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Archive for July, 2007

chocolate truffles, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

hedgehog slice and chocolate truffles, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

This was another recipe I discovered when I was preparing for my stall for International Fiesta 2 years ago. Traditionally, truffles are made with a chocolate ganache center and coated in chocolate or cocoa powder. Mine’s a bit different and has been modified to taste and look like Ferrero Roche – my favourite chocolate :p. For those of you who want to go for the traditional truffle, don’t coat it with chocolate, just coat it with cocoa/chocolate powder. It’s got a bittersweet taste – when it first touches your mouth it’s bitter, then when you bite into the sweet ganache…oooo…heaven!

I made these a couple of weeks ago as a birthday gift for a close of friend of ours. She’s a chocolate lover (which girl isn’t) so I mixed these and the Hedgehog Slices in a gift box for her. In the past, I’ve always had Krystal to help me with the coating of the truffles but this time she wasn’t around and it was messy doing it myself! Krys, I really missed you man! :p

Ingredients:

  • 575g milk chocolate
  • 450ml double cream
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp Alcohol or flavouring, if desired
  • Hazelnuts, optional

Method:

  • Place 350g chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream to a boil. Pour over the chocolate and stir so as to melt chocolate completely.
  • Mix in alcohol or flavouring. Whisk the mixture until thick.
  • Leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
  • Melt remaining chocolate in a double boiler. Stir to coll it a little.
  • Form truffles into balls with a melon scoop or 2 teaspoons.
  • Coat with melted chocolate/cocoa powder/chocolate powder. The coat with hazelnuts if desired.

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At this stage, I would have to say Ming Court is probably the only place in Hobart one can get authentic chinese food. Some people might say I’m biased since I worked there (and still do go back and help whenever they need it). Honestly though, I’ve tried various places in Hobart and no other place come closest to Ming Court with regards to food and service quality.

The restaurant has been established for many years and have a solid, faithful clientelle, some frequenting the place for close to 7 years. The meals are catered very much to the Australian taste but will be done differently when catering to the Asian tastebuds. Frequent customers, especialy Asian customers often have their meals modified and changed to dishes not on the menu and that require more preparation time and effort.

One of my favourite dishes there is the Soy Sauce Chicken. It’s steamed chicken topped with a special thick sauce which I especially favour. I think I’d be happy just to have rice accompanied with the sauce! Another dish I highly recommend is the Braised Duck with Chinese Mushrooms and Seafood Hot Pot. The Capitol Pork – a dish not on the menu but can be specially requested is another favourite of mine. This is the closest thing you can find to Sweet and Sour Pork the Malaysian style. A must have everytime we are there is the Bean Curd Combination Soup and the Hot and Sour Soup. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water…yum..!

Although pricier than most places, Ming Court is currenyly THE only place for authentic chinese cuisine. I’m looking forward to the opening of Me Wah in Sandy Bay. They are the Award Winning Asian Restaurant in Tasmania and are based in Launceston. I’ve dined there once and have to admit they were better than Ming Court. Looks like Ming Court will certainly be facing stiff competition in coming days. 

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loh shu fun aka tear drop noodles, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Loh Shu Fun (direct translation would be rat tail’s noodle) is my favourite noodle. Back home in KL, I would often request to have my noodles swapped with Loh Shu Fun. It’s been about 4 years since I’ve had it. The closest thing to it was the laksa noodles from the Chinese Emporium. One day, I was talking to the lady boss at the chi empo and she asked what I was gonna do with the laksa noodles I bought. I said to make laksa and if there are leftovers then to fry. I told her I miss loh shu fun so this was the best substitute. She told me that the shop actually sells it but not regularly. Since then, everytime I go to chi empo, I’d check if they had any in stock but each time I leave disappointed. A couple of weeks ago, I promised to cook Asam Laksa for a couple of friends so I went down to Moonah to get the noodles. I opened the refrigerator and just grabbed a pack of noodles without thinking. As we were queueing, I picked up the noodles and realised I had taken the wrong one – I actually took loh shu fun instead! I was so excited, I had to buy it even though it cost me $4.20! Finally, I can cook proper Fried Loh Shu Fun! mmmm….

Ingredients:

  • Loh Shu Fun
  • Mince pork/chicken
  • Garlic, minced
  • Bean sprouts
  • Dark and light soy sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Sugar
  • Kicap manis
  • Oyster sauce
  • Sesame oil

Method:

  • Season mince with soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, salt, pepper and sesame oil.
  • Boil a kettle of water and soak noodles for about 5 minutes. Drain well.
  • Heat wok with oil. Fry garlic till frgrant.
  • Add meat and fry till nearly cook. Add noodles. Fry and add seasoning according to taste.
  • Lastly, toss in the bean sprouts and fry briefly. Serve hot.

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It was Dumplings Festival a couple of weeks ago. Coming from a Christian family, we don’t normally follow the Lunar Calendar, hence I was not aware of it until I woke up one morning to an sms from a friend. Last year, Ryan taught me the method of wrapping dumplings but I’ve sorta given it all back to him. It took me a while to figure it out again so my first few dumplings were really ugly! Mine’s the poor student dumpling cause I can’t afford to put lotsa ingredients in it. I believe people normally use pork but I substituted mine with chicken as my housemates are not big fans of pork. You’ll also noticed I used rafia strings. That was because my first pack of bamboo leaves didn’t have the bamboo strings and I didn’t know where to get them. But my second pack had bamboo strings included in it hence the next batch were wrapped with those strings.

Ingredients:

  • Glutinous rice
  • Bamboo leaves
  • Chicken thighs
  • Dried chestnuts
  • Chinese mushrooms

Seasoning:

  • Dark soy
  • Light soy
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Chinese cooking wine
  • Corn flour
  • Oyster sauce

Method:

  • Soak leaves in hot water overnight. Some people say boil it over low heat overnight.
  • Soak rice in water overnight.Drain well before frying it.
  • Season chicken with soy sauce, salt, sugar, pepper, oyster sauce, wine and corn flour and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Soak mushrooms till soften. Squeeze out the water and cut to slices.
  • Soak chestnuts in warm water for about half an hour.
  • Heat wok with oil. Pour rice and fry. Add dark soy sauce, light soy sauce, salt, pepper and oyster sauce. Make sure the rice is dark and salty enough.
  • Take 2 pieces of leaves and lightly wipe off the water. Place the leaves on top of each other overlapping in the middle and fold it into a cone.
  • Put a bit of rice followed by chicken, mushrooms and chestnut. Top with more rice.
  • Fold leave downwards to cover it and tuck corners in accordingly to wrap dumpling. Secure with bamboo strings.
  • Repeat procedure with rest of the dumplings. Tie them together in a bunch.
  • Bring a big pot of water to boil. Add dumplings. Make sure all the dumplings are submerged fully in the water. Boil for approximately an hour. Drain and then hang to dry in a cool place.

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vanilla coffee custard, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

This custard is a must try for coffee lovers. The flavours blend really well together to bring out the aroma and fragrance of coffee. We served it with the Mocha Tart and since there were leftovers, I made an Apple Crumble which tasted equally as nice with it.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee

Method:

  • Bring cream and vanilla to just boil in a saucepan.
  • Place yolks, sugar and coffee in a bowl and whisk well.
  • Gradually add the cream mixture and whisk well.
  • Return mixture to saucepan and stir over low heat till custard thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
  • Allow to cool, cling wrap and refrigerate till ready to serve.

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When I first came to Tassie, I lived at Christ College for a year. For those of you who’ve stayed in any hostel/college before, you would understand what I mean when I say the food served is barely edible. The only thing they do not normally screw up is dessert! One of my favourite dessert during those days was Apple Crumble. Like its name suggests, it’s a crumbly sorta dessert. It’s like a softer, mashier version of Apple Pie. It is best served with ice-cream or custard. I’ve never actually made an Apple Crumble before. Since we had leftover Vanilla Coffee Custard, I thought I’d give it a go and relive my college days.

Ingredients:

Apple Filling:

  • 5-6 Granny Smith apples
  • 1/4 cup water mixed with 1 tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/7 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup water

Crumble Topping:

  • 2/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 150g butter, softened at room temperature, cubed
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Method:

Apple Filling:

  • Peel and core apples, sliced thinly or cubed to small pieces.
  • Cook sugar with 1/4 cup water in a medium saucepan. Once sugar dissolves, bring mixture to a boil.
  • Add apple and spices. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes on medium heat, stirring constantly.
  • Remove from heat and stir in custard mixture. Spoon into a deep baking dish.

Crumble Topping:

  • Mix sifted flour, custard powder and almond meal together.
  • Rub butter into flour mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. mix in the sugar.
  • Sprinkle on top of apple filling. Do not press down. Bake till top is golden brown.
  • Serve hot or warm with sweetened whip cream/ice-cream/custard.

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Baked Mocha Tart, originally uploaded by pearlyn83.

Krystal and CY were away for advanced studies and placement, so it was just Alan and I at home. I convinced Alan it was time he learns to make dessert instead of just making savory dishes all the time. I told him maybe then this year he could make me a birthday cake! :p He unwillingly agreed to try and I suggested why not the mocha tart in the Donna Hay magazine? After all, he was fascinated with that from the first day I bought the mag. At the last minute we had friends over for a potluck, so this was the perfect time to try the recipe. If it was just the both of us, we would probably take days to finish the tart! It was very impressive for a first time effort. I didn’t have to do much, except for making sure the dough was of right texture and teaching him how to blind bake the shell. It was thumbs up all around the dining table! Looks like this year I won’t need to bake my own birthday cake! :p

Chocolate Shortcrust Pastry

  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 150gm cold unsalted butter, chopped
  • iced water

Mocha Filling:

  • 200gm dark chocolate, melted
  • 1/2 cup double cream
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk

Method:

  • Sift flour, cocoa powder and caster sugar together in a large bowl. Mix well.
  • Rub butter into flour mixture slowly. Add water gradually. Knead till smooth dough is form. Form into a ball and wrap with clingwrap. Refrigerate for at least half an hour.
  • Preheat oven to 180C. Remove dough from refrigerator and roll it out with a rolling pin into 1/2 inch thickness. Fit dough into tart mould and trim edges accordingly.
  • Place a piece of baking paper on dough and put baking beans on top (if you don’t have baking beans, you can use rice/other beans eg: red bean, as weights). Blind bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove paper and beans and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, melt dark chocolate in a double boiler. Mix all ingredients for mocha filling together and whisk in the melted chocolate.
  • Remove tart from oven and pour filling into shell. Bake till set.
  • Allow tart to cool and then refrigerate it before serving.

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