Pandan Chiffon Cake

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I have been wanting to make this yummy treat for awhile now but I’ve been putting it off a few times already. Finally, I made this and the cake turned out quite well.

I found the recipe here: Kirbie Cravings’ Pandan Chiffon Cake recipe.

From what she said in that post, I felt a little unsure of whether the cake I was going to bake would turn out right.

I’ve made some modifications to the recipe as usual, just to suit the ingredients I have and to suit my lazy streak. I didn’t sift the flour but used a whisk to combine the dry ingredients. The whisk will break up the flour and mix the dry ingredients evenly.

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I used the same whisk to mix ingredients (A) and (B) together. And used my electric beater to mix the egg whites. Instead of cream of tartar, I substituted it with white vinegar. I don’t think it affected the taste much.

To be honest, I don’t think I mixed the final batter well enough but surprisingly it still turned out okay, at least taste-wise. The cake tin I had was on the shallow side. There was batter leftover after filling as much as I could into my cake tin. I decided to just improvise and bake the rest of the batter in cupcake cups. This was not one of my better ideas.

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I just didn’t have the time to bake two batches. So the cake was light and spongy but the cupcakes were a little dry. Not a good idea, next time I will reduce the recipe by half and it’ll just fit snugly in my cake tin I reckon. Will probably bake this again soon.

Here’s how it looks out of the oven:

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The crusty bits were definitely not that great compared to its spongy and moist insides.

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Stay tuned to see how the halved recipe will turn out like. 😉

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Miso-glazed Salmon

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It’s the weekend and that is usually accompanied by a sort of weekend-blues for me unfortunately. So what better to feel better than to have a yummy and healthy meal that’s easy to put together.

I had salmon, some chives, carrots, yellowing broccoli and a pantry stocked with white rice and miso. So I made some miso-glazed salmon with warm white rice, steamed veggies and miso soup. This is one of my favourite ways to cook salmon because it’s easy and delicious.

The recipe I used is from: myrecipes miso-glazed salmon recipe.
I halved the recipe for two servings. If you read through the recipe, it says to baste the fish which is basically scooping up juices and liquid around the cooking fish and pouring it over the fish.

So I came up with this ingenious idea of building a ford around the fish with aluminium foil. I also lined the baking pan with some baking paper.

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I should have thought of this earlier! The best thing is that I don’t have to wash the pan after cooking!

I really don’t have that many different types of utensils for cooking, I consider it quite minimal. So some times improvising is necessary. To steam my veggies, I used my large cooking pot and my strainer which actually does a very good job.

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And here is what we had for lunch, satisfying and comforting. 🙂

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Tangzhong method Hokkaido Milk Toast

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This as you might know is my second attempt at making bread. It’s definitely something that I’m not used to making yet. I have not really understood and mastered it yet. But this is a good attempt at making bread.

I found this Hokkaido Milk Toast  recipe from Kirbie Craving’s blog. I don’t have a bread machine or a powerful stand mixture so I had to knead by hand. My dough didn’t look as smooth as the one shown on her blog at all but it think it came out pretty well anyway. =) I used up all the tangzhong made with the recipe in her link, which is really great. I wouldn’t know what to do with the leftovers.

I separated the dough into two to knead as it was too much dough for me to handle. When putting the cylindrical rolls into my pan, I found it didn’t really fill up with only 3 rolls so I put in 4 anyway.

Like in the recipe, I divided the dough into 6 portions. I have 2 portions left and I decided to try making buns with them. But I found out that it wasn’t the right thing to do because loaf recipes and bun recipes are NOT THE SAME. I called my mum and told her about me making bread and buns out of the same dough and she has informed me that I can’t do that. lol.

funny shaped buns

However, the buns were all eaten up on the day itself. =D They weren’t too bad just not that good.

I fount out anyway when I tried the buns. The buns I made were dense and not soft and fluffy as I have imagined. The loaf however was really delicious. It was soft, fluffy and smelt really good.

Loaf of Hokkaido Milk Toast

I ate one portion of the bread with nutella. 😀 So yummy!

I am definitely going to try making more bread. So stay tune to see what disasters I’ll encounter. 😀

Panko-battered chicken with Teriyaki Sauce

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This weekend, I decided to try making fried chicken with panko which is basically Japanese breadcrumbs. They are supposed to be crispier than regular bread crumbs but I’ve never used breadcrumbs, regular or Japanese, so I can’t really tell if that’s true.

Lunch is served!

Panko-battered chicken

Ingredients

250g boneless chicken thighs (I used 2 pieces)

1/2 cup flour
salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
paprika, to taste

1 egg, beaten

1 cup panko


Instructions

Slice the chicken into strips, about 1cm thick. Then, mix the flour, salt and pepper together. Cover each strip of chicken in the flour mixture and let it marinade for a few hours.

When ready to cook, beat an egg. Dip the strips of marinated chicken into the egg and then cover in panko. Leave chicken to sit for about 15-20 minutes before frying. Put about 1cm of oil into a frying pan.

Let the oil heat up before putting chicken in. When the oil is hot enough, fry the chicken in batches. Make sure the temperature does not get too high.

I made my own teriyaki sauce as well which is not hard. I used 1/2 of this recipe and added a little bit of corn flour to thicken the sauce.

The chicken is crispy and goes really well with the teriyaki sauce. I will definitely try the batter recipe with prawns to make ebi-furai in the not so distant future. =)

Sort-of-red Velvet Cupcakes

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Been itching to try baking red velvet cake. I’ve never baked or eaten red velvet before but it seems to have a good presence and reputation, so they should be good right??

I made my cupcakes according to this recipe. I didn’t use red colouring, just because I didn’t have any and didn’t want to get any. I kind of reasoned that since food colouring only affects the appearance and not the taste it wasn’t really too necessary. Some will beg to differ I’m sure. Instead of food colouring, colouring from beets are usually used to dye the cake red. I just wanted an easy and relaxing after work baking experience, so no colouring, artificial or otherwise.

I don’t think buttermilk is available in Australia but I honestly wouldn’t bother getting it even if its available just to use half a cup. Substituted by mixing 1/2 tablespoons of vinegar (or you can use lemon juice) in 1/2  cup of milk and letting it stand for a few minutes.

Freshly baked

I tried a little bit of the cupcake after it came out of the oven. I could taste the ‘vinegar’ in the cake while it was hot but after having another one after icing it, it just tasted like a nice and moist chocolate cake. I divided the batter into 11 cupcake cups instead of 12 and that’s probably why the cupcakes rose a bit too much and cracked. Somehow I never manage to the surface of the cupcakes I make smooth and even but that’s because I never manage to divide the batter correctly.

For the frosting, I halved the amount of ingredients used. But when I was making  it, I was somehow under the impression I was quartering it. So I ended up using about 250g of mascarpone (in place of cream cheese) and 1/4 cups of icing sugar (I think I was possed by the I-can’t-do-math ghost or something, that’s actually 1/8 of the original recipe!). The mascarpone was left over from making the tiramisu chocolate mousse on Valentine’s. Based on my extensive watching of the foodwishes youtube channel, mascarpone is a richer (read: more fat) cream cheese, so definitely okay to substitute.  I ‘sprinkled’ some cocoa powder on top of the iced cupcakes. 😀

They are absolutely divine. Really delicious!! I managed to ice 8.5 cupcakes generously. 0.5 because I kind of got the first one wrong. I left my absolutely new piping bags out of my luggage when I came back, so I had to improvise. I used a zip lock bag and cut an opening in one of the corners. Didn’t turn out too bad. =) Was never really good at errr… artsy stuff. So I think it’s not bad for my standards.

 

Will definitely make these again in the future and I might even try using some beetroot to make real RED velvet cake. They tasted really good and the little calculation mishap wasn’t really a bad thing. The frosting tasted just right and really complimented the moist chocolate cake.

I’m eager to try making this pandan chiffon cake recipe this weekend. Hopefully I’ll manage to find some pandan extract.

Soba & Miso Dinner

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Today I had to cook dinner for myself only. I almost resorted to going to a McDonald’s drive-through but then I remembered I had some Soba in the pantry. So I decided to make a simple meal out of what I’ve got in the pantry and fridge.

Soba noodles & Miso soup

The soup for Soba was made with just dashi granules, soy sauce and mirin! I mixed the ingredients in a small bowl first with a little bit of warm water and then added more water and heated it up on the stove. I also added some dumplings. The dumplings are the frozen type that you can get from Asian groceries.

I get hungry really quickly lately. The protein from miso will keep me full a little bit longer until bed time and I read that having some protein before turning in can actually help me sleep better. So miso it is! 😀

I really love making miso because it’s so easy. I made the soup with the dashi granules and some red miso paste. I think its really convenient having the dashi granules around. It’s not as healthy I guess but it makes cooking so much easier. =) Sometimes I add vegetables in the miso to add that extra serving of vegetable, like zucchini. Zucchini in soup is delicious!

First attempt at Bread

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So I’ve never baked bread before. I was quite intimidated about making bread because it always felt like I needed large and fancy equipment (bread machine) and it really put me off. That was until I saw bread recipes and I was itching to try making something.

I decided to try a recipe that is simple and easy (or so I thought)…

My bread was marginally successful, it was passable but not a success in my opinion. I actually failed in my first attempt because the dough didn’t rise. =(

First time I did it, I followed instructions to a tee. Because I started making bread after dinner, when I finally accepted the reality that my dough was never gonna rise, it was quite late at night already. I committed yeast genocide when I put the dough into a too hot oven (> 28 degrees Celcius) to proof. I wasted half a kilo of flour and 1 bottle of beer! >.< But being adamant about having freshly baked bread to eat the next morning I decided to start over at around 2am at night.

This time I skipped making the sponge and used cider instead of beer because that was all I got. I left the dough to rise for a few hours (about 5) and proofed it the second time in the morning.

It turned out okay, looked really nice after it came out of the oven. I was pretty excited about it. It looks like bread!

 However, there’s a difference between bread that looks like bread and bread that tastes like bread. It was okay but not the best bread I’ve had or anything like that. It tasted a bit bland, so if I made it again I would add a little bit more salt and the bread was quite dense, probably because I skipped making the sponge. It also tasted quite alcoholic! lol.

But we finished the bread in a day. 😀 I think it wouldn’t have tasted  even weirder if it was left longer.

Brekkie~

To commemorate my first attempt at bread making and pure greediness, I made bacon and eggs for breakfast! That morning was also the first time I poached eggs. 😀 it was a day of many firsts (actually just two…). Not exactly the healthiest thing to eat for breakfast but I really wanted to have the greasy goodness of bacon and yummy sauteed mushrooms.

I’m definitely gonna try making bread again. =) hopefully the next time will be more successful than this.