Monday, May 25, 2020

The Last Chapter

Hi everybody,

Hope you folks are doing well during this covid19 period. I just wanna drop a short note to say that I'm still alive and kicking. I still bake from time to time, but not as often as I would have wished for. I have shifted my time and interest to an entirely different hobby, one which has consumed much of my time. I'm proud to say I'm pretty good in this new hobby which I have used to do my fair bit of contribution to the healthcare workers and frontliners where I am located.

Baking has become a 2nd fiddle so to speak, and I have decided not to release any new recipes on this blog. You may also have noticed, there have been many comments published recently. I didn't notice there were comments waiting to be published (some dating from 2018!) so I just published them all in 1 go. Publishing the comments doesn't necessarily mean that I will respond to them. In fact I'm planning to deactivate this blog in time to come. I haven't really decided how and when, but probably by the end of this summer or by the end of this year, it will be set visible for my eyes only.

I do appreciate the support that I have garnered from my readers over the years. But there is always a time to say goodbye, and now is the time. Well there are zillions of recipes to be discovered elsewhere on Internet and in facebook (groups) . Unfortunately people who maintain recipe blogs on blogspot or word press have become a minority nowadays. It is strange how technology evolves. Nowadays people screenshot the recipes from fb and claim them as their own. But there was a time when people like me had taken hours to painstakingly test the recipes, take fotos along the way and pen them properly in a blog. But that seems to be lightyears ago in the internet era. Anyway I do cherish the time when I was still active on my blog. The many recipes that I have penned is probably a testament to the fruitful baking journey that I have undertaken over the years, from 2010 to 2016.

So long and farewell, and with that, I close a chapter in this baking blog, and who knows, I might start a new (sewing) blog. 😜

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Rice Cooker Orange Butter Cake

It's been a while since I last posted. I haven't really been active in blogging due to various reasons which i have mentioned earlier in my blog if you have been following. But now that I'm back in Singapore on a short vacation and my mum has requested me to bake something for her using her old rice cooker, I thought I should at least note down this rice cooker cake recipe since the resultant cake looked quite decent and presentable. It would be a pity not to share it with folks who have no ovens at home like my mum. :)

My mum's place has barely any baking tools. We have to scramble to get the necessary stuff - a 20+ year old Moulinex mixer which surprisingly still works, a 2 dollar sieve which I bought from daiso a few years ago, a not-so-accurate manual weighing scale,  a rice cooker spoon for folding flour and a Korean silver chopsticks for testing if the cake is done.

There are no extra mixing bowls so I cant attempt chiffon cakes or cakes that require more than 1 mixing bowl. So we decided to try out a simple orange butter cake.

300g plain flour + 1.5 tsp baking powder, sifted together
240g  butter, softened at room temp
6 eggs at room temp
120g sugar (not sweet enough, should increase to 150g)
12 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice (from 2 big oranges)
*some chopped citrus peel or grated orange zest *
*A few drops of orange essence *

1. Using a cake mixer, cream butter and sugar until soft and fluffy.

2. Add eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. (If using orange essence, sprinkle it at this stage)

3. Add half of the sifted flour, and mix at lowest speed using cake mixer. Then add remaining half of the flour and fold lightly using a spatula until well-incorporated. (If you find the batter too dry towards the end, you can add some orange juice after folding in each addition of flour, make sure you fold until there are no white specks, add a few tbsp orange juice before the next addition of flour. Alternating the flour with liquid during folding will make it easier if your batter is very thick.)

4. Add the orange juice and orange zest or citrus peel and fold well until no white specks.

5. Grease the rice cooker inner pot with a little butter and pour in the batter. Press COOK or BAKE. It took my mum''s Toshiba 10-cup rice cooker (no baking function ) 1 hour, i had to press cook and cancel  3x. Timing will  vary based on rice cooker type, brand, model and capacity,  hence please use your judgement accordingly. For a 5 cup or 6 cup cooker , you may wish to use 1/2 or 3/4 of the ingredients.

6. When the cake is done, remove it from the rice cooker pot and invert it onto a cake rack for cooling.


*My family did a taste test and we all concluded that the cake though rich, soft and fluffy, was too buttery and salty (my mum only had Lurpark salted butter in her fridge) and the orange taste was not very apparent. Hence I would recommend that you add some freshly grated orange zest from organically grown oranges or some chopped citrus peel bought from baking supplies shop. This will give the cake a more orangey and tangy flavour. I would also recommend adding a few drops of orange essence although it is not compulsory. For my next bake, I would use unsalted butter (as per all my bakes in Belgium) and sprinkle a very tiny pinch of salt. If you use salted butter, there is no need to add salt, but the salty taste may overpower the orange taste.

Notes: I made a 2nd orange butter cake the next day (and a 3rd one 2 days later) and I tweaked the recipe a little. For some reason, the 2nd cake took longer at 1 h 15 min, probably bcos the rice cooker is old and the lid cannot be closed tightly. So here are the changes
- 150g of sugar instead of 120g sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder + 0.5 tsp baking soda instead of 1.5 tsp baking powder. You can add baking soda whenever the cake has acidic ingredients, in this case orange juice.
- 100g of chopped citrus peel + 0.5 tsp orange essence.

IMPORTANT - If you have taken the time to read the post until this point, I would like you to know that this cake has been tested 3 times and this post has been updated to reflect the feedback from my family and the results of my testing. Please do not copy my recipe blatantly onto your Facebook or blog without giving due credit to my blog or without seeking my permission. You are however welcome to provide feedback in the comments section or email me a picture of the cake you have made following this recipe and I will gladly repost it in my blog and on my Facebook page. Thank you.

This post was typed out on a mobile phone, it took me a while and I do apologise if there are any typo errors :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Taiwanese Fragrant Milky Mooncake with Lian Rong Filling (台式奶香月饼)

This is the 2nd mooncake recipe that I am supposed to upload last Friday, but we had to go somewhere else for the whole weekend, so I had to postpone posting until Monday evening. Anyway this recipe is already 1 year late. I did it last September (see this post HERE) but like the previous Cheesy Shanghai Mooncake recipe, I didn't post it until now.   :)

So here you are, I hope you enjoy this simple non-traditional mooncake recipe. As I have mentioned in my previous post, I dun have the luxury of baking traditional mooncakes, since I neither have the time, nor could I find the mooncake moulds when I was back in SG during CNY in 2015. They were just not available in the big baking supplies shop that I visited in Buona Vista. I wouldn't blame the shop, who would be selling mooncake moulds in February? So if you wanna see any traditional mooncakes appearing on my blog, you are more than welcome to send some mooncake moulds over to me, haha. :)

If you would like to refer to my previous post last year, pls click on this link below:

Mooncake skin recipe adapted from Butter, Flour & Me

50g unsalted butter, softened at room temp
20g icing sugar
50g golden syrup (or korean cooking syrup)*
150g cake flour
10g milk powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 beaten egg yolk, at room temp 

Egg Wash - 1 beaten egg yolk at room temp, mixed with a little water
Salted Egg Yolks - I used 1/4 of egg yolk per piece (omitted in 2015)
Fillings - I used ready-bought green bean (lian rong) filling, divided into 25g per piece

* I used korean cooking syrup in 2014, and golden syrup in 2015

1. Sift cake flour, milk powder and baking soda together and mix well.

2. Beat butter, icing sugar and golden syrup together. Add beaten egg yolk a little at a time, and beat until smooth and creamy (I used my cake mixer at low speed)

3. Add in the sifted flour mixture, combine to form a smooth dough. (I used cake mixer at low speed again, then I used my hands to form it into a smooth dough. Do not over-knead. If you find the dough too dry, you may add a little egg yolk.)

4. Cover the dough with plastic clingwrap and chill in the fridge (not freezer!) for 30 min.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge, weigh and divide into required portions. I divided it into pieces of 25g to 28g each. Cover the rest of the dough with clingwrap while you are wrapping to avoid drying out.

6. Use your palm to flatten each piece of dough into a circle, making sure that the edges are thinner than the centre. Wrap in the desired filling plus 1/4 salted egg yolk, and roll it into a smooth ball. (The dough was very easy to work with, at least at my room temp of 20C)

7. Baked on a lined baking tray in a preheated oven at 160C for 10 min.

8. After 10 min, remove from the oven. Use a baking brush to apply egg wash on top and decorate with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds.

9. Return to the oven and continue to bake at 160C for another 15 min or until golden brown, but not cracked.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Cheesy Shanghai Mooncake with Lian Rong and Salted Yolk (上海芝士月饼)

It's been a while. I have been trying to get back to the momentum of baking and blogging, but the spirit is willing, the mind is weak. About a month ago, I was reminded by one of the readers who left a comment on my blog to provide the mooncake recipes that I blogged about last year. I have procrastinated for 1 whole year, luckily I could still find the recipe notes scribbled on pieces of scrap papers lying on my workdesk. The notes were rather messy, I couldn't remember any of the details. Since the mid-autumn festival is getting near, so I decided to try the 2 recipes again, to re-confirm the correctness of the quantities and temperature.

This cheesy shanghai mooncake is really nice. I did it last year with 5 nuts filling. This year I had lugged back a pack of ready-made Green Bean Paste (Lian Rong) from Singapore, and some very expensive salted egg yolks bought from a chinese supermart in Belgium (6 for 6.50 euro, it was daylight robbery!), so I decided to do the traditional green bean paste filling with salted egg yolks. 

It was finger-licking delicious, haha, kaki gong hojiak! I made 15 and I finished half of it in a single day! No wonder I can never get rid of the spare tyres round my waist!  :)

If you would like to refer to my previous post last year, pls click on this link below, the filling and weight of each portion that I made this year are slightly different from last year, other than that, the basic recipe is the same :

Cheesy Shanghai Mooncakes in the 2 front rows, Taiwan Milky Mooncakes in the last row.

Mooncake skin recipe adapted from 鲸鱼蓝蓝小窝居

Cheesy Shanghai Mooncake (makes 15 pieces)

120g unsalted butter (softened at room temp)
40g sugar
2 tbsp fresh milk (at room temp)
1 tbsp corn flour (also known as cornstarch)
180g cake flour or low-protein flour
2.5 tbsp parmesan cheese  powder
pumpkin seeds for decoration

Egg wash = 1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water + 1 tbsp milk (I left out the milk, using only few drops of water)

Salted Egg Yolks - you will need 3+3/4 salted duck eggs, which is 1/4 egg yolk x 15 pieces. If you like to have more, you can add 1/2 egg yolk but the filling has to be adjusted accordingly. The salted eggs have to be boiled in water for about 10 min before you can remove the yolks.

1. Sift parmesan cheese powder, corn flour and cake flour together and mix well.

2. Beat butter, sugar and milk until creamy. (I used my cake mixer at low speed)

3. Add in the sifted flour mixture, combine to form a smooth dough. (I used cake mixer at low speed again, then I used my hands to form it into a smooth dough. Do not over-knead. If you find the dough too dry, you may add a little more milk.)

4. Cover the dough with plastic clingwrap and chill in the fridge (not freezer!) for 30 min.

5. Remove the dough from the fridge, weigh and divide into required portions. Cover the rest of the dough with clingwrap while you are wrapping to avoid drying out. (The dough was about 375g so I divided it into 15 pieces of 25g to 28g each)

6. Use your palm to flatten each piece of dough into a circle, making sure that the edges are thinner than the centre. Wrap in the filling plus 1/4 salted egg yolk and roll it into a smooth ball. (The dough was very easy to work with, at least at my room temp of 20C)

7. Baked on a lined baking tray in a preheated oven at 160C for 10 min.

8. After 10 min, remove from the oven. Use a baking brush to apply egg wash on top and decorate with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds or sesame seeds.

9. Return to the oven and continue to bake at 160C for 15 to 20 min or until golden brown, but not cracked. (I did not apply egg wash a second time so the colour was a bit pale)

* Do note that the oven temp for the original recipe was 180C for 30 min. In the original recipe, the dough was 45g, and the filling was 45g. In my recipe, my dough was 28g and my filling was 25g + 1/4 egg yolk per piece so I used a lower temp of 160C and it worked fine for me. I prefer a lower temp so that the pastry will not crack, and if it is not baked golden brown enough, you just need to lengthen the time.

* For the mooncake filling, I used ready-made Lian Rong / Green Bean Paste bought from Phoon Huat in Singapore. The amount used was about 25g x 15 pieces = 375g in total. The paste I bought came in a 1 kg pack, so I actually managed to use it 3 times, twice for making cheesy shanghai mooncakes, once for making taiwanese milky mooncakes

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What's growing in my garden

It's been a while, this is to show that I am still alive and kicking, and so are my plants! :)
A runner from one of my Strawberry plants.

Tatsoi and Pak Choy with yellow flowers, plus 2 Sage plants in the middle.
Green Paprika (Bell Pepper)
Another type of Green Paprika (Bell Pepper), the pointed version

Bees buzzing around in a female flower of my Hokkaido Red Kuri Pumpkin plant.

Halloween Pumpkin with 2 growing fruits.

These are the results of my labour since spring 2015. And it is just a fraction of what I have planted so far in my garden in Belgium. Baking has taken a back seat this year due to my sudden interest in organic gardening. Sad to say, I was unable to engage my children in baking and cooking so far, but on the other hand,  they are pretty interested in gardening. In fact, they love mimicking my every move in the garden, they love watering the plants, digging into soil, and getting their hands dirty! They have their own little gardening plot, where I donated some spare plants (snap peas, sweet corns, sunflowers etc) so that I can imbibe into them a sense of responsibility and caring for mother nature, such as sowing seeds of each fruit they have eaten, watering their own plants, keeping the plot weed-free, and not killing any good insects. So far so good, I am pretty impressed with how fast they pick up things and how enthousiastic they are in maintaining their garden.

By the way, you will see more of my garden updates coming up. So far, I have not baked anything new, I have posted some baking pictures on my FB, but they are old recipes that I have tried again recently. But the good news is, my new PRINCESS bread machine has arrived last friday! Yes, it is my new PRINCESS, haha! Some new bread recipes are in the pipeline soon since I have to try out my PRINCESS asap. Meanwhile, I keep reminding myself that I have to post something in order to keep this blog alive. If not, it will just die off slowly. Hence this post is a small step in keeping my humble blog alive, it may not be the recipe post you are looking for. But that has gotta wait a while, because I do have other interests besides baking and cooking. :)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

I'm back! OMG so much cobwebs!

Hello World.

I am back, albeit briefly, to clean off the cobwebs covering my blog.

It seems so long, although I don't think anybody has missed my absence. In fact, I have been away 2.5 months from mid March till end May. Wow, time really flies! What have I been up to?

Nothing really much.

I can't use my 3 kids as an excuse anymore. I am not the only one maintaining a blog with 3 small kids at home. 

What about the story of my missing weekly helper? Well, she has been missing since November, and I have been acting as Cinderella since then, luckily a replacement was found recently. Thank god, I cannot imagine myself acting as Cinderella cleaning chimneys and mopping floors for the whole of 2015. There would be soot all over my already yellow and sallow face.

Did I tell you also my car broke down in March? Well it has been replaced on 1 April, to my great relief. No, it was not April Fool. I got a nearly new car. Good riddance to the old one which constantly broke down ! 

According to Murphy's law (anything that can go wrong, will go wrong), there were more to come. My laptop crashed on me sometime around March. I had to say "sayonara" to Windows O/S and "selamat datang" to Ubuntu O/S. Ubuntu is pretty cool, but there is no Picassa installed yet, I don't even know if Ubuntu supports it, so I can't upload my fotos to my blog. My body also broke down recently. I had a bad bout of diarrhoea for about 1 week in early May, and now I am nursing a hacking cough that keeps me wide awake throughout the night for the past week. Unfortunately I can't change my body just like how I changed my car and my laptop. And I went to the Emergency recently with my 3 year old who got herself hurt pretty badly. It's a long story how it all happened. She ended up having 3 stitches on her left hand, how I wish I could be in her place. My poor baby! :(

Is that all that keeps me busy? Erm, well not really...

I have been buzzing around in the garden, as busy as a bee, even in the midst of sicknesses and emergencies. Busy germinating and planting roses, herbs, pumpkins, melons, cherry tomatoes, paprikas, chillies, sweet corns, beans and peas, choy sum, pak choy, sunflowers etc; the list goes on and on. Nearly all were germinated from seeds, except for roses, paprika and chilli, they were bought from the nursery. There is always something to do in the garden, I just wish I have an extra pair of hands and extra 24 hours per day!

Yawn ZZZ....

Ok, what you have read above, are just excuses for not blogging. So where is my new recipe? :)

Ahem, it's in the pipeline...

Let me show you something I did recently for my son's 6 year old birthday. Isn't it cool? Do leave me a comment if you think it is. :)

Btw, I must apologise to my blogger friends who have been linking up, sorry that I have not been diligently visiting your blogs even during the recent CNY blog-hop, that was the period when I was in Singapore. And whatever happened after February was as described above. I hope you understand my 苦衷...真是人在江湖身不由己! :(

Monday, March 16, 2015

RC Soya Sauce Chicken Again (电饭锅豉油鸡) !

It's been a while since I last posted. I have been back from Singapore since 2 weeks ago, on 28 Feb to be exact. Since then I have been busy with my 3 kiddies and cleaning the whole house. Omg, there was so much dirt and dust accumulated during the 1 month I was away. My weekly helper has MIA just before Christmas and the important task of keeping the house spick and span has fallen on my (already hunched) shoulders. I am getting more and more white hairs from the stress and tiredness of running the household. And now I realise my blog is covered with cobwebs too...sob sob, what to do?

This rice cooker soya sauce chicken was done a week ago on 8 March and was posted on my EEWIF facebook page (pls click HERE). I am now posting it in my blog, just to get things into motion. Hopefully I will slowly get back my momentum and inspiration, and update my blog on a more regular basis (the heart is willing but the flesh is weak!). Actually I went on a shopping spree once after Christmas and once after CNY, and I bought myself 1-2-3-4 new kitchen toys to reward myself for being deprived for so many years. Gosh I can't wait to try them all out and post the recipes up here, but all these have to wait until my new helper arrives...god knows when we will be able to get that elusive someone. :S

This is an old recipe that was posted on my blog HERE back in June 2014, and the instructions could be found in my facebook HERE, but I am writing it down so that I won't have a hard time finding it.

Recipe adapted from Alie's Kitchen

Ingredients as follows:
Marinade for the chicken
3 tbsp sugar 
4 tbsp light soya sauce 
4 tbsp ABC kecap manis (dark sweet sticky soya sauce)
1 tbsp dry sherry or chinese cooking wine
1 tbsp sesame oil
4 pieces of ginger and 4 stalks of spring onions to be stuffed in the cavity

For best results, the chicken should be marinated for at least 3 hours in advance. Then place the whole chicken into a non-stick fuzzy logic rice cooker, just press the COOK function for white rice and let it cook for about 1 hour. You may need to press CANCEL and re-press COOK a few times if necessary. You also need to flip the whole chicken at least once so that both top and bottom get equally browned. I flipped the 1st time at 20 min, and a 2nd time at 40 min. I cooked this in my new 10-cup Philips multi-cooker for about 1 hour , previously I had done it in my 5.5 cup Toshiba rice cooker also for 1 hour. If the joints are still a little red, just slit open the joints and let the chicken cook further until the joints are fully cooked. Easy peasy, and I assure you it is really finger-licking-delicious! Note that this chicken is done in a non-stick fuzzy logic cooker, I am not sure if it is possible in a old-fashioned rice cooker. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

CNY Ang Pow Giveaway of USD160 !!!

Who doesn't like ang pow, raise your hands? 

I am much too old to get ang pows, moreover I am married with kids, it's my turn to give ang pows to my kids and the kids of my relatives and friends during Chinese New Year. So far I have never done any giveaway ever since this humble blog of mine was setup in April 2010, one of the reasons being logistics, because I reside in Belgium, and just mailing a small parcel will cost me a bomb. :)

However this year, a group of like-minded bloggers from SG and MY have decided to organize a BIG CNY ANGPOW GIVEAWAY so that one of you readers can have a big fat CNY. A really fat one. 大肥年。Do you know what you can do with the prize money? You can buy a Rice Cooker, or a Bread Machine, or an Airfryer, or a Soya Milk Maker or even a small oven with the prize money, it is USD160, which is about SGD216 (today's rate of 1.35)!!!  Serious. How I wish I can be a participant too! :)

What do you have to do? Just go to my facebook page Everybody Eats Well in Flanders for more details, or visit the FB pages or blogs of the respective bloggers. The contest will officially start on 2 Feb 2015 and it is open to overseas participants, not just readers from Singapore and Malaysia.

This angpow giveway is brought to you by the following 16 bloggers. Pls visit my face book page Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and the FB or blogs of my fellow bloggers and give them a LIKE and SHARE the post if you like. Good things are meant to be shared. :)

Diana from the Domestic Goddess Wannabe
Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids
Alvin from Chef and Sommelier
Ann from Anncoo Journal
Cheryl from Baking Tai Tai
Doreen from My Little Favourite DIY
Fion from XuanHom's Mom Kitchen Diary
Jasline from Foodie Baker

LY from LY's Kitchen Ventures
May from Mayck-Law
Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders
Regina from Mummymoo
Sharon from Delishar
Susanne and Phay Shing from Lovingcreatiobs4u
Veronica from Peng's Kitchen
Victoria from Victoria Bakes

Btw, I am getting ready for my 2 hour drive and 13 hour flight to Singapore on 31 Jan Saturday morning. My luggage is still not fully packed yet, there are so many things to bring. I am gonna bring along 1 kg of belgian chocolates, 1 kg of belgian/dutch cheese, 1 kg of homemade bak kwa, a box of homemade melt-in-the-mouth pineapple tartsa packet of homemade chicken floss, not forgetting myself and my 1 year old baby. :)

My humble belgian kitchen will be closed for 1 month until March, maybe I will blog from my mum's kitchen or the kitchen of my friends if time permits. I still have a couple of CNY goodies which I have baked and not yet shared on my blog. :)  

I sincerely hope one of you will be lucky enough to win the ang pow, and if you do, congratulations and hope you have a big fat chinese new year!!!

Congratulations to the winner Deb L for winning the USD 160 paypal cash, once again thank you everybody for participating in this draw.

Monday, January 26, 2015

MTR #5 - Almond Crisps

I am trying my best to clear the recipes I have tried in the past 2 weeks before I go on a long 1-month vacation in Singapore at the end of this week. First in the list is a nice and crispy almond crisp which I tried on 12 Jan, it was the very first CNY bake I tried this year, way before I started baking my bak kwa. I like this recipe because it uses very little sugar, flour and eggs and absolutely no butter, so my sense of guilt is somehow lesser :)

The recipe is adapted from Minty's Kitchen. I followed her recipe exactly, however instead of 25 pieces, I managed to make 40 pieces, maybe because my almond crisps were smaller and thinner, really paper thin. But they were really crispy and crunchy, very addictive! 

I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #5 - Chinese New Year Goodies (Jan/Feb 2015)" hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House.

Also linking this post to "Best Recipes for Everyone Jan & Feb Event: My Homemade Cookies" hosted by Fion of Xuanhom Mama & co-hosted by Victoria Bakes

Friday, January 23, 2015

How to Make Bak Kwa (Meat Jerky) At Home Without Oven

I know a lot of people do not have ovens in Singapore/Malaysia and are unable to bake chinese new year cookies or bak kwa (meat jerky) at home. This is also something that has been bugging me because I will be heading back to Singapore at the end of Jan, and I will be staying at my mum's place for the whole month of Feb, but my mum's kitchen has NO oven !!! Oh no, how am I gonna survive without an oven for a month? Which means to say I cannot bake my favourite CNY cookies or bak kwa in Singapore and I have to bake them here in my kitchen in Belgium and hand-carry them all the way 10,000km away to Singapore.  Anybody wants any air-flown bak kwa from Belgium? LOL.

This motivated me to do a little experiment on how to make bak kwa at home without an oven, using a rice cooker or wok. Yes, you hear me, a rice cooker or wok!

The colour of this photo has not been adjusted, so as to reflect the true colour and texture of my homemade bak kwa

Is that possible? Why not? Bak kwa has existed for generations in Singapore, I am sure in the old days, ovens were luxury items which could only be afforded by rich people, and the folks from my parents' generation have always relied on using charcoal stoves to grill their meat. I still have vivid memories of my late paternal grandma who used to bake her egg rolls over a charcoal stove in our kampong house.

I have actually baked my bak kwa 3 times all of which I have posted on my EEWIF facebook page; I used chicken meat for the first trial, and I set aside a piece of marinated minced chicken to be baked completely in a wok. For the 2nd and 3rd trials, I used mixed pork and beef and I set aside 2 pieces of marinated meat to be baked in my new philips multi cooker during my 3rd attempt.

Here are some pics of my experiment, pls excuse me for the poor lighting as it was really dark in my kitchen in winter.

I will briefly describe the steps taken for my rice cooker bak kwa experiment. Previously I have also done a chicken version in a wok.

1) First you need to buy some minced meat and marinate it well in advance, preferably overnight. You may wish to click on my previous recipe of Homemade Bak Kwa for the steps.

2) Prepare a piece of baking paper big enough to fit your rice cooker pot. Mine is a 10-cup Philips HD3037/39 multi-cooker so I used a square piece of greaseproof parchment paper or baking paper measuring 15 cm by 15 cm. 

3) Take 50g of minced meat and spread it as thinly as possible on the baking paper and place it in the rice cooker pot. If you are using a 6-cup rice cooker, you may wish to use a lesser amount such as 30g as the diameter of the pot is smaller. The meat has to be spread as thinly as possible otherwise you may end up with a piece of luncheon meat instead of bak kwa.

4) Press the "Rice" button for cooking white rice or the "Cake" button if your rice cooker has a cake function. This first step will serve to dry out the meat and make it stick as one piece. It took my multi-cooker 10 min for the meat to be cooked. My Philips multi-cooker has a cake function and a temperature control which I could set it to 150C. However you can perform this step as long as your rice cooker is a non-stick rice cooker with "Rice" or "Cake" function, the timing depends on how fast or how hot your rice cooker is. You should open the lid every now and then to monitor the progress. You may stop as soon as the meat is cooked and can be lifted off the baking paper as one piece. It will resemble a very thin piece of luncheon meat. The meat will not be charred easily at this stage since it is lined with baking paper.

5) Peel off the baking paper and drain off the excess liquid emitted. Lay the cooked meat back onto the rice cooker pot. You should only attempt this if you have a rice cooker with a non-stick pot. Press the "Rice" button again, or "Cake" button if any. Wait for the rice cooker to heat up, once it is heated up, leave the lid open and flip the meat frequently. It will get burnt very fast. If need be, switch off the rice cooker and grill it using the remaining heat. Note that I set the temp of my Philips multi-cooker to 180C for the grilling. However you can perform this step as long as your rice cooker is a non-stick rice cooker with "Rice" or "Cake" function.

This is the result of my first trial using my philips multi-cooker. I was too complacent. I just closed the lid of the multi-cooker and went about doing other things (I was also baking a batch in the oven). Oh gosh, it became chaotar (burnt) in no time, so fast that it really caught me by surprise since I tried to follow the same timing as in the oven.

1st trial (right) and 2nd trial (left). Oven-baked ones in the background.

After the 1st burnt piece of bak kwa, I got wiser and more experienced, and I reduced the timing for the 2nd piece and kept a close eye on it. For your info, my Philips multi-cooker allows me to set temp control for the cake function. I set 150C for the 1st bake, the purpose was to dry out the meat lined with baking paper. Then when the meat is cooked and can be lifted as one piece, peel off the baking paper and proceed to the 2nd bake, which I set the temp to 180C, to grill the meat just like in an oven or charcoal stove.

If I tell you one piece of bak kwa in the above picture was done completely in my Philips multi-cooker, will you be able to guess which one? :p

I hope you enjoy my mini tutorial on how to make bak kwa at home without oven. The same theory can be applied in a non-stick wok. Just line the meat with greaseproof baking paper and cook it in a wok over low-medium heat. Once it is cooked and can be removed as one piece, peel off the paper and put it back in the wok, turn the heat higher to medium heat, keep a close eye, and flip frequently. 

Doesn't it sound easy? Although this sounds very cumbersome as you can only do one piece at a time, but I hope those folks without an oven can give this a try and let me know how it turns out! Another tip is you can cook the meat using a rice cooker and grill it in a small toaster oven, which is what I plan to do at my parents' place in SG. :)

I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #5 - Chinese New Year Goodies (Jan/Feb 2015)" hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House. 

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