23 Mar 2014

eating clouds

When I went back to Malaysia last winter, my grandma taught me how to bake a chiffon cake and we ended up making at least three consecutively. With a gleam in her eyes, she told me baking chiffon cakes makes her very happy because they smell great and they used to rise to the top of the oven! At one point in her life, she baked more than a dozen everyday for my uncle's kopitiam or simply to give away to her friends and family. When I asked for the recipe, she could tell me from the top of her head!

Returning to Melbourne, I have used her original recipe a handful of times and they have all come out light and fluffy. This time I decided to tweak it slightly and the texture still comes out cloud like - this is what makes me happy. 

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banana chiffon cake     makes 1 x 22(d) x 11(h)cm chiffon cake
adapted from my grandma's recipe

On a quick note, I have noticed that my grandma's chiffon cake recipe contains more sugar compared to others, but we find the sweetness just right for our liking.  

5 large egg whites
90g caster sugar
1 tsp cream of tartar, sifted
pinch of sea salt

5 large egg yolks
90g caster sugar
25ml rum
70g cooking oil
100ml coconut milk or milk
180g rice flour or plain flour, sifted
1 tsp (double action) baking powder, sifted
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
2 bananas (approx. 170g), finely mashed

Preheat oven to 170 degrees celcius.

Whisk egg whites with one portion of sugar, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt until very stiff peaks form. Set aside.

Whisk egg yolks and the remaining sugar to combine. Add rum, cooking oil and (coconut) milk. Stir to combine. Fold in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and stir to combine. Fold in mashed bananas.

Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites to loosen up the batter. Fold in the remaining egg whites. Pour batter into a chiffon cake tin.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes and check cake with a skewer before taking it out. Cool upside down for about 10-15 minutes before unmoulding it from the tin to cool further. 

5 Feb 2014

a good sandwich

School season is upon us and I'm starting to think the good ol' chicken and cheese sandwich needs a little upgrade. 

Armed with a freshly baked loaf of italian herb and garlic focaccia, I proceeded to slather it with unsalted butter and whole grain mustard and filled it with some iceberg lettuce, cheese and deli roast chicken slices. Like many other savoury sandwiches I make, a crack of freshly ground black pepper is a must.

Today there was a new last minute addition to the sandwich; a chunky cranberry and orange sauce. Something sweet to offset the salinity of the processed chicken, which I think will go well with sliced turkey or shredded roast chicken. The flavour combination is comparable to IKEA meatballs served with lingonberry sauce.

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chunky cranberry and orange sauce     makes enough for 1-2 sandwiches

a small handful of dried cranberries
hot water, as required
rind/zest of 1 orange
juice of 1/2 an orange

Put the cranberries in a small bowl and pour in enough hot water to just cover it. Leave for 5 minutes (alternatively nuke it for 30 seconds in a microwave). Transfer to small saucepan and add in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and simmer until mixture has thickened. Allow to cool slightly before adding it into your sandwich!

29 Jan 2014

road trippin'

A few days ago I went on a road trip with a group of new and old friends to Mount Martha Beach. I usually avoid going out when it's hot, but it was fun to do something different once in a while. Props to my friend who drove from the other side of town to pick me up!