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Saturday, 31 January 2015

Sweet Water Chestnut Barley Soup 薏仁马蹄西米露

A lightly sweetened dessert with grated water chestnut, barley and mini sago pearl. The soup is usually thickened by adding water chestnut powder and beaten egg.  However, it's not easy to get hold of water chestnut powder and I don't really need it in my usual cooking, so I substituted it by barley and mini sago pearls. To me, adding egg will make the dessert heavy, so I omitted it.
This refreshing dessert can be serve warm or cold according to your preference :)

Yield: 4 dessert servings

500g water 水
1 pandan leaf 香兰叶
5 water chestnuts 马蹄
1/2 tsp barley 薏仁
1 1/2 tbsp sago pearl 西谷米
50g rock sugar 冰糖

1. Heat up water and pandan leaf in a pot.

2. Soak barley and sago pearls.
Wash the sago pearls a few rounds until the water becomes clear.

3. Peel and grate water chestnuts. Set aside.
Don't discard the peel, use it to boil water chestnut drink with pandan leaf.

4. When the water starts to bubble at the bottom, pour in barley and bring to a light boil.

5. When the water boils, pour in the grated water chestnut and sago pearls. 
Stir regularly to prevent the starchy sago pearls from sticking to the base.

6. When the mixture boils and thickens, add in the rock sugar.

7. The dessert is ready when the rock sugar melted.

8. Serve hot or cold to your preference :)

Monday, 26 January 2015

Rose Pineapple Tart 玫瑰黄梨挞

Pineapple tart is a popular Chinese New Year cookies in Southeast Asia. This appetizing cookie has a sweet and slightly tangy pineapple paste filling embedded within the slightly savory butter-rich cookie crust. The ultimate taste is to have a melt-in-your mouth cookie crust. My best loved Chinese New Year cookie, despite its high calorie and potential detrimental dental effect ^^

Yield: about 51 tarts

300g all purpose flour 
25g custard powder
1/2 tsp salt

200g unsalted butter, softened
40g icing sugar

1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp vanilla essence 

600g pineapple paste

Click the link for homemade pineapple paste recipe:

1. Shape pineapple paste into balls and keep in a glass container till needed. 
Wet your hands slightly can prevent the pineapple paste from sticking to your hands, and make shaping easier.
Keep the unused pineapple balls in the fridge.

2. Mix all purpose flour, custard powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

3. Cream softened butter till light and fluffy.

4. Add in icing sugar and mix well.

5. Add in egg yolk and vanilla essence. Mix well.

6. Fold in the flour mixture from (1) in a few batches. Do not over mix.

7. Split the cookie dough into two portions, about 294g each. Store in a sealed container in a fridge for about 1 hour. You can also keep them overnight.
By dividing into two portions, you can have the option to bake the second batch in a later date.

8. Take out the cookie dough and pineapple balls about 1/2 hour before moulding.

9. Take a portion of the cookie dough, about the size of the pineapple ball, and flatten using your hands. Place the pineapple ball in the middle of the dough and wrap it up.
Wearing a pair of disposable gloves will prevent the dough from sticking to your hands, and make shaping easier.
Slowly push in the dough to close up the opening.
And roll between your palms to become a round ball.

10. Shape the dough using a cookie pincher to your desired design, or leave it plain.

11. Apply a thin coat of egg white over the dough.
If you want to create some brown edging on the dough crests, you may brush them with beaten egg.

12. Bake in a preheated oven set at 180 degree Celsius for about 20 to 22 minutes in the middle rack.

13. Let the cookies cool down before storing them in an air tight container :)
The cookie is very soft when hot, so let it cool down before transferring it ^^

Rice Cooker Pandan Sponge Cake

I have tried two versions of the coconut milk for this recipe - trim coconut milk and coconut cream. To be honest, the not-so-healthy coconut cream tasted better . Coconut milk plays a great role in enhancing the flavour of this cake. I have to discard half of the cake which added trim coconut milk, as it was too plain to be palatable. 
This recipe also added more flour than the usual sponge cake recipe to help the cake keeps its shape after cooling down.
The cake tasted soft despite a higher flour content as the enclosed rice cooker environment helps to minimize moisture loss during baking :)

Yield: One 21cm round cake 圆蛋糕
Appliances: Philips Avance Rice Cooker
Or rice cooker with "cake" function 

Pandan juice
70g water 水
25g pandan leaf 香兰叶

Blend the two ingredients in a powerful food processor or blender for about 30 seconds.

Keep the juice in an air-tight container and store in the fridge till needed.
Need not strain the juice if your pulp is very fine.

All ingredients in room temperature 
4 eggs, separated
130 g fine sugar

40g whole milk
50g trim coconut milk/coconut cream
25g concentrated pandan juice
30g condensed milk
20g vegetable oil

130g top flour
10g corn flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder 

4粒 蛋,蛋白蛋黄分开
130g 细糖
50 g 低脂/浓椰奶
25 g 浓香兰汁
10 g 栗米粉
1/8 小匙 盐
1/2小匙 泡打粉


1. Spray a 22cm inner pot with non-stick spray or coat with butter. Set aside.

2. Mix top flour, corn flour and salt with baking powder by using a hand whisk.

3. Mix coconut cream, fresh milk, condensed milk and concentrated pandan juice in a bowl.


4. Pour vegetable oil into the mixture.

5. If your ingredients are cold, keep warm the mixture in a rice cooker for about 5 minutes.

6. Beat egg whites in a clean and grease free mixing bowl at medium high speed using an electric mixer till frothy. This takes about 1/2 a minute.

7. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add in the sugar in three lots. When the sugar is well incorporated to the batter, adjust the mixer speed to medium high, and beat the egg white batter for about 1 to 2 minutes, or till soft peaks formed.

8. Add in egg yolks, one at a time, to the meringue and mix well.

At the end of the process, the batter should be able to leave a distinct trail which can last about 3 seconds - the ribbon stage.

9. Fold in 1/3 of the flour mixture from (2), then follow by 1/2 of the coconut milk mixture from (3), to the batter using a spatula.
Stop mixing once no flour can be seen. 
In the sequence of
Flour ➡️milk➡️flour➡️milk➡️flour

10. Finally, use the spatula to scrap the side and bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure no unmixed milk and flour is settle below.

11. Pour the batter into the inner pot of the rice cooker. Lightly tap the pot after each pour to get rid of trapped air.

12. Level the surface using a spatula.

13. Select the "Cake" function and start the program.

14. Insert a thin stick into the centre to test whether the cake is thoroughly cooked.

15. Use the rice cooker steamer and a piece of parchment paper to help you Invert out the cake before transferring to a wire rack to cool down.

16. Slice the cake when it has completely cool down :)
蛋糕冷却后切片享用 :)