20 April 2018

Greek Yogurt Marble Butter Cake

I haven't been attempting much new bakes recently, choosing to stick to the same old trusted recipes again and again. I blame it on the weather which is crazily hot and most days I'm simply brain dead from the heat! Also don't have the mood to do any food styling or photography :(

I digress.

But when I saw an IG post by HoneyBeeSweets.sg on a Greek Yogurt Bundt Cake that she baked few days ago, I simply couldn't resist trying it out. Actually it was because I have a tub of Greek Yogurt that's near expiry :p

I have mentioned before that I'm not a fan of butter cakes nor pound cakes as they are more dense and dry in texture. Surprisingly this cake was not as dense or heavy as the usual butter cake and it was quite moist, probably due to the addition of greek yogurt in the batter. The chocolate paste added a contrasting taste to the butter cake which I like.

Was supposed to wait till the next day for the buttery flavour to develop but I couldn't resist taking slice after slice when the cake barely cooled down. Enjoyed more slices with a hot cup of tea for breakfast again. #fatdieme. Baked two loaves and gifted the remaining, as I've already satisfied by my cravings :)

This recipe is certainly a keeper! 

Greek Yogurt Marble Butter Cake
(makes 2 loaves using 7x24cm rectangle cake pan, or 18cmx18cm square cake pan, or 20cm round cake pan)
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 30g hot water
  • 3 tbsp fresh milk + 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 225g Greek yogurt
  • 400g cake flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 0.5 tsp baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp fine sea salt
  • 200g unsalted butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs (65g egg with shell)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Line the cake pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 170 degree celsius, top & bottom heat.
  2. Mix cocoa powder with hot water, stir till a smooth chocolate paste. Set aside.
  3. Add lemon juice to fresh milk, mix and let the mixture curdle, about 5 mins. Then add the mixture into the greek yogurt. Mix well and set aside.
  4. Sift cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and fine salt into a mixing bowl. Set aside.
  5. Cream butter and caster sugar using paddle attachment of electric mixer on medium high speed, till light and fluffy for about 5 mins.
  6. Turn speed of mixer to low, add the eggs, one at a time, switch to medium speed and beat till well-incorporated.
  7. Add vanilla extract and mix well.
  8. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the yogurt mixture.
  9. Scoop about 1/3 cup of batter and mix well with the chocolate paste to form a chocolate batter.
  10. Fill the cake pan with main batter till 1/3 height, add dollops of chocolate batter and swirl the chocolate batter into main batter using a toothpick or cake tester. Add more batter till the next 1/3 height, add dollops of chocolate batter and swirl the chocolate batter into main batter. Finally fill the cake pan with the remaining main batter, add the remaining chocolate batter and swirl into the main batter.
  11. Bake the marble cake batter for about 50 mins at 170 degree celsius. 
  12. Once baked, remove from oven and let the cake cool down completely before unmoulding. 
  13. Store the cake in an airtight container, the cake tastes better the next day.

01 April 2018

Butterfly Pea Flower Nasi Lemak

It's been more than three months since my family relocated to Chonburi, Thailand. Although I mentioned that I would resume my blogging once we settle down, the truth is, I've been procrastinating. Yes, I have visited some interesting places, dined at some lovely cafes and restaurants and been cooking a lot, but simply couldn't find the mojo to write. I really have a lot of backlogs. Urgh.

So yes, I'm forcing myself to kickstart with this piece! Initially thought of starting with a Thai recipe since I've been cooking more Thai food, but on the other hand, I've also been cooking SG local dishes due to our cravings :p

Frankly this is my first time cooking a whole set of Nasi Lemak from scratch. In SG it's simply too convenient and relatively easy to find reasonably good Nasi Lemak; plus I'm lazy lah! But now that we are away and it's not readily available anymore, I start to miss it.

My Nasi Lemak set consists of Butterfly Pea Flower Coconut Rice, Tumeric Chicken Wings, Nyonya Achar, Tempe, Sweet Sambal Chilli, Ikan Bilis with Peanuts as well as hardboiled egg. I separated the process into different days so that it's not too rush. Spent a day making the Nyonya Achar, another making the Sweet Sambal Chilli and marinate for chicken wings and finally ready to cook the rice, fry the wings, assemble and eat!

How does my Nasi Lemak set look? Love the addition of butterfly pea flower tea to the coconut rice, it gives the rice a lovely bluish hue and somehow the whole set looks much more sexy, exotic,  appealing :p

Here are the recipes, with reference from several sources, such as Nasi Lemak Lover, Noob Cook, LadyHomeChef (hosted under Miss Tam Chiak).

Butterfly Pea Flower Coconut Rice
(1 cup of rice, serves 2A1C)
  • 20 pcs dried butterfly pea flower
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  1. Infuse the dried flowers in boiling water till the flowers are fully bloomed, around 30mins.
  2. Set aside 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp infused butterfly pea flower water
  • 1 cup Thai Jasmine rice, washed and drained
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 pcs lemon grass, lower portion, smashed
  • 3 pcs pandan leaves, tied into a knot
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 pcs shallot, slightly smashed
  • 2 slices galangal
  1. Add coconut milk, sugar and salt to a small pot, bring to boil till sugar is dissolved.
  2. Off heat, add lemongrass and pandan leaves to the coconut milk and let them infuse till mixture is cooled down.
  3. Stir in the infused butterfly pea flower water.
  4. Place rice into rice cooker, add the coconut-butterfly pea flower mixture (together with the lemongrass and pandan leaves) and stir to mix well.
  5. Add shallot and galangal, and set the coconut rice to cook.
  6. After rice is cooked, let it rest for 10 mins before fluffing the rice.

Tumeric Chicken Wings
(serves 3)
  • 6 chicken wings
  • 3 pcs shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp shallot oil
  • Cooking oil for brushing
  1. Pound shallot, garlic and coriander seeds in a mortal into a paste.
  2. Add turmeric powder, curry powder, salt and shallot oil and stir till well-mixed.
  3. Place chicken wings and marinate paste into a ziplock bag.
  4. Seal and rub the marinate till each piece of chicken wing is well-coated.
  5. Marinate for at least 4hrs or overnight in fridge.
  6. Remove from fridge 30mins before cooking to bring the wings to room temperature.
  7. Place the chicken wings in the basket of an air-fryer, brush cooking on both sides of the wings.
  8. Air-fry for 15 mins at 180 degree celsius, turning over once after 8-9 mins.
  9. Best serve hot. 

Nyonya Achar
(makes 5 jam bottles)

  • 2 small cucumbers (about 450g)
  • 1 small carrot (about 200g)
  • 100g cabbage leaves
  • 200g pineapple flesh, cut into small pieces
  • 40g skinless peanuts, roasted and pounded
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds, roasted
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  1. Cut the cucumbers into 3-4cm sections, cut each section into quarters and slice away the seed block. Next cut the cucumber into thin strips. Add 1 tsp of sea salt to the cucumber strips and toss to coat well. Set aside for 1hr. After 1hr, squeeze out the excess water from the cucumber strips, pat dry, spread them out on a flat tray and air-dry for 1hr.
  2. Cut the carrot into 3-4cm sections, then cut the carrots into size of matchsticks. Add 1 tsp of sea salt to the carrot sticks and toss to coat well. Set aside for 1hr. After 1hr, squeeze out the excess water from the carrot sticks, pat dry, spread them out on a flat tray and air-dry for 1hr.
  3. Cut the cabbage leaves into bite-size pieces. Add 1 tsp of sea salt to the cabbage pieces and toss to coat well. Set aside for 1hr. After 1hr, squeeze out the excess water from the cabbage pieces, pat dry, spread them out on a flat tray and air-dry for 1hr.
  4. Place the cucumber strips, carrot sticks, cabbage leaves and pineapple pieces into a large glass bowl and set aside.
  • 7-8pcs shallots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 pcs candlenut
  • 3 pcs dried chili, soak in hot water till soften, remove seeds and cut into small pieces
  • 3 pcs big red chilli, remove seeds and cut into small pieces
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, lower section only, sliced thinly
  • 5 slices galangal
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp shallot oil
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Place the shallots, garlic, candlenuts, dried chilli, red chilli, lemongrass, galangal and shallot oil into a blender, blend into a smooth paste.
  2. Add 1 tbsp of cooking oil in a pan or wok, add the rempah paste and turmeric powder and stir-fry till paste is aromatic.
  3. Add the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to the paste and bring to simmer.
  4. Remove from heat, let the rempah paste cool slightly and add the rempah paste into the mixing bowl of vegetables. Add the pounded peanut and sesame seeds. Stir to mix everything well.
  5. Let the achar cool down completely before bottling. Divide the achar into glass containers (prewash with boiling water) and store in fridge. Let the achar pickle overnight for flavours to develop before consumption. Bottled achar can be stored in fridge for up to 4 weeks, but best eaten within 2 weeks.

Sweet Sambal Chilli
(makes 1 jam bottle)
  • 8 pcs shallot
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 15 pcs dried chilli, soak in hot water till softened
  • 4 pcs big red chilli
  • 3 pcs chilli padi
  • 1 tsp belachan, toasted
  • 1 tsp shallot oil
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil 
  • 100g brown sugar/white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  1. Remove seeds from the dried chilli, red chilli and chilli padi and cut them into small pieces. Retain some seeds if wish to have a more spicy sambal.
  2. Place the shallot, garlic, chilli, belachan and shallot oil into a blender and blend till a smooth paste.
  3. Add cooking oil into a wok, then add the rempah and fry on medium low heat till the sambal is cooked and aromatic (turns from bright orangey red to dark red).
  4. Add sugar and sea salt and mix till gula Melaka is melted.
  5. Let the sambal cool completely before bottling.

Tempe - store-bought (I lugged back from SG) and freeze. Simply deep-fry or air-fry till golden brown (around 10 mins at 180 degree celsius).
Ikan Bilis and Peanut - store-bought. I air-fry them around 15 to 20 mins at 160 degree celsius, till golden brown.
Hardboil egg - place egg into water (fully covered) and boil for 10-12 mins.

To serve, simply assemble all the ingredients onto a serving plate.

I must say I super love my Nasi Lemak set, it's visually appealing with myriad of colours and tastes totally tantalising! So does my HB and kiddo. (The kiddo only ate the coconut rice, chicken wings and egg))

The coconut rice is fragrant but not too oily or overwhelming. I chose to air-fry the chicken wings as it's more convenient, less oily and cooks more evenly. This chicken wing has a kampung feel to it, like those sold at Malay stalls. Super love the sweet, spicy and tangy achar, so aromatic and flavourful with the spices. Homemade achar seems to taste "fresher". And the sweet sambal chilli, super like it as well, only thing is, I retained a bit of chilli seeds and the sambal is a tad too spicy for me. But the HB says it's just nice.

Very pleased with my first attempt, and this shall be on my regular menu probably once a month =D