26 Jul 2009

笑口棗 - smiling doughnuts

I was looking for Alex Goh's recipe books at the library last week but couldn't find any. So I borrowed a chinese recipe book to look at the food photography. My mum looked at the books and decided to make 笑口棗 (smiling doughnuts) today, and me and my sister decided to help.

I remember eating these during my trip last year in Malaysia. They were only 60 sen at 'baasak' and I bought a whole heap. They were nice but they were oily when opened inside. The ones we made today are crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.

Blahahahaha took photos while mum was in action xD

笑口棗 (smiling doughnuts)
adapted from 亲子节日食谱
later edited by my mum


  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tb oil
  • 3 Tb water
  • white sesame seeds for coating
1. Sift flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda in a large mixing bowl.
2. Beat eggs with sugar, oil and water until well combined.
3. Pour the egg mixture into the sifted flour.

4. Using your hands, mix flour and egg mixture together until it forms a dough.

5. Divide mixture into 2 parts. Roll them into a sausage shape and cut into small pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

6. Slightly dampen balls so that they can stick to the sesame seeds. (Try not to make it that wet.) Re-roll each ball so sesame seeds don't fall out when frying.

7. Heat a small wok of oil. Deep fry balls in medium heat until golden and burst into a smiling shape.

19 Jul 2009

ULTIMATE chocolate cookies

It was decided on Friday that the seven of us accelerated accounting students would conduct some sort of 'tea party' (I didn't come up with the idea by the way). So each of us was in charge of making some sort of dessert or baked goods. With 2 guys and 5 girls, I wonder how it will be tomorrow...

Here's what the six are making:
T - marble cake
D - custard puffs
C - eclairs
J - chocolate filled muffins
(he cheated, got his sister to make them with box mix)

J - nothing
T - nothing

Edit: In the end, we all got gg-ed eating so much sweets in the morning. Wanted to try T's marble cake but was too full.

I wanted to make cake, but since T was already doing it, I didn't want to do it. So I decided to make cookies. Something that I want to make and testing the temperatures on my oven when baking cookies since I ALWAYS burn the bottoms. Well turned down the oven temperature by 30 degrees and it works REALLY well. I now have more confidence in baking cookies :)

In the end, I reckon these cookies are very similar to the ones they sell in Coles in the round plastic containers. Only mine were slightly crunchy then the ones they have in Coles. The cookies were tasty though...I thought the cookies would be bitter since the recipe states chocolate with 70% cocoa solids. But the amount of sugar and the rest of the ingredients helped balance out the flavour. :)

Talk no more and here's the recipe, BIG thanks to Nigella. Now I don't need to buy the cookies from Coles anymore. (^_^)

Edit: Managed to complete 5/6 recipes planned :)

ULTIMATE chocolate cookies
adapted from Nigella Lawson's totally chocolate chocolate chip cookies
later edited by me

150 degrees Celsius
fan forced

makes 27
  • 125 grams dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 150 grams plain flour, sifted
  • 30 grams dutch process cocoa, sifted
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 125 grams margarine
  • 75 grams light brown sugar
  • 50 grams caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cold egg
  • 3/4 cups dark chocolate chips
1. Break up the chocolate and melt in a double boiler. When chocolate is melted, leave to cool.

2. Cream the margarine and sugars until light and fluffy.

3. Add the melted chocolate and mix it into the creamed mixture.

4. Add in the cold egg and vanilla essence. Mix to combine.

5. Mix the sifted flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and salt into the creamed mixture.

6. Stir in the chocolate chips.

7. Spoon tablespoons of mounds onto a lined baking tray.
8. Bake for 18 minutes.
9. Leave to cool on a cooling rack. Cookies will firm upon cooling.

masterchef scones

I usually get up at around 8 AM on a Sunday so I can do everything before going to Thangstahh's house for tutor, but I set my mobile to go off at 0615 before I went to sleep last night to make scones :) Call me crazy but scones are best straight from the oven on the day baked so I didn't want to make last night.

The recipe I used came from a reality show Masterchef Australia. At first I didn't watch the show, because I thought it would be like those typical reality shows where they just show people bitching about each other and so on. Unlike those shows, Masterchef shows not only the competition in the hospitality industry but also the tears of true disappointment when one is eliminated. Too bad I only started seriously watching it a few weeks ago T^T totally missed out...

I really like this recipe :) I didn't have to use the standard 'rubbing in' method which I hate but using the muffin technique of mixing the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. For me, the cream and the buttermilk gave the scone richness and the you could really taste the cream in it after baking. The dash of vanilla essence smelt nice in it too. This is also probably the only thing I can reproduce from Masterchef.
For some strange reason, my aunty said the dried apricots were sour...weird.

masterchef scones
adapted from Gary Mehigan's date and lemon scones
later edited by me
200 degrees Celsius
fan forced

makes 12
  • 3 cups self raising flour, sifted
  • 3 Tb caster sugar
    + extra for sprinkling
  • 1 cup dried fruit, roughly chopped
    (I used 3/4 cup apricots and 1/4 cup sultanas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 150 mL milk
    + 25 mL if dough is dry
  • 150 mL cream
    (I used 35% milk fat cream)
  • 1 egg
1. Combine sifted flour, caster sugar and dried fruit in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Make a 'well' in the centre.

2. Whisk milk, cream and egg until all combined.

3. Pour the milk mixture into the well.

4. Stir gently to form a soft dough. Add remaining milk if necessary.

5. Turn onto a lightly floured board and knead gently until dough comes together. Roll out dough to 2 cm thick.

6. Cut dough using a floured round cutter. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper flat side up. Repeat with remaining dough.

7. Brush scone tops with milk and sprinkle caster sugar on top.
8. Bake for 10-15 minutes until scone is golden and well risen.

A sweet fruity scone to start the morning with a glass of frothy milk. Getting up early really paid off. Wrapped 2 pieces in foil and gave it to my tutor :) She says it's the best scone ever! :D

10 Jul 2009

winter warmer special

Inspired by Sakamoto-san's rice dishes I decided to try it myself :) A combination of shitake mushrooms, kent pumpkin, purple blue yam and chinese sausage along with jasmine and glutinous rice ready to go into the rice cooker. Didn't know if the pumpkin, yam and shitake will cook thoroughly in the steamer, so I boiled them before hand. I guess I must've boiled them too long as the pumpkin lost it shape and became mushy after steaming.

After steaming :) Adding a pinch of salt and Kikkoman soy sauce. Stir it all together...

Add chopped spring onion and coriander and some fried shallots to serve. And there you have it one winter warmer special.

Might add some chinese wine or some mirin to it next time to enhance the flavour.

Edit: Apparently, I was supposed to steam the rice with soy sauce, salt and other stuff...that can explain why the taste was plain even though I added so much soy after steaming. xD There's always next time :)

6 Jul 2009

pokemon trio :)

Today, I went out with my two close friends which I have know them since kindergarten (Thangstahh) and primary (Eira). Heolin was supposed to come but she had urgent business so she ditched me with the guys Dx Unfortunate, but the outing was AWESOME!! (Too bad you couldn't come Heolin...it was REALLY fun :) <- trying to make someone jealous xP).

The day was supposed to start off at 11:30 under the big clock in MC. Eira and I both came early so we just walked into Borders reading stuff and trying to hide from Thangstah xD meh...but he found us pretty fast! Proceeded to a range of newsagents and Officeworks to find a special exercise book for Thangstahh but no luck :(

Around noon we went to Dessert House (the one outside MC) for lunch. Discovered Pancake Dessert House (the one in Mid City Arcade) and Dessert House was from the same company. I ate baked tomato chicken fillet with rice and had a ice cream red bean drink (with no ice cream...because the staff forgot to put the ice cream); Eira had char kway teow with ice coffee; Thangstahh had Portuguese spaghetti with ice lemon tea. I thought the meals were pretty affordable totalling around $34 and of course we paid in "AA style" (meaning you each pay for your own meal) xD.

Later we caught the tram to Southern Cross and walked over to Crown for Galactic Circus. It was a long walk... The guys played 2 rounds of pool and won a game each Thangstahh won both games (hehe just remembered xP). I was just there looking at them play, although I did play a bit...noob style. Note: I don't know if it was dark and Eira couldn't see or what, but he hit the coloured ball instead of the white ball xDD making the Thangstahh and I laugh like crazy xDDD

After pool, we decided to play the other machines in Galactic Circus. We had 24 credits from Thangstahh's card which we used up on air hockey, spinning wheel and the claw machine - winning Piplup (the blue penguin pokemon). And because Thangstahh had a whole wallet full of vouchers, we chipped in $5 each for a new card which gave us double the amount of credits. So we had 30 more credits :D Used them for Mario Kart racing, more spinning wheels, the bowling game and this shooting game where I pwded the guys xD BWAHAHAH!!

Spent the remaining credits on the claw machine, winning Aipom (the purple monkey) and Turtwig (the turtle with a leaf on its head). The claw machine was epic xD We had one person on each side watching the claw's position. Yup, the 'journey' of 'catching Pokemon' was challenging but rewarding. We went CRAZY when the Pokemon fell in the chute; screaming and Hi 5-ing. In the end we all picked up a Pokemon and brought it home. It is now our symbol of 'hard work' and friendship and also represents out height :) After using up all the credits we left for a drink and departed.

Piplup - Thangstahh
Aipom - Eira
Turtwig - Grub (mine!!) I know my pokemon :)

Also went to a anime store that Eira brought us to (in which took us forever to find when there were gigantic posters in the window just right behind us). There was lots of anime goods and CHEAP manga. I bought volume 8 of Vampire Knight for $14 which is cheaper than the RRP and Borders (in which they have no stock and is more expensive).

Here's the address and contact information:
...your hidden Anime shop (yep it was really hidden)

705/258 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne 3000
Level 7, Corner of Swanston and Little Bourke Street
PH: 96543210

click for their eBay store

And here's this years Amaranth post card. So pretty but I like last year's one better (^_^)

Overall a VERY fun, yet exhausting day out :)