September 30, 2010

Going Three


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In September, 3 years ago, I decided to build a baking club (Klub Berani Baking, shortened with KBB) where Indonesian ladies can 'meet' and do baking 'together', to share common interests, to learn techniques and methods in baking, or just to know each other more than just typed words.

Some of us have met, many of us are friends in the real world. When I went to visit Bandung, West Java, Indonesia, in 2009, there I met some members of KBB, to be interviewed in a female radio station. First time ever to meet them and it was just wonderful. It felt like I've known them for years!

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And while we were there, we also experienced Sundanese traditional cuisine, that I've longed for. I lived in Bandung for 8 years in total, on and off, so I knew the city quite well. I thought I knew, but it was totally changed when I visited there again, all those new development that wasn't quite like the old days I loved. It was very crowded and oh-darn-the traffics! Anyway, we enjoyed our companies and luncheon date that day.

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IMG_3138 Ulukutek Leunca

Bakmi & Grilled Chicken Satay Lunch

Do I make you hungry? Well, I even make myself want to go there again, enjoy the atmosphere I am familiar with and the food that my palate is madly in love. The good thing about Bandung is that my family loves it. Even my Kiwi hubby who loves tranquility, does not mind it and thought that Bandung reminds him of a town in Penang, Malaysia. A good sign ;)

Now that KBB is three years old, we are holding a celebration for it. The challenge this time is to look back and bake your favourite. Well, choosing is quite a pain, because all the recipes I chose is different. However, with the time is so little, I chose to re-visit Paris-Brest, as it was our first challenge back in 2007.

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It is easy and my hubby loves it.

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Review:
Milih Paris-Brest karena gampang dan kangmas suka banget sama choux pastry, bikinnya pun gampang dan cepat!

September 23, 2010

Over the Moon


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"Oh, Moon cake, Moon cake. How beautiful you are, yet hard to be found in the Land of Long White Clouds." (AB)

This cake brought me back to one special moment a year ago. Mbak Etty, one of my friends in Indonesia visited Auckland during her 10 days touring New Zealand and brought me this lovely mooncake she bought in Malaysia on her way out.

Auckland was so lovely to visit that day. Mild sun and was just right time to drive, before everybody got out for lunch.

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And I just love this corner! The building is just something of a character, I reckon.

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This is Wah Lee, the only place where I could find Javanese palm sugar which are in appearance much darker from its cousins made from Thailand or Vietnam. Here I also bought bamboo steamers and other Asian must-have utilities. However, so much so, it is such an effort to drive to Auckland only to purchase one or two items. I am longing to find such shop in Pukekohe.

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I can't recall if mooncakes are hard to find in Indonesia, especially in the town where I grew up. However, I don't remember to eat this on a special occasion such as Mid-Autumn Festival. Perhaps, is it because Indonesia only has two seasons?

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But I do remember that there were smaller versions of mooncakes which were filled with mung bean paste, rather than lotus paste. 

Moon Cake by Arfi Binsted 2009

This moon cake that I ate was filled with mung bean paste and taro paste in the middle.

Moon Cake 2 by Arfi Binsted 2009

The cake was so sweet, I only take a little at a time. Of course, it is traditionally eaten in a little slice and passed around, isn't it? 

Anyway, Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to all of you! In this south hemisphere, Happy Spring New Zealand!

September 12, 2010

Soto Ayam


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Soto Ayam (Chicken Soup) is an Indonesian culinary icon which has various servings and methods of cooking. I quite like cooking it with lots of fresh herbs, if not frozen. Those ground spices are not bringing the best flavour of the chicken at all. It won't taste fresh and clean on the palate, so don't use them!

Some people enjoy Soto Ayam with rice, others like it best with so-un (glass/cellophane noodles) or bihun (rice vermicelli). Either or, as long as the soup is hot and fresh, it will be fantastic. Lovely to enjoy this in the edge of Winter and early Spring, when showers are still lingering and cool weather is still faithfully sending us its breeze.

relax in the Spring sunSpring is here, my friend!magnolia

A bowl of soup, sitting in the orchard where plum blooms are covering each trees, is a way to sweep gloom away.

Soto Ayam

Soto Ayam
by Arfi Binsted

It is your personal choice either enjoying it with rice or noodle. 

Chicken Broth
1 free-range chicken, jointed (weigh about 1-1.5kg)
3 lemongrass stalks, bruised
3cm ginger root, bruised
2cm turmeric root, bruised (I use frozen one)
2cm galangal root, bruised (I use frozen one)
4 kaffir lime leaves, torn
3 bay leaves
100ml coconut milk (add more if you want thicker flavour)

Cook these ingredients together, except coconut milk, with water just to cover the whole joints until boiling, then simmer and continue cooking until the chicken is tender. Strain. Put the broth back into the saucepan and add in the seasoning paste and coconut milk. Put chicken in another bowl or container, and shredded. Cover for later use.

Bumbu Soto (Soto Seasoning)
1 1/2 Tbs coriander seeds
1 Tbs cumin seeds
8 shallots, peeled and choppped
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 candlenuts

Make a paste of these ingredients using either mortar and pestle or food processor. Cook in a little oil until fragrant. Just gentle, not too dry. Add it in the broth and cook further more until you have a good aroma from it.

Garnish
sliced spring onions
fried shallots
raw cabbage, sliced thinly
mung bean sprouts
hard-boiled eggs
diced and cooked potatoes
sliced limes

Assemble
Put noodle/rice in a bowl, pour in the broth. Pile shredded chicken, vegetables, egg, sprouts, and potatoes on top. Sprinkle with fried shallots and sliced spring onions. Serve warm. Makes 4-6.

September 10, 2010

Eid Mubarak


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Eid Mubarak

Kullu Amatum Bi Khair. Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Bathin.