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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wholemeal Bread

                When I greeted the New Year this year, I made a resolution to bake, more, the variety of breads and pastry that I learnt as all these years I have been, more into baking cakes; thanks to the numerous cake orders from friends and customers alike, that bread making had taken a seat back and although I do bake the occasional bread, its time this year to give bread and pastry making the driver's seat and now that we are into September, I am glad that at least I have, somewhat, kept to my resolution but it, sure, needs more "exercise". So far this year I have made my Mini Coconut Buns twice, Chicken Curry "enveloped" in bread once; Wholemeal Loaf once, Pizza Buns, White Loaf once, Fisherman's Pie once, Durian Tarts once and by my resolution; thats not enuf!!! Prob next week I resolve to bake Naan, which I have made only once and even that once, it was a good experience for me as adding plain Yogurt into the ingredients brought bread making to another level as it was very, very good and so soft when you sink your teeth onto a piece of Naan, it was tasty as the yogurt gave it a good twist and just eating the Naan on its own was good enuf and next day the Naan was still soft.  When I learnt the Naan and Pita Bread from a reknown Baker, for me in terms of presentation, the Pita bread, which the Chef baked, with its wide pocket literally "took the cake" whereas in terms of taste, for me the Naan is the best and I was so excited when I learnt them both; I came back armed with the resolution that I would make both which I did but my Pita bread failed miserably and though the Pita bread tasted good, I couldnt achieve the pockets at all and I felt so down!!!  When the Chef baked the Pita, first and foremost I was very impressed as not only was it soft and tasted good even eating on its own without any fillings whatsoever but more importantly, after removing the Pita from the oven, he proceeded to cut it into two pieces and voila you can see the deep pocket and man was it impressive and I could literally hear the "oohs" and "aahs" from the other students, yours truly included and the Pita Bread was the masterpiece of the day in terms of overall effect and we brought back the portions accorded to us and next day the Pita Bread was still soft!!!  I learnt that we should not over prove the Pita dough and had to follow his exact timing and when we rolled the bread, we should place the rolling pin in the centre & roll gently in a downward direction only and not to use "great animal strength" (never forgot his words, haha, "great animal strength") and to do the downward direction continuously until you can feel that it is easier to roll the dough and then only we can roll from top to bottom as it is only natural for us to roll up and down.  Ok so I failed once in the Pita bread thus my resolution this year but so far I have not done the Pita bread again but will do before the year's up.  Sorry for this running commentary but when my hands is on the key board, my fingers do have the tenancy to fly up and down the key board keeping in tandem with my tots!!!

             Ok now I will focus my attention on baking Wholemeal Bread.  This was a recipe given to me by the owner of a cake supply shop when she baked that bread on the day when one of the Chef was giving a cake class which I was attending and I found the bread awesome.  When I was looked at the recipe I was flabbergasted as she used "3 2/3 teasp of yeast" oh gosh I dont see any 1/3 teasp in the set that I usually use and dont know whether I have a 1/3 teasp and then I remembered that during a short stint in Sydney years ago I bought a set of cake measuring spoons which I treasured and never used so I quickly looked for it and now and behold I saw the 1/3 teasp so when I made this Wholemeal Bread ten days ago, I took the trouble of measuring the yeast for you gals and guys!!!  To all new visitors please note that in all my recipes mentioned in my Blog, I use cake measuring spoons and cake measuring cups. Ophelia

            Ingredients for Wholemeal Bread

            220 gm                      High Protein Flour
            150 gm                      Wholemeal Flour
             1 1/2 Tablesp            Milk Powder
             6 1/2 gm                    *Yeast
             27 gm                        Brown Sugar
               5 gm                        fine Salt
            205 ml                        cold Water
                 1"B"                       Egg equivalent to 50 ml Egg
              30 gm                       Butter

  1. Measure everything first.  Lightly grease the 8" x 4.5" x 4.5" tin.
  2. Beat the egg lightly in a small bowl.
  3. Sieve the High Protein Flour, Wholemeal Flour & Milk Powder into the mixing bowl.  Put the Sugar *& Salt to this mixture & using a spatula give it a stir so as to incorporate everything.
  4. I then fixed a Dough Hook to my Kenwood machine.  Pour the yeast into this mixture then switch the lowest speed of the Kenwood & let it run for a minute so that the yeast gets incorporated [see my comments below on yeast].
  5.  Pour the lightly beaten egg & cold Water & switch the Kenwood to Speed 1 for 1 minute to let the liquid incorporate with the flour.  Then increase to *Speed 4 & let it run for 8 minutes.
  6. Off the machine then add the slightly soften butter & start the machine on Speed 1 for 1 minute to let the butter incorporate with the dough then increase to Speed 4 and let it run for another 5 minutes until a soft, smooth & elastic dough forms.
  7. Pinch a small piece & test it for elasticity, it should be able to stretch thinly without breaking and almost transparent.  If not run the machine on Speed 4 for another minute or two.
  8. Grease another mixing bowl with a little oil. Remove the dough & form it into a ball & place it in the greased bowl.  Cover the bowl with a plastic or tea towel & let it rest for 40 minutes. 
  9. Remove dough & gently roll it into a sausage shape & let it rest for another 10 minutes.
  10. Remove dough from the bowl & flatten it and  roll back as a sausage and then place it in a greased baking tin and cover the baking tin & let it rest again for 40 minutes and by then your dough would have risen.
  11. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celcius.
  12. Bake in preheated oven 180 degrees Celcius for 30 minutes.

              (a)  *Yeast - Salt kills yeast.  Just follow Step 3 and 4 as typed above;

              (b)  Brown Sugar is not as sweet as Castor Sugar;

              (c)  Tip - To know whether your bread or bun is baked, turn it upside down,
                    like the picture below & knock it with your thumb & 2nd figure and if
                    you hear a hollow sound, your bread is baked :) ;

              (d)  I use a Kenwood machine thus I highlight in my Blog on same.  It is important
                    in bread making to either use a rubber anti slip and place it at the bottom of
                    the machine to prevent it from moving around.  As the movements of the
                    machine can be strong; thus I am next to my Kenwood during the whole
                    process to prevent it from going too near the edge of the table and falling
                    as I dont use any rubber anti slip/grip.

                       One other person who was glad to eat the sliced Wholemeal Bread was my better half.  After the bread had cooled down sufficiently, I sliced it, buttered it and spread kaya for him and he said that the sides & top of bread was crusty and he told me that it was better than the bread he usually buys for our breakfast and that was a sure incentive for me to do more bread making this year!!!  Another tip is always slice bread with a serated knife!!!

                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

Grill Fish with Tumeric Leaf served with mild curry sauce

                Wao I learnt this in 2001; ten years wao long time ago, from a budding young and talented Chef, who subsequently became one of my best friends as we clicked from the word "Go".  I made this once and to me, it was excellent.  You may be wondering why if, it is excellent, I made only once.  Well I have learnt so much and it takes quite a long time before I can come full circle to cook it again as on top of cooking what I learnt, I also cook my Peranakan cooking and add to it, when I have alot of cake orders, I would simply tau pau dinner. 

               Ok I just made this fish last nite so I have the pictures to upload.  A variation I did, if you want to raise the bar, if you are grilling the fish, fry the fish together with the kunyit/tumeric leaf for a short while as when "hot oil meets kunyit leaf" the flavour & smell of the kunyit leaf will be infused in the fish; then grill it for a short while till fish cooked; remembering not to over cook the fish. Ophelia 24.10.2011


                     4                  *Fish Fillet
                                          Juice of half a Lemon
                     4                   Tumeric Leaf/Daun Kunyit
                     2 Tabsp         *Madras Curry Powder
                   1/2"                  young Ginger
                     1 can              Pineapple juice
                 100 ml                *Whipping Cream

                       1 piece          ripe Papaya/Melon
                       1 packet        Choy Tam
                       4                    Potatoes
                       2 packets       young Corn

                                             Adequate Salt & White Pepper powder

  1. Wash & trim the fish then marinade with juice of half a Lemon, adequate Salt & White Pepper Powder.
  2. Wrap the fish in the Kunyit Leaf.  Put in the fridge to marinade for 30 minutes.
  3. Wash & clean the vegetables.  Using a Melon Scoop, scoop out the Papaya Or Melon; set aside.
  4. Blanch/boil the Potatoes & Vegetables till cooked.  Straight away submerge them in cold water for 3 minutes to stop cooking process.
  5. In a pan saute the sliced ginger with some oil.  Then add in the curry powder & saute/fry till you can see oil bubbling in little wells :)
  6. Add in the Pineapple juice then boil it till it reduces to half.  Remove from fire & strain the mixture.
  7. Bring the strained mixture to the fire  then add in the Cream & add adequate salt ; bring it to a gentle boil.  Remove from fire & set aside.
  8. Saute/fry the vegetables till cooked.
  9. Shallow fry OR grill the fish till cooked.  Pse note that fish cooks/grill very easily so do not over do same.  If you are grilling place the wrapped fish in a *baking tray which is lined with foil.
  10. Plate the cooked fish on a platter with the cooked veg & serve it with the pineapple sauce.

               (a)  The *fish fillets that the Chef used was Sole fish.  This is quite a huge portion suitable for 4 - 6 pax;
               (b) The *Madras Curry Powder is a mild curry powder and the brand that was used is "Watch Brand Curry Powder" which if I am not wrong, manufactured in England.  The "operative" word in this recipe is "mild";
                (c)  *Whipping Cream is non dairy and can be baked and cooked and there are so many brands in the market like "Anchor", "Emborg", "Shani" etc, etc.
                 (d)  If you want to grill or bake anything it is always good to line the baking tray with foil as easier clean up job :)
                  (e)  Foil - if you cover your foil or line your baking trays with the:-

                           (i) shinny surface of the foil this reflects the heat;
                          (ii)  matt surface of the foil this retains the heat.  An example is if you are baking, for instance a Carrot cake and you notice that 15 minutes before the baking time is due, the top of your Carrot cake is too brown, place the shinny surface of the foil on top of the cake so that it will, sort of, reflect the heat from the top and in most instances, this action would save the day BUT remember you have to quickly open & place it & quickly close oven door as the hot air will disperse;

                       these tips on the foil was curtesy of the Chef that I learnt from and thanks to her, I learnt alot. Sorry I indicated shinny & matt surface of foil wrongly and have now corrected (i) & (ii). My humble apologies.

                                        After frying the fish together with the kunyit leaf, I grilled them
               Have to chao now as got a wedding dinner of my bff's daughter my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Sambar Dal

              To the latest Follower who joined my Blog today, "Welcome, this recipe "is for you" and for new visitors to my Blog, the cup and spoons mentioned in my Blog is cake measuring cups and spoons.

             My understanding of Sambar Dal is that it is a vegetable stew and tamarind juice is used to sort of balance the taste.  After learning this, I cooked this once for my better half, who loves Indian food, and I loved it.


                1 cup           Toovar Dal [Flat Yellow Lentil]
                1 Tabsp       Oil
              1/2 teasp       *Mustard Seeds
              1/2 teasp       Cumin Seeds
                 8                  Shallots/small Onions
                 2                  Green Chilies, slit into half
                 3                  Dry Red Chillies
                 2                  Tomatoes
               1 - 2 Tabsp     Tamarind mix with 1 bowl of Water
                 1 sprig           Curry Leaves
               1/2 teasp         Sugar
               2 Tabsp            *Sambar Powder mix with 1/2 cup water
                                       Salt to taste

                1 cup in total of the assorted vegetables:-

                         Brinjals, cut into wedges
                         Potato, cubed
                         Carrot, cut into stripes
                         Long Beans, cut into stripes

  1. Wash & soak Dal for 1 hour then boil till very soft.  Remove from fire, strain the dal & set aside.
  2. Heat the oil then, *reduce fire to LOW medium Heat then saute/fry the* Mustard Seeds till they crackle [start jumping]. Add the Dry Red Chillies & the Cumin Seeds, give it a stir then add the Shallots & keep on stirring on Low Medium Heat for a minute or so.
  3. Increase the fire then add the Green Chilli, Tomatoes & Vegetables & saute.
  4. Add the boiled, drained Dal & Salt & let it cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add the Sambar Powder mixture, stir, then the Tamarind mixture & Sugar.
  6. Just before adding the *curry leave, crush it with your palm & throw it in.
  7. Check seasoning.

              (a)  Sambar Powder -  those who want to know about this, I use is Baba's Serbuk Kari Sambar;
              (b)  A very important tip on *Mustard Seeds - It is important that when you add the Mustard Seeds to take extra care as they burn very easily; thus you make the oil hot then reduce it before throwing in the Mustard Seeds and once you see that popping about, it is done proceed with the next thing.  IF your Mustard Seeds get burnt, Throw it away & fry again as it would be bitter;
                (c)  Another important note, in this recipe, is that each step you add something you bring it to a boil for 2 minutes as it is essential to get the right texture of this Dal;
                (d)  Curry leaves - We were told that if 1. We add the curry leaves early in the cooking; the aroma would not be strong and if you want a stronger aroma add the Curry leaves half way through the cooking process & to crush it in your palm before throwing in same as more aroma is released this way :)

                    Enjoy cooking, till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Potatoes fried with Methi

              This is a lovely Potato side dish fried with Methi and Methi is dry Fenugreek leaves and you can get this in our local supermarket or from an Indian Grocer shop.  I bought mine from an Indian Grocer.  As my better half loves Indian food, I fried this the first time last week to accompany a Mutton Korma and Nasi Berani and I found that the flavour from the Methi was Not too intense and I loved it and being a non Indian and not exposed to using Methi much in my daily cooking [this is my second time I used Methi for my cooking; the first time was for a different recipe] I was rather pleased with the result of this dish and resolved to use Methi more xoxo :)


                 300 gm             Potatoes
                     3 Tabsp        Methi
                     1 teasp         coarse Chilli Flakes
                     1                   big Onion, chopped
                                          A small knob of young Ginger, chopped
  1. Peel & cut potatoes into small and uniform pieces.  Heat adequate oil in a frying pan & fry the Potatoes till it is 3/4 cooked.  Remove & place on paper kitchen towel to drain excess oil.
  2. Soak the Methi in hot water for 10 minutes then strain it.
  3. Remove excess oil from the same frying pan; leaving just about 4 Tablesp of oil and heat it. Then fry the ginger & stir fry for 2 - 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped Onion & fry it till light brown.  Then add in the coarse Chilli Flakes, the pre fried Potatoes & sufficient Salt & fry till Potates are cooked.
  5. Reduce fire to low medium & add in the Methi & stir fry for a short while till the flavour of the Methi incorporates well with the Potatoes, dish out. 

                     (a)  If it is the first time you are using Methi in yr cooking, use 2 Tablesp in your maiden attempt here and then if you find that it suits yr palate, use as per this recipe :)

                     (b)  For all chilli lovers - When I made this dish, I found that it was not spicy enuf, so next time I would increase the coarse chilli flakes to 1 1/2 teasp.

                      (c)  I love making my job easier and even better; sharing ideas.  I place the Methi in a small siever first then place the siever on a small bowl then pour the hot water over the Methi; making sure that the hot water covers the Methi & after 10 minutes, I just lift up the siever :)

                          Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, August 26, 2011

Oat Meal Biscuits

             This is dedicated to two good friends, Ilene & Adelynn.  Hope you try them & let me know whether you like them and now continuing on my series on biscuits that I love to do.  This is a very simple biscuit that I love to do, everything is done manually without the need of using any machines and nowadays there are Not many recipes where "only hand play" is involved so when I am doing something without the aid of machines, it feels great haha as less things to clean up as if I use my Kenwood machine, I would definitely give it a good clean rub after using same!!!  My older child is not a biscuit lover and when I baked this, I was kinda of surprised when she told me that she loved it. This biscuit is not a crispy, crunchy one rather it has a chewy texture.


           125 ml                Melted Butter, warm
               2 "B"               *Eggs, beaten with a whisk/fork
             40 gm                Plain Flour/Tepung Gandung, sieve
             40 gm                Self Raising Flour, sieve
           120 gm                Rolled Oats
             90 gm                Castor Sugar
             50 gm                White Sesame Seeds, untoasted
             50 gm                 Black Sesame Seeds, untoasted
             80 gm                 Almond nibs, toasted
             70 gm                 Red glaced Cherries, quartered
             50 gm                 Chocolate Chips, opt

  1. Lightly grease the baking tray.
  2. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 15 minutes.
  3. Combine both the flours & sieve into a large mixing bowl. 
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients, Except the melted butter and eggs, & mix it lighly with a wooden spoon/spatula.
  5. Whisk the eggs lightly in a small bowl.
  6. Add in the slightly warm Melted Butter, stir it then add the lightly beaten eggs into the flour mixture & stir gently Till everything combined [do not over stir].
  7. With the aid of 2 spoons drop into the greased trays & flatten the top slightly. Space the biscuit out as they will expand a little.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 12 - 15 minutes or till biscuit baked.

              (a)  *"B" Egg - 1"B" is equivalent to 50 ml so if you dont have "B" eggs just crack 2 Eggs and measure 100 ml and throw away the excess egg whites;

               (b)  The temperature of everyone's oven is sometimes individual so it is good to remove the biscuit from the oven at the stated time and lift up the biscuit and check the back of the biscuit :) The back of the biscuit should be brown.  If you would observe from my picture, you can see that the tops are not so brown & there might be a little oil bubble on top. What I like to do also is if the back of the biscuit is brown indicating that it is baked; remove tin & I like to turn the biscuit over as the heat is still on the tins giving a chance for the top to be a little more brown.

                (c)  If you have Green & Red Glace Cherries in the fridge, use a combi of both but the TOTAL weight should be 70 ml, as using both coloured cherries would give more colour.

                (d) Please ensure that both Sesame Seeds are Not toasted.  Again colour play is pleasing so buy both White & Black Sesame Seeds :)

Spacing out the biscuits then baking them

You can observe that on the right is the bottom of the biscuit, darker brown, & the left is the top of biscuit. 

                              "Haha my sexy brown bottom" said one biscuit to another :)

                                                             Everything is mixed manually with a whisk

                                                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, August 22, 2011

Honey Snap tipbit

                Continuing my series on Biscuits/ snacks. When I learnt this many years back, I was very happy as it was quite simple to do it although when we tasted them it was quite salty as the teached added 1/4 teasp of Salt for such a small recipe so when I did this, I duly took note of the salt and just added a pinch of salt and it tasted good and crunchy.  Since this is a small portion it is very convenient and easy to do for some snacks while watch telly!!!


         100 gm          Groundnuts, fry without oil
             2 Tabsp     Sesame Seeds, fry without oil
         100 gm          Corn Flakes


         60 gm           Butter
         50 ml            Honey
           1 Tabsp      Sugar
                              A good pinch of salt [making sure this does Not exceed a 1/4 teasp]


  1. First fry the Sesame seeds without oil on low medium fire.  Remove onto plate.
  2. Then fry the ground nuts without oil on low medium fire.  Remove from fire & place them immediately on a tea towel, close the tea towel & rub off the skin.  Place the nuts in a small bowl.
  3. Preheat oven at 170 degrees Centigrade before proceeding with Step No.4.
  4. Boil "B" on Low heat  & stir same till Sugar melts & immediately stir in the fried peanuts & Sesame seeds & Cornflakes.
  5. Scoop into small, *double, paper cups & bake for 8 - 10 minutes in a preheated oven at 170 degrees Centigrade.

               (a)  Groundnuts - Do NOT fry the groundnuts and Sesame seeds with oil. The skins of the groundnuts should be taken off immediately after being fried otherwise it is difficult to remove the skins when they are cold.

               (b)  Butter -  General information - Always use a good butter when baking cakes and here in this recipe too as the flavour and aroma of a good butter is unbeatable.

               (c)  Corn flakes - Always use a good cornflake;

               (d)  Small paper cups - these are the small paper cups one where it looks dainty.  A good tip is when you use *paper cups, put double paper cups then fill in as it gives more support.  These are things that I saw the Chef doing and asked her why and she told me it was to lend support and ever since then I followed it rigidly as it did make sense if you add your batter in a single paper cup that it may "sag" sideways :)

               (e)  Sesame seeds - sometimes a recipe calls for both white and black Sesame Seeds and if we are supposed to fry them; fry them without oil separately; the white then the black and dont fry too long and then again if we are suppose to process/blend the white Sesame seeds; Do Not over blend it as then oil will ooze out.  Sorry for sometimes going "outside" the box by giving info not relate to the recipe at hand, I find that during class whenever the Chef tells us "irrelevant" info not related to the recipe, my brain soaks all these up like a sponge haha, and meticulously I will jot all tips, observations down in shorthand and when I come back I will transcribe the whole recipe plus my notes onto my computer immediately and try to save it on a thumb drive when they are fresh on my mind, as a back up to a recipe cos if you loose yr recipe at least you have a back up.  Of course I can always ask for a copy of the recipe from my fellow friend who attended the same class but 1)  can you remember who went with you to the class if you lose the recipe years later but more important, 2)  even if you do remember who went with you to the class, her notes and her way of understanding the steps may be different from yours.  Thus whenever I attend a class, in most instance I am armed with a notepan to write down my notes and observation and in most cases, I dont talk much to my fellow friends during class and watch attentitively what the Chef is doing for in that way, you absorb more and learn more and if you write your notes well even if you bake the said recipe many years later at least you have your notes to refreshen yr memory.

              Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, August 19, 2011

Durian Tartlets

              I learnt this many years ago but never tried making this Durian Tartlets as after storing them in the fridge, it takes quite some time for the aroma to go off and I promised myself that I would do it one day as it was lovely.  One important thing that I would like to share with budding baking ppl who attend baking or cooking classes, it is very important that you listen to the Chef and take down notes and tips and when you come back, retype the recipe with your notes while it is still fresh in your mind.  Thus even though I learnt this many years ago, it was quite easy for me to do it as I had my notes as a back up.  God bless. Ophelia

             Ingredients for the Durian Filling

                 *4 "A"              Eggs
                 30 gm               CASTOR Sugar
               300 ml                UHT Milk
               520 gm               Durian puree

                      Method for Durian Filling

                      1.  Blend the Durian into a smooth puree.
                      2.  Add the Castor Sugar to the 4 "A" Eggs & whisk it manually till sugar dissolved.
                      3.  Bring the milk to a quick boil and immediately *remove milk from the fire.
                           Let the milk cool for 5 minutes then pour into the beaten eggs then use
                           a siever & strain/tapis this mixture into a bowl & mix the durian mixture in.
                           Leave it aside to cool.


              Ingredients for Pastry

                80 gm                Self Raising Flour
              220 gm                Tepung Gandung/Plain Flour
                  8 gm                Corn flour
                  8 gm                Custard Powder
              180 gm                cold Butter, diced then refrigerate
                60 gm                ICING Sugar, sieve
                  1"A"                Egg, beaten then mixed with 30 ml UHT cold Milk

               Method for Pastry
  1. Remove butter from fridge.  Weigh 180 gm then cut into dices.  Use a spoon & lift up the 180 gm diced butter & put into a bowl & put the diced butter in the fridge.
  2. Sieve the Icing Sugar.
  3. Beat 1"A" Egg short while then mix in the 30 ml UHT cold Milk.
  4. Sieve the Self Raising Flour, Tepung Gandung, Corn flour & Custard Powder together in a mixing bowl.  Remove the diced butter from fridge & add it gradually into the flour mixture & using a Kenwood K Beater mix it on Speed 1 until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.  Mix in the Icing Sugar & mix it on Speed 1 for half a minute.  Add in No.3 ie the egg & cold Milk mixture then still on Speed 1 *pulse it for 2 - 3 minutes.  Use your hand & give it a mix [you should feel that the dough is quite cold] & then cling wrap the dough & put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove after 30 minutes.  Weigh dough into 20 x 28 gm portions.
  6. Place one portion into the 7.5 cm ungreased tart mould. Using a circular movement with your two thumbs work from base to top.  Use a fork & prick holes on base & side of dough; put them on a baking tray & refrigerate them for 20 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven at 200 degrees Centigrade for 20 minutes.  After oven has preheated for 20 minutes take the tartlets straight from the fridge to the preheated oven & bake them *blind for 10 minutes. Place another mould on top of pastry when you bake blind, this helps to prevent the pastry raising up too much inspite of pricking holes on the base & sides. See picture below.
  8. After 10 minutes reduce oven temperature to 180 degrees Centigrade & then remove from oven & egg wash the tarts. [REMEMBER to reduce oven to 180 degrees Centrigrade]
  9. Bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove tray for oven to let the tarts cool for 5 minutes then spoon the durian filling [Do not pour the filling to the very top otherwise it will overflow and you wont have a nice smooth top] then "drop" the mould lightly to the baking try so that the top of the durian filling can be level.
  10. Bake it for another 10 minutes at 180 degrees Centigrade until the filling sets.
  11. If you have excess refrigerate the cool tartlets.


               (a)  Here in Malaysia, our eggs are graded as "AA", "A", "B", "C", "D".  1 "A" egg is approximately 55 ml weight without its shell.
                (b)  Filling - It is important not to over boil the milk otherwise you will get a layer on top & letting the milk cool for 5 minutes before adding to the beaten eggs if beaten eggs is added to a very hot milk, the eggs will curdle and you will have small lumps/biji biji;
                (c) Pastry - (i)  Do not use your hand to lift the diced butter otherwise the heat from your
                                         hand will help to melt the butter;

                                   (ii)  Do NOT over mixed the dough.  Your dough should feel cold at the end;

                                  (iii)  For this recipe no need to grease yr moulds.  The tartlets will shrink slightly
                                         after baking.

                         Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fried Nasi Ulam

               This recipe below is to welcome my latest new Follower, hope you do try it and like it :) For new visitors to my blog all spoons and cups mentioned in my blog are cake measuring spoons and cups. 

               Whenever you mention Nasi Ulam; one gets the deep impression that the Ulam is raw and there are 2 things; either you love eating it this way or you dont.  Me? I love eating it that way and so when I went for this class; to my surprise the Ulam was fried a very short while, so that the Ulam had a chance to infuse the rice, and I found that it took the Nasi Ulam to the next level; it suited the palates of my non Malay friends that went together with me to the class as they were not used to eating raw Ulam or vegetable for that matter.  Me? I grew up in a kampong and my neighbours were mostly Malays and from my early youth I was "exposed" to eating "hot stuff" and even eating some vegetables raw, case in point, I love to shred Cabbage and eat it raw with fried rice; the Cabbage had a sweet taste eaten raw. On a side note, I remember whenever it was Puasa in my youth, our Malay brethen used to pass us either desserts or food, yumm and I remember the old days fondly.


                  8                          Daun Kadok, slice finely
                  8                          Daun Limau Perut, remove the veins & slice finely
                  2                          Daun Kunyit, slice finely
                20 gm                    Daun Kesom, slice finely
                20 gm                    Daun Selasih/local Basil leaves, slice finely
                  2                          Bunga Kantan, slice finely

              "A" - Rempah

              200 gm                      Small Onions/Shallots
                50 gm                      Garlic
                  8 stalks                  Serai
                50 gm                      young Ginger
                  2 teasp                  Toasted Belacan
                  1 teasp                   Ground White Pepper


                       4 Tablesp           *Dried Prawns, toasted & then blended
                     12                          Long Beans/Kacang Panjang, sliced
              1.5 kg                          *cooked Rice
                       6                         *Ikan Selar, grilled then flake the flesh
                  300 gm                     *Prawns
                    60 gm                     *Salted Fish [Tanau Ham Yee]


                       1 Tablesp            Ikan Bilis/Prawn granules [brand like, "Tumix"] to enhance flavour
                       2 teasp               Salt
                       2 teasp               Sugar


                       4 Tablesp             fried Shallots
                       1                          Cucumber, seeded & cubed
                       4                           Red Chillies, seeded & sliced
                     10                           Chilli Padi, sliced
  1. Wash the dried prawns, soak it for 10 minutes then blend it finely.  Fry it without oil till fragrant, 1 - 2 minutes.
  2. Line baking tray with foil.  Then grease the foil lightly with oil [so fish wont stick to foil] then grill in the oven short while.  Then flake the fish.
  3. Fry the prawn in a little oil for a short while.  Remove the prawns & set aside.  Scope the *oil into a small bowl & use this oil & put in Step 8 as the oil is flavoured with tons of flavour.
  4. Heat 10 Tablespoons of oil, add in the pre fried fried prawns till fragrant about a minute.
  5. Add in the blended Rempah & fry till fragrant & "peca minyak" [ie you can see the rempah having little oil wells :) ] then add in the seasoning & stir fry for a minute.
  6. Add in the long beans fry for 2 minutes.
  7. Then add in the cooked rice stir fry and at the same time use the frying laddle to press the rice until free of lumps & fry till fragrant.
  8. Mix in the fish flakes, prawns & *the oil that you fried the prawns & pre fried salted fish stir fry till it incorporates well.
  9. Finally add in the Ulam and stir fry for 1 - 2 minutes for the earthly herbs to infuse.
  10. Dish out & spread the garnishing.

               (a)  Cook the rice the nite before; cool it then refrigerate the rice;
               (b)  Tanau Ham Yee - Wash it gently then pat dry with paper kitchen towel.  Slice
                      the salted fish thinly then fry with a little oil;
               (c)   It may seem a lot of work :) but you can do the rempah the day before and the rest of the work on the day itself;
               (d)   The Ulam it is Best to shred it on the day you are making the Nasi Ulam;
               (e)    You may also think why bother to measure everything for cooking.  For me, I am always very particular about constant results so that you know the second time you do the same recipe; the taste would be the same and if you find that you want to tone down on something; minute it down in the recipe so that you will know what adjustments you want to make when doing it again as it is very easy to forget what adjustments we want as when we do it next, it could be a year later!!! God bless and happy cooking.

                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Welcome to my latest Follower

             To the latest person, who joined my Blog today as a Follower, I bid you, "Welcome and thank you for joining".  It is indeed very sad to note that now we cannot see who are those who join our Blog; we only know that there is a new Follower when the number of Followers increased.  When I first created my Blog last year I could see the name of every new Follower that became my Follower and always made it a point to welcome her/him and now we cannot even reply to Followers or Visitors who post comments in our Blog; very sad indeed as they must think that we are either too busy or dont bother to reply to their comments. 

            God bless, Ophelia 16.8.2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Peanut Cookie

           For me, I always like to plan well ahead what cookies I would like to do before Christmas.  I love going through my files and go lovingly through my cookie recipes.  Many of my customers always ask me to take orders for their festivals but I refrain from doing as I only have a pair of hands and everyone wants their orders just before the festivals and I always like to bake 2 weeks before the festivity as freshness is one of the keys to a lovely cookie. 

         This is one of my favourite cookie and very simple.  The only thing I am fastidious about is that they have to be absolutely the same size so that they not only look uniform but the baking time is the same.  I used to weigh each cookie but I found it terribly taxful so I level the dough on baking teaspoon and then shape it into balls so much easier.  Another important factor is one should use the peanut oil that has the cockral picture on it that particular peanut oil plus a wee bit of Sesame Oil takes this peanut cookie to the next level.


         120 gm           Plain Flour, sieved
         100 gm           Peanut
           70 gm           Icing Sugar, sieved
           75 ml            Peanut Oil
                                Pinch of Salt

              Glacing - 1 Egg Yolk, beaten

  1. Fry the *peanuts in a wok without oil.  Remove skin.
  2. Blend the roasted peanuts then mix it well with the sieved flour & Icing Sugar.
  3. Add in the oil slowly, knead dough well.
  4. Divide dough into small portions & roll into a ball.
  5. Preheat oven at 160 degrees Centigrade while doing step No.6.
  6. Brush the beaten egg yolk & bake in a preheated Oven for 25 - 30 minutes at 160 degrees Centigrade.
                   Enjoy. Make this small batch for tea or watching telly with the family.


              (a)  Bear in mind that his dough must not be too oily;
             (b)  You have to remove the skin of the peanut while it is hot otherwise it would be hard to do so.  For me I like to place the just fried peanuts in a tea towel; rub it and it works like a charm.

                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Fried Crab with Sambal flavour

           I remember when I learnt this long time ago, I rated it as 8/10.


          800 gm               Crabs
          300 ml                Water


          100 gm               Cucumber
              2                     Red Chillies, deseeded
              2                     Green Chillies, deseeded
              5                     Chilli Padi
              1 cm                young Ginger, cut into stripes
          100 gm               Tomatoes, halved


          100 gm                Red Chillies
             8                       small Onions/Shallots
             5 pips                Garlic
             1"                      Belacan
             2 Tablesp          Dried Prawns [soak in hot water]

           30 gm                 Assam Jawa Mix with 100 ml water, squeezed
           20 gm                 Gula Melaka [if dont have substitute with Brown Sugar]
            3/4 teasp           Salt

               2                      Limau Perut leaves, remove vein & cut into stripes


          Thickening solution :- 1 Tablesp Cornflour + 1/2 Tablesp Water

  1. "C" - Pound finely the Red Chillies, Shallots, Garlic, Belacan & Dried Prawns.
  2. Heat frying pan, fry the pounded rempah/ingredient till fragrant.  Add the Gula Melaka, Salt & Assam Jawa solution until Gula Melaka dissolves.  Remove onto bowl & set aside.
  3. Heat kwali with sufficient oil,  [Drizzle a little corn flour on crabs just before frying] throw in the crabs and fry for a short while [crab is half cooked] remove to plate.
  4. Heat a kwali then add in the cooked rempah, 300 ml water once its heated, throw in the half cooked crabs, daun limau perut and increase fire to high, cover the kwali & cook short while till crabs are cooked.
  5. Add in "B" & thicken with corn flour solution.
                             Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia


             There are so many different kinds of flour available and although I have learnt and done a lot of baking for the past 25 years please bear in mind that I am not a Baker or Chef by profession, just someone who have an unconsummable passion for baking and cooking and just want to share the little I know; for more info please check them out yourselves.

               Types of Flour

              First stop and one that is very familiar is the Wheat Flour.  It is an all purpose flour also known as Plain Flour. It can be used for baking cakes, muffins, pancakes, local kuih and also for making batter.

              Next the High Ratio Flour.  This flour is fine and cakes made from this flour have a very fine texture.

              Low Protein Flour.

              Self Raising Flour as its name implies generally when you use this flour to bake cakes, you dont need to add baking powder.

              High Protein Flour which is used to bake bread.

             Wholemeal Flour it has a high fibre content and is used for bread making.

             Rye Flour used mainly for bread making but also requires the addition of High Protein Flour.

             Sugee or Semolina Flour, it is pale yellow in colour and coarsely ground and it is usually used for making Sugee cake [aaah my favourite], pasta and bread.

              Pau Flour used to make pau.

              Other Grains

             Corn Flour commonly used as a thickening agent and is also used in some cake and cookie recipes.

             Glutinous Rice Flour is commonly used in making kuih.

             Rice Flour is used for making taro cakes, kuih lapis and for making batter.


           Sago Flour often used to make kuih

           Tapioca Flour mainly used as a thickening agent

           Arrowroot Flour used as a thickening agent

           Water Chestnut Flour can be used as a thickening agent

           Green Pea Flour can also be used a thickening agent.

                     Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

                       P.S. There are many more flours available but these are the ones that are more familiar to me. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Herb brined smoked roasted Chicken

               Wao to do this dish, I had to make sure I did not have any cake orders as it entailed 3 days of work before you can eat the final product and I had to remove 2 racks and the vegetable compartment out to leave me space to put my cooler in the fridge as I didnt have a pot large and narrow enuf as if you use a pot that is large and wide the brine will not have sufficient height for the chicken and even though I used a cooler the chick was only half submerged so I resorted to turning the chicken around in intervals of 2 hours and so far I have made this smoked roast twice; once last year and again last nite but it sure was worth all the effort when your family says that this smoked roast must be the mother of all roast!!!  The chicken meat was tender and succulent and the flavour and aroma of the barbique liquid smoke took roasting to another level. 

               Indeed one of the best roast I have ever made and better half told me to do it again, which I am doing tonite, after eating it a few days ago and this time instead of roasting a whole chicken, I am trying same with whole chicken legs; of course keeping to the same weight of the chicken as per the recipe. I find that after more than 25 years of learning baking and cooking and then practising both; I am now more inclined to go outside the box and see where it brings me.  Atta girl.  I wonder if any of you are interested to learn this.  If so, leave a comment here but I must first let you know that I had to make sure that one of the vegetable compartments of my fridges had to be removed and 2 racks too to make room for my cooler to be in the fridge and while removing same; of course it was also opportunte to clean the fridge with a good wet tea towel.

               Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia