Friday, November 25, 2011

Pictureless Friday

Wow... this year my blog has just been really quiet. I mean, really quiet. While I was digging through my files, looking for pictures to upload... I realize I don't have any because all my best and most creative ideas.. well... happened last year. Baking has kinda slowed down this year, why?

Well firstly I'm older and probably more mature, and therefore less giddy with excitement and creativity beyond bounds, meaning I don't drop everything and run to the kitchen to bake new stuff every day.

Secondly I've become more frugal-conscious, which means I try not to turn on the oven so much, because the price of electricity... is whew - crazy!

Thirdly, as a result of that, I've picked up a great number of new hobbies this year - sewing by hand, historical sewing, cooking, nutrition, healthy baking, knitting, crochet, and different home-crafts other than baking. Well, it's just that knitting with chopsticks and RM2 yarn, is well, a lot cheaper than firing up the huge and fancy oven, which I treasure.

But that doesn't mean I stopped baking. In fact, I've been developing some new ideas and recipes. I've been doing a lot of herb-related things, and got my garden going. I mdke salve, tinctures, and herb butter blends.. I baked chicken and rice. And I've been doing lots and lots of reading on homesteading, wilderness baking.. and building my own oven... I think video is going to be a really neat and cool new way of sharing information on the internet. The blog world is abuzz and alive with great bakers, and photographers. If I want an edge I've gotta be presenting some new and sustainable concept.

But this friday won't be too pictureless meantime. To prove to the world, that I have not lost my interest in baking... walah (the Malaysia "voila")... a baking activity in India (baking in India was an experience in itself I can tell you that)

(Photographs by PL)

Outdoors with the sun shining, the dogs under the counter, the flies swarming, the chickens rummaging, without measuring scale, measuring cup,  but with a splendid team of most enthusiastic and helpful cooks, who couldn't keep their fingers of the cadbury...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Using Lemons and Limes

1)      Wash well
a.       Pesticides, wax
b.      Sterilize with ozone
2)      Grate rind
a.       Microplane grater – careful!
b.      Save to make cake – Rose Levy Berabaum’s Lemon Poppy Seed Pound Cake
3)      Squeeze juice
a.       Knife/Fork
4)      Lemon Honey Drink
a.       1 tbsp lemon
b.      100ml water
c.       1 tbsp honey (to taste)
                                                              i.      Stir all with a plastic/wooden spoon and drink fresh
1.       Good to start the day with
5)      Plant seeds       
a.       Rinse seeds in a sieve (prevent fungi)
b.      Plant fresh in soil
6)      Lemon Hair Rinse/Household Cleaner
a.       Take lemon skins, soak in a jar of (preferably) warm water
b.      Infuse some herbs in
c.       Use!
7)      Compost Lemon and Lime skins

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cranberry Walnut Swirl Bread

Who can spot the pinky swirl? Nice and tall double-loaf. Mummy likes this one :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Malaysian Crepes...

It that that time of the year for crepe again! I decided to go with a Malaysian flavor - Pandan crepes layered with kaya and syrup.... mmm???

Does anyone want the recipe>?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quintessential Corn Muffins

Rose Levy Beranbaum's cookbooks are by far my favorite. I would highly recommend it to serious bakers as the recipes are tried, tested and proven to be wonderful!

Her corn muffin recipe, from her Bread Bible was originally meant to include blueberries, but I have done without them. Sour cream is the special ingredient here. Not too sweet at all, fresh, and tasty! I make them in batches of 3 - 5 and load the muffin cups extra high (producing high domes and mountain peaks). There are soo.. light and fluffy with great flavour.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Unique Purim Twist

Do you love eating mooncake skin during the Chinese Mooncake festival? Well, here's a twist for you! Mooncake skin, sweet apple/honey filling, and haman's-hat-shapes. These triangular confections are sweetly unique - appropriate for any festivity, but especially for Purim.

A Passover-Inspired Meal

Here's my first experience cooking a kosher for passover meal. It was kosher for passover - inspired, except for the  kosher part ;) I really cannot blowtorch the whole kitchen and boil all the utensils.(Read this article for the modern history of Matzo... really interesting!) 

We had every part of the seder, and improvised, except for the shank bone, which we did not manage to obtain. 
The boiled egg (beitzah) broke into pieces :) We had some REALLY bitter chinese herbs for maror, lettuce with salt water as dressing for karpas. 

I made flour+water round matza, and that was the most authentic part of the meal (100% atta flour) I made my own charoset with apples, almonds, cinnamon, honey, and raisins - really tasty, and really looks like mortar.

For the main meal we had a Ashkenazi staple - latkes! Potato pancakes, with nothing dairy and absolutely no flour inside. In fact, there was absolutely no dairy in the meal. I made beef patties for meat - yum! And I deepfried crisp potato skins as a special treat!  Ribena substituted kosher wine (hee hee).. 
Below is the improvised matzo bag with compartments - a large napkin. 

Here's the recipes I used: 

3 parts all-purpose/atta flour
1 part water
Heat oven to 220C or higher. Stir flour and water until well combined. The dough should be soft but not sticky, the texture of modelling clay. Flour rolling surface well. Roll a portion the dough out very quickly with rolling pin, into a thin sheet, as thin as possible, use the cake/pie pan bottom to cut to shape. Invert dough onto the pan bottom and pierce with a cake comb/fork all over. Grease the cake/pie pan lightly with oil and bake. If you are making square/rectangle matzo, you can use a pasta machine to roll out the shapes. Bake until golden brown but not burnt. The matzo will be crisp and hard. For a more tasty matzo, add olive oil, salt, or even honey. You can use egg, if you wish - use a recipe for egg-based pasta.

6 potatoes- washed and peeled
3 eggs
1/2 large onion, peeled
Salt and pepper to taste
Grate onions in your food processor using the smallest grater. Grate potatoes using the largest grater. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Break in eggs and season with salt and pepper. Stir well and fry heaped spoonfuls with oil over low fire until golden brown. 

Meat patties:
1 kg beef
2 eggs
Salt, Pepper, grated onions, and worchestershire
Mix ingredients, and fry a test patty (to ensure that there is enough seasoning.) Shape meat into balls/patties with hands and gry. 

Charoset (which makes a really good raw, vegan, parve, jam)
A sprinkle of cinnamon    
A handful of almonds
2 soggy, yucky, apples
A handful of raisins,
A drizzle of honey
A splash of wine (I did not use this)
Blend almonds in food processor. Add in everything else and blend. (Feel free to improvise your own recipe with whatever you have on hand.) This goes really well with toasted bread and butter. 

 Fried Potato Skin - Take the potato peels from the latkes, examine them to remove bad spots and greens (there were none) and then deep fry. I stir-fried them again before dinner to make sure they were crispy enough

I hope these recipes may be help to you!

Challah for Shabbat

The joy of Shabbat dinner is one of sharing, and breaking the bread of fellowship. 

We had and a milchig-free dinner! All meat and no milk ;) parve challah served with honey, or balsamic vinegar, rosemary and olive dip. Mummy whipped up a colorful salad, and baked roast chicken (seasoned with herbs (esp rosemary olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon, etc. - no butter ;0 )

A milchig dessert, Dream Whip rose, a chocolate ice-cream cake (Rose Levy Beranbaum's cocoa souffle roll layered with banana, nestle choc ice cream, and drizzled with hersheys ). Daddy, as usual, made double shot espressos. 

This is our second "kosher" meal. We cannot keep kashrut laws (even Cold Storage has few items marked "K"), and we cannot observe the 613 mitzvot, nor do we strive to, but it is fun and natural to share our table with love, hospitality, and kosher-inspired food :).

Read more about Challah here:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mini Cakes

Shalom! I've recently baked two of these little cakes and decided to share them here on the blog.

Both are 4-in wide brownie cakes, one with coffee custard the other banana custard. (No recipe, just whipped up). I have made some amendments and improvements to the brownie cakes - tastes better every time but still long way to go.

Chocolate fondant (cocoa powder + sticky BWY fondant), and chocolate plastic. This design is based on a family heirloom belt bought by my grandpa in the US a long time ago. Cocoa gave it a tarnished and rusty look that I wanted.

And this cake is a simple miniature cake with red fondant flowers. I am still practicing basic things like covering a cake with fondant...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lots of Country Seed Bread - 10 Loaves

Really Easy to make Country-Seed Bread Recipe. We make them in bulk for our family, and freeze them to last. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Frosty Apple Peel Roses

Leftover apple peels, cooked and boiled until soft, shaped, and frozen until frosty :) 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Twinkies Experimentation

My brother loves twinkies. I tried to make them a few times. This is from an experiment a looong while back.

You can see that I baked them upright in a foil mold. It was finicky to work with. If there is next time, I'm going with horizontal molds - not vertical! 

Cooled, Opened,

Filled with a soupy, sweet, spur-of-the-moment white vanilla frosting

Filled by  this "Cake Derator" I got when I went to the Malaysian Cake Decorator's Anniversary Outing :) 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bake with Beka: Making Latkes

Bake with Beka: Making Latkes from Rebekah Mui on Vimeo.

Here's a super-simple method of making delicious potato pancakes!​wiki/​Potato_pancake

My simple recipe found in the video is as follows:

You'll need: 
3 large potatoes
1 large onion
3 eggs
1/2 cup flour (I used wholewheat)

1) Peel the Onion
2) Scrub, Peel (Optional), and remove blemishes from the potatoes
3) Fit your food processor with the largest grater and grate potatoes and onion
4) Switch the grater to the dough blade and measure in flour. Add in seasoning to taste (salt and pepper)
amd process the mixture until well mixed. Finally Break in eggs one by one. 
5) Empty the latke batter into a bowl
6) Heat some olive oil in a nonstick pan, then ladle in heaped scoops of the batter, and fry over low heat until very golden brown. 

Serve latkes warm. Latkes are a simple and delicious accompaniment to steaks, sausages, and other European-style meat dishes. Latkes are traditionally made during Channukah. I ate these latkes in a sandwhich with challah and egg omelettes!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mount Olive Butter Cake

And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, 
which is before Jerusalem on the east, 
and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 
(Zechariah 14:4 KJV)