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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ramblings

           Wao today was a very heavy day. Baked my Chocolate cake for a friend's order, cleared the prawn shells from my freezer and made a lovely, rich stock with a mirepoix of Carrots, Celery, Leek & Onions plus a big load of washing. 

          I just wanted to share with you the marvels of making stock whether it is a seafood stock, chicken stock, beef stock, etc. etc.  I made the prawn stock so that I can make my Seafood Chowdar as it has been a while since I made it. 

         Forgive the ramblings as I need to relax my mind and tired body before retiring for the day :) 



                                        Cooling the Chocolate cake before I can pour the ganache




                  Finally have completed the frosting and it is ready for collection!!! Somehow this has always been one of my signature cakes.  I just love the glossy look of the frosting.  This is achieved by adding a little vegetable oil when double boiling the frosting.


       
                                                                   Prawn stock

                              Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Potato, Carrot & Multiseed Loaf

             Wao I was very happy after baking this loaf which had a crust top like a Baguette.  I wasnt very sure that I could pull this off as havent attempted to make it since I learnt almost a year ago and when I sliced it for my better half, he asked me whether I could bake this to bring for a gathering which we will be going with all his golf gang and he would cook a crab curry to eat with it and if that is a backed hand approval; its ok.  Will upload recipe tomorrow or next day.  God bless.  Ophelia




                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, September 26, 2011

Raita with Banana & Granny Smith

                What's a Riata?  A simple explanation is that Raita is created by mixing plain Yogurt with fruits or veg & spices and it can range from either sweet to spicy.  This Raita that I learnt was quite good as I am a Banana person :) and the Yogurt that we learnt was easy to do.  I cant remember whether I have uploaded my Yogurt recipe; I think I didnt and will do same.

            Ingredients

               2 cups               plain Yogurt
               1 teasp             *roasted Cumin powder
             1/4 teasp            Red Chilli powder
             1/2 teasp            Cardamom powder
              1/8 teasp           Salt
                2 teasp            Castor Sugar

                4                      Pisang Mas
                1/2                   Green Apple

                       Method
  1. *Cumin powder. Fry it without oil, for 1 minute.
  2. Mix the Yogurt, Cardamom powder, Salt & Sugar.  Mix in the Bananas & Green Apple.
  3. Place them in a dish.
  4. For decor - Draw some red lines, using the Red Chilli powder by taking a little Red Chilli powder in your thumb and first finger & going downwards. Then do the same for the roasted Cumin powder & going from left to right.
                   Comments - It is good to blend/mill your own spices and you dont have to do alot at the sametime.  I normally like to wash a small handful Cumin seeds or whatever seeds that I want to mill.  Then I spread them spaciously on a tray and sun it for a while and every now & them spreading them as it is quite difficult for the water to drain from the seeds when in a siever; unless you rajin to use your finger to move the seeds on & off & them spread them on a paper kitchen towel, cover it & let it air dry over nite; spreading them occasionally. Once they are dried, I fry them without oil for 2 - 3 minutes & then blend them fine.  Once they have cooled, I put it in a small bottle & freeze it and the aroma when you open the bottle is awesome.  Thus I have this penchant of collecting small jam bottles.  When I was in Sdyney this year, I bought Raspberry jam in this cute little bottle, haha I wonder whether I was drawn more for the bottle or the jam, and of course we couldnt finish the jam so my sister in law packed it well in her check in luggage and it now forms my little collection of bottles for my blended spices and there is a huge difference in blending a small batch of spices, Black Pepper yourself; the aroma is to die for and if you were to say that well, you have the time now that you have retired and I will tell you that I did same even when I was working; the thing is to do in small batches, labelling, dating them and freezing same.

                    Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sweet & Sour Ribs

               This post is dedicated to my good friend, Lisa.  She saw me posting this with the Man Tau I made and asked me for the recipe.  Over to you, Lisa, xoxo.   My daughter loved the Sweet & Sour sauce that I made with Ribs.  She told me next time, haha, 1. Add more Chilli Padi as the 25 I used wasnt hot enuf, 2. Add minced meat and she will eat this with Spaghetti.  Now that was one direction I have not ventured into.  Sweet & Sour Sauce with Spaghetti??? There are a few varieties of Chilli Padi and I might have bought the type that was not hot as she said that, eating that Chilli Padi, fresh, was like eating cucumber!!!  Ok back to matter at hand. All the recipes in my blog, the spoons and cups are cake measuring spoons and cups.

             "A"

                 1 kg           Ribs

            "B"

                8 cloves      Garlic
                2"               Ginger
              25                 Chilli Padi

            "C"

            450 ml             Water

            "Sauce"

               10 Tabsp       Tomato Sauce
                 4 Tabsp       Chilli Sauce
                 1 Tabsp        Plum Sauce
                 1 Tabsp        White Vinegar
                 1 Tabsp        Shao Xing Wine
                 2 Tabsp        Light Soya Sauce
                1/2 Tabsp      Sugar
                1 teasp          L & P Sauce
               1/2 teasp       Sesame Oil

                              Combine all the ingredients for the Sauce in a bowl.

               [Thickening agents:-

                       1 Egg                     beaten; and
                       1/2 Tabsp              Corn Flour mix with 1 Tabsp Water]

               Garnish with Yin Sai

            Method
  1. Fry the Ribs with 6 Tablespoons of oil till 3/4 cooked; leaving the flavoured oil in frying pan.
  2. Using the flavoured oil, saute/fry "B".
  3. Add in the pre cooked ribs, the Sauce ingredients & give it a few stirs.
  4. Add in the water & bring it to a boil; check whether ribs are cooked.
  5. Add in the beaten egg. Check for taste & adjust accordingly.
  6. Add in the *Corn Flour & Water mixture.  Bring it to a boil.
  7. Remove to platter & add the Garnishing.
                       TIP:-

           (a)  By pre frying the Ribs, you, not only pre cooking it, you are also sealing in the juices;       

            (b) Whenever you add any corn flour & water mixture for thickening the gravy, Always ensure that after adding same, you bring the gravy to a boil otherwise the gravy will taste floury.  This was what the Chef told us in many a class so much so that I know it like the back of my hand :)



                     
                        If you want to make Belly Pork with this.  Marinate the Belly Pork with salt, Custard Powder, White Pepper, dash of Sesame Oil, Oyster Sauce, a little Shao Xing Wine, Corn Flour & 1 Egg Yolk in the fridge for 4 hours.  Then heat oil on pan, fry the belly pork till half cooked about 4 minutes, this way you are sealing the juices.  Remove meat onto a plate & let it cool completely. Dip the pre fried meat in batter; then deep fry the meat short while as you dont want to over cook entirely.  Then put this meat in Step 3 of the recipe for the Sweet & Sour Sauce.

                        Ratio of batter:-

                        3 parts All Purpose Flour, sieved
                        1 part Corn Flour, sieved
                        1 part Custard Powder, sieved
                        A good pinch of Baking Powder, sieved
                        Adequate water

                       Mix the above into a smooth batter; then strain for a lump free batter. The Batter is quite watery then season the batter with some Salt & White Pepper Powder.

                              Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Focacia Bread

              I never forgot the first time I ate Focacia Bread was with my bff and since then I have been smitten with Focacia Bread so what was the next best thing, as this year was going to be a year dedicated to making bread, I baked Focacia Bread this evening.  I bought the pre mix which had alot of herbs in it and all I needed to do was to add the yeast, butter, salt and cold water. In European breads no egg is used.

             It is quite exciting as how often do you have the pleasure of slicing a loaf of bread; baked from scratch?  I divided it into 2 portions and brought the smaller portion for my girl and I was surprised when she told me that she loved eating Focacia Bread too so I am wondering what is she going to buy to eat with it.  Ham? Roasted Chicken? with some Salad would be awesome.




              

                                              Used 3 fingers dipped in oil to make the dimples on the bread :)



                                             Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fried Mantau

                I remember I ate some fried Mantau long time ago at a restaurant and it stayed in my mind as it was delicious and I made a promise to myself that if ever I was successful in making Mantau, I would fry some, just to know whether I could produce the same awesome taste.

                Well yesterday I made steamed Mantau for the first time and I kept a few so that I could fry them today and folks it was awesome.  Was unable to upload the recipe for the Mantau as had too much on my plate but will do so soon.


                                                            Fried Mantau


                                                                 Steamed Mantau


                           Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mantau

           I made Mantau & Sweet & Sour Ribs for dinner tonite and was so happy that I could do the Mantau as I learnt it quite sometime ago and forgot all about this recipe till I was figuring what to cook for dinner and then when all my children could join us for dinner, I was very happy as if it was like the old days when we were all staying together and me cooking for all of us.  My cup runneth over.

          Will upload both the recipes tomorrow, now I am going to get a well deserved good nite sleep.


                        Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sesame Wheel Cookies

                   Continuing my saga on Biscuits.

               Ingredients for FILLING

                 30 gm               Walnuts OR Pecan, toasted then chopped
                 40 gm                Sesame seeds toasted
                 45 ml                 Honey
                1/2 teasp           grated Orange zest
                 30 gm                Butter, soften
                1/4 teasp            Cinnamon Powder, sieved

               Ingredients for Dough

                  50 gm             Castor Sugar
                  60 gm              Butter
                135 gm              Plain Flour, sieved
                  1/2                  an Egg
                  1/4 teasp        Vanilla

             Method for Filling
  1. Place the nuts on a tray & place in the oven.  Switch oven heat to 120 degrees Celcius and toast the nuts for 10 - 15 minutes. Cool completely then chop into small pieces.
  2. Fry the Sesame seeds in a frying pan without oil.  Remove to plate to cool completely.
  3. In a bowl mix both the Walnut and Sesame Seeds together with the rest of the other ingredients of the filling. 
            Method for DOUGH
  1. Place the Sugar & the 60 gm Butter in a bowl & beat till creamy. 
  2. Add in the flour, egg & Vanilla & beat till it forms a dough [Do not over beat].
  3. Shape to a ball & cling wrap & place in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  4. Remove from fridge and place dough in between 2 plastic sheets & roll into 8" x 10" rectangle.
  5. Spread the filling & then roll into a jam roll shape.  Cover with cling film & refrigerate for another hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
  7. Remove from fridge & slice into 4 mm slices & place on a baking tray lined with Parchment Paper & bake in preheated oven till golden brown for approximately 12 - 15 minutes.
                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Friday, September 9, 2011

Cashew Nut Biscuit

                My late sister-in-law's, Peggy Quay, Tarts and Cashew Nut Biscuits were awesome and although I never got to master her tarts as, typically in the old days, there were no measurements and she showed me she used a laddle to measure the margarine etc, I could never somehow get her tarts right :( but her Cashew Nut Biscuit, aah that was different as it was measured and I made them many a time.

                Sarah, if you are reading this, your mum's tarts and this biscuits were awesome and her fingers were so nimble that she could make such beautiful and uniform pear shapes without the aid of any cookie cutter!!!

               Ingredients for Cashew Nut biscuit

                4 oz             Sugar
              10 oz             Margarine
              16 oz             Tepung Gandung/Plain Flour
              1/2 teasp       Baking Powder
              1/2 teasp       Cinnamon Powder
              1/2 Tablesp    Milk Powder
                                    Cashewnuts, untoasted
                                    A Pinch of Salt

             Glacing

                 1                 Egg, beaten with a pinch of Salt

            Method
  1. Place parchment paper on baking trays.
  2. *Stir the baking powder and Cinnamon Powder into the Plain Flour.  Then add in the Milk Powder & sieve same.
  3. Just stir in the *Salt manually to combine.
  4. Beat the Margarine & Sugar with a K Beater till soft & fluffy.
  5. Gradually add in the sieved ingredients into the Margarine mixture in 3 batches till combine.  Do NOT overbeat mixture.
  6. Preheat oven at 170 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
  7. Mould the dough manually into uniform pear shape & insert the untoasted Cashew Nut at the bottom.
  8. Place it on the prepared baking trays 1" apart.  Egg glaze the biscuits.
  9. Bake in preheated oven at 170 degrees Celcius for 15 minutes or till baked.  Cool completely then store in air tight containers.
                 Comments:-

                 *You may be probably wondering why 1.  I dont sieve the Milk powder together with the Plain Flour, Baking Powder & Cinnamon Powder? Well through personal experience as I use a very fine siever, I find that if I add the Milk Powder & sieve it together, I notice that the Milk Powder that I use that some of the Milk Powder get stuck to the fine siever which sort of prevents the other ingredients to go through smoothly inspite of the fact that the Milk Powder is very fine.  2.  The Salt, I dont sieve it, I just add it to the sieved ingredients & use a spatual & mix it manually. 

                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Coconut Buns

             This moist coconut buns are one of my best sellers; the aroma from the pandan leaves is unbeatable and the ingredient for the dough is the same as the one I uploaded in my Basic Bread; the only thing missing from that recipe is the ingredient for the glazing.  Do the filling first then after it has cooled completely; refrigerate it to let the filling sort of "set".  I usually like to make the filling 1 - 2 days before I intend to bake the buns then after it has been refrigerated overnite, next day I like to take them out and make them into balls & measure them with a cake measuring tablespoon and then place them in a tupperware; each layer separated with a white clean plastic & then putting them back into the fridge so that when I bake them I have already got one task completed.

          For those who might find it a bit hard to juggle from one recipe to another; I have decided to retype the Basic Bread receipe here for you so that its a complete recipe.

          Ingredients for Coconut filling

          220 gm             Palm Sugar/Gula Melaka, chopped
          125 ml              Water
              2                   *Pandan Leaves, slit & Knot it

          250 ml               Fresh Santan
            1/2 teasp        Salt
            60 gm              Butter
            60 gm              Brown Sugar
            50 ml               *Molasses
              2                    Egg YOLK, beat it in a small bowl
          550 gm              Freshly grated Coconut
              4                   Pandan Leaves, slice thinly

                Method
  1. Combine the chopped Palm Sugar, Water & the knotted Pandan Leaves in a pot.  Bring it to boil over Medium heat, stirring till Palm Sugar dissolves.  Strain this mixture into a large frying pan.
  2. Add the Santan, Salt, Butter, Brown Sugar, *Molasses & stir over LOW heat until Brown Sugar & Molasses dissolves Increase Heat and then bring it to a boil.  Once it has boil REDUCE to *LOW HEAT & let it simmer for 2 minutes.  Then add in the beaten *Egg YOLK & give it a stir.
  3. Add in the grated Coconut & stir till combine.  Stir fry this for 5 minutes on still the low heat until Almost dry but moist & fragrant
  4. Throw in the chopped Pandan leaves; give it a stir & dish out.  Once it has completely cooled, refrigerate it in a tupperware.
  5. Next day use a cake measuring spoon.  Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling & place in a tupperware & line each layer with a white clean plastic & refrigerate till you need to bake the buns.  [Make the buns as soon as possible, 1 - 2 days, as the aroma and its moistness will be at its peak].
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------       

                Ingredients for the Buns

                500 gm                 High Protein Flour
                  30 gm                 Milk Powder
                  75 gm                 *Castor Sugar
                    6 gm                 fine Salt
                    8 gm                 Dry Instant Yeast
                    5 gm                 Bread Improver
                  55 ml                  Egg
                270 ml                  cold Water
                   60 gm                Butter, soften

          --------------------------------------------------------
                
               For glazing the buns:-

                Beat 1 Egg YOLK + 2 teasp Water + a pinch of Salt = Buns more Aromatic

                                                   OR

                Beat 1 whole Egg + a pinch of Salt = Buns more shinny
 
                                  [for me, it is always the first option :) ]

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Topping - 2 Pandan leaves, slice thinly & some Desicated Coconut
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

               Cut 15 small square of Pandan Leaves to place at the bottom of the buns as this
again increases the aroma of the bun and the aroma is to die for
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                  Method

                   See the method in my Basic Bread.  As soon as you have the Basic Bread and it is elastic, spread some oil on your palms, remove the bread from the mixing bowl & straight away divide it into 16 balls measuring 55 gm each.  Roll them into a ball & keep them Covered with a large plastic sheet or a tea towel & rest for 10 minutes and when you do the shaping; go in order, start from the 1st ball and ending on the last ball.

                 Finale - shaping
  1. Before you proceed on the shaping, take out the filling from the fridge to enable it to thaw slightly.
  2. Line your Baking Tray with Parchment Paper.
  3. Take the 1st ball of dough, [make sure you cover the rest of the 15] roll or flatten it with your palm.
  4. Place a rounded tablespoon of filling in the centre.
  5. Brush the edge of the bun with a little water then close upm make sure you secure the opening well so that the filling do not ooze out.
  6. Lighly flour the surface you are working on.
  7. Then place it on the square Pandan leave & cap the ball of dough in your palm and slowly roll it a couple of times.  Then place it on the lined *Baking Tray & cover the buns with a large plastic or tea towel & let it prove for 30 - 45 minutes or till double its size.
  8. While buns are proving preheat oven at 200 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
  9. Once the buns have double in size, egg wash them then sprinkle the sliced Pandan leaves and Desicated Coconut.
  10. Bake in preheated oven at 200 degrees Celcius for 10 minutes THEN REDUCE TEMPERATURE TO 180 degrees Celcius & continue baking for another 5 minutes or till baked.  IF YOU FIND THAT YOUR BUNS ARE TOO BROWN QUICKLY CUT A FOIL & COVER THE MATT SURFACE OF THE FOIL on top of the buns.
  11. To know whether your buns are ready, remove them from the oven, turn it upside down and give it a knock with your fingers and if you hear a hollow sound, your buns are ready.

                Comments

                   Sorry to be long winded esp in the cooking aspect with respect to the heat of the fire.  Cos if you use high heat when you add the egg yolks it may curdle and whenever a bunch of my good friends are at class together, we watch everything like a hawk and I even go one step higher by coming back and transcribing whatever observations I wrote in shorthand to the recipe which I retype to incorporate my observations.  For me especially as whenever I sell my cakes, buns etc, I feel that it is important to keep the taste of my things constant and my name intact and whenever I upload the recipes, I usually also upload my observations as if you want to teach something, you "teach" everything and not hold back anything otherwise it is no point teaching.  That has been my call from the Lord; to share my knowledge and in this way, perhaps, touch the lives of many ppl and the lifes I love to touch most, is our young adults who are juggling to work as well as to look after themselves or if they are married, their family and I know precisely what it feels to juggle all these; I have been there before long time ago and how I wished that I had a fairy Godmother who would have taken me under her wing. God bless you everyone; may baking and cooking bring you and your family untold joy.

               Sorry forgot to add also.  As I normally use a special mould for this bun and dont use a normal baking tray, I dont know whether you need to keep the buns close together or slightly far apart as they will double in size.  So you gals have to try yourself yah and perhaps after you have done you can give me this feed back and comment same here and which I will appreciate.  Thank you.



                      Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Main Course

              Some info I just want to share which I learnt years ago from a budding Chef.  Main course is an important part of the meal and there are different methods of cooking and the meats can vary from seafood, chicken, beef, lamb, etc. etc.

               Basically there are a few methods of cooking:-
  1. Grilling in the oven
  2. Barbique on coals
  3. Roasting
  4. Braising/stewing
  5. Steaming - which is a healthy option
  6. Poaching - submerging in water
  7. Deep Frying
  8. Shallow Frying
  9. Stir Frying and
  10. Boiling;
                  this was what we were told but there could be more ways and in main course, there are a few points to remember:-

               (a)  Keep the portion size apportionate;
              (b)  Make sure that the food is done accordingly to request;
             (c)  Pay close attention to the vegetables that accompany the meal; and last but certainly, not the least;
             (d)  Presentation should be attractive and special cos if the presentation is done attractively you have already won pointers BUT it is no point winning pointers on presentation alone, the taste should be in tandem with the presentation; pay close attention that the particular food that you cook should be done in the manner that befits the meat and using fresh herbs or dried and pairing the herb with the right meat eg Rosemary goes well with Beef; Tarragon and Dill goes well with Chicken; Dill also goes well with Fish; Thymne with Lamb and the list goes on.... and It should also be noted that some herbs are "slow starters" and needs to be put early in the dish you are cooking eg Bay leaf and Thymne.

                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Balinese Chicken

                  I use to cook this for my children a long, long time ago and forgot about this till I came across this recipe in one, of my many, files and decided to post about this; something very simple and, yet, quite nice. 

                 "A"

                   1               Serai, smash

                 "B"

                    [Pound/blend "B"]

                   2"             young Ginger
                   9              Fresh Red Chillies
                   5              Chilli Padi
                 10              Shallots/small Onions
                   5 pips       Garlic
                   7               Buah Keras

               "C"

               1.5 kg           [Whole Chicken legs, chopped
                                      marinate the chicken with some Salt & Kunyit Powder
                                      for 3 hours, covered, in the fridge]

               "D"

                  3 Tabsp       Black Soya Sauce ] mix the Black Soya and
                  5 teasp        Brown Sugar         ] Brown Sugar in a bowl

               "E"

               1/4 cup           Fresh Santan

                "F"

                                      Juice of 1 Big Green Lime
----------------------------------------------------------------------

                 Sufficient Oil for frying Chicken

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

            Method
  1. Heat oil & fry the marinated chicken till 1/2 cooked and browned. Dish out.
  2. Remove some of the oil & fry "A" ie the Serai with sufficient heated oil.
  3. Add in "B" ie the Rempah, stirring for some time till aromatic and pecak minyak i.e. "oil emerges on top of little wells".
  4. Add in "D" stir well. Add in the 1/2 cooked chicken stirring well to incorporate. Then add in "E" ie the Santan stirring well & cook for about +- 5 minutes or till chicken is cooked; making sure that you dont over cook the chicken.  Check for taste then *switch off the fire.  Add in the juice of the lime.  Again check for taste.

                Tip - We were told, by one Chef who excels in Thai food, that we should always switch off the fire then only add in the lime juice otherwise food may be bitter.  I always follow that advice rigidly; never did dare try to do otherwise.

                   Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cherry Cookies

               When I went for this class, I didnt expect to like this biscuit as I tot that it was quite ordinary but when I tasted it; I found to my surprise that, not only was it quite easy to do, but that it was quite good.  You can get approximately 80 cookies.

          Ingredients

         "A"

         200 gm               Butter/Margarine
         180 gm               Icing Sugar, sieved
           1/2 teasp          Vanilla Essence

        "B"

          100 ml               Eggs

         "C"

         300 gm                Plain Flour, sieved
           80 gm                Custard Powder
          1/2 teasp            Baking Powder, sieved

          "D"

                                    Red & Green Cherries, cut into pieces

           Method
  1. Use a K Beater & beat  "A" till light & creamy then add in "B" till fluffy.
  2. Add in "C" gradually till incorporated. Do not over beat.
  3. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
  4. Put into a pipping bag fitted with a large Star Nozzle.
  5. Pipe onto a greased baking tin.  Place a piece of cherry on top.
  6. Bake at preheated oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Hup Tol So

                   Continuing my series on Biscuits/Cookies.  Sorry gals I dont know the English name for this biscuit and forgot to ask the Chef for its "English" name when I went for the class.  It is tasty and usually bakers love to place an untoasted Walnut on the top.

               Ingredients

               300 gm              Plain Flour
               120 gm              Icing Sugar
                 1/2 teasp        Sodium Bicarbonate
                 1/2 teasp        Ammonia
                    1 teasp        Baking Powder
                100 gm            Planta Margarine
                  80 gm            Shortening
                    1                  Egg Yolk

            [For Egg Wash  - 1 Egg Yolk mix with 1 Tabsp Water & a Pinch of Salt]

             Method
  1. Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl & using a K-Beater knead into a dough.
  2. Roll into uniform *size & cover with a damp cloth.
  3. Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
  4. Take 1 ball, & cover the rest with a damp cloth, roll lightly into a ball.  Make a hole in the centre with a chopstick & do not put them too close on a greased baking tin as they will expend, cover biscuits till you finish the rest.
  5. Egg wash biscuit & place a walnut on top.
  6. Bake in preheated oven at 180 degrees Celcius until golden brown.
             Comments:-

               (a)  For big biscuit - 40 gm & you can get approximately 16 pieces BUT for this big size you have to flatten the top slightly;

               (b)  For "cute dainty" biscuits - 10 gm & you can get approximately 60 pieces AND you do Not need to flatten the top.

               (c)  Please note that everyone's oven heat is individual so you have to know your own oven :)

                (d)  Please note that for baking; flours, icing sugar etc etc needs to be sieved.

               Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, September 5, 2011

Basic Bread

               One could say that bread making is almost an art that sometimes eludes one.  I learnt to bake all kinds of bread from three, reknown, Chefs and they all had a different approach and as I dont bake bread as much as I bake cakes, thus my resolution to bake more bread this year and I am glad that just last month alone I have been baking so much different kinds of bread and thank goodness my better half does not mind eating bread.

               Ingredients

               500 gm              High Protein Flour
                 30 gm              Milk Powder
                 75 gm              *Castor Sugar
                   6 gm               fine Salt
                   8 gm               *Dry Instant Yeast
                   5 gm                Bread Improver
                 55 ml                 Egg, beat separately in a bowl
               270 ml                 cold Water
                 60 gm                Butter, soften [thaw it for 15 minutes]

               Method
  1. Sieve the High Protein Flour, Bread Improver & Milk Powder into the mixing bowl.  Add in the Salt & stir to incorporate into the flour.
  2. Add in the Dry Instant Yeast & using a dough hook & mix on lowest speed for 1 minute.
  3. Add in the beaten egg & water & mix on lowest speed for 1 minute.
  4. Mix on medium speed [Speed 4 on Kenwood] & mix for 8 minutes.
  5. Add in the soften butter & mix on lowest speed for approximately 1 minute into the butter incorporated with the flour mixture.
  6. Then increase to medium speed & beat for another 5 minutes until a soft & elastic dough is formed.  Pinch a bit of dough & stretch it to check for elasticity.
  7. Rub a little oil on both your palms & remove dough and form a ball.  Place in another greased mixing bowl & cover same & let it rest for 10 minutes.
  8. Divide dough & place it in 2 loaf tins.  Cover & let it rest for 30 - 40 minutes or till dough doubles.
  9. Meantime preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celcius for 20 minutes.
  10. Bake your bread at 180 degrees Celcius for *25 - 30 minutes or till bread is baked.  To know whether bread is baked, remove bread from tin and give a knock on the bottom of the bread and if you hear a hollow sound, the bread is baked.
             Comments:-

                (a)  Salt "kills" Yeast.  Follow the steps above.  After salt has been incorporated into the flour mixture then only add the Yeast;
    
                 (b) *Castor Sugar - I used 40 gm Brown Sugar & 35 gm Castor Sugar as Brown Sugar not so sweet and I bake alot :)

                  (c)  As each oven heat is different.  The timing here is a guide and you should know your oven.

                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia




               
               

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pizza Buns

                   Continuing my saga on bread making.  I  made this for dinner 2 nites ago and the awesome feedback I got from my family was that it was indeed "awesome!!!"  I dont know whether the fact that the baking tin was black that my pizza buns came out dark at the bottom and crispy at the bottom and sides when eaten warm and next day when I heated them in the oven for my lunch, it still had a crunch and I was mighty glad it was a resounding success so I wonder whether I would dare doing it again and of course with a different filling but on my normal "steel" baking tin whether the bottom will be dark and crunchy but of course the temp for this recipe was high 200 degrees Celcius for 16 minutes.




                                  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.