Monday, September 30, 2013

Orange-Cranberry Bread


orange bread

Do you know that freshly squeezed orange juice and zest gives an amazing lovely colour and refreshing citrus flavour to this otherwise plain bread?  And the dried cranberries provides the sweet and tangy taste which is really delicious.  I just loved the bright little red gems that popped up in every slice of the bread.  It is so flavoursome that you can even eat it on its own, without butter or jam!

Recipe adapted from Roxana's Homebaking


60g bread flour
2 tsp dried yeast
130g lukewarm water

420g bread flour
1/2 tsp salt
zest of 2 oranges
1 1/2 tbsp honey
190ml  fresh orange juice

50g vegetable oil

90g dried cranberries

  • (A) In a small bowl, combine bread flour with yeast and lukewarm water into a thick paste. Cover and leave at room temperature until the mixture becomes foamy.
  • In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all ingredients (B) together.  Then add in (A), knead until well combined.  Gradually add in (C) and continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic. [At this stage, the dough should be able to stretch to form a window-like thin membrane without breaking - Windowpane Test]
  • Add in (D) and knead until cranberries are incorporated.
  • Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with clingwrap.  Place it in a warm place to allow the dough to rise until at least doubled in volume. [To determine if the dough has risen long enough, poke a floured finger into the  dough.  When you remove your finger, the dough shouldn't spring back at all.  If the dough springs back immediately, it is under-proved and needs more time to proof further.]
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and shape it into a log.  Place it into a greased loaf pan; cover and let it proof again until almost doubled.  
  • Bake the bread in a preheated oven (175 deg C) for about 40 minutes or until brown.
  • Remove the bread from the pan immediately and brush the top with melted butter if you wish.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Mushroom & Potato Curry

Hericium erinaceus curry

Hericium erinaceus (also called Lion's Mane Mushroom, Monkey Head Mushroom (猴頭菇), Hedgehog Mushroom,  Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, Pom Pom Mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus) is an edible and medicinal mushroom.  This mushroom has a meaty texture and it makes a great meat substitute. 

I don't know how to prepare the dried mushrooms so I bought the already processed ones from the frozen food section in the Asian grocery store.  

Hericium erinaceus
After blanching in hot water

200g mushrooms, blanched in boiling water
4 potatoes, cut into wedges
150ml coconut cream
salt & sugar, to taste
water, adjust accordingly

Grounded Ingredients:
2 tbsp chilli powder
150g shallots
50g garlic
40g tumeric
40g galangal
2 stalks of lemongrass
5 candlenuts

  • Heat oil in a saucepan and stir fry the grounded ingredients until aromatic.  
  • Put in the blanched mushrooms and potatoes.  Stir to combine.  Add enough water to cover the mushroom and potatoes.  Bring to the boil.  Then reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft.
  • Add in coconut cream.  Season with salt & sugar.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Pink Soy Milk Jelly Mooncakes

Today which is also the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese lunar calendar is Mid-Autumn Festival.  It is the second grandest festival after the Spring Festival (better known as Chinese New Year).

Here's wishing all a very Happy Mid-Autumn Festival  -  中秋节快乐!

Recipe adapted from Ann's Tau Huay Jelly Mooncakes sans the filling.


625g unsweetened soy milk
50g raw sugar
2 tsp agar-agar powder
pink colouring

  • Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan, bring to the boil under medium heat while stirring occasionally to avoid milk from sticking to the pan.  Turn off the heat.
  • Pour soy milk into jelly moulds.
  • When cooled place the jelly in the refrigerator to set.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Kuih Pandan Cara Manis

When I saw JocelineRose Manap and then Sonia made these cute little kuih, I couldn't resist making them too, especially when my new bahulu mould has been sitting in the cupboard for two years -  still wrapped in plastic!!

Recipe from Sonia


100g cake flour
100g coconut milk
100g pandan water (and a drop of pandan paste)
1 egg
A pinch of salt

Fillings:  mix together 
Gula Melaka (grated)
Raw sugar
Desiccated coconut

Cooking oil
Gula Melaka (palm sugar ) or raw sugar
Kuih Bahulu mould 
Satay skewer

  • Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, strain the batter.
  • Heat up the Kuih Bahulu mould over a gas stove.
  • When the mould is hot, grease the cavity with cooking oil using pandan leaves. 
  • Spoon batter into each cavity half full, fill with about 1/2 tsp in the centre of each batter.
  • Spoon batter to completely cover each of the cavity. Cover the mould with a lid and cook  until golden brown (take about 5 min). 
  • Remove the kuih with a skewer.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Banana-Orange-Walnut Cupcakes

Banana Orange Walnut Cake


240g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
170g butter, softened
140g caster sugar
3 eggs (59g each)
zest of 1 orange
125 ml orange juice
20g roasted walnuts, chop coarsely
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
a few walnut halves

  • Preheat oven at 160 deg C.
  • Sift flour together with bicarbonate of soda.  Set aside.
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in orange zest.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in mashed bananas. 
  • Add in flour mixture, alternating with orange juice; starting and ending with flour and walnut.
  • Spoon cake batter into cupcake casings.  Gently place a few walnut halves on the top.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes or until done.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Hakka Hee Ban / Xi Ban ( 客家喜粄 )

Pandan Hee Ban
Pandan Xi Ban

Thanks to Mel of  Through The Kitchen Door who shared this recipe recently, I was inspired to make these Hakka Hee Ban which has been on my to-do list for quite sometime.  With Mel's helpful advice (thank you Mel)  I started preparing the overnight sponge dough immediately.  Since I have some fresh pandan leaves, I decided to make Pandan flavoured Hee Ban instead of pink ones.  The whole process right from mixing the dough up to steaming the buns took more than five hours!

Ingredients for sponge dough: (A)
150g plain flour
1 tsp dried yeast
125g water

Ingredients: (B)
150g plain flour
150g glutinous rice flour
120g caster sugar
170g pandan juice

vegetable oil for greasing hands
squares of baking paper
  • In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients in (A).  Cover and keep refrigerated overnight.
  • Mix all the ingredients (A) and (B) together in a mixing bowl. Using a dough hook, knead until a soft and smooth dough is formed.  Cover and leave to proof until doubled.
  • Divide the soft dough into 18 equal portions and shape into round balls.  Place the balls onto the baking paper and using your palm (which has been greased with some cooking oil), flatten the balls slightly.
  • Cover the dough and proof again until they doubled in size. 
  • Steam over medium high heat for 15 minutes or until cooked.

Some of the steamed buns had dimpled and wrinkly skin, much to my disappointment.  I was told that it was caused by the steam condensation which dripped onto the buns.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Banana Almond Smoothie


This simple smoothie makes a satisfying mid-morning snack beverage and it only takes less then a minute to blend these two ingredients in my Spectablend.  It tastes so smooth and creamy. Do you know that frozen banana gets very creamy and a little gooey after blitzing in the blender? 


1 cup unsweetened  almond milk
1 frozen banana

  • Put the frozen banana and almond milk in the blender and blend until smooth and creamy.  
  • Pour into a glass and enjoy. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pan Mee (Board Noodles 板面 )

Board Noodle
Homemade Pan Mee (Board Noodles)

Pan Mee literally means "Board Noodles" in Chinese. Today I decided to make Pan Mee using my pasta machine which has been sitting in my cupboard - its existence almost forgotten.  Since I had this machine for 12 years, it had only been used a total of 4 times!  Talking about underutilised.

Ingredients:  (Serves 5)
500g high protein/bread flour
230ml water
1 tsp salt
1 egg

  • Using a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, water and egg together with a dough hook.  Knead until dough is smooth. 
  • Cover the dough and rest for 1 hour. 
  • Knead for a few minutes before dividing the dough into 5 equal portions and flatten the dough with your palm. 
  • Feed each portion of dough which has been coated with flour through the pasta machine a few times. Then using the pasta cutter attachment, cut the dough sheet into the desired thickness.  
  • Bring a pot of water to the boil.  Add in a little oil and salt.  Drop a serve of noodles into the boiling water.  Noodles are cooked when they float.  With a slotted spatula, remove the noodles and transfer them into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process.  Drain the noodles and set aside. 
Soup:  (Cook for about 2 hours)
4 litres water
2 chicken carcass
1kg (pork) soup bones
a knob of ginger
salt and pepper to taste

300g minced pork, marinate with some corn flour, pepper, sesame oil and soy sauce
2 pieces of wood ear fungus, soaked and shredded
5 dried shiitake mushroom, soaked and shredded
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 small bowl of anchovies (ikan bilis)

Coriander leaves
Green mustard (Choy Sum), blanched

  • Heat some oil in a saucepan, stir fry anchovies until crispy. Transfer onto a bowl and set aside.
  • Add more oil and sauté the garlic until aromatic.  
  • Add in minced meat and stir fry for about 5 minutes.  Then put in mushroom and wood ear fungus. Add in dark and light soy sauce.  Season with salt, sugar and pepper.  Cook for another 5 minutes or until cooked.

To assemble:
  • Placed a serve of cooked noodles in a bowl.  Ladle some hot soup over it and top with the blanched vegetable, meat topping and fried anchovies.  Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Served with chilli oil.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Quinoa-Chia Seed Bread

Quinoa (pronounced as keen-wah) - known as the "mother grain" is an extremely nutritious seed.  It is a remarkable source of protein, vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.

Chia Seeds (aka Aztec Superseed) are jam-packed with so much goodness and is gluten-free. They are the highest known plant-based source of Omega-3 fatty acids and high in calcium, protein, dietary fibre, vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, potassium, etc. 

Adapted from:  Happy Home Baking


(A) Scalded Dough:
150g bread flour
115g boiling water

(B) Overnight Sponge Dough:
100g bread flour
60g water
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast

(C) Main Dough:
300g bread flour
140g wholemeal flour
20g milk powder
50g caster sugar
2 tsp salt 
3 tsp instant yeast
2 - 3  tbsp Chia Seeds
2 - 3 tbsp Quinoa flakes
1 egg
180g homemade unsweetened soy milk
scalded dough (A) - cut/tear into small pieces
sponge dough (B) - cut/tear into small pieces 
50g oil (I used Rice Bran oil) 

(A) Scalded Dough:

Add boiling water into the bread flour and combine into a rough dough.  When the dough is cooled, cover with cling wrap and leave it overnight in the fridge.  Bring back to room temperature before use.  

[I left it on my kitchen bench overnight as it was quite cold - about 11 deg C]

(B) Overnight Sponge Dough:
Combine bread flour with yeast. Add in water and mix to form a rough dough. Cover dough and set aside for 30 mins. Cling wrap the dough and refrigerate overnight. Bring back to room temperature before use.
[I left it on my kitchen bench overnight] 

(C) Main dough: 
  • In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all the ingredients together, except oil.
  • Knead until it forms a slightly sticky soft dough.  Gradually add in oil.  Continue to knead until smooth and elastic.    [At this stage, the dough should be able to stretch to form a window-like thin membrane without breaking - Windowpane Test ]. 
  • Shape the dough  into a smooth ball and place in a greased  bowl.  Cover with  cling wrap.  Then place it in a warm, moist and draught-free place to allow the dough to rise until doubled.
  • Punch down by pressing the dough out evenly with your hands to release the air.
  • Divide the dough into 2 portions.  Roll into balls.  Cover and rest for about 10 mins.
  • Flatten the dough into a rectangle and roll it into a tight cylinder, tucking the dough under itself as you go.  Pinch the seam at the end to close.
  • Place the dough, seam side down, into a greased loaf pan.  Loosely cover with cling wrap and let them rise until just about doubled in size.
  • Bake in a preheated oven (175 deg C) for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove the bread from the pan and brush the top with butter. 


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Pumpkin Bread Loaf

Pumpkin Loaf

Butternut pumpkins are pear-shaped, with pale brown skin and bright orange flesh. They have a sweet, slightly nutty flavour.  They can be roasted, puréed for soup, stir-fried, and also be used in baking cakes or bread.  

Don't you love the beautiful colour it gives to the bread?  

Recipe adapted from  Sweet Potato Buns.


250g bread flour
60g mashed pumpkin
1 small eggs
30g caster sugar
80g homemade Almond Milk (adjust accordingly)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp instant dried yeast
30g Rice Bran oil

  • Cut pumpkin into cubes.  Steamed until soft and mash with a fork.  Set aside to cool.
  • Combine flour, sugar, salt and yeast together until well blended.  Add in eggs, almond milk and mashed pumpkin.  Using the dough hook, knead until it forms a slightly sticky dough.   
  • Then add in oil.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.  
  • Shape dough into a ball and placed in a bowl covered with cling wrap.  Leave it in a warm place to rise until doubled.
  • Punch down to expel trapped air.  Divide into 2 equal portions.
  • Rest for 10 mins.  
  • Flatten the dough and then roll up like Swiss Rolls. 
  • Place the rolls on a greased loaf pan slightly apart.  Cover with cling wrap and leave to proof until doubled.
  • Preheat oven to 170 deg C.  
  • Bake for 25 - 30mins or until golden brown. 
  • Brush the loaves with melted butter.

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