Monday, 1 January 2018

Char Siew Pork (Chinese BBQ Pork)

A delicious and simple recipe for a Chinese-restaurant classic which you can make at home.



One thing that I miss about living in Malaysia is being able to nip to the wet market in the morning or  a kopitiam that selling ready make char siew that they will served with chicken rice.

Usually the char siew pork you find often has a tinge of red in the meat as they either use red  food colouring  or red fermented beancurd. 

I find that it is easier to prepare this dish a night before serving or make it first thing in the morning so that the meat has had some time to marinat before roasting. 

Ingredients:
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp runny honey and 2 tbsp for extra
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce 
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely grated
  • 1 inch garlic, finely grated 
  • 500g pork tenderloin 
Method:

Place all the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and whisk to combine.

Place the pork into a large ziplock freezer bag and pour the marinade inside. Make sure the pork is well coated in the marinade. Place the bag into the fridge and leave it to marinade for 2-3 hours or preferably overnight.

When you are ready to roast the pork, take it out of the fridge  and let it come to room temperature in the marinade. 

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place a roasting  rack inside a large baking tray and fill the tray with boiling water. The rack needs to be high enough so that when the meat is sitting on top of the rack, the meat should not touch the water. The water helps to create a steam in the oven to cook the pork and keep it moist.

Place the pork on the roasting rack and roast for about 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile, pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and add the extra 2 tablespoons of honey. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer gently for a few minutes. Use this sauce to baste the pork. 

After 30 minutes, turn the oven to grill mode on high heat, if possible, place the tray high as possible in the oven under the grill. Baste the pork generously every 3-5 minutes, making sure that it is browning nicely and doesn't burn. Once the pork has caramelised nicely, remove the tray from the oven.

Let the park rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. 



Saturday, 30 December 2017

Kuih Kosui

Penang has a very strong Nyonya presence and being a Penangite, Nyonya kuih always have a special place in my heart. One of my favourite  is kuih kosui. 


A good kuih kosui is rich in pandan aroma and have a springy and soft texture. Best eaten with freshly grated coconut. 

Ingredients :
Syrup
  • 454ml water
  • 285g sugar
Pandan juice
  • 12-15 pandan leaves
  • 620ml water
  • 1 tbsp alkaline water (lye water)
Batter 
  • 150g rice flour
  • 50g tapioca flour
Method:

To make the syrup: melt the sugar in water over low fire until sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool. 

Cut pandan leaves into small pieces. Combine pandan leaves and water in an electric blender. Blend 1-2 minutes. Strain the pandan juice through a fine sieve. Add alkaline water into pandan juice. Set aside. 

In another bowl, add rice flour and tapioca flour. Slowly pour in the pandan juice mixture while stirring it consistently till well blended. Add in syrup.

Cook the flour mixture on low fire till slightly thickened. Remove from heat and pour into little teacups. Steam on oh high fire for 15 minutes. Take the kuih out immediately. Leave it cool for at least 6 hours before removing the kuih from the little teacups.

Serve with fresh grated coconut. 

Friday, 29 December 2017

Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Brownies

No more throwing away overripe bananas and make this chocolately Peanut Butter Banana Brownies.


Ingredients:
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 115g vegan butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C for fan oven. Grease a 9x9 inch baking tray and dust the side of the baking tray with cocoa powder.

In a bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas. Add sugar, butter and vanilla and whisk until combined. Add flour, salt and cocoa powder and whisk until fully incorporated.

Pour the batter into prepared baking dish.

Use a spoon to add dollops of peanut butter on top of the batter. Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter into the brownie batter.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until center no longer jiggles when pan is shaken. 

Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting. 



Friday, 17 November 2017

Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake Icebox Cake


Chocolate + cheesecake + Oreos = ❤️❤️

This cake not only looks beautiful but it tastes amazing. Be warned !!! You will want to reach for a second helping ! 😱


What I love about thus icebox cakes is that creamy chocolate cheesecake filling. It tastes just like a non-bake chocolate cheesecake. It's thick and creamy with a little tang from the cream cheese but plenty of sweetness from the dark chocolate.

The filling is easy to make too. Only 5 ingredients needed.

Ingredients:
  • 250g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp castor sugar
  • 150g good quality dark chocolate 
  • 500ml double cream ,whip to soft peak
  • 280g Oreos biscuits 
  • 1 cup milk
Topping:

  • 360 ml double cream, whip to soft peak
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 10 Oreos biscuits
Method:

Prepare a 9 inch round spring form baking tin by greasing the bottom with a small bit of butter.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add your vanilla and sugar and beat to combine. 

Melt the chocolate in the microwave and stir until smooth and leave it aside to cool slightly. Then add the chocolate to the cream cheese and mix together. Finally fold through the whipped cream.

To assemble, dunk each Oreo in the milk for around 2-3 seconds and arrange in a single layer across the bottom of the cake tin. Don't worry about any gaps. Then pile on half of the chocolate cheesecake mixture and spread it across the cookies in one even layer.

Repeat with another layer of Oreos, dunking and then layering them on top of the chocolate cheesecake. Then add the remaining chocolate cheesecake and smooth it out to form an even layer. Cover and place in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.

To decorate, place your extra double cream in a large mixing bowl. Then sift in the icing sugar and the cocoa powder and gently fold through. Spoon the chocolate cream in a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe swirls along the edges. Half 6 of the Oreos and place in between the chocolate swirls.

Before serving remove the cream filling from the extra 4 Oreos cookies and crush the cookies into fine crumbs. Gently run a knife around the edge of the cake tin and remove the side of the tin. Sprinkle over the Oreo crumbs. Cut and serve. 




Sunday, 12 November 2017

Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake Cake


This Oreo Chocolate Cheesecake  Cake is a chocolately bundt cake with an Oreo cheesecake filling and it's topped with cream cheese glaze and more Oreos!!
When it comes to baking a bundt cake, there is one essential step you cannot skip and that is to generously grease and flour the bundt pan from top to bottom. You do not want anything sticking to the sides of the pan.  
Here I used ready mix in a box chocolate cake. Life too short to do everything from scratch! 

Ingredients:
  • 1 box chocolate cake
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
For the cheesecake :
  • 227g cream cheese, room temperature 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup crushed Oreos 
For the topping:
  • 113g cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4-5 tsp double cream
  • 3-4 Oreos, crushed
  • 1/4 cup hot fudge
Method:

For the cake: Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C for fan oven.  Generously grease a large bundt pan and coat it with a mixture of 50% cocoa powder and 50% flour. Do not skip this step, it is important to help the cake release from the pan. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cake mix, cocoa powder, eggs, oil, water, sour cream and vanilla extract. Mix all of the ingredients until they are well combined. Set aside. 

For the cheesecake: In a medium bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the egg, granulated sugar and vanilla extract. Mix all of the ingredients until they are well combined and smooth. Stir in the crushed Oreos. 

Place at least 1/3 of the cake batter into the bottom of the greased and floured pan, be sure cover at least the bottom nooks and crannies.
Then spread the Oreo cheesecake layer over top of the cake batter and try to spread it evenly.
Finally cover the cheesecake layer with the remaining cake batter. Bake at 180°C/160°C for fan oven for 45-50 minutes. To test the cake doneness, insert a skewer into the cake,mid the skewer comes out clean, the cake is done. 

Allow the cake to cool for at least 15-20 minutes and gently sun a knife around the sides of the pan to help release the cake from the sides of the pan. Turn the cake onto a pan by placing the pan on the top of  the cake and use two hands to invert it. Allow the cake to cool completely. 

For the topping: Beat the cream cheese until it's smooth. Then add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and beat until the ingredients are well combined. Then slowly add the double cream, one teaspoon at a time until the cream cheese reaches your desired consistency. It should still be thick, not watery, but it should run off the spoon without too much effort. 

Place the cream cheese in a piping bag and cut off the edge of the piping bag about 1/4 inch from the bottom. Pipe the cream cheese frosting along the top and sides of the cake.

Next, heat the hot fudge according to the instruction on the jar and repeat the same steps to pipe the fudge sauce next to or over the cream cheese. 

Finally, sprinkle more crushed Oreos over top. Keep this cake refrigerated in an air tight container.

Vegan Mango and Ginger Cheesecake

Vegan mango and ginger cheesecake is a great no bake cheesecake celebrating summer flavours. It's easy and quick to make, gluten-free and oil-free too.



Ingredients:

Cheesecake base;
  • 125g dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water
  • 100g almonds
  • 50g desiccated coconut
  • Pinch of salt
Cheesecake layer:
  • 185g raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 3tsp agar agar powder
  • 5 tbsp lemon/lime juice
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 4 tsp finely grated ginger 
  • 1/2 cup water
Mango layer:
  • 2 cup mango puree
  • 2 tsp agar agar
Method:

Line the bottom of a 8" spring form tin with a baking paper and cut out a long rectangle to line the sides with.

CHEESECAKE BASE:

Grind almonds in food processor until coarse crumb. Take it out of the food processor and set aside. 

Drain dates, squeeze excess water out and chop them roughly. Place then into the food processor and process it into a smooth paste.

In a bowl, mix date paste with enough ground almonds and desiccated coconut to obtain a dough that isn't too sticky yet still holds together well. Season with a bit of salt to taste. 

Line the sides of the spring form tin and then mould the base mixture to the bottom of the tin. Press the mixture down well with your fingers so that there are no gaps. Put a bit of baking paper on top of the base and weigh it down with something heavy. Put into the fridge while making your cheesecake mixture. 

CHEESECAKE LAYER:

Just before blending the cheesecake layer, put agar agar and 1/2 cup of water into a small pot. Let the mixture come to boil and simmer on low medium heat, stir frequently until agar agar dissolve and the mixture thickens (about 10 minutes). From that point onwards you need to work fast as agar agar sets as soon as it cools down. 

Put rinse cashew nuts, coconut cream, maple syrup, grated ginger, lime juice, warm agar mixture and extra 1/4 cup water into a blender. Blend, scraping the sides of the blender from time to time as the set agar likes to stay on those. You will need to work fast as agar sets as soon as it cools down. 

As soon as the cheesecake mixture is super smooth, take the spring form tin out of the fridge and pour the cheesecake mixture on top the set base. Make sure you do it very quickly to get smooth finish as agar sets very quickly. Gently tap the filled spring form tin against your work top surface a few times to get rid of air bubbles. Allow this layer to set completely (about 10 mins) before pouring on the next layer.

MANGO LAYER:

Put 1/4 cup of water into a small pot and add agar agar. Let the mixture come to boil and simmer on low-medium heat, stirring frequently until the agar agar dissolve. Add agar mixture to the mango puree and blend until smooth. Pour over the cheesecake layer and allow it to set before decorating.


Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Cookies 'N Cream Cheesecake

An over-the-top Oreo studded cheesecake that will be the highlight of an occasion ! This Cookies 'N Cream Cheesecake is total dessert bliss !



Every celebration should include cheesecake of some kind don't you think ? Cheesecake is one of my all time favourite desserts and I love trying all the different flavour combinations. 

Ingredients :

Crust
  • 20 Oreo cookies 
  • 75g butter, melted
Filling 
  • 675g cream cheese, softened
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 240g sour cream or plain full-fat yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 18 Oreo cookies, crumbled
  • Whipped cream, for topping
Method:

Preheat oven to 175°C/155°C for fan oven. Place 9 inch springform in the centre of a large sheet of heavy duty aluminium foil. Carefully wrap foil around sides of the cheesecake pan. Spray inside of springform pan with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

For the crust:

In a food processor pulse 20 Oreos to fine crumbs. In a medium mixing bowl stir together the Oreos crumbs and melted butter until well combined. Press into an even layer in bottom of prepared springform pan. Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Allow to cool as you prepared the filling. 

For the filling:

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar until smooth and creamy. Add in the sour cream or yoghurt and the vanilla extract and mix well. Add eggs one at a time and mix on low speed just until combined. Gently fold in 13 crumbled Oreo cookies. Do not over mix. Pour the filling into the cooked crust. Place the springform pan into a large roasting pan and place in the oven. Fill the roasting pan up with hot water until wate level comes halfway up the outside of the cheesecake pan. 

Bake in preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Turn the oven off and open the door slightly. Let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely at room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. 

Loosen the cheesecake from the rim of the pan and remove the rim. Top with whipped cream, crumble remaining 5 Oreos and sprinkle over cheesecake. Cut into slices and serve chilled. Cover the cheesecake and store in fridge up to 4 days.




Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Eggless banana bread


Do not waste over ripe banana, they are great for baking a banana bread. I decided to try out an eggless and vegan recipe.  

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sized ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (atta) or plain flour 
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2-3 pinches nutmeg powder
  • 1-2 tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pinch of salt 
Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C for fan oven. Grease a bread tin load with some oil

Slice the banana into slices. Put into a mixing bowl with the sugar. Mash the banana well or puree them with a hand blender. Add the oil, vanilla, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder to the banana and mix well.

Sieve the flour with baking soda, baking powder, salt directly into the bowl containing the mashed bananas. Fold the sieved flour really well. This folding step is important as you want the whole bread mixture to be one and mixed evenly. Lastly add the sunflower seeds and fold these. Pour the bread mixture into the loaf pan. 

Bake for 30-40 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the bread comes out clean.  Let the banana bread cool down for 10 minutes then remove the banana bread from the pan to cool completely in the cooling rack before slicing into pieces.