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Girls' Best Friend

Bright and sparkly. Gemstones came to my mind when I was removing this Dragon Fruit and Orange jelly from the mould. Like a combination of gemstones...rubies, amber and diamonds, all in one!

Dragon's Eyes

The literal translation for the name of a small brown, juicy exotic fruit from the lands of Asia, known as Longan in Chinese, packed into these muffins


A taste from the humble beginnings, the Long Bean Rice brings back beautiful memories of the yesteryears

Light and Fluffy

Lemon, Yogurt and Cranberries~a nice blend of flavours in a light and fluffy chiffon cake

Bread Stories

Asian style buns ~ Popular as breakfast food or snack, sweet/savoury fillings wrapped in soft, cottony bread

Monday 30 September 2013

Colors of the Mountain

The featured ingredient for this month's Little Thumbs Up Event is Pandan and it has been inspiring to say the least.  Just hop over to Joceline's blog and you will know what i mean. One can make a book out of it!  A whole lot of good food in beautiful shades of green.  Pandan is one splendid source of natural food colouring, besides color, it infuses the food with a very unique fragrance.  I always enjoy seeing how this natural dye works, you need quite a few leaves though. So, here's one last round of color me food green, before the event ends.

Abok abok sago is a simple Malay kuih with sago as its key ingredient.  And i mean really simple, all that it takes is to steam the sago.  There are  many ways of presentation though, one would be to steam it in a tray then cut it into pieces and roll it in grated coconut, some in a single color, some with gula melaka sandwiched in between and another would  be to mix the sago with coconut and wrap them in banana leaves in a cone shape before steaming them. I chose the latter simply because they photograph better! 

Typically, one will get abok abok sago which are either infused with pandan (green color) or rose water (red color).  I did a 4 colored one instead.  And this was inspired by one of Terri's (of Hunger Hunger blog) beautiful entries which she name Jelly Kinabalu (highest mountain in Malaysia) for a competition using a jelly mould that was also designed with inspirations from the mountains.  I followed her through the month of the competition (and it's already two years now) and some of her amazing creations remain fresh in my mind till today.  So, here i am trying to pay tributes to the mountains, my way :)

And in case you are wondering how the colors relate to the mountains. Quoting Terri, "The white represent the clouds, the blue for skies, green for the greenery on the mountains and brown for land!" The green came from Pandan extract while the blue came from Bunga Telang (Blue pea flower), the 2 natural food dye that are widely used in this part of the world.  The brown layer came from mixing the sago with palm sugar and white is its original color.  

A piece of the mountain...

Served with a drizzle of palm sugar syrup 

Reference:  Happy Flour for base recipe

  • 200g sago
  • 1/2 coconut (grated)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 30g palm sugar (grated)
  • 5 blades of pandan leaves
  • 15 dried bunga telang
  • Around 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • Around 3 tbsp of water 
  1. Cut out banana leaves in rectangular shapes of around 22 by 15 cm.
  2. Scald banana leaves in boiling water just enough to soften it (Not too long else it will turn black).  Wipe dry and set aside.
  3. Divide sago into 4 portions of 20g (white layer), 40g (blue layer), 60g(green layer) and 80g (brown layer).
  4. Soak them in water.
  5. Wash, cut and blen pandan leaves with some water (must be enough to soak sago).  Strain to collect extract.
  6. Wash and boil bunga telang in some water (must be enough to soak sago) to obtain blue coloring. Strain to collect blue extract.
  7. Wash and drain portion of sago for green layer and replace the water pandan extract.
  8. Wash and drain portion of sago for blue layer and replace the water with blue extract.
  9. Leave all portions of sago to soak for around 1 hour.
  10. Drain and wash away starch from sago.
  11. Divide coconut in proportion with sago amount for each layer (i did not weigh, just eyeballed)  and mix with sago.
  12. Add grated gula melaka to portion of sago for brown layer.  
  13. Add 1 tsp sugar to white portion, 1/2 tbsp to blue portion and 1 tbsp to green portion.
  14. Add 1 tsp water to white portion, 1/2 tbsp to blue portion and 1/2 tbsp to green portion.  Mix well.
  15. Fold banana leaves into cones.  Add one portion of the colored sago into the cone one after another to fill up the cone. Press lightly after each layer.
  16. Fold up the banana leave to cover the opening.  Secure with toothpicks if fold is loose.
  17. Steamed in rapid boiling water for around 15 minutes. 
  18. Serve with palm sugar syrup on the side.
Syrup for Drizzling
Melt 30g palm sugar with 70ml of water until it is slightly thicken in a small pot.

I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up "Pandan" event hosted by Joceline @ Butter, Flour & Me, organized by Zoe@ Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui @My little favourites DIY


Friday 27 September 2013

Give me a Yeehaw!

I have been wanting to participate in the Cook Like A Star blogging event but somehow it never happened until today despite the event going on for awhile already.  I find it a good introduction to dishes by quite a few celebrity chefs, some that i only got to know through this event :)

It's Ree Drummond this month, and I managed to try out one dish this time.  Ree lives on a working ranch, it must be wonderful to cook and bake like her with the luxury of having the freshest ingredients.  She reminds me of tv drama series like Little House on the Prairie and Dallas evoking memories of times when the family will crowd around the tv waiting for a new episode every week.  Those were the days when we had only 3 channels to choose from and now we have God knows how many. I like her way of presenting each recipe, her step by step tutorial has large photos accompanying them (besides some humorous remarks) making it easy to follow and good for crosschecking if one is on the right track.

I tried out what Ree named as BBQ Comfort Meatballs.   Comforting food for lunch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, couldn't be better.  Besides, oats was on the ingredients list, I couldn't miss this chance to sneak some into my men's diet (got you my men, cunning smile on mummy's face...) 

The steps are easy except for the frying part, not difficult but not something i like doing or serving at home.  I made do with shallow frying.  These meatballs turned out delicious, soft and tender, meatloaf kind of texture and smelt really good.

My son was quite skeptical about the initial pairing of the meatballs with some greens and crusty french bread toasted with butter.  "Just this? " the young man questioned.

So, mummy went back to the kitchen and quickly made a second pairing for the starving young man who just got home from his Taekwando session.   And cowboy meal turned oriental with some instant egg noodles!  Those air dried type where all you need is to cook them al dente in some boiling water.  Toss them with a little shallot oil, a drizzle of soy sauce and a dash of salt and pepper.  Actually, Ree did suggest serving them with egg noodles tossed in melted butter as an option but i am not too sure if this is what she meant and the chinese in me gave the noodles an oriental drizzle instead.    Hmm, i wonder what will the cowboys say to this?  Funny, how i imagine them laughing until they fall off their chairs, err no, horses i mean :)  Jokes aside, i got a Yeehaw from my young man.  He happily polished it clean on top of adding another 2 meatballs to it.   Maybe, just maybe cowboys will give this pairing a Yeehaw too!

Note : Notes in blue are for half the recipe (which i made) and my variations


For Meatballs
  • 1-1/2 pound Ground Beef (350g minced pork)
  • 3/4 cups Oats (1/3 cup)
  • 1 cup Milk (1/2 cup)
  • 3 Tablespoons Very Finely Minced Onion (2 tbsp from 1 big onion)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Salt (1/2 tsp)
  •  Plenty Of Ground Black Pepper, to taste
 For Cooking Meatballs
  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour (coating For Frozen Meatballs)-(1/2 cup)
  •  Canola Oil
 For Sauce
  • 1 cup Ketchup (1/2 cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar (1 tbsp)
  • 3 Tablespoons Vinegar (1 tbsp)
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire (1 tsbp)
  • 4 Tablespoons (to 6 Tablespoons) Onion (remainder from onion left after adding to meatballs)
  • 1 dash Tabasco (1 tbsp chilli sauce)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (190C).
  2. Combine all meatball ingredients. Roll into medium-small balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place sheet in freezer for five minutes.
  3. After 5 minutes, remove meatballs from freezer and immediately dredge in unseasoned flour.
  4. Brown meatballs in canola oil until just brown. Place into a baking dish.
  5. Combine all sauce ingredients. Pour over meatballs and bake at 350 degrees (190C) for 45 minutes. Serve with egg noodles, mashed potatoes, or crusty French bread.


I'm linking this post to Cook Like a Star, an event co-hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy KidsBaby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Pandan Chicken, the Lazier Way

Pandan chicken is one popular Thai dish that is loved by many, my family including.  A typical pandan chicken dish would be deep fried chicken that was marinated with a combination of spices and fish sauce wrapped in pandan leaves.   The pandan leaves adds a sweet smelling floral like fragrance to the aromatics used to marinade the chicken.  Really, it's hard not to love this dish. 

The preparation of the chicken is easy, it's the wrapping of the chicken in pandan leaves that requires some effort (time consuming) and mastering.  And the other hassle is the deep frying part, which is also something many of us try to avoid for health reasons apart from the cleaning up after.  

So, to make it easy and healthy, this is what i did this time:-
  1. Bigger size chicken pieces, used entire chicken leg
  2. Roast instead of fried
  3. Laid the chicken on a bed of pandan leaves instead of wrapping it up individually
This is the bed of pandan leaves that the chicken 'slept' on.  The inspiration came from here, i thought it was rather cool to combine art and culinary.   Ok, ok, i have to admit this might not necessarily be less time consuming than wrapping the chicken pieces with a pandan leave!  But it was fun and less messy because you don't have to handle the chicken while doing it.  Besides the kids can help with this too.   And of course it looks pretty doesn't it? I made 3 of these, one to lay the chicken on, one to cover it and one for serving. 

The chicken 'sleeping' on the bed of pandan leaves.  Then covered with another bed and a layer of foil to make sure the chicken remains moist and the fragrance from the pandan gets trapped in and infused into the chicken :)

Brushed with some gravy made from juice collected in roasting pan and served with some chilli sauce.

  • 3 pieces of chicken leg (deboned and deskinned)
(B) - chop finely (or ground if preferred)
  • 30g turmeric
  • 2 stalks lemon grass
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 clove of garlic
  • 1 inch knob of ginger
(C) - Seasoning
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 50ml coconut milk
  1. Cut and chop finely ingredients in Part B.
  2. Season chicken with ingredients in Part B and C.
  3. Leave chicken to marinade for 2-3 hours.
  4. Preheat oven at 250C.
  5. Prepare roasting pan by laying pandan leaves on a piece of foil.  Foil has to be big enough to cover chicken.
  6. Put another layer of pandan leaves on top of chicken then cover it with aluminium foil.
  7. Roast chicken for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  8. This is optional but here's what i did. I made used of juice/oil collected in roasting pan.  Strain the juice into a small pot, then add some water and corn flour to it.  Put it over a small flame and let it come to a boil.  I then brushed the gravy on the chicken and served with some chilli sauce. 
I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up "Pandan" event hosted by Joceline @ Butter, Flour & Me, organized by Zoe@ Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui @My little favourites DIY


Monday 16 September 2013

Mooncakes, "Real" Ones this time...

"Finally, some 'real' mooncakes", said my son :)  I had started off by making jelly ones for this year's festival and he was starting to get impatient when traditional baked ones were still no where to be seen, homemade ones i mean.

Mooncake festival is in 3 days time, falls on 19 Sep this year.  If homemade ones is the choice, it's about time to make some like right now, it's about the freshest one can get.  The thing about these traditional ones is that they need to be rested for a few days for the skin to become soft, so making them at this time is about the freshest one can get.  Alternatively the commercial ones have started going on at a discount now that festival is so near.  

These days, it's quite convenient to make your own mooncakes as one can get readymade paste for the filling.  All that is needed is to get the skin ready, assemble and pop them in the oven to bake.  I am lucky that my family members prefer the good old classic lotus paste with melon seeds filling, making it easier for me :)

Minis with a slight variation to the classic lotus paste, some cranberries added in to break the sweet monotony.  

This mixed nuts are for my folks, which is their favorite.  I noticed that it is quite a favorite among the older generation.  I don't like admitting this but I fear I am beginning to like it too!

These photos were taken after they were freshly made which is not a good time at all especially the cross section, a absolutely  no-no but I wanted complete the photographing all at one go. Well...

I had no intentions to make this but I fell for this cute wooden mould that I saw at the shop where i normally get my baking ingredients.  Way too cute, I knew it wouldn't be easy but I had to buy it even if it was just for keepsake.  These days, most of the moulds are made of plastic and they come with a plunger, much simpler to use and give better imprints.  The old fashion type of moulds are made of wood, you need to press the dough to shape then knock it out which can be quite a challenge at times.  It is best if you can knock it out in one go, otherwise certain sides can get out of shape when you accidentally knock on it when you give more knocks.

I almost think these are too cute to eat :)  I am glad I gave it a try. 

These fishes have coconut paste filling in them.  This is my first time trying out this type of filling, I read in my friend Kimmy's blog that it is commonly found in Penang.  Something different and most importantly (for me) it's much more simple than making lotus paste!

Here's the mould that gave those little fishes

So, this is it, i think i am done with mooncake making for this year.  
Taking this opportunity to wish all my loved ones, friends and readers Happy MidAutumn Festival!


Ingredients for Pastry
  • 220 gm golden syrup
  • 90 ml corn oil
  • 1.5 tsp alkaline water 
  • 1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda (omitted)
  • 300 gm plain flour - sifted (i used superfine flour)
    • Egg wash - 1 medium size egg + 1 tsp water, mix well and strain (optional)
    1. Combine all the ingredients (except flour) in a mixing bowl.  Stir to mix together until well combined. Cover with a cling film wrap and leave aside for at least 5-6 hours or overnight.
    2. Give the syrup mixture a good stir before adding flour (sifted in).  Mix well but DO NOT  KNEAD the dough.
    3. Cover and set aside for an hour or more before using.
    Note : I used this dough for the lotus paste mooncake (9 pieces of 123g each) and the fish shaped ones.

    Ingredients for Coconut Paste (half the portion of original recipe)
    • 10 gm toasted melon seed
    • 20 gm toasted sesame seeds
    • 10 gm milk powder
    • 30 gm candied melon - chopped coarsely
    • 18 gm kao fun (cooked glutinous rice flour)
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 1/2 grated white coconut (white portion only, around 150g)
    • 1 1/4 tbsp corn oil
    • 1 1/4 tsp water
    • 60 gm castor sugar
    1. Steam grated coconut for 25-30 minutes until soft.  Remove and leave to cool completely.
    2. Combine oil, water and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Stir until sugar dissolves (I heated it over a slow flame for sugar to dissolve).
    3. Add cooled grated coconut and the rest of the ingredients.  Mix well.
    4. Lastly add in kao fun and salt to mix.
    1. Based on the total weight of the mooncake(lookout for them on the mould, if not find out the weight by using enough dough to fill the mould then weigh it).  
    2. I normally go on 30% for skin and 70% for filling ratio.
    3. Divide the skin and filling according to decided weight.
    4. Wrapped up the filling with the dough, then press it into a mooncake mould.
    5. Place the mooncake on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
    6. Lightly spray some water on mooncakes to prevent them from cracking.
    7. Bake at 180C for 15-20 then remove from oven to cool.   When the mooncake is no longer hot, apply egg wash then bake for another 7 minutes until golden brown.

    Recipe-Mixed Fruits and Nuts Mooncake 
    Source : Cheah-No Frills Recipe who adapted from Anncoo Journal


    (A) Dough 
    • 150 gm superfine or plain flour
    • 90 ml golden syrup
    • 38 ml vegetable oil
    • 2 ml alkaline water
    (B)  Filling

    • 40 gm walnuts, lightly toasted, coarsely chopped
    • 40 gm almonds, lightly toasted, corsely chopped
    • 30 gm melon seeds, lightly toasted
    • 60 gm white sesame seeds, lightly toasted
    • 30 gm dried kiwi, chopped (replaced with prunes)
    • 30 gm cranberry, chopped
    • 30 gm raisins, chopped
    • 30 gm dried pineapple, chopped (replaced with combination of dried mango, coconut and nutmeg)
    • 30 gm dates, chopped
    • 1 Tbsp sugar
    • 1.1/2 Tbsp marmalade/apricot jam
    • 1.1/4 Tbsp  cornoil/canola oil
    • 1/4 tsp salt
    • 50 gm koh fun
    • 3 Tbsp water
    • 1 Tbsp Cointreau (optional)
    • Egg wash - 1 whole egg + 1 tsp water, mix well and strain

      Method (For Dough)
      1. Mix golden syrup, vegetable oil and alkaline water with a handwhisk till well combined. (Leave mixture to rest for 3-4 hours)
      2. Sift in flour, mix to form a piece of dough.
      3. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for at least 2 hours or more till dough is not sticky.
      For the Filling

      1. Mix sugar, koh fun and salt to (B),  mix well.  Then add in the marmalade, oil and water, mix well.  
      2. Shape the filling into balls based on weight ratio for the mooncake (see Assemble steps for lotus paste mooncake above).
      1. Divide the dough for the pastry according to ratio for skin.
      2. Flatten a piece of dough and wrap around a ball of filling.  Shape prepared dough into a ball and press into a lightly floured mooncake mould.  Shake off any excess flour from the mould.
      3. Place the mooncake on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.
      4. Lightly spray some water on mooncakes prevent them from cracking.
      5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 to 20 mins.  Remove from oven.
      6. When the mooncake is no longer hot, apply egg wash then bake for another 7 minutes until golden brown.
      7. Keep mooncakes uncovered for 3 to 4 days before consuming.  The colour of the mooncakes will darken as they mature.

      Thursday 12 September 2013

      Jelly Mooncakes, Just One More

      My apologies if I am boring you with jelly mooncakes, i promise this will be the last one for this year!  I needed to put this on record for my future reference.  I made traditional ones too, my son was complaining already, in his words, he said he wanted to have 'real' mooncakes! So the mummy obliged for her son, for her loved ones and for tradition sake, after all what is mooncake festival without 'real' mooncakes :)  Post will be up next.

      I am quite happy with the results after some twigging of the original recipe.  If you are looking for a nice dessert to make for the festival dinner, why not consider this one, it's pretty, it fits the occasion well enough and to top it all, it's red, the ever loved chinese color!  The nutty taste from the black sesame filling compliments the dragon fruit skin well.    

      Source :Adapted from Mooncake Selections by Khoo See Yew

      Ingredients for Filling 
      • 30g black sesame seed (toasted, then blended until fine)
      • 30 gm. caster sugar
      • 1 3/4 tsp agar-agar powder
      • 150 ml water
      • 100ml fresh milk
      • 50 ml coconut milk (20ml coconut milk mixed with 30ml water)
      • 1 blade of pandan leave
      1. Boil sugar, agar-agar powder, and water with pandan leave in a pot until agar agar and sugar dissolves. 
      2. Mix in grounded black sesame and stir to make it smooth.  Let the mixture simmer for 2 minutes.
      3. Lower flame and mix in fresh milk.
      4. Mix in coconut milk.  Turn off flame once mixture start to boil.
      5. Pour in small bowls and let it set.
      6. Remove from bowl, use a fork to scratch surface (top and bottom). This is to make sure the filling and skin will stick to one another. 
      Ingredients for Skin
      • 100 gm. sugar
      • 4 tsp. agar-agar powder
      • 500 ml water
      • 100 ml coconut milk (50ml coconut milk mix with 50ml water)
      • 150 gm red dragon fruit (mashed with fork so that seeds remain visible)
      • 2 blades of pandan leave 
      • 1 tsp lemon juice
      • 3 tbsp honey
      1. Boil sugar, agar-agar powder and water with pandan leaves in a pot until agar agar and sugar dissolves.
      2. Lower flame and mix in blended dragon fruit.
      3. Add in lemon juice and honey.
      4. Mix in coconut milk.  Turn off flame once mixture start to boil.
      1. Pour in some skin agar agar into mooncake mould (If a see-through effect is preferred (i.e. can see the filling), lessen the amount put in).
      2. When it is half set, put in the filling then pour the balance skin mixture into the mould until full. Let it set.
      3. Chill in the fridge before serving.

      Saturday 7 September 2013

      Crepes...the Malay way

      I have not made this for the longest time, in fact i have only made it once in my entire lifetime so far, well twice now!  And that first experience was in my Home Science class during my secondary school days.  Those days girls were made to learn cooking and sewing while the boys learn stuff like carpentry except for urban schools where they had a third option to study Accounting.  Thank God they have revised the syllabus and now everyone learns a little bit of everything, no longer gender bias!  Those classes were fun though! There was always a lot of excitement on days that we get to cook.   I remember the boys crowding around us to share the goodies that we made (provided we didn't ruin it) :)

      This is the traditional Malay crepe known as Kuih Ketayap.  Kuih is what we call small, dainty cakes in the local language while Ketayap literally translates to skullcap.  I am guessing that its green colour and texture bear resemblance to the skullcap worn by Muslim men in those days. Filled with shredded coconut cooked in palm sugar it is a perfect match for the Pandan infused crepe. 

      Malay crepes have a more rustic appeal to them with a holey and rugged  surface.  They are thicker too.  These days it is not uncommon to see what I would call a Westernized looking Malay crepe which comes with  a smooth and silky surface.  But, i still prefer it in its rustic look.  

      They are commonly found in Malay food stalls.  In the mornings you will easily find them in stalls selling breakfast items or at those selling snacks for tea time in the evenings.  So easily available that there is never a need to make them! Why did i make them then??   

      I wanted to make something for breakfast and preferably with Pandan in it to link up with Little Thumbs Up event for this month.   Lots of kuihs come to mind when we think Pandan but this is one of the simplest and fastest kuih to make otherwise it wouldnt be one of the very first items taught in school! So, why not i thought, since it has been decades ago...

      The trick for doing this is you have to be really fast when you swirl the batter in the pan otherwise you won't get a nice flat round piece of crepe.  And the pan has to be hot to get the holes and indentations.

      I prefer my crepes to have just a mild shade of green.

      A cross-section of it.  I made the crepe slightly thinner and went easy on the palm sugar hence a filling that is lighter in color but sweet enough.

      Source : Baking Diary who adapted from Rasa Malaysia

      Ingredients for Crepe
      • 120g flour
      • 1 egg
      • 300ml coconut milk (200ml coconut milk from a carton and added 100ml water)
      • 1/4 teaspoon salt
      • 3 tablespoon pandan juice (I used 3 tablespoon of homemade pandan extract.  See note below) 
      Ingredients for Filling
      • 90g Gula Melaka (I used around 80g)
      • 1 tablespoon sugar
      • 1 pandan leaf knotted
      • 50ml water
      • 1/2 grated coconut - use only the white part
      • 1 tsp corn starch (omitted)
      1. Place flour in a mixing bowl.  Make a well in the centre and crack in the egg.  Slowly stir in salt and coconut milk and 3 tablespoons of pandan juice. Strain the batter for a lump free mixture. Set aside.
      2. Break up palm sugar and place in a pot, add sugar, water and pandan leave.  Cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves then add the shredded coconut to the pot. Stir to combine all ingredients.
      3. Heat up a shallow, lightly greased frying pan over low heat.  Add 2 tablespoons of batter in the centre and swirl the pan to coat it to form a thin crepe.   Cook a few minutes on each side and transfer to a chopping board to cool.  You can stack them up.
      4. When all the crepes are cooked, place filling on a piece of crepe and roll it up as you would a spring roll.
      Note on how to get Pandan Extract
      Blend 5 blades of pandan leaves with enough water for the blender to work.  Pour juice over a strainer leave it in fridge overnight.  The sediment at the bottom is the pandan extract.  You will not be able to get 3 tbsp of sediment with just 5 blades of pandan.  I used whatever i got and top it with the juice.

      Thank you for the recipe, Jeannie!

      I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up "Pandan" event hosted by Joceline @ Butter, Flour & Me, organized by Zoe@ Bake for Happy Kids and Mui Mui @My little favourites DIY


      Tuesday 3 September 2013

      Jelly Mooncakes Again

      Mid-Autumn/Mooncake festival has a special place in our family, dad was born on that day according to the lunar calendar  and grandpa named him after it.  My son is envious that my Dad gets to celebrate his birthday twice each year! It's going to be extra special this year as it falls on the same day as my son's birthday according to the gregorian calendar :)

      Making mooncakes is now an annual event ever since my first attempt in 2010.  Once you get into it, it's not too difficult and it does not help that prices of commercial ones are rising steeply each year.  I have tried making quite a few variations including the baked ones, snow skins and jellies too.   One that i think i am pretty good at by now is the jelly mooncake.  May sound a little unabashed, but hey 3 years of practice coming to 4 now, must surely do some good :))  It is also among the most popular post on my blog. 

      Jelly mooncakes are completely different from the traditional ones taste or texture wise, it only bear resemblance appearance wise.   They make good desserts; refreshing, cooling and most of the time come in bright striking colours.

      Every year i attempt new flavors so that those on the receiving end (including my customers, as i do get some orders from them :)) will not find them boring due to repetitive flavors :)

      And here's one of the new flavors for this year, Green Tea with Luo Han Guo.  It's healthy appeal made me choose this flavor.  The recipe is courtesy of Amy Beh of

      I love the color contrast in this combo.  I find the green tea fragrance and taste quite strong (but then this could differ with the type of green tea powder used), i am making a self note to reduce it by 20% the next time around.   This is also to prevent it from covering the taste of the luo han guo filling which on its own tasted very nice with flavors coming from fresh winter melon, longan and red dates.  

      This one here is a slight variation from the Cendol Red Bean flavor that has been made over the years and with recipe posted here.  Instead of just cendol for the skin, i played around and made another layer with gula melaka.  Hence, named it ABC Jelly Mooncake to make sure its Malaysian shows :)  

      An all time favorite, Nespresso Peach.  You will love it if you are a coffee lover, if you are not you will be one after tasting this :))

      Recipe - Green Tea Luo Han Guo Jelly Mooncake

      Ingredients for Filling
      • 1/2 piece luo han guo
      • 75g palm sugar
      • 5 red dates
      • 700ml water
      • 50g winter melon (finely grated and chopped)
      • 5g dried longan flesh (finely chopped)
      • 3 tsp agar-agar powder 
      1. Bring palm sugar, luo han guo, dates and water to a boil.
      2. Once it comes to a boil, reduce flame and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Strain drink to remove impurities.
      3. Squeeze out excess water from grated winter melon.  Add into drink.  Add chopped longan flesh.  Bring to a boil then let it simmer for 15-20 minutes again.
      4. Leave 500ml of the drink in pot (You can use all of it but 500ml will be enough for around 6 pieces, i wanted to have the extra to drink!)
      5. Add in agar-agar powder.  Stir well making sure agar-agar dissolve.
      6. Lower flame and turn off once it comes to a boil.
      7. Pour in small bowls and let it set.
      8. Remove from bowl, use a fork to scratch surface (top and bottom). This is to make sure the filling and skin will stick to one another. 

      Ingredients for Skin
      • 4 tsp agar-agar powder
      • 130g castor sugar
      • 650ml water
      • 2 tbsp milk
      • 1 tsbp green tea powder

      1. Put sugar, agar-agar powder and water in a pot and boil until agar agar and sugar dissolves.
      2. Turn off flame.  
      3. Add in green tea powder, mix and stir until even and dissolve.
      4. Add in milk.
      5. Strain the mixture.
      1. Pour in some skin agar agar into mooncake mould.
      2. When it is half set, put in the filling then pour the balance skin mixture into the mould until full. Let it set.
      3. Chill in the fridge before serving.


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