Saturday, January 3, 2015

Yummy Marble Chocolate Cupcakes



Wow here we are in 2015 already!

It’s amazing how time flies and you realise how grateful you are for all that you have.
Last year, was pretty amazing for me as I took some time off in between jobs to attend as many baking and cooking classes around the Klang Valley. It was something I had wanted to do for a long time and I am SO glad I put my mind to it and did it. 

I learnt amazing dishes from the Masak-Masak classes organised by Ben's Independent Grocer in Publika, I learnt how to make puff pastry (from scratch!) and pineapple jam tarts from Mama Min, I learnt authentic Italian cooking from iCook Italian gastronomia, and the list goes on. Some of the recipes I learnt are ultimate crowd pleasers and will share them in time to come.

My first post of 2015 will please all cupcake lovers. Nothing fancy. Super simple just like the motto of this blog. I came across this recipe from one of my favourite bloggers and thought I’d try it out.

Chocolate Marble Cupcakes (Original Post by Nasi Lemak Lover)
Makes: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients
150g soft margarine (I used salted butter)
150g caster sugar
3 eggs
200g self-raising flour (sifted)
2tbsp milk
Note: Though the recipe didn’t call for it, I added a drop of vanilla essence into the batter.
55g semisweet chocolate, melted (I used chocolate chips, you may also use cocoa powder)

What to do
Pre-step: I melted my chocolate chips using a double boiler. You can also pop it in the microwave.

Step 1
Beat together butter and sugar until well mixed (I used a hand-held mixer). Add eggs in one by one and mix well.  Add in sifted flour and mix.
Step 2
Divide the batter between 2 bowls. Add in all the melted chocolate into one of the bowls and mix well.
Step 3
Fill each cupcake liner ¾ full alternating with each batter.
Step 4
Bake in pre-heated oven at 180C for 25 mins. Transfer to wire rack and allow to cool.


Tips:
  • I used a tablespoon of batter from each bowl and fill up the 12 muffin liners. If there is any extra I distribute them evenly among the 12 muffins.
  • Each oven is different. I found my cupcakes a tad dry. So in future, I will lower the temp for my oven to 170C and bake for 20 mins. You should know your type of oven and adjust accordingly.

 Overall, this cupcake was a hit. It also looked very pretty and is perfect if you want to skip the hassle of icing them etc. Just present it as it is and it will go in a jiffy!



 Wishing you a blessed 2015!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Spicy Pork Prime Ribs




The next time you are craving a porky dish AND you want to pick up some fresh pork meat for cooking head on over to Sanbanto over in SS2 Petaling Jaya.  Known for its clean, healthy pork meat, I recently made Spicy Pork Ribs using prime pork ribs from the butchery in Sanbanto.

As soon as you walk into the cafe cum butchery you will see their fresh meat counter selling safe and high quality pork meat. In the SS2 branch, lies their cold butcher room where they maintain their fresh pork.




I have in the past year been cooking various recipes using pork ribs. I have found that the texture of the ribs from Sanbanto to be extremely tender. Also I noticed that when I pre-boiled the ribs prior to marinating, there wasn't much scum (the white stuff which floats to the top surface of the water) as compared to when boiling ribs purchased elsewhere.




I was extremely happy with how the ribs below turned out. After some marinating and about 2 hours in the oven, they were absolutely delicious and will definitely be making them again. I also have some pork loin from the Sanbanto butchery which I plan to use in my next recipe!



This recipe was adapted from here. However I have tweaked it according to my preference.

What you need:
125ml honey (I omitted the honey)
80ml tomato sauce
60ml soy sauce
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons chilli powder (adjust according to your spice level)
1 pack Sanbanto 400g prime ribs

Additional: Some Heinz bottled barbecue sauce to brush on ribs

What to do:
Step 1
Bring a pot of water with some sliced ginger added to boil. Add in pork ribs and allow to boil for 10 minutes. Take off heat, strain and rinse ribs.


Step 2
Place ribs in bowl. Add in tomato sauce, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, olive oil and chilli powder. Mix ribs with marinade well. Cover in plastic wrap and place in fridge for 6 hours or overnight to develop the flavours.

Step 3
Preheat oven to 160C. Line a baking dish with foil and brush wire rack with oil to lightly grease. Remove the ribs from marinade and arrange in a single layer on the wire rack. Cover the baking tray in foil.




Step 4
Bake ribs in preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove baking tray and foil. Turn ribs over and brush some barbecue sauce on each rib. Place back foil and put back in oven.  Bake for another hour removing foil at last 30 mins.

These ribs are slightly sticky but there isn't much 'sauce' on it - if that's your thing.


So what is so enticing about Sanbanto Premium Pork?
This is what I found out:
Their farms have been previously awarded the Best Farm in Malaysia. 
Their farms have also been certified for Good Farm Practices Scheme since 2008
The pigs are fed grains and probiotics
No drug residue and beta-agonist free

There is just something about the quality of meat which comes thru in the cooking. I would definitely vouch for Sanbanto.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Fried Macaroni with Minced Beef Sauce



You’re having a small tea party and your guests include little ones which might not take too kindly to the spicy currypuffs or savoury popiah. Whip up this simple dish in 3 easy steps and you’ve got them hooked. It’s simple and can be enjoyed by adults too.

Fried Macaroni with Minced Beef Sauce
What you need:
200g macaroni
2 fresh button mushrooms, sliced
100g minced beef
1 tsp chopped garlic
1 tsp chopped ginger
1 tomato diced
2 tbsp oil
Seasoning:
½ tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp pepper
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp chicken stock granules
4-5 tbsp tomato sauce
150ml fresh chicken stock
Garnishing:
Chopped spring onion

What to do:
Step 1
Bring water to a boil in pot and cook macaroni until al-dente. Drain and set aside.
Step 2
Heat oil in wok and fry garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add minced beef and stir-fry until fragrant. Add mushrooms and seasoning. Bring to a boil then add macaroni and tomato.
Step 3
Toss and fry until well combined and sauce is reduced. Dish out and sprinkle some chopped spring onions on top.

Tips:
  • Don’t fry the pasta until it is very dry. Once there is no more liquid and pasta is nicely coated with all seasonings then it’s time to dish out.
  • The recipe doesn't make a lot especially if you're having a party. Do adjust as required.
  • I added chopped carrots into the dish as I didn't have button mushrooms at hand. You may choose to add something else.

This is a simple dish to have at your tea parties. It’s best cooked right before serving. I got this recipe from Amy Beh’s column from The Star newspaper. The source of many awesome recipes I’ve tried.
Do try it and let me know if it turns out well!


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