Sunday, January 27, 2013

Baking Exploration ::: Kueh Bangkit (with step by step details)

Been a while since I bake something I can blog about!

Happy Snake Chinese New Year to everyone...

This is a traditional cookie and my attempt to bake dear's special request! Kueh Bangkit that melts in the mouth.

500g Tapioca Flour - (This is the measurement needed for the dough. Need a little extra as some will be wasted during the dry fry & sieve process.)
220g Sugar
250g Coconut Milk
3 egg yolks
5 Pandan Leaves - (wash,dry it, and cut into 1/2" pieces)

Let's start:::

Pour the Tapioca Flour & Pandan Leaves in a pan.

Dry fry the Tapioca Flour with Pandan Leaves for about 10-15mins over low heat.
Tip: until the Pandan Leaves dry up.

Sieve to remove Pandan Leaves...

...and leave to cool overnight. This can be prepared a few days ahead.

Warm up the coconut milk then add in sugar and stir till sugar are fully melted. Leave aside to cool for about 20-30mins. Add in egg yolks and stir till well blended.
sad~ i forgotten to take photo of this process! Sorry!

Pour coconut mixture into tapioca flour and mix until the dough is able to stand on its own and does not have a shiny look. If the dough is too soft, add in additional flour. If the dough is too dry, add in some coconut milk and egg yolks.
Tip: If possible use a dough mixer, the dough might be a little tough to knead.
sad~ i forgotten to take photo of this process, too! Sorry!

Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutter.
Tip: Thickness I did was about 5mm.

Tip: Gently use a Pastry Cutter to take the cut out dough. Just to prevent it from breaking up.

Line them up in the tray.
*Important Tip: Please use baking sheet. 1 time per use as it leave some crumbs behind.*

You may make some designs on top of the cookie. I used a chopstick to design some imaginary look instead of having it plain. It's all up to you!
Bake over low heat at 160°C...

...until whitish in color and not golden brown that will be for about 20-25mins.
Put a side to cool before packing into boxes.
Tip 1: you may drag out the tray to touch the top of a random cookie to test if the dough have been totally cook. If it is soft let it bake for a while longer.

Verdict from deary "Delicious...! *thumbs up* Can sell already."

Hope everyone likes this detail level post & tips from my experience in baking Kueh Bangkit.

I'm still looking forward in baking my all time popular demand Pineapple Flower Tart. Click here!

Click here for our blog page Baking Classes for more recipes. Hope you will be inspired~

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lazy Saturday Brunch at House, Dempsey Hill

Oh wow this is only the second post for 2013, we're already three weeks into the new year! Between work and a few wedding photo sessions we simply haven't had the time to sit down and write proper blog posts.

There is always time for Brunch on weekends, though, so today we jumped in the car and headed over to House over at Dempsey Hill to laze the morning away!

Relaxing isn't complete without food, though, so we start off with an order of Curry Mustard Fries (SGD9). I'm not sure where the 'mustard' comes from since these are topped with a huge amount of curry powder, paprika and sea salt - but no mustard. They're nice and savory without being overly salty (like most of McDonald's shaker fries varieties).

House apparently serves "Singapore's Best Tou Sar Pao" (self-proclaimed, I believe), so we order one to try. At SGD2.50 it's not the cheapest Pao around, but it is pretty good. Bread is nice and fluffy, the Sar (paste) is smooth and has a nice balance of bitter and sweet.

Cappucino and Latte (SGD6 each) to wash down our breakfast - we thought the coffee here was good, but as we're not java aficionados, your mileage may vary.

Moving on to the meaty (as in, substantial) stuff - Eggs Benedict (Poached Eggs on biscuits with ham, baby spinach and Hollandaise sauce, SGD18). We weren't sure what ham was used, but it was distinctly absent taste-wise. If you weren't paying attention you possibly wouldn't even have noticed it was there at all! Other than that the eggs were well poached and nicely sauced.

We very much liked the Asparagus, Serrano Ham & Crumbed Egg (SGD22). Asparagus was nice and well cooked, and complemented the saltiness of the ham. We also liked the crumbed soft boiled egg with its' shaved sea salt and deliciously runny yolk. Would certainly order this again the next time we're here.

The overall bill came up to a not-exactly-cheap SGD74 for two people; but practically all the eateries in Dempsey Hill are priced pretty upmarket anyways. House is at 8D Dempsey Road, Singapore. We'd recommended taking a cab here if you don't have wheels as it's one of those annoying-to-get-to-by-public-transport places in Singapore.

Weekend Brunch is served at 11am-4pm on Saturdays and 9am-4pm on Sundays. Call them up at +65 64757787 to make reservations. Non-halal.

* All photos in this blogpost were taken with the Google Nexus 4 because we forgot to bring our DSLRs :(

Monday, January 7, 2013

Great Chinese Food at Noble House, Imbi

The Oriental Group of Restaurants is only slightly over 10 years old, but it's already established itself as one of the top Chinese restaurant chains in KL, with ten different outlets spread out around the city. Their Executive Chef, Chef Justin Hor, even won Hospitality Asia Platinum's 2010-2012 Best Chinese Cuisine Chef for Noble House Restaurant, Kuala Lumpur, where we went to celebrate my Uncle's 50th birthday :)

We started off with a couple of servings of Roast Pork (not part of the 8-course dinner for the night) - this is actually pretty good, especially if you like your siew yuk with some "substance." The meat's not tough by any standards; it's just not as flaky / break-apart-in-the-mouth as some other siew yuk's in town.

Peking Duck is the opener course of the night and is also pretty good! Personally I don't like it when the waitresses serve up the skin pre-sauced and pre-wrapped; I prefer to DIY it totally to control the amount of sauce, skin, pancake, scallion and cucumber ratio. As is normal with Peking Duck, the meat is cooked and served at a later course.

Braised Sharks Fin Soup with Crab Meat & Crab Roe is also pretty nice, managing to avoid excessive starch in the broth. Although to be honest, I really don't get why some people like sharks fin so much - it doesn't contribute any flavor to the soup at all.

Incidentally, to those shark lovers among you reading this, I'd just like to give you an "other side of the coin" point of view: "... research showing 80% of the 73 million sharks killed each year are in fact caught accidentally." I'm not supporting the killing of sharks, just merely giving some alternative viewpoints that the "live finning" that people like to rave about may not necessarily be as widespread as they think.

Moving on to yet another Chinese food that I don't understand - Abalone. Specifically, the Steamed Abalone with Prawn Paste and Treasure Chest Beancurd. The dish is overall quite delicious, but I've never been a huge abalone fan.

The Steamed Deep-Sea Garoupa with Fresh Beancurd Skin & Black Fungus is a little lacking in presentation but more than makes up for it with a nice texture and bite to the fish meat, and a well balanced soy-sauce-based gravy.

The black sheep of the night was the Roasted Crispy Shatin Chicken & Thousand Layer Pork Ear Thai Style. I wasn't a big fan of the gaminess of the pigeon, nor the pig ears.

The duck meat from the Peking Duck makes its' re-appearance in the carb-dish: Fried Rice with Duck Meat & Raw Egg. Rice was fried pretty well, nice and fragrant.

For desserts we have a cold bowl of Chilled Snow Pear with Sea-Coconut served with Steamed Pumpkin Bun - fairly decent desserts but not really particularly memorable.

We thought that the food in Noble House was very solid, although we wouldn't go as far to agree with Hospitality Asia Platinum's "Best Restaurant" assertion. The restaurant is also decorated pretty nicely, staff were well trained, friendly and attentive, and parking was also quick and easy thanks to a well oiled valet system. Highly recommended. Non halal.