Thursday, January 31, 2013

Meatball pizza

I call the stretch of Shanghai St , in Yau Ma Tei area , a cook's paradise .....

From 80 cents small moulds to KitchenAid mixer to Viking range , okay , I'm kidding about that one .

Cake pans in all shapes and sizes, different designs and shapes of  cupcake liners , bamboo steamers , claypots .....

Cheap bars of butter , chocolates , cream cheese  ....

And don't forget the cheap cast iron pan .....

I swear I'm not looking for it ! lol

But then , who can resist cast iron pan ?

Especially if it is cheap ?

Of course , I've been eyeing the Staub .....

Hah ! I wish !

I've been looking only for some spice container ( that I don't really  need ) at that time ....

Nah , that was just an excuse , me thinks  ^____^ ''

I bought a 10 1/2-inch cast iron pan that actually measures 8 1/2-inch at the bottom , 10-inch on top and 10 1/2-inch if you measure it from spout to spout but hey ! , it only cost me $ 52 !

So I've used it in making this pan pizza  and you'll see the pale crust , don't worry about that , it's our oven which is not hot enough , I think , to have that beautiful brown and crispy bottom *sigh*

Pale crust aside , the pizza tastes ( of course , I'm the one who made it hee hee ) really good and so easy to make since it's a no-knead dough .

Want a slice ?

Check the pizza dough recipe @ Serious Eats

For the toppings , anything will do . I've used homemade meatballs  ( that I've formed into mini ones ) , homemade sweet and spicy fresh cherry tomato sauce ,  some grated cheddar , cilantro and olive oil as my toppings .

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Salmon and shrimp linguine

I made this pasta last week and it is almost the same recipe as the one that I've made for our New Year's dinner .

I had to cut back the cream cheese since I've been planning at that time to bake this cold oven cream cheese pound cake .

If you haven't tried that cake yet , do bake it , and don't forget to add fresh ginger .

Pasta is my go-to food and I think of it as my comfort food ....

Quick and easy , the more cream cheese the better though I've only added 70 grams of it here ! lol

But don't worry , I think the steamed salmon and shrimp offset the calories in cream cheese . Hah !

400 grams linguine
200 grams salmon , steamed and cubed
200 grams ( shelled weight ) shrimp
100 grams shallots , finely chopped
2 cloves garlic , finely minced
1 cup evaporated milk
70 grams cream cheese , cut into small pieces , at room temp
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup pasta water , get some while your pasta is still boiling or use water , if prefer
1 tsp chili flakes plus more for garnish
1/2 cup ( loosely packed ) cilantro , stems and leaves , coarsely chopped
some coarse salt and ground black pepper

* Boil pasta according to package direction .
* Meanwhile , heat wok or a large pan , pour in a little bit olive oil ,  fry shallots and garlic until fragrant , add in the salmon and shrimp , gently stir until shrimp changes color , sprinkle in some salt ; transfer to a plate and keep warm .
* In the same pan , pour broth , pasta water , cream cheese and evaporated milk , let simmer for 2 minutes or until cream cheese melts ; add in chili flakes , some salt and black pepper then add in the salmon , shrimp and half of the chopped cilantro . Cook for a minute or so , adjust taste . Turn off heat .
* Drain pasta , either add pasta to the sauce and mix thoroughly or put some pasta in a bowl or a plate and pour in some sauce . Garnish  with some chopped cilantro , chili flakes and black pepper . Serve immediately .

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Loh bak goh / turnip cake

I made this by frying some cubed turnip cake and added a teaspoon of XO sauce and 1/2 tsp chili sauce .

My winter won't be complete without making turnip cake .

Though it's a tad time-consuming to make , imagine grating more than a kilo of turnip ?

Using the food processor can really help do the job but mine is inside the darkest corner of our cabinet so elbow grease was use . lol

Turnip cake is popular during Chinese New Year but you can order it all-year round in Chinese restaurant as it is commonly served during yum cha ( a Chinese-style morning or afternoon tea ) .

The mixture is steamed first , then cut into a square slices and pan-fried or I've tried the one that is double steamed or so I thought , don't really know how they cooked that one ....

It is really easy to make er except the grating part and really tastes delicious er I just love it .

This is the best turnip cake I've ever made yet , okay , that's according to me ^___^''

Best served with chili sauce or hoisin sauce and a cup or three of coffee or tea .

1450 grams ( peeled weight ) turnip/radish
225 grams rice flour
80 grams tapioca flour
2 pieces / 95 grams  Chinese sausage , cut into small pieces
3 dried mushroom , soaked then diced
50 grams dried shrimp , soaked and coarsely chopped
2 shallots , about 50 grams , sliced thinly
2 teaspoons XO sauce , optional
1 tsp chicken powder
1/4 tsp five spice powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp coarse salt
a generous dash of ground white pepper
1 tbsp diced spring onion plus extra for garnish
1 1/2 cups turnip/radish juice ( from the drained grated turnip/radish )
1/4 cup water

* Wash , peel , rinse and grate turnip , drain in a colander with a bowl under it to collect the juice , reserved juice . I drained the radish for 30 minutes and got 1 1/2 cups radish juice .
* Combine rice flour and tapioca  flour , add the radish juice and water gradually , whisking the mixture as you pour .
* In a wok or a large pan , heat some oil , add shallots , sausage and mushroom , cook for 2 or 3 minutes then add in the grated radish , stir well to combine . Add the XO sauce , brown sugar , salt , white pepper , chicken powder and five spice powder , stir well and cook for a minute or so , adjust taste then add the spring onion . Turn off heat , add in the flour mixture and mix well . Pour mixture in lightly oiled 9-inch cake pan . Steam on medium high heat for an hour . Let cool completely before removing from the pan . Garnish some diced spring onion on top . Slice and fry , serve hot .

This post is linked to the blog hop event Chinese New Year Delight 2013 hosted by Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover

This is the second time that I've made this chili sauce . It's Martin Yan's recipe from his Martin Yan's China  book . I can't remember the exact instruction on how to make it the second time around as I've forgotten to copy the whole recipe . Some of the instruction is how I've done it  ^___^ ''

1 cup dried chilies
1 1/2 cup boiling water , divided
1/4 cup dried shrimp
1/3 cup peanut oil ( add more , if prefer )
1/4 shallots , finely chopped
1 tablespoon Smithfield ham ( I used 1 tbsp XO sauce )
 1 tsp sugar ( 1 tbsp raw brown sugar )

* Rinse chilies and shrimp . Place chilies in a bowl and add 1 cup of boiling water ; place shrimp in another bowl and add in remaining boiling water , soak both for 30 minutes . Drain well and reserve soaking water .
* Heat wok or a pan , add a little bit oil and stir fry shallots until soft , add in the chilies and the  shrimp , cook until fragrant . Transfer to a mini food processor and add in some of the soaking water , process until smooth or in my case , not too smooth . Pour back in the same pan and add the remaining soaking water and cook until all the liquid evaporates , add in the ham and sugar and adjust taste . Pour in the peanut oil and stir well to combine and simmer for 2 minutes more . Let cool and store in an airtight container .

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cold oven cream cheese mini pound cakes

We're back to regular programming , folks ! lol

There are loads of photos to be uploaded again though I'm planning to delete some of the earlier blog posts .....

Don't worry , you won't miss those hee hee

Thank you loads , Ann of Anncoo Journal for the suggestion re cropping photos and on how to do it as well ! lol Oh ! I've won Ann's giveaway , again  ^___^

Have you ever wonder why if baking a cake in a cold oven , that is , without preheating it first really works ?

Well , wonder no more , it does and it's as yummy as the one baked in a preheated oven ....

The lemon zest and fresh ginger adds a nice contrast to the richness of the cake , good thing that I've thrown out my ground ginger because using freshly grated ginger  is way better er if you love ginger , that is !

I baked mine in muffin tins and you'll laugh when you see my freshly baked mini cakes ^___^ ''

Recipe adapted from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman via Mich of Eat a piece of cake

I made 14 2x1-inch cake

 115 grams cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
113 grams unsalted butter , at room temperature
113 grams cream cheese , at room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar ( I used a generous 2/3 cup )
3 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tbsp freshly grated ginger
1/2 tbsp grated lemon zest

* Butter muffin tins .
* Combine flour , baking powder and salt in a small bowl . Beat cream cheese , butter and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy , about 3 minutes ; add eggs one at a time , mixing after each addition and scraping down sides as necessary . Beat in vanilla , ginger and lemon zest .
* With mixer on low , gradually add flour , when all the flour has been added , mix for 30 seconds on medium  .
* Pour batter in the prepared tins , about 3/4 full .
* Bake for 325°F / 150°C for 28 minutes or until a toothpick or a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean .

This post is linked to the blog hop event Bake Along hosted by Zoe of Bake for happy kids , Joyce of Kitchen flavours and Lena of Frozen wings

Do check out some blogging friends baked goodies !

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes

Okay , I'm baking early for Valentine's  ^___^

Early last year , I've seen Sonia's gorgeous cupcakes and had been thinking at that time to bake some asap ! 

Several months later , I made some , at last ! 

Hey ! Better late than never , right ?

This is the first time that I baked chiffon cake and didn't really expect much ....

But sometimes , the baking gods are feeling generous and my chiffon looks like something that I can be proud of ! lol 

Though my cupcakes are not as generous ( not-filled nearly to the rim ) as Sonia's ^___^ ''

These cupcakes are really good , not sweet , the way I like it and the filling , which I've added some strawberry jam , really go well with these cakes .

I was munching a cupcake and checking out some of the photos that I've taken and told myself , I think you've forgotten something .....

Guess what ?! lol 

I made 9 1/2 cupcakes from this recipe , that one is my half 

Hokkaido chiffon cupcakes , original recipe from Forbidden Garden via Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover , Thanks Sonia ! 

Makes 9 cupcakes 

3 egg yolks 
20 grams sugar
35 grams corn oil
60 grams milk
70 grams cake flour

3 egg whites
25 grams sugar

Filling :

60 grams whipping cream ( I used 100 grams )
10 grams sugar ( 15 grams )
1 tsp custard powder
5 teaspoons strawberry jam 

icing sugar for dusting 

* Preheat oven to 170°C . Prepare liners.
* Whisk egg yolks and sugar until light in color ; add in the oil and milk , mix thoroughly . Sift in cake flour and stir well to combine , set aside .
* Beat egg whites until foamy , add sugar gradually and continue to beat until soft peak forms .
* Add 1/3 of the whites to the egg yolk mixture , fold gently . Fold in the rest of the whites , mix well to combine .
* Scoop batter onto the liners , about 3/4 full .
* Bake for 20-25 minutes or until risen and golden .
* You can make this filling before you bake the cupcakes . Beat cream with sugar til firm and stiff , add in the custard powder , mix well . Chill in the fridge before using . 
* Pipe custard into cupcakes and dust with icing sugar .

The cake will deflate as it cools down 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Spicy buffalo chicken slider(s)

What's your favorite sandwich filling ?

The one I usually prepared is boiled eggs with mayo beside the old standby , the same old , same old ham/bacon/luncheon meat/scrambled eggs with cheese but it gets kinda old sometime  .

Too many choices anywhere though especially if you're a lurker just like me ! ^____^ ''

I've been itching to make some pulled pork since last year but because I'm one of those who wants some easy options , making it seems too much work .

Most recipe online calls for using a slow cooker , which sadly we don't have  , heck ! I don't even have a bread machine ! pffftttt

But because I've been hankering for some hearty dish since it's a tad cold in this side of the world , using chicken is a great option and just use the trusty wok .....

Chicken is cheap , easy and can be cooked quickly, okay , not really that quick in cooking this dish hah ! It is an obvious choice if you want something that can be both use as a sandwich filling or something for your lunch or dinner , you know , with  steamed rice ?!

Hey ! I'm a Filipino , we don't live on bread alone ! Even if it's a sandwich ! We really need our steamed rice or maybe it's just me ? lol

What's the purpose of making that slow-cooked chicken if I don't make my own bread ?!

Seriously guys , you really need to start making your own bread .....

Okay , if you only have the inclination or if it's a botheration , just buy it then .....

I don't want to convince you how good this chicken really is , so better cook  it yourself !

Depending on your pain threshold er how you love chilis , you need to adjust the amount of chili sauce in this dish .

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart , please check site for original recipe and how-to

500 grams skinless chicken , a combination of chicken legs ( bone in and cut in half ) and chicken breast , cut into 3-inch pieces
1 small onion , diced
2 garlic cloves ,  roughly chopped
1 small yellow bell pepper , diced
100 grams tomato paste
3 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons homemade chili sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey
some coarse salt and black pepper
1 stalk of cilantro , roughly chopped

* In a wok , panfry chicken until both side turns lightly brown ; transfer to a plate ; set aside .
* In the same pan , add onion , garlic and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes , add the chicken then add broth , tomato paste , ketchup , Worcestershire sauce , chili sauce , mustard and honey , stir thoroughly and let boil , add salt and pepper . Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes , then on low for 35 minutes , stirring from time to time to prevent sauce from sticking at the bottom of the pan . Adjust taste in the last few minutes ; add the chopped cilantro , stir well to combine and transfer to a bowl . ( I didn't use this dish right away , so the next day , I steamed it for 30 minutes before using . ) Transfer chicken to a large plate and use 2 forks to pull apart the chicken pieces , lick er discard the bones , then return to the sauce , mix and use as a sandwich filling .

Panini rolls , recipe adapted from The Big Book of Bread

My slight modification in red ( I made 12  , 3-inch , round rolls )

450 grams strong plain white flour ( 275 grams bread flour + 175 grams whole wheat flour ) 
2 teaspoons salt ( scant 1 teaspoon )
1 sachet ( 7 g / 1/4 oz ) easy-blend dried yeast ( 2 1/4 teaspoons Saf red instant yeast ) 
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil , plus extra for glazing
about 250 ml warm water ( about 280 ml ) 

* Grease or flour 2 baking sheets , set aside . Sift flour and salt into a large mixing bowl , then stir in the yeast . Make a well in the centre , then add the oil and enough water , mixing to form a soft dough * Turn dough into a clean surface and knead until smooth and elastic . Shape dough into a round , then place into a lightly oiled bowl , cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size .
* Knock back the dough on a clean surface and divide it into 12 equal portions . Shape each portion of dough into a ball and place on the baking sheets , spacing then apart . Brush with olive oil , cover and leave to rise in a warm place for 20 to 30 minutes ( second proving for an hour ) or until doubled in size .
* Meanwhile ,  preheat oven to 200°C / 400°F . Using a sharp knife , cut a cross on top of each roll . Bake rolls for about 15 minutes ( I baked mine for about 23 minutes ) or until lightly golden brown . Transfer to a wire rack to cool . Serve warm or at room temperature .

Homemade chili sauce

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thick and chewy double chocolate cookies

 Lately , I've been checking out cookies at the bakeries ...

Since I don't really want to fork out more than $ 5. for one cookie ...

One cookie at Mrs Field cost $12.5 , that's more than the price of one kilo of sugar  pfffttttt !

I bet you won't be satisfied with just one measly cookie .....

So , to ward off the temptation to actually buy it , I just baked some instead .

Sort of like my Brookies , right ?! But prettier , I might say ! lol

These cookies are thick , chewy , fudgy and AWFULLY chocolicious ! ^___^

So, are you craving for some chocolate cookies then ?!

Recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated

Makes about 42 cookies

I made half of the recipe and yielded 31 ( 2 1/4-inch ) cookies

2 cups unbleached all -purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
16 ounces semisweet chocolate , chopped ( I used 240 grams chocolate chips , combination of milk and bittersweet ) 
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee or espresso powder ( I used  3 teaspoons of espresso powder ) 
10 tablespoons / 1 1/4 sticks / 130 grams unsalted butter , softened but still cool
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar

* Sift together the flour , baking powder and salt in a bowl ; set aside .
* Melt chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl over pan of barely-simmering water , stirring once or twice , until smooth , remove from heat . In a small bowl , beat eggs and vanilla lightly with a fork , then sprinkle the coffee powder over the mixture to dissolve ; set aside .
* Either by hand or by electric mixer , beat butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy , about 5 seconds . Beat in the sugars until combined , about 45 seconds ; the mixture will look granular . Reduce the speed to low and gradually beat in the egg mixture until combined , about 45 seconds . Add chocolate in a steady stream and beat until well combined , about 40 seconds . Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula . With mixer in low speed , add dry ingredients and mix until just combined , do not overbeat . Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature until consistency is scoopable and fudge-like , about 30 minutes .
* Meanwhile , preheat oven to 350°F/ 180°C . Line baking sheets with parchment paper and scoop dough with a 1 3/4-inch ice cream scoop , spacing mounds of dough about 1 1/2-inches apart .  
* Bake until edges of the cookies have just began to set but centers are still very soft , about 10 ( I baked mine for 11 minutes ) minutes , rotating the baking sheet front to back , halfway through the baking time . Cool cookies on the sheets about 10 minutes , then slide the parchment with cookies onto wire racks and cool at room temperature before removing each cookies .

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Savoury sesame loaf

Winter is a great time to bake bread , no sweat especially if you're hand kneading .....

Though I just bake bread whenever I feel like it since bakeries here in Hongkong are dime a dozen ...

But it still a shock to my wallet hah ! to see the price of some artisan breads here ....

I know that it takes time and effort to make a good artisan bread , so last time I borrowed ( as usual ! )  Tartine Bread book at the library but got cross-eyed reading it , I guess I'm not dedicated ( or that's my laziness talking again ! ) enough to make it , yet .....

So I just re-borrow this The big book of bread , which in my opinion , has the easiest bread recipes that actually works no matter how I manhandled the dough ! lol

Most of the recipes are straight forward and fuzz-free that I , the not-so dedicated home baker , always had a great time , yes , even during those hot summer days , trying recipes from this book ....

And because I love savoury bread , I tried this recipe which as the name suggests , don't really have that much sesame and the only sesame is the topping ....

As I love to modify er substitute some of my bakes , this recipe is no exception ....

We have some ground black sesame in the fridge , so what better way to use it than in this loaf ?! At least I can say that there's really some sesame in the dough hah !

This is one flavorful bread , even without some filling , it's still delicious by itself .

Recipe adapted from The Big Book of Bread

Makes one loaf , serves 14-16 slices

500 grams strong plain white flour ( I used 320 grams bread flour , 30 grams ground black sesame seeds and 150 grams whole wheat flour )
1 tsp salt
1 sachet ( 7 g / 1/4 oz ) easy-blend dried yeast ( 2 1/4  teaspoons Saf red instant yeast ) 
1 tsp mustard powder ( don't have this )
115 ( 4 oz ) mature cheddar cheese , grated ( 95 grams cheddar )
about 300 ml warm water ( about 320 ml or so ) 
25 grams butter
1 onion , chopped ( 145 grams , a combination of shallots and white onion ) 
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

* Grease a 900 grams ( 2 pound ) I used a 9 x 5-inch loaf tin or baking sheet and set aside . Sift flour and salt into a bowl , then stir in the yeast  , mustard powder and cheese . Make a well in the center , then add enough water , mixing to form a soft dough .
* Turn dough into a clean surface and knead until smooth and elastic ; shape dough into a round and place in a lightly oiled bowl , cover and leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in size . Meanwhile , melt butter in a pan , add the onion and sauté for about 5 minutes or until onion is softened .
* Knock back the dough on a clean surface , then knead the onions evenly into the dough . Shape into oblong and press into the loaf tin or shape into an oval and place on the baking sheet , then cover and leave to rise again until doubled in size .
* Meanwhile , preheat oven to 190°C / 375°F . Brush the top of the loaf with water and sprinkle with sesame seeds . Bake loaf for 40-50 minutes or until bread has risen , golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath . Turn out and let cool on a wire rack , serve in slices .

First proofing , after 1 hour and 30 minutes , tripled in size ....

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Strawberry Cheesecake

Happy New Year everyone !!!

Thank you blogging friends for always dropping by !

Thank you lurkers well , for just lurking ! lol

Cheers !!!

Ushering in the New Year won't be complete without cheesecake , so here's the one I baked to complete our calorific New year's dinner ....

Will update this post later , I'm a bit sick er okay , too lazy to post the recipe -___-

Thank you guys for the lovely comments , I'm not that sick , just a headache and er 'twas the time of the month that day also , okay TMI ! lol

For the recipe , please check my mini cheesecakes . I made some slight modification , instead of 350 grams  cream cheese , I only used 300 grams . For the crumb crust , I used 100 grams Marie biscuits , 15 grams butter and 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar .

I used a 6-inch square baking pan and 5 ( 2 1/4 x 1 1/2-inch )  loose-bottom tins for this bake .

Fresh strawberry topping , recipe adapted from Baking Illustrated 

2 pounds strawberries , cleaned , hulled and cut into pieces ( I used 170 grams of frozen strawberries ,  thawed + 150 grams fresh strawberries )
1/2 cup sugar ( 3 tablespoon ) 
pinch of salt
1 cup strawberry jam ( 4 tbsp )
2 tbsp juice from 1 lemon ( 1 tsp ) 

* Toss berries , sugar and salt in a medium bowl ; let stand for 30 minutes until berries released some juice and sugar has dissolved . tossing occasionally to combine .
* Process jam in a food processor until smooth , transfer into a small saucepan ; bring to a simmer , stirring frequently until dark and no longer frothy , about 3 minutes . Stir lemon juice , pour warm jam over the strawberries and stir well to combine . Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge to chill at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours .