September 27, 2008

Crusts Fun for Click

Uhm... Bee thinks that crusts are not as appealing as the filling? Very opposite to my children. They love eating pastry than the pastry filling, except the filling is some kind of tasty cheese or chocolate (of course!). Well, I think Bee and my children are good companions. While Bee is eating up the filling, my children will finish the pastry for her. Sounds a good idea, doesn't it?

Apart from the pastry case, I have been exploring food photography outdoor. I don't really have professional gadgets to carry out with me, but just my camera with lens attached. Another thing to carry and will always be beside me is my DIY reflector which is made from a cake-board lined with tin foil. It helps to reflect the light from wherever it may come to the exposed object.

I first explored mini banoffie pies, which recipe can be found here. It was in the afternoon, perhaps around 5pm, and it was getting a bit dark. I want to give the outdoor feeling with petals carpet from Magnolia tree is still spread on the ground. The low sunlight was a bit harsh and it was only lit some parts of the tarts. I thought, well, why not. Let's give it a go. Here are two sets of the shots:

banoffie pie-set 1

bannofie pie-set2-1

I cropped a little bit of the first photo to limit the frame of view. The second one is another a closer look of the tarts.

Now, since I tried Abby's Danish pastry, I know how to make a homemade puff pastry. I know it's time consuming, but it's a full satisfaction. I am playing around with it to make broccoli filled triangles, Camembert triangles, and dark chocolate filled little bites.

It started spitting when I began the shooting. My plan was to go with picnic basket and rug, but it was impossible as the day was going really gray and it would start pouring soon. I took a shortcut with the idea on my head to apply on the shootings.

camembert filled tirangles by arfi binsted '08 outdoor explored

I made Camembert triangles first. This dish is inspired by the chefs at a restaurant in the Pukekohe outskirt once we attended an occasion there. They made Camembert triangles dipped in eggs and rolled in breadcrumbs, and then deep-fried. Deliciously hot and melting immediately, though we need to be careful not to burn our tongue! Now, I tranform the idea into pastry cases. Sadly, some of the cheese escaped because I did not seal it properly. Some of them are just right. I brushed the pastry with milk, give a rosemary needle as an accent and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

broccoli filled triangles-2 by arfi binsted '08 outdoor explored

broccoli filled triangles by arfi binsted '08 outdoor explored

Then, there are broccoli filled triangles. I made the filling with very simple ingredients: broccoli (cut into small florets), onion (chopped), garlic (chopped) cooked in butter until fragrant, and then cook the broccoli florets in it, shaking pan until broccoli soft, splash a good tablespoon vegetable stock, season with salt and pepper, the filling is ready. With the image on my mind to go for a picnic idea, I try to prepare the set as casual as possible. Two shots made it to the bottom from 56 clicks.

Now, last shots are these:

dark chocolate filled little bites-2 by arfi binsted '08 outdoor explored

dark chocolate filled little bites by arfi binsted '08 outdoor explored

I am sending one of these photos for Click: Crusts, created and hosted by Bee and Jai of Jugalbandhi. I hope it is proven now that crusts are delicious!

On this occasion (as this is going to be my last post of the month), I also want to greet brothers and sisters in Islam: Eid Mubarak. Love from the land of Kiwi. May we meet again next Ramadan and inshallah be blessed throughout the year.

eid mubarak

September 26, 2008

Potato Rosti with Thyme Sauteed Mushrooms

I have been pretty tied up these days, catching up with home-schooling, gardens, house chores and fact sheets. It may seem that a home-stay mother does not do anything than raising her children, but you know what, it is more than that. The care is 24/7, non stop, especially when you educate your children at home, as well.

I love being with my kids. Watching them growing is the thing I am sure I am not missing out. It is the bond which is so close that I can feel in my heart. Listening to their conversation, their laughter, even watching their tears running down their cheeks in their upsetting times, is like a rhythm of happiness in my life. The ultimate of love. The glorious of gift, I am blessed.

chick chick

They are country children who love animals and plants, who are, I am hoping, as modest as the earth but are confident in their own form, at present looking after their new chicks, hatched just almost a week ago. They love stroking them, although sometimes we have to remind them how fragile these little chicks are, they take a good care of them. The main attraction going to the chicken farm is these cuties.

chicken farm

We breed chickens and we sell pullets on Trade Me, a Kiwi icon of buying and selling online. We've done pretty good until the incubator stopped working months ago, we then stopped producing pullets, instead keeping trays of eggs piled. The chicken farm produce 25 eggs in average a day. With the new incubator we've just purchased, we only need 144 eggs to hatch in 21 days time. With 25 eggs per day, we only need to collect the eggs in a week in order to fill the trays for the next hatching session. Meanwhile, the 144 eggs in the incubator will hatch in 21 days, so you do the math how many eggs we have to store besides those we need to use to hatch again in another 21 days.

We often find the egg trays have become waistline-high, so we have to give them away. We usually send them to the Food Bank at a church, but I am not sure somehow why we've stopped. It is just like this with the chicken farm, once they're madly producing, they'll be giving us heaps of eggs. Once they stopped producing, we can only keep 5-10 eggs a day. But that is enough for our small family, really.

In keeping the chicken, we separate them in different breed. The chickens are kept in each barn with small numbers. We don't want to cram them, not wanting ourselves as cruel owners. Our chickens are still able to fly to their roosts whenever they want to and they'll be given one day time-out, either in their backyard pin or out of the paddock. They will come back to their own house when it's getting dark, pretty much a habit for them now.

Fowl manure is playing an important part in our garden. Our strawberry plants are proven to be much happier when I apply it for them. They tend to grow more flowers with lush green of leaves. My roses are also giving me more rewards each Summer when I give them fowl manure. They tend to flower longer with each special perfume, strong stalks, and tough mother trunks. Our vegetables are also growing happily with the help of fowl manure.

grazing in frame

On our paddock, there a flock of sheep is grazing the greenish of grass. Updating the news, we lost 7 lambs from still-born, premature, and could not cope with frosty Winter. Now, we only have 5 lambs. At least, they're happy and healthy.

Before I am making you asleep with this farm story, I'd better go back to the kitchen and send this potato rosti for O Foods, hosted by trio Sara, Jenn and Michelle, in honour of Gina who is under going chemotherapy for ovarian cancer she's suffered. Keep strong, Gina.

I am choosing potato rosti to go with sauteed mushrooms, very simple dish that you can prepare in a rush. I like adding green leaves salad with it. I go for vegan this time, but you may add your favourite meat in it.

Potato Rosti with Thyme Sauteed Mushrooms

4 large potatoes, peeled and grated
1 medium onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
butter to sautee

potato rosti with thyme sauteed mushrooms

Using a clean tea muslin cloth, gather the grated potatoes in the middle. Wrap it and then squeeze the starch out over the kitchen sink as much as you can get. Put the grated potatoes in a bowl and mix with the other ingredients, except the butter. Heat the butter in a frying pan, a tablespoon at a time. Swirl the pan until all covered with butter. Drop in tablespoonful of potato, arrange to neaten the edge, so you'll get a round rosti. Use a flat spatula, remove from the pan, cook the other side. You may want to add more butter if the pan is dry. Cook the remaining potatoes until all used and keep warm while finishing cooking them in batches. Sprinkled with salt and pepper, serve warm with warm sauteed mushrooms.

Thyme Sauteed Mushrooms

I am a bit mad in mushrooms and I tend to use them in big portion. However, you can reduce them to suit your taste.
1 bag button mushrooms (about 15-20ish), sliced
1 garlic cloves, minced
3 sprig of thyme, chopped
2 sprig of Italian parsley, chopped
butter to sautee
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter. Drop in the garlic as soon as it bubbles, cook until fragrant, add in the sliced mushrooms. Shake pan continuously and cook until mushrooms turn golden. Splash a good vegetable stock or wine if you wish. Throw in the chopped herbs, season and taste. Serve with the warm rosti. Enjoy!

O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. In honor of Gina DePalma, author of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen and Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy, Jenn of The Leftover Queen, and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are asking you to donate to the:

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (via

and then, out of the goodness of your hearts and to be eligible for the O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month Contest, please do the following:

1. Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato) and include this entire text box in the post;


2. If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word about the event and Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.


3. Then send your post url [along with a photo (100 x 100) if you've made a recipe] to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on September 30, 2008.

We will post a roundup and announce prize winners on October 3.


  • 1 Recipe Prize for best “O food” concoction: $50 gift certificate to Amazon;
  • 1 Awareness Prize for only publicizing event: Copy of Dolce Italiano cookbook.


From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:

  • Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates that 21,650 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the U.S. in 2008 and about 15,520 women will die from the disease.
  • The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose. There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
  • In spite of this patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
  • When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.

Please donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
and help spread the word!

September 22, 2008

Ivy, Here's Your Pie!

Ivy of Kopiaste is hosting Savoury Pies. Here's my entry.

spinach tartlets

Spinach Tartlets
Indonesian version view here.

1 quantity shortcrust pastry, line 6-8 tartlet tins with this pastry

3 bunches spinach (or silverbeet/Swiss Chard), remove the white parts, chopped coarsely
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 Tbs finely chopped celery leaves
4 eggs
1/4 cup fresh cream
salt, freshly cracked black pepper
butter to sautee

Heat the butter. Cook the onion and garlic until fragrant. Add in chopped spinach. Cook until just wilted. set aside. Whisk the eggs, add in cream, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add in chopped celery leaves. Mix this to the spinach mixture.

Prepare 6-8 tartlet tins. Bake and once they are dry, pour in the spinach mixture. You can use cheese to sprinkle on top if you like. Bake until the egg mixture is cooked through. Enjoy warm.

September 18, 2008

Martabak Telur for WTSIM...Indonesian

I was really surprised when Andrew announced WTSIM this month theme: Indonesian! How can't I? Indonesia is my home-country where I lived, enjoyed traditional foods, made friends with and where I met my husband for the very first time. I love Indonesia as much as I love the food.

Perhaps, not many of you have been experiencing Indonesian cultures and food, let alone, tasting them. Although there are a lot of recipes posted in different websites, it is not the same as the true experience where the atmosphere is Indonesia air and the people smiling at you are Indonesians.

martabak telur

I am quite surprised that many of you have known beef rendang for so long, but have failed to recognize the originality of this dish. I don't want to rise any subject of copyright here, yet all I can say beef rendang has been a famous iconic dish Padangese people in West Sumatra inherited in generations. My point is, you can't really look at Indonesia from Malaysia or Singapore. It is just wise to look at Indonesia from inside it, then you'll know exactly what the cultures and who the people are, and so are what the iconic dishes from each island.

My entry this time is a pastry filled with egg and meat mixture which is called martabak telur. I use a home-made recipe for the pastry instead of buying store-bought wrappers or paratha. I guess, it is just being a HomeMadeS.

martabak telor for WTSIM...Indonesian by ab '08

Martabak Telur [Egg-Meat Stuffed Pastry]

source: Our Snacks by Herti [Indonesian version]

Some people call this martabak telur with martabak Medan. Perhaps, this is where the original dish coming from. I haven't been to Medan, which is on the north side of Sumatra island, but this food can be found in Indonesia nationwide. The unique thing about this pastry making is it's made in a circular motion by the food vendor, practically, in the air. Pretty impressive, but I can't do that.

martabak telor-pastry making by ab '08

250g plain flour
1 Tbs oil
200ml water

Place the flour in a bowl, make well in the centre. Add in the oil. Mix well. Pour in the water in a thin stream while start kneading the dough. Keep kneading until smooth. Divide the dough into 10 portions. Soak in oil for 1 hour. [I know this sounds weird, but I found it in the end, the oil is needed to soften the dough and makes it easier to flatten and rolled thinly on a marble table].

When it's the time to cook, take out one slice of dough. Put it on the marble work-bench. I use my hand to start flattening it from the middle and messaging with a circular motion from there to the edge until I have got a very thin pastry.

300g mince beef
13 shallots, finely sliced (I only use 4 large shallots)
1/2 tsp curry powder
salt, sugar, pepper (usually white pepper)
10 eggs
onions, finely diced
spring onions, finely sliced

Meanwhile, make the filling. Heat 3 Tbs oil. Cook the sliced shallots until fragrant. Add in mince, salt, sugar, pepper, and curry powder. Cook thoroughly.

martabak telor-filling making-finish by arfi binsted 2008

Cucumber pickle

25g red chillies
25g bird-eye chillies
25g cloves garlic
75g palm sugar
25g white sugar
2 Tbs vinegar (lemon juice)
250ml water
salt, to taste

Mix all ingredients, except vinegar. Cook until thicken. Add in the vinegar or lemon juice in the enf of cooking. Set aside.


martabak telur

Heat 3 Tbs oil on a pan (I use teflon pan). Panaskan kurleb 3 sdm minyak di atas wajan martabak. Put in a small bowl: one egg, 1 Tbs finely diced onion, 1 Tbs spring onions, 1 Tbs cooked mince, a little sprinkle of salt and pepper. Peel the thin pastry from the table carefully and place it on the hot pan. Whisk the filling and pour in the middle of pastry. Quickly fold the edge of the pastry to make a rectangle or a square bag. Cook on a low heat until browned. Served hot with sauce and pickle.

September 15, 2008

Peter's Greek Meatballs and Baozi

The two elements are not connecting with each other as you may know, but these two food items are the recent components on the top of my must-do list. I've wanted to try out the lemony soup with meatballs ever since I read it on one of Cuisine magazines covered. The chef in the magazine use chicken mince and chicken liver instead of minced beef. Now that Peter my dear Greek mate in Sydney had posted his own childhood comfort food himself, Giouvarlakia, I really kick myself out. I can imagine the lemony sauce in soup, how wonderful it will taste!

greek meatballs ingredients

With ingredients are handy around the garden and farm, I made this soup for breaking the fasting. I just made them an hour before the sunset, so the soup will still be warm and the lemon-egg sauce will not scramble by the time of serving. I only could taste it when it's to be served and I thought there's something missing. I re-read the recipe again and realized Peter does not use garlic. Very well, I sprinkle garlic salt instead and made a small amount of candied lemon. I use the candied lemon as the garnish and splash a little bit of lemon sauce into the soup. I also use fresh dill which just sprang out in the garden to give a little bit more flavour. Then, I'm done. Sitting there as happy as a lark. Thank you, Peter. The soup is delicious!

Peter's Greek Meatballs with Lemon Sauce

Now, about baozi. Recalling the childhood comfort food, my mother used to make steamed buns stuffed with the mixture of coconut and palm sugar as she called them roti kukus (steamed buns, baozi). I searched the engine and talked to mbak Ine about roti kukus but it seems there's a misinterpretation somewhere on roti kukus for bolu kukus (steamed cake). Mbak Ine says that Javanese people often refers roti (bread) as cake. So, if they say roti kukus it may mean steamed cake and not steamed buns. How confusing!

After searching my heart out through the google search engine, I came across a recipe which I recognized the exact recipe that I want: BAOZI. A ha! Here it is. Jump happily, I read and re-read the recipe, which was impossible for me to make it at that moment. The recipe calls for proofing the yeast, kneading, then rising, punch, rising again, and so on before it reaches the end. I will need a good whole day to make that.

And, yes I did it the next day. It took really is a day long!

baozi chinese steamed buns

The initial process is just like your way on making ordinary bread, but the only difference is that the dough should be sprinkled with baking powder. I guess, this is the good way to make the dough lighter. I doubled rising period. I think the result is excellent. My dough feels so soft and it is not wet.

When doing the point (12), I divide one long roll into 6 pieces, but when I mold them, the buns become quite unpleasantly big. I am not really good at pinching and I think that the should-be-flower-shape bao is not pretty at all. Some of them are collapsing to the side which is not so impressive. Then, I decided to divide 10 pieces for the other roll. Quite manageable, I think.


Steaming is an important part. I read the instruction carefully and I do not want my buns become wrinkled and deflatten when they are removed from the steamer. So, it is a good trick to let the steam subside and keep the buns in the steamer before removing them to get contact to the air outside the steamer, which of course is much colder.

I know, patience is the key here, and I know you can do it, too! If you're not trying it out, you won't know how much patience you've got he he he...

baozi with red bean paste

As to the filling, I make red bean paste as per instruction. Next time, I'm going to stuff these with the mixture of shredded coconut and palm sugar, just like what my mother and I made when I was little.

baozi with red bean paste

Well, enjoy!

September 11, 2008

Catchy Colours on Colourful Birthday

An entry for Catchy Colours challenge on KBB-Flickr Group.

chocolate coffee mousse cake

You may view the other entries here.

And this is my contribution for Food Photography competition to celebrate the club's 1st birthday/anniversary. I enjoy this dessert as much as I love coffee and chocolate. I like adding berries compote to this dessert.

Chocolate Coffee Mousse Cake

Source: Mbak Ine
Indonesian version click here.

chocolate coffee mousse cake with berries compote


Chocolate sponge cake

5 egg yolks
2 egg whites
40 gr sugar
30 gr plain flour
10 gr corn flour
15 gr cocoa powder
65 gr margarine, melted
1/4 tsp baking powder

20X20X4 cm square cake tin

Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy and thick. Sift together flour, cornflour, milk powder, cocoa powder and baking powder. Fold into the eggs mixture. Add in the melted margarine, mix gently. Pour into the prepared cake tin and bake on a preheated oven 200C for 15 minutes. Split the cake and set aside.

Coffee syrup

1 tsp instant coffee granules
2 Tbs sugar
70 gr water
2 Tbs rum (I substitute it with butter-vanilla essence)

[I cook all the ingredients together until the sugar dissolved and add in the butter-vanilla essence when it's removed from the stove]

Coffee Mouse

1 tsp instant coffee granules mixed with 1 Tbs hot water, to make coffee paste
75 gr thickened cream
100 gr White cooking chocolate, chopped
2 gelatin leaves, soaked
150 gr thickened cream, whisked

Heat 75 gr of thickened cream until hot, add in chopped white cooking chocolate. Stir to melt the chocolate. Drain the gelatin, add into the chocolate mixture. Mix well. Set aside to cool a bit, then add in the coffee paste.

Chocolate Mousse

75 gr thickened cream
100 gr dark cooking chocolate
2 gelatin leaves
150 gr thickened cream, whipped

Use the same method as the coffee mousse, without adding coffee into it.


Put one layer of chocolate cake on to a 20x20cm sponge ring tin. Brush the cake with coffee syrup, pour in the coffee mousse. Cover with the remaining chocolate cake. Brush with the remaining coffee syrup and topped with the chocolate mousse. Keep in the fridge (I kept it in the fridge overnight).

September 08, 2008

Ramadan in Spring

Spring corner 2008

Spring is coming! We're so glad we've been enjoying gardening in the sun again. The heat is just right for me although my husband is still complaining about his freezing knees with that shivering gestures. Can't blame him, though as weather in New Zealand is temperamental. One time we're expecting to be in sunny day, the next minute we find ourselves frozen by southerlies. I assume that many New Zealanders are consulting on weather forecasts. You can't really go out there fishing when a storm is waiting for you in the open sea.

However, a week in the sun brings a lot of joy for us. We can do a lot of gardening. We've been germinating vegetables and flower seeds in the plastic house, hopefully they'll come out right for Summer garden. My children have been planting vegetables in their own patches while playing with their growing cats or feeding Brownie and Whitey, their one year old cows.

Magnolia in Spring

Flowers from Spring bulbs have started to finish although some of my tulips and anemones are still budding. Irises and cineraries have also started to flowering. Magnolias are just superb with their lovely blooms. When I am gardening in the corner of the garden, the air is filled with their mild scent. Very pleasant.

bee on greengage blooms

peach blooms

In the orchard, bees have started pollinating our fruit blooms. A good sign. Plum and some of peach trees are fully covered with blooms. White and pink displays in the orchard. It's this tiny ticklish feeling churning in my tummy when I witness the changing of season. The mighty of creation of each characteristic of season can tickle the deepest sense of mood, the grateful feeling to be able to enjoy the expression of nature, and it is such a pleasure of hard work, the rewards.

Even if you have a small garden, don't you feel that you're on top of the world to see your tomato plant is growing healthy, from little seed (if you germinate yourself) or seedling, and flowering, and then giving you a tiny fruit which then getting plumps and red, and served on your dinner plates? If you can feel it, that is what I feel of the rewards. Satisfaction. The oomph, you know.

It is the greatest feeling that we can welcome Ramadan in Spring. Although it covers a lot of work in the garden during fasting, we still can manage it. Hungry and thirsty is just a journey towards the maghrib, when the sun is set, then this satisfactory feeling, even is mightiest than that, burst into a gratitude. I am still happy, even happier, because I am fasting for my soul and I do my work at the same time for my human-being existence. Isn't life wonderful?

ramadan 2008

Ramadan brings joy as far as I remember and do. Although it is very quiet in New Zealand because not everyone is fasting and I am in the minority of Islam community here in the countryside, I can always take a look at my past journey to my childhood and my home-country.

I am not sure why traditional food is more enjoyed and feasted during holy months like Ramadan-Ied el Fitr, and even during Christmas. Perhaps, it is the time when people are being with their families more. Perhaps the togetherness brings the so much joy feeling, more than the other months where time passes so quickly and more works have to be done. In Ramadan, things seem go much slower. Offices and school days are cut shorter which presumably give parents a chance to go home to their family and to spend more time with them.

When I was single and worked in a textile company in a marketing division, I still remember that it was such a joy to be able to go home earlier. I could feel myself was still 'fresh' compared to the old days when I had to come home at 9pm each day, 6 days a week with salary below expectations.

When you've been hungry and thirsty for, like what... 14-15 hours, you might want to eat or drink as much as you can in order to break your fasting, but I don't think that such a good idea. Religiously, fasting means a lot more than to abstain Muslims from drink, foods, smoking, and intercourse within a certain time. I could not agree more when I read article written by Dr. Arafat El-Ashi about fasting in Islam. If you'd like to read it, please do, it is a good article.

I usually break my fasting with a glass of water followed with a hot cup of sweet tea. If I still have a little time before Maghrib prayer, I would enjoy one apple or banana. Then, I will have light dinner after Maghrib. Sometimes, after a glass of water, I don't feel much hungrier and dinner will be too much for me, I would make sanok.

Sanok is another name of kolak which is stewed vegetables in sweet coconut milk. It is quite satisfied for a hungry and thirsty tummy because it is often served watery. I tend not to use too much coconut milk as my tummy will go acid after a long fasting day. Sanok includes sugarcane bars in it which I am familiar with. I don't have cassava planted in the garden, as much as I want so, it is a tropical plant and not suitable for our frosty climate here, so I don't use cassava. I use pumpkin instead.

sugarcane in our garden

About sugarcane, we were lucky to receive it as a present about a year ago from a Maori man in the group. He said it was a farewell gift but it will thrive forever in our garden. Because we love gardening, we accepted it and it's been in the garden since then. I am familiar with sugarcane as my father grew them when I was a kid. We just loved eating them right after they are cut into bars. The sugarcane plants we planted here is different from those my father grew. The sticks are much slender than those were back home and the skin is redder while my father's was dark purple and much larger than its cousin. Above all, they're both sweet!

I am sending this entry for Lubna and Yasmeen to celebrate Ramadan and Ied el Fitr: Joy from Fasting to Feasting event.



2 kumaras, peeled and cut into chunks
about half of small pumpkin, peeled, cut into chunks
one small sugarcane plant, trimmed, peeled, and cut into bars
2 firm bananas
300ml coconut milk + 200ml water (add more coconut milk if you'd like)
2 pandan leaves (frozen)--or use 1 strip of fresh pandan leaf
1cm root ginger, bruised
1 block palm sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Heat the water until boiling, add in kumara and pumpkin chunks. Keep cooking until both are half-softened. Add in pandan leaves, sugar, ginger and salt. When the pumpkin and kumara are cooked, pour in the coconut milk (keep 1/4 cup for frothing). Just before serving, add in the bananas (cut into chunks). Simmer for 5 minutes, and then served with frothed coconut milk. Serves 4-6.

Note: bananas in New Zealand is different from those grown in Indonesia. There are many varieties of bananas suitable for frying, stewing or just for dessert. I am using half-green bananas here in New Zealand and add them to the last minute because I want them to still be in shape but then also to be able to give melt-in-the-mouth sensation.

September 04, 2008

KBB #7- Colourful 1st Birthday

happy birthday kbb by arfi binsted '08

Klub Berani Baking (KBB) is an Indonesian Baking Club where Indonesian mums or single-fighter ladies are communing together, discussing baking stuffs and trying out recipes from all over the world, from biscuits to pastry, bread to creme caramel, tea cake to cake decorating projects. We share the common interest and we weave friendship within. There's none of us is superior than the others, no teachers or gurus whatsoever, but we do have senior experts who are available for us to go and talk to. They have large experiences in bakery and catering business.

This September-October task is a free-form of many expressions each member of KBB may perform. We are celebrating KBB birthday by taking challenges in cooking, baking and food photography. It's going to be fun!

I am taking part on baking and food photography as one of the host, so I am not going to receive any presents, unfortunately. However, I am doing my best to celebrate the Colourful KBB 1st Birthday on those two competitions. Well, it is not the real competition, although they may be presents, because what it matters is that we're 'gathering' and celebrating this event together, ONLINE.

In August, in between task #6 and task #7, there's usually an 'informal' challenge thrown by a member of the group who's curious to try out a recipe, which can be joined by other members who share the same curiosity. Last month's hot topic was Chocolate Cotton Cake. And I grab the topic to be my entry for baking challenge.

Here's the recipe.

Chocolate Cotton Cake

Source: Rachmah Setyawati, modified from Tulip Baking Demo.
Indonesian version can be viewed here.

cc slice by arfi binsted '08

60g butter
50g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
73ml milk
5 egg yolks, whisked loosely
5 egg whites
120g caster sugar
3g cream of tartar
1/2 tsp mocca paste (I use 5 drops of butter vanilla essence, sent by Irma in Germany)

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Heat the milk in a small saucepan until just hot, but not bubbling. Pour into the loosely whisked egg yolks, mix well. Set aside.

Heat the butter until bubbling. With the stove off but the saucepan still on the hot stove, add in the sifted plain flour and cocoa powder together into the hot butter. Whisk until smooth. Add in the mixture of egg yolks and milk. Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Whisk the egg whites until foamy, add in cream of tartar. Add in caster sugar bit by bit until the sugar has all used and the egg whites gone soft peak. Spoon out a bit of the meringue mixture and add into the chocolate mix, combine well. Pour this mixture into the rest of the meringue, fold in gently, just careful not to knock out the bubbles.

Pour into a lined (not greased) 20x20x4cm square cake tin and bake at 160C until it's rising high, then reduce to 150C and continue baking until cooked, about 35 minutes.

The rest is up to you, either split the cake into half or just pour the cooled cake with your favourite ganache.


*menerawang jauh*

Setahun yang lalu, lewat semangat teman-teman, KBB lahir dengan tugas pertama Paris-Brest, September-Oktober 2007. Saat itu hanya beberapa puluh orang yang bergabung, orang-orang yang sebagiannya sudah aku kenal sejak lama di dunia blogging dan lewat milis NCC (trims mbak Fat selaku owner dan para mods yang mengijinkan aku promo). Orang-orang yang sama membangun KBB lewat komitmen dan kebersamaan, sebuah dedikasi menurutku, karena baking sambil memotret step-by-step seperti yang diminta sebagai khas laporan KBB merupakan tugas yang tidak ringan. Tapi toh, teman-teman yang komitmen tetap menjalankan tugasnya dengan riang gembira (tul ga?).

Di awal-awal kegiatan KBB, aku mengakui agak 'strict' dengan aturan, mungkin buat teman-teman lain terdengar 'galak'. Dengan icon 'ngelus-ngelus jenggot' sungguh buatku tidak ada sebuah imajinasi yang lucu saat membayangkan seorang kakek mengelus2 jenggot mengawasi para cucunya bermain bahkan bertengkar. Sebuah imajinasi yang secara spontan keluar dari benakku, tertulis lewat keyboard. Arfi si jenggot buahahahahahaha! Tapi tidak semua orang barangkali bisa 'melihat' dari sudut pandang yang sama.

Anyway, manusia belajar dari sebuah kesalahan atau pengalaman pahit. Manajemen itu penting tapi demokrasi itu lebih diutamakan. Aku ingin di dalam KBB semua saling mengenal dan saling bersilaturahmi. Bertukar pikiran di dalam maling list merupakan sebuah arena diskusi yang kadang-kadang serius, juga seringkali kocak dengan warna-warni latar belakang, sifat, karakter pribadi masing-masing anggota, sebuah warna yang aku sukai, sebuah arena yang aku cintai.

Seperti tema KBB#7 kali ini adalah KBB Warna-Warni karena member KBB berasal dari negara yang berbeda, karakter berbeda, latar belakang berbeda, tapi teuteub Indonesia asli dan sama-sama suka baking, ngumpul jadi satu di dalam wadah Klub Berani Baking. Sungguh kebersamaan yang aku rasakan selama satu tahun ini makin kental, merefleksikan setiap warna di dunia ini.

Dalam merayakan ultah KBB ini aku memutuskan untuk mencoba Chocolate Cotton Cake yang digembar-gemborkan oleh Rachmah yang resepnya didapat dari demo Tulip. Resepnya sudah ditakar menjadi 1/3 dari resep asli dan cukupan deh buat keluarga kecil. Resepnya bisa dilihat di blognya Rachmah (sementara temen-temen lainnya yang sudah nyobain bikin bisa dilihat di blognya masing-masing: Mae, Regina, Vin, Nifti Ventin, Amalia, Puji Yuliastuti, Dita, Irma juga udah bikin tapi ga direkam kejadiannya, trus siapa lagi ya? ).

KBB Warna-Warni CC

Aku bikin cake ini dua kali karena yang pertama itu aku rasa gagal (foto di atas). Hasilnya kempis banget dan keriput. Resepnya sudah aku timbang betul2 dan rasa2nya kocokan putih telur juga soft peak. Tapi waktu mencampurkan sedikit kocokan putih telur ke adonan telur dan coklat lalu masukkan lagi ke putih telur, hasilnya kelihatan encer. Sudah curiga, jangan-jangan ini yang dibilang sama Vin. Ternyata emang bener, hasilnya keriput banget. Selain itu juga aku ga konsultasi suhu ovennya. Karena aku pikir cake dengan perlakuan pengocokan telur seperti ini biasanya memakai oven medium hot sektiar 180C-190C, ternyata aku salah. Suhunya justru hanya 160C yang kemudian musti diturunkan ke 150C setelah cake menggembung. Oke deh. Bikin lagi.

Percobaanku yang kedua:

choc cotton cake - the process

Di dalam foto cake yang dalam loyang ada yang keriput, itu percobaan pertama. Hasilnya hanya aku siram dengan ganache dan serutan coklat putih. Kebetulan ada tetangga baru yang baru pindah, Mike dan Mark. Spontan aku kirimkan ke tetangga dan kemaren waktu ketemu Mark dia bilang, "it was very nice, Arfi, just what we need!". My pleasure, Mark. Berarti memang kelembutan cotton cake meskipun keriput teteub mak nyus ya. Dengan siraman ganache yang sederhana aja udah bisa dinikmati.

Di foto yang sama di loyang bagian bawah itu percobaan kedua. Ada kecelakaan ketika memisahkan putih dan kuning telurnya. Ga sengaja tanganku senggol mangkuk mixer tempat putih telurnya, gubraks, tumpah ke lantai. Udah ada dua putih telur, terpaksa ganti. Jadi aku pake 5 putih telur dan 7 kuning telur.

chocolate cotton cake - kbb birthday cake

Karena percobaan kedua kali jadi yang ini lebih 'waspada'. Kali ini aku pake loyang 22x22x4cm. Ngocok putih telurnya kali ini pake speed 8, tadinya sih cuma pake 7. Berasa waktu nyampurin adonan putih telur dengan kuning telur-coklat, adonannya masih ringan dan ga begitu encer. Aku pikir bakalan berbeda kali ini dengan yang sebelumnya.

Dugaanku ga salah karena saat keluar dari oven, kempisnya berkurang dari yang sebelumnya. Meskipun masih mengempis sedikit di bagian tengah cake kali ini tidak berpinggang. Aku rasa, loyang juga berpengaruh ya. Soalnya di percobaan pertama, aku pake loyang teflon sementara yang kedua bukan teflon meskipun hitam. Yang pertama berpinggang dan kempis banget, sementara yang kedua ga kempis-kempis amat, bonusnya ga berpinggang. Aku ga punya loyang kaleng sih, pengen juga nyobain kalo pake loyang kaleng bakalan sama atau ga.

Kali ini cake bakalan dimakan bersama. Sekalian acara tiup lilin sama anak-anak yang berkali-kali nanya ultah siapa. Cake tadinya mau aku siram pake ganache tapi waktu melelehkan coklat barangkali kepanasan. Coklatnya aku pake 70% dan aku cemplungin mentega dan SKM, jadinya mberindil2. Hampir hilang akal, akhirnya aku kocok satu butir telur telur ampe rada nyampur, trus aku tuang ke panci tempat coklat leleh campur di atas api kecil sambil dikocok pake whisker sampe lembut dan mengkilap. Eh, ternyata jadinya rada-rada kayak French buttercream hehehe... selamaaaat selamat! Ga jadi buang-buang coklat 70% huhuiiii!

Yuk tiup lilin! Hip Hip Huraaayyyyy! *lilinnya belum dipasang, ding hihihi*

Selamat ulang tahun KBB dan KBBers! Tetep semangat yaaaaaaaa! Luv y'all!

September 01, 2008

Baked Blueberry, Lemon and Almond Pudding

We've been having beautiful days recently and have been spending time more in the garden. I've done cleaning up all the potato beds and have managed to put the Urenika (Maori purple potato) in the earth. The work won't stop there, though. I still have more beds to clean. I also need to trim the massive growing coriander seedlings and make space for planting some carrots. We also have to plant new seedlings of silver beet (Swiss chard) as ours are growing rather old now.

black dorris-bllington blooms plumcott blooms schulten plum blooms

On citrus side, the trees are at their peak. Lemons, Tahitian limes, oranges, tangelos and mandarins are all fruitful while the plum trees are blooming with their flowers, accompanied by some peach trees. We're expecting to have more blooms from nashi (pear) trees this year as we suspect that they only flower and fruit once every two years. Last year, we almost did not harvest anything and the fruits which were on the trees just fallen or eaten by possums or birds. If they are fruitful this year, we need to think what we do with them.


Now, lemons are the citrus fruit which are used the most in my kitchen. If you've tried any desserts which are lemon-based, you might like to think "I'd better grow lemons myself". Well, that is well worth it.

I often receive complains from my friends who are trying to grow lemon trees. They say that their lemon trees are quite temperamental. I don't find it difficult to grow citrus here, but perhaps some places do need extra treatment before growing citrus trees. We usually start growing plants, any plants, just after the frosts are gone. It is in October usually. Other time is Autumn quite suitable, around May.

We don't use commercial fertilizer or pellets, other than fowl, sheep or cows manure. Often we find ourselves are raking old manure out of the chicken houses or out there on the paddock where the sheep and cows have been, just to get a bag or two to add on the fresh raked soil or vegetable beds. These kind of manure are quite rich and we always use old manure because fresh ones often 'burn' the plants.

We also do worm farm. WORM? Yes. Have you heard about vermicomposting? The liquid produced from this farm is great for liquid fertilizer. It is quite rich too, so we need to dilute it with water. I often feed my roses with this in Spring.

However, growing lemons we don't find any difficulties at all. The soil is quite fertile and rich. The climate is just right to grow citrus as well, so there's no such reasons for not growing anything here, really. Besides the plants we can't grow in our climate region (we'd love to grow mangoes and paddy, if it's possible), we sort of getting plants to put in the orchard to do trial and error. This year, we add blueberry plants on our orchard and we'll see how they're going.

Lemon and blueberry, that will make baked blueberry, lemon and almond pudding. I brought this pudding when we went down to Mount Ruapehu and it was a star. My kids have loved it since then. Everytime I buy a pack of frozen blueberries, they know what I'm going to make. This could be really nice if we can pick our own blueberries in 3-4 years time. Well worth the wait, I suppose.

I am sending this pudding to Chris's Deep Freezer Summer Challenge.

Baked Bluberry, Lemon and Almond Pudding

Source: Taste Magazine. August 2008.

baked bluberry, lemon and almond pud

Fruit Base

1 kg frozen blueberries, defrosted
1/3 cup caster sugar
finely grated zest of 1 lemon (I use half of the juice as well)

Preheat the oven to 180C. Lightly butter a 20cm x 32cm ovenproof dish.. Put the blueberries into the dish and mix through caster sugar and lemon zest (I also squirted the juice from half-cut of lemon).


1/2 cup ground almond
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbs buttermilk
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp almond extract (I don't use this)
1/4 tsp sliced almonds
icing sugar, for dusting

Place the ground almonds on a baking tray and toast until the colour starts to go golden. Keep checking in case it's burning.

Sift flour into a mixing bowl. Add the toasted ground almonds and caster sugar. Stir in the melted butter, egg, buttermilk (I just use 1:1 of plain yogurt and milk), lemon zest and almond extract. Mix well and spread onto the berries, leaving about 2cm of fruit uncovered around the edges. The mix will spread during cooking.

Sprinkle slivered almonds over the top and bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden and the fruit base is bubbling. Serve with icing sugar just before serving. Makes 6.

"Truly, it is by the remembrance of Allah that hearts find rest" - Qur'an 13:28

Happy Ramadan, my brothers and sisters in Islam.