Sunday, September 26, 2010

Chicken Curry Puffs

Curry puff is a very popular snack in Malaysia. If you ask a Malaysian if this is true, they probably would tell you "yes". This snack can be considered Malaysia's version of the empanadas. It was usually found in Malay and Indian food stalls. Another Malay version of this snack is known as epok-epok, which is a much smaller version of the normal sized curry puff. Epok-epok are filled with a half boiled egg instead of chicken and sometimes spicy tinned sardines are also used. (I love the tinned sardine version.) The curry puffs which are found in Indian food stalls are usually of the vegetarian variety, with filings such as spicy potatoes, carrots and onions.

The popularity of curry puffs has taken such a huge leap that food manufacturers have now developed a frozen version of this snack. All you would need to do is just heat it up in an oven. However to me, there is still nothing like a freshly made curry puff.

curry puff 2

Chicken Cuff Puffs


Outer layer:
400g flour
50g margarine
1/3 tsp salt
1/2 egg
170 ml water

Inner Layer:
120g flour
60g shortening

Method For Wrapping:

Outer layer:
Boil margarine, water and salt. Pour into the flour. Add in egg. Knead well. Let dough rest for a while. Divide into 8 portions.

Inner layer:
Mix flour and lard/shortening together. Knead well and divide into 8 portions.

1) Wrap inner layer with outer layer. Flatten it and then roll it up like a swiss roll. Repeat twice and then divide into 2 portions.

2) With cut side on the table, roll dough into a circle and fill with a spoonful of curry filling. Wet the outer rim of circle and fold into half, seal the edges.

3) Puffs can be left to freeze and packed in ziploc bag when frozen until needed.

4) To fry frozen curry puffs, start them in cold oil. Remove several ladles of hot oil as the puffs are slightly brown, turn heat on to the highest and fry puffs until brown. This way will ensure that the puffs will not be soggy.

5) To fry the second batch, add in the slightly cool oil and put in the frozen puffs, frying the same way as above.

6) If you are frying immediately, heat up oil and then turn your fire to low. Add the curry puffs one at a time (do not over crowd).

7) Put fried puffs in 250F oven to keep warm.

To Make the Filing:

200g chicken fillet, diced
1 onion, diced
200g potatoes, diced, boiled and cubed
2 Tbsp meat curry powder, mixed with enough water to form a paste
1 stalk curry leaves, use leaves only
120ml water
Salt and sugar to taste

1) Mix the chicken fillet with the curry powder.

2) Heat about 3 Tbsp of oil in a pan until hot. Add the onions and fry until slightly soften.

3) Then add the diced chicken and curry leaves. Fry for about 2 minutes, then add in the water. Cook until water has almost evaporated.

4) Then add in the potatoes. Season to taste and cook for a further minute. Leave to cool completely before using.

curry puff 1

curry puff 3

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Triple Layer Strawberry Shortcake

This particular strawberry cake was made a while back when Korean strawberries were in abundance in Singapore. These strawberries were much smaller in size as compared to the ones we usually see from Australia or USA. Furthermore they were very much cheaper in comparison to their Western "cousins".

I don't often make layer cakes now but when I do, I thoroughly enjoy the entire process. Especially the assemblying bit as I get to slowly see the entire cake come alive. I remembered when I first started my basic cake decorating class with Wilton. In the 4th and final lesson, each student had to present an iced cake and bring it to the class. We were then required to decorate the cake during the class itself for judging by the instructor. Once we passed the judging, we would then receive our certificate of basic cake decoration. I don't think I've ever heard of anyone failing as yet - you probably have to be really, really bad (and suck) at cake decorating in order to do so.

I had so much trouble trying to get the icing on the sides smooth and straight. I iced, and iced and re-iced over and over again until my hubby got really tired of my complaints. He then took over my spatula (in a business-like fashion), scrapped off the icing from the cake sides, re-layered it and started smoothening the sides. He said that it was simple ... just like layering a brick and then smoothening the cement and plaster off it. Cheez .... why didn't I ever think of it!

shortcake 2

Triple Layer Strawberry Shortcake
Recipe Adapted from "Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes"
Makes a triple layer 6" cake


5 Tbsp unslated butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 ts[ salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 cups non-dairy "Whip & Pour"
Fresh strawberry filling
Whole strawberries for garnishing


1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottoms and sides of cake pans. Line bottom with parchment paper and grease the paper.

2) Cream butter, 2/3 cup sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition.

3) In separate bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. Add to batter, alternating with buttermilk in 2 or 3 additions.

4) Divide batter evenly into the pans. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until done. Allow to cool in pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks. Carefully peel off the paper and allow to cool completely.

5) In a large chilled bowl, whip the cream (you may add 1 Tbsp sugar if you like your cream to be slightly sweetened) until stiff.

To Assemble:

1) Place one cake layer, flat side up on serving plate. Top with 3/4 cup of fresh strawberry filling, spooning it over the entire layer and making sure any juices go onto the cake layer and not the plate. (I didn't spoon enough juices so the cake layers were slightly dry mid way)

2) Top this with 1 cup of the whipped cream, spreading evenly over the berries. Repeat with 2nd cake layer and another 3/4 cup filling and 1 cup whipped cream.

3) Top with the final cake layer, flat side up. Cover with the last of the whipped cream and garnish with whole berries.

4) For best flavours, cover the dessert with a cake dome or loose plastic wrap, refrigerate for about 2 hours before slicing/serving.

shortcake 4

Fresh Strawberry Filling:

Clean and hull 2 pints of strawberries (small if possible) and slice into pieces about the thickness of a nickel. Place in a bowl. Add 2 tsp rosewater and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir to coat, cover and let berries macerate at room temperature for about 1 hour.

shortcake 3

shortcake 1

Monday, September 20, 2010

Chinese Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables

Over the last couple of weeks, I have been an emotional baggage. I am slowly coming to terms with my loss but I think as time goes by, it will be better. I am extremely grateful for the family and friends support that I have had over this difficult period. It is also amazing that I have had emails and words of encouragement from bloggers whom I have never even met before, all giving me emotional support ... to this I thank each and every one of you.

I will continue to keep blogging as it is something I love doing. My hubby has always said that I tend to go overboard at times, especially over the weekend as I may even go to the extend of trying out 3 new recipes in one day. He would always be my official "taster" especially when it comes to savoury foods. I had also been cooking a bit more lately just to indulge his stomach.

I will definitely be coming back to my regular blogging schedule, so stay tuned for more recipes. In the meantime, I leave you with this quick stir fried vegetable recipe.

Fried veg 2

Chinese Stir Fried Mixed Vegetables
serves 8 - 10


3 Tbsp sunflower oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
3 garlic clove, smashed and roughly chopped
1 medium sized yellow onion, half and then sliced
250g broccoli and cauliflower florets (mixed), cut into small pieces
1 packet sugar snap peas (about 160g)
1 medium carrot (160), sliced about 1/4" thick
10 shitake mushrooms, sliced in half
170g red capsicum, remove seeds and cut into 1" square
1 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
2 Tbsp Chinese rice wine
1/2 water
1 Tbsp water mixed with 1 1/2 tsp cornflour
Salt and white pepper, to taste


1) Heat the sunflower and sesame oils in a preheated wok or large frying pan, add the garlic and onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds.

2) Add the broccoli/cauliflower florets and carrots and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup water and mix in. Cover your frying pan and let it steam for about 30 seconds.

3) Then add the sugar snap peas, capsicum and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.

4) Add in the seasonings and remaining water and stir-fry for a further 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are just tender. (Do not overcook) Taste and then dish out. Serve immediately.

Fried veg 1

Fried veg 3

Friday, September 17, 2010

Memories ......

They do so that time heals everything but at this moment, I am not sure .... but I can only hope that it does. Maybe the hurt doesn't go away, you just get numb after a while. At the moment, I am taking things one day at a time! Everywhere I look, memories come flooding back. Every time I receive a condolence email from friends and office colleagues, I have to hold back my tears. I think our two "boys", Benji and Milo, are still unaware that their daddy is never coming back. However I do feel that they sense that something is not right at home.

If you have been following my blog you would know that my dear was never one for cakes. However certain cakes he will partake of. This particular swiss roll happens to be one of the last desserts I had made for him. So for now I leave you with this.

durian swiss 3

durian swiss 2

Matcha Durian Swiss Roll
Recipe Adapted from Creative Culinaire

Ingredients for the Cake Roll:

100g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 Tbsp matcha powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
50g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
60g vegetable oil (like corn oil or canola oil)
75g water (at room temperature)
5 eggs (60g per egg), separate the yolks from the whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
70g caster sugar

For the Filing:

1 cup "Whip & Pour" (or thickened cream)
1/2 cup of fresh durian flesh


1) Grease a full size jelly pan and line with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 200C.

2) Sift together cake flour, baking powder, matcha powder, salt and baking soda into a clean bowl and set aside.

3) In another bowl, whisk by hand the egg yolks, 50g sugar, oil and water until the mixture is light in colour and slightly thicken. This should take about 1 minute.

4) Add the flour mixture to the egg and whisk until smooth. Set aside.

5) In a clean bowl whip the egg whites until slightly frothy. Then add in the cream of tartar and continue to whip for about 1 minute. Then add the remaining 70g sugar and continue to whip until stiff peaks.

6) Fold 1/3 of the egg meringue into the yolk mixture. Fold gently until mixed well. Then add in the remaining 2/3 meringue and continue to fold gently using either a whisk or spatula. Fold only until the white streaks have disappeared. Do not overfold or you may deflate the batter.

7) Pour into the lined jelly pan and smoothen the top to ensure an even surface. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or until the top is golden brown. Check at 10 minutes baking time - do not over bake or your roll will become hard.

8) Remove from oven and let cool for about 15 minutes before removing parchment paper. The roll should be completely cool before adding the whipped cream.

To Assemble:

1) Trim off the sides of the roll to have clean lines. Place the roll on top of a clean sheet of parchment paper. Place one side of the long end of the roll at the edge of the parchment. This will allow you to roll the jelly roll easily.

2) Whip the "Whip & Pour" (or thickened cream) until stiff. Add the durian flesh and mix until combined. then spread the durian filing on the jelly roll, leaving about 1/2" border on the sides.

3) Using the end of the parchment paper, start to roll away from you. Keep the roll tight as you continue to roll. Once you have finished use the parchment to wrap the entire jelly roll and place it into the refrigerator to set for about 3 hours.

4) To serve dust the roll with some icing sugar.

durian swiss 1

durian swiss 4

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Grieving for a Lost Love

I have not blogged the usual two posts this week because my dear other half has passed on. This morning I said my final farewells to him and I am trying very hard to cope with reality. I am wishing that I could turn time around and do the things that we had planned, spoken and contemplated about. I did not even have the time to say goodbye to him. My friends and relatives have told me to keep strong which I find very hard to do right now .... I can only hope that it gets easier with each passing day.

I will not be blogging for a while but hope to come back soon.

If Tears Could...

If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane,
I would walk right up to heaven
To bring you home again.
No farewell words were spoken.
No time to say good-bye.
You were gone before we knew it,
And only God knows why.
My heart still aches in sadness
And secret tears still flow.
What it meant to lose you,
No one will ever know.
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