Monday, June 27, 2011

red velvet cupcakes

well...the mini version that is. i made mini red velvet cupcakes yesterday. that's one more recipe i can scratch off my list. the wife and her sister, on their trip to NYC years ago told me about this place called the magnolia bakery, that sells the best cupcakes ever. i think the place was made famous because of the few episodes of SATC. i haven't tasted anything from the bakery, BUT! the last time i was in LALA Land, the wife got me the banana bread pudding from the magnolia bakery branch in LA (that just opened) and lemme just tell you that every mouthful was a sinful experience to remember...sedap giler!!!!! it was 80% cream, 15% banana...and until now, i still cannot figure out where the 5% of bread is in that tub of happiness. haha!

MB Banana Bread Puddin'

 so, naturally, when i was looking for red velvet recipes and found the magnolia bakery version here, mestilah nak try, right? and so i did. lemme just tell you that the cupcake itself, was really moist, there were an isolated 2 or 3 cuppies that was a bit bitter tasting at the bottom, that was my bad, my fault entirely because i think i didn't mix the batter thoroughly and the bitter bits were the soda and vinegar mixture...maybe? haha! the cake itself was really moist and not that sweet...i think the recipe was made to compliment the frosting, so that the taste will not be too overpowering. another booboo i made was i didn't follow the frosting recipe from the same site. mainly because i had a whole chunk (read: all 500g of it) of cream cheese sitting in the fridge and i don't want it to go to waste, so, i took the frosting recipe from this other website...unfortunately, it didn't turn out too great, think once again, i overdid it with the beating of the cream (hmm...what exactly is my problem with cream??) and i had to redo the whole thing (only three letters can explain this action O.C.D.) but i decided to use a recipe from here instead. and, turned out just fine.

waaahhhh...very long one my explanation...bla bla bla like that...are you headache? hahahaa!!

okay, to make a very, very long story short...(i haven't even told you how hard it was to find red food seems as if half of malaysia is making this, and i had to go to a few places to find red food coloring...but, nemindlah, no needlah, yes?) i will now share with you the recipe, taken from sarahmeyerwalsh's blog.  since the recipe is not in metric, i have taken the liberty to convert it for you guys. as for the instructions and bla bla bla, you can guys go over here okay?

437½g cake flour
170g butter
562g caster sugar (the recipe didn't specify what kind of sugar, so i used caster)
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tbs red food coloring, i used up almost 3 tiny bottles of star brand food coloring
3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1½ tsp salt
1½ cups buttermilk*
1½ tsp cider vinegar
1½ tsp baking soda
1 batch creamy vanilla frosting, that i didn't do (stoopidstoopidstoopid *bang head to wall)

*if you don't have buttermilk, fret not, because who in malaysia has a stock of buttermilk in their fridges anyways, right? okaylah, if you're a hardcore baker, maybe you havelah...but i don't. so, i went online and found this guide on how to make your own buttermilk. easy, right? if you don't have milk and/or vinegar, then i cannot help you...but if you do, then you're all set. :-p

now for the frosting, i followed the recipe for the frosting taken from here. this is a very useful site because each recipe has its own metric converter.

wow! this is one heck of a long entry, i'm sure you guys are already sick and tired listening to my nonstop babble...i wish you all the best of luck in your red velvet adventure.

come back soon, aight?

red velvet recipe taken from: thank you!
1st frosting recipe taken from: thank you!
2nd frosting recipe taken from: thank you and i LOVE you!!


Friday, June 24, 2011

kerabu tomato ikan bilis

or fried anchovies and tomato salad or can also be known as *YUM* :-)

i got this recipe from this blog. and what can i say...this recipe is definitely a keeper. it's just the kind of salad you'd want to make when you don't have the appetite to eat anything or when you're craving for something saltysourish. then this is the one for you. if you want it to have a bit more 'kick', you can add in some more bird eye chillies. i only used about three, because i can't stand the heat YO!

ready for the recipe?

2 tomatoes, sliced in whatever way you like
dried anchovies, fried
½ big onion, sliced thinly
3-4 bird's eye chillies, sliced
1 lemongrass
salt and sugar to taste
lemon juice
MSG, if you like (i didn't put any)

the how to: seriously? you really want this part of the recipe? really? okaylah!

1)  pound the fried anchovies coarsely, i skipped this part because i like to have them whole then add in all the other ingredients and toss away!

this is so easy that it'll be a shame if you guys don't give it a try. hehehe...

bon appetit!

recipe source: thank you hana!! :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

peanut butter cookies, anyone?

raya cookies project
recipe #2

wow! is all i can say. the taste of these cookies reminds me of my childhood, back when my mum used to make cookies for hari raya. this particular one reminds me of biskut kacang mazola. i don't know if people still make them, but i can remember it has peanuts and corn oil. these cookies taste similar to that but with a more 'peanut butter-ry' taste in them. *duh...nama pun peanut butter cookies, right?

i know you guys are dying to know how 'easy' it is to make these right? well, lemme just tell you, it IS easy...if you minus the part about shaping the dough into balls and then pressing them with the back of a fork. i *ehem* actually went the extra mile (read: OCD, takde keroje, cari keroje) and weighed each ball. so that they are all uniformly sized. la la la la la laaaa..

aneeways, here is the recipe.

200g (7oz) plain flour
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
115g (4oz) unsalted butter
100g (3½ oz) caster sugar
100g (3½ oz) unrefined light brown sugar
1 egg
225g (8oz) crunchy peanut butter
pinch of salt

the how to:
1)  sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda together.

2)  in a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugars until soft and creamy.

3)  combine the egg, flour mixture, peanut butter and salt.

4)  add the butter and sugar mixture, and mix until smooth.

5)  wrap the dough in foil or parchment and refrigerate for at least two hours, preferably overnight. *groaaan*

6)  pre-heat the oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas Mark 3).

7)  shape the dough into a 3cm (1¼in) balls and place them 5cm (2in) apart on baking sheets.*

8)  flatten slightly with a fork.

9)  bake for 15 minutes, or until golden.**

10) remove from oven and allow to cool.

*i am about to get all OCD here, so consider yourselves warned, okaaayyy? haha!! at first i used the smallest ice cream scoop i have to scoop out the dough but the end product turned out to be a bit too big to my liking, so i decided to weigh the dough. using the smallest ice cream scoop, with the dough weighing 14g the diameter of the cookies came up to 7cm (2½in). then i weighed each dough to 12g/ball and the diameter reduced to 5cm (2in)...still a bit too big to my liking. so, i reduced the dough to 8g/ball and the diameter came out to 4cm (1½in). okaylah kot? bite size, right? (told ya, OCD...haha!)

** i also had to increase the baking time, you know how it is, right? different oven, different attitude. i increased my baking time to 20 minutes.

happiness is having some cookies with a glass of cold milk. *sigh*

recipe source:  500 cookies by philippa vanstone

butter cookies

raya cookies project
recipe #1

hell-o!! raya cookies project? really??? i know, this is a VERY ambitious project i'm about to embark on...for all you know, after the 2nd recipe, i would've already given up! haha! but, let's hope not. because we all LOVE cookies, right? what better timing than to have entries about baking cookies now, with ramadhan being a month away and all.

okay, i'm sharing this recipe with you guys because i made this for hari raya last year and it was a hit! it's quite easy to make and since i like things to be super easy, i even skipped the 'shape dough in a log of about 4cm thick and wrap in foil and refrigerate for two hours' bit. to be fair, i tried. but the dough stuck to the foil and let's face it, with soft cookie dough, it aint easy getting them to co-operate and let them be shaped into a log. i tell you. seriously! so, i skipped that part. still, it's up to you. hehehe...

here's the recipe.

225g (8oz) unsalted butter*
150g (5oz) caster sugar
1½ tsp vanilla essence
¼ tsp salt
300g (10oz) plain flour

the how to:
1)  pre-heat your oven to 175°C (350°F/Gas Mark 4).

2)  beat the butter, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy, but not fluffy.

3)  add the salt and flour and mix to a smooth paste.

4)  shape the dough into a log about 4cm (1½ in) thick, wrap in foil and refrigerate for two hours until the dough is firm. ***i skipped this part, la la la la laaaa***

5)  when ready to bake the cookies, cut the log into 6mm (¼ in) thick slices. ***too much numbers!! ohhhhh my heaaadddd!!*** since i skipped (4), what i did was to stuff the dough in my mum's vintage (read: my years old...) SAWA cookie press and immediately start to make them.

6)  place the slices 4cm (1½in) apart on a non-stick baking sheet or use parchment paper on a standard baking sheet.

7)  bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

8)  cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

*use good quality butter because for this one, it's ALL about the butter.

have fun making these babies, guys!

come back okay?

recipe source:  500 cookies by philippa vanstone
SAWA Cookie Press image taken from : **thank you lulushop!!**

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

chocolate meringue cupcakes

okay, if you look at the watermark in the picture, you can see that it was taken waaaaay back in 2009. that was the first time i tried this vanderful, VANDERFUL recipe. i was, as usual, very skeptical about recipe books, but, i was bored that day and decided to do something else for a change. let it be known that it was my first ever meringue anything. and to my surprise, it turned out great. see? what your parents told you is *ehem* sometimes true, 'you never know until you try'.

okaylah, i share with you this recipe taken from here. a brilliant book and one that has yet to fail me. ready? let's go!!

for the cupcake
225g unsalted butter, softened
225g caster sugar
225g self-raising flour
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

for the filling
100g plain chocolate chips

for the meringue
3 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
75g granulated sugar

the how to:
1)  preheat oven to 175°C (350°F/Gas mark 4). line muffin tin with cups.

2)  place all the cupcake ingredients in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until smooth and pale, about 2 -3 minutes.  spoon batter into the muffin tin. bake for 20 minutes.

3)  remove tin from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. then, remove the cupcakes and cool on a rack.

4)  for the filling, melt the chocolate in a medium bowl over a pan of simmering water and cool slightly. (i sometimes cheat and 'nuke' the chocolate in the microwave).

5)  remove the top from each cupcake and hollow out a small hole. spoon the filling into the hole and replace the top. refrigerate until set.

6)  for the meringue, beat the eggs and cream of tartar until soft peaks form.

7)  add one-third of the sugar and beat for 1 minute. repeat until all the sugar has been added.

8)  increase the oven temperature to 230°C (450°F/Gas mark 8).

9)  spoon or pipe the meringue on top of the cupcakes. bake for 5 minutes or until golden.

10) store for no more than 1 day in an airtight container.


okay, okay...quite a lot of steps to follow for this particular one...but! it is ALL worth it. i'm tellin' ya.

i shall leave you to now so that you can pencil this recipe in your calendar.

come back soon, aight?

recipe source: 500 cupcake and muffins by fergal connolly
book image taken from: *thank you!*

Monday, June 13, 2011

lemak cili api rebung muda and udang

wow! that was a mouthful! hahahaha!! okay, you know all great things (like lazying around and over-extending the vacation from the kitchen) must come to an end at one point in time. that being today and now. i don't think i can go out and eat anymore. truth be told, i miss my kitchen and i know (read: perasan nak mampos!) my kitchen misses me too...*honest, i asked, and it answered* :-p

so, lo and behold...this really easy, well...did you think i was going to go all fancy, especially after such a long break from the kitchen? aiyer.... don't get me wrong, i will go all fancy soon enough, because i actually have a list of things to try, but not todaylah. cut me some slacks, okay? okay. i am rambling, which is not good because at this rate that i'm going we will NEVER get to the recipe. here is the recipe...

500g rebung, or bamboo shoots
200g prawns
3 cups thick coconut milk (from 1 coconut)
2 lemongrass, bruised
salt to taste

(b) things to blend
20 bird eye chillies
3 shallots
1" fresh turmeric

the how to:
1)  boil the bamboo shoots with a little bit of salt and water till tender. drain.

2)  in a pot, add all the blended items, lemongrass, prawns and the bamboo shoot and let it simmer till it starts to boil.

3)  then in goes the coconut milk and salt.

4)  be sure to stir so that will not go all wonka (read: pecah minyak). once the gravy starts to thicken, take it off the heat.

5)  ready to serve.

see? i told's easy as easy can be.

wanna have a go at it? :-)

that's it folks, i'm going to have dinner now. come back soon, aight?

recipe source: 1 hari 1 resipi, by chef hanieliza
bamboo shoot photo and information taken from wikipedia, terima kasih.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

what were you doing when you were five years old?

when i was five, i was in kindy, reading all sorts of books, being well taken care of...occasionally giving my sister a hard time (read: bullying on a small scale). i remember going for mengaji lessons. i think it's fair to say that i had a balanced and wonderful childhood.

this guy here, he was selling gum and drinks at the tender age of five. FIVE! my niece is four and all i want to do is to protect her from anything bad and also to try my best to make her happy (but HannaH you still have to go to skool and must basahkan all kaki and tangan when you shower okaaaay).

i am a firm believer that God will not test those who are not able to handle all the challenges that is being given.

so...with that...enjoy the video clip.

i should stop whining and just be thankful for what i have.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

ayam goreng serai

or chicken fried with lemongrass.

my, my...has it really been this long since my last post? tsk tsk tsk...well, i've been a bit tied up lately, but let it be known that i meant to write something here sooner. i haven't been too productive in the kitchen either...this is what happens when i come back from trips. i usually take a looooong time to get things started again. oh well...

today's recipe is quite an easy one (read: malas) but it's really tasty. i think it goes well with nasi lemak as well. why don't you give it a try? once again i got the recipe from this book, 1 hari 1 resipi.


let's go!

cooking oil, for frying
3 cloves garlic*
6 stalks lemongrass*
5 birdeye chillies*
1" ginger*
1" fresh turmeric*
salt to taste
(*these items are to be blended together.)

the how to:
1)  cut the chicken in whatever way you like, i like cutting them in small bite size pieces.

2)  marinate the chicken pieces with the blended items and with some salt, preferably for a minimum of 15 minutes or longer.

3)  heat oil in wok and fry the chicken pieces till they are cooked.

4)  be sure to place them on some paper towels for a bit to soak in the excess oil.

5)  ready to be eaten with rice. :-)

see? i told's really, really easy and it would be a shame if you didn't go to the freezer right now to defrost you some chicken. haha!

come back again, okay? tata!!

recipe source: 1 hari 1 resipi by chef hanieliza