Monday, May 31, 2010

Trinidadian Chicken Curry and Kenyan Curried Cabbage

I've found this curry a while ago on pioneerwoman site and I was simply tempted by the way it demonstrated and photos just like always when I visit her site! Apart from that, unlike Indian or Thai curry, this curry doesn't contain yogurt or coconut milk which made it even more interesting to me to find out how it tastes !

And I knew I couldn't miss it.. I just waited for the right time to give it a try.. and the right time for me is always a weekend when I have plenty of time to plan and prepare things. Anyway, I felt it would be a bit boring to have just the curry with rice , so I decided to make another dish to go along with the curry and my choice was the Kenyan cabbage that I've found on Kayotickitchen and that's because they both have a curry powder as a main ingredient in common !
As for the result, the curry was 4.5 years daughter had some rice topped with the curry sauce and she said it's really yummy ! I poured the curry over the cabbage and ate just like that without rice and it was fabulous. My husband had a full plate of everything..rice,curry and cabbage and he couldn't be happier !!

You can find the recipe from here.  

And the cabbage ( recipe is here )


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sausage and Lentil Stew

I never cooked or ate lentil before and it took me almost half of my life ( this is to be assumed that I would live a long find out how it tastes ! Honestly, I might have never had chance to know about or try it if I didn't live in a cosmopolitan country like Hong big thank to my husband who has made my world widely open !

Lentil, to Asian people like me , is not something we are growing up with..maybe it's probably like how little some westerners know about or get familiar with sticky rice or soya bean !

Now back to the dish..I chose to make my debut lentil dish because I had some pancetta that I bought a while ago but couldn't decide what to do with it..As always, when I realized that it's not long before the pancetta was going to pass its expiry date, I seeked help from the internet ! This time I opted for bbcgoodfood to get my choice and it turned out to be this stew. Sausage is a family's favorite and lentil is what I'd like to it's a win-win situation !  

The stew was sooo tasty. Everybody even my young daughter was happy with a combination of sausage and lentil...and I found out that the later the tastier ! I didn't take any photo of the finished stew on the day I cooked but did it later after it'd been frozen for a week and it was drier than freshly cooked which you could see from the photos ..Anyway..Bon appetit !

The recipe could be found here.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cocktail Buns and Sweet Buttery Buns

According to wikipedia, the cocktail bun, a specialty of Hong Kong, originating in the 1950s, is a type of bun stuffed with a filling made of unsold buns, sugar, and shredded coconut. At the time, the proprietors of bakeries found aversion to the wasteful disposal of unsold, but nonetheless edible, buns. As a solution to this problem, the cost-saving cocktail bun was formulated.

By mashing the left-over buns and adding granulated sugar, buns left unsold could be resold. This hodgepodge of ingredients likened it to the bakery counterpart of alcoholic cocktails, thus deriving its name. Later on, shredded coconut was added to the recipe, producing an even more appetizing flavor.

The shiny golden-brown exterior color comes from a combination of a light egg wash and/or sugar glaze. The chewy interior is bread-like with the coconut filling. The exterior also often has some swoosh mark made from the coconut filling and may have sprinkled sesame seeds.

Now back to my story..It's quite embarrassing to tell you that despite living in Hong Kong more than 8 years, I didn't know about this cocktail bun until a week ago ! Although, I've seen it sold in every single bakery shop in HK but I never realized that it's kind of Hong Kong's signature bread/bun ( apart from pineapple bun or bau lor bau )  and thus, didn't bother to try and didn't know either that it contains a filling !!
Like I said above, I've known about this bun just a week ago when I came accross it from this site to begin with and I then did some research on the net and finally I bought some from a shop to find out how it really tastes.. then what's next ?? ... and you know it!! 
I decided to make the dough using water roux method ( again! ) ..this is to make sure that I would get a soft and fluffy bun. As for the filling, I adapted from the recipe posted by Jun (the blog I've found out about the bun from ) of Jun-blog and tried to make it as similar as the one I bought. What's the result ? Of course, it's not the same as sold by those bakery shops but it's good enough and certainly pleased myself  and my tasters..Anyway, I might make it again using a different recipe next time! 
Now, speaking of the sweet buttery buns, They are one of my favorite breads which I always buy it from a local bakery shop ( where I think they sell the best of it in town!) when I go back to my home country , Thailand. But with all political crazy things that have been done by a group of mad people, the red shi(r)ts in Bangkok, it has caused me to stop making a trip back for many months so far and one of things I've been missing is this bun ! 
This is the first time that I made the buns with water roux method and it turned out fabulous..not only satisfied my craving but it also made me made at those red shi(r)ts a bit less ! lol... Seriously, if you like Japanese style breads/buns, you shouldn't miss it out ! Yummmm
The recipe for the dough ( makes 10 pieces )
285 g white strong bread flour
2 tbsp milk powder
50 g caster sugar
1/2 scant teaspoon salt
7 g package of instant yeast
84 g water roux stater
85 ml lukewarm milk
35 g beaten egg
35 g butter at room temperature

Egg wash :

1 egg + 1 tbsp milk

To make the dough
1. Mix all ingredients except the butter in the bowl and using a dough hook on low speed to form a ball. Add the butter bit by bit and mix until incorporated. Increase to a medium speed and knead the dough unitl smooth and elastic about 15-20 minutes. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled in volume.

2. Deflate the dough and briefly knead for seconds, then divide into 10 equal pieces to be used ( 5 for cocktail buns and the other 5 for sweet buttery buns )
For the Cocktail Buns ( makes 5 pieces )
The coconut filling :
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1.5 tsp honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp butter, melted
Some sesame seed to sprinkle on top
Use a food processor/blender to grind the coconut into finer flakes. In a small bowl, mix the coconut flakes with the rest ingredients until it has a paste-like consistency.
Roll each piece into a 5- by 3-inch rectangle. Place 1.5-2 tablespoons of the filling lengthwise along the center. Bring the the long sides up and over the filling and pinch all the edges to seal. Make sure the edges are adequately sealed to prevent the coconut filling from spilling out while the buns are baking.
Place the pieces with the seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper around a 1/2-inch space between buns. Cover with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for another 45 minutes -1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the buns are ready , then lightly brush the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds on top. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown on top.

For the Sweet Buttery Buns ( makes 5 pieces )

The butter filling :

about 1/2 tsp soften butter per piece
some salt to sprinkle over the rolled out dough
icing sugar ,sifted, to sprinkle on top ( after completely cool )

Roll each piece into about 5- by 3-inch rectangle. Spread the butter over the dough leaving half centimetres around the edges and sprinkle a little salt over the butter. Roll the dough up from the shorter end into a small cylinder and seal the ends and seam tightly to prevent a butter leaking. Place the pieces with the seam-side down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper around a 1/2-inch space between buns.

Cover with plastic wrap and let the buns rise for another 45 minutes -1 hour. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. When the buns are ready , then lightly brush the buns with the egg wash. Bake for 15 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. Leave to cool completely on wire rack and sprinkle with sifted icing on top before serving.

Ps. Both of buns on this post have been sent to yeastspotting hosted by Susan of Wild Yeast..

Monday, May 24, 2010

Paximathakia Portokaliou

Paximathakia Portokaliou...what the heck is it ?? This question immediately came through my head and mind when I saw this name on The Wednesday Chef site ( written by Luisa Weiss )..and no doubt, I knew I needed to find out what it is before I even could pronounce it properly !

Given myself not a big fan of cookie at any rate, yet I couldn't resist giving it a try after I've found out that it's just a kind of biscotti ( for Greek version ) and that's because of nothing but its name !!!

Without knowing what to expect, I halved the recipe but ended up using less flour mixture than the original calls for ( I measured by cup , not by weight though and decided to stop adding the flour when I thought it became a bit too dry ) and I used a dough hook for the most of kneading process ( just kneaded by hand for last few minutes ) which everything went well without any problem !

As for the result, I have nothing more about this cookie to say than what Luisa's already said on her post..    

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Coffee Cake

I was definitely attracted to a name of this coffee cake when I saw it posted on bakingbites and my first reaction was to save the recipe and print it out straight away without reading through the whole fact, not even through the recipe!!

Consequently, it was too late when I realised that I made few mistakes! Anyway, I had no choice but let it go.. Fortunately, all mistakes made were not serious and I managed to get away with it... :)

As for the outcome, it smelled soooo nice ..I just had a small bite of the cake and it tasted good..buttery like Nicole said but not sweet as it should be because I reduced a lot of sugar in both of the cake and topping ! Can't think more about it right now..what I need to do is to eat a much bigger portion so that I could tell you more....what an good excuse !! lol..

Here is my version ( adapted from the original recipe )


2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 scant cup caster sugar
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling/Topping :

1/2 rounded cup plain flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
100 g butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
demerara sugar to spirnkle on top

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly butter 8'' square cake tin and line with parchment paper. Make the topping, combine flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts and raisins in a medium mixing bowl and stir well. Rub butter into the mixture with your fingertips until mixture resembles coarse sand. Set aside.
Make the cake, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, oat, baking powder and salt. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by half of the buttermilk and the vanilla. Then, blend in add half of the remaining flour, the rest of the buttermilk, and finally the last of the flour.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared tin. Top with half of the topping mixture. Pour remaining batter on top and spread carefully to the sides of the pan. Sprinkle all remaining topping over the batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cake to cool on a wire rack until it is room temperature before removing from the tin by lifting the parchment paper. Slice into pieces/ bars before serving.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

I'm sure there are thousands of recipes for banana bread/cake but it's not easy to find the one that is perfect to your taste... In my case, I'd made numbers of banana cakes using many different recipes and fortunately, I finally found the one !  While I think this banana cake is the best I've ever had , I, though, don't assume that it would be the same to you but please believe's definitely worth your try !

Ingredient (make 18-20 cupcakes):

200 g self raising flour

1.5 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 scant tsp salt

3 extra large eggs ,at room temperature

140 g caster sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup canola oil

200 g mashed ripe banana ( about 3 medium )

a splash of lemon juice

Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 200c. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cups. Sift together the first four ingredients and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the mashed banana and lemon juice and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until reaches the ribbon stage about 7-8 minutes. Add in the oil and mix, still on high speed, until well combined for 2 minutes. Fold the flour mixture into the batter using spatula and gently mix until just incoperated. Then stir in the banana. Divide the batter into 18-20 cups and bake in the preheated oven for 14 -18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center come out clean. Let cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes before transfer to cool completely on a wire rack.


Soft Banana Cupcakes on Foodista