Thursday 30 October 2014

Swedish Cinnnamon Buns

I've made cinnamon buns many times but they were always the regular buns in which the filled dough is rolled, sliced & baked in a deep baking pan like these. This time, I wanted to try something different, so I did the Swedish way of forming their buns. They are definitely more attractive than the regular buns. Compared to the regular rolls, most part of each Swedish bun is exposed to the direct oven heat. As a result, the bun has more crusty surface & less white, soft & fluffy part. So if you prefer softer & fluffier buns, then the regular rolls would be a better choice.

Here, I used the Kopitiam Milk Bun dough recipe shared by Sonia. This recipe uses quite a bit of full cream milk, so I'm not surprised the buns turned out very flavourful. Besides, it also uses the overnight-dough method, that too adds on to the flavour. Since the buns already taste so good, I ate mind without any frosting. But if you still want your cinnamon buns with cream cheese frosting just like my cinnamon-bun monsters, please refer to my other cinnamon bun posts for the recipe.

I apologise for spamming this post with so many photos. I just love looking at the buns. Besides, I took so many pictures & many of them turned out well. So hope they are enough to motivate you, especially the cinnamon-bun monsters out there, to bake them!

Swedish Cinnnamon Buns

215g high protein flour
125g full cream milk (cold) - I used 135g.
2g instant yeast (1/2 tsp)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl till a rough dough is formed. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and store in the fridge overnight.

1 quantity of above overnight sponge dough
90g high protein flour
12g milk powder (Sonia didn't use.)
30g egg (1/2 large egg)
4g instant yeast (1tsp)
3g fine salt (1/2 tsp)
60g sugar
45g butter (room temperature) - I used only 30g.
1tbsp milk (cold)

  1. Tear the overnight sponge dough into pieces into a mixing bowl. Add in the rest of ingredients, except butter, & knead till a smooth dough is formed. 
  2. Add in butter and knead until dough is smooth, shiny and elastic. (I mixed mine using the electric mixer [dough hook] for about 10 minutes in all.)
  3. Cover the bowl with cling film and set aside to proof till double in size for 45-60 minutes. (I poured the dough onto a floured working surface & mould it into a smooth round. Then I covered it with the unwashed bowl that I used for mixing.)
Source:  Sonia @ Nasi Lemak Lover.

butter, softened
cinnamon powder
brown sugar
1 egg - lightly beaten (for egg wash)

  1. Place the proofed dough onto a floured working surface. Deflate it by punching it down & then shaping the dough into a smooth ball. Leave to rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle. You want the long sides over twice as long as the short sides. Spread butter over the entire rectangle. Then sprinkle cinnamon powder followed by dark brown sugar.
  3. Fold it into thirds lengthwise. It should measure about 16x8 inch. At this point, you may want to roll out the dough to flatten it a little bit. Cut the roll widthwise  with a sharp knife into 8-10 slices. 
  4. Take a slice of dough & cut it into two almost all the way. Twist the ends of each slice in opposite directions a few times. Lift up the twists in a crisscross manner. Tuck the ends under & seal with a little water if needed. Place the slices onto a  baking sheet which has been lined with silicone paper. Cover and let rise for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190 deg C. Brush the proofed buns with the beaten egg. This will give the buns a beautiful golden colour when baked. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Place the baked rolls on a cooling rack. Serve warm.
  1. I made the buns twice (& each time 2 recipes!) within a week. The first time,  a recipe produced 8 big pieces as seen in my pictures above. Yesterday, I made 10 buns for each recipe. I like the smaller pieces better.
  2. Please refer to the following pictures & video to better understand the assembly process. The pictures below are taken yesterday when I made 10 buns with 1 recipe.

Tuesday 28 October 2014

Moroccan Grilled Chicken

My family had Moroccan Grilled Chicken with steam rice & spicy Tom Yum Soup a couple of weekends ago. That was a rare occasion where the preparation of our meals at home does not involve sautéing of spices. The chicken just needed marinating before grilling. The soup was even easier to prepare.... I just dumped a tom yum cube, some fresh prawns & other accompanying ingredients into the pot of water & in just 20 minutes, it's done!

Moroccan Grilled Chicken

1 (2 kg) chicken, halved
lettuce, torn into large pieces
cucumber, sliced
tomato, sliced
potato, boiled, peeled & sliced
lemon, cut into wedges
mint leaves

Chermoula Spice (finely ground):
3 red chillies
1 tbsp  chilli powder
1 tbsp paprika powder
1 tsp  cumin powder
1  onion
4 cloves garlic
30 g (1/2 cup) coriander leaves / cilantro / Chinese parsley
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil
juice of 1/2 lemon

  1. Rub the chicken with salt & chermoula spice & marinate for 3-4 hours in the refrigerator.
  2. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator & let it come to room temperature
  3. Roast the chicken in a 180-deg C preheated oven for 45 minutes, turning it after 20 minutes.
  4. Serve with lettuce, cucumber, tomato, potato, lemon & mint leaves. (We had the chicken with rice instead of potato.)
Recipe by Chef Wan from Simply Sedap!

I'm linking this post to the Cook-Your-Books event no. 17 hosted by Kitchen Flavours.

Friday 24 October 2014

Pumpkin Kuih Koci

I love Kuih Koci but rarely make it myself. Last Saturday, I made Pumpkin Kuih Koci, a version that's less commonly sold. Although I could not really taste the pumpkin, this Kuih Koci certainly tastes better than the regular ones. The coconut milk sauce added to the dough gives this delighful kuih its rich flavour. The dough needed no added water at all as the moisture from the cooked pumpkin was enough to bind the dough to a soft & addictive kuih. I love the colour too!

Pumpkin Kuih Koci
(Kuih Koci Labu)

150g (1&1/4 cup) glutinous rice flour
280g (1 cup + 2 tbsp) cooked pumpkin – mashed (Original recipe uses only 1 cup.)
salt to taste
banana leaves for wrapping - soften & cut into about 4x4 - inch squares (see note no. 1)
     Combine the flour, pumpkin & salt & mix thoroughly. The dough  is quite sticky. You may add more flour, but don't add too much or the kuih will be hard.

1 cup thick coconut milk
1 tsp rice flour
a pinch of salt
Combine & cook on low fire, stirring continuously,  until it starts to boil.

FILLING (my own measurement)
75g (1small piece) gula Melaka
1/2 tbsp granulated sugar
50ml (about 2 tbsp) water
125g (1 cup) freshly-grated coconut
1/2 tbsp rice flour (Chah uses plain flour.)
a pinch of salt
2 pandan leaves (torn)
     Combine gula Melaka, granulated sugar & water in a saucepan & cook until it boils. Remove from fire & strain the syrup. Rinse the saucepan & pour back the gula Melaka syrup. Add in the coconut, rice flour, salt & pandan leaves. Cook over medium fire until mixture is almost dry. Set aside.

  1. To prepare the banana leaves, wash & dry the leaves. Then run one leave at a time on hot electric or gas stove. This will soften the leaves & prevent tearing when wrapping the kuih koci. Then cut the leaves into 4-inch squares.
  2. Take a piece of leave & place some dough onto it. Place some filling & top it with some more dough. Wrap & place it on a steamer. Continue with the rest of dough & filling.
  3. Steam over medium fire for about 20 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Bila Chah Ke Dapur.

  1. I steamed 480g raw pumpkin. After removing the seeds & peeling the skin, I was left with 280g of cooked pumpkin.
  2. The dough was quite sticky but I didn't want to add too much flour as I wanted my kuih koci to be soft. Instead of forming the kuih into a ball shape, I found it easier to just spoon the dough onto the leave. You may also oil you palm a little when shaping the dough.
I'm linking this post to the event Little Thumbs Up (Oct 2014 Event: PUMPKIN), organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by Eileen (Eileen's Diary).

Friday 17 October 2014

Whole Orange Cake

... it is the sweet, 
simple things of life 
which are the real ones after all.
~ Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder ~


I was craving for something sweet & simple. So I browsed through BBC 101 Cakes & Cookies, a small book which I got for just $2 from last year's NLB book sale. I chose to bake this orange cake, one of its many simple recipes. My plan was to bake it during the daytime on Wednesday but I just managed to cook the orange. I was actually feeling quite tired when I returned home that evening, but I thought the recipe was simple enough for me finish baking by midnight. 

I've always liked orange cake but what's intriguing about this cake, at least for me, is that it uses the whole orange, meaning the skin & flesh except the pits/seeds, that has to be cooked & blended into puree first before mixing to the cake batter. After blending the cooked orange in a food processor, I sampled a bit & it tasted quite bitter... I was worried how the cake would taste but I kept my faith & proceeded with the mixing & baking according to the recipe.

Thank God the cake is not bitter at all. It tastes fresh & not overly sweet. In fact, it tastes better today when I had a slice this morning. The cake is also moist & the crumb is slightly grainy because of the ground almond. The recipe below also includes the ingredients needed for the icing which I did away with. The cake alone, with dusted sugar, is good enough for me. 

Whole Orange Cake

1 small orange ( I used regular navel orange.)
142g (5 oz) caster sugar
3 eggs
85g (3 oz)  self-raising flour
114g (4 oz) ground almonds
57g (2 oz) butter, melted

  1. Put the orange in a pan & cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, cover & simmer for 1 hour. Remove the orange from the pan & leave to cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 deg C (350 deg F). Butter & line the base of a 8-inch round, deep cake tin. 
  3. Roughly chop the cooked whole orange (including the skin), discarding the pits (or seeds). Whiz in a food processor until smooth. 
  4. Whisk the sugar & eggs until light & fluffy.
  5. Sift the flour & ground almonds on to the egg mixture. (I didn't sift the almond.) Using a large metal spoon, fold gently, then add the orange puree & melted butter. Fold in gently until just mixed. Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin. 
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the cake is brown & springs back when lightly pressed. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes. Remove the cake from pan & cool it on a wire rack. Drizzle  the icing & serve with crème fraîche. (I didn't use the icing, instead I just dusted some sugar.)
Icing: (I didn't use.)
85g (3 oz) icing sugar
juice of 1 small sweet orange (or enough to make a smooth pouring icing)
crème fraîche to serve (optional)
Mix the icing sugar & juice together.

Source: 101 Cakes & Cookies by BBC Good Food.

I'm linking this post to the Cook-Your-Books event no. 17 hosted by Kitchen Flavours.

Wednesday 15 October 2014

Egyptian Bamia

I cooked bamia & served it with crusty baguettes for Hari Raya Haji. This time, I chose the Egyptian-style which is different from the bamia I'm more familiar with. Unlike the Indian-curry version which uses more spices, this one has very little ground cumin & coriander, resulting in a delicious tomato-flavoured meat stew. The cooking method is also different in that instead of solely cooking the dish on the stove, this version also requires cooking in the oven for one & a half hours. My family loves this dish, so I'll definitely be cooking it more often.

Egyptian Bamia
(Lamb/Beef & Okra Casserole)

1kg boneless stewing lamb or beef (I used beef.)
2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup peeled chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup stock or water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

500g fresh okra
1 tbsp ghee
1 quantity Ta'leya (Refer to recipe below.)
fresh mint leaves (I added.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 150–160°C.
  2. Trim the meat and cut into 3 cm cubes. 
  3. Melt the ghee or butter in a heavy-based saucepan and brown the meat on all sides, adding a single layer of meat to the pan at a time. Transfer to a casserole dish.
  4. Reduce the heat, add the onion to the pan and fry gently until translucent. Add the cumin, tomatoes, tomato paste and stock and stir well to dissolve the browned sediment.
  5. Pour the mixture over the lamb or beef. Add the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cover tightly and bake for 1½ hours.
  6. To finish the dish, prepare the okra. Dry very well with paper towels or a cloth. Melt the ghee in a frying pan, add the okra and fry over medium heat for 3 minutes, tossing gently.
  7. Arrange the okra over the stew, then cover and bake for a further 40 minutes, or until the meat is tender.
  8. Prepare the ta’leya and pour while hot over the okra. Add in mint leaves & stir well.
  9. Serve from the casserole dish.
3-4 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsps samneh or clarified butter (I used QBB ghee.)
1 tsp ground coriander
pinch of hot chili pepper

Crush garlic with salt in a mortar. Alternatively crush in a garlic press & mix with salt. Heat samneh or butter in a small pan & add garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, remove pan from heat & stir in coriander & pepper. Use while sizzling hot as directed in recipes.

Recipe by Tess Mallos from The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook.

I'm linking this post to the Cook-Your-Books event no. 17 hosted by  Kitchen Flavours.

Tuesday 14 October 2014

Lapis Cempedak

This post is just taking me too long to complete.... I've logged in many times & just managed to do bit by bit.... I was so excited after baking & taking the pictures of the Lapis Cempedak that I couldn't wait to blog about it. But there are just too many things happening with the family. Both my father & father-in-law are in the hospital, with the latter in critical condition. As I'm the family driver who's not working, I've been busy ferrying family members on both sides.... As I'm rambling here, I'm actually on stand-by, waiting to be called up to ferry the in-laws & relatives visiting from Malaysia to the hospital... May Allah give us the strength & patience to go through this period.. Ameen..

This Lapis Cempedak was baked a few days before Hari Raya Haji using the cempedak that I bought from JB. I used the recipe that was shared by Bro Rozzan, a recipe that many bloggers have tried & has had positive remarks. No wonder..... this is truly an amazing lapis cake. Even before I finished baking it, I'm already in love with this sweet-smelling cake with its perfectly-looking layers. The top of every layer turned out so beautifully... it baked into a clean golden colour with just some tiny pale patches & there were no bubbles formed at all! And when I cut the cake, I can just say, OMG!!! The cake is very moist & so delicious! The only thing is, I thought it's quite sweet, so the next time I bake this, I'll reduce the sugar used when cooking the cempedak puree.

If you intend to bake this, let me warn you that baking it took longer than the usual time taken to bake a typical lapis cake. It took me two & a half hours to finish baking just one cake. That's at least an hour longer than usual. The longer baking time is because of the additional layer of cempedak puree that has to be baked till dry. It took me almost 4 minutes for each puree layer, longer than baking the cake batter layer. From this experience, I can safely say that it will take a longer time to bake lapis cake that has ingredients other than the cake batter, like the Lapis Nutella & Lapis Fruit Cocktail. Ok, it's almost time for me to go, so here is the  recipe... try baking it, it's really worth all the effort & time.

(Update: Go to this post for another great Lapis Cempedak recipe.)

Lapis Cempedak

500g butter - I used unsalted.
4 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp cempedak essence (optional) - I didn't use.
1 tsp vanilla essence - I used pure vanilla paste.
1 tsp salt - I added.

20 egg yolks
5 whole eggs egg whites (Update: I'm so sorry... I  made a typo.)
270gm fine caster sugar
1 tbsp ovalette

120g Hong Kong / Top flour (I used top flour.)
20g milk powder
150g  cempedak puree (recipe below)

  1. Preheat oven at 170-180 deg C. Grease & line the bottom of a 10” x 7” or 8” x 8” baking pan.
  2. Combine butter, condensed milk, vanilla & cempedak essence in a bowl & cream until light & fluffy. Set aside.
  3. Place eggs, caster sugar & ovalette  in a mixing bowl & beat on high speed until thick & fluffy.
  4. Add the butter mixture into the egg mixture & mix well.
  5. Then fold in the flour.
  6. Finally, add in cempedak puree (150g) & mix well.
  7. Pour 2 ladles of batter (I weighed 90g) into the baking pan & spread it out evenly. Bake until the cake is cooked & the top turns golden brown. Use top & bottom heat for this first layer. Then for the second layer onwards, use top heat (grill) only.
  8. Repeat step 7.
  9. Then scoop 2 tbsps of cempedak puree onto the second layer & spread it evenly. Bake it in the oven until the puree is dry. (I baked mine for 3-4 minutes.)
  10. Then continue baking 2 layers of cake batter followed by 1 layer of cempedak puree until finish.
  11. After baking the last layer,  bake the whole cake using top & bottom heat at 130-140 deg C for about 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and allow to cool on a cooling wire rack before serving.

600g cempedak flesh (without seeds)
220g fine caster sugar
220 ml water
Combine the above 3 ingredients & blend into a smooth puree. Then cook, stirring continuously, until the puree is thick.

Notes & modifications:
  1. If the cempedak you use is already very sweet, you may want to reduce the sugar for the cempedak puree.
  2. The cooked cempedak puree is for adding into the batter (150g) & layering after every 2 layers of cake batter.
  3. According to Bro Rozzan, for a richer lapis cempedak flavour, you may brush some butter on every cake layer except the puree layer. (I didn't do this.) He also suggests that the cempedak-puree layer be baked after every cake layer instead of after every 2 layers. (I didn't do this & have no intention of doing it ever in the future! Haha!)
  4. I added the cempedak puree into the creamed butter (step 2) instead of after folding in the flour (step 6).
  5. Instead of using top & bottom fire for the first layer (Step 7), I used only the top fire (grill) for the first & the rest of the layers. I still baked the whole cake as in step 11.
Recipe by Bro Rozzan.

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