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Archive for the ‘Baked Snacks/Treats’ Category

Hello my dear readers! I hope all is well with you. I’m sorry that I haven’t been active on my blog for over a year. I have been shifting my time heavily towards my family, kids especially and their schools (from 0–>100% involvement), and thus I had to set aside my blog temporarily.

To make up for my negligence is this toffee that I just tried for holiday treats. I am not into sweets typically but toffee with dark chocolate is an exception! My whole family actually love it. This recipe I found on the web is pretty easy to follow– they even have a quick video of making it.

Here’s some tips for success~ Heavy saucepan, cook to temperature 315 degree, stir occasionally, medium heat.  About the temperature, I tried it at 285 degree as suggested by the website, but found my toffee was not brittle enough with a bit of chewiness stick to my teeth. So I increased to 315 degree (by chance!), and the nrittle texture is just right for me. Now toffee is definitely on my holiday treats and giveaway list.

Merry Christmas to you and your family, and may your holiday season filled with love, warmth and peace!

Toffee with Dark Chocolate and

Toffee with Dark Chocolate and Almonds

Dark Chocolate Covered Toffee (adapted from AllRecipes.com: Best Toffee Ever- Super Easy)

Ingredients:

2 cups unsalted butter– cut into pieces
2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt
15 oz (1 1/2 package) bittersweet chocolate chips
3 cups finely chopped almonds– toasted

Method:

  1. Put butter, sugar and salt in a heavy saucepan at medium heat. Stir in one direction until butter melts. Bring it to a boil. Cook until the mixture turns dark amber color, and candy thermometer reads 315°F. Stir occasionally.
  2. While the toffee is cooking, line a large baking pan (18 x 13 x 1 inch) with parchment paper. Leave some overhang parchment paper on both ends for easy lifting toffee later. Sprinkle 1 cup of chopped almonds on the parchment paper.
  3. When the toffee reaches 315°F, pour onto lined baking pan. Carefully spread to an even layer, covering all the chopped almonds on the pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips over toffee, wait 1-2 minutes for chocolate to melt. Spread chocolate into a thin layer with a spatula.
  4. Sprinkle chopped almonds over chocolate, press in gently with a spatula or hand.
  5. Chill toffee in the fridge until it is firmed. Break or cut into pieces. Store in air tight container.

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Love Letters 手工鷄蛋卷– two versions: roll up and fold up

Oh how I wish I could bring back an electric love letter maker from my previous trips back to Malaysia, but the voltage is different so the maker is useless here… 😦 Well, just saying… If I were to have one at home, then I wouldn’t have to spend hours in the kitchen making these love letters manually. One by one, paying close attention to the stove heat, and take chances of not even browning or burnt pieces… One piece takes about 3 minutes to make, but 3 seconds to eat! Yeah… There’s a reason why I haven’t made love letters at home for a very long time. All because of Chinese New Year…

Love Letters 手工鷄蛋卷 Recipe (makes about 80 pieces)

Ingredients:

1 cup rice flour
1/3 cup flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch
1 large (400 ml) can plus 1 small (165ml) can coconut milk
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp white sesame seeds

Method:

  1. Sift rice flour, flour and tapioca starch in a large bowl. Add coconut milk and mix well to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and sugar until sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Add to the flour/coconut milk mixture. Blend well.
  3. Strain the batter to remove any lumps. Mix in sesame seeds.
  4. Preheat traditional love letter mold over gas stove on high heat for a few minutes. Then turn heat down to medium low (mark 4-5 on my stove). Brush the mold plates with a little oil. Spoon 1 tbsp of batter to the center of the mold and quickly swirl around with the back of a spoon. Carefully close and lock the mold. Cook on the stove until it is golden brown, about 1 minute per side. Each stove is different so you have to experiment the first few love letters to adjust the stove heat.
  5. Remove from the mold plate with a small knife. Then quickly roll up love letters or fold it in quarters. This has to be done fast while it it still hot as it will harden and turn crispy very quickly (and this is why I folded instead of rolling up). Cool completely before storing in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • Be sure the mold is preheated well or the love letters may stick onto the mold.
  • Stir the batter each time before pouring it onto the mold plate.
  • After adding batter to the mold plate, pay attention when closing and locking the mold– my experience is that if I close it too fast, the fast closing action will create a gasp of air that will squeeze out batter through the tiny gap between the two mold plates. If I close the mold a bit slowly then its not as bad. This is also why i don’t swirl the batter to the edge, giving it some room just in case the batter got squeezed out a little.
  • Use a small knife to scrap off any leaked batter around the outside of the mold.
  • If using two molds at the same time, pay close attention to the timing of each mold while cooking. When love letters starts browsing, they get very brown fast.
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These are traditional love letter molds that I used. I did it over my gas stove.

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Reminder to self: stove heat is between mark 4-5.

 

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Mini Spicy Dry Shrimp Rolls

Mini Spicy Dry Shrimp Rolls

Mini Spicy Dry Shrimp Rolls 迷你卷 (make as much or as little as you please)

Ingredients:

large sheets of spring roll pastry wrap
spicy ground dried shrimps
cornstarch water (mixture of 1 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water)

Method:

  1. Cut each pastry sheets into 9 little squares. Loose up pork floss with a fork or a spoon. Spoon 1/2 tsp spicy dried shrimps onto each small square, roll it up like a egg roll. Dip finger with cornstarch water and seal the end. Press the end down a little to make sure it seals well. Repeat this step until all are finished.
  2. Lay mini rolls on a baking pan, bake them at preheated 375° oven for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Stir a couple time to ensure even browning. Remove from the oven and drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Store in air tight container when they are cooled.

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This is another popular Chinese New Year snack in Malaysia. The ingredients are very simple but making them takes some time. Good news is that this snack can be made ahead of time and kept in freezer until ready to fry. It is also a great side dish to go with porridge.

Mini Pork Floss Rolls 迷你肉鬆卷

Mini Pork Floss Rolls 迷你肉鬆卷

Mini Pork Floss Rolls 迷你肉鬆卷 (make as much or as little as you please)

Ingredients:

large sheets of spring roll pastry wrap
pork floss
cornstarch water (mixture of 1 tsp cornstarch + 2 tsp water)

Method:

  1. Cut each pastry sheets into 9 little squares. Loose up pork floss with a fork or a spoon. Spoon 1/2 tsp pork floss onto each small square, roll it up like a egg roll. Dip finger with cornstarch water and seal the end. Press the end down a little to make sure it seals well. Repeat this step until all are finished.
  2. Deep fry mini rolls, in batches, on medium heat until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towel to absorb excess oil. Store in air tight container when they are cooled.

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IMG_3385Seaweed 'Nori' Crisp 紫菜脆片

Seaweed ‘Nori’ Crisp 紫菜脆片

Nori Crisps Recipe (makes 5 sheets)

Ingredients:
10 large sheets egg roll pastry wrap
5 large sheets unseasoned nori/seaweed sushi wrap
1 beaten egg for egg wash

salt and pepper for seasoning

Method:

  1. Lay one sheet of pastry on a cutting board, brush egg wash all over. Lay a sheet on seaweed sushi wrap over it and gently press down. Brush egg wash all over seaweed wrap, then lay another sheet of pastry on top of it. Press down to seal well. Repeat this step until all pastry wrap are used.
  2. Cut into desired size and fry on medium high heat until light brown. Drain the oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Cool completely before storing in air tight container. This snack can also be made ahead of time and kept in freezer before frying.

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I finally found these mochi puff premix from a local Korean grocery store. There is not English baking instructions but luckily there are pictures for guidance too. The instructions are pretty simple, just add water and one egg to the premix, knead and bake. These treats are super yummy once they came out from the oven, while center is soft and slightly chewy and crispy on the crust. As they cool down, they gets chewier and chewier and  the crust eventually gets soft.

Anyhow, this is what I have been trying to replicate after all my mochi puff trials. I’m not giving up yet, wish me luck!

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- all I did was adding water and 1 egg to the premix.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- all I did was adding water and 1 egg to the premix.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- here is the texture of the dough.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- here is the texture of the dough.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- spraying sowm water on the dough before baking.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- spraying sowm water on the dough before baking.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- after baking, they puff up beautifully round. See how nicely they crack on the surface too?

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- after baking, they puff up beautifully round. See how nicely they crack on the surface too?

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- a close up look of a mochi puff. It is very light, airy and hollow in the center while crispy on the surface.

Mochi Puff (Premix)-- a close up look of a mochi puff. It is very light, airy and hollow in the center while crispy on the surface.

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The flavor is good– slightly sweet and milky, and nutty from black sesame seeds. But, the texture is more like a bread than a chewy mochi. I think I used too much bread flour this time. After adding the wet ingredients to the flour mixture, the dough was still quite wet so I added in 2 more tbsp of tapioca flour and bread flour each. At this point I was able to knead the dough and rolled into individual balls by hand, but also making the puffs even more bread like. Next time I should cut down water and see how it goes…

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Ingredients:
2/3 cup + 2 tbsp tapioca flour
1/2 cup + 2 tbsp bread flour
2 1/2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp toasted black sesame seeds
1 egg
1/2 tbsp oil
50 ml water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven t 350°F. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl to form a dough. Knead to blend well. Divide and roll into 12-15 balls.
  2. Place balls on baking pan lined with parchment paper. Spray some water on the balls. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool on the rack. Serve immediately while they are still soft and chewy in the center while crispy on the surface. As they cool down they turn more chewy and harder.
Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

Mochi Puff Trial #3

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