Thursday, September 27, 2007

Chocolate Mooncakes

When my friend Lena told me that her family loved these chocolate mooncake, i had to get the recipe from her and with some tweaking, got to make some of these cuties. I used the moulds that are meant for hard boiled eggs and they turned out so well.

100 ml water
70 gm brown sugar
10 gm cocoa powder
40 gm unsweetened dark chocolate
20 gm shortening
1/2 tsp chocolate emulco
60 gm koh fun
2 tbsp wheat starch(tung mein fun) add 2 tbsp of hot boiling water
2 tbsp of steamed cake flour
300 gm lotus /red bean/mung bean paste
60 gm melted unsweetened dark chocolate
1/2 tsp chocolate emulco

Put 100 ml water and 70 gm brown sugar in a bowl and microwave for 1 minute. Stir to dissolve sugar.
Pour a little at a time to the cocoa powder and mex well.
Put chocolate and shortening in a bowl. microwave for 1 minute, stir and if chocolate is not totalling melted, microwave another 30 seconds.
Using a bigger mixing bowl, mix the wheat starch with the hot boiling water and stir well. Add iun the koh fun and steamed flour. Mix to combine.
Add in the sugar/cocoa powder mixture and mix.
Add in the melted chocolate and chocolate emulco. Knead well until dough does not stick to the fingers.
Leave covered while you mix the filling.
Mix all the ingredients for the filling until well combine.
To make the mooncakes.
To fit the hard boiled moulds - weigh 20 gm filling and 15 gm chocolate skin.
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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Twisted Fried Pretzels

This must be one of the oldest chinese snacks that i know of. It used to be sold as an everyday snack but now i think they only appear on the supermarket shelves during the chinese new year. It is not diffiult to make and the ingredients are few but it is tedious as it has to be twisted one at a time.


600 gm all purpose flour
4 Tbsp rice flour
100 gm cooking oil
280 ml water
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp Instant yeast
1 tsp double action baking powder
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Sugar syrup(optional):
1 cup coarse sugar
160 ml water
2 - 3 tbsps all purpose flour
Mix all the ingredients for the plaits together and rest for 20 mins
Cut dough into tiny pieces and using the pasta machine, roll the dough out flat at the thickest (no. 7) and repeat with the rest of the dough pieces.
Change to the fetucinne size cutter and cut rolled dough. Cut one strip to measure 10 inches or smaller and use it as a guide for the other strips.
To twist - Roll a strip to a round rope shape and press down one end , using the other hand, push rope forward so that it gets twisted, as twisted as possible. Let the 2 ends meet and then fold in half again. pinch the ends or thread one end into the loop of the other. If it has been twisted well, it will form a plait by itself.
Deep fry the twisted plaits in hot oil until golden brown.
If you like it to be sugar coated, cook the sugar and water till thick, almost crystalise and then add in the fried plaits, sieve flour onto the plaits and fry till sugar crystalised
Dish up, leave to cool.

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Mooncakes - Disney Characters

These mooncakes are made with the Disney Character Cookie cutters. They are the cutest and i am expecting ooh and aahs when the children see them. Even Alexander recognized Pooh and said 'ccol'


Refer to Mooncakes and Mooncake - Ping Pei

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Friday, September 14, 2007

Prawn Noodle Delimas

This summer has been so busy with friends dropping by and i was in delimma as to what to dish out. Luckily, Ray of came to the rescue with several DELIMAS products for me to review and prawn noodle was one of them. I love to make prawn noodles from scratch but this premixed made my day - i only had to make the hokkien noodles and viola - a delicious meal was served.

A packet of Delimas prawn noodle
Hokkien Noodles
Cooked Prawns
Cooked Pork
Blanched Kangkong
Blanched Beansprouts
Fried shallots

Follow the instructions on the back of the packet of Delimas Prawn Noodle to make the soup.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Mooncakes - Ping Pei

These Ping Pei Mooncakes are easier to make and much more presentable for the lovely sweet pastel colors. It should be served chilled.

The recipe for the skin is here : and the recipe for the fillings are the same as in the traditional mooncakes.
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Mooncake festival is around the corner and it needs no introduction. My Mooncake making is possible due to the fact that i have a very thoughful and generous friend, who is also 'my sifu' in cooking matters. TT, took a trip to Vietnam and bought mooncake moulds from there and graciously send me some of those lovely moulds, of which these lovely mooncakes turned out. Thank you, TT for making it possible. I hope i did not let you down. My mooncake making will not be possible if i did not have this recipe which was shared by Wendy. Wendy, wherever you are, thank you so much for sharing.

Preparation of Golden Syrup:

600 gm granulated sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp lime/lemon juice or citric acid
70 ml (2 ozs) water

Boil the sugar with 1/2 cup of water, lime/lemon juice till golden brown over a slow fire. Then add in 70 ml(2 ozs) water before turning off the fire

Preparation of Pastry Skin:
350 gm - 500 gm all purpose bleached flour
230 gm golden syrup
110 ml oil
1 tbsp potassium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate/kan sui
Mix golden syrup, oil and kan sui together and let it sit for at least 1 hour.
Add in 350 gm flour and mix into a dough. Knead until dough does not stick and is pliable (getting the correct consistency is important - add more flour if the syrup if the dough is too hard and not binding or adjust with more flour if the dough is too runny. )
Rest dough for another 30 minutes before using

Preparation of Lotus Paste:

600 gm lotus seeds with skin and in halves
1 tbsp pottassium carbonate & sodium bicarbonate solution(kan sui)
500 gm sugar
2 cups of peanut oil
60 gm (2 ozs) toasted melon seeds(kua yan)
60 gm (2 ozs) toasted kernel of olive seeds(lam yan)
2 ozs maltose
2 heap dessert spoon wheat starch(tung mein fun) - add this to 1/2 cup of oil from the 2 cups

Boil 600 gm of lotus seeds with 1 tbsp pottassium carbonate & sodium bicarbonate solution(kan sui) for 10 minutes.(Test to see if skins can be removed easily). Cool the lotus seeds and remove the skins and cores.
Using the pressure cooker, steam the lotus seeds for 15 - 20 minutes.
Put the lotus seeds in the food processor and blend till smooth and pour into a large microwable bowl.
Put 1 cup of oil and 150 gm of sugar in a cooking pan and cook till sugar is golden brown. (This must be under a low fire otherwise the sugar will get burnt) When the sugar is golden brown, put in together with the blended lotus seeds and the rest of the sugar. Also add the maltose and another 1/2 cup of oil.

Cook on high for 10 minutes, stir, and continue cooking at 3 - 5 minutes, stir when time is up. Cook until paste is nearly done, then add in the remaining 1/2 cup of oil which has the wheat starch. Continue to cook until done (The lotus paste is ready when it is thick and does not stick when tested).Add in the melon seeds and kernels of olive seeds and let it cool before using.

Preparation of Red bean Paste:

600 gm red beans
700 gm sugar
2 cups peanut oil 
90 gm (3 ozs) plain flour - add this to 1 cup of oil from the 2 cups
2 tbsp rose jam/sugar (optional)

Put red beans and enough of water to cover the beans in the pressure cooker, cook uncovered for 5 minutes and then drain.

Put back the drained beans and enough of water in the pressure cooker. Cover and cook on highest pressure for 30 minutes. Remove cover when there is no more pressure.
Take a container and fill 3/4 of it with water. Place some cooked red beans in a sieve and place the sieve at the water surface of the container. Knead and sift the red beans. The food of the red beans will separate from the bean coats/shells and sink to the bottom of the container. Discard the bean coats and continue this process till all the red beans have been mashed and sifted.
Place this watery bean food in a muslin cloth sack or tea cloth and squeese out the water. Continue this process till the water from all bean food has been squeezed out.
Put drained bean food, 1 cup oil, sugar in a large microwable bowl and microwave on high for 10 minutes, stir and continue to cook on high 5 minutes at a time until nearly done. Add in the cup of oil that has the plain flour added in and continue to cook until ready. (time for cooking differs depending on how dry the bean food has been drained)
Add in the rose jam if using.
To assemble the mooncake:
Divide mooncake pastry to 35 -40g (big moulds)and 15g (small mooncake moulds). Knead each portion for a while and roll into a ball .
Divide mooncake paste to 120g (for big mooncake with yolks) and 30g (small mooncake), 140g (big mooncakes without yolks). Knead each portion a little and form each into a ball .

Lightly flour (using cake flour) your hands. Flatten a pastry dough to a 2.5-inch disk/circle. Press to make the edges thinner than the central part and place a ball of paste. Start pushing the paste against the dough . As you push the paste, the dough will start to enlarge. Press the centre of the paste lightly and place an egg yolk there(salted egg yolks should be cooked by addng in a tbsp of wine and steamed). Continue to wrap up the mooncake until the pastry fully cover the filling. Roll into a ball.

Lightly flour the mooncake. Place mooncake, seam side up, in mould. Flatten mooncake to conform to shape of mould . If using a wooden mould, bang upper, lower, left and right sides of mould to dislodge the mooncake. For plastic moulds, just bang slightly the sides of the mould and the mooncake will dislodge with ease.
Place cake on to a lined baking sheet (i use silpat/silicone baking liner). Repeat to shape remaining mooncakes.
Put the mooncakes in the middle of oven and turn on the broiler/grill/upper heat and broil for 5 minutes or until evenly brown. Remove mooncakes from oven and set aside for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and switch setting to oven 375 f convection.

In the meantime, prepare egg glaze.
Beat an egg slightly. Add 1 tsp oil and 1 tbsp water. Strain the egg mixture.

Brush with egg glaze . Stand for further 5 minutes before returning mooncakes to oven.
Bake for another 10-15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let is cool in the baking sheet before transfering to baking rack for further cooling.

Store for 2-3 days. Mooncakes will get set and the pastry skin will be shinny and soft and ready for serving.
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Monday, September 03, 2007

Alexander's 2nd Birthday

Alexander is already two, the horrible or the terror two but no matter how terrible, you just can't get angry with his mischievious endeavors. He gives you the most attractive smile and says 'sorry' in the cutest way. At such a young age, he knows what he wants. He is into Lighting Mcqueen, Thomas the Tank Engine, Go Diego Go and Bob the Builder - all the boy's stuff. So, it was easy to choose the design for his birthday cake. Lighting Mcqueen is made with pastillage and pretty easy to do and can be done, weeks before the party. The cake is the same as all Renee's birthday Cakes but since it is a cake for a boy, i changed the fruit to blueberry instead of strawberry. Recipe for the cake and buttercream is here



1/2 tbsp gelatin
2 tbsp water
2 cups powdered sugar (lightly spooned into cup)
1/4 cup cornstarch (lightly spooned into cup)
pinch of cream of tartar (optional)

Food Colorings


Sprinkle the gelatin over water in a small heatproof glass cup and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Set in a small pan of simmering water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. (This can be done in a few seconds in a microwave on high power). Remove from heat.

Combine the sugar, cornstarch and optional cream or tartar in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the gelatin mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until blended. Mix with lightly greased hands and knead vigorously in the bowl until the sugar is incorporated.

Turn onto a smooth, lightly greased surface such as Formica or marble and knead until smooth and satiny. If the pastillage seems very dry, add several drops of water and knead well. If it seems too sticky, knead in more powdered sugar. The pastillage will resemble a smooth, well-shaped stone. When dropped, it should not spread.

Pastillage is easier to work with if it has rested for at least 1 hour. It dries very quickly, so it is important to cover to prevent drying. Wrap in a cloth rubbed with a bit of white shortening, then tightly in plastic wrap, and place it in an airtight container.

When ready to roll out, spray the work surface and rolling pin with nonstick vegetable oil spray. Pastillage can be rolled as thin as 1/16-inch. It dries and holds it shape very quickly.

If stored Pastillage seems very stiff, a few seconds in the microwave make it pliable.
To make Lightning Mcqueen:
Get a picture of Lightning Mcqueen and enlarge to a size that will fitt on the cake.
Cut out the outline of the different colors on the picture and use these cut outs as a template.
Color the pastillage accordingly and roll it to flat, big enough to fit the templates.
When all the templates are complete, assemble them together as in a zig zaw puzzle.
Leave to dry.
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