August 27, 2008

Orange Cake - A Tribute to Ruri

We were just about to go to Mount Ruapehu when I found many text messages came on my mobile phone as soon as I activated it, about two weeks ago. The news was sad. Our beloved friend, Ruri Hujiansyah, had died of cancer. I had to sit down for a while and remembered the moment I met her at NCC 'headquarter' in Jakarta back in 2006. It was her lovely klaapertaart that came to my mind. It was wonderfuly rich and was a homemade. She was a very good cook and a very talented baker. She produced lovely goodies and her ideas would always be inspirations to a lot of people.

orange splash

Ruri, we'll be missing you and will always remember you as a good person and a lovely friend. Farewell, my friend. Rest in Peace.

Orange Cake

This is my tribute to Ruri. Please tag with "ruri" or "tribute to ruri" if you'd like to join with me. If you're not an Indonesian and can't read Indonesian, you still are able to give a tribute by creating your own dish in the regards of Ruri by tagging the same words. Thank you.

Indonesian can be viewed here.

orange cake a tribute to ruri

Source : mbak Ita NCC

Bahan :
375g butter
2 Cup caster sugar
1 cup orange juice (atau 1/4 cup orange concentrate + 1/4 cup water)
2 Cup plain flour + 1 tsp Baking powder, sift
1 Cup ground almond
14 egg yolks
4 egg whites
(otherwise, use 6 whole eggs to reduce colesterol intake, whisk loosely)

  • Put the butter, sugar and orange juice in a saucepan and heat the mixture until the butter is melted. Set aside to cool.
  • Combine the flour and ground almond in a large bowl, make a well in the centre.
  • Pour in the butter mixture, whisk slowly until the mixture is smooth.
  • Add in the eggs, mix well.
  • Pour into 3 triplet 24cm tins.
  • Put in the oven until well baked.
50g cornflour
50g sugar
300g water
25g orange concentrate
1 Tbs melted butter

Put cornflour, sugar and water in a saucepan, cook until thicken, add in the orange concentrate and melted butter. Whisk until well-mixed and smooth.

  • Sandwich the cake with the filing
  • Decorate with fresh fruits, if you like

August 22, 2008

Orange Infused Custard with Dark Chocolate Bottom

Meeta's Monthly Mingle, themed Fruit and Chocolate. August 2008.


Yes! Oranges are abundant in our garden and I know they have chemistry with dark chocolate. So, here's my entry.

Chocolate and Orange Infused Custard

Source: Taste Magazine. July 2008.

I like to have this dessert when it's still warm, so the dark chocolate is still melting underneath the smooth custard. YUM!

freshly picked orange

3 egg yolks
2 eggs
1/2 cup caster sugar
rind from 1 large orange
2 cups cream
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup chopped/broken dark chocolate (I use Whittaker's 72% Dark Ghana-my favorite!)

orange infused chocolate pudding

Preheat the oven to 150C. Heat the cream with orange rind until hot but not boiling on a medium heat. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks with caster sugar and vanilla essence until well-combined. Pour the hot cream into the eggs mixture, keep whisking until well mixed. Arrange the dark chocolate on the bottom of 4 cups/ramekins. Strain the cream mixture into a jug and pour the mixture into each cup. Bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Serve the custards warm or cold. Makes 4.

August 21, 2008

T&T: Cook from Jugalbandhi

Oh boy, my back's hurting again. I guess I've been digging and hoeing too much, in celebration of having sunshine (in between showers) to manage and re-organize our abandoned garden. Yep, since Winter is really nasty this year, my cinerarias are burnt as the result of frost. Some part of our lawn is going yellow as frost have laid its big foot on, making great marks. And then now, rains are making the earth is soggy.

On the other hand, it might be a good news for our apricots to grow better. Our climate here is apparently not cold enough for them to give more fruits than ever, while they should be growing well in South Island. We only had 5 apricots last year from the whole trees. We also had to dig out one of the trees as it was really prone to diseases and did not produce at all. The replacements are more for apples, peaches, and plums.

plumcott blooms

I did a little bit more efforts on pollinating the plumcotts (a crossed between plum and apricot) and early plums (so called Dans Early which usually is harvested early in Summer), as there are new blooms each day. However, with wet days like these days, it is impossible to have the brushes stay dry. I guess I have to wait until the days are free from showers. I don't think it's going to happen in three-four days ahead. Sigh.


Spring is not here yet, although my daffodils are already displaying their cheerful and bright colours with tulips in different tones. I guess it is too early, but they are there. I can't stop them from growing. Perhaps, storing the bulbs in the vegetable crisper in the fridge give them a boost to grow faster. I have to de-head them as soon as they're wilted or fallen their petals. They would need more energy to store nutrition in the bulbs for next year's work, so I read in one of Burke's Backyard issues.


Back to the kitchen. Perhaps you are familiar with Tried and Tasted event, created and hosted by Zlamushka. This is one of the ways to go to someone's kitchen and cook what they cook and taste what they taste. This month, we all go to Jugalbandhi, Bee and Jai's very own kitchen, who are the brains behind Click Photo event which I suppose it is so popular you already know.

brussel sprouts

I've browsed their recipes and I came up with these brussel sprouts dish. I did click more than once recipe, but with my sore back, I can't do much than I want too. I picked Brussel Sprouts with Lemon-Mustard Sauce because I have the ingredients handy.

The thing that I am interested in this dish is that how do they combine lemon and mustard with these mini-cabbage-like vegetables to go in one plate and would taste flavoursome all the same? I can tell you, the combination is great, especially when you take these slowly to let the flavour of lemon and mustard tantalizing your buds in between the crunchiness of the vegetables with a hint of sweet honey in your mouth (yes, I replace maple syrup with Manuka honey, a New Zealand best honey). This dish is compliment the roast chicken that I cook for dinner. It is just perfect for easy and quick serving in your busy days. Not so many ingredients are inquired, not so much time spent.

August 17, 2008

Rowing and Merdeka Celebration

It was a celebration on Kiwi rowing team yesterday at rowing finals. Mahe Drysdale (if you watched the Olympic opening ceremony, he was the flag bearer for NZ team) won bronze while he was really ill and that was the first medal Kiwis Olyimpic team had made. Although Coles and Haigh only came 5th on women's pair final, the men's pair Bridgewater and Twaddle won bronze medal. It was the twins Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell who had won first gold medal for NZ. Must be an exciting moment for them to know that they did it just 0.01 inch from the Germany team at the finish ruler while they even thought they lost from the Germany. It was just a golden moment to watch this race. The night before I went to bed, Roulston was just cycling on the track. I did not watch Valerie Vill on shot put. I thought it was going to be on on Sunday, but it seems I missed it last night. She did get the gold medal. Well done, team!! (To think about this grand event, I have a dream to go there and capture all of those moments... It would be honoured to be able to go with the team and watch and capture great moments. I am sure professional sport photographers are on top of the world at this present!)

dans early blooms

It is raining here now while we're hoping to be able to move the sheep up to the old shed. I think we can do it today although me and hubby are still having this miserable snorty cold, but it's the rain which stops us. With a quick move, then we were able to walk the sheep about 300m away from our driveway up to the shed. Back to the paddock, I manage to go to the orchard and have a look at our early Spring blooms. It was a shame really, as the day is really wet and there are no bees to pollinate them. I brought my brush with me and tried to do it myself. I don't know if it does work or not, I guess, we just need to see in Summer, besides it is too wet to work on pollinating.

Today is the Indonesian Independence Day celebration and there's a food bazaar somewhere in Auckland but I don't think we can make it. I've cooked Indonesian food myself last night just to give a tribute to my home-country.

ayam rica-rica

Ayam Rica-Rica (Chicken with Sweet and Tomato Sambal Sauce)

1kg chicken portion, washed and trimmed
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tsps tamarind paste
1/4 cup hot water


5 red chillies (add more if you'd like hotter), minced
3 small shallots, sliced thinly
3 tomatoes, chopped
1-2cm ginger root, bruised (or if you like it a bit gingery, you can make a paste of chillies and ginger in a mortal and pestle)
diced limes (I use Tahitian limes--if you see the skin is yellow--unlike other green-skin limes).

Dilute the tamarind paste with hot water. Add in the crushed coriander, garlic, and salt. Marinade the chicken in the mixture for 30 minutes or so. The more you marinade them the more flavoursome they'll be. Drizzle some oil, massage the chicken portion with it. Arrange them on a ovenproof dish and bake, covered, at 160C for 30 minutes. Uncovered and then fan-bake until the chicken are browned, turned over and fan-bake the other side until brown. Remove from the oven and keep warm while you're making the sambal (or you can make the sambal first and reheat just before serving when the chicken are just hot from the oven). Serves 8-12.


Heat the frying pan. Pour in the oil. Cook the sliced shallots until soft. Add in the chilli paste, and then ginger. When the mixture is fragrant, add in chopped tomatoes. Let the tomatoes go soft and then you can add salt and sugar to season. Sprinkle the diced limes. Spoon the sambal on the hot chicken.


I also made Sagon, Indonesian coconut slice, to participate on Indonesian Food Photo contest, hosted by IndoRecipe on Flickr Group. If you can click the photo, it will take you to the recipe as well. There's still time to enter. When you cook Indonesian food today, please remember to take a good photo of them. You may be winning something!

And here are some more photos of our holiday you may want to view.

mt ruapehu day2-2
the Happy Valley
the top

more people upmorning tea up at the mountain

August 13, 2008

Hot Tea, Trout Fishing and First Day Up at Whakapapa

It was still raining when we unloaded the car. The day was unpleasant and it felt quite cold in the house. We lit the fire immediately and I put the jug on. It was only me plus kids and Sue who got to the house first while the others joined in the next day. Sitting down quietly in front of the fire and watching the kids rambling through every corner of the house. It's funny to see them doing that. Just like cats who moved into a new home. Sniffing every corner, searching every button and going through things. My son kept telling me that he liked the house, which was good. While they started settling down and playing with one another, I was sitting down chatting away with Sue.

hot tea

We did not have any plan that day as we arrived just for afternoon tea (4 hours drive from our farm--make it 5 with small children), so we sort of preparing things like we normally do at home. Bed-making, brewing coffee, making tea, you name it. It was just nice to be able to stay at a house where everything you need is stored in the fridge and there's a lounge to sit around. It gives the homey feeling.


When we went out to search for information the days we advised to be able to go skiing or whatever we could do up on the mountain, the day started to go gray again. Rain and all. We decided to go to a garage out of Turangi because we really need to get the car checked as we caught burning smell during our trip to Turangi. The town is called Otarua, which is about 15 minutes out of Turangi. It took us about an hour to get it fixed and there was a magical thing happened. The gray clouds which were skirted the top of the mountain was lifted a little bit and gave us a clue what was stored up there. The white snow.

peeking from otarua

trout fishing

Back to the house, we walked along the river where we could see some people were trout fishing. It was unfortunate for us really because not many of them we could see as the rain made them hiding back to their lodges. Not at my luck to get a good capture of them as well.

However, the next day was quite alright. As the other troops had come, we kicked ourselves out of the rain and moved up to the mountain. It was still drizzling with a rhythmic of heavy rain every now and then during our drive up. Mount Ruapehu is situated at the Tongariro National Park where millions of red tussocks are massively spread on the ground. This park is recognized to be World Heritage Site. Although it was raining, I still could see the beauty of this park.


Up on our way to the day, I took a snap while we were driving. As you can see, the skirt of the clouds were too heavy to lift up. However, you still can imagine how beautiful it will be on a fine weather. I wished I could go up here again in Summer.

After we were shuttled by a bus from the car park 10, we decided to just do tobogganing and did not bother to go to the summit. The weather was unpleasant with lots of icy rain with thick condensation in the air. At the end of the day, the place was almost disappeared and our faces were slapped by mung-bean-sized ice which were coming with the wind. We were still tobogganing and my kids did not care of such weather. They just wanted to slide down. Woo Hoo!

Here are some more photos I took on our first day at Mt Ruapehu. If you click each photo, you will be brought to its description on Flickr. I hope you're having fun reading them.

few people up chateau royal hotel
snowy2 tobogganing

August 10, 2008

Macaroni Cheese Bake and Huka Falls

The day we went off Tuakau to Turangi was unpleasant for a 4 hours driving trip. It was windy in Tuakau and raining along the way we arrived in Turangi. We were a bit disappointed because we could not see the beauty of Mount Ruapehu from Lake Taupo. However, we arrived safely at a 'home' where we stayed during the trip.

huka falls, wairakei

On our way to Taupo, we stopped to lunch at a car park where Huka Falls is situated. The parking lot was quite large with two buses and lots of cars. People were wondering around with their camera in hands. Pretty much like me, never want to miss out. Other than that we were quite lucky that the sun was shining in between drizzles.

huka falls, wairakei2

Huka Falls is located near Taupo (just click to see the location). The interesting part about this waterfall is that the water is flowing recorded to be 220,000 litres per second. That is huge!

You can find more information about Huka Falls at Huka Falls Website. We did not take Huka jet to get closer to the waterfall as we did not plan to do. The weather was quite temperamental and we did not want to take a risk being caught in a flood somewhere near Taupo-Taurangi. Besides, we were so hungry after a long, long drive and it seems that our tummy soon had to give more attention.

Traveling with two young children means stuffing your baskets with food, food and food. I've made batches of New Zealand iconic biscuits such as Afghans, Anzac, Peanut Brownies, and Ginger Crunch to nibble along the way. I also mixed nuts, dark chocolate, white chocolate, and sunflower seeds with lots of raisins, prune, and dried apricots to make a good scrogging. Besides that, I had also prepared macaroni cheese bake, chocolate sponge pudding, and blueberry pudding for our first dinners away from home. I want us to be able to eat home-cooking although we're far away from my kitchen.

I made large portions of baked goods for the trip as there are two families with 4 adults, 5 teenagers, and 2 young children traveling and staying together. I might be spoiling them a bit, but I also just want to stick with home-cooking. In the end, everyone is enjoying it, so that is a bonus.

macaroni cheese bake

Macaroni Cheese Bake

I used 3 small loaf foil tins and 1 large regular baking tin. You can substitute the smoked chicken with leftover cooked chicken, beef, or even corned beef. For vegetarian version, use broccoli or spinach instead. Make experiment with your favourite vegetables for optimal satisfaction. I don't usually use salt for macaroni cheese as I find that the cheese will give satisfying saltiness in food while extra salt isn't always necessary, but I do think this can be a personal preference.

We usually eat macaroni cheese bake with homemade tomato sauce or chutney with a bowl of crunchy salad.

This kind of food is quite nice to accompany you while watching the Olympic games. I think it's better than those salty ordinary chips. Did you watch the opening? Boy, it was some spectacular ceremony. I love the form of those 2008 drummers performance. That was amazing!

We watched hockey today and was a bit disappointed as we lost to Japan's team. But we're having a high hope on rowing. Go NZ Team!!

500g macaroni, cook according to instructions
12 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
5 cloves garlic, minced with 1 tsp ground white pepper
3 large shallots, finely sliced
3 Tbs finely chopped celery leaves
3 Tbs finely chopped spring onions (white part included)
2 cups shredded smoked chicken
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbs self-rising flour
300g Gruyere cheese, finely grated plus 50g extra to sprinkle
oil for frying
salt to taste, optional

Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease lightly the tins with butter.

Heat the frying pan and add oil. Cook the sliced shallots until light brown and crispy. Drain on paper towel. Set aside.

Heat the frying pan again and add in oil. Cook the minced garlic until fragrant. Set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs until frothy and is about to go fluffy. Pour in the milk. Add in the fried minced garlic-pepper. Reduce the speed to slow. Add in the cooked macaroni, cheese, fried shallots, finely diced celery leaves and spring onions, and then smoked chicken. Mix well. Add in the self-rising flour. Mix well. You may add salt if you like at this stage.

Pour or Spoon into the prepared tins. Sprinkle with extra cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cooked. Enough for 4 adults, 2 young children and 5 teenagers.

August 09, 2008

I'm Back!


I'm back, earlier than we've planned. Together with us are loads of dirty laundry, hundreds of emails, and packed of photos to upload. I have to get myself back together again. So, I am hoping I can catch up on with you, guys!

See you more soon!