Tuesday, January 27, 2015

An Aussie but Chinese-influenced Crunchy Noodle Salad

Remember I mentioned before that I always trust recipes that are printed at the back of some food packaging...

I wonder if this is a good habit as I started doing this about 10 years ago since I discovered this recipe at an Aussie backyard party.

A Chinese style salad in an Aussie BBQ boozy party??? Odd, isn't it? I was totally surprised when I had a first taste of this salad at my friend's birthday party. I'm 100% sure that I wasn't drunk when I tasted this salad because I can remember and name the drunken friends that threw up in this party... LOL!

While my drunk friends were doing crazy things like pole-dancing with the backyard rotary clotheslines, I was busy eating this salad and can't help to ask my friend how she made it.

"The recipe is at the back of Chang's crunchy noodle..." she said.

"Oh! I see ..."

Since then, I have been trying out recipes via food packaging.

Chang's crunchy noodle salad
An Aussie but Chinese-influenced crunchy noodle salad
This recipe can be found at the back of these!
Trust me! I'm totally impressed too that these basic ingredients can create such a beautiful salad dressing. 
For a nutty crunch, I have also deep-fried these cashew nuts to serve with salad.
I'm too lazy... I'm using this ready-to-use coleslaw instead off shredding the cabbage myself. 
Add chopped spring onions and combined dressing and allow salad to rest for 30 mins.
Toss in the nuts, crunchy noodles and chicken just before serving.

Delicious, isn't it? Told you... I was not drunk when I first had this!!!


Before proceeding to the recipe, I have an announcement to make...

Who wants to win US$160???

I'm one of the 16 bloggers who are giving away US$160 cash to one lucky winner for an Chinese New Year Ang Pow Giveaway starting on 2nd Feb 2015. So stay tune for more details later.

Here's this super quick and easy recipe that is mostly adapted from Chang's

Serves 2-3 as a side dish
1/4 small savoy or Chinese cabbage, finely shredded or 1 bag (300g) coleslaw mix
2-3 spring onion, the green part only, finely chopped to about 1-2 mm
25g roasted or lightly fried nuts, preferably cashews, slivered almonds, pinenuts
30g instant crispy noodles (about 1/3 of the 100g pack), they are like the ones we eat with Yu Sheng / Yee Sang
100g shredded BBQ pork or chicken

1 tbsp white vinegar
10g or 1 tbsp castor sugar
1/4 tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 tbsp olive oil

Mix all the ingredients of the dressing in a bowl. Stir well until sugar is dissolved. Combine the cabbage or coleslaw mix and spring onions in a salad bowl. Add dressing and mix well and allow it to rest for about 30 mins in the fridge before serving. Just before serving, add the nuts, noodles and pork or chicken. Toss thoroughly and serve.


This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs up organised by Doreen from my little favourite DIY and me, Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Anne from My Bare Cupboard at this post.

Our Little Thumbs Up event starts on the first Tuesday until the last day of the month. Please join us! To join, simply cook or bake any recipe with the theme of the month which is Noodles and Pasta for Jan 2015 and link with us at this post anytime until 31st Jan 2015.

What after Jan 2015? Grace from Life can be simple will be the next hostess of Feb 2015 and her theme is CHOCOLATE! Her Little Thumbs Up event starts on the first Tuesday of Feb 2015 (3rd Feb 2015) until the last day of the month.

Don't forget your thumbs up or display this badge! And make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post preferably within this month. (2) Please mention Little Thumbs Up in your post and link back to Bake for Happy Kidsmy little favourite DIY or/and Anne from My Bare Cupboard. For more details, please see this.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hot Milk Cakes with Strawberries and Cream plus Alfa One Rice Bran Oil Giveaway

Prior baking these hot milk cakes from the book, Bon Appetit by Barbara Fairchild, I have seen many positive opinions of this kind of sponge cake. Some say that it is the hot milk that makes the cake very moist. Some say it is a traditional American sponge cake recipe that can't go wrong. Some say it is so simple yet so good...

Hot milk cake? According to its name and Wikipedia, hot milk cake gets its distinctive flavour from the addition of scalded milk. Instead of beating the yolks and whites separately, this kind of sponge cakes are made by beating the whole eggs together, then followed by the addition of flour plus baking powder and scalded milk-butter mixture.

When Joyce from Kitchen Flavours suggested baking miniature hot milk cakes with strawberries and cream for our bake-along with Lena from Frozen wings, I'm super excited!!! This is me feeling lots of positive aura when I baked my hot milk cakes...

hot milk cakes strawberries and cream
Hot milk cakes with strawberries and cream
First, I greased my ramekins with Alfa One rice bran oil spray.
Using an electric mixer, I beat an egg and sugar until pale and thick.
Then, I did these...
Here is the HOT milk!!!
I can't wait to "test" one of these!!!
Wow! Wow! Wow! It is true that it can be so simple and yet so good!!!
I cheated!!! - Instead of using an electric mixer to whip the cream, I'm using this easy and reduced fat option.
Instead of adding sugar into my strawberries, I'm enjoying my cakes with a dollop of homemade strawberry jam.

As much as I don't wish to "cheat", I can't deny that it is a hassle to use an electric mixer to whip only 1/4 cup of cream as required for half of this recipe.

After baking and enjoying these cakes, my husband came home with a parcel of interesting gadgets from Tovolo (Australia) and one of them is this...

A mini whipper!!! Hurray!!!

I have to explore this interesting tool instantly! And, this is what I found ...

1) I tried it with regular and reduced fat cream and found that it works well with cream with 35% fat. This is not a surprise to me because NO electric mixer with whisk attachment can whip any cream that is less than 35% fat too!

The reduced fat cream thickens but it is still sloppy!

2) I tried whipping with a minimal amount of 2 tablespoons (30ml) of cream and up to 60ml and found that 60ml works better.

Yay! The silly me was excited when I saw this!!!

3) Do you know that excess whipping of cream can cause cream to become butter and it can be a nightmare to wash!!! Whether I'm over-whipping the cream or not, I'm happy that this mini whipper is dishwasher safe. To wash, press pump handle and lock it into the lid. Do the same to minimise space for storage.

Do this to wash mini whipper in dishwasher or store it.
Yay! - Now, I can enjoy freshly whipped cream anytime I want!!!

Wish that I receive this gadget before I had baked these cakes... maybe again if I can find some extra time to bake these cakes again... 

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from the book, Bon Appetit by Barbara Fairchild or here

Note: The original uses 2 eggs to bake 6 cakes but I have used half the recipe to bake 4 cakes

Makes 4 cakes / servings

Non stick vegetable oil spray, preferably the healthy kind like the Alfa One rice bran oil one
1 extra-large eggs, 70-80g
65g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla extract or paste
85g self-rising flour, preferably the cake flour kind with 7-9% protein, sifted
80ml (1/3 cup) milk
40g unsalted butter
4-8 strawberries, to serve
1/4 cup chilled heavy whipped cream
icing sugar to dust, optional and I didn't do that.
strawberry jam, optional to serve - I made mine using the recipe from here.

Preheat oven to 425°F or 200
°C fan forced. Spray four 3/4-cup (180ml) baking cups or ramekins with non stick spray. Using electric mixer, beat egg in a mixing bowl at high speed until thick about 3 mins. Gradually beat in sugar; beat until thick and pale yellow, about 4 mins.Beat in vanilla into the egg mixture. At this stage, decrease mixing speed to low. Add flour and beat 30 secs or until well combined.

Meanwhile, bring milk and butter just to boil in small saucepan, stirring until butter melts. Add hot milk mixture to batter; beat in low speed for 30 secs or until mixture is well blended and smooth. Divide batter among prepared cups. Place cups on a baking tray.

Bake cakes until tops rise (tall rounded peak will form in center of each), turn pale golden, and are firm to touch, about 14-16 mins (I baked mine for 14 mins). Cool in cups at least 20 mins. Transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool completely at room temperature.

Place cakes into serving bowls. Serve them with strawberries, whipped cream, icing sugar and strawberry jam.

Happy Baking

Here are our friends that have joined us for this bake-along. Please visit their blogs for more of their Hot Milk Cakes with Strawberries and Cream baking.

Please submit your details if you wish to link your post with this bake-along. This linking tool is open from 22 to 31 Jan 2015.

For our next bake-along, we are baking Grissini
 which is to be posted on 5 Feb 2015. Please bake-along with us! All you need to do is to bake this recipe and blog hop with us for the next 10 days.

To blog hop with us, simply copy and paste this linky HTML code into your blog post where you want the blog hop list to appear. Make sure you are in HTML view/mode when you paste in the code. get the InLinkz code

Before using this linky tool, please make sure that: (1) Your post must be a current post. (2) Please mention Bake-Along in your post and link back to any of our hosts' Bake-Along post, (Joyce, Lena or Zoe). (3) Appreciate if you can display the Bake-Along badge in your post when linking up with us. Cheers!
Like to win Alfa One rice bran oil products?
... like the cooking spray shown in this post

For January 2015, Alfa One rice bran oil will be giving prizes to FOUR lucky winners!!! This giveaway is open to Australian residents only!!! Be quick!!! The submission ends on 31st Jan 2015, 11:59 Melbourne, Australia time.

Each set of prize worth more than A$40 and they are:

One 1L Alfa One rice bran oil
One 500ml Alfa One rice bran oil
One 225g Alfa One rice bran oil cooking spray
One 225ml BBQ spray Alfa One rice bran oil
(Butane-free so you have no worries that your spray will cause any fire!)
750ml brown rice Alfa One rice bran oil - a newly launched product at Woolworths
All in a nice hessian bag as shown in the following picture.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I would like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid by Alfa One rice bran oil. I'm always a big fan of this healthful product and was provided with the oils to demonstrate the benefits and goodness in my cooking and baking. Cheers!