Thursday, January 28, 2010

Malaysian Coconut Candy


Of all of the hundreds of candy recipes, this coconut candy will be the most satisfying for every sweet tooth in your household.  This home-made candy recipe has never been easier.  Sure you could buy candy from the store, but what would be the fun of that? Experience the nostalgic fun of making this candy as it has a totally unique texture  and sure paradise for kids of all ages Send them all to candy heaven with this Coconut Candy .


1 lb grated white coconut
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 tsp salt
4 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp rose essence
Red  food coloring


Line a 9″ tray with aluminium foil and grease the foil.

Put the coconut, sugar, salt and evaporated milk in a large microwave safe bowl and mixrowave on high, for 15 minutes, stirring after every 5 minutes.  Cook until mixture thickens.  Cooking time is only an estimate as wattage of microwave differs.

Add in butter and continue to cook 1 or 2 minutes at a time and stir.

When the mixture is really thick, quickly add in rose essence and coloring.

The candy is ready when the mixture leaves the sides of the bowl, almost like a lump. Also, the mixture will lose some of its shine, almost going matte. To test for doneness, roll a small piece into a ball and put ball into a glass of water, if the ball does not disintegrate, it is done.

Working quickly, pour out the hot mixture into the greased tin and flatten top with the back of a clean rubber spatula.

Let cool ten minutes and cut into squares whilst warm with a pizza cutter. Let cool completely.  Lift the aluminium foil from the tray and using a sharp knife, complete the cutting the edges, where the pizza cutter could not reach. Break off the cut squares and serve or store in an air-tight container.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuiles Aux Amandes Effilees

In French, “tuile” means “tile,” and it is a reference to the shape of the classic tuile. A tuile is a type of very lightweight, dry, crisp cookie. These cookies come in a dizzying array of shapes, sizes, and flavors, but every style tends to be delectable. Tuiles are also incredibly versatile, and they can be used for everything from ice cream garnishes to crusts for tiny, delicate tarts. Learning to make tuiles happens to be very easy and fun, and because these cookies are so versatile, you can play around with a tuile recipe a great deal.

Recipe is adapted from Pastry & Sweet Doughs - Pierre Herme - The Cook's Book


Makes 40 small or 25 large

1 1/3 cups (125 g) sliced almonds
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp(125 g) sugar
2 drops of vanilla extract or 2 pinches of vanilla powder
Drop of almond extract(preferably bitter almond extract)
2 egg whites
2 tbsp(25 g) butter
2 1/2 tbsp(20 g) cake or pastry flour

Using a rubber spatula, mix the almonds, sugar, vanilla extract or powder, almond extract, and egg whites together in a bowl.

Melt the butter gently, and while it is still warm, pour it into the bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, sift the flour into the bowl and mix in thoroughly. 

Place teaspoonfuls of the dough on a nonstick baking sheet, spaced well apart.

Preheat the oven to 300f(150c). 

Flatten each cookie with the back of a large spoon dipped in cold water, then bake for 15 - 18 minutes.  The cookies should be an even golden color with no white in the center.

Remove the cookies from the baking sheet using a metal spatula (i used a mason scraper) and slide into a sheet of parchment paper.  Let cool.

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sables Viennois

Sables are actually French Shortbread. Shortbreads are traditionally a Christmas cookie made with just four ingredients, butter, sugar, vanilla extract, and flour. They are a rich cookie with a delicate buttery flavor but according to Pierre Herme, the addition of egg whites gives these sables an extremely light and melting texture. 


Makes 50

3/4 cup + 2 tbsp(190 g) butter at room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp(75 g) confectioners' sugar plus extra for dusting
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or the seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
1 large egg white
1 3/4 cups(225 g) cake or pastry flour, sifted


Put the butter into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy.  Add the sugar, salt. vanilla, and egg white.  Mix for 1 minute, then add the flour.  Mix on slow speed only just until the flour is fully incorporated with the other ingredients. This dough is fairly soft and cannot be made with your hands.  If you do not have an electric mixer, it is fine to mix the ingredients together with a wooden spoon.  Take care not to overmix the dough after adding the flour otherwise these sables will be not crunchy and delicate.

Preheat the oven to 350f(180 c).

Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip.  Pipe the dough in "W" shapes onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper leaving /4 inch(2 cm) space between each sable.

Bake until light golden, 12 - 15 minutes.

Remove the sables from the oven and cool on a wire rack.  When cold, dust with sifted confectioners' sugar. 

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

Coconut Cookies

Homemade cookies evoke feelings of caring and love and they spread joy.   Cookies are a pleasure to bake as they make the whole house smell great, and put smiles on the faces of people who are eating them.  There are so many cookie recipes and varieties of cookies as there are personalities in people.  Cookie can range anywhere from soft and chewy to crisp and crunchy.  Ideally, cookies should be served as soon as they come out of the oven so that guests can enjoy the baking aroma as well as the taste of the cookies.  Most cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature, but they will lose a little fresh flavor every day. For the Chinese New Year Celebration, cookies are prepared ahead cos of time constraints due to preparing too many varieties.  The chinese are very superstitious and white is a color associated with mourning and a little red will contra the ill effect, I topped these cookies with some red colored sugar, not that i am superstitious, but because i think the red sugar made the cookies more appealing. 


100 g all-purpose flour
100 g butter
100 g fine granulated sugar
50 g dessicated coconut plus more for topping.
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract/essence
Colored sugar for topping(optional)


Add salt to the flour and mix well with a fork. 

Cream butter and sugar until they are thoroughly combined.  Do not cream until fluffy as you will beat a lot of air into the mixture and as the cookies bake, the air bubbles will expand, causing your cookies to rise, but as soon as they come out of the oven, they will fall flat.

Add in egg yolk and vanilla. Beat until well combined.

Fold in coconut and flour and mix only until everything is combined into a soft dough. Overmixing at this stage will encourage the development of the gluten in the flour and may result in tough cookies.

Rest the dough by chilling in refrigerator cos chilled dough keeps its shape better and bakes up higher.

Using a 1 oz ice-cream scoop, scoop dough on to baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

Top with more coconut and then colored sugar(if using).

Bake in preheated oven at 375f  for 12 - 15 minutes until light golden brown.  These cookies are small and will cook through quickly, so a high oven temperature will adequately brown the crusts before the insides dry out.  Watch the cookies carefully as the timer winds down.  As soon as the outsides are golden, pull them from the oven.  These cookies are at risk cos they are small, if left in the oven just a minute or two too long, they will burn and dry out.
Cool before storing into air-tight containers.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Pineapple Tarts 2010

I would like to share some of the pictures of the Pineapple Tarts i made today with new moulds which Julie of Biodiversity sent me and the heart shape one is very appropriate for this year 2010  cos Valentine's Day falls on the same date - 14th the Chinese New Year.  The flower mould makes pretty tarts too but the pattern in the pineapple tart mould is not very deep, so i have to snip the pattern with a scissor.  With the mould, it is faster and the tarts are more uniform.

Recipe for the tarts can be found Here and There

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Homemade Streaky Bacon/Lap Yuk

Historically, Lap means "ritual" in old Chinese, it was very often that surplus meat after the ritual would be cured for use in times of scarcity. These preserved delicacies are called "Lap-mei" in Cantonese and are often mistaken that they are waxed because of their waxy appearance and the word "lap" which also means wax in that dialect. There are three types of "Lap-mei"and they are preserved Chinese sausages, preserved pork, and preserved ducks.

In Chinese tradition, they are usually prepared around the time of December of lunar calendar, as one of the delicacies to celebrate the 'Spring Harvesting Festival'. They are traditional gifts during the festive seasons, especially during the Chinese New Year.

It has been found that 'Lap-mei' prepared commercially, has nitrite/nitrate and coloring which are not very desirable, therefore this gives me a reason to prepare 'Lap-mei' at home - preservative free.

I have to thank Claire, my dear friend, who came with the special Rose Wine and Dark Soya Sauce.

5 lhs belly pork
5 ozs sugar
1/4 cup Mui Kwai Lo (Rose Wine)
1/2 cup light soya sauce
1/4 cup thick dark soya sauce
3 tbsp table salt


First day of drying

Second day of drying or airing


Cut belly pork into 1 1/2 - 2 inch strips.

Rub in sugar and salt into meat and pour in the remaining ingredients to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Turn meat often to marinade evenly. I kept them in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Drill a hole on top of a strip of meat with the sharp point of a boning knife and pass a piece of string through the hole and tie string with a knot.
Hang up to dry in the sun for 1-3 days and move to a windy place to dry for another 2-3 days. I had sun for only a day but managed to get 2 windy days.  Took them in and hang them near the ventilation vent and the heat was good, it dry the meat pretty good.

Steam air dried pork(lup yuk) for 8 minutes over high heat. Slice thinly and serve with rice.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Oyster Sauce Char Siew Pau

I was very surprised and happy that my Miss Picky Eater, ate 2 char siew paus, filling and all.  Usually she would just eat the pau and leave the filling.  She must be getting older and eating alot more, variety that is, like green leafy vegetables and fish.  I will go to any lengths to make or cook the food she likes to eat and looking at her devout that 2 paus made me go looking for this recipe which has been with me for more than 30 years.  I had been lazy and depended on the premixed cos pau flour is not readily available here and i have even asked the dim sum restaurants to sell me some of their stock but the reply is that they are always short.  Anyway, the bleached all-purpose flour and wheat starch made pretty good paus - perhaps not as fluffy or perhaps it is not the flour, it is that i do not have the expertise to make them as fluffy.  Even the folding of the paus, has an important part to play when it comes to making them smile.  I noticed that more dough should be on top of the pau and don't be like me, leaving the knob behind.  I must remember to break that knob away.


Yeast Dough:
300 g pau flour/260 g bleached all-purpose flour and 40 g wheat starch
1 tsp instant yeast
150 ml water

To make pau dough:
150 g pau flour/130 g bleached all-purpose and 20 g wheat starch
3/4 tbsp double action baking powder
130 g sugar
1/2 tbsp lard/shortening
1 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp ammonium bicarbonate
2 tiny drops kan sui


300 g char siew(recipe is here
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp soya sauce
2 3/4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp dark thick soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp waterchestnut powder diluted with 2 tbsp water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp roast sesame seeds
1 tsp sesame oil



Mix flour yeast, yeast and water together.  Knead well and leave for at least 15 hours.


Cut char siew into tiny dices.

Heat wok with a little oil and add in the minced garlic.  Saute until fragrant and add the diced char siew and the water and sauces.  Mix well and thicken with waterchestnut solution.  Cook until sauce comes back to the boil.

Add in chopped cilantro and roasted sesame seeds and drizzle with sesame oil.

Leave to cool.

To make pau dough after 15 hours:

Sieve the baking powder with the flour.

Mix ammonium bicarbonate, kan sui and water and mix until ammonium bicarbonate is dissolved.

Tear up the yeasted dough into small pieces and place in an electric stand mixer bowl,, add in the sugar, lard and the ammonium bicarbonate solution.  Using the dough hook, knead until well mixed,  Add in flour and knead the dough until it is smooth.

Remove dough and spread dough out into a rough rectangle.  Mix 1/2 tsp of baking powder with a little water and spread it over the rectangle.  Roll it up and knead until smooth and not sticking to your hands.

Divide dough into portions (i like to weigh them 35 gms each).  Line the divided dough up.  Start from the first portion, cup the dough portion with your palm and round it.  Repeat with the rest of the portions, lining them up in order.

While making the paus, fill steamer pot with water and bring to the boil.

Roll the first rolled portion dough out into a circle and fill with a tablespoon of cooled filling.  Pleat the circle up and seal well.(i roll the circle bigger, so that i can have more dough on top of pau.  I find that more dough is good for the pau to smile.  Remove the last pinch from the top).  Put a piece of paper at the base of pau and leave in a steamer rack, covered with a damp cloth while you prepare another 6 more paus.

Make sure water is in a rolling boil before putting the steamer rack with the prepared paus to steam for 10 minutes(if you are making bigger paus, then steaming time will be longer).

Continue to wrap paus with the char siew filling and steam.

These paus cannot be consumed yet as they stink from the ammonium bicarbonate.  A second steaming of 10 minutes is required to allow the ammonium to dissipate.

Enjoy the paus warm.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Golden Lotus Root Slices

The root of the lotus plant, with its characteristic "wheel shape" cross section, has long been a popular vegetable in the Orient. It is the only plant in the world that actually grows in all three elements: earth (mud), water and air, perhaps this is why it is so medicinal and its exquisite flowers represent beauty and longevity.

Besides its use as a food, all parts of the lotus plant - seeds, leaves, and flowers as well as the root - have long been respected in the East for their medicinal properties. In Oriental medicine,  lotus seeds are eaten to increase energy and vitality and to aid digestion. Containing twenty percent protein, the seeds are also nourishing. Though the entire rhizome can be used medicinally, the portion where the links join has the greatest effect. The physical resemblance of lotus root to the lungs is a clue to its healing properties. Lotus root has traditionally been used to treat various respiratory problems. Small doses of the juice extracted from raw, finely grated lotus root is prescribed for lung-related ailments, such as tuberculosis, asthma, and coughing.  It is said to melt mucus accumulation in the body, especially in the respiratory system.  They are good for heart diseases, also to increase energy and neutralize toxins from our body.

These fired lotus root slices make a very auspicious snack for The Chinese New Year.  Lotus roots, in Chinese is " lin ngau " , which sounds like "lin yau", which means "every year you have plenty."


Lotus roots
Oil for frying
Kosher/sea salt

Peel the skin off the lotus roots, then using a mandoline, slice into the thinnest possible of slices, soak alices in vinegared water to prevent oxidation.

Drain and dry slices on kitchen towels.

Heat oil to 300f and fry the slices by a handful.  As soon as the slices turn slightly golden brown, remove with spider strainer and put on a cake rack to drain.  Slices brown and burnt fast, so do not fry them until golden brown.

When all the slices are done frying.  Line them in single layer on a cake rack and bake in a 250 f oven until crispy.

Sprinkle with salt when they are hot.

Cool before storing in an airtight container.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Kuih Kapit

When i was making pizzelles, the urge to make Kuih Kapit with the pizzelle maker was great.  I have given up hope of making Kuih Kapit, especially for the Chinese New Year Celebration.  Without the proper moulds and a charcoal stove, making  good thin kuih kapit is quite impossible, but the urge is too great and i have to give it a try on the pizzelle maker.  The result is acceptable, the taste and crispiness are there but the kuih kapit is thicker. A waffle-cone maker  makes pretty good kuih kapit too.


1 cup rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca starch
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Baking soda 
3/4 cup fine granulated sugar
1 can/400 ml Savoy Coconut Cream
3 whole large eggs
1 egg white
2 tbsp vegetable oil.


Sieve rice flour, tapioca starch, salt and baking soda together.

Beat eggs and egg whites lightly and add in sugar, vegetable oil and coconut cream.  Mix well.

Add eggs and coconut cream mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Pass through a sieve and leave for 15 minutes while the pizzelle marker and/or waffle cone maker are preheating.

Scoop a tablespoon of batter on to the pizzelle or waffle cone maker and cook wafer until golden brown.

Using the handle of the wooden spoon, roll wafer into a cigar while it is still hot(for gentle fingers, use surgical gloves).  Leave cigar on cake rack to cool before storing into aiirtight containers.

Repeat until all the batter is done.


The wafers might not be crispy evenly.  In this case, cigars can be baked in a 250f oven for 5 - 10 minutes to further crisp them.

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