Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Happy Birthday, my dearest sister, May.
May you be blessed with long, healthy and happy life.

Finally after completing the orders for the Shanghai Mooncakes, I can now heave a sigh of relief. Thank you everyone very much  for all the support. Now it is time to concentrate on the Lantern Festival on 30/9/2012.

My doggies had a great treat and they loved those crumbs!
 Before that,  my sister May's birthday is on 27/9/2012.  As she resides in Australia, I can only make her some visual  goodies for her birthday. 

Longevity peach is not a fruit but a Chinese bun that  is the represention of  the celestial peach.  According to Chinese legends, the celestial peach ripens once every few thousand years and humans who consume the celestial peach achieve immortality.

This aspiration for immortality and longevity gave rise to the longevity peach-shaped bun like its celestial counterpart.    It is similar to the pao or mantou except that it is shaped and coloured like a peach.  

Longevity peaches are presented during birthdays of elders  to wish them a long life and this  symbol of longevity plays a similar role of a birthday cake. 

This is my first attempt to make the Longevity Peach Buns.  Recipe was taken from   I use the leftover Red Bean paste as filling for these buns.  

After 1st proof, the buns are filled and shaped into peach shape. I used a toothpick to keep the dent in the centre. Let them proof for the 2nd time before steaming. Here I have used a greaseproof paper. However I would suggest that you grease the plate instead and not use the paper as the buns tends to stick to the paper.

Now, this is suppose to be "big peach" - it is actually a "cover" hidding those tiny peach buns beneath. But I guess the bowl used was too small. Also let this proof a 2nd time before steaming.

Dip a toothbrush with some pink colouring and spray the droplets onto the bun while hot. 
This was one of art lesson learnt  in school.  Hold the brush higher so that the droplets are light and not  blobs/splashes and be careful not to touch them till colour sets.

I think the buns were a bit big as I had scaled them at 30 gms dough and 15 gm filing.  Maybe it can be reduce  to 20 gm dough.  Can manage to "hid" only 3 buns under the cover.  The buns are light and soft till the next day. 

Besides this I also made for her a vegetarian Mushroom and Tomato Quiche.

Basic short crust pastry. Half fat to flour.   Make sure to rest the dough before rolling out between 2 pieces of greaseproof paper- it saves time cleaning up all those flour and easier to lift the pastry onto the pie shell.  

After blind baking set aside to cool.

Sauted fresh mushroom and diced tomato and onions.

Loved this really aged Parmesan cheese from Australia!

Put the mushroom and tomato filling in the pie shell. Top with grated cheese

Pour the quiche mixture before baking.

Golden, creamy and delicious quiche-can be serve warm or cold for lunch the next day.
Enjoy your birthday! We did eating all these over here..hahaha.

Monday, September 24, 2012



I  am in a whirlpool of thoughts lately about life, death and euthanasia, which I always advocate for myself in case I grow old and useless and suffering but not for anyone/anything else. 

Yes I am still bother about our  cat Cherry.   As mentioned earlier, she is at the point between  life and death. I hate to be one to give the decision for euthanasia. As Dr. Chan said there is still life within her and I got to respect that life.  On the other hand, I also hate to see her suffering.

So while we cannot make any decision, we still got to eat.

Datin has organised a Hari Raya Open House Lunch in the office for the staff and some of our clients.   Today was the last day for the Hari Raya celebration.   Each of the staff were to bring some food/drinks for lunch together. Datin herself cooked some Chicken Rendang and Lontong. 

A festive mood prevailed around the office the whole day. 
The reception area was gaily decorated to welcome the guests.

Our cheerful receptionist!

The vast arrays of cookies

The staff were busy setting out the food, arranging the table, getting the drinks and cutlery ready.

Finally around lunchtime, our guests (our firm's long and loyal  customers) have arrived.  

As our Dato' was not in, we requested one of the clients to say the doa before eating.

The spread of food for lunch.

Ketupat with Chicken Rendang

Fried Meehoon with Shrimps

Pre-packed Nasi Dagang with curry

Mango and Strawberry Pudding

 Even a bunch of bananas

It was heartening to see the efforts put in by my collegues from the food to the table setting.

I baked some Hokkaido Cupcakes and Mini Lemon Tarts which were a hit(finally putting good use to the lemons given by my sister from  Australia).

This is how I normally do the pie crust- just a knob of the dough into the tart shell and press it out evenly - save time rolling it out and fitting into the tart shell.

Blind bake the pie crusts before filling.

Lovely lemony and smooth custard.

It was really a "full" day for me. Delicious homecooked food albeit a bit cold.

For dinner, I went  for a BBQ and Steamboat dinner at the newly opened Zen Garden, Cheras with my daughters Esther and Sarah. Actually I bought a groupon discount to try out this place as it is near my house.
Each  BBQ and Steamboat set which caters for 2 person costs RM49.90 and Groupon offers it at RM29.90 only. 

The Buddha greeting us upon arrival and immediately I can feel the calming effect. Nice surroundings and  spacious with a big bar- just the place to chill out and unwind.

These photos are taken with Esther's mobile.

 Pots of chili sauces- from Sa Cha to Sambal varying degrees of spiciness!

They offer only 2 types of soup base- Fish Stock or Tomyam.  We requested for fish stock as Esther was having a bit of sore throat.

The waitress preparing the BBQ for us.

The set  actually for 2 person  is also sufficient for 3 pax but we did ordered some side dishes of fish cakes, enoki mushroom and lettuce.

There is a big bowl of Fried Garlic Rice as well just in case you are still hungry at the end of the meal.

Great time relaxing and chatting with the girls. As it was a weekday, there is no big crowds and  service was attentive.

We took around an hour to finish our meal and the total bill for drinks and the side orders came up to less then RM50.00 which is very economical.  Just hope that they will continue to keep up the service and food preparation.

Went home and quickly made a drink of the preserved lime with liquorice for Esther to soothe her sore throat.

This bottle of preserved lime was dated 2004.  Notice that all the salt has dissolved.  Great remedy for sore throat.

Sunday, September 23, 2012



In the midst of the busy schedule of getting the Shanghai Mooncakes ready for collection, I took a breather and went for a baking demo at 19 Culinary Studio.

The baking demo was held  at the 19 Culinary Studio was for French Desserts.  The cooking studio is a bungalow along Jalan Dungun, Damansara Heights started by a Ms. Hellen Fong.   You can read about her and the studio in the Flavours Magazine October 2012.

 The quiet and lush green surrounding and the easy camaraderie between the teacher and the group of baking enthusiast  is a balm to my tired body.

The reception area

Inside the courtyard.

The teacher/chef is Ms. Sapna who demonstrated 2 types of French desserts- Orange Madelines and Chocolate Tart.

From left: Ms. Angelin, the Chef Ms Sapna and Ms Hellen Fong 

Demonstrating how to roll pastry into the pie dish.

Piping the madeline batter into the madeline pan- less mess but you will need this special pan to make these fancy beauties.

Beautiful "humps"

Light, fluffy and zesty- delicious

Chocolate Tarts - made with Varlhona Chocolate- get the best chocolate you can to get.

Putting the finishing touch to the chocolate Tart- caramelized pecan!.

the most decadent Chocolate Tart with caramelized pecans- see the layers!

After the class, we went over to the Vet and saw my poor Cherry- she had a tube inserted into her back so as to get the food down her.  At this moment, I really felt so so sad.  I was wondering whether I should just let her go, seeing how she is suffering. 

However, she still has a chance of recovering and I cannot forego this chance that she will get better. I knew age is catching up on her and I could prefer that she pass away naturally rather than have to put her down. Just got to keep praying for her. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I am happy and looking forward to the following three weeks. 

Firstly,  my boss had gone overseas for holiday and won't be back till 30/9/2012.

Secondly, Mid Autumn Festival is around the corner and the child in me is looking forward to the festival- the gathering of family- (Chinese saying- "people and full moon comes together in a full circle")  and of course the food and the marvel of playing with the lanterns.

 Favourite lanterns of my time- I don't mean the Angry Bird ones!

Cartoon Lanterns of today!

These are hot items selling in the pasar malams around KL town. But strangely can hardly see them on sale in Petaling Street, the Chinatown or shall we call by some other name since most of the vendors are not Chinese any more!
Last but not least, making my Shanghai mooncakes.

I baked my first batch of mooncakes last weekened.  Though they may not look the prettiest, I am happy and satisfied with the results.

The pastry do looked a bit thick as I scaled the filling paste at 75gm and the pastry at 70gm.  Otherwise it will be eating just the white Lotus paste.

These mooncakes get a 2nd egg wash before finish baking and hence the darker golden colour.
I also baked some Curry Chicken Buns and Chicken Floss Buns.  I used the sponge dough method.  The buns were still soft and fluffy overnight.  

These are Curry Chicken Buns.  I did not egg wash the buns before baking. Instead, I rubbed a piece of butter over them when they came out of the oven. 

This is the Chicken Floss Buns.  I brush these buns with egg wash before baking, hence the glossy appearance.