Monday, December 12, 2011
Recipe tried out in April 2011
Pears are everywhere now! I don't want to miss this period to post so that you may be able to try these out too.
This is one dessert that you can serve your guests if you’ve having a small scale entertainment with a Chinese menu. Looks beautiful when serve with stem still intact or sliced if you want.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
I made this jelly for Lyanne's Party.
Frankly it wasn't all that well recieved, maybe due to the presence of the flowers in the jelly. It was a bit distracting compared to the smooth jelly. But the fragrance of the osmanthus is truly sweet and delightful.
The other day, I was chatting with a blogger friend, and she told me about her latest konnyaku attempts. She found it to be rather clumpy. All due to a change of brand. The brand she is currently using is Jim Willie.
When I wanted to make this jelly, the only brand that I could find is Jim Willie and well, just go with it. I've used this brand before and it has never given me any problems, but that's quite a while ago. This time, the jelly became very soft, so soft that it feels like I've added 30% more water to it. Usually konnyaku jellies with added acids yield a chewier and firmer texture as the carageenan in it needs acid to activate, but I just don't know why this time, my jelly is so wobbly and soft. It just makes we wonder why.
The recipe is practically very basic. It uses the basic proportion of ingredients of making konnyaku, and basic method too, no adaptations. Except for the addition of osmanthus flowers.
Osmanthus Konnyaku Jelly
10gm konnyaku jelly
200gm fine sugar /caster sugar
1 Tbsp dried osmanthus flowers
1/8 tsp citric/malic acid
1. Bring water to a boil.
2. Mix konnyaku powder with sugar and sprinkle into boiling water by the spoonsful. Stirring after each 2 spoons.
3. Let the mixture boil for 5 minutes.
4. Put in dried osmanthus flowers and let it simmer for another minute.
5. Put in acid, stir and turn off the heat.
6. Pour jelly mixture into prepared moulds.
7. Let cool down to room temperature and put in fridge to chill before unmoulding.
*To unmould, just pry using a toothpick.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Before I talk about the ribs, I'd like to add something to the pancake giveaway.
Very frankly, I haven't been WOWed by the entries. They were like , ok. They all look delicious, no doubt, but a bit within the norm. Not bad, but I am not WOWed.
I hope you get what I mean. I need something that will make my jaw drop in awe. Drop down to the floor, if possible.
Ever went to Paddington House of Pancakes???
Maybe you can think of different ways to serve the pancake (fry in smaller pieces but don't use cookie cutter, or fry in longish shapes, or roll them up, or stack them pile high like a cake, or make a whatever with the sponge pancake base), rather than just put in fillings to fry and fold. You can cut them to serve, like in wedges, but not so cut up like making verrines or triffles or lamingtons.
There are few days left, and I hope to give the thermometer to one that made me look like I'm having tetanus. Nuff said!!
Thinking of ways to use some osmanthus??? Try this then.
If you don’t eat pork, you can try this with chicken, and chicken takes shorter time to cook. I think chicken wings will be a lovely substitute : )
For Muslims, you want to omit the Shao Xing Wine, it’s ok.
Osmanthus Tea Pork Ribs
adapted from FengYiZhouShi
330gm pork soft ribs
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
½ Tbsp Shao Xing wine
Dash of white pepper
Marinate the ribs with all the ingredients for 30 minutes and deep fry until lightly browned. You can pan fry them as well if you don’t want to deep fry. Do not fry them until dry, just lightly browned and it will be fine. Drain off the oil and set aside.
1tsp osmanthus flowers
1 Ooloong teabag for 1 cup
Put both in a cup and infuse these twice with 1 cup of hot water each time. Infuse 2 times for adequate liquid for simmering.
½ tsp dark soy sauce (can omit if prefer lighter coloured ribs)
1 tsp light soy sauce
30gm rock sugar (10% of ribs amount)
1 Tbsp cooking oil
Strain the osmanthus tea and put it together with both soy sauces and rock sugar into a saucepan/pot, then bring to a boil.
Put in fried ribs and make sure the tea is enough to cover the ribs. Lower heat and simmer for 1 hour until ribs are tender. Put in oil, reduce gravy and dish up. Garnish with some osmanthus flowers and some sliced spring onions. They complement the sweet ribs very well, taste wise.
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Rosella, or roselle are what some call the Ribena Flower. The whole thing is actually a fruit, not a flower. What seemed to be the petals are not petals, but the calyx or sepal. It used to be a flower, but the flower was pollinated and the petals dropped off, leaving behind the enlarged calyces surrounding a seed pod (the fruits). The seed pod isn’t used here, but can be used to make jam because it contains pectin, which is a thickening agent for jams. The part that is used to derive flavour and colour is the calyx.
I have long wanted to use Roselle as a natural food colouring, and sometimes it’s hard to bump into them. It’s not every time when I go to the morning market, that I’ll see them. And this time, I saw lots of it. I bought almost1 kg of it. Don’t think it’s very little, I can use a 7L pot and keep all of them in. Don’t worry about getting lots, they keep very well, chilled. So well, that I saw one of it sprouting. I gave that sprouting one to Lydia’s nanny as she wanted to plant roselle.
Air sirap ros, or Rose Syrup, is a popular local drink, especially amongst the Malays. But this drink is always heavily dyed with food colouring, and flavoured artificially.
So, if you are a great fan of this drink, here’s how to do it, naturally and safe. Roselle is used to provide the red colour and dried rose buds are used to flavour the drink. Nothing artificial and it's safe enough to feed this to my 2 girls. Hey, did you know that Roselle is a good source of anthocyanin, a type of antioxidant. The same type of antioxidants in blueberries and red cabbages. So drink lots of this if you want to antioxidize : )
Psst,** It’s so much cheaper than blueberries, hahaha!!
And here's some health benefits of rose tea(not roselle) that I copied from madhealth
•It clears toxins and heat from the body. As a result it has a cooling effect on the body.
•It can relieve from sore throat, runny nose and blocked bronchial tubes
•It is useful to people those prone to chest problems by fighting against infections
•Rose tea helps to fight the infection in the digestive tract and re-establish the normal bacterial population of the intestines
•It relieves fluid retention and hastens the elimination of wastes through kidneys
•It is a wonderful remedy for dysentery, diarrhea and gastro enteritis
•It is a laxative. It works as a remedy for all liver problems including sluggishness and constipation.
•It cleanses the liver and gall bladder and promotes bile flow
•Rose petal tea can be used to relieve uterine congestion causing pain and heavy periods. It is an excellent remedy for irregular periods and infertility.
•It has an uplifting effect on the nervous system and can relieve insomnia, depression and fatigue
This is the method for just a few servings
I recommend, for every 1 cup of water,1 roselle and 2-3 rose buds be used.
To make 2 servings, I used
6 dried rose buds (French rose, I got mine from Legend of Tea, Kinta City, Ipoh)
Sugar to taste
1. Wash roselles well under running water to remove sand and dirt.
2. Pluck off the calyx, leaving behind only the seed pod.
3. Put the calyces into a saucepan with 2 cups of water.
4. Bring a to a boil and lower to a simmer for 10 min or until the calyces turn pale and the water is red in colour.
5. Turn off the heat and put in rose buds. Let it steep for 5 minutes.
6. Pour and strain infusion.
7. Sweeten with sugar and serve.
If you want to make a cordial concentrate that you can keep, just use 20 roselles with 1L water and 500gm sugar and 40-50 rose buds. Boil roselle calyces, sugar and water together and lower to a simmer for 15 mins or until the water is heavily coloured, then turn off heat to infuse with rose buds. Strain and keep in clean bottles. Keep chilled. When you feel like drinking, just mix some of the concentrate with water, just like regular Rose Syrup. No need to boil each time.
The roselle is slightly tangy but once you sweeten it, it’s fine. I’ve used rose buds from China before, and I‘ve got to say that the flavor and fragrance is quite disappointing. China’s rose is slightly darker in colour, deeper pink and French rose is light pink in colour. And it’s definitely perfect in this drink, taste and smells almost like the F&N rose cordial, of which is my fav brand of rose cordial. I'm not sure if the real name for the rose is "French Rose", cos I can't google for any, but it's very light pink in colour and more expensive compared to the darker pink version.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Been watching Virtue’s of Harmony (皆大歡喜) in 2002.. and Kwai Fah Gou, Osmanthus Cake is always mentioned for tea or snack. I was very curious, what is that Kwai Fah??? I tried asking any herbal shops and tea shops that I come across with, and they all gave me a blank look, some even asked me how to write it in Chinese. Even Herbs and Food’s employees didn’t know about this ingredient back then (I don't know about now)
But my beloved late Sam Shuk (3rd Uncle, If you are familiar with the YMCA scene, you might know him) bought me some dried osmanthus flowers from Hong Kong. He even got me osmanthus tea by Lipton. I was delighted, but I was busy with my Teacher’s Training Program in JB, that I had no time for it. By the time I was back into the kitchen, my mom has already threw them away.
Lastly these 2 years, osmanthus has arrived to our shores finally. And even the internet has more recipes for it, especially in English :)
In 2002 and 2003, I was searching high and low on the internet for 桂花糕, there weren’t a recipe to be seen, but now there are loads and loads of it.
There are 2 major versions of Osmanthus Cake/Jelly. First is a glutinous sticky version, the other a gelatin version. I’m not interested in both. Then I saw this, and I’ll do it, without the chestnuts.
The texture was great, bouncy and fragrant with osmanthus.
If you have never seen or tried anything made from osmanthus, let me share with you that the fragrance resembles peach or apricots.
115gm chestnut powder
1 Tbsp osmanthus
1. Mix water chestnut powder with 250ml water until no lumps are seen. Set aside.
2. Bring 500ml water and sugar to a boil. Turn off the heat and put in osmanthus flowers to infuse for 2 minutes.
3. Pour osmanthus infusion into (1). Return flour mixture to saucepan/pot and cook until it thickens.
4. Pour into a lightly oiled 7 inch pan. Steam over high heat for 10 minutes and medium heat for another 10 minutes.
5. Cool down totally before slicing
Sunday, November 23, 2008
I was dissapointed with the appearance of this jelly!!! Ugly dirty looking thing!
But, my colleagues comforted me saying that it's ok...... and they loved the taste and texture of it. Springy, with a slight crunch, and fragrantly chrysanthemum...
I might wanna change the solidifying agent to gelatine the next time I make it, so that it looks pretty... or konnyaku powder.... but the texture will not be the same. the greyish colour could be due to the water chestnut starch I used.. it looked greyish. Maybe different brands will yield different results. The pic of the brand I used is down below...
But still, it tasted cool and fresh... not matter how ugly it looks.
25gm dried chrysanthemum flowers
100gm rock sugar
115gm water chestnut powder
1 Tbsp chopped dried wolfberries (gei zhi)
1. Boil 750ml of water in a pot, turn off heat and put in chrysanthemum flowers. Infuse for 15 minutes. Do not boil the flowers.
2. Strain chrysanthemum infusion.
3. Select a few infused flowers to collect the petals. Discard the yellow centres.
4. Mix 250ml water with water chestnut powder.
5. Boil 500ml of chrysanthemum infusion with sugar and chopped wolfberries. When sugar has dissolved and infusion is boiling, turn off fire. Put in flower petals.
6. Slowly pour (5) into (4), stirring clockwise until mixture thickens.
7. Pour onto a lightly greased pan and steam on high heat for 10 minutes and medium heat for another 10 minutes.
8. Cake will be ready when sit turns translucent
9. Chill in fridge until fully set before serving.