July 31, 2006

sweet buns

It's been very enjoyable in the kitchen I can feel recently. Everything I make or bake turns out really good. The important thing is that everyone likes the products.

Reading and looking up old recipes from the recipes book my mum gave me is truly a pleasure. I can't imagine how many oldies were produced and then developed to be new recipes written in different cookbooks. I simply treasure this compiled recipes book.

There are many recipes of bread-making and buns-rolling I've used to improve the enhancement of knowledge and practices in the kitchen, from David Herbert's bread to one of these oldies comes from one of leading women magazine in Indonesia, Kartini. This magazine, from what I remembered, usually attached a free extra little recipes book in their magazine once in a while in the years my Mum was still active in the kitchen before she got stroke. I always loved this littlies as I often tried out with trial and errors and a little knowledge of kitchen use as I was only 10 or so.

And now, with more developed knowledge and improved skills along the years, I am looking back and I am trying to do it. This time is buns time. I remember it was always a treat for us kids when we were taken to a bakery and were back home with us big boxes of sweet buns with assorted filling. The chocolate filling was always a favorite.

Nowadays, my kids don't have to go to a bakery to get a good taste of sweet buns. I can do it for them! YAY!

Roti Manis (Sweet Buns)
Source: Bonus Masakan kartini No. 493: Aneka Kue ala Bakery

1 kg bread flour, sifted
2 Tbs active yeast
300cc tepid water
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites
40g full cream milk powder
200g caster sugar
2 1/2 tsps salt
2 tsps baking soda
200g butter (softened)

Sprinkle the yeast onto the tepid water and set aside for 10 minues until foamy. Mix together flour and milk powder. Mix the egg yolks and whites one at a time into the foamy yeast. Add mixed flour gradually to the mixture for 45 minutes, then add in caster sugar, soda, and salt, mix well (I used a mixer with dough hooks and mix them until all mixed and then knead it lightly until it becomes elastic). Set aside for 10 minutes. Then add in butter (I used the mixer again, then knead it for the second time until it's elastic), mix well. Set aside for 40 minutes (or until raise well, double in size). Then rolls into balls, put any fillings you like (I punched the dough and knead again lightly, then divide them into 12 equal balls, fill them with smoked chicken and cheese, and chocolate chips). Put them on the baking sheet, brush them with egg yolk, and bake until they are cooked (I bake at 180C for 30-35 minutes). When they are still hot, brush them with melted butter.

Selamat menikmati!

July 29, 2006

along the road

Sunday morning, there's no reason to go back to bed at 6 in the morning. We instantly got up, got dressed, and put snickers on. Out we go to join the crowds.

The road was only small, and it was crowded with people with their own businesses. vendors were selling their stuffs along either sides of the road. Pretty impressive of what they offered, from children clothing, traditional foods, children entertainment, garden plants, until adults clothing, CDs, you name it! Yes, it's called pasar kaget (flee market).

I was surprised that the food was absolutely not bad to my taste, and there was gems as well. Very spongy and tasty. And then these little cakes made from rice flour (we call it surabi or serabi) and eaten with gula melaka sauce (gula melaka, pandan leaves, and coconut cream) are just another option for filling breakfast for the morning.

It was a good morning walk after all.

Pasar Kaget (The Flee Market)
Location: Depok, West Java, Indonesia
Time: Sundays, from dawn to afternoon.

July 24, 2006

popular to some

This one is one of the popular dish I cooked for the occasion. It's the milder version I could create to suit everyone's taste. It requires no chillies or white peppercorns whatsoever. I slow cooked it which would retain its flavour and let the meat absorbs the spices well while it's becoming tender as well.

Empal Panggang (Slow Cooked Spiced Beef)

1 kg Rump Steaks
2 Tbs coriander seeds, toasted
2 tsps cumin seeds, toasted
2 tsps tamarind paste, diluted in 2 cups of water, sieved, reserve the tamarind water
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, bruised
pinch of salt

Preheat the oven to slow (my oven 150C). Trim the excess of the meat, cut up to 20 pieces and 1cm thick, transfer to the slow cooker or put on the roasting dish and you need to cover it with foil. Grind the toasted coriander seeds and cumin seeds together. Sprinkle on to the meat. Pour the water into the roasting dish, add in bay leaf, bruised garlic, and sprinkle with a little salt. Slow cook for 2-3 hours until the meat are tender. Serve warm sprinkled with fried shallots.

tumpeng for sarah

When it comes to a party or a small dinner gathering like last night, I totally devote myself of making what people call treat and entertainment, do my best to keep them indulged and involved with what they're putting in their mouth. I do love cooking and entertaining.

I don't have expensive ranges of cookware or homeware in my kitchen, although I'd love to collect Maxwell and Williams' famous tablewares or Donna Hay's feminine dishes. I think the delightful of entertaining doesn't always depend on how expensive your cutleries are. It's the food, your hospitality, and coffee.

I brought Indonesian traditional meals and snacks to entertain everyone last night, which I just used a humble tray decorated with banana leaves as where I put the meals in. We call it nasi tumpeng, a cone-shaped rice.

This rice is often served in a special occasion such as birthdays. It's served with various type of vegetables, fish, game birds, and meats. Someone who's clever in carving fruits and vegies will put their beautiful handworks on the tray as garnishes. I didn't do that far.

However, it took a very good quality time to cook traditional food. And I have to reduce the amount of spices we normally use to suit people's taste. Some of them just have tasted the food the first time of their lives. But amazingly, some food became very popular to their taste and none was left!

I also made birthday cake for the occasion as well. This is my daughter's second birthday. I think I would make a little cutie one for her. The butterfly worked well on a bunch of flowers. I thought I would make bugs bunny as well as she likes rabbits, but I broke his arm, and I couldn't mend it at the time I want to display it.

Happy birthday, darling Sarah Jane.

July 11, 2006

marking the day

a year ago,
i found this group,
full of people,
who love to cook.

I asked the owner,
and all my friends,
how to bake a very,
very nice swiss roll-cake.

then today,
to mark the day,
i bake myself,
a swiss roll cake.

Meteor Swiss Roll (Bolu Gulung Meteor)
from: Signora Demo
Posted in Natural Cooking Club by Fatmah Bahalwan

7 egg yolks
3 egg whites
50g flour
30g cornflour
20g Full Cream Milk Powder
100g butter, melted
100g caster sugar
1 tsp emulsifier (I don't have it--I use 1 tsp baking powder)
1 Tbs rum (I don't use it)
1 Tbs Chocolate paste (I combined 3 Tbs chocolate powder and 2 Tbs hot water)
Strawberry jam (I use blueberry jam)

Mix eggs, sugar, flour, cornflour, milk powder, emulsifier until white and fluffy, add in rum. Decrease the speed, then add in melted butter, mix lightly until it's combined. Take 2 Tbs batter, add in chocolate paste, mix well. Pour the batter into a greased and lined 26x26x4cm Swiss Roll pan. Spoon the chocolate batter on to it, marking 9 circles. Take a toothpick to take a line up-down, like a tail of a meteor. Bake in the preheated hot oven for 15 minutes or until it's golden brown (Signora's oven temperature is 250C). Remove from the oven, put it upside down, then put the jam on, and then roll.

July 04, 2006

present from the heart

This morning when I woke up and was going to make a breakfast, my sleepy eyes goggled out. I couldn't believe of what I saw. There, on the table, beside my cake which I just finished last night, was a box of a new mixer. A new gadget! My hubby knew I have been wanting a benchtop mixer for a long time, and I didn't think I was going to get it soon, sooner than I thought. As, last time, he just bought me a new deep fryer, so I thought that WAS my birthday present. Apparently, there is another thing. I just can't wait to use it and feel what it's like!

I also received a cookbook and a Janet Frame's poetry and short-fiction book from my sis and bro-in-law and our dear close friends when we had a lunch gathering on Sunday, somewhere in Green Bay. It was Spanish menu. KA cooked paella, spanish veggie stews, poached chickens sprinkled with pinenuts, and beans salad. I loved her veggie stews. She baked me a nice lemon syrup cake for after-lunch. It was just right with a small sweet on the side of the plate. Lovely.

And this morning, my Philipine friend, Bernie, came for a visit with her new friend, Pauline who just moved to her neighbourhood. She is an English. We had a nice chat and I served them the cake and a batch of blueberry muffins. Pauline was very kind as she baked me a small loaf of gingerbread, which was wonderful.

Surely, there's another year passed by, and truly, I will never stop baking my own cake until I can't make it anymore. Take it as a prayer.

many happy returns

What is so special about a birthday to you? Is it a reminder that you're growing older? Or is it just another day? Probably won't be a boring one, as someone would remember your return today (at least your Mum would definitely do).

To me, it's simply just another excuse to try out my skill. I've been learning some methods to make roses out of sugarpaste for months (not that I've tried it every day). I've been allured by the wedding cakes I've seen in one of Australian Wedding magazines. They are ranged from simple, outstanding, to extravaganza designs. Each of cakes bring a different sense, art, and impact on me. My interest is upon a bunch of burgundy roses spray on top of a gorgeous wedding cake. I just love to see it.

I try to bring this 'side effect' to my own cake. Didn't work out that way, as I just could finish two large roses blooms and ten buds, before I was getting sick of rolling the paste, petal by petal. It's so much work, I can tell you, but I truly enjoyed it.

I only baked two 20cm buttercakes, and that was it. All I want to do is just to split them into three layers each cake, sandwich them with strawberry jam and creamy buttercream, then decorate them, with all the tools I've got.

With K.D. Lang on the background, I slowly finished the cake (she sang soft songs, you see--I should be careful before I fell asleep on my cake). I finished at 10pm last night, starting from 5pm (distracted by getting the chooks fed, preparing the dinner, taking the children to bed) before I really got myself into it.

And here it is...