Saturday, 1 August 2015

Rendang Daging Minang / Beef Rendang

I'm not an expert in making this superb dish simply known as Rendang, but blimey it tasted good. Unlike the regular Rendang which seeps in oil, mine kinda looks dry, I figured I probably used less oil to saute the blended ingredients. 
Either way, this is good cos I really loathe eating oily food.
I got this recipe from my favorite blog, Masam Manis and I altered it slightly.

6 tbs of cooking oil
1 kg beef - cut into cubes

40 gm kerisik - roasted coconut
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tumeric leaves

salt to taste
1 tsp sugar
2 cups of coconut cream
1 pc asam keping - or  1 tbs of tamarind paste)
4 tbs crushed palm sugar

Blend the ingredients below
6 shallots
3 pips of garlic
1 in fresh turmeric
1 in fresh ginger
2 sticks of serai
1/2 inc lengkuas
15  cili padi - I used abut 7 and added 3 red chili

Heat up the cooking oil in a wok. Add the blended ingredients.

Cook until the aroma rises and begin to  turn brown.  Add the coconut cream and let it simmer in a low heat for 10 min.
Pic on left is when I just poured the blended ingredients and left after simmering for about 15 min. See the difference.

Next add the fresh beef, add some water and simmer on a low heat until dry. 
Once dried, add the seasonings. Add a bit more water and simmer again on a low heat until dry and the oil separates. 

The simmering in total takes about an hour. This will make the beef tender and give it plenty of time to absorb the rich flavors of the other ingredients.

Finally add the sliced leaves and kerisik  (roasted coconut which can be purchased at the wet market, make sure it's fresh). 

Keep stirring and stirring, make sure the heat is on low. See the color has changed to a darker brown.

Done...well it sure took a long time but worth the time. Dig in.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

No Knead Whole Wheat Ciabatta

Another bread? 
Well, what can I say. Loving my bread time.
This time I thought I'd give my Ciabatta a twist by making it a Whole Wheat Ciabatta.
I notice the bread was slightly 'denser' (if that is a word) than the regular airy white flour bread, which I didn't mind at all. In fact I liked the chewiness  and was great dunking it in soup.

4 cups bread flour (I used 3 cups white and 1 cup wheat flour)
*Note: you can use All-purpose flour if you want
1/4 tsp yeast
2 cups water - a tablespoon more for the wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp salt

In a large metal bowl add the above ingredients and give it a good mix with a wooden spoon until the dough is well mixed. The dough would be very sticky hence the wooden spoon.
Cover the bowl with a ling wrap and let it proof for 18 hours.

This is how it looks like after 18 hours, fully risen and bubbly.
Punch it down with a wooden spoon (oil it first).
But before that, prepare the baking pan and add some corn meal. 

Gently drop the dough on the prepared pan and shape it flat and long. The dough is very sticky, so oil your hands.
Let it rise for 2 hours. 

Preheat the oven to 200 deg cel oven and bake for 35 to 45 min.

Cool down before slicing it.
recipe from

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Sofia the first cake

Whenever I get an order to sculpt a figurine, I get the shivers. 
I'm still keeping my hopes high that no one will ask for Frozen cake with Ann and the notorious  Elsa figurines...creating those two will surely work my nerves.
Anywho when I was asked to create Sofia the first figurine with the cake and the crown and the  pendant, I obliged knowing very well what's ahead.

As you can see, Sofia could do with a smile...
Then comes the crown...humidity didn't' spare me.

By the time I collected myself, the cake came out nicely.
Ah the joys of running a cake business.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Cheesy pull apart bread

I really like the song Cool by Alesso featuring vocals from singer Roy English. 

It's got a good beat that you want to listen over and over just like this cheesy pull apart bread.  I think I chomped down half the loaf.

You need a good base loaf and I'm using my lovely Italian bread.  It's a fairly simple and quick bread to put together, just mix up the cheesy ingredients and throw it in the oven. And what you get is this amazing bread. 

4 oz shredded Mozzarella cheese (1 cup)
8 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped green onion (to taste)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp sour cream
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup, 2 ounces), softened to the point of being slightly melted

1 loaf of  Italian bread - see below for the bread recipe

In a large bowl, mix together the cheeses and the green onion. 
Stir in the mayonnaise and sour cream. In a separate small bowl blend the butter and garlic until smooth. 
Add the butter mixture to the cheese mixture.

Cut the bread into grids and put a tablespoon of the cheesy mix in each grid.

Bake in 100 deg cel oven  until nicely browned, about 15 -20  minutes.  
My loaf looks slightly crisped so keep a look out. 

Serve bread warm and get ready to pull it apart and enjoy.



Saturday, 18 July 2015

Cinnamon Babka Bread

This is the first time I am trying out this babka style bread,  quite similar to cinnamon rolls. This bread uses a very rich dough, similar to brioche and that contributes to its super soft and fluffy texture.

I was fascinated with the beautiful babka swirl inside the bread and the intense cinnamon waves. Glad I made this pretty bread, it taste superb. 

My bread maker kaput on me,  I love the timing of its demise (I use it for kneading only, thank goodness) so I'm gonna hand knead this dough. 
This recipe is from Brown eyed baker and this is how she did it.

For the Filling:
1 cup light brown sugar - I lessen it to 3/4 cup
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg white - I omitted this and used milk instead. 

For the Dough:
½ cup whole milk, heated to 110 degrees F
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup granulated sugar
1½ teaspoons instant or rapid-rise yeast
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces and softened - about 113g

For the Egg Wash:
1 egg, lightly beaten

Make the Filling: 
Combine all of the filling ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside 1 tablespoon of the filling.

Make the Dough: 
Grease a large bowl and set aside. In a 1-cup measuring cup, whisk together the milk, egg yolks and vanilla extract.

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour, sugar, yeast and salt on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. 
Slowly pour in the milk mixture and mix until the dough comes together, about 3 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-low and add the butter, one piece at a time, until they have all been incorporated, about 1 minute. 

Continue to mix until the dough is smooth and comes away from the sides of the bowl, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the dough to the prepared bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until risen slightly, about 1 hour.

Place the bowl in the refrigerator until the dough is firm and has doubled in size, at least 1 hour.

Assemble the Babka: 
Line an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing the excess to hang over the edges.

Punch down the dough on a lightly floured work surface. 
Roll out the dough to a 20 by 14-inch rectangle. Spread all but the 1 tablespoon reserved filling over the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edges. 
Working from the short side, roll the dough into a cylinder and pinch along the seam to seal.

Position the cylinder seam side up and roll back and forth until stretched to 18 inches long. Spread the reserved filling over the top of the cylinder. Fold the cylinder on top of itself and pinch the ends to seal.

Gently twist the double cylinder twice to form a double figure eight. 
Place the shaped dough seam side down in the prepared pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until it doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Bake the Babka: 
While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (180 deg cel)
Lightly beat the whole egg and brush the top of the loaf. 
Bake until the loaf is deep golden brown, about 45 minutes. 

Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely, about 2 hours. 
The bread can be kept at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

recipe brown eyed baker

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Top 10 Cookie Recipes

Cookies are my family's all time favorite nibble. 
Me, I love em but not a cookie person. 
One time I bought a ginormous book ( believe me its thicker than the Bible) on cookies and only baked ONE  cookie...
Nevertheless we got some fab cookies.. here are list of  my favorite cookies in random order...

Coconut Macaroon 

Oatmeal Chocolate chip cookie

Almond Biscotti - I think I'll put this as my favorite.

Semolina/Sujee Biscuit

Whole Wheat Walnut Raisins Biscotti

Peanut Butter Cookie


Double Chocolate chip cookie

Semolina Shortbread

Cut out sugar cookie


Meringue Kisses

Hope you like my list.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Rustic Italian Bread

I've never baked this Italian bread before so naturally I was expecting a hard crusted bread but I was in for a surprise. The bread has a nice soft crust and the inside was fluffy and moist.
This bread is a keeper and because it 's got a sturdy structure, I'm gonna use this as a base for my other bread projects.

1 cup  plus 2 tbs warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour or 3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons active dry yeast

cornmeal, for baking sheet
1 egg slightly beaten

In a large mixing bowl, add in the water and olive oil. Then in goes the  rest of the ingredients. With a wooden ladle, give it a good mix. 

Sprinkle some flour on your work area and dump the content. Knead the dough for a good 6 - 10 minutes.

If you are not into kneading by hand then place the water and yeast in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using a dough hook attachment, add the rest of the ingredients, beat on medium speed for 8 to 10 minutes, or until a smooth, firm, elastic dough is formed.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and spray the dough with a thin coating of cooking spray. 
Wrap the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to proof in a warm, draft-free place for 1 hours or until doubled in size. 

Remove the plastic wrap, punch down and flatten the rounded dough with the heel of your hand, and knead for 3 minutes. 

Place the dough on a baking sheet dusted with semolina flour, or cornmeal. 
Allow the dough to proof, loosely covered with a damp towel, for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. 

Brush the dough with the egg wash and sprinkle generously with  sesame seeds over the top. 
Preheat oven  to 200 deg cel.  Bake  for 35- 45 minutes, or until a hollow thud is heard when the bread is knocked. Allow the bread to cool slightly before serving.

recipe from

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Ciabatta # 1

I had this poor recipe with me for up-teen years without me even giving it a glance, partly because of the long and tedious proofing time that is required of this bread.

So today my Ciabatta journey starts, it took me about 20 hours of waiting to bake this bread. Yes twenty and don't let that intimidate you. I urge you to try out this bread and I'll help you all the way thru. 

This Italian bread used biga that's prepared one day ahead, it's sorta like a starter.

Biga by definition according to Wikipedia - "is a type of pre-fermentation used in Italian baking. Many popular Italian breads, including ciabatta, are made using a biga. Using a biga adds complexity to the bread's flavor and is often used in breads that need a light, open texture with holes. Apart from adding to flavor and texture, a biga also helps to preserve bread by making it less perishable."

Now we know what Biga is, let's bake bread. 

I put a # on this bread because there's another method to make Ciabatta without the biga. For now it's biga style.

To prepare the Biga

1 1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp instant yeast
1 cup water

Mix the above in a large mixing bowl and mix till its well combined.
Cover the bowl  with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 hours. Yes I wrote it right!

                                         Pic above biga, before and after 15 hours.                    

For the dough
1 tsp yeast
1 1/2 cup flour

11/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 tbs milk powder
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup water

Put all the dough ingredients in a mixing bowl, with a hook attachment  together with the biga. Knead for 8 minutes. Oil a large bowl, and place the dough. Cover with cling wrap.
Proof for 1 -11/2 hours.

This is how it looks like.  Punch it down.


Knead dough for 5 min. Place it back again  in the bowl and cover. Proof for another 1- 11/2 hours.  It would be good  if  you jot down the time in a stick on note. I'm useless at keeping time.

Hope you are keeping up with me. Grease a cookie tray and line it with parchment paper. Now transfer the dough to a well oiled surface. Divide the dough into two equal part.

Stretch the dough to 10 in log. Do both. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and sit for 1 hour. Below is after the hour.

Poke holes with your finger. Re-oil the plastic wrap and cover. Sit for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200 deg cel. Spray water over the dough and bake for 30 minutes. Mid way thru baking spray water again. When the bread is done, leave it in the oven to cool, with the door ajar.

Our ciabatta is finally done.
Slice the loaf and enjoy your hard work.

recipe unknown

Friday, 3 July 2015

Meringue Kiss Cookies

 I have a bee in my bonnet over this Meringue Kisses and I can't stop thinking about it. Glad I finally made this little gems.
 Ain't it pretty. 
Made these for my daughter, she packed it in a cute little parcel for her friends.
Note: I find the meringue is a wee bit too sweet for me. I would lessen the  sugar, perhaps a tablespoon. 

4 eggs whites
1 cup sugar
Pinch of tartar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Food coloring

Line to bake sheets with parchment and heat oven to 100 degrees Cel.

Place sugar, egg whites and tartar in your mixer metal bowl over (not on) simmering water. Constantly whisk the egg whites until the sugar has dissolved.
Using a whisk attachment on a stand mixer or a hand held mixture, slowly beat egg mixture. 

Add in vanilla extract and any food coloring if you are using it. Gradually increase speed and continue to beat mixture until stiff peaks have almost formed. 

Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe ½ inch to ¾ inch wide cookies, making sure to set them one inch apart from one another.

Bake for 1 ½ hours, then turn off oven and leave the door slightly ajar for meringues to cool down with the oven. 

Store meringue cookies in an airtight container away from any heat or moisture. 
Alternatively, store them in the freezer where they can be enjoyed straight from the freezer without any defrosting.


Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Pizza Dough

The thing that I hate most when I'm making a pizza is the long waiting time for the dough to proof.  I must be out of my head when I decided  to try out this long proof dough, yep it takes about four hours!
Hate to say this but  the long proofing time is well worth the wait. The crust was so much softer and I really enjoyed it.

stage one
2 and 1/4 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 and 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 and 1/2 cups warm water (not hot or boiling)

Stage two
2 cups bread flour
2 and 1/2 teaspoon salt

Make the crust:
I am using my good old bread maker to knead the dough. You may use your cake mixer with a hook attachment. Proof the yeast (mix the yeast with the sugar and water and leave it till it foams and bubbles.

In your mixing bowl mix the proofed yeast with the oil and flour. Use a wood stick if you are going to knead by hand cos it's gonna be a sticky dough. 

Cover in  a wet clean cloth and leave in a warm place till it doubles in size (this may take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours depending on the weather in that day). Mine doubled in 3 hours. (Malaysia)

Add the ingredients of stage two and knead the dough for 10 minutes. 
You will get an elastic smooth dough. Place it in a bowl and cover it in a warm place till it doubles in size. 
Punch it down and use it or divide into three parts and place in plastic bags and freeze or keep in the fridge. I decided to make one large square pizza.
Make the pizza:
Oil your pan and sprinkle it with some semolina.
On a floured surface roll out the dough then transfer it to the pan
With your fingers make dimples in the top leaving a 2 cm margin (these dimples insure that the dough wont rise too much )
Cover with a clean cloth and set aside.

For the filling 
Rub olive oil all over the dough.
I used my bolognese sauce to evenly spread all over my shaped dough leaving 2 cm bare border and the choice of your filling and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese. Don't forget to season with salt, pepper and dry herbs. 
Preheat the oven to 250 deg C.  Bake for 10 -15 min in the middle rack.

 recipe for the crust taken from here