Sunday 19 October 2008

Double-Boiled Apple With Gingko Nuts

I believed most of you have heard or even tried the Double-boiled Chinese Pear with either Almond or White Fungus or even both before. It is actually a very good and effect sweet tonic drink to smooth the lungs and ease the phlegm if you are having bad cough. Usually Chinese Physician believed that there are two different types of cough which is the dry and cold cough. As in dry is mainly due to heat in our body due to lack of sleep or consuming too much heaty food.
Dried Figs(无花果)
It is rich in vitamins A & C, proteins and fibers. It strengthens the Spleen, lubricates intestines and helps with dry cough and sore throat. There are two types of figs, fresh and dried. Dried figs are usually used to make soup.

As for myself, I am consider as a weak body build so I cannot take too much of the cooling stuffs, so rather than using Chinese Pear (which is suppose to be cooling) I replace it with Apple which is neutral. The overall effect of this soup will still be the same but the different is it will not be too cooling for those who are having weak body function. Posted by Picasa

Ingredients: (serves 2)
1 1/2 to 2 Big Apple, cut into wedges
10 Gingko Nut(白果), pre-packed type
1 Tablespoon of Sweet & Bitter Almond( 南北杏)
2 Red Date(红枣), cut into wedges
1 Teaspoon Gou Qi Ji (枸杞子)
3 Dried Fig(无花果), cut into halves
800ml Warm Water
Some Rock Sugar, to taste

1. Wash and cored and cut the apples into thick wedges, rinse the rest of the ingredients and put everything(except rock sugar) into a double-boiler and double-boiled in the slow-cooker on auto for about 2 hrs.
2. Remove the cover and add in the Rock Sugar and contine to double-boiled for another 30 minutes.
3. You can served it warm or cool and this is very effective for dry cough.

Notes:a) I used those big pinky type of Apple (refer to the picture above)

Mango Jam Cake

What about having some freshly baked Mango Jam Cake for Morning Tea using some Homemade Mango Jam and serve with a cup of tea. This little Mango gem is soft and cotton like for the cake texture, juice and fragrant for the mango jam and as well, topped with some almond flake which give it a nutty flavour when they combined together.

Saturday 18 October 2008

Homemade Mango Jam

The name Mango is from the Malayalam word 'Manga' which was introduced to Europe from Calicut by the Portuguese in late fifteenth century during the spice trade. The ripe fruit is variable in size and color, and may be yellow, orange, red or green when ripe, depending on the cultivate. Mangoes are used in chutney; Western recipes are often sweet and so use ripe mangoes, but in the Indian subcontinent is usually made with sour, unripe mangoes and hot chilis or limes.

Mango is rich in a variety of phytochemicals and nutrients that qualify it as a model "superfruit", a term used to highlight potential health value of certain edible fruits. The fruit is high in prebiotic dietary fiber, vitamin C, polyphenols and carotenoids

After the Strawberry and Plum Jam, Tracy and I are kind of into jam making craze so on the 3rd batch of trial. We decided to test it on Mango which is commonly found in the local fruit stall. But I guess you won't be able to find mango jam or mango chutney in Singapore. So if you are a mango lover why not test out this lovely mango jam and you can use it for cakes or tarts filling too..... Like eg. I used this Mango Jam to make Mango Jam Cake.Posted by Picasa

Ingredients: (make about 250g jam)
3 Medium Size Ripe Mango, about 2 cups of cut fruits
1/4 Cup of Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Lime Juice
1 Lime Rind

1. Peel and cut the mango into small cubes and combine all the ingredients in a heavy duty saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring in between.
2. The sugar will melt and the fruit will break down within 5 - 7 minutes (refer to the picture above).
3. At first, the mixture will be soggy and watery but after another 5 minutes or so, it will bind together into solid and smooth texture.(the whole process takes about 15 - 20 minutes, remember to stir in between to prevent it getting burnt)
4. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely and store in a clean jar and store in the fridge.

a) The taste and fragrant of this mango jam will varies from the type of mango that you use.

Thursday 9 October 2008

Homemade Plum Jam

Nothing beat the Freshly Homemade Jam using fresh fruits as you can control the amount of sugars as well as no preservative is added during the making process. After the Strawberry Jam making, Tracy and I continue to experience with different kind of fruits to make jam for our kids. Do you believed that I made these Plum Jam in just less than 30 minutes late in the night after hearing Tracy great comments on her Plum Jam :)

As you can see from the picture, the process of making Plum Jam is actually more or else the same as making Strawberry Jam. The Plum Jam actually thicken faster and the texture is more gel like compare to strawberry jam due to the pectin in it. If you like those a bit sweet and sour taste jam, do give this a try......Posted by Picasa

5 - 6 Sweet Red Plum
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon of Lime Juice

1. Wash and stone the plum then cut it into small cubes and place together with the rest of the ingredients in a heavy based saucepan and cook over medium heat till it boil.
2. Place a saucer into the freezer to chill as you'll need this when you come to test the setting point of the jam.
3. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly and skimming foam as necessary.
4. Cook about 10 minutes, until mixture begins to look syrupy and thickens slightly. 7
5. Spoon ½ teaspoon of the hot mixture onto the cold saucer and let it rest for 30 seconds. Tip the saucer to one side; jam should be a soft gel that moves slightly.
6. If mixture is thin and runs down side of plate, the gel is too soft. Cook jam 1 to 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly and repeat the test again.
7. Once the mixture is stiff enough remove from the heat and start filling the jam bottle.

a) Don't be panic if you happen to see some water or juice form when cooking the fruits. It will evaporate and thicken when continue to cook.

Baked Plum & Rum Cake

I had never being a fan of "Plum" before until Tracy gave me the Plum Chutney and I started to fall in love with it. I find that these little plum taste even better when baked or even made into Plum Jam. In this recipe I would like to share with you on how to make use of plum which is in season to make it into a mini plum cake that will melt in your mouth and taste sort of like Baked Japanese Cheesecake.

You can use any kind of plum that is in season either red or black. For this recipe, I happen to have these sweet red plum in the fridge so I decided to try out this recipe. The texture of the cake is very soft, fine and cotton like and guess what, most of my friends who tried it comments that it taste like baked cheesecake despite that there is isn't any cream cheese content. Posted by Picasa

Ingredients: (makes about 15 mini cakes)
80g Butter, room temperature
60g Sugar
1 Medium Size egg, lightly beaten
100g Plain Yogurt(thick creamy type)
100g Cake Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
Apricot Glazing Gel, (Optional)

1. Sift the flour and baking powder in a mixing bowl and set aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar till creamy and white (about 5 mins), then slowly add in the egg mixture in 2 addition after beating into the butter mixture.
3. Next add in 1 tablespoon of the RUM mixture, 1/3 of the plain yogurt and 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat well.
4. Repeat the procedure until all the mixture is used up.
5. Next spoon or pipe almost 3/4 full of the batter into the cup case and top it with one or two slices of the RUM plum.
6. Repeat for the rest of the cup till all the batter use up.
7. Baked in the preheat 170 degree oven for about 15 - 18 minutes depending on the size of the cake.
8. When the cakes are slightly warm, brush the top with some Apricot glazing to give it a shiny look.

Plum Topping:
3 Red Plum, cut into wedges
50ml RUM
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1. Cut the plum into wedges of 6 each and mixed well with the RUM and brown sugar and set aside in the fridge to absorb the favour for at least 30 minutes.
2. Removed the plum wedges from the RUM mixture and drain well to remove any excess liquid then reserved the RUM mixture.

a) You can get either Pauls - Natural Yogurt or Farmers Union Greek Style Yogurt.
b) If you do not have any Apricot Glazing Gel, you can replace it with 4 tablespoons Apricot jam that is warm up with 1/2 tablespoon for hot water in microwave up medium heat.

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Homemade Strawberry Jam

Since Strawberries are in season now and the supermarkets are also having sale on it. I decided to grab a few boxes of fresh strawberries to try making some Strawberry Jam. To my surprised they really turn out well and it taste fruit and fragrant and you can also control the sweetness of the jam. The different between these two is Jam is made from chunk or slices of fruit pieces. Preserves are made from whole fruit, or at least larger pieces.