Friday, November 21, 2014

Ayam Golek Pekan ~ Pekan's Roasted Chicken







I got attracted by this dish when read Wendy's comment about it. Although I bookmarked immediately but I didn't think of cooking it as looking at the ingredients, they are like aliens to me hahaha...

Until after I cooked Ayam Masak Merak and I have changed my mentality, I thinks that although such dishes may look complicated with the long and unfamiliar ingredients list which I need to jot it down and pass it to the store keepers from the market, they will settle everything for you heeheehee... For the seem long and daunting steps, I  just need some patience to read and follow through, it is not difficult at all. 
So if you are like me, thinking that such dishes are very tough, do give it a try, you might be fell in love of cooking it like me :D.

Like what Wendy has mentioned, this dish just need 4 major steps, it is not difficult to manage even for me.

The 4 major steps are.
1. Blend the ingredients.
2. Boil the chicken in gravy.
3. Roast the chicken
4. Reduce the gravy.

Recipe adapted from Table For Two or More...

Ingredients :
1 whole chicken (1.5-1.8kg) (I used 8 chicken maryland)
10 shallots, peeled
5 cloves garlic, peeled
10 dried red chillies, seeds removed
20gm ginger (clean weight)
20gm galangal (lengkuas, clean weight)
10gm turmeric root (kunyit hidup, clean weight)
1 tsp fenugreek (halba)
1 candlenut (buah keras)
2 lemongrass, smashed
300ml coconut milk
50gm tamarind pulp (with seeds) + 1 cup water
*1 cup water or more
1 tsp salt
3-4 tsp sugar
Banana leaf for lining the tray

Method for whole chicken :
1. Soak tamarind pulp with water for 10 minutes. Rub the tamarind pulp to wash the seeds clean. Strain the tamarind water and discard the remnants. Save the tamarind water.
2. Place tamarind water, shallots, garlic, chilli, galangal, ginger, turmeric and candlenut into a blender and blend until fine. Pour this into a wok.
3. Put lemongrass, fenugreek, coconut milk, 1 cup water (omit if using chicken parts), salt and sugar into the wok. Bring to a boil.
4. Place chicken into the boiling gravy (breast side down, for chicken parts, I face the skin part upwards) and bring to a boil. (gravy should be half way up the chicken, if not add more water) Lower to medium low heat, cover with lid and cook for 15 minutes. Flip the chicken to back side down and cook for another 15 minutes, this time, watching closely so that it doesn’t burn. Bathe the top with gravy and try to scoop some of the boiling gravy into the cavity.
5. Line baking tray with banana leaf (about A4size or broken pieces but overlap each other. Pls grease the banana leaves too as I didn't, the chicken tucked with the banana leaves). Remove chicken from the wok, let the gravy drip off and place onto the lined tray.
6. Bake at 180(fan)/200C for 30 minutes or until the chicken is beautifully golden.
7. Meanwhile, reduce the gravy until it looks thick like satay sauce. Taste it, if it’s too sour, add more sugar. (Wendy used about 1 cup, I used 3/4 cup and my family thinks that is too sweet)
8. Remove chicken from oven and generously brush on the reduced gravy (I brushed 2/3 of the gravy).
9. Return chicken to oven and bake at the same temperature for another 10 minutes.


Method for Chicken Parts: 
1. Soak tamarind pulp with water for 10 minutes. Rub the tamarind pulp to wash the seeds clean. Strain the tamarind water and discard the remnants. Save the tamarind water.
2. Place tamarind water, shallots, garlic, chilli, galangal, ginger, turmeric and candlenut into a blender and blend until fine. Pour this into a wok.
3. Put lemongrass, fenugreek, coconut milk, salt and sugar into the wok. Bring to a boil.
4. Place chicken into the boiling gravy (skin part facing upwards) and bring to a boil. (gravy should be half way up the chicken, if not add some water) Lower to medium low heat, cover with lid and cook for 5 minutes. Flip the chicken to skin side down and cook for another 5 minutes.
5. Line baking tray with banana leaf (about A4size or broken pieces but overlap each other. Pls grease the banana leaves too as I didn't, the chicken tucked with the banana leaves). Remove chicken from the wok, let the gravy drip off and place onto the lined tray.
6. Bake at 180(fan)/200C for 20 minutes or until the chicken is beautifully golden. Start the chicken with skin facing downwards, bake for 10 mins. Then flip the chicken and bake for another 10 mins.
7. Meanwhile, reduce the gravy until it looks thick like satay sauce. Taste it, if it’s too sour, add more sugar. (Wendy used about 1 cup, I used 3/4 cup and my family thinks that is too sweet)
8. Remove chicken from oven and generously brush on the reduced gravy at both side.
9. Return chicken to oven with chicken skin facing downwards and bake at the same temperature for 5 minutes.
10. Remove chicken from oven and generously brush on the reduced gravy at both side.
11. Return chicken to oven with chicken skin facing upwards and bake at the same temperature for another 5 minutes.

Wendy tried marinating the parts for 2 hours and the chicken flesh turned slightly mushy due to being in contact with the raw ginger and galangal for too long.

Verdict:
This is tasted almost like Ayam Percik but not as strong lemongrass taste as my Ayam Percik. This is a sweet version type, dear son love it a lot, he kept asking for more. The chicken meat is very tender probably due to the boiling. A keeper as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Blue Angry Bird Ice Cream Cake

  







Dear son likes Mickey Mouse and Angry Birds a lot. Everyone he will just wear his angry birds and mickey mouse clothes until people thinks he has no other clothing hahahah.... and he is such a funny boy, he must wear in suit, means that if is angry bird top, bottom must be angry bird too, cannot top angry bird and bottom mickey mouse, he will make a fuss if that's happen lol. And because he is boy, his color must be blue, he always say, pink for gal, blue for boy, pink for jie jie, blue for didi. Even if teacher want to use hand towel to dry his hand, he will insist her to use the blue color instead of pink color hand towel hahahah....

Since he requested Mickey Mouse for his birthday cake for his school celebration, I decided to make the blue angry cake for home celebration. But I am so lazy to frost the cake again, so thinking why not use M&M chocolates to form an angry bird figure, lazy mum hahaha...

But it is not easy to use M&M chocolates to form a picture, especially a small cake of 7". I almost wanna give up half way cos it didn't look like angry bird :P. But after the Mickey Mouse cake, I was too drained so I decided to just finish it up, dun look alike never mind lah, think dear son still will appreciate M&M chocolate, moreover this is a ice cream cake heeheehee....


Chocolate Sponge Cake


Recipe adapted from Mickey Mouse cake

Ingredients : for 8"
(A)
4 large eggs at room temperature
120g castor sugar

(B)
90g cake flour, sifted
1/4 tsp baking soda, sifted

(C)
50g corn oil
17g cocoa powder



(D)
40g chocolate milk

Method :

1)Heat up (C), slightly warm, add in cocoa powder and mix well, set aside to cool.

2) Beat (A) in high speed till ribbon stage, batter become thick and able to write word on the batter, turn to low speed to whisk for another 1-2 mins.
3)Add in (B) and fold till mix well.
4. Add a small portion of flour mixture to the warm cocoa mixture and mix well. 
5. Pour the cocoa batter into the egg batter and fold to mix well, pls fold gently not to burst the bubbles.
6. Add in (D) and mix well, pour the batter into the cake pan.
7. Slightly bang the cake pan to release bubbles and bake at pre-heated oven at 170C for 30 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
 
* can mix milk and oil to heat up then add in cocoa powder to mix well.




Chocolate Ganache :
100g chocolate, chopped into small pieces

50g milk


Heat up the milk and remove from fire, pour in the chocolate and stir till chocolate is melted.

Ice Cream Filling :
700g store-bought vanilla ice cream
100g nutella

1. remove the vanilla ice cream from freezer and stay at room temperature till soft and whisk until cream or mayonnaise texture.
2. remove 400g ice cream and put aside.
3. Pour nutella into the remaining cream and mix well.

Assemble :
1. Slice the cake horizontally into 3 pieces, brush with sugar syrup (sugar melted in water).
2. Place one slice of the cake into the cake pan (I am using removable base cake pan), pour 400g of vanilla ice cream on it. 
2. Place another slice of cake on top of the vanilla ice cream, pour the nutella ice cream on it.
3. Freeze the cake for at least 6 hours and remove from the fridge,  remove the cake from the cake pan. I used hair dryer to blow at the size of the cake pan. Put the cake pan on top of a glass jug with flat top, then slice the cake pan out, leaving the ice cream on the glass jug.
4. Put the ice cream cake back to the freezer again to freeze for another 2-3 hours.
5. Bring the cake out from freezer and pour the slightly warm chocolate ganache on the cake.
8. Put the cake back to the freezer again for another 2-3 hours. 
9. Bring the cake out to deco as your desire, you have to be fast as the ice cream melt very fast.
10. Put the cake back to the freezer again for another 2-3 hours before serve.


I actually want to put another sponge cake on top of the nutella ice cream but my cake pan is not tall enough to put another slice of cake, so I have to give up last min lol.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mickey Mouse Cake - Chocolate Sponge Cake





 
see how lousy my frosting skill is lol.
 



 


I am down with flu and cough, head is spinning now, so wish I can rest at home but too much works to clear, especially big boss just back from oversea trip so I must be presence at office :(.

I made this Mickey Mouse cake for dear son's birthday celebration at school, as per his requested. Initially he asked for blue angry bird cake, I did a lot of research looking for right design and just a few days before his birthday, he changed his mind and asked for Mickey Mouse cake :(... oh no here gone my effort and I have to start to google again lol. 

Everyone were so impressed when they knew the cake was done by me, dear son's teacher told me even the school cook went to the classroom to admire the cake lol.

I didn't do a good job for the frosting, still need a lot of practising especially the last big birthday cake project was almost a year ago, Dec 2013 for dear daughter's birthday, I made her a barbie doll cake. On top of that, dear son kept disturbing me, he wanna sit on my lap to admire his cake hahahah.... ok lah all are excuses, main reason is because I am lousy at frosting and also I am too too clumsy. Anyway I am happy with the outcome, at least the cake looks quite like Mickey Mouse, and most importantly, dear son loves it to bit :D. 

Dear son likes chocolate cake and I know most kids will appreciate chocolate cake than other flavour. I searched for easy chocolate sponge cake as I need to prepare 3 birthday cakes for dear son. One for school, one for my mum's place and one for home. I remember Karen posted the whole eggs method and has praised about it too. Quickly went through my folders and found it :D.


Chocolate Sponge Cake

Recipe adapted from Karen's kitchen

Ingredients :
(A)
4 large eggs at room temperature
120g castor sugar

(B)
90g cake flour, sifted
1/4 tsp baking soda, sifted

(C)
50g corn oil
17g cocoa powder



(D)
40g chocolate milk
Method :

1)Heat up (C), slightly warm, add in cocoa powder and mix well, set aside to cool.

2) Beat (A) in high speed till ribbon stage, batter become thick and able to write word on the batter, turn to low speed to whisk for another 1-2 mins.
3)Add in (B) and fold till mix well.
4. Add a small portion of flour mixture to the warm cocoa mixture and mix well. 
5. Pour the cocoa batter into the egg batter and fold to mix well, pls fold gently not to burst the bubbles.
6. Add in (D) and mix well, pour the batter into the cake pan.
7. Slightly bang the cake pan to release bubbles and bake at pre-heated oven at 170C for 30 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
 
* can mix milk and oil to heat up then add in cocoa powder to mix well.
* I doubled up the recipe to bake for one 10" and two 5" round cake pan. 10" for mickey mouse's face and 2 5" for mickey mouse's ears.


Chocolate Butter Cream 

Recipe adapted from my Lightning McQueen Car cake

Ingredients :
500g butter (soften)
60g sugar
300g melted chocolate
10 oreo cookies - crushed

Beat butter and icing sugar till light. Then pour in melted chocolate and mix till evenly mixed and pour in crushed oreo cookies.



Whipped Cream 
400g non dairy whipping cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
Whip the colored whipping cream until stiff and use immediately.


Notes : 

* I used non dairy whipping cream cos is much more stable and soften much slower than dairy whipping cream. You will need a lot of times when frosting the cake, the cake and whipped cream need to be in and out fridge very frequently until you completed frosting the whole cake.
* for the Mickey Mouse's chin, I used the left over cakes from trimming to form it.
* for black color, I used Wilton black icing color + charcoal powder, prepare to use a lot a lot until you scare off lol
* for the face color, I used a bit of Wilton brown icing color, mix in the color bit by bit till your desire shade (I used tooth pick to dip the color).
* I asked the teacher to scrape away the whipped cream before serve the cake to the kids, too much coloring that I do not want the kids to consume it.
* I used 16" cake board and 16" cake box, that is the biggest size I can find in phoon huat. This size is just nice for my Mickey Mouse cake, lucky man....

Friday, November 14, 2014

Pumpkin Milk Bread - Straight-Dough Method 直接发酵法

 

 




After post this up, I am rushing to dear daughter's school to attend her prize presentation ceremony, she is the 1st in class this year again. Her academic result got worst after the born of her little brother due to my total neglected on her. And now, she has got 1st in class for 2 years consecutively, being awarded by MOE last year (I secretly hope that she will get it this year too :p) and she will be posted to one of the best class next year! I am so happy and so proud of her!

Another recipe from Jessie's Cooking Moment, which I doubled up the recipe.

Ingredients:
100g pumpkin puree, sifted (I lazy to sift  :p)
560g bread flour
80g caster sugar
5g salt
240g fresh milk
74g egg, lightly beaten  + some extra for brushing
8g instant dried yeast
60g chopped butter, soften at room temperature

Egg wash
Some untoasted pumpkin seeds

Method:
1. Place all ingredients, except for butter and pumpkin seeds in an electric mixer. Use dough hook for mixing at low-medium speed.

NOTE:
The dough is very sticky and better use a higher speed (not too high speed though) to mix the dough. The dough will stick to the base of the bowl in the beginning but after about 10-12 minutes, it will leave the base and form into a ball.  When this happen, change to low speed and continue to knead for another 10 minutes.

2. When the dough looks smooth and slightly elastic, add butter. Continue kneading at low speed for about 8 minutes or until smooth, glossy and elastic.  The dough is ready when you pull out a small piece of dough, it will form a thin, transparent layer like bubble gum.

3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, spray with some water on top, wrapped with cling wrap. Let’s the 1st proofing begins until the dough is double in size, about 50-60 minutes. 

4. Place the dough on a floured surface. Gently press the dough to remove air bubble. Divide the dough evenly, about 90g each.

5. Roll each small dough into balls. Spray with some water, cover with cling wrap and let to rest for 10 minutes.

6. Flour your hand and rolling pin. Take 1 small dough and roll out into your desire shape with seam facing down, place it on greased baking pan.

7. Spray the top with some water. Let the final proof begins until they fill up the pan for like 90%, about 20 minutes when proofing was done in the warm oven with a bowl of hot water inside, or about 40 mins at room temperature.

8. In the last 10 minutes of proofing, remove the dough out of the oven and turn on the oven at 170C(fan-forced). Brush the top  with some water and bake for approximately 10 minutes.

9. Removed. Now, brush with the egg wash and quickly sprinkle with some pumpkin seeds. Continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes or till golden brown.


SMALL TIPS:
1. The egg wash will dry out very quickly due to the heat of the bread, so the action has to be fast or the pumpkin seeds won’t stick on the bread.

2. Change position of the pan for an even golden brown top.

3. After the bread is all cooled down, wrap them with a layer of cling wrap, then store into an air-tight container.


Verdict?
The bread is soft and tasty, very nice to eat and it stays soft even the next day. However, both me and dear husband still think that this pumpkin bread is softer :P. 





This post in joining Best Recipes for Everyone November Event : My Bread Story


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Strawberry Macaron with Chocolate Ganache








 

I used to dislike marcaron, too sweet for my liking so I never thought of learning to bake. Until 1 yr plus ago, I tasted the macarons from one of my ex-colleague's sister-in-law which she make to sell, the sweetness of the macarons were acceptable to me. But still, I didn't think of embark on it as I heard a lot of people commenting is difficult, so this back me out, timid me lor lol. Then until tasted Irene's macarons sometimes ago during one of the gathering, I started to like macarons as it is not as sweet as my memory is, and I love the crispy outer and chewy inner texture. So from there onwards, I decided I that hould try it someday. Well, the someday waited till 2 weeks ago hahaha....

Initially I was thinking to use Irene's recipe since I love her macarons but at the end, I decided to use Ann's recipe as she has pictures shown and more detail instruction which is good for green horn like me keekeekee... And also both of their recipes seem quite alike. 

Indeed Ann's pictures and detail steps really helps a lot, my 1st time success must thanks to her! If you are keen to make macarons but no courage to proceed like I used to be, give it a try and follow Ann's instruction, you will be able to make it! 

Although my macaron shells have a "peak" point instead of even and smooth surface (due to the thick batter), but I am so happy with the result. I was planning to make many many variation of macarons after the success but still have yet to make it happen, hope my passion will stay still hahaha



Recipe adapted from Anncoo Journal


Ingredients for macaron shells : yield about 50 shells for the size of 35mm
74g ground almond (I used superfine almond powder from Phoon Huat)
6g strawberry powder
80g icing sugar

60g Egg white
80g Icing sugar



Ingredients for chocolate ganache :
100g 60% couverture chocolate 
60g whipping cream


* boil the whipping cream and add the couverture chocolate and stir till melt and mix well. Set aside to cool.




Method:

1. Sieve ground almond, strawberry powder and icing sugar twice. (the sieving takes a bit more patience for almond powder as it is not easy to sieve, sometimes need to use spoon to stir or press to let it go through the sieve) 


2. Beat egg white until foamy and sieve icing sugar in batches then change to high speed and beat till peak form (thick and glossy). You may beat egg white to stiffer peak if you prefer a thicker marcaron. (while typing, I know why my batter is so thick hahaha... the problem of me that always didn't read the instruction carefully :p, I whisked the egg whites till very stiff)


3.   Then sieve (again) dry ingredients into egg white in two batches and fold mixture well thoroughly with a rubber spatula. (I skip the sieve, too lazy to do that :P)

4. Add batter into piping bag with nozzle tip #1A attached. Then pipe small circles on non-stick baking sheet. (When piping macarons, hold bag straight up from the sheet, with the tip close to the baking sheet. The batter will push itself out in a perfect circle). (mine didn't as the batter is too thick, difficult to pipe)

5.  Once piped use a toothpick to prick any air bubbles that appear. Dry the macaron shells for 30 minutes at room temperature.

6. Preheat oven at 150 degree for 10 minutes. Then bake macaron shells at centre rack with one empty tray placing at the lower rack. This is to avoid excess heat burning the base of the marcaron shells. The feet will start to appear in about 3 minutes.

7. Remove the (hot) empty rack and place another empty rack on top of the macaron shells and bake for another 5-8 minutes. (I need to bake another 2-3 mins longer, probably till to the thick batter)

8. You can test if they are done by touching the tip of a macaron, if its wobbles they are not done. When baking is complete, the shell should not stick to the tray. Put them back to oven for a couple of minutes if you have difficulties removing them from the baking sheet.  

9. Leave the macaron shells to cool on the cooling rack. You can store them in an airtight container and refrigerate it until you're ready to use them.

10. Pipe cream of your choice onto one macaron shell and sandwich with another half.


Verdict?
The macaron tasted great, when I let my boss tried, he said he has high standard so the macarons better be nice. so what is his verdict? very nice! hahahaha.... everyone given thumbs up and my kids love it :D.






I am submitting this post to Bake-Along : French Macaron hosted by  JoyceLena and Zoe.

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