This always happens to me. The cold weather swings by unannounced and I promptly have the urge to make ice cream. Not in summer when it’s the most logical, no, no, no, let’s wait till the mercury hits below 15 (59 for those in the Fahrenheit world) and then dust off the ice cream maker…
To be fair it seems like my favourite season, Autumn, took a leave of absence this year in Melbourne. It was summer, and then voila! Winter said hello. I feel a little cheated. So why not cheer myself up with ice cream?
I’m also reminiscing a little of my trip to Japan in February and putting two and two together, I thought a little matcha ice cream will bring on a large dose of comfort.
While in Kyoto, we visit Ippodo Tea House, renowned for its many varieties of Japanese tea, from the everyday subtle Sencha to the bold and thick Koicha. The Ippodo website wonderfully explains the different types of tea, its components and preparation methods for those who are keen to find out more.
Matcha is a shade-cultivated tea leaf that is finely ground, has a sweet aroma and gloriously jade-green in colour. It is the tea used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. A true properly prepared matcha is quite an acquired taste – rich, full-bodied, slightly bitter and salty. Recommended to partake with a sweet treat.
I bought the noob version of matcha when I was in Kyoto – which is essentially an easy to mix, pre-sweetened matcha. And this was what I used to make the ice cream. I used Billy Law’s matcha ice cream recipe and just omitted the sugar. What resulted was matcha ice cream that was delightfully creamy and full of earthy green tea flavour and perfectly sweetened. (Well for my taste as I’m not a fan of overly sweet stuff)
MATCHA ICE CREAM
Recipe by Billy Law in ‘Have you eaten yet?’
Serves 6 – 8 (I halved the recipe)
375ml (13 fl oz/1.5 cups) thickened (whipping) cream
375ml (13 fl oz/1.5 cups) full cream milk
115g (4 oz/0.5 cup caster sugar (which I omitted due to pre-sweetened matcha)
2 tablespoons matcha powder (I used 6 tablespoons of the matcha mix)
1. Whip the cream in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside.
2. Put milk, sugar and matcha powder into a food processor and process until well combined and the sugar has dissolved. Strain the mixture througha fine sieve into the whipped cream. Fold the cream gently into the mixture, then cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (Thanks to my noob matcha mix, I only had to mix it in the milk and stir to dissolve, no straining required)
3. Churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. It will take 15 – 20 minutes for the ice cream to set. Serve immediately or transfer to a container and store in freezer for firmer texture.
In my x years of cooking, I’ve only known one way of cooking chinese bbq roast pork (char siu) – and as the name implies, I would roast it in my oven. The result is often a very tasty but slightly dry char siu. However a very good man known as The Food Canon shared his family recipe for a wok-cooked char siu. There were warnings of a nightmarishly difficult to clean wok after but it wasn’t going to deter me. I did think that if I ruined my wok, I’d just have a get a new one. I needed to try this method out no matter what. Needed, not wanted, needed!
Essentially, this is a twice-cooked roast pork. Braised first in its marinade, then quickly crisped up and charred under a hot grill. Can anyone say yum?
The result was most wonderful – super moist, sticky, caramelly roast pork and with a little modification to the braising sauce (I ran really low on it), I also came up with a great cheat’s drizzling sauce. Served with a plate of freshly steamed jasmine rice and a side of garlic chinese broccolli, this was one gold-class comfort meal.
I used pork belly this time, which even the hubs (gasp!) found to be too fatty. I’d recommend using a good strip of pork loin instead. Something I’ll try again soon. But you know what they say, fat is flavour, and this pork is so fattily flavourful!
Oh, and my wok wasn’t ruined at all. Hot water and dishwashing liquid did the job just fine. Happy days!
CHINESE BBQ ROAST PORK – WOK STYLE
Adapted from The Food Canon
1kg pork belly strips
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp chinese cooking wine
1 cup water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Marinade pork strips with all of the ingredients except water and oil for at least 2 hours or overnight.
2. To a heated wok, add the oil, then add pork belly strips in one layer. Seal the pork for about a minute, then add all the marinade and water and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes or until the pork is tender. Remove pork strips from the wok and lay it out on a baking tray in a single layer.
3. Place tray under the grill and char the pork for about a minute on each side.
4. If the braising liquid has reduced too much and there isn’t enough to make up a sauce, add another cup of water to braising liquid, add a couple tablespoons of hoisin sauce, stir and simmer till thickened and voila! – you have sauce.
5. Slice the pork up, drizzle with sauce and enjoy!
Whew, birthday month is over. There are just too many amazing people in my life born in the month of January. It started with my very own birthday (ahem!), to a couple of my colleagues’, to my mum’s, to my best friend’s and right through to the hubby’s on the last day of the month. Many celebratory meals in the form of a picnic, a hoity-toity degustation, brunches, lunches and dinners were had. Good times often do come with expanding waistlines! This is another reason why I never have weight-loss new year resolutions. It’s pointless.
Now the one thing my hubby enjoys most for his birthday is to have his very own home-made birthday cake (preferably all to himself) which he can enjoy throughout his birthday week.
This year, I whipped out his all-time favourite baked blueberry cheesecake. I’m not even sure where I got this recipe from, but it is one of my rare, handwritten recipes in my book which I have tried and enjoyed countless times. I doubt it was from a cookbook (why else would I have re-written it), or that it was found online (maybe? but I can’t seem to find the exact same recipe again).
Wherever it’s from, I’m just glad I have it, and now I’m sharing it here. So go forth my friends, bake, eat and prosper!
BAKED BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE
Makes a 9″/24cm cake
For the base
200g digestives biscuits
100g melted butter
For the cheesecake
1 x 250g cream cheese (I use Philadelphia)
1/3 cup whipping cream
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup of blueberries (I usually put in at least 1/2 a cup more!)
1. Lightly grease a springform cake tin. Process digestive biscuits to fine crumbs in a food processor. Mix crumbs and melted butter well in a bowl before layering it on the base of the cake tin. Press down evenly and firmly. Leave the tin in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the cake.
2. Preheat oven to 220C/420F.
Beat cream cheese, cream, sugar, eggs, flour, cornstarch, vanilla extract and lemon juice until light.
3. Gently mix in sour cream and melted butter. The mixture is quite runny. Gently fold in blueberries.
5. Remove tin from the fridge, pour in cake mixture.
6. Bake in the oven at 220C/420F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven and bake at 140C/280F for about an hour or until cake is no longer wobbly in the middle. I rotate my cake halfway through for even baking.
Best served fully cooled.
January 26 is Australia Day. It’s a day of BBQs by the beach, picnics in the park, summer music concerts and this year, it also includes watching scream queen Azarenka beat smiling assassin Li Na at the Australian Open. Not quite patriotic I guess unless you count the thong throwing contests or men painted in blue and wearing nothing but the Australian flag, throwing around an inflatable kangaroo. Ah Australia…
However, nothing is more Australian than this…
…the infamous Vegemite, dreaded by many but loved by many more. I grew up loving Bovril and Marmite. And it was a no brainer that I switched to Vegemite when I landed on Aussie shores years ago.
It’s not appealing to many and I can imagine why – it’s dark brown, doesn’t smell very nice and super salty. Made from yeast extract (what?? I don’t even know what that means)…it can be quite a potent spread for an amateur.
I love this stuff, especially on generously buttered toast with a light scraping of vegemite. (Yes, please do not treat Vegemite like your regular peanut butter or nutella spread where more is merrier). It’s great also with cheese toasties and some people put a little in sauces and gravies.
Vegemite Chicken is another great way to use Vegemite. My hubby will not go anywhere near my Vegemite toast, but this dish is now in his list of ‘yes’ food. In fact, he requested for it this time!
Trust me, it’s good. You’ll hardly taste the Vegemite but it sure gives the dish an added depth of flavour. Imagine honey soy chicken but with more power!
Try it to believe it. I’m sure many of you will be using that long-abandoned jar of Vegemite in your pantry after this.
Adapted from Almost Bourdain
650g chicken wings, split and without tips
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp dark soy sauce
1/2 tsp Vegemite
Toasted sesame seeds for garnishing (optional)
1 tsp Vegemite
1 tbs honey
1 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs Shaoxing wine
A dash white pepper powder
1. Marinade chicken for at least 3 hours or overnight.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan on high heat. Add chicken wings and stir fry till lightly brown on all sides. Set leftover marinade aside.
3. Add in honey, dark soy sauce and vegemite to the chicken, stir fry and mix well. Add in marinade, coat chicken well and simmer till the sauce is thickened, dark and syrupy.
4. Taste and if required, add a splash of light soy to taste.
5. Serve with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds, steaming hot white rice and a side of stir fried veggies. Perfect.
The new year celebrations have come and gone. Many of us have returned to work and the Christmas break seemed so long ago. The gyms are packed full of people attempting to keep to their new year resolutions of losing weight, getting fit etc etc. January is probably the month where carb intake is the lowest due to enthusiastic weight watchers who stuffed one too many roasted spuds and christmas pudding. Don’t quote me, i’m making stuff up, because I am one of those who tries very, very hard to go the non-carb or low-carb way.
Safe to say, I haven’t been very successful. When I’m after a quick and easy one dish meal, I tend to turn to rice or noodles. Hey I can’t help it – I’m asian!
So I try to be as healthy as possible, loading the dish with more vegetables and protein. This cabbage and chicken pilaf is a quick and easy one-pan meal. If you’re really not in the mood for cleaning up either, you can eat directly from the pan too – no one’s judging!
A pilaf is a rice dish (usually, but not always of Indian influence) cooked with vegetables and broth. It’s versatile, so you can chuck in protein like chicken or other meats or seafood. A way to describe it is like an Indian paella? Just with different flavours and spices and much less labour intensive and time consuming.
Simple ingredients, cooked in 30 minutes or less! Great mid-week meal.
CABBAGE & CHICKEN PILAF
3 fillets of skinless and boneless chicken thighs, sliced
1/2 a head of white cabbage, coursely shredded
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup of frozen peas
1 1/2 cups of long grain white rice (you can use basmati rice too)
2 cups of unsalted chicken stock
2 tsp of curry powder
1 tsp of ground ginger
1 tsp of ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
light soy sauce to taste (optional)
In a 30cm fry pan or cast iron braiser, heat a splash of vegetable oil. Brown chicken pieces until just lightly browned.
Add in ground ginger, cumin, curry powder, garlic and rice. Stir to mix ingredients well and ensure rice is well coated with spices. Add in cabbage, mix well and cook for about 5 minutes.
Add in chicken stock and frozen peas. Mix through and cover pan. Cook for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender. Season to taste. Sprinkle with crispy fried shallots before serving (optional).
Oh hello 2013. Welcome. May we have some great times together!
Melbourne summer gets unbearably hot. Summer is only my friend when I’m down at the beach. All other times, I prefer to not move too much and stay cool on my couch with lots of ice-cold drinks and some TV marathon. Currently I’m hiding from the 38C (100F) heat and hooked on Sons of Anarchy – is Jax ever going to leave Samcro?!!
Back to the beach…I spent Christmas camping by the beach with the hubby. Made some amateur boo-boos, like forgetting to pack warm gear (it gets cold at night!), forgetting to apply sun screen when going for a walk by the beach (yup, peeling like a dried up shrimp right now) and leaving our foldable table behind in the apartment. I know. Rookie mistakes. It’s just been too long since we last camped. It just means we need another attempt at this.
The only other good thing about summer is stoned fruits. It’s time for peaches, nectarines, cherries, berries and mangoes. I’m chomping down on yet another nectarine as I’m writing this. Juicy!
What better way to use up the abundance of fruit than to bake them in delicious ways. Such as this nectarine upside-down cake. It’s an adapted recipe from David Lebovitz. Great for any type of stoned fruit really – I happened to have a few over-ripe nectarines, but this works for peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple and more. Go experiment!
I loved the caramel oozing all over the nectarines, the cake part was also light and not overly sweet – which is great when you have enough caramel to sweeten the deal. Eat while still warm, or warm up for 20 seconds in the microwave…great on its own or with ice cream.
NECTARINE UPSIDE DOWN CAKE
Adapted from David Lebovitz
I used a 9″ square pan, but David L used a 10″ skillet / cake pan. Do not use a springform pan unless you want to scrape hardened caramel from the bottom of your oven!
3 tbsp butter (45g), salted or unsalted
3/4 cup packed (135g) light brown sugar
5 – 6 nectarines (or enough cut fruit to layer the bottom of your pan)
8 tbsp (115g) unsalted butter
3/4 cup (150g) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (210g) flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (125ml) whole milk, at room temperature
1. Melt the 3 tbsp (45g) of butter in a cake pan or skillet. Add the brown sugar and cook while stirring, until the sugar is melted and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Once cool, arrange the fruit in a tight, single layer. Set aside.
3. Preheat the oven to 350F. (190C)
4. Beat the 8 tbsp (115g) of butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time, beat until smooth.
5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
6. Stir in half of the flour mixture, then the milk, then the remaining dry ingredients. Do not overmix: stir just until the flour is barely incorporated into the batter.
7. Spread the batter over the fruit, then bake for 45 minutes to one hour (depending on the size of the pan, and the thickness of the batter.) The cake is ready when it begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and the center feels just set.
8. Remove from oven, let cool about 20 minutes, then place a cake plate on top, flip the cake out on to the plate, taking care, as there may be some hot caramel that might escape.
Best served warm.
Summer has well and truly arrived. It doesn’t help when it’s also the last working Friday before the Christmas break. Getting through today is tough – my brain’s on holiday mode, I’m listening to the Chipmunks singing carols and I’m staring out my office window. You can see in the distance, the glistening waters of the bay calling out to me…
I have been busy too…busy practicing my face painting skills – ha! (Very productive day isn’t it?)…I’m the official kid’s face painter this Christmas Eve at work. Sticky children, face paint, cookies…that should make those three hours at the office on Christmas Eve pass speedily. I hope.
I do have a Christmas cookie recipe to share…but first I’m craving for some of this…shaken iced tea – just like the ones in Starbucks (in the US). Blissful beverage on a hot summer’s day.
HOMEMADE SHAKEN ICED TEA
6 tea bags (black tea)
1.5 litres boiling water (2 quarts)
1/2 cup lemon cordial
lots of ice
Add tea bags and water, stir it around and let tea bags sit for about 5 minutes (or more if you like your tea strong). Add in lemon cordial, shake it well (or stir) and taste. Add more cordial if required. Let tea cool off, remove bags, add lots of ice, shake it some more and serve.
Happy summer for those in the southern hemisphere! I’m off camping by the beach this Christmas…woo hoo! Can’t. Wait.
I’ve said this many times before – I’m not great at pre-planning. Usually when I have a last minute craving for something home-made, it has to be quick and easy.
A few weekends ago, I woke up and decided I NEEDED some hot cinnamon rolls for a lazy Sunday breakfast.
The traditional bready cinnamon roll requires the standard straight bread dough prep – which means incorporating yeast into the flour, letting it rise etc. And it usually means preparing ahead of time. Which brings me back to my first point – I don’t do that very well. So, hot cinnamon rolls on a whim? Not a chance…oh wait, unless you go for the no-yeast version.
Thanks to all the folks out there who decided that cinnamon rolls need not have to be the yeasty bready kind. Yay to you! I got this recipe off the net, and gave it a shot.
Nothing beats freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Bready or cakey. The texture of this no-yeast cinnamon roll is a little more like a firm muffin. It lacks the chewiness of the bready roll, which I love. However, everything else is spot on. Gooey, buttery, cinnamony with some caramelly crunchy bits…all washed down with a fresh cup of joe or in my case, strong, black tea. Buttery bliss on a Sunday morning.
P/S: I didn’t glaze the rolls because the amount of sugar in this thing is enough to scare away the sugar fairy but if you prefer to keep your sweet tooth happy, the glaze option’s below.
No-Yeast Cinnamon Roll
Recipe from food.com
2 cups flour(220g)
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter (43g)
3/4 cup milk (approx 177ml)
4 tablespoons butter (56g)
1 cup brown sugar (200g)
3 teaspoons cinnamon
For the filling, in a small bowl combine softened butter, brown sugar and cinnamon to form a crumbly mixture.
Sprinkle 1/4 of the mixture over the bottom of a 9×9 pan.
In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
Cut or rub in softened butter till it resembles bread crumbs.
Stir in milk to form a soft dough.
Roll out dough into a rectangle on a lightly floured into a rectangle about 1/4 inch thick.
Spread the remaining filling on the rolled out dough.
Roll up the rectangle, with a sharp knife slice into 12 pieces.
Bake for 20-25 min at 400°F (200°C).
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Combine powdered sugar and milk in a small bowl and stir until smooth.
Once rolls are out of the oven, drizzle on glaze and serve warm.
Ferran Adria, of the legendary El Bulli restaurant came up with an amazing cookbook for home cooking called The Family Meal. This book is way cool. 31 meals planned out, with each step of each meal fully documented with photographs. The ingredient list also caters to meals for 2 right up to 75! Very convenient indeed.
My first attempt at one of his recipes was this amazingly rich and creamy Caesar Salad dressing. It was one of those times the hubby was away (can’t remember where he went now) and all I had in the fridge worth considering was a head of cos lettuce and half a block of parmesan cheese. It was a no-brainer what I was going to have for my solo dinner.
A caesar salad to me isn’t really a salad. It’s too unhealthy and delicious to count as a one. I love it though, it’s one of those meals I’d have when I just feel like a tasty veggie-filled meal, albeit calorifically rich. Especially this version of caesar dressing – all garlicky and super creamy.
By Ferran Adria, “The Family Meal”
1/2 garlic clove
2 anchovy fillets, packed in olive oil, drained
1 egg yolk
2 tsp Sherry vinegar (I used white wine vinegar)
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp sunflower oil
20g finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Put garlic, anchovies and egg yolk in a beaker or jug.
2. Process with a hand held blender until smooth.
3. Very gradually, pour in the sunflower oil while blending until it becomes a smooth, thick mayonnaise-like consistency. Blend in the vinegar.
4. Stir in grated parmesan cheese. All done.
Note: If making this dressing for two, I would recommend blending it in a small food processor. I found that with such a small amount, everything got stuck behind the blades in the hand-held blender. Took me a while to scrape them all out.
Okay so the original recipe sounds way cooler….chocolate muscovado banana cake by Nigel Slater. Alas I only have regular, good ol’ brown sugar. Muscovado will have to take a back seat this time.
I had to look up the difference between brown sugar and muscovado – muscovado sugar is darker, more moist and has a strong molasses flavour. I’m sure this recipe will benefit from the use of muscovado sugar but I was very happy with how moist and tasty the cake turned out without it.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I bake anything, I can’t wait to taste it. So when a recipe calls for the cake to be cooled completely, I usually don’t. But this time, I highly recommend it. When I ate the cake fresh out of the oven, it did not taste as flavourful and I was not impressed. When I had another slice a few hours later, it tasted beautiful. Moist, banana-filled, chocolate laced cake. Om nom nom. Thank you Nigel Slater.
Oh and see this? My current favourite tea from Harney & Sons. Love it!! Perfect with a slice of chocolate brown sugar banana cake.
CHOCOLATE BROWN SUGAR BANANA CAKE
Adapted from Nigel Slater’s recipe – Kitchen Diaries II
250g plain flour
I have a problem. I own a number of really amazing cookbooks and have recently added a few more to my collection. I love browsing through them and getting ideas for recipes as well as oogle at the gorgeous food photography or typography. But when it comes to last minute cooking inspiration, I tend to just whip out the iPhone or iPad and surf the web. Whaaatt??
Take last Sunday for example, I woke up and decided that I needed to bake. I didn’t care what, I just wanted to get the butter, sugar and flour out. So instead of getting out of bed and flipping through my cookbooks, I stayed in bed and surfed YouTube for recipes. Gosh, how low can one go right?
This recipe for fudgey brownies came from Laura Vitale of Laura in the Kitchen. I’m sure we all have our ‘go-to’ brownie recipe, I had one too. But after watching Laura’s version, I chucked my age-old high school brownie recipe and dived straight into the kitchen for my baking therapy.
Loved, loved, loved this fudgey brownie. Chewy and super chocolatey – just the way I think brownies should be and it’s really easy to make. No excuses for anyone wanting to reach for the pre-mixed brownie box!
Adapted from Laurainthekitchen.com
140g (5 oz) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
200g (7 oz) of 70% dark chocolate, melted
200g (approx 1 cup) of castor sugar
2 tsp of vanilla extract
¼ tsp of salt
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 large eggs
2 tbsp of espresso coffee
75 g (2/3 cup) of plain flour
Preheat oven to 180C (350F). Spray an 8 by 8 inch square pan with non stick cooking spray and lay the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a large bowl whisk together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and espresso. Beat until all is combined.
Add the melted chocolate and whisk, add the dry ingredients and mix everything together until it’s incorporated but don’t over mix.
Pour batter into your prepared pan, spread evenly and bake for about 40 minutes or until when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs but not wet batter.
Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Coconut custard spread – otherwise known as kaya – is what I consider the jam of Southeast Asia. If you haven’t tried kaya before – it is creamy and easily spreadable in texture and fragrant with coconut and screwpine (pandan) flavours. When kids were tucking into sandwiches or toasts with PBJ in the US, marmalade or marmite in the UK and vegemite in Australia, we had kaya.
Kaya toast is what we enjoy having for breakfast or even as a snack whenever we’re back in Singapore. Thinly sliced crustless bread, lightly toasted and spread with kaya and a melting slab of butter – now that’s how we roll! It’s so popular that there are even kaya toast franchises all over Singapore – Ya Kun and Killiney Kopitiam…just to name a couple of the big boys.
Here’s a picture of a Ya Kun kaya toast meal – complete with soft boiled eggs and coffee. Oh my, I want some right now.
The good thing is that kaya is widely distributed across the globe, which means if I’m craving for some downunder, I’m not far from a store that sells it. However, one of the things my mum-in-law left behind from her last visit to Melbourne earlier this year, was her recipe for homemade kaya.
Unlike the store bought kaya, this version is not as sweet and the texture is not as processed. Kinda rustic and quite delish! Now I’ll share the recipe with you, but it was just me scrambling to jot down notes while mum was speeding through the process. Like any other home cook, mum’s recipe is all about estimation, so when I say medium bowl that can fill a dozen eggs, it means just that. I can’t give you any more detail than that!
My mum-in-law’s homemade kaya
12 large eggs (or fill up a medium size mixing bowl)
1 bowl of granulated sugar (same size bowl as the eggs)
1 x 270ml can of coconut cream
6 screwpine (pandan) leaves
1 tbsp of wheat flour, dissolved in 1 tbsp of water
1. In a medium metal mixing bowl or pot, beat eggs for about 2 minutes.
2. Cut up the screwpine leaves into small (about 2cm) pieces. Process the leaves in a food processor with 2 tbsp of water. Strain blended leaves through a clean muslin cloth. Squeeze the living daylights out of the pulp to get all the juices.
3. Add screwpine juice, sugar and coconut cream to the eggs. Place the pot or bowl in a water bath on simmer. Ensure the depth of water in the bath is level to the egg mixture in the bowl.
4. Simmer and stir the mixture gently and continuously until it is thickened. (About 20 – 25 minutes) Yes, elbow grease and patience is required.
5. Add wheat flour mixture to the custard, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Cool and store in jam jars or air tight containers.
One of the best things about having leftover roast dinners is having fun the next day creating new dishes from it. Sandwiches filled with sliced roast beef – yum. Warm lamb salad – yum. Diced up roast pork in fritatas or fried rice – oh yeah. And perhaps some leftover roast chicken pizza?
Easy to make, these personal sized pizzas make great weekend lunches. Generally everyone gets creative when it comes to toppings, but the base of the pizza is just as important. I used tomato pesto for some and mayonnaise and bbq sauce for the other. They’re probably not the healthiest (who am I kidding?) but they’re delicious and loads of fun!
Here’s the basic pizza dough base (makes 5-6 thin personal sized pizza bases)
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
300g strong white bread flour
1/2 tablespoon fine sea salt
1 x 7g sachets of dried yeast
1/2 tablespoon golden caster sugar
around 325ml lukewarm water
Pile the flour and salt on to a clean surface and make an well in the centre. Add your yeast and sugar to the lukewarm water, mix up with a fork and leave for a few minutes, then pour into the well.
Using a fork and a circular movement, slowly bring in the flour from the inner edge of the well and mix into the water. It will look like thick porridge. Continue to mix, bringing in all the flour. When the dough comes together and becomes too hard to mix with your fork, flour your hands and begin to pat it into a ball.
Knead the dough by rolling it backward and forward, using your left hand to stretch the dough toward you and your right hand to push the dough away from you at the same time. Repeat this for 10 minutes, until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl. Cover with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap and let double in size for about 45 minutes.
To make pizzas:
Place the dough on a floured surface, divide into 6 portions (or less if you prefer bigger pizzas). Flour and cover with plastic wrap, and let it rest for about 15 minutes. This will make it easier to roll it thinly.
Take a portion of the dough, dust your surface and the dough with a little flour and roll it out into a rough circle about 0.5cm thick.
Tear off an appropriately sized piece of tin foil, rub it with olive oil, dust it well with flour and place the pizza base on top. Continue doing the same with the other pieces and then, if you dust them with a little flour, you can pile them up into a stack, cover them with cling film and put them in the fridge.
When you’re ready to cook them, preheat your oven to 250°C/500°F. Top each pizza with your favourite stuff (don’t forget the cheese!), drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and place pizza (on the foil) one at a time directly on the shelf of the oven. Cook for 7 – 10 minutes until golden and crispy.
There are days when I feel like baking and in my head I picture elaborate layered cakes with glossy frosting or perfect pastries with melt in the mouth creme patissiere. The reality is I’d rather get the baking done quickly so I can sit in front of the TV and stuff my face with cake. The sooner done, the better. And who am I kidding? Elaborate layered cakes only live somewhere in my head probably from a snapshot of someone else’s hard work on the web or in cookbooks.
So at times like these, I could pop around the corner to the mini supermarket and get a loaf of factory made shrink wrapped madeira cake (triple yuck) or I take out my cake tray, pause the TV and get cracking on this.
Red velvet cake and cream cheese frosting are like BFFs. So when I discovered that cream cheese which I thought was in my fridge didn’t really exist, I resorted to cream cheese frosting’s much lighter and healthier cousin – meringue frosting. Sweeeeeet.
Red Velvet Sheet Cake with Meringue Frosting
Cake recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman and Smitten Kitchen
- 1 cup canola oil (instead of shortening which was in the original recipe)
- 1-3/4 cup Sugar
- 2-1/2 cups Cake Flour
- 1-1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 2 whole Eggs
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Vinegar
- 1-1/2 ounce, fluid Red Food Coloring
- 1-1/2 teaspoon Cocoa Powder (not Dutch processed, just the regular stuff)
Preheat oven to 180 C (350F) degrees. Thoroughly spray a large sheet cake pan with baking spray, be generous with the spray.
Whisk cake flour, cocoa and salt in a bowl.
Place oil and sugar in bowl of an electric mixer and beat at medium speed until well-blended. Beat in eggs one at a time. With machine on low, very slowly add red food coloring. Add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk in two batches. Scrape down bowl and beat just long enough to combine.
Place baking soda in a small dish, stir in vinegar and add to batter with machine running. Beat for 10 seconds.
Pour batter into prepared sheet cake pan. Even out the surface. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove pan from oven and allow cake to cool completely before icing.
Italian Meringue Frosting
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3 egg whites (room temperature)
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla or other flavoring
2 tablespoons sugar
Mix 2/3 cup sugar and water together and bring to a boil until a temperature of 275 is reached on a candy thermometer.
As the syrup reaches its temperature, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar, 2 tablespoons sugar until the whites form soft peaks.
Remove syrup from heat add the syrup in a small stream while continuing to beat the mixture with the electric mixer.
Beat about 3 more minutes. The mixture will form glossy peaks and thicken.
Add the vanilla and mix a bit more.
Frost the cake immediately.
*Although this frosting is super easy to make and is much healthier than cream cheese, it doesn’t keep as well. Maximum two days refrigerated – that is if your cake lasts that long to begin with!
There’s quite a bit of confusion when it comes to the identification of the root vegetable that is found in this dish. In Southeast Asia, we call this a yam cake which will probably mislead all my American friends to thinking it’s like thanksgiving-style sweet yams. Nah-uh. Firstly, yam as we know it in Southeast Asia is really taro. The yam that is used by my Northern Hemisphere friends for thanksgiving is known in Southeast Asia as sweet potato. Confused yet? In Australia, most people know what I’m referring to when I say yam, or taro. And sweet potato is simply, sweet potato.
For the sake of my own sanity (and probably yours too), I’ll refer to this dish as a taro cake. Commonly found in Southeast Asia as a savory snack – steamed, with loads of fried shrimp topping like the one featured here, or sliced up and pan-fried. The latter style is also common in dim sum / yum cha restaurants.
My personal preference is for the steamed version with a generous amount of the crisp topping consisting of fried shallots, dried shrimp, spring onions and red chilies (it’s the best part!!). The dense, savory cake is packed full of cubed taro and more dried shrimp. Best eaten warm with chili sauce and sweet caramel soy sauce (kecap manis).
My mouth is watering as I write this. Darn.
STEAMED TARO CAKE
Recipe from Rasa Malaysia
For the cake:
• 1½ bowls yam, diced into 1-2cm cubes
• 1 bowl rice flour
• 2 tablespoons wheat starch
• 2 bowls water
• ½ bowl dried shrimp
• 5 shallots, finely chopped
• 1 teaspoon five spice powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon white pepper
For the topping:
• deep fried shallots (you can buy packs of ready fried ones in Asian groceries)
• spring onions, sliced finely
• red chillies, sliced finely
• dried shrimps, chopped finely and shallow fried till crisp
(I do not have quantities for the topping, prepare as much or as little as you want (I love it, so I have an abundance of it) – it’s a must-have for this dish. Yummy!
- Heat a pan over medium high heat, and fry the shallots and dried shrimp until they become aromatic. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the cubed yam to the pan, and fry with the shallots and dried shrimp mixture until cooked and brown. Best way to test – eat a piece of the taro to make sure it’s cooked through and no longer al dente.
- In a separate bowl, mix the rice flour, wheat starch, salt, pepper, five spice powder and water, and stir until it forms a smooth paste.
- Add the flour mixture into the pan slowly, stirring continuously until a thick paste forms.
- Pour the mixture into a heatproof bowl/plate and steam over high heat for 45 minutes, or until cooked.
- To serve, sprinkle generously with deep fried shallots, chopped spring onions, sliced chillies and chopped dried shrimp. Drizzle with chilli sauce and kecap manis.
Bean curd puffs, also known as tofu puffs or ‘tau pok’ to many southeast asians are one of my favourite variants of the humble bean curd. The healthier version of the bean curd or tofu is dense and has very high water content. The puff version is deep fried, hollow-ish and dry which is very much like a sponge and when cooked in sauce or soup, it soaks up all the wonderful flavours and is totally delicious. I love them in soups, in laksa, sliced and stir fried or in this case – stuffed!
Stuffed bean curd puffs is considered ‘street food’ and is quite commonly found in Singapore or Malaysia food centres. The puff is split in half, lightly toasted and then filled with healthy goodies like julienned cucumber, bean shoots and slices of boiled egg and served with a creamy satay (peanut) sauce. The freshness of the cucumber and bean shoots, the crisp outer tofu shell and the nutty yumminess of the satay sauce is simply a divine combination.
It’s so easy to prepare, very cost-effective and rather healthy as a meal in itself – unless you’re like me where I am over-generous with the satay sauce and I totally drench the little puffs. Oh yum. Many people enjoy this dish as a starter, but it’s surprisingly satisfying as a main. A great summer dish.
Stuffed Bean Curd Puffs
Recipe for 4 as a starter or 2 as main
1 packet tofu puffs (about 14 – 16 pieces)
100 g beans shoots, blanched
1/2 cucumber, julienned
2 large hard boiled eggs, sliced
2 tbsp roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
Slice the tofu puffs almost all the way through, lightly toast or grill on both sides. Stuff the toasted puffs with equal amount of cucumber and bean shoots, then top with sliced egg and chopped peanuts. Serve immediately with a side of satay sauce.
I used ready made satay sauce this time, but if you fancy making some yourself, here’s a quick and easy recipe from a previous post.
Want something quick, healthy and delicious? This is a variation from the ever popular San Choy Bow (pork and lettuce wraps) and it is super easy to prepare. I used enoki mushroom (also known as golden needle mushroom) because I love its thin, springy texture.
Basically, if you’ve got pork mince and a variety of vegetables (a good mix of textures) – you’re good to go. I used water chestnuts and bamboo shoots (both canned) as they go really well with the pork and they also add crunch and sweetness to the dish. And of course, the enoki mushroom.Yum yum.
Go for your life, mix and match! That to me is the best part of cooking.
Pork and Enoki Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
300g pork mince
200g enoki mushrooms
100g water chestnuts (about 6-7), diced
70g canned bamboo shoots, shredded or diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp of minced ginger
1 small head of iceberg lettuce
crushed peanuts or cashews for garnish (optional)
For the sauce:
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp chinese cooking wine
ground white pepper
1. Separate lettuce leaves and trim any limp/floppy edges so they are like nice little cups.
2. Heat a wok over high heat, add sesame oil and stir fry garlic and ginger (they burn very quickly so keep watch!) – about 20 seconds will do.
3. Add mince, fry for about 3-4 minutes breaking up any lumps, then add water chestnut, bamboo shoots and mushrooms.
4. Add all the sauce ingredients, stir and cook for another minute.
To serve, spoon a portion of the pork mixture onto a lettuce leaf, top with crushed nuts if desired, roll or wrap it up and eat! Simple!
I’m currently hooked on an Aussie reality TV show called My Kitchen Rules. Oh. My. Gosh. Real live drama and cooking competition combined makes great after-work entertainment. Watching this programme really shows how much post-editing TV stations do…it’s so obvious how they pick a couple to focus on each week and make them the ones to love or hate. You should see the real-time comments on Twitter about the contestants and the nicknames they are given. Hilarious! It’s double the fun – watching and tweeting that is! Yeah, I’m hooked – big time!
Anyway, this post has nothing to do with the show I’m just a little distracted. And I’m currently craving for frozen yogurt. Again, not the point of this post.
We’re talking about corn. Sweet, succulent corn – in a can. Don’t diss the canned stuff cos they are good! I always try to have a couple of cans stocked in the pantry because these little, golden morsels of goodness are very versatile and handy for when you’re out of fresh food because you haven’t made a trip to the markets. By you, I mean me. Slack much?
I’ve made these spiced corn fritters before and they are so easy and so good. It’s one of the few vegetarian dishes that I make which the hubs has no qualms about – he actually really enjoys it and doesn’t go “where’s the meat?”. It’s usually served as a snack or appetiser, but make enough of them and it’s a complete, yummy and (rather) healthy meal.
Spiced Sweet Corn Fritters with Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
Adapted from Simply Recipes
Makes about 16 – 20 fritters
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups of corn kernels
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced (about half a cup)
- Canola, or peanut oil (a high smoke point oil) for frying
Make the dipping sauce by combining all of the sauce ingredients into a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium high, let boil for 5-10 minutes or so, until the mixture becomes somewhat syrupy. Remove from heat and let cool. The sauce should continue to thicken as it cools. If it becomes too thick, you can add a little water to it to thin it out a bit.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ground coriander, and ground cumin in a medium bowl. Add egg, lemon juice and water. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the corn and spring onions. Stir until just combined.
Heat a large frying pan on medium high heat. Add enough oil to generously coat the bottom of the pan. When oil is hot (shimmering not smoking), spoon about 2 heaping tablespoons worth of fritter batter into the pan to form one fritter, patting it down with the back of the spoon as soon as it is in the pan. Work in batches. Leave about 1/2 inch between the fritters in the pan. Let cook about 2-3 minutes on each side, flipping the fritters when they are nicely browned on one side. When browned on the other side, remove the fritters to a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Serve hot with dipping sauce.
I wanted to bake him something different. Something I haven’t made before. I thought long and hard and changed my mind a dozen times. Turned out, I spent way too much time thinking about what to bake that my man’s birthday came and went and the cake was only still a vision in my head. We celebrated his birthday with a amazing meal at Nobu. But still no cake.
Finally I got my act together (a couple weeks late) and decided to go with the classic, old fashioned Blackforest Cake. Yes, for those in the know – I still have cherries and this was a great recipe for using up more of them.
The traditional blackforest cake originated from Germany, and is called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (black forest cherry torte). Kirschwasser, otherwise commonly known to the rest of us simply as Kirsch is a clear liquor distilled from cherries. Cherries are steeped in a sugar syrup with Kirsch before it is used for the cake. In my opinion, the kirsch-soaked cherries are the best parts of the cake. Well, the chocolate cake, whipped cream and shaved chocolates bits are great too, but the cherries…mmmm…
In my recipe, I used freshly frozen cherries instead of the canned ones, which is often what is recommended in recipes because they already come well soaked in syrup. Many use the canned syrup with kirsch or rum, or on its own if a non-alcohol cake is required.
I prepared the fresh cherries, with a simple sugar syrup…and white port. Oh yes, I broke the rules and used port. I didn’t have kirsch nor rum, only port. There’s sweetness, there’s alchohol…so why not? It worked really well anyway. Rules what rules? I got me some port-soaked cherries and cake…and it was gooooood.
The cake part was a no-brainer – I used my all time favourite chocolate cake recipe and the rest of it was just construction work. So easy yet it can look so impressive.
Happy belated birthday to my favourite person in this world!
Makes a 9 inch, double layered cake
About 500 – 700g pitted cherries
25g caster sugar (more if cherries are not very sweet)
55ml port (kirsch, rum or brandy if you want to substitute)
1/2 cup water
Add cherries, sugar and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and let it simmer till the water is reduced by half and becomes syrupy. Add in liquor, remove from heat. Let cherries soften and soak in the liquid until cool.
600ml thickened cream
2 tbsp soft icing sugar
Whip cream until almost stiff, then add in sugar and whip until cream holds peaks.
Half the cooled cake horizontally, brush both layers of the cake with some of the syrup and port mixture. Some people like the cake to have more syrup and some prefer the cake without – so it’s up to you how much syrup to soak the cake with. Just don’t drown it.
Spread whipped cream over the bottom layer of cake, and distribute soaked cherries evenly over the cream.
Gently lay top layer of cake over and top it with more cream. Decorate with piped cream, shaved dark chocolate and cherries.
If you’re currently living in London and you haven’t had the Ottolenghi experience, I highly recommend it. For those not in the know, Ottolenghi is a cross between a modern upmarket restaurant with its sleek white and black settings and a home-style kitchen diner with chefs proudly bringing out platters of food to the display counters. You are surrounded by freshly prepared salads, warm dishes and baked goods and they are all designed for sharing. It is their belief that most dishes are at their tastiest and best at room temperature or just warm – so you will not see refrigerated display shelves for their salads, nor bain-maries for their hot food.
True to their philosophy of using fresh, quality produce and clever combinations of raw, basic ingredients – you’ll be able to taste every ingredient in each dish. Nothing is is disguised or smothered by another. Simple, tasty food.
I’ve tried a couple of salad recipes from the Ottolenghi cookbook and they have both been superb – Roasted aubergine with saffron yogurt (yum!) and Chargrilled courgettes, asparagus and haloumi (yum yum!). So this time, I thought I’d try a meat dish.
The original recipe has hazelnuts instead of almonds. I only had almonds and I thought the flavours worked just as well. I loved the combination of juicy roasted chicken, spicy saffron and the sweetness from the nuts and honey. So simple, so tasty.
I shall endeavour to try out more wonderful recipes from the cookbook and bring Ottolenghi to my very own dining table here in Melbourne.
ROAST CHICKEN WITH SAFFRON, ALMONDS AND HONEY
Original recipe serves 4 (which I halved)
1 large chicken, divided into quarters
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
a generous pinch of saffron strands
juice of 1 lemon
4 tbsp cold water
2 tsp course sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
100g unskinned hazelnuts (I used almonds)
2 tbsp rosewater
2 spring onions, roughly chopped (I skipped this, but added a couple of parsnips to bulk up the dish)
1. In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with onions, olive oil, ginger, cinnamon, saffron, lemon juice, water, salt and pepper. Leave to marinate for an hour or overnight in the fridge.
2. Preheat oven to 190 deg celcius. Spread the nuts on a an oven tray and roast for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Chop roughly and set aside.
3. Transfer the chicken and marinade to a large roasting tray. Arrange chicken skin side up and bake for about 35 minutes.
4. While chicken is roasting, mix the honey, rosewater and nuts together to make a rough paste. Remove the chicken from the oven, spoon generous amounts of nut mixture on to each piece and spread it to cover. Return to oven for 5 – 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and nuts are golden brown.
5. Transfer to serving dish and garnish with chopped spring onions.
(As I added parsnips to the dish, I mixed them in with the chicken in step 1 and cooked them for as long as the chicken.)
I go absolutely ga-ga over Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.
I even took a photo with it when I went to the B&J factory in Vermont five years ago…okay swooning over a poster = not a good look.
I love the full fat version as well as the not-so-fat frozen yogurt version. Love love love! Thus it’s no surprise that I thought of making my very own Cherry Garcia ice cream with my haul of Tassie cherries. It’s such a simple recipe that I kick myself for not making it sooner – B&J stocks very limited flavours in the UK and Australia – it’s always Phish food and Cookie Dough, Phish food and Cookie dough…yawn I’m bored already, show me some new flavours! But now that I have my own homemade CG, I shall fret no more…muahahaha!
Even better, this recipe is eggless which means it’s even easier to make! If you are a CG fan like me, you have to get some of this homemade stuff in your belly right now!
EGGLESS CHERRY GARCIA
Makes about 1.5 pints
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar (most recipes call for more sugar but I didn’t want it too sweet)
200g pitted cherries, whole
200g pitted cherries, roughly chopped
50g shaved dark chocolate
1. Warm up milk, cream and sugar just till the sugar is all dissolved.
2. Add whole cherries to the mixture and with a hand held blender, blitz till smooth.
3. Stir through chopped cherries. Store mixture in a container and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
4. Churn in ice-cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions. The final churned product will still be soft, so return the ice cream to a covered container and leave in freezer until firmed up. (About another hour or so)
Yesterday was the last day of chinese new year. I missed it completely – not that I was going to do anything special but at least I won’t look like a doof and continue greeting friends with an enthusiastic ‘gong hei fatt choy’ (typical chinese greeting wishing others prosperity for the new year). This year’s ‘celebration’ for my half-white hubster and me included…hmm…nothing. The only thing that saved the dismal chinese heritage in me was the re-creation of one of our favourite chinese new year goodies – pineapple tarts.
Calling these cookies a tart can be very confusing because they are not tart-like in any way. Okay, the original version which I used to make may resemble a tart (somewhat). This was what I did back in London – using a shot glass, coke bottle cap and a knife (creatively unprofessional but hey, it worked!)
Until I get my hands on the actual pineapple tart mould (only available in Singapore/Malaysia), I shall only attempt this new version which is rolled up like a mini pillow – with the buttery, crumbly pastry encasing a little cocoon of sticky pineapple jam. Anyway, these pineapple tarts were lucky. Their existence (albeit a short one) came close to being nulled. I was ambitiously planning to make them in time for the first week of chinese new year. I even bought the pineapples but procrastination took over and the pineapples sat in the bags they came in for a week in the muggy summer heat, and rotted away. Ew…not nice.
I didn’t really want to disappoint the hubs – pineapple tarts are one of his faves – so I went and got new pineapples the following week and got down to it. With hands covered in dough and jam, I finally churned these pineapple pillows out. Those of you who are Australia Masterchef fans will know who Billy is. He’s the queen of desserts and I thought it will not be a bad move using his recipe. And it wasn’t a bad move. The pastry which is what makes or breaks the tarts, turned out the way I wanted it – all buttery and crumbly and melt-in-the-mouth-y.
The jam making process was straightforward enough – no dramas there, and I heeded Billy’s advice to pre-roll the jam before delving deep into pastry rolling and shaping. It seriously helped cut back on time and the potential mess it could create and the pre-rolled jam looked all cute and ready to play their part.
Considering I had 15 days of chinese new year and only managed to bake one batch of pineapple tarts, perhaps I should start planning for Easter now. What do people bake for Easter anyway?
Adapted from A Table for Two
Pineapple Jam Filling:
3 baby pineapples (or 2 cans of shredded pineapples)
200 gram sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 tbsp honey (or 150g liquid glucose)
2 tbsp wheat flour ( or all purpose flour)
1. Slice and grate pineapples till fine. You can use a food processor do grate it.
2. Strain the grated pineapple till dry.
3. Let it simmer in a pot till the juice dries up. Add sugar, star anise, cinnamon stick and clove.
4. Stir till the pineapple is thick and dry. Add honey (or liquid glucose)
5. Stir till the pineapple becomes sticky and jammy.
6. Add wheat flour. Continue to stir for about 10 minutes.
7. Leave to cool and shape into small balls.
250 gram butter
50 gram icing sugar
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg yolk (for glazing)
350 gram plain flour (all purpose flour)
50 gram corn flour
IMPORTANT: YOU MUST first roll the pineapple jam filling into balls, resembling a silkworm cocooon. Set aside on a plate.
1. Cream butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until light. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, until well combined. Add vanilla essence and salt and whisk until fluffy.
2. Fold in sifted dry ingredients (plain flour & corn flour) and mix to form a dough. It should be a light crumbly shortbread texture.
3. Roll a tablespoonful of dough into a 5-7cm long tube in your palm, then gently press down with index finger to flatten the dough into an oblong shape, around 0.5cm thickness and 3-4cm wide. You will get the hang of it after a few trials.
4. Place the rolled-out pineapple jam ball on the edge of the strip and roll the dough to wrap around it to form a small elongated roll. Do not overlap pastry. Place the roll on a greased baking tray. Repeat until all dough mixture and jam filling is used up.
5. Preheat oven at 180°C. Use a fork and draw lines on top of the tarts. Brush the rolls with beaten egg yolk. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on wire racks before storing in an airtight jar.