Tuesday, 3 October 2017

My Mooncake Adventures

2017
This is a busy year for me.  I finally find time to have a brief post on my mooncake adventure, 

Due to the leap month phenomena in the Chinese calendar, mid-autumn festival is a little late this year.  This year, I bake my mooncakes using the red, made in Malaysia, Carotino plam oil to get the rich reddish brown colour.  By doing so, I managed to omit using the alkaline water to make my mooncake skin but still retain the reddish brown colour. Here's a brief update of my mooncake project for 2017.

Ingredients for the skin (makes about 15 medium sized mooncakes)
220 grams golden syrup
75 grams carotino palm oil
300 grams of Hong Kong flour 






Unbaked 



2016

For those celebrating the mid-autumn festival, mooncake is a must.  However, the price of mooncakes is so bullish and ridiculously hiked up due to over packaging and low in demand (too sweet and too expensive). So, that makes the effort to bake your own mooncakes much more rewarding. You can bake it the way you like them, thicker skin, less sweet, more salted egg yolks, etc.

I've baked mooncakes for quite some time now. Here's my mooncake project for this 2016.

Ingredients for the skin (makes about 15 medium sized mooncakes)
220 grams golden syrup
75 grams cooking oil 
1/2 Tbsp alkaline water / kan sui
300 grams Hong Kong flour (don't use plain or superfine flour)



Dough skin
Combine golden syrup, cooking oil and alkaline water in a bowl and mix well.
Slowly add the Hong Kong flour to the liquid, using your hand to mix well. The dough will be sticky.  Warp the dough in plastic wrap and set aside for at least 12 hours before use. 

I always leave my skin dough overnight in the fridge before molding. Otherwise it will be very sticky and very difficult to handle.  The dough can be kept in the fridge up to about 3 days.  I have not tried keeping longer than that, though.


golden syrup, oil & alkaline water


mixed syrup, oil & alkaline water


add Hong Kong flour
Hong Kong flour mixed with syrup


Fillings
  • For salted egg yolks filling, you need to separate the yolks from the whites, then steam the yolks for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat. Let the yolks cool before use.
  • enclose the egg yolk in paste filling.
  • You can use any fillings sold at the bakeries.
  • Melon seeds/pumpkin seeds/sunflower seeds can also be added in the fillings. Dry stir fry seeds over medium heat in a non-stick pan for a few minutes. Cool before use. 
Moulding
  • If you are using a medium sized mould, the amount of dough skin needed is 40g and the filling is 80g.  
  • If you are adding 1 salted egg yolk into the filling, then reduce the filling to about 75g.  
  • If you are adding 2 salted egg yolks, then do the maths yourself :-))

Fillings wrapped in dough skin should be pressed into the plastic mould to get the desired design.  See my video here


   
Unbaked
First round baking


Egg washed


Baking
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Press the ball of dough and filling with the mooncake mould to impart the design. Set the moulded cake on a tray (not necessary to grease).
  • Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Lightly brush the top and sides of the cake with an egg yolk wash.
  • Return the tray to the oven and bake for another 8 minutes at 180 degrees C.
  • Remove cakes from the oven and cool.
Tips: Cool completely before storing. Rest for at least 2-3 days before serving.
Baked on 16082016
Baked on 20082016



Baked on 10092016

















 







Some of the ingredients used.

Golden Syrup


White Lotus Paste


Hong Kong Flour
Watermelon seeds


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Rooster cookies

2017 Gong xi gong xi

I saw my aunty baked these on fb and search on the Internet to have some "Year of the Rooster" fun. I used the butter cookies recipe to form my little chicks. Here's my adaptation of the cookies.

unbaked chicks

Recipe
125g salted butter
65g brown sugar
34g egg yolk (about 2 size M egg yolk)
1 tsp vanilla essence
220g superfine flour


For deco
Some heart shape sugar droplets = for the comb, feet & tail
Some black sesame seeds = for the eyes
Some watermelon seeds = for the beak
Baked chicks


Bake at 170 degree for about 18 minutes. If your oven gets heated very quickly, you need to reduce the temperature, otherwise your cookies will crack easily.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Crispy chocolate almond biscuits (short cut)

Biscuit vs cookie, what's the difference anyway.  One is UK English and the other Trump's English?  lol

Well, since I'm using the pre-mixed called "biscuit mix" in this recipe, I'll call it the lazy biscuit :-)  All you need is a packet of pre-mixed biscuit flour, add a bar of butter and add the nuts you desire.  These biscuits are crispy, quick and simple to bake.  It is eggless too. Here are the ingredients.

Recipe
500g of biscuit mix 
250g butter
25g coco powder (optional)
150g almond strips

Mix biscuit premix and coco powder.  Rub in butter and add almond strips. Drop the biscuit dough on the baking tray and flatten it with a fork.  Baked at 180 degree for 10-12 minutes.


unbaked biscuits
Baked crispy chocolate almond biscuits

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Kuih Bakul

This is a traditional delicacy that is usually made during Chinese New Year to signify prosperity. It is also made to offered to the deities so that they will not be able to report any "negative things" to Lord Sakka. 

The ingredients are simple but the process is lengthy.


Recipe (make 1 medium sized and 2 small kuih bakuls)
300g Glutinous rice flour
300g water
400g brown sugar (reduce to 350g)
some banana leaves (sold in NSK or Giant)
Method : Steam in medium fire for 5 - 10 hours, depending on your patience!  The longer you steam, the smell and taste is better.


Mixed glutinous rice flour, sugar and water.
You need to sift the batter if it gets lumpy.
Line metal containers with banana leaves.
You need to soften each leave by
basking over a gas stove.  

Steamed kuih bakul

Updates on the size of kuih bakul 

 
The size of this kuih bakul is 11.5cm in diameter and 5cm in height.  Recipe : 200g glutinous rice flour, 200g water and 250g brown sugar.

Note : You need to check youtube on how to line the tins properly. Otherwise the batter will leak and your kuih bakul will be in a very sticky situation and gets out of shape. 

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Shopping for baking ingredients

It is that time of the year to stock up to bake for Chinese New Year again. With the fall in ringgit, rise in petrol prices and GST, baking ingredients are really expensive these days.  These are some of the best buys in town, I think  :-) 

1.  Butter

SCS butter cost around RM8 in most bakeries but I prefer Golden Churn for its rich buttery aroma.  Golden Churn is pricier, especially in supermarkets, but I managed to get hold of them at RM7.84 a bar of 250g, salted.

Unfortunately there is no unsalted Golden Churn in stock.



2 Almond

The price of almond depends largely on its size. A packet of smaller sized whole almond is priced at RM37.80 and another slightly larger ones for RM39.85 a pack.  

1kg of almond slice, sticks or nibs may cost RM45.90 a packet in one bakery shop but RM37.95 in another

 3.  Cashew Nuts

Similar to almonds, the price of cashew nuts varies according to its size and origin.  One average sized whole cashew nuts costs RM49.90 a kg and a slightly larger one cost RM53+ a kg.







4.  Florenta flour

Florenta flour is needed to make florenta crunch.  Most bakeries sell a 500g packet for the price of RM20 or so. I manged to buy them at RM18.90 a pack.


5.  Plastic Containers

Small plastic containers with red caps cost about 80 sen to RM1.20 each.  Some bakeries are selling very nice cute containers, costing a little more than the normal ones.

Well, I hope this post gives you an idea of the current market price of baking ingredients.  Happy shopping!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Cheese cake

This is my first time steam bake a cheese cake.  The like the texture of the cheese that is smooth and firm, not soggy even though not refrigerated .  I bake this cake for my Nie2's birthday today
.


A simple cake + a musical candle
Recipe for a six inch cake

Crust

90 g digestive biscuits
30 g melted butter

Cake
250 g cream cheese
110 g caster sugar
100g sour cream
2 eggs (size M)
50 g butter
1 table spoon (about 9g) corn flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence




For the crust, blend the biscuits and mix in melted butter.  Bake the crust at 170 degrees C for 10 - 15 minutes.  Let the crust cool.

Mix the cream cheese and sugar at low speed.  Then mix in the sour cream. Next in goes the eggs, one at a time.  Then the butter, corn flour and vanilla essence.  All these mixing should take about 4 - 5 minutes. Don't over mix.

Pour in the cake mixture into the crust and steam bake for at 180 degrees C for 1 hour (or until the top is slightly golden in colour).  The cake should pass the tooth pick test too.

Saturday, 11 June 2016

Honey Black Pepper Chicken Wings (by air fryer)

You need to marinate the chicken wings overnight or at least for a few hours before cooking.  You can freeze the chicken wings for a week or two and take out as many as needed when you are ready to cook. When you are ready to cook, firstly, defrost your chicken wings.  Then coat the wings with flour. Air fry for 30 minutes, turning the wings after 20 minutes.






Take out the wings and glaze them with honey and pepper.  Air fry for another 20 - 30 minutes, turning the wings in between.  The cooking time depends on the size of the chicken wings.



This method will reduce the charred effect due to sugar and honey.  Here is the recipe for 8 medium sized chicken wings.


Spices for marinate

1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
1 teaspoon cooking wine (optional)

Flour for coating the chicken

2 tablespoon rice flour
2 tablespoon plain flour
1/4 teaspoon mixed spices (optional)

Glaze for the chicken

2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon black pepper sauce