Friday, June 26, 2009

Puen (饭) Kueh

If you blog-hop regularly, you may know of the not-so-recent mayhem of this recipe; I was so tiltillated by the blogger's beautiful Puen Kueh yet no recipe was posted for anxious ones like me to try it out.

A classic let down.

I was relating this disappointment to my colleagues over lunch, and a few days later, she sent me this recipe - one that her mum uses... Thanks R.

Took this pic in the dim kitchen... hence the ghastly colour!


Puen Kueh

Makes 20 pcs
Ingredients for the Dough

150g Rice Flour
50g Tapioca Flour
250ml Boiling Hot water
very tiny pinch of Pink food colouring powder (see right)

Ingredients for the fillings:
200g White Glutinous Rice, wash and soak for 3 hours
25g dried shrimps - soak, drained and chopped
2 pcs dried mushrooms - soak, drained and diced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Fish Sauce
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup water
1 tsp chicken grandules
1 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tin of Braised Peanuts

Method for Filling:
1. Heat some oil in wok. Fry the dried shrimps until frangrant. Remove from wok and set aside.
2. Stir fry mushrooms with oyster sauce for 1 minute.
3. Add glutinous rice, some water, fish sauce, chicken grandules and pepper. Continue to fry it in the wok until the water dries up. Add more water if necessary. The rice is ready when it is fully cooked. The rice should taste just a little saltier than you usually like, as the bland dough will mute the taste.
4. Add sesame oil and braised peanuts. Mix briefly.
5. While waiting for the rice to cool, prepare the dough.

Method for making dough:
1. Sift both flour & colouring into a mixing bowl and stir briefly to mix them well.
2. Pour boiling hot water into flour mixture and stir well with a spatula.
3. Cover the bowl with a plate. Let it stand for 10 mins (to cool it)
4. Remove and add colouring and knead to form a dough.

Assemble the kueh:
1. Divide the pink dough into 20g portion.
2. One at a time, flatten the dough into a round disc and place 1 tbsp of rice on the centre of the dough. Compress the rice first.
3. wrap up the filling to form a ball. Put the dough in the cookie cutter, press to flatten and spread to form the desired shape.
4. Press the cookie stamp over the dough to form the details.
5. Place each formed kueh onto the parchment paper placed in a bamboo steamer. Brush it with a little oil.
6. steam over boiling water for 8 mins.

I brought this to my MIL birthday BBQ, and everyone goes "so cute"!
After a few "so cute", the 2 bamboo steamers were empty!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Otah Bun

We made this for breakfast. But Sheen and I had to live with the plain bun cos the otah is really really spicy. Not the thing for our dedicate tastebud!

J who had this said the otah is very good. Also, being homemade, there's more otah than bread in the bun!!!

This is the brand of Otah we used. Mum gave it to me, so I can't tell u where buy them. But if you see them, do give it a try. Sis also had a pack, and she gave 2 thumbs UP to this otah!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

who is to be blamed?

Was trying out a recipe which I found on a blog using all vegan ingredients like soy milk, pineapple and sunflower oil. GREAT idea...

if only the recipe had worked.

The muffin didn't rise at all. It was heavy like a brick, the top looks paler than white, and taste... I bet even a coachroach won't touch with a ten foot pole!

I need to blame someone; the recipe, the ingredient, or the blogger. For whatever reason... it's not ME :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

(Eggless) Sweet Potato Bread

I am using the balance sweet potato from the last post.

The recipe is from Alex Goh's Baking Code, a book that is being used far more often than the exorbitantly-priced angmoh books.

As usual, I omitted the egg in the recipe.

Japanese Sweet Potato Bread

adapted from Alex Goh's Baking Code

Overnight Sponge:
50g bread flour
30g water, room temp
1/8 tsp instant yeast
  1. Mix the instant yeast with 20g of water until well blended. Add in the remaining ingredients and knead to form a dough.

  2. Let it proof for 30min. Wrap with cling film and keep in the refridgerator overnight or upto 48hours.
Ingredient A
250g bread flour
50g waitrose wholemeal flour
3g salt
80g sugar
20g milk powder
1.5 tsp instant yeast

Ingredient B
60g overnight sponge - I added all of the sponge (~75g)

Ingredient C
170g cold water

Ingredient D
120g mashed cooked sweet potato
30g butter

1. Mix A until well blended. Add B & C, knead to form a dough.
2. Add in D, knead to form a smooth and elastic dough.
3. Mould the dough round, place it in a oiled bowl & cover it with cling film. Allow it to proof for 45 min.
4. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions, mould it round. Place 2 pieces of the dough into a greased loaf tin (16.5x9x6.5cm). Makes 3 loaves.
5. Let it proof for 50min or until its size doubles.
6. Bake at 180C for 25min. Remove it immediately from the tin when baked.

Baker’s Note:

  • Bread is very soft and has a beautiful hue of orange!

  • I made it into a small bun rather than loave. My family dun really like loave. Strange.

  • I set aside some mashed sweet potato as filling... but it didn't keep very well. The fillings turned bad on 3rd day. Maybe it should be refrigerated to preserve the filling.

Erratum (23/6): the correct amount of water in sponge should be 30g, instead of 80g.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweet Potato Sweet Soup

I remember in my childhood that mum always have some sweet potatoes at home. Whenever I was hungry, I helped myself to those sweet potatoes- skinned them, throw it into the boiling water, and add a few slices of ginger + some rock sugar. I first did this from primary 3, about 9 years old!

It is unfortunate that none in my family likes this... despite my effort trying to make this as pretty as I could, Sheen ain't the least tempted!!!

I ended up having gorging myself, with some refrigerated for supper, and some to my parents. Parents are GREAT - they like to eat everything that I make :-)

Sweet Potato Sweet Soup

sweet potato, skinned and cubed
some gula melaka/rock sugar/white sugar
slices of ginger, optional
a knot of pandan leaves, optional

  1. Boil the water, throw in sweet potato, gula melaka, ginger and pandan leaves. Taste to add more sweetener as required.
  2. It is ready when the sweet potato is softened, about 30min.

  • You can use any type of sweet potato though I prefer the japanese variant.

  • Gula Melaka gives an aroma which is irreplaceable with other sugar.

  • Likewise for pandan leaves, it is added for aroma only. Omit if not available.


  • to get the flower variation here, steam the sweet potato first so that it is soft enough to be pressed out with a cookie cutter. Have fun playing with your cookie cutter!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

(Eggless) Almond Suji Cookies

This recipe came highly recommended by Yum Yum, a Malaysian culinary magazine. If you have a collection of these magazines, it is issue 58!

I was reseaching for a recipe that would retain its shape well... this is for HI daughter's 1st birthday. Now you see how much stress I get to produce the winnie pooh cookie!

Back to the recipe, I was enthralled bythe perfectly shaped chick in the magazine... I was so caught up in the straight sides of the cookie!!!

Made this with another recipe which didn't quite make it.

The one below is made with the recipe here.

Almond Suji Cookies
recipe taken from Yum Yum
Ingredients A:
60g salted butter (I use Golden Churn)
50 shortening (I use crisco)
50g icing sugar (original 60g)

Ingredients B:
30g ground almond
20g suji (this is the samolina flour, available under Prima brand)
160g plain flour, sifted


  1. Beat A until fluffy. Add in B and mix into a dough.

  2. Roll out the dough into 1cm thick and cut into desired shape.

  3. Optional : I freeze it for 30min before baking... I read somewhere this will help to retain shape better. You can skip this step if you are not so concern with the shape.

  4. Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 15min or until light golden. Remove and cool on wire rack.

My notes:

  • My dough appeared crumbly after step 1. So I simply drizzle some cold milk over it. Very sparingly. This is the tricky part: If too much liquid is added, it will be too soft to be rolled out. Then use your hand to press the dough together before rolling out.

  • Most recipe meant for rolling out are not very tasty... as it requires a high percentage of four to provide the structure. Just as this one here - it also has a high percentage of flour, but the use of suji and ground almond add exceptional flavor... Certainly another keeper!


As I have some leftover fondant, I thought of using it up. When HI saw it she decidedly insist to cover all her cookie with the fondant! *Sigh*

J reminded me I didn't even go thru such extend for our son's birthday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Strawberry Mousse Cake

I got this idea from Pook's Daily Delicious. She has vey detailed step by step instructions there... check it out if you have not visited her blog!

Strawberry Mousse Cake
Yield 6" round
Sponge batter : use your usual sponge recipe or this
· Bake and leave it to cool.

Strawberry mousse :
150g strawpberry puree (I used 120g chopped strawberry + some water)
1 tbsp Caster sugar (you may need more or less depending on how sweet the berries is)
3g Gelatin powder
150g Whipping cream
100g chopped strawberry (optional, I use it to finish up my strawberry)

1. Mix the gelatin with 2tbsp of water.
2. Pour half of the strawberry with the sugar into the microwavable bowl, heat for 1-2 minutes until hot.
3. Put the gelatin into the strawberry puree, whisk to combine.
4. Pour the hot mixture into the rest of strawberry puree, beat to combine. Let the mixture cool.
5. Whisk cream just to soft peaks.
6. Gently fold 1/3 of the cream into the berry mixture.
7. Gently fold back the berry and cream mixture into the cream. Add the chopped strawberry (if you are using it). The mixture will be quite loose.
8. Top the cake with mousse. Refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight, until set.

Baker's Notes:

  • Very pretty and refreshingly light cake!
  • I like this cake as it has the lightest and loveliest shade of pink... Now i realised that those bloody red kind of strawberry mousse are all artifical colouring!!!
  • Pook uses the cake ring to get a consistent size for cake and mousse. I do not have cake ring; I bake my sponge in a loose bottom pan. Cake does strink a little leaving small gaps on the circumference which I simply filled in with mousse.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I want more homemade dumpling!

The dumpling festival is long over... but I am still savouring the bak chang that my colleagues have given me.
They all know that I love the homemade dumpling or "chang"; every year, they will bring me those that their mum or mother-in-law have made. And I will freeze all the extra and steam 1 every day.

This year though we no longer work in the same office, they have not stopped brining me the chang! I am grateful for their kind gesture. THANK YOU!

PS: see the pic above and you know why I love homemade chang - they are bursting with so much "liao" (condiments) rather than glutinous rice!!!
PPS: how can teach me how to make my own dumpling? I will be eternally grateful to you!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am born in the month of May... know you know how far behind I am in my post!
We happened to have a half day presentation in plant a day before the actual birthday. Right after that, the gang went to a nearby coffee shop for bak kut teh lunch. That's when they spring a surprise with the birthday cake!

We had cake for dessert after bak kut teh. Yes, they sang me the birthday song there... very softly!!!
Quite an interesting lunch celebration, I must say!

This is what I have get from family:

We didn't have any celebration but the as the saying goes "It's the thoughts that count".

The next day, on my actual birthday, another colleague HH who is based in Pandan office came all the way down to do lunch together. I thought I was going to have another surprise lunch... ha, but nope. It was for a casual catch up.

Til now, he didn't know it was my birthday! But who's complaining when you get to lunch at Vanilla Pod!!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Strawberry Bloom

I went to Joy of to steal research for ideas to use up my balance strawberries. I was abit kia-su to have bought 3 boxes of the strawberry last Sat... and need to quickly use them up before it is thrash-worthy.

So happy to find this simple and pretty cream filled strawberry. It is just perfect; Sheen loved whipped cream (in fact any cream, buttercream inclusive)...
It's always a joy to watch your kid enjoying what you have just served!

Strawberry Filled with Cream

16-18 large strawberries
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping
2-3 (24-36 grams) tablespoons granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

You want the strawberries to sit flat. So if they are a little wobbly with the stems left on, cut the green stems off the strawberries so they will stand upright when placed on your serving tray. With a small sharp knife, cut an "X" in each strawberry, cutting almost to the bottom of each strawberry. (The cut should be such that the strawberry will open up but not fall apart.) Gently, with your fingertips, spread each strawberry apart to make "petals". Set aside while you make the cream filling.

In a medium sized bowl, whip the mascarpone cheese and whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and continue to whip until stiff peaks form.
Spoon the cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large open star tip (I used a Wilton 1M tip). Pipe the cream into the strawberries. If not serving immediately, cover, and place in the refrigerator until serving time.

For me, I only filled it with pure whipping cream. No mascarpone, No sugar, No vanilla.

Can life get any simplier?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

17hr low temp ferment bread

It must have been over a month sinceI baked this... I saved this post in the draft box cos I was thinking of giving it a 2nd attempt first.

What happened is this... first the sponge was very very dry. I added another 10ml of water.

After I patiently ferment it for 17hours, I went ahead to prepare the main dough, with some extra water on hand, just in case. Surprise Surprise, it is now extremely wet.

I thought it was becos I omitted the sesame powder+ replaced some part of the bread flour with wholemeal flour (very little though, just 50g). In the end, I added another 55g of bread flour to make the dough more manageable.

Few nights ago, I saw that KWF had the same problem... so not my problem lah... hehehe.

17 hour low temperature pre-ferment dough method
Recipe source: precious moments

Pre-ferment dough :
449g bread flour
256g water
6.5g yeast
6g sea salt
13g milk powder
Dissolve the yeast in water. Add bread flour, sea salt, milk powder and knead till soft. Cover the dough with cling wrap and chill to let it prove for 17 hours.

Main Dough :
192g bread flour
19g milk powder
6g sea salt
64g sugar
130g water
58g egg (approx 1 egg)
3g yeast
51g unsalted butter
51g black sesame powder - I omitted

Black sesame paste (sweet) - I omitted
White sesame seed - I omitted

1. Knead all ingredients together except butter till smooth. Add in the pre-ferment dough (small piece each addition). Knead well after each addition.
2. Once dough is smooth, add in butter and knead till it passed the window pane test.
3. Put the dough in a bowl, cling wrap and proof for 20 - 30 mins.
4. Divide the dough into 6 portions. Flatten each portion with your hand to drive out the air. Shape into a square and cover the dough in cling wrap. Proof for another 20 mins.
5. Punch out the air again and roll the dough into a rectangular sheet. Spread the black sesame paste on top. Fold about 2cm from all edges. The width dimension should be the size of your baking tin. Roll the dough up from one end. Spray water onto the loaf and sprinkle white sesame seed. Place the dough into the tin. Cover with cling wrap and further proof for 30-40mins till dough in size.
6. Bake for 170˚C for about 30 - 35 mins.

My Note:
· Bread was soft, but not particularly better than those S&D method in Chef Alex Goh's book.

This is a large portion of dough - I made them into ham & cheese (Sheen's fav), pineapple paste (leftover from pineapple tarts) , and a "gardenia" loave with apricot and pistachio nuts.

Monday, June 1, 2009

I have been looking forward to Jun 2009...

I have never been a great fan of June. I rather every month is a May cos I get to enjoy at least 2 holidays, May Day and Vesak Day, not to mentioned yours truly's birthday! Financially May is also THE month cos most companies pay out their dividends in May too!!!

But this June is special.


Yeah, the Mei Chin Road Market is going to reopen this Jun after a long long closure (2 years???) for upgrading.

There are many markets being upgraded by our gar-ment so if 1 close, I just go to another one lor. But this Mei Chin Market was like a cold turkey for my family and I. We made weekly pilrimmage to this market for our chicken rice!!!

Some may suggest other "better" chicken rice, but seriously, i can live with Sin Kee for the rest of my live... There are 1001 ways to qualify what is BEST. To us it is a combination of many factors like parking, environment, service, plus more. And this store has a special place in my family!!!

If you are still not convinced, dun bother to hop there to try... cos we will selfishly like to have the quiet place to ourselves!!!

Sin Kee Famous Chicken Rice & Fish Porridge/新記馳名雞飯魚生粥, Mei Chin Road Market & Cooked Food Centre #02-89G, Block 159, Mei Chin Road