Tuesday, September 27, 2011

No bake Cheesecake 冰冻芝士蛋糕

Raya lunch Celebration

Last week, I received an invitation from my finance team members to join their pot luck lunch on Monday in the office in celebration of Raya Adilfitri (Muslim New Year).  I happily accepted the invitation and even offered to bring one of my specialties to support their function. But later I realized that I would not have time to prepare fancy dishes in the morning, as I started work as early as 8am.

And so I struggled to think of what party food that could be easily prepared in advance, best the night before and its taste could be sustained when brought to the office the next morning for reheating or served cold during lunch time.

After cracking my head, I concluded dessert is the best answer. Yes, dessert could be prepared in advance and easily stored up to a day or two without compromising its quality.  I came out with this simple no bake cheesecake, which was just ideal for this function.

Again, this recipe was shared by Helen in Auckland. I found this simple cheesecake recipe so versatile that different variation of cheesecake look can be produced by merely changing the toppings. Her original topping called for fruit jam; however I was no fruit jam lover.  I ended up with gelatin lime topping instead as I wanted to go in line with the Muslim’s Raya colour – green.  I used the juice of half a lime and one to two drops of green food coloring to come up with the lime green topping cheesecake J

The topping was not well turned-out as I expected to have a smooth layer of jelly looking topping. This might due to overnight chilled effect in freezer. 

Nevertheless, the cake received great comments from my colleagues. I was overly flattered when one of my colleagues came to me the next day and wanted to place an order to make this cheesecake as birthday cake for his little nephew. He told me that he brought back a piece to his nephew and he loved it so much and asked to have the same for his birthday! J

Highlights of office lunch sharing

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Taro/Yam Paste Fillings 芋头馅料

Happy Moon Cake festival !
Next Monday in lunar calendar is 15th of the 8th month which marks a big day for the Chinese celebrating the Moon Cake Festival or Mid Autumn Festival 中秋节.  For those Chinese who celebrate this big occasion, moon cake is the main bakery product not to be missed. Moon cake is analogous to turkey for the Thanks Giving day or Christmas Day.
Since two months ago, I started to see assorted moon cakes ranging from traditional flavor Lotus paste moon cake to western flavor Cheesy Choc Oreo flooding the local market. Rather than the wide variety of fillings of the moon cakes, I was more attracted to their elegant and stylish moon cake boxes instead. These gift boxes are getting so much more ornamental to the point that they now become the deciding factor for the purchase rather than the delicacy element! These moon cakes were not sold cheap in the market.  I reckon a huge portion was attributed to the glossy packaging cost.
Stylish boxes
2 weeks ago, I started to make my first batch of homemade traditional baked moon cake 广式月饼. I used the same moon cake recipe given by Helen, one of my best cooking pals in New Zealand.  She shared that recipe with us when she demonstrated the making of homemade moon cake at my ex-Auckland home last year. Do click here for the recipe I posted last year.  

Traditional baked moon cake 广式月饼

I was glad that it was much easier to find the necessary moon cake ingredients and mould in Malaysia. I got these moulds cheaply from a bakery supplies shop just minutes away from my house.

Traditional mold and the press mold

 Last week, I made another batch of moon cakes, this time I tried out snow skin moon cake冰皮月饼 . This type of chilled moon cakes was much easier to make, no baking required. I opted for an easy way out by using a pack of readily mixed snow skin flour and by merely adding water and shortening, the skin dough would be ready.

Snowy moon cakes with taro/ red beans fillings and melon seeds

Snowy moon cakes with Pandan, Coco and original flavaour
If you wish to make your own snow skin dough, click here for the recipe shared by Helen also. This time, I decided to make own moon cake fillings.  The following was the taro/yam paste fillings adapted from moon cake making video by Agnes Chang.    
I shared both types of my homemade moon cakes with my colleagues and I was pleased to receive good comments from them. The best voted mooncake was snowy moon cake with taro and melon seeds fillings ! J

I would like to dedicate this post to all my TWOA level 3 computing and cooking members: Alice, Doris, Helen, Jane, Jenny Wu, Jenny Yip, Julie, Lily, Linda, Vera, Penny, Julia and Ellen.

My TWOA level 3 computing cum cooking members
“I really miss those happy moments we had; taking turns to host the cooking and lunch sharing functions every Thursday. With this moon cake I would like to wish you all “
A Happy Moon Cake Festival! 祝你们中秋节快乐!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Potato Buns 马铃薯面包

I’m one year old!
Time flies, I just realised that it has been a year since I started this blog in September 2009. Recalling the time when I experienced living overseas in Auckland, with the purpose of occupying my time and learning to blog as part of my Information Technology assignment, I created this blog.  I had never expected to receive such warm acknowledgement and getting to know so many wonderful food bloggers who shared the same passion in food blogging. Thanks to all those who had visited my blog, some even signed up as followers to my blog.
I just wish to say a big Thank You  to you all! I hope you will continue to check out my blog once in a while and I will try my best to share more cool recipes.  I believe in the value of sharing.  Every recipe I shared is treated as one good deed of the day J 
 “The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises. “
 - Leo Buscaglia

For this anniversary post, I would like to share the recipe of this healthy potato buns. Many would have tasted these potatos buns commonly found in bread shelves in supermarket or bread store. These buns are made from a variation of sweet buns dough. To have better flavour, add a little butter cream as fillings or any fillings to your liking.
This recipe was adapted from Agnes Chang’s “ I can bake”. However I was not satisfied with the custard toppings suggested in the original recipe, where the custard topping was merely a mixture of custard powder with water uncooked.  As a result, the topping that was too watery resulting in the poor cross shape topping. Furthermore, the custard topping was tasteless after baking.
In view of that, I found this creamy custard topping on the Net which I reckon should make a better alternative for easy pipping and nicer taste.

Ray can't wait to get his hand on the buns!


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