Monday, January 31, 2011

Green Pea Jade Cookies

Grean peas are not only for savories, it can be made into a delectable cookie that are so delicious that you will not hear your mom nagged you to eat your peas. You will come for more when you have the first bite.
I made these cookies using green pea flour that i bought in Malaysia and i don't know if it works if i grind my own from Green Pea Snacks but i will try it some day and grind some that have Wasabi.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spiku/Kue Lapis Surabaya

This is a three layers cake and to obtain perfect flat surface cake is sometimes quite an impossible task. Most of the time, i will end up with domed cake. You could level the dome by slicing it off which is quite a chore but i have learned that if you use a clean kitchen towel and press lightly on the hot cake when it comes out of the oven, you will let some of the uneven air out and the cake will be perfectly level. Trust me, it works everytime.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fragrant Hup Toh Sou/Walnut Cookie

This fourth recipe and not the last as i have found one which i would like to give it a go but perhaps not now because my kitchen counter has too much baked goodies and they are going to waste. Here in the States, Chinese New Year is not a big thing, there is no public holiday and even if there is, the tradition of 'PAI LEEN' is not observed. If no one comes to 'PAI LEEN', then who is to eat all tbe cookies?????

This recipe is more fragrant cos the walnuts are roasted, ground fine and added to the dough.  Using peanut oil made a good difference as it enhances the nutty flavor. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Almond Tuiles

I had the most wonderful time in Paris and i cannot thank Thien, Papa and Maman for being such hospitable hosts.  If only Papa and Maman would come and visit me here in Colorado so that i can host their visit, but i might not be able to be as hospitable as they had been but i will try. 

Maman baked the best Almond Tuiles and remembering her Almond Tuiles, inspired me to make some.  Thien, Papa and Maman, these Almond Tuiles were made for you but Jeremie, Sandra and the children are enjoying them.  Thanks again for all the good times while we were in Paris.  Happy Tet.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Almond London Cookies

According to my daughter, Sharon, the prices of cookies have gone up tremendously and so i told her to try making some. Here in the States, i have to bake our malaysian delights such as Kuih Kapit, Kuih Bangkit etc. as there are none to buy, only Vietnamese sweets are available in the Asian Stores. If you wish to bake some, please go to Lily's Wai Sek Hong and search for Labels : cookies or festival dishes and you can find the recipes there.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dongpo Rou

The dish is named after the revered Song Dynasty poet, artist and calligrapher Su Dongpo. The meat which is a slab of pork belly which has to be extraordinarily fatty (around a 50-50 fat-meat ratio), and thus extraordinarily flavorful. A good Dongpo rou is not greasy, but rather melts on the tongue. and it is so tender due to the lengthy cooking time (3-1/2 hours) that you can quite easily pry it away in small pieces with chopsticks. A pressure cooker shortened the cooking time tremendously.

We should join the Hangzhou people of "Su Dongpo's' era and cook this dish in honor of him.

This is my version of the popular dish "Dongpo Rou"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Hup Toh Sou II/Chinese Walnut Cookies

Although my previous post Walnut Cookies was fragrant and acceptable, i had to find a recipe that is more 'asian'. This Hup Toh Sou is more "sou' and melts in the mouth but not so fragrant.  The nuttiness only occur when you bite into the nut and if you like a bit more crunch, then use granulated sugar instead of confectioners' sugar/powdered sugar. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Walnut Cookie

The picture of the cookies looked very promising and i made a batch. I had so much faith in Martin Yan that i did not even bother to read the recipe twice, just collected the ingredients and went ahead. What a dissappointment when i looked into the oven, the cookies were as flat as ???????. Could it be the altitute? Here i always have this excuse when my bakings don't turn out the way it should - BAD WORKMAN BLAMES HIS/HER TOOLS. Perhaps the temperature of the oven is not high enough, so for the next tray, cranked up the oven to 375f and still ..... flat cookies. Well, the recipe says COOKIE, so cookie it was, American type of cookie and not what i wanted - a chinese 'sou'.

Anyway, surprisingly, these cookies were delicious and i kid you not, the fragrance was so inviting when the cookie jar was opened. I ate one and could not help myself, and ate another. Normally, i am not a cookie fan but these cookies were so addictive and i must have been hypered the whole day. Not only was i sugar rushed, i was nutty and went crazy. I had to look for better recipe!!!. I did 2 more batches of cookies made with Walnuts and hope you all will approve them to be HUP TOU SOU. Will post them asap, so that you all can bake some for the coming Chinese New Year.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Palmiers Again And Again

I have made Classic Twisted Pastry Straws with half of the recipe of Quickest Puff Pastry Nick Malgieri and for the other half i made Palmiers.  Although i have made Palmiers and Palmier Again and they were so crisp, buttery, sweet, and very elegant, i had to make them Again and Again, because the family cannot have enough and these cookies never stood a chance to go stale.. The result of these Palmiers was just as good compared to the previous attempts and I have made them smaller, more appropriate to be served as a cookie(asians like small bite-size) for the Chinese New Year Celebration.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Squirrel Fish (松鼠鱖魚)

This Squirrel Fish is the most well-known fish dish in Jiangsu cuisine and in chinese, 松鼠鱖魚.  Animal lovers please do not be alarmed,  there are  no actual squirrels involved. 

In making this dish,  a whole fish is deboned with the fillet still attached to the tail,  the fillet is then cut in a cross-hatch pattern and when deep fried, will look like a squirrel in flight. The sauce served with it, is a sweet, slightly tangy and pleasantly red, of which  the main ingredient is tomato ketchup.  Red is the auspicious color for the chinese, so this sauce is most appropriate for the Chinese New Year.

Like a lot of Chinese dishes, there is a story behind the dish "Squirrel Fish."

Apparently, a long time ago, an Emperor wanted to eat carp, but carp was verboten, forbidden by his own laws. Of course, being the Emperor, he wanted to get his waym and told his chef that his head would be on the ground if he was not served carp.. His chef then had to devise a way to make the carp un-carplike and using his kitchen techniques , made the fish to look like a flying squirrel instead.  Good job, Chef, I bet you kept your head and a higher hat bestowed by the Emperor to put on it.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Gong Xi Fa Cai Cookie

This is the first of many cookies that i will be baking for the coming Chinese New Year, 2011 which will be on February 3rd, 2011 and it is just 27 days more to go.

The tip of the Day that i would like to share is:

When cereals are done, throw away the box, but keep the bag.  It is the best for holding pastry/cookie dough and then using it for rolling out the pastry/cookie dough.  It is FREE.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Classic Twisted Pastry Straws

Now that i have made the Quickest Puff Pastry, it is time to make some delicious pastry with it and making ClassicTwisted Pastry Straws is one of the ways to go.  I made a sweet version but it does not have to be sweet, you can make them spicy or with cheese.  Whichever version will be just as deletable. 

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Quickest Puff Pastry Nick Malgieri

Making classic puff pastry requires planning, time, and lots of work,but Nick Malgieri teached this somewhat less arduous process by using a food processor and a new “jelly-roll” folding method, where home cooks can now make puff pastry easily and quickly. Please do watch this video The Teacher Show before starting to make this pastry.

Nick Malgieri's time-saving adaptations worked well and the dough puffed as well as any quick puff pastry I’ve ever made. Not only that, it definitely lived up to my hopes for saving time. 

According to Nick Malgieri, to make sure that your dough comes out correctly, there are certain rules that you should follow. These rules apply not only to this Quickest Puff Pastry, but to puff pastry made by the traditional and “quick” methods, as well.

1. Before using the dough, always make sure that you chill it until it is firm. This will usually take about one hour in the refrigerator. Also, if the dough softens and becomes sticky while you are working with it, slide it onto a cookie sheet, cover it with plastic wrap, and refrigerate it until it firms up. Again, this will take about an hour. Whatever you do, do not try to work with soft puff pastry; the butter will melt, and your pastry will not puff when baked.

2. While working with the dough, flour the work surfaces and the dough often to prevent sticking, but be sure to use only a light dusting of flour each time. Adding large amounts of flour will make the dough too tough.

3 If possible, chill the dough for an hour or two after forming it into pastry shapes, but before baking. This final chilling relaxes the strands of gluten in the dough, which prevents excessive shrinkage during baking and makes for more tender pastry.

4 Make sure that puff pastry is baked all the way through before you remove it from the oven. It should be a deep golden brown on the outside, and the inside of the dough should be white, rather than grey.To check the interior, simply use the tip of a paring knife to poke a small hole to peek inside when you think the pastry is done.
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