14 July 2015

Qatar Karak Tea 卡达尔咖乐茶

Karak Tea is the popular spices Arabic drink which believe to be originated from India. The Qatar Karak Tea is not as spicy as what we get in the Indian Masala Chai Tea, there are varies version of Karak Tea with endless possibilities in the use of spices to suit your taste bud. 

The basic common ingredients used are: black tea, condensed milk or evaporated milk, sugar and spices. Some people like to add spices such as ginger, cardamon, cinnamon, star anise , peppercorn, nutmeg or cloves. As for my family, I add saffron and little sugar in it. In Qatar we can get a special evaporated milk that comes with cardamon flavour, most people believe it's to cater for the local drinking culture. 

This should be the last post before I break for my summer holidays and wishing all Muslim friends and readers Happy Eid Mubarak in advance!




13 July 2015

Sheng Jian Bao / Shui Jian Bao (Pan-Fried Pork Bun 生煎包/ 水煎包)

每个人,都是离乡背井来到沙城,朋友是热情的,但 每一个朋友都会有离开这里的一天。

今天倒数计时开始,把开袋的剩余面粉弄成水煎包(生煎包),我家孩子爱吃的!!食谱是和以前的相像。好怀恋“上海1930”餐馆!这一次共搓弄了35粒水煎包, 那鬆软的肉包和脆皮焦底是好吃呐!! 

Making the Shui Jian Bao / Sheng Jian Bao or Pan Fried Pork Bun using the leftover flour, need to clear the pantry before I go on long summer holidays! This Shui Jian Bao is one of my son favourite, if you give him between spring roll and one of this Shui Jian Bao/ Sheng Jian Bao, for sure he will choose the bao! My first encountered with this crispy fried bottom and soft bun was in 2013, the "Shanghai 1930" restaurant make great Shui Jian Bao! 

This round, I made 35 pieces using the same quantities for bao dough but almost double the previous filling recipe. If you are not consume the baos in the same day, keep the extra raw baos in freezer, no need to thaw the bao when cooking, just place the frozen bao straight to the pan, add oil, 1/3 water of the height of bao, cook with medium fire.

Happy summer holidays and see you in late August! 

09 July 2015

Nut Free Black Sesame Macarons with Azuki Cream Cheese (黑芝麻红豆乳酪马卡龙)

Black Sesame Macarons with Azuki Cream Cheese, a very unique Asian flavour, I believe. ^^
I have the pure fine black sesame powder, which I always used to make my own soy bean milk. This time I try out the black sesame powder to make my macarons. During baking time, the kitchen was filled with black sesame fragrance. 

Beside the factors that would affect your macarons which I mentioned in my Green Tea Macarons post, there is another factor I want to add on. The fine powder of the black sesame I used for this bake produced a smoother top macarons then the previous Green Tea Macarons.

By the way, this is a Nut Free Macarons and no colour dye is added to it! Enjoy!

08 July 2015

Geen Tea Macarons with Azuki Cream Cheese(Matcha Macarons 绿茶红豆乳酪马卡龙)

I lost count of how many times my macarons was without feet. For the past three weeks, everyday the first thing I had to do after breakfast was baking macarons, on some days I  baked three batches. The unsuccessful attempts were not due to problem with the recipe but the baker (Me). I come to realize baking macaron is not so simple, beside the feet, a macaron should has minimize hollow shell, there are tons of reasons, the list go on never ending. Of course, after the successful baked it doesn't means that unsuccessful attempts no longer going to haunt me again. Well, my macarons is yet to reach the signature stylish smooth top it should have, a long way to go.

After all these experiments, I come to like the crunchy chewy texture of the macaron, the filling play an important role to tone down the sweetness of the over sweet macaron shell. 

There are lot of myths for this little round pretty monster, one thing I can bust is the quantities of the ingredients, the ratio of ground almond, icing sugar and egg are not really important. Therefore when you sifted the icing sugar and ground almond, you can dump that chunky bits. 

There are many little things that cause an unsuccessful macaron, such as the dye that you add to the meringue. It is a sure no to add liquid colour, it'll makes the meringue soaking with that extra bit of water which result the macaron can't form a dry shell. I have try a few types of dye and come to satisfy with AmeriColor. However, if you don't have one, you can use any powder food colouring or the Wilton icing colour. 

Folding Meringue
Folding the meringue during the macaronage is another crucial factor, I tried my very best to fold as what the experts said, about 30-40 folds, then come to realize it's depends on the quantities of meringue you have. What Stella of BraveTart said in her blog made me realized I no need to be too gentle in folding the meringue, what we really need to do is incorporate the ground almond, icing sugar together with the meringue, and most importantly deflate the air in the meringue. So scrape the mixing bowl, fold the macaronage until "lava stage" which mean the mixture should be able to ooze a bit but not runny. Yes, if the ground almond is not incorporate properly to the meringue, it may cause crack or may contribute to a not smooth top for the macaron.

Thanks to my friend who saw my crack macarons and told me it could be my oven  temperature was too high. I always set my oven temperature on 150C but until I placed the oven thermometer inside the oven then I realized the temperature inside my oven is way higher than the 150C, from that onward, every times the oven thermometer will be inside my oven when I bake the macaron, as this little monster really very sensitive to heat. However, I discovered that the temperature between 140C~150C is good for macarons. If the temperature is too high, the macarons may rise too fast and causing the hollow shell too.

Dry out the Macarons
Do you believe this is the most challenging part to me after all? I'm not that patient in waiting the macarons to sit out and dry by itself, so many times my unsuccessful macarons were due to this factor. I didn't wait long enough to let it form the dry shell and just pop them into the oven, of course the result was macarons with no feet. So until yesterday, I discover there is a technique used by lot of bakers, heat up the oven, leave the oven door open and let the baking tray sit close to the oven for about 10 mins. This will dry out the macarons the faster way. 

Lastly, I want to thanks Anncoo Journal for her Matcha Macarons recipe, all my experiments on macarons are using her recipe as my guide. The small quantities of the ingredients is just right for me to try out my experiments on macarons. 

Below is a video and a good article on Macaron which I find them useful, hope it's useful for you to see "feet" too! ^^ Happy Baking! 


07 July 2015

Green Tea Cream Puffs 绿茶泡芙

Try out a few bakes using green tea powder, one of it is baking choux pastry with green tea pastry cream filling. This is a dessert love by my family, the sweetness is just right with that unique mild green tea fragrance. The Choux puffs rise up to its maximum height, with crispy shell and hollow centre. 

This time I made my choux puffs smaller (1/3 of palm size), then I realized it only need around 25 mins baking time. If you are baking a bigger choux puffs like what I did in my previous baking, it may take a longer baking time. 

I'm using Okashi, Sweet Treats Made With Love recipe for the pastry cream and using my previous bake choux pastry recipe.