Sunday, 10 August 2008

Easy tempura

This tempura is quick and easy. It's great when you have so many other dishes to be prepared.

Very cold sparkling water
(ice cubes = optional)
Salt and Pepper


Put the flour into a bowl, beat in the egg. Pour the water (and ice cube) and mix. The batter should have the consistency of single cream.
Do not over mix the batter.

Dip the prawns/vegetables in the batter and fry them in hot oil.

Serve with Japanese soy sauce and wasabi.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Inari Sushi

Another kind of sushi. It's delicious, healthy and suitable for vegetarian. Very good for pack lunch too.


8 fried bean curd pouches (abura-age)
1 tsp toasted black sesame seeds (I used white ones)
130g Lebanese cucumber, halved seeded, diced finely (I used 1 grated carrot)
1 ½ cups prepared sushi rice
8 strips seasoned gourd/kampyo (I didn’t use it)

Carefully cut open pouches on one side.

Reserve a few of the sesame seeds for garnish, fold remaining seeds and cucumber/carrot through rice.

Fill the pouch with the rice mixture. Be careful not to overfill or tear pouch.

If you use gourd:

Fold one side of pouch down over rice, fold the other side over the first and turn the pouch over so the join is underneath.

Tie a strip of gourd around pouch with loose knot on top. Garnish with a little red pickled ginger and reserved sesame seeds.

Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008


Extracted from Wikipedia:

A rissole (from Latin russeolus, meaning reddish, via French in which "rissoler" means "to [make] redden") is a small croquette, enclosed in pastry or rolled in breadcrumbs, usually baked or deep fried. It is filled with sweet or savory ingredients, most often minced meat or fish, and is served as an Entrée, dessert or side dish.

In Indonesia we call them RISOLES and use pancakes/crepes for the 'skin' and fill with ragout. That is the common one that you can buy in shops.
Usually served with mustard sauce and bird chillis (small chilli).

For pancakes/crepes:
200g Flour
600ml Milk
3 Eggs
75g Melted butter

Extra egg(s) and bread crumbs

For filling:
200g Minced meat
150g Vegetables (I used grated carrots and frozen peas)
1 Onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of Garlic, crushed and chopped finely
2 tbsp Butter
3 tbsp Flour mixed with 1 cup of milk
1 Stock cube

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and the eggs. Gradually add in the milk, stirring to combine. Add the salt and butter; beat until smooth.
Heat a lightly oiled frying pan (23cm diameter) over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the frying pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each crepe. Tilt the pan with a circular motion so that the batter coats the surface evenly.
Cook the crepe for about 2 minutes, until the edges turn brown. Loosen with a spatula, turn and cook the other side. Set aside.

For the ragout:
Heat a little oil in a pan then fry the onion until soft then add the garlic and fry for a little while more.
Put in the minced meat, fry until it changes colour.
Add the vegetables, stir for awhile.
Pour in the flour and milk mixture, stir until it thickens.

Heat some oil in a pan for deep frying.

Put some of the filling in the centre of one of the crepes.
Fold in both sides, and then fold in the top and bottom to make a rectangular parcel.
Next roll it in beaten egg until all covered, then roll it on the breadcrumbs until it's well coated.
Repeat until you have used up all of the crepes and filling.
Deep fry the risoles until they are brown all over.

Ready to serve.

Note: You can bake the risoles in the oven instead of deep frying, if you want to.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Ronde - Peanut filled sticky rice dumplings with ginger sauce

It's a Javanese dessert made out of sticky rice flour and filled with coarse ground peanuts.
Usually it's served warm with lots of other things thrown in beside the dumplings, like peanuts, some kind of jelly, kolang-kaling or other thing.

Kolang-kaling (Arenga palm fruits) that have been coloured.

It's different from one place to another, but one thing would be the same, they are always colourful. Most common colours would be green and pink.
Because of the ginger and how it is served, it will make you feel warm. This dessert is very popular in colder areas of Java but you can also find it in stalls or some restaurants too. So it will be great as a winter dessert.

The original name is WEDANG RONDE

For dumplings:
150 g sticky rice flour
1 tsp salt
130 ml water
food colouring of your choice

100 g peanuts
75 g sugar
25 g sesame seeds
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp warm water

Ginger sauce:
1 l water
100g ginger (or more if you like it spicier/hotter), sliced
2 lemon grass, smashed
2 pandanus leaves (I use 1 tsp pandan extract)
150g - 200g sugar

Put all the filling ingredients in a food processor and process until it's smooth enough (but coarser than peanut butter). Make small balls and set aside:

Mix all the dumpling ingredients in a bowl and knead until it's mixed well and smooth.
Take one of the peanut filling, cover it with the dumpling dough. Keep making them until both the dough and the filling have gone:

Boil some water in a pot and cook the dumplings in stages until all float and cooked. Put the aside:

Cook all the sauce ingredients in a different pot until it's boiled, simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is very fragrant.

Put some of the dumplings and some dry roast peanuts into a bowl, pour the ginger sauce over while it's still hot.
Serve immediately.

Peeling the skin off dry roast peanuts.

Poffertjes - Dutch pancake balls

They're fluffier than American pancakes because of the yeast. Originally they were cooked in a special pan which makes them turn out like balls. They're served with lots of icing/powdered sugar.


200 g plain flour
7g (1 pack) yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
2 eggs, beaten lightly
500ml (warm) milk
25 g melted butter

Put the flour in a bowl with the yeast.
Slowly pour the milk in, whisking as you pour.
Add the lightly beaten eggs, mix well.
Cover with kitchen towel or cling film for 30 minutes to 45minutes in a warm place.
Mix in the melted butter while you're heating up the pan.
Cook the batter until it's brown then flip it over to cook the other side.
Serve with lots of icing sugar

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Fish Satay

We went to Prague in Czech Republic last weekend. It seems Czechs eat lots of meat because their dishes mostly are meat dishes. I love meat but I really missed fish. So yesterday I cooked this Fish Satay for our dinner, served with boiled rice and spinach clear soup as the accompaniment (my previous post).

FISH SATAY (Sate Lilit)

300g white fish, chopped
300g prawn
500g grated coconut
5 lime leaves, shredded
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
black pepper & salt

For the paste:
1 big red chilli (or more if you want)
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
2 cloves of garlic
12cm turmeric
2.5cm lesser galangal
2 lemon grass (the white part)
9cm galangal
10 candle nuts

Mix all the ingredients and spice paste into a food processor. Process it until all mix really well and form a big clump.
Take a handful of the fish mixture and stick it on a skewer. Flat it a little bit.
Finish all the fish mixture.
Grill them on a griddle / bbq / in the oven until all brown and cooked.

Serve with lemon wedges.

This satay is really good, especially if you want to give lots of flavour to rather bland fish like cod.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

My lunch today, Clear Spinach Soup

This dish is one of my favourite. Bring back the memory of after school lunch. I love to eat it with garlic chilli paste. Great for hot days, served with rice or just the way it is.

I don't cook this dish that often because I don't come across fingerroot spice that often but few days ago I saw spinach theme recipes on one of my Multiply contacts, then of course I remember this one.

Here is the recipe:

1 bag of spinach
2 corn on a cob, cut into 6
1 liter water/stock
5 shallots, slice
3 cm fingerroot, smash
1 lemon grass, smash
1 tbsp sugar
1.5 tsp salt

Boil water/stock, add all the ingredients except spinach and leave it until the sweet corns are cooked.
Stir in the spinach and take of from the heat. Pick out the fingerroot and lemon grass before serving.

Garlic Chilli Paste:
3 Red chillies
1 clove of garlic
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp cooking oil, heated

Put all the ingredients except the oil in to mortar and mash them into paste, then add the hot oil.

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Gluten Free Chocolate (eggs) Cookies

I have previously made several different gluten free cookies for my husband, who's a coeliac. He enjoyed all of them but he thinks the ones from this recipe are the best.
This time I substituted chocolate eggs instead of chocolate bars, to use up all my stock. They are much harder than chocolate bars, so I had to smash them with a meat mallet. The chocolate eggs didn't melt during the baking, and gave crunchier texture to the cookies.

For this month MASTER BAKER CHALLENGE we have to use chocolate eggs or other Easter candies, therefore I created this one delicious crunchy cookies.

Chocolate chunks cookies

170g unsalted butter -- softened
227g brown sugar
55g granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g all purpose flour (I used ready mix gluten free flour)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
285g bittersweet chocolate -- cut into chunks (I used smashed chocolate eggs)

1.Preheat oven to 180C
2.Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and blend in.
3.Stir in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
Stir in chocolate chunks.
4.Drop by tablespoons onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes, until golden brown around the edges.
5.Let cool slightly and enjoy.

The result is a nice firm, crunchy biscuit, more like the European style than softer American style of cookies

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Chicken Satay

This is a popular dish in Indonesia. Very simple and easy to make. Perfect for summer BBQ.

2 chicken breast
3 cloves of garlic, mashed
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
white pepper
knob of butter, melted

Cut the chicken breast into bite size and put them in a bowl.
Add the garlic, sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Put the chicken pieces on skewers (if you use bamboo skewers, please don't forget to soak them in the water first to avoid burning).
Before you grill them in the oven grill or BBQ, brush them with the melted butter all over.
When they are half cooked, brush them with the soy sauce and then continue to grill them until they cooked and brown all over.
Serve them with spicy peanut sauce or sweet soy sauce or just as it is.
(Serves 2 -3)

Friday, 14 March 2008

Royal Foodie Joust

This is my entry for this month's Royal Foodie Joust and the ingredients are Seafood, Lime/Lemon and Coconut Milk.
When I saw the ingredients I was supposed to use I was very excited, because this is the first time I'm joining in and the ingredients are ones I use very often.
On this occasion I would like to share my Indonesian background with you all through this dish.


400g Sea bass (or you can use sea bream, or trout)
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
2 fresh (big) red chillies - de seed one of them
1/2 tsp ground coriander
oil for deep frying
3 tbsp peanut oil
400ml coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp grated palm sugar
5 lime leaves, shredded
Coriander leaves for garnish

With a sharp knife, make small incisions about 1cm apart on both sides of the fish. Season the fish with salt inside and out.

Finely chop the onions and the garlic. Cut the deseeded chillies into thin strips.

Deep fry the fish in hot oil until brown all over. Drain it thoroughly on kitchen paper.

Heat the peanut oil in a large wok. Fry the onions, garlic, chillies and ground coriander, stirring frequently until the onions are lightly browned. Pour in the coconut milk and lime juice. Add the palm sugar and stir until all dissolve and then put in the lime leaves. Bring to boil.

Lay the fish in the sauce and simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes.

Transfer the fish and sauce to a warm dish, sprinkle with coriander leaves and serve immediately with boiled rice.

We had a friend come for dinner last night and she doesn't eat meat, so I made this dish and she loved it.
The lime juice and lime leaves really give the sauce a fresh taste.

Friday, 7 March 2008

The Foodie Blogroll

I started this food blog to share my experiences of being a food-loving Indonesian living in Ireland, to document some of my favourite recipes, and to give . Another reason was to get inspiration and ideas from other blogs, and to get to know other people who share my passion for food.
A little while ago, I found The Foodie Blogroll sign on a site I was visiting, and instantly I knew that it was something I should get involved with. Because my blog was a little new, I had to wait a while before being elligible, but finally a few days ago I applied and very quickly got approved.
I'm looking forward to getting more involved in the food online community, and looking forward to seeing more bloggers join in.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Indonesian Curry

For so many years I have been trying to cook the perfect Indonesian curry for my own palate and so many times I've failed. I know the basic ingredients but I just couldn't make it as good as the way my parents' cook made back in Indonesia. Because of that, I usually just used Indonesian curry sauce from Singapore.

I could buy the sauce from our local Asian shop before, but then the shop stopped importing it. I was desperate so I bought a batch directly from Singapore by post one time and asked my mother in law to bring them back when she went to Singapore one other time, but eventually I used them all up.

I was sad, I always think that this sauce tastes quite original and I love it. Unfortunately it was too spicy for my husband, who doesn't like spicy food despite having me as his wife and his cook for about 6 years.
That made me think, maybe the reason I've never been able to cook the right taste curry was because I tried to make it less spicy for my husband. So a few days ago I was in this mood that I had to make it right this time. I had a chow chow or chayote squash in the fridge and some tofu (I use aubergine/egg plant sometimes for this kind of curry) and I modified the basic ingredients I know.

Chow-chow (Chayote Squash) Indonesian curry
(Sayur Lodeh Labu Siam)

serves 2-3

1 chow chow, cut into strips
2 squares of firm tofu
½ cup shrimps
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped finely
3 (fat) red chillies, deseeded and sliced (I deseeded only two of them)
6 curry leaves
½ tsp galangal powder (1 inch fresh, smashed)

½ tsp shrimp paste
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
2 cups coconut milk

Heat some oil in a hot pan, fry the onion until soft then add the garlic, chillies, galangal, curry leaves and shrimp paste, fry until fragrant. Add the shrimps and chow chow.

Pour the coconut milk into the pan and keep stirring until it simmers, then add the palm sugar, keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the tofu.
Add some water if necessary.

Keep boiling slowly until the vegetables are soft. Season with salt.

Serve it with boiled rice.

You can add or reduce some of the ingredients until you find the right amount for you own taste. Be careful using galangal powder, if you put too much of it, it can make the dish taste bitter.

I was so pleased with myself. Finally I can make Indonesian vegetable curry that is right for my taste, because this is my comfort food when I miss my parents home cooking and I want to share this with the other participants in Monthly Mingle.

Unfortunately my husband couldn't stand the chillies, but that's okay, more for me then :-D.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Diabetic blueberry cupcakes

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, on the week 17th I got really sick and turned out I got Diabetes Mellitus type 1. Of course after that I have to watch what I eat. It's a hereditary disease. I knew I would get it because my father and all his siblings have them and we are not a kind of family who will watch what we eat. We love good food and we eat a lot.

Lots of people I know have this perception that Diabetes is caused by eating too much sugar or sweet things, especially in Indonesia. Doctors in Indonesia (mostly) don't feel they have to give the right information about diabetes, so lots of diabetic patients don't have the right diet or taking their medications properly.
Diabetes medication is really expensive in Indonesia, so if the doctor don't tell the patients the right thing, some of them think it's okay to stop the medication or keep eating fatty food as long as they avoid sugar. Many of them get complications and need even more expensive medications and even surgery, but still they don't understand or got enough information about the disease at all.

I'm lucky (in a bad situation ha ha ha) that I got my diabetes in Ireland. The doctors never hide any information and easy to get informations too. For long time illnesses like diabetes, all the medications are free.

Okay, I'm burbling enough about my illness. What I'm really want to talk about is this cupcake.
I found this recipe from Crazy Cupcakes.

Blueberry (sugar free) Cupcake

175 gm--1 1/2 cups--6 oz plain flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
75 gm--3 oz--1/2 cup butter or margarine
14 tablespoons of Splenda low calorie sweetener
100 ml--5 fl ozs milk
2 tablespoons of honey
1 egg
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
110 gm--4 ozs--1 cup either blueberries, washed and chopped fine.

Pre-heat the oven to 210C--gas 6
Put paper cases into baking tray. This makes 9 cupcakes in muffin size paper cup cases. I do not over fill but prefer smaller cupcakes so I have room for a topping.
Sieve the flour and baking powder together and put into a separate bowl.
In another bowl beat the margarine or butter with the Splenda and honey until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla essence and the egg and beat well.
Add half the flour mixture to the other mixture and all the milk. Stir well. Add the rest of the flour mixture.
Add the fruit of your choice and fold in gently.
Spoon the batter -mixture into the cup cases.
Put into the oven in the top half of the oven.
Cook for 15 minutes. Do not open the oven until this time or the cupcakes will collapse.
Check to see if they are done.
Stick a wood cocktail stick in if it comes out clean they are done . If you touch the surface of a cupcake and it is springy to the touch it is done. If not leave longer in the oven. Depending on the size they can take 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove. Cool on a wire tray.

I topped the cupcakes with natural yoghurt and fresh blueberry.
I love the way the yoghurt complement the cupcakes, it gives a tangy freshness. The cupcake itself is light and fluffy. The only think I will change about the recipe is the amount of Splenda.

The cupcake is a bit too sweet for my liking. After being a diabetic for about 4 years, my sweet buds are very sensitive, I can taste sweetness on everything very strongly.

Even though Splenda is sugar (with much less calorie), it still give the after taste like other sweeteners. In a small amount it won't be too noticeable but in a big amount, it will.
The honey gives enough sweetness already. So next time I will just reduce the Splenda by half and get the sweetness from the honey and the fruits.

Monday, 3 March 2008

Mother's day cupcakes

This was our dessert for Mother’s day dinner. Baileys cupcakes with mocha frosting and drizzled with mint chocolate.
My mother in law and my husband are coeliac, therefore I made this with trytamil flour (gluten free).
This recipe is from Crazy About Cupcakes by Krystina Castella and the frosting I modified from a recipe I have.

Baileys cupcake

75g unsalted butter
225g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c baileys
1/3 c milk
220g all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Pre heat the oven to 160 degrees C, prepare a 12 cupcake pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
Combine milk and baileys in a cup, set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.
Add the egg and vanilla extract, beat well.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, alternating with milk mixture.
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Fill each cup ¾ full and bake for about 20 minutes.

I frosted the cupcake with

Mocha buttercream

150g butter, softened
250g icing sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp espresso coffee powder
1 tbsp very hot milk

Mix the hot milk with cocoa and espresso powder, leave it to cool.
Cream the butter and sugar. Once well combined, add the cocoa-espresso mixture. Beat until smooth and creamy.

I topped everything with melted mint chocolate.

The cake was very sweet even though I reduced the sugar to 200g only. My husband said it was moist and dense but a bit richer than some of the other gluten free cupcakes I made for him, probably because of the baileys.

The chocolate and coffee on the frosting just complimented each other and went very well with the cupcake.

The trytamil flour gives a slight different result than wheat flour. It’s lighter but gets dry pretty quickly. It's easily burnt and tends to overflow, so I used muffin cups that are a little bit bigger than standard cupcake cups. I usually bake gluten free cake as near as possible to the time I’m going to serve them. You only can keep them for 2 days max before they go very dry and crumbly and taste awful.

Mother's day dinner

Yesterday, 2nd March, was Mother's day in Ireland and we invited Andrew's mother and his sister for dinner.
I chose dishes from Bill Granger's recipe book because they looked simple and don't need long preparation. We started with

Ricotta fritters with citrus sauce


250g fresh ricotta
2 eggs, separated
65g plain flour (I used gluten free flour)
zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
40g raisins
light flavoured oil

Stir together the ricotta, egg yolks, flour, lemon zest, salt and raisins. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold through the ricotta mixture.

Heat the oil over medium heat. Drop tablespoons of the mixture into the oil and cook a few at a time until golden brown.
Drain on paper towels while you cook the rest.
Serve with citrus sauce.

Citrus sauce

225g caster sugar
125 ml lemon juice
1 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
(so all about 3 lemons)
125ml water

Put the sugar and water in a small deep (light colour) saucepan over high heat and boil without stirring. Brush the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent the sugar crystallizing. Once the caramel turns a rich golden colour, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and zest. The caramel will splatter, so stand back. Stir gently until the sauce is smooth.

Serves 4

And the main course was

Lamb with romesco sauce
serves 6

Roast lamb
1.8 kg/4lb butterflied lamb leg, cut into two pieces
3 tbsp olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Heat an oven proof frying pan over high heat. Rub the lamb with the oil and season well. Put the lamb skin side down in the pan and sear for 5 minutes, then turn over and cook for 2 minutes. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Slice thickly and serve with romesco sauce, lemon wedges and parsley.

Romesco Sauce
4 red peppers/capsicums, roasted, peeled and seeded.
4 tbsp blanched almonds, toasted
1 tbsp red wince vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
black pepper

Put all the ingredients in a blender and pulse until the sauce is combined but still has some texture.

and I served the lamb with Paella.

The starter was a hit. The fritter was fluffy and the sauce was really lemon-y and gave that fresh taste.
Unfortunately the lamb was still a bit too rare for Andrew's family (who prefer medium to well done meat) even though I gave extra roasting time.
I love the sauce, but I think if it was a bit warm would be much nicer, so next time I will heat it up a little bit before serving.

Friday, 29 February 2008


This is for the first time for me to participate in a cooking challenge. I've been thinking of doing it for quite a long time, but I just didn't have enough confidence. Now I think I'm ready.

This is a challenge from MASTER BAKER CHALLENGE and for this month, the ingredient that the participants have to use is CINNAMON.
Straight away I thought of my favourite cake - called Ontbijtkoek. This cake is quite popular in Indonesia where I'm from, but originally it's a Dutch breakfast cake.
What I love about this cake is the cinnamon flavour combined with palm sugar. You can substitute the palm sugar with brown sugar, but in my opinion it won't taste the same.
The almond on top gives a nice crunchy texture. It's sticky and dense and my favourite way to eat it is with lots of butter.

Usually this cake is baked in a loaf pan but prefer to bake them as cupcakes because it bakes quicker and looks pretty. I've tried to make them with Trytamil (gluten free) flour before and they turned out quite well. The texture a little bit different than the ordinary flour but they still taste very good.

Here's the recipe:

Ontbijtkoek (Brown Spice Cake)


100g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ - 2 tsp spekkoek spice *
40g butter/margarine
5 egg yolks
3 egg whites
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g palm sugar, finely grated
50g almond flakes


  1. Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon and spekkoek spice, set aside.
  3. Beat egg yolks, egg whites and vanilla extract on medium speed until foamy. Add the palm sugar gradually while still beating until thick.
  4. Using a spatula fold in the flour mixture a few spoons at a time, mix well.
  5. Add the melted butter and keep folding until it's all mixed very well. The batter will be runny.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and scatter some almond flakes on top of each cake.
  7. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until the tooth pick test comes out clean.
  8. Cool them in the pan for 5 minutes and then move them to cooling racks.
  9. Serve them with butter or frost them with vanilla butter cream.
(This recipe makes about 9 standard cupcakes or you can stretch to 12 if you want to)

* Note:
If you can not buy ready mixed spekkoek spice, you can make it yourself by mixing well
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ground cardamom

Use it as needed and keep the rest in an airtight jar.

Thursday, 28 February 2008

New recipe book

I bought this recipe book few weeks ago and was waiting for quite a while before finally I had a chance to try it out.
Here I tried the basic chocolate cupcake with vanilla buttercream.

Most of the recipes are repeat, just with different flavour or topping. It's not so bad actually, because it gives me idea for flavours that work together, but I don't suggest to buy it if what you want is more adventures cupcake recipes.

Another thing what I like about this book is, it has metric measurements, so I don't need to convert them before baking.

The cakes tasted like sponge cake and the chocolate flavour is not too much. It's just right for not a chocolate addict like me.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Smoked Haddock cakes

I love fish but unfortunately my husband is not quite so mad about it. Because of that I think we don't eat fish often enough. A few days ago I watched this program about two doctors who went to the North Pole and tried to live like the Inuit hunters do, one of them followed the local traditional diet and the other one ate the processed foods that available at the local shops and at the end of their stay they checked their cholesterol level and blood pressure.

It showed that the local traditional diet is much better because it's mostly fish and sea mammals that are full with omega 3 which is good for building up a good cholesterol level and preventing heart diseases.

I'm a diabetic type 1 and since last year
the doctor prescribed me with Lipitor, medicine for high cholesterol. With all of that I think I will cook more fish dishes from now on.
This is the start.


(made 4-5 cakes)

2 smoked haddock fillets
2 bay leaves
5 cloves

Lime/lemon peel

4 large potatoes
1 cup peas
2 spring onions, sliced finely.
salt, pepper, nutmeg
1 egg, whisk

Poach the fish in milk with bay leaves, cloves and peel over a low heat for about 15 minutes or until the fish
is cooked and flakes easily. Let it cool and then flake the flesh.
Boil the potatoes until cook
ed and mash them, using a little bit of the poaching milk, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Mix in the flaked fish, peas and spring onions. Mix well and let it cool.
Shape the fish mixture into burgers and dust them with flour, dip in the egg and cover with breadcrumbs.
Put them in the oven on 200 degrees C for about 10-15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
Serve them with salad and sauce of your choice.

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Crock pot Peking Duck

I got a crock pot last month as one of my birthday presents. It's brilliant for slow cooking, because you don't really need to do much with the ingredients, just put them all in and switch it on, that's it. You can forget about it until almost time to eat the dish.

I bought some duck breasts yesterday because I wanted to try Kylie Kwong's recipe for Peking Duck. To cook this dish you need to simmer the marinade for several hours and then cook the meat in the marinade for another few hours, so I thought I would just use my crock pot and then forget about it and go off to do my grocery shopping.

Duck breasts
Star anise
Cinnamon bark
Orange peel
Spring onion
Brown sugar
Sesame oil
Chinese cooking wine
Light soy sauce
Rice vinegar
Salt & white pepper
Some water

Put all the ingredients in the crock pot, turn on to low and cook for about 3 hours.
For the sauce, put some of the stock in a saucepan over medium heat, meanwhile dilute a teaspoon of cornstarch with a teaspoon of water and stir it in, bring the sauce to the boil and keep stirring until it has thickened.

The duck turned out really good. I kept it in the oven on a low heat while I was cooking the accompaniment, stir fried Bok Choy in garlic and sesame oil.

I served it with boiled rice and vegetables because my husband can't eat the Chinese pancake that usually accompanies Peking Duck dish.

Happy Chinese New Year 2008

Pancake Tuesday

Yesterday was Pancake Tuesday, and it's a new custom in my family to have them for dinner on this day.

Traditionally they're served with lemon juice and sugar, but I don't really like that combination - I prefer Maple syrup.

But yesterday I made them the way my mum used to buy in bakeries or snack shops back in Indonesia.
The pancakes are filled with thick custard and sometimes people made chocolate flavour pancake too, which is I'm not so mad about. I don't really like chocolate but strangely I love Nutella (in moderation), so I drizzled some on my custard filled pancakes.
It tasted as good as it looked.

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Bread crumbed pork chops

I've been thinking to make this dish for dinner since last Sunday but Andrew wanted to have pizza, so the pork chops had to wait.
Last night I cooked this dish and ran into some difficulty because the pork chops were not thick enough to be stuffed. Never ever send someone who can not cook to buy your ingredients (especially if you neglect to tell them what it's for) ha ha ha.
Anyway, it turned out fine and tasted as good as I expected.
I made the breadcrumbs from gluten free bread because my husband is a coeliac.


2 pork chops (make sure they are thick cuts)

4 sage leaves
1 clove of garlic, sliced very thinly
2 slices of cheese (hard one like cheddar)
1 egg, whisked
enough flour to cover the pork thinly
2 slices of stale bread, processed to make the breadcrumbs
salt and pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
Slice the pork chop to make a pocket, and put 2 sage leaves and few slivers of garlic in each chop then the sliced cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
Cover thinly with flour then roll in the egg and cover with the bread crumb.
Shallow fry the pork until golden brown on both sides, then put them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes (depends on how thick your meat is).

Serve with mustard mashed potatoes and boiled vegetables.

Our 3 year old daughter finished all of her dinner so I think it was good :-)

Monday, 4 February 2008

Blackforest Cupcake

I've had this cupcakes recipe book for quite a while but only yesterday I made one of the recipe that I longed to try.
It's BLACK FOREST CAKES from CUPCAKES AND FAIRYCAKES (The Australian Women's Weekly).
The recipes are very, very easy to follow and I like the end result photos. It has clear instructions for how to make the decorations as well, but what I really like the most is that it has metric measurements beside the American measurements (cups). Makes my life much easier because I don't need to convert the measurements like with my other cupcakes recipe book.

I used low calorie sugar and reduced the amount a little bit, so it's a bit healthier, I hope :-) and I used dark rum instead of cherry brandy.
In the recipe it says to bake for about 45 minutes but mine were cooked only in 25 minutes.

The result was good, if you really like chocolate (I'm not really too keen on chocolate to be honest). I had to put more whipped cream than I intended to, just to cut the rich chocolate-y taste.
The cake is very dense but moist and the taste of the rum is quite noticeable, which is nice.

Our friend Kate was here, so she tasted it too and she thought I'm just weird not liking chocolate that much, so I assume the cake is good :-).
I will definitely make them again if we have chocolate loving guests (most of our friends are).

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Welcome to my new blog

Here is our daughter, Cliona, enjoying a gluten-free chocolate cupcake.