Fragrant Glutinous Rice 芳香糯米饭 :-)

My packet of glutinous rice grains was sitting in on the shelf for quite a while. I have thought of cooking glutinous rice before but shelf off the idea due to laziness .. ;-p
Last night, I took out the packet of rice and soaked 1 1/2 cups of rice.
This morning I soaked some dried shrimps and Chinese mushrooms and cut them into cubes. Saute in veg oil (2 tbsp) and sesame oil (2 tsp) with some minced garlic and shallot. Fried them until fragrant then add the soaked glutinous rice with 2 tbsp soy sauce till rice turned golden brown. Transfer them to a steaming dish and steamed for 30-35 mins. Tada! .... Here is my fragrant glutinous rice!

The rice tasted very good even without sambal chilli paste which I love. I didn't add in any salt or MSG or chicken powder. The dried shrimps and mushrooms are already enough to give you the kind of fragrance you want. Those peanuts ikan bilis are optional if you don't like.
When I was eating the rice, I felt a kind of nostalgic feeling abounding in my heart. This was because glutinous rice was one of my favourite food when I was very young. My mum always bought me a small packet of glutinous rice whenever we went to wet market on Sundays. I would sit down and eat my rice while my mum went for marketing. I, being a good girl would wait for her to return. The stall owner who sold the rice would help to keep an eye on me. He even gave me water to drink as glutinous rice tend to be a bit dry. In those days, people were very warmed hearted and helpful. Well, the wet market is still there now (Whampoa area), but the stall owner is not there anymore ... I went back few times to look for the glutinous rice stall but nowhere to be found ... Things change, people change, time change but these nostalgic feelings will not change and will linger on till the day I leave ...


Strawberry Jam

I was inspired by Happy Home Baking to try making my own jam since I have a small punnet of strawberry in my fridge. This amount of strawberries only yielded a small jar of jam.

Strawberries have to be halved and soaked in sugar syrup and stored in the fridge overnight before they are cooked over a stove of low heat.

The ingredients are so simple as these:

1 punnet of strawberries (about 250g)
1/2 cup of sugar*
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1. Washed clean strawberries. Halved & hull them. Mashed the strawberries. (I missed out this step, that's why you can still see the berries in my jam)
2. Put mashed strawberries in a container and pour sugar in. Mix the strawberries and sugar evenly to make sure all strawberries are covered by sugar. Cover the container and place in the fridge for overnight.
3. Cook the sweetened strawberries on a wide pan over a low heat. Stir often.
4. Pour the lemon juice in after the berries are cooked for 8-10 mins.
5. Continue to cook the berries. By now, the mixture will be jammy.
6. Turn off fire and pour mixture in sterilised jar, leaving about one half inch between the jam and the rim. Place lid on jar.

* You can increase the sugar amount if you have a sweet tooth. However, do not decrease the sugar amount as it is used to preserve the jam.

One of my favourite Chinese Foodie Blog Mitong (小米桶) has a clear explanation on making Strawberry Jam, but is in Chinese.

My jam turned out to be a bit runny as I did not use Pectin as I want my jam to be as natural as possible. Well, today I tried my jam on a slice of multigrain bread, and the taste of the jam was just right for my taste bud. (a pat on my shoulder ;-p)

Little Honey Cake 小巧蜂蜜蛋糕

Baked this little honey cake few days ago. This was my first attempt on baking this easy-to-bake cake. The result was very satisfactory. Most important of all the texture of the cake is light, soft and fluffy. The kitchen was full of honey smell when the cake was baking in the oven. The ingredients used are super simple and method is easy. Do try it! :-)
( the ingredients listed here can yield a small cake, you can double or triple the ingredients for a bigger cake)
20g Veg. Oil
30g Honey
2 nos. Eggs
20g Sugar
50g Flour
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1. Double boil oil and honey. Set aside.
2. Beat eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy.
3. Sift flour and baking powder into egg mixture (step 2), then stir to mix.
4. Pour flour mixture into honey and oil mixture and mix well.
5. Pour batter into small moulds or loaf tin and sit for 5 mins.
6. Bake in preheated oven at 180*C for 15-20 mins until the top is golden brown.


Chocolate Sponge Cake

I baked this chocolate sponge cake just now. It was my first attempt ;-p. DH said that taste wise it was good and the texture was soft. But appearance wise still much room for improvement. I think I have let Gina (Kitchen Capers) down. She is my "shifu" but I made some mistakes during baking that I wanted to take note over here:
1. I have used a bigger cake tin and my batter is not enough to fill the tin. I used a 9" springfoam. Thus, the cake came out quite flat. Next time must use a smaller one .. 7" will be good.
2. When I fold cocoa powder to the flour, I did it in a rush. Gina told me to sieve the cocoa powder to prevent lumps from occurring which I did. Still, when I was folding in, lumps appeared and I fold and fold. I think I have "over-folded" it (is there such a term?)
3. Recipe called for 25 mins of baking time at 170*C, then reduced to 150*C and bake for another 10 mins or so. But I thought my oven is ususally very hot, so during the initial baking, I reduced to 20 mins. After that I reduced temp. to 150*C and continue baking. The end result was that, there were chocolate lumps at the bottome of the cake (you can see a bit in the pictures).
So, from the above mistakes I made, I know I have to follow recipe closely, esp. sponge & chiffon cakes recipes. Gina thank you for your guidance though this time round, I have let you down :-(.
Well, with such a cake, what can you do with it? Play with it! With what? Haha "**" ... Chocolate Ganache ......


Cantonese Porridge, Birthday Mee & Birthday Cake

DH loves to eat porridge. And as he was having a bad throat this whole week, this gave me a chance to cook this porridge for him. He doesn't like to have egg in his porridge, but I do like egg. So two versions of porridge ...

I used 澳洲珍珠米for this porridge and the porridge was really 绵绵的. With the added ingredients like shredded ginger, chinese parsley and spring onion, the taste of the porridge was enhanced. I only used 2 tbsp of sunflower seed oil for this porridge and a few drops of sesame oil. Thus, can be considered quite healthy. Share with you the pictures of my porridge.

It was my DH's birthday last Thursday. Hence, I cooked this birthday noodles for him. It is a tradition in my family to eat birthday noodles on our birthdays. Even if we don't cook ourselves, we will order 生面(noodles) at 煮炒档(cooked food stall). My version of birthday noodles include egg noodles, meatballs (sold at supermarket, but very tasty, whether fried or cook in soup), minced meat (marinated with a little salt & pepper), celery (my DH loves it, its crunchy and taste so fresh) and some shredded carrot (for a more vibrant color of the noodles). I used chicken stock for the soup. My DH said he loves to eat noodles this way, more healthy.

I baked this chocolate cheesecake for my DH. Both cakes, as you can see, cracked like no body business. I put both cakes at the lowest rack and also adjusted the temperature of my oven but still the result was not satisfactory. However, the texture and taste of the cakes were good, according to my DH.

This is the bottom of the cake, look much better than the top.

The cheese layer wasn't too obvious. I think I have swirled it too much.

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