Sunday 24 June 2012

My embarrassing Pandan Chiffon Cake

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The plan was to bake a light, fluffy and tall chiffon cake but alas... that was not to be.....
There's no shame in admitting that something went wrong is there?
I know my Pandan chiffon cake is so not right as it's FLAT!!!! Not flat as a pancake but it's too flat to be a chiffon cake! :( Yes, the whole world would agree with me that it should at least be double the height, if not higher so something went very wrong though I don't really know what exactly however, I'll definitely be making again it till i get it right! and of course, any pointers will be greatly appreciated. :)
taken using the iphone

Tuesday 19 June 2012

Bea's Diner and St John's Bakery

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Having heard so much about the smashing american breakfast at Bea's Diner and the amazing Custard Donuts from St John's Bakery, a trip to the arches along Druid Street quickly worked it's way up the always growing list of places to visit in London! One thing I really love about London is that there are always new places to discover and even if you revisit a particular area, there most usually will be something new that's of interest. 

Bea's Diner and St John's Bakery, both open only on Sat, are a short walk away from the world famous borough market so it's definitely worth the extra effort to walk over here as your tummy will most definitely thank you for it!

The Brioche French Toast with caramelised bananas and walnuts, Buttermilk Pancakes with roasted strawberries as well as the Custard Donuts from St John's bakery were ohhhh soooo goooddd!!! Simply awesome!! One bite of any of the above and the only thing one can say is....OMG, OMG, OMG!!! Worth the calories??! OOhhhhh Yesssssss!

I will be going back to Bea's Diner really soon for the exciting Crawfish boil....all you can eat crawfish!!! It's gonna be another good day!!!
Bea's Diner
The diner
Menu for Bea's Diner

Brioche French Toast with caramelised bananas and walnuts 
Buttermilk pancakes with roasted strawberries
Custard Donuts
They don't skimp on the custard
Freshly baked bread

Sunday 17 June 2012

Cashew Asparagus Stir fry

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I love quick and easy stir-fries for lazy days. Here's one that I came across at With a Glass and Mummy I can cook to add to the ever growing list of lazy days dishes! The texture of cashews compliments the crunchiness of the sweet asparagus. I've used tau chu or fermented soy bean paste to add a touch of saltiness to the dish instead of soy sauce and oyster sauce as horrors of horrors!!! I ran out of oyster sauce!! 
Adapted from Mummy I can cook

1 bunch of asparagus
Handful of cashew nuts
Thumb size ginger, peeled and minced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp of tau chu or fermented soy bean paste mixed with some water to loosen it up
1 tsp cornflour+ 1 tsp water to make a slurry

1. Trim asparagus by snapping off the tough ends. Chop into index-finger lengths. 
2. Heat wok or pan over medium heat and dry-toast the cashews, stirring often till they're golden-brown and release their nutty aroma. Set aside.
3. Increase heat, add the oil, and when the oil is hot, add the ginger and garlic, stir-frying for about 5 seconds till aromatic. Add the asparagus, stir-fry for 2 min, or till almost tender and still bright green. 
4. Pour in the sauce ingredients i.e. everything else, and cook until sauce thickens. Return the cashews to the pan, give a final toss to coat, and serve immediately with rice. 

Sunday 10 June 2012

Beef Rendang (Slow cooked Beef curry)

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I just came back from a wonderful holiday in beautiful Slovenia and what's the first thing I want to do?! Have a beef rendang! Typical isn't it? Beef rendang is one of my absolute fave dishes. Beef slow cooked with spices and coconut milk until it becomes meltingly tender, whose aroma just wets the taste-buds in anticipation. It's always a good idea to cook a bigger batch since it's so enticing and you will definitely want to have it for more than one meal. Keeping it overnight also intensifies it's flavours to make it all the more enjoyable!
This is not my first time cooking beef rendang, I've made it before with another recipe but something went wrong with that. However, the recipe I've used today is from Jason, author of Feast to the World. I've only recently discovered this blog but am absolutely loving it as he always cooks very good South east asian food. Have also found out that he may be starting a Singaporean Supper Club in London so oh yeah!! Will keep lookout for that as it's gonna be spectacular!! 

I've made tiny changes to his recipe as i didn't have all the ingredients on hand but it turned out extremely tasty too so thanks Jason for this wonderful recipe! It's a keeper!! I also serve it with cucumbers as that's how my hubby had it while growing up. ;)

Update (28/01/2013)
I cooked Beef Rendang again, this time using a combination of Feast to the World and Mummy I can cook rendang recipe and it turned out better than when I first made it! I was also very happy to have finally found candle nuts  and they definitely made a difference as the rendang was way creamier than the first time i made it.

Ingredients (Serves 2 to 4)

1kg stewing steak, cut into large 3cm chunks
400ml coconut milk
300ml water
1 1/2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise
4 cloves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Sunflower oil

For the Rempah (Spice Paste):
100g  desiccated coconut
4 large red chillies, deseeded and chopped
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 medium onion, chopped
6 lime leaves
6 candle nuts(or macademia nuts)
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh galangal
3 stem lemongrass, bruised and cut into 3 pieces

1) To prepare the spice paste, fry the coconut in a dry frying pan over medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes, until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning. 
2) Put all the spice paste ingredients in a food processor, together with the toasted coconut and whizz into a smooth paste. Add a little of the oil if necessary to keep the mixture turning.
3) In a large heavy-based pot , heat up 2 tablespoon of the oil and stir-fry the paste over low-moderate heat for about 3 minutes, until fragrant and most of the moisture have evaporated. Add the beef along with the coconut milk, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and star anise. Bring slowly to the boil over medium heat. Cover and let it remain cooking in the oven for at least 4 hours at 150 deg C. Give it a stir every hour and top up with water if required.
4) The rendang is ready when the meat is tender and the sauce has almost dried up, leaving a thick consistency and is shiny with a thin layer of oil.
5) Season with salt/sugar to taste.
6) Serve hot with some steamed rice and sliced cucumbers.

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