Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Wholemeal Bread (with Overnight Sponge Dough)

Tang Zhong Method
 Tang Zhong Method
Recipe adapted from  Alex Goh's Magic Bread


(A) Gelatinised Dough:
80g wholemeal bread flour
75g boiling water

(B) Sponge Dough:
100g wholemeal bread flour
75g water
1/4 tsp instant yeast

(C) Main Dough:
350g white bread flour
30g oats
20g honey
20g condensed milk
2 tsp salt
35g egg white
165g cold milk
1 1/4 tsp instant yeast

30g canola oil
beaten egg whites & extra oats - to topping

  • (A)  Add the boiling water into flour, mix until well-blended to form a dough.  Cover and set aside to cool.  Keep it in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
  • (B)  Mix water and yeast  until well blended.  Add in flour and mix to form a dough.  Let it proof for 30 mins.  Cover with cling wrap and refrigerate overnight.
  • In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine all ingredients in (C) together.  Then add in (A) and (B), knead until well combined.  Gradually add in oil and continue to knead until dough is smooth and elastic. 
  • 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.
  • Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and divide into two equal portions.  Shape into balls.  Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
  • Flatten the dough into rectangular shape and roll them like swiss rolls. 
  • Place the two rolls  into a greased loaf pan; cover and let it proof again until almost doubled or 90%.
  • Brush the dough with beaten egg whites and sprinkle some oats over it.
  • Bake in a preheated oven (175 deg C) for about 40 minutes or until brown.
  • Remove the bread from the pan immediately.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Potato & Pea Curry (Aloo Dum)

Dum Aloo

Adapted from Rick Stein's Aloo Dum

Aloo Dum or Dum Aloo is possibly the most common vegetable curry in India.  This dish is actually a spicy potato dish with some frozen peas thrown in just before the end.  It is an easy dish to make and great served with rice.


For the fried potato:
1 kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
4 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground turmeric

For the sauce:
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 sprigs  curry leaves
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, finely crushed
5 cm fresh ginger, finely grated
1 tsp chillie powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
200g tomato passata (or tomato paste)
100 ml water (approx)
150g frozen peas
1 tsp garam masala
a handful of chopped coriander leaves, for garnishing

  • Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 8 minutes or until potatoes are just tender. Drain well.  Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, add potatoes and fry for 5 minutes or until golden-brown.  Add in turmeric and fry potatoes for 30 seconds.  Remove from heat.
  • Heat oil in another pan over medium-high heat.  Add in curry leaves and fry for 1 minute.  Add in onion and fry for 4 minutes, then add garlic and ginger.  Fry until onion softened and lightly brown.
  • Add in the chillie powder, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt; fry for 1 minute, then add in tomato passata and water.  Stir to combine.  
  • Add in the fried potatoes and cook for 10 minutes under medium heat, covered. Add more water if it gets too dry.
  • Finally add in the frozen peas and garam masala.  Cook uncovered for 3 - 4 minutes or until the peas are cooked.  
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Blueberry-Orange Pull Apart Bread

Pull Apart Bread

Pull Apart Bread

Pull Apart Bread

Pull Apart Bread

I was given a big punnet of blueberries which had been sitting in my refrigerator for more than two weeks; and they were begging me to find ways to use them.  As I was searching  for a blueberry recipe other than blueberry muffins or blueberry smoothies, I chanced upon La Petite Brioche's Lemon Blueberry Pull Apart Bread.  I used orange instead of lemon and combined my favourite bread dough recipe from Orange-Cranberry Bread for this Orange-Blueberry Pull Apart Bread.  Let me tell you, the pairing of blueberries and orange  made this a remarkably delicious combination for my pull apart bread.  And this bread is best eaten straight out of the oven.  It certainly makes a perfect accompaniment to a cup of hot coffee.  


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

(D)  Orange-Sugar Mixture:
100g raw sugar
zest of 3 oranges

1 cup fresh blueberries

30g butter, melted

  • (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]
  • 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.]
  • Mix together (D) and set aside.

Orange-Sugar Mixture

  • Once the dough has doubled in size, gently deflate the dough with your hand. Roll the dough into a rectangle and using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 5 equal strips.  Brush melted butter liberally on the first strip of dough and sprinkle evenly with orange-sugar mixture.

  • Stack a second strip of dough over the first one, brush with melted butter and sprinkle evenly with orange-sugar mixture. Repeat the steps with the rest of the dough strips until you get a stack of 5 strips, all buttered and topped with orange-sugar mixture.

  • Then slice the stack crosswise through all the five layers, into 6 equal rectangles. Transfer these square stacks of dough into the two prepared loaf pans, with cut edges facing up, side by side.  Gently insert blueberries evenly in between each layer of the dough.  Cover with cling wrap and leave it to proof until almost doubled.
Pull Apart Bread

Pull Apart Bread

  • Bake  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.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Cupcakes With LOVE


This year Valentine's Day coincides with Chap Goh Mei (which is Hokkien for 15th Night  - which marks the last day of Chinese New Year celebration).  Chap Goh Mei is also known as the Lantern Festival Day/Yuan Xiao Festival in China.  Both Valentine's Day and Chap Goh Mei are associated with romance.

Valentine's Day is a day for lovers to express their feeling for one another.  Chap Goh Mei (unofficially known as the Chinese Valentine's Day) is a day where the young unmarried ladies participate in the ritual of tossing  mandarins or oranges (inscribed with their contact number) into rivers in the hope that they will be fished out by the love of their lives.  It is said that this custom was originated in Penang, Malaysia.  

How do you celebrate this double celebration of love?   Do you splurge on expensive dinner and gifts for your loved one or the other way around?  Personally I find that Valentine's Day has become too commercialised and vastly overrated.  I would prefer my loved one to express his love everyday and not only on this specific day. 

And this is how I express my love ~

I halved the recipe from my Tri-Colour Butter Cake and made into 6 plain vanilla cupcakes. 

  • Once the cupcakes are cool, slice off the tops with a sharp knife and cut out a heart shape using your pastry cutter.  Set aside.
  • Spread your favourite buttercream icing onto the bottom half of the cupcake, making sure not to spread too close to the edge of the cake.
  • Put the cupcake back together again (by placing the sliced top onto the iced bottom half of the cupcake)

Please refer to Cookies Cupcakes & Cardio on how to make these pretty cupcakes. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Potato Pizza




Dough: (Makes one approximately 30cm pizza)

230g bread flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp instant dried yeast
120g water
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

  • Combine bread flour, sugar and salt together in the mixing bowl with the dough hook attached.  Then add in yeast.  Blend to combine.  Gradually add in water and knead until fully incorporated.
  • Pour in olive oil and knead until a smooth and elastic dough is formed.  
  • Cover the bowl with cling wrap and leave it in a warm place until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to expel trapped air.  (At this stage, the dough can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight or frozen.  Bring back to room temperature before continuing).
  • Place the dough on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover and leave in a draught-free spot until it risen by half.  The dough is now ready to use.

To make garlic confit:  [Cook under low heat until garlic has softened]
100g garlic cloves, with skin intact
A sprig of rosemary
70ml olive oil

1 large Desiree potato -  cut into wafer-thin slices
2 sprigs of sage
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
grated Mozzarella cheese
grated Parmesan cheese

  • Preheat oven to 200 deg C.
  • Roll out the pizza dough into a 30 cm circle.  
  • Place dough onto pizza pan and prick all over with a fork.
  • Mash the softened garlic with a fork.  Brush garlic oil and spread mashed garlic over the base of the dough.  Scatter cheeses all over.
  • Place potato slices over the cheeses, taking care not to overlap.  Scatter sage leaves over the potato slices and drizzle more garlic oil.  Top with more cheeses.   Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until the base is crisp and golden.
  • Remove pizza from the oven.  Serve hot.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Chinese New Year Prosperity Toss / Lou Sang / Yee Sang (鱼生)

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year

Rén rì  (人日) [literally Human Day] falls on the 7th day of Chinese New Year and according to Chinese legends, human beings were created on this day.  Therefore it is everybody's common birthday, the day when everyone grows one year older. Traditionally, it is the day when Yee Sang (鱼生) is eaten; however nowadays it is available throughout the Chinese New Year.  This custom is unique to the Chinese in Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Singapore. 

"Yúshēng”  (in Mandarin), "Yee Sang" or "Yu Sahng" (in Cantonese) literally means "raw fish" in Chinese but it sounds like Yúshēng (余升) which means an increase in abundance. Yee Sang or Prosperity Toss  is the must-have dish as part of the Chinese New Year dinner due to its symbolism of "good luck" for the new year.    It is actually a mixed salad which consists of finely shredded vegetables, fruits, some colourful condiments (to make the dish more festive) and raw fish tossed in a plum sauce dressing.  

When eating Yee Sang (or commonly known as 'lou sang') the ritual is to toss the ingredients enthusiastically using chopsticks, high into the air while uttering  "auspicious wishes for abundant of luck and happiness" aloud to signify good omens.  It is believed that the height of the toss reflects the height of the diners' growth in fortune in the year ahead.


1 small daikon (white radish), julienned
1 small carrot, julienned
1 cucumber, deseeded, julienned and squeeze dry
1 Granny Smith apple, julienned
leaves of cos lettuce, finely shredded
4 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped
pomegranate seeds
wonton wrappers, cut into strips - deep fried

toasted peanuts, crushed
toasted white sesame seeds

Dressing:  Combine everything together
4 tbsp plum sauce (to taste)
3 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1/8 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp shallot oil

Note:  For non-vegetarian Yee Sang, sashimi salmon slices or jellyfish can be added.

  • Soak the julienned daikon in a bowl of ice water for at least 2 hours, changing water about every 30 minutes  (this is to get rid of the smell of daikon).  Drain and squeeze dry.  
  • Soak julienned apple in lemon juice mixture (1 tbsp lemon juice + 1 cup water) for about 5 minutes to prevent oxidation.  Squeeze dry.
  • Arrange all the ingredients on a large plate.  (If using fish, arrange on a separate plate).
  • Before serving, add all the condiments into the salad and pour dressing over and toss as high as you want.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Savoury Rice with Cured Meat/Wax Meat (腊味饭)

Contrary to its name, there is no wax in the wax meat.  In China, salted cured meat is called la-wei (腊味) and the word la (腊) could be mistaken for wax in Chinese.  All  la-rou (肉)are salted and cured in the cold dry wintry air and sun during  La-yue () which is the 12th month of the lunar calendar - hence the name la-rou (腊 肉).  So la-rou has been lost in translation as wax meat.  

This is a popular dish during Chinese New Year.  And also my once-a-year indulgence.

1 cured/wax duck drumstick
1 strip cured/wax meat
2 Chinese sausages
2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
a few slices of ginger
finely shredded ginger
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups rice, cooked in the rice cooker

3 tbsp light soy sauce (or to taste)
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp sugar
dash of pepper

coriander leaves

  • Blanch wax duck, wax meat and sausages with boiling water to get rid of excess oil and smell. Place all the cured meat into a heatproof dish, top with ginger slices and drizzle 2 tbsp cooking wine over them.  Steam for about 15 - 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, saute the ginger and garlic until crispy and aromatic.  Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the seasonings to the boil.  Set aside.
  • Cut the sausages and cured meat into slices.  De-bone the cured duck and cut into pieces.
  • Put everything, including the juice from the cured meats and seasonings into the rice and stir well to combine. 
  • Garnish rice with coriander leaves before serving.

Tri-Colour Butter Cake

250g butter, softened
90g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
210g self-raising flour, sift
4 1/2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

5 egg whites, bring to room temperature
80g caster sugar

(C) Mix all together:
8g cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant coffee granules
2 tbsp hot water

pink food gel

  • Lightly grease a 8" round cake tin. Line the base with baking paper.
  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees C.
  • With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale, light and fluffy.
  • Beat in egg yolks, one at a time and make sure that each egg is completely incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl before adding the next one. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined.
  • Fold in flour alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir until just combined and the batter is smooth.
  • Beat egg whites in a clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form.
  • With a rubber spatula, gently fold about a third of the beaten egg whites into the batter to lighten it; then fold in the remaining whites until just combined. Do not over mix.
  • Divide the batter into 3 portions. Add a small amount of pink food gel to one portion and stir until well combined. Add mocha mixture into another portion and stir to combined.
  • Place alternate spoonfuls of the 3 mixtures into the prepared tin.
  • Bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  • Leave the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

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