Having a baby automatically adds three extra celebrations to your household. There’s the baby’s birthday, which is due next month. There is Mother’s day, which was spent unceremoniously in the mall, cause Mr. Crustabakes didn’t have a clue it was Mother’s day. And there is Father’s day.
I am thrilled to have these three additional celebrations. I baked a cake for the occasion because I didn’t want to let the opportunity to celebrate ( and bake a cake) slide.
This was truly a “play it by the ear” cake. No planning was made for the cake. I just visualized Mr Crustabakes’ face and kind of go with the flow. While the eyes, nose and pink cheeks were inspired by Mr. Pringles. The blue collared shirt, spiky hair, and the day old beard are signature of Mr. Crustabakes.
Happy Father’s day, Tong!
In case you were wondering, it’s a two tiered red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, Both tier were full fondant, with crushed oreo for “beard”
For the red velvet cake recipe:
Taken from Oprah.Com
- 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising)
- 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs , at room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. liquid red food coloring
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract | Get the recipe!
- 1 cup buttermilk , at room temperature
- 2 tsp. distilled white vinegar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 packages (8 ounces apiece) cream cheese , at room temperature
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar , sifted
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract | Get the recipe!
- Pinch of salt
Sift flour, cocoa, and salt into a bowl.
In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter at low speed until creamy. Add sugar; blend on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each. Scrape bowl; add food coloring and vanilla. On low speed, beat in flour mixture in thirds, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. In small bowl, stir together vinegar and baking soda. Stir into batter. Divide batter between prepared pans; spread evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around edges and turn layers out onto racks. Remove paper and flip cakes; cool completely. Freeze for 30 minutes.
To make frosting: In stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar, vanilla, and salt. Blend on low speed for 30 seconds; beat on medium-high until fluffy.
To assemble: Cut layers in half horizontally with a serrated knife. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate; spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Repeat twice. Add last layer, top side up. Ice cake thinly with 3/4 cup frosting to crumb-coat. Refrigerate 20 minutes; finish frosting.
I was walking in the beef section of the supermarket when i came across a display of thinly sliced beef. They were all pre-packed, and unlabelled.
I remember asking Nami, of Just one Cookbook, what was the best type of beef for Yoshinoya’s kind of beef bowl. She answered that they were just cheap scraps of beef, also known as komagire.
I took one pack of the beef in my hand, and discovered that they had strings of fats at the sides of each slice, which is just the way Yoshinoya’s beef was. At Rp.18000/100grams (about $2),these packs were also considerably cheaper than the shabu beefs, which were placed just a few metres away.
I purchased a pack, and went ahead with my Gyudon adventure.
And, so here it is,
These beef slices were slightly chewier and tougher than Yoshinoya’s. I guess it’s because they weren’t as thinly sliced.
Following Nami’s recipe, but omitting the egg, the flavour of this dish come pretty close to Yoshinoya’s.
Whoopee! Another Just One Cookbook recipe that’s becoming a staple in our household.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: Serves 2-3
- 1 onion
- 2 green onions
- 3/4 lb thinly sliced beef (Shabu Shabu beef or Komagire beef)
- 1 Tbsp. oil
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. sake
- 2 Tbsp. mirin
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 eggs (omitted)
- pickled ginger (Kizami Shoga) for garnish (omitted)
- Slice the onion and green onion thinly, and cut the meat into small pieces.
- Heat the skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. Stir-fry the onions until wilted.
- Add the beef and sprinkle sugar and cook until browned.
- Add sake, mirin, and soy sauce and mix together.
- Reduce the heat and simmer until most of the liquid is gone.
- Pour the beaten egg all over the meat and cover quickly. Cook until the eggs are almost cooked. Add the green onion right before you remove from the heat. (I omitted this step)
- Serve over steamed rice and drizzle the sauce over. Top with pickled ginger if you like.
After all the sourdough recipes you had to put up with, I am glad to say that the sourdough adventure is almost coming to an end.
You see, my previous recipes were all recipes that didn’t require the lifting powers of the yeast thriving in the sourdough starter. Items such as brownies, muffins, pancakes, waffles all had either baking powder or baking soda in them that did the lifting. The sourdough starter was superfluous at the very best. It’s just there to add flavour, or as a means to use up all the sourdough discard that came with each sourdough feeding.
Last night however, i put my sourdough starter to its ultimate test. I baked a bread with it.
Unlike instant yeast which probably takes two hours to proof, i had to let it sit for about three hours for its first proofing, and another 5 hours for its final proofing.
Nevertheless, I am pretty happy with the result. The bread came out sufficiently soft with that sour twang that trademark sour twang that comes with sourdough bread! I can’t believe i just baked a bread with yeast that i grew in my own kitchen!
Sourdough Sandwich Bread
Slightly modified from “Rahasia Membuat Roti Sehat & Lezat Ragi Alami“ by Sangjin Ko
375 grams Bread Flour
180 grams sourdough starter
7 grams salt
37 grams sugar
165 grams water
30 ml milk
45 grams butter
In a bowl, mix the flour, salt, sugar and sourdough starter. Make a hole in the middle and pour the water and milk into it. Mix well. Transfer the batter onto a table top that has been dusted with flour. Add the butter, and knead till is elastic and stops being sticky.
Shape the dough into a bowl. Cover and let to proof at room temperature till it doubles in size (3 hours).
Punch the dough down to let out excess air. Divide dough into 2. Cover with plastic and let rest for another 30 minutes.
Grease you S\sandwich tin with butter. Preheat oven to 200 degree celcius.
Take one of the dough, flatten it and roll it up like a swill roll. Place the dough onto the sandwich tin.
Let the dough proof for another 2 hours (i left mine to proof for 5 hours).
Bake the dough at 180 degree clecius, for about 30 minutes till the tops get crusty and golden brown.
I am not exactly proud of my contribution to this month’s Little Thumbs Up event. Hosted by Miss B of Everyone Eats Well in Flanders , and organized by Zoe from Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen from my little favourite D.I.Y, the selected ingredient for this month is curry.
While most curry dishes require long and engaging cooking activities, mine was pretty much instant with the use of Japanese instant curry blocks.
All i had to do was just to brown some onions and cook some carrots and potatoes. At this point, you could choose to add in some meat into your pot of vegetables too. But i decided to go an extra mile by breading and frying my chicken.
I guess it’s my way of making up, since i was already using instant Japanese curry paste.
Chicken Katsu Curry
1 piece of chicken thigh (deboned)
Salt & Pepper
2 tbs flour
a cup of water
1 Tbs oil
Curry Block (I used S&B brand)
For the chicken katsu
Pat dry the chicken thigh, and season with salt and pepper.
Coat the thigh in flour, dredge it in the beaten egg, den re-coat it again in the panko crumbs
Fry till cooked and golden brown
For the curry
Brown the onion in the oil. Add carrots and potatoes. Add a cup of water and let the mixture boil till carrots and potatoes are tender.
When the water has reduced to about half a cup, add the curry block in and stir till dissolved. Keep cooking until bubbles appear.
Serve curry over white rice. Add the chicken katsu.
Yet another sourdough recipe. This time, sourdough discard was used to make the batter to dip these onion rings. Looks like there is no end to the wonders of sourdough!
Sourdough Onion Rings
taken from Williams Sonoma
- 2 cups sourdough starter
- 1/2 cup cold sparkling water
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt, plus more, to taste
- 3 large onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch
- 1 cup all-purpose white bread flour
- Peanut or canola oil for deep-frying
Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and place a medium bowl on top of the ice. In the medium bowl, combine the sourdough starter, sparkling water and the 1/2 tsp. salt and stir to mix. Separate the onions into rings, leaving the centers intact. Place the flour in a shallow bowl and toss the onions in the flour to coat.
In a deep fryer, pour in the oil and heat to 370°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Dip the flour-coated onion rings, one at a time, into the sourdough starter mixture, then drop them into the hot oil. Fry in a single layer, turning if necessary, until they are golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion rings to the baking sheet and season with salt. Place the baking sheet in the oven and fry the next batch. Be sure the oil returns to 370ºF before adding the onions or they will be greasy.
Not bringing anything much to the table today. Just another sourdough discard recipe.
*hangs head in shame*
I wasnt expecting anything extraordinary from this recipe. To me, it was just another recipe to help me save my daily sourdough discard.
But i must say, i am pleasantly surprised at how they turned out. Dense, fudgy, and very chocolatey.
Just like how good brownies should be!
Taken from the Wild Yeast
Yield: 24 brownies (9 x 13-inch pan)
- Mix: 10 minutes
- Bake: 40 minutes
Final Dough Ingredients:
- 300 g 72% cocoa (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped
- 226 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 200 g sugar
- 6 g (1 teaspoon) salt
- 8.4 g (2 teaspoons) vanilla extract
- 160 g (3 whole) eggs, at room temperature
- 40 g cocoa powder
- 220 g mature 100%-hydration sourdough starter
- Preheat the oven to 325F.
- Butter a 9 x 13-inch metal baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment, and butter the parchment.
- In the microwave, melt together the chocolate and the butter. Check it frequently to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Whisk in the sugar, salt, and vanilla.
- Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.
- Sift the cocoa powder over the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.
- Add the starter and stir gently until it is completely incorporated.
- Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, until a bamboo skewer inserted in the center come out clean.
- Cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then loosen the edges with a knife, invert onto parchment paper, and re-invert onto a cooling rack.
- When completely cool, cut into squares.
Please bear with me as i yet again put up another sourdough recipe.
This time, i used my sourdough discard to make chocolate chip muffins.
The sourdough here acts as an acidic base for the baking soda, which made the muffins get an extra “oomph” while rising in the oven.
As always with muffins, i was extra generous with my chocolate chips. I loved picking the chips with my fingers when i eat my muffins.
Taste wise, i couldnt really taste the sour twang of the sourdough starter. Neither did Mr.Crustabakes… I know this because he didn’t complain. You see, Mr. Crustabakes isn’t a big fan of sourdough related items. He thinks they are stinky and rotting. Little did he know that he just scarfed a whole muffin of sourdough. Ha!
Sourdough chocolate chips muffins
Yields about 8 muffins
Adapted from Sourdoughhome.com
- 1 C “discarded” sourdough starter
- 1 C All Purpose flour (sift flour prior to measuring)
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 C oil
- 1/2 C sugar
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ~1/2 C chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 425F.
Combine dry ingredients in small bowl. Stir in chocolate chips. Combine wet ingredients in medium bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet ones.
Line your muffin tins with cupcake wrappers. Mix the wet and dry ingredients quickly and spoon into your muffin cups.
Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.
U know those little packets of living organisms that you use to make breads? The one that spring to action when it is watered? The one responsible for making your bread expand and rise?
Well, i’ve been trying to grow my own packet of them.
Yup, I’ve been trying to grow my own natural yeast.
I’ve prowled all over internet sites and books.
I’ve joined a facebook group called the “natural homemade bread” club. I’ve asked for opinions, advise, guides from the experts in that group. And I must genuinely thank these people for offering me needed instructions and solutions to caring for my yeast.
So, a little bit about natural yeast, from my short lived “research”….
Natural yeast is a tiny organism. It exists around us. You can find them clinging on the surfaces of fruits, or even on the surface of flour particles.
By soaking your fruits/flour in water, you are giving a media for these little yeast to grow. These yeast feed on starch molecules. Be it the flour or sugar.
So like a pet, you are supposed to feed and water them at intervals to make sure they have enough water and food to thrive.
However, before you feed them, you are supposed to throw away a good portion of it to make sure the yeast population is controlled, and there is enough food and water for the remaining yeast that you did not discard.
The thought of discarding this yeast bothers me. They were afterall good yeast, which I had cared, fed and looked after.
So again, I prowled the internet for recipes which use discard yeast.
So here I am with my first post on a waffle recipe using discarded yeast.
A sourdough waffle.
One of the most flavorful waffle I’ve ever tasted.
Like its name would suggest, these waffles have a slight twang of sourness to it. Just like how sourdough breads are.
These waffles were so good, I didnt really need any kind of topping to eat them with. Maybe just a slight dusting of icing sugar
It really depends on personal preference though.
Mr. Crustabakes on the other hand wasn’t too crazy over these sourdough waffle.
But with maple syrup, he managed to scarf down two slices without any complaints though.
With this yeast project in hand, I foresee myself posting more discard yeast recipes. I wish I could interest everyone into growing their own yeast. Because not only is it healthier, but it is also easier on the digestive system…
But if all these yeasty things arent your thing, please do bear with me…
For instructions on how to grow your own yeast, you can refer to King Arthur Flour’s website HERE
Sourdough discard Waffles
Recipe taken from King Arthur Flour
- 2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 cups buttermilk (I used 2 cups of milk mixed with 2 cups of lemon juice)
- 1 cup sourdough starter, unfed
Waffle or pancake batter
- all of the overnight sponge
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
1) To make the overnight sponge, stir down your refrigerated starter, and remove 1 cup.
2) In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 1 cup starter, flour, sugar, and buttermilk.
3) Cover and let rest at room temperature overnight.
4) In a small bowl or mixing cup, beat together the eggs, and oil or butter. Add to the overnight sponge.
5) Add the salt and baking soda, stirring to combine. The batter will bubble.
6) Pour batter onto your preheated, greased waffle iron, and bake according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
7) Serve waffles immediately, to ensure crispness. Or hold in a warm oven till ready to serve.
Hokkien Mee, which translates to “Fujian Noodle” was something I grew up with in Singapore.
Fujian is a province in China. So I suppose this dish probably could trace its origins there.
I grew up in Singapore without my parents, but with a hired “nanny” to watch over us (me and my siblings). At times, this hired “nanny” would take a break from cooking. She would assign us some money, to settle lunch on our own.
I looked forward to these occasions, because back then, I didn’t like home cooking. She wasn’t the world’s best cook. And it was always the same few dishes that came out of her kitchen.
So Hokkien Mee was something i liked to order when we had the chance to eat out. I remember the stall owner would fire up his stove, make a hell lot of noise stirring his metal spatula against his giant wok. Minutes later, a plate of steaming hot, soggy noodles would appear.
I especially loved it when the noodles are extra soggy. Because it means, extra broth. This broth is the highlight of this dish. It is bursting with all the flavors from hours of simmering stock.
As a kid, I couldn’t pinpoint as to what made the broth so delicious. It was only after reading the recipes for this dish that i discovered that the stock was made of pork, chicken and prawns.
Yup, that’s three types of meat, combined to make one stock. Can i justify further?
Singapore Hokkien Mee
Recipe taken from Rasa Malaysia
Singapore Hokkien Mee Recipe
250g Yellow Noodle
250g White thick rice vermicelli (I used dried rice vermicelli)
350g Squid (Sotong) (omitted, added sliced fishcakes instead)
200g Pork Belly (omitted)
40g Green chives
750ml Chicken stock
5g Chopped garlic
1/2 tbsp Fish sauce
1 dash Pepper
1 dash Sesame oil
1. Peel the prawn head. In a hot wok, add a tbsp oil and fry the prawn head until fragrant. Add fried prawn head into chicken stock and boil for 30mins to 1 hour. (I usually reserve the uncooked prawn shells and prawn heads from other dishes and keep them frozen in the freezer)
2. Add the pork belly into the stock and boil for 45mins. Take out the pork belly and cool. Cut pork belly into strips. ( I omitted this step)
3. Blanch dried vermicelli, fishcake and prawns in boiling water. Drain and set aside
4. Into a hot wok, add 1 tbsp of oil, fry the garlic until fragrant. Add in egg and scramble.
5. Add in yellow noodle and blanched rice vermicelli. Fry for a few minutes until noodles just begin to sear. (Use high heat)
6. Add 1/3 of prawn stock and seasoning. Fry until stock is almost dry. Add another 1/3 of prawn stock. Cover wok to braise the noodles on medium low heat. (5 to 7 mins) * Note: I had to add a bit of water as my stock wasn’t quite enough
7. Lastly add in prawn, squid, chives and fry together. Add remaining stock, fry for 1 min and plate. Serve with sambal chilli and lime.