Saturday, March 29, 2008

Char Siew Crisp/Char Siew Sou

Thanks to one of my readers for reminding me about these Crisps/Sou. This pastry is a sweet dough and very delicate, so the least handling the better. It is not difficult to make if you have leftover Char Siew.


10 ozs all purpose flour
3 ozs butter
2 1/2 oz lard/shortening
2 oz sugar
1 oz water
1 beaten egg yolk plus 1 tsp water for glazing


6 oz Char Siew - diced
3 oz onion (1/2 a medium size)- diced
3 chinese shitake mushrooms - soaked and diced
1 tbsp of diced carrots
1 tbsp chopped spring onions

1 tbsp oil


1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp shao xing/hua tiau wine
dash of pepper
1/2 tsp cornstarch plus 1 tbsp water


Put flour and sugar into food processor. Pulse twice to mix.

Add in butter and lard/shortening and pulse until butter is pea sized. Then add in water.

Pulse until the dough comes together. Remove and let dough rest in the refridgerator for at least 30 minutes.

Heat oil and fry onions. Saute onions until soft, then add in the carrots and mushrooms. Stir fry to combine and then add in the Char Siew. Sprinkle wine and seasonings, mix well. Dissolve the cornstarch and add in to form gravy. Let this cool before using.

Preheat oven at 200 c/400 f.

Knead dough into a long roll and divide into 24 equal portions.

Knead each portion into a thin round, wrap in filling with sealed edge facing down. Flatten with palm and brush beaten egg yolk on top. This dough is very delicate and i prefer to just use the offset spatula and fold into half circle or rectangle, seal the edges.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Renee's 6th Birthday Cake

RENEE is 6 years old today and she had a party for her classmates yesterday. This year, the theme was Ariel, The little Mermaid. Everything on the cake was edible except Ariel's head which is plastic. Flounder and Sebastian were made of sugar. To get Flounder to look cherry and smiling was difficult, it kept looking like an old bald man and i had to make Sebastian look fat to keep the head in place. The children were more excited with the aqua gummies than my effort. The party was a huge success and the birthday girl was the happiest, as all her presents were what she wanted most. Her friends greeted her with the loudest and a new version of the birthday song - Happy Birthday Cha Cha Cha.

The cake and icing recipe is here and the sugar recipe is here. The rock is cake covered with melted chocolate mixed with popcorns.

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Monday, March 10, 2008

Christmas Stollen

Last Christmas, i decided not be make dessert but made a Stollen which is more meaningful. This recipe is from from Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker's Apprentice.

Makes 1 large or 2 small loaves

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4-5 teaspoons (or 2 packets) instant or active dry yeast
Fruit - 2 cups dried fruit (raisins, golden raisins, dried cherries, dried apricots, etc.)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier, brandy, rum, or schnapps
1 tablespoon orange or lemon extract and/or grated lemon or orange rind

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
4 tablespoons (1/2 a stick) butter, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup almond slivers or marzipan
Butter or oil
powdered sugar

Warm the milk to approximately 100 degrees. Mix the yeast into the milk and stir into the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 1 hour until the sponge is very foamy.
While the sponge is fermenting, combine the dried fruit and the liqueur.
When the sponge is ready, combine the remaining flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl.
Stir in the sponge, egg, softened butter, and enough water to form a soft but not sticky dough.
Stir in the dried fruit and knead in a mixer or by hand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic or a damp towel, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

On a floured surface, shape the dough into something like a rectangle, either by rolling it out or pressing it with your hands.
Place the marzipan or slivered almonds in the center of the loaf. Fold the dough closed and shape the loaf into something resembling a crescent.
Cover the loaf loosely with plastic and set it aside to rise for approximately an hour to an hour and a half.
While it is rising, preheat the oven (and baking stone, if you use one) to 350 degrees.

When fully risen, bake the stollen for approximately 20 minutes. Rotate it and bake it until the internal temperature is approximately 190 degrees. Might have to go an additional 30 minutes depending on your oven.

Remove the stollen from the oven. While still hot, brush the top of the loaf with butter or vegetable oil and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Kampong Johnson's Rendang

In 1966, October, President Johnson visited Malaysia and he visited this Kampong in Negeri Sembilan which changed it's name to Kampong Johnson in honor of his visit. A feast was cooked by the Kampong Folks and the most memorable dish was the Rendang with Jackfruit. Negeri Sembilan's rendang differs from the other states of Malaysia as it is cooked with Green Thai bird chillies instead of red dried chillies and aromatics like ginger, galangal, fresh tumeric, fresh tumeric leaves, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves . It has no spices.

As the hot topic these days is the President, it makes me think of this dish which was so delectable and although i do not have all the aromatics but do have a packet of instant rendang mix which was not quite the same but did bring back fond memories of President Johnson's visit that day.

500 - 600 gm beef - cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 can Jackfruit - drained
1 packet ChanHong Instant Rendang Mix(available online here
1 400 ml can of coconut milk (70% saturated fat)
1 stalk lemon grass - crushed (optional)
4 - 5 kaffir lime leaves(optional)
2 tbsp kerisik
3 tbsp cooking oil

Using the pressure cooker, heat cooking oil and add in the contents of the packet of ChanHong Instant Rendang Mix and saute until fragrant.
Add in beef slices, lemon grass and coconut milk.
Add enough water to cover the beef.
Close the pressure cooker and cook on high for 10 - 15 minutes depending on the type and quality of beef used.
Release pressure and open the lid, add in kaffir lime leaves and kerisik and cook until sauce is thickened.
Add in the jackfruit and cook until it is cooked through.
Add salt to adjust taste.
Rendang is ready to be eaten.

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