Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rolling out my first Swiss Roll after three failures!

I told you I will try to make my swiss roll tomorrow but I will be out flying off to celebrate my good friend's birthday in Singapore tomorrow so I have to make it today, to be in time for my entry to the Aspiring Bakers #9. I am so "kiasu", I don't want to miss the fun of the swiss rolling good times with all my wonderful blogger friends. LOL!


I finally use a sponge cake recipe to make my swiss roll. I did everything right and happily send the batter to the oven. After 5 minutes, I smell something burning. Oh my god!! it was my swiss roll burning in the oven. I rushed to take it out and the top is like charcoal! I was mad, I lost my cool! I stomped my feet and I was ready to throw in the towel. Then when I calm down and go back and look at my oven, I found out the cause of the burn. When my maid cleaned the oven this morning, she accidentally turned on the top grill button. GRRRR!!!  I almost want to blow my top!! 


That is no point scolding her because she is not even aware of it. OOOMMMMPH!!! It is your fault, check the settings before you start baking, learn from your mistake. Let go Quay Po, it is okay! GOOD ADVICE!!

After cleaning up the mess, I started all over again to make the batter. While the cake was baking in the oven, my heart was pumping a little faster. Then the cake was ready. I was so afraid to get it out from the baking paper but I did it. Next was to turn it over. I was worried I will tear the cake but I did it too with no accident.  I applied the kaya on the cake and stood back and looked at it.  I said to myself, “Quay Po, you have come this far, don’t mess up, only one more step to go, the rolling!”  Honestly, I was scared to roll and fail again. The biggest fear is fear itself and I have to overcome it to get my roll and no other choice right?  Like Chinese like to say, Die, Die lah, let’s do it! 

VOILA! I finally roll out my first "REAL" Swiss Roll! I know it is nothing to shout about compared to my dear friends’ visually appealing rolls but then, to me, it is a BIG deal after so many tries. I can now untie all my crossed fingers and clap my hands. My Quay Lo, poured me a glass of wine and asked me to sit back and relax. I can now enjoy the fruit of my hard labour, so to speak. Hey, but swiss roll does not go with wine! I don’t care, I just want to eat my swiss roll.  Want a piece?

Vanilla Kaya Swiss Roll
Swill roll recipe largely adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover with modification




Ingredients:
26g unsalted butter, melted
84g egg yolk (5 medium egg yolks)
26g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

126g egg white (4 medium egg whites)
80g caster sugar
47g cake flour, sifted

Kaya Filling Ingredients:
Largely adapted from Madam Kwan’s Kitchen with modification
10 Eggs
450 grams sugar
20 grams freshly pressed pandan juice
500 ml coconut milk

Method:
Beat the eggs and sugar together with a whisk, mix in the coconut milk and add in the pandan juice.  Next, fill the base unit of a double boiler with water and bring to a boil.  Add mixture into the top unit of the double boiler, stirring every 10 minutes until the mixture reaches into a smooth consistency.  This will take an hour. Cool and bottle up.  The kaya can be kept well up to two months in fridge.
Tip – to obtain a smooth consistency, use hand held blender to blend the kaya.

Method to make Swiss roll sponge:
Whisk egg yolks and sugar over a pot of hot water till thicken and pale in color. Add vanilla extract into egg yolk mixture, stir well and set aside. In another clean bowl, beat egg whites on high speed until foamy, gradually add in sugar and beat till glossy and soft peaks form. Take one-third of egg whites mixture to mix with the egg yolk mixture using a hand whisk. Then fold in the remaining egg white using a spatula until well combined. Gently fold the sifted flour (in 3 batches) into the batter. Take some batter and add into melted butter to incorporate and add back to the remaining batter and mix well. Pour the batter into baking tray lined with baking paper. Spread evenly with a scraper. Gently knock the tray on tabletop to remove air bubbles trapped in the batter. Bake in preheated oven at 180C for around 13mins. When cake is done, remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool.

Method to assemble Swiss roll:

My Blog is 1 year old and I am having hell of a rolling time.

Before I share with you my disappoinment, let me share with you my joy! My blog is one year old yesterday. I am amazed myself for being able to sustain one year blogging because I could not imagine I will have readers to want to read my posts. Like I have said before, I don't write good English nor I have any writing style, but I know I will always write from my heart. I am not shy to share my joy and my disappointments with you and be sincere in what I share. I am sure Quay Po Cooks is still here today because of all the encouraging words from you all.  Each and every comment and visit means a lot to me. I know many visited me but did not comment but I know you are there. Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate the love and support from all of you.  THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!  HUGZZ and LOVE to you all. 


My disappointment is self inflicted. It is the result of being stubborn not wanting to use the sponge cake recipe to make swiss roll. 

I had a lot of egg whites in my fridge and also some berries which I wanted to use up. I thought I could use them to make the swiss roll.  So, I found this meringue swill roll recipe and give it a try. The meringue sheet came out nice but then, the moment I roll it, it breaks.  Yes, another failure and I ended up with a wrapped meringue cake instead of swiss roll. My Quay Lo did not like the taste of this cake because he said it is too “eggy” for him and it is too heart"achy" for me because I failed again! My maid likes it and said it tasted good so I gave the whole cake to her after I photographed it. 

I am running out of time to send in my entry for the Apsiring Baker #9.  Tomorrow, I will give one more try and this time I HAVE to use the sponge cake recipe and keep all my fingers crossed! Looks like I am having hell of a rolling time this July trying to roll out a REAL swiss roll. Quay Po, don't give up, read this quote:

"You must do the things you think you cannot do."
by Eleanor Roosevelt

Meringue wrapped cake
Adapted from taste.com.au with modification


Ingredients:
5 egg whites, at room temperature
2/3 cup caster sugar
3 teaspoons cornflour
150g fresh blue berries
150g fresh strawberries
2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup thickened cream

Method:
Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a 2cm-deep, 25cm x 38cm (base) baking tray. Line with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition until dissolved. Sift corn flour over egg mixture. Using a large metal spoon or spatula, fold corn flour into egg mixture to combine. Spread meringue over prepared tray. Bake for 12 minutes or until just firm and pale golden. Meanwhile, place a 40cm piece of baking paper on workbench. Sprinkle with remaining sugar. Carefully turn meringue onto paper. Remove lining from meringue. Allow meringue to cool.Place one-third of the berries in a bowl. Using a fork, roughly mash. Set aside. Whisk mascarpone and cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Add mashed berries. Gently swirl through cream mixture. Spread berry mixture over meringue, leaving a 1cm border on all sides. Wrap the berry mixture with the meringue. Wrap baking paper around the cake and place, seam side down, on a tray. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until well chilled. Remove baking paper from cake. Torch the top of cake and top with berries. Slice and serve.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Have you ever really love a woman?

Last night we were supposed to go to see my son’s band ROSEVELT to open the concert for INCUBUS at our National Stadium but we passed that to attend a good friend’s 40th birthday party. We believe there will be many more opportunities to see ROSEVELT’s performance but there will not be another 40th birthday for my good friend Andrea. Her husband, Brad threw a very well planned birthday party for her. It was a perfect birthday celebration attended by relatives and good friends.  

the invitation card


the venue


the guests



the food and drinks

the champagne and birthday cake

Look how happy Andrea was… how blessed she is to have a hubby who really know how to love his woman! This reminds me of the song from Byran Adams - "Have you ever really love a woman?"  I am sure Brad does and he has told his lovely wife, that she is wanted and she's the one and it is going to last forever. One more cheers for the loving couple!


We all had a wonderful time and both Quay Lo and I were very glad to be there to celebrate this happy occasion with Andrea and Brad! 

Now coming back to Rosevelt’s performance at the National Stadium opening for Incubus, here are photos which I would love to share with you all because YOU made this happen for them! 

Nick on the stage getting ready to perform

Rosevelt's fans

Awesome reviews about ROSEVELT's performance








I am indeed VERY PROUD of the boys!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Steamroller Swiss Roll turned layered butter cake

I am sure most of us know that  the theme for this month’s Aspiring Bakers #9 calls for Swiss Rolls.  Well, as I have never made a swiss roll before and I wanted to join the fun. So the first thing I did was, goggled how to do it.  I was so thrilled to have found this wonderful video tutorial from master-pastry.com and thought by following the instructions, I can make the swiss roll but I was “TOO” clever. Instead of using a sponge cake recipe, I used my own butter cake recipe because my Quay Lo is not a big fan of sponge cake. My swiss roll came out like as if being run over by a steamroller! LOL! So to salvage the cake and to used up the balance of the butter cream frosting from making the patriotic cup cakes for the 4th July, I turned my steamroller swiss roll into a layered raspberry jam butter cake with butter cream frosting. If I did not tell you that this cake was transformed from a failed swiss roll, would you know? 




For the butter cake recipe click the picture below.


Here is the video instruction on how to make a swiss roll. I am sure this is useful for those like me who have not made a swiss roll before and would like to try.

video



I have been rolling from blog to blog admiring and drooling over beautiful swiss rolls made by all my blogger friends. Due to that much rolling, now I get vertigo.  I hope when I attempt to make the swiss roll again with the sponge cake recipe, the result will be better and I will be in time to submit my entry to Aspiring Bakers #9 and join the party to enjoy the swiss rolling good times with the other fantastic and creative bakers. If you would like to see some examples of perfect and pretty swiss rolls, go check out my foodie friends' blogs, they are my inspiration!


1)  Green tea swiss roll - Sonia of Nasi Lemak Lover
2) Sakura roll cake - Alan of Travellingfoodies
3) Black sesame swiss roll - Lena of Frozen Wings
4) Rainbow swiss roll - Cathy of Cathy's Joy 


Now I am rolling off to go try again to make my swiss roll, Hopefully I will roll back soon with my version to share with you. Wish me LUCK!! LOL! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My son's dream is realized but I am still dreaming

Everyone has a dream. My dream is to become a dancer but looks like this will remain a dream only. During my time as a teenager, my parents will never support this passion I have, especially my Dad.  He was very old school, no way he would support his daughter to become a dancer. In his mind, it is not a professional job, professional jobs are doctors, lawyers, engineers, etc. Teenagers now are luckier bunch, most parents are very supportive in their endeavors and adventures, don't you think so?


I love all kinds of dances from folk dance, social dance, ballroom, line dance, latin, hip hop, and even belly dancing. What about hip hop? Can I really do it at my age? Why not? Of course there are some acts that I should not try so as not to break my old bones but the answer is yes, I can do it. Same for belly dancing, the right isolating technique must be applied, if not, I may be isolating my bump from my boops permanently! So far so good, they are intact. LOL!


About 5 years ago, I attended a 2-days tribal belly dancing workshop conducted by the famous Sharon Kihara from USA. She is very beautiful, friendly and un-pretentious. I enjoyed her classes very much. At the end of the workshop, we got to see her perform live. Her dance moves are very sensuous. The control she had over her movement is unbelievable. Watch this video and you will understand what I am talking about. Even if you do not care about belly dancing, give this video clip a chance, you might discover a new genre of music that you might like. Of all the belly dancing music I have, I love this one the most. It sounds very mysterious and captivating.
video
After the course we were presented with a certificate of attendance. Here is a photo of Sharon and I. It was taken after she presented the Ceritificate of Attendance to me. This photo is not very clear because it was taken by my old mobile phone.... yes, silly me forgot to bring my camera on the last day. I value this picture taken with her because she is my belly dancing idol. Did you notice the tatoo on Sharon's hands and body? They are just artistically, knock-out beautiful! I won't dare to put a tattoo on my body because I am a "chicken"! I don't like the sound of the needle and I don't think I can stand the pain. I admire nice tatoo though. LOL!

When I was into belly dancing I was crazy over all the sexy and attractive glittering outfit and accessories. I have a whole wardrobe of outfits and accessories that I have not worn for three years now. Here are a few of my favorite sets. Aren't they beautiful?
The last time I performed a belly dance was at my high school classmate, Soo Har's wedding lunch. We had so much fun and my other classmates who were there enjoyed the brief choreography I had put together for her.


Dancing will always be a passion of mine. I feel peaceful, free and happy while nothing seems to bother me when I dance. I have not danced for a long time but I would love to start dancing again. Maybe someday, I will put on all the glittering outfits and accessories and dance again, "like no one is watching"!

I better stop dreaming and get back to food. Since I am talking about passion, I have this passionate recipe to share with you. It is something nice to go for if you feel hot and sweaty. Absolutely appropriate to have on crazy hot weathers like now. This is to be served cold so it is very refreshing. This makes a very impressive dessert to serve to your guests too and it taste delicious.

Lemon curd mousse with dragon fruit










Ingredients:
Lemon curd
1 cup whipped cream 1/4 cup sugar 1 1/2 cups lemon curd
1 dragon fruit, cut into bite size.

Method:
First prepare the lemon curd. Click here or on the photo to go to the recipe.
When the lemon curd is done, put aside. Put whipped cream in the mixing bowl and whisk until you see “soft peak”. Fold cream into the curd gradually. Gently fold it until well mixed. Spoon into your favorite glass ware, layering dragon fruit with mousse and have pieces of dragon fruit on top layer. This can be served right away, or refrigerated for up to 8 hours. Make sure to cover with cling wrap before putting in the fridge. As in mousse or most creamy puddings, the cling wrap should be touching the fruits and lemon curd evenly across the entire surface so as to avoid air exposure and any unwanted oxidation or formation of a "skin" on top. Serve very chilled.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

YOU ALL ARE THE WINNERS!

This is to update you all that ROSEVELT is selected to open the concert for INCUBUS on 23rd July 2011 at The Stadium Negara (National Stadium), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Just before the competition starts, this video clip was broadcast on the big screen with Mike from INCUBUS thanking the top five bands and their Malaysian fans.. COOL! Click on the picture to see the video.



See what CHILL OUT said about the win! Click on the photo to go to read the article.


I found his video clip of ROSEVELT performing one of their original songs "Moment" after the announcement that they are the winner to share with you. Click on the photo to go to the link:



YOU ALL ARE THE WINNERS! Here are some great shots of them during the performance today. These photos are taken by our good friend, a famous photographer, John Ishii. (Click to check out his other awesome photos) or find out more about him here.







I cannot thank you all enough for helping to make Nick and his band mates's dream come true!
ROSEVELT will launching their New Album in August 2011.
Check out teasers of their songs here.

LOTS OF LOVE
from
Quay Po



ROSEVELT is one step nearer to their DREAM because of YOU!!

This is not a food post but a post to express my GRATITUDE to my family, friends, my facebook friends, my bloggers friends, both my readers (active and silent) who have voted for ROSEVELT.  I would also like thank those who does not have a facebook account, but have send their well wishes to ROSEVELT. THANKS A GAZILLION!


My Quay Lo too would like to thank you all.
Quote:
"A big THANK YOU to all of you that continuously have supported Nick's band, Rosevelt, in the recent two rounds of on line voting. The result of the effort is that Rosevelt goes into the final round holding a strong first place position. Now Incubus themselves must decide which band wiill open their Kuala Lumpur concert on July 23rd. Go to the Curve today (Sunday) at 2:30 pm when the top five hammer it some great alternative indy rock at the Laundtry Bar. The final decision will be made on July 22nd and announced at a press conference with Incubus. Thank you, thank you, thank you. No matter what happens now the, the fans, family, and friends of Rosevelt have spoken loud and clear, and shown our support for all of their hard work. ROCK ON ROSEVELT! http://www.roseveltband.com/



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Mothers will do anything for their children

Mothers will do anything for their children. They will always put them before themselves. They will sacrifice for them and ask nothing in return. Their children’s dream is their dream too. Now, my son, Nick’s band ROSEVELT is one of the top 5 bands competing to be the opening band for the famous rock band from USA, INCUBUS.  In order to get there, they need votes from people who has a facebook account and SMS votes from TUNETALK’s subscribers. TUNETALK is the organizer of the INCUBUS concert.  My only way to help them attain this dream is to appeal to family members and friends to vote for them.  Can I bribe those of you who have a facebook account to cast them a vote with these cookies? Please click on the picture below to go vote for them. I am sure Nick and his band mates will be very grateful to you because you can help them realise their dream with just one click. Thanks a Million!

Rosevelt came out as Rank No.1 for 1st round of voting on the top 10 bands. Now they are Rank No.2 on this round Top 5 bands voting. This time is very crucial that they get to be rank no.1 to receive 6 points and the other 4 points will come from INCUBUS. Voting close at 12 mid-night on 16th July 2011.

Linzer dough cookies

The first time I ever tasted tarts with a linzer dough crust is at the tart class in The Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia. Thanks to Chef Lejuenne for the introduction.  I have made cookies with this dough and it taste as awesome as the tarts.  They truly taste as good as they look!  This will be the second recipe from The Academy Pastry Arts of Malaysia I am sharing with you.  They are more to come so check back when you have the time.



Ingredients:
500 g all purpose flour
334 g butter
250 g icing sugar
84 g almond powder
17 g cinnamon powder
2 g baking powder
2 g vanilla essense
25 g milk
37 g whole egg

Method for dough:
Combine all the dry ingredients and sift. Put sifted mixture into the mixer and add butter.  Mix at medium speed till sandy in texture. Add eggs and knead for 1 minute. Divide the dough in half and shape into two rectangles about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) thick. Wrap the two rectangles of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (at least one hour and up to several days).

Mehtod of making the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Remove one rectangle of dough from the refrigerator. On a lightly floured surface roll out the dough until it is about 1/4 inch (1 cm) thick. Using a 2 to 3 inch (5 to 7.5 cm) cookie cutter of any shape to cut out the dough. Place the cookies about 1 inch (2.54 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheet. Use a smaller cookie cutter (3/4 - 1 inch) (2.5 cm) to cut out the centers of half of the cookies on the baking sheet. Later you will be sandwiching two cookies together and there will be a small 'window ' in the top cookie to expose the jam underneath.

Reroll any scraps and cut out the cookies. Remove the other half of the dough from the refrigerator and roll and cut out the rest of the cookies. Bake the cookies for 12 - 14 minutes or until they are very lightly browned. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
While the cookies are cooling place the raspberry jam in a small saucepan and heat gently until it has thickened slightly. Strain if there are any lumps in the jam. Let cool.

To Assemble Cookies: 
Place the cookies with the cut-outs on a wire rack and lightly dust the tops with the icing sugar.
On the bottom surface of the full cookie (top of cookie will face out) spread with about a 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon of jam.  Place the cut-out cookie on top and gently sandwich them together, making sure not to smug the confectioners' sugar.  Using a small spoon, fill the cut-out with a little more jam.
Note: You can store the unassembled cookies in the refrigerator for several days in an airtight container. It is best, though, to assemble the cookies the same day as serving in order to keep the cookies crisp.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Quay Po's meat is Quay Lo's poison

I have not had this dish for umpteen years! How did that happen? This is one of my favorite dishes. Aah, I know, out of sight, out of mind.  My Quay Lo does not quite like “Sotong”, he said it is like eating rubber. LOL!  There are so many Chinese dishes that mum and I like that my Quay Lo will not touch.  To name a few, sea cucumber, chicken feet and pig’s ears.  I agree with him that these things have not much taste on its own but when it is properly cooked with nice ingredients and spices, they taste awesome. I am sure many Asian friends will agree. I told him what we love is the texture, which is exactly what he hates. I can understand that because we are different, we came from different heredity. I will not try to convince my Quay Lo to like what I like to eat because one man's meat is another man's poison. 

Kung Pao Sotong (Cuttlefish)




Ingredients:
20 dried chillies, soak till soft
3 cloves chopped garlic
500g sotong (cuttlefish), cut
2 tbs light soy sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs dark soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbs chilie sauce
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp corn flour, mixed with 2 tbs water
2 tbs cooking oil
½ cup toasted cashew nut

Method:
Toast cashew nuts and set aside. Wash and cut cuttlefish. Heat wok, add oil, stir fry dried chillies at low heat till turn to dark color and fragrant. Add in garlic, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, chilli sauces, sugar and sesame oil, stir till mix well. Add in sotong (cuttlefish) and stir fry over high heat till sotong (cuttle fish curled up). Add in the corn flour mixture, when it’s thicken, add cashew nut and mix well. Dish up and serve. 

Note: You may want to add, capsicum and green onions, I did not use them because I am out of it and I am lazy to drive out to buy. Sorry:D

Monday, July 11, 2011

Hot! Hot! Hot!

I am sure like these jalapenos, we were once hot! hot! hot!  Fortunately for me, my mum is a very opened minded Chinese lady and she is one person who has no fear of gossips.  No amount of gossips will stop her doing what she thinks is right. I salute her!


Do you all remember back in the seventies, where hot pants, bell bottoms, bell sleeve shirts, micro mini skirts, bare backs and black boots were in fashion?  Yours truly was the first Chinese girl with long black hair, I mean really long till my waist, in my neighbourhood who wore all of the above. Mind you, my mum had received ear full from relatives, friends and neighbors that she should not allow me to dress indecent. I heard complains like "Aiyah, why you let your daughter wear like that?" or "Choi!! Why at the back got no clothe one, so "yoke suen" (ugly looking)?" Why can't these "No. 8s" (When we call someone No.8 in Cantonese it means we regard the person a busybody) mind their own business?  Even my father was furious with me and had a big argument with my mum saying that she is too permissive. The truth was he could not stand to hear gossips. Honestly, people who could not overcome the fear of gossips will be upset all the time. I am glad I am like my mum, maybe not as cool as her but I am seldom being affected by gossips. 


I love the 70s, it was the best era in my life time. There were so many great songs and great fashion.  Here are some fashion of the 70s and I had them all in my wardrobe once upon a time. What about you?


Pictures from www.70scostumes.com



Now, are you ready for the genuine HOT stuff that are equally eye pleasing as the fashion above and at the same time give you one hack of a gratifying eating experience?


Stuffed Jalapeno peppers
Largey adapted from food.com with modification





Ingredients:
Servings: 6-10
12 -24 large jalapeno peppers
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
 4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomato
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 lb bacon
some cherry tomatoes 
toothpick, soaked for about 15 minutes in water

Method:
Mix cream cheese, garlic, sundried tomatoes, cilantro and salt until well blended. Set the mixture aside . Slice the jalapeños lengthwise, then slice at the top along the width of the pepper just about a quarter inch below the base of the stem until you cut through the core, again being careful not to cut completely through the pepper. Now you need to decide whether you want to keep the seed webbing for those that like it really hot, or remove them for a lot less heat. If removing the seeds, gently remove the core using a paring knife by spreading the pepper carefully, you may need to shake some of the remaining seeds out. Pat dry on paper towels the strps of bacon.  Just to soak up some of the grease. Fill either a pastry bag and pipe some of the filling into each pepper until full but still able to almost close the pepper. Wrap each pepper with a strip of bacon then use two or three toothpicks to secure the pepper closed. Place the jalapeños on a medium heat grill and cook until the bacon is crisp. you'll need to turn frequently to heat them evenly. Let them sit for about 5 to 10 minutes and serve with some cherry tomatoes.