Monday, August 22, 2016

"Healthy" Homemade Smooth Red Bean Paste / Hong Dou Sha 红豆沙

After enjoying the benefits of homemade smooth red bean paste, I can't emphasize any further that this is a no turning back move for me. Please pardon me for saying this... Whenever I see packs of commercially made red bean paste now, I can't help doing the eeew-eeew or tsk-tsk. Geez!

I can't stop thinking about the contents of red bean paste selling in the shops like... 1) What are the fats and sweetener that are added into the paste? Are the fats high in trans or saturated fats? Are the sweetener high in fructose? 2) How much fat and sweetener are added into the paste? 3) Is there any preservatives in the paste? Considering all questions, making my own red bean paste seems to be the only way to please the always-questioning me.

Having said that, I have to admit that the healthiest form of red bean paste red bean paste made with the least amount of fat and sugar is never smooth and tasty enough for an ultimate enjoyment. Hence, I have to make my paste with this "optimised" amount of oil and sugar to satisfy my sweet-tooth boy and at least, the good thing is I know that I'm not making my red bean paste with the kind of no trans fat healthful oil that I want.

Homemade smooth red bean paste / hong dou sha 红豆沙

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lemon Cake with Cognac - Simply Divine!!!

Lemony. Sweet. Soft. Moist. Buttery... Every mouthful of this lemon cake is so divine!

With or without cognac, I guarantee you that this is the lemon cake that will give you a zing at your first bite! And I'm pretty sure that it is not due to the addition of cognac because the alcohol content of the added cognac would have been cooked off during baking. This lemon cake is just so good because this easy and magic recipe from the book, 100 desserts to die for by Trish Deseine is working so beautifully!!!

Thanks Trish! My son and I love love love your book and this lemon cake!

moist lemon butter cake
Lemon Cake with Cognac - Simply Divine!

Monday, August 15, 2016

Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies - The Overnight Dough Method

If you can eat only one food before you die, what will you eat?

Honestly speaking, I don't know. I love my food and can't decide if I can select only one choice. However, if I can select 100 choices, it will be a different story...

Kind of like this book with 100 desserts to die for by Trish Deseine? I know. This title sounds a little morbid. I know... It sounds like a gastronomic kind of bucket list or something but I'm seeing these desserts as the must-try recipes as everything in this book looks so irresistibly good. And I'll show you more in this book after showing you how I baked these melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies!

Melt-in-my-mouth chocolate chip cookies? Absolutely! And they are so so so irresistibly good! Unlike most typical chocolate chip cookies, these CCC are not overly sweetened, light in texture with crispy rims and ultimately nice with a finishing melty taste! So yummy that I couldn't stop singing "C is for cookies and cookies is for me..." when I was nom nom nom-ing these cookies.

Melt-in-my-mouth chocolate chip cookies? How did it happen? When I saw this unique chocolate chip cookies recipe that make the cookie dough with coarse demerara sugar and require an overnight rest in the fridge, I know that these cookies are not going to be interestingly good and I'm totally right!

melt in your mouth chocolate chip cookies
Melt-in-your-mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Or Luak / Oyster Omelette 蠔烙 / 蚵仔煎 / 蚝煎 - the healthy version and I like to cook it with NO oyster!

I like Or Luak especially the crispy ones balanced with a delicious chewy texture... but sadly, I'm allergy to oyster. So... no Or Luak for me? Fortunately, there are vegetarian food stalls in Singapore that will cook Or Luak to order so that the lucky me can enjoy the vegetarian Or Luak with no oyster and no worries!

What is Or Luak?

It is a Teochew originated hawker street food that is widely known in many Asian countries like Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Most people refer Or Luak as oyster omelettes but some say that Or Luak are more like oyster pancakes because of their chewy batter. According to Guai Shu Shu, there are many versions of Or Luak in Malaysia. In Kuching, it is usually thin and crispy. In Melaka and Penang, it is usually soft and gooey. In Singapore, I reckon that the kind of Or Luak that you get can vary from stall to stall. It can be thin or thick, crispy or chewy, as a whole omelette or scrambled. There are also Or Luak that is cooked with no chewy sweet potato batter which is commonly known as Or Neng.

If Or Luak is such a common hawker food in Asia, why do I have to cook your own Or Luak at home?

For me, I have no choice because I don't live in Asia... LOL!

For you who are living in Asia, you will be surprised to know that there are many good reasons why you should cook your own Or Luak at home...

(1) Do you have this guilty feeling after indulging an entire plate of Or Luak all in one go? This is because some Or Luak can be oily. In fact, some Or Luak are extra crispy and fragrant because they are cooked with lard or any fat that might be high in saturated fat and even trans fat. I know I know... You can tell the Or Luak cooking uncle to use less oil to cook your Or Luak but you can't tell the Or Luak cooking uncle to add THE oil that you want!!!

(2) If you are like me that is allergy to oyster and wish to eat Or Luak with fish sauce and spring onions, you know clearly that NO vegetarian Or Luak stall will cook any Luak like this!!! LOL!

If you cook Or Luak at home, you can have the choice of cooking the kind of Or Luak that you want. Whether it is going to be ...

  • Or Luak or Or Neng (Or Luak with no sweet potato batter)
  • the full-on vegetarian Or Luak with soy sauce and coriander or the not-so vegetarian Or Luak with
  • the Or Luak with fish sauce and spring onions
  • the scrambled kind of Or Luak with more crispy edges or the intact Or Luak with nice chewy batter
  • the thin and crispy Or Luak or the Or Luak with thicker chewy batter

Yes that you can cook any Or Luak all according to the way you want as long as you can master the principle of cooking Or Luak which involves a cycle of add batter, add egg, add oil, add batter, flip, add oil, add egg and cook until all are crispy!!! That's all!!! To ensure that your Or Luak is delicious and crispy, it is important to cook it in a large flat frying pan with high heat and flip it before the heated side get burnt... LOL! Sound so easy, right? You know... If I can cook my healthy version of Or Luak with a perfect balance of crispiness and chewiness with no rubbery texture at all, I believe that you can do it too.

Once you have mastered the art of cooking Or Luak, I'm sure that you will be so proud of yourself and there will be no turning back...

or luak oyster omelette pancake vegetarian healthy
My homecooked Or Luak 蠔烙, the healthy version.