Saturday, May 28, 2016

Best Ever Italian Almond Cookies


These are the BEST EVER, absolutely moreish and delicious Sicilian almond cookies you'll ever taste. With a thin and crispy crust outside, and amazingly soft and chewy inside, it's quite impossible to stop at one. The secret is to use roasted almond meal, which gives it a rich nutty and almost caramel-like flavour. Continue reading for the recipe.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Vinomofo Wine Review



Brought to you by Nuffnang and Vinomofo.

When I was asked to review a product from Vinomofo, I had no idea what it was about until Nuffnang told me that they would be sending me two bottles of wine. The name Vinomofo is a funny one, until I recalled "vino" means wine in Italian, and "mofo"....oh well, I was curious as to how the name came about. So I read the mile-long "About" page on the Vinomofo website which talks about how a bunch of wine geeks went a roller-coaster journey to build the most epic wine site in the  universe. Or was that planet? Anyway, you should check out some of the wines available on their website. They also have "secret deals" where the only way they can get their hands on them is by agreeing to keep the identity of the wine and the producer secret. Sounds good already! 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Best Ever Korean Fried Chicken (with sweet and sticky spicy sauce)


Best ever Korean Fried Chicken (IMHO). Need I say more? Think of crispy chewy and crunchy batter coated in a candy-like sweet, spicy and sticky glaze. And oh yeah, the chicken. Juicy. Delicious. Yummy. Continue reading to find the recipe.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Shanghai Red Bean Pancake ("Wo Paeng")


This is a repost of an old favourite!

This is an old favourite of mine since I was little. Typically served in chinese restaurants in BP, we would often order a plate or two of it at the end of the meal. It is a thin, flaky and crispy rectangular-shaped pancake that is usually filled with a thin layer of red bean or white lotus paste, and then cut into small rectangular bite-sized pieces.

I decided to make this after browsing through a cookbook called "Dim Sum" where I came across a picture of an appetizing looking "Wo Paeng". I could just imagine the taste of it - sweet, crispy and oily. The recipe looked simple enough. However, the proportions and method of pan-frying it just didn't do it for me. I found another recipe on the web which looked like it would yield better results, and it did! Of course, it involved deep-frying the pancake to a golden crisp, just as I remembered it. I sprinkled some toasted pinenuts in the filling to add some texture.

Here is the recipe I used, adapted from Amy Beh:

Ingredients

Batter
50g plain flour
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp custard powder
130ml water
1 egg, lightly beaten

Filling
6 tbsp (approx 120g) red bean paste, divided into 2 equal portions
20 pinenuts, toasted

Method

  1. Combine all batter ingredients in a mixing bowl. Mix with a hand whisk until well blended and is a thin runny consistency. Divide the batter into two equal portions.
  2. Meanwhile, take one portion of the red bean paste and place it between 2 pieces of clingwrap. Then, with a rolling pin, lightly roll it into a flat square piece and put aside.
  3. Lightly grease a large flat non-stick pan with a little cooking oil. Pour in one portion of the batter. Turn and tilt the pan to allow the batter to run evenly to the edge to form a thin layer of pancake. Cook over a gentle low heat for 2 minutes or until the pancake is cooked. Do not allow the pancake to brown.
  4. Use a turner/spatula to lift pancake onto a plate. Do the same for the other portion of the batter to make a second pancake.
  5. Remove one side of the clingwrap and flip the red bean paste onto the centre of the pancake, and peel off the other side of the clingwrap. Scatter pinenuts over the red bean paste, if used. Fold the near end of the pancake over the filling. Tuck in both the sides. Smear a little beaten egg along the edge and fold the remaining flap over to seal the pancakes.
  6. Deep-fry the pancakes in hot oil until golden brown and crispy. Once they puff up, do not move them around to prevent them from bursting. Remove the pancakes with a perforated ladle and drain on several layers of paper towels.
  7. Cut the pancakes into slices and serve hot.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Pineapple Tarts (2016 edition)



I told myself I was not going to make pineapple tarts this year. It's just too much effort and physically challenging (for someone of my age) and I figured I'd just wait for friends passing through Singapore to bring back tarts for me to eat. No thanks to Facebook, I keep seeing posts of pineapple tarts spilled across the page, made by my baker/foodie friends. I tried to resist the temptation, really (for almost a day). I admit I have a terrible weakness for pineapple tarts. I've made them every year since I moved to Sydney and had to D.I.Y. these CNY ("Chinese New Year") delicacies to satiate my cravings. After all, it's not CNY until you've had pineapple tarts (and bak kwa, but that's another story).