Monday, April 3, 2017

Rice cooker Hainanese Chicken Rice 超容易电饭锅海南鸡饭

We had a long day at IKEA to get a new shelve today (but ended up with a lot of other things >.<), Big Guy and I were really exhausted so decided to stay home and have a simple dinner.

I thought of cooking a one-pot dish. But not noodles or spaghetti, I wanted something warm and with nice aroma. Instantly, Hainanese chicken rice came to my mind. Any typical Malaysian will understand why, it's a local cuisine you can find in almost any coffee shop / local eatery. :))

So we had this for dinner indeed. Took me less than an hour to get the dinner ready - including a blanch baby bak Choy and lady's fingers.

I've cooked chicken rice using the conventional method before, but this time I decided to take shortcut by using our Panasonic rice cooker, and they came out surprisingly delicious! 

The rice was so aromatic with a hint of Pandan, the chicken was tender and flavorful, and E kept saying, "thank you mommy for the wonderful dinner, this is too nice!" :D 

Preparation time: 30 min (include marinating)
Cooking time: 30 min
Serving for: 4 pax 

• 2 cup rice, washed
• 1 tablespoon cooking oil
• 4 clove garlic, chopped 
• 2 shallots, chopped
• 5-6 slices gingers (cut big slices)
• 2 Pandan leaves, tie into a knot 
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil 

For chicken marinate  
• 2 large whole chicken legs 
• 2 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon ginger wine / rice wine
• a dash of pepper

The Making:
  1. Clean and marinate the chicken legs for at least 30 minutes. Make sure you rub the salt evenly, including under the skin.
  2. Wash the rice as how you usually do (I usually washed 2 rounds) and on the final round of washing, measure the right amount of water as indicated on the rice cooker, and keep the water aside (DO NOT cook the rice yet)
  3. Heat up cooking oil in a deep pan, sauté garlic, shallots and ginger slices till fragrance. Add the chicken leg, ginger wine, sesame oil and cook each side for about 3 minutes.
  4. Pour the water from step 2 into the pan. Close the lid and let it simmer for about 10 minutes on medium heat or until the chicken has cooked through. Make sure the entire chicken legs submerge under the broth.
  5. Add the chicken and broth into the rice, toss in the pandan knots, start cooking the rice in rice cooker as usual (make sure chicken legs are on top with the skin facing up, just like in the picture below).

  6. Once the rice is ready, dish out the chicken legs and chop into serving sizes (I debone the drumsticks so it's easier for little ones). Loosen the rice with a spatula but leave them in the rice cooker for another 5 minutes before dishing out.
  7. Serve the chicken with the fragrance rice, cucumber slices, and chili sauce of your choice. It's a joyful feeling to be able to enjoy savory chicken rice at the comfort of home. 
Hoi Fan-loh!
(Means "dinner is ready" in Cantonese ;-)

Useful Tips:
• the ginger wine / rice wine is optional but they do add to stronger flavor, suggest to omit that if you are serving for young toddlers.
• I do not use much salt in cooking (it's not recommended for young toddlers and certainly not suitable for elderly with risk of high blood pressure), hence adjust the quantity of salt as per your liking.
• you may add a stalk of leek when cooking the chicken rice for better flavor. I skipped this since I am using pandan leave.
• I added extra 1 teaspoon of bentong ginger powder into the rice before cooking, but that's really optional if you do not have it at home. The yellowness in the rice actually came from the ginger so don't worry, no coloring is used. ;-)

More tips!
A friend asked, the rice turns out too wet after cooking, what to do to rescue it?
Just use a spatula to loosen the rice, keep a lid open for short while (water will evaporate from the pot) then close the lid and cook for another few minutes. The rice will turn less moist.
• if you are using brown rice or multi grain rice, it generally takes longer to cook and may be harder to chew. What I usually do is to pre-soak the rice in water at least 30 minutes before cooking. This helps to softer the grains. However, if you are cooking the rice for the first time, try cooking plain rice first before attempting this recipe to get the right water consistency.

Hope this helps!


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Grapefruit Chiffon Cake

The school holiday is coming to an end, I took Friday off and send the duo to Funtopia for some fun time (you may read more about the visit here - fun time @ funtopia), they totally zonked off after the session and sprung back alive after a long nap. Since we were at home and I was reluctant to go out again to face the congested KL traffic, I invited them to do simple baking with me and they joyfully agreed. 
Searched through my kitchen and managed to find just enough ingredients to make a chiffon cake. No pandan leaves, no oranges; well, grapefruit chiffon cake it is then!

The cake's smell was really inviting, a strong scent of grapefruit and tasted great too. If you are a fan of soft fluffy chiffon cake, I would invite you to give this recipe a try. ;-)

Original recipe adopted it from Christine's Recipes and i made some modifications to it.

E was happily helping and he was really amazed to see how the egg whites turned into the fluffy meringue. Time for science lesson (what caused the egg whites to triple in volume?) ;-)

Preparation time: 30 min
Baking time: 35-40 min
Serving size: 12 slices


Ingredients A - Cake Batter
• 100gm self-rising flour 
• 1 table spoon baking powder 
• a pinch of salt 
• 5 egg yolks (I used medium size eggs)
• 30 gm caster / brown sugar 
• 100 ml fresh grapefruit juice (from 1 large grapefruit as shown in pic)
• 80 ml cooking oil 
• 1 teaspoon grapefruit zest (about 1/4 of a grapefruit, make sure you wash the skin thoroughly before grating)

Ingredient B- for the Egg Whites  
• 5 egg whites 
• ⅓ table spoon cream of tartar 
• 60 gm caster / brown sugar

The Making:
  1. Preheat oven to 180°c. Prepare a 9" baking tray by coating it with a layer of oil or butter and brush evenly. E didn't brushed the oil evenly so part of the top were sticking to the tray >.<
  2. Sift the self-rising flour, baking powder and salt together into a clean mixing bowl, mix well using a spatula and set aside.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, cooking oil, grapefruit juice and the zest. Mix well using the spatula, then gradually add the flour in step 1 and stir to mix well. You shall get a creamy batter now, just set it aside first.
  4. Now, change to a large clean mixing bowl (make sure it is clean from oil or water), beat the egg whites with an electric mixer for about 2 min until bubbles form. Add the cream of tartar and sugar gradually (about 1/3 at a time), and continue beating on high speed for another 2 minutes until stiff peaks form. (To know your egg white is ready, just turn the mixing bowl upside down and it shall holds the shape without even sliding. It's the best trick to wow the kiddos :)
  5. With a spatula, slowly fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Do it really slowly as you don't want to introduce bubbles into the batter.
  6. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tray  and bake in the preheated oven at 180°c for 15 mins. 
  7. Reduce heat to 160°c, continue to bake for 20-25 mins, or until cooked through (to test, just insert a cake tester into the middle of the cake and the needle shall come out clean. If it's sticky, just bake for another 3-5 min)
  8. Once the cake is removed from the oven, turn the baking tray upside down on a wire rack and let the it cool completely. This is important to help the cake rise to its full form.
You can enjoy the cake once it's cool. My kiddos finished half the cake in one afternoon tea session and they said it's better than any other chiffon cakes we've ever bought. :D 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Super Moist (and easy!) Chocolate Cake

We celebrated E's 8 birthday recently, he invited his best buddies from school and requested to have a 2 tier cakes fearing his friends will get enough share of the cake.. lol, how thoughtful of him.

So after some considerations, I decided to combine his request with the letter 8, since it's his 8th birthday day, and here's the final design... A huge "8" moist chocolate cake consists of two 8" round cakes, filled with smooth chocolate ganache.

Added some printed flags.

Centerpiece for the birthday party..

It is rather easy to make, to my surprise. I have been using a different recipe all these while and I thought to try out a different recipe from BBC Food this time, and it was amazingly good! The cake taste even better after keeping overnight in the refrigerator.

See? Moist, fudgy and a consistent density.

Here's the making.

Preparation Time: 30 min
Baking time: 30-40 min
Waiting time: 60min
Assembly time: ~30min

A) For the Cake
225g plain flour, sifted
300g caster sugar (reduced by 50g)
85g cocoa powder (I used Hersey cocoa)
1½ teaspoon baking powder
1½ teaspoon baking soda
2 medium eggs
250ml fresh milk
125ml vegetable oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
250ml boiling water

B) For the Chocolate Ganache 
200g chocolate solid / chocolate chips
200ml double cream / whipped cream

Original chocolate cake recipe adopted & modified from BBC good food.

** the above recipe is for a single 8" cake, if you need 2 cakes like me, just double the ingredients.

The Making:

Baking the cakes
1. Preheat oven to 180°c / 350°f. 

2. Line two 20cm / 8" round baking tins with baking parchment. Spray/spread a thin layer of cooking oil to avoid sticking.

* do note that the batter is very very diluted, so use a proper sandwich tin, or make sure you line carefully with the parchment paper to avoid leakage.

3. In a large mixer bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder evenly, then add the remaining of ingredient A (except the boiling water) into a large mixing bowl. Whisk till the mixture is smooth and well combined.

* I used electronic mixer and turned it on high speed for about 3-5 minutes for the batter to mix thoroughly.

4. Now slowly pour the boiling water into the mixture, a little at a time to ensure the ingredients are well combined and all smooth. 

* The batter is very, very diluted, almost like liquid. So don't panic.;-)

5. Divide the cake batter equally between the baking tins, then bake in the oven's middle tray for 30-40 minutes. If it is still liquid or sticky when tested, bake for another 5 min.

* to test, insert a cake tester into the middle of the cake (as that usually take the longest to bake thru). If the cake is ready, the tester should comes out clean, otherwise just bake for another 5 min and check again.

6. Remove cakes from the oven and allow to cool down completely on a rack while still in the tin.
Prepare the Chocolate 
7. While the cake is baking, you may prepare the chocolate ganache. Heat up fresh milk in the microwave oven for about 2 minutes. 

8. Toss the chocolate solid (chopped) or chocolate chips into the bowl of fresh milk. Stir constantly until the chocolate has melted completely and form a smooth texture.

9. Let cool then keep in refrigerator for about 1 hour. The chocolate ganache shall be thickened like peanut butter sauce.

Assemble the cakes
10. Carefully remove the cakes from the tins. Using a cake knife, carefully slice off the uneven top to achieve a flat top, then cut into half of equal height.

11. Spread a generous layer of chocolate ganache over the bottom layer cake, then top with the upper half of the other cake like a sandwich. 

Repeat step 10&11 if you have 2 cakes like me.

To assemble an "8" shape cake like shown above, you have to cut off about 1" from one side of each cakes, and connect them together to form the "8" figure.

• Tips: to ensure the cake stay still on the board, spread a little buttercream / chocolate ganache to the board before placing the cake on top.

12. Move the cake to a cake turner (or a serving plate), spread a generous layer of chocolate ganache then spread out evenly with a palette knife, then continue with the side.

• Tip:  I find it is much easier to spread the chocolate evenly by using a cake turner as I can rotate the cake slowly while I run the palate knife over the cake.

13. That's it, your moist, rich chocolate cake is done! Remember to refrigerate your cake until it's ready to be served..



Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dreamy Violet Jelly Mooncake 紫色浪漫啫喱月饼

It's almost time for Mid Autume festival. Whether or not you are celebrating this festive day - it's a day where family reunited and there are various folktales that evolve around it; it has become a season for everyone to enjoy mooncakes. Traditional style, snow skin, lotus, bean paste, mixed nuts, tiramisu, chocolate, fruity, charcoal, jelly... There are abundant of varieties to choose from!

I'm not exactly a mooncake lover, but I would like for my kiddos to continue the tradition and know the reason behind the celebration. So I made mooncakes to celebrate with them every year, and this time round, I came up with these beautiful dreamy violet color jelly mooncakes. They absolutely loved it! 💜

Aren't they beautiful?

The color is absolutely gorgeous and it's as natural as can be, without any artificial coloring.

Thanks to my blue or flowers, or commonly known as "Bunga Telang", 兰花. 

Daily harvest from my single plant.

The Making:
• 1 packet jelly powder 
• 180g of white sugar
• 1L of plain water
• 8-12 petals of blue pea flowers 
• 1 lemon wedge (optional)

1. Mix 1L of water with 1 packet of jelly powder (agar-agar) and 180g of white sugar (reduced from original 250g), and bring to boil. 

2. Add in 8 petals of blue pea flowers. Stir occasionally until the jelly powder is fully dissolved.

Now, if you like it blue, just scope the liquid into the jelly mould directly.

However, if you like it violet like mine, just add a few drops of lemon juice. A small slice of lemon be sufficient.

3. Scoop the liquid into jelly mould, let cool to room temperature before moving them into the refrigerator. I added a few flower petals into each of the mould for decoration. Simply adore the dreamy feel they present.

Enjoy & have a wonderful Mid-Autume Frstival... 中秋节快乐!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Honey Orange Roast Ribs 蜜汁烤排骨

Althought I'm not a big fan of BBQ food, I have always like barbecue ribs; juicy, aromatic pork ribs... I could never resist. As I was craving for it badly last night (and I've no idea why), I decided to make some roast ribs for lunch, plus some drumsticks which are the kiddos' absolute favorite.

So we had double roast for lunch today - honey garlic roast drumsticks and orange honey roast pork ribs, served with a big plate of mixed fruit salad.

My juicy rib... nom-nom

Paired with tangy fruit salad, less guilt.. ;-)

Serving size: for 2-4 person
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Roasting time: 45 minutes

• 1/2 dozen pork ribs, cleaned

For Marinate
• a pinch of salt  
• a dash of pepper 
• a pinch of brown sugar 
• 2 tablespoon of premium soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon Shao Xin wine
• 1/4 Orange, squeezed.

• a tablespoon of honey for brushing
• extra basil leaves for garnishing

The Making:

1. Rub the ribs with salt and pepper, add in the rest of the marinate and mix well. Keep refrigerated for at least 30 minutes, turn the ribs occasionally to make sure they absorb the marinate thoroughly.

2. Preheat oven to 180°c, roast the ribs in a non-stick tray for 25 minutes.

3. Remove ribs from oven, turn to the other side and brush generously with honey, then pour the orange juice all over the ribs.
4. Continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes until the ribs turn golden brown. Your kitchen will be filled with such irresistible aroma by now. 

That's it, your juicy roast ribs are done. When serving, don't forget to pour the remaining gravy in the tray over the ribs, they are absolutely delicious.