Friday, May 29, 2009

Hot hot dish .. from Urumqi

These are some old food photos that I took during my work trip to Xinjiang. That time, my photo taking skill was still in infancy stage and I managed to took some photos of the food I had. This is only like half of it. There were alot of other stuffs that I did not take because I was just too shy *LOL* The best thing about the food there is the hot pepper that they use, man's hot hot hot but best thing is that it doesn't burn your tummy but more of your lips. The red pepper if I am not wrong is know as 'mala' it is a bit like sichuan pepper but the taste is not exactly the sichuan pepper that I get here. It's different.

We had the pilaf, hand made noodles and kebab for one of our lunch in a local food stall. This is very middle eastern influenced as the owners are khasgar descendants. Loaded with lamb.

This is delicious and spicy. It's fish and we get to choose fresh from the restaurant.

these were taken from street eating place. It's clean of course and they have a fantastic array of food

Grilled sotong

I love this chicken dish. This is hardcore mala peppers. It's just shredded steamed chicken with the hot sauce. Yummy but have to bear with the heat for awhile *LOL* Any kind soul out there who knows how to make this??
This is at a restaurant. My lychee dish in my earlier entry was actually inspired from this place.

I love xinjiang. There are soo many places that I can eat because majority of them are Muslims. I also had a chance to eat Peking duck there. It was really lovely. If you are a fruit lover, there are soo many lovely fruits like donut peach, hami melons, watermelons .. lots and lots of them. I wish that I day I can bring my family there for a holiday but I have to pick up speaking Mandarin first *LOL*

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Easy crab meat patties

I got a pack of 500g crab meat in my freezer and it has been sitting there for quite a while. Inspired by a suggestion by a mom from a forum that I frequent about making patties with fish paste as finger food, I decided to give it a shot with crab meat instead. This is a simple dish with very minimal ingredients. You can use your favourite seafood meat and add more ingredients like mix vege to make it more wholesome.

I wasn't sure whether my kids would like it but surprisingly they finished it all :-) If you want a thicker coating, coat the patty with egg and breadcrumbs 2x before frying it. This will give the patty a nice thick, even coating that looks like those frozen patties you get at the supermarket. Do give it a try.

500g crab meat (you can use fish or cuttlefish paste or a mix of each of them)
2 medium potatoes, steam and mashed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1-2T corn flour or AP flour
salt & pepper to taste
enough oil for frying

enough breadcrumbs
egg, lightly beaten

1. Mix crab meat and mashed potatoes throughly
2. Season with salt & pepper to taste
3. Add egg and flour and mix till well blended
4. Shape into lemon size balls and flatten it to patties
5. Chill patties in the refrigerator for about 2hrs
6. Place breadcrumbs, egg and flour each into 3 individual plates
7. Heat up oil in the pan
8. Coat patty with flour, followed by dipping into the lightly beaten egg
9. Coat with breadcrumbs, dip into egg again and coat with breadcrumbs a second time
10.Fry patty till golden brown
11.Serve hot with lemon wedges

Enjoy !!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Vanilla Sponge Cake

This is the recipe for the vanilla sponge which is adapted from the book 'A Profit-Making Bakery Shop' by Wendy Kor. I believe this is a malaysian book. It doesn't really matter that the acknowlegdement and some parts of the book is written in chinese, all the recipes are bilingual though. I have tried many sponge recipes and this one is the one that I have been looking for. It could be the milk powder that is being used here that makes the difference. The texture is very soft and compact. No eggy taste and it is fairly white but of course taste is very subjective. My taste and others can differ, it may be good to me but not others :-D

Here goes:


150g cake flour/superfine flour
1/2 tsp (2g) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1g) salt
10g milk powder

60g cooking oil
50g water
4 (75g) yolks
80g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

4 (150g) whites
90g castor sugar (original 100g)
1/4 tsp (1g) cream of tartar

1. Sift ingredients (A) and put it aside
2. Whisk yolks and sugar till it turns lemon color
3. Add oil, water and vanilla and mix till well blended
4. Add ingredients (A) and mix it slowly till it forms a smooth batter
5. Whisk (C) till stiff
6. Fold in 1/3 of egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture and gently stir, then fold in the remaining egg white mixture and mix well gently
7. Pour batter into a lined 9" round cake tin
8. Bake in a preheated oven 180C for 35-40 mins or till it springs back when touched
9. Once cooked, removed from oven and invert the cake on the wire rack until completed cooled
10.Removed from mould and decorate it

The 'perfect' vanilla sponge cake - finally !!

Don't call me crazy but I have been on a mission to find a perfect vanilla sponge cake for creamed cakes for a couple of years already. I have tried many many recipes, not that they are not good but it didn't taste right for me. I know some of the people I know will ask why would I want my cake tastes like those from bakeries? Well, of course I admit that it can be difficult to replicate the taste of those lovelies from bakeries but to me it is a challenge - to be able to make something that is as good as those from known bakeries and not having to rely on sponge mixes *LOL* (simply because they have the closest taste). Neways, back to the topic of sponge cake, I finally found the perfect recipe and I am soo happy that I made it yesterday although I was pretty tired.

Recipe can be found here

The outcome is moist and soft cake. Yummy !!! I frost it with buttercream because I wanted to finish it off and of course, free some space in my fridge .. heh

At the same time, I used the opportunity to use my new gadget, which I actually purchased last year but never had the chance to use it until yesterday *LOL* Don't ask me how much I paid for it because you will tell me that I am crazy :-P But hey, you can grab it at Amazon at a price definitely cheaper than what I paid :-)

This is extremely useful especially weighing small grain items like gelatine powder, yeast, baking powder etc. .. lovely isn't it? (I can't help it, I am a gadget freak *LOL*)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother' Day

I would like to wish all mothers Happy Mothers Day. For me, mother's day is just like any other days but I do get cards and self-made gifts from my daughters. However, every year, since a few years ago, I will bake a cake for both my mom and mother-in-law. Usually it is something simple and both will have the same design *LOL* This year, I decided to make something different ie. to have their faces on the cake.

This is the cake I made for my mom. It is just a simple chocolate sponge with fresh cream.

I hope that she enjoyed the cake as much as I enjoyed baking and decorating it :-)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Mango pudding + fruit cocktail dessert

The weather has been pretty hot humid for the last week or so. To beat the heat, I made this dessert for our dinner and it was sure heaven *LOL* The pudding was store bought as my fridge currently has no space for me to make one from scratch.

What you need is good mango pudding (cut to cubes), 1 can of fruit cocktail or whatever fruit that you like with the syrup, plenty of ice or crushed ice and enough water to dilute the syrup.

This is the mango pudding that I used for this dessert.

Easy Waffles

The hubby likes eating waffles with ice-cream, for me, I prefer to have it with jam/fruit preserves. Got this recipe from the manual that comes with the Philips snack maker and I like the fact that it is easier than the ones using eggs. This one uses whipping cream instead but you will still need to whip it till stiff to lighten the texture of this wonderful waffles. Surprisingly even without sugar it tastes real nice and crispy.


200ml ice cold water
200g plain flour
300ml double cream (or any other whipping cream you have)
pinch of salt

1. Mix flour,salt and water
2. Stir till batter is smooth
3. Whip the cream until stiff
4. Mix the cream into the flour batter little at a time gently
5. Pour batter to the buttered waffle maker and cook as per the maker's instruction
6. Serve hot with toppings of your choice