Monday, December 30, 2013

Two weeks ago, my daughter had Christmas dinner at her school to celebrate Christmas. I and my daughter love this event. My daughter always excited for this dinner because she's able to use a nice and pretty dress to school, has dinner together with her friends in a cozy and warm atmosphere. I like it as well because I had a chance to see her school with different atmosphere. There were a lot of Christmas decoration and most of them were made by the children. It was lovely seeing Christmas song and decoration everywhere, girls with fancy dress, boys with shirts and ties, and the smell of delicious dishes.  

It was a pot luck dinner. Every parents may bring one type dish to school for the children and the teachers. The dish could be a dessert, beverages, bread, salad, or any kind of finger food. Like as usual, my daughter always wants me to bring mini spring roll for Christmas dinner. She love it and she said everybody like it as well. It is prawn spring roll actually. Not vegetable spring roll. Well, it is as delicious as vegetable spring roll and very simple to make. Mayonnaise or sweet chili sauce is a perfect companion for this dish. Anybody wants to try? 

Ingredients :
  • about 40 ready to use mini spring roll pastry skins, thawed
  • 200 grams tiger prawn, minced
  • 1/2 medium onion, minced
  • 2 garlic, minced
  • 5 scallions, chopped
  • 3 tbs white flour
  • 6 tbs corn starch
  • 2 tbs tapioca starch
  • 1/8 tsp ginger powder or 2 cm fresh ginger root, grated
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 5-6 tbs water
  • salt and pepper
  • vegetable oil for frying
Preparation :

  1. In a bowl, mix together minced prawn, minced onion, garlic, chopped scallions, flour, corn starch, tapioca starch, ginger powder, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper.
  2. Add water into the mixture and mix them together. Sometimes, the mixture could be too thick and not easy to be spooned. Add more water (1-2 tbs at the time) if needed to reduce the thickness of the mixture.
  3. Lay a spring roll skin on the work top. 
  4. Place about 1 tsp of mixture on the corner of  the skin. Make it into a long shape and fold over. 
  5. Fold the left and right corner into the center. 
  6. Roll the rest of the skin and seam the end with a little bit of water. ( Tip : see the pictures how to wrap and roll spring roll from my spring rolls recipe )
  7. Preheat vegetable oil in a frying pan (about 175 C or 350 F).
  8. Deep fry the spring rolls until they start to become golden brown.
  9. Remove the spring roll from the oil and drain them well.
  10. Remove the excess oil using a kitchen towel.
  11. Serve them hot with chili sauce or mayonnaise.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Royal icing is a hard white icing made from softly beaten egg whites, icing sugar (or confectioners sugar), and sometimes lime or lemon juice. Royal icing is very common to be used as cookies or cake decorations. It can be colored as well in order to make the cake or cookies more attractive and pretty. Look what I've made for my Christmas treats. Sugar cookies with icing. Aren't they cute, are they? My kids love them.

The basic and traditional ingredients for royal icing is egg whites. Just beat the egg whites together with lemon juice, and add confectioners sugar gradually while mixing until they form a soft, white, glossy peak mixture. This process will take a while but just take the time and do not rush in order to get a soft and glossy peak icing. If it's under mixed, the icing will become too runny and watery.

This is my basic royal icing before I divide them into 4 parts and give different color for each of them.

After i gave different color for each part, i put them into plastic bag and now i ready to use it to decorate my sugar cookies

Royal icing can be used  to decorate a cake as well. Just make it separately on baking paper, and let it hardened before putting it on the top of the cake or cupcake.

I've tried to make this kind of decoration for my carrot cupcake before.  I made carrot royal icing separately, let it dry, and store it in the airtight container. when the cake is ready to eat or serve, I put the royal icing on the top of the butter cream frosting. I like this decoration. But the downside of this decoration is the royal icing will get wet easily because of moisture from the frosting. That's why it has to be place on the top of the frosting right before serving time otherwise the icing will melted and looks bad on the top of the cup cake.

Another downside of this traditional royal icing is the health issue. Royal icing is usually made from raw egg white. There is a very small chance of Salmonella poisoning from the raw egg white. A person who is infected with Salmonella bacterium usually has fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea  after consuming contaminated food or beverages. Person with low immune system such as elderly, infants, and pregnant woman has highest chance to get infected. Because of this issue nowadays, most of the baker use meringue powder or pasteurized egg to make royal icing. But this product is not always easy to find in grocery store. So, just use a good quality eggs and do not store unused royal icing too long.

Ingredients :
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup (110 grams) confectioners sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
Preparation :
  1. In a large bowl, whisk egg white with lemon juice until formed small bubble
  2. Add 1/2 cup confectioners sugar and mix with medium speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny.
  3. Add the rest of the sugar
  4. Mix with high speed until mixture form stiff and glossy peak.
  5. Add food coloring agent and start decorating. 
  6. Leave it until hardened 
Tip :  You can put royal icing into preheated oven (50 C) for 15-20 minutes to speed up the hardening process.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Winter is coming. It's getting colder and colder. Like as usual, I can start to see a lot of winter sweets vendor everywhere. They sell oliebollen (doughnut balls), appelbeignets (fried apples), and so many things including appelflapen (apple turnovers). I love appelflap. It is a triangle pastry dish which is filled with apple cubes mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar. In America, it is common as apple turnover but in here, we call it appelflap.

In the past, I used to buy it every winter. But after i got my own oven, I learned how to make it and it turned out so easy to make. I only need ready to use puff pastry, some apples, ground cinnamon, brown and white sugar, raisins, and eggs. Just mix the apples, with raisins, ground cinnamon and brown sugar and use it as a filling for the pastry. Seam the edges, brush with egg wash, and bake.

Appelflap is perfect for afternoon snack or treats. I made this for my daughter's friend as well when she came to play few days ago. They love it and even said that mine was better than the one from the vendor. Interested to  make it?

Ingredients (for 8 appelflapen) :
  • 1 1/2 - 2 Apples, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 60 grams granulated brown sugar
  • 3-4 tbs golden raisins
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 8 layers ready to use puff pastry (size 20x20 cm)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • about 5 tbs white granulated sugar
Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 200 C (392 F)
  2. Prepare a baking sheet and line it with baking paper. Set aside.
  3. Thaw the puff pastries. If you are using a big size ready to use puff pastry, cut it into small square (about 20x20 cm).
  4. Using a fork, make some holes on the puff pastry.
  5. In a bowl, mix together apple cubes, ground cinnamon, raisins, and brown sugar.
  6. Spoon about 1 tbs apple mixture and put it in the middle of each puff pastries.
  7. Brush the edge of pastry with egg wash and fold it into triangle.
  8. Seam the edges together with a fork.
  9. Brush the top surfaces with egg wash and sprinkle about 1 tsp granulated white sugar on the top of each appelflap
  10. Line the unbaked appelflapen on the baking sheet and bake them for about 20 minutes or until they become golden brown.
  11. Remove it  from the oven and serve it warm.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Do you still remember my craziness buying a lot of fresh pasta on sale? I've made perline pasta with creamy lemon chicken mushroom sauce before. I've made spinach lasagna and ravioli soup as well. This time I make another ravioli dish. I'm going to try to make a ravioli with cheese sauce.

I'm using tomato ravioli filled in with cheese and basil. It has orange color because it use tomato juice for its skin as a coloring agent. I think it's pretty, isn't it? I usually make a spinach, tomato and bacon sauce for my ravioli but I think something different won't hurt. Besides, It is very simple, fast, and easy to make. The ingredients are not hard to find as well. And of course you can use another type of pasta but I just want to try it with tomato ravioli that i have now. :-)

Ingredients :
  • 1 pack (250 grams) fresh tomato ravioli
  • 3 tbs (45 grams) unsalted butter 
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup milk
  • salt and black pepper
  • fresh parsley

Preparation :
  1. Bring water to a boil in a big pot.
  2. Once it's boiled throw a pinch of salt and ravioli into the pot.
  3. Boil the pasta and pay attention to the cooking direction on the package.
  4. Meanwhile, melt the butter in the sauce pan.
  5. Once it's melted, add the flour and keep stirring on a low heat for about 1 minute
  6. Add milk gradually into the sauce pan and keep stirring until the sauce is smooth.
  7. Add grated cheese and keep stirring until all the cheese is melted. If the sauce is too thick, add more milk.
  8. Adjust the taste with salt and ground black pepper.
  9. Drain the ravioli and serve it on a place. 
  10. Pour the cheese sauce on the top of ravioli and sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sinterklaasje kom maar binnen met je knecht. Want we zitten allemaal even recht. Misschien heeft U nog even tijd voordat U weer naar Spanje rijdt. 

It is one of the most popular children song in Netherlands. When December comes, basically I can hear many songs like this everywhere. Yes!! We celebrate St. Nicholas day on December 5th every year. Or it is more popular as Sinterklaas day. It is a pretty big occasion in Netherlands. Sinterklaas is pictured as an elderly man with white and long hair and beard who wears a red cloak, red cape and brings a bishop's staff. He comes from Spain with his assistants, zwarte piet (black pete), and he will carry a big bag full of candy and toys for nice children. Don't ask how that tradition began. Too many story and history behind this tradition.
Source :

Along with this celebration, there are a lot of traditional Dutch sweets and treats that can be enjoyed for this celebration. There are chocolate letters, kruidnoten (taste like gingerbread cookies but it has small round shape), pepernoten, taaitaai, and amandelstaaf.  I like amandelstaaf. It is a pastry dish filled with almondpaste and shaped like a sinterklaas' staff. Most of the store sell it for sinterklaas celebration and they are quite cheap. But this year I want to try to make it by myself instead of buy it from grocery store because it seems easy to make. So why don't I give it a try.

It turned out not bad at all. But it seems i need to seam it better because after baking, the almond paste a little bit melt out from the pastry. But it doesn't matter. The taste is still good and I'm still satisfied with the result. 

Ingredients :
  • 3 layers ready to use puff pastry (20x20 cm)
  • 250 grams almondpaste
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tbs powdered sugar
  • a little bit of flour
Tip : you can adjust the amount of powdered sugar depend on the sweetness and the stickiness of your almond paste.

Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 200 C (392 F)
  2. Prepare a baking sheet and line it with a baking paper. Set aside.
  3. Beat 1 egg in a small bowl for egg wash. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl, mix together almond paste, powdered sugar, and 1 egg until they are well combined. Set aside.
  5. Dust the worktop with a little bit of flour, stack 3 layers of puff pastry, and dust the pastry with more flour. 
  6. Roll them together until the pastry become wide and thin (approximately 45x20 cm) 
  7. Transfer the puff pastry on the baking sheet. 
  8. Place the almond paste mixture lengthwise on the top of the pastry. Place it on the right side.
  9. Brush the edge of the pastry with egg wash.
  10. Fold in the short end to the middle and fold in the rest of the pastry to cover the almond mixture and seam the edge. Make sure that the seam is on the bottom.
  11. Bend it carefully so you will get a staff shaped pastry.
  12. Brush the top with egg wash. 
  13. Place it into preheated oven and bake it for about 25 minutes or until the pastry become golden brown.
  14. Remove it from the oven and let it cool before cut it into pieces.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Macaroni schotel is actually macaroni casserole or baked macaroni dish. The name schotel is borrowing Dutch name because this dish is introducted by Dutch people during the colonisation era. The first time I taste this food is when I was still about 5 years old. I still remember I went to my aunt's house with my parents. Lucky me she just finished baking it and she gave me a slice of it. That was my first time i ate macaroni schotel and I love it!! Since then I always want to eat it especially when I went to her house. When I grew up and started to learn how to cook, I tried to find the recipe. Too bad my mom didn't have oven so the only macaroni schotel I could made was steamed one. It was good but didn't satisfied me. For me, baked one is still the best. Steamed macaroni schotel doesn't have crispy melted cheese like baked one. I tried to toast the schotel  using oven toaster after steam it, and it didn't work either.

Now, I have my own kitchen complete with an oven. Making macaroni schotel is not impossible anymore. Besides, actually it is not that hard to make. Last week I made it for dinner and everyone like it. I added some green peas during the process just because I had some leftover green peas in my refrigerator.

Like as usual, vegetable salad and sweet chilli sauce are perfect for its companion. Eet smakelijk! ^^

Ingredients :
  • 250 elbow macaroni, boiled until al dente (look at the cooking direction on the package), and drain well
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 150 grams bacon strips
  • 70 grams ground pork or beef 
  • 3 tbs canned corned beef
  • 50 grams green peas (optional)
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 4 tbs flour
  • 600 ml milk
  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups (about 150 grams) grated cheese 
  • 2 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbs white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbs vegetable oil
Tip : If you do not eat pork, you can always use another kind of smoked meat such as smoked beef tongue, or smoked chicken. They will work as well.

Tip : For the cheese, you can use cheddar or parmezan cheese or mixture of old and young cheese like I did.

Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 180 C (356 F)
  2. Preheat vegetable oil in a pan
  3. Saute the bacon for about 5 minutes or until they become golden brown and crisp. 
  4. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, put minced onion and ground beef or pork. Stir and saute them together until the onion become translucent and the ground meat become brown.
  6. Remove them from the pan and set aside.
  7. In a big bowl, mix together boiled macaroni, flour, corned beef, green peas, sauteed bacon, onion, and ground meat. 
  8. Add beaten eggs, milk, ground nutmeg, sugar, and 1 cup of grated cheese. Mix them well.
  9. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
  10. Pour the macaroni mixture into an ovenproof dish.
  11. Cover the top with grated cheese.
  12. Put it into preheated oven and bake for about 45-50 minutes.
Tip : Cover the leftover with aluminium foil or place it in the airtight plastic container before store it in the refrigerator otherwise the edges will become dry and tough. You can always reheat it again with microwave or put it back into preheated oven 150 C for 15-20 minutes. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Out of nowhere, this morning, I suddenly really wanted to eat something sweet. Not only sweet but very sweet. I want to eat chocolate cake. So, I grabbed my recipe book and tried to find the recipe. Before I find the recipe that i wanted, I read my fudgy brownie recipe. I got this recipe from Laura in the kitchen channel in youtube few months ago. This brownies is great. It's rich, sticky, and taste very chocolate.

It seems this brownie is good enough to satisfied my mouth (and my mood) today. Forget about chocolate cake. I want to eat this brownie and do not want to wait any longer, let's get started!!

Ingredients :

  • 145 grams room temperature unsalted butter
  • 180 grams pure dark chocolate, melted
  • 200 grams white granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs cocoa powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbs warm water
  • 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 85 grams all purpose flour
Tip : For the pan, you can use regular 20 cm (8 inches) square brownie pan. But because i don't have any small square pan, I use 20 cm round pan and it works perfectly.

Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 180 C (350 F)
  2. Prepare a brownie pan, grease it with butter and cover it with baking paper including the side of the pan because this brownie could be sticky and difficult to remove it from the pan.
  3. In a small bowl, dilute instant coffee powder into the warm water. Set aside.
  4. In a big bowl, mix together butter and granulated sugar until fluffy.
  5. Add egg, vanilla extract, and coffee into the butter and mix them together until well combined.
  6. Add melted chocolate into the mixture and  mix again. 
  7. Add flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and mix again until they are incorporated and the texture become to look like a mousse. 
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and don't forget to level the surface.
  9. Put it into preheated oven and bake it for about 40-45 minutes.
  10. After it's done, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes before cut it into pieces to prevent the cake become crumbly . 

This is what it looks after I cut it into pieces. Enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sometimes it could be a little bit frustrating becoming a stay at home mom. Don't get me wrong. Being a mom and wife is great. But all those daily and repeatable quests from day to day sometimes could make me get bored and having a very bad mood. Yeah I'm a moody person. So, to entertain myself, I usually go to the grocery store and thinking, imagining what I could make for dinner, or snack, or lunch. I love to wander around just to check what item that has a big sale, comparing one store to another store and so on. That what I did last week. And when my eyes stumble on the big sale board on my favorite pasta shelf, I was so happy. That means I will be able to make some delicious pasta dish. Yaaaay!!! My brain started to work fast and thinking and combining all the ingredients that possible. I hope no one noticed my big grin while I was standing near that shelf. Look what I've bought! (I bought 7 actually and already used 2 of them)

I managed to serve a pretty good pasta for dinner few days ago. I made perline pasta with creamy lemon chicken mushroom sauce. Perline pasta is one of few types of filled pasta. Basically, it is same with tortellini or ravioli, but it is shaped like money bag. There are a lot of thing that can be used for their filling, such as cheese, prosciutto, spinach, mushroom, and many thing else.

Ingredients (for serving 3 person) :
  • 250 grams perline pasta 
  • 300 grams boneless skinless chicken, cut into cubes
  • 150 grams champignon mushroom, thinly slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 70 ml white wine
  • 150 ml milk
  • 3 1/2 tbs flour 
  • 3/4 tbs lemon juice
  • lemon zest
  • olive oil
  • salt and black pepper
  • some parsley
Tip : I was using cheese perline pasta. You can always use perline with any kind of filling that you want. 

Preparation :
  1. Fill in a big pot with water (until 2/3 of the way) and bring it to boil.
  2. Once it's boiled, add some salt and the paste into the water.
  3. Boil the pasta and pay attention to the cooking direction on the package to make sure the pasta is cooked well.
  4. Meanwhile, in a big pan, preheat about 5 tbs olive oil.
  5. Put minced garlic into preheated oil and saute until fragrance.
  6. Add mushroom and chicken cubes into the pan and saute it until the chicken is cooked.
  7. Add white wine and keep stirring until all the alcohol is evaporated.
  8. Add flour into the pan and stir again for awhile. Be careful not to burn the flour.
  9. Pour some milk, lemon juice and lemon zest into the chicken mixture and keep stirring.
  10. Adjust the taste with salt and ground black pepper
  11. At this point the pasta should be done. Drain it well.
  12. Serve the pasta on the plate and pour the chicken sauce on the top.
  13. Garnish with some chopped parsley and olive oil. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Finally!! My first attempt making picnic roll. I've been wanting to make this for a very long time but I've never got the chance. This is one of my favorite pastry dish. I used to eat this in Indonesia. Well.. not often enough because it was considered not cheap and it usually because someone gave it to us as a gift or something like that. But sometime I miss it. Actually I can find a similar dish in here. Its name is saucijzenbroodje. Like picnic roll, it is a spiced ground beef wrapped in puff pastry. But the difference is it is a one person snack meanwhile, picnic roll is much bigger than saucijzenbroodje so it has to be sliced and served on slices.

Now, since I'm living in Netherlands, I can find ready to use puff pastry easily. I think I would like to try to make it by myself. I don't think it is a complicated dish. I only need ground beef and puff pastry. Lucky me there's a big sale of ground beef on nearby store. Why don't give it a try? I've been planning to make this dish for a very long time.

The size of my puff pastry is small. It's about 20 x 20 cm and it's not big enough to make big picnic roll. So, I pile up 3 layers of it and roll it together until i get one big and wide layer of puff pastry. I will use it for the bottom layer and for the top layer or for the cover i will use 2 layer of puff pastries and roll them together. To be honest I was not even sure it will work. But I was wrong. It turn out great. the taste is good as well. I'm so happy with the result.

Ingredients (for 2 picnic rolls):
  • 10 layers (20x20 cm) ready to use puff pastry 
  • 500 grams ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tbs milk
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups (about 60-80 grams) Japanese bread crumbs (panko bread crumbs)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 hard boiled egg, cut into half.
  • 4-5 slices cheddar cheese, cut it into about 4 cm wide.
  • 1 beaten egg for egg wash
Preparation :
  1. In a big bowl, put together ground beef, eggs, ground nutmeg, minced onion, minced shallot, milk, breadcrumbs, salt and generous amount of ground black pepper.
  2. Using your hand, mix them together until all the spices is mixed well with the ground beef. Do not hesitate to squeeze it a little bit. If the mixture is too wet, feel free to add a few more breadcrumbs into the meat mixture just until the excess liquid is well absorb by the breadcrumbs.
  3. After the meat mixture is done, set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven into 200 C (392 F)
  5. Prepare a baking sheet and like it with a baking paper. Set aside. 
  6. For making the bottom layer, dust the work top with a flour. 
  7. Stack 3 layers of puff pastry and dust the top with flour. 
  8. Roll it using a roller until the pastry become thin and wide (approximately 35x17 cm).
  9. Make another bottom layer by stacking another 3 layers puff pastry and roll it again.
  10. Place the rolled puff pastries on the prepared baking sheet.
  11. Divide the meat mixture into two.
  12. Take one half of the meat, press it tightly, and put it lengthwise in the middle of the rolled puff pastry.
  13. Place cheddar cheese slices on the top of the meat.
  14. Put four half cut hard boiled egg on the top of the cheese.
  15. Repeat the same process for the second puff pastry.
  16. For making the cover, dust again the worktop with some flour.
  17. Stack 2 layers of puff pastry, dust it with flour, and roll it again until it become thin and wide (approximately 30x15 cm).
  18. Repeat this process to make the second cover. 
  19. Brush the edge of the bottom layer with egg wash.
  20. Place the pastry cover on the top of the eggs and meat.
  21. Press the edge of the cover into the bottom pastry to seam it.
  22. You can cut the edge of the bottom layer or roll the edge up. 
  23. Make some small holes on the cover using a fork
  24. Brush the surfaces of the cover with egg wash.
  25. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake it for about 25-30 minutes.
  26. Once it's done, remove it from the oven and let the pastry cool for little bit before cut and serve it.
Tip : You can make 3 picnic roll using the same amount of meat. But of course the amount of the meat for each roll will be less than if you are making two picnic rolls.

Tip :  You can keep this on the refrigerator for days. Just pop it into the microwave and done. If you want to make warm the whole roll, put it into preheated 180 C oven and bake it for about 15 minutes. Picnic roll goes well with tomato or chili sauce as well. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Getting bored with simple boiled or steamed carrot? Well, try this simple side dish. Honey glazed carrot.

Last week there was a big sale of jumbo BBQ meatball on nearby store. I bought it and served it for dinner together with roasted potatoes. But I still needed another side dish for this dinner and i think glazed carrot would be great. This is my first time i make this side dish and it turned out good. I like the combination of the sweetness of carrot and the taste of honey. I definitely would make this dish again.

Beside, it was very simple and easy to make. Would you like to try? :)

Ingredients :
  • 400-500 grams carrots (preferable baby carrots), peeled.
  • 3 tbs (45 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 tbs honey
  • 1 tbs lemon juice 
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • salt and ground black pepper
Preparation :
  1. In a medium sauce pan or pot, bring water to boil.
  2. Put the carrots into the pot and sprinkle some salt. Let the carrots cooked for about 10 minutes until they become tender.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Add butter into the pot and let it melt.
  5. Put the carrots back into the pot
  6. Add honey, lemon juice, brown sugar, and some salt
  7. Stir them well until the carrots are covered well with honey and butter.
  8. Simmer it for about 5-10 minutes and stir it gently once in a while to make sure all the carrots are glazed well.
  9. Turn off the heat, sprinkle some ground black pepper and stir it again.
  10. Serve it immediately. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

In Indonesia, there is a traditional cake named Putu Ayu. It is a steamed cake that's made using coconut as its main ingredients. Putu Ayu is very popular in East Java and it can be bought in almost everywhere especially in traditional markets. It is common to use this cake as part of the traditional feast or celebration or treats because it taste good, looks pretty, and not really hard to make.

Few months ago, I found this recipe from J's Kitchen. Baked Putu Ayu. Well... its a twisted recipe from the original putu ayu recipe because originally putu ayu should be steamed and not baked. It's unique and I think it's creative because actually I never thought that this cake can be baked. I tried it and it was a hit. I recommended this recipe to my friend and she loved it as well. She even made it for her husband's colleagues. Because of her, last week, I decided to make it for my husband farewell party treat.

I twisted the recipe by mixing the grated coconut with the batter instead of press it into the tin separately like J's recipe. I mixed the grated coconut together with the batter, pour it into the muffin tin, and bake it. It's good. But I'm not sure if i could name it baked putu ayu anymore because I mixed the grated coconut so there's no more separate white part and green part as it supposed to be. That's why I prefer to name it coconut cake.

Ingredients  (for about 20 mini cake) :
  • 100 grams AP Flour
  • 75 grams white granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pandan paste
  • 80 grams shredded coconut
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 tbs (about 30-45 grams) melted butter for greasing the muffin tin
Preparation :
  1. Preheat the oven for 180 C (356 F).
  2. Prepare mini muffin tin and grease it with melted butter. Set aside.
  3. In a big bowl put 2 egg whites and whisk it with hand mixer until soft peak forms.
  4. In another bowl, using the same hand mixer, beat and mix together flour, salt, baking powder, sugar, vegetable oil, and coconut milk.
  5. Add vanilla extract and pandan paste into the batter and mix again.
  6. Add 1/3 of whipped egg whites into the batter and fold it up until the batter is lightened.
  7. Fold another 1/3 of the whipped egg whites and continue it with the rest of the egg whites.
  8. Add grated coconut into the batter and fold it until they are all mixed well.
  9. Divide the batter into the greased muffin tin evenly.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.
  11. Let it cool for a while before remove them out from the muffin tin.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yaaay... After three failed attempts making roll cake, I finally made it. I'm so happy and couldn't stop smiling (and maybe staring on that cake). There are a lot of bakery in Indonesia who sell this roll cake. And because this cake looks pretty and taste great, it is very common to wrap it in a pretty box and use it as a gift in many occasions.

My husband likes roll cake and he asked me to make it. It was like 1 1/2 years ago when he asked me to make it. First attempt : big failed. I didn't use a proper baking tray and didn't beat the egg enough. So, during the baking process, the batter was spreading all around and the edges were burned. Second attempt : still failed. the cake shrinking, didn't rise properly and i failed to roll it. But the taste was better. Third attempt : The cake was cracking when I tried to roll it. But it tasted good, so I decided to eat it in pieces.

Finally few weeks ago I tried to make it again. I really want to make it to celebrate our 8th anniversary. And... yeah. Somehow it was a big success. The cake was pretty, soft, and delicious. I was using my husband's favorite strawberry jam for filling. But basically this cake can use any kind of filling such as buttercream, whip cream, even fruits.

For making this cake, i purposely use additional stabilizer named ovalette. Maybe it is not common in Europe but it is very common in Indonesia (So does in Malaysia and Singapore).  This ingredients can help to stabilize the cake during the baking process and make the texture of the cake softer. This ingredients can be bought in Asian grocery store.

Ingredients :
  • 3 eggs 
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 80 grams white granulated sugar
  • 50 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 tbs corn starch
  • 1 1/2 tbs milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ovalette
  • 65 grams butter, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling : 
  • 4 tbs strawberry jam
Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 170 C (338F) 
  2. Prepare a baking tray (I'm using 26x26x7 cm baking tray) and line it with baking paper. set aside.
  3. In a big bowl, put together eggs, egg yolks, sugar, flour, corn starch, baking powder, milk, and ovalette.
  4. Using a hand mixer, beat them together on high speed until all the ingredients are mixed and the batter become pale, soft, and there's a ribbon tail formed when the mixer is removed from the batter.
  5. Add half of the melted butter and vanilla extract into the batter.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, mix the butter by folding the batter until the melted butter are mixed well.
  7. Add the rest of the melted butter, fold it again until well mixed and no more trace of melted butter on the cake batter. 
  8. Pour the batter into the baking tray and even the surface with spatula. 
  9. Bang the tray on the table few time to remove the bubbles.
  10. Put the tray into the oven and bake it for 20 minutes. 
  11. Remove the tray from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes.
  12. Make sure the edges of the cake are not stick into the tray by carefully releasing  it using a spatula or small knife. 
  13. Place another baking paper on the top of the cake and a board (I'm using cardboard and cut it roughly the same size of the tray).
  14. Hold the board and flip the cake over. 
  15. Carefully remove the baking paper from the cake. Now, you will get a cake on the top of baking paper, and a cardboard.
  16. Spread the filling all over surface of the cake.
  17. Using the baking paper for help, carefully roll the cake. Hold the cake firmly but be careful not to break it. Do not hesitate to press it a little bit. 
  18. Wrap the rolled cake with baking paper and let it sit for about 30-40 minutes.
  19. Carefully remove the baking paper and transfer it to serving plate. with the seam downside. 

The recipe above is just a basic roll cake. But as you can see on the picture, you can make a simple decoration on the cake.  This is how its done :
  1. Before pouring the batter into the baking tray, Take about 1/2 until 3/4 cup of the batter. Put it on separate bowl and color it with any color you want.
  2. Put the colored batter into piping bag or zip lock bag.
  3. Pour the rest of the batter into baking tray, level the surface and bang the tray to remove the bubbles. 
  4. Make a small hole on the tip of the zip lock bag.
  5. Draw a line horizontally on the surface of the batter in the baking tray using the colored batter from the zip lock bag. Repeat the line few times.
  6. With a skewer or tooth pick draw a line vertically on the batter. Repeat this process few times.
  7. Put it into the oven and bake it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

It's dinner time. I'm hungry and only have less than 30 minutes to cook dinner. I have a lot of leftover steamed rice and it seems fried rice is a perfect choice. Fried rice or nasi goreng  is one of the most famous Indonesian dish and I think it is originally come from China. It is a dish of steamed rice stir-fried usually mixed with other ingredients, such as eggs, vegetables, and meat. It has many variation because basically it can be made using any kind of meat and vegetables with some spices. Even it can be made by using leftover ingredients from other dishes.

Indonesian fried rice usually has red or reddish brown color and use sweet soy sauce, chili pepper, tomato, shallot, and garlic as its spices. We usually call it Javanese fried rice. There is another kind of fried rice that's famous in Indonesia. The other one is white fried rice or most people name it Hongkong fried rice. We call it white because it is made without tomato and sweet soy sauce. I love both of them. My mother often made it for breakfast or dinner. Today actually I prefer to make Javanese fried rice. But too bad I have no tomato and chili pepper left on my kitchen. Well.. it's almost dinner time and I think I can make a simple fried rice using ingredients that i have. Don't get wrong. Even though it is just a simple fried rice, it is delicious and decent enough for dinner. Especially if it's served with fried shallot and szechuan chili. So, let's get started.

Ingredients (about 4 serving) :
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 (about 100 grams) carrot, roughly grated
  • 5 tbs green peas
  • 3 champignon mushroom, roughly chopped
  • 2 knackwurst, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 5 tbs vegetable oil
  • 600 grams room temperature steamed rice 
  • Salt and pepper
Tip : You can always use another kind of meat such as canned pork, smoked chicken, ham, char siu (chinese barbecue pork) or anything else

Preparation :
  1. Preheat the vegetable oil in a big pan 
  2. Add minced onion and minced garlic into the pan and saute them until they become aromatic and translucent. 
  3. Add grated carrot, green peas, and knackwurst and keep stirring.
  4. Add beaten egg into the pan.
  5. Add the steamed rice and stir the rice until all the ingredients are mixed.
  6. Add soy sauce and mix again.
  7. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. 
Tip : You can use chicken or prawn as well. But add them after sauteing onion and garlic (after step 2) and make sure to cook them well before adding the vegetables and the rice.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another school vacation. It's still day one and my daughter kept asking me every hour what she can do. Oh God. She got bored so easily and she still had 5 more days at home. She already played with her brother, made a mess everywhere, made some origami, pictures, watched TV, but still. I had to do something otherwise my head will explode. So, I decided to give her another project. I'll teach her how to make a meringue or I call it Schuimpjes. It was my first baking project when I was eleven or twelve. It is easy to make. It was a big success even when I didn't have a proper oven at that time.

I knew it! When I asked her to bake some schuimpjes, she jumped happily and said yes. I asked her to measure the ingredients, mix them and use a pipping bag to make it. She wants mocha schuimpjes. So I'm going to use mocha paste instead of using coffee and chocolate. I think it is easier for her.

Ingredients :
  • 2 Egg whites
  • 100 grams (7/8 cup) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp  vanilla extract
  •  1/4 tsp mocha paste
Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 120 C (248 F)
  2. Prepare two baking sheet and line it with baking paper. Set aside.
  3. In a big, clean, glass or ceramic bowl, whisk the egg white until soft peak formed.
  4. Add powdered sugar gradually into the egg white while whisking continuously.
  5. After all the sugar is added into the egg white, keep whisking until the mixture is soft, thick, and glossy. (There's should be a long trailing peak formed when the whisk is lifted from the mixture)
  6. Transfer the mixture into a piping bag (I'm using piping bag with star tip).
  7. Gently squeeze the piping bag to remove the air from the bag until the mixture is visible on the nozzle.
  8. Tightly twist the end of the piping bad to seal.
  9. Pipe the schuimpjes/ meringue mixture into the baking sheet about 2-3 cm wide and 1 cm high.
  10. Bake the schuimpjes/meringue into the preheated oven for about 40 minutes.
  11. Lower the temperature of the oven until 100 C (212 F) and bake for another 30 minutes.
  12. Remove the baking pan from the oven and let it cool for a little bit before removing the schuimpjes/meringue from the baking paper. 
  13. Remove the schuimpjes (it should be easy to peel them from the baking paper). 
  14. After they are cool completely, store them in airtight container. 
Tip : Before whisking the egg whites, make sure that the bowl is clean, free from fat, water, and or egg yolk otherwise your egg whites wont rise up and make soft peak properly. 

Tip: You can always use a spoon to transfer the mixture into the baking paper instead of piping bag. Just spoon the mixture and drop it on the baking paper. Use two spoons if needed.

Tip : Adjust the time of baking depend on the size the schuimpjes/meringue. But the baking time should be at least 1 hour. Because actually this process is to make the meringue dry by evaporating the water from the mixture.

Monday, October 21, 2013

This is an old recipe and one of my dinner menu few weeks ago. There was a very bad weather all day that made me couldn't go outside to do some shopping. I didn't have chicken, neither beef and vegetables. I only had few red pepper chilies and two tomatoes. I only had half block of tempeh and and half block of tofu (Curious about tempeh and tofu? or want to make another dish using tempeh and tofu? Visit my other tempeh-tofu recipe)  and I still needed to cook a dinner for my family.  I found some Indonesian spices on my refrigerator as well such as lime leaves and palm sugar. Well, why not to try to make something out of it? I could use my mom's recipe. She used to make beef or chicken with Balinese spices. How if i replace the chicken and the beef with boiled egg, tofu, and tempeh?

Actually I'm not really sure if it is really from Bali or Balinese recipe but that's what we call it in my hometown.  But still it's great especially with steamed rice and starch crackers (krupuk). It taste great. Slightly sweet spicy aromatic dish. For those who doesn't like spicy food, maybe the color of this dish will turn you off (my daughter for example). But when I ask her to taste it and she was willing to give it a try (with a requirement : one bite only with a spoon of steamed rice and a glass of water on her hand), she said this dish is not spicy just the color that made her afraid. It is delicious indeed.

Ingredients :
  • 6 boiled egg
  • about 300 grams tempeh, cut into big cubes
  • about 300 grams tofu, cut into big cubes 
  • 5 red chili peppers. Remove the seeds
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tomato
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 tbs palm sugar 
  • 2 lime leaves
  • 1 tbs lemon or lime juice
  • 1 tbs sweet soy sauce
  • 250 ml (1 cup) of water
  • vegetable oil
  • salt and pepper
Tip : You can always add 2-3 small chili pepper (cabai rawit) if you want to make it more spicy. 

Tip : If you are using fresh ginger, cut about 2 cm fresh ginger, peel, and blend it together with the shallot and chili peppers. I was using ginger powder because I did not have fresh ginger available on my kitchen at that time.

Preparation :
  1. In a big, preheat about 1-2 cups vegetable oil for frying.
  2. Fry all tempeh and tofu cubes until they start to become golden brown or 3/4 cooked. 
  3. Turn off the heat, remove fried tempeh and tofu from the oil and drain the excess oil. Set them aside.
  4. Using a blender, blend together shallots, chili peppers, garlic, and tomato
  5. Reduce the oil from the pan until about 4-5 tbs oil left.
  6. Turn on the heat.
  7. Put the blended spices into the pan and saute the spices until fragrant, the color become red, and half of the liquid are evaporated
  8. Add palm sugar, lime leaves, lemon juice, sweet soy sauce, and ginger powder into the spices. Stir again.
  9. Add fried tempeh, tofu, and boiled egg into the pan and mix them well with the spices.
  10. Add water. Stir again until all the egg, tempeh, and tofu are covered well with the spices.
  11. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  12. Turn off the heat and transfer it into a bowl. Serve it hot with steamed rice, fresh vegetables, and starch crackers.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

My son is growing bigger now and getting curious on everything. He likes to play and make a mess all around. For example, two days ago he managed to get 2 eggs on his hand and broke them all. Yeah!! Thanks to him, now I have two broken eggs. I managed to save the egg yolk but the egg white had to go to the trash can. I don't really want to make an egg yolk omelette. I think I can make some mini egg tarts using those egg yolks. My friends are going to come to visit soon as well and I think it will be a nice treats for them.

The problem is I didn't have time neither too lazy to make the pie crust like the other egg pie. Well, I still have ready to use puff pastry. I think I can use it instead of making pie crust. It is easy to make, simple, and delicious. My daughter love it, my friends like it, and I know my husband will love me more. After baking process, the tart's shape is not too pretty maybe because I didn't make a deep bowl from my pastry. I was too afraid if the tart can't be removed from the tin (The fact, there were 4-5 tarts that can't be removed easily). But it doesn't matter. They're still delicious.

Maybe I wasted 2 egg whites because of my son curiosity but on other side I could create 30 yummy mini egg tarts.

Ingredients (for making 28-30 egg tarts) : 
  • 2 egg yolks + 1 egg
  • 70 grams white granulated sugar
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs vanilla extract
  • 10 x 10 cm 30 layer puff pastry (I'm using 6 layer of 20 x 20 cm ready to use puff pastry)
Preparation :
  1. Preheat oven for 190 C (374 F)
  2. Prepare mini muffin tins and grease it with butter. Set aside
  3. In a bowl, mix together egg yolks, egg, milk, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract using a wire whisk.
  4. Using a strainer, strain the custard batter to remove the egg lump
  5. Arrange the puff pastry in the muffin tin and press it a little bit to make a small bowl on the muffin tin.
  6. Pour egg custard into the puff pastry bowl. 1-2 tsp for each bowl.
  7. Put the muffin tin into the preheated oven and bake them for about 20-25 minutes or until the pastry become golden brown.
  8. Take the muffin tin out from the oven and let the pastry cool for a bit before they can be removed from the tin. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Like as usual, today I really had no idea what I should cook for dinner. It seems it's becoming my habit to think about dinner menu. Everyday, when I woke up, the first thing that come to my mind is what will I cook today. Well.... practically because I have to start defrosting the frozen meat in the morning before use it in the evening. Or buy some ingredients. My mother always said, that's the challenge of being a housewife. For example, this morning, I took out my chicken breast and start to defrosting it but really I totally had no idea what should I do with this thing.

Well.. I found 1/2 bottle of sesame seeds on my kitchen.When was the last time I used this ingredients? I suddenly wanted to make chicken with sesame sauce like the one that I used to eat in a restaurant in Indonesia few years ago. Hmmm maybe not exactly the same but I think I could make a pretty decent dish.

First I need to fry the chicken. I do not want just plain fried chicken. It has to be crispy, spiced, and coated with something to increase the taste and the texture of the chicken itself. So, i spiced them with garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. On my recipe, I use some white wine. It's totally optional and can be substitute with the same amount of lemon juice. After coating and frying process, make the sauce. Basically just mix all the ingredients together and let it simmer until it's boiled. Thickened it with tapioca starch, mix the chicken and the sauce, and it's ready to serve. It's easy, isn't it? And it is good as well. That's the most important thing. 

Ingredients :
  • 400 boneless chicken breast 
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbs white wine (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 4 tbs cornstarch
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • sliced spring onion (optional)
Tip : you can always substitute white wine with same amount of lemon juice and ginger powder with grated fresh ginger. Cut about 3 cm fresh ginger, remove the skin and grate it. 
  • 3 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs white granulated sugar
  • 3 tbs mirin (Japanese rice wine vinegar)
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 6-7 tbs water
  • 1/4 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 cloves garlic, grated or minced
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds
  • pinch of salt and white pepper
  • mixture of 1 tsp tapioca starch and 2 tbs water
Tip : If you're using raw sesame seeds, it is better if you roast it in a pan without oil before mix them in the sauce. Just to increase the taste. I'm using ready to use roasted sesame seeds that I bought from Asian grocery store.

Preparation :
  1. Cut the chicken into medium-big (about 3 cm or 1 inch) cubes. Transfer the chicken into a bowl.
  2. Add grated garlic, ginger powder, salt, pepper, white wine and soy sauce. 
  3. Mix them together.
  4. Add flour into the mixture and mix again until the chicken is well coated.
  5. Let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, you can start to make the sauce.
  7. In a pan, preheat about 1-1 1/2 cup vegetables oil for frying.
  8. When the oil is ready, add corn starch into the chicken, and mix it once more.
  9. Put the chicken into preheated oil and fry until they're cooked trough and become golden brown.
  10. Remove the chicken from the oil and drain the excess oil
  11. Transfer the fried chicken into a bowl or a plate, pour the sauce on the chicken, and mix them together until they're well coated.
  12. Serve it with hot steamed rice and garnish with sliced spring onion if you like.
For the sauce :
  1. In a small pot or sauce pan, mix together soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sesame oil, water, ginger powder, grated garlic, salt and pepper. 
  2. Turn on the heat and let the sauce mixture boiled.
  3. When it start to boil (or until the bubbles start to appear), reduce the heat, add sesame seeds, and let it simmer for about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir the mixture and add tapioca starch mixture slowly while keep stirring until the sauce is thickened. (No need to use all the tapioca mixture if it's thick enough)
  5. Turn off the heat and let it cool and thickened for a little bit.