Healthy Kitchen Smells Fresh

October 16, 2009

A Malaysian Wedding Cookie , Biskut Mazola

Filed under: Asians, Bakings, Cookies, Desserts, Snacks, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 11:35 pm

Biskut Mazola

Before baking

Biskut Mazola ( Makes 2 dozen (24 pieces) medium size cookies)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup finely grounded toasted peanuts
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ½ cup white sugar ( preferably icing (superfine) sugar)
  • ¼ cup nonfat milk powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 200 L canola oil, extra 2-3 tablespoons if needed

For topping:

  • Egg wash (1 large egg yolk + 1 teaspoon fresh milk or water )
  • Toasted sesame seeds , for sprinkling (optional)

Methods:

1- Preheat the oven to 300 F / 150 Celcius. Grease a cookie baking sheet with oil or line parchment paper or silicon mate on.

step1

2- In a large mixing bowl, stir together grounded peanut, all purpose flour, cornstarch ,  milk powder ( if using) ,sugar,  baking soda, baking powder. Mix to well combine.

step2

3- Gradually stir the oil in bit by bit until a firm glossy dough is formed. If the dough is crumbly ( when packed in palm and it falls apart) , add more oil 1 teaspoon at a time.

4- Scope out 1 Tablespoon of the dough, roll into a ball. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on a prepared baking sheet. You should get 20 – 24 balls . A dough ball should be 1 inch apart from the other balls, the cookie spread slightly.

5- Brush each top with egg wash and sprinkle sesame seeds on it, just before baking.

6- Bake them for 8- 10 minutes or until browned but not burned. The cookie will be slightly fragile to touch right after baked, that’s ok. It gets hardened as cooled completely. Enjoy with your tea or coffee.

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.

Because…

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?

IMG_6188

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.

Ingredients:

  • 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.

Methods:

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

1

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).

2

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.

3

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.

July 16, 2009

Gluten Free ‘Graham’ Crackers

Filed under: Allergy Free, Bakings, Cookies, Desserts, Gluten-Free, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 12:14 am

Gluten Free 'Graham' Crackers

When This graham crackers was made in the process  , I pondered for some variation that could be derived from the recipe.

Could that be allergen free or something? I questioned myself.

Perhaps!! I declared hesitantly

The answer was not a promise since I haven’t tried any gluten free crackers just yet. Thinking it would not hurt trying, I pursued with all possible ingredients that had been planned in mind. With “not too many but ok” baking with allergy free know-how, I continued my mission and hoped for the best.

When it first came out from the oven, the skeptical thought gushed in. I started to worry , it might fall apart. I remember I had an equal experience with this one too so I let it cool completely and be positive.

I didn’t get hurt or disappointed at all, big alhamdulillah.It finally holds up together wonderfully.  Indeed, I was so pleased it didn’t have to go to the trash plus it came out as planned, even better I’d say. The texture was perfect  and everything else.. alhamdulillah , not exactly but almost to say the least with  normal non allergen free graham cracker.

If you ask my  opinion, I’d choose this one over the regular one. The reason for that is indescribable until you try it yourself, you don’t even need me to say it here.

Just don’t overbaked them, they are quite fragile to touch right after baking , they get hardened as they cooled . Overbaking may end up teeth breaking crackers.

Crackers

Gluten Free ‘Graham’ Crackers  (Yields 12 small Crackers)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour (or white rice flour)
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 coconut flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon  cinnamon powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger powder (optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoons Vegetable shortening or coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoons molasses (honey or another 2 tbsp brown sugar)
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons applesauce

Methods:

1- In a medium mixing bowl, Mix together the flours ( brown rice and buckwheat flour), cornstarch ,coconut flakes (if using) baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and gonger powder ( if using). Add shortening/ oil, stir and rub with tip of your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 30 seconds or so.

2- In a large mixing bowl, whip the shortening, oil and sugar till smooth. Add in applesauce ,molasses,and vanilla. Mix well to combine.

3- Stir in the flour mixture into the large bowl ( wet ingredients) . Mix them to form a smooth soft dough… until the dough starts to come together in a ball, another 30 seconds. Scrape dough out.

3- Between 2 sheets of waxed or parchment paper, roll the dough 1/8-inch thick. Chill for at least 1 hour, until firm – several hours.

4- Preheat oven to 350F. Retrieve dough and roll it a bit more if it is not yet 1/8-inch thick. With a sharp knife or pizza cutter, score into 2 x 4 -inch squares. Leave the squares together; you can break them up after they’re baked. With a fork or toothpick, prick several holes in each cracker.

5- Bake for 20 minutes 0r until lightly browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and let cool on the pan. Do not overbake them.

July 11, 2009

Pau or Steamed Buns with Bean Filling

Filed under: Asians, Breads, Breakfasts, Chinese, Desserts, Malaysians, Savories, Side Dishes, Snacks, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 8:41 pm

Pau

It’s been while I didn’t make this ..long enough to get me drool over a Chinese bun – what’s so called steamed bun or we Malaysians call Pau. I really enjoy this very moist but still chewy gummy ( in a good way) bun with balance of sweet salty creamy or sometimes savory filling.. really.. the filling is of your choice. I prefer bean filling that is not overly sweet, personally! also can be store bought or homemade. I adore the homemade one.

Making these Chinese steamed bun isn’t tricky at all  if you do a lot bread baking or not.. I agree, the recipe might be a little different.. it really depends on how you want it. I mean, the type of flour calls for the recipes is varied. For instance, if you are like me, be it slightlychewy , fluffy and soft at the same time, regular all purpose flour is all you need. For more on fluffier cakey like, you might want to grab some sort of low gluten flour – cake or superfine flour. It’s all up to your preferences.

Pleating

For pleating, again, is up to your own creativity. I love making it the way Chinese make their steamed bun or the like. There is art of making it. Just like karipap , takes some times to master the skill that you will finally proud of yourself. Or, another choice, make it snappy simple! Wrap the filling up, roll it then in one second you are ready for steaming.. can’t get any easier. It still ends you with a good result anyway .Especially when it just comes out from the steamer – adorable fresh looking and warm soft fluffy bun with the filling on each bite. Can’t get over it !

IMG_6016

For the recipe, I adapted from few collection of Chinese/Asian cook books and some online recipes. Came up with the combination of all and that’s what I’ve been using so far ; with the result I after for.

Bean Paste

Bean Filling Paste. ( Makes 2 Cups)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Dried green beans

(Soaked in water overnight, 8-12 hours. Cook till tender , drain to separate all the excess liquid and set aside)

  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon white sugar
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil

Methods:

1- On medium heat, In a medium sauce pan, add in the cooked drained green beans. Stir in light brown sugar, white sugar and salt. Let them cooked together and the sugar caramelized. Adjust the salt as needed.

2- Drizzle in canola oil, toss them to well incorporated. Turn off the heat.

3- Now it’s up to you, you may want to mash this bean mixture with potato masher. Mash until you get smooth mushy paste. Or another easier option, my personal favorite, put the mixture in the food processor, process till smooth consistency paste – not too crumbly or runny. DO NOT add any liquid to the mixture, if needed, pour in 1 tablespoon canola oil if the mixture is very crumbly and too pasty.

Ready to use or STORE in a clean dry container in the refrigerator up to 1 ½ week or freeze it for up to 3-4 month.

Steamed Bun ( Pau) (Makes 12-14 buns)

Ingredients:

  • 4 ¼ cups all purpose flour, 2-3 Tablespoons extra as needed
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Instant Dry yeast
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (or white sugar)
  • 250 mL ice cold water , 2 teaspoons extra as needed
The Simple Easy Method For Wrapping The filling

The Simple Easy Method For Wrapping The filling

Methods:

1- In a large mixing bowl, mix well all purpose flour and baking powder. Then add in dry yeast.

2- Stir in honey or sugar, canola oil and pour in ½ cup of water. Mix everything together. Then add another ½ cup of water, mix until smooth and soft dough is formed, about 4 minutes.

3- Cover the bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes.

4- On lightly floured surface, knead the rested dough till soft and elastic dough is formed, about 8 minutes. ( if by chance, your dough is still sticky, add 1 teaspoon of flour , knead and add bit by bit of flour, keep kneading until the dough becomes smooth soft and elastic. Add 1 teaspoon of water if otherwise.)

I repeat Steps 3 and 4 one more time , just to assure all ingredients are well combined and the dough are really silky smooth.

5- Divided the dough into 12-14, roll into balls.

6- Spray a large baking pan or any large container to fit the balls. Sprinkle with a little bit of flour. Place the balls on the flour pan. Space each ball about 2 inches apart so that they won’t stick to each other as they rise. Cover with large plastic bags or wrap with plastic wrapper. Let them rest in the refrigerator for 8-12 hours. (or the balls can stay in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days, if not using after that, wrap them individually with plastic wrapper , place in a Ziploc/freezer bag and keep in the freezer for up to one month).

7- Take the balls out of refrigerator, 30-45 minutes in advance before working on it again. Let them sit at room temperature just so they rise almost double in volume.

If you choose the simple way, here is the method:

1- Roll up flat one ball at a time, spoon the filling (of your choice) , about 1 teaspoon in the middle of the dough. Wrap up the filling by stretching out the edges of the dough. Cover it tightly so that it’s wont ooze out while steaming. Repeat with the remaining.

2- Cover them with damp kitchen towel, or large plastic bag. Let them rest again, the last one for about 15-20 minutes, they rise again at this point. DO NOT let them rise too much, your steamed bun will fall while steaming and the skin wrinkle.. that’s not pretty, though won’t effect the taste.

3- While waiting them rise, heat the steamer on medium-high heat , makesure the steamer is hot, I mean really2 hot. Line the steamer pan with parchment paper or banana leave so the buns won’t stick to the pan.

4- Arrange the buns on the steamer pan, 3-4 dough balls at a time, depending on the size of your steamer. Make sure to space each ball, 2 inches apart just so they don’t stick to each other. Steam for about 20 minutes. Remove from the steamer and enjoy.

June 12, 2009

Baked Sweet Potato Chips

Filed under: Allergy Free, Bakings, Gluten-Free, Savories, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian — nshahida @ 12:06 pm

IMG_4838

Here is another version for healthier chips. Sweet potato chips, in replace for greasy deep fried, high sodium potato chips that being craved by most of us. Honest to be said, I am no a big fan for chips but I crave for it sometimes whenever my mind starts imagining something munchable and satisfying to be snacked. I am such a huge “snacker”, don’t you know me?

Good news, you don’t have to waste your cooking oil for chips, no more! I baked it in the oven, a very low heat as for the cooking method. With small amount of oil – only a couple drops. And it turned out really crispy just as I wanted.. the crunch aspect , you won’t believe it’s not deep fried.

Another good news, sweet potato is lower glycemic carb compared to potato which is high in glycemic index and may increase blood sugar tremendously if consumed unsparingly. Plus, sweet potato offers more flavor and nutritional value in our diet. And it’s very easy to make too.

Sweet Potato Chips ( Makes about 2 ½ cups)

Spice it up with herbs or any spices of choice for variations. I just like it plain.

Ingredients:

  • 5 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled or unpeeled, it’s an optional
  • Sea salt or regular salt , to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 teaspoons grape seed oil (or canola oil, olive oil)

Methods:

1- Preheat the oven to 400F.

Sliced thinly

2.Thinly slice sweet potatoes, no more than 1/8 inch thick – as it may take longer to cook  and crisp if sliced thicker. Place the slices into a large bowl.

Well Seasoned

3- Season with salt , spices ( if using) and pepper. Drizzle with oil.

4- Toss everything together until sweet potato slices are well seasoned.

Layered singly

5- On a baking sheet pan, arrange the well seasoned sweet potatoes. Be sure to arrange them on single layer. Do not overlap them , if you can’t fit everything on the baking pan, bake for the second round.

6- Bake in the 400F preheated oven for 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 300F. Continue to bake for 15 minutes. Once again, lower the heat to 200F, let it crisp up for 15-20 minutes or until you notice the chips turn brown at the edges. Be sure not to burn them down. Keep eyes on it.

7- Remove from the oven and let them cooled completely ,they get crispier as they cooled.

IMG_4839

Chips

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