30 April 2013

Mixed Berries Cheesecake

After baking the Green Tea Cheesecake, I'm so tempted to make another cheesecake because my family members love it so much. I went to Costco to buy a big block of cream cheese ...how big? is 2 kg big :D 

This round of baking I try using the frozen mixed berries in the cheesecake. The frozen mixed berries are so pretty and looks really fresh, I used about 50g (cup measurement, this is what I always do as too lazy to get the digital measurement out) to blend it into mixed berries puree (note: no water added) 

My hubby and son loves the fruity taste of this cheesecake, as for me, I still prefer my Green  Tea Cheesecake :) I'm using the previous recipe with some adaptation as I want to add the mixed berries and also want a taller cheesecake. I'm not using the 6" round cake pan but the 7" square cake pan.

60g or 10 pcs of biscuits
20g unsalted butter, melted

Mixed berries filling:
500g cream cheese
80g sugar 
2 eggs
150g thickened cream 
120g butter, soften
30g corn flour
50g mixed berries puree


1. Place biscuit in a plastic bag and crash it into small crumbles, stir in the melted butter.
2. Place the baking paper in the cake pan and add in the biscuit crumbles. Press down the biscuit to the cake pan. 
3. Double boil the cream cheese and sugar in a big bowl, until the sugar is melted and mix well with cream cheese. Take the bowl away from the heat, add the egg, one at a time. Mix well.
4. Gradually add in the thickened cream, butter and corn flour. Stir well. Add in mixed berries.
5. Sieve the batter and pour in the sieved batter to the cake pan. 
6. Prepare the water bath, place the cake pan in the water bath. Bake at 120C for one hour.
7. When the cake is done, take out from the oven and let it cool down before put in the fridge. Dislodge the cake only when the cake is harden.

Note: The center of the cake will still be a bit wobble after an hour baking, it is ok as long as the surface of the cake is firm when touch. Keep in the fridge for overnight and the cheesecake will be harden.

29 April 2013

Green Tea Cheesecake

The weather getting cooler here and can see most of the trees on the street changing their leaves from green to red then to brown or yellow. It was so beautiful in the early autumn, I love the moment when I sent my son to school, feeling the breeze from the gentle wind, and tree shredding the beautiful red leaves. Now, it is just cold and most of the trees are left with half bald tree stem! My body still need time to adapt as I'm starting to cough again...

This bake was done early last week, the dense texture of the cheesecake was good, I love the mild green tea tastes that come in the end of the bite. Unfortunately, I forgot to place the baking paper around the cake pan make dislodging the cheesecake nearly impossible. Anyway, when I was done with the dislodge, the edge of the cake is with an ugly curled :( 

I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #30: It's Tea Time! (April 2013) hosted by Food Playground.

Recipe adapted from 幸福甜点81道, 星期天的烘焙时光
60g or 10 pcs of biscuits
20g unsalted butter, melted

Green Tea filling:
320g cream cheese
70g sugar (used 50g if you don't want it to be too sweet)
2 eggs
70g sour cream (used thickened cream)
80g butter, soften
15g corn flour
8g greentea powder

1. Place biscuit in a plastic bag and crash it into small crumbles, stir in the melted butter.
2. Place the baking paper in the cake pan and add in the biscuit crumbles. Press down the biscuit to the cake pan. 
3. Double boil the cream cheese and sugar in a big bowl, until the sugar is melted and mix well with cream cheese. Take the bowl away from the heat, add the egg, one at a time. Mix well.
4. Gradually add in the thickened cream, butter and corn flour. Stir well. Add in green tea powder.
5. Sieve the batter and pour in the sieved batter to the cake pan. 
6. Prepare the water bath, place the cake pan in the water bath. Bake at 120C for one hour.
7. When the cake is done, take out from the oven and let it cool down before put in the fridge. Dislodge the cake only when the cake is harden.

24 April 2013

Lor Bak / Ngo Hiang (Five-Spice Pork Rolls)

This week is a busy and exciting week as the coming Sunday is the World Impact International Night Food Fair for our church. Our Life group members will be involved in selling satays, ice kacang and some nyonya kuehs to raise fund for supporting the church missions! I know it will be an exciting weekend for my family!
Ok, here I'm going to share a Lor Bak or Ngo Hiang recipe which I modified from my mum's recipe. I remember when I was young, this dish only appear on the table during Chinese New Year where my late-grandma and my mum were very busy cutting the pork and wrapping tonnes of meat. During that time, this dish looks really complicated to me and I should admit it is still very complicated now. My mum version is purely Hokkien's Lor Bak, means that the ingredients is without yam or taro. I don't know how my late-grandma and my mum able to wrap up their Lor Bak so tightly, so I try the Teochew's Lor Bak which they introduce yam or taro in the filling. Personally, I think Teochew's Lor Bak taste better because of the yam. And the yam able to fill up the gap in the Lor Bak which make wrapping up the roll not a chore.
Another point to add here is...if you are going to buy dried bean curd skin, make sure you know the good brand because it really make a big different in your roll. The good quality dried bean curd skin will not tear easily and it tastes not so salty. The bad quality dried bean curd skin is crisp and will tear easily, it tastes really salty too!
I love the taste of Lor Bak, the stronger the taste of five spice powder the merier it will be! No doubt it involved lot of work during the preparation time, but the end result is flavourful, tender and juicy Lor Bak with a crispy outer skin. The frgrant linger in the kitchen after deep frying the Lor Bak make me feel at home.

Recipe from Ah Tze's Kitchen Play
1 large sheet of dried bean curd skin, cut into 12 pcs

800g pork fillet, sliced into thin strips
200g yam, peeled, cubed and steamed until soft
150g prawns, peeled and minced
8 pcs water chestnuts, chopped 
some coriander leaves, chopped
some spring onion, cut into small rings
1 small onion, peeled and chopped into small
5 tbsp chinese five-spice powder, add more if you love the taste
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Dipping Sauce:
Thai sweet chilli
1 lime juice

1. Combine all the ingredients for the filling in a  big bowl, mix with a pair of chopstick. Keep in fridge for 30 mins.
2. Place the dried bean curd skin on a flat worktop, clean it with a piece of clean wet kitchen towel, to remove the salt on the bean curd sheet. Spoon 2-3 tbsp filling on the bean curd sheet, fold the edge over the filling, fold in the left and right sides and roll up to form a log. Remember to roll up tightly. 
3. Prepare the wok for deep-fry the rolls. Turn the heat down to medium when the oil is hot, lower the roll into the hot oil, one or two at a time. Deep fry for 3-5 mins or until the bean curd skin is light brown and the filling is cooked. Drain the Lor Bak on a kitchen paper.
4. Serve it hot with the whole roll or cut into smaller pcs.  

A day to remember:
My son getting his first class award on 22 Apr 2013. Below is the photos taken during his Monday's assembly, he is receiving his class award from his principle. When his name was called, he stood up, the little man walk up to his principle. That Monday, he was one of the two Prep students who receiving the class award.
Thank you for giving him this class award to encourage him on making a great start in Term 2. By getting much better at following instructions, by encouraging him on his persistence, organisation, confidence, resilience and getting along with his classmates. Well done, my son!

18 April 2013

Zebra-Strip Cheesecake

Do you know that in Australia, different states has different school Term? After talking to Jessie from Jessie-Cooking Moments then I realized it. My son starting his second school term this week but in Sydney they are having a good time right now! :D

First time baking this zebra strip cheesecake, the surface of the cake is not smooth :( the cake rose so high when I took the cake out from oven, I was over confident to left it out alone and went ahead to pick up my son from school. Then...when I reached home, I was shock to find a collapse, wrinkle cake surface! After that I realized that my oven temperature is set too high, I should reduce the temperature to 150C next time. Lesson learnt! 

Anyway, this type of Japanese cheesecake is fluffy light and lovely, I'll try to bake it again. Thanks Cook with No Books for sharing this recipe! 

Recipe from Cook With No Books

Ingredients :
For mixing bowl 1 :
50g butter
250g cream cheese
100ml low fat milk
6 egg yolks
½ Tsp cider  (omitted)
60g plain flour
20g corn flour
1/8 tsp fine salt

For mixing bowl 2 :
6 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar (omitted)
120g fine sugar

Stripes : 2 T cocoa powder

1. preheat oven to 150C
2. Grease a 9 inch spring form pan. Wrap the pan with 2 or more layers of AL foil. Grease the base and the walls of the pan.
3. Prepare a water bath with the dimension of the bath such that it can accommodate the foiled pan with boiling water, ½ inch high
4. in bowl 1 : cream butter and cheese until it is broken up and smooth. Gradually whisk in  milk, leaving no lumps. Whisk in egg yolks. Sift in flours, salt. Whisk to combine.
5. In bowl 2 : Beat whites to form foam. Continue to whisk as you add in the sugar. Whisk until soft peaks.
6. Combining meringue to batter : Spoon meringue to the thick batter, in 3 parts. Use a spatula and gently fold meringue into batter.Do this in 3 batches.
7. Equally divide batter to 2 portions. In one portion, fold in cocoa powder. You now have a yellow and a brown batter.
8. In the  greased spring pan, pour small amounts of the yellow batter in the center, about 3 tablespoons. Next, pour equal amounts of the cocoa batter on the yellow batter. Repeat this to get the rings of brown and yellow until all the batter is used up.
9. Transfer the foiled pan to the water bath. Bake in a preheated oven at 150 C for 1 hour.
10. The cake is ready when the skewer comes out clean and the surface is browned.
11. Cool and chill.

16 April 2013

Melon, Corn and Cardamon Yogurt Ice

This is the first time I'm making fruity yogurt ice for my kid. I didn't know it is such a easy task to make these smooth ice cream spiced with cardamon, of course the texture of it doesn't taste velvety enough to suggest it is made with cream... it doesn't. but the taste of sweet melon, corns, yogurt and the cardamon has clearly spelled out it is natural and it is healthy snack for tea break!

sieved the fruit mixture after blending (photo taken using my hand phone ^^)

fruit mixture after adding the yogurt

I'm adapting the recipe from Sara Lewis, she made the ice with peach and cardamon.

Recipe from Ah Tze's Kitchen Play
8 cardamon pods, pound and crush
1/2 small melon, 600g, cut in small cubes
4 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp corn kernels
2 tbsp water
200ml yogurt of your choice

1. Place the melon cubes in a saucepan. Add crushed cardamon pods, with their black seeds, corn kernels, sugar and water. Cover and simmer for 10 mins or until the fruit is tender. Leave to cool.
2. Place the fruit mixture into a blender, process it until smooth, then press through a sieve placed over a bowl.
3. Add the yogurt to the puree and mix together in the bowl.
4. Pour into a plastic tub and freeze for 5-6 hours until firm. Beating once or twice with fork or a processor to break up the ice crystals. 
5. Scoop the ice-cream on to a platter and serve at once.

I'm linking this post with Little Thumbs Up, where the ingredient for this month is Corn, hosted by Esther from Copycake Kitchen and organised by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite DIY.

15 April 2013

Homemade Kimchi (Fermented Korean Banchan)

One night after watching the Korean drama on "Kimchi making competition", my mind keeps thinking of kimchi... dreaming that I'm one of the participant who en-task to make the finest kimchi :DD I know you may be holding you tummy, laugh until you roll on the floor, but... this is what food bloggers always do... dreaming that we are the finest bakers or chef, right? ^^  

I went to a Korean groceries shop the next day to buy the paste for making kimchi the shop owner is a Korean, she introduced me to use the gochujang paste as shown below. Just to warn you, the paste is really spicy!!  I'm using my previous recipe with some modifications (original recipe from Elinluv's Tidbits Corner ), the kimchi needs to be fermented for at least 6 days and you will get a crunchy kimchi! 

Napa Cabbage (800gm, quartered with stem attached, soak in brine)
6 heaped tbsp gochujang paste
1/2 bowl cooked rice or 150g 
1 big onion, chopped
50gm spring onions, cut into lengths
50gm chilli flakes/chilli powder (omitted)
10gm sugar (used 25g)
50gm minced garlic
a bottle of fermented shrimp paste (cincalok)(used pinkish paste)
50ml fish sauce

1.Soak the cabbage in soak salt water about 4 hours, weighing the cabbages with with a heavy plate during the soaking process. Remove cabbages from salt water and drain well.

2.Pound the garlic and rice till fine. Transfer them to a medium size bowl and add in fermented shrimp paste, fish sauce, gichujang paste and mix well. Add in the cut green onions and the rest of the ingredients , mix well and leave to rest for about 1/2 hour.

3. Stuff the cabbage with the mixture, apply them starting from the innermost leaves and making sure every part of leave is covered. Repeat until the entire cabbage is covered well with the mixture as well as possible.

4. Put the kimchi in an airtight container and let it ferment at room temperature for half a day. After than, transfer the container to the fridge (temperature below 20C) and allow to ferment for about 6 days.

10 April 2013

Tauk Yu Bak (Pork Simmered in Dark Soy Sauce Gravy)

Tauk Yu Bak or pork in dark soy sauce is one of my comfort dish since very young. My mum always cook this dish even until now. I cooked this dish a lot too as it goes well with rice or even porridge. I'm going to share my mum recipe with some modification as she doesn't has the exact quantities for all ingredients. My mum loves cooking this dish using fatty pork belly which has distinctive 3 layers, but my hubby always complain that it is too fatty, therefore, I used to cook it with pork belly that removed the skin and leave behind a bit of fatty layer as this dish will be nice to have a bit of fat. 

Recipe from Ah Tze's kitchen play
500g pork belly cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled
500ml water
4 hard-boiled eggs, remove shell
3~4 pcs fried beancurd, cut into quartered
4 star aniseeds
2 cinnamon stick
10 dried chestnut, boiled for 10 mins.
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp corn flour
a dash of pepper 

1. Rinse the pork cubes and season with sugar, dark soy sauce, corn flour and pepper. Set aside for at least 30 mins.
2. Heat pan with oil. Fry the garlic, add in the marinated pork. Stir-fry for 3 mins., add in cinnamon stick, chestnut, star aniseeds. Add in water, light soy sauce. When the gravy boiling, lower the heat and cover. Continue simmer for another 20 mins. or until the pork is tender. 
3. Add in fried bean curd and eggs, let it simmer for another mins. Serve warm with rice or porridge.  

07 April 2013

Deep Chocolate Pound Cake (Bake Along #42)

My son received an invitation to go his classmate house for a one-to-one play date! Tomorrow will be the date, thinking of it intimidates me a bit...what shall I say to his classmate's mum for the 1-2 hours?! Then I realize may be I should bring something for the morning tea, so the first thing I think of is the Bake-along Deep chocolate pound cake. 

I read through some of the comments on this cake, some mentioned about the high honey contains and the taste of it, thanks for their sharing. I reduced the honey to only 2 tbsp as someone suggest (can't recall who suggest it, if you are the one please said so huh ^^) But I'm not sure whether the cake should turn out tasting sweet, because mine didn't taste very sweet as I didn't increase the sugar contains. (I only think of it after the cake was in the oven) I faced some problem when I needed to whisk together the honey mixture and the cocoa powder to smooth, I guess because my honey mixture was too little for the cocoa powder therefore, I added the boiling water to 5~6 tbsp. I have mentioned before that the oven I used got problem with carbon dropping down when oven is switch on, I placed a baking tray on the top rack to hold the carbon dropping whenever I need to bake, not sure is this the reason which cut down my baking time to only 50 mins. instead of the mentioned 1 hours 8 mins.
I like the dense texture of this cake and ...lastly as I added walnut to this cake, as you know walnut has that kind of unique bitterness. Which I don't think kids will like this kind of chocolate cake. Overall, I still think it is a nice cake!

06 April 2013

Sunny Ridge and Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens Easter Trip 2

One day while waiting to pick up my son from school, a mother chatted with me and told me she let her kid bring frozen bread with cheese to school as lunch... my jaw nearly dropped as I never prepare lunch for my kid using frozen bread before!
However, after that conversation I started to appreciate how we should look at life and the ways we should consume and preserve our food. The main reminder here is ...don't waste food! I started to think on the bread I threw each week...the unfinished big loaf! Then I make an effort to frozen the nearly expired bread.
The trick to make the bread comes "alive" is to apply butter on the frozen bread and heat it up using medium heat on a pan, the bread will turn soft and bouncy, you can't tell that the bread was frozen before. I tried to buy the green salad vegetables which come with root, as it can last much longer, the lettuce above already 3 weeks but still staying fresh in the fridge. And lastly, oh yes the main actor for today should be the strawberries, which we pluck it from Sunny Ridge Strawberries Farm :)

We went to Sunny Ridge Farm during Easter, the strawberries there really amazing, not just big but sweet as well. We bought the family ticket which allow 2 adults and 2 kids for $20.

Beautiful Yarra Valley Easter Trip 1

On Good Friday morning as usual we went to church, after the service we headed straight to a Life Group (LG) member home to continue our LG meeting where our LG leader conducted the course for Alpha. It was a meaningful Good Friday as the topic of the course coincided to ask us think on why Jesus die for us.
The next day my family and I visited Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery and Yarra Valley Dairy Handmade Farm House Cheeses. The chocolate factory is quite small but it was a good experience for my son to see how the chocolate was made and packed. My son was so excited when he saw the super huge chocolate eggs! and there are lot of free tasting chocolate for you to eat :) One of the chocolate packaging that attracted my attention was the one painted with Yarra Valley local scene. It was inspired by images shot by local photographer Adrienne Gilligan on Yarra Valley.  

05 April 2013

Easy Salmon Onion Tomato Rice Balls

Now is the Term break and Gabriel is around at home. Making simple rice balls will always be my first choice when I run out of time. After I coached him on his Prep first Term Math, it is nearly lunch time, I decided to make an easy meal using can salmon with onion and tomato again, it is really very simple to prepare. I'm thinking to prepare it for next week picnic. Gabriel loves the rice balls and finished his meal...super fast! 

04 April 2013

Sweet Potato Angku Kueh (Red Tortoise Cake/Steamed Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Paste with Mung Bean Filling)

A few days ago, Li Shuan from Helena's Kitchen posted her beautiful purple yam angku kueh, oh...I love that gorgeous purple! I actually trying to get purple sweet potato for my angku kueh but no one selling near my place, give up on purple...but still dreaming on the soft smooth mung bean in the angku filling, I have no choice but to make it ...

This is my second time making these Angku kueh/ red tortoise cake, the first time was in Sept 2011 using beetroot, using the recipe from Reesekitchen. This Sweet Potato Angku Kueh, I'm using recipe from Sonia, Nasi Lemak Lover but for the filling I adapted from Aunty Yochana's recipe. The skin texture is chewy, soft and mung bean texture is smooth and creamy, I love it!  

Recipe for filling adapted from Aunty Yochana 
220g split skinned mung beans (soaked for more than an hour, drain and steam)
120g sugar
150ml water (use homemade pandan juice)
1/4 tsp salt
50g cooking oil
2-3 pcs of pandan leaves (omitted)

1. Steam the mung beans for about 45 mins, then blend it while hot.
2. Boil 100ml pandan juice, sugar, salt in a wok till boiling.
3. Pour in the blended mung beans and fry.
4. Add in oil and fry till the mung beans mixture almost dry and mix well. 
5. Remove from fire and set aside to cool.
6. Divide the mung beans into small balls.

Recipe for pastry from Nasi Lemak Lover 
300g sweet potatoes (steamed and mashed)
200g glutinous rice flour
1 tbsp rice flour
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp cooking oil
180ml water (gradually add in)
a few drops of red food colouring

Steps for pastry:
1. Mixed all ingredients by hand.
2. Make into a dough, leave for 20-30 minutes.
3. Grab a portion then wrapped in the filling.
4. Dust the mould and dough with some glutinous rice flour before pressing in the dough.
5. Knock out & place on the cut & greased banana leafs.
6. Brush a bit of oil on top of the cut banana leafs before placing the dough on top.
7. Use a steamer, steam on medium heat for 8-10 minutes.
8. When its done, brush oil on top of each kueh to prevent sticking together.

03 April 2013

My Dishes on King's College London Malaysian & Singaporean Society Yearbook!

Today is indeed the day to be kept in my memories box, because I received the yearbook from King's College London Malaysian & Singaporean Society (KCLMSS) and my dishes is printed on their yearbook! 

I feel so honour to be able to be part of this yearbook, to be able to provide the recipes that captured the home taste for this group of overseas students. It is indeed another milestones for my blog to be part of the fond memories and precious experiences of KCLMSS. Yes, I'm glad that someone out there have tried my recipes and ... I'll try harder to produce yummy home taste for all of you :) Thank you for selecting me!