Thursday, 23 July 2009

Petite Madeleine

This is one of the French recipes that I hold highly and never fail to impress your guests for a delightful afternoon tea session. Pretty to the eyes, these delicate shell like madeleines will have your guests asking for second, third until all is cleared up and still wanting for more.
I personally like these madeleines, as the outer layer is so crispy and yet soft inside, accented by hint of orange zest...... what a bliss to had with a cup of coffee or tea. To tell you the truth, the pictures I took above is only my second attempts on madeleine. The first attempt was wiped out by me and my guests before I had the chance to photograph them.
Let me share with you this delightful and mouthful petite madeleine.

Petite Madeleine
Ingredients (make about 14-18 madeleines)

  • 3 large eggs
  • 100-125 gm sugar ( I tend to use 100gm as I prefer it less sweet)
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 110 gm cake flour
  • 60 gm finely ground almond
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp orange juice
  • 125gm butter
  • some icing sugar for dusting

  1. In a pan heat , melt and simmer the butter till brown, should give you a nice aroma. Sieve and cool.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg and sugar with an electric mixer till ribbon consistency, will take about 10minutes. Then add in zest and vanilla and mixed well.
  3. Slowly use a spatula to mix in the flour and blend well. Add in almond flour, salt , orange juice and baking powder and blend well.
  4. Lastly pour in the melted butter and mixed well.
  5. Put in the refrigerator and cool for about 4hours. By this time your batter should be slightly thicken.
  6. Brush the madeleine mold baking tray with some butter and dust with some flour. Then scoop about 1 tbsp of the batter and filled into the pan. This amount should be about 2/3 full in the shell mold. Don't worry if it's look unsightly at the moment. Repeat till 12mold gas been filled.
  7. Heat the oven to 180C. Bake for 15minutes or till olden brown. Typically I will turn over when the front side turn brownish with a fork in order that the bottom side will brown evenly as well.
  8. Serve and enjoy.
P/S: For cake flour I use 110gm plain flour, remove 2 tbsp of flour and replace with 2 tbsp of corn flour and 1/2 tsp of baking powder and seive about 8-10times till light.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Stir Fry Prawn in XO sauce

This is one of my favorite no hassle quick stir fry recipes. I would say any seafood blend particularly well with XO sauce (this sauce originated from Cantonese cuisine in Hong Kong). Many of the Cantonese dishes in Hong Kong incorporated this sauce. The main ingredient of this sauce is dried scallops, chilli oil, dried shrimps and Chinese ham.
Having traveled to Hong Kong quite a few times, normally I will buy a few bottles from HK airport (note they only sell the premium hotellier XO sauce), although one can get Lee Kum Kee brand as well in HK city.
Try this quick stir fry and I'm sure you'll like it like I do. The prawn is succulent, the pepper crunchy, the dish is colorful and the taste is brilliant.

Stir Fry Prawn in XO sauce
  • 300 gm fresh king prawn ( shelled, de-veined and butterfly)
  • 1/2 tbsp XO sauce
  • 1/2 tsp chilli oil (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp shaoxing wine/sherry
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tbsp corn flour
  • 1/2 green, 1/2 red, 1/2 yellow pepper
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 cloves garlic - minced
  1. Marinate the prawn with salt, wine and corn flour for 15minutes. Keep the juice.
  2. Heat the wok over high heat and add the oil. Add in the pepper and stir fry for a minute and remove from the wok. Then add in the garlic and prawns and stir fry till prawns turn pinkish. This takes about 2-3minutes. Return the peppers into the wok and continue stir fry. Add in the XO sauce and stir fry. Pour in the juice+1 tbsp water so that the sauce will thicken and coat the prawns.
  3. Remove from heat. Served with rice.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

A short break in Athlone, Ireland

Athlone High Street

River Shannon running across Athlone

I've been away for a 3 days short break to Ireland. I've been here in Cambridge exactly 3 years now, but have never step my foot into Ireland before, as the saying goes so near yet so far.
So with my ma around, we decided to pay a visit to our hometown friends in Athlone and also to visit my friends and fellow food blogger in Dublin. The trip was indeed fruitful and load with lots of Malaysian hospitality to name a few. On top of that we're blessed with two days of excellent weather in Athlone (having heard of horrible and unpredictable Irish weather? ) .
If one ever visits Athlone and fancy Chinese food, do drop by Row In Row
( ) and
Jia Jia Chinese restaurant. If you like a cosy and relax ambience, Row In Row definitely the place to chill out and the food is great. Dining at Jia Jia definitely has its Oriental edge, with the added Oriental decor and huge authentic Oriental arts hanging on the wall, service wise it's excellent and its food definitely authentic. Needless to say, as a food enthusiast myself, I highly recommend this two Chinese restaurant if you happen to be in Athlone.
Back here in Cambridge, I've been growing my own grub in spring. They're faring pretty well now. I've started harvest some of my own vegetables. On my little plot (I would say pots) I have grown some dwarf french bean, potatoes, spring onion, spinach, lettuces and celery. So I've picked some french bean fresh from my plot. :-)
As a Malaysian ( hmnnn.... calling myself half Singaporean as well) , I have yearning for spicy food sometimes. So I decided to make a quick fiery stir fry to go with my rice. If you happen to be in Malaysia and Singapore you couldn't help but noticed some vegetables stir fried in sambal belacan sauce ( spicy shrimp paste ) .... note it's spicy .... but it gives the dish it's added kick. For me it's an excellent Malaysian ingredients after all to bring flavor to other wise a dull dish.

Stir Fry French Bean in Spicy Sambal Sauce
Ingredients (for 2 persons)

  • 150 gm french bean (cleaned and trimmed and cut into 1.5 inches stick)
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 shalots finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp sambal belacan sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  1. Heat oil in a wok till hot. Add in the sambal sauce and shallot and let it brown for a minute.
  2. Then add in the french bean and stir fry on high heat for 2-3minutes.
  3. Then add in sugar and stir fry for another minute or so.
  4. Dish out and serve.
This dish can accompany with rice or usually the Malaysian used it in Nasi Lemak (coconut rice)
My verdict : Delicious

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Pick Your Own (PYO) Strawberries

We went strawberry picking this weekend. Having disappointment over PYO weeks ago
[ reasons being: 1. we went late in the afternoon 2. berries were still developing] , we thought we give it another try. This time around, not only the berries were huge plus juicy and weather were smiling sunshine at us. We went and picked 2 punnets and additional pick and eat along the way. You can't get strawberries fresher than this, right from the plant into your mouth :-) .
Few days ago I was browsing bbc food websites for what's in season, and voila there's a video showing how to make strawberry jam. I decided to make strawberry jam. With strawberry jam then comes the Cornish clotted cream and scones....make the perfect afternoon cream tea.... what a bliss yeah.
For this recipes, I cut down on sugar to 800-850gm instead of 1kg as I prefer my jam to be less sweet. My verdict of this recipes is good. Give it a try. :-)