Monday 8 February 2010

Prefect Valentines Gift

Valentine's Day is just a few days around the corner and I am sure most of us are cracking our head on what's the prefect gift to get for our love ones. But no matter what's your gifts are, I am sure anything that has CHOCOLATE in it will made a lovely gift for your darling or friends.

For me, I am a chocolate lover and I love anything that consists of Dark Chocolate. And to me, "Chocolate Brownie" makes a prefect snacks and gifts for all occasions. I have tried this recipe which given by one of my best pal, Tracy sometimes back but the end-result was not very satisfied because I seems to have over-baked it. But this round, I finally managed to get my prefect brownie with moist and gluey melted chocolate in it....... For those who are interested in this recipe, here it goes...

250g Butter, melted
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
1 1/3 Cup Flour
1/2 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
150g Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped
40g Roasted Almond, roughly chopped
40g Roasted Macadamia Nut, roughly chopped

1. Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl and melt it on high 2 minutes, pause to stir after each minute.
2. Sift all the flour ingredients together and set aside.
3. Next add both the sugar to the melted butter and stir till the sugar became almost melted and gluey.
4. When the sugar mixture is cool off, add in the egg one by one and use a balloon whisk and beat till well combine.
5. Next slowly whisk the flour mixture into the egg mixture till well combine.
6. Lastly stir in half each of the chopped dark chocolate and nuts then pour into a square or rectangle brownie tin.
7. Sprinkler the remaining chocolate and nuts on top of the mixture, give the whole tin a few bang to knock off the air bubbles inside.
8. Bake in a preheat 180 degree oven and bake for about 18 - 20 minutes depend on the tin size.
9. The brownie will pull away from the sides of the pan and when test with a skewer, it will be a bit moist inside.
10. Cool. Cut into bars.

a) If using those black coated baking tin, you have to reduce baking time by 3-5 minutes.

After the brownie has cooled off, cut it into bite size. Grab a nice and lovely gift box, packed it with the brownie cubes and perhaps some extra chocolate or candy. I am sure this will make a Prefect Valentine's Gift for anyone...... Posted by Picasa

Saturday 6 February 2010

Braised Chicken Wing With Arrowhead & Mushroom

After some "hit and run" introduction of "Arrowhead(Cigu) - 钱菇" on my previous post (Deep-fried Arrowhead Chips) as the Starter of the meal. Now we head over to the Main course for today which is this "Braised Chicken Wing With Arrowhead & Mushroom". Usually during Chinese New Year, most or almost all the Chinese Family will whipped up a few of their Special Dish to serve their guest. And they will always named them with Auspicious Word which brings luck, healthy or prospect in career.

Since this is one of our Chinese New Year dish, I named it as "搌翅高飞" which translated as "Spread your wings and fly high". This can be used for either moving up to a high level in your career or study because "翅 - Wing" comes from a similar meaning from the "Chicken Wings - 鸡翅".

Arrowhead(Cigu) which is one of the Chinese New Year ingredients that is available during this time of the year. You can either grown the corms to decorate the house during this festive season or you can use it to make into "Arrowhead Chip" or even more.... (click HERE to read more...)

The use of "Shiitake Mushroom - 香菇" here symbolised longevity and sizing opportunities.

This dish required 3 main and 2 side ingredients like what you have seen from the above photos. If you don't prefer Chicken Wings, you can swap it with chicken pieces instead. You can also replaced the dried Shiitake Mushroom with the fresh type or any mushroom of your choice......But if you are cooking this dish during normal days then I suggest that maybe you can replace the Arrowhead with Fresh Huai Shan which have the similar texture.

4 - 5 Medium Size Arrowhead
5 Chicken Wing
6 Medium Size of Dried Shiitake Mushroom
1 Large Stalk of Spring Onion, cut into section
3 Slices of Ginger
3/4 Tablespoon of Oyster Sauce
1/2 Teaspoon Dark Soy Sauce
80ml Water

1. Rinse, clean and marinate the chicken wings with dash of pepper and 1 teaspoon each of light soy sauce, sesame oil and cornflour. Set aside in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
2. Rinse and soaked the dried mushroom in hot water till soften, removed the stalk on top, set aside the mushroom water for cooking.
3. Rinse the Arrowhead, peel of the outer skin, cut it into halves or quarters depend on your preference.
4. Heat up a small heavy-duty saucepan with some oil, saute the marinated chicken wings on both side till slightly golden colour, dish up and set aside.
5. Next add in the ginger and spring onion continue to fry for 30 seconds till fragrant, add in the soaked mushroom (try to lightly squeeze dry the mushroom before adding in) and fry for another 30 second before adding in the Arrowhead.
6. Next add in the oyster sauce, dark soy sauce and chicken wings, give it another quick stir to combine all the ingredients before adding in the water.
7. When the mixture comes to boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for about 12 - 15 minutes till the chicken is done and the arrowhead is slightly soften.
8. You may wish to thicken the sauce with some cornstarch solution if you prefer.

Finally after 15 minutes or so of braising the ingredient, here comes our main dish for today; "搌翅高飞". Hope after eating this dish, we can climb up another level of our current life/career just the what it named for.... spread out the wing and fly high....... Posted by Picasa

Deep-Fried Arrowhead Chips

Usually about a month or so before the Chinese New Year, you will be able to catch a glimpse of these "Arrowhead(cigu) - 钱菇" at most of the vegetable vendors in the wet market. This bulb-like corms of the arrowhead is sold roughly about S$3.00 per kg depending on individual stalls.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

Last Glimpse @ MV DOULOS

Doulos was owned by a private Charity Organisation known as GBA Ships e.V. since 1977 till now. It has served about more than 20 Millions visitor during all these years on their floating book fair. This unique ship has visited more than 100 countries in including Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and many island nations.

A week or two back, I saw on one of channel 8, Saturday programme known as "Say Goodbye - 说再见" whereby they mention about the last service of this floating bookstore in it's December trip at Vivo City, Singapore. It is such a sad moment to see the bookstore ending it's last service on 30th December 2009. Can't imagine this is my 1st and last visit to this ship.........

Thank God, because of some invitation, we managed to get some information on this floating bookstore and had the chance to visit this ship during it's last service in Singapore. We will at Vivo City harbour joining the long queue while waiting to on board Doulos. And despite of the hot weather in the late afternoon, there are still many crowds waiting for their turn with families and kids. After about 30 minutes or so of queuing time, we managed to board the ship and begin our tour to explore the ship.

Although the ship was of age, but the outlook and interior layout is still in good condition. On board the ship, you can either join their guided tour to go around the ship or you can head straight to their bookstore right at the end of the second floor deck. The MV Doulos holds the biggest floating library in the world whereby there is somewhere around 3000 to 5000 books on the shelf and half a million in the hold. You can find almost all kinds of book there from kids reader, adult fashion, cookbook, leisure and etc.

One of the greater purpose of the Doulos community of this ship is to share the message of hope in a restored relationship with God in their ports visited. Although this is our last visit to the ship but I am sure it's beautiful stories and images will always be kept in our memories. Posted by Picasa