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Monday, April 30, 2012

A butterless Orange & Almond cake

                 A health conscious customer ordered this cake for her daughter's birthday. I bought some Marzipan & made the Orange Marzipan the nite before & baked the cake the next day. Making this cake is not easy as whenever you beat the egg yolks from the egg whites & beat them separately, you have to be extremely careful that the bowl & whisk you use to beat the egg whites should be clean & grease free that there shouldn't be even a trace of egg yolk in the egg whites otherwise you cant whisk your egg whites to a meringue stage. But most important, you should beat the egg whites to soft peak, IF you over beat the egg whites, it will split.  To know when the egg whites is soft peak; remove the whisk & turn it up; the TIP of the egg white should be curled.  IF the tip of the egg white is straight then it is possible that you have over whipped.  We were told that there were two options; the obvious is to throw your egg white mixture; wash the mixing bowl & dry it with a clean & Dry kitchen towel & the next option is to add half a tablespoon of Lemon juice & beat the egg white for a short while & remove the whisk & see whether the tip is curled in.  For me, I would advice going for the first option ie throw away & start beating the egg white again as I have never tried doing the second option.

                 You would also be wondering, as this cake has No butter, whether the cake would be soft & light.  Well this cake is perfectly soft & light.  We were taught, amongst other things, to use ground Almonds & I think that made the difference. 

                                                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 


             Sorry did not know what caption to put for this post except for the above.  I started going for baking & cooking classes with this particular Chef in 2001; wow 10 years have flown bye so quickly & I am so grateful that I was fortunate to learn about her through word of mouth.  She is awesome in both departments & the thing that strikes me most is that, not only we learn how to bake & cook but the tips that we learn just by watching her. After going for more than 20 years + of classes, I have come to the conclusion that it is not only the recipes that matter; the most important is to watch intently the Chef at work & to take written notes of the tips that flows from the Chef; these are things that come naturally from them & then when I come back; I religiously first photostat the recipe, & when it is fresh in my mind, retype which recipes that I find inspiring & store the recipes together with the tips in my computer for a back up in case I loose the recipe [and having a back up recipe is my husband's tip to me when I first started learning 20 years ago] I not only photostating the original recipe with my written notes but I like to file the original recipes in a different file & keep the photostated recipes in my working file. Another thing I like doing is to keep different files for different Chefs that I learn from so that it is easier for me to locate them easily & I guess that I pick up all these good habits from my working days.

              Sorry I have digressed from the subject matter.  As I was saying that before I started learning from this particular Chef I always like to toast the Belacan when I want to cook something.  I use to see that she likes to toast the whole packet & then keeping them in the fridge.

                                           Haha pressing hard on the laddle to mash the belacan.  I love the gorgeous brown colour.

                                       Cling wrap the container then screw the cap on & refrigerate same.

                                                Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Monday, April 23, 2012


                         Made this awesome Thai sauce which had a balance of sweet, slightly sour & spicy & poured it on the fried Sepan fish.  It was lip smacking. 

                        Fry some garlic, the root of a Yin Sai, ginger, Chilli Padi & daun Limau Perut. Then add Limau Kasturi juice, water, sugar, Fish Sauce, dash of Sesame Oil. 

                         Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today's tea - Mochi

                    After making the Tau Sar paste the other day, I decided to use some of it & made some Mochi for tea. After learning this, this is the second time I am doing this. The texture was soft & lovely.  I decided to run off the rails this time.  This time I wanted to be a rebel & try a different twist in the filling.

                  The filling was a combi of toasted & ground Peanuts, ground Sesame seeds [the ground Sesame smelled so heavenly] & Sugar & some of the Mochi, I first rolled it in the peanut mixture then I slipped in a ball of Tau Sar Paste & rolled it into a ball & then to deviate a little further, instead of coating them with Koh Fun, I decided that I will coat some of the Mochi in the ground Peanut mixture!!! Glad the hubs liked it.  We went for a buffet dinner at a hotel a few nites ago & among all the cakes in the dessert section, I saw Mochi, being my favourite, I ate 4 little balls & there & then I knew that I had to make some as it is my youngest favourite!!!

                                          Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tau Sar/Red Bean Paste

                Wow this year I am really keeping to my New Year Resolution of doing things that I have learnt but have not made.  Learnt this way back in 2005, how much time has passed since then.  Made this tau sar paste today & still having mind games whether to use it to make tau sar pau or red bean bread :)

                                We were taught to place a cling film directly onto the semi hot paste in order to prevent skin formation & to refrigerate it after it has cooled completely.

                                 This is what I made with some of the Tau Sar paste.  I made Mochi. 

                                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tea - Banana cake

                     The Hubs bought quite a big bunch of bananas.  They were just too much & I am sure we couldn't consume them fast enuf, I decided to make a Banana cake for tea as had too much time on my hands!!! 

                                 Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Chocolate with a nutty Truffle filling

                I went for 2 Chocolate classes long time ago; one was when we used couvertures & tempered the Chocolates & the other class, the Chef used local cooking chocolates & both were lovely & after learning both, I only made twice as I hate doing the clean up!!! 

               Today I made same using local cooking chocolates & if I were to compare both, I would say using local cooking chocolate was much easier as no tempering needed & I was rather surprised that, with the inclusion of the Rum extract & toasted almond nuts in the Tuffle filling, the chocolates were lovely. 

                                    Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Peanut Candy

              When I posted this picture on my FB recently, a good friend pleaded for the recipe :) so AP this is dedicated to you.  You need to have a lamington tray or a sandwich tray. I used a sandwich tray which is 14" x 10" & the height is 1"  :)

                I remember when we were young, we used to buy this at our school tuck shop; how the years have flown by!!! 
                                                Peanut Candy


           150 ml            Water
           180 gm            Castor Sugar
             60 ml             Golden Syrup [bought mine in the cake ingredient shop in Tmn Megah]
            1/2 teasp        Cuka Buatan/Artificial Vinegar
           500 gm             Peanuts, toasted
             60 gm             White Sesame seeds, toasted 

           Prep - You can do steps No.1 & 2 first THEN cool it & store in an Air TIGHT bottle then next day do the Peanut Candy
  1. Fry the White Sesame seeds, without oil, till golden brown.
  2. Fry the Peanuts, without oil, [check & remove one of the skin to see the colour of the peanuts] straight away remove the *Hot peanuts onto a kitchen towel & remove the skin. 
  1. Using a large clear *plastic sheet, cut it to line a Lamington or Sandwich tin taking note to allow the plastic sheet to be higher than both the shorter sides of the tin [this allows you to remove the plastic from the tin with ease :) ] Do NOT grease the plastic sheet.
  2. Combine water, sugar, golden syrup & vinegar in a wok.
  3. Stir over *low medium heat till the sugar dissolves [*low medium heat is because you Don't want to boil mixture].
  4. Once the sugar has dissolved Then increase heat slightly & bring it to a boil.
  5. Once it is boiling REDUCE heat to low medium & let it simmer WITHOUT stirring till it thickens to a caramel stage [THIS TAKES ABOUT 11 MINUTES.  TO TEST take a chopstick & dip into the caramel Then drop a little into a small bowl of water.  IF IT HARDENS IMMEDIATELY INTO A CRYSTAL THEN THE CARAMEL/SYRUP IS DONE. 
  6. Stir in the toasted Peanuts & Sesame seeds into the caramel.  Quickly mix thoroughly & pour it into the lined sandwich tin & spread it evenly.
  7. Quickly, using a rolling pin & using a light but firm "touch" roll it levelly to half an inch thickness. 
  8. Remove from the tin by holding the taller plastic sheet. 
  9. Use a sharp long knife, QUICKLY cut it to required size Before it hardens.  Place the cut slices on a wire rack to cool before storing in air tight containers. 

                       (a) Vinegar is used to prevent candy from hardening quickly when preparing same;
                       (b) The *clear white plastic is the type that the hawkers use when wrapping stuff like Hokkien mee.  You can get this easily from places like the Old Town market in PJ or shops that sell plastic bags.  Make sure you get the type that is large & quite thick; not the thin type.  These plastic are very useful.  I like to use them to cover my bread dough while it is being proved :) 

                                           Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Peanut candy @ Kacang Tumbuk

              Wow when I heard that the Chef was going to teach this, I made up my mind that I wanted to go for this class as I remember we used to buy this at our school tuck shop way, way back then when we were kids.  So I went for the class and I was not disappointed and since learning this, the last time I made this was more than a year ago so I decided it was high time I made it again as I wanted to make a Salad with just this, plum sauce, fish sauce, lots of mint leaves, daun kesom, chilli padi, cherry tomatoes & some salad leaves as there was a balance of flavour with the sour from the plum sauce, salty from the fish sauce & sweet & crunchy from the Peanut candy & not to forget the heat from the chilli padi!!!

                Did the peanut candy first & will pick up the rest of the stuff next week after I finish my 4 cake orders on Saturday.

                       If you are interested in the recipe, drop a comment here.  Till my next post, xoxo, Ophelia.