Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Don't Anais look like a Hong Kong Superstar?
The tree was inspired by my dress!
We are going to the zoo, zoo, zoo what about u, u, u?
My personal experience definitely taught me a lot about the next batch of soup I am making.
1) Never be too greedy to dump whatever the buthcher gives extra for free.
I was a tad too greedy when the butcher gave me the whole pig's skin for a dollar when I only needed like 30cm. Even after tossing some away and cooking the rest with the char shu, I still have about 70cm worth of skin. My soup ended up too sticky and thick as the gelatine from the skin and the head dissolves in the soup. As I like my soup tasty and runny, I've decided to skip the head next time and replace it with 2kg of spine bone.
I started to cook everything at 10.30am and wanted to have the ramen ready by dinner time, which was 6pm. That leaves me with only 7.5hrs to prepare the broth. I turned up the fire and I got my 3L of stock ready by then. I realised that at such high heat, my stock was darker and the flavours from the vegetables and herbs were overpowered by the meat. Perhaps the fragrance from them was destroyed by the high heat.
3) More practice
I've also learned that i should boil the bones till the soup is almost done before adding the vegatables and herbs for the last hour to add on to the flavour. At the end of the day, it is only a soup base which needed more flavouring when used for ramen, like miso, shoyu and salt. It is a combination that I am still discovering.... :)
2kg pork bone
30cm pork fat & skin
2 pork trotters or pigs head
2 chicken bone
1 whole garlic
2 leeks or 4 spring onions
½ cup shitake mushrooms
½ cup niboshi
6inch large kombu
1. Boil bones to remove blood and grit.
2. Change water and boil at high heat for about 20mins, removing foam and grit until clear.
3. Fry ginger, garlic and onion until caramelized and add into stock.
4. Remove kombu and niboshi.
5. Simmer for 12hrs until thick and milky.
for the sponge layer:
160g cake flour
5 eggs, room temperature
150g icing sugar
60g unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons fresh milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
for the filling:
1 pack of strawberries (about 250g)
3 pack instant whipping cream
3cups of fresh milk
To make the sponge layer:
1. Sift cake flour for 3 times, set aside. Line bottom and sides of an 18cm (7 inch) round pan with parchment paper, set aside. Pre-heat oven to 170degC. Position rack at the lower bottom of the oven.
2. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed for about 5 to 7 mins, until the batter turns pale, becomes thick, double/triple in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like trail when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.
3. Sift over cake flour into the batter in 3 separate additions. With each addition, use a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended. Take care not to deflate the batter.
4. Add the melted butter, fold in gently with spatula until well blended
5. Add in fresh milk, vanilla extract and fold in gently with spatula until well blended.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30~35 mins, or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Unmold and invert onto cooling rack, cool completely.
* For step 2 to 5, I separated the egg whites from the yolks and whisked them separately. For the whites till stiff and the yolk till pale and fluffy. After which, I’ll fold all the ingredients a little at a time with the stiff whites last.
7. Dissolve caster sugar in hot boiling water, set aside to cool.
8. Reserve 10 strawberries for decorating the cake. Slice remaining strawberries into thin slices (about 4 slices per strawberry).
9. Slice sponge cake horizontally into 2 layers.
10. Whisk instant whip cream and milk with an electric mixer till stiff peak.
11. Spread on some whipped cream and arrange the strawberry slices over the surface. Spread over with some whipped cream.
12. Place 2nd cake layer onto the cream and frost sides and top of cake with whipped cream. Decorate as desired and garnish with reserved strawberries.
150g: cake flour
0.5tsp: baking powder
Pinch of salt
8: Egg yolks
2tbsp: vegetable oil
140ml: coconut milk
2tbsp: pandan juice
0.5tsp: pandan paste, vanilla, butteroil
9: egg whites
1tbsp: icing sugar
0.5tsp: cream of tartar
80gm: chocolate chips
1. Whisk egg white + icing sugar + cream of tartar until soft peaks.
2. Sift cake flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Mix egg yolks, coconut milk, pandan juice, essence, oil and sugar until even.
4. Add flour mixture to batter, whisk until smooth.
5. Fold egg white until well mixed and place in an ungreased 10 inch chiffon mould.
6. Fold chocolate chips gently into batter while in mould. (Prevent choc chips from sinking all to the bottom.
7. Bake for 45mins at 180oC, until golden brown or firm to touch.
8. Invert the mould and cool for at least 1hr.
*Recipe adapted from http://allthatmatters2rei.blogspot.com/2008/07/chiffon-cake-tips-and-trouble-ii.html
Anyway, after my gal tried a small mouth of my pandan cake and shook her head to tell me that it is not nice and refuses to take anymore... sigh! I wonder when will she ever take my food and ask for more... Initially I blame it on the ulcers in her mouth but it's been week! Oh well, guess I need more practice!