Friday, May 31, 2013

Mushroom , bacon and mozzarella bread rolls

As I grow older *sigh* I pretty much hate summer .....

Summer here is like you're in sauna , very hot and humid ....

This place is called concrete jungle for nothing !

Loads of very tall buildings side by side and not enough vegetation to go around ugh !

Good thing that summer here is only about 5 months and you can look forward for a nice cool weather and I just couldn't wait -___-

Now , making bread during hot summer days is such a sweaty business especially if you're kneading manually .....

Sweating aside , I kinda enjoy the exercise er sort of ?!

Throwing back and forth the sticky bread dough onto the work surface is kind of therapeutic - just take a bath after you're done lol

I played around with the original recipe , the soft white dinner rolls , but then who wants a plain rolls when you can have this savoury version ? Not plain Jane for sure !

This kind of bread is popular here - most bread that are being sold in the bakeries are either stuffed or filled , savoury or sweet . There are some plain ones of course - plain buns or sandwich bread and such but most people here prefer the ones that I usually called baked sandwich bread .

The bread dough was a bit sticky so I threw it onto the work surface repeatedly , kneading in between , a good arm exercise , mind you !

I've started munching some of the delicious topping , the pan-fried mushroom on its own was really good and don't forget the bacon ! , so there was not enough of it to cover the top of the rolls pffffttt !

Soft white dinner rolls , recipe adapted from Leiths Baking Bible

Makes 24 rolls ( each around 35 grams dough ) I made 11 rolls ( each around 70 grams dough )

My slight modification in green   Note that the instruction below is my modified version .

290 ml milk  ( I used 150 ml milk and 150 ml water , both lukewarm )
450 grams strong plain four ( 300 grams bread flour and 150 grams whole wheat flour ) 
2 teaspoons salt ( 1 tsp ) 
20 grams fresh yeast ( 2 1/2 teaspoons Saf red instant yeast ) 
1 tsp caster sugar
30 grams butter
1 egg , slightly beaten

1 egg , beaten , to glaze

* In a large mixing bowl , combine the flours , salt , sugar and yeast ; use a whisk to blend ingredients together then rub in the butter . Make a well in the center , pour in the milk , water and beaten egg . Mix to form a cohesive dough then tip out onto a clean work surface . Knead until dough is elastic and smooth , about 10 minutes by hand .

* Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl and turn to coat with the oil ; cover bowl with a plastic wrap . Place bowl into a warm place until double in size , about an hour .

* Knock back dough and knead for 30 seconds . Meanwhile , preheat oven to 200°C . Lightly oil 2 baking sheets .

* Divide dough into 11 ( er I'm planning to make 12 actually ) pieces of equal size , around 70 grams each ; shape into a small ball and flatten your hand , forming about 5-inch round and use the heel of your hand to make a slight indentation in the middle - add in the toppings - put some mozzarella at the bottom , top with the mushroom and bacon mixture then another sprinkle of mozzarella on top , repeat with the rest of the dough and toppings . Place in the baking sheets and cover with the plastic wrap .

* Let rise again until they are double in size . Brush the sides but not the toppings with beaten egg . Bake for 15 to 18 minutes .

For the topping : 

Heat oil and pan fry 150 grams of sliced fresh button mushroom over medium high heat until golden brown . Transfer to a plate . Using the same pan , add in 2 small thinly sliced shallots , cook until transparent , add in the 2 rashers of bacon ( cut into 1/2-inch pieces ) , stir fry for a minute or so . Transfer to the plate with mushroom and stir in 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro , mix well and let cool .  

about 90 grams of shredded mozzarella 

This post is linked to the blog hop event . Little Thumbs Up , organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids  and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY  . This month feature ingredient is MUSHROOM and hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours .                                                                                                           


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chocolate-coffee yogurt mini cakes

I've started this blog out of sheer boredom .....

Who would have thought that after 2 years , I'm still blabbing here ?

Iv'e met some AWESOME BLOGGING FRIENDS from different parts of the world through this little corner of mine  ......

Made / baked something out of my comfort zone -though most of it leaves a lot to be desired , at least I tried , right ?  ^__^ ''

So , thank you loads , blogging friends and lurkers alike for checking out this site ; hope you'll continue to lurk and if you dare , leave a comment lol 

And if you're expecting a GIVEAWAY , you'll be disappointed ! Sorry guys , I don't have a budget right now *sigh* Just keep coming back , you'll know it when you see it here !

For now , here's something you can drool over .....

A delicious mini cakes , flavored with chocolate and coffee - yogurt makes it moist and soft . A fool-proof recipe , it doesn't need a mixer and it takes less than 10 minutes to prepare .

I've made this cake few days ago for a kid's birthday , baked it in an 8-inch cake pan - " this cake is excellent for children's birthday cakes " a quote from Leiths Baking Bible and it delivers ! I've got some yogurt left so I baked it again since I've only eaten the top the first time I made it heh !

Don't mind the nearly melted chocolate frosting - it looks like a chocolate ganache though instead of whipped ganache, summer's making its debut this week and it was 31°C outside when I've taken the photos pffftttt !

Chocolate yogurt cake , recipe adapted from Leiths Baking Bible

Makes a 20 cm / 8-inch cake

3 eggs , at room temperature
150 ml sunflower oil
150 ml natural yogurt
4 tablespoons golden syrup
85 grams caster sugar
225 grams self-raising flour
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda

* Preheat oven to 170°C . Grease a deep 8-inch baking pan and line the base with parchment paper .

* Sift together the flour , cocoa powder and baking soda , set aside .

* In a large mixing bowl , beat together eggs , oil , yogurt , syrup and sugar . Fold in the flour mixture , using a large metal spoon . Pout into the prepared pan .

* Bake in the center of the oven for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours ( check after 50 minutes , depending on your oven , I baked mine for 55 minutes ) or until top springs back when pressed lightly .

* Remove cake for the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes , then turn out on to the wire rack and leave to cool completely .

For the chocolate frosting : In a small heat-proof bowl , combine 150 grams chopped chocolate ( a combination of Lindt dark and milk chocolate bar ) and 150 ml whipping cream . Set bowl over a pan of barely simmering water , stir until melted . Take off from heat and let cool completely or chill in the fridge , stirring from time to time . Use a handheld mixer and whip the ganache until thickens . Pipe some frosting on top of cakes .

***** I've made half of the recipe and modified some of the ingredients : 60 ml sunflower oil , 1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup , added 1 tsp coffee paste and 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso granules . I used 13 ( slightly bigger ) mini-muffin tins and baked the cakes for 20 minutes .

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pineapple char siu buns

Are you just like me who think that the baked char siu buns they served at the Chinese resto is too measly a portion  ?

That you need to double your order just for that item alone ?

Well , I was aiming for that size when I baked these buns - as those dainty baked char siu filled buns - two-bite ( okay , 3 or more ladylike bites ) tasty morsels are much more easier to fit in my square plate .

Instead of small buns , I've got the super size version , much more like the size of the popular pineapple buns here .

Oh , well ......

The hot weather sure did er didn't help !

Maybe it's the bread improver or maybe the extra proving time since I've forgotten to preheat the oven ......

Not dainty for sure but I'm not complaining !

Though the char siu filling needs more tweaking , not enough sauce for my taste .

And even without the filling , the bread itself was so fluffy and soft , the topping flaky and crispy - and just simply delicious !

While I was shaping the pineapple topping , I kept wondering why I can't make it into a neat ,  thin rounds . I had to put it the freezer thinking that it'll make it easier to handle but still had a hard time after the topping had been thoroughly chilled . As I'm typing the recipe and saw 1/2 of an egg yolk - now I know tsk tsk ! Instead of half of an egg yolk , I've added 1/2 of an egg ! Good thing that the topping turned out okay despite it .....

Recipe adapted from Foundation dim sum making by Kitty Choi

Makes 20 buns ( My slight modification in green ) 

1 lb bread flour
1 tablespoon instant yeast
3/4 tsp emulsifier ( bread improver )
3 oz sugar
2 tbsp milk
1/2 of an egg
5 tbsp butter
1 cup warm water

For the filling :

160 grams diced char siu
20 grams diced shallots ( 35 grams )
40 grams char siu sauce ( 1 tsp )
1 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce 
1 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp diced spring onions 
6 1/2 tbsp water mix with 1 tsp tapioca starch  

For the pineapple topping :

196 grams flour
14 grams milk powder
112 grams caster sugar ( 100 grams ) 
56 grams butter
56 grams lard
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking ammonia ( baking powder )
1 tbsp milk
1/2 of an egg yolk
1 tbsp minced pineapple
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 egg , beaten

* Combine the char siu filling and mix well ; set aside . Heat oil , add in shallots , cook until softens a bit then add in the char siu , char siu sauce , light soy , brown sugar and hoisin sauce . Cook until char siu is heated through . Add in the tapioca mixture , stir until thickens , add the spring onions . Remove from heat , Let cool before using .  

* Combine all the dough ingredients and mix well . Knead until you form a cohesive dough and tip in into a clean work surface . Throw the dough repeatedly on the surface until soft and elastic . Transfer in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm area for 1 hour until it doubles in size .

* Form the dough into a long tube shape ; divide into 20 equal parts . Roll into balls and let rest for 20 minutes . Wrap in char siu filling , put bun into the baking sheet seam side down , repeat with the rest . Let rest for another 20 minutes .

* Meanwhile , preheat oven to 230°C .

* Sift flour and milk powder in a bowl , make a well in the center and add remaining ingredients . Knead to form a dough and divide into 20 equal portions .

* With a rolling pin , roll a portion into a thin circle and place on top of the bun ; brush with beaten egg . Repeat with rest .

* Bake buns for  8 minutes .

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Snow peas , mushroom and pork stir-fry

I thrive on simple , easy , nutritious and affordable dish ....

Especially the last part ....

But then who wouldn't ? In this day and age ?

Everything is so expensive that when I see a sign - this way to the mall - I go the other way so as not to be tempted with everything that I want but don't really need  lol

I'm sure you've seen my previous post . That cost me a dollar only , the cheapest , I bet in food blogging ....

Who says food blogging is expensive ?! I beg to disagree ! I bet some of you also lurk at some beauty blogs . I'm sure you've seen  that a mere bottle of nail polish retails for more than HK $ 100. ?!!! Don't forget the price of lipstick , eye shadow , eye liner , foundation , moisturizer...... To think you can't eat those . But then you can use those war paint over and over again , that is , until the new season dictates a new trend , then you want to buy something new , again . At least you won't a problem gaining weight while putting on your make up ^___^

Don't worry , moderation is the key . As long as you won't stuff yourself silly with everything that is deliciously awesome but unhealthy food , you're safe .

Yeah , keep telling that to your self , Anne lol

Serves 1 , on its own or with rice

80 grams snow peas , trimmed
60 grams  shimeji mushroom
50 grams pork tenderloin , cut into bite-sized pieces
2 shallots , cut into quarters
1 tsp finely chopped ginger , divided
1 clove garlic , minced
1/2 tsp chili sauce
1/4 tsp brown sugar
a pinch of coarse salt
1 stalk spring onion , sectioned plus extra for garnish

* Marinate pork slices with a tiny bit of coarse salt , a dash of ground white pepper , 1/2 tsp of light soy sauce , 2 drops of sesame oil and 1/4 tsp of tapioca starch . Mix well and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes

* Trim and briefly rinse mushroom under running water , drain well ; set aside .

* In a large nonstick pan , pour a little bit oil , add in half of the ginger , stir fry until fragrant then add in the mushroom , cook for about a minute . Transfer to a plate , keep warm .

* In the same pan , wipe the surface with kitchen towel , add a little bit oil , put in the shallots , ginger and garlic , stir fry until fragrant , add in the pork , cook for 2 minutes . Add in the snow peas , some salt and chili sauce , stir well to combine , cook for about 30 seconds . Add in the mushroom and   pour in 2 tablespoons of water , adjust seasoning . Add in spring onion ,and give it another good stir . Dish up and serve immediately .

This post is linked to the blog hop event Little Thumbs Up organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite DIY . The ingredient for this month is MUSHROOM and hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours . 


Friday, May 17, 2013

Chinese steamed egg


How do you like your eggs ?

Me ? I like eggs in any form .....

Don't be dirty-minded ......

Heck , I even like Balut  lol 

Steamed egg is not as popular as sunny-side up or scrambled even boiled egg , that is , outside Asia ....

I haven't even heard of it before coming here .....

If you're a Chinese , you've already tried this and I'm sure a fixture in your Mom's home-cooked meal ....

For those who haven't eaten it before , just imagine you're eating Taho or silken tofu because the texture is almost the same .....

The texture of this steamed egg is smooth as silk as long as just strain the mixture and cover it with foil before steaming ....

The right proportion of water to egg is really important to achieve the light and smooth texture ...

It may not look much but what can you expect with just one egg and water combination ?

A drizzle of light soy sauce and some diced spring onions is a must !

Serves 2 or 1 hungry tummy

1  ( 65 grams ) egg , at room temperature
80 ml  lukewarm water
a small pinch of salt

some light soy sauce and diced spring onions to serve

* Whisk egg thoroughly , season with salt and add in the water ; stir well until combined . Strain mixture and pour it in the two small bowl or a shallow plate and cover the top with foil .

* Steam in a wok over medium-high heat , with the cover slightly ajar to let some of the steam escape ,  8 to 12 minutes ( check after 8 minutes ) or until mixture is firm  .

* Drizzle with soy sauce and garnish with some spring onions , serve warm .

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Dulce de leche and condensed milk dunking buns

If you're on a diet , look the other way .....

If you're just like me who doesn't have that four letter word in her vocab , you're in the right place lol 

Now , now - see that pot of tea ? That will offset some of the carbs and sugar .....

Yeah , right !

I know that it's easier just to buy bread and slathering it with dulce de leche or condensed milk - saves time , money and effort ...

But there's something about the smell of freshly-baked bread and of course , I just love to make baked sandwich bread !

Another thing is kneading the dough - really a good exercise for my flabby arms .....

Well , sweating armpits aside , that is -___- ''

The weather here is starting to get toxic , hot and humid - for sure will continue  in next 4 to 5  months *sigh*

At least , I didn't have to prove the dough under the desklight heh !

Just in case you're interested in making these buns , better use muffin tins , smaller is better especially with sweet filling . I filled each dough with about 2 1/2 tablespoons dulce de leche - really too much , methinks and 1 tablespoon condensed milk which is just the right amount to me . The recipe calls for condensed milk only but I've got some dulce de leche so I used half of that and half condensed milk . Instead of the twisted top  , the top of my buns look like the top of a char siu buns  ^____^ ''

Condensed milk dunking buns , recipe adapted from Mad about bread

Makes 8 buns

For the dough :

300 grams bread flour ( I used 200 grams bread flour and 100 grams wholewheat flour )
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dried milk powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
30 grams light muscovado sugar
1 sachet easy'blend yeast ( 2 1/4 tsp Saf red instant ) 
15 grams butter , melted ( sunflower oil ) 
170 grams warm water ( plus 1 tsp ) 

For the filling :

1 can / 397 grams condensed milk ( about 10 tablespoons dulce de leche and 4 tablespoons condensed milk ) 
30 grams melted butter for brushing

Cinnamon-sugar mix for sprinkling : Mix together 40 grams of granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon . You'll have more than enough for this recipe .  

* In a large bowl , whisk together the first 5 ingredients ; add in the yeast , stir well to combine . Make a well in the center of the flour mixture then add in the last 3 ingredients . Mix to form a cohesive dough ; tip in the dough on a clean surface . Knead for about 10 minutes or until dough is soft and elastic , Transfer dough into a lightly greased large mixing bowl , cover with cling wrap and top with kitchen towel . Let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until double or triple in size .

* Grease and flour individual pudding basins and place them all on a baking sheet .

* Divide dough into 8 equal ( 65 grams ) portions . Mould them into round shape . Cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes .

* Roll out each portion into a 6 inch / 15 cm round . Brush the top surface of each with melted butter .

* Pick up one round and lay it , butter side-down , on top of one prepared tins , allowing the dough to dip into the basin slightly  . Spoon or pour 45 grams of the condensed milk into the middle of the dough . Carefully gather up up all the edges and gently twist the edges shut like a candy wrapper . Ease the parcel into the tin and put it back into the baking sheet . Repeat with remaining rounds .

* Brush remaining butter on the topknots of the parcels and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mix . Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes .

* About 15 minutes before the end of the resting time , preheat oven to 220 °C . Bake for 13 to 15 minutes

* The cinnamon sugar tends to stick so , remove the bread as soon as possible .


Friday, May 10, 2013

Stir-fried udon

I've been meaning to post another stir-fried noodles for weeks now ....

You can never have too many noodle posts , right ?

Since , I don't really like udon with soup , stir frying it makes perfect sense .

This simple and easy dish is great when you don't have time to whip something fuzzy but still want a hearty and filling meal .

Serves 2

2 pack udon noodles
100 grams pork tenderloin , cut into bite size pieces
a portion each of red , yellow and green bell pepper or 1 large bell pepper , sliced
1/2 of a small onion , sliced
1 teaspoon chilli sauce
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 clove garlic , minced
1 tsp ginger , finely chopped
1/2 tsp chicken powder

lime wedges to serve

For the sauce : Mix 4 tablespoons water , 1 tsp dark soy sauce , 1/2 tsp brown sugar .

* Marinate pork with 1/8 tsp dark soy , a pinch of salt , a dash of ground white pepper , few drops of sesame oil and 1/2 tsp tapioca or cornstarch for 20 minutes .

* Heat wok and pour some oil , when the oil is hot , add in the pork , stir fry until it changes color then add in the onion , garlic and ginger , cook for 2 minutes . Add in the bell peppers , season with chicken powder and brown sugar ; cook for a minute then transfer to a plate . Set aside .

* In the same pan , add in the noodles , cook for 4 minutes , stirring constantly to prevent from sticking at the bottom of the pan . Add in the pork and bell pepper mixture , stir well to combine then pour in the sauce , stir and adjust seasoning . Continue cooking until the sauce is absorbed . Dish up and serve hot

Monday, May 6, 2013

Roasted pistachio ice cream

I've been staring at the blank page for hours thinking of what to write ......

Eventhough I've been lurking from blog to blog looking for some inspiration for most of the afternoon , words still eludes me *sigh*

Don't mind the drama queen lol 

The 3 sentences above was written few days ago and I'm not kidding !

Below er only an hour prior to posting .......

This was so far , my most expensive ice cream - okay , not that much , but for 75 grams of shelled raw pistachio , it cost me HK $ 45. , nearly 6 US dollars .

So , the price of raw pistachio was worth it ?

Absolutely !

But that doesn't mean that you can't use salted pistachios that you can buy anywhere here .....

For HK $ 48. up per pound  , it's such a good deal and really great in making ice cream as you can see from my 2 previous pistachio ice cream posts .

I'm not really looking for some raw pistachios since I'm just quiet happy using the salted ones .....

But I saw some in one of the baking shops I frequently go to , and its beautiful green color , the reason I bought some ^____^ ''

 I used the wok to roast the raw pistachios for 5 minutes and even without any salt , the taste was fantastic !

Still , when I made this ice cream , I've added some salted pistachios because you just can't have too much of pistachio in this ice cream ! 

What about ...... I scream , you scream , we all scream for pistachio ice cream lol 

Recipe adapted from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home  or check original recipe @ Food & Wine

Makes about 1 quart 

2/3 cup shelled pistachios , a combination of raw and salted ( plus extra add-ins , if prefer )
2 1/4 cups whole milk 
1 tablespoon + 1 tsp tapioca starch 
42 grams cream cheese , softened
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup whipping cream 
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup 

* Using the wok , roast pistachio over medium heat for 5 minutes , stirring from time to time . Transfer to a food processor and processed until pistachios become a very smooth paste .

* Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the starch in a small bowl , to make a smooth slurry paste . 

* Whisk cream cheese , pistachio paste and salt together in a medium bowl until smooth .

* Prepare a large bowl with ice and water .

* In a medium-sized saucepan , combine the remaining milk , cream , sugar and corn syrup , bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes . Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the starch mixture . Bring mixture back to a boil over medium heat and cook stirring with a heat-proof spatula until slightly thickened , about a minute .

* Remove from heat and gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth . Pour mixture into a heatproof container and place over an ice bath to cool completely .

* Pour the ice cream base into the ice cream maker and churn for about 40 minutes or until thick and creamy . Pack ice cream into a freezer-proof container , layering it with some pistachios , if using . Press a parchment paper directly against the surface and freeze overnight . 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Coffee walnut cupcakes with mocha butter frosting

I'm baking early for Mother's Day .....

Remember my early Valentine's offering ? 

Nah ! 

That's just an excuse so that I can consume copious amount of butter and sugar ....

Hey ! I seldom make frosting ! 

I just can't call it cupcake without a frosting  -____- ''

Though my cupcakes look a bit like muffin with those cracks and bumps on top *sigh* 

The best thing about frosting is that it hides those imperfections and nobody will see what's underneath er except me and the rest of you , lurkers ? lol 

Oh ! Don't worry about the butter and sugar , it's not as if you're always making it weekly ......

Hmmmmm ... maybe I'll try another frosting recipe next week ?!  

Want to see more cupcakes ? 

Check out the Bake-Along event hosted by the trio of foodielicious ladies . It's their 2nd Birthday this year . And what better way to celebrate the occasion than baking cupcakes ? So , do check it out and if you want to join , just contact either Joyce Lena  and Zoe

Recipe adapted from Leiths Baking Bible

Makes 12 

115 grams butter , softened ( I used 100 grams )
115 grams caster sugar ( 100 grams )
2 eggs , at room temperature , beaten 
115 grams self-raising flour
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules ( instant espresso )
1/4 tsp vanilla essence ( 1/2 tsp )
1 tsp coffee paste
55 grams walnuts , chopped

* Preheat oven to 180°C . Prepare 12 muffin liners and set aside . 

* In a large bowl , using an electric mixer , beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy . Beat in eggs a little at a time and scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time . Fold in the flour , coffee . walnuts and vanilla ; add a little water if necessary to make a soft dropping consistency . 

* Pour mixture in the prepared liners , about 2/3 . Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean . Leave to cool on a wire rack . 

For the mocha butter frosting :

This frosting is enough for 6 cupcakes 

55 grams butter 
115 grams icing sugar 
1 tsp cocoa powder 
1 tsp instant coffee granules 
1 tbsp boiling water 

* Mix cocoa powder , coffee and water in a small bowl , allow to cool until lukewarm .

* Beat butter until soft and gradually add in the icing sugar , scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time . Add the cocoa-coffee mixture and beat until well incorporated . Pipe on top of each cooled cupcake .     

This post is linked to the Bake-Along blog hop event hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours , Lena of Frozen Wings and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids