Saturday, May 24, 2014

Green Tea Chocolate Doughnut




















I can never resist anything with greentea :p  I am a green tea nut . I love the frosting of this green tea chocolate flavor on these soft and fluffy doughnuts.  Every bite gives you the taste of the green tea in the form of frosting that makes this doughnut different from others. And the drizzle of white chocolate on the frosting adds appeal to the doughnut.  The fragrant of the good quality green tea and the not overly sweet chocolatey frosting earned praises from friends.  I hope these delectable pieces will stir a desire in you to want to make these for your loved ones .The fusion of east and west...green tea and white chocolate...truly a great combo and it transforms a simple doughnut into a heavenly piece of goodness and every mouthful will have craving for another piece. A keeper for sure. A great snack to bring to parties. I had so much fun making these .Baking and cooking gives me great pleasure. Happiness and contendment is an expensive wealth so to say and I will continue to strive for it!  


















dip the cooled doughnut on the green tea chocolate 
don't worry...it is not overly sweet...perfect for a 
person who does not have a sweet tooth :)


















green tea flavored chocolate frosting on a simple doughnut 
can bring so much satisfaction ....


Green Tea Chocolate Doughnut - adapted from Cadware Baking Cookbook
Basic doughnut
ingredients:
(A) 
130ml  fresh milk

4 gm instant yeast

1 (60gm) egg  - Grade A

 (B)
250 gm high protein flour
50 gm plain flour
20 gm custard powder
4 gm salt
35 gm caster sugar
25 gm anchor butter

Method:

 1.  Dough : Mix ingredients A. Place ingredients B in a CW electonic Food processor & Blender ( I used Philips food processor ). Use double-bladed steel knife to blend. Add ingredinets A, blend well until a soft dough is formed (takes about 2 minutes )
 2.  Cover dough with a damp cloth, leave it and let it rise in a warm place for 20 minutes before cooling it in refrigerator for 30 minutes.
 3.   Flatten chilled dough to 1cm  thick.  Press into identical doughnuts with a mould. Line them on a tray and leave them to prove for another 30 minutes. 
 4.  Deep fry the doughnut rings in preheated oil until golden on both sides.


Green Tea chocolate coating

Ingredients:

(     150 gm – white chocolate 
      10 gm green tea powder

Method:

1.      Melt  white chocolate  over hot water. Add green powder and mix well.
2.      Coat the cooled doughnuts with melted green tea flavored chocolate , 
3.      Decorate doughnuts with white chocolate lines on top of the green tea chocolate frosting.



Have a fun baking Sunday :)))


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Soft Drawer Slides For My Kitchen Cabinet

When I have the cabinet built for my kitchen, I did not ask the cabinet maker to add in the long drawer slides for every cabinet drawers thus making it hard and heavy for me to open the drawers each time I wanted to take my food props out from the cabinet drawers. So, last month I ordered some soft long drawer slides from this particular website that provides all types of drawer slides for the kitchen cabinets and have them fixed up by WB. Okay, dont envy me, he did a great job and now the drawers slide out smoothly . My food props are heavy thus this drawer slides makes it easy for me to take them out each time I need to use the props for my food photography.

Now I can enjoy taking out my props when they are buried deep inside the drawer. These slides help tremendously and I dont need to call WB to help hold the drawer for each time I need to take something out from the drawer.  The slides has ball bearing that helps slide the drawer out effortlessly !

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Takoyaki - The Quite Authentic One


We still craze for Takoyaki, and I made another round of this delectable japanese snack with the leftovers of bonito flakes and chuka idako.  I tried another recipe by Nami - JustOneCookbook and this takoyaki is flavorful with the addition of Aonori /dried green seaweed flakes. I prefer using chuka idako in place of boiled octopus simply for the fact that chuka idako is much more tastier then just boiled octopus.  I am glad that I fully utilize my kuih bahulu mold :)



love the aonori /dried green seaweed flakes
and you can use them in your muffins too


























Takoyaki  - adapted from JustOneCookBook

Ingredients:

3.5 - 5 oz (100 - 145g) octopus (cooked)
¼ cup (4g) katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes) and more for garnish
1 cup (5.3 oz/150g) all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. konbucha (or ½ tsp. salt) * I used only 1/8 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 tsp. soy sauce * I omitted this as the chuka idako is already flavorful
1⅔ cup dashi stock
½ cup finely chopped green onion
⅓ cup Tenkasu (tempura scraps)

Topping
Dried green seaweed (Aonori) for garnish
Pickled red ginger (Beni Shoga) for garnish
Takoyaki Sauce or Tonkatsu sauce
Japanese mayonnaise

Method:

1. Cut octopus into bite size pieces.
2. Grind katsuobushi (bonito flakes) into fine powder.
3. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, and konbucha/salt) in a large mixing bowl. Whisk a few times to combine all together.
4. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs and soy sauce together.
5. Add egg mixture to the dry ingredients, and then slowly add dashi stock while you whisk all together.
6. Heat the takoyaki pan over medium to medium high heat (on my stove, it’s medium high). Using a brush, generously oil the takoyaki pan including the raise parts in between bowls.
7. When you see smoke coming rising from the pan, pour the batter to fill the bowls. It’s okay for the batter to slightly overflow the holes. If you have a measuring cup with a handle, pour the batter in the measuring cup first so that it’s easier to pour. After you fill the holes, set timer for 3 minutes.
8. Add 1-3 octopus pieces (depends on the size of octopus – I put 2-3 pieces) in each hole and sprinkle on the green onion.
9. Then sprinkle tenkasu and powdered katsuobushi.
10. After 3 minutes or so, when the bottom of the balls has hardened, break the connected batter in between each bowl with takoyaki picks (or skewers). Then turn each piece a 180 degree, stuffing in the edges as you are turning. The batter flows out from the inside of each bowl and creates the other side of the takoyaki ball. After you finish flipping, set timer for 4 minutes.
11. Keep turning constantly so each piece will have nice round shape and will be evenly browned.
12. Transfer takoyaki balls onto a plate and pour takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise. Finish off with sprinkling green dried seaweed and katsuobushi. Serve immediately (but be careful – inside is VERY hot!).

Enjoy!


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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Birthday Gift For A Dear Friend :)

Our friend Werner who stayed in NJ has taken an interest in hunting and he goes hunting trip very often with his neighbor who is also a keen game man like him.  And since his birthday is just around the corner, we thought maybe we should get him a trail camera . Werner is now retired and goes hunting more often with his neighbor and WB thought this would be a great gift to give to him for his birthday.  To get a US made one is almost impossible and WB is lucky to find a website that  sell the game camera which is made in the US and he is surprised to find the best hunting cameras here  . 
With this trail camera , Werner will know what animals passes through his hunting ground.  I am sure Werner  will love this gift that WB is going to get for his birthday.  My Piggies called him Uncle Werner and they used to chat on skype whenever they are free.  Uncle Werner and his wife are Christmas angels to my Piggies , for they will send christmas pressies to them every year :)  

I hope he will love this trail camera that we are going to gift him :)

Takoyaki





















I love Takoyaki and I never miss eating it whenever I am at the KL shopping Mall.  I was recommended to make this many years ago from Robert Guilles and being not able to get a electric takoyaki hot, I did not make it then but last weekend, I managed to make do with a local cast iron kuih bahulu cake mold. The takoyaki balls may not be a perfect round but not to worry, shape is not important, the taste and flavor is the same as those soldat the Mall . Infact , homemade ones has more octopus fillings :)  You can try this recipe if you too like takoyaki made from home :)  My next one will another takoyaki ...different recipe. So stay tuned...coming up next.





















my fillings are slightly different
I used chuka idako and
shredded cabbage and carrot...pour another tbsp of
batter on top to cover the shredded veggies




















then flip it over with two skewer toothpicks



















When it is cooked on both sides, take out and brush
worchestershire sauce on and garnish
with bonito flakes and seaweed and japanese mayo




















simply delicious!


Once again, thanks Robert for this awesome recipe:))))


Takoyaki - adapted from ShizuokaGourmet

Ingredients:

Boiled Octopus: 1 tentacle * I used ready made chuka lidako
-Flour: 1 cup/200 ml=110g
-Baking powder: 1 quarter of a teaspoon
-Salt: 1 pinch
-Egg: 1
-Dashi Stock (seaweed or fish): 300 cc
-Dry seaweed powder, green laver (“aonon”) (to taste)
-Katsuo Bushi/Dry bonito shavings (to taste)
-Worcester sauce (to taste)
-Ketchup (to taste)
(or okonomiyaki sauce instead of two above)
-Tempura scraps (“tenkasu”) : 1 handful
-Red pickled ginger (“beni shoga”): (to taste)
-Chopped thin leeks (to taste)
-Mayonnaise (to taste)

Preparation:

Cut boiled octopus into 5~7 mm cubes/bits. If you prefer to have only one bigger bit in the middle of the dumplings, cut accordingly.

In a bowl break the egg, add dashi, chopped pickled red ginger (Omit if you serve to children), and salt. Mix well.

Add flour and baking powder. Mix wel a if to attain a pancake batter.

Heat the takoyaki hot plate and oil well.

Pour in takoyaki batter inside holes from center to outring (important).

Do not worry about spilling batter between holes as it will be folded inside the holes later!

Put octopus bits (2~3 small bits or 1 large bits) in the middle of each hole.

With the pick drag excess batter over each hole and flip every bowl around inside its hole.

Keep flipping dumplings over until they attain a beautiful uniform light brown colour.

Transfer to serving plate and brush an equal amount of Worcester sauce and ketchup (you may mix both beforehand or use an okonomiyaki sauce) over each dumpling.

Do not be afraid to brush plenty of it!

Sprinkle plenty of dry seaweed and dry bonito shavings all over them.

For a final touch ( if you so like ), add chopped thin leeks, tempura scraps and mayonnaise!


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Parent's Day Gift - Angove Organic Merlot

Piggy Jo came back to celebrate Parents Day with us and it was thoughtful of her and SL to make time for us. Piggy Josh could not make it because he is tied up with a few important projects in Singapore but he phoned to wish us Happy Parents Day.  Every day is Parents Day because my Piggies called us every day to chat with us and update each other :)  Parents Day is created to celebrate both Mother And Father's Day.  

Besides taking us out for a scrumptious dinner , Piggy Jo and SL bought us 6 bottles of Angove Organic Merlot as Parent's Day gift. WB and yours truly of course fell in love with our first sip of this dark purple/red in colour wine. Love the subtle fragrant of mocha, plum and chocolate ,and the mocha oak note is a force on the dry and tannic palate, finishing with a little savoury bitterness and . Piggy Jo told us that the grapes for this wine were sourced from Angove's own Nanya Organic vineyard located in the vicinity of the township of Paringa. It is grown without artificial herbicides, fertilisers or pesticides and this wine is as nature intended - pure and clean and crafted with just the gentlest touch from the Angove Family Winemakers from South Australia. WB asked where the Piggies bought this great wine and SL told us that he ordered from Jim's Cellars.  We took two bottles of the red wine to the restaurant and we had a wonderful dinner with the accompaniment of the red wine.  A toast to all parents ...A Blessed And Happy Parents Day .







Friday, May 16, 2014

Mango Swiss Roll


Though swiss roll/sponge cake is the easiest to make compared to other types of cakes , it is not easy to achieve the soft and fluffy texture. The whipping of egg whites with the sugar plays a very important role in getting a soft and light swiss roll or sponge cake . It took me many tries to get to this stage whereby the sponge cake came out soft and light. I remembered the early times I did it, the cake was compact. I even went for classes, came back , tried it many times, still it didn’t come out soft and light like this one. The truth lies with the whipping of the egg whites with the cream of tartar and sugar and the folding in of the two mixture is also very important :)  I like swiss roll for its lightness and you can fill it with any fruits...especially durians :p  


















Mango Swiss Roll - adapted from Chowtimes.com

Ingredients:

4 eggs
1/2 cup sugar, divided
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2 cup cake flour
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vinegar/lemon juice
50 ml milk

fresh mango - diced
1 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp icing sugar

Make the swiss roll

Preheat the oven 350degF

Sift the cake flour together with the baking powder twice to airate the flour. Separate the egg yolk from the white and put in two different bowls.

In the bowl with the egg white, add the cream of tartar and vinegar and beat until thicken. Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat further until the mixture shines.

In another bowl, beat the egg yolk with the remainder 1/4 cup of sugar until the sugar dissolve.

Add milk and vegetable oil into the egg yolk mixture and stir to mix well.

Gently fold in the cake flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture.

Gently fold in 1/3 of the egg yolk flour mixture into the egg white until blend. Repeat with the remainder of the egg yolk in 1/3 portions.

Pour the mixture into g greased or parchment paper lined 10″x15″ jelly roll pan for the swiss roll.Bake the cake in the preheated oven for 16 minutes for the jelly roll pan. 

Invert the baking pan on a rack and let the cake to cool off completely.

Beat the whipping cream with icing sugar until thicken. Remove the cake from the baking pan and turn it over onto a piece of parchment paper. Spread the cream mixture on the cake surface evenly. Lay pieces of mango on top of the cream evenly.

Use the parchment paper to help to roll the cake up lengthwise.

Pull back the parchment paper as you roll the cake until a cake roll is formed. Wrapped the cake roll with the parchment paper tightly and keep in the fridge for half an hour before serving.

Unwrap the cake roll from the parchment paper. If the cake is cooled properly, the outer layer will not peel off. We do not have enough time in the cooking club to wait for the cake to cool off completely.

Slice the cake with a seranated knife.



When I Hit My Sixtieth Birthday And Young No More ........

We started to worry about our old age when we hit the fiftieth birthday few years ago. :(   I don't know about you but WB and myself definitely have this feeling of not wanting to grow old and wishing time will stay still.   Illnesses will start to creep into our lives and we will be started on medication by our doctor . And by the time we hit our sixtieth birthday we will be starting to feel tired and the body may not be energized as before and we will be too frail to look even look after ourselves by the time we hit seventy.  Our children would have their own family to look after , and some may be living overseas. At the age of seventy ,we might not be able to travel as often as before and visiting them would be difficult. And if they stayed in country with winter, our chances of living with them would be zero as it would be too cold for our age.  We will be better off staying back here in a country with summer all year long.

Good news for us who has children living overseas and not being able to take us along.  With new senior housing care sprouting everywhere, our children need not have to worry much . Thus with us putting up in a well run senior home care , especially one that is being run by people who are advance in technology using assisted living management software to help run their center.  A software that links residents and  pharmacy in real time so that the right resident, medication, dose, time, method, and documentation is delivered, every time. And the senior housing care centre using senior housing software here can retrieve clinical data quickly and securely.  

Our children need not have to worry about settling their aged parents to senior housing care centre that uses this software to run their home.  I know that I will be well taken care of if one day when the time comes I have to settle in one of these care homes that uses this high tech living management software that seamlessly moves clinical care documents between facilities, hospitals, physicians and clinics.  

Visit London Again?








My Piggy Josh had been to London during his studies days in Sheffield. He loves London and he told us to go visit London if we have the chance . Well , London is one of the places I have bookmarked to visit after my retirement in 2015.  But I told him that it is expensive to go London.  Then he told me , it is quite expensive but it is a once in a life time thing to do  :) I agree with him that London is a place that I must visit if I tour Europe. 

He told me about this wonderful couple Polly and Robert that I can contact in London.  They have stayed in London for 22 years and have vast knowledge of Central London sights, locations etc and they can offer a personal service to fit the clients needs.  With their vast experience in London Apartments, they will be the perfect person to ask help find the best London Apartments for us when we are there. It is not easy for us to find accommodation in London that is affordable and high quality accommodation by ourselves. It can be a challenge.  Seeking the help of Polly and Robert would be a good idea.  

Now looking through all the photos he took when he was there, it somehow stir a desire in me to go London . :)  

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Garlic Butter Fan Tan Rolls




















How could this Momsie resist making bread coz it gives her great pleasure, kneading flour into a pliable dough…and the joy of witnessing the dough turned into golden brown pieces of delectable buns. Needless to say I like my house to smell of freshly baked buns…hmmm can’t describe the feelings to you guys at all unless you too love to bake bread like me then you will know what I mean (“,)

I like to pop in to dailydelicious because the owner takes the trouble to put up a pictorial step by step on how to make the bread rolls  and I love her generosity in sharing her recipes and tips. Over here we can’t get bun/bread books that are good and her sharing has benefit me a lot.























The texture of this bread roll is slightly different compared to the other buns  because this dough uses shortening instead of butter . The bread roll skin is crispier than normal bun so I guess the shortening has some effect on the bun :) 

Anyway, this recipe is a keeper for sure and I tell you if you are a bun lover you will definitely love it….try it to believe it ^___* and a special thanks Pook of dailydelicious for sharing such a wonderful recipe and looking forward to more bun/bread recipes from her.

Garlic Butter Fan Tan Rolls - adapted from Dailydelicious

 ingredients:

225 ml
milk
15 g
fresh yeast* (or 5 g instant yeast)
2 teaspoons
caster sugar
450 g
strong white flour
2 teaspoons
salt
30 g
vegetable shortening or lard
1
egg, beaten
55 g
salted butter, softened
4
cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons
chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Scald the milk and set aside to cool to blood temperature. Skim.

2 Mix the yeast with the caster sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk. (if using instant yeast, mix the instant yeast with all the milk and the sugar)

3 Sift the flour with the salt into a large bowl. Cut the vegetable shortening into small pieces and rub into the flour.

4 Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture, egg and most of the remaining milk. Mix to a soft but not sticky dough, adding more milk (I add about 2 tbsp of milk) or flour as necessary.

5 Knead for 6 minutes by machine or 10 minutes by hand until satiny.

6 Place the dough in an oiled bowl and turn the dough to coat it in a thin film of oil. Cover with oiled cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size.
Mix the garlic and parsley with the butter.

7 Heat the oven to 190°C. Lightly butter 16 muffin tins.

8 Knock back the risen dough by kneading for 30 seconds then roll it into a rectangular measuring 80 X 30cm.

9 spread the garlic mixture over the dough. Cut the dough length ways into 6 strips.
Stack the strips then cut them into 16 (5 cm) pieces. Place the pieces in the muffin tins and cover with oiled cling film. Leave to prove until soft and pillowy, about 30 minutes.

10 Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes or until golden-brown. Serve warm.

11 To reheat, place the rolls on a baking sheet in an oven preheated to 180°C for 10 minutes.


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Buying Properties Rather Than Stocks?

I was not aware that most of my ex-classmates who are financial very sound are all investing in properties . I only got to know of this great discovery when we met last month.  The whole conversation centered around the topic of property investment .   Last year meet up topic was mostly on stocks exchange but his year was even better than last year  Property investment...that is cool !

Wow, a few of them have invested properties in Miami Beach!  Wow, they are rich !!! I asked them why are they investing in such an expensive place and they answered that many people are looking for exceptional homes to rent.  One of the question we asked was how they managed to get such wonderful fine homes in Sunny Isles and Miami Beach and they say it is simple. They managed to get a good and reliable estate agent to get for them the expensive condos along the Sunny Isles Beach.  My classmate ,Fiona, advised us to log in to http://www.sunnyislesmiamirealestate.com to find out more about the condos and apartments in Sunny Isles Beach and Miami Beach ,if we are keen to invest in properties.  My classmates will rent out her condo during the summer holidays to tourists who are looking for exceptional fine homes to rent out during their month long holidays.  I think it is good to invest in condos or apartments aound Sunny Isles if we have a big bank account.  Investing in properties is better than buying stocks at this moment.  Of course you do not have to agree with me, this is just my personal opinion :)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Green Tea Soufflė Roll Cake With Green Tea Buttercream



It has been a long time since I bake anything with green tea.  Piggy Josh bought two small can of Japan green tea powder back for me from the Lion City and I have used it once only.  So Green Tea Souffle Roll Cake I made and I took the recipe from Daily Delicious.



















Mmmm yummy , I would recommend that you try this cake. A lovely roll cake that I will bake again and again.  


Green Tea Soufflė Roll Cake With Green Tea Buttercream - adapted from Dailydelicious

Ingredients:

38 gm unsalted butter

(A)
44 gm cake flour
3 gm (3/4 tsp) baking powder
6 gm green tea powder

70 gm whole milk

(B)

47 gm whole egg
70 gm egg yolks

Meringue
170 gm egg white ( cold - abt 1-4 deg C)
75 gm sugar

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180°C
Line 30x30 cm rimmed pan with baking paper.
Put the egg white into the refrigerator.
Sift A ingredients together, set aside.
Mix B ingredients together, set aside.

Put the butter into the pan and melt over low-heat, when the butter melt immediately add the all at once and stir continuously with a wooden spoon (or heat resistance spatula). Mix until the mixture pulls away from the pan, forming a ball and remove from the heat.

Pour all the milk into butter and flour mixture, whisk to combine.

Put the pan over low heat, stir continuously with a wooden spoon (or heat resistance spatula), until the mixture start to pulls away from the pan, remove from the heat.


Add the B gradually, mixing the dough until it is smooth.
Pour the mixture into large bowl, set aside.

Take the egg white out of the fridge, and beat with hand mixer. Beat until soft peaks form add the sugar gradually and beat until stiff peaks form.

With a large rubber spatula, gently fold the egg whites into the batter just until blended (being careful not to deflate the batter).
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 18-20minutes
Turn onto a lightly damped clean kitchen towel. Trim edges, if necessary; roll cake up, towel and all, while still warm. Let cool completely.

For the Buttercream
you will get more than you want for the roll)

½ cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1 ½ sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

To Make the Buttercream

Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 2 minutes.

The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.
Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 4 minutes, add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 5-7 minutes.

During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.

You should have a shiny smooth, velvety, pristine white buttercream. Press a piece of plastic against the surface of the buttercream and set aside briefly.

Unroll and fill with buttercream then re-roll cake.