Friday, 24 April 2015

Tofu Chicken Hambagu (豆腐ハンバーグ)


Last time, whenever I had this in the Japanese restaurant, I used to wonder what made Japanese meatball is so fluffy, soft and juicy. 

Finally I know the answer…  it is the TOFU that created that kind of texture.  It’ll get fluffier if the amount of tofu increased.  It is amazing that the meatball won’t fall apart and instead it’ll make into nice and firm patties.  According to Just One Cookbook, if increase the ratio for tofu, it’ll just become slightly difficult to maintain the shape of the meatballs.
What I like the most about this dish is making the teriyaki sauce from scratch.  I think it tastes better than the ready-made teriyaki sauce on the supermarket shelf.
The meatballs (I made them into patties) are so juicy and have great flavour.  I served the patties with aglio olio.  My children love it very much.  But my hubby didn’t get to taste it as he has been away for almost 3 weeks.  He is currently in Japan.  I believed he must have tasted the “real” and authentic Japanese Hambagu prepared by the local as compare to this.

Happy Cooking!

255g       Ground chicken
142g       Medium firm tofu (about 1/3 of the package)
87g         Sweet bell peppers (I used the orange one)

1                                          Green onion / scallion (I missed out)
1 inch     Ginger (about 1 tsp grated ginger)
1                                          Egg
Freshly ground black pepper
Oil for cooking

Teriyaki Sauce
1 tbsp      Soy Sauce
1 tbsp      Sugar
1 tbsp      Mirin
2 tbsp      Rice Vinegar
½ tsp       potato / corn starch

(1)In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce and set aside.

(2)Wrap the tofu with paper towel and let it drain for 15 minutes

(3)Meanwhile, remove sweet bell pepper seeds under running water and dry completely.

(4)Mince the sweet bell peppers, chop the green ion finely (I missed this), and grate the ginger.

(5)In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, sweet bell peppers, and green onion. Break the drained tofu into small pieces.

(6)Add the egg and mix all together.

(7)Add the grated ginger, salt, and black pepper and combine well.

(8)Using two tablespoons make a small ball. (I made into patty)

(9)Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and drop the meatballs, keeping some distance between each ball. Cook in batches if necessary.

(10)When the bottom is nicely browned, flip them over and cover with the lid to cook until inside is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium low heat if browning too fast.

(11)When the meat is cooked through, add the first batch back into the pan (if there are any).

(12)Pour the sauce over and reduce the sauce until it thickens.

(13)Flip the meatballs to coat both sides with the sauce.

I’m submitting this recipe to Little Thumbs Up organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY.  The April, the theme is Chicken and it is hosted by The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

"The Most Fabulous Banana Cake"

Today is a very tearful moment that Singaporean is sending off our founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew.  It was a very emotional moment for everyone in Singapore.  I was so deeply moved as I see thousands and thousands lined the streets of Singapore to say goodbye to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.  I was so touch by the eulogies that was on LIVE Broadcast and actually sobbing non-stop in front of the television.  Mr Lee, who had done so much for Singapore, had gone away peacefully but his values, his love for all Singaporean and his words, will stay with us, inspire us and live in us for a long, long time. 

Farewell Mr Lee.
I didn’t have mood to bake today.  This cake was bake on last weekend.   “The Most Fabulous Banana Cake”, the name of the cake attracted me when I discovered it from Joyce (Kitchen Flavour)’s blog.  I decided to give it a try since she said the only way to find out how good is the cake is to bake one.  I’m very curious about this cake because I have never tried baking banana cake with buttermilk.
Look at the texture of the cake.  This is exactly the type of texture which my boys and hubby like it – moist, aromatic and dense.
My verdict for this cake is – absolutely the most fabulous banana cake.

225g       Plain flour
3 tsp        Baking powder
½ tsp       Bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp       Salt
3 large    Very ripe bananas
120g       Caster sugar (original was 370g)
2 nos.      Eggs
125g       Unsalted butter (cut into small chunks)
100ml     Buttermilk
1½ tsp     Vanilla extract

*There’s cream cheese icing to go with cake.  I skipped the icing because my family prefer to eat banana cake in plain as is it.

(1)Preheat the oven to 180ºC.  Butter and flour a deep 26cm ring tin(I used loaf pan instead)

(2)Put the flour, baking powder, salt and bicarbonate of soda into a food processor* and whiz them together for 15 seconds, the top them into a bowl. 

 (3)Mash the bananas.  Scrape it into the processor* and puree it until it’s smooth. Add the sugar and eggs and whiz together for 1 minute.  Add the butter and whiz it for another minute or until the mixture is thick and creamy.  Now add the buttermilk and vanilla extract and pulse the processor in quick on/off bursts to just mix them in.  Add the reserved flour mixture and again mix it in with quick bursts, scraping down the sides once or twice with a rubber spatula, until it’s only just combined (don’t overdo it or the cake will be tough).  Scoop the batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out evenly.

(4)Bake for 30-35 minutes (for me I baked for 45 minutes) or until a fine skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean; it won’t have risen much as it’s quite dense.  Don’t open the oven any earlier than this or the cake can sink in the middle.  Cool the cake in the tine on wire rack for 7 minutes.  Gently loosen the cake around the edges with a butter knife or fine palette knife, then invert it onto the rack and leave it to cool completely.

*I’m using my KitchenAid mixer to whiz the batter and not the food processor.

This is my 2nd post submitting to Little Thumbs Up which is organised by Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids and Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY
For March, the theme is Banana and it is hosted by Faeeze from BitterSweetSpicy

Friday, 20 March 2015

Banana Cake


I love to bake Banana Cake because I love the fragrant of the banana permeated the whole kitchen and it's not difficult to make too.
My family loves Banana Cake because they love the moist texture and with the walnut added, it gives an extra texture and nutty flavour to the cake.
The recipe which I have been using is from the Wen’s Delight and of course, I made a little modification to it. 

3             Eggs
100g       Sugar (already reduced, original 130g)
200g       Banana (Ripe and mashed it)
150g       Cake Flour (or plain flour)
½ tsp       Baking powder
¼ tsp       Baking soda
100g       Canola oil (or any vegetable oil except olive oil)
*If prefer richer flavour, can replace with melted butter.  But butter may cover the banana fragrant)
                Some Walnut (if you wish)

(1)Preheat oven to 160ºC

(2)Grease & line a 8” round tin with paper.

(3)Sieve flour, baking powder and soda together.  Sieve twice and set aside

(4)Whisk eggs, sugar and banana at max. speed till stiff/ribbon stage (approx. 10mins)

(5)Fold in flour & mix well.

(6)Add in oil & mix well till batter is shiny and flowing.

(7)Bake for 40-45mins

I’m submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up which is organised by

For March, the theme is Banana and it is hosted by Faeeze from BitterSweetSpicy

These are fabulous ladies who love to connect through baking & cooking.  
Keep it up Ladies! J

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Pineapple Tarts 黄梨酥


It has been quite awhile since my last post for Christmas as I have been so busy after that.  

Every year, around this period, I’m so ready for all things to welcome Chinese New Year.  I have started to get organised since January by listing down things that I need for spring cleaning. 

 I would survey the house by looking around the rooms, closet, desk, storage cabinet, etc and take inventory on what need to be cleaned, de-cluttered and also what are those stuff that need to get rid.    This is also a time that I would check and replace the beddings, upholstery, furniture, etc.  I would also schedule some dates and assign everyone in family a task to a job as I think I should not be doing all these alone. 
Look! Look! Look at my balcony.  Finally, I had made a point to do something to it.  I had beautified the corner by adding some plants and displays to it.  Now it has become a little home garden of mine and I could really feel that Spring is coming! J

Ok ok ok…  Pardon me.  I know I’m supposed to share what I have been baking lately and not about my spring cleaning.  But I really couldn’t bear not to share what I had done to my balcony for this year’s spring cleaning :P

Ok!  How about this? J
Can you tell they are pineapples and not porcupines?  When my good friend commented these porcupines are cute and my response was “huh! What? Porcupines?” :D
I must say that Chinese New Year is incomplete without pineapples cookie.  It is a festive cookie that all families wouldn’t want to miss it.  Pineapple cookie has become a must for all families and also one of the gift items for Chinese New Year.  For this reason, I’m making it and guess it will become one of a "must bake" cookie for CNY.
This year, instead of doing the usual Taiwan style of pineapple cookie, I decided to try this new recipe from Butter, Flour & Me.  Apparently, my family and relatives prefer this to the one I made for last year.

125g       Unsalted Butter
50g         Icing Sugar
25g         Egg Yolk
½ tbsp     Condensed Milk
220g       Plain flour
35g         Egg Yolk Powder (I used Pillsbury Custard Powder)
2 tbsp      Milk Powder (I used Anlene)

Pineapple fillings
I’m using the same recipe, which I learnt from a home based baking teacher last year.  My friends and I made the fillings about 1 month ahead and store in an air-tight container in room temperature.  For enclosed tarts, the pineapple jam has to be completely dry and sticky.  This is the reason we are making it ahead and left in room temperature for few weeks before used.

1.Preheat the oven at 170°C and line the tray with baking paper.

2.Beat butter and icing sugar together until the colour turn pale.

3.Add egg yolks and follow by condense milk.  Mix well.

4.Sift flour together with milk powder and custard powered into the butter mixture.

6.Roll dough into a ball of 12g and roll pineapple into a ball of 10g.  Flatten the dough and wrap it with pineapple fillings. 

7.Roll the dough with pineapple filling to slightly oval shape.  Use this type of scissor to cut the surface of the dough in layer of sharp edges.

Wishing all of you happy baking for Cook & Celebrate: CNY 2015 hosted by 3 of my favourites bloggers - Yen of Eat Your Heart Out, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

I’m also submitting this post to Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb 2015Event.  Theme: My Homemade Cookies organised by Fion of XuanHom’s Mom and co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

Friday, 13 February 2015

Earl Grey (Oolong) Milk Tea Cookies

It is known by everybody that Earl Grey Tea gives out a very rich flavour to cookie and I was thinking it would be wonderful if the cookie could give out the flavour of Oolong Tea.  So I decided to give it a try.  But I was pretty disappointed as the cookies turn out to be flavourless.  There wasn’t any slightest flavour of Oolong Tea at all L
However, the consolation part is that the texture of the cookie is crunchy; not so buttery and it goes really well with cup of Lipton Tea J.  
But if you will to ask me whether I will bake this again for Chinese New Year?  My reply to you is… I doubt I will. 

The recipe yields 30 pcs.  But I think I only managed to pipe out less than 15 pcs and by evening, the cookies were all gone.

150g       Butter
100g       Icing Sugar

20g         Egg Yolk

60g         Ground Almond
200g       Cake Flour

50g         Milk
5g            Earl Grey Tea Leave
(I replaced with Oolong because nobody drinks Earl Grey Tea at home)

(1)Softened the butter and cut into dices.  Place ingredients C in a same bowl.

(2)Line a baking tray with non-stick baking mat.  Preheat oven to 180˚C.

(3)Place Ingredients A into mixing bowl.  Using a whisk, beat the mixture till light and fluffy.  Add Ingredients B in 2-3 batches and beat well after each addition.

(4)Heat milk to 90˚C and remove from heat.  Add in tea leaves and cover with lid for 5 minutes.

(5)Filter the milk tea, and place some of the leaves into the mixture (3) and beat well.

(6)Sift in Ingredient C.  Mix until the mixture is well combined.

(7)Place the dough into plastic bag and slightly flatten it, wrap tightly.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

(8)Remove the dough.  Sprinkle some flour over workspace and roll the dough out to a thickness of 0.5cm.  Use cookie mould cutter to cut out the dough and place them onto a baking tray.  Instead of using cookie mould cutter, I pipe out the batter onto the baking tray.

(9)Bake in oven for 20 mintues.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

This recipe is taken from the cookbook – The Secret of Cookies 告诉你饼干的密秘  This cookbook is a Christmas gift from my elder boy.  He said the cookbook is value for money as it contains so many recipes at the price of less than S$20. Ha ha ha!

Wishing all of you happy baking for Cook & Celebrate: CNY 2015 hosted by 3 of my favourites bloggers - Yen of Eat Your Heart Out, Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids and Diana of The Domestic Goddess Wannabe.

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