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Archive for June, 2013

Coconut Chocolate Muffins

Coconut Chocolate Muffins

Coconut & Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe (makes 12 pieces)

Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour
4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut
2 eggs
1 small can (5.6 oz) coconut milk
1/2 cup oil
2 tbsp golden rum

Fillings:
bittersweet chocolate chips (about 4-5 chips per muffin)

Toppings:
Sweetened shredded coconut

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, sugar and salt into a big bowl. Stir in shredded coconut.
  3. Combine eggs, coconut milk, oil and golden rum in a medium bowl. Mix to blend well.
  4. Pour egg mixture to flour mixture. Fold together with a spatula until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into muffin molds, about 1/3 full. Add in chocolate chips (about 4-5 chips in each muffin mold), then cover with more batter. Sprinkle top with some shredded coconut.
  6. Bake at preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until the tops spring back when gently pressed with a finger.
  7. Remove from muffin molds and cool on a rack. Serve warm.

Regina’s Note:

  • Baking time: I baked for 22 minutes but found out the muffins were a little dry. So maybe 18-20 minutes?
  • Flavor: Full of chocolate flavor, not too sweet, but didn’t taste any rum nor coconut flavor other than from the topping.
  • Texture: the texture was okay, not super fluffy that I was looking for.

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Thanks to my Bermese Chinese friend Amy, I get to try many kinds of delicious Bermese food, especially the ones you won’t even find in a Bermese restaurant. This spicy tomato sambal is just one of them. It looks very much like sambal chili sauce, except it’s mostly tomatoes. Amy told me that in Myamar, people eat it with fresh cucumber. I tried it and it was really good– the spiciness matches very well with the refreshing cucumber, kinda fire and ice in every bite. Besides cucumber, I think this sambal is also great on steamed rice, tortilla chips, keropok (shrimp or fish crackers), or even mee siput (Malaysian crispy noodle snack)!

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal 缅甸蕃茄辣酱

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal 缅甸蕃茄辣酱

Burmese Spicy Tomato Sambal Recipe 缅甸蕃茄辣酱 (yields 3–4 serving)

Ingredients:
3 lbs fresh over ripe tomatoes– cut into big chunks
3 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
4 cloves garlic– chopped
3 shallots– chopped
2 tbsp dried shrimps– soak briefly then chop
1 tbsp balachan
10 red jalapeno peppers– chopped
1/2 cup oil
salt to taste
1 cup chopped cilantro

Method:

  1. Put fresh and canned tomatoes in a food processor, pause blend briefly so that the tomatoes still have some texture. Set aside.
  2. In a deep pot pour in half of 1/2 cup of oil, and turn up to high heat. Fry garlic, shallots, dried shrimps and balachan until flavors come out. Add in peppers, fry for a few more minutes.
  3. Add in remaining half of the oil and tomatoes. Stir to mix well with a wooden spoon (you can leave the spoon in the pot the entire time without it getting hot). Uncovered, cook on high heat (stirring every 10 minutes or so) until the liquid reduces to 1/3 and the sauce thickens (this is a long process, it took me about 1.5 hours). At this point, keep a close eye on the sambal.
  4. Turn down heat to medium and stir frequently (about 5 minute interval, about 20-30 minutes total)) until the sambal thickens further (test: when you run the spoon across the bottom of the pot, the sambal doesn’t come together. Also, oil starts separated from tomatoes).
  5. Add cilantro and salt to taste. Stir a few times. Remove and cool completely before dividing into batches. Store in air tight containers, in the refrigerator. The sambal should keep for at least 10 days. To keep it longer store in the freezer.

Regina’s Note:

  • Just like regular sambal chili sauce, this tomato sambal can be kept frozen. I like to make extras, divide into small ziplog bags (air tight) and freeze for later use.

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We ran out of breakfast food, so I decided to make chocolate Ogura cake again– I want to fine tune the recipe before it slips out of my mind. Last time, my chocolate Ogura cake was for a 9-inch round cake pan, and it didn’t last my family long. So this time I decided to make it larger– to fit a 9x13x2 inch cake pan. I have adjusted the ingredient proportion. Also, learning from last time when I steamed bake my cotton soft Japanese cheesecake #2, my water pan was too shallow (I used a small jelly roll pan). As a result the water dried out during baking and possibly causing big cracks on the top of the cake. So, this time I used a more shallow pan to hold the water– a 9x13x2 inch Pyrex glass pan with water filled half way up, and it worked out fine this time.

The results–

The Look:

  • The cake batter didn’t spilled over. It rose very nice during baking– then the top started  to crack when it got closer to upper heat source (I place the cake in the middle rack this time). Originally I set the baking time to be 50 minutes at 325°F and planned another 5-10 minutes at 350°F, but when I checked the cake after 40 minutes/325°F, the top cracked pretty badly and I had to remove the cake from the oven (after the toothpick-comes-out-clean cake test). Next time I should try position the cake at the second lowest rack in the oven, right above the water pan.
  • Unlike last time, I let the cake cooled, inverted and inside cake pan, completely before removing from cake pan. What I found out is that there’s a lot of air trapped at the bottom of the cake (between the pan and parchment paper)– as soon as I make a slit cut along cake pan to unmold, the cake started to sink into the pan. Luckily the cake didn’t shrink. Upon removing parchment paper, I was glad the bottom of the cake was not soggy wet!
  • Besides the cracks, the top of the cake doesn’t have that nice smooth solid layer of soft crust (which I REALLY like for the look of a cake)–  my crust seems kinda weak as there are tiny tiny holes (or I should say very very fine cracks) everywhere. And the crust was a bit wrinkled. Why??… 😦

The Taste:

  • The taste is pretty good, not overly sweet and full of chocolate flavor, although a much richer chocolate flavor would be better (yes, I was looking for rich chocolate flavor of a molten cake!)… maybe adding more chocolate chips and/or more cocoa powder and less cake flour?

The Texture:

  • The texture is very very soft– I think it’s the softest cake I have ever made! It’s fluffy and light too, a delight to bite into! But the cake crumb is not evenly fine– some part of the cake has finer crumbs, but other parts have bigger holes.
Chocolate Ogura Cake (Large) 巧克力相思蛋糕 #2

Chocolate Ogura Cake (Large) 巧克力相思蛋糕 #2

Chocolate Ogura Cake Recipe  巧克力相思蛋糕 #2 (makes one 9x13x2 inch rectangle cake)

Ingredients:
Egg yolk mixture:
3 tbsp bittersweet sweet chocolate chips
5 tbsp milk
5 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
7 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/2 cup cake flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

Egg white mixture:
7 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Fill a shallow tray with tap water to half way and place the tray on the bottom rack. Place another rack in the middle of the oven– this rack is for the cake. Grease and line the bottom of a 9x13x2 inch cake pan.
  2. Place chocolate chips and milk in a big bowl over a double boiler, until the chocolate melts. Alternatively you can melt it in microwave (I microwaved for 30 seconds and continued melting on double boiler). Remove from heat. Use a balloon whisk to whisk in salt and oil until well blended. Cool slightly.
  3. Whisk in egg yolks and whole egg, one at a time, to the chocolate mixture. Mix well after each addition.
  4. Combine cake flour and cocoa powder. Sift flour mixture into yolk mixture in 3-4 batches, whisk to blend really well after each addition. Cover the bowl until egg whites are ready to fold in.
  5. Whip egg whites on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8) until bubbles are small and no clear egg white is visible. Add in cream of tartar, continue whipping on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8). Scrap the bowl if necessary.
  6. When the egg whites does not have visible tiny bubbles and turns white, gradually add in sugar. Continue on high speed (KitchenAid speed 8), scrap down the bowl. When the meringue looks glossy, reduce speed to medium low (KitchenAid speed 6 or even 4– this is to push out big air bubbles, producing a cake with tiny holes and thus a more fine texture). Whip until it is soft peak (soft curl tip on the whisk when lifted upside down).
  7. With a silicone spatula, gently fold in whipped egg whites to the yolk mixture in 3-4 batches, be sure there’s no egg white lumps in the batter. Pour the batter into cake pan slowly (this will avoid big air bubbles and last check for any egg white lump in the batter). Tap cake pan once. Bake for 40-50 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and inverted the cake on a cooling rack. Remove cake from the pan when it is cooled completely.

Regina’s Note:

  • Chocolate flavor: Not rich enough for me. Next time should increase amount of chocolat chips and/or more cocoa powder (up to 4 tbsp?) and possibly less cake flour?
  • Cake height: After baking and cooling completely, the cake is about 1.5 tall.
  • Cake position in oven: Next time try positioning the cake at the second lowest level, right above the water pan (so away from upper heat source and possibly less chance of cracking on the top); or even try placing the water pan on the second highest level and cake being at the second lowest level.

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Banana Waffles

Banana Waffles

Banana Waffles (makes 6-7 round waffles, 8-inch each)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 very ripe large bananas
2 egg yolks
1 1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup cooking oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg whites
2 tbsp sugar

Method:

  1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a big mixing bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, smash bananas with a fork until fine. Add in egg yolks, milk, cooking oil and vanilla extract to blend well.
  3. Pour yolk mixture to flour mixture all at once. Use a hand whisk to mix until no dry flour remains. The batter will be lumpy.
  4. Whip egg whites and sugar until the peak forms. Fold in whipped egg whites into the batter in 2 batches. Cook on waffle iron as directed in the instructions. Extras can be frozen for quick breakfast.
Banana Waffles

Banana Waffles

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