Occasionally, I would need to cook a decent meal. This is an attempt to remake Crystal Jade's steamed rice with minced meat and salted fish. I had spread raw minced meat and salted fish on top of a bowl of cooked steamed rice. And I steamed it until the meat is cooked. It looks pretty with chilli and xiao bai cai. But the meat leaked out a lot of water when it is cooked and turned the rice quite soggy. Nevertheless, I still have to eat the somewhat less than expected meal. And top up with some black sauce for flavouring.
Ever since the KitchenAid was retired snugly in its packaging box, it never met daylight again. There was once a flood in our house & it was taken out to dry itself. Yes, a flood in sunny island Singapore. We stay in a high-rise apartment & the rain have secretly seeped into the rooms via the tightly-shut windows. There were so much rain tapping on the windows railings that it overflow & dripped into our rooms. The KitchenAid was quietly sitting in a corner below the windows. I think it was the only expensive item that was affected, together with a 30 year-old electric organ.
The cooking scene has evolved over the past 8 months. No more convectional dry baking. It's all about sterilising & wet-steaming. No more cake tins, it's all about bottles.
I recently learnt how to cook yummy & nutritious porridge for the little one. This meal meets the dietary requirement for a 6month-old, according to the Singapore Health Promotion Board recommendation. Isn't it nice to have some authorised sample menu so that I don't have to crack my brain to think of what to cook for baby?
Baby J eats this for breakfast & dinner, at around 10am & 4pm respectively. She also eats scraped bananas, papayas, orange juice & apples as teatime treats & to fulfil her fruit dietary requirement.
Recipe: (Makes 3/4 coffee cup) Ingredients: 1 handful of rice grain 3/4 saucepan of water a chunk of pork fillet 1 tablespoon of fish, scraped 1 tablespoon of vegetable, scraped
Method: 1. Cook the rice on high heat (big fire) till boiling. Stir the rice grains to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of saucepan. Reduce fire strength such that it simmers. Continue to boil the porridge until about 2 handfuls of water is left. 2. Add in the scraped fish. When the scraped fish is cooked, it does not disintegrate. Hence, fish out the fish & press it through the seive to mash it up. 3. Add in scraped vegetables. Take note not to cook the vegetables until yellow as yellow means that the vitamin c & iron is lost. Bring porridge to boil again, to ensure porridge is thoroughly cooked.
Notes: 1. Remove stems & veins of vegetables & cook only the green leafy portion. This is because baby cannot digest the stems. 2. For ease of preparation, use spinach as it has the least stems & veins to remove. Also, it is a rich source of vitamin c & iron. 3. PS: don't ask me how much is 1 handful. That is how all of us cooks. 4. PS: don't ask me how big is the saucepan. I use one that is for cooking instant noodles.
It has been a long time since I baked. I noticed that my last post was on 11 November 2009. Wow, can't imagine that I gave birth on 24th November 2009. Before I gave birth, the KitchenAid was already temporarily retired into its own box and the kitchen table cleared for baby gadgets.
Now that I am busy taking care of a 10 week old baby, there is no time to resume baking, especially those involving the KitchenAid (no space!). I am recollecting what are the simple teatime treats that I can do with just hands and ovens. Below are the list:
1. Egg Tarts! 2. Scones! 3. Carrot Cake (not chai dao kueh) 4. Cornflake Cookies 5. Tiramisu 6. Savoury tarts 7. Rosemary bread (ask the Husband to knead it) 8. Brownie 9. Muffins!
I renember the days when my mum steamed a condensed milk cake, based on a Milkmaid recipe. The aroma was so unique that until today I wish I can eat it again. But the recipe was lost. Thus, I was very delighted when I chanced upon a recipe from Simply Anne's. Instead of making a cake, I made it into cupcakes so that it is easier to eat.
But alas, this recipe is still different from the ones that my mum used to make. This cake smells more like a butter cake, with a tinge of condensed milk, although half a can of condensed milk was used.
I added some oats to the cutesy cupcakes but it made it real heaty.
I also practised my crumbling skills with some margarine. I noticed that margarine really isn't as fragrant as butter & it doesn't hold its shape well. Perhaps it is also because I didn't add in any sugar. Making crumbles with a knife is easier than using fingers.
Another thing to note is that the black cupcake liners will leech out colour onto the cake when the cake is peeled hot. So much for making pretty cupcakes. But when cooled, the colour is not transfered to the cake as the cake crumbs are stuck onto the liners instead.
Condensed Milk Recipe
(Makes 20+ cupcakes)
226g unsalted butter at room temperature
1 and 1/3 cups cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 large eggs
1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan and set aside.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. In a bowl beat butter and white sugar until light and fluffy about 2 minutes. Add condensed milk and vanilla beat until well incorporated.
4. Add the sifted dry ingredients and beat until no traces of flour remains.
5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each additions.
6. Transfer batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean about 1 hour. Cool and slice.
I have been recently inspired by Cedele by Bakery Depot. I tried its Raspberry Scones for Sunday breakfast. I would say I still like the old plain scones. So I was motivated by my own craving to bake my first scones.
Scones are challenging to me because it requires the rubbing-in method which I have never acquire in this hot and humid weather in Singapore. Also, I am a very slow person. Usually, the butter would have melted. I first tried half the recipe so that I do not bake so many which otherwise would have ended up in the garbage. But alas, I do not have milk and egg. So, I substituted it with just plain water and the mixture was sticky before I could pour all liquid in. Disappointed, I discarded the dough before I had to do more cleaning up for the baking.
The second time I tried, I used the full recipe from HHB. I was skeptical about the 1 tbsp of baking powder used. A check on the net shows that it is reasonable as the amount would make the flour a self-raising flour, which is the same as Delia's recipe. I should have sifted the baking powder together with the cake flour as it remains as large crumbs after mixing the dry ingredients. Using a butter knife and later a spatula to cut the butter into small fine crumbs, this method is better than rubbing in.
I mixed in 1 beaten egg first, followed by 2 tbsp of milk. Then, as the mixture is still quite dry, I added the milk tsp by tsp and that came up to about 3 tsp. The trick with scones is never to overmix the dough and to roll them to more than 1" thick. Using a 2" cutter, I got 7 scones, each 1" tall before baking. By right, it should yield 10 pieces. Did something went wrong?
The scones were delicious when eaten hot with the butter. It tasted a little bit sweet, a bit like biscuit. Reminds me of the cheese scones that my sister did 10 years back.
After eating an expensive and yummy Orange Carrot Muffins from Cedele by Bakery Depot, I decided that I should learn how to make a good muffin.
Muffins, I read that, there are 2 types. One the American which uses chemical leavening like baking powder/soda to rise the muffin, the other the English muffin which uses yeast. A muffin is actually a bread but some prefer it to be more cake-like, and hence some muffins have soft fluffy cakey texture. A bread muffin is more crumbly. And I found that making muffins do not require a lot of utensils and washing up. And it uses pretty available ingredients like apple, orange, carrots, banana, berries and so on for flavouring. So that means I can easily bake muffins on a weekday night when cravings come. More dollars & cents saved. :)
Making muffins require 2 bowls: one for dry ingredients, the other wet ingredients. After mixing both bowls of ingredients separately to ensure that everything is well-dispersed, pour the wet ingredient into the dry ingredients and complete the mixing within 12 strokes. Other solid toppings like diced apples, berries should be folded in last. The mixture should be lumpy with flecks of flour.
I tried an Orange Muffins with Cinnamon Streusels from Allrecipes. This muffin is not as citrus as Cedele's. And my streusel is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps it is because I use table margarine instead of butter (lazy me). But anyway, I'm glad my attempt ended well. Below is the adjusted recipe for 6 muffins.
Orange Muffins with Cinnamon Streusels
1 cup plain flour ( I use cake flour)
1/4 cup and 2 tbsp sugar ( I use 1/4 cup)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp and 2 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup buttermilk ( I use non-dairy whipping cream)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 175C. Grease muffin tray or line it with liners.
Mix plain flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in one bowl.
Mix vegetable oil, orange juice, milk, vanilla extract and egg in another bowl.
Pour the wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined. The mixture should be lumpy.
Pour into muffin tray and place the toppings before baking for 20-22min.
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp cinnamon ( I omitted this)
1 tbsp butter
Mix the above until it resembles crumbles and top it on top of muffins before baking.