• Aug
  • 22
  • 2011

raya madness // choc almond cookies

Raya madness translates to ‘Gila Raya” which means Eid madness. Eid marks the end of Ramadan and is a celebration for all Muslims around the globe. This is my first year (ever!) making eid cookies/biskut raya. I wanted to re-create the spirit of eid like we have back home in Malaysia, especially now that I have a child. Growing up in Malaysia, we always looked forward to celebrating eid. The food. The visits. The money. The atmosphere. Its such a huge celebration and one that I will surely treasure forever. I know my daughter will never experience that kind of eid (or maybe one day inshallah), but at least she can enjoy my homemade cookies.



So this Eid, my sister, step mum and I will make  a few batch of cookies each. Different varieties of course, and share them amongst ourselves. So in total, each of us get 10+ variety of cookies. Yay!  The cookies that I have/will be making are choc almond, peanut cookies and choc chip cookies. (edit: links added)

In spirit of this year’s eid, the next few posts will be in relation to malay traditional food commonly served during eid/raya. Enjoy!


RECIPE FOR CHOC ALMOND COOKIES
Adapted from Jom Masak Jom Makan-Makan

Yields: 100 cookies
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins, for 1 batch (But you probably need a few batches depending on the size of your oven)

Ingredients

300g flour*
250g butter
250g chocolate, melted
190g caster sugar
200g cornflour*
2 tbsp cocoa powder*
200g almonds
1 tsp  vanilla essence
1 egg

*Sift these ingredients into a bowl

Method

1. Beat the sugar, butter and vanilla essence until fluffy.

2. Put the egg and chocolate and continue beating until well combined.

3. Add the sifted ingredients and using a spatula, gently fold the mixture.

4. Add the almonds and combine well. Do not over combine or almonds will start to break.

5. Put some mixture into plastic wrap and shaped them into a square long train (see photo above)

6. Once all the mixtures have been wrapped tightly, put them into the fridge for 2 hours until it sets.

7. Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a baking tray lined with baking paper.

8. Take out the cookie dough and remove plastic. Cut into 2cm thick and place on the baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes.

Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.





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Categories: cookies, desserts, in my kitchen
  • Aug
  • 20
  • 2011

leftover chicken turned sandwich

Roast chicken is what they call ‘a meal for today and tomorrow’. That is why I love making it. You can make so many things with leftover roast chicken. The easiest is a sandwich since you’d probably have all the ingredients sitting in your fridge to whip up this very quick and healthy lunch. This makes one tasty sandwich because the flavours from the chicken were just popping in my mouth with every bite I took. Not to mention, the sauces just oozes with yumminess. I think without the them, it would be a little dry. Drizzle with a bit of mayo, or thousand island or sweet chili, or anything else…oohh yummo! Other meal ideas using leftover roast would be, chicken pies, chicken salad, chicken couscous, bbq chicken pizza, chicken fried rice, chicken baked pasta, chicken wraps, chicken soup, chicken nachos, chicken fritters, chicken and vegetable lasagne…hmmm the ideas just keep on rolling.

LEFTOVER ROAST CHICKEN TURNED SANDWICH
Roast chicken from this recipe

Makes: 1 sandwich
Prep time: 5mins
Cook time: none!

Ingredients

Handful of shredded chicken (leftover roast chicken)
Handful of shredded carrots
2 slices bread (I used soft Rye bread)
2 slices cut tomatoes
1 slice cheese
1 large lettuce leaf, cut
pinch of salt and pepper
drizzle with any sauce you like (I used mayo and sweet chilli)

*There’s no particular way of assembling a sandwich. Just do it the way you like it. And then put it in the grill/sandwich maker.






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Categories: bread, Chicken, in my kitchen
  • Aug
  • 19
  • 2011

chocolate ripple bites

I’ve been attending Aussie Muslims (forum) iftaar for 3 years consecutively now. And at every single iftaar, a sister (May Allah reward her) never fails to make these super cute bite size dessert. Though, she puts a bit more effort into them by drizzling over some chocolate for that finishing touch. I just topped mine with a slice of strawberry. Now these are on their way to my sister in laws house, for iftaar. Impressive much?

RECIPE FOR CHOCOLATE RIPPLE BITES

Makes: 25
Prep time: 20mins
Chill time: min 6 hours (recommended overnight)

Ingredients

400g Arnotts chocolate ripple biscuit (1.5 packets)
600ml thickened cream
1/3 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
5 strawberries, sliced

Method

1. Using an electric mixer, whip the cream sugar and vanilla essence until thickened.

2. Lay 25 biscuits on a tray and put a dollop of cream mixture then sandwich it with another biscuit on top. Do this for the remaining 24 biscuits.

3. Using a star nozzle, put some mixture into the nozzle bag and squeeze the cream to form a nice shape.

4. Top with a strawberry slice and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but I recommend refrigerating overnight.





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Categories: cake, cookies, desserts, in my kitchen
  • Aug
  • 15
  • 2011

roast chicken with garlic, thyme and lemon


A good’ol roast chicken is a family favourite in our home. So easy and yummy. Literally all you have to do is just clean and season it, then chuck it in the oven. Its so simple that I make this once a week. My husband is a big fan. I serve it with some gravy and sometimes add stuffing depending on my mood.

The secret for creating fresh recipes is using fresh ingredients. Thyme from our garden. I just leave them like that.


With chicken stuffing, you can be a little adventurous. There is the traditional breadcrumbs + herb, or the asian ‘rice’ stuffing, or simply let your imagination go wild and stuff with whatever takes your fancy; fruit? nuts? couscous? cheese? Why not! The best part about roast chicken is, when you have leftovers, you can make a chicken salad sandwich for your lunch the next day! I will blog about this sandwich in my next entry, so stay tune. Here it is. For now, this is the recipe. Nothing fancy, just really simple. But yummy of course.

P/s: I couldn’t take a picture of the whole chicken because as I was getting my camera ready, it was already being dissected! I told you its a family favourite. No time wasters!


RECIPE FOR ROAST WHOLE CHICKEN WITH GARLIC, THYME AND LEMON

Serves: 2
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

1 kg (small-medium) sized chicken
10 cloves garlic (for paste), pound in mortar and pestle
6 cloves garlic, whole unpeeled
3 medium potatoes, quartered
3 carrots, halved longways
1/4 cup olive oil
6 sprigs of thyme (or 3 tsp dried thyme)
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp black pepper
3 tsp salt
10cm long cotton twine string (to tie the legs)

Method

1. Clean and rinse the chicken inside out and pat dry. Do not remove the chicken skin.

2. Marinate the whole chicken with garlic paste, thyme, salt and pepper. Rub it thoroughly and put the stuffing in the cavity. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil then tie the legs together with a cotton twine string. Refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.

3. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Lightly grease a roasting pan, place a roasting rack and put the chicken on top.

4. Bake for 30minutes then swap the chicken the opposite way. Add in the cut vegetables and unpeeled garlic underneath the chicken rack. Bake for another 30minutes until golden brown (you can see the crunchy skin).

5. Stand chicken for 5 minutes before serving and don’t forget to remove the string.


Ingredients for gravy

2 tbsp gravy (I used store bought powder gravy ‘Greens’)
4 tbsp chicken juice (get it from the roast chicken)
5 tbsp water

Method

Heat up the chicken juice and water in a small gravy pan and then gradually add the gravy powder, whilst whisking continuously to avoid any lumps.


Ingredients for stuffing

1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 small sized onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
50g butter
2 sprigs thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Method

Place all the ingredients in a small-medium sized bowl and gently combine with a wooden ladle. Then add into the cavity of the chicken.




Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.




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Categories: Chicken, in my kitchen
  • Aug
  • 09
  • 2011

blueberry crumb cake

I love reading The Pioneer Woman. I think she is a fabulous writer, cook and photographer. She has been blogging for quite some time now and while I was browsing her blog, I came across this recipe. Though, I have to admit my cake is nothing compared to hers, so please head over there to check out her amazing blueberry crumble cake *drools*.  Mine, on the other hand, just doubled up in size. I accidentally read the method wrong and instead of using a large rectangular pan, I used a small round baking pan! But do come back here to try out the recipe. I’ve translated the American cooking measurements as I don’t like how they use ‘stick’ for butter.

RECIPE FOR BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Serves: 12
Prep time: 10mins
Cook time: 45mins

Ingredients

For the cake:
1/4 cup butter + 1 tbsp additional butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 cups flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

For the topping:
6 tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup flour
1/4 tsp salt

Method for Cake

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Grease a 20 x33 cm baking pan and line with baking paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine butter and egg with cinnamon and sugar.

3. Add vanilla and mix.

4. Add flour mixture and milk alternately until totally incorporated. Do not overbeat.

5. Stir in blueberries until evenly distributed.

6. Pour batter in the baking tin.

7. In a separate bowl, combine topping ingredients with bare hands until it forms to a biscuit crumble. Sprinkle over the top of the cake.

8. Bake cake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown. Sprinkle with sugar.





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Categories: cake, desserts, in my kitchen
  • Aug
  • 06
  • 2011

chewy chocolate chip cookies

My husband is a huge cookie fan, in Australia, we call them biscuits. My pantry is always full of them. Double chocolate, ginger, anzac, scotch, tim tams…the list goes on. I believe he has converted my daughter into a cookie monster as well.  They both have a cookie each at night if they wake up. But, my husband cannot have biscuits without milk! Reason being – he likes them soft and gooey.  This is how he eats it: take a bite, have a sip of milk, it goes all gooey inside and then swallow. Repeat the process again. He even leaves the packet of biscuit open on purpose so they turn more gooey-ish (if thats even a word!)


These NESTLÉ cookies are so soft and chewy. We have now turned into a cookie monster family.


CHEWY CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RECIPE
Adapted from Nestle, with slight modifications

Yields:50 cookies
Prep time: 20mins
Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients

180 grams butter
1/3 cup sugar
1 can NESTLÉ sweetened condensed milk
2 cups self raising flour
250 grams NESTLÉ dark choc bits

Method

1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.

2. Beat butter and sugar until creamy, beat in NESTLÉ Sweetened Condensed Milk.

3. Add flour, stir until combined.

4. Add NESTLÉ Dark Choc Bits, mix well.

5. Roll heaped tablespoonfuls of mixture into balls, place on greased oven trays and press gently with fork.

6. Bake for 15 minutes, until golden.




Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.






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Categories: cookies, desserts, in my kitchen
  • Aug
  • 01
  • 2011

moist carrot cake with lemon & cream cheese frosting

I have been making this carrot cake for years but sadly I have forgotten where it originated from. So I cannot take credit for this absolutely divine carrot cake,  though, I did make it myself (countless times) and photographed it; and its always a winner, hands down! Let me tell you, its so soft and moist and I usually would cover the entire cake with chopped walnuts, unfortunately I didn’t have enough at the time of baking it, so I just sprinkled a bit over the top. But if you do, please, please be generous. It just brings it all together, Yum!

RECIPE FOR MOIST CARROT CAKE WITH LEMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Serves: 12
Prep time: 20mins
Cook time: 50mins

Ingredients

Cake:
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup grated carrots
Pinch of salt
2 eggs

Icing:
50g butter, melted
90g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1.5 cup icing sugar
1.5 tsp lemon juice, sift out pulp

Method for Cake

1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees. Grease a round baking tin and line bottom and sides with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix sugar, oil and eggs using a hand whisk until just combined. Do not overwhisk.

3. In another bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.

4. Then add step 3 to the liquid mixture in step 2 and combine well with a spatula.

5. Add carrots and fold mixture.

6. Pour into the pan and bake for 50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

7. Cool completely before putting the icing on.

Method for Icing

1. In large bowl, mix butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer.

2. Add sugar and lemon juice. Mix again until creamy.

3. Spread generously onto cake and drizzle the nuts all over.



  • Mar
  • 17
  • 2011

Super moist chocolate cake

Super moist chocolate cake

super moist chocolate cake
This is a killer chocolate cake. Its super moist, super chocolatey, super soft and super duper easy! You can even make the cake without the frosting and its still so goood on its own.

Recipe for Super Moist Chocolate Cake (from my dearest Aunt Nola)

Ingredients

2 cups Plain Flour

2 tsp Bicarbonate Soda

1 tsp Baking Powder

3/4 cup Cocoa Powder

2 cups Caster Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 cup Milk

1 cup Vegetable Oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla essence

1 cup Hot Coffee (made from 1 tsp coffee)


Method

1. Preheat oven to 170°c.

2. Line the base and sides of a 22cm diameter springfoam tin with baking paper.

3. Sift all the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

4. Pour all the wet ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until combined.

5. Then gradually add the dry ingredients. Mix until well combined.

6. Pour into the cake tin and bake for 50-60 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Note: Cake must be completely cooked before serving. Best eaten after a couple of hours.


Recipe for Chocolate, Orange and Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

110g Cream Cheese, at room temperature

60g Butter, at room temperature

22g Cocoa Powder, sifted

1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence

125g Icing Sugar, sifted

1 tbsp Orange zest

Juice of half Orange

Method

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.

2. Gradually add the cocoa powder, vanilla and icing sugar. Beat for about 5 minutes.

3. Then add the zest and juice.

4. Spread ontop of the cooled cake.

1 tsp Salt

  • Feb
  • 03
  • 2011

creamy chicken pasta

I’ve only started to like creamy dishes. Can’t believe I never used to like cream, even in desserts! One night, I was invited over to a friends place for dinner, was the day I turned creamy. Then again, I didn’t used to like a lot of things until much recent, some of which are prawns and sushi but have now fallen in love with, thanks to my husband.

So now, whenever I’m in a hurry or running out of ideas of what to cook or just a little bit lazy…this is what I come up with. Simple, yummy, creamy goodness. If I have leftover sauce, I’ll grill some chicken breast and pour the sauce over for my dinner the next night. My husband loves the taste of the sauce so much he says, “I can drink it all up”.


RECIPE FOR EASY CREAMY CHICKEN MUSHROOM PASTA
Adapted from this recipe

Serves: 4
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins

Ingredients

2 pieces chicken breast, cut into long thin strips
600ml thickened cream
2 cups mushroom, sliced
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 chicken stock cube (or 1/4 cup chicken stock)
400g spaghetti
2 tbsp butter (for a healthier version, substitute with olive oil)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (for garnishing)
parsley, chopped (for garnishing)
1/2 lemon (optional)

Method

1. To boil the pasta, fill a pot with water and some salt, bring it to a boil. Then add the pasta.

2. Whilst pasta is cooking,in a medium sauce pan, saute onions and garlic. Do not burn.

3. Add the chicken and stock and stir until just cooked. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add thickened cream and bring to a boil.

5. Lower heat and season with salt and pepper. Simmer until sauce thickens.

6. Drain cooked pasta and serve in individual plates. Pour creamy mushroom sauce on top and  garnish with some parmesan and chopped parsley. For some extra zing, squeeze a little lemon.



Click ‘Read More’ below to print out the recipe and leave a comment.




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Categories: Chicken, in my kitchen, Pasta
  • Jan
  • 16
  • 2011

Fresh Mango & Cream Sponge Cake

For sponge cake:
4 large eggs, white and yolks separated
9 tablespoons  sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons milk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup cake flour, sifted
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the whipped cream frosting:
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 teaspoons cold water
1 cup cold heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup icing sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the syrup:

1/4 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup water

Method for the sponge cake

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.  Line a 20cm springfoam pan with baking paper.

2. Add the sugar to the egg whites, and beat the egg whites until they are stiff and glossy.

3. Add the egg yolks to the egg white mixture, and gently whisk until the yolks are incorporated.

4. Add the milk, vanilla extract, and flour (in that order) to the batter and gently fold them into the batter with a spatula.  Fold in the melted butter until it is well combined.

5. Pour the cake batter into the prepared cake pan, and get rid of any air bubbles in the batter by dropping the pan on a counter once or twice.  Bake the cake for 25 to 30 minutes.  The cake is done when it is golden brown and springs back when pressed lightly.  Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Run a blade around the inside of the pan to loosen the cake, and remove.

Method for the whipped cream frosting

1. Put the cold water in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle the gelatin over the surface of the water and let stand for 5 minutes (do not stir).  Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon just until the gelatin dissolves.  Remove the saucepan from the heat and cool to room temperature.

2.In a mixing bowl, combine the whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until slightly thickened.  Then, while beating slowly, gradually pour the gelatin into the whipped cream mixture.  Then whip the mixture at high speed until stiff.

Method for the syrup

1. In a medium saucepan combine the sugar and water.  Bring the water to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

To assemble the cake:

1. You will need about 20 slices of fresh mangoes for the middle and for the top (decoration).

2. Slice the sponge cake horizontally into 2 layers.

3. Place one sponge layer cut-side up on a cake board or serving plate and lightly crush the surface with the simple syrup.  Spread a thin layer of whipped cream over the cake layer and arrange the mango slices over the surface.  Spread an additional layer of whipped cream over the mangoes.  Brush the cut-side of the second layer with the simple syrup and place it over the first layer.  Frost the sides and top of the cake with the remaining whipped cream.  Decorate as desired and garnish with the remaining mangoes.


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