Finally, I figured out how to make granola bars that don’t crumble when I touch them. There’s no long story. Just a secret ingredient. Which won’t be a secret any longer.
Maltose. Also known as 麦芽糖. It’s super sticky. SUPER.
2.5 cups rolled oats
2 big dollops of maltose (as shown above)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup nuts
1/2 cup dried fruits
2 tbsp protein powder (optional)
Melt the maltose in a pot. Put in everything and stir. Then pack them into an 8×8” lined pan. Use a nonstick baking paper and press down the granola. Bake for 20 min at 170c.
Cool and slice.
I have been making loads of agar agar jelly. It’s so refreshing on a hot day.
Usually people would buy a small sachet of agar agar powder that’s about 10g each. That will yield about 1 liter worth of agar agar jelly. 1 liter worth of agar agar really isn’t much. So look what I bought!
That’s, erm, 700g. That’s like, erm, 70 sachets… To some, that sounds like a life time worth of agar agar. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t. Don’t judge. 😬
Anyhow, it’s not like I’m leaving it on the shelf to rot, so you can stop rolling your eyes, A. The expiry date is December 2020, so I have about 1.5 years to use it up. I have been making all kinds of flavor… soy milk, milk, coconut milk, strawberry, Milo, almond, lychee, longan…. the picture shows almond milk agar agar. Yum!
The recipe is very simple.
1 tsp agar agar powder
1 to 2.5 cups room temp water/liquid (more liquid yields a softer jelly)
1 Tbsp sugar per cup of water or to taste
Put the agar agar powder in a pot and pour the liquid in. Dissolves more easily this way. Add sugar. Bring to a boil. Doesn’t need to boil for long. I usually turn off the heat when it boils.
Pour into molds and leave to set. Agar agar sets without refrigeration but it’s nicer eaten cold. Not suitable for freezing though.
That’s it. So 700g? Easy.
I am seriously addicted to these. Not even funny.
They are thinly sliced, crunchy, chock full of nuts and not too sweet. Simply great for hours of happy nibbling. This is already my 4th batch. 😖
1/4 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cup plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup pistachio nuts
1/2 cup whole almond nuts
Mix everything together in a large bowl. The dough will be very sticky. Let it rest for a couple of hours and it will be less sticky. To combat this sticking issue, wet your hands before shaping the dough into 2-4 logs.
Then bake at 150c for about 35 min. Leave it to cool for at least an hour. Using a very sharp knife, slice them as thinly as you can. Spread out the pieces on a cookie sheet and bake at 135c for about 10 min. Turn off the oven and leave them in the oven for about half an hour for them to continue to crisp up.
Cool before storing in an airtight container.
To appreciate it fully, nibble and enjoy it slowly. It’s dainty food. No scarfing allowed. Coffee optional.
3 years. Feels like so long ago. Yet 3 seems like a small number. Like 3 pieces of chocolate. That’s too little!
I’ve been busy testing out artisan bread. Testing as in trying to simplify the recipe. No long paragraphs. Just to the point. Coming up soon.
For today, I just knitted a lace sampler (pattern designed by Vera Sanon). A friend was having difficulty because I gave her this knitted lace pattern that was meant to be knitted in the round. I forgot to mention to her that it doesn’t work for straight needles. Apologies C! So anyhow, I translated it to straight needle knitting and here’s the pattern!
Lace Pattern (9 stitches, 12 rows)
R1: *K2, K2tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K2* (repeat from *to*)
R2: P all sts
R3: *K1, K2tog, yo, K3, yo, SSK, K1* (repeat from *to*)
R4: P all sts
R5: *K2, K2tog, yo, K1, yo, SSK, K2*(repeat from *to*)
R6: P all sts
R7: *K1, yo, SSK, K3, K2tog, yo, K1*(repeat from *to*)
R8: P all sts
R9: *K2, yo, SSK, K1, K2tog, yo, K2*(repeat from *to*)
R10: P all sts
R11: *K1, yo, SSK, K3, K2tog, yo, K1*(repeat from *to*)
R12: P all sts
*For my sampler, I made 2 repeats of the lace pattern. So that’s 9×2=18. And I cast on 3 sts for each end. That brings it up to 18+3+3=24 sts. Hence I cast on 24 stitches.
I repeated the pattern 2.5 times. That means I knitted 12 rows of the pattern, 12 rows again and then 6 rows.
Last year, out of frustration at some avocados that just refused to ripen, I threw them into the freezer. I thought perhaps they would turn mushy and soften them enough for me to blitz them into avocado shake. It never happened. They went in hard as a rock, thawed out still hard as a rock. But I learnt something. Avocados are ok for freezing!
So the following is a note to self (and whoever is interested):
If you bought too many avocados, when they all ripen at the same time on you, cut them up, bag them and freeze them for later use. They can be blitzed to be made into avocado shake or just eaten out of the freezer (slightly thawed) with honey. 😋
If you are not sure whether the avocado is ripe or not, if it’s almost black, it’s ripe. If somehow it’s still not ripe and you have already made an incision, stick them back together and leave it to ripen on the table. Yup. Stick the halves back together, that’s what I said. It’s fine. Next day or a coupla days later, try again, they would have ripened, none the worse for wear.
So cool 😎, right ?
At one time, I kinda stopped baking because nobody (apart from my mom) wants to eat my cakes. My cakes are nice. But I think everyone got tired of cake. Like there’s such a thing. 🙄These people! Tsk tsk.
Anyhow, recently, I found new audience. People who enjoy my cakes and are thankful. 😁 I think that’s what all we, home bakers, ask for.
This cake is mildly sweet. It’s soft and spongey and light. So we don’t feel guilty about having more than a slice.
Coconut Spongey Cake
70g virgin coconut oil
6 egg yolks
100g white wholemeal flour
70g coconut cream
1/2 tsp salt
3 Tbsp desiccated coconut
6 egg whites
80 g sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1. Mix the first 6 ingredients until well blended. Leave it aside.
2. In another clean oil-free bowl, whisk the next 3 ingredients until softish stiff peak stage.
3. Patiently,with a whisk, blend the two bowls of batter together.
4. Pour into a lined 8″x8″ pan. Bake in a water bath, 150c for about 45-50 min or until when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
5. When the cake is done, take it out and drop it on the table. That helps prevent massive shrinkage.
My friend made the spongiest cake. It was so spongey, I kept squishing it coz it was really fascinating. I’ve never met a cake so spongey! It was totally like a sponge! Ok enough with the sponge.
Anyhow, I got the recipe from her and I’m never one for following a recipe to the T. Of course I made changes. Of course, I made it chocolate. 💡Then when it was done, I thought to myself “I must ask her why hers didn’t shrink as it cooled…”. Then I remembered that I had no right to ask her anything as I had totally changed her recipe! Haha!
💡I found out later that upon taking the cake out of the oven, I need to drop the cake to prevent shrinkage. It only shrunk a very teeny tiny bit, so yah, this method works! 😃
Chocolate Spongey Cake (8″x8″)
6 egg yolks
25g cocoa powder
90g atta flour/ white wholemeal flour
1/2 tsp salt
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1. Mix the first 6 ingredients together until well mixed. The batter will be quite thick.
2. In another bowl, whisk the whites, sugar and cream of tartar until stiff peak.
3. Scoop a few large spoonful of the whisked whites into the chocolate batter to thin it out. Then incorporate the chocolate batter into the whisked whites with a wire whisk.
4. Pour into an 8″x8″ lined pan. Tap out the large air pockets by picking up the pan a little and dropping it.
5. Bake in a water bath in a preheated 150c oven for about 45 min.
6. Leave to cool in the oven for about 1/2 hour, with the oven door ajar.
7. Cool before eating. Food tastes better when you have to wait. 😉
I like mine. It’s chocolate. Enough said.
My daughter told me I have to blog about this for posterity. I know she’s right when I find myself checking my blog to look for my own recipe!
Pot stickers are also known as dumplings, aka gyoza aka wo tie, aka a hundred other names I haven’t even heard of I’m sure. We can boil it, steam it, pan fry, deep fry it. But I don’t think we can bake it. I think it would turn out too dry.
It’s easy to make because I don’t have to do the skin. That is easily available in my grocery store. So if you can get it, your job is half done already.
I mix the filling in advance and store it in the fridge. I would use it up over the next few days. Just wrap a few and cook it right before eating. In fact, I have been making it for breakfast at 5.30 am. My friends gave me the status of Super Mom. It sounds so impressive but it’s actually quick and easy.
400g minced pork
4 leaves of napa cabbage (cook and squeeze out excess water)
4 mushrooms (diced)
drizzle of sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
2 tsp corn flour
Mix everything together. Wrap about 2 tsp of stuffing for each skin. There’s nothing to it. Just wrap it to the shape that you like. There’s no right or wrong.
Then pan fry them with a bit of oil for a few minutes, add about 1/4 cup water to the pan, cover the pan and let it cook for about 4-5 min.
You can totally do this at 5.30am.
Lately, I’ve been watching too much Korean drama. 😬 There’s this one where a baker guy used to sell hotteok on the streets.
Hotteok? Is that like a hotdog?
Last week, I came upon it while doing grocery shopping online. I looked it up and realized it’s a pan-fried bun! That’s like my favorite food already!
I’ve never been to Korea, never had a real fresh hotteok on the streets. But from the ingredients listed and description, I can just taste it in my head.
Here’s my take on the pan-fried bread. Don’t know if it’s authentic but it’s good. 😋
Pan-fried Bun (8 buns)
1 cup room temperature water
1.25 tsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
1-2 tsp instant yeast
2.5 – 3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp oil
Filling of your choice e.g. Red bean paste, Nutella, peanut butter etc
Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a big bowl.
Add enough flour so that the dough is soft and a little tacky. That’s usually about a little less than 3 cups for me.
Now add in the oil and mix. Stop mixing when the dough begins to feel a little sticky again. This should take less than a minute.
Cover your bowl with a towel and leave it to rise in a warm place until double. If you use more yeast, it will take a shorter time. For me, if I were in a hurry, I would use 2 tsp yeast. It would take about 30-45 minutes. If I had a couple of hours, sometimes I would use only 1/4 tsp yeast and let it work its magic slowly.
When the dough has doubled, pat it down and divide it into 8 portions.
Oil your hands to keep from sticking.
Flatten each piece on the palm of your hand, put the filling in the middle of the dough and pinch up the edges to close. Pat to flatten.
To cook, heat up a pan with oil. Gently pan-fry each side. At some point, I covered the pan while frying.
Its best enjoyed while fresh but it’ll still be good the next day. I tell you, the smell of fresh pan-fried bread is really something.