Thursday, August 26, 2010

Nasi Lemak

I asked Jerome what he liked for lunch and he said Nasi Lemak so...

Nasi Lemak- Fragrant coconut rice with stir fried sambal french beans, fried chicken midwings, fried crunchy fish, ikan bilis, peanuts, cucumber, sambal chilli and a sunny side-up :)

Nasi Lemak on FoodistaNasi Lemak

Monday, August 23, 2010

Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah

Loong Fatt Tau Sar Piah- The Best Sweet & Salty Tau Sar Piah (TSP) in Town!

It's been years since I last had one and I'm always thinking about it whenever we happen to pass by Balestier area or when we have an average tau sar piah or the Malaysia version.

Last Saturday, Jerome and I were in the area and went to a coffee shop nearby for lunch before going for my TSP. And they are still as good as I remembered :)

Address: 639 Balestier Road, located right at the corner
Mon–Sat & PH: 8am – 4.30pm
(Closed on Sundays)

Sweet & Tau Sar Piah, Egg Tarts, Cream Puffs all selling for $0.60 each.

A long queue for the TSP, fresh from the oven...
And everyone buys a few boxes at a time!

Traditional tables and chairs at the confectionary... 
Great to enjoy your coffee and TSP :)

Workers rolling the pastry skin here...
You get to see them work as you queue...

I bought 5 boxes of 10 pieces :P
Of course I didn't eat all! I gave 4 boxes away, leaving only 1 for myself...
Should have bought a few more boxes!

Crispy buttery pastry skin with smooth and tasty tau sar paste filling (taste more like lotus filling to me). Perfect! Best when it's still warm and fresh from the oven...
Still good and crispy a few days later... if you manage to save some...
 Maybe I should go learn and make some myself soon...
But at $0.60 a piece, it's more economical to take a bus and buy a few boxes!

A little about the history of the Singapore Tau Sar Piah here on I eat. I shoot. I post.
Check out the competitions in the neighbourhood here.

Lee Kum Kee Ma Po Tou Fu

Bought a packet  of Lee Kum Kee Sauce for Ma Po Tou Fu to prepare a simple side dish for dinner. Tried it for the first time...

Stir-fry some minced pork, add the sauce and cut-up tou fu... 
and here's a plate of spicy ma po tou fu...

Jerome loves it and it was so appetizing that he demanded for more rice!
My tongue felt a little numb from the spiciness- the Sichuan 'Ma La' effect...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Strawberry Ice-Cream

Singapore's weather is getting crazy nowadays. It was cold, windy and rainy yesterday (flooding in some areas) and today the sun is blazing hot outside!

Well, the weather's perfect for the strawberry ice-cream that I've just made :)
Maybe I'm missing a strawberry in the bowl...

And I still made the ice-cream without an ice-cream maker.
Maybe I don't need one after all...

How to make simple Strawberry Ice-cream without Ice-cream maker

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wedding Anniversary Cake

I happened to find out that Jerome's sister is celebrating their 1st Wedding Anniversary today so I decided to make them a cake yesterday. His sister , who's based in the States, is staying with us with her husband for a couple of weeks. Honestly, I've ran out of ideas on how to decorate a cake... And I'm not confident of using mashmallow fondant to cover a cake. Is it going to be awfully sweet?

A simple 'Love-ing' Cake

Anyway, I hope that the lovely couple would like the cake :)
Have a happy marriage and do come back and visit us often :)

More Longan & Strawberries Cakes

Went to visit 2 friends I've not seen for a few years, now happily married with a 17-month toddler. I decided to bake them a cake. And of course, since the longan & strawberry cake was a hit last Friday. I decided to make another one two :) One for my friends and another one for my dear hubby who had complained that I didn't make 1 for him last week.

It was great to meet up with my friends again after so long... Life's been good and well, all of us put on a little weight since the last time we met... There was a lot of catching up to do and I do hope to meet up again soon, maybe during the next school holiday?

They had a slice of cake each and remarked that I should take orders for the cake :)
Well, I'm just a home baker, baking just for fun :) but glad that they've enjoyed the cake.

Longan & Strawberry Fruit Flan Cake

Longan & Strawberry Fruit Flan Cakes

Dao Suan For a Cold Morning

The wind was howling outside the windows. Dark clouds rolled over the sky almost as far as the eyes could see... Another day when Orchard Road is going to flood?

Well, I'm cosy at home and the weather is keeping me home...
And what could be better than a bowl of hot dao suan for a cold & windy morning?
Hmm... can't think of anything..

Friday, August 6, 2010

Strawberry & Longan Fruit Cake

Made this cake for a friend's birthday. It is an improved version of the logan & lychee fruit cake I've made last Sunday. See how strawberries brighten up and add colour to the entire cake? Well, red and white also happen to be Singapore's national colours. So for a birthday's celebration that's so close to National Day (9th August),  this cake is just right.

I'm pleased with how it looked and tasted. The birthday gal couldn't believe I could create such a cake. She remarked, "No wonder your husband keeps you at home..." 

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Prawn Noodles Soup

Was having a hard time trying to decide what to cook for lunch. Finally decided to get a packet of prawn noodles soup premix to try it out.

If you find that the egg looks a little strange... that's because I tried to 'mould' it into a star shape :P

Simple enough, just add water and the soup is ready. Just add whatever ingredients you may like in your prawn noodles soup. I used bee hoon. Opps, you can't see the bee hoon as it's all covered up by all the other ingredients.

Tastewise, it was a more spicy version of the prawn soup. It tastes better than the average prawn soup noodles you can find at the hawker centre and definitely much more ingredients!

Next time, I should try to make my prawn soup from scratch...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Durian Durian Cake

I had some durian cream left from making the durian puffs on Sunday so I decided to use them to make a small Durian Cake on Monday. It was similar to the one I did for Jerome's birthday last year but I think it looks better now :P And what do you call a durian cake that looks like a durian? A Durian Durian Cake?

Durian Durian Cake

To assemble the cake (serves 4-6):
1) Bake 2 small heart-shaped sponge cake, using only 2 eggs. (The tins are from Daiso). 
2) Cool the cakes.

3) Sandwich the cakes with a layer of durian cream (durian puree & whipped cream mixture) and chunks of durians flesh. 
4) Cover the entire cake with butter cream and chill.
5) Pipe lines on the edge of the cake and the middle to create the 'inner skin' of the durian.
6) Mix some green butter cream and pipe the thorns on the sides of the cake using a star nozzle. 
7) Pipe the durian cream onto the top of the cake to resemble the durian flesh.
8) The cake is best enjoyed chilled. :)

Portuguese Egg Tarts

This has been on my "To Do List" for the longest of time -Portuguese Egg Tarts! I do love to eat them! The reason why I took so long if I make 20 tarts at a time, how is Jerome & I going to finish everything on our own when Jerome already said that he doesn't like egg tarts... and of course, the folding of the puff pastry seems to be quite challenging.

Hence, when the everyone's coming for tea last Sunday, I grabbed the opportunity to finally make them. I have my guinea pigs :P And thanks to You Tube, I managed to see exactly how to make the puff pastry.

I used the recipe from Alex Goh's "Irresistible Pastry" and I still had leftover puff pastry.

Portuguese Egg Tarts Hot from the oven...

A closer look at the not too beautiful tarts...
I need more practice...

Caramelized Egg Custard

Flaky Puff Pastry & Soft Egg Custard...
Thinking of having some again :P

I'm glad that the egg tarts tasted better than they looked. Even Jerome changed his mind about egg tarts. He loves them now :) Well, maybe just for Portuguese Egg Tarts. I should be making them again soon...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Preparing for Goh Family Gathering For Tea

Last Sunday, we had the Goh family gathering at our place. This was really a rare occasion when all the family members gathered. The last time was during our wedding 4 years ago. Jerome's younger brother and family returned for a 3 weeks visit from Perth, Australia. He is a lecturer at Curtin University. Jerome's elder sister ,who is an A/Professor at Ohio State University,  returned from Ohio, USA for a month visit.

The family gathering consisted of 9 adults and 5 children. Jerome felt that it would be difficult to manage a proper meal (lunch or dinner) for such a big group. So far the largest I've managed was a dinner for 8 adults during Mother's Day and another dinner for 6 adults and 2 children for my Father-In-Law's birthday.  Our dining table just can't accommodate so many people at one seating. Hence, Jerome decided that we would just have a gathering for tea. He wanted to tabao some curry puffs and other stuff from Old Chang Kee. He didn't want too much trouble and wanted to keep things easy.

But his wife was grabbing this opportunity to try some new recipes... and to do more baking... :P

On Friday afternoon, it was my most productive day.
 I made some choux pastry and baked some puffs and eclairs shells.

Puffs Shells

Eclairs Shells

After that, I baked a jar of double chocolate chips cookies. 

A jar of double chocolate chips cookies

After dinner, I went on to bake some cinnamon buns. 
This is a tested recipe and I know that the children love them.

Soft Cinnamon Rolls hot from the oven...

We spent almost the entire day out on Saturday and returned home only after dinner. I only had time to bake a sponge cake. And I had no idea on how to decorate the cake yet. I had forgotten to buy strawberries and that was the easiest way to decorate any cake...

Sunday morning, I woke up at 7.30am and it seemed mission impossible to get everything ready for tea at 3p.m. At this point in time, only the cinnamon rolls are ready to be served after some heating in the oven. 

First I whipped up some fresh cream and made some vanilla cream and filled up the eclairs. Then I melted some chocolate and covered the top. Item #2, the vanilla cream and chocolate eclairs, on the menu done!

Vanilla Cream & Chocolate Eclairs

And since I had some vanilla cream left over, I decided to use it  on the sponge cake. And in between working on the durian puffs, the logan and lychee fruit cake was born. 

Logan & Lychee Fruit Cake

And shortly after, the durian puffs were also ready.

Durian Cream Puffs

It was 10am and I had the following ready:
1) Cinnamon Rolls
2) Logan & Lychee Fruit Cake
3) Durian Puffs
4) Vanilla Cream & Chocolate Eclairs
5) Chocolate Chips Cookies

And I still had the most important thing that I needed to do... my first attempt at puff pastry for Portuguese Egg Tarts! While I was busy folding my puff pastry, Jerome was involved in a minor accident where he 'smashed' his own feet with the bench while vacuuming the floor. There was a huge swell on his foot and I almost wanted to call for an ambulance. I finally felt the importance of having a license to drive. After 2 ice packs and the swelling has gone down a bit, I finally completed my Portuguese Egg Tarts!

Portugese Egg Tart 
with Flaky Puff Pastry Skin and Caramelized Egg Custard

Everything was new except the cinnamon rolls which were tried and tested...
Anyway, I was ready to serve tea :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Longan & Lychee Fruit Cake

This was another 'production' for the Goh family gathering for tea on Sunday. Baked a sponge cake on Saturday night and was ready to decorate it with fresh cream and strawberries but I have forgotten to buy the strawberries and I was so busy doing & baking other stuff to make another trip to the supermarket to buy it. So I looked inside the cupboard and found a can of lychees and a can of longans. And I decided to try something new... Longan & Lychee Fruit Cake! Was keeping my fingers crossed as I didn't know how it might eventually taste. 

It didn't look spectacular, really kind of plain. Fortunately, the taste was its saving grace. My mum-in-law was praising it. Jerome said it was the best cake I've made so far. He seemed to be saying this all the time :P Jerome had 2 slices and I wished I had too... 

How to Make a Fruit Jelly Top Cake/ Fruit Flan Cake?

1) Bake a traditional sponge cake. Allow to cool & chill , then cut it horizontally into halves.
2) Whipped up some fresh cream (whipped topping cream).
3) Spread some fresh cream on half the cake. Place cut lychee chunks generously over the fresh cream. Spread more fresh cream to cover the lychees. 
4) Place the other half of the cake on top. Cover the entire cake with fresh cream. Chill.
5) Prepare the jelly mixture. Boil the syrup from the can of logans with additional 100ml of water. Add 20g of instant jelly powder. Stir until solution is clear and remove from heat. Allow to cool, but not solidify.
6) Place an adjustable cake ring around the cake and arrange the longans or other fruits on the cake. 
7) Slowly and gently pour the jelly mixture over the cake and fruits. 
8) Chill in the fridge till the jelly set. Remove the cake ring. 
9) You might want to add baked almond slices around the sides of the cake.
10) Enjoy the cake chilled :)

Chocolate Eclairs

Prepare some choux pastry, use star nozzle and pipe 5cm lengths on the baking sheets.
Bake and cool the shells.
Whipped up some vanilla cream and pipe into the cooled baked puffs.
Coat the top with melted chocolate.
And you'll have chocolate eclairs!

Durian Puffs

Made some durian puffs last Sunday morning for a family gathering for tea break. Tried to make the puffs on Friday just to make sure they worked out.

Durian paste oozing out from the puff...

Best served chilled... Can't seem to have enough...

For Durian Cream:

Just remove the flesh from a few durians and blend them with a food processor. 
Whipped up some fresh cream and mix a little at a time with the durian puree. 
Taste and add more fresh whipped cream as needed.
(You should have more durian than whipped cream!)

Fill the durian cream into a pastry bag fitted with a round nozzle and pipe the filling into the puffs.
And there you have your durian puffs!

Easy? Yes, it was! :)

I had some durian cream left over, so I'm going to make another Durian Durian cake!

Choux Pastry

Was preparing for tea for a family gathering and decided to make some choux pastry to make some durian puffs and chocolate eclairs... Just 1 dough to make 2 different kinds of pastry. Yeah!

choux pastry puffs shells

choux pastry eclairs shell

Durian Puffs

Chocolate Eclair

Recipe for Choux Pastry
(makes about 20 puffs and 30 eclairs)

100g butter
250g water
1 tsp sugar
a pinch of salt
150g flour
3 eggs

1) Bring water to boil. Add butter, sugar and salt. 
2) Stir well until butter has melted. 
3) Add flour and mix to form a smooth paste.
4) Use the electric mixer to beat the smooth paste till it's lukewarm. 
5) Add egg 1 at a time, beating well with each addition. 
6) Place batter into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle (Wilton #21). Pipe desired shapes onto a greased pan. 
7) Bake at 200dc for 20-25 minutes. 
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