Monday, June 30, 2014

Banana Butter Cake using Egg Separation Method (Alex Goh)

When I saw this banana butter cake from 燕の烘焙屋, I remember saying to myself that I must try this cake since I haven't done a banana butter cake for quite a while. The last time I did Aunty Yochana's banana cake was years ago, and nowadays my favourite banana cake is the easy peasy rice cooker banana cake, which I am tired of making it so often. Hence this is actually quite a refreshing change, although it is much more complicated.

Recipe adapted from 燕の烘焙屋, original recipe is from Alex Goh's Creative Making of Cakes 创意西式蛋糕

Ingredients A
250g unsalted butter at room temp
150g fine sugar
5 egg yolks

Ingredients B
50g g fine sugar
5 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar (optional)

Ingredients C
300g plain flour (I used cake flour)
sifted with 1 tbsp milk powder + 1 tsp baking powder 

Ingredients D
200g ripe bananas, mashed using a fork 
a pinch of salt

(I did not use the method from Yen's blog as I was afraid the banana butter cake might turn out dense and oily, so I did the troublesome way of using egg-separation method following the method of Wendyinkk's NgSK Butter Cake which I had tried once with success.)

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius. Prepare a 7-inch square pan, line the base and sides with baking paper such that the edges hang over the sides of the tin, for easier removal later. I did not grease the base or the sides. (Since I did not wanna use my 7-inch square pan with removable bottom in case it leaks, I chose a recently bought bread tin measuring 23 cm x 14 cm. On hind sight, I should use a square cake tin since such  butter cakes have the tendency to crack into a smile in a narrower cake tin. You can also use a 8-inch round cake tin)

2) You need to have at least 3 bowls, 1 for egg whites, 1 for egg yolks and 1 for sifted flour. Whisk butter and 150g sugar using mixer till pale then add  egg yolks one by one and mix well after each addition.

3) Add in half the sifted flour and mix using mixer at low speed briefly. Add in mashed bananas and mix briefly. Finally add in the remaining flour and mix briefly at low speed till well-incorporated. (If you don't want the bananas to be very fine, use a spatula to fold in the bananas before adding the remaining flour and mixing by mixer. The resulting batter will be very thick, but will become more fluid later after adding egg whites.)

4) In a separate clean, dry and oil-free bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy, then add cream of tartar, followed by sugar in 3 additions. Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks. 

5) Add half of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and mix at low speed using mixer until incorporated. Add the remaining half of egg whites and FOLD using spatula.

6) Pour the batter into the prepared lined tin, smooth out the batter with a spatula and bake in preheated oven for 170C for about 60 min. (After 30 min, as I was not watching the oven but trying to chase after my kids, I suddenly realised that the surface of my cake was cracking, wanted to lower the temp but it was too late. Then at 60 min, I checked with a toothpick and it was still a little moist, so I let it bake for another 7 min at 150C, loosely covered with alum foil.)

7) Remove from oven and let it cool on cooling rack before serving.

If you find this egg-separation method too troublesome, you can refer to the original method in chinese which is simpler. However the egg-separation method will produce a butter cake which is not greasy and very much lighter in texture. If you are not particular about the crack on the surface (some people find that a successful butter cake is one without cracks), then you can use narrow loaf tins or round cake tins, if not try to stick to a 7 inch square tin, and make sure the oven temperature is not too hot.

For other banana cakes, you may wanna check out my easy no-mixer banana cake made in rice cooker OR my oven-baked banana walnut cake.

I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes - Alex Goh (June/July 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House.

I am linking this post to Little Thumbs Up (June 2014 - Butter) organized by Zoe of Bake for Happy KidsMui Mui of My Little Favourite DIY and Jozelyn Ng of Spice Up My Kitchen.

Rice Cooker Orange Chiffon Cake (4th Attempt)

Baking chiffon cake in a non-stick rice cooker pot is really a big challenge, this is my 4th attempt in 3 months' time using the same recipe and I am quite near to success, but not 100% yet. I have never attempted a cake so many times, usually if it fails, I would just chuck the recipe, consider it a gone case and move on. But because this recipe is an oven recipe which I have tried many times before, and I know it works very well in the oven, so when it did not work in the rice cooker, I knew it has nothing to do with the recipe but it may have either something to do with my rice cooker pot's non-stick surface, or something to do with the way I handled the cake out of the cooker pot.

If you look at my 1ST ATTEMPT, I used 5 eggs and it hit the ceiling and collapsed terribly. So I had to adjust to 4 eggs. 

This was my 3RD ATTEMPT using 4 eggs. The quantity of the batter was adjusted to 80% for a 5.5 cup cooker, but I greased the sides of the pot, and I was busy taking fotos after I opened the lid of the rice cooker. Also I peeped twice when the cake was cooking. And when I opened, I did not immediately invert the cake. So many factors contributed to its downfall. Hence the cake shrunk a little, but the texture was still good.

Now this is my 4th attempt, I thought it was near to success, until a baker friend June corrected me and told me my method of unmoulding the cake was not correct. What i did was I knocked the pot hard on the table a few times (with kitchen towel underneath to cushion it) to prevent shrinking, used a knife to loosen the edges before I inverted the cake. This was not right. I would explain later what should be the correct method below, which I will try again in my 5th attempt. 

Now, why did I go to all the trouble to do this, when I could have done the chiffon cake in an oven? Well, not everybody has an oven, so I just wanna show that chiffon cakes can be done in the rice cooker with the correct recipe and correct method. The best way of doing chiffon cakes in the rice cooker is of course to use a disposable paper chiffon mould which you can get from Daiso or Phoon Huat. A picture of the paper mould is shown on my FB album HERE. But I do not have such paper moulds with me in Belgium. This has so far yielded the best results as proven by the inventor of this method, Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House who has baked a cocoa chiffon cake in paper mould HERE, and Rene A Ling who has baked 4 different chiffons using a paper mould as shown HERE.

So if you do not have paper mould, you can try my direct method, but you have to be very careful when you unmould. Granted that you have experience in baking chiffon cakes in oven, and it is not your first time making a cake in the rice cooker, this cake should be intermediate difficulty for you. However if it is your first time making a chiffon cake and your first time trying out the rice cooker, then DO NOT attempt this cake. I have tried it 4 times and still did not succeed 100%, so be warned. If you have a traditional rice cooker, you can try, it should have better success rate than a fuzzy logic non-stick rice cooker, since chiffon cakes do not like non-stick pots. :)

[Important : I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do, and I would be happy if you could give credit where credit is due, and link back to this post if you do make this cake and share it on your blog or facebook. Remember plagiarism is not the best form of flattery. ]

Orange Chiffon Cake using direct method in Toshiba 5.5 cups fuzzy logic non-stick rice cooker.

Ingredients (based on 80% of original oven-baked chiffon cake HERE and HERE)

92 g cake flour (you can use plain flour and cornstarch to make cake flour)
3/4 tsp baking powder
48 ml corn oil
68 ml of warm orange juice (warm up in microwave for 20 sec)
finely grated zest of 1 orange (i skipped the zest this time, and was not so fragrant)
3/4 tsp rum or vanilla essence
4 egg yolks + 24 g sugar + 1/4 tsp salt
4 egg whites + 40 g sugar + 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

** a FB baking friend has informed me that 4 egg version may cause overflow in 5.5 cup Toshiba if you are using BIG eggs. So pls be careful **


1. Sieve flour and baking powder together in a big bowl.

2. In another big bowl, use electric whisk to whisk egg yolks with 24g sugar and salt till light and creamy, about 1 to 2 min. Add in corn oil followed by oange juice and rum or vanilla essence and mix well.

3.  Add in the flour mixture from step (1) into the egg yolk mixture from step (2) and fold in swiftly and lightly using a spatula.

4. In a dry and clean bowl, use electric whisk to whisk the egg whites until there are big bubbles appearing. Add in cream of tartar and beat till it turns white. Add in 40 g sugar in 3 additions, a little at a time and beat until stiff peaks. (Note that it takes about 4 min at high speed for me. The peaks should hold and point straight without collapsing when you turn the bowl upside down. However do not over beat the egg whites. Note that in order for stiff peaks to be formed successfully, the bowl must be dry and clean without any stains and the egg white mixture should not be stained with any yolks)

5. Pour 1/2 of the egg white mixture from step (4) into the egg yolk mixture from step (3), and use a spatula to fold in swiftly and lightly.

6. Pour the combined mixture from step (5) into the rest of the egg white mixture and again use a spatula to fold in swiftly and lightly.

7. Pour the batter into a rice cooker pot, grease the bottom lightly but DO NOT grease the sides!!! Preheat the cooker by pressing cook function 5 min in advance. Cancel the cook function and repress cook again. Cook for about 40 min (for 5.5 cup Toshiba cooker without baking function). If you have baking function, you can use baking function. Note that baking time varies due to different brands and technologies, pls use your own judgement.

8. Now for the last step of removal - I have actually made a few mistakes, and only upon discussing with a fellow fb baker friend June, that I realise my mistakes. So I will only tell you what you should do, so that you will not repeat the same mistakes as me. When the cake is ready, open the lid of the cooker, and take out the pot. Do not take any pictures or waste any time once you open the lid.  Slightly knock the pot on the table once or twice so that the air bubbles in the cake will be "shocked", and will not shrink. If you omit this step, your cake will shrink badly. Then immediately invert the pot. Do not use a knife to dislodge the cake before you invert. Invert it and wait for it to cool down. Once the cake has cooled down, then you can use a spatula to carefully nudge and loosen the sides of the cake from the pot. It should fall off easily.

- I stopped at 17 + 18 = 35 min because my rice cooker was already preheated for too long (15 min) while I was preparing the cake, I should have baked 5 min longer, at 40 min. This is the first time I preheat the rice cooker pot for my cake. If you do not preheat the rice cooker, you should bake for 50 min. You can see a ring that "eats" into the sides of the cake, that probably indicated that the cake was too moist and needs to be cooked a little longer. 

- After pouring in the batter and before putting the pot in the rice cooker, bang the pot on the table a few times (cushioned with kitchen towel) to release big air bubbles and if neccessary, use a chopsticks to run through the batter in a figure of 8 to break all air bubbles.

Note that this recipe is for a 5.5 cups RC, which is 4 eggs version. If you have a 8 cup RC, you can use 5 eggs, if you have 10 cup RC, 6 eggs would be better. Use calculator to calculate, take the basic 5 eggs oven recipe divide by 5, then multiply by N to get N eggs, and you must apply for all the ingredients proportionately. 

- Link for 5 eggs oven-baked orange chiffon recipe is as follows :

- The logic behind knocking the chiffon cake on the table to prevent shrinkage is based on this article by MoreThanBread, shared by my friend June. Read it, it is very enlightening!

If you have never heard of rice cooker baking, do read up the FAQ first and check out my rice cooker cake index, I hope you will enjoy the fun of baking in your rice cooker!

Here are some cake fotos from my baking friends who tested this orange chiffon cakes in their rice cookers right after I posted this recipe. 

30 June 2014 - Wendy's RC Orange Chiffon made in her Toshiba 10-cup fuzzy logic RC with baking function.

4 July 2014 - Iris's RC Yuzu Tea Chiffon Cake made in her Toshiba 5.5 cup fuzzy logic RC without baking function, same model as mine. She pressed cook 3x and took 50 min in total. 

5 July 2014 - Doreen's RC Orange Chiffon Cake made in her Panasonic 10-cup fuzzy logic RC.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast (吴宝春金牌土司)

I finally made this very famous Wu Pao Chun Champion toast (吴宝春金牌土司) on the very same day that I made my rice cooker chicken wings

What is special about this loaf bread is that it requires no dough starters unlike Alex Goh's sweet bread dough or the Hokkaido Milk Loaf, yet the bread has a very soft and fluffy texture even on the 2nd day. Also there are no eggs involved, so it is very suitable for vegetarians/vegans!

For some reason, my bread didn't turn out very nicely on the surface and the rising was not optimum. My result was not too good, I need to try it out again. I am not sure why one roll decided to break into a "smile", like a french loaf. It was very hot and humid here in Belgium during the 1st proofing, in fact I noticed drops of condensation under the clingwrap, but shortly after, the sun decided to play hide-and-seek with me. The sky quickly became overcast and as it threatened to rain, I quickly brought my dough indoors to proof. But our room temperature was only 20 degrees celsius and I didn't wait for it to double in volume, I just proofed for 50 min for the 2nd proofing. The dough did not rise high enough, but the texture was really good, just exactly what the other bloggers raved about. I did not slice the loaf bread until the next day, and being the "kiasu" Singaporean, I wrapped it in 2 layers of clingwrap and sealed it in a plastic bag. It was still soft and fluffy the next day, since the loaf was not big, I finished it for breakfast and lunch all by myself!!!

Btw, this bread is called the Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast (吴宝春金牌土司) based on the famous taiwanese baker Wu Pao Chun, and this recipe has been circulating non-stop in the chinese blogosphere for the last few months. This is really a very good white bread recipe, and since my bread turned out to be pretty short and ugly, I am definitely gonna try again next week with the same recipe but maybe using a different bread tin or maybe baking it directly in my bread machine, to see if it makes a difference.

Wu Pao Chun Champion Toast, adapted from Aunty Young


300g bread flour
24g castor sugar (2 tbsp)
4g salt (3/4 tsp)
3g instant yeast (1 tsp)
198g milk **
15g unsalted butter

** Note that you have to be very precise about the amount of liquid, it should range from 196g to 200g. Pls use a measuring scale and do not use measuring cups.


1. Place all ingredients (except butter) into the bread machine or stand-mixer and mix with low speed, followed by medium speed to knead it into a shiny and smooth ball.

2. Add in the butter and continue to knead until the dough is pliable (smooth, soft and elastic). (I used my BM's dough function to knead for about 40 min, following the time required for Alex Goh's sweet bread. My dough was not sticky to the touch.)

3. Shape it into a ball with the smooth side facing up, cover with greased cling wrap and leave it to proof in a draught-free place for about 1 h or  until doubled in size.  

4. Punch down the dough and divide it into 3 equal ball-sized portions and let them rest for about 10 min. (My dough was about 538g in total, so I divided them into 180g each.)

5. Using a rolling pin, flatten each piece of dough into a rectangle and roll it up like a swissroll, and let them rest for about another 10 min. (It was mentioned that we should poke any air bubbles with a toothpick, I did not do that, maybe that was the reason why one of my rolls split open like a french loaf ?)

6. Place the 3 pieces of dough into a 400g Pullman bread tin.  Cover with greased clingwrap and leave it to proof in a draught-free place for about 50-60 min. 

7. Just before baking, brush the bread with a layer of egg-wash (you can skip that if you cannot take eggs). Finally bake in a preheated oven at 190°C for 30 - 35 min. (I baked mine for 30 min on the lower shelf, such that the top of the bread was at the middle of the oven. If the top turns too brown, cover with a piece of aluminium foil in the last 5 to 10 min.)

This post is submitted to YeastSpotting.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rice Cooker Grilled/Braised Chicken Wings

I dunno why all of a sudden, there is this craze about cooking and baking in the rice cooker in the FB group that I am in. People started making all kinds of things in the rice cooker, not just rice (that is too mainstream), not just cakes (that is also too mainstream), but char siew, soya sauce chicken, and what-nots. And today I tried making braised chicken wings in my rice cookers! Yes, in my "konichiwa" (Toshiba) rice cooker and my "annyonghaseyo" (Cuckoo) rice cooker. Thanks to Wendy, my family was able to enjoy delicious braised and grilled chicken wings cooked in my 2 rice cookers!

I was thinking of making chicken wings today after seeing Wendy post her rice cooker grilled chicken wings 2 days ago. So this afternoon, after baking loaf bread in the oven, I went to the supermart and bought slightly more than a kilo of chicken wings but I couldn't squeeze them into 1 rice cooker! That's when my new Cuckoo comes in handy! Luckily I have 2 rice cookers, haha!

Here is my "annyonghaseyo" Cuckoo 10-cup pressure rice cooker which I just bought in Dec 2013. The colour is red and white on the outside and it is pretty big, as big as my bread machine. This rice cooker actually greets you with "annyonghaseyo cuckoo hamida..." and a string of korean words which I don't understand whenever I switch it on and it puffs like a locomotive when it cooks rice or porridge. Serious, not joking! 

And this is my "konichiwa" Toshiba 5.5 cup rice cooker which I have been using since 2008. It is my little workhorse in my tiny kitchen and it is very quiet, not as "outspoken" as my Cuckoo.

I wish I can show you more pictures of my 2 rice cookers, but that is not the focus today. The focus today is my rice cooker grilled/braised chicken wings recipe, let's see what we need for making delicious grilled and braised chicken wings in the rice cooker. :)

Recipe adapted from Wendy Chun

2 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp chinese cooking wine (you can use dry sherry)
1 tbsp honey
*1 tbsp maltose (I used korean cooking syrup)
*1 tbsp ginger juice (I used 1 tsp ginger powder)
pinch of pepper

* if you have no maltose, just replace with honey
* ginger juice is extracted by shredding a piece of ginger and extracting the juice by squeezing through a sieve.

1. Get ready 500g of mid-joint chicken wings and marinate them for at least 3 to 4 hrs. (I marinated them for only 45 min but they still turned out pretty well. Since I bought 1 kg of wings, I made double the amount of marinade)

2. Place the wings in the rice cooker pot, and pour half of the marinate/sauce over it. Remember to place the fleshy side of the wings downwards and the skin facing upwards.

3. Press COOK and allow to cook for 45 min. If the COOK button pops up before 45 min, just press it again. (I let my Toshiba cook for 45 min and I let my Cuckoo cook for 35 min.)

4. After 30 min, flip the chicken wings so that the fleshy side is facing upwards now. If necessary, flip the wings a second time towards the end to allow both sides to be grilled equally.

5. When time is up, remove and serve. If you feel that the wings are not grilled enough or the colour is not golden brown, you can let them cook further. Cooking times vary due to different brands, capacities and technologies, pls use your judgement to adjust accordingly.

- Do not pour all the sauce into the pot, otherwise the wings will take longer to grill. If there is more sauce, it will get braised instead of grilled. During the last 15 min, if there is still a lot of sauce, remove some and set it aside for later, so that the wings can be grilled to golden brown.

- You may think that the amount of sauce is very little, and you are tempted to pour everything in. But do note that the chicken wings actually emit moisture when they are cooked, so you will end up with more sauce after cooking!

- My 10-cup Cuckoo, being a bigger rice cooker (and pressure cooker), was able to cook the chicken wings to a more tender texture. In fact, the chicken meat was so tender that it fell off the bones easily. But because I placed too much marinade inside the pot, the wings were braised instead of grilled. On the other hand, although my 5.5 cup Toshiba took 45 min and the wings were golden brown, the meat did not fall off the bones easily. So that was the difference between the two batches.

If you like to experiment with your rice cooker in cooking or baking, you can check out my rice cooker recipe index HERE, or subscribe to my EEWIF facebook page for faster updates! 

Monday, June 23, 2014

RCC #18 - Rice Cooker Cheddar Cheese Cake (Alex Goh Recipe)

This recipe came about when I chanced upon a steamed cheese cupcake recipe in a FB group. The foto of the cupcakes looked lovely, but as I read further, I was surprised to see that the poster of that particular recipe indicated beating of egg yolks with sugar for 30 min and the steaming also for 30 min! The recipe was ambiguous and did not indicate whether you need to beat egg yolks by hand or using cake-mixer and to what stage. So that piqued my curiousity and I decided to investigate further. I googled and realised that the cupcake recipe was very similar, in fact almost identical to a steamed cheddar cheese cake recipe posted earlier by Peng's Kitchen and AngelCookBakeLove. In fact the entry by Peng's Kitchen has actually been submitted to my AB #25 - Steaming Hot Cakes event. How could I have missed it? 

Since I am hosting Alex Goh's bloghop event these 2 months in June and July, this is a good opportunity for me to test out this cake. And what better way to do it than as a rice cooker cake? :D

I did this in a hurry while my baby daughter was fast asleep, so everything was rushed from start to end, so that I could finish everything before she woke up. This must be my ugliest rice cooker cake. I thought I have to line the pot with baking paper since this is a cheese cake, but turned out that my worries were unfounded and the cake surface became so ugly. However this cake is soft and crumbly, tastes like a steamed egg cake (kueh neng ko) without the eggy taste but with a very mild cheddar cheese flavour. It is not oily at all bcos there is not much butter inside but it does taste very much like a crumbly, moist, savoury butter cake. It does not taste like a japanese cotton cheese cake at all. The cake texture is very similar to my Japanese Kasutera Cake which also required the egg yolks to be beaten till ribbon stage.

Recipe adapted from Alex Goh’s Magic Steamed Cake, reference AngelCookBakeLove and Peng’s Kitchen

Ingredients (A)
3 large eggs at room temp
100 g sugar 

Ingredients (B)
4 slices sliced cheddar cheese cut into pieces (total 80g)
125 g milk
80 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces 

Ingredients (C)
220 g plain flour (I used patisserie flour, you can use cake flour if you like) 
1 tbsp double action baking powder 

1) Cook (B) over double boiler until the butter and cheese are melted. You can melt in microwave too, do it 15 sec at a time on high heat. Allow the butter-cheese mixture to cool down.

2) Whip (A) until sugar dissolves and the batter becomes cream-white and thickened. I beat using handheld mixer for 7 to 8 min on high, until the egg yolk batter reaches ribbon stage, i.e. the batter drops and forms a ribbon before disappearing again. You should not have to beat the egg yolk batter beyond 10 min if you are using handheld or stand-mixer such as KA or Kenwood.

3) Add (A) into (B), and mix with hand-whisk or spatula until well-combined.

4) Fold in sieved (C) in a few additions, fold in gently but thoroughly using a spatula or hand-whisk after each addition. The batter is quite thick, you have to make sure specks of flour are fully incorporated, yet do not deflate the batter too much. Otherwise you will find tiny specks of flour in the cake like what happened to me bcos I was too careful not to deflate the batter and I thought I have folded in thoroughly.

5) Pour into a greased rice cooker pot. Use a chopstick to quickly run through the batter to remove any big bubbles and bang the rice cooker pot on a kitchen towel on tabletop a few times to release any big air bubbles. 

6) Press COOK and allow to cook for 40 to 45 min. My cooker is Toshiba 5.5 cup fuzzy logic without baking function. Since the original recipe says to steam in a 8 inch greased cake tin, I always add 10 to 15 min to steaming time in steamer in order to estimate the time taken for my 5.5 cup rice cooker. But if yours is 8 cup or 10 cup, the time taken will be shorter if you don’t adjust the amount of ingredients, maybe about 30 to 40 min or so. However for 8 cups or 10 cups cooker, you may wish to increase the ingredients by 50% to achieve a taller cake, then you need to adjust the time accordingly. I always press cook until the cycle when I can smell the cake aroma, then I know roughly when to stop. Another gauge is to look at the max height reached by your cake batter and compare with the timing of previous rice cooker cake recipes.

Extra Notes:
- The texture is like RCC #7 japanese kasutera cake, it is crumbly in texture. RCC #7 also used the same method of beating egg yolks until ribbon stage.
- The cake is savoury due to the cheddar cheese, so don’t use salted butter or add any salt.
- This cake is just like steamed egg cake (kueh neng ko) without the eggy taste, but with a mild cheddar cheese flavour. The taste and structure is NOT like japanese cotton cheese cake at all.
- You can steam this in a 8 inch cake pan as per orginal recipe, timing is 30 min over medium high heat. You can steam these as cupcakes also. Estimated timing is 15 to 20 min for small cupcakes or 20 to 25 min for big cupcakes.
- The cheddar cheese I used is the Laughing Cow brand, you can use any good brand that you like, 4 slices is 80g, they come in pack of 10 slices, total 200g
- I lined the pot with baking paper as I was afraid it would not come out easily. This worry was unfounded and it caused the surface of my cake to be really ugly. So there is no need to line the bottom of the pot, just greasing the bottom and sides will do.
- The actual cake could have been even taller but I spooned out 6 heaped tbsp of batter to make steamed cupcakes in steamer. The cake actually was dome-shaped, it ballooned very much while in the cooker, but the balloon lost its air and the surface became flat when I opened the cooker. Luckily it did not shrink or collapse.

Reference Links:

How to beat egg yolks with sugar until ribbon stage?

Eggs - Beating Techniques for Whole Eggs and Yolks

I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes - Alex Goh (June/July 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Rice Cooker Char Siew (电饭锅叉烧)

This is another of my backlogs, which I did on Thur 19 June 2014, a very easy but delicious rice cooker char siew. Yes, this was done in a rice cooker, don't believe, just click on the facebook link (click HERE). This was inspired by a fellow member from a FB group, Wendy Chun. Thanks to Wendy, I was able to make this easy peasy char siew in my Toshiba rice cooker. I marinated this rice cooker char siew using my old char siew recipe.

I finally have some time to write down the detailed step by step instructions in my blog. Here are the steps:

1) Buy pork shoulder or better still, armpit meat called 不见天 from the butcher.
This was not exactly pork shoulder, I just took a piece of pork from my freezer meant for roasting.

2) Marinate the pork using your preferred recipe, for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight. The longer the better. Prick your meat with fork to allow the marinade to be absorbed. If you do not have a marinade recipe, you can follow my recipe here, I used the sweet version by Lily Ng. (Seasonings: 2½ tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder, 2 tsp light soya sauce, 1/4 -1/2 cup sugar, 1 tbsp chinese rice wine or sherry, 1/2 tsp 5-spice powder, 1/4 tsp salt, dash of pepper)

3) Pour everything including sauce into the rice cooker and let it cook for at least 1 hour by pressing the COOK button. After 30 min, flip the meat once. At about 50 min, remove half the sauce and set aside in a bowl, and allow the char siew to be "grilled" or "roasted" in the rice cooker. Of course there is no "grill" or "roast" mode in the rice cooker, what I mean is if you put in less sauce, the meat will brown faster. Flip again if necessary. Mine was done in 70 min. My rice cooker is Toshiba 5.5 cups fuzzy logic with NO BAKING FUNCTION, I just used COOK function. You can see a picture of it being pasted several times on my blog, just have to search for it.

Just before pressing COOK button.

最好是买俗称 "不见天" 的猪肉,基本上是猪的腋下的肉,只要跟屠夫说要做叉烧的肉就可以了。
1) 把猪肉洗好沥干水分,然后腌至少2个钟头,最好过夜。中文食谱请点击这里
2) 把腌好的肉和汁一同倒进饭锅, 按COOK 煮至少一个钟头。
3) 30 分钟后,开锅盖,小心不要烫伤,把猪肉翻过来,再继续煮。 再过20分钟, 也就是煮了50分钟后,把一半的汁倒出来,搁在碗里备用。猪肉会在剩余的汁里,会烤得更美。
4) 我总共煮70分钟。用的是Toshiba fuzzy logic 5.5 cup 的 电饭锅,无烘烤蛋糕的功能。

After 30 min.
Almost done, sauce has thickened.

Finished cooking in rice cooker. Just before cutting.
This recipe is really very easy and the result was very good. A few of us have tried it in our FB group after Wendy posted her foto there. Do give it a try if you would like to make your own home-made char siew. We have also tried roasting soya sauce chicken HERE.

If you would like to try to baking in rice cooker, you can check out my rice cooker cakes listed HERE and my rice cooker cooked dishes HERE.

Rice Cooker Soya Sauce Chicken

Recently I have too many backlogs, too many things to do, too little time to blog and sleep. All I could do was just to upload my recipe fotos on my FB, but I soon realise that if I don't follow up , then the recipes start to pile up, or get misplaced somehow. I have misplaced so many recipes that I have tested with carefully handwritten notes, until I lost count. Sometimes my older daughter would draw on them, and throw them into the dustbin and there goes all my effort. :(

Anyway, this is a rice cooker soya sauce chicken which I did on...let me check...Tuesday 17 June 2014. I have already uploaded the fotos and instructions on my facebook. It was a very easy dish and absolutely delicious. I saw the recipe from a fellow member in FB group and adapted her recipe. The link is provided in my FB post (click HERE).

I will just upload the picture first and follow up with the recipe when time permits. If you want faster updates, do subscribe to my facebook, that is where I would usually first post the fotos. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

7 Strokes Blueberry Yoghurt Muffins

I bought 2 boxes of blueberries of 125g each few days ago, intending to make blueberry muffins or a blueberry cake but I forgot all about them until I opened the fridge on Sunday. Oh gosh, they were still there! So I quickly searched my pinterest board for a blueberry muffin recipe which I have bookmarked for very long.

Turned out this blueberry muffin recipe does not require any cake-mixer, the butter has to be melted instead of creamed with sugar, and it is specifically stated in the recipe to fold in the flour with 5 strokes. 5 strokes? How is that possible???

I tried folding in the flour with 5 strokes, but I think I exceeded 5, probably did 7 to 8 gentle strokes with my rubber spatula. The batter was not thick, and it was not difficult to fold in the flour, but I always have a tendency to continue folding until I don't see any white specks of flour. Which was why the recipe specifically stated 5 strokes, perhaps the author of the recipe knew that people would end up with 7 to 10 strokes? The key is to make do with as few strokes of folding as possible, because if you over-mix, your muffins will end up tough and compact instead of soft and fluffy.

My favourite baking website Joy Of Baking has an explanation on this:
It says and I quote
"The important step here is not to overmix the batter.  However, there is a tendency to over mix because the ratio of liquid to flour is quite high. But mixing too much overdevelops the gluten in the flour which will cause a tough muffin with tunnels and a compact texture. Only 10 to 15 strokes are needed to moisten the  ingredients and the batter should be still lumpy and you may still see a few traces of flour.  Don't worry about these lumps as the batter continues to blend as it bakes and any lumps will disappear.  Note:  Over mixing the muffin batter causes it to become very stringy.  This is the gluten developing in the flour.  Over mixing causes long strands of gluten to form making it hard for the leavener to work and causes long tunnels in the baked good."

Voila, the experts explain it better than me. Joy of Baking states that 10 to 15 strokes are required, that is probably for bigger amounts of batter, but I remember reading somewhere that 7 strokes is all it takes for such bread-like muffins, which was why I settled for 7. :)

The cake-like muffins on the other hand, requires creaming butter and sugar just like how you would prepare a cake batter. But why don't we have to fold in with fewer strokes for the cake-like muffins? The reason is because the high sugar and fat content in cake-like muffins act as tenderizers, thereby producing a richer muffin with a softer crumb. The increased fat content also minimises the development of gluten which helps to produce a muffin with a softer crumb. 

Okay, so much theory behind baking muffins. Thank goodness amateur home bakers like me have websites such as Joy Of Baking to help explain the complicated stuff. :)

Recipe adapted from Florence of Do What I Like

145g SR flour, sifted (I used cake flour with 1.5 tsp baking powder)
1/2 cup fresh blueberries or more, wash and dried (I used about 80g)

Ingredients B
1 egg (lightly beaten) at room temp
55g sugar
60g melted butter (melted in hot water bath or in microwave for 30s)
2 tbsp milk
120g plain yoghurt (I used whipping cream as I didn't have yoghurt)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

1. Mix ingredients A together, basically let the blueberries be covered by flour.

2. Mix ingredients B together in a mixing bowl, using a spatula.

3. Pour A into B and mix everything in 5 strokes 7 strokes.

4. Spoon batter into muffin tray lined with paper muffin cups up to 85% full.

5. Bake in the middle rack of a preheated oven at 190C for 20 tot 30 min or until cooked. I baked mine for 25 min. 

This recipe will give you 8 small muffins. I spooned too little batter for my muffins, this was probably an over-reaction from the experience I had previously with my over-flowing carrot muffins, haha. If you spoon 2 tbsp of batter into each muffin cup, you will get 8 instead of 10, because I spooned 1.5 tbsp of batter for each muffin and I ended up with 10.

They were indeed soft and fluffy, and not too sweet, and filled with blueberry goodness. I can easily finish one muffin in one bite. These muffins were very easy to make and the taste was great, so this is a keeper recipe!

By the way, I have to tell that this is my 300th post. 4 years and 2 months after my blog was set up in April 2010, I am still alive and kicking!!! And from 1 child to 3, oh gosh, I am so productive!!! :D

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