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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

May the true meaning of Christmas 
And the Hope prevail in all of us
As we wait for Christmas to happen again some day... And that some day will come.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Granite Tang Yuan 石头汤圆 - Balls #3

I saw this special form of tang yuan many years ago and had been hoping to try it out. Finally I did.
Every year, I do hope to make some  for the winter festival (although there's no winter here), but I just never made some, because no one bothers about it and just end up only me "shiok sendiri".

I was lazy to wrap fillings and decided to serve it 'muah chee style'. Now it looks like pebbles on sand...
I am thinking whether I can construct an aquarium bowl to serve it, complete with aquatic plants, fish and maybe prawns, haha, but that will be sooo big. It's just a crazy idea.

Mine look more like marbles and if you take a look at my source's granite balls, they look sooo real and nice.

I kept mine for more than 6 hours, soaked in room temperature water, waiting for my hubby to come home from work. I reheated the granite balls in the microwave, still submerged in water. Drained them and put them on the peanut sand. He enjoyed his after dinner dessert, saying the peanuts were the loveliest touch.

Granite Sticky Rice Balls
Idea adapted from: maimaidejianguo

200gm glutinous rice flour
14gm or 1 Tbsp butter
90ml boiling water
1-2 Tbsp water

1 tsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp bamboo charcoal powder

3/4 cup ground roasted peanut + 1/3 cup castor sugar (roughly 2:1 ratio)

1. Bring 1/2 cup of water to boil on a saucepan.
2. Measure the flour and butter and put it in a bowl. Make a well and when the water has  boiled, measure 90ml water into the well. (You can either use  6 Tbsp or a measuring cup, or weigh 90gm of water with the mixing bowl directly on the scale)
3. Mix it with chopsticks or a fork. Add in 1 Tbsp of room temperature water and knead (it might still be very warm, but it won't  burn your hand). Add  more water if it's needed and knead until a dough forms.
4. Divide  dough into 4 parts  and  knead 1 part with  charcoal powder and 1 part with cocoa  powder.
5. Roll each part into long logs, with equal length. flatten them and stack. Cut the stack into half and stack.
6. Cut the stacked dough into smallish pieces, it's ok if they are not in exact sizes.
7. Roll them into pebble shapes.
8. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Put the balls of  dough into the  boiling water. Let them boil until they float. Lower the heat to medium low and let them simmer for another 2-3  minutes.
9. Remove the dough balls from the water and serve with peanut sugar.

You can serve these in light syrup too, of which is the usual way.

Blog on Break :)
See you in January for AFF Hong Kong Macau with a chicken week.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Shredded Egg Ball 金丝球 - Balls #2

Chinese New Year is coming soon. Haha, Christmas isn't over yet.
This dish taste pretty good and it feels like eating dimsum. You can prepare the egg balls earlier and steam it or just reheat when it's almost dinner time.

I think I bought the wrong vegetable for garnish. Everything looks too shreddy. I think baby bokchoy or nai-bak will look better. I only realised that when I plated it. But oh well... can't do anything about it. Just went ahead.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Dawood Basha @ Lebanese Meatballs - Balls Week #1

I once had these in Suria KLCC's food court and fell in love with it. But that version didn't come with pine nuts. I was searching for the version that matched my memory, and it was served with a tomato sauce that was spiced.

When I found a seemingly matching recipe, I was elated.

Dawood Basha actually meant High Ranking Officer Dawood (David).

Lebanese 7 Spice Mix

The middle eastern countries have different favourite spice mix recipes that makes the flavour of similar dishes distinguish from each other.

Read this site to see all the different types of spice mixes in the region. There are a few types of 7 spices, so, don't get confused with the composition.

To make this spice mix, you need

1. Ginger powder
2. Cinnamon powder (not cassia)
3. Fenugreek
4. Cloves
5. Allspice
6. Black  pepper
7. Nutmeg

Mix using equal propotions.

In my case, I had these in powdered form:- ginger, cinnamon and allspice.
The others were whole spices. Take note that whole spices after ground were left with slightly more than half the amount in volume.

Lebanese 7 Spice Mix
1. Measure 1.5 tsp of fenugreek, cloves, black peppercorns and 1 nutmeg (shell removed). (Or any other whole spices that you have)
2. Lightly toast them in the oven at 140C until you can smell them. Let them cool down and grind  them finely in a mill.
3. Measure out 4 tsp (tap the spoon on the counter to compact) of the milled spices, there wasn't much left in the mill, and then mix with 1tsp each of the powdered  cinnamon, ginger and all spice (or any other powdered spices you have).
4. Final amount is around 7tsp.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Goiabinhas @ Brazilian Guava Cookies - Cookies #4

baked and lightly golden :)

Someone close to me went to Brazil on a business trip and asked me if I needed anything. The first thing that sprang to my mind was Goiabada, the pink guava paste that I once read about on Lena's Romeo and Juliet cake.

When  this person went there.... the hotel he was staying was just right beside a supermarket, and so he tried to find it  for me. He told me, "You are soooo lucky. These are the last 2 packs on the shelf".

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Toffee Oatmeal Cookies - Cookies #3

I forgot where I took this recipe from! A thousand apologies, but it's not mine. I didn't realise I didn't note down the source when I was to blog  about it. All the conversions that I weighed from  measuring with cups earlier were written down...but the source was forgotten. So sorry!

I also forgot how many pcs this recipe yield, maybe around 40 pieces. But then again, it depends on big you make them

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hamantaschen @ Haman's Hat with Apricot - Cookies #2

Hamantaschen means Haman's hat,  a traditional Jewish cookie that is eaten during Purim festival  to remember the defeat of their enemy named Haman. Read  story here.Haman wore a triangular hat, and so.. that was the reason for the shape of the cookie. In Israel, they are known as Oznei Haman, as in Haman's Ears.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ghraybeh Fustok @ Pistachio Shortbread - Cookies #1

I made this cookie twice in a day.

First I tried the one that I think is more traditional, with ghee and rosewater. I wasn't too happy with it and I tried another version that is more  modern I think, as it uses butter, vanilla and has cornstarch in it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Armenian Boorma - AFF West Asian Pastry #5

Another pastry using the versatile Phyllo. The texture is so  delicate, but yet it doesn't break easily.
For Chinese New Year this year, I posted a peanut roll, that has almost the same concept, that is  baked rolled pastry that has been brushed with ghee and filled with sugary nuts. If a comparison needs to be made... I think the peanut version smells much better. Maybe it's because the peanuts weren't raw.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Kiymale Pide @ Turkish Minced Meat Pita

Pita as known by many  is as round flat bread with a pocket inside.

But in Turkey, the local pita known as 'pide', is a pizza like food with toppings.One can use Turkish wind dried beef, Turkish sausages, chicken, minced beef or lamb, cheese, potatoes and many other ingredients.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Bourma - AFF West Asian Pastry #3

Bourma is a rolled pastry made with kataifi/kunafeh.

Quite a challenge to make, haha.
I didn't want to deep fry in oil, but the original way, like how I ate it before, is in fried in ghee. Yummy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Turkish Borek - AFF West Asian Pastries #2

Börek in Turkish language is any pastry made with yufka or commonly known as phyllo/filo. Borek comes in many forms and can be filled with a variety of fillings, but the traditional ones are usually spinach, cheese and minced meat.They can be either fried or baked. You can read about the different types of Borek here

The one I made today is kol böreği and it means 'arm borek' or arm pastry. It is rolled long and can be coiled or shaped into zigzags on the pan. I will go for coil as I like anything that resembles flowers.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Esh Al Bulbul @ Nightingale Nest - AFF West Asian Pastry #1

This month, AFF  brings you West Asia! A total of 19 countries in the group.
Most of us are more familar with the term Middle East, but because Egypt is not in Asia, that is why we cannot use the term Middle East but Western Asia of which includes Turkey as well.

Do visit Shannon's blog to read the introduction post. And don't forget to drop by Lena's for her round up!

Rosewater Shira for Middle Eastern Pastries

This syrup is essential to be used with Middle Eastern pastries.
It is meant to be thick and sweet. The lemon juice helps prevent crystallization and and the rose water adds some mild fragrance.

You can use orange blossom water too, but it's harder to find in Malaysia.

Weirdly, ants don't get attracted to this.

Rosewater Pastry Syrup

250gm sugar
200gm water
1 Tbsp lemon juice (strained)
2 tsp rose water

Put sugar and water into a saucepan. Cook it on medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, and stop stirring. When it boils, lower it to medium low heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes, lid off. Put in lemon juice and rose water and let it simmer for another 2 minutes.
Let the syrup cool down before use


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