Blood, sweat and macarons.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Now that I have your attention, let me reassure you that the blood is not human. It’s the name of a fruit - the native blood lime.

A punnet of these strikingly hued citrus followed me home from the markets one Sunday.  They were rather expensive and I did hesitate, but I’m a sucker for interesting ingredients. When Mr. Kitchen Hand found out how much they cost* he did question what I was going to do with them and how I was going to get my money’s worth. Eeeek! Talk about performance anxiety. Inspiration just refused to turn up. I juiced one for a dressing and squeezed another into drinks but kept the bulk for something really special.


The Australian blood lime is a cross between a finger lime and a Rangpur lime. I found the taste milder than Tahitian limes (not as sour). When squeezed, the sacs or cells fall out individually and pop satisfyingly when crunched between the teeth :)


Finally, I made lime curd.




I know what you’re thinking. Lime curd isn’t exactly the most exciting dish in the world. But I was going to use the curd to fill macarons for Macattack.  A fitting end for such a pretty fruit, no?

As you’d probably have guessed, the theme for the June Mac Attack challenge was to create something with fruit. Deeba and Jamie asked us to incorporate fruit in any form or flavour.


Strawberry, blood lime macarons. To get the leafy part to stay between the shells, I sandwiched a flattened strawberry (slice off both "cheeks" and leave the middle) in between layers of strawberry puree.


Lime curd, even one with an interesting name, didn’t seem challenge-worthy enough, so I upped the fruit content by adding some cooked, pureed strawberries into the filling as well. The strawberries provided a much needed visual boost too. I’d been a bit disappointed by the colour of the blood lime juice, as I was expecting red instead of the greeny yellow that it turned out to be.


(There are flecks of red in the lime curd, from the lime zest)


Taste wise though, the curd and the macarons lived up to expectations. Strawberry and lime go so well together and provided a tangy twist to the sweet shells.

Truly fruitylicious ;)



Have a sweet weekend!

Recipes?
I was reading Xiaolu’s blog the other day and came across a link to Emboite, a blog written by macaron fanatics Brian and Liz. I decided to try out their macaron ratios which worked well for me.



Blood lime curd? I used my favourite super speedy lemon curd recipe by Stephanie Alexander, and used the juice of all my blood limes, with a little bit of lemon juice added (sorry I can’t remember exact amounts of each juice). The recipe can be found here at Cuisine.com.au. Although the curd was easy, juicing the tiny blood limes was a task and a half!

Strawberry puree - it’s almost a jam. I used 250g of coarsely chopped strawberries, 3 heaped tablespoons of sugar and juice from about 1/4 of a lemon. I cooked it over medium heat, mushing up the strawberries as I went along. Then I raised the heat a little  and boiled the mixture until thick enough for my purpose. I skimmed it as necessary when it was boiling.

* The organic blood limes cost $7.50 (AUD) a punnet but I saw them a day or two later at my local fruit shop for $5 a punnet.

Malaysian Monday 76: Not quite there yet Puff biscuits.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A biscuit by any other name...would taste just as sweet. Well, sweet-savoury actually. The biscuit (cookie/pastry) that I wanted to highlight today looks like an unassuming, bun shaped, golden brown puff. But bite into it and you’ll encounter layers of delightful flaky pastry leading to a sticky centre. The stickiness and sweetness comes from maltose, and the savoury flavour is courtesy of onion and sesame. I know this doesn’t sound quite so appealing but it’s a snack I grew up with, and LOVE!




The names for this pastry are many - puff biscuits, fragrant biscuits (biskut  wangi), Hiong Peah, pong peah or beh teh saw (not sure of correct spelling).  What’s not so common though, is information on how to make this snack.

Believe me, I googled my little heart out, and couldn’t find a proper recipe anywhere. Not even a reference that would lead to a cookbook or print resource. Well, not in the English language media anyway.

What I did find however, were many reviews, other fans looking for recipes and an ingredient list on the side of a packet. Based on this list (for a halal version of the biscuit), I knew that I should start with wheat flour, maltose, sesame, margarine, vegetable oil, sugar and shallots. However, my first attempt  at the pastry using butter and oil, instead of margarine, yielded unsatisfactory results. The pastry just wasn’t flaky enough, in fact it was verging on tough.


Maltose. I remember eating maltose "lollipops" bought from the travelling sweet (lolly) man. He used to come round on his bicycle.

I knew I had to bite the bullet and use lard instead. (Lard, being a pork product, is unsuitable for Malaysians of the Muslim faith. Which is why the halal version of the biscuit doesn’t include this ingredient).

This time, I think I got very, very close to what I was after. The only trouble was, every single biscuit lost its filling during the baking process. The sugar just ooozed out, no matter how tightly I sealed the dough, leaving a beautiful flaky biscuit filled with a whole lot of nothing! (I think I now know how to remedy the situation though, so stay tuned for another attempt).



Sugar crusted bottoms!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with the steps of how I conducted my biscuit trial. If you give it a go and succeed in making the perfect biscuit, please share, I will be very grateful :)

And just to show you that I’m not the only biscuit tragic, here are links to some other fans:
At Think Food Thoughts, you can find a review comparing the different brands of biscuit. The post is aptly titled  battle of the fragrant biscuit.

Biscuit fanciers say that the best tasting ones come from Ipoh, in Malaysia.  Motormouth hunted down and reviewed biscuits from two locations in this state. One from Gunung Rapat and the other from Taiping.


Puff biscuit attempt number 1

My biscuit trial was based on information and a pastry recipe found on this forum thread.

For the pastry, I referred to this post at Corner Cafe. The post is full of information about Chinese flaky pastry, including brilliant step by step photos about the various layering methods. I used the “hidden layering” method for this attempt.

Based on the ratios mentioned in the Corner Cafe post, I used 250g plain flour, 100g hot water, 50g lard  and a pinch of salt for the water dough. I melted the lard in the hot water, then mixed this into the flour. When cool enough to handle, I kneaded the dough until pliant (about 3 or 4 minutes). Then I left the dough to rest for an hour, wrapped in clingfilm. I’m actually not sure how hot water affects pastry, but I thought I’d give it a go as I make tortillas this way (recipe here) and they turn out lovely and soft.

For the oil dough, I used 200g flour, 50g softened butter and 50g lard. I just mixed it all together using a spatula. The resulting dough is very buttery and melts very easily in the hand. It feels a little like sable pastry. This pastry was also left to rest wrapped in clingfilm.

To roll out, I divided each type of dough into 16 pieces (this makes very small biscuits. Divide into 8 or 10 for bigger biscuits). Wrap and roll the dough as shown in the Corner Cafe post mentioned above.



For the filling, first I made some shallot oil. I sliced a shallot finely and fried this in about 2 tablespoonfuls of sunflower oil (any plain vegetable oil can be used). I removed the pan from the heat just as the shallots were turning brown and crisp. The residual heat will cook the shallots further. When cool, I drained and reserved the oil.



Then I placed 110g liquid maltose in a heatproof jug, and added a pinch of salt, 1 tablespoon of the shallot oil and a teaspoon of sesame oil. I put the jug in microwave for a few seconds to heat up the maltose, and when runny, I stirred the oils in. This resulted in a bit of an emulsion. I stored this mixture in a glass jar in the fridge, and when I needed to use it, brought it back to room temperature. Some of the oil does float to the top, but can be stirred back in.



The flavour of this filling is pretty spot on to what I remembered, but as I mentioned above, this filling won’t stay in the biscuit. I think I need to add some flour to this mix, possibly some cooked glutinous rice flour (koh fun). Also, I think I need to add some caramelised sugar too. That’s on the cards for the next experiment. Wish me luck!

Have a great week and if you can spare some time to make something Malaysian, send it to my friend Suresh (sureshchong(at)yahoo(dot)com) for Muhibbah Malaysian Monday.

One for the baklava lovers (Daring Bakers)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

(Malaysian Monday has been postponed until tomorrow due to a clash in programming)

When I first met Mr. Kitchen Hand, I had some doubts over the longevity of our relationship. A lot of it had to do with food. I love seafood, he won’t eat oysters, mussels, squid or octopus. I love congee, bak kut teh and slippery rice noodles in eggy sauces. He squirms at the thought of all that “sloppy Chinese food”. I am a sugar addict, he doesn’t have that much of a sweet tooth.

Then one day, on a short trip to Australia to visit his parents, he very excitedly introduced me to sticky baklava, and I knew all would be well.

To say he loves baklava would be something of an understatement. So he was obviously very excited when I told him about our Daring Bakers challenge.


Which brings me to the blog-checking lines. Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

Little did I know that rolling phyllo pastry sheets is an excellent way to work out the triceps! I didn’t even realise my muscles were being worked until the next day when I woke up with aching arms.


I tried taking a photo to show how thin the dough was, but it's pretty tricky carrying dough around and photographing with one hand.


Apart from the exercise, the challenge recipe was very easy to follow, and the dough was quite robust too. I’d let the dough rest overnight in the fridge (the recommended resting time was a couple of hours). Then I left the well wrapped rolled dough sheets in the fridge for a couple of days before getting some time to attempt the baklava proper.  This waiting around time didn’t seem to affect the final product too much, although if you intend to store the rolled out dough for a while, I highly recommend flouring  each sheet very well and slipping a piece of baking paper in between every second piece. Otherwise, the dough sticks together and has to be re-rolled.



Another shot.


We could either follow the given baklava recipe or use our own, so I went with one by Belinda Jeffery. It was quite similar to the given recipe except her version used different spices, and had lemon juice added to the syrup.



Syrupped and waiting to be removed. Each square topped with a clove

Did it pass muster with the baklava fan? “Perfect except it’s the low-res version, it hasn’t fully downloaded yet. The flavour is there, the syrupy texture is there, but the solid components weren’t quite there yet.” Huh? He meant the nuts weren’t fine enough (my bad, I like chunky), and the dough not as flaky. Well, understandable really, we hand-rolled this dough! It was never going to be as thin as a machine-made phyllo.





 Filling of pistachios and pecans, spiced with cinnamon

I was very proud of myself for making this baklava entirely from scratch but honestly, in the future, I’m just going to buy phyllo ready made. Unlike puff pastry where the flavour is noticeably better in the home-made version, I just couldn’t taste that much of a difference with the home-made phyllo.

If you’d like to hand roll your own phyllo, check out the recipe at the Daring Kitchen. While you’re there, do check out what the other Daring Bakers have made. And before I go, here’s a neat video showing a lady rolling phyllo using a length of dowel.

Thanks for visiting, have a great start to the week and come back tomorrow for the postponed Malaysian Monday :)

In the sunshine, and a challenge.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Friday! We’ve been enjoying some gorgeous days over here. Definitely makes winter a lot more bearable :)

How to enjoy a perfect sunshiny day?

Start with one perfectly boiled egg*.



Add an amazing view, and some salad leaves or two. Also throw in some pecans and slivered pear.



Pack a little jar of seasoned olive oil and lemon juice for dressing, and dig in.
Bask in the sunshine while watching serious joggers huff and puff past!


(Pardon the not very photogenic container)


Wander off to the Art Gallery to check out the last few days of the Archibald Prize**.

Perfect.

The challenge I wanted to tell you about ? It’s called the 365 challenge. The team at Murdoch Books put together the challenge to cook every single recipe from Stéphane Reynaud’s 365 Good Reasons to Sit down to Eat, one dish at a time, over the course of a whole year. Yes, sort of Julie and Julia style, just involving lots of different bloggers. I’d first heard about the challenge from Ellie at Almost Bourdain . This is the line I responded to : “If you'd like to be part of the challenge too, just send an email to meetus(at)murdochbooks.com.au with '365' in the subject line, and they'll get in touch with you.” If this sounds like something you’d like to be part of, do drop them a line, I had great fun taking part.

You can read about my challenge here. The dish was Pissaladiere. Very tasty pissaladiere too, I might add.



Have a great weekend and see you soon.

*Everyone has their own tricks to boiling an egg. I start with the eggs barely covered by cold water, in a covered pan. Bring to the boil, and when it starts boiling vigorously, lower the heat slightly so it is simmering well but not boiling over. Put the timer on for 3 minutes. Scoop out the eggs when the timer beeps and place in a bowl of cool water. If the water in the bowl warms up, change the water again until the eggs are cold. The resulting eggs will have just set centres. For firmer centres, boil for 4 minutes. (Starting with cold eggs and cold water stops the shells from cracking).

** Actually, I had this alfresco lunch last Friday. Today I spent gardening, just as much fun but with less food involved :)

Can you tell me how to get to Malaysian Monday?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Unfortunately, the Malaysian food is nowhere to be found today, but I can tell you how to get to Sesame Street inspired cupcakes :)

My dear friend S volunteers her time with an organisation that provides mentoring and support for young mums. They also organise fun activities like cake decorating. Which is how I found my way to running a cupcake filled workshop this morning.





Inspiration for these cupcakes came from this fantastic post on a blog called Lovely Sprinkles. The coconut covered cookie monster came from another post that I can't remember the link to, sorry. 
I spread red(dish) buttercream on a cupcake and spiked it with a fork for Elmo. The Cookie Monster is iced using just a baking paper piping bag (no tip). This was to keep things simple for the workshop. The other cookie Monster is covered with a bit of buttercream, then coated in coloured dessicated coconut with a mini choc-chip cookie stuck in his mouth. Elmo and Cookie have half-Oreo mouths, half marshmallow eyes, with dried currants for pupils.


Fondant shapes on buttercream for Bert and Ernie. The hair and Bert's monobrow is made from cut up licorice straps, the mouths are from red snake lollies, Ernie's nose is a Smartie and Bert's nose is fondant. The MCs have requested their very own Sesame St. cupcake deco workshop this week, so stand-by for more :)

Prep for the workshop took up a lot of the weekend, which is why I had to let Malaysian Monday go this week, but I had such a blast introducing the girls to the joys of fondant and buttercream that I didn’t mind too much. I hope you don’t either.

Here’s a snapshot of what the participants achieved in about an hour. Pretty impressive eh?









Malaysian Monday should return next week (fingers crossed), and in the meantime if you happen to make any Malaysian dishes, please send them in to Suresh from 3 Hungry Tummies who is hosting the Muhibbah Malaysian Monday round-up next month. Email him at : sureshchong(at)yahoo(dot)com

Thanks for stopping by and hope your week starts on a fun note too. Today’s post was brought to you by the letter C (for Cookie and Cupcakes) and the number 1 (cos you’re number one). :)

Malaysian Monday 75: Curry Mee / Laksa

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Hi everyone! Here is the much belated Malaysian Monday as promised. Thanks for visiting (and leaving lovely comments) while I was away. We enjoyed unwinding but the weather was most foul. Cold, wet and windy. Yuk! Those conditions demanded one thing - soup. And if it’s a creamy, spicy soup laden with noodles and good bits, even better :)

In Malaysia, this dish is known simply as Curry Mee (mee=noodles), pretty self explanatory. However, in Australia, it is called Laksa. I must admit being a little confused when I first heard this because when I say laksa, I think mostly of assam laksa (a sour spicy dish with rice noodles), or laksa Johor (Johor=southern state in Malaysia) or laksa lemak (creamy laksa), all noodle dishes but not quite the same as Curry Mee.

There’s no real hard and fast recipe for Laksa / Curry Mee. Each vendor has their own secrets. I remember my cousin proclaiming that his favourite laksa stall served such good noodles because the vendor used lots of prawn heads for the stock. If you’re a fan of seafood flavours, this is definitely a great trick to get a good bowl of laksa or curry mee. Fried prawn heads (and shells) :)




The base of all laksa/ curry mee starts with the spice paste. I made my own but you could also use store-bought paste. However, it’s really not too tricky to grind your own, and you could even make the paste a few days ahead and store it in a glass jar in the fridge.  What goes into the paste? Well, chillies and onions for certain, but then opinions differ. I like to also add ginger, lemon grass, fresh galangal and tumeric if available, some garlic, candle nuts and shrimp paste.

Once you have the spice paste, then it’s a pretty simple meal to put together depending on what you have on hand. It can either be “mostly-from-scratch” like the version I made using home-made chicken stock and leftover roast chicken, or it can be “foraged-from-the-shops” using bought chicken stock, ready cooked prawns and pre-seasoned firm tofu! I must say I was very curious about the Marco Pierre White endorsed stock gels, so I bought some. What can I say? It’s still packaged stock, but hey, at least it comes with a photo of the great chef on the pack!






Shhh, guess what? When I made this, I'd didn't have any more hokkien noodles, so I used dried udon noodles instead :)

Speaking of great cooking, how about sending some of your tasty Malaysian meals on to sureshchong(at)yahoo(dot)com from 3 Hungry Tummies who will be hosting the next Muhibbah Malaysian Monday ?

Have a wonderful week and hope the weather is kind where you are.


Curry Mee/ Laksa
(serves 2 very hungry people)

Laksa paste (makes enough for two meals)

1 stalk lemon grass(white part only) - sliced into small pieces
3 eschallots (we call them bawang kecil, which means small onions)
4 dried chillies, soaked. (Reserve soaking water to moisten paste if needed)
2 fresh red chillies (I use the fresh chillies for colour and the dried for flavour)
a chunk of ginger, peeled
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/2 tsp tumeric powder (I couldn’t find fresh tumeric or galangal, otherwise I would have added it)
about a teaspoon toasted shrimp paste
2 candlenuts (if unavailable, I've heard macadamia nuts can be used)


Blitz all paste ingredients in a blender until finely ground. Or use a mortar and pestle.




 
Curry Mee/ Laksa

3 large heaping tablespoons laksa paste (depending on how spicy you like it).
3 cups chicken stock (you can also use vegetable stock or water but the flavour will be different)
10 prawns, remove head and shells - reserve
coconut milk (to taste. I used a small 165ml can)
firm tofu - sliced. I used about 2 squares. (The quantity of each ingredient is really up to your tastes)
handful beansprouts (remove tails)
hard-boiled eggs (1 per person)
fried tofu puffs (2 -3 per person) (try not to omit this, it’s the best part because the puffs act like a sponge and soak up the yummy soup)
peeled prawns
Fresh Hokkien (yellow) noodles - blanched. (You can also use thin rice noodles (beehoon) or a mix of both).
You can also add shredded chicken meat if desired. Others serve the meal with a squeeze of lime juice.


Heat a large pan, add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil. When hot, add the prawn heads and shells, and fry until it smells fragrant and the oil turns red. Use a slotted spoon to remove the all the prawn shells and bits. Add the spice paste to the prawny oil, and stir fry for a couple of minutes until the paste smells fragrant. Then add the stock and coconut milk, and allow to simmer gently for at least ten minutes. The longer it simmers, the more flavourful it gets, but seriously, if you’re starving, a little simmering will do.

Whie the stock is simmering, prepare the rest of the ingredients (eg. blanch noodles, peel eggs, etc) and arrange in serving bowls.

Ladle the hot stock over and serve piping hot.

Purists will add a dollop of spicy chilli sambal but I didn’t have any on hand.

Jonesing for Quinces

Friday, June 10, 2011

Do you ever get slightly obsessed by an ingredient or a particular food? When the seasons turn, I get slightly hoardy about the fresh produce. It’s not just the taste that gets to me, it’s how they look sitting there in their little display baskets or boxes. My hands cannot control themselves, I need to pick them up, each one calling out to be touched differently. Shiny, smooth contours demand to be cradled or gently squeezed. Heavy orbs are embraced with both hands, while rough, bumpy surfaces require a light rub. *Ahem*.  Now that I’ve shared my slightly embarrassing behaviour with you, let’s talk quinces.

When I saw the gorgeous mound of bright yellow quinces at the fruit shop, my first response was to caress the fuzzy skins (please don’t judge me). Then I picked them up and sniffed the glorious perfume. Next I took some home, and painted them.


Mixed media and acrylic


I popped them in a bowl so I could admire them whenever I walked past, and then the days whooshed by until I realised I had better use the fruit before they turned into worm food. So I peeled, cored, sliced and cooked them over low heat, with a vanilla bean, a couple of tablespoons of water and some sugar (I had four quinces but I can’t remember how much sugar I used. The finished product wasn’ t too sweet so I’m guessing I used about half a cup or so.) The longer quinces are cooked, the more they colour. I left this batch on really low heat in a covered, heavy bottomed pan on the stove for about 3 to 4 hours. Every once in a while I gave them a gentle stir to make sure nothing was sticking to the bottom, but the rest of the time I left them alone. I even managed to duck out to the gym and back while Mr. Kitchen Hand babysat the pot.

The cooked quinces then sat in the refrigerator for a few more days while I decided what to do with them. I didn’t have much time, so I needed something not too fiddly. A recipe for a lemon yoghurt cake (by Matthew Evans - found here) sounded perfect and my hunch was soon proved right. I arranged some quince slices on the bottom of a lined springfrom pan, topped it with the cake batter, and with almost minimal effort, we were rewarded with the most amazing cake. Seriously, this cake is good. Even without the quince, it would have been tasty, but the extra layer of fruit added great texture and of course, looked impressive. I have never seen a cake disappear so quickly. MC Junior is not much of a cake eater, but she kept begging for more. I even had to give up my last slice and divided it between the two MCs who had been making puppy dog eyes and casting meaningful looks in the direction of my plate!



The only change I made to the recipe was to use the zest of a whole lemon instead of half. I hate having half-nude lemons on hand ;P


But wait, there’s more! I had barely made a dint in the stewed quince levels. The bowlful of fruit just sat in the fridge reproachfully and gave me the guilts every time I opened the door. Then another bolt of inspiration struck. Pate de fruits has been playing at the back of my mind ever since I read this post on Tartelette. An attempt with some apple puree last year produced a reasonable batch but nothing to write about. At the time, I thought I’d failed badly because I wasn’t sure what the texture of pate de fruits should have been like (I assumed they were meant to be chewy, like gummy lollies). This time,  a post here on Pastry Methods and Techniques, explained what to expect. I didn’t have access to liquid pectin but figured since quince has such a high pectin content, I could probably get away with not having to use any.

Yay! Another success (how I did it below).






There was still a tiny bit of quince left. Hmmm, could I pull three from three and get a perfect quince dessert score?  This time, I decided to make shortcake. The thought of a biscuity-cakey base, layered with cream and stewed quince sounded very promising. And it still sounds very promising because the dessert tasted fantastic. Only thing is, I was rushing when I baked this and forgot a very, very important ingredient in the process. Can you guess what it was? If I say the words “hockey-puck” texture, will that help? Yup! I completely forgot the raising agent, in this case, baking powder. And instead of feather light scones, this was a dense cross between shortbread and shortcrust pastry. But it was still delicious and I will try the recipe (from Joy of  Baking.com) again, hopefully while not multi-tasking.


Hockey puck Shortcake

And now my quince cravings have been sated, I can move on to the next obsession. What will it be?

Hope you have a great weekend pursuing your own obsessions (do tell!) :). We’re heading off on a mini-break over the long weekend, so Malaysian Monday may be a little bit late.


Quince pate de fruits.





This isn’t a proper recipe, just how I managed to make my fruit paste. I suppose this is pretty similar (or the same thing?) to quince paste that’s served with cheese. Before I started, I consulted this post (Tartelette), and this post (Married with Dinner) and this post(Pastry Methods and Techniques).

I used:

2 cups stewed quince
1 1/2 cups sugar
Juice of half a lemon

(First prepare a suitable heat proof container in which to set the paste. I used a ceramic baking dish lined with baking paper. I didn’t bother to oil the sides as I figured the shiny glaze on the dish would prevent sticking. It worked.)

(The recipes I consulted say to use equal parts fruit juice/puree and sugar but my quinces were already slightly sweetened)

First I placed the quince in a pot and blitzed it with the stick-blender until smooth. Then I stirred in the lemon juice and sugar and started cooking on medium heat (gas stove). Here came the fun part, how long to cook and when do I know it’s ready? The experts use sugar thermometers.

I figured I could wing it without the thermometer since my quince had already been stewed for a while, it wouldn’t take long. Having decided on the arbitrary time of 20 minutes, I stirred away and recorded my observations (very scientific - not!).





When the mix started to simmer, it looked like a hot mud pool, you know, the stuff you see on nature documentaries about volcanic activity? Slow bubbles started to appear on the surface and pop, making lazy bloop, bloop noises. Keep stirring.

Then the mix started to bubble more frenziedly, with faster, more hysterical bloop, bloops. Stir and do not stop. At this stage, I wish I’d used a wider pan because every time I stopped stirring, a bloop would send splashes of hot quince onto my extremities.

After about ten minutes of stirring and blooping, my mixture looked like thick tomato sauce (ketchup). Exact same colour and consistency too. At about 15 minutes, it wasn’t so much blooping as zzhshing. Every time I scraped the edges of the pan, it sounded like pulling apart strong velcro. I could also see the bottom of the pan when I dragged the spoon across.

The mix kept thickening and I think it was ready around the eighteen minute mark but I kept going until the twenty minutes I’d set myself were up.



Pour the mixture into prepared container, leave to set and cool completely. Cut into shapes and dust with caster sugar. I tipped the whole thing out onto a cutting board lightly dusted with sugar. Overall, I needed under 2 tablespoons of sugar to coat the lot. Store in an airtight container in the fridge. At first I stored it on the benchtop but overnight, the sugar seemed to get absorbed.

Malaysian Monday Round-Up #11

Monday, June 6, 2011

Hi everyone,

First, a huge thank you to all our very supportive contributors who churn out tasty dish after tasty dish to feed our blog-event. Suresh and I are very grateful.

And without further ado, let’s meet the peeps who help keep Muhibbah Malaysian Monday ticking:

Say hello to our newest contributor Lisa, who blogs at From My Lemony Kitchen. She serves up a dish of divine looking Radish Cakes. I know it’s a tasty dish because Lisa’s daughter left a comment on this post requesting more :).




Next we have Lena from Frozen Wings who made a salted fish curry. Salted fish can be a bit confronting on the nose, but once it’s cooked, the flavour will bowl you over.





For something on the sweet side, visit Sherie at Mameemoomoo for pretty little Kuih Kosui Pandan. These must have smelt super fragrant.


Here's another pandan flavoured cake submitted by Zurin from Cherry on a Cake. She explains how this Kuih Bakar Pandan (Baked Pandan Cake)  used to be made in bygone days. No ovens then, just firewood.



Zurin also submitted some Cucur Badak(translated as Hippo Bites). She is obviously in love with this snack, and know what? So am I :)




If you’re feeling a little cold, how about a warm bowl of Chicken Rice Congee, contributed by Charmaine who blogs at From My Kitchen. This soupy rice porridge has many names, chok and bubur to name a few, and it is real comfort food for many Malaysians. Actually, I’m sure many cultures across S.E. Asia will have a version of this dish.




Next, please visit Veronica from Quay Po cooks, and feast your eyes on a plate of stewed chicken feet. Wait! Come back! Chicken feet may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but these are so beautifully photographed, at least sneak a peek, and you might be tempted to try them :).



If you prefer something less scary, try the Tau Foo “Kang” (smooth thick tofu soup). The translation explains it all, it’s soup, it contains tofu and it looks delish!




Veronica also cooked some Bak Kut The (Pork bone tea soup), a breakfast or supper staple.



(editor’s note: This dish is so popular that there are now halal versions available using chicken instead of pork).



 Say hello to very prolific contributor Kristy who sent FIVE wonderful dishes for our event! I’m sure many of you have been to her blog, My Little Space. Perhaps you’ve already seen these hunger-pang inducing deep fried curry puffs? These are a little bit different to the usual curry puffs, they contain taro and different seasonings instead of the usual potato and curry.


If you fancy a sweet puff instead, she also contributed some tasty Kaya Puffs. They look perfect, don’t they?



She also made egg tofu from scratch, then deep-fried it. Oh yum!



But wait, there’s more. Kristy also served up this mouth watering Roasted Curry Chicken. Why not add some spice to your next roast dinner?



If you want to ratchet up the heat factor even more, why not try her Nyonya sambal chicken. Hot stuff :)





Another very prolific contributor joins us again. Please say hi to Cheah, from No Frills Recipes. There’s something for everyone. First try the vegetarian braised gluten puffs.


Or if you eat meat, there’s Herbal tea chicken or braised chicken with foo yue. Two dishes chook-full of goodness ;).


Herbal tea chicken



Braised chicken

Then there’s Chinese style roast pork. If you’ve been to a chicken rice stall, you may be familiar with these stripey cuts of meat, crunchy, salty and creamy all at once.
 





And that’s not all! She also made Loh Mai Fan(steamed savoury glutinous rice. This is similar to another dish called Loh Mai Kai which is served at dim sum / yum cha. Hmmm, I think I know what I’ll be having for dinner tomorrow.





Gertrude, another staunch supporter of MMM, joins us again from her blog My Kitchen Snippets. She made some pretty Shrimp and Chives (Ku Chai) pancakes. A simple but super delicious snack.


And if you like eggs, be sure to check out the Soy sauce eggs she made. Anther light dish, but heavy on the flavour.





Pick Shan, from Babe in the City, KL, shares an interesting dish. Have you heard of bitter gourd? Check out this stir-fried bitter gourd dish to find out how to prepare this vegetable.


She also cooked Braised Pork Belly with Mui Choy. Sounds luscious and rich doesn’t it?




Shuhan joins us again from Mummy I can cook. She made some lovely patterned Tea leaf eggs

There’s also a colourful, pickled vegetable dish known as Nyonya Achar.



For a heartier meal, try the Claypot Rice. As the name indicates, this dish is cooked in a claypot, a truly one-pot meal.





And of course, Muhibbah Monday would never have started without my friend Suresh who is known to most of you as 3 Hungry Tummies.

He made some dry chicken curry noodles to tempt our tastebuds.




For a different serve of carbs, he also offered up Nasi Minyak a rich rice dish studded with nuts and dried fruit.



Last but not least, here’s his goat curry. What a tasty finish.



Thank you again for sharing all your fantastic food with us. The next Muhibbah Malaysian Monday round-up will be hosted by Suresh, so please send all entries for the month of June to sureshchong(at)yahoo[dot]com.

Have a great week.