Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Talam Pisang Mini

Salam all,

I have deleted my opening sentence a few times hehehez cos I am having a mental block....dunno what to write here today.  Sometimes, I just couldnt be bothered to open up this little space of mine but sometimes I just want to update and update and update and blog walk every minute while at times I just feel bllleaargghh!!  It does feel great isnt it when u have friends saying how they enjoy reading your blog and enjoy looking at the photos too.  I really appreciate the kind compliments cos I know I am not a good writer nor a good photographer, am just an average person but these kind words makes me want to update my blog again ;)

So, here I am with my talam pisang entry.  First time ever in my life that I ever attempted to make talam pisang and I am really happy with the result....it really was a successful attempt.  Since I know that no one will like these talam except me, myself and I, I only made half of the recipe and got 26 pieces of these little beauties.  I had 6 pieces during iftar just now...yum yum.  Have already packed some away for them to be shared tomorrow.  As much as I luv them, I dont think I can finish all of them myself hehehez.

Might be away again maybe until after Eid cos I too have orders to fulfil....ehem ehem I have been a small time seasonal entrepreneur for the past 5 yrs here :ppp but will definitely update when I get sick of looking at the cookies that I will be making.  Got to start my production latest by this Thursday otherwise, I will not get them ready on time.  Wish me luck peeps ;)

Source : Kak Ummi @ Home Sweet Home
Recipe Adapted From: Chef Hanieliza @ Buku Aneka Talam dan Kuih Lapis

Bottom Layer:
3 Cups Thin Coconut Milk
1 Cup Mashed Banana
1 Cup Rice Flour
1/2 Cup Sugar
2 Tblsp Custard Powder
A Pinch Of Salt
Yellow Food Colouring (I Added)

Top Layer :
3 Cups Thick Coconut Milk
1 Cup Rice Flour
1/2 Tsp Salt

Method :
Lightly oil the moulds.
Mix well all the ingredients for the bottom layer and pour into the moulds 3/4 full.
Steam the mixture for abt 10-15mins.

Mix well all the ingredients for the bottom layer.
Sieve the mixture into a pot.
By using low heat, heat the mixture until it produces a light steam and has thicken a little.
Turn off heat.
Once the bottom layer is cooked, use a fork and scrape the top.
Pour the bottom mixture into the moulds and steam it for another 10-15mins.

My pineapple filling that I made yesterday.  Have a great week ahead folks ;)  TTFN.......

Monday, July 23, 2012

Apam Puteri Ayu

Salam everyone,

This morning, I got woken up by Jannah when she said.  "Mama tak bangun sahur....tak puasa ke?  Asal mama tak kejut Jannah arhh??"  The fact is I overslept and when I looked at the time it was abt 7.30am.  I wasnt feeling very well last night.  Was coughing and sneezing with blocked nose and went to bed early at abt 10pm without even setting my cell phone alarm ZZZzzzz.  Luckily before I went to bed last night I did recite the dua for keeping my fast otherwise I would have missed fasting today.  Made me a Lemsip Cold & Flu Max drink with honey after iftaar and I am feeling 100% now.  Alhamdullilah.

Even thou we didnt wake up for our morning meal, Jannah said that she wants to fast.  For now, I only let Jannah fast until Dhuzur.  I will let her have her meal with a glass of milk, she will fasts for another 4 hours and will break her fast with us AGAIN hehehez.  So far, she looks more energetic the past 2 days compared to the first day of fasting.  I can see that her appetite is way better too.   I will keep on training her this way as she doesnt have any problem waking up for her morning meals at all.  InsyaAllah.....Allah makes it easy for her.

I only managed to summon enough energy and enthusiasm at abt 3.30pm just to make these apam puteri ayu and our iftaar menu of bisteak with baguette.  Lucky me that I managed to finish and clean up on time....pheeeww!!  I thought I should give these apams a try when I saw them at Nieza's blog a few days back, really cant resist when I looked at them hehehez.  I made half of the recipe and got 29 pieces of apams.  Jannah really luvs them and had 6 pieces during iftar.  Hb asked me what were they and I told him its steamed coconut cake.  Surprisingly he tried a piece.....no comment??!!!  That means he doesnt like them lah :pppppp

Source : Nieza @ Our Journey Begins
Adapted From : Kak Liza @ Intai Dapur

Ingredients A
2 Eggs*
1 Cup Sugar* (I used caster sugar)
1/2  Tblsp Ovalette*
1/2 Tsp Vanilla Essence (I used pandan paste)
1 Cup Coconut Milk / Fresh Milk (I used fresh milk)
2 Cups Self Raising Flour (I used All Purpose Flour and added 2.5 tsp baking powder & 1/2 tsp salt)

Ingredients B - Nieza & Kak Liza did not indicate any amount but I roughly used abt....
1/2 Cup White Grated Coconut (I used dessicated coconut)
A Pinch Of Salt
1/2 Tblsp Tapioca Starch

Method :
Prepare your steamer.
Lightly oil the puteri ayu moulds.

Mix all ingredents B together.  Since I used dessicated coconut, I added abt 3tblsp hot water and microwaved the mixture for abt 20 seconds.
Take some of the of the coconut mixture and press it into the Puteri Ayu moulds.

Put all the * marked ingredients A into a bowl and beat until light and flufy.
Add the vanilla essence and coconut milk / fresh milk, mix well.
Add green food colouring (optional)
Add flour and mix well.
Fill the Puteri Ayu moulds with the above mixture and steam for abt 10-15mins.

The weather has been terrible here.  Its been raining heavily since yesterday morning.  The rain has only stop for abt 2 hrs just now and its still raining heavily right now.  Hope that there'll be no major flooding around our area.  Might be another early night for me tonight.  Nitezz all ;) TTFN.........

Happy Birthday my dear mommy.  May Allah showers his blessing of health, happiness, success & wealth upon u always xoxoxox.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Karipap Pusing (Spiral Curry Puffs)

Salam everyone,

The new moon was sighted last night here, thus the first of Ramadhan falls today.  Ramadhan Kareem to all my Muslim acquaintances be it in the real world or in the cyber world ;)  May Allah accepts our fasts, prayers and all our good deeds and charities in this blessed month of Ramadhan.  Please do forgive me if I have any wrong doings cos I'm only human.  Alhamdullilah for us Muslims in NZ, we are fasting during the winter month.  Shorter days....imsak ends at 5.56am and maghrib is at 5.26pm.

Yesterday, I asked Jannah if she wanted to fast.  She asked me what fasting is.  I explained to her that fasting is when we have to refrain from eating and drinking from dawn until sunset in the holy month of Ramadhan.  She replied "Jannah tak nak puasa lah nanti Jannah lapar, nanti Jannah mati macam mana?"  Yikkeesss what a reply, I had a chuckle.  I told her that she can try fasting for half a day and she can break her fast anytime she wants to as its only a trial run for her.  The best way for me to make her understand what fasting really is was to let her watch Upin & Ipin 'Esok Puasa' episode on Youtube hehehez.  Once she finished watching the video, she told me that she wants to try and fast.....alhamdullilah.

Jannah woke up easily for breakfast when I woke her up this morning but she didnt have much food and went back to sleep easily as soon as I turned off the lights.  The whole day today, I asked if she's alright and if she wanted to continue fasting and she kept on saying yes.  It was at 4pm when I fried these curry puffs.  As soon as she saw the curry puffs, she start asking if she can have them hehehehez.  I told her if u still want to continue fasting, u have to wait for another 1.5hrs.  She said ok....but by 5pm she kept on asking when she can eat and she's hungry.  The next moment, I saw her went into the room and watched telly and she managed to fast the whole day today.  Hb is a little concern abt her and told me not to let her fast the whole day tomorrow.  I do agree with him though.....

Anyway, abt these curry puffs.  I find that the dough is a bit difficult to handle.  You have to handle them with TLC otherwise they will break apart.  I am so used to handling the normal curry puffs dough and find that these ones absorb more oil than the normal ones.  I also find that it is hard to plait the curry puffs and almost impossible to maintain uniform shapes.  Some big, some small, some cresent shape, some straight hehehez.  I reheat them in the oven for abt 15 mins since they were fried earlier.  During iftar, when I tried them, the pastry was really crunchy and I liked them.  I guess good things take time aye and as for hb, he said that he still prefers the traditional curry puffs than these ones.....hhmmzzz :ppp

Source : Me, Myself & I @ Me Te Aroha

Ingredients for Fillings :
3 medium sized potatoes
1 sweet potato
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
2 inches ginger
Dried anchovies - a handful
Minced beef - a handful
1.5 tblsp curry powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 sprigs curry leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tblsp canola oil

Method :
Peel potatoes & sweet potato and cut into small cubes.  Boil in salt water till cooked.
Blend onion, garlic, ginger and anchovies until fine.
Heat oil in wok and stir fry the blended ingredients & curry leaves till fragrant.
Add curry & turmeric powder and a little bit of water to form a paste and fry further till fragrant.
Add minced beef and cover wok, stirring occasionally until beef are cooked.
Add boiled potatoes & sweet potato and stir until well incorporated.  Add salt & pepper.
Simmer for abt 5 minutes and turn fire off.
Let filling cools down.

Source : Sonia @ Nasi Lemak Lover
For step by step photos on how to create the spiral skin, please refer to the above link.
Water dough
200g all purpose flour
90-100g water
3tbsp cooking oil
1/2tsp salt
25g caster sugar

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
2. Slowly pour in water and lightly knead till a soft dough.
3. Cover and set aside to rest for 20mins.

Oil dough
90g all purpose flour
45g Crisco shortening ( Sonia reduced from original recipe 70g as she found it was too sticky to be handled)

1. Put flour in a mixing bowl.
2. Rub in shortening and slowly combine to a soft dough.
3. Cover and set aside to rest for 15mins.

To make spiral skin
1. Flatten the water dough and wrap the oil dough inside. Pinch the edges to seal it nicely.
2. Dust some flour on a work surface, gently roll the dough out into a rectangle.
3. Fold the rectangle from one long end by 1/3, and fold the other one long end over the top.
4. Rotate the dough 90 degree, gently roll the dough into rectangle again and repeat the folding process twice more.
5. Once the dough has been rolled and folded 3 times, slowly roll up tightly into a Swiss roll (apply some water on the dough while rolling) and rest for 20mins.
6. Use a sharp knife, divide the dough into 15 pieces of small dough (about 30g each).

To fill and shape puff
1. Take a small dough (spiral side face up) and use a small rolling pin to roll to a circle disc.
2. Put 1tbsp of filling in the centre, press the edge together and seal it.
3. Pinch the edge of the puff with your thumb and make plait on the edge.
4. Heat oil in a wok or deep fryer, oil must be very hot before putting in the puff and enough to cover to the puff.
5. Deep fry the puff on medium heat until golden brown.

Happy weekend peeps ;) TTFN........

Friday, June 29, 2012

Banana Walnut Streusel Pound Cake

Salam all,

Helllloooooo people ;) Yup another update from this mental blogger :ppp.  Yeah I admit that I am mental cos if I am in the mood to bake and update, I will be doing it regularly.  Otherwise, u'll see me dissapear for a few weeks or months maybe....hehehez.  Please, please I beg u not to miss me when I am gone *wahahahaz....how shameful is that statement* pukes!!!  I think I am little crazy today....please bear with me haizzzz hormones, hormones.

Anyway let me tell u a little story abt this cake.  This is the first time ever that I am left with no eggs in the fridge ~ another sign of old age.  I usually will buy 2 types of eggs, one is free range for our sunny side up and a tray of eggs that consists of 30s for baking bcos they are cheaper.  After that I will transfer the 30s egg into 2, dozen cartons and stack the rest of the eggs on top of  the cartons and keep them in the fridge.  This way, I can save some space in the fridge.  I thought I had a total of 18 eggs when I decided to make the pandan chiffon last Wednesday but lo and behold, the bottom egg carton was empty.  Thus after making the chiffon I am left with only 2 eggs.  I have yet to get my *$* to the supermarket to get more eggs.....lazy, plus its too cold plus I didnt have the car today as hb was using it for work and I can list more reasons if I want to but naaahhh let me stop here hehehez.

This pound cake recipe, I have bookmarked ages ago and I have used the streusel recipe the other time when I made the feijoa streusel muffins.  The recipe is perfect as it calls for 2 eggs.  I know I can search for eggless recipes but why bother since I am all set to bake this yummy pound cake :ppp.  And.....I was also left with one lifeless banana that was exactly 100g, the signs for me to bake this cake were there thats why I shall not wait anymore.  The cake was a perfect size for us and it was so moist apart from the struesel topping falling apart when I tried to slice it.  Guess what.....I didnt waste a single crumb of the struesel, too crunchy and yummy to waste them.  Maybe that's why I am a little crazy today, I probably am a little sugar high......I had 2 fat slices of this cake yumzz yummzz and I want MORE!!! :D

Source : Happy Home Baking
Adapted from : 贝太厨房 and 欧陆点心&磅蛋糕 (Don't ask me how to pronounce or read this :ppp)

Banana Walnut Streusel Pound Cake
(makes a 18cmx8cmx6cm pound cake)

100g unsalted butter, room temperature
65g icing sugar, sieve
2 eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100g banana, mashed
125g cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

50g walnuts

25g unsalted butter, room temperature
25g icing sugar, sieve
25g cake flour

To make streusel, place butter, icing sugar and cake flour in a bowl. With a fork, mix together the ingredients to form a soft dough. Leave in the fridge to chill.
Break walnuts into pieces, place in a baking tray and toast it in a preheated oven at 100degC for 10mins. Set aside to cool.
Line pound cake pan (18cm x 8cm x 6cm) with baking paper, set aside. Sieve flour and baking powder together, set aside.
Place butter in a mixing bowl. With a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter for a few seconds on medium speed. Add half of the icing sugar and continue to beat till the sugar is incorporated into the butter mixture. Add the remaining half of the icing sugar and continue to beat till the mixture turns pale, light and fluffy.
Dribble in the eggs gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time, each time beat at low speed till incorporated into the mixture before adding. This step is important to prevent the batter from curdling. Even though some flour can be added to the batter to stop it from curdling, the texture of the cake will be affected. (Note: always use room temperature eggs to prevent curdling.)
Add in the vanilla extract and the mashed banana. Fold with a spatula till just incorporated. Do not over mix as it may cause the batter to curdle.
Sieve over the flour and baking powder mixture. Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula. Once the flour is incorporated into the batter, continue to fold for 1 to 2 mins until the batter appears smooth and glossy. This step is important so that gluten in the flour will be formed which will help the cake to rise and expand during baking.
Pour finished batter into prepared pan. Spread batter and smooth top. Sprinkle the walnut pieces on top. Lightly press into the batter with spatula.
Remove chilled streusel dough from fridge. Grate the dough over the top of the batter. Work quickly as the dough will soften very fast (especially on hot days).
Bake in pre-heated oven at 170degC for 25 mins. Remove pan from oven and make a slit with a wet knife (dipped in water) across the middle. Return to oven and continue to bake for 35 - 40mins until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, and the top is golden. Unmold and leave to cool completely. Store in air-tight container or wrap in cling wrap. Pound cakes are best eaten the next day.

The moon was sighted at abt 3.30pm ish when I took this photo.  The skies were clear and it has been warm today.  One thing abt clear skies and warm day, it means that is gonna be a chilly night.  Hb said that it will be a -3 deg C but I checked on the net and it stated 1 deg C.  To everyone down under....keep warm and to the rest of the world....enjoy the weekend.  TTFN ;)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Salam all,

This morning I couldnt decide if I should make a traditional Malay kuih....putri salat or pandan chiffon cake. Well, I chose the latter as I have forgotten to soak the glutinous rice overnight which is required in the recipe.  I know that I can just soak the glutinous rice for a few hours but I dont think the one and only packet of coconut milk in my pantry will be sufficient for me to make the kuih either.

This is the first time for me to use the real pandan juice for my baking.  I really like the pandan aroma wafting from the oven and I told myself just now that I will use the the real pandan juice from now on (that's if I am not lazy :ppp)  One thing I noticed abt using the pandan juice is that there is no bitterness like when I am using the pandan essence.  The only thing I am dissapointed with my cake is, it collapsed while it was in the oven.  I only realised my mistake right now while copying the recipe to my blog.....it was bcos the recipe calls for SELF RAISING FLOUR!!!  What did I use??  All purpose flour of course....DOH!!!  Ohhh and another thing that I am still having problem when baking chiffon is the large holes in the cake.  Haiiizzz chiffon....chiffon, I've yet to master u bleeaarrggghh!!!

Luckily I only made half of the recipe and for everyone's info.....the cake is gone, finished, no more...habis.  Jannah ate more than half of the cake.  She kept on asking me if she can have the cake right after I took it out of the oven.  When I told her that it needs to be cooled she said that all she wanted was a tiny bit of the cake, sized of a crumb.  I shooed her away hehehehez.  When I took out the cake of the mould and wanted to photo it....she came again asking for a slice.  I gave her a slice and the slice grew into half a CAKE and more.  Oh well, I am glad that the cake is gone cos one thing for sure, hb is not gonna eat it and Jannah has the tendency of wanting to eat freshly baked cakes only.  If I were to give the same cake to her tomorrow, she will say that it is yucky.....aiyayayay :D

Source : PickYin @ Life is Great

Pandan (Screwpine) Chiffon Cake
Recipe from my mother's friend, original source unknown, makes a 25cm 5-inches tall cake.

These are PickYin notes that I've copied from her blog.  Thank you for the info PickYin.
Notes: I didn't have any self raising flour as I don't often bake with it so I made my own by using 180 grams all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons baking powder and a ¼ teaspoon salt, based loosely on the conversion method at Deb's Smitten Kitchen. This recipe has over 80% of flour over liquid ratio so it is a very stable chiffon. It is kept soft and moist with the equal amount of egg yolks used as opposed to the whites.

I realized after speaking to a few friends wanting to make this cake that many do not own a 25cm bundt or angel food cake tin. There are two ways you can handle this situation without getting a bigger tin. The first is to make the entire recipe, pour enough batter into ¾ of your tin and bake the rest in lined muffin tin(s) for about 30 minutes. The muffin-sized cakes will be more dense but will still be great. Alternatively use the following tin size-number of eggs conversion to modify the recipe.

14cm tin - 1 egg
17cm tin - 2 eggs
21cm tin - 4 eggs
23cm tin - 6 eggs
25cm tin - 8 eggs

For the ½ cup pandan leaf juice:
10-12 pieces pandan leaves *
3-4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional) **

For the flour batter:
180 grams self-rising flour
100 grams castor sugar
8 egg yolks
6 tablespoon corn oil
¼ tablespoon baking of soda

For the meringue:
8 egg whites
100gm castor sugar
½ tablespoon cream of tartar

Pre-heat oven to 170°C and position a wire rack at the lower third rack. Prepare a clean 25cm chiffon cake tin, do not grease.

Wash and cut the spears of pandan leaves into ½ inch pieces. Place into a blender and add 3 tablespoons of the water. Blend to form a thick paste, add another tablespoon of water if it is difficult to blend. If you have a mortar and pestle, pounding the leaves will be easier and less water will be required. Remove and squeeze out all the liquid from the paste through a fine strainer. You should be able to yield close to ½ cup of liquid. To top up and make exactly ½ cup, you can either add some coconut milk, which will go nicely with the pandan flavor, or add more water.

Sift the flour and baking soda into a small bowl. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the corn oil to form an emulsion. Add the pandan leaf juice or pandan leaf juice plus coconut milk mixture. Mix well before adding the sugar and whisk till sugar has melted. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk well into a smooth batter, there should be no lumps. Set aside.

On high speed of a stand or hand held mixer, whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar. Start adding the sugar once the egg whites begin to foam, gradually in 3 additions. Beat till the meringue is smooth and glossy, with stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat the egg whites.

Immediately stir in approximately 1/3 of the meringue into the flour batter. With a flexible rubber or silicon spatula, fold in the meringue gently and mix well. Once a roughly homogenous mixture is achieved, add the rest of the meringue and repeat the gentle, light-handed folding process till the cake batter is well combined. Scoop from the bottom of the bowl to ensure no meringue or flour batter is left unmixed. Do not beat or overwork the batter as this will knock out the air you've put into the meringue.

Pour the cake mixture into the cake tin. Using your spatula, dip it into the batter right to the bottom and make circles around the tin twice. This is to remove any large air bubbles possibly trapped while pouring in the cake batter.

Bake at 170°C for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 160°C and bake for another 45 to 50 minutes or until cake is done. The cake tester should come out clean. Don't fret if the top of your cake cracks a little, this is normal.

Remove the cake from the oven and immediately overturn it to cool completely, up to 2 hours. I like to do this over an upturned funnel as the legs of the chiffon cake tin are not long enough to avoid the top of the cake touching its resting surface - the cake should rise to the same level or slightly higher than the center tube. You can also use a narrow necked bottle but ensure that it's stable enough to support the weight of the cake.

Release the cake by running a sharp, thin knife along the sides of the cake tin and subsequently the bottom of the tube. The cake is meant to be served upside down as it is heavier on the top - you have no idea how many times that single piece of cake toppled as we took photos.

Cake keeps well chilled in an airtight container or cling wrapped up to five days (three if using coconut milk).

* For a better recipe, I will update this amount in weight once I make the cake again (it totally escaped me on a Sunday morning). Pandan leaves can be found fresh at Asian markets. For best results use the longest and darkest leaves you can find. Where fresh leaves are not available, some Asian markets stock frozen leaves or pandan paste, which are the next best alternatives. If using the paste, dilute 1½ tablespoons with water to make ½ a cup of liquid.

** Coconut milk is optional and will enhance the pandan flavor of the cake. I used freshly squeezed first press from a few handfuls of grated coconut flesh. If using coconut cream, dilute a tablespoon of coconut cream with a tablespoon of water.

Ok that's all folks.  Do read ur recipes correctly otherwise u will end up like me @_@.  Maybe I need progressive lenses so that I can read properly haiizz signs of old age ahakkksss.  TTFN ;)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Whoppie Pies

Salam all,

Hmmmzz where was I??  Still here I supposed.  Not a single entry for the month of June so far.  Alhamdullilah I am given the chance to at least upload an entry now ;)  Winter knocks on our door on 1st of June, and I must say that this is the coldest winter I am experiencing.  I am probably getting old and couldnt handle the cold anymore :(  Last year, we didnt even turn on the heater as our little house is cosy enough and insulated....or it was probably was a mild winter last year and only got chilly towards the end of winter.  This year, I couldnt stand the chill at all, the lowest temperature was only -2 degrees C.  We turned on the heater on the 2nd day of winter and I was even wearing extra clothing & socks at home, I even cranked the heater dial to the highest and I was still freezing.  Alhamdullilah, last week onwards.....its been raining and it wasnt that freezing like the 1st and 2nd week of winter.  I am back to wearing a tshirt and long pants at home...and lucky me my fingers arent frozen while typing this entry ;)

My bestie was supposed to come over to NZ for a holiday this month....but due to unforeseen circumstances her plan has to be cancelled.  Me and bestie did planned to go to a few places which includes going to Mount Ruapehu to experiece snow.  During the planning, I told hb that bestie was gonna come over and so he applied for leave.  His leave was approved for 3 weeks but we didnt go anywhere.  Allah is the best planner after all and alhamdullilah, Hb got paid extra this month and he bought a PS3 for himself, bought Jannah an alcheapo android tablet that I am almost claiming it right now.  Both of us are addicted to playing the puzzle games hehehez.  He gave me some money which I am still holding on to....dunno if I should get an Ipad 3 or another lens hmmmzz.

Due to the cold weather, I have been snuggling in bed, hibernating most of the times hehehez.  As our water supply pipes are not insulated underground properly, it did got frozen a few times when we had a few frosty mornings. Hb said he was gonna fix it.....that was 2 years ago aiyayayayay.  One morning, I had a bad tummy ache and I hate to go to the toilet when its freezing @_@  Arrgghhh and just imagine when there's no water when u finished ur business....haiizzz I had to drag myself out to the cold and defrost the pipe by pouring hot water on it.

I havent been blog walking or opening my blog to avoid the temptation and drooling over yummy looking pictures that other fellow bloggers posted on their blog. The past few weeks, I did baked a few warm desserts like apple crumble, chocolate lave cake, self saucing pudding but couldnt be bothered to photo them.  They have to be consumed while they are still warm and as the days are shorter during winter, I couldnt be bothered to play around with the camera settings to photo the yummy desserts under my kitchen light *another excuse aye* :pp I did take an order of 250 pieces of the polka dot apams and that was all.  As for today, I finally surrendered to Jannah's constant bugging that she wanted to do some baking.  I decided on these whoppie pies that I have bookmarked for a long time now and am glad that I baked them.  Jannah ate them non stop and hb's question everytime I baked anything chocolatey is "Did u use the flash cocoa or chocolate?  These are really yummzz and rich."  The answer is YES ;)

Source : Rima @ Bisousatoi
Adapted From : Joy of Baking

1 3/4 cups (230 grams) flour
3/4 cup (75 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder - i used valrhona
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract or vanilla essence
1/4 cup (60 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm strong coffee or !/2 cup (120 ml) lukewarm water

Note : I used cream cheese frosting for the filling.  You can get the recipe here

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (can also use a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg beating well. Beat in the vanilla extract. In a small measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and coffee (or water). With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk/coffee mixture, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour. Drop heaping tablespoons (can also use a small ice cream scoop) of the batter onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. With moistened fingers or with the back of a spoon, smooth the tops of the cookies.
Bake for about 9 - 10 minutes or until the tops of the cookies, when lightly pressed, spring back. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Hopefully I can battle the cold for a few more entries this month before its over ;) For now, I am going for my walk....blog walk that is.  TTFN.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pandan Waffles

Salam to all,

Yesterday was the second time in a week that I took hb to see the GP.  He has been sick since last Tuesday.  He did go to work last Wednesday and Thursday, off for 3 days and went back to work again on Monday and went on medical leave again on Tuesday.  He hasnt had any proper meal for 4 days now, he's been drinking lots of water and only had a few pieces of pears, apples and oranges for the past 2 days.  Doctor said he probably got the flu virus but since he got the influenza jab, thats the reason why he hasnt been suffering from the full blown flu.  He's been complaining of headaches, leg cramps and has been throwing up.  Poor hb, hopes he gets well soon, InsyaAllah.

Me and Jannah have been having simple meals since hb got sick.  I did ask hb if he wanted to eat anything but he snapped at me saying that if I kept on talking abt food to him he will throw up.....jeeezzz I hope he's not pregnant hehehez cos I am pretty sure that I am not :pp.  He hates rice porridge, chicken soup, any kind of soups......if I am sick, I jolly well will live on those yummy meals ;)  Today, was the worst day for him.  He didnt even got out of the room and didnt even have his coffee at all....haiizzz.

After sending hb to the doctor yesterday, we headed home.  Jannah was throwing tantrums in the car saying that she doesnt wanna go home.  So, I told hb that I will send him home so he can rest and will take Jannah out for a walk.  We didnt go anywhere, just around the town area here.  Nothing much to do here......I took Jannah to McDonald's and to The Warehouse.  The Warehouse is just like Carrefour in Singapore without the food/groceries aisles.  It's where most Kiwis get their bargains ;) from clothes, to shoes, to household items, toys, books, bbq items, confectioneries, beauty products, electrical items and many more.  Jannah wanted to get a unicorn (her favourite animal hehehez) pillow pet that she's seen on telly many times but I managed to coax her not to buy it as she has enough (tonnes of) soft toys and pillows.

As we were browsing, she saw a waffle maker and start telling me how she remembered having them when we were in Singapore and wanted to have them again.  I kept on asking her if she was sure that she wanna have some waffles and she kept on answering yes.  Not that I dont want to buy the waffle maker, it was cheap, on special for $20-some al cheapo brand.  Just that I havent got any room for another kitchen gadget.  In the end, we bought it.  Decided to use the recipe that I saw on Ribbon and Circus's blog once and Jannah was a happy girl-sort of.  She kept on saying.....it taste like the one she had in sg but insisted that they dont look like the ones we bought them in sg.  Haiizzz.....it's hard to please a 4yr girl isnt it :D

Waffles for our dinner just now.  I filled them with peanut butter & nutella ;)

Source : Ribbon And Circus
Adapted From : House Of Annie

Pandan Waffles (makes 3-4 waffles)

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar (OR 1 tsp baking powder + 1/4 tsp baking soda)
1 egg, whites separated from the yolk
1 cup coconut milk (I used milk)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp pandan extract
(You can use vanilla extract if you don’t have the pandan, but then it really wouldn’t be pandan waffles anymore, now would it? Find pandan extract in the baking section of your local Asian market.)

*If you double the recipe, most cans of coconut milk will be less than 2 cups, just add water to get correct liquid amount.
*Sugar can be halved for less sweet waffles.
*Self-raising flour can be used in place of flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

1. Turn on your waffle iron.
2. In one bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the coconut milk, melted butter, egg yolk, and pandan extract. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir it in. Switch to a folding motion towards the end to incorporate all the flour. The batter will be a little lumpy and thick, but the important thing is not to overmix it.
3. Whisk the egg white until it forms stiff peaks. Gently fold the egg white into the batter.
4. When the iron is hot, ladle some of the pandan waffle batter onto the grid.

Sunset view from our front deck ;)  Nitez all....TTFN ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Dentist & The Last Week Of Autumn

Salam everyone,

Thank you to all my lovelies for all the doas as well as the well wishes showered upon me for my dental torture yesterday ahakkks ;)  Alhamdullilah all went well.  My gums are a little swollen right now but I dont feel any pain and it does feel weird cos I dont have the feeling of an irritating broken tooth in my mouth any more :D

I was given 4 anesthetic shots at first and experienced head rush and shivering.  My dentist, goes by Dr Henry Ang, was a very kind and gentle soul.  I didnt asked where is he from....too shy lah :p  I thought he is a Malaysian but he has that Filipino-American accent....maybe he's half and half.  Dr Ang, to me looks like a teletubby.....hehehez.  His size, his cuteness and he's soft spoken, that's why I pictured him as teletubby :p  His table was filled with colourful pens, cute stickers that he used on his prescription and notes, and one or two copies of NZ Weekly Woman's magazine.  Yes, he has his feminine side :ppp awwwww.  He made sure that I was comfortable on the hot chair all the time and kept on asking if I was alright.  Thank you Dr Ang ;)

I was given my 5th shot bcos I still could feel pain when he tried to pull my tooth out.  After the 5th actually 4th shot, I was numbed from my gums to my tongue and even my left ear.  My lips were pouty like those of Anita Sarawak's hehehez but I couldnt control them, it was lop sided to the left.  I did feel that as if a crowbar was used to push my tooth out but all was well, no stiches required.  I was bleeding for almost 5 hours last night and thought that I will feel the pain kicking in when the anesthetic got worn off but I wasn't in pain at all.  All my doas and prayers to Allah were answered ;) I am blessed.

Hb did volunteer to accompany to the dentist but I decided to go my own instead.  Its located in Otorohanga, a small town abt 25kms from where I live.  Otorohanga is known as a Kiwiana town whereby u can find all sorts of Kiwi Icon there.  The only reason why I drove all the way there bcos I get subsidised dental fee from the government for using our special Community Services Card.  It only cost me $35 to get my wisdom tooth extracted.....cheap right ;)  I planned to rest in the car after the ordeal but I decided not to.  Thank Allah once again, the drive home for me was safe and well.

Otorohanga Town Centre

The Famous Golden Arch

Sir Edmund Hillary Walkway

Otorohanga District Library & Visitor Information Centre

All things Kiwiana.  Edmond's baking products, Buzzy Bee, Silver Ferns, Kiwi Bird, Jandal, Gum Boot, Pavlova, Kiwi Fruits,  Kiwiana Monarch Butterfly, Kiwi Shoe Shine Nuggets....

Right after I reached home, I made dinner.....chicken rice with honey glazed baked chicken, stir fried mix veggies with prawns and the chicken rice chilli of course.  I didnt have dinner until abt 9.30pm.  Only had 2 spoonfuls of rice with a little bit of veggies and a chicken drumstick.  Now......I am so hungry!!  Gonna go and eat the leftover now....hehehez ;)  Gonna feast like a king........yuummmmzzz.

View of the paddock from the front of our house.  I couldnt spot the sheeps and cow at first.

Saw them but can't find the other sheep.

Trees along our drive way.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread

Salam to all,

Last Friday I had to take Jannah to the doctor bcos she said there's water in her right ear and also it was sore whenever she tried to swallow her food and drink.  The doctor said she was suffering from ear infection and her tonsils were a little bit swollen.  Doctor prescribed ear drops and paracetamol for Jannah.  Next day, she starts developing coughs and blocked nose and was a little feverish.  She is not one who will sleep during the day....I wonder why is it so hard for her to sleep during the day??  I've tried making her go to sleep but she really fights it....I gave up.  She's like her usual self jumping and running around even though she's unwell.

Today, my baking plan was put to a pause as I had to attend to Jannah.  She vomited on her clean clothes right after her shower.  Lucky that hb was around to help clean up the mess on the carpet and I had to shower Jannah for the second time...haizzzz. I hope that its gonna be sunny tomorrow as I have tonnes of clothes that needs to be washed.  She's still her usual self after the merlion incident and right now she's tossing and turning in bed, wide awake, telling me grandmother's story even though its closed to 9pm.  Sleep Jannah sleep ZZzzzz.

Hb is having his 4 days off this week and I've been a little bit of a bully.  Yup yup....really only a little bit ok hehehez.  His off day started last Saturday and I havent done a single cooking since then.  We had fish & chips takeaway on Saturday and the past 2 days......hb made breakfast and dinner for us *blessed ;)*   He even did the vacuuming and mowed the lawn (this I have never done in my life...heezzz)  I only did the dishes as I don't trust his dish washing skills ahakkkss.  His only complain was......I havent baked anything for ages.  Okay I said....I will bake something today.

This Salted Caramel Chocolate Shortbread has been in my list for awhile now.  I have to admit that this is no easy bars to be made.  It was a series of disastrous train wreck for me :(  I must have under baked the shortbread layers.....it was too crumbly.  I used the brownie pan with cutter and the middle caramel layer got stuck when I tried to pull the cutter out, when I want to pour the chocolate layer.  I didnt re-insert the cutter after pouring the chocolate layer.....which was another mistake and that made cutting this bars so difficult and ugly of course.  Hb whom is crazy with shortbread and caramel said that the caramel layer was too overpowering that he cant even taste the shortbread anymore.  Hmmzzz......disastrous isnt it??!!  The outcome of my bars were indeed world's apart from those of Annie's :( lucky for me that I only made half of the recipe.

Source : Annie @ Annies-Eats
INGREDIENTS : (I made half of the recipe and used a 6.5 x 9 inches pan)
For the shortbread layer:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup sugar

For the caramel layer:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp. light corn syrup
2 (14 oz.) cans sweetened condensed milk

For the chocolate layer:
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used Valrhona Manjari)
1 tsp. light corn syrup
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
Fleur de sel or sea salt, for sprinkling

To make the shortbread layer, preheat the oven to 325° F.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper.  In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir with a fork to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until well blended, about 1-2 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press in an even layer over the bottom of the pan.  Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden.  (If the crust puffs up a bit while baking, just gently press it down while it is cooling.)  Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely.

To make the caramel layer, combine the butter, sugar, corn syrup and condensed milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted.  Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer, stirring constantly.  Continue simmering and stirring until the mixture turns an amber color and thickens slightly.  Pour the mixture over the shortbread layer, smooth the top, and allow to cool completely and set.  (I chilled at this stage to ensure that the caramel layer would not melt when the warm chocolate was added.)

To make the chocolate glaze, combine the chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth.  Pour evenly over the caramel layer and use an offset spatula to smooth the top.  Allow to cool for a minute or two and then sprinkle with fleur de sel.  Chill, covered, until ready to slice and serve.

Alhamdullilah Jannah's asleep now ;) Time check 9.30pm.  Hope my dental ordeal tomorrow will be easy breazy, InsyaAllah.  Have a great week ahead.....TTFN.