Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Homemade Penang Muah Chee

Muah Chee or Muar Chee is a Penang local delicacy made of glutinuos rice and coated with ground roasted peanuts,  granulated sugar and top with fried shallots. My mum and I used to made when I'm a teenager as my family love muah chee so much. I've tried many stalls in KL but still can't compare to those we found in Penang. After so long I've decided to give it a try. Making the glutinuos rice is quite easy but the problem is the process of removing the peanuts skin after toasting it in the oven is quite time consuming. But if we are chasing for the true taste then we shall made all from scratch, otherwise you may buy those roasted peanuts and grind it yourself.

Muah Chee 
Serving: 4


- 120g glutinous rice flour
- 180ml water
- 2 tablespoons of peanut/shallot/cooking oil
- 150g of peanut/sugar mix (use granulated sugar as per your preference)
- 4 cloves of shallot 


1. Mix the glutinous rice flour, water and oil in a deep dish and steam for 25 minutes. Once the mixture is set and turn to sticky white paste then its ready. Brush the dough with a little oil. Leave to cool down slightly.
2. Then put the peanuts in a baking tray and bake at 180C until it turn golden brown. Place the peanuts and in a blender/food processor and grind to a fine mixture (or you may buy ready-made). Place the peanut mix on a big plate/tray and cut a desired amout of the sticky paste onto the peanut mix and cut it to small pieces for more even coat.
3. Pour the peanut/sugar mix into another bowl. Cut the sticky paste into small cubes and coat them well with the mix.
4. To make shallot oil, thinly sliced the shallots. Fry with 2 parts oil to 1 part shallot till golden.

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Easy Homemade Pasta from Scratch

I've wanted to make pasta for my son QJ months ago but I just can't met the right timing. Finally I managed to make the spinach pasta last Sunday.

Easy Handmade Spinach Pasta
Serving: 2 adults & 1 toddler
1 egg
4tbsp all purpose flour (to be adjust later according to dough texture) 
Spinach juice (blend a few spinach leaves with some water)

1/4 black pepper
1/4 salt (you may omit)
1/4 olive oil

There are two methods:

Grandma's way
1. Sift the flour on your working/table top and make a well in the middle of the flour. 
2. Crack an egg into the well and add in salt, black pepper, spinach juice, and olive oil.
3. Beat the egg with a fork and mix in the flour from the side bit by bit until all ingredients are well combine.
4. If the dough is too wet, add flour or if it's too hard or crumbly add a little bit of water or the spinach juice and knead the flour by flattening and folding for a few times till it is smooth. It is ready when it doesn’t stick to the bowl/working top/hand.
5. Cover the dough with cling wrap and let it rest for 30 min.
6. For handmade pasta: Cut out the dough in 3 portions and sprinkle the baking sheet/silicone mat with some  flour and use a rolling pin to roll the dough back and forth until it reaches the thickness you prefer. (You may use a pasta maker to roll the dough).
7. For handmade pasta: Then fold the dough to 's' and cut it into thin strips and unfold it. Continue until the remaining dough is cut out.
8. Voila, the pasta is done. The pasta is best to cook immediately or can be keep in a zip lock bag/airtight container in the fridge for a week or up to a month in the freezer. (keep it at your own discretion)
9. To cook the pasta, pour in the pasta in a pot of boiling water and cook it until al-dente (chewy texture).

Easy way
1. Add in egg, black pepper, olive oil, salt and spinach juice into a food processor or a mixer (with paddle attachment) and let it mix well.
2. Then add in flour into the mixture and let it pulse or mix until well combine.
3. Refer to grandma's way item no. 4 - 9
Happy Trying !!

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Monday, 29 September 2014

Fresh Strawberry Cupcake

I spotted beautiful strawberries selling at RM12.90 per 500gm, quite cheap and the quality is good too, so it's a good deal. I thought of baking cupcake for my son as he loves cakes, I guess homemade fresh cupcake will be better than those commercial cake bought from the market. The recipe is taken from here with some modifications.

The cupcake turn out to be moist, fluffy and it taste so so good with the cream cheese frosting.  It's yummy and QJ just love it so much!

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
Yield: 22-28 cupcakes (depend on mould size)
1 2/3 cups flour (I use  280gm)
1 cup sugar (150gm)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup butter, room temperature (171gm)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla (omitted but still taste good)
1/2 cup sour cream (substitute with natural yogurt)
1/4 + 1/8 cup milk (90ml)
3/4 cup chopped strawberries (150gm)

Icing (I use cream cheese frosting from here)
1/2 cup salted butter
1/2 cup shortening
4 cups powdered sugar
6 tbsp strawberry puree
1 tbsp water or milk, if needed

NOTE: You can replace the shortening in the icing with butter, if preferred
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees/180 D Celsius.
2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and baking power in a large mixing bowl.
3. Add butter, eggs, vanilla, sour cream and milk and beat on medium speed until smooth.
4. Fold in the strawberries.
5. Fill cupcakes liners a touch more than half way.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes.
7. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.
8. While cupcakes cool, make the icing. Beat together butter and shortening until smooth.
9. Slowly add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
10. Mix in the strawberry puree.
11. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add water or milk until icing is desired consistency.
12. Once cupcakes are cool, pipe on the icing.

Note: I omitted step 8-12 and replace with cream cheese icing.

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Friday, 29 August 2014

White Plain Pau (Chinese Steamed Bun) vs Sweet Potato Mantou

Rabbit, Piggy and Rolled Steamed Bun
I've wanted to make some mantou or pau (chinese steamed bun) for my son since long time ago as he has sweet tooth and love to eat cakes, biscuits etc which his grandma or aunts bought from the roadside stall. I think those stuffs are too sweet for a 1 year old toddler and I prefer him to eat healthier food. So I've googled for the recipe and came across two recipes which I wanted to give it a try, one for plain pau and the other one sweet potato mantou. 

The pau turn out to be a bit dry compare to the sweet potato mantou maybe because I didn't cover-up the remaining dough while I'm working on it and secondly I didn't work fast enough and let them sit for too long before steaming. I've used both red bean (for adults) and homemade steam sweet potato as the filling for both pau and mantau (for my son). As for the sweet potato mantou, I've speed up and also cover up the remaining dough while working and kept the mantous that have been rolled/shaped in the freezer while shaping the others. The freezer method is safer as the shaped mantou won't double the size and hold its shape better. Therefore we can make more and steam it directly without thawing when we feel like eating mantou.

Here are the recipes:-

Sweet Potato Mantou (Steam Buns) Recipe
Adapted from Rasa Malaysia which taken from 
人生加油站 (for Mandarin literate)
(makes 12)
A:1/2 tablespoon (5.5g/0.2 oz) yeast75ml warm water1/2 teaspoon sugar
75g (2.6 oz) sweet potato
250g (8.8 oz) bao flour or Hong Kong flour
4 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons oil
Pinch of salt

1.    Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water in a bowl. Stir to mix well. Set aside for 20 minutes. The yeast mixture will rise and becomes foamy.
2.    Steam the sweet potato until soft, discard the water that seeps out after the steaming. Using a spoon, mash the sweet potato into a puree.
3.    Add the sweet potato puree and all the ingredients in B and also the yeast mixture and mix using a stand mixer on low speed, for 20 minutes. You can also knead with hand for the same time or until the dough doesn’t stick to your hand. Transfer the dough out of the stand mixer and lest rest/proof for 45 minutes, covering it with a damp cloth. (Note:
4.    Dust the surface with some flour and divide the dough into 3 equal portions. Make each portion into a log. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to a somewhat rectangle shape. Wet the surface of the dough with just a wee bit of water, using a pastry brush or your hand.
5.    Roll the dough up tightly (this is important so the mantou remain a nice shape after steaming), into a log.
6.    Cut the dough into 4 or 5 equal pieces, in mantou shape and place them on 2-inch by 2-inch baking or steaming paper sheets. Repeat the same for the remaining two portions. You will make a total of 12-15 small mantou.
7.    Bring your steamer to a boil and steam the mantou in batches, for 12-15 minutes

Steamed Buns with Red Bean Paste
Adapted from Happy Home Baking

(makes 12) 
300g Hong Kong pau flour
3g baking powder
3g instant yeast
30g caster sugar
160ml water
15g vegetable oil
120g red bean paste / 120g sweet potato paste

1.             Sieve Hong Kong pau flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add yeast, caster sugar and mix well.
2.             Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture, add in water and mix to form a dough. Transfer dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it becomes smooth (about 5 mins). Knead in the vegetable oil and continue to knead for another 10-15 mins or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.  Take a piece of dough  (about the size of a table tennis ball) and stretch it, you should be able to stretch it  to a fairly thin membrane without tearing off easily, if not continue to knead for another 5 to 10mins.
3.             Roll dough into a smooth round, place in a lightly greased mixing bowl, cover with cling wrap and let it proof for about 15mins. 
4.             Punch down the dough and give a few light kneading to release the trapped air bubbles. Divide the dough into 12 portions (about 40g each). Roll each portion into a smooth round.
5.             Flatten each dough into a small disc with your palm or a small rolling pin, make the edges thinner and the centre portion thicker. Wrap each dough with 20g of red bean paste. Pinch and seal the seams. Place dough seam side down on a square piece of parchment paper. Cover loosely with cling wrap and leave buns to proof for 20-25 mins.
6.             Place buns in a steamer* and space them apart so that they do not touch one another. Steam at medium to high heat for 12mins (make sure the water is already boiling before steaming). When ready, remove the lid carefully to prevent water from dripping over the buns. Remove immediately and serve warm. Keep any leftovers in fridge (covered with cling wrap or store in airtight containers) and re-steam till hot before serving.

My note (little adjustment from the referred recipe)
  • I used bao flour or Hong Kong flour for both pau and mantou.
  • For best results and accuracy of the recipe, please use the metric measurement.
  • All purpose flour and cake flour should work just fine, but I have not tried this recipe using all purpose flour or cake flour therefore I don’t know the end results.
  • Make sure you have new yeast, as old yeast will not rise/proof properly.
  • Use warm water to activate the yeast. It’s important.
  • The texture of the mantou is very soft and fluffy mantou compare to the pau
  • Steam the bun you wish to eat and keep the remaining in the freezer without steaming it first. You may steam whenever you want to eat it
  • You may make your own red bean paste but here I’ve used the store bought ready-made red bean and made extra sweet potato paste for the fillings.
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Thursday, 7 August 2014

Durian Cheesecake

I have baked durian cheesecake last Saturday for my elder sister in law's birthday. Initially I plan to bake strawberry jelly cheesecake but finally after consulting my 2nd sister in law's opinion I have decided to go with durian cheesecake as she loves it so much. I've experienced in baking cheesecake but not durian cheesecake and thought maybe I can get some recipes on Google. I've make a research on some of the recipes in Google and finally followed the recipe from Noms I Must. I've tried to draw the spider web as showed in the recipe but maybe the durian flesh stuck in the silicone piping pen (bought from Daiso) make it a bit hard to squeeze it out smoothly. I've decided to made some decoration on the cheesecake and finally got the idea to make butterfly from chocolate. The chocolate butterfly turn out nice but can't be seen clearly on the cake because of the web and it melts quite fast due to the hot season. Nevertheless, the durian cheesecake taste heavenly and coverup the shortfall of the chocolate butterflies. The texture is so smooth and creamy that it melt in the mouth, the durian fibres looks very inviting too. For those who loves durian you might loves this too... It is quite easy and worth a try!

Durian Cheesecake (adapted from Kevin Chai's我和芝士蛋糕的秘密)


160g crushed chocolate marie biscuits (I use 210g digestive cookies)
80g melted butter (I use 105g)

Cheese layer:
450g cream cheese (I use 500g)
80g caster sugar
170g durian flesh (I use 300g)
3 eggs
80g milk (I use 85g)
1 tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp cocoa powder, 2 tsp water


1. To make base, stir all ingredients until combined. Press mixture into base of 18cm (7-inches) cake tin. (I use 8")
2. To make filling, beat cream cheese, sugar and durian flesh until smooth. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
3. Beat in milk and cornstarch until blended. Reserve 1 tbsp cheese mixture for topping, pour the rest of the mixture into tin.
4. To make topping, mix well cocoa powder with water. Add in 1 tbsp of reserved cheese mixture, stir until well blended. Pipe on top of the surface of cheese mixture and draw net pattern with skewer.
5. Bake in oven at 170°C for 40-45 mins (I use water bath @ 150°C for 50mins) or until light brown. Remove from heat and leave to cool. Chill in fridge.

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