Friday, May 20, 2011

Malacca, March 2011 - Part 2

Here's part 2 of our Malacca trip back in March.  We are planning another trip to Malacca, but unfortunately Courtyard is fully booked on the dates we want.  In fact, most of the hotels along Jonker Street are fully booked.  There are a few other boutique hotels available but after reading the reviews @ Trip Advisor, I decided to venture further and give the ones at Jonker a miss.  I explored the possibility of staying @ Holiday Inn as I've heard so much rave but the busy traffic across the hotel made me change my mind.  A few other hotels with good reviews from Trip Advisor are fully booked too.  So left with no other options, I settled for a budget hotel that is newly refurbished.  I do hope we will have a pleasant stay there.

Enough said, here are more pictures of Courtyard.

This is the view opposite our room.

This is our room.  There is a huge window but it cannot be opened.

A dressing table just beside the window, as a decoration.

This layout is found in their inner yard, just behind reception area. Fengshui?

I like these furnitures!  Not that I like to have them in my house but I feel that these nostalgia furniture gives the hotel character.

Walkway towards the rear, leading to the carpark. 

Breakfast area

We didn't have a chance to visit Teo Soon Loong Chan Teochew Seafood Restaurant  last year and since our room wasn't available for early check-in, we went for lunch first.

It is easy to overlook this restaurant as it is located in a quiet alley with a not so prominent signboard.  In addition, the kitchen is at the entrance of the restaurant and it looks very rundown.  Nevertheless, we found it by asking the locals for directions.

There are a few things to take note if you are planning to have a meal there:
  1. Reservations is a MUST. We didn't but being the first customer (they are open at 12.30pm but we were there at 12.20pm), they allowed us a table.  Contact number 606-282 2353.
  2. You can't really dictate how you want the food to be cooked.  You basically choose your ingredients from the counter and the rest, you leave it to the cook/chef. 
  3. Absolutely no food wastage.  Why do I say that?  That's because they do not allow you to over order.  Also, before they clear the plates away, they'll make sure the plate is empty ie no leftovers.  If there's even a mouthful of food left, the staff will it scoop up and serve to the person nearest to him.
  4. Dessert (yam dessert/orh nee and fresh mango) is mandatory.  We didn't order, it was served and charged to our bill.

Oyster Noodle (RM16).  I'm not a fan of cooked oysters but since this is one of their signature dish, we went ahead to order this.  No regrets!

Stir-fry vegetable (RM10).  Not appealing looking but taste is not too salty, suits our taste bud. 

Tofu with minced meat (RM9).  This looks like a boring dish but it is absolutely fabulous.  The gravy goes well with rice too.  I don't usually eat minced meat outside but this is a must try for all!

Spring roll (RM9).  Besides the tofu, my kids like this dish too.  Maybe because it's deep fried?

Steamed prawns with ginger wine (RM25).  We wanted to order steamed fish but the only fish DH eats must be "bone-less" (that's because I always debone for him back home).  I reckon I won't have much time to debone for the 4th person so we changed our order to steamed prawns instead.  We like the simplicity of this dish.

This goes well with the steamed prawns!  There's another condiment on the table, sambal belachan with anchovies, which was absolutely yummy too!

I didn't manage to take pictures of their famous yam dessert/orh nee (RM18) as I was busy cleaning up after the kids.  Again, I don't appreciate yam dessert (served with pumpkin and gingko nuts) but the dessert served is really smooth and thick.  The fresh mango (RM8) was so-so too, I think the ones we bought at Machap stopover tasted better.

Our bill added up to RM128.60, including 4 glasses of freshly squeezed juice. Will I come again? Most definitely! Want to try their soft shell crab and suckling pig!

Of course, we visited the ever famous Jonker 88 again.  However, I thought this trip was a letdown as the cendol wasn't as tasty and fragrant.  It wasn't as satisfying as the first time.  Maybe they have changed the gula melaka and coconut milk supplier?  Will I go back there again?  Maybe, might try out again this coming trip to see if their standard has improved. 

These interesting words of wisdom caught my attention again and this time round, I remember to take some pictures.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Condensed Milk Chocolate Pound Cake

Thanks to Aspiring Bakers by Small Small Baker, I'm digging out all my backlogs and getting them posted online :)

This Condensed Milk Pound Cake was a hit back in 2007/8.  Many bakers tried and raved about it.

The only time I buy condensed milk is to make this cake (and this easy chocolate chip cookie here) for I have no other use for it.  Instead of baking the regular pound cake, I added some cocoa powder and turned it into a chocolate cake.

Verdict:  As good as plain, if not better.

Condensed Milk Chocolate Pound Cake
120g Butter, room temperature
40g Caster Sugar (I omit vanilla essence and used vanilla sugar instead)

1/4 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup or 100g Condensed Milk

100g Cake Flour
20g Cocoa Powder
3/4 Tsp Baking Powder
1/4 Tsp Baking Soda
*Sift together

2 Eggs

  1. Preheat oven to 170 deg.C
  2. In a bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
  3. Add in salt and condensed milk, whisk till incorporated.
  4. Add the sifted dry ingredients and beat until no traces of flour remains.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl after each additions.
  6. Pour the mixture into muffin cups and bake at 170 deg.C for 25 - 30 mins or till top is brown and skewer inserted comes out clean.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake

Whenever I have unfinished mayonnaise, I will use it to bake this cake.  I've blogged about this before but I've done injustice to it with my lousy photographs, so I decide to make another entry.

A few months ago, SM was sharing with me about her ailing grandmother and how her mother toiled through days and nights in the hospital, keeping her grandmother company.  Upon hearing what SM's mom was going through, and I know her family likes chocolate cake, I decided to bake her mom this Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake, hoping that it will cheer her up a little.

I baked a 7" x 7" and gave 1/2 to SM.  Her kids love this and she sms-ed me to ask if I would accept her order.  I feel honoured that I've got kind folks like her asking if I sell my bakes but I feel very stressful when it comes to taking orders.  I prefer to bake and give-away, at least the commitment level is different :P  Yes, call me a coward, I don't like to take on responsibilities like this, definitely too much for me to stomach.

The texture is soft and moist.

I'm submitting this to Aspiring Bakers # 7: Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested & Tasted.

Mayonnaise Chocolate Cake
Adapted from My Cooking Escapades

110g mayonnaise
125ml buttermilk (I used 110ml milk + 15ml lemon juice, stand for  min 10 mins before using)
120g all-purpose plain flour
20g cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
110g vanilla sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more), optional

  1. Line a 7" square baking tin with parchment paper (no need to grease).
  2. Sift flour, cocoa and bicarbonate soda together.
  3. Place the sugar and sifted flour mixture into a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the mayo and buttermilk till smooth.
  5. Add mayonnaise mixture to the flour and mix till the batter is smooth.
  6. Pour mixture into prepared pan and sprinkle chocolate chips on top.  Bake at 170 deg C for 20-25 minutes or until skewer inserted to centre of cake comes out clean.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ferrero Rocher Nutella Chocolate Cake

Time passes so fast and we're already into the month of May. Just a week ago, I was instant messenging with SL and suddenly remembered SA1 (Semestral Assesment) is just round the corner. As usual, I'm not sitting down with DD1 for her revision. Some people may ask, "You have time to blog but no time to do revision with your daughter? Which is more important?". Not that I'm blogging a lot lately...  oh well...  and if you know me in person, you must have heard enough of my dissatisfaction with DD1. She is not stupid but plain lazy. To make things worst, she's a dawdler. I won't go into details here, it will take a long time if I do.

There were 2 birthdays in April, DH and myself. With my frozen Nutella SMBC that was sitting in the freezer since February, it is time to clear some freezer space. With that intention in mind, I baked a chocolate chiffon cake again for DH's birthday, nothing fanciful again, just trying to clear off whatever I can find in my fridge.

DH got home after work and the moment he saw this cake, his first comment was "Oh.. it's a children's cake". He is not wrong to make this statement for these are all my kids' favourite (they have lots of favourites), Ferrero Rocher and wafer biscuits.

We received a box of Ferrero Collection last December and again, it was sitting in the fridge since. DS1 thought the white chocolate coconut was cool but upon his first bite, he grimmaced and asked if he could spit it out. DH couldn't disagree that the white rocher tasted yucky too :P

I know I lack the skill to cut these wafer biscuits into equal parts so I just cut them up randomly and cover the side of the cake. Bingo! What a perfect way to cover up the flaws and finish up the junks ;-)

I didn't bother to add any other junks goodies in the layer, just a thin layer of SMBC to hold the 2 layers together. I should have taken a picture of the cake in the day for natural lighting but the cakes were given away.

For recipe, please refer here.

I'm submitting this to Aspiring Bakers # 7: Chocolate Delight (May 2011) hosted by DG from Tested & Tasted.