December 23, 2011

Dairy-Free Pannacotta

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I am not really good at staying away from dairy products, as much as I have to. I still love nibbling my favourite cheese Camembert, or spooning a dollop of Mascarpone on a bowl of freshly picked orange juice macerated strawberries. I still like enjoying homemade cappuccino with heaps of milk foam on top and love devouring over creme brulee as my favourite desserts on a special occassion. All of those are too good to be substituted with dairy-free ingredients, if I have to be frank, but they are not without consequences that I have to deal with afterwards. If they are in any way substituted, I cannot find a parallel satisfaction I can get from dairy products counterparts.

Sometimes the consequence is so ugly that makes me promise myself right to the bone not to go back to the previous diets (although I often don't keep).

The older, the wiser I am (says me). If I want to live longer and healthy, please Arfi, don't break your own promises. If dairy-free products can keep me enjoy the world much longer and watch my kids grow up, then stick with them. It is a long-term conduct of well-being, I suppose. And (perhaps) self-discipline.

So, yes. I have to switch my palate to another direction my body tells it's safe to consume. Perhaps with a little adjustment, I will be alright.

I am sure I am not the only one.

The good news is, I am a bit lucky that I can find a lot of gluten-free and dairy-free baking substitutes at our local (Pukekohe, The Heart of Franklin, that is) specialty store, 'N Tolerance. They have Milk AlternativesSoy Condensed Milk, as well as other baking substitutes you find on the website. Besides, you can just find milk substitutes at ordinary groceries, such as 'Pak n Save. Coconut milk and coconut cream are also widely available at local groceries or Asian shops. I don't think I would be able to complain anymore.

It's now the matter of being creative.

I have been experimenting on these products for such a long time to make pannacotta, not that I am paid to say these things, but just as you know. Soy milk and Rice milk are equally good. Almond milk will give slightly richer texture with nutty flavour more than the previous mentioned. But when you make pannacotta, you will need something quite thicker than milk. Therefore, I use coconut cream.

#dairyfree coconut milk agar-agar vanilla pannacotta with blueberry compote #food #foodphotography #ipad2

Dairy-Free Vanilla Rice Milk and Coconut Cream Pannacotta

Allison of Pease Pudding sent me a jar of agar-agar weeks ago (thanks, Alli!) and I use it to make this dairy-free pannacotta. The result will be a firmer texture of pannacotta, not as wobbly as a jelly would be like. I have been familiar cooking with agar-agar because this is what we mostly use to cook desserts in Indonesia, like Casablanca Pudding I made years ago, although nowadays gelatine has been introduced and been used widely. We enjoy this pannacotta with blueberry compote.

The interesting thing about agar-agar is that you can cook it with the other ingredients without the need to soak it in liquid firsthand. If you have some mixture left on your saucepan, it will slide away easily when you rinse it in cold water.

400ml coconut cream
100ml rice milk
1 Tbs agar-agar powder
1 vanilla bean, split and scrapped
1/2 cup caster sugar

Whisk all the ingredients in a large saucepan until well-blended. Boil on high heat until bubbly and then on low heat to simmer until the mixture is thicken. Discard the vanilla bean. Pour the mixture into prepared glasses. Let cool and then transfer into the fridge. Serve with your favourite topping.

Merry Christmas to all of you my Christian friends. All the best! #christmas #love #instagood

Happy Holidays!

December 16, 2011

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crackle Biscuits

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What is so attractive about cracked biscuits? They are photogenic if you ask me.

These biscuits are my gluten-free version. I use milk chocolate for that what I only can find in my pantry, therefore, less sugar is used. 

This is my entry for Sweet New Zealand, initiated by Alessandra Zecchini and now hosted by Bron Marshall for a sweet December treat.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crackle Biscuits

Gluten-Free Chocolate Crackle Biscuits

1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1 Cup white rice flour
2 Tbs cornflour
1/2 tsp Guar gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
250g milk chocolate
60g margarine
1/4 cup caster sugar (use more if you want it sweeter and crispier) 
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
icing sugar to coat

#glutenfree Chocolate Crackle Biscuits. #baking #food #foodphotography #ipad2

Preheat the oven to 200C. Line baking trays with baking paper.

Sift the flours, gum, baking powder and salt together in a bowl, set aside. Melt chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl which sits on top of a pot of simmering water. Let cool.

Beat eggs and sugar until thick, add in vanilla essence, beat again. Add in chocolate and butter mixture. Mix well. Fold in flour mix. Mix well. Let cool in the fridge until hardened and easier to work on.

Roll into little marbles, roll into a bowl of icing sugar. Arrange the coated balls on trays, and bake for more or less 12-15 minutes or until firm when touched. Let cool on trays for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Keep them in an airtight jars. Makes 20.

November 29, 2011

KBB#26: Panettone

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I have made this draft weeks ago in Bahasa. I hope you don't mind. It's just another task of our baking club, KBB, to make Panettone (I think Alessandra will be able to tell a story about this further on, won't you Alessandra?). I quite like it. I like bread with dried fruits, like Bara Brith in England. Things are getting Christmasy the end of the year, so perhaps this will be one of your sweet on the table? Happy Holiday!!

Tantangan KBB kali ini bikin panettone, cake/roti-nya wong Itali. Sudah pernah bikin ini dulunya, pakai resep King Arthur Flour Cookbook. Menurutku sih seperti roti bluder yang dulu pernah dibawain Mbak Ine ketika ketemuan di Depok, cuma buah2an keringnya menclok-menclok diseluruh penjuru. Kalo roti bluder-nya Mbak Ine kan diisi dalemnya pake macam2 filling.

Ga ada masalah dalam pembuatan. Cuaca di NZ menyemangati pembuatan roti-rotian karena sedang musim panas.

Panettone #baking #homemade #instafood #food #foodphotography #foodporn

Panettone (traditional Italian christmas bread)
Source: The Worldwide Gourmet

KBB #26

 - 1 1/2 cakes of fresh baker's yeast
- 65 ml (1/4 cup) sugar
 - 6 tbsp. warm water
- 6 egg yolks
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- A pinch of salt
 - 500-750 ml (2-3 cups) flour
 - 100 ml (6 tbsp.) diced candied peel
 - 100 g (6 tbsp.) + 2 tbsp.butter
- 4 tbsp. sultanas
- 4 tbsp. currants
 - 1 tsp. vanilla


KBB #26

 Sprinkle 1 tbsp. granulated sugar and the yeast over the warm milk and let sit 3 minutes; mix and let rest in a warm draft-free place (e.g., a warm oven that has been turned off) until the mixture has doubled in volume, approximately 5 minutes;
 pour the mixture into a bowl, add in the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, salt and remaining sugar;
gradually mix in 500 ml (2 c.) of the flour by hand until a smooth consistency is attained - the dough should easily come together into a ball;
 gradually add the butter cut into small dice and beat until the dough becomes smoother and more elastic;
 add 125 to 250 ml (1/2 to 1 c.) more flour until the dough is firm and silky but not sticky;
place the ball onto a lightly floured surface.

KBB #26

KBB #26

Knead the dough for approximately 10 minutes. When the dough is smooth and shiny, place into a buttered bowl; dust lightly with flour, cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm draft-free place for about 45 minutes until doubled in volume;
 punch down the dough firmly with your fist and flatten it out in the bowl; add the candied lemon peel, raisins and currants and knead until well distributed but without working the dough more than necessary;
line a large bread pan with brown paper that has been well buttered on both sides; place the dough in the pan and trace a cross on top;
cover with buttered paper and let rise again in a warm place for 15 minutes;
remove the paper from the top; brush the top with softened butter.

Ready to oven. I can see a small disaster coming. If I am right, that is. We'll see. #baking #homemade


Preheat the oven to 200°C (400° F);
place the bread pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 10 minutes;
 reduce the oven temperature to 160° C (350° F) and continue baking for another 30 to 40 minutes, brushing again with melted butter; the bread is done when the surface is golden and crispy;
 remove from the oven; remove the paper and let cool for 15 minutes before unmolding.

Praktek pertama dari resep ini, aku ganti sultanas dengan chocolate chips karena pada saat itu sultanas sudah habis ternyata di kotaknya. Selain itu aku pakai loyang roti kecil. Ketika memasukkan adonannya ke loyang roti, perasaan kok rada kekecilan, bakal tumpah nih adonan. We'll see. Eh ya ternyata bener. Di pertengahan baking, sebagian kecil roti dari bagian yang kena silet di atasnya melorot turun. Jadilah aku ikat pakai benang, selamat.

Panettone #foodporn #foodphotography #food #instafood #homemade #baking

Panettone, my second batch. Very happy with it. #Italian #Christmas #cake #food #instagood #ipadcamera #ipadography #iphoto #ipad2 #foodblogger #foodstagram #foodphotography #instafood #ipadnesia

Praktek kedua lebih mulus lus lus. Adonannya aku masukkan ke dalam loyang chiffon kecil minus bagian tengahnya. Letakkan di atas baking tray dialasi baking paper. Sultanas aku rendam dulu ke dalam orange juice hangat supaya ga kering, ga pake currants. Lemon aku maksimalkan tiga buah, supaya lebih wangi.

Good morning! It's 6:15am here in NZ.

Rasa panettonne enak, crossing antara roti dan cake. Empuk, cocok untuk sarapan, diolesi mentega dan lime atau orange marmalade, sedaaaaapp!!!

November 20, 2011

Sweet NZ: Donna Hay's Brownie Cookies

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Ever since I saw the recipe on Donna Hay's iPad app, I suddenly felt a crave for chocolate and peanut butter. You can view her recipe on her website, here's the link for brownie cookies.

IMG_2270-Donna Hay's Brownie Cookies

Served it for morning tea with Mairi on the weekend. My entry for Sweet NZ #4, initiated by Alessandra and this month is hosted by Mairi of ToastNZ.

Have a great Sunday!

November 16, 2011

I'm a Food Blogger!

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I still remember the expression of my optometrist when he asked what I do, that I casually answered 'I'm a food blogger'. He said never heard of that occupation before and never thought it ever exists. I had no intention to argue whatsoever, for I, myself, don't think that food blogging is an occupation. I simply supplied an answer for him to fill in the form for me. In the end, he asked my blog link and for a little while taking his time browsing through, while I was by his side, sitting on the chair staring at the letters beyond the wall. Then he murmured 'Oh, you're a food writer.' I was almost knocked out of the chair.

Should a food blogger be an occupation? Is there?

I don't even know if someone ever food blogging for money, however, I have acknowledged some food bloggers receive fund for ads on their blogs. But still, you don't earn a living by food blogging, do you? 

I have been food blogging for 6 years now. I forget when I actually started, because I didn't use blogger dot com as my hosting right back in 2005 and don't keep the archives. I even forget the password to log in although I can just simply retrieve it by clicking 'forgot your password' button. I only don't think it's quite necessary by now.

Anyway, food blogger does exist!

And New Zealand Food Blogger Conference had just held its first gathering, initiated and organized by Allison of Peasepudding. I have read so many stories from so many local food bloggers. And many more food bloggers yet to be discovered. I am sure.

I did not come to the conference, no matter how much I wanted to. I promise though, that I will go to the next one. I believe that my baby will be old enough to realize that her mother deserves to get a life... well, (a little) time for herself.

A lovely meet-up with @bronmarshall @gourmetgennet and Jaco Swart.
Cheers! #aotearoa #newzealand #auckland #foodblogger @bronmarshall @gourmetgennet

Alone but not lonely... #ipad2 #iphoneography #ipadnesia #auckland #newzealand #garden #instagood #photooftheday #pixlromatic

But I managed to meet up with Bron of Bron Marshall and Jaco Swart of Rainbow Cooking, accompanied by Allison on their way back to Christchurch. It was a lovely short catch-up as Bron and Jaco needed to catch their flight.

I have been lacking of interest in blogging these past months and have been thinking to 'resign'. The main reason is that I just haven't got much time to write. My spare time has been filled with gardening, pulling out those darn weeds, making vegetable beds available for planting, and what's not. Sitting down and writing like this one I managed to squeeze in is a luxury. Luxury, indeed. 

Well, I am not sure if this post is a sign that I'm coming back for more posts, but let's hope the time is on my side and my mojo kicks back in and then I still can say to my optometrist that I'm a Food Blogger!

Have a wonderful blogging out there!

November 02, 2011

HHDH: Anniversary Drinks

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My entry for HHDH: Drinks, hosted by Barbara of Winos and Foodies and facilitated by Chez Us

I also uploaded the iPhone version on instagram of this drinks.

Thirst quenched #strawberry #drink #donnahay #iphoneography #food #foodporn #foodphotography #iphonesia #iphoneasia #homemades

Happy Anniversary, Donna Hay!    

October 20, 2011

Cheese and Potato Bake

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#cheese and #potato bake #taglietelle #dinner #cooking #homemade #instafood #food #foodporn #foodphotography #ipad2

This is our dinner last night. Served with roast chicken and a large bowl of our fresh garden salad. While eating, I was thinking and thankful at the same time. What we eat is what we grow. Apart from cheese, these are all homegrown and homemade.

Cheese and Potato Bake
by Arfi Binsted

1.5kg potatoes, peeled, washed and diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
300ml fresh cream
350g Gruyere cheese, grated
100g Parmesan, grated
salt and pepper
oil for cooking (I am using my homemade garlic-infused rice bran oil)

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Boiled potatoes, about 15 minutes. The potatoes will be half-way cooked. Drained, set aside and put them in a butter or margarine-greased ovenproof dish. Meanwhile, heat the oil, enough to cook the onion, until fragrant and soft. Add in garlic, cook a little bit more until fragrant but not brown. Add in cream and most of the grated cheeses. Cook until cheese melted, and then pour over the potatoes. Bake in the oven for around 20-25 minutes until bubbling and brown on top. Enough for 4 large portion.

#marlihuhn_thinkpinkchallenge @marlihuhn it's Pink October. Thinking of my grandmother who died of breast cancer, my father who died in July this year of mouth cancer, and sending hopes to all of you who are still fighting cancer. #pink #rose #mawar

Have a great weekend!

October 19, 2011

BW Wednesday: Eggs

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Free-Range Eggs

Been really slack with blogging, I finally can manage to squeeze myself at the desk and upload this photo for Black and White Wednesday, hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. These are our farm free-range fresh eggs.

October 13, 2011

Donna Hay's Classic Brownies

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#chocolate #brownie an item for the book #foodphotography #foodporn #food #ig #igfood #iphonesia #iphoneography #sweets #baking

Just a short note. I made this Classic Brownies from Donna Hay's latest 10th Birthday Magazine. I got the mag online on iPad. Have you heard? Yes, Donna Hay has got an app. Check your iTunes store, and you won't go wrong! I love, love, love Donna Hay!

Have a great (early) weekend!

October 10, 2011

on instagram

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Strawberry Jam-Filled Doughnuts #igfood #food #foodporn #foodphotography #iphoneography #iphonesia #iphone #sweets #igfood

I know I have been slack on blogging. It seems to me time flies too quickly and the next thing I know I am too exhausted to be able to think and write. In the end of the day, I'd prefer to have my feet up and watch Rugby rather than to be bound at the desk and computer keyboard.

But I am not quite off of the internet though. iPhone and iPad have helped me sharing what I have done almost everyday on instagram. I have an account there. If you happen an IGer like I am, please search for me. My ID is arfib

Here are some food photos I took using instagram that happened to be uploaded on Flickr, too.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Coffee Eclairs with Coffee Gluten-Free Ginger Cake

Gluten-Free #Coffee #Walnut #Cake for me and my friend's meet-up today. Not a nice day but at least we have good coffee and a lovely cake to accompany our catch-ups. Have a great #Monday! #iphoneography #foodphotography #food #baking #foodporn #sweets #tr Empek-Empek #iphonesia #iphoneography #foodphotography #foodporn #food #Palembang #Indonesia Gluten-Free #Lemon #Curd #Crepe #Cake. #desserts #iphoneography #food #foodporn #foodphotography #sweets #yellow #homemade #iphonesia

Gluten-Free Baked Doughnuts #food #foodporn #foodphotography #igfood #IG #sweets #desserts #baking Gluten-Free Baked Doughnuts #baking #desserts #sweets #food #foodporn #foodphotography #ig #igfood #Doughnuts #donuts

And this is me, fertilizing our strawberries. I feed them once a fortnight with wormcast, diluted with water. Plants love wormcast!

Fertilizing time is vital in #Spring. I always use wormcast from our worm farm. With regular feeding, plants will give superb rewards. #garden #gardening

So I have been busy in the garden and orchard. We almost beat kakuya grass weeds! That strawberry patch was covered with kakuya months ago, now it is as immaculate as your manicured nails.

In the #orchard. Start blossoming and soon we will enjoy them (if the birds don't get them first) :)

Spring has been so pretty with all of the blossoms, buzzing bees and weather which is supposed to be improving. But you know how New Zealand weather is!

So, See you on instagram? Have a great day!

September 14, 2011

BW Wednesday: Fresh Walnuts

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Fresh Walnuts

My entry for Black and White Wednesday, hosted by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook. Got ideas for food in BW? Come join and share with us!

September 08, 2011

The Best Peanut Biscuit I Have Made and Eaten

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If you are crazy about something, you might never get bored. That's what I feel about this peanut biscuit. Although I have come to bake any sort of peanut biscuits from time to time, I will always come back to this one, with more appreciation that grows bigger ever since.

I just love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter, no matter how unappealing to some of you they are. To me, the combination is meant for each other. The chocolate biscuit with saltiness-if not sweetness-peanut butter filling for each bite, how can I resist?

magic in the middles

Introduced first time by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook  through her post some years ago, adapted from King Arthur Flour. I have made it many times since and include the photo on a post here. Just love it.

We've been through thick and thin, but it seems none of us can decide which one is the most favourite. They will always be finished quickly!

Today, I make them gluten-free. So thankful I am not allergic to peanut butter!

Magic in The Middles

Magic In The Middles (Gluten-Free Version)
Source: The Well-Seasoned Cook; King Arthur Flour.

I am adapting the original recipe for gluten-free version and reduce some sweetness from the biscuit dough, and I also use icing sugar instead of caster. I think the slightly sweeten biscuits actually go quite well with saltiness and mild sweetness of the peanut butter filling. My gluten-free version yields 31 biscuits.

Biscuit Dough

1 cup + 1 Tbs rice flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use Valrhona-superb!!)
1/4 cup potato starch
2 Tbs millet flour
2 Tbs corn starch
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup icing sugar + 1 Tbs brown sugar
115g unsalted butter + 15g margarine
50g smooth peanut butter

Extra caster sugar to coat

Sift all the flours with Xanthan Gum, salt, cocoa powder and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside. Beat butter, margarine, sugars and peanut butter until fluffy and pale. Beat in egg, mix well. Fold in sifted flour mix, mix well. The dough should be smooth, not wet and not dry. When you roll them into balls, the dough will feel silky on your palms. Roll 31 balls. Now, this is what I do with the balls: take one ball, make an indentation in the centre and goes from there flatten it a little bit at a time using your forefinger and thumb, as thin or thick as you prefer. Then, put this flatten dough in the centre of your palm, like when you holding an egg on it, fill the peanut butter balls in, then bring the biscuit dough up and around the peanut butter balls until you don't see any sign of it. Roll this filled ball in your palm to make it smoother, roll into a bowl of caster sugar to coat, and put it on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Or you may grease your baking tray with a little butter or margarine. Flatten the dough as to your liking. I would sprinkle some more caster sugar on top, just to add more crunchiness. Repeat this until all your dough and peanut butter filling all use up. 

Bake at 175C (my oven), for 8-10 minutes or until the biscuits feel firm when touched with the tip of your finger. Remove from the oven, leave it on the tray for 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Or you may gobble down if you wish. Eat it warm is a bit dangerous, though as the peanut butter tends to be hot inside.

195g smooth peanut butter + 1 Tbs
85g icing sugar, sifted
a drop of caramel essence
a pinch of salt

Mix the peanut butter, icing sugar, salt and essence well, and roll into 31 balls.

Magic in The Middles with Coffee

These biscuits are sooooooooooo good enjoyed with black coffee!