Monday, October 20, 2014

MTR #3 - Belgian Apple Brioche


Saturday 18 Oct was probably the last warm day in October. We were able to enjoy a nice and sunny day (23 degrees!!!) as if it was still summer. I am not sure if I have ever experienced such a warm autumn day in Belgium! My son jokingly asked me if we could hold a BBQ since the weather was so warm and pleasant. I told him that the sun would set very early from now onwards since the days are getting shorter day by day, and no, we were not gonna have a BBQ, since summer was officially over.

How could I not bake some breads in such nice weather? So I baked a belgian apple brioche and quickly took the opportunity to snap fotos of it under natural light in our garden, before the sun disappeared behind the trees. This will probably be the last series of fotos taken under natural light before the onset of winter when it will start to turn dark as early as 4pm. And not to forget in about a week's time, we all have to tune our clocks and watches for daylight-saving. It will be 7 hours time difference between Belgium and Singapore instead of 6 hours. :)


Apples have always been one of my favourite fruits and we always have apples in our fridge or on the tabletop, so it is no wonder that I decide to dig out some apple recipes for posting. Do you know that due to the tragic shootdown of MH17, Russia has declared an embargo on all import of fruits and veggies from Europe, and as a result, there is now an over-supply of locally produced apples and pears, and you can see apples and pears everywhere in Belgium being sold at rock-bottom prices. Imagine a kilo of Jonagold red apples (pack of 6) for as little as 1,30 euro! They were previously being sold at 1,60 to 1,80 euro if I recall correctly. So what better way to support the belgian fruit farmers and the belgian economy by consuming a lot of belgian apples and pears? =)


Recipe adapted from a dutch baking book Appeltaart by Janneke Philippe

Ingredients
475g bread flour (I added 1 tbsp extra)
25g custard powder
7g instant yeast (2 + 1/3 tsp)
2 eggs at room temp
50g sugar
75g unsalted butter, softened (split into 50g + 25g)
175ml milk (lukewarm) 
1/2 tsp salt

Fillings
1 very big apple (increased to 1.5)
3 rounded tbsp brown sugar (increased to 4)
2 tbsp raisins (increased to 3 tbsp)

Egg Wash
1 egg lightly beaten with few drops of water (not included in original recipe)

Glaze (omitted)
1/2 tbsp almond flakes
75g icing sugar
1 egg-white, beaten


Method (translation from Dutch to English)
1. First place the wet ingredients (eggs, milk) into the bread machine or stand-mixer with dough hook, followed by the dry ingredients (bread flour, custard powder). Make sure that you set the salt, sugar and yeast apart, the salt and sugar should be at separate corners, dig a hole in the flour mixture and add in the yeast in the centre. Only add in the softened butter when a rough dough is formed. You may wish not to pour in all the milk all at one go. (I used BM to knead for only 20 min since the book didn't specify that windowpane stage has to be achieved. On hind sight, I should have kneaded longer.)

2. Form the dough into a ball and cover with clean tea towel. Let it proof at room temp for 45 min. (As the weather was not warm, I placed my dough in a lightly greased bowl covered with greased clingwrap and put it in the oven for proofing, with lowest temp turned on about 30C, for about 1 hour)



3. On a lightly floured surface, punch down and roll out the dough into a rectangle of 1cm thickness. Melt 25g butter and spread on the dough with a brush. Peel, core and cut apple into 1cm cubes. Mix apple cubes with sugar and raisins. Spread the mixture over the dough and leave a 2cm fringe free all around the dough. (I realised the apple filling was not sufficient, so I added more apples, raisins and brown sugar)



4. Roll up the dough and cut into 9 equal portions. Place them facing up in a 30-cm (greased) springform, cover and proof for 45 min. (I first sliced off the 2 ends of 2 cm each, before slicing into 9 equal portions. Then because I did not own a 30-cm springform, I placed 6 rolls in a 8-inch/20-cm greased chiffon tin and another 3 in a greased loaf pan.)



5. Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the buns for 30 to 35 min. Remove from the oven and cool the buns in the springform for 15 min. Then remove them from the springform and allow them to cool further on cooling rack until room temp. (After 10 min in the oven, I took the buns out and apply a layer of egg-wash. As I was using 2 separate tins of differing sizes, it was hard to check if the buns were ready. I let them bake for about 30 min, and realised the ones in the loaf pan were more well-baked than the ones in the chiffon tin.)


6. Roast the almonds in a dry saucepan until golden brown. Mix a little egg-whites at a time with icing sugar until a thick glaze is formed. Spoon the glaze over the brioche and sprinkle the roasted almonds on top. Let it dry for 15 min. (This step was omitted since uncooked egg-whites are not so suitable for children.)

I hope you would enjoy this simple belgian apple brioche. My kids, hubby and I enjoyed it so much that we had it as "picnic" (actually afternoon tea) sitting on a mat in the garden enjoying the afternoon sun. :)


Btw, the theme for My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 in Oct and Nov is Taste of Autumn. You are welcome to post any fruits and veggies harvested in Autumn from 1 Oct to 30 Nov 2014 and link to us. For more info, please refer to this link - http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/10/mtr-3-taste-of-autumn-fruits-and.html

And for this coming December, we are holding a Christmas related theme for MTR #4,  befitting the festive mood of Christmas. And this will be followed by 2 months of Chinese New Year related theme for MTR #5 for Jan and Feb 2015. For those who are interested in joining our blog-hop, do take note of the dates. I will put it down on the side of my blog so that it is more visible to everybody. :)



I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also linking this post to "Cook-Your-Books #17" hosted by Joyce of Kitchen Flavours.

And also linking this post to YeastSpotting.



Friday, October 17, 2014

Olive Oil Challah

This has nothing to do with pumpkins or autumn fruits and vegetables, hehe.

This is an olive oil challah that I did few weeks ago and I posted in my FB page back then on 26 Sept. It was supposed to be posted for MTR #2 - Dough Starter Breads but it has been sitting in my computer for weeks, waiting for a chance to see daylight, haha. It was not a very successful bake, because I kind of panicked while doing the 6 plaits and in the end I only managed 3. The steps of plaiting 6 were too complicated for me.  And while it was being baked in the oven, I was busy chatting on FB and whatsapp, and I didn't watch the breads, so they were too brown for my liking. Neverthless, hubby gave me thumbs up and said it was quite close to the butter zopf that we ate daily during our summer vacation in Switzerland. I consider that as a compliment because he rarely give me compliments for my breads. If you are interested in this recipe, for your info, I used the recipe from Wild Yeast blog. :)






Back to the theme for these 2 months, My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 - Taste of Autumn is in full swing from now till end of October November. We welcome any recipes that are related to fruits and vegetables harvested in Autumn. For more info, please refer to this link

Myself and Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House would like to take this opportunity to thank all fellow bloggers for the overwhelming support and I do apologise if I am slow to visit or drop a comment on your respective blogs. My little baby is now 8 months and she is keeping me busy all the time, and not to forget I still have 2 more kiddies who stick to me like chewing gum! 

Just for your info, for this coming December, we are holding a Christmas related theme for MTR #4,  befitting the festive mood of Christmas. And this will be followed by 2 months of Chinese New Year related theme for MTR #5 for Jan and Feb 2015. For those who are interested in joining our blog-hop, do take note of the dates. I will put it down on the side of my blog so that it is more visible to everybody. :)




Monday, October 13, 2014

MTR #3 - Fried Pumpkin Ham and Cheese Fritters


This is a very easy yet delicious savoury snack that I would recommend you to try if your kids do not like pumpkin. I was quite surprised at how tasty these fried pumpkin ham and cheese fritters turned out to be. The pumpkin does not need to be steamed in advance and even if it is not cooked in the inside, it doesn't matter. As long as the crust is lightly fried and crispy, they are ready to be served. 

You can serve this as an afternoon snack or as a side dish for dinner. My little girl is a very picky eater and yet she managed to eat 3 of these fritters. I am sure if she sees cooked or fried pumpkin in any other form on the table, she will not touch it at all.

So here you are, an easy Fried Pumpkin Ham and Cheese Fritters. Sorry I forgot where I got this recipe from. 


Ingredients A:
pumpkin or butternut squash : 300g (skin and seeds removed, shredded)
ham : 85g (cut into thin strips)
grated cheese : 100g 

Ingredients B:
egg : 1

Ingredients C:
self raising flour : 80g (sifted)
pepper : ¼ tsp
salt : ¼ tsp
sugar : ½ tsp

Method
1) Put Ingredients A into a bowl, mix well.
2) Add in Ingredients B, mix well.
3) Add in Ingredients C, combine well.
4) Heat non-stick frying pan with 1 tbsp oil, pour in 1 tbsp of batter mixture, use medium low heat to fry both sides till fragrant and golden brown. Add 1 tbsp more of oil whenever the oil has dried up.

Note:
- If you do not have SR flour, just use plain flour with a pinch of baking powder. SR flour or plain flour with baking powder is required for the fritters to puff up during frying.
- Butternut squash instead of pumpkin can be used, in fact I used butternut squash in this case. In either case, you do not have to steam it but you must drain off the excess moisture to avoid the batter getting soggy.
- The original recipe used grated cheddar cheese, but you can use any grated cheese.

Btw, the theme for My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 in Oct and Nov is Taste of Autumn. You are welcome to post any fruits and veggies harvested in Autumn from 1 Oct to 30 Nov 2014 and link to us. For more info, please refer to this link - http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/10/mtr-3-taste-of-autumn-fruits-and.html


I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).



Friday, October 10, 2014

MTR #3 - Butternut Squash Char Siew Bao

In order to get rid of a gigantic butternut squash that I bought from the supermart, I made a batch of steamed char siew bao yesterday. Guess how heavy that butternut weighed? A total of 1.8 kg and it cost only 1.50 euro! After removing the skin, there was still 1.2 kg left. I thought it was very cheap for such a big fruit, but why was I so greedy, now I need lots of pumpkin / butternut squash related recipes to get rid of this giant!

I have already cut the butternut squash into cubes and placed half of it into ziploc bags to be stored in the freezer. For the other half (600g) still sitting in my fridge, I used 250g to make this butternut squash char siew bao.


The recipe was adapted from my previous post on steamed sweet potato kaya bao that i posted for my Aspiring Bakers #31 eventI am reposting here with modifications that I made. If you add the right amount of water and flour, the dough skin would be very easy to handle, it would be very easy to wrap in the filling, and the resulting bao skin would look very smooth too. The dough did not stick to my hands and I did not use any extra flour for flouring. What I especially like about this recipe is that it doesn't use any crisco shortening (which I am still searching for but no luck so far) and it doesn't use any double action baking powder which is quite impossible to get in Europe unless you buy it from Singapore or Malaysia. So this is a recipe which uses ingredients that are easily available.

Dough recipe adapted from my old recipe here: 

Ingredients
250g steamed pumpkin or butternut squash
250g 90 to 110g lukewarm water (depending on moisture of pumpkin/squash)
500g cake flour (original recipe used pau flour) 
1 tsp baking powder
100g sugar
50g 30g corn oil (original recipe used shortening)
1/4 tsp salt
11g instant yeast (I used Bruggeman, 1 packet is 11g)

Method
1. Steam the butternut squash  over high heat for 15 min and mash them using a fork. Set aside to cool. (You need to drain the steamed pumpkin or butternut squash of excess water, otherwise the recipe for the liquid amount would not be accurate.)

2. Mix about 80g lukewarm water with the instant yeast and set aside. (Keep the remaining water to be added later.)

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine everything including the oil, and mix to form a rough dough. (Do not add all the water at one go, add the remaining water a little at a time.)

4. Continue to knead until you get a smooth, non-stick dough. (I used the dough mode of my breadmachine to mix for approximately 12 minutes. You could use hand-kneading also. I added about 110g water and 30g oil, then I realised the dough was too wet, so I added an extra tbsp of cake flour and the dough was perfect. )

5. Cover the dough with greased clingwrap or kitchen towel and let it proof in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. 

6. After 1 hour, punch down the dough and knead for 1-2 min.

7. Divide dough into 50g portions and shape them into small dough balls. (The dough was nearly 1 kg or 970g to be exact so you would get about 19-20 portions). 

8. If you are making buns with fillings, flatten the dough into a small circle, add in 1 heaped tsp of the desired filling, seal the dough and shape it round, then place each bun with the sealed side down on a paper cupcake liner or square piece of baking paper.  (I used a cake decorator knife to make a pattern on the surface of the buns.)

9. Cover the buns with greased clingwrap or kitchen towel and let them proof in a warm place for another 30-40 min until doubled in size. Do not overproof.

10. Steam in a pre-heated steamer on HIGH heat for 12 min. After 12 min, open the steamer lid so that there is just a small gap, to allow the steam to escape, and let the buns adjust to room temp. This will prevent the surface of the buns to become wrinkly.

For the Char Siew Filling recipe, you may wish to refer to my old recipe here:
http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2013/05/ab-31-smiling-char-siew-bao-hong-kong.html

The char siew I used was a batch of frozen char siew which I made a few weeks ago and stored in the freezer. You can refer to my homemade rice cooker char siew here: http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/06/rice-cooker-char-siew.html




Autumn has really begun. It is always so dark and rainy and there is hardly any sunlight these few days. When I thought I could catch the last ray of sunlight before the sun went into hiding, this was what happened. Somebody wasn't patient enough to wait for my photos to be ready and decided that he was so famished that he had to grab one and stuff it into his mouth! Now you know why it was so difficult for me to take pictures for my blog. :)



Flash back to May 2013, his little sister who was 15 months when that photo was taken (and who is now 2 years 8 months old) was also very impatient and couldn't wait to taste my steamed chicken buns.  So what can I say about my buns. =D



I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

Also linking this to Best Recipes for Everyone #3 Oct 14 - Bun in My Hot Steamer hosted by XuanHom Mum's Kitchen Diary.

And last but not least, also linked to YeastSpotting.



Monday, October 6, 2014

MTR #3 - Pumpkin Carrot Apple Soup with Meatballs


This is a very simple pumpkin soup that I made on Sunday night. As we came home pretty late, and the kids were super hungry, I quickly snapped 1 or 2 fotos and served the soup immediately without delay so that they could eat and go to sleep. It is now already autumn and since my kitchen is always very dark, the few fotos I took turned out to be very dark and blur, hehehe. From now onwards all my photos will look like this due to the lack of day light in my kitchen, so please bear with me! :(

This is a recipe I happened to see on a malaysian website. It is what I consider a western soup with an oriental touch. What is very unique about this pumpkin soup which sets it apart from other pumpkin soups is that, it not only contains pumpkin, carrot and onion, it also contains ginger and apple! The apple gave it a tinge of sweetness and the ginger gave it a tinge of spiciness. A very wholesome soup with loads of vitamines and minerals!

I made some modifications such as adding some meatballs so that I don't have to spend extra time to make a meat dish separately. It was already 4pm when we arrived home after spending the whole afternoon touring a factory nearby (it was Open Bedrijvendag or Open House for companies in Belgium). So there was little time to dilly-dally, luckily I managed to cook up this pumpkin meatball soup within an hour. We ate this soup together with our regular wholemeal bread from the bakery, a very light and healthy dinner for all of us. My 2 older kids loved the meatballs and kept asking for more!

Recipe adapted from here.

Ingredients

400g pumpkin, peeled, seeded and chopped
100g carrot, peeled and chopped (about 1 big carrot)
1 big red apple, peeled, cored and chopped
100g onion, peeled and chopped (about 1 medium onion)
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 thin slices ginger
1 tsp dried mixed herbs (I used 1/4 tsp each of rosemary, thyme, basilicum and oregano)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
700ml water or chicken stock
100ml whipping cream
freshly ground black pepper


Meatballs 
400g minced meat, rolled into small meatballs (I used frozen meatballs from supermart)


Seasoning
salt and pepper to taste (I used 3/4 tsp of fine sea salt)
1 tsp chicken stock granules or to taste (I used 3/4 tsp)

Garnish
1-2 tbsp finely chopped chives (omitted)


Method
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté gently until onion turns soft. (I used a wok to stir-fry)

2. Add chopped pumpkin, carrot, apple, and mixed herbs. Stir–fry well. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. (After boiling, I transfer it to a stainless steel soup pot for it to simmer in the next step.)

3. Pour in half the water or chicken stock. Cover and leave to cook on very low heat for about 1/2 hour, stirring occasionally until pumpkin is soft.

4. Pour the soup into a food processor or blender. Add a ladle or two of the stock. Process to a smooth puree.

5. Return the puree to the pot and add remaining stock. Add small meatballs into the soup. Bring to a gentle boil. Add cream and adjust seasoning to taste. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and it is ready to be served.

6. Ladle into warm soup bowls and garnish with a little chopped chives (optional). 

Useful tip: To make the minced meat into meatballs without spending too much time and dirtying your hands, you can place the minced meat in a piping bag, cut a hole at the edge of the piping bag, and squeeze the minced meat out, then use a pair of scissors to cut the meat into meatballs and let them drop into the soup as you cut. With this method, you can easily make meatballs and drop them into the soup within 2 minutes!


Btw, the theme for My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 in Oct and Nov is Taste of Autumn. You are welcome to post any fruits and veggies harvested in Autumn from 1 Oct to 30 Nov 2014 and link to us. For more info, please refer to this link - http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/10/mtr-3-taste-of-autumn-fruits-and.html


I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).


Saturday, October 4, 2014

MTR #3 - Rice Cooker Pumpkin Huat Kueh 电饭锅南瓜发糕

It's been a long time since I last steamed anything, and it's been even longer that I last steamed some huat kuehs. Since I had already cut open a big pumpkin yesterday, I decided to re-do my pumpkin huat kuehs using the steaming function of my rice cooker. 

I know I would have a problem using my aluminium stacked steamer on my not-so-newly-acquired vitroceramic stove. In fact, I haven't steamed a single bao ever since the last Aspiring Bakers Bao Ho-Chiak event, largely due to the fact that I changed my stove from an electric stove to a vitroceramic one. I realized that the heat emitted by this vitroceramic stove is not hot enough for me to do any decent steaming of cakes or kuehs. Sob Sob! :(
So I tried to use the steam function of my 5.5-cup Toshiba rice cooker and my 10-cup Cuckoo pressure rice cooker for this batch of 9 pumpkin huat kuehs, setting the time as 15 min for each. In the end, it turned out that the multi-cook function of my Cuckoo rice cooker (supposedly the steam function) failed terribly in steaming the huat kuehs. I think the multi-cook function is more like a slow-cook function, since after setting the time as 15 min, the huat kuehs have risen but the inside of each was not fully-cooked! My poor pumpkin huat kuehs had to be quickly dumped into Toshiba to finish off the steaming. 


The result of steaming in my Toshiba rice cooker was OK, considered so-so, can do better. The huat kuehs would have split into a bigger smile if they were in a steamer on a hot gas stove. But as long as they taste good, who cares? :p

Moral of the story: Toshiba is still better than Cuckoo for steaming, but if you use a steamer on a powerful gas stove, it's even better, your huat kuehs will sure huat!

Recipe adapted from my previous post posted 2 years ago.
http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2011/10/pumpkin-huat-kuehfa-gaofatt-koh.html


INGREDIENTS
Dough Starter
50g sifted plain flour
50g lukewarm water
1 tsp instant yeast

Batter
320g sifted plain flour
2 tsp double action baking powder
200g pumpkin, peeled, cut, steamed and mashed with fork
100ml coconut milk
50ml water
120g brown sugar/gula melaka (reduced from 140g)
1 egg

METHOD

1. Dough Starter : Mix all starter ingredients in a bowl and set aside to proof for 30 min.

2. Batter

a) Sift the dry ingredients (plain flour and double action baking powder) in a bowl. 

b) Put mashed pumpkin, coconut milk, water, brown sugar, and eggs in mixer and mix well. 

c) Remove from mixer, fold in the dry ingredients (flour and B.P.) and dough starter using a spatula until well-blended. Do not over-mix else the huat kueh will become dense.

3. Line the aluminium cups with paper liners and pour batter into cups till 90% full and set aside for 15 min to proof. (I used a pair of greased scissors to make the sign of a cross on top of the batter before steaming. )

4. Meanwhile, prepare a steamer and let the water come to boil over high heat. When the steamer is ready, put the cups into the steamer and steam over high heat for 15 min. (The batter was sufficient for 9 to 10 portions of 3 tablespoons each. I set the steaming function of the rice cooker to 15 min, my 5.5-cup Toshiba can only accomodate 4 huat kuehs each time, yet this recipe yields 9 huat kuehs, so I steamed the other 5 in my Cuckoo pressure rice cooker, but they were not fully cooked in Cuckoo at the end of 15 min and I had to steam them longer.)


Btw, the theme for My Treasured Recipes MTR #3 in Oct and Nov is Taste of Autumn. You are welcome to post any fruits and veggies harvested in Autumn from 1 Oct to 30 Nov 2014 and link to us. For more info, please refer to this link - http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/10/mtr-3-taste-of-autumn-fruits-and.html


I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House

Also  linking this to Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN) organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

MTR #3 - Taste of Autumn (Fruits and Veggies Harvested in Autumn) Oct/Nov 2014

Time really flies, my 2nd blog-hop for My Treasured Recipes MTR #2 featuring Dough Starter Breads has already come to an end, without me realising! A big thank you to the bloggers who have lent their support to MTR #2. I realise that the theme may have been a little difficult especially for those who do not bake breads, so that probably explains the fewer entries :)


It is now early Autumn or Fall. It still feels like early summer in Belgium, with day-time temperature hovering around 20 to 21 degrees, but it can get really gusty cold at night, the temp this week is down to about 11 to 12 degrees, an indication that Autumn is already at our doorsteps. 



For the next 2 months, I have decided on the theme "The Taste of Autumn" for MTR #3 simply because I need to get rid of the veggies which I have harvested or am going to harvest these few weeks. Do you have any idea what are the typical fruits and veggies which are harvested in Autumn? The first 2 that pop into my mind are pumpkin and squash! Yes I am gonna have to deal with a lot of pumpkins and squashes in the coming weeks. Help me, I am gonna turning yellow from overdose of beta-carotene! What else do we have besides pumpkin and squash?  In terms of fruits, we have apple, pear, grape, cranberry, persimmon, pomegranate, fig and mandarin etc. In terms of veggies, we have a lot more. Some veggies can be seen the whole year around thanks to greenhouses, but typically the autumn veggies are broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, celery, courgette/ zucchini, potato, sweet potato, radish, turnip etc. Not to forget the the 2 famous exports of belgium, brussels sprouts and witloof (belgian endives). For more details on autumn fruits and vegetables, you may like to refer to this link.

So that's a lot of dishes and bakes that you can make with so many different types of autumn fruits and veggies. If you are interested, do join me the next 2 months in "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn"


Here are some of the rules and conditions for this blog-hop:
1) This blog hop shall last for 2 months from 1 Oct 2014 to 30 Nov 2014. Your post must be a current post within the specified date range. You may submit more than 1 entry.

2) Pls indicate that you are submitting your post to "My Treasured Recipes #3 - Taste of Autumn (Oct/Nov 2014)" hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House. Pls remember to link back, otherwise the entry will not be accepted.


3) Your recipe has to involve a fruit or vegetable typically harvested in Autumn, not limited to the ones I have listed above. Participation is very simple, just click on the "Add Your Link" button and submit through the InLinkz tool.




Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MTR #2 - Another Tangzhong Wholemeal Bread in the Oven


This is a batch of tangzhong wholemeal breads that I did on 16 Sept, wow that was nearly 2 weeks ago! They were actually not very well done because I made 4 mistakes during baking. First of all, when rolling them up as swissrolls, I rolled one of the loaves too wide and had to place it in the tin the other way round, hence you see the difference in shaping between the two. Secondly, I was supposed to proof until 80% and cover the loaves with a lid each before sending to the oven, but because I had to bring my baby to the doctor, hence the breads were over-proofed by the time I returned and there was no way I could produce a rectangular pullman sandwich loaf. Thirdly, I was busy cooking dinner while the breads were being baked at the same time. In fact I was frying pumpkin rice on the stove and did not keep an eye on the breads in the oven, hence the crust was a little too dark. 4) I had to serve dinner quickly to my kids and so I left the breads in the bread tins after removing from the oven, (I knew I should immediately remove and let them cool on a rack), in the end the sides became soggy due to condensation :(


Anyway, I am not giving excuses for making ugly loaves. Just that  I sometimes hope I have more time to shape and bake my breads properly instead of always doing things in a hurry. =)

This recipe is very similar in texture compared to the Hokkaido Wholemeal Loaf I posted earlier except that the Hokkaido Wholemeal Loaf was done in a bread machine. In fact I made these 2 loaves a day or two before I attempted the Hokkaido Wholemeal Loaf.


So here is the recipe for this wholemeal bread using tangzhong method, adapted from Yvonne C's Bread Doctor (65°C 汤种面包,陈郁芬著).


Ingredients A
280g white bread flour
200g wholemeal bread flour (I used Pain de Campagne flour)
50g fine sugar
7g salt (slightly less than 1.5 tsp)
10g instant yeast (3 + 1/3 tsp)

Ingredients B
60g eggs (1 whole egg) at room temp
140g milk, lukewarm
120g tangzhong at room temp (see step 1)

Ingredients C
50g unsalted butter, softened at room temp, cut into pieces

Method
1. Prepare the tangzhong dough in advance (click HERE for how to prepare tangzhong dough), transfer it into a clean bowl and cover it with clingwrap sticking onto the surface of the tangzhong to prevent it from drying up. Allow the tangzhong to be cooled before using. (Note that the tangzhong dough can be chilled in the fridge for 2 - 3 days until the mixture starts to turn greyish.)


2. First place the wet ingredients (Ingredients A) into the bread machine or stand-mixer with dough hook, followed by the dry ingredients (Ingredients B). Make sure that you set the salt, sugar and yeast apart, the salt and sugar should be at separate corners, dig a hole in the flour mixture and add in the yeast in the centre. Only add in the butter (Ingredient C) when a rough dough is formed. Knead until the dough can be stretched into a thin stretchable membrane with jagged edges around the holes. (I used the dough function of my BM, let it run 20 min, pressed stop and start again, another 20 min, stop/start again.)

3. 1st Proofing - Cover the dough with greased clingwrap and proof in a warm place for 40 to 45 min or until doubled in volume.  (Since the weather was very cold, I left it to proof in the oven with lowest heat turned on, about 30C. Instead of heating up the oven, you can also put a bowl of boiling water at the bottom.)


4. Punch Down - On a floured table top, grease your hands to punch down the dough to release air, then divide the dough into pieces of 4 x 220g each. Shape them round, cover and rest for 15 min at room temp. 




5.  Shaping and 2nd Proofing - With a floured rolling pin, roll each piece of dough into a swissroll and place 2 doughs each into a greased 450g pullman tin. You would need 2 small pullman tins. Allow to proof until 80%, then close the cover of each pullman tin, and send the 2 pullman tins to the preheated oven. Remember to grease the lid of each pullman tin! (Since the weather was very cold, I left it to proof in the oven with lowest heat turned on, about 30C. The weight of my dough was 915g so I divided into 230g each. Note that as my loaves were over-proofed, so I did not close the lid, instead I egg-washed them on top before baking.)
 
 
  
6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 15 min or until golden brown. (The book indicated top heat 150C and bottom heat 180C for 15 min, and I placed the loaves on the lower shelf.)

I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #2 - Dough Starter Breads (Aug/Sept 2014)" hosted by myself Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House.

Also submitting this post to YeastSpotting.

For the next 2 months Oct and Nov, the theme for MTR will be "Taste of Autumn". You are welcome to submit any dishes featuring fruits and vegetables harvested in Autumn, such as apples, pears, pumpkins, zucchinnis etc. More details will follow soon, so stay tuned! The link for MTR #3 - Taste of Autumn is here : http://everybodyeatswell.blogspot.be/2014/10/mtr-3-taste-of-autumn-fruits-and.html
 


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Simple Nourishing Apple Chicken Soup


This is a very simple soup that appears on my lunch menu very regularly. I make it on average once a week. It is so simple and yet so nourishing. I just throw everything into a soup pot (you can use slow cooker), boil it for a while, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until the chicken meat becomes so tender that it falls off the bones. There was once I even made a big pot with 4 big drumsticks and after slow-cooking the soup, I scooped up the tender chicken meat, drained off the water and used it to make CHICKEN FLOSS IN MY BREAD MACHINE. :)

So here is the recipe for my favourite apple chicken soup, which I have been wanting to blog about for months. :)

Recipe adapted from Wendy

Ingredients
2 big chicken thighs/drumsticks about 500g
2 big apples, peeled, cored and halved
1.5 litres of water
2 tbsp of goji / wolf berries
1 dried scallop
salt to taste, about 1/2 tsp


Method
1. Wash the chicken and drain off the water. Peel and remove the core of the apples and cut each apple into half.
2. Place the chicken and apples in a soup pot or slow cooker filled with 1.5 litres of water. (You may add goji berries, dried scallop, red dates, or dried longans to make the soup sweeter, it is up to you. I usually only add goji berries or dried scallop)
3. Let the soup come to a boil, then allow to simmer for 1.5 to 2 hours until the chicken meat falls off the bones.
4. If you like to eat with noodles, just throw in some japanese somen noodles towards the end, let it boil for a few minutes and it is ready to serve.


I am submitting this apple chicken soup to Little Thumbs Up (Sept - Apples) organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Doreen of my little favourite DIY and hosted by Kit of I Lost in Austen at this post.


By the way, my second blog-hop My Treasured Recipes MTR #2 featuring dough starter breads is coming to an end at the end of September. If you wanna join, do hurry! For the next 2 months Oct and Nov, the theme will be "Taste of Autumn". You are welcome to submit any dishes featuring fruits and vegetables harvested in Autumn, such as apples, pears, pumpkins, zucchinnis etc. More details will follow soon, so stay tuned!


Friday, September 26, 2014

RCC #20 - Rice Cooker Walnut Butter Cake

I did this cake because I wanted to take a break from baking bread, I have been baking a lot of new breads for my dough starter bread blog-hop these few weeks and after a while, it gets very tiring and I suddenly have a yearning for a rice cooker cake. :)



It's been a while since I last baked a rice cooker cake. I want to give my Toshiba her well-deserved pension, but seems like she has to work longer and harder before she can retire. Doesn't this remind you of what our Singapore government always says? LOL! 

Back to this walnut butter cake recipe. I was pondering between baking a lemon cake or marble cake or a walnut cake. Then I remembered my dear friend Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House mentioning to me how much she liked this cake. So I hopped over to her blog and did my number-crunching to convert this to a rice cooker recipe. Based on gut feel, I just took 3/4 of her recipe, cos I knew that would be just nice and would take 1 hour for my 5.5 cup rice cooker. Don't ask me how I knew, I just go according to my gut feel whenever I need to convert oven-baked cakes to rice cooker cakes, and after doing 20 rice cooker cakes, my gut feel has become pretty accurate! :)



I really like this cake. It is nutty and crunchy, buttery yet not oily, all thanks to the humble rice cooker. It's hard to bake a pound cake which is not oily in the oven, but a rice cooker does this job effortlessly. This cake is extremely wicked (for my waistline), so I decided not to give it any chance of survival, and I *killed* half of it before I went to sleep. :)

Btw, did I tell you this is my 20th rice cooker cake? Shall I pop champagne to celebrate? :)


Recipe adapted from Mimi Bakery House, thank you Charmaine for this fantastic recipe!

Ingredients 
190g unsalted butter, softened at room temp
115g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract/essence
3 eggs at room temp
170g cake flour (superlite flour preferred), sifted with baking powder 2 times
1.5 tsp baking powder
95g walnuts (80g chopped roughly + 15g for decoration)
3 to 5 tbsp milk at room temp

Method
1. Cream butter, sugar, vanilla essence using mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy.

2. Add eggs one at a time and mix well using mixer.

3. Add sifted flour and baking powder, mix well. (Instead of using a mixer at lowest speed, use a manual whisk to whisk very lightly and briefly in one direction till all the flours are incorporated. Do not over-mix.)

4. Add chopped walnuts, fold in briefly using a spatula. 

5. Lastly add milk and fold in briefly using a spatula. (I find the cake a little dry the next day, so instead of 3 tbsp, I would add 4 to 5 tbsp of milk the next time. You may add plain yoghurt or whipped cream instead of milk.)



6. Grease the rice cooker pot lightly with butter/oil. This is a buttery cake so actually there is no need to grease it if you are using a non-stick pot. Pour the batter into the rice cooker pot, you do not have to preheat. Use a spatula to gently smoothen the batter.

7. With the 15g walnuts set aside for deco, you can choose to chop them and sprinkle on top of batter, OR you can press the unchopped whole walnuts lightly on top of the batter like what I did.



8. Press "Cook" and allow to cook for 1 hour. Each time the rice cooker switches to "Keep Warm", just press "Cancel" and "Cook" again. I pressed "Cook" for 3x and it lasted 1 hour in my Toshiba 5.5 cup rice cooker without baking function. If you have "Bake" or "Cake" function, you can use that too.




Notes:
a) Note that cooking time varies based on brand, model, cup capacity and technology of your rice cooker, so please use your judgement accordingly and do not ask me how much time is required for your rice cooker because I am only familiar with Toshiba! You may open the rice cooker after 30 min to check the status. For rice cookers with 10 cup capacity, you are advised to increase the quantity of ingredients (maybe do 1.5x or double) and adjust the  timing accordingly, as this cake is made for a 5.5 cup capacity and is pretty small.

b) Those who have made the rice cooker banana cake, may follow the timing based on what they have experienced previously, meaning if it took 50 min for your banana cake, you can try to aim for 50 min for this cake.

c) I pounded my walnuts using mortar and pestle. The walnuts should not be pounded too fine if you want some crunch in the cake. You can also use the back of a cleaver/chopper to pound nuts in a ziploc bag.

d) This recipe is based on 3/4 of a oven-baked walnut butter cake recipe, so of course you can bake this cake in the oven, just visit the original link for more details.

e) Do not attempt to reduce the baking powder as that much of baking powder is necessary for such a heavy cake laden with nuts. It is best to use superlite flour if you can get hold of it. If not, use cake flour.


By the way, if you happen to make this cake, do let me know how it turns out for you! :)


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