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Lyanne's Coming....

Sunday, December 28, 2008

No signs of labour so far.. it's oredi 28 Dec today. A day past my due date.

Baby's rather big, 8 pounds or 3.6kg as on monday. Doc's rather worried about the size. Lydia was only 6.5lbs, or 2.93kg at birth.
So, he won't let me past my due date for long, scared baby will get too big for me.
Tomorrow, Monday, 29th... will be pain day. The day when I will be induced.

I remember being induced when I had Lydia, the pain was.....urrghhh!!!! Well, my waters broke.
Breathless!
Utterly breathless!
I didn't have time to breathe, having severe contractions with just seconds in between to breathe, and I was only 4cm dilated.
I can't stand it anymore! Epidural please!!!!!

Hubby's oredi said, epidural again this time. It's difficult for him to see me having so much pain..
I still have to wait and see... who knows I might have natural contractions tonight, w/o waters breaking. Then I might build up my own pain resistance and refuse the epidural.

I don't know, I just don't know, and I'm anxious.

I'll be going thru traditional chinese confinement, where I will be lavishly fed with all sorts of goodies, chicken essence daily, lots of ginger and herbal concoctions. If one is not careful, one may end up like a fattened goose at the end of the period. Anyone that may be interested in what I had during my confinement, can get a copy of my menu. Just tell me.
I will not endure unhygienic confinement practices like not bathing(I bathe with maternity herbal bath infusion) or not touching water(I've heard that some are not even allowed to wash hands, imagine after going to the loo!!!), altho I will endure not washing my hair, at least the first 12 days). Well,my baby won't be playing with my hair, so to give the old folks the peace of mind, I'd endure this.
I just wonder, how can one take practices that were used in cold China and apply them in hot & humid Malaysia?? Even chinese herbs has to be refrigerated here, if not, they'll go mouldy. I guess I might turn mouldy too if I don't bathe for a month. YUCKS!

We're going to name our baby, Lyanne ... pronounced as lee-ann
Lyanne Chua May Thung
May Thung 美彤 means beautiful red.

Lyanne... mommy, papa and jie jie(Lydia) are waiting for u.... please be quick..

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Strawberry Haw Flakes Layer Cake 草莓山楂饼千层蛋糕

Friday, December 26, 2008



The bun is still in the oven... not wanting to follow the sister's footsteps to be out early. The exact due date is tomorrow, doc's dateline to induce is 29th, coming monday. Keeping my fingers crossed that I need not be induced.. The pain is rather unbearable when being induced, I don't even have time to breathe. *sigh*

Ok, so, here's the last of the three layers cakes I made.

Out of the three cakes, and the favourite ratings are:
Horlicks: 35%
Kaya: 10%
Strawberry Haw flakes: 55%
This is just an approximate value of the responses I got.
Not that the kaya one is not tasty... it's just "favourite".
I personally like Horlicks best, then kaya then haw flakes being last.

I might be trying out Milo, Prunes, or even nutella in the future...

Here's the recipe for Strawberry Haw Flakes Layer Cake. I incorporated the strawberry jam because I wanted to have some pink layers in it. And being pink with no flavour is so.... fake to me. So, to be pink, there must be some justification to it.

Ingredients (A)
225gm butter
50gm sugar
5 medium eggs, grade C
170gm Strawberry jam (warmed to liquify it a bit)
170gm sweetened condensed milk (1/3 medium can)
150gm Marie biscuits (finely ground into powder form)
Few drops red colouring

Ingredients (B)
225gm butter
50gm sugar
5 medium eggs, grade C
340gm sweetened condensed milk (2/3 medium can)
150gm Marie biscuits (finely ground into powder form)
Haw flakes … as many as u want

Method:
Ingredients (A)
1. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add in eggs one by one. Beating well after each addition.
3. Mix in strawberry jam and condensed milk
4. Add marie biscuits crumbs to batter and mix well.
5. If colouring is added, add in last and mix well

Ingredients (B)
1. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add in eggs one by one. Beating well after each addition.
3. Mix in condensed milk
4. Add marie biscuits crumbs to batter and mix well.

Baking:
1. Preheat Oven in grill mode at 220C.
2. Line the base of a 9X9 inch baking pan and grease the sides. Preheat the pan over a pot of hot water or in the preheating oven
3. Place one ladle of (A) in the hot pan.
4. Spread batter evenly. Tilt pan left and right to level batter.
5. Grill for 7 minutes or until cake layer turns golden.
6. Remove cake pan from oven and press cake layer to release air.
7. Put in a ladle of (B) and repeat step 4,5 and 6. Arrange haw flakes on top of layer (B) after step 4.
8. Continue baking cake layers alternating batter (A) and (B) until all batter is used up.




There are less layers this time, as I used more batter for each layer, adding in 3 more minutes to grill than the other cakes. And it looks better with more prominently visible layers. It's up to you to have as many layers and as thick as u want it to be.


Top layer haw flakes were hard after baking, so they cracked when I layed the knife on them. Keep the cake wrapped for 2-3 days and the hawflakes will turn soft again.


The earlier 2 Layer Cakes:
Horlicks Layer Cake
Kaya Layer Cake

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Kaya Layer Cake 加央千层蛋糕

Tuesday, December 23, 2008



Kaya is coconut egg jam. Taste really good with bread, and taste good too when incorporated into this cake.

Ingredients (A)
225gm butter
160gm soft brown sugar
5 medium eggs, grade C
200gm Original flavour kaya (1 cup Gardenia Auntie Rosie kaya)
2 Tbsp milk powder
120gm cake flour/superfine

Ingredients (B)
225gm butter
160gm soft brown sugar
5 medium eggs, grade C
200gm Pandan flavour kaya (1 cup Gardenia Auntie Rosie pandan kaya)
2 Tbsp milk powder
120gm cake flour/superfine
1 tsp green colouring /pandan emulco

Method:
Ingredients (A)
1. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
2. Add in eggs one by one. Beating well after each addition.
3. Mix in kaya and milk powder.
4. Sift flour over batter and mix well.

Ingredients (B)
Same method as ingredients (A). Mix in colouring/emulco at the end.

Baking:
1. Preheat Oven in grill mode at 220C.
2. Line the base of a 9X9 inch baking pan and grease the sides. Preheat the pan over a pot of hot water or in the preheating oven
3. Place one ladle of (A) in the hot pan.
4. Spread batter evenly. Tilt pan left and right to level batter.
5. Grill for 7 minutes or until cake layer turns golden.
6. Remove cake pan from oven and press cake layer to release air.
7. Put in a ladle of (B) and repeat step 4,5 and 6.
8. Continue baking cake layers alternating batter (A) and (B) until all batter is used up.


Previous Layer Cake: Horlicks Layer Cake
Next Layer Cake: Haw Flakes Strawberry Layer Cake

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Horlicks Layer Cake 好力克千层蛋糕

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm going to post 3 layer cakes.... but am posting it one per week.
Made these as christmas gifts.





My ex colleague introduced me to Sarawak Layer cakes, or Kek Lapis Sarawak. I used to think only the Indonesians make layer cakes, I didn’t know that Sarawakians bake these too..and make it to be part of their culture.

The Sarawak version makes paterns with the cakes, to me it looks like their traditional woven cloth, pua kumbu. But I’m not going to go thru that (I’m lazy)… taste is what that matters. And I don’t like it to be a mixture of everything, Horlicks, kaya, peanut butter or whatever u can think of…. I prefer each cake to take on one flavour only.

The original Sarawak Layer cakes use 30 egg yolks in each cake, but I'm not going to do that. Luckily I found a recipe that uses 10 whole eggs *Phew*
Then I made other Layer cakes based on the 10 eggs recipe I found. This is a good site http://rozzan.blogspot.com/search/label/KEK-KEK%20LAPIS for kek lapis, but it's in Malay. Tried and tested recipes.

In Malaysia, the size of canned condensed milk is approximately 510gm each, so I adjusted the recipe to finish up one can of it. Lessened the sugar, added up the milk…

450gm butter
140gm sugar
10 medium eggs, grade C
510gm canned condensed milk
240gm superfine/cake flour
200gm Horlicks powder

1. Preheat oven on grill setting. (My oven has either 230C or 250C setting, so I used 230C)
2. Use a 9x9 inch square pan. Line bottom and grease sides. Heat up pan for step 8.
3. Beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy.
4. Add in eggs, one by one. Beating well after each addition.
5. Mix in condensed milk
6. Sift flour and Horlicks together.
7. Fold (6) into batter.
8. Spread a ladle of batter evenly onto hot pan.
9. Tilt pan left and right to level batter. Grill for 7 minutes or until golden.
10. Remove from oven and press cake layer to remove excess air. Spread another ladle of batter over the cooked layer, and repeat step 9.
11. Repeat step 10 until all batter is used up.

****
Pan needs to be heated up at step 2 for even distribution of batter. You can either heat up in the preheating oven or over a pot of hot water.

Switch off oven fan when u do this cake, if not, the bottom will burn at the end of the baking. If the fan cannot be turned off, like my oven, even on grill mode, bake this cake in a shallow water bath to prevent the base from over browning… I over browned at my first attempt.. the bottom was very brown and dry but after keeping the cake overnight in a tupperware, luckily the dry bottom moistened up. Not too bad, but doesn’t look nice.

Left : Layer Cake press , the one I used to press the layers.
Right: Flat bottomed whiskey glass, can be used as well


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Fried Silver Pin Noodles 抄银针粉

Friday, December 12, 2008



I still haven't deliver......... can't wait for it.... When u know it's fully engaged..but dunno when the bb wants to come out, the wait is rather......nerve wrecking!

Malaysians call silver pin noodles as Loh Su Fun 老鼠粉, which literally translates to rat noodles. Why such a disgusting name.. Simply because the noodle looks like a short rat tail.

I’ve once cooked this with my Malay students back in Pahang, 5 years ago. Boy were they shocked when I told them that we’re cooking rat noodles that day, “Mi tikus” , and it got the other teachers scrambling to the Home Science kitchen to see what the heck are rat noodles when they heard that my students will be learning to cook it that day.

I like to cook this the way that roadside hawkers cook “kueh kak” or fried radish/carrot cake, or chow loh bak gou 抄萝卜糕, depends on what u may call it, with preserved radish, chilli and lots of beansprouts…

Ingredients:
450gm Silver pin noodles (loh su fun)
300gm beansprouts (I love a lot of this)
3 eggs
¼ cup peeled prawns
¼ cup chopped preserved radish , 菜脯(I use the less salty type, if using the salty type, chop and soak in water b4 use)
1 Tbsp finely chopped garlic
4-5 Tbsp oil (yes, this much!!)
4-6 Tbsp light soy sauce (depends on the saltiness of the brand u use)
1 heaped Tbsp chili paste (cili boh/giling)

** Work very quick in Step 2-5. You can relax in the later steps.

Method:
1. If u’re using supermarket bought noodles, blanch in boiling water for 5 seconds, drain well. If wet market ones, just leave them as they are.
2. Heat wok until very hot (if not noodles will stick), add in oil. Coat wok well with hot oil.
3. Put in chopped garlic, quickly stir. It’ll burn easily with a very hot wok.
4. Put in chopped radish and prawns. Stir until prawn gets fragrant and half curled.
5. Put in drained noodles and toss well. When noodles are well warmed through, as in 1-2 minutes time, push them aside in the wok.
6. Crack eggs into centre of wok and let the eggs fry for a few seconds before pushing back the noodles onto the eggs. Toss well.
7. Put in 3 or 4 Tbsp soy sauce. Stir well. Taste. Add soy sauce tablespoon by table spoon until desired saltiness is achieved. (I put in 6 Tbsp of Lee Kum Kee light soy sauce). Stir in chili paste.
8. Spread noodles around wok to let noodles dry up a bit. No need to stir too often. Mix and spread noodles every 30 second interval. Do this for about 2 to 3 minutes or until desired dryness is achieved.
9. When desired dryness and fragrance is achieved, put in beansprouts and toss for another 1-2 minute, depending on how crisp u want the sprouts to be.
10. Dish up and serve.

Method of cooking is done differently than the hawkers simply because our home stoves are not as hot as the hawker’s fuming stoves. You need to know the heat level of ur stove to adjust the cooking method stated above to achieve the “wok hei” that is greatly needed to make this noodle dish yummy yummy.





My Lydia were all thumbs up with this dish.. even tho it contains hot chilli!!!

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My baby's engaged

Thursday, December 11, 2008

My dear blog readers,

Today I visited my gynae, and he told me, that my baby is fully engaged and will be out anytime soon... I'm 37wks+4 by today

So, I might not be posting anytime soon... but will resume to my passion of cooking and baking when I'm in better health later on. Or maybe I'l post confinement recipes during my confinement.... dunno yet...

Keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be soon. baby's at 3.3kg now..rather big.....

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Cekodok 香蕉球

Friday, December 5, 2008



Cekodok is Malay banana fritters. Or some call it Jemput-jemput pisang. Jemput-jemput means fritters, but it can be type of jemput-jemput.
This is a nice tea time snack.
I like this, and not many that makes this to sell makes it nice. They put in too much flour. Flour is cheap...

It’s only nice when u eat homemade ones.
And my malay friends can never tell me the exact proportion of ingredients, they just say, lots of bananas, little bit of flour, sugar and a pinch of salt. Well, u know, when it’s a traditional recipe, most of them make it by just guesstimate, and they just know it when they mix it, they know the right consistency by experience. So, for me, I’ll just have to find the right proportion of ingredients.

The best bananas to use, Pisang Emas, it’s a Malaysian name which means golden banana, a small banana, sweet and fragrant. It’ s a quarter the size of a Cavendish. If u’re from elsewhere, u can use other bananas, just make sure it’s really ripe and sweet.

And I found the proportion that I like, this time… just right…

300gm bananas (mashed with a fork)
90gm all purpose flour
1/4tsp baking soda
60gm sugar
Small pinch of salt
Oil for frying

1. Sift flour with baking soda. Mix with bananas, sugar and salt.
2. Drop teaspoonful of batter into hot oil.
3. Fry until brown, nicely caramelized colour.
4. Drain excess oil off fritters on kitchen towels.

******
U can try adding in freshly grated coconut into the batter. My malay colleague tells me it’s nice.
If u want to make the sugar optional to certain members of ur family, omit the sugar in the batter, and roll hot fritters in the sugar to coat it like a donut.

Chilling the batter before frying will make create a crispier crust.



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Caramelized Anchovies & Peanuts 焦糖江鱼仔花生

Wednesday, December 3, 2008



When I was a kid, I love this dish made by grandaunt. It goes very well with plain rice porridge.

½ cup cleaned split dried anchovies (don’t wash them!)
½ cup raw peanuts
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
3 Tbsp cooking oil

1. In a dry wok, low heat, fry peanuts for 2 minutes or until skin is dry and can be removed easily. Remove skins by rubbing them with fingers and blow the skins away.
2. Medium low heat, heat oil and fry anchovies until golden. Dish up.
3. With remaining oil in wok, return peeled peanuts into oil and fry until light golden. Put fried anchovies back in and put in sugar and soy sauce. Stir until lightly caramelized.
4. Turn off fire and continue to toss until nicely caramelized. Try to toss until warm and not hot, so that the anchovies won’t stick to each other later.




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