Saturday, September 20, 2008


"Once you've tried HOMEMADE mooncakes, you'll never be able to swallow another commercially made one".
My friend MY went on about this every 5 minutes or so and I'll say, I've never known anyone so passionate about homemade mooncakes.. ever.. no siree.

So that's when we started to plan our mooncake making party. 8 gals with a do or die mission. (plus poor hubs as by default he had to be in, the party was at my place)

Mooncakes - the ultimate killer diet formula - its all about oil, carbo and sugar

Mooncake moulds. I like squishing the cake out from these moulds and seeing the pretty designs on em.

Masterchefs plus an inquisitive sous chef.

That's us in the beginning. At this point, everyone was still enthusiastic and full of hope - har har

That's the chocolate mooncake skin dough. I'll just post the recipe for the normal Lotus skin.

Mooncake skin:
1 cup golden syrup
1/3 cup oil
3/4 tsp alkaline water
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate
350g cake flour

- Combine the first 4 items in a mixing bowl. Set aside for 1 hour or more.
- Slowly stir in the flour, mix into a dough and set aside for another 4-5 hours. Leaving it overnight would be good too as the dough would be more 'flexible' and easier to work with.
Note: the last part of mixing in the flour is pretty tough. Get a sturdy wooden spoon and a guy with muscles

Now for the lotus paste filling
Mooncake filling:
600g lotus seeds
1/2 tbsp alkaline water
400-425g castor sugar (use less if you feel guilty)
2 cups groundnut oil (use Knife brand)
60g maltose
60g melon seeds (lightly toasted)

- Boil lotus seeds in water with the alkaline water. Test to see if skins can be removed easily. This should take about roughly 20 mins. Wash and remove the skins immediately.
Note: This part is really tedious. Ensure you have a good supply of friends who have no idea what you're gettin 'em into

Happy innocent folks. So unaware of the tortorous hours ahead

Peel peel peel until your skin gets all wrinkly like a prune.

Note: If you don't peel em well, the blackish skin parts will make your paste look hideous and taste bitter. So PEEL!
- Steam the lous seeds till soft
- Cool and blend them up until they become a smooth, thick liquid. Add a little bit of water if necessary but don't add too much.
- In a cooking pot, put 1 cup of oil and half of the sugar needed. Cook the sugar till golden brown then add the blended lotus. Continue cooking at moderate heat. When all the oil has been soaked up, slowly add in the remaining oil and sugar. Add in the maltose.
Note: You have to keep stirring thoughout the entire cooking process or the paste may burn. I couldnt even stir for more than several minutes coz the paste was so darn heavy!

- When the paste is thick and no longer sticks to the pan (like above) its almost ready. Test with a knife. Cut the paste and if it doesnt stick to the knife then its done.
Note: Be alert at this point. Overcooking it would spoil the whole thing as the oil would then start to come out. We learnt this the hard way - some of our batches didnt turn out due to overcooking.
- Remove and cool. If possible, leaving it to cool overnight would be best.

Add salted eggs yolk if you like em. Wow, don't they look like some sort of alien eggs? Steam em first.

Ok here's the done paste, with the lightly toasted melon seeds

Now start making the cake!

- Divide the mooncake skin dough into 40g balls and the lotus filling paste into 120g (if u intend to add the egg yolks) or 150g (without the egg yolks)

- You see the skin in the background? Roll it out thinly. In the front is the lotus paste filling. Flatten it slightly and put the egg yolk in the middle.

- Roll the lotus paste into a ball then wrap the skin around it. Do it carefully to avoid tearing. Try to get the skin around as evenly as possible.

- Next, grease the mooncake mould well. Press the mooncake ball into the mould carefully. even out the surface.

- Press it out and

Voila! Mooncakes! Beautiful ya? Almost fit to be sold.

If you have extra mooncake skin, knock yourself out by making weird creatures only you know what they are. I'm guessing the above is a cross between a pig and a mouse. S what is it?

Anyway, bake the mooncakes in the oven at 180 deg C. for 10 mins. Take out and glaze them with egg glaze

Egg glaze = 1 egg yolk,1 tbsp water and a pinch of salt.

Leave to cool for 10 mins and then pop them back into the oven to bake for another 10 mins.

And there you have it! HOMEMADE Mooncakes and a lost pig/mouse with a birthmark

Monday, September 01, 2008

Siamese Style Fried Bi Hun

Hello hello all! Sorry i've not been blogging for more than a month! Not that I havent been cooking but time just really flies and every morning when i wake up, its a blur till the time i get back from work.

Thank god for the long merdeka weekend, though I have to keep reminding myself that yesterday was Merdeka day. Celebrations this year are significantly watered down. I used to see plenty of cars flying the Malaysian flag proudly. Some would even madly clutter the top of their cars with mini flags or wrap their bonnet with the Jalur Gemilang. This year.. hmm. Its sad but then again, I don't feel very happy with the state of things in our country.

BUT I almost shed tears of joy with the results of the recent by-election. Ha! These coming 2 weeks should be reaaallllyy interesting eh?

So! today I have something really exciting to blog about! Woo hoo. A couple of us went over to one of my cell member's house for a cooking lesson! Not by her, she only knows how to eat (haha sorry LL) but from her gracious aunt!

Mum and dad, try this!

Siamese Style Fried Bihun (rice vermicelli)

Apple cider vinegar

Heh Bi (dried prawns) smashed and pounded
Shallots (sliced)
Garlic (finely chopped)

Shallots (thinly sliced)
Garlic (finely chopped)
Taukua (deep fried first and sliced into small pieces)

Bihun (Soaked but not for too long to avoid the bihun getting too soft. LL's aunt recommended the Golden Dragon brand )
Soy sauce

Fried Shallots
Ku Chai
Dried red chilli flakes (LL's aunt actually made her own - washed, dried em for 3 days then pounded them)

First, mix items (A) and heat them up. Set aside. This is light sauce/seasoning to pour over the bihun when its done.

LL's aunt giving us lotsa tips

Now, heat up some oil and saute items in (B) till fragrant. Break up the Heh Bi into smaller bits. .

Next, its items (C). Saute them up till fragrant. Add the taukua last. Set aside.

Now use remaining oil in pan or add more if you need to. Splash in a generous amount of soy sauce and a dash of pepper. Add the bihun and mix it well. Use a chopstick to detangle the bihun without breaking them. Stir in the taukua.

Serve with lots of the sauce/seasoning you made in (A), sprinkles of the Heh Bi and the rest of the garnishing