Thursday 11 May 2006

Baked Durian Cake

Durian is a fruit: a big, green thorny fruit. In fact, it is considered "King of the Fruit" throughout the region. Durian is a fruit which is well liked in Southeast Asian countries, but westerners usually do not want to try it because it has a pungent smell that is difficult to describe.

This is my 2nd attempt using durian as one of the main ingredients for making cake. The previous one that I had made is the Green Bean With Durian Dessert which is a favourite dessert like my most of my relatives and friends. Today what we are baking is the Malay Style Bake Durian Cake.

150g Butter
150g(2/3 Cup) Caster Sugar
3 Medium Eggs
150g - 200g Of Fresh Durian Flesh, about 5-6 med seeds
1 Tablespoon Fresh Milk
150g(1 1/4 Cup) Self-Raising Flour, sifted

1. Line the base of an 7" Round or Square cake tin with greaseproof paper and brush the sides lightly with softened butter.
2. Alternatively, you can used those ready-to-bake Paper/Aluminum rectangular cake tin.
3. Scrap the flesh of the durian into a bowl and set aside for later use.
4. Preheat the oven to 170 degree.
5. Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy(beating with an electric mixer, or by hand with a wooden spoon).
6. Add in 1 egg at a time, beating well in between additions.
7. Beat in durian then use a rubber spatula dn fold in half the sifted flour, being careful not to over-stir or beat the mixture.
8. Fold in the milk and then the remaining flour.
9. Pour the batter out into the prepared tin, hollowing it out slightly in middle to prevent it rising to a dome in the centre.
10. Bake cake in the preheated oven for 40 - 45 minutes or until well risen and golden brown in colour.
11. To test if the cake is done, insert an skewer in the centre of the cake and it should come out clean, without sticky batter adhering to it.
12. When cooked, remove cake from the oven, allow it to sit in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out to cool on a wire tray.

Notes: For this durian cake, you can used those durian that is quite ripe. Posted by Picasa

Trying Of Dinner Catering

Heard a lot of good comments about this International Catering Pte Ltd service, so I decided to give myself a short break from cooking dinner. I cater for a Trial Period of 10 Days meal which the delivery man will sent the dinner on every Mon-Fri Evening except Public Holiday.

These are some of the foods that we had for the past three days of trial.... The food to me is consider as average, you can't except too much on this kind of homecook catering food. It's a Hala Menu and you won't find any pork in everyday dishes.

As you can see, the stir-fry vegetables and toufu are simply cooked with sauce, not much as putting in things like, prawns, meat or any other side ingredients like garlic or ginger. So after my trail of 10 days, I don't think I will continue for this. Maybe I am those person who know how to cook so these simple dish without any presentable decoration doesn't attract me much. But overal, the food is still nice and can consider to be a light and healthy dish..... For those who are interested to try, you can either called Hotline: 6289 8369 or check out at their website at Posted by Picasa

Wednesday 10 May 2006

Dang Gui, Huai Shan, Black Chicken Soup

Soups can actually be regarded as the source of health for any family. Due to the hot weather and hectic working schedule of most Singaporeans, it's good to have a bowl of nutritious soup at least 3 - 4 times a week. A bowl of good homemade soup will actually helps to replenish the lost of fluid, clear the body heat, uplifts the spirit and benefits Qi and etc.

Today's Soup for the dinner is "Dang Gui, Huai Shan With Black Chicken Soup"(当归淮山黑鸡汤). It moistening vtial essence, replenishing vitality and tuning up the functions of the body. As I had mention before:

Dang Gui 当归: It tastes sweet hot and of warm nature. It benefits and balances the blood, regulates menses, treats pain and soothes the intestines. But don't consume in large amount or too often as it's might be heaty for certain body type.

Huai Shan淮山: It tastes sweet and of neutral nature. It nourishes the lungs and kidneys, strengthens the spleens, stops diarrhea, uplifts the spirit and benefits Qi. Usually I used those Fresh Huai Shan instead of the dried type.

Black Chicken黑鸡: Being rich in protein, helps to supplement pneuma and enrich blood. Cooking it only after scalding ensures that the soup does not became murky.

1 Medium Size Of Fresh Huai Shan, 淮山
1 Tablespoon Guo Qi Zi, 枸杞子
1 Black Chicken(黑鸡), at 600g
2 Slices Ginger
4 - 5 Slices of Dang Gui(当归)
1.2 Litres Of Water
1 Tablespoon Rice Wine(米酒), optional

1. If using fresh huai shan, rinse and wash away the sand and dirt from the stem. Peel off the skin, wash and cut into thick 2" long Section.
2. Wash, trim and remove the skin and fats on the chicken the scald the black chicken in boiling water for a few minutes then rinse with water.
3. Place all the ingredients into the stewing pot, add rice wine and boiling water.
4. Place in a steamer or a pot to boil over high heat for 20 minutes, then switch to medium heat to boil for 2 hours.
5. Or you can put everything in a slow-cooker, cook on HIGH heat for 1 hours then switch to Low Heat for another 2 hours.
6. Season with some salt to your preference before serving.

Notes: If you can't find Fresh Huai Shan, replace it with 40g of Dried Huai Shan slices. Posted by Picasa

Sunday 7 May 2006

Chicken, Huai Shan & Cordyceps Soup

Sometime ago I went to this Chinese Restaurant in Marina called "店小二" and they had this "鳄鱼冬虫草药膳" which cost around S$10 for a small pot that serves 2. I remember one of the main ingredients which was claimed to be Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草) is this Dried Cordyceps that I fond in one of the Chinese Medical Hall near my area. Although it looks different from the actual Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草) that we used to know. But according to the shop assistant, this is the Stem part of the herbs which can be used with other ingredients to boil soup. It is so much cheaper then the original herbs which I bought for my dear son, the actual Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草) cost about $20 for 3 pieces while a packet of this Dried Cordyceps cost only $2 and can be used for about 2 - 3 times. I also saw this herbs used widely in most of the vegetarian cookbooks. So next time when you go to the Chinese Medical Hall, maybe you can look around for this herbs which taste good for boiling chicken soup.

Although this cheap type of Dried Cordyceps can't compare much to those actual Dong Chong Xia Cao(冬虫夏草), but they do sever some of the purpose like the actual type. Cordyceps has many medicinal uses: it replenishes energy, alleviates cough, expels phlegm, relieves lower back pain and aching joints. It is truly a healthy supplement for all ages. No wonder it has always been highly valued by herbalists.

Huai Shan, Shanyao or Chinese Burdock, a totally different root known as Dioscoreae. When dried, it takes on a white chalky appearance, and is most often used in Chinese Herbal tonic soups.

1 Chinese Burdock Root(Huai Shan, 淮山)
1 Tablespoon Wolfberries(枸杞子)
6 Red Dates (红枣)
2 Chicken Drumsticks/2 Chicken Breast
1 Small Carrot
1 Small Handful Of Dried Cordyceps Stems,干冬虫草(about 10-15 pieces)

1. Peel the Chinese Burdock root and cut into thick section.
2. Peel and slice carrots into small section.
3. Blanch the chicken quickly in hot water to remove surface fat, rinse and set a side.
4. Rinse the Woldberries, Red Date and Cordyceps with water and set aside.
5. Place all the ingredients in a pot with about 1.5 litres of water and bring to boil.
6. Simmer on medium heat for about 15 minutes then transfer to a slow-cooker and simmer on High Heat 1 hour and switch to Low Heat for another 2-3 hours.
7. Ladle soup into a big bowl and serve hot with some salt if u prefer.

Notes: You will find that peeling the Huai Shan is a slippery business but once the skin is off, the root secretes a healing enzyme and it is this which makes this root so good for health. Posted by Picasa