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Matcha Apricot Bread Wrapped In Chinese Pastry Dough

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chinese PastryDough
  • 240 g German #405 flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 120 g Butter, unsalted
  • 100 g Water
  1. Sift the flour in a mixing bowl, add in baking powder and salt and stir together. Add in butter and water and mix until soft and smooth. Cover with a plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir ingredients A and B for the dough at slow speed for 1 minute. Increase the speed and continue to mix until a rough dough forms, about 3 minutes. Stir in butter until the dough has become smooth and elastic. Add in almond and apricot. Mix at slow speed until well-combined.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly oiled container and cover closely with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to proof till doubled in size. Remove and divide the dough into 3 equal portions and allow them to rest for 10 minutes. Cut the pastry dough into 3 equal portions too.
  4. Flatten each pastry dough lightly with your hand. Round each dough and place them in the center of each pastry dough. Seal the dough by pinching all sides together to make a neat package of each. Arrange the rolls, pinched side down, on a baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 1 hour. Slash the loaves diagonally 2 or 3 times with a razor blade, deep enough to see the matcha dough. Sprinkle the top with some seeds if desired. Bake in the preheated 175C/350F oven for 30 minutes.

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Minced Shrimp Stuffed Yau Char Kwai

Saturday, April 26, 2008

IngredientsSeasoningSweet&Sour Sauce
  • 250 g Shelled shrimp
  • 120 g Ground meat
  • 2 Yau Char Kwai
  • Some frying oil
  • 1 dish Sweet chilli sauce
  • 10 g Ginger root
  • 1 stalk Spring onion
  • 80 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Starch solution
  • 1/3 tsp Chicken bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp Jiafan rice wine
  • 1 tsp Chilli oil
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp White pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tbsp White vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Pineapple juice
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Starch solution
  • 50 g Pineapples, diced
  • 1 tsp Spring onions, shredded
  1. Cut the shelled shrimp down the back and remove the black vein with a toothpick. Rinse the shrimp in cold water, drain and pat dry on a kitchen towel. Coarsely chop the shrimp and finely mince with the ground meat until blended. Stir in the liquid of ginger and onion in 2 additions, then add in the rest of the seasonings and stir until you have a smooth paste.

  2. Divide yau char kwai in two sticks and cut each into 2 inches sections. Slice each of them open and fill the hollow with some shrimp paste. Heat up a skillet with enough oil until hot. Carefully lower the filled yau char kwai into the oil and fry for 1-2 minutes. Remove them from the skillet and drain. Turn the fire to high and return the yau char kwai to the skillet. Fry until they are golden brown and crispy. Serve them with a dish of sweet chilli sauce.
  3. Alternately you can serve these stuffed yau char kwai with a simple and quick sweet and sour sauce. Mix the ketchup, vinegar, sugar, juice and salt together and bring to a boil in a small pot. Add in starch solution and stir to thicken. Add in pineapples and spring onions. Pour the sauce over the stuffed yau char kwai.

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Diced Chicken Pine Nuts In Lettuce Cups

Friday, April 25, 2008

Crunchy, cool lettuce leaves make a really good contrast to the tender, warm filling, and the slight sweetness in the hoisin sauce enhances the flavour. Hoisin sauce is a sweet bean sauce made from fermented soya beans and can be found in most Asian supermarkets.

  • 200 g Chicken breast
  • 100 g Pine nuts
  • Some lettuce leaves (iceberg or romaine)
  • 1 Egg white
  • 3 g Salt
  • 3 g Chicken bouillon
  • 1 tbsp Starch solution
  • Cooking oil
  • 10 g Ginger, thinly shredded
  • 1 tbsp Hoisin seafood sauce
  • 3 g Sugar
  • 1 tsp Chilli oil
  1. Wash and pat the lettuce leaves dry. Trim each into a round cup. Heat up a skillet until hot over medium fire. Add in pine nuts and adjust the fire to slow. Stir pine nuts until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside to let cool.
  2. Wash and chop the chicken breast. Place in a bowl, add in egg white, salt, chicken bouillon and starch solution. Let marinate for 30 minutes. Set a skillet on high heat, add in oil and heat up. Fry the chicken breast until cooked. Drain. Pour off all but a tablespoon of oil and stir-fry ginger, hoisin seafood sauce and sugar until aromatic, return chicken and pine nuts to the skillet. Stir fry until all thoroughly combined. Drizzle with the chilli oil and serve.

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Szechuan Spicy Eggplant - 四川鱼香茄子

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Szechuan or Sichuan cuisine is famous for its multi flavours and is distinguished by its undeniable spiciness and numbing sensation on the tongue. Diverse and complex flavours are created on the basis of sweet, salty, sour, pungent, numbing, and bitter flavours. The fish-fragrant flavour high is characterized by a combination of salty, sweet, sour and pungent fragrance and highlighted in the dish "Szechuan Spicy Eggplant", literally translated to "Fish-Fragrant Eggplant".

  • 500 g Eggplants
  • Some oil
  • 15 g Ginger, minced
  • 15 g Garlic, minced
  • 2 stalk Spring onions, shredded
  • 100 g Pork, thinly shredded
  • 2 tbsp Hot bean sauce
  • 2 Pepperoncini, shredded
  • 1/2 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Dark soya sauce
  • 2 g Chicken bouillon
  • 2 tsp Sugar
  • 1/3 tsp Salt
  • 10 g Sherry wine (preferable Chinese rice wine)
  • 15 g Black vinegar (rice or wine)
  • 1 tbsp Starch solution
  1. Peel the eggplants and cut into one centimeter thick strips. Marinate shredded pork with a bit of salt and cornstarch. Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl. Heat up a skillet with enough oil until hot and fry the eggplants until softened.

  2. Pour off all but one tablespoon of oil. Add in hot bean paste, ginger, garlic and half of spring onions, stir briefly, and stir in pork. As soon as they have separated, return the eggplants and stir in pickled pepperoni. Pour the sauce over and cook until the sauce is reduced by half. Sprinkle in the rest of spring onions and serve.

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How To Cream Butter

Monday, April 07, 2008

Creaming in baking refers to the technique of beating butter or shortening and caster or icing sugar together until fluffy, lemon white in colour and increased in volume due to the incorporation of tiny air bubbles. These bubbles stay in batter and enlarge the cakes with the help of a certain amount of leaving agents such as baking powder or baking soda. Poorly creamed butter can result in cakes or cookies that are disappointedly coarse and dense. The traditional fat used for creaming is real butter, but vegetable shortening is the most effective to work with. Never melt the fat to soften.

  • 110 g Unsalted butter
  • 220 g Caster sugar

  1. To cream butter and sugar properly, begin with the butter of right temperature. Butter that is too cold and it is difficult to work with and won’t blend with sugar. Too warm, it won’t held the air bubbles at all. To cream effectively, 18C/65F is the ideal temperature. Measure with a temperature thermometer or lightly press the block of butter with the index finger and it bents slightly, it is ready to be creamed. Make sure your mixing bowl is at room temperature too. I usually dice the butter directly out of the fridge and allow them to sit for 5 minutes to reach the right temperature. Meanwhile I go ahead with other instructions called in the recipes, such as sifting the flour or greasing the baking pan. Another important influencing point is the ratio of butter to sugar quantity. The general ratio for creaming is half as much butter as sugar.
  2. For a smooth textured cake, fine white sugar (or brown or a combination) will apply in the recipe. When creaming butter by hand, use a wooden spoon as it holds the butter best and keeps it from sliding around the bowl. While it is possible to cream butter and sugar by hand, it is much faster and easier to use an electric mixer. In this step, we add sugar gradually at the side of the bowl while mixing, beating thoroughly after each addition. When using an electric mixer, it is important to start at low speed first to combine all the ingredients, then switch to medium speed to beat sugar and butter until the mixture fluffy and pale. Stop to scrape the bowl down periodically to make sure everything is thoroughly combined, about 5 minutes. If you have patience and time, then add sugar one tablespoon at a time, the whole process should take 8-10 minutes. It is important not to beat any more than absolutely necessary as it will just diminish its strength o hold the air bubbles. Any extracts can be added in this step.
  3. The creamed mixture is suitable for making creamed cakes or cookies and it should be used immediately because you don't want the butter in the creamed mixture to soften and the beaten air pockets to disappear. After creaming, room-temperature eggs usually will be required to beat in for optimal volume and for a smooth texture because the lecithin in yolks acting as a perfect emulsifier.

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