture is well-blended.
2. In a food processor, combine sugar and pecans till the nuts are ground to a powder.
3. In a food processor, process the flour and 3 oz chocolate till the chocolate is fine and well-blended with the flour.
4. In a large bowl, beat all the eggs and sugar/pecan mixture (no. 2) on medium to high speed till the mixture becomes frothy, lightened and nearly doubled in volume. Remove 1 cup and stir into the melted chocolate mixture (no. 1) till well-blended.
5. Combine everything into the egg mixture, using a whisk, stir and mix until well-combined. Bake in a 21-22cm springform pan for 25-30 mins at around 150 deg C.

chocfudge2

For the choc fudge glaze:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Over a double boiler, combine everything to melt over low heat. Gently stir until the glaze is completely smooth and thickens to your liking. Let it cool for a while and pour over the completely cooled cake. Use a spatula to gently spread the glaze over the sides.


2. MOIST BANANA CAKE


This is a recipe given by my 4th sister to me a few years ago. It's really moist and delicious!

bananacake

- 250 g banana
- 250 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp milk
- 3 eggs
- 180 g butter
- 150 g sugar

1. Cream butter and sugar together till it is light and creamy.
2. Add in an egg at a time, mixing till well-blended after each egg addition.
3. Add in the mashed banana and mix well.
4. Add in the flour, alternate with the milk. Mix the batter until everything is well-combined. Bake at 150 deg C for 45 mins or until skewer comes out clean.


Cheers!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tangerine Babe!


Babe, I got you babe!



I'd like to say "THANKS" to my blogger friends who provided their comments and reviews to my previous post "Mixed About Mixers". I made my final decision SO MANY times, going back and forth between Kenwood Chef and KA Artisan or Pro. Unfortunately, I can't find Cuisinart and Bosch mixers here. In hindsight, better that way or else I'd still be thinking which one to get. In the last 2 weeks, my decision hadn't seem to change, and I believe it means THIS IS THE ONE. And what a great luck on my side last night. I wanted to purchase it last weekend but my plan got cancelled. Finally went to Robinson's last night (which was unplanned!) and guess what!...there was a further price reduction for OCBC Bank/Robinson's card member! Adding to the bonus was, the color that I had mentally shortlisted, Tangerine, was one of the 3 colors that qualify for the card members' privilege. Woohooo!! So, I got my Tangerine baby at SGD599 instead of SGD$779. For my readers in Singapore who have been thinking of getting a KA Artisan, your last chance for this great bargain is today (Sunday, 23 Aug). If you don't have a OCBC/Robinson's credit card, just make a few calls to family and friends and buy them a meal for this favor! You'll save SGD180, which can get you a flight tix on budget airline to Bangkok!! So, hurry on! :D

Cheers!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Steamed Chicken Curry Noodles

I've been thinking of chicken curry noodles for a week now but because the weather was so hot lately, I tried to hold back from having too much spicy food. Then, it rained a little in the morning yesterday and today and that cooled down the weather slightly. And there goes my temporary abstinence from spicy food.

Anyway, there is this stall near where I live that sells really good chicken curry noodles. The steamed chicken is succulently good and the curry gravy, thick and spicy enough. The only slight downfall is that it's a tad bit too oily, but nevertheless, DE-LI-CIOUS! Each time I visit the stall to feed my craving, I tell myself that I must try and make it one day at home. And that was exactly what I did for dinner just hours earlier. The stall has its secret recipe well-guarded and so, I created my own. I reckon the several main ingredients for a good curry gravy are pretty much easy to guess, so here's my recipe to share. Based on feedback from my food critic by the name of Dear Hub, looks like this recipe is quite a winner although there's still room for slight ingredient adjustments here and there.

Chicken Curry Noodle

This recipe serves 2 persons.

What you'll need:
- Quarter of a chicken with its skin intact
- White fish cake
- Yellow noodles enough for two persons
- A handful of bean sprouts (taugeh)
- Curry gravy, see my recipe below

Steam the chicken for 15-20 mins and then chop it. Don't waste by discarding the chicken stock, instead add it into the curry gravy later. Steam the fish cake for 3-5 mins and then slice it. Blanch the yellow noodles and bean sprouts in hot boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Discard the water.

Place noodles in bowls. Top with some bean sprouts, slices of fish cake and steamed chicken. Generously pour hot boiling curry gravy over it and serve hot with a small lime squeezed into it.

For cooking the curry gravy:
- 60g shallots
- 40g garlic
- 1/2 inch galangal
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 2 fresh chillies
- 1 tbsp dried prawns (soaked in hot water for 5 mins)
- 3-4 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 stalks curry leaves
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 potato, quartered
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
- 1.3 litre chicken bone stock
- 2 pieces fried beancurd skin with fish paste filling inside (tau pok)

Blend the shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, fresh chillies and dried prawns to form a paste. Mix in the curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and curry leaves into the paste. Heat oil and saute the paste till it becomes drier and fragrant. Then, add in the stock and potatoes and let it simmer. When the potatoes are soft, add in the coconut milk and the fish paste fried beancurd skin or tau pok, sugar and salt. Let it simmer for a minute or two and turn off the heat. Ta da! Your boiling hot curry gravy is now ready to be poured into your bowls of noodles. Bon Appetit!

Friday, August 14, 2009

If You Can't Float It, Roll It!


I caught an episode of Bob Blumer's Glutton for Punishment yesterday and it was all about humongous, giant pumpkins! I know pumpkins can grow large but what I didn't know was that they could grow as large as those featured in the program. The pumpkins were SO huge that the township of Windsor in Nova Scotia, Canada held what they call an annual Pumpkin Regatta where giant pumpkins as heavy as 500 lbs are carved, hollowed-out and turned into water vessels able to hold a full-grown man inside while he paddles in the regatta across Lake Pisiquid.
While I think it must be a really fun sport to participate in, I can't help thinking what a waste of all those pumpkins that could help minimize world hunger.

Anyway, if you happen to have a pumpkin in your garden or in your refrigerator, here's a pumpkin roll recipe you can try, if you like.

Pumpkin Prawn Roll

You'll need:
200g pumpkin
2 shallots, chopped
20g dried shrimps (soak till soft & chopped)
10 fresh prawns (roughly chopped)
5 water chestnuts (chopped)
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp evaporated milk
Salt
Sugar
10 pieces beancurd skin

- Skinned and cut the pumpkin, steam till soft and mash it to become a smooth paste. Heat up some oil in a wok/pan, saute the dried shrimps & shallots till fragrant, then add in the water chestnut, egg yolk, evaporated milk, salt and sugar. Mix well for a few mins, turn off the heat, add in the chopped prawn meat, mix well again and leave to cool.
- Take a piece of beancurd skin, use a brush to rub some water on it in order to soften the skin for easy rolling. Place 2 tbsp of the pumpkin paste on the edge of the skin. Roll once, fold in the sides and complete the rolling.

- On a plate, mix half cup of plain flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 egg yolk and 1/4 cup water to get a batter. Coat the rolls all around with the batter.
- Heat 1/2 cup oil on medium heat and fry the rolls till all sides are golden brown. Drain the oil and serve.

Cheers,
petite nyonya

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Concord Grape Chilled Cheesecake

I have been feeling kinda lazy these past two weeks. Yesterday was no different from last week and my lazy mood hasn't taken a paradigm shift either today. Am not quite sure what caused this lazy feeling in me lately. Perhaps it was the hot and humid weather. Or perhaps it was due to my sleeping in late and skipping breakfast lately. Anyway, lazy or not, I was browsing through a cheesecake recipe book yesterday and the pictures inside look so amazing that my yearning for a slice somehow managed to make me overcome that lazy inertia in me, at least temporarily. So, lazy or not, the glutton in me had won and this really nice and super easy cheesecake was the cause, as well as, the reward.

The original recipe calls for apricot nectar but I changed it by using Organic Concord Grape fruit spread which turned out really nice.

Also, I'm on a quest to use up supplies in my pantry/fridge, thus I also took the liberty to substitute the plain sweet biscuits for the base and sides by using leftover cornflakes. Out of laziness, I did not process the cornflakes to get fine breadcrumbs texture. All I did was crushing them with my bare hands. Thus, I had to pay the price for my laziness as the coarse cornflakes base was not a huge success at all, although the cheesecake layer and the topping turned out great.







Recipe:
155g plain sweet biscuits
75g butter, melted
1 (250ml) cup apricot nectar/grape fruit spread
1 tbsp gelatine
375g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup (250ml) cream

For the topping:
1 cup apricot nectar/grape fruit spread
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp cornflour

- Process biscuits until resemble fine bread crumbs. Add butter, process till combined. Press crumbs evenly on the base of a 21cm springform tin (I did not use a springform tin and I had a lot of cornflakes crumbs left so I used it for the sides too)
- Pour 1 cup of apricot nectar/grape fruite spread in a saucepan over low heat. Sprinkle gelatine over it and stir until gelatine dissolves; cool until thickened slightly.
- Beat cream cheese and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add lemon juice, beat in the apricot/grape mixture above and then fold in the cream. Pour cheesecake mixture into the tin and refrigerate for 3 hours.

- For the topping, combine 1 cup apricot nectar/grape fruit spread, sugar and cornflour in a saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil until it thickens slightly. Cool. Then gently pour over the chilled cheesecake. After that, refrigerate overnight.




Cheers,

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Fruity Pie


This delightful multi-fruits pie is adapted from a blueberry pie adapted from"The All-American Dessert" by Nancy Baggett. I especially like the crust, which uses sour cream.




For the crust:
8 tbsp cold unsalted butter
1/4 cup solid shortening (I omitted this for my crust)
2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sour cream
2-4 tbsp ice water

Mix the flour, sugar & salt in a food processor. Sprinkle the butter & shortening, process till crumb-like texture is achieved. Mix in lemon juice, sour cream and ice water, and knead to form a dough. Roll out 1/2 of the dough and press the dough on the base & sides of a pie dish. Reserve the remaining portion for the lattice top.



For the filling:
- a handful of blueberries
- a handful of green grapes
- 2 plums
- 1 orange

- 1 1/4 cup sugar (or according to individual preference for sweetness)
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 5 tbsp cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp lemon juice

In a saucepan over small fire, mix the sugar, cinnamon, butter & fruits. Add the cornstarch to thicken the filling once the juices from the fruits has started to ooze out.

Pour the filling over the crust that has been pressed in the pie dish. Use the remaining dough to roll out into a round as large as the top of the pie dish. Cut into strips and lay on top of the pie filling to make a lattice design. If there is some bits of dough left, it can be rolled & cut out into desired shapes to decorate the border. Brush the pastry crust with egg wash & bake.

Dust with icing sugar once the pie has been baked & cooled. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.

Cheers,

petite nyonya