Monday, September 27, 2010

Snow Skin Mooncakes

It has been more than a week since I last visited my blog. Didn't even know time passed so fast!
Mooncake making took up quite a bit of my time as I bought 2kg of paste this year and made 3 batches baked mooncakes (1 batch of piglets) and 3 batches snow skin mooncakes.  Now I'm not sure if I'm going to make any more moonies again next year.  Anyway, I've only enjoyed the process of making them, and not the eating process as they are so so sweet.
My initial plan was to blend some fresh pandan juice for the skin but I didn't have enough time (it was another mad rush this year) so I left the skin all natural ie no colours or artificial flavours added.  My friends call me a "freak" as I don't usually feed my kids with colourings and artificial flavours, especially candies/ice creams.  Of course, there are some exceptional cases ;-) 

I made these  using my jelly moulds but the imprint aint too obvious. This box went to DD1's ballet teacher, though she's not a mooncake eater like me, I've always wanted to give her something, just to show my appreciation.

When I was young, I wasn't exposed to ballet and I've always thought that ballet is for vain girls.  Through some forums and own research, I found out that the benefits of ballet includes self discipline, self confidence, develops motor skills, good posture and the list goes on.  I'm glad my girl is enjoying her lessons with MB, a young and pretty lady who's strict in her coaching.  She practises her ballet almost daily, so much so that it gets onto my nerves and I had to ask her to stop dancing!  Now my 2.5 yo dances along with her sister at home and she can even remember some of the steps her sister taught her.  Looks like another ballerina is in the making ;-)

I used the same trusted recipe but reduced sugar slightly.  The texture wasn't compromised and they are still soft when fresh from the fridge, no thawing needed.

Snow-Skin Mooncakes
Yields 18 small mooncakes

95g Fried Glutinous Rice Flour/Gao Fen
100g Icing Sugar
*sifted together

155ml cold water

15g Shortening

450g lotus paste
Some melon seeds, toasted (optional)

  1. Toast melon seeds and leave to cool.
  2. Mix melon seeds with lotus paste and divide into portions of 25g each.
  3. Mix Ingredients A and Ingredients B to form dough.
  4. Rub in shortening till get a smooth dough.
  5. Sprinkle some fried glutinous rice flour on working table.
  6. Divide dough to portions of 20g each portion.
  7. Wrap lotus paste with dough, roll into a ball.
  8. Lightly flour the mould.
  9. Place mooncake in mould , flatten, dislodge the mooncake.
  10. Chill in fridge before serving.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Baked Mooncakes (vegetarian)

SL helped me to buy the paste for mooncake making again (thanks dear!).  I told myself I need to make it earlier this year as I was so so late last year.

Last year, I made 2 flavours, lotus paste and matcha/green tea (both are "less sweet" version).  This year, I promised my Dad to make him mooncakes with durian paste.

The mooncake mould I have comes with 3 removable plates and that made it so much easier for me differentiate the flavours.

I have no plans to buy the matcha/green tea paste this year but DH specifically asked for it.  Like me, we don't much appreciate eating mooncake but since he asked for it, oh well....

The round ones were made yesterday and I baked another batch again this morning using my square mould.  Again, this comes with 3 removable plates.

I think I did a better job this year, shaping the paste one day in advance instead of doing everything on the same day.  Oh boy, that was a mad rush.  My mom asked for vegetarian mooncakes so I substituted egg wash with diluted sugar syrup.

The round mooncakes spreaded a little while baking and I suspect it was because I let the dough stand for more than 2 hours.  So in my 2nd attempt today, I only let it stand for 1 hour 45 mins.  It took me 30 mins to complete wrapping all 18 mooncakes with some disturbance from DD1.

Traditional Baked Mooncakes
Yield : 17 - 18 small mooncakes

200g Hong Kong Flour

120g Golden syrup/Sugar syrup
60g Peanut oil (I used sunflower oil)
1/4 tsp Alkaline water
* mix together

400g White Lotus Paste
Some melon seeds, toasted (optional)

1 tbsp sugar syrup
1 tsp water
** mix together

  1. Toast melon seeds and leave to cool.
  2. Mix melon seeds with lotus paste and divide into portions of 25g each.
  3. Sift hong kong flour into a mixing bowl.
  4. Pour in (B), combine well to get a smooth dough in one direction.
  5. Cover with cloth, let it stand for 1 hour 45 minutes.
  6. Divide dough to portions of 20g each portion.
  7. Lightly flour your hands, wrap lotus paste with dough, roll into a ball.
  8. Lightly flour the mould.
  9. Place mooncake in mould, flatten, dislodge the mooncake.
  10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C for 15 mins, remove.
  11. Set aside for 30 mins, brush with diluted sugar syrup.
  12. Return mooncakes to oven, bake for another 15 - 20 mins at 180°C.
  13. Store for 3 days before serving.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Steamed Miso Cod Fish

I'm happy to receive comments in my blog but I'm not making enough effort to reply to all the comments.  With blogging and blog hopping, it is already quite a handful to me.  In fact, sometimes I don't even have time to publish the comments.  Reason being, I'll only publish if I know I have time to reply to the comments, else I won't, in case I forget to reply (that happened so many times).  I don't know how other bloggers do it, especially the popular bloggers (they have easily over 50 comments in a day!).  Honestly speaking, I don't think I have the time to manage that.  So, I'm happy with what I have now.  Sour grapes?  No, definitely not.  Just in contradictions.  Hahaha!

Enough of my thoughts.  I've never tried using miso paste for any other cooking besides soup so when I saw Sonia's posting here, I knew I just have to try it.  I love cod fish!

I have 2 pieces of cod fish in my freezer so I cooked this for lunch (weeks back).  I reduced the usage of miso paste slightly as I was worried it may end up too salty.  In addition, I always use more water when steaming fish as my kids like to add the sauce into their rice.

I cannot disagree with Sonia, this is a perfect combination!

350g Cod fish (tail part), sliced
6 red dates, washed and sliced
some ginger, shredded

1 tbsp Japanese Miso paste
2 - 3 tbsp water
A dash of Pepper
A few drops of sesame oil

Spring onions, shredded (soak in water to get nice curl)

  1. Place cod fish, red dates and ginger in a steaming plate.
  2. Mix all seasonings in a small bowl and spoon over cod fillet/steak.
  3. Steam over high heat for about 5 - 7 mins.
  4. Garnish with spring onions and serve immediately.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Watermelon Popsicles

Some weeks back, I bought a not so red and sweet watermelon.  When I end up with a watermelon like this, I usually juice them.  But kids were asking for ice cream and instead of feeding them store bought sugar loaded ice cream, I decided to make some watermelon popsicles for them.  A much healthier version ;-)

I saw this recipe by Williams Sonoma but adjusted the recipe a little.  The sugar used seem too much so I went easy on it.  And instead of using salt, I added some lime juice which DH commented was a great combination ^-^

A perfect treat for a hot weather!

Watermelon Popsicles
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Sweet Treats, by Carolyn Beth Weil (Simon & Schuster, 2006).

4 1/2 cups watermelon chunks
1 - 2 tbsp sugar (you can omit this if your watermelon is sweet)
1 lime juice

  1. Cut the watermelon in chunks and remove any seeds you can see.
  2. In a blender, combine the watermelon chunks, sugar and lime juice. Blend the mixture till the mixture turns into liquid.
  3. Pour the mixture into popsicles mould and freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Run the molds under warm water for 30 seconds to release the pops. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Zhi Ke Tang 止咳汤

I'm writing this with a heavy heart.  I received a phone call from DC last night informing me that YL just passed away.  We are expecting her demise since her cancer cells kept coming back after her chemo sessions and operations, but not so soon.  I'm worried for her 6 year old daughter, what is going to happen to her?  At such a young age, can she handle it?  It is going to be very tough on her.

I cannot imagine myself leaving my kids behind.  But no one knows when one will have to leave, I always believe that it is all predestinated, when the time comes, if you have to go, you just have to go.  And this is one of the reasons why I started this blog, I want my loved ones to remember me by (and also to have a record of what food I've prepared for them) if I were to disappear for no apparent reasons.

Anyway, back to what I've been cooking.  I found out about this Zhi Ke Tang (止咳汤) in a forum, highly recommended by a few forumers.  They claimed that this drink is good for cough with phlegm.  They bought the prepacked so was unable to advice on how much ingredients to use.  Since I've got all the ingredients at home, I decided to concoct my own.

It is believed that this soup/drink relieves cough and strengthens function of the respiratory system.

After cooking this several times, I finally bought a pack from the local supermarket to try it out, just to see if they tasted the same.

The store-bought pack uses less water, only 600ml but since I'm not cooking it for cough and phlegm (more for nourishing the lungs), I added more water.  It taste mildly sweet and my children prefer my homemade version.

Zhi Ke Tang 止咳汤
(serve 3-4)

10g Fritillaria, crushed (川贝母)
20g Apricot kernels/chinese almonds (南北杏)
1 - 2 dried orange/kat paeng (桔饼)
30g Dried Figs (无花果)
4g Liquorice Root (干草)
1.5 litre water


  1. Rinse all ingredients.
  2. Put all ingredients in a pot with 1.5 litres of water.  Bring to boil and simmer for 1 - 2 hours.
And thanks to all the well-wishes posted in my blog, emails, sms, msn and skype.  I managed to trim off my broken nail and life is back to normal now.

 I thought this was cute, looks like I've lost my two front teeth.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Char Siew/Siu

I've got a broken nail while peeling potatoes so can't do much cooking and washing :'(  And I'm typing this with one hand, feels so handicapped.

Just to share what I've cooked for dinner some weeks ago, homemade char siew/char siu.  I always use my trusted AMC recipe but today I decided to try Baking Mum's recipe with some modifcations.  The taste is very much the same. 

Can you spot my little one hiding at a corner?  She was trying to pinch some food off the plate.  My kids love homemade Char Siew/Siu :-)

Char Siew
500 gm pork shoulder (wu hua)
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp rice wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
some pepper
a few cloves of garlic

PS: For instructions and step-by-step pictures, please visit Baking Mum's blog for I didn't follow her instructions as I cooked using AMC method.