Wednesday, April 30, 2014

[ROUNDUP] - Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1 (Apr 2014)

Here is the roundup for my Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1. First of all, a BIG THANK YOU to the bloggers who have shown their unwavering support and taken the leap of faith to the "dark side" i.e. rice cooker baking. I am really heartened by the overwhelming response. At first I thought I would only get maximum 5 entries including my own, but as time went by, the event slowly gathered momentum and a total of 15 entries were submitted at the end of the month. Yippee!!! This event may not mean anything to bakers who are used to baking in the oven, but this will definitely be a good resource for those who do not have an oven at their disposal.

This event has given me a great opportunity to learn from my fellow blogger friends. I have learnt from Charmaine of MiMi Bakery House that you can bake/cook a chiffon cake in a 5-inch chiffon cake paper mould in the rice cooker and yet make it look like a chiffon cake from the oven, and you can use waffle mix to make a peach almond tart. :)

Violet from Violet's Kitchen has shown me that you can bake/cook a lovely orange marble cake in the rice cooker which may leave you wondering if it was made in the oven. :)

My dear friend Nasifriet, a fellow blogger living in Belgium, after getting her cake burnt once, has found the ultimate solution to baking in her 1-button 19-year-old National rice cooker - double protection by lining with aluminium foil and parchment paper! Her subsequent 2 cakes were so successful that her son kept asking her if she is gonna make RCC every week for her family. Hats off to her perseverance and tenacity! :)

Thea Ong (thealovetea) who is also an avid rice cooker baker has submitted her "no mixer no oven rice cooker banana cake", and has given me inspiration for rice cooker breads from her blog, that will be my challenge for next month. :)

Chocolate + Pumpkin + Rice Cooker = ?
Baking Scientist (bakingscientistexperiment) has given a nice twist to my rice cooker moist chocolate banana cake, she swapped bananas for pumpkin and whipped up a beautiful chocolate pumpkin cake. Thank you for having trust in my recipe. :)

If you are interested in rice cooker baking, don't miss our Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #2 which will be held in the month of May, ending 31 May. We will be making more rice cooker cakes and even attempting rice cooker breads. So stay tuned to this blog for more updates!

I have another short announcement to make. I have made a resolution to go through all my recipe books and bake some recipes from my own books instead of scouring the internet for recipes and leaving them neglected and covered in dust. I shall call these recipes "My Treasured Recipes" as these are recipe books lugged all the way from Singapore to Belgium. As a start, I will be pairing up with Mimi Bakery House and we will be baking Alex Goh bread and cake recipes in the month of June and July. So if you like Alex Goh's recipes, do mark the dates in your calendar and join us in the blog hop. More details to come later...

还有,看不懂英文的朋友可以留言向我要我的电饭锅蛋糕的中文食谱。我的中文还算不错,只是没空翻译而已,如果有时间,我会逐步把食谱翻译成中文。

So here are the 15 entries for RCC #1, enjoy!



1) Rice Cooker Steamed Caramel Banana Cake (Apam Pisang Gula Hangus 电饭锅蒸焦糖香蕉蛋糕) by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders


2) 香橙大理石烤鸡蛋糕(饭锅版) Orange Marble Baked Egg Cake (Rice Cooker Version) by Violet's Kitchen


3) Rice Cooker Steamed Carrot Orange Cake (电饭锅蒸萝卜香橙蛋糕) by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders


4) •Plain Cheesecake•Rice Cooker• by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


5) Sugar-less Rice Cooker Banana Cake (1st Attempt) by Nasifriet of By the Way



6) Cocoa Chiffon Cake•Rice Cooker by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


7) Banana Chiffon Cake•Rice Cooker by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


8) Rice Cooker Chocolate Chiffon Cake (电饭锅巧克力戚风蛋糕) by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders


9) Peach Almond Tarte via Rice Cooker by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House


10) No Mixer No Oven - Rice Cooker Banana Cake by Thea Ong of thealovetea


11) Low-Fat Rice Cooker Banana Cake (2nd Attempt) by Nasifriet of By the Way



12) Pandan Sponge Cake (3rd Attempt) by Nasifriet of By the Way


13) Super Moist Chocolate Banana Cake (Rice Cooker, Steamer, Oven) by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders


14) Rice Cooker Cake - Chocolate Pumpkin Cake by Baking Scientist


15) Rice Cooker Orange Chiffon Cake by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders


If you are still hungry for more rice cooker cakes (RCC), do check out my RCC #1 to #14 by clicking on the label "Baking with Ricecooker". If you would like to receive more updates, do click like on my Facebook Page.

[RCC Challenge][RCC #14] - Rice Cooker Orange Chiffon Cake (电饭锅香橙戚风蛋糕)

After posting my chocolate banana cake, I thought I am almost done for this month's Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1, after all I have already baked my 13th RCC. I nearly forget that I still have another orange chiffon cake which I tested in my Toshiba rice cooker in mid April. This orange chiffon cake will be my RCC #14 and my 5th and last RCC for this month. The result was not as good as my rice cooker chocolate chiffon cake (RCC #12), as the cake rose and shrank a little. I peeped 2 times maybe that was why! So exercise your patience and no peeping please!


I suspect the shrinking might also have something to do with greasing the rice cooker pot. As I mentioned in my chocolate chiffon cake post, I am still experimenting with chiffon cakes in rice cooker, so I am not sure whether I can do without greasing the rice cooker pot. I know that it is a taboo if you bake chiffon cakes in the oven, but I was afraid I couldn't unmould it easily. 

The first time I tried this chiffon cake, I did it with mango juice and I used the whole recipe which is 5 eggs, the cake rose too high and hit the ceiling and the rest was disaster. This time, I used the same recipe, retained the original orange flavour and reduced the ingredients proportionately for 4 eggs, but I stumbled when I inverted the cake. Gosh, I should have used a rice cooker steaming rack to touch base with the cake and carefully invert it instead of using a plate and letting it crash down a few inches from the pot to the plate. In the end the cake was a little bit squashed on top as I struggled to wiggle it to move to the centre of the plate. The texture was really so soft and cottony that it was difficult to unmould. Or should I say it was easy to unmould but difficult to invert on a plate. On hindsight, maybe I was busy taking pictures of the top of the cake that I forgot I should invert immediately as the cake was shrinking when it came into contact with cold air from outside. So next time I must take note of all these little details and hopefully my rice cooker chiffon cake would be perfect!

Recipe adapted from my favourite Baked Orange Chiffon Cake, ingredients reduced to 80% of original recipe to suit a 5.5 cup cooker. 



This cake was cooked after 45 to 50 min, less than 1 hour in my Toshiba RC10L-MI. You would know if you can smell the aroma, I could smell it in the middle of my 3rd cycle after pressing cook thrice. How would you know how long it would take your rice cooker to cook my RCC? Well, my RCCs normally take 1 hour in time (this one is exception) and my rice cooker is a 5.5 cup fuzzy logic cooker that takes 40 min to cook plain rice. So if your rice cooker takes 20 min to cook rice, then your timing for baking cakes following my RCC recipes should be adjusted accordingly. Word of caution: this chiffon cake may not be suitable for making in a traditional rice cooker.

I am submitting this post to Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1 - Are You Game for It? hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders.


I am also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up (April-Orange) organized by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, hosted by Anncoo Journal at this link.


[Important : I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do, and I would be happy if you could give credit where credit is due, and link back to this post if you do make this cake and share it on your blog or facebook. Remember plagiarism is not the best form of flattery. ]

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

[RCC Challenge][RCC #13] - Super Moist Chocolate Banana Cake (Rice Cooker, Steamer, Oven)


This is a a super moist and yummilicious chocolate banana cake that you can prepare in 10 min and make in 1 hour to impress your guests. 

No oven? No worries, this can be cooked in rice cooker or steamed in steamer.

No rice cooker? No problem, this can be baked in oven too.

No cake-mixer? Doesn't matter, this cake only requires a spatula or wooden spoon, no mixer required. You just need a stove to melt the butter, sugar and evaporated milk.

No baking experience? It's ok, this is the perfect cake suitable for beginners, as long as you understand the instructions in English. You cannot possibly fail in making this cake, I assure you. You just need to melt, stir and mix/fold. You can easily ask a primary school kid to make this cake, my oldest son is still too young, otherwise I would have happily delegated this task to him. :)

This cake would join my rice cooker steamed moist banana cake and my rice cooker steamed moist chocolate cake to form the Trilogy of "no oven, no cake-mixer" cakes suitable for dummies. Oh yes, I forgot there is still one christmas fruit cake that requires no cake-mixer too, so it is quadrilogy and not trilogy. No, I am not insinuating that my readers are dummies, but you know what I mean. :)

I am very satisfied with how this cake turned out to be, it was so super lekker that I ate 1/4 of the cake after it came out from the oven rice cooker. No wonder I still look pregnant after delivering my baby nearly 3 months ago! 

Oh yes, this is my 13th rice cooker cake and my last cake for this month's Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1. Pop champagne! If you are interested in rice cooker baking, don't forget to browse through my RCC challenge link and my other RCC bakes.




[Important : I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do, and I would be happy if you could give credit where credit is due, and link back to this post if you do make this cake and share it on your blog or facebook. Remember plagiarism is not the best form of flattery.]

Adapted from my rice cooker steamed moist chocolate cake recipe

Ingredients
60g unsalted butter/oil (if you are using cooking oil, use a neutral-flavoured oil)
175g castor sugar
200ml evaporated milk (1/2 can)
1 large egg
125g plain flour (I used cake flour)
40g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
150g very ripe bananas 
(1.5 medium-sized bananas, weight without skin, to be mashed with fork)

Method
1. Combine castor sugar, evaporated milk and butter in a saucepan.

2. Stir over low heat until sugar is dissolved and butter is melted, turn off the fire and keep warm.

3. Add the beaten eggs into the slightly cooled evaporated milk mixture and stir till well-mixed.

4. Add in the mashed bananas and mix well.

5. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into a large mixing bowl.  Add the sifted flour mixture in 3  additions to the combined batter and stir or fold till well-mixed. (cake batter should be runny).

6a. [For the rice cooker] - Grease the rice cooker pot and pour in the batter. Press "Cook" and let it cook for 1 hour until a toothpick comes clean when the cake is poked. I pressed "Cook" 3 times and the cake was done in 63 min. Note that time required may vary based on brand, model, technology and cup capacity of your rice cooker.

6b. [For the steamer] - Heat up the steamer 10 min in advance. Line the base of a 7-inch square pan (or 8-inch round pan) with baking paper and grease the base and the sides lightly with butter/oil/baking spray. Pour the batter into prepared cake pan, place the pan into the steamer and cover the top of the pan losely with a piece of aluminuim foil. Steam over medium to medium-high heat for 45 to 55 min.

6c. [For the oven] - Preheat the oven to 180C or 350F. Pour the batter into a greased and lined loaf pan (recommended 9 x 5 x 3 inch) and bake for 35 to 40 min. Note that I have not tested in the oven yet, but this cake definitely can be baked in the oven as it is very similar to JoyofBaking's Chocolate Banana Cake which is double the quantity and had to be baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan for 35 to 40 min.


Notes:
1. This recipe was adapted from my steamed moist chocolate cake, the amount of each ingredient was adjusted based on my gut feel. 
  • What ingredients were being reduced : butter reduced from 150g to 60g, eggs reduced from 2 to 1, cocoa powder reduced from 60g to 40g (liquid ingredients were reduced so that bananas could be added to the recipe, cocoa powder was reduced to make the cake less rich in chocolate flavour)
  • What ingredients were being increased : baking powder increased from 1/2 to 3/4 tsp, baking soda increased from 1/2 to 3/4 tsp (amount of raising agents increased so that the cake would be less dense even with the addition of bananas)
  • What was being added that was not in original chocolate cake recipe : 150g bananas
2. If you want to reduce the banana flavour of the cake, you can reduce the bananas, say from 150g to 100g, but you need to increase the rest of the liquid ingredients (butter, egg or evap milk) by 50g, to maintain the same level of moisture.  Similarly if you want to increase the banana flavour, say from 150g to 200g, you need to reduce the rest of the liquid ingredients by 50g, at the same time you need to increase the amount of baking powder and baking soda since more bananas means the cake will be denser.

3. If this is the first time you come across rice cooker cakes, pls read my FAQ on how to make cakes in a rice cooker before you start. 


I am submitting this post to Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1 - Are You Game for It? hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders.





[Update on 3 May 2014]
4 days after I posted this recipe, I received an email from Michelle L on 3 May 2014 with the message "I attempted just this morning and it turned out wonderful. Moist and soft, risen beautifully. I used 2 medium eggs though as I don't have large eggs, and because of that I used 50gm of cocoa powder instead of 40gm. Also added a teeny weeny bit of vanilla essence. Thanks so much for sharing such great recipes online". Thank you Michelle for your positive feedback! Michelle is using a Sanyo basic rice cooker, 1.8 litre with no baking function. =)

Monday, April 28, 2014

Korean Style Baby Meatballs (HanGukSik GgoMa MiTeuBol 한국식 꼬마 미트볼)

This meatball dish was very simple to prepare and the taste was very delicious! It was the first time that I ate meatballs tinged with the sweetness of apple/pear. It was quite a refreshing taste, the meatballs were very juicy and succulent. I notice that Korean recipes like to use asian pears to marinate their meats and even to prepare their kimchi. In the absence of asian pears, you can use just a normal pear or an apple which was exactly what I did.



I normally don't like to fry anything in my small kitchen, be it shallow-frying or deep-frying. For these meatballs, I had to fry them in batches and as it was getting pretty late, I quickly served the 1st 2 batches of meatballs to feed my starving kids, leaving behind the last batch which I placed into a small bowl for some quick photography. It is during times like this that I wish I could get myself the hottest kitchen gadget in Singapore right now, the Philips Airfryer. Then my kitchen would be grease-free and smoke-free, and I could serve Korean Baby Meatballs everyday to my kids without smelling like a walking fried meatball myself. =)


Recipe adapted from Aeri's Kitchen

Ingredients
400g minced beef
3/4 of asian pear (I used apple)
2 tbsp chopped spring onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
pepper and salt to taste

Method
1. Add all the ingredients into a blender/food processor.

2. Grind for about 1 min on high speed until it becomes a sticky paste.

3. Put the meat paste into a ziploc bag or piping bag, cut the edge off with scissors.

4. Squeeze the bag to pipe meat balls 1/2-inch in size, and cut off each meatball with pair of chopsticks or a dull knife. (I find it easier to squeeze the meatballs onto a plate 1st instead of directly into the frying pan, so that I can still shape the meatballs. I cut off each meatball from the piping bag with a pair of scissors.)

5. Prepare a frying pan with sufficient oil for shallow-frying. Fry the meatballs on medium-high heat for about 5 min or until golden brown. Occasionally turn them around so that they will cook evenly.


I am not sure whether this is a typical Korean dish or if it is just a fusion dish invented by Aeri's Kitchen, but still I am gonna submit this post to Asian Food Fest: Korea, hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts.

Korean Beef Japchae (잡채)


Growing up in Singapore, I love eating Chap Chye (杂菜) or mixed vegetables, especially the Hainanese version. The Korean Japchae (잡채) is a "distant cousin" of the Chinese Chap Chye, though the ingredients are quite different. The Chinese Hainanese version usually contains glass noodles (tang-hoon), chinese cabbage, carrots, dried shiitake mushrooms, dried shrimps, dried lily buds, dried beancurd sticks (tau-kee), black fungus, black moss (fa cai), oyster sauce and soya bean paste (tau-cheo) or red fermented bean curd (nam-yee). (冬粉,大白菜,红萝卜,香菇,虾米,金针,腐竹,黑木耳,发菜,蚝油豆酱或南乳). On the other hand, if you look at the Korean version, what you see in common are just the glass noodles, carrots and shiitake mushrooms.  Despite the difference, the Korean Japchae was still delicious nevertheless. 

But I still prefer the Hainanese version, there is more crunch and flavour. Next time I must bug my mama to impart part of her Hainanese cooking skills to me, and show me how to cook the famous Hainanese Chap Chye. :p


Adapted from Aeri's Kitchen

Main Ingredients
1/2 carrot
1/2 onion
1/2 sweet pepper (also known as paprika)
2 eggs
olive oil
salt and black pepper

Beef Ingredients
170g thinly sliced beef
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp cooking wine/dry sherry
2 tsp minced garlic
3 tsp sugar
pinch of black pepper

Mushroom Ingredients
3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 30 min
1.5 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp minced garlic

Spinach Ingredients
100g spinach
1 tsp light soya sauce 
1/2 tsp sugar

Noodle Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
100g cellophane noodles (also known as glass noodles, tanghoon, 冬粉)
2 tbsp light soya sauce
1/2 tbsp sugar

Seasoning
1.5 tbsp light soya sauce
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds (omitted)
1/8 tsp black pepper


Method
1. [Marinate Beef] - Slice the beef thinly and marinate it with light soya sauce, cooking wine, minced garlic, sugar and black pepper for 30 min. Set aside.

2. [Prepare Mushrooms] - Soak 3 dried shiitake mushrooms for 30 min, squeeze out the water, remove the stems and slice thinly. Mix the mushrooms with the mushroom ingredients (light soya sauce, sugar and minced garlic) and set aside.

3. [Prepare Spinach] - Add the spinach to a big pot of slightly salted water (salted water keeps the colour green), boil for 30 sec, remove and rinse in cold water. Then squeeze out the excess water, marinate with the spinach ingredients (light soya sauce and sugar) and set aside.

4. [Prepare Other Veggies] Slice the onion and paprika thinly. Julienne the carrots.

5. [Boil Noodles] - In a pot of boiling water, boil the glass noodles according to the package instructions, then drain the water and set aside. (My glass noodles was from Vietnam and only require boiling for 4 to 5 min, instead of the 11 min in the original recipe by Aeri's Kitchen)

6. [Cook Omelette] - Beat up the eggs lightly and season with pinch of salt and pepper. Heat up a pan, add a little oil and fry the eggs into omelette. Remove and cut into strips.

7. [Fry Noodles] - In a non-stick pan, add olive oil followed by the glass noodles, then add light soya sauce and sugar. Fry for 2 min and mix well until the noodles are evenly coloured by the sauce. Remove and set aside.

8. [Fry Beef] - In a lightly-oiled pan, fry the marinated beef until cooked. Do not over-cook otherwise the beef becomes too tough. Remove and set aside.

9. [Fry Mushrooms and Veggies] - In a lightly-oiled pan, add the mushrooms, onions, carrots and paprika and fry together for 1 min. Remove and set aside.

10. [Assemble and season] - In a large bowl, add the noodles, beef, all veggies including spinach together. Add the seasoning and mix well.



Voila, here is the Korean Japchae ala Miss B. The dish looks simple although it took a bit of preparation, but it was well worth the effort. :)


I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: Korea, hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Version of Bibimbap 비빔밥 (Korean Mixed Rice)

I realise that I have not made kimchi for more than a year. When was the last time I made it? Seems to be 4 Dec 2012.

So last week, I finally made a batch of homemade kimchi and ate it to my heart's content with piping hot porridge, in fact I have it almost everyday for lunch. I seem to be making up for what I could not enjoy during 9 months of pregnancy and the following 1 month of "confinement" after the baby was born. (The confinement period is the period just after giving birth when chinese women are prohibited from eating many things which are deemed too cooling for the body, especially cabbage.) Nowadays I eat almost everything under the sun, so that my newborn can enjoy differents kinds of delicious foods from all over the world, and that includes Korean food. I am not Korean by the way. :)


Since I just finished making my kimchi last weekend and while I am still in my "korean mood", I thought I would try to attempt making a typical Korean dish which has been on my to-do-list for a very long time - Bibimbap 비빔밥. By the way, "Bibim" means mixing and "Bap" means rice in Korean. I have only tasted the real thing once when I went to Korea on a short trip with my parents 10 years ago. I am not sure whether what I am making resembles the real McCoy since I can't recall the taste anymore and I don't have the luxury of eating at Korean restaurants in Belgium, there are none anyway. Moreover, I didn't have some of the ingredients called for in the recipe such as gosari and radish, so I tried to make do with what I could find in my local supermart and cook them to the best of my ability. Luckily I have gochujang (korean red pepper paste) at my disposal since I bought it a while ago and now I could put it to good use. :)

So here is the recipe adapted from Aeri's Kitchen and Maangchi
For 3 to 4 servings

Key ingredients
beansprouts (packet of 250g)
carrots, julienned (packet of 250g, but probably 200g will do)
spinach (packet of 200g)
kimchi (homemade)
cooked rice
4 eggs for baking sunny-side-up

Marinade for the minced meat
500g ground beef or pork
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp chinese cooking wine
1 tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
pinch of salt and pepper

Sauce ingredients
3 tbsp gochujang (red pepper paste)
1/4 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp korean brown rice vinegar
1 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp sesame seeds (omitted)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp minced garlic


Method
1. Mix minced meat with the marinade and set it aside. Cook some rice while you start preparing other ingredients.

2. Rinse the bean sprouts 3 times. Cook the bean sprouts in a pot of slightly salted boiling water, and cook for 10 min or more until the sprouts are cooked and still taste crunchy. Remove from pot, drain and season with 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of light soya sauce and a pinch of salt.

3. Wash the spinach and scald them briefly in boiling water for 1 min. Remove from pot, drain and rinse with cold water. Then squeeze out the water to prevent the spinach turning soggy. Then season with 1 tsp of sesame oil, 1 tsp of light soya sauce and a pinch of salt.

4. For the carrots, supposed to fry them briefly in a wok, but since my carrots were bought from supermart and were finely julienned, I didn't fry them and I didn't season them.

5. Add a little cooking oil to a wok and stir-fry the minced meat until it is fully cooked. Set aside.

6. Fry the eggs sunny-side-up one by one and set aside.

7. Prepare the sauce by mixing the gochujang red pepper paste with the other ingredients.

8. Assembly : In a large bowl (best if you have a dolsot or korean stone bowl for serving bibimbap), place 1 cup of cooked rice in the centre and place a sunny-side-up egg and some minced meat on top of the rice. Arrange all of the veggies on the sides of the bowl surrounding the rice. Then drizzle some sauce on top of the egg and meat.

9. Finally, just mix everything up and eat to your heart's content!

Voila, so that's how I made my Bibimbap ala Miss B. My version of bibimbap is really an improvised, mish-mash version, I hope you like the looks of it. :)




I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: Korea, hosted by Sharon of Feats of Feasts.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Simple Wholemeal Bread Liked by 1300 people (1300人赞好的简单全麦面包)

I have been making breads on and off since 2010 but this is my very first time making a wholemeal loaf bread. :-)

It all started last year after I bought a 5 kg bag of wholemeal bread flour a year ago, wanting to try my hands at baking wholemeal bread since my family prefers them over white bread, but the flour has been idling in my pantry ever since. I have the bad habit of stockpiling food items and completely forgetting about them (read my story about the mouldy wintermelon candies), 1 year has passed and my baby was born, yet the flour is still left untouched, haha. Since I need to clear this new bag of wholemeal bread flour plus another 3/4 bag of white bread flour, I went online to search for an easy fuss-free wholemeal bread recipe and that was how I chanced upon this recipe on allrecipes.com. 



This is a recipe that has won fabulous reviews from over 1300 home bakers. Surely it must be a good recipe, I thought. Thank goodness this recipe did not fail me, it was really simple (you can knead by hand) and required no overnight dough starters unlike most of the asian breads I attempted previously, and yet it yielded a delicious wholemeal loaf bread. The interesting thing about this recipe is, there is NO SUGAR, only HONEY! It is a mixture of 2/3 white bread flour and 1/3 wholemeal flour, but it tastes just like 100% wholemeal. This bread requires little kneading, so you don't need a bread machine and even if you knead by hand, you don't have to huff and puff and knead until your arms are as thick as Popeye the sailor man. :-)



Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com
(Original recipe was meant for 3 loaves, but I am listing the ingredients for making just 1 loaf. The website allows you click on the link "change servings" to change the proportion of ingredients in either US or Metric measurements.)

Ingredients
235 ml (1 cup) warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
5 g active dry yeast/instant yeast (1 +2/3 tsp)
25 ml honey (3.5 tsp)
230 g bread flour (1 + 2/3 cup)

15 g butter, melted (1 tbsp)
25 ml honey (3.5 tsp)
6 g salt (1 tsp)
140 g wholemeal flour (1 cup + 3 tbsp) + extra 40g (1/4 cup) for flouring and kneading **

9 g butter, melted (2 tsp) - for brushing after baking

** This is just an estimate.
  Method

1. In a large bowl, mix warm water, yeast, and honey. Add 230g white bread flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.

2. Mix in 15g melted butter, 25ml honey, and 6g salt. Stir in 140g wholemeal flour. Flour a flat surface and knead with wholemeal flour until not really sticky - the dough should just pull away from the counter, but yet still sticky to touch. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel or clingwrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled. (I first used a wooden spoon to stir and mix the ingredients until everything came together as a dough, then I used my hands to knead in a big mixing bowl, adding 1/4 cup of wholemeal flour little by little until the dough pulled away from the sides of the bowl and became just a little sticky to touch, about 6 - 8 min by hand. Then I placed the dough in a big greased bowl and turned the dough all around to make sure it is well-greased, before proving it in a closed oven with lowest heat turned on for 45min)



3. Punch down, and divide into 3 portions. Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch. (I flattened and rolled each portion into a swiss roll and placed all 3 swiss rolls into a greased 450g pullman loaf tin, then I covered with clingwrap and proofed it in a closed oven with lowest heat turned on for 45 min or until doubled. Weight of dough was 630g. I realised on hindsight that I probably didn't prove them long enough, nevermind I will do better the next time.)

4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not overbake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tsp melted butter or margarine AFTER the bread is done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely. (I baked at 175C for 30 min on lower shelf so that the height of the pullman loaf tin is just below the middle of the oven, then after removing from the oven, I brushed the crust with melted butter, 1 tsp is more than enough.) 



When this wholemeal bread finally came out of the oven, it was already dinner time. After dinner, my son who has been eyeing my homemade wholemeal bread all this while, requested for a slice to go with nutella, and my 2nd daughter being the perpetual copycat, also asked for a slice. I was really surprised that after gobbling 1 slice, he asked for a 2nd helping and then a 3rd helping, when he has just finished 2 servings of spaghetti at the dining table 5 min ago. Being the picky eater, my boy sometimes doesn't like my white breads and sweet breads (the ones he likes are the HK Polo Bun and Rotiboy Bun), in fact he scoffed at my recently baked Orange Marmalade Loaf Bread and refused to eat any further after taking just one single bite. So I was really surprised when the next day, I heard him clamouring for more of my wholemeal bread again, unfortunately there were only 2 slices left from yesterday and they were already sitting in my stomach. Ok, I am definitely gonna keep this recipe and bake it again for him next week, otherwise he will be nagging again. :)




I am submitting this post to YeastSpotting.
Also linking this post to International Yeasted Recipe hosted by My Little Space.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter & Zalig Pasen !


Beautiful easter chocolate eggs from the land of chocolates, Belgium.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

[Rice Cooker Cake Challenge][RCC #12] - Chocolate Chiffon Cake (电饭锅巧克力戚风蛋糕)

Baking in the oven is too mainstream, isn't it?

And who says chiffon cakes can only be baked in the oven?

This is the chocolate chiffon cake I "baked" in my Toshiba rice cooker 2 weeks ago, originally intended to schedule it for next month's RCC Challenge, but when I saw Mimi Bakery House's cocoa chiffon cake submitted to my RCC Challenge #1, I couldn't resist anymore. I want to show my chiffon cake too!



I am very delighted to find a fellow blogger who shares my joy in making cakes in the rice cooker. After all, not everybody is interested in rice cooker baking especially if you have an oven at home. But I find baking in the rice cooker very intriguing and very interesting, and every time I try out a new cake recipe in my rice cooker, there is always something new to be learnt. :)



I have never liked making chiffon cakes in the oven, no thanks to the up and down tandrums of my oven and the cold room temperature in Belgium (18 - 20 degrees) which often causes my chiffon cake to deflate when it comes straight out from the oven (Okay, maybe it's my skills, I shouldn't blame it on my oven all the time). Being an amateur baker, I have only 2 successes with baking chiffon cakes in the oven (see here and here), but I find this chocolate chiffon cake recipe very reliable and always yielding successful results.


So I tried out this recipe from Florence and poured the batter into my rice cooker pot and waited with bated breath. Tick tock tick tock...No peeping ok! If you peep before the cake is done, it will shrink and all your efforts will go down the drain. 



This is how the top of the cake looked like. See how different it is from the usual RCC moon-crater look, it is very flat and smooth.



This is the bottom of the cake (see picture below). The 2 blemishes at the top were due to the blemishes on the surface of my rice cooker pot. Notice also that the cake is dented on the bottom left. That was because I was careless in inverting the cake. You should use a rice cooker steaming rack (special rack that comes with the rice cooker), insert it into the rice cooker pot so that when you invert the pot, the cake would be inverted neatly onto the steaming rack instead of falling from a height onto a plate. 


To be very frank, unmoulding a chiffon cake from the rice cooker pot is not exactly an easy task, it is a little more difficult as compared to unmoulding other types of cakes. Don't get me wrong, the chiffon cake does come out easily from the pot even without having to loosen the sides, but because it has such soft cottony texture that when you hold a plate over the rice cooker pot and when you invert both the pot and the plate, if the plate is not held in the right position and the cake doesn't land exactly in the centre of the plate and instead lands on the side of the plate, you will get a cake dented or squashed on one side. You know what I mean? Just check out the bottom of this cake, see the left side is not symmetrical with the right side? Well, this is something that I still have to practise. 

Also the cake tends to shrink a little and pull away from the sides when I open the rice cooker. You have to act fast and immediately invert it just like when you bake a chiffon cake in the oven. The only thing is I am not sure if the shrinkage is due to greasing of the pot, I know I should not grease chiffon cake pans but it seems that the rice cooker pot has to be greased. Well actually the rice cooker pot has a non-stick surface and generally chiffon cakes don't like non-stick surfaces. Okay, Let me try out a few more chiffon cakes without greasing the pot and I will update you on the outcome.

Talk talk talk and still haven't shown you the recipe, so here it is, a very nice and rich chocolate chiffon cake suitable for using as a base for black forest cake. :)


[Important : I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do, and I would be happy if you could give credit where credit is due, and link back to this post if you do make this cake and share it on your blog or facebook. Remember plagiarism is not the best form of flattery.]

Recipe adapted from Florence of Do What I Like 

Ingredients (A) 
4 egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp rum or kirsch
40g castor sugar

Ingredients (B)
25g cocoa powder
85ml warm corn oil

Ingredients (C) 
135ml warm water

Ingredients (D) 
125g cake flour 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder

Ingredients (E)
4 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
50g castor sugar

Method :
1. Mix ingredients (A) well with a hand whisk.
2. Stir cocoa powder in warmed oil until dissolved and pour into yolk mixture.
3. Stir (C) into yolk mixture.
4. Sieve ingredient (D) and stir it into yolk mixture.
5. Whip egg whites in a clean mixing bowl until big bubbles are formed. Add in the cream of tartar and whip until white and frothy. Add in sugar over 3 times and whip until stiff peaks. 
6. Pour 1/2 of egg white into yolk mixture and fold gently with spatula.
7. Pour the combined mixture back into the remaining egg white mixture and fold gently with spatula.
8. Pour batter into lightly greased rice cooker pot and press "Cook" for about 50 min. 

Notes:
- I am using Toshiba RC10L-MI with 5.5 cup capacity and no baking function.



I am submitting this post to Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1 - Are You Game for It? hosted by me, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders.


My RCC Challenge #1 is slowly but steadily gathering some steam! If you have never heard of rice cooker baking, this is your chance to try your hands at it. Do read up the FAQ first and join in the fun of baking in your rice cooker!

Friday, April 11, 2014

[Rice Cooker Cake Challenge] [RCC #11] - Rice Cooker Carrot Orange Cake (电饭锅蒸萝卜香橙蛋糕)

前阵子老公一直碎碎念,说想吃萝卜糕。我问他你要吃黑的还是白的,其实两种我都不会做。我心里想的是新加坡小贩中心的炒萝卜糕,而他要吃的却是美国人发明的萝卜蛋糕。萝卜蛋糕其实我也从来没做过,所以也就把这件事也搁着忘了。

后来在网上看到这款电饭锅萝卜蛋糕,瞄一下食谱,是少油、少糖萝卜又多的健康蛋糕,正合我意。这个蛋糕虽然看起来不怎么样,我倒扣的时候因为蛋糕太软,还差点毁容,但是真的很好吃,出乎意料的好吃。蛋糕很软很湿润而且口感很好,吃得出淡淡的萝卜的味道,橙皮的芳香,还有脆脆的核桃。我吃了一块又顺手拿多几块。全家人不到一个钟就把整个蛋糕一扫而空

This is my 11th rice cooker cake to date. I just "baked" a rice cooker caramel banana cake a few days ago and now I am presenting something quite different! If this is the first time you come to my blog, be warned! Because I am crazy about rice cooker cakes, and I am holding a rice cooker cake challenge this month on my blog. :)

I made this carrot-orange cake upon special request from my hubby, who was nagging me all the time about carrot cakes. I thought he was referring to the savoury type of fried carrot cakes from Singapore, but no, he meant the American carrot cake. Call me "suaku" or "mountain turtle" if you will, but I have never tasted one, let alone baked one before. So when I saw this rice cooker carrot-orange cake, I was over the moon, because I can kill 2 birds with 1 stone!


This rice cooker carrot-orange cake was surprisingly moist. When I took it out from my rice cooker after 1 hour, I was a little disappointed because the cake sank slightly in the middle and looked dense at the bottom (I think I must have underbeaten the egg whites to avoid them attaining stiff peaks) but I didn't expect it to taste so good! It was quite refreshing in taste, just imagine grated carrots paired with grated orange zest and a little orange juice, topped with crunchy walnuts...The cake was wiped out within an hour, need I say more?




[Important : I hope you enjoy this cake as much as I do, and I would be happy if you could give credit where credit is due, and link back to this post if you do make this cake and share it on your blog or facebook. Remember plagiarism is not the best form of flattery.]

Ingredients for Rice Cooker Carrot-Orange Cake
Recipe adapted from Shinshine

4 eggs, whites and yolks separated
100g sugar (1/2 cup)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
70g vegetable oil (1/3 cup) 
1 tbsp orange zest (from 1 orange)
1 cup carrot, peeled and grated (about 2 small carrots or 100g)
1/3 cup or 30g walnuts, toasted and finely chopped (I used a mixture of nuts)
3 tbsp orange juice
125g plain flour (1 cup)
2 tsp baking powder

Method
1. Sift together flour and baking powder.  Set aside.

2. Whisk egg whites using a cake-mixer.  When egg whites turn white and foamy, add 1/2 of the sugar and continue to whisk until the egg white meringue starts turning glossy. Then add remaining 1/2 of the sugar and continue to whisk till the meringue is firm and silky-glossy (soft-medium peak), meaning when you lift the whisk, the tip should gently fall.

3. Add egg yolks into a mixing bowl, followed by salt, vanilla extract and mix well with a manual whisk. Add oil and mix well. Then add grated orange zest, shredded carrots and chopped nuts and mix well.

4. Take 1/2 of the egg white mixture and fold into the egg yolk mixture using a spatula. Then add the resultant mixture back into the remaining 1/2 of the egg white mixture and fold in gently.
.
5. Using a spatula, gently fold in 1/2 of the flour, then add the remaining 1/2 and fold in gently until it is no longer lumpy. Do not overmix.

6. Grease the rice cooker pot and pour in the batter, then place the pot in the rice cooker and let it cook for 1 hour. (I pressed "Cook" 3 times, 29 min + 18 min + 17 min = 64 min in total.)

7. Check with a toothpick to see if the cake is cooked. When it's done, flip gently onto a plate. Let it cool to room temperature. (Be very careful when you overturn the cake, this cake is very soft and fragile!)


Notes:
- I am using Toshiba RC10L-MI with 5.5 cup capacity and no baking function.
- I pressed the "Cook" button 3 times and took a total of 64 min (29 + 18 + 17).
- I am using the full recipe from the original source, but I added 3 additinal tablespoons of orange juice for a refreshing taste and I changed slightly the method of mixing.
- This cake is pretty flat and dense even in a 5.5 cup cooker due to the grated carrots and nuts. Suggestion for the future: instead of using 2 tsp of baking powder, use 1 tsp baking powder + 1 tsp baking soda. The baking soda can only work in the presence of acidic ingredients, so make sure there is a little orange juice or lemon juice to activate it in the batter. 





I am submitting this post to Rice Cooker Cake Challenge #1 - Are You Game for It? hosted by me, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders.

I am also linking this post to Little Thumbs Up (April-Orange) organized by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Anncoo Journal at this link.

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