Monday, June 27, 2011

KMB, here I come!

Less than 24 hours from now I'll be heading to KMB and spend a couple of my college years there. I am quite anxious as I don't know how my life would be within those 2 years. I know I've been to a college before but it was a private college and there were not much rules. I didn't have to do my own laundry as I went home every weekend and I didn't have to clean up my room so much because every fortnight there would be people cleaning up the room.

In fact, KMB is situated on the outskirt of Selangor, somewhere in the plam oil estate (is that what you call them?) whereas Taylor's College is situated in the city itself. They don't have malls or anything there. Not that I'm going to need one but seriously, we're going to be all alone in that place. It's just us ; teachers, students, staffs and God knows what. What scares me the most is the fact that many people said IB is a lot harder than A-level!

Anyways, let's look at the bright side and stop whining about the negative side of it. It's only going to be 2 years and I have my friends with me - Zareen, Syabana and a few others from Kelantan. Besides, I have to admit that I am lucky enough to get this scholarship as many other people wanted the scholarship as well but failed to secure one. Let's just hope I get enough pointer to go to oversea to do my medicine later.

p/s : I'm sure going to miss my baking tools. :(

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Macarons with Passionfruit Curd

I remember my very first macarons which I made a few months ago, they were gorgeous! Well, maybe not perfect for the experts but I think they're perfect enough for a first timer. I was just thrilled to see the feet. :D

Thanks to Tartelette for the amazing macaron recipe. I made passionfruit curd in place of dark chocolate ganache to go with the macarons because of the Mactweet Attack challenge which was to include fruits in your macarons. The curd was amazing on its own - tart and sweet. However, when eaten with macarons, they were just a tad too sweet for me and my family. I guess those who have sweet tooth and like passionfruit would love these macarons. 

So here goes my macarons for Mac Attack #20.

Recipe (Macarons) 

Ingredients :
  • 90g aged egg whites at room temperature (use egg whites that have been left in the fridge for 3-5 days)
  • 25g granulated sugar
  • 180g powdered sugar sifted
  • 130g almond powder/flour sifted 
Method : 
1. In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites to a foam and gradually add the granulated sugar until you obtain a glossy meringue which doesn't fall when you invert the mixing bowl. (think shaving cream)
2. Fold in carefully the powdered sugar, almond powder and powdered food colouring until you obtain the batter which falls back onto itself after counting to 10. The process should not take more than 50 strokes.
3. Test a small amount on a plate : if the top flattens on its own, you are good to go. If it forms a small beak, give the batter a couple of turns. 
4. Fill the batter into a pastry bag fitted plain tip and pipe small rounds (1.5inch in diameter) onto parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheets. Then, tap the baking sheets a couple of time to remove the air bubbles.
5. Let the macarons sit out for about 30 minutes to an hour to harden the shells a little bit. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 280F.
6. When ready, bake for about 18-20 minutes, depending on their sizes. Let it cool. Once baked and if you're not using them straight away, store in an airtight container out of the fridge. 
7. If you have filled the macarons with the filling, let the macarons mature for at least 24 hours in the fridge. 
Recipe (Passionfruit Curd) - makes about 1 cup

Ingredients :
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup passionfruit pulp
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar - use less if the passionfruit is sweet and more if it is sour
  • 42g butter
Method : 
1. Put the egg yolks, whole egg and sugar into a bowl and stir to combine. Put in the passionfruit pulp and stir again. Put in the butter.
2. Place the bowl over a simmering water and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon which takes about 6 minutes.
3. Let it cool, transfer into a sterilized container and refrigerate. 

Adapted from

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Apple Crumble

Do you know everyone in the apple's family? Well, I know I don't - not all, at least. I know and I've heard of a few names but to tell their names by the look is rather hard for me. I guess I can only tell which is Granny Smith and which is Fuji. Other than that, nope!
The Apple's Family
Whenever we do open house for Eid in Kelantan, there will be people requesting us to do apple crumbles. This recipe is from Umi's Canadian (if I'm not mistaken) friend. The crispy golden sand of crumbles with a hint of peanuts makes a perfect compliment to the soft bed of stewed apple underneath it. But sometimes I like the crumbles to be on the larger/coarse side which form golden small stones or clumped sands when baked.
The Granny Smith
 Recipe (Apple Crumble) :

  • 4 Granny Smith Apples
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
1. Peel the apples and core them. Each apple is cut into 8 wedges which later be cut into 3 pieces for each wedge. 
2. Put them in cold water to prevent oxidation.
3. When the apples are cut, pour out the water and put the apples along with the cinnamon, cloves and sugar in a pot or a medium saucepan.  
4. Cover with a lid and cook over medium heat for about 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. I cook them for about 12 minutes whereby some of the apples have turned a little mushy (not pureed though) and some still hold their shapes. If you like them to be quite firm, then cook for a lesser time.
5. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly.
6. Later, put the apples (throw away the cinnamon stick and cloves) in a lightly greased dish.
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 100-120 g of cold butter, cubed
  • 4-6 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 4-6 tbsp of ground peanuts/almonds
1. Put the flour in a bowl and rub in the butter until it takes on a breadcrumb consistency. I like them to be coarse (Some are fine like sand and some are quite chunky).
2.  Put in the sugar, vanilla essence and ground peanuts and mix until just combined. 
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 25-30 minutes or until it turns crispy and golden. Serve warm with some whipping cream or vanilla ice-cream.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chicken Pie

Reminiscing back to my childhood days, I realized how lucky I was to have both my parents and grandparents with me. Even though parents were busy with work most of the time but they would still be there for me when I needed them. I still remember how I would go to my grandparents' house after school and my parents would pick me up on their way home from work.

My grandmother was a very good cook. She can just cook without a recipe and turn 'nothing' into something that wows us all. And I guess that's how my mother became a good cook too - by learning from her mother. My grandmother passed down this chicken pie recipe (and many others) to my mother and here I was, cooking up a dish that has been passed down to me by my mother. 

When I was small and we were still in Kelantan, my mother would make this chicken pie a few times in a year (2 or 3 times a year) just because it was hard to get our hands on the puff pastry. My mother would normally stock up our frozen puff pastries when she goes to Kuala Lumpur for conference or work. But now that we're in Seremban and Kuala Lumpur is just like a stone's throw away, we would be making this chicken pie whenever we feel like eating them. 

Back then, it would be my mother and our maid who prepared the chicken pie. Now that all of us have grown up, me and my sister would be making this chicken pie together. It takes quite some time to make this as you have to marinate the chicken, fry them and the fries etc. But it's definitely worth the effort.

Recipe (Chicken Pie) - makes 2 pies :
  • 16 pieces of chicken drumsticks
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 eggs
  • oil for frying
1. Blend the ginger, garlic and salt into a paste. 
2. Marinate the chicken with the paste for at least 5 hours.
3. Prepare 2 plates/dishes. One with the eggs and the other with the flour. 
4. Heat up the oil.
5. Dip the drumsticks into the egg mixture first, then coat them with flour.
6. Fry the drumsticks until they turn golden brown.

  • 3 medium potatoes
1. Cut the potatoes into wedges and fry them until golden brown.

  • 5 eggs
1. Boil the eggs until you get hard-boiled eggs.
2. Remove the shells and cut into halves.

  • 2 carrots, cut into quite small pieces
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, cut them into wedges
  • 1 bell pepper/capsicum, cut into small, thin pieces
  • 150g snow peas
  • 1.5 litre of beef stock 
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1. Heat up the oil on medium heat and put in the onions. When the onions have wilted a little bit, add in the garlics and fry for 1 minute.
2. Stir in the flour and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Then, add in the beef stock.
3. Put in the carrots, capsicum and snow peas. Once the carrots are slightly tender, add in the tomatoes. 
4. Season with some salt and pepper. Let it boil for 10 minutes. Then remove from heat and let it cool.

  • 2 (375g) frozen puff pastry, thawed
1. Prepare two deep pie dishes and put everything in them ; chicken, vegetables (and the soup), potatoes and eggs. 
2.  Wet the rim of the dishes by putting a little bit of water before putting the rolled puff pastry on it. Prick some holes using a fork and glaze with a beaten egg.
3. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 45 minutes - 1 hour. 
I could not take a proper picture because everyone else was hungry.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Half A Century

I know this looks messy but it is very delicious :D
Last Sunday was Umi's 50th birthday and tomorrow is Abah's. Since both of them are in Pattaya right now, we could not celebrate Abah's birthday together until Sunday. So I still have two days to plan for the menu which I still have not had a clue about it. I just don't know what to cook or bake for him. 

What I baked for Umi was a carrot cake. Not just any ordinary carrot cake. But a moist and delicious carrot cake topped with the best cream cheese frosting ever. I did not cook her anything since we went out for lunch at a hotel. I did make the carrot cake in a cupcake form for her friends as well which I think is the best size to eat this cake.

Carrot cake (Adapted from Allrecipes)

Ingredients :

  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 cups grated carrot, squeezed out the juice
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
Method :

1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F.
2. In a large bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Mix in flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. Stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut and yogurt. 
4. Divide the batter into two greased pan and bake for 30-45 minutes. 

note : Makes about 25 cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients :
  • 500g cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar 
  • 2 tsp vanilla
Method :

1. Beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar and vanilla.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Refreshing and Creamy Avocado Ice Cream

I've been wanting to post this recipe since last week but I was feeling somehow rather lazy to write anything. I just can't believe that it's already June now which means I have less than a month before college starts, again. There's so many things to do; fill in the forms, do medical check-up, buy some stuffs for college etc.

At some point, I feel like just staying at home but I know that it is not what I or even my parents want. Life has to go on. I'm not going to waste my time doing nothing, I have to do something right? And I know that opportunities don't come knocking on my door twice. Therefore, I have to struggle and study hard so that MARA will also sponsor me for my first degree later.

Anyways, this is actually a good recipe to finish up your avocados and egg yolks apart from the avocado smoothie recipe. However, I might reduce the lemon/lime juice if I decide to do this again as I find it a tad too lemony. Nevertheless, I must say that this ice cream is very refreshing and creamy at the same time.

Recipe (Avocado Ice Cream/Froyo) - Makes about 1 quart :

  • 1 cup of whipping cream
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt
  • 3 medium, ripe avocados
  • 2 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp of lime juice 
  • zests of 1 lemon and lime
  • 1/3 cup of mini chocolate chips
Method :
1. Prepare an ice bath by placing a smaller bowl into a larger bowl with ice and cold water. Put a fine mesh strainer on top of the smaller bowl. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, put in the whipping cream, milk and sugar and cook over medium heat until milk comes to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Temper the eggs slowly by adding 1 cup of hot milk into the egg while whisking constantly. 
3. Slowly pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Cook over a medium heat and stir constantly using a wooden spoon for about 5-8 minutes until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of the spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil or the eggs will curdle.
4. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the smaller bowl. Stir in the yogurt and zests. 
5. In a blender, puree the avocados with lemon zest, lime zest and a cup of the cooled custard. Fold the avocado mixture back into the remaining custard. 
6. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Put in the chocolate chips halfway through the process. Once done, transfer it into a container and freeze it for at least 4 hours. 
Source :