November 29, 2007

KBB#2: Chocolate Mousse Cake

This time challenge of Klub Berani Baking is Chocolate Mousse Cake, and it reserves many versions of difficulties while making the task. I quite am enjoying every member's hint of stories discussed in the group's mailing list. Very interesting.

This is my entry of Klub Berani Baking, hosted this periode by Ema.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Source: Penny Oliver. Cuisine.


4 eggs,
¾ cup caster sugar,
2/3 cup flour (all-purposed),
1/3 cup cornflour,
1 tsp baking powder

Beat the eggs with an electric beater until very thick and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar and continue beating until the mixture becomes white and very thick. Sift all the dry ingredients together and gently fold them into the egg mixture. Pour the cake mixture into a buttered and floured 26-28cm spring form cake tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for 25-30 minutes. Turn the cake onto a rack and cool. Transfer the sponge to a serving plate. Fix a fold of strong tin foil around the cake to form a collar, ready tor eceive the chocolate mousse mixture.


250g cooking chocolate,
6 eggyolks,
250g soft butter,
6 egg whites

Melt the chocolate over hot water. Beat the egg yolks and blend with the chocolate to mix well. Beat in the softened butter. Beat the egg whites stiff to the stiff peak stage. Fold the stiffly beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Pour the chocolate mixture over the cake. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.


300ml cream, whipped,
100g cooking chocolate melted with 50ml of cream and 3 Tbs of brandy

Cover the cake with whipped cream and drizzle over a little melted, flacoured chocolate. With each slice of cake serve a little extra flavoured, melted chocolate on the side.

In Bahasa Indonesia

Tantangan kedua adalah cake yang dialasi mousse dan ditutup dengan krim kocok dan dibalur lelehan coklat. Cakenya sendiri berupa sponge cake dan tidak termasuk cake yang rich dengan telur yang banyak ditimpahi dengan lelehan mentega, sehingga memiliki tekstur yang berbeda dengan Lapis Surabaya. Lapisan kedua adalah mousse yang dibuat dari coklat dengan kocokan kuning telur, mentega lalu mencampurkannya dengan kocokan putih telur. Saat coklat sudah meleleh dan kuning telur sudah masuk, ternyata perlu kerja keras mengocok mentega ke dalam campuran coklat-telur. Aku cuma pakai baloon whisk, jadi bisa dibayangkan otot lenganku yang berubah jadi lengan Popeye hihihi...

Menurutku rasa cake plus mousse plus topping enak dimakan sebagai dessert dan ditemani dengan berries, buah-buahan segar, atau raspberry coulis. Karena cuma aku yang makan dark chocolate di rumah, cake ini sempat menginap di freezer selama seminggu. Kangmas ga suka dark chocolate, lain kali aku mau cobain bikin mousse pake milk chocolate. Karena ga ada lagi makan cake ini (aku ga kasih anak-anak dessert rich kayak begini, bisa-bisa kambuh deh eczema mereka), aku remas-remas mousse dan sedikit cake crumbs dijadiin chocolate truffles, lalu diselimuti dark chocolate kesukaanku, Whittaker's Dark Ghana 72%. Nyam!

Setelah sukses dengan tantangan pertama Paris-Brest, ini hasil karyaku untuk tantangan yang kedua ini, yang diselenggarakan di bakery-nya Ema.

Chocolate Mousse Cake

Sumber: Penny Oliver. Cuisine.


4 btr telur,
¾ cup gula kaster,
2/3 cup tepung terigu,
1/3 cup tepung maizena,
1 sdt baking powder

Kocok telur menggunakan mixer hingga naik dan kental. Tambahkan gula sedikit demi sedikit sambil terus dikocok hingga adonan putih dan sangat kental. Ayak semua bahan kering lalu campurkan ke dalam adonan telur hingga rata. Tuang ke dalam loyang ukuran 26-28cm yang sudah diolesi mentega dan ditaburi tepung. Panggang dengan oven yang sudah dipanaskan terlebih dahulu suhu 190C selama 25-30 menit. Keluarkan cake dari loyang dan letakkan ke atas rak, dinginkan. Letakkan cake ke atas piring saji. Eratkan aluminium foil ke sekeliling cake (kalau mau bisa pakai baking paper tapi digandakan, supaya bisa tegak dan lebih kukuh kalau disiram dengan mousse nantinya).


250g cooking chocolate (saya memakai Cadbury Old Gold 70%),
6 kuning telur,
250g mentega lunak,
6 putih telur

Tim coklat hingga leleh. Kocok kuning telur lalu campurkan dengan coklat, aduk rata. Tambahkan mentega sambil dikocok. Kocok putih telur hingga kaku. Masukkan adonan putih telur ke dalam adonan coklat. Tuang adonan ini ke atas cake. Tutup dan dinginkan selama 4 jam atau semalaman.

(Jika menggunakan thickened cream, pakai 250g lalu kocok dan campurkan ke dalam adonan coklat).


300ml krim, kocok,
100g cooking chocolate dilelehkan dengan 50ml krim dan 3 sdM brandy (brandy bisa dihilangkan atau diganti dengan vanili—meskipun tidak sama setidaknya ini memberi flavour ke coklat)

Tutup cake dengan krim kocok lalu tuangi coklat leleh tadi. Potong dan sajikan dengan sedikit tambahan coklat leleh di sisinya.

November 25, 2007

Courgette and Capsicum Quiche

With high quantity of home-produced eggs, I often make quiches or egg pies-that's my brother-in-law names. I dare myself to make Lapis Surabaya, the cake icon of Indonesia, or other cakes which use trays of eggs. Next it will be lapis legit, and oh yeah, it uses quite a lot of eggs! Dare not, my dear friends, I've got a lot to lose!

Enough with the cake, really, I've baked so much lately. Two swiss rolls in a week! I baked green cheese rolls for morning tea when we had a picnic lunch down the Waikato river and then I baked African Gateau Rolls (which I coat with 70% dark chocolate melted with sour cream and a little bit vanilla extract) for my mum-in-law's birthday dinner last night. And now, I baked another egg pie for lunch.

Well, CookSister invites us to bake topless tart, and I am sending her way this egg pie on the occasion of Waiter....

Courgette and Capsicum Quiche

1 quantity home-made short crust pastry (24cm flan tin), blind baked,
1 courgette, thinly sliced,
1 capsicum, diced,
8 eggs,
1 Tbs cream,
1 sprig parsley, chopped,
1 cup grated Colby Vegetarian Cheese,
freshly cracked salt and pepper,
extra cheese to sprinkle

Whisk the eggs with cream and chopped parsley. Season well. Add in the grated cheese. Put the sliced and diced vegetables on the base of blind baked pastry. Pour over the egg mixture, sprinkle with extra grated cheese, and bake for 30 minutes at 180C or until cooked and golden. Serves 8.

Whitebaiting Down the Waikato River

I and Ralph have been talking about going down the river to do whitebaiting for quite a long time before they went to India, and apparently it could just happen last Wednesday. The morning was just gorgeous with bright sunshine, although it became cloudy towards midday. When we arrived at Ralph and Sue Dwen's house, Barbara and Bryan had just arrived. We went down the river afterwards where Ralph had been expecting us. The path was a bit muddy at some parts, but it was not that bad.

Ralph was waiting for the bait while he was welcoming us. The Dwens have been whitebaiting for a few generations and Ralph is the one who's practically into it. Every year, he always invites us to come down and gives us the catch of the day to take home. At this time, we had whitebaites fritters: fresh catch of the day, freshly cooked by Sue, and fresh view of the river itself.

Whitebaites are baby fish which only can be caught in the net in September to November, and it's quite an expensive New Zealand delicacy. They taste sweet, nothing like mud-flavour you can sometimes find in river fish. Perhaps, that's the ultimate satisfaction flavour of catch of the day. Very fresh, very sweet.

It was a very nice light lunch. Barbara baked potato foccacia, and we had lunch with all sort of things. Of course, I also had baked scones, green cheese rolls, mini vegetable quiches, and also brought Greek Shortbreads for, especially, Barbara to taste. It was just a great farewell, actually when we don't get to see Barbara and Bryan before they moved to Queensland. Good luck, Barb!

You can view more photos on my photo album at Whitebaiting Down the Waikato River.

November 19, 2007

Indonesian Traditional Feast: Gemblong

One of childhood delicacies.

Maybe I have been talking much about my childhood, but isn't it wonderful to have a happy memory of early ages? We won't be back to that certain stage of age, no matter how much we want it. Once long gone, it's gone. But memories remain, kept in the very subconscious mind or perhaps kept in the heart when times were spent with loved ones and was being loved at the same time.

What about food? Well, I guess recipes can be invented, developed, then improved, I don't worry I won't meet that kind of childhood food anymore. Although more people of my generation of culture at this modern technology time tend to like what they find new and luxurious in the name of exploring new flavour, new taste, or new cuisine, still there are people out there who love spending time in the kitchen, trying, experimenting, and perhaps improving traditional foods.

Childhood food has a great bond with traditional values. I have no idea if children in my home-country at present are aware of what their parents ate at their times when they were young. If the parents don't want to re-enter the memories and share them with the kids, then the values might not be acknowledged, on the other hand, the values will be buried, forever. Sadly saying, but true. Kids todays are making friends with Mac Donald and choosing his burgers as their favourite meals rather than being humble talking about their mother's home-cooking.

However, I am still optimistic that there are wise mothers in Indonesia who still keep traditional cooking as well as traditional values and customs in the family who are thinking the same way: Bangsa yang besar adalah bangsa yang menghargai budayanya (to be a great nation is to appreaciate its cultures), with an addition: not only to appreciate, but also to keep.

I am sending this childhood delicacy to you who are coming to mingle with Meeta for her latest Monthly Mingle project. Have a great fun!

Gemblong (Caramel Sticky Rice Cakes)

Gemblong [gem-blong]. Another version of these cakes is made from black rice flour, very much found in Batavia (Jakarta today). Traditional cakes like this one are usually made from fresh ingredients. I used to recall that my grandmother used to have somebody to climb up her coconut trees and get the assorted coconuts for her, either young coconut (Indonesian: degan [de-gan]) or the old ones which contain more cream. She would use a coconut grater, made from a thick steel and she would grate the fresh cut coconuts and then squeeze the fresh coconut cream through a fine sieve, while I was sipping the young coconut juice and watching her. I know, I could only trace this back through my memory, the loveliest tunnel of my childhood years.

Source: Kue-Kue Indonesia. Yasaboga. Gramedia. Jakarta. 2007.

200g sticky rice (glutinous) flour,
100ml thin coconut cream, boiled,
2 Tbs tapioca flour,
2 tsp limestone water (I don't use),
half of fresh coconut, grated (I used 1 ½ cups desiccated coconut, long thread is fine),
1 tsp salt,
oil for frying

Combine the flours, limestone water, coconut, and salt, mix well. Add in the warm coconut milk gradually, mix well until the mixture resembles a dough. Roll into balls, then fry until golden brown. Remove and drain well. When all finished, coat them with the caramel.


This caramel is giving a rather different finished from the usual caramel for pouring onto a Paris-Brest or Pineapple Upside-Down cake, for instance. This caramel is used to coat the fried cakes and mix them well until all the sugar in the caramel becomes cooled which then gives crusted textured coat on the cakes. Because I don't have dark palm sugar, my finished caramel turns out paler than those of using dark ones. I used lighter colour of palm sugar, the only kind of palm sugar I can find in a sort-of-Asian-groceries in Pukekohe.

150g palm sugar,
75g white sugar,
50ml water

Put all ingredients in a saucepan or a frying pan (big enough to put all the fried cakes) on a medium heat until bubbly and thickens. Lower the heat, add in the fried cakes. Mix well to coat the cakes evenly. Remove and cool.

In Bahasa Indonesia

Gemblong Mbledos!

Nyobain bikin gemblong, eh ternyata gampang yah! Anak-anak suka banget sampai aku harus bikin dua kali. Sayang tepung ketannya habis, jadi cukup sekian aja, sampai ketemu lagi sama tepung ketan hehehe... Walaupun keterbatasan bahan yang menyarankan memakai kelapa parut segar, ya aku pake kelapa parut kering aja. Lumayaaaan. Hasilnya enak kok. Waktu digoreng, dalamnya empuk juga dan berasa kelapanya. Cuma memang membekas kelapa parutnya di hasil akhirnya.

Oh ya, apa memang kalo goreng gemblong suka mbledos ya? Kok waktu digoreng sebagian gemblongku mbledos dos! Sampe kaget aku, minyak muncrat ke mana-mana. Apa karena waktu meremas adonannya berupa bulatan-bulatan terlampau padat trus waktu digoreng ada udara yang terperangkap di dalamnya muncrat ke luar karena kepanasan, po piye yo? Temen-temen ada saran?

Panganan ini termasuk gluten-free, makanya bisa aku kasih anak-anak lebih banyak daripada kalau aku bikin kue-kue dari tepung gandum. Yuk, ikutan Monthly Mingle: Traditional Feasts-nya Meeta. Lihat di sini deh aturannya. Sekalian mempromosikan budaya Indonesia dan membukakan mata dunia kalau budaya kuliner kita sangat beragam dan enaaaaaaaaaaak!


Sumber: Kue-Kue Indonesia. Yasaboga. Gramedia. Jakarta. 2007.

200g tepung ketan,
100cc santan cair yang mendidih (aku pake coconut cream sekitar 60cc deh trus dicampur sama air mendidih),
2 sdM tepung sagu,
2 sdt air kapur sirih (ga punya!),
½ btr kelapa parut,
1 sdt garam,
minyak untuk menggoreng

Lapisan Gula:

150g gula merah,
75g gula pasir,
50cc air

Campur tepung ketan, kelapa parut, sagu, garam dan air kapur sirih, remas-remas. Tuangi santan hangat sedikit demi sedikit sambil diuleni sehingga bisa dibentuk. Buat bulatan sebesar telur ayam, sedikit dipipihkan. Goreng dalam minyak yang sedang panasnya sampai berwarna kecokelatan, angkat dan tiriskan.

Lapisan gula: didihkan air, gula merah dan gula pasir sampai larut, kental dan berbuih. Kecilkan api, masukkan glembong goreng sambil diaduk rata hingga gula membalut permukaan gemblong. Angkat dan dinginkan.

Gemblong: masyarakat Betawi lebih suka menggunakan ketan hitam bersalut gula putih.

November 15, 2007

Putri Salju, Greek Shorties & Mexican Wedding Cakes

I first tried Putri Salju during my first introduction to the kitchen with my mother to celebrate Ied el Fitr where this kind of shorties will always appear at every household. Putri Salju can be literally translated into Snow White, although I don't think it has something to do with the abandoned fair-skinned princess in the jungle because of the jealous witched stepmother who thinks will not be able to compete with her beauty. Perhaps it's merely named after the colour of snow as this shortbread is rolled in icing sugar, as white as snow. However, this shortbread is quite similar with Greek's and Mexican Wedding Cakes.

The method of making Putri Salju is various and I believe this has been achieved as gradual development and improvement to proper the kind of texture as well as taste from time to time, being experimented and then re-invented. Some cooks tend to use original method which is using cold butter/margarine, mixed with flour and little amount of sugar, then leave them rest in the fridge for a certain time before they're baked. Others have another option, that is to fry the flour in order to get rid of the moisture content in the gluten so then the finished products will give very light and melt-in-the mouth sensation. I am more satisfied with the later.

These methods, for sure, will give different results which also are depending on how fresh the ingredients one uses, how light/heavy handling can one apply to the dough, what I believe is just the beauty of baking. The satisfaction is practically going to another level, well, being a beginner or an experienced cook, s/he would probably arrive at one stage of the level. So, it is according to you, you yourself. The cook.

Anyway, similar biscuits I happen to try out are Greek Shortbread and Mexican Wedding Cakes. With the Greek's, I am really satisfied because the shorties are very light, very melty, very tasty with the great balance of flour and butter although you don't need to fry the flour. I think it's because of how well the butter is beaten and how delicate it has to handle without being too much squeezing the flour. It also tends not to taste more either floury or buttery.

The Mexican Wedding Cakes are a bit different in the process and they tend to taste more nutty than floury. The texture is heavier than the Greek's, but the shelf life is much longer. The use of either walnuts or pecans will give different flavour. Try cashew nuts as well, they'll give you different burst of nuts. Lois Daish writes in her book A Good Year that these little cakes are enjoyed with a bowl of fresh berries or a cup of tea. You can see another recipe from Joy of Baking which is similar to the one I adapted from Lois Daish's book.

Putri Salju

I tend to use the recipe which calls to fry the flour, but if you prefer the other way, you can have a look at this. I have no idea who published this recipe, so I have to owe an apology for not writing the author, but the original name of this is kacang almond (almond nut) which is funny as it doesn't use almonds at all, but cashews and almond essence. This recipe doesn't use sugar when the butter is beaten, but I usually add about 1-2 Tbs of icing sugar.

225g butter,
300g flour, fried to dry,
100g cashew nuts, chopped,
¼ tsp almond essence,
icing sugar to roll in

Beat the butter until pale, fold in the fried flour, mix well. Add in chopped nuts and essence, mix well. Roll into balls or other dimension to your liking, put on the baking trays, then baked for 15 minutes until cooked. When the cookies are cooled, roll into the icing sugar. [note: this recipe doesn't mention any oven temparature, so be wise. I tend to use 140C fan-forced to bake shorties.]

Greek's Shortbread (Kourambiedes)

I love the texture of these little shorties. It's wise to handle the mixture lightly. Using wooden spoon is a good idea to avoid having your hand squeezing the mixture too hard when mixing it.

Source: The Australian Women's Weekly magazine. NZ Edition. October 2006. p. 150.

250g unsalted butter, chopped,
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use vanilla bean paste),
½ cup (80g) pure icing sugar, sifted,
1 egg yolk,
1 Tbs brandy (I don't use),
½ cup (70g) finely chopped toasted flaked almonds,
2 cups (300g) plain flour,
½ cup (75g) self-raising flour,
pure icing sugar, to coat, extra

Beat butter, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and brandy. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; stir in almonds and combined sifted flours.

Preheat the oven to moderately slow (160C/140C fan-forced). Take a level tablespoon of dough and roll between palms into sausage shape, tapering at ends; bend into a crescent. Repeat with remaining dough. Place on lightly greased baking trays, 3 cm apart. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until browned lightly. Cool on baking trays for 5 minutes.

Sift a thick layer of the extra icing sugar onto a large sheet of greaseproof paper. Place shortbreads on icing sugar, dust tops of shortbreads heavily with icing sugar. Cool. Pack into an airtight container, sifting more icing sugar onto each layer. Store at room temperature for up to 1 week. Serves with coffee, if desired. Makes about 32.

(note: When baking, I don't wait until it browned because it won't look good. I would stop baking when I press the biscuit and it won't spring back, it means it's baked through, then I will remove it from the oven.)

November 12, 2007

Summer in Store #2

Reaching the end of Spring: fruits are growing like mad in the orchard, delightful promise for Summer; other is we're finishing last Summer's potato crops while the newest planted potatoes are still growing. I knew we don't store big and large potatoes anymore, so I have to use the baby ones. The thing is, baby potatoes can't be too appealing to be chips for the children, and I have to think another way. I remember that my mother used to use baby potatoes for curries with either beef or chicken. I really don't want to throw these baby potatoes away or put them back in the ground.

So, here's what I come up with.

Curried Potatoes and Mutton Kebabs

350g baby potatoes,
400g mutton/lamb/beef, cut into cubes,
3 shallots (use 5 small ones),
3 cloves garlic,
2 tsps chili sauce/sambal oelek (3 or more fresh chili if you like them hot),
3 cm ginger root,
1 ½ tsp ground turmeric (1-2cm fresh turmeric),
2 bay leaves,
450ml coconut cream mixed with 200ml water (adjust this amount with how tender your meat),
salt and sugar for correcting the seasoning

Blend in the food processor or blender shallots, garlic, chili, ginger, turmeric until smooth. Heat the coconut cream and water with the spices paste until boiling. Add in meat cubes and baby potatoes. Cook until meat is tender and potatoes cooked. Don't continue cooking when the meat is already tender although there's still liquid in your saucepan. Lift the cooked meat and potatoes, set aside. Meanwhile, heat the broth until thickens and changing colour. Mix in the cooked meat and potatoes. Toss well until all are coated. When they are cool, thread the potatoes and meat with skewers. Grill them until heated through. Serve hot with warm jasmine rice and greens. Makes 12 skewers.

November 10, 2007

The Smile Makers

I am very grateful to be acknowledged one of blogger's smile-makers, initiated by Jeni of Passionate Palate and been given this You Make Me Smile award by Chris of Mele Cotte. Chris' thought of me is really highly appreciated and I'm so happy that I make her smile.

I have many people around me who can make me smile and it is beyond limits. However, I have to find some people whose blogs I enjoy reading and whose personality I often find wonderful. Here they are:

  1. Irma Rode is one of my moderators of Klub Berani Baking (Indonesian Baking Club) and one of my fellow bloggers from Multiply who I admire for her cake decorating projects, cake-making, and photographs. The most of all, I really believe that we share the common dream: be a good baker!

  2. Sylvie Gill is the mother of one and who shares common interests and personal values with me. We don't communicate that much, but if we do, we're clicked!

  3. Katie of Thyme for Cooking is one lady I would feel be-yourself kind of impression when we're exchanging news. I always enjoy her story of her French countryside garden and how she's dealing with it, pretty much like mine.

  4. Bron of Bron Marshall is always my favorite photographer and it's always fun chatting with her. It's not a shame thing to actually admit what's going on around the house because our circumstance is alike. I am looking forward for her to come back blogging!

  5. Barbara of Winos and Foodies is a friend who often gives me other insights of culinary experiences and the worlds that I have found new and interesting.

Have a good smile weekend!

November 08, 2007

Tofu & Courgette Cakes

Tofu as well as tempeh are the most popular soy bean products enjoyed by people of Indonesia nationwide. They are so versatile that every household seems to have secret ingredients as to achieve family's tastes and the flavours are awesome. My mother never tells me how important it is to eat tofu or tempeh, it is simply that they are there. Growing up with varieties of foods, I still always come back to tofu or tempeh in search of memory lane, the childhood delicacy, as well as to enjoy the smoothness of the texture. I am a tempeh-lover, since it is hard to find in New Zealand, it becomes a luxury product in the family. Even my Kiwi husband loves tempeh and my children like them in a certain way.

I read in a book, discussing about tofu and tofu only, that tofu contains of lysine which is an essential amino acid which is lacking in grains. Perhaps, that's why households in East Asia or South East Asia enjoy tofu with grains, alongside vegetables. It is stated an example calculationin the book that by serving 3 ½ ounces of tofu together with 1 ¼ cups brown rice, we obtain 32 percent more protein than if we served these foods separately... Herein lies the key to tofu's value as an essential daily accompaniment to the grain-centered diet, the way of eating characteristic of virtually all traditional societies since earliest times. [p.24].

The great thing to know is that tofu is an ideal diet food. With its digestion rate of 95% which means it is a digestive-friendly food. It is also low in calories, low carbohydrates content, low in saturated fats, rich in minerals (iron, phosphorus, potassium, sodium) and B vitamins, and cholesterol-free.

Regular tofu contains only 4.3% vegetable-quality fats. These are very low in saturated fats (15%), high in unsaturated fats (80%), and remarkably high in linoleic acid, one of the most important polyunsaturated fatty acids... Like natural lecithin, which is also found in abundance in tofu's unrefined oils, linoleic acid performs the vital functions of emulsifying, dispersing, and eliminating deposits of cholesterol and other fatty acids which have accumulated in the vital organs and blood stream. [p.28]

So, if you're trying to go on a meatless diet, perhaps you should consider tofu as your source of meat substitute! This is my entry for WHB #108, hosted by The Expatriate Chef this week. Find out more information about Weekend Herb Blogging on Kalyn's Kitchen.

Tofu and Courgette Cakes

These cakes are similar with tofu balls, only I added grated courgette without cheese, and coated with breadcrumbs. They need very delicate handling, and be prepared to be messy!

2 blocks tofu, mashed,
2 courgettes, grated,
2 cloves garlic, minced,
1 Tbs flaked onions,
¼ cup gluten-free baking mix (you can use plain flour or potato starch),
1 spring onion, finely chopped,
salt and pepper,
oil for shallow frying,
breadcrumbs for coating,
1 egg, beaten, for dipping

Combine all ingredients, except oil. Season well. Break the egg and whisk. Prepare the breadcrumbs on a large plate, so you would work easily in coating them. Roll the combined ingredients into balls, flatten to make disks, sizes are to your liking. Dip in the whisked egg, then roll them into the breadcrumbs. Shallow fry them until golden brown. Makes about 10 discs.


The Book of Tofu, Food for Mankind. William Shurtleff, Akiko Aoyagi. Ballantine Books, New York. 1975.

November 05, 2007

Summer in Store

We're reaching the end of Spring and it means we can feel the hint of Summer heat waving in. Soon, it's to be the time to go to the beach, time to wear sarong or T-shirt and shorts, be busy in the garden to do the maintenance for the garden to go through the heat, and then in the end will be the harvest time. Can't wait to taste the fresh fruits all over again!

In the vegetable garden, John's been transferring the little seedlings of capsicum (bell pepper), English spinach, tomatoes, and kumara (sweet potato), while we've occasionally picked cherry tomatoes from the greenhouse. They taste really nice. In my flower garden, Spring flowers are still giving tones for the view with bright yellow daisies alongside lavender, poppies, pansies, late-Spring roses, granny's bonnets and lupins. My strawberries are in buds and some of them have been bearing fruits. It is the time to do the cover-up, unless we want to share them with birds.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread

Source: Donna Hay Magazine. Issue 30.

220g chilled unsalted butter, chopped,
2 cups (320g) plain flour,
½ cup (75g) rice flour,
2/3 cup (150g) caster sugar,
1 tsp vanill aextract,
1 egg,
200g dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 160C (320F). place the butter, plain flour, rice flour, sugar, vanilla and egg in a food processor and process for 3-5 minutes or until the mixture starts to come together. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, add the chocolate and knead gently to combine. Press the mixture into a 20x30cm slice tin lined with non-stick baking paper. Smooth over with the back of a spoon and score the top into long bars. Prick with a fork and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top is light golden. Makes 22.

November 01, 2007

Triple C's Muffins

We have had gorgeous days these past two days and I am able to do some gardening. There are many weeds I have to pull out and so many tiny seedlings I have to transfer. The wandering jews under the bush of Chinese lantern are pretty much an eye-sore view and OMG they are a back-pain job. There are stubborn root grass climbing up the fence and covering up the passionfruit bush, almost suffocate it that I have to trim. Then, I pulled out some forget-me-nots which are growing wildly in my garden and their tiny seeds will always successfully invade spots everywhere they've landed, and I don't want them to cover the base of my roses ground. I cut the finished-flowering cinerarias and leave those which are crowded with bees until next time they are not interested in them anymore. I have to tidy up the tulip bulbs, lift them up and let them dry before I store them in the fridge for the next planting day in 6 months time. I trimmed the rose greanium as they tumble down the pathway and they children can't ride through with their bike and I have re-planted the cuttings to other spots I think they deserve. Other things I need to do is trimming the edge of the lawn John had mown yesterday. He uses ride-on mower and he tends to leave the edge of the lawn uncut because the mower can't reach it. So I have to cut the untidy grass. Yes, there are always a lot of to do in the garden and I can feel the impact of it on my back. However, things are to be done and no time to whining while the children are happy in the garden as well.

One good view is that my compassions are flowering and I've cut some for Mum. My other old-fashioned roses are also flowering and they are sweetly fragrant. I can't help myself to cut them for the vases I have. I've put them everywhere in the house. I love to breath the rosy fragrance in the air, especially at night. Romantic? Well...

My poppies are all in buds and some of them have opened their first flowers. They are all pretty and there are still a lot of its tiny seedlings I have to transfer in the open field. I still need to find the best spots for them and the best spot for me. When it comes to Summer, I have to water them and it is a hard work if I have to carry 10kg watering can to the exact spots where the hose can't reach. So, I'll look around and see what I can do.

At the meantime, here's some light lunch we have when we all are busy in the garden. I made peach and lime cheesecake the other day and it is still good to finish a light meal like this. We also are still enjoying lemons from the tree and a jug of lemonade is very fresh. This is my entry for WHB #107, hosted by Kalyn this week. You can find Weekend Herb Blogging information and who's hosting next round on Kalyn's Blog.

Gluten-Free Triple C's (Courgette and Carrot Cheese) Muffins

2 cups gluten-free baking mix,
1 tsp baking powder,
2 eggs,
½ cup oil,
1 cup grated carrot,
1 cup grated courgette,
salt and pepper to season,
½ cup vegetarian cheese, grated,
1 sprig Italian parsley, finely chopped,
extra grated cheese to sprinkle

Preheat the oven to 190C. Grease 6 holes of texas muffin tin. Whisk the eggs with oil. Sift in the flour with baking powder, mix well. Add in the grated vegetables, herb, and cheese. Pour into the muffin tin. Sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until cooked. Makes 6.