27.12.09

Simple Christmas Dinner for Two

No Christmas celebration , no gifts exchanging sessions (just like in the past working in the Bank), just a simple, quiet meal for two... ... Here's our dinner, Christmas Day Dinner.


Gingerbread Man

I have never baked Gingerbread Man before. On Christmas Eve, I went shopping at Marine Parade and came across an NTUC Finest supermarket. As it was my usual manner, I walked to the Baking Needs section. There I saw this packet of Greens Gingerbread Man cookie mix "staring" at me.
:-} Thus, it went into my basket.

The next day, I baked it according to the instruction on the packet. However, one step I did not really follow is the chilling time for the dough. It stated on the box that the dough has to be chilled for 10-15 mins for the dough to be hardened for easier handling. But I have to chill my dough for more than an hour. Even after 1 hr, the dough was still kinda soft. However, I went ahead to roll and cut the dough. Thank goodness the cookies came out fine, and tasted great too. Though the icing is horrible! LOL ...


叉烧酥

I have this packet of puff pastry lying in my freezer for months. One week before Christmas, I decided to buy some Char Siew (BBQ Honey Pork) to make 叉烧酥(char siew puff pastry). I bought ready made Char Siew from Sheng Shiong Supermarket. Afterwhich I fried the cubed Char Siew with shallots (fried ones), oyster sauce, light sauce, sugar and a little water. This made up the filling for the pastry. Then I wrapped it with the puff pastry which I have cut into 4 squares from one big sheet of pastry. Then used a fork to close up the sides of the wrapped pastry. Brushed the top with some beaten egg yolk. Sprinkled some black sesame seeds for deco. Baked in preheated 180C oven for 15 mins. Tada ... here are my 叉烧酥!

Kuih Bahulu

About a month ago, I went to Khatib for grocery shopping with my DH. After buying some of the items that I needed, we came to NTUC supermarket. As usual, I won't miss shopping in NTUC. As I browsed through the shelves, I came across this Dough Cake Toaster which was on sale. The usual price was S$34.55 and it was selling at S$19.90 then. So shall I "grap" it? Grapped it I did! In fact, I saw this toaster many times displaying on the shelf of NTUC and some other supermarkets, but didn't have the idea of owning it. This time round, with this "attracting" discount, I owned it for the very first time :-) DH was like: "Huh? Another baking tool again?" LOL ... I told him I will make nice Kuih Bahulu out of this little toaster for him specially. Then he smiled and happily paid for it. Hahaha ...


Here you are, my little dough cakes. They looked like Kuih Bahulu but smaller in sizes compared to those selling outside.

A Day of "Putu Ayu"

Putu Ayu is a popular Indonesian snack. A steamed cake with no butter, but coconut milk and shredded coconut, quite easy and quick to make.

Putu Ayu uses Pandan paste or essence. Pandan essence or paste is used in place of fresh pandan leaves, to flavour and colour cakes and desserts, as it is sweet and imbues foods with a bright green color. It can be purchased as a ready-to-use paste in Asian specialty stores. If purchased fresh, pandan leaves should be pounded into a paste for use in desserts, adding water sparingly.

Here are the Putu Ayu that I made few days ago. :-)

These are the "special" moulds for making Putu Ayu. Aren't they cute? :-)

I used grated coconut with gula melaka instead of white grated coconut.
It's so mini & lovely & Yummmy ......
I used some tart cases to make different shapes of Putu Ayu.
I still prefer the mini ones.

These are the Putu Ayu that used white grated coconut.

Overall, the Putu Ayu I made were very good. My DH loved this kind of Indonesian snacks. Furthermore, it is bite-sized, even little children like it. :-)

26.12.09

冬至 Dong Zhi ~ Winter has come :-)

Dong Zhi (冬至), which means winter season has come. Winter is the end of the four seasons, which indicates that a year has come to a close end. This Chinese festival normally falls on 22nd of December. This festival signifies the reunion of one's family. No matter how far you go, on this day, you will come home and reunite with your family members. Tang Yuan (汤圆), a dessert that will be eaten on this day. It is rounded in shape, which means reunion. It is made of glutinous rice flour. The pictures below will tell you what it is all about.

(Pictures taken from: soulforparadise.blogspot.com)

************************************************************************************* As I am a Cantonese, my family celebrated this festival (Dong Zhi) every year. My mum will also make a pot of Tang Yuan for all of us to eat. On top of this, she also cooks a table of delicious dishes during dinner. She always tell me since I was young that "冬大过年", which means to celebrate Dong Zhi is even more important than celebrating Chinese New Year itself. On this day, we will offer prayers to our ancestors. Below were some of the dishes my mum had cooked on Dong Zhi, 22nd Dec 2009.

20.12.09

Christmas isn't Christmas ......

Christmas isn't Christmas till you bake a FRUITCAKE! :-)

For so many Christmases that I had celebrated in the past, I never like to eat fruitcake. However, don't know out of nowhere, I had the idea of baking a fruitcake for this Christmas. It was a month ago. And with that idea, I bought a packet of mixed peel & raisins, some glaced cherries. When I reached home, I quickly soaked all these ingredients with a cup of brandy. I soaked it for nearly a month. Only a few days ago, I used them to bake the fruitcake. And I tell you, I have fallen in LOVE with fruitcake :-) LOL The taste of cinnamon and nutmeg in the cake make it so enticing. Even my mum who doesn't like buttery cakes also commented that the cake was simply lovely. I will definitely have another round of baking this cake again. Soon.

For the fruitcake recipe, I got it from Susan's Blog, but I made some modifications.
Fruit Cake Ingredients:
250 g butter (melted)
250 g brown sugar
5 eggs
450 g self-raising flour (sifted)
100 g white raisins*
100 g dried blackcurrants*
100 g red cherries*
100 g green cherries*
150 g mixed peel*
grated peel of 1 orange
grated peel of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1 cup ( abt 250ml) of XO Martel (is not in the original recipe, I add my own)

* I did not follow her exact ingredients but I used the pre-packed mixed peel with addition of a packet of raisins.

Fruit Cake Method Step By Step:
1. Combine butter, sugar and eggs. Beat till fluffy. Add flour and the remaining ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 180°C.
3. Grease a baking tin and pour in cake mixture.
4. Bake cake for 45 minutes. Reduce heat to 140°C and bake for another 30 minutes.
5. Remove and leave cake to cool completely on wire rack. Slice cake and serve.

I baked this loaf in a big loaf pan.
This is the smaller loaf.

19.12.09

Simple yet joyful

Simple recipe appeals to me.
This choc chip cookie recipe is one
which I have kept in my handy folder for easy reference.
Few days ago, I attemtped these delicious cookies again.
It was SIMPLY good :-)

A bite, a joyful moment ... ...

14.12.09

Kuih Dadar

I have a packet of grated coconut sitting in the fridge, so decided to make Kuih Dadar or Kuih Ketayap (Kuih Ketayap, as the Malays calls it, is a cylindrical shaped kuih with caramelised grated coconut flesh inside and a green pancake skin wrapping it. This is done first by rolling the pancakes around the coconut filling, then folding the sides and finally rolling it again to form cylindrical parcels.)
Receipe from here.

The last two photos were from the courtesy of this website: http://nonya-kueh.blogspot.com/2005/12/nonya-kueh-dadar.html

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