Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bakewell Slice

Bakewell is a traditional English baked dessert which consists of a short crust pastry shell, spread with jam and covered with a sponge-like filling enriched with ground almonds (known as frangipane). This famous British tart made in the picturesque town of Bakewell in the Derbyshire Peak District. It is a delicious dessert and also makes a delightful afternoon treat.

Ingredients for the crust:

1 cup flour
6 tbsp cold butter
1 tbsp sugar

Ingredients for the topping:

6 tbsp of butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup ground almonds
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup raspberry jam.
1/4 slice almonds

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degree F. Line and lightly greased a 8" x 8" square baking pan with parchment paper, overhang on both side (for easy removing your slices later)
2. In a food processor, process all the crust ingredients using the pulse action until fine and crumbly.
3. Press it evenly to the base of the baking pan. Bake it for 10 minutes, remove from oven and let it cool.
4. To make the topping, beat sugar, butter and eggs until light and creamy. Add in flour and ground almonds, mix until just combined.
5. Spread the raspberry jam to the crust, spread the topping over the jam and sprinkle the almond slices to the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Cool completely before cutting to serve.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Kuih Ketayap/Crepes with Coconut Filling

This is, without a doubt, one my very favorite kuih. A soft green crepe roll that has caramelized coconut filling in it. This is one of the very first kuih (cake) I’ve learned to make during home science class. I remember my partner and I had to pound the pandan (screwpine/pandanus) leaves to make the green coloring for the batter and trying very hard to make a perfect piece of crepe as years ago we don’t have a non-stick pan.

Most of us don’t make this kuih anymore as it’s so easily available at most food courts and also from the street stalls during the morning and evenings in Malaysia but here in US we don’t have the luxury to go out and buy some so whatever we want to eat we have to make it. I prepared a whole lot of these for a pot luck BBQ party last weekend and lucky Diana is there to help me out. It turns out really good and well received by my friends.

Ingredients for crepes

1 cup of flour
2 eggs
1/2 cup of coconut milk
1 cup of water
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of oil
1 tsp of pandan paste

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Shrimp Omelette

I love eggs and I can eat it everyday but I limit myself to eat not more than 3 eggs a week. This is a dish that my mom used to cook for us and it is usually served as a complimentary dish to other dishes on our dinner table. Sometimes she will add long beans, preserved radish, tomato and even pork to it. This is such a versatile dish and you can add just about anything you like to it.


3 eggs
1 onions – slice thinly
1 clove of garlic - chopped
8 shrimps – peel and deveined
2 spring onions – cut about 1" length
1 red chili – slice thinly
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Break eggs in a bowl, add a bit of salt and pepper to it. Beat it with a fork and set it aside.
2. Heat up some oil in a non-stick pan, add in onions, garlic, and chili and stir-fry until lightly brown and fragrant.
3. Add in shrimp, stir-fry until the shrimps turn pink, add in some salt and pepper, pour the eggs into the pan, sprinkle the spring onions on top, wait for 2-3 minutes till it is cooked through, and then flip the other side.
4. Cook for another minute and dish out. Serve with warm rice.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Savory Pie

I made this pie with some leftovers roast chicken from our previous dinner together with some inexpensive ingredients like chopped spinach, eggs and ricotta cheese. This is one of those incredibly fast and simple meals that really come together in no time at all. I usually make my own pie crust but this time I was kind of lazy so I used store bought. This pie is great for weekdays dinner as your can make and bake it over the weekend and during the weekdays you can reheat it up just before serving.


15-ounce package ready-made puff pastry
2 cups of chopped cook chicken
8 oz frozen spinach – thaw and squeeze out the water
2 tomatoes - chopped
3 eggs
1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
½ cup of milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
1 egg – beaten (for egg wash)

1. Remove the crusts from the box and let sit at room temperature for half an hour.
2. Pre-heat oven to 375 degree F. If you are using puff pastry roll out the pastry a bit thinner and line the bottom of a 9” pie plate. Roll out the other crust and set it aside.
3. In a mixing bowl, combined chicken, spinach, tomatoes, eggs, cheese, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper together until well combined. Spread the filling into the pie crust and place the other crust on top.
4. Crimp the edges together and make several small slits on top of the crust for the steam to escape. Brush some beaten egg on top of the crust and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and the filling is bubbling.
5. Serve warm with some salad.

Note: You can use short crust pastry for this pie.

Other pies : Spinach Pie , Chicken Pot Pie

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Baked Chicken Fingers with Honey Mustard Sauce

Why buy chicken nuggets when you can make this healthy oven baked chicken fingers? These chicken fingers are lightly coated with whole-grain cereal, panko, almonds and some parmesan cheese. These tasty tenders bake up crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside and paired with tangy honey mustard dipping sauce. I am sure your kids will love these and forget all about the unhealthy fast food.


2-3 pieces of skinless chicken breast – cut into 3/4” long strip
3 tbsp of low fat sour cream
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
½ tsp of paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of whole-grain corn cereal or any type of cereal – crush with a rolling pin
½ cup of panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/4 cup of slice almond
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Honey-Mustard Sauce

3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp low fat mayonnaise
2 tbsp of lemon juice
2 tbsp honey

1. In a mixing bowl, marinate chicken with sour cream, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper for at least an hour.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400 degree F. Prepare baking sheet, line it with aluminum foil. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the baking sheet.
3. Combined cereal, panko, almond, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper on shallow dish. Mix well.
4. Coat each piece of the chicken with the cereal mix. Arrange on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on the chicken pieces.
5. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the strips over and continue to bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned and cooked through.
6. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. Mix all the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
7. Serve chicken fingers warm or at room temperature with honey mustard dipping sauce.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Soft Cotton Cheesecake

This cheesecake really lives up to its name. It is super light and soft as cotton. My neighbor Nancy said this is the best cheesecake she ever had and as for Carlos he said it’s a bit too light and spongy for him. Nevertheless, he still eats it. To me it’s really good and it’s not as heavy as the normal cheesecake. I will definitely bake this again.

250g cream cheese
110ml fresh milk
100g butter

100g plain flour, sifted
20g corn flour, sifted
60g sugar
6 egg yolks
1 orange, zest and juice

6 egg white
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
60g sugar

1. Prepare a 9" baking pan, line the bottom with parchement paper, and greased the side with some butter.
2. Put (A) ingredients in a double boiler. Double boil till until cream cheese and butter melted. Remove from heat and let it cool
3. When it's cool add in all the ingredients (B). Stir until its smooth. Set aside.
4. Whisk (C) till thick and glossy (soft peaks form), fold into cream cheese mixture till well combined
5. Put baking tin into a large roasting pan half filled with hot water and steam bake at 350 degree F for an hour or till golden brown and cooked.
6. Remove cake from the oven, invert the cake onto a cake rack and leave to cool completely before cutting it.

Note: The cake will fall a little after cooling.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stuffed Sweet Little Peppers

These cute little sweet peppers are addicting. They are just beautiful and they might look hot but they are not. They are really sweet and crunchy. You can eat it raw or my favorite way of eating it is just lightly toss it with some olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread it evenly on a baking sheet and roast if for 30 - 40 minutes. For today I simply stuffed it, pan fried and then cook it in some bean sauce.


8-10 sweet peppers
1 chicken breast – ground finely
5-6 shrimp - roughly chopped
1 tsp of cornstarch
½ tsp of sesame oil
1 spring onion – cut small
Salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp of black bean paste
2 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 cup of water
1 tbsp of sugar

1. Wash peppers and cut a slit in the middle (for stuffing). Discard the seeds of the peppers, pat dry with paper towels. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, mix the chicken, shrimp, corn starch, spring onion, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Mix well.
3. Using butter knife stuff the meat mixture into the pepper. Heat up a pan with some oil. Pan-fried the peppers slowly until lightly brown, remove and set aside.
4. In the same frying pan, heat up some oil stir-fry the chopped garlic until light brown or fragrant. Add the bean paste and do a quick stir. Add water and sugar and bring it up to a boil. Add in the peppers and cook until sauce thickens
5. Remove from pan and serve warm with rice.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Shell Pasta with Sausage and Asparagus

With asparagus selling for less than $2.00 per pound, they're hard to resist. I’ve been cooking a lot of dishes with it. I steam, grill, stir-fry and make soup out it. I even cook pasta with it too. This is a perfect dish for spring with the great flavor combination of asparagus and Italian sausage. This recipe is simple, both in taste and method and you can also change the sausage to other protein and the asparagus to other vegetables.

Ingredients :

1/2 box of small shell pasta
3 links of fresh Italian sausage (I used turkey sausage)
1 pound of asparagus – cut into 1” length
3 fresh tomatoes - cut into 1/2" cubes
3 cloves of garlic - chopped
1 tsp of chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add in some salt. Cook pasta according to the instruction on the box.
2. While the pasta is cooking, in a large sauté pan over high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Remove sausage from the casing and sauté and cook until golden brown. Remove meat from pan and set aside.
3. In the same pan, sauté the garlic until lightly brown. If there is not enough oil add in an extra 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add in the asparagus and cook for a minute. Season with salt, pepper and chili flakes
4. Add in chopped tomatoes, stir for a few second and return the sausage back to the pan. Mix well and add in the cook pasta. Mix until everything combined. Check sesoning.
5. If the pasta is a bit dry you can add in a bit of the pasta water. Turn off the heat and add in the grated cheese. Stir well and serve warm.

Other pasta dish : Cajun Chicken and Shrimp Pasta

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Apple Tarts II

One of my favorite desserts is just a plain simple apple tarts. Make into individual serving with a few ingredients and simple flavor. It’s great for elegant dinner party or just casual teatime party. I normally like to cook down the apple first and then finish baking it in the oven. This apple tarts freeze well too. Just warm it up in the oven for 20 minutes and you will have a nice warm dessert to finish off your dinner.

Ingredients for pastry :

1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of sugar
1 stick (8 tbsp) of cold butter - cut into cubes
1 egg yolk
2 - 3 tbsp of very cold water

1. In a large bowl mixed together flour, sugar and salt. Using your hand or pastry cutter rub the cold butter into the flour until it resembles coarse cornmeal or breadcrumbs.
2. Add in egg yolk and cold water and mix until dough comes together. Form it into a disk and chilled the dough for an hour before using it.

For the apple fillings:

4 granny smith apples – peeled, cored and slice thinly
4 tbsp of light brown sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1 tbsp of butter
1 tsp of cinnamon

1 egg – beaten

1. In a pan, warm up butter and add in the apple and sugar. Cook until the apple soften and juice reduced. Turn off heat and add in cinnamon. Let it cool.
2. Greased tart moulds with some butter. Roll out the pastry to about 1/8" thick and line the pastry into the tart pan.
3. Put the filling into the tart pan and cover the top with the balance of the pastry.
4. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

I have another apple tart recipe here

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Fresh Strawberry Sorbet

Fruit sorbets are wonderfully light and refreshing, with a grainy consistency, and they only require mixing together blended fruit, water, sugar, and lemon juice. I bought some beautiful strawberries from Chinatown the other day but unfortunately they are lack of sweetness and flavor. So the best thing to do is either makes some Jam or sorbets. If you can’t find fresh strawberry you can always use frozen unsweetened strawberries. The sorbet can be processed in an ice cream maker or simply frozen in a shallow container.

Ingredietns :

1 cups water
1 cup sugar
3 pounds of strawberry
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup fresh orange juice

1. Put water and sugar in heavy saucepan over high heat until sugar dissolves. Boil 5 minutes. Leave it to cool.
2. Puree strawberries in food processor until smooth. Add strawberry puree , orange and lemon juices to cool sugar syrup; stir to blend. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
3. If you are making the sorbet in ice-cream maker process strawberry mixture in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions or place mixture in shallow container and freeze, stirring every hour until set, about 6 hours.

Note: If sorbet is frozen solid, place in refrigerator for 15 minutes to soften.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Hard Boiled Eggs in Spicy Sauce (Egg Sambal)

I've been really lazy lately. Lunch and dinner is always something that I can cook in a short period of time with minimal ingredients. Eggs are one of them as they are probably the cheapest source of protein around, and quite a complete meal in itself. There are many ways of cooking it. I like them in omelet, steam, soft boil and hard boil. If you are looking for something easy and simple to cook Sambal Eggs is one of them.


5 hard boiled eggs
1 large onions – sliced thinly
1 clove of garlic - chopped
2 tbsp of chili paste or sambal olek (more if you like it spicy)
2 tbsp of tomato ketchup
1 tbsp of lemon juice (optional)
Some water
1 tbsp of sugar
Salt to taste

1. Heat about 2 tbsp of oil in pan and shallow fry the hard-boiled eggs till eggs are slightly browned. Remove eggs and set aside.
2. Add in garlic and onion and stir well until aromatic and lightly brown. Add in the chili paste and tomato ketchup. Stir for a few second and gradually add in some water.
3. Add salt and sugar to taste. Return fried eggs to the sambal mixture coat evenly and allow to boil until sambal is reduced in liquid.
4. Serve warm with rice.

Note: Be careful when you pan fry the hard boiled eggs as it splatter a lot.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Chive Pancake Rolls

Weather here is getting much warmer now so I like to create some simple and light for lunch. I have been craving for some fresh popiah (fresh spring rolls) since I came back from Malaysia but it was just too bad I can’t get any fresh spring roll wrappers here. Unlike in Malaysia where you can get it from the market. This is what I came up with and it's not too difficult to make. You can make this into vegetarian and all you have to do is just replace the shrimp with some tofu.

Ingredients for pancake

1 cup of flour
1 egg
1 tbsp of oil
1 ½ cup water
1 tsp of salt
A small bunch of chives – cut small

In a medium bowl, mix plain flour, egg, oil, water and salt then make into a smooth batter. Set aside for 30 minutes. When you are ready to make the pancake, add in the chives.


3 cups of shredded jicama
1 carrot – julienned
10 shrimps – peeled, clean and roughly chopped
1 small chili – chopped
2 cloves of garlic
1 small onion – sliced thinly


½ cup of water or chicken stock
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1 tbsp of soy sauce
½ tsp of sugar
1 tsp of cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a bowl and set it aside. In a pan, heat up 2 tbsp of oil, stir fry garlic and onion until soft and fragrant.
2. Add in shrimps, chili, carrot, shredded cabbage and stir-fry for a minute and then add in the seasoning. Continue to cook until the gravy thickens and reduced. Check the seasoning. Dish out and set it aside.
3. Heat up a non-stick pan over low heat; brush a little oil to the pan.
4. Pour some batter to the pan and swirl into a round thin pancake. Let it cook and then flip the pancake over and cook for another a few second.
5. To assemble the roll, put some filling on top of the pancake, and roll it up like a spring roll.

Note : You can replace the jicama with shredded cabbage or any kind of vegetables you like.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Soybean Milk Jelly

When I first saw this recipe at Élin’s blog I know I just have to try it. I love drinking soy milk and making dessert out of it sounds really good to me. I used Silk Light soy milk for this dessert so didn’t turn out as creamy as I wanted it to be but nevertheless it still taste great. Do check out Elin’s blog as she has great recipes there.


2000ml unsweetened soybean milk
¾ cup of sugar
3 screwpine (pandan) leaves – tie into a knot

1 tsp of agar-agar powder ( I used 2 tsp)
Some fresh fruits - optional

1. Boil the above (A) together in a pot under low heat till the sugar has dissolved and the aroma of screwpine leaves filled the air. Add in the agar-agar powder and stir till it has dissolved into the soybean milk.
2. Turn off the fire and pour into ramekins , add in diced fruits (optional) and leave it to cool.
3. Leave it in the fridge till it has totally set, it will normally take 3 - 4 hours to set. Tilt the ramekin; if no runny liquid seeps out, then it has set though it has a wobbly texture.

Note: I used 2 tsp of agar agar powder as I like firmer jelly.