Healthy Kitchen Smells Fresh

September 16, 2009

Lemon Curd

Filed under: Bakings, Cakes, Desserts, Snacks — nshahida @ 8:36 pm

Lemon Curd

Lemon curd is somewhat a bright citrusy yellow custard . To make this lemon curd needs some large amount of lemons and egg yolks, that’s why we call it custard.. the more yolks we add.. the more creamier it gets. No.. no milk required but butter. You can’t really think about health and diet for while if you want to indulge this. Should we consider skipping dinner just for this luscious custard? Hmm.. I sure would!

Lemon curd can be served as a topping to your dessert.. cheesecake like I did from the previous post, doughnut, may be cookies , cakes or anything you desire. According to Lori Longbotham, “ this spread is very popular in Great Britain, where it is eaten on toasted bread or cake, on scones fresh out of the oven, in tart fillings, and in triffle.”

Lemon Curd

Adaptation:Lori Longbotham , Luscious Lemon Dessert


½ cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter

¾ cup sugar

½ cup fresh lemon juice

3 Tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

Pinch of salt ( if using salted butter, please skip this)

6 large egg yolks


1- Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat.

2- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest and salt. Whisk in the yolks until smooth.

3- Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it thickens and leaves a path on the back of a wooden spoon when a finger is drawn across it, do not allow the mixture to boil.

4- Immediately pour the lemon curd through a strainer into a bowl. Let cool to room temperature, whisking occasionally, refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Storing: If not using immediately, store in a dry and clean glass jar or plastic container . Refrigerate up to a month and up to 3 months in the freezer.

Note:If somehow your lemon curd gets unspreadable, warm on the stove on low heat or microwave it just until just smooth and slightly warm again.

Lemon Curd on top of my cheesecake


August 25, 2009

Simple Basic Cheesecake with Lemon Curd Topping

Filed under: Bakings, Cakes, Desserts, Uncategorized — nshahida @ 12:02 am


Creamy, rich, decadent and very satisfying, this basic cheesecake recipe.  Plus all  ingredients are easy to be found at your local supermarket wherever you are. I can vouch it because I made this very recipe a few times for my family back home, Malaysia.

This easy to follow recipe I adapted from some of my cookbook ,gathered and finalized them as one recipe. The outcome is impressively amazing to look at , once it hits your taste buds.. you know you are addicted. Light, citrus-y , sweet not overly – delicious . The crust is easy to make as well. I used regular tea biscuit or we call it ‘biskut marie’.

As for the topping, you can definitely remix with your own creativity but it’s totally up to you.. some day it’s better with the decoration and the other days just go plain. Either way works as great. I love it without any toppings but this time I made lemon curd slathered on top of my cheesecake for a change. I tried with fruit jam as the topping, everyone loved it. Or… drizzle it with melted chocolate.. yumm!!


Simple Basic New York Style Cheesecake. ( Makes 8 medium slices)

Source : Luscious Lemon Dessert (Triple-lemon Cheesecake) by Lori Longbotham

The Professional Pastry Chef ( New York Style Cheesecake ) by Bo Friberg

For the crust, you can use any type of cookies/biscuits or digestive biscuits such as vanilla wafer, graham crackers, oreo cookies without the cream – this is recommended , Mc Vities biscuits and the like. I used Marie tea biscuits and it works wonderfully, inexpensive and always in my pantry.

If you have springform pan , use it if otherwise, a medium round pie pan works just fine. I didn’t have any problem using regular baking pan , it is that we need to be careful when slicing the cake so that it won’t crumble or fall apart.

For the Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups Marie tea biscuits crumbs ( approximately 15-16 medium size biscuits processed in a food processor or even in a dry clean blender.. trust me, it works)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melt in a microwave or on stove, let it cool at room temperature. ( if salted butter is used , please omit the salt)



1- First off, preheat the oven to 375 F / 190 Celsius . Butter the bottom and side of a 8 – inch springform or round baking pan.

Crust 1

Crust 2

Crust 3

2- Stir together the crumbs , brown sugar , salt and cooled melted butter with a fork or rubber spatula in a medium bowl until well combined. Press firmly and evenly the crumb mixture into the bottom and the side of the pan with your hands. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 – 10 minutes, or until the the crust is set. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 F / 163 Celsius .

For the cheesecake:

  • 2 packages ( 8 oz each) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup all purpose flour or cornstarch
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lime or lemon
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 whole large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks , at room temperature
  • ½ cup (125 mL) plain yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled


Filling 1

1- Mix the cream cheese and granulated sugar together using electric mixture at low speed, until completely smooth. Mix in the cornstarch or all purpose flour, lemon/lime zest, lemon/lime juice. Mix until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add in the whole egg and egg yolks, one at a time, blending thoroughly with spatula after each addition until well incorporated. Incorporate plain yogurt and cooled melted butter .

Filling 2

2- Pour this mixture into the prepared crust. Slowly tilt the pan to even out the mixture.

3- Bake in the preheated oven at 325 F / 163 Celsius until set, approximately 40 – 45 minutes or until the center is almost set but still slightly jiggly ( just like when we make agar-agar or pudding). Do not overbake; the cheesecake will firm as it cools.

4- Cool completely at room temperature, then refrigerate the cheesecake in its pan, loosely covered, for at least 8 hours or overnight, until thoroughly chilled.

5- Ready to serve if you are not planning for the topping. Slice it with a sharp knife , into wedges and serve.

I proceeded with the topping before serving, again, this is optional.

Filling 3


Spread the lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes or chilled in the refrigerator for another 1 hour.

Cut into wedges and serve.

July 26, 2009

Explosively Delicious Banana Muffins

Filed under: Bakings, Breads, Breakfasts, Cakes, Desserts, Snacks — nshahida @ 12:33 am

Banana Muffins

What would you make when your bananas go uber and unpleasantly juicy with the flesh oozes out from the cracked skin? Not so pleasant to be devoured just as is – though they smells great when they go overly ripen . If you ask me, I’d say Banana Bread at most . Can’t go wrong with banana bread with some favorite add ins of mine – bitter still sweet chocolate chip or bites of chopped toasted walnuts or spice it up with hint of cinnamon .. ginger it a little bit… or may be the combination of all. Plain as is , you ask me? Why not, right..

Whenever I wish to go on the fancy side.. I transform loaf size into muffin. How? Of course by scooping out the batter into a muffin pan.. then tadaaa!! let it be as fancy as I imagine. As long as the end result pleases everyone…

I adapted the recipe from Ina’s Tri-berry Breakfast muffin with some major alteration, it’s obvious.. isn’t it? I love this recipe and all I could think of is.. I’d make this over and over.

Or.. do you have any other suggestions?


Banana Muffins (Makes 16-18 medium muffins)


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ tablespoons ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground ginger ( optional)
2/3 cup milk
2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup butter, melted and cooled

½ cup canola oil
3 over ripen medium bananas, ( about 1 cup)  mashed till smooth
1 cup white sugar

Add ins:

½ cup walnuts, Toasted and chopped

1/3 bittersweet choc chips


1- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

2- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger (if using) together in a large bowl. Stir with your hand to be sure the ingredients are combined. In another bowl, combine the milk, mashed bananas, eggs, canola oil and melted butter. Make a well in the middle of the dry mixture, pour the wet mixture into the well, and stir until just combined. There will be some lumps but don’t overmix the batter! Add the chopped walnuts, choc chips and sugar and stir gently to combine.

3- Using a 2¼-inch ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into the muffin cups to fill the liners. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean and the tops are nicely browned.

July 24, 2009

Kuih Dangai ( Malaysian Coconut Macaroon Pie)

Freshly Baked Kuih Dangai

Months back, I promised a good friend of mine to make a Malay Kuih for her – Kuih Dangai. I am not sure if she still remember this but I gave a good laughed at myself because I ended up with an empty hand, nothing even a back up. I apologized and amazingly she didn’t mad at me at all !! No, I didn’t break my promise. The kuih wasn’t appetizingly edible to be presented, by it’s texture mainly. The gooey oozy and sticky result was not wasted; I forced myself and hubby to eat them all (We do this all the time so no food wasting) with the determination of I will try again till I get it . Scary thing I did to us .. sorry husband!

Honest to be told, I didn’t know how to make this kuih exactly by measurement.. how embarrassing!. Watching my grandma made this family favorite, I memorized the ingredients but the measurement is over my head, could not understand to measure by can , regular cup etc. So I have to figure out the exact consistency and of course using a standard measurement. With quite number of trial and errors and also scary moments for both me and hubby,  it eventually turned out as I’ve been after for,  I am so thankful for that!

The minor problem now, to make kuih dangai, there is a particular mold. I can’t remember what element the mold is made but it’s quite heavy and it comes in dual. If I can find it here, it will surely be a big party to celebrate because you can hardly find it anywhere lately in Malaysia, even. Reason? Kuih Dangai is a long forgotten kuih and not everyone makes this kuih.

No mold, No problem.. use what ever you have.. really! Sandwich toaster is what I would recommend because It looks almost the same and toast / cook the kuih evenly and nicely – crusty and toasty externally and very moist and mildly sweet in the inside.. just prefect.. just like the one with the real mold. I am pretty sure.. iA.  Did you just ask me what I used for my kuih dangai? I will explain later in the method section ..iA.

If you enjoy coconut macaroon , this is pretty much the same.. a Malaysian version, A Malaysian Macaroon Pie it is. The differences are kuih dangai is more fragrant, very toasty and rich in coconut flavor,  the sweetness is not overpowering. A big bonus, It is very simple to make too. You can ask your kids to make it for you, I suspect they will be amazed how easy it is to make… if only they know how to measure things!

One thing I learned though, I should make a promise something I know for sure or something I have experienced.


My promise  to make that kuih dangai has yet to reach because she (my friend aka sister) has moved away. The idea of mailing this kuih to her is not even appealing either or it will get sticky oozy again  or the worse.. non-edible at all . You can’t force people to eat a rotten food, it is sinful, isn’t it?


Kuih Dangai ( Makes 4 wedges)

You can definitely double the portion, just double all ingredients mentioned. For baking/toasting , you can also use a regular baking dish for this kuih. If the portion doubled, fit in a bigger pan. This kuih is great to serve warm, it gets soggy when cooled. Pop in the oven or microwave or on stove for reheating.


  • 2 cups grated fresh coconut, press and drain off the juice ever so slightly until you obtain about 1/3 cup coconut milk ( keep it for other use)
  • ½ cup glutinous rice flour ( sweet rice flour)
  • 2 teaspoons white granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tbsp light brown sugar, ( for sprinkling)  add 1-2 teaspoons for sweeter but no more than that.


1- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 205 Celsius .


2- Grease well a small cast iron pan (yes, this is what I used) with canola oil. Set Aside.

3- In a mixing bowl, mix grated coconut, glutinous flour, white sugar and salt. Stir until well combined. It looks crumbly at this point. Take a scoop of the mixture, pack it up in your palm.. if it comes together, you are good to continue the next step. If otherwise, add 1 teaspoon of glutinous flour.. bit by bit until it comes together if pressing. ( DO NOT add too much flour to the mixture,  kuih dangai will be tough and taste more flour than coconut).


4- In a well greased iron cast pan, scoop half of the coconut mixture in. Press with finger or spatula to fill and fit the pan fully. (why you want to do this? So the sugar won’t oozes to the bottom of the pan while baking.)

5- Sprinkle light brown sugar on the press mixture, leave out the edges about 1/2 inch apart.


6- The other half of the mixture remained, repeat the same thing in step-4.

7- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the edges browned and crispy.. the top browned and toasted. Remove from the oven. Let it cool for 10 minutes so that caramelized brown sugar is settled  and then cut into wedges. Enjoy while it is still warm.

Note: If using sandwhich makers/toaster, do not toast too long.. 8-10 minutes should be good enough. Sandwhich makers cooks kuih dangai much faster because the heat is direct and comes from the top and the bottom.

If using cast iron, you can also toast/cook on a stove on low heat.

November 19, 2008

Kuih Serimuka Labu ( Malaysian Sweet Rice Layered Cake)

Filed under: Allergy Free, Asians, Bakings, Cakes, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Malaysians, Vegan, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 2:14 am


I haven’t had this malaysian layered cake for years now . I had it once when my big ‘sister’ made it for one big event , it was 2 years ago.

This is basically a layered cake with glutinous rice on the bottom and custard on top. Usually in Malaysia, we make it with screw pine leaves concentrate to make the top green and of course it gives a wonderful flavor to the custard layer. Nowadays, people are more creative and make it with durian, yam, potato and etc for the custard layer and use combo of black sweet/glutinous rice and white sweet rice for the bottom. Of course, the traditional one is the best!

As for I only had only a couple screw pine leaves left in the freezer ,I went to the creative version. I made it with pumpkin . I need to finish the cooked pumpkin remained in the refrigerator for almost a month now. Alhamdulillah, it turned out very satisfyingly rich. The custard layer was velvetty and melt in your mouth.. alhamdulillah, at least I made a full use of  the left over pumpkin and wonderful to our taste. I made this based on my mother’s recipe who always made kuih serimuka when I was a kid. I made the whole batch because I am not too sure about halving the recipe noticing I didn’t have a smaller tray to fit the half batch . Now I wonder who is going to finish all these.. or may be wrap and freeze them up for later dessert? any suggestions?



Serimuka Labu


For the top layer:

2 ½ cup thick coconut milk
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup diced cooked pumpkins
1/2 cup white rice flour

2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup custard flour ( you can replace  with just cornstarch)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of cinnamon powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt , to taste

For the bottom layer:

2 cups glutinous/sweet rice , (soaked for 3 to 4 hours)
1 cup thick coconut milk

1 ¼ cup water

Pinch of salt

2 Screw pine leaves


  • Prepare 8 inch x 8 inch square tray. Cover the tray with aluminum foil. Line a 8×8 inches of greased banana leave in the tray . ( I just like to use banana leave for more exotic flavor. You can totally omit this )
  • Preheat the oven 300F or you can steam it in a steamer ( See Notes)
  • Making The bottom layer ( glutinous cake layer/white layer)– After soaking the rice for 3 hours, , drain the glutinous rice and put into a  medium pot.
  • Add in coconut milk, water , salt and screw pine leaves.
  • Cook on low medium heat until the rice fluff up and completely cooked. It looks a little bit starchy, mushy and’s perfect ,  that’s what we want.
  • While cooking/steaming the glutinous rice, prepare the custard layer/ top layer. (see below)
  • When the rice is cooked, while it is still hot, pour the cooked glutinous rice into the prepare tray, sprinkle with a tablespoon of tapioca starch ( See Notes). Press it with spatula or your plastic cover hands or layer of banana leave until firm ( See Notes)
  • Preparing The Top Layer – In the blender, put the cooked diced pumpkins, coconut milk, brown sugar. Blend them thoroughly until smooth.
  • Add the rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch , custard flour. Continue to blend them until smooth and well blended. Add the salt, vanilla extract and cinnamon powder. Blend until well combined.
  • Pour the mixture into a large pot. Pre-cook on medium-low heat ( keep stirring to avoid lumps and burn on the bottom) until bubbles appear on top and creates steam. The consistency should not be too thick or too runny by now. Remove from the heat.

Preparing The Serimuka – Slowly pour the precooked custard ( the prepared top layer) over the pressed glutinous rice layer ( the bottom layer).

Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the top layer is no longer jiggling (only slightly in the middle ) when gently tilted and slight crust formed along the side.

Remove from the oven, let the layered cake completely cool at room temperature for at least 3hours and place in the refrigerator after that for further  cooling process. Make sure it is firm enough before cutting it. Cut it square or diamond. Ready to serve . ( Yields  about 16 cakes)

Shida’s 2 cents (Notes) :

  1. If steaming,  Prepare the steamer , make sure it’s hot. place the cake in the steamer and steam for 20 minutes or until cooked.
  2. Adding in a little bit of tapioca starch in the bottom layer mixture helps the top layer attached nicely on the bottom layer.
  3. It is important to press the rice while it’s hot because the starch is still active and acts as glue, if you wait until it’s cooled, the starch begin to firm up , this is not a good way to press the rice as it has no glue ( the starch) to get each rice attached to each other.
  4. Deep knife into cold water when cutting each time so the cut side edge will not stick to your knife.
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