October 27, 2010

Ginger It!

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Yeah. Since ginger is part medicinal herbs and part traditional flavour to be used in Indonesian cooking or baking, I am keen on searching the balance flavour of it in tapioca biscuits. Call it Bangket [bang ket] and it is what it is. Meaning? Not sure, but for culinary purpose, it is the biscuit that carries the melt-in-the-mouth sensation.


Made traditionally from tapioca flour, these little darlings are now in the limelight. People in the NCC group and soon in my baking club are madly baking them to serve it right. Many flavours are offered and some alterations, adjustments you call it, are boldly re-written, but I just fall in love with three flavour: milk, peanuts, and ginger.

Presenting the zingy thing from its extract, ginger plays a big role in traditional biscuit. And I love it. Here, in this recipe, I add fresh spices to the original recipe. It is just so... traditional.


Kue Jahe Manis
posted by Puspita Widowati, extracted from Majalah Sedap

I call it Biskuit Rempah (Spice Biscuits). In this recipe, I tweaked a bit. I used 150g dark palm sugar and 50g icing sugar, add 1 cinnamon quill, 3 whole cloves, a squashed cardamom, half bruised nutmeg, and 1 bruised lemon grass). My method of cooking the coconut milk is to boil everything in, simmer, and let cool, with the spices in the saucepan, then sieved. To simmer the spices will give a chance for the spices to release their oil in a very low heat. 

175 ml santan (coconut milk)
100 gr gula merah (dark palm sugar)
50 gr jahe, diparut (ginger, grated)
100 gr margarine
100 gr gula halus (icing/confectionery sugar)
1 kuning telur (egg yolk)
500 gr kanji, sangrai 15 menit diatas api kecil (tapioca flour, toasted)

Cara membuat:

1.       Rebus gula merah, jahe dan santan lalu saring. Dinginkan. (Cook coconut milk with dark palm sugar, ginger (and spices) to boil. Sieved.)
2.       Kocok margarine, gula halus dan kuning telur hingga lembut (Beat margarine, icing sugar and egg yolk until fluffy.)
3.       Masukkan kanji, aduk rata. Tambahkan rebusan gula. Aduk rata. (Fold in the flour, mix well. Add in the cooled palm sugar mixture. Mix well.)
4.       Tipiskan adonan lalu cetak. Oven sampai matang. Oven selama 20 menit. (Roll out thinly and cut with biscuit cutters. Bake until cook for 20 minutes).

October 19, 2010

Promises that Hopefully Will Keep

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We are in the middle of Spring and can feel that the weather is improving. Although we still received coldsnap, I don't think it is that bad. With everything is sprouting and going greener, we can actually be confident that there are promises in every open buds, that they will bear young fruits, just enough for us to enjoy.

harvest the rest

Kiwifruits were the last crops we harvested, shared with piwauwau-like birds. They taste really sweet and fragrant once they are ripen.

My Boy

bluebell by ben binsted

californian poppy by ben binsted

When the sun is up, the activities will be shifted outside. My oldest son, who shares passion in photography with me, is enthusiastic to learn more techniques outdoors. I let him use my camera and 100mm f/2.8L macro lens attached. Composition was our theme that day, so I think he did it well. You can visit his collection here, if you'd like to.

It is so lovely being the in the orchard and garden at the moment. Blossoms are blooming and bees have started working, pollinating. Some fruit trees have been bearing young fruits, sending promises that are well kept for us. Hopefully.

appleblooms2  Cherry Blossoms

the promises

Yes, I said hopefully. Full blooms are not always a guarantee that all will be developing into mature fruits. Many will drop when they are not pollinated, others might survive but still need to fight against diseases. 

Gardening and managing an orchard is a kind of work which requires regular treatment.  But we do love being self-sufficient and working on what nature offers. It is such an achievement if you can eat apples fresh from the tree which taste so much better than store-bought ones. This is because they are picked when are mature. 

grapes in our orchard

There is always ups and downs in gardening, but also contains surprises. This year, it seems that our grapevines are promising more fruits than last year which grew more foliage and vines rather than bunches of grapes.

Last Winter, we decided not to cut back all vines, but to leave the main ones, so that they won't get 'too tired' to grow. It seems worth it. We can see from their appearance now that flower buds are forming in each tip.

nashi trees

Our nashi trees seem happily growing, although they just finished their season in March. Other pear trees also look okay, full blooms and some Packham and William pears are forming little fruits now. Very promising.

nashi blooms

Apple blossoms this year are so pretty. I love the shade of pink and white on each petals. 

apple blossoms

With all of these colour displays in the orchard, it seems so strange to feel cold again. It seems that Winter does not want to go away just yet. We've been lighting the fire these past two-three days. But, then it is one reason for me to cook and be energized with mung bean soup, one of those kind I eat in a rainy day.

It is easy, simple, and nutritious.

bubur kacang hijau

Bubur Kacang Hijau (Mung Bean Soup)
by Arfi Binsted

1 cup whole mung beans
2-3 blocks dark palm sugar (product of Indonesia. Auckland people, please ask Barry of Wah Lee)
3 pandan leaves, knotted
3cm root ginger, bruised
a pinch of salt
about 1/2 cup-1 cup coconut milk

Rinse whole mung beans under running water in a sieve. Put into a small saucepan, filled with water just enough to cover. You may want to add more if you want a thinner version. Add in knotted pandan leaves, ginger, and cook until tender. When cooked, add in the sugar, salt and coconut milk. Simmer. Removed and enjoy. Makes 2 large servings.

October 02, 2010

Yellow of Love

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My Little Spring Butterfly

Magnolia Tree

"Yellow of Love, I call it. It's like the Spring corner in my garden where yellow daffodils and jonquils are emerging from the earth, welcoming the season of flowers and blooms, delivering mild scent to bees and other insects, seducing them to their sweetness. 

And my Little Spring Butterfly is fluttering her invisible wings around. Softly, picking each yellow of love in the garden and brought them close to her heart.

The series of Heart, it is the theme that Barbara of Winos and Foodies, inviting us to join her in LiveStrong with A Taste of Yellow. Here, we're sending you the yellow heart, to give you strength in whatever condition you are, to let you know you are not alone, to give you supports that we are here for you.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tartlet

Stay Strong!