Monday, January 31, 2011

My laundry ain't dry but I'm thinking of cornflakes

WET. That's the word to describe the weather here in Malaysia. It's unusually cool in usually sunny Malaysia. My laundry is not dry. I am not pleased. Yes the rain is great. It leaves an after chill. It makes your body want to sleep and sleep some more. Sometimes, you even don't have to switch on the fan.

You snuggle up under the blankets and wish you could sleep in. But then the alarm rings, and you get ready for work. The traffic is heavier than usual because of the rain. You feel like you're freezing your ass off in the office, because of the rain. Work is over and you go home and have a long shower....only to realise you don't have any clean underwear because your laundry ain't dry ...because of the rain.

So I say forget the rain. I focus instead on enhancing my baking skills. I've said before how I wish to bake my own goodies this year for Christmas. I started with some Chocolate Chip Cookies. I've learnt the basics and am happy. This week I tried something else.

Cornflakes Honey Joys

This here is The Australian Women's Weekly 'Cakes, biscuits & slices' recipe book which my sis gave me. It's filled with some really simple recipes. I decided to try out the recipe below from this book as this treat is one of my favs. I've learnt a few things along the way. This is the recipe as it appears in the book.

Honey Joys
makes 24 and cook time 10 minutes (+ standing time)

75g butter
1/3 cup (115g) honey
1 tablespoon caster sugar
5 cups (200g) cornflakes

Step 1:
Preheat oven to 180C. Line two 12-hole (1/3-cup/80ml) muffin pans with paper cases.

Step 2:
Combine butter, honey and sugar in a small saucepan: stir over  low heat until smooth and thick.

Step 3:
Place cornflakes in large bowl, add butter mixture; stir until cornflakes are well coated.

Use a large bowl to place cornflakes. Using a spatula simply mix cornflakes around to coat it nicely with mixture.

The cornflakes will glisten once their coated with the butter+honey+sugar mixture.
Step 4:
Divide cornflakes mixture among cases; bake 8 minutes. Stand 15 minutes until firm.

I didn't have the requisite muffin pan. So I just filled up the mini liners and lined them up on ma baking tray.

I had 25 small red paper cups. After filling them, I found there was still quite a bit of leftover cornflakes. So I used my regular cupcake liners to finish the job.

#1: The Voice of Reason (VOR) told me to use good quality honey. I admit the honey I used was somewhat cheapo. So buy good quality honey - it will make a difference.

#2: If your oven is like mine and gets hot easily, I would suggest bringing the temp down to 160C and increase baking time to 12 minutes. Be sure to keep an eye out as the cornflakes will crisp pretty fast.

#3: I came across the same recipe in another book. It called for 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence in the honey/butter/sugar mixture. I wonder if it enhances the taste.Will probably try it next time.

#4: If the Honey Joys become soft after storage, just re-bake at 150C for 12 -15 minutes to make it crisp again.

Guess what? It stopped raining.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Stir-fried bean sprouts (taugeh)

This has got to be the fastest and simplest of veggie dishes I've tried. I've always liked this dish and eventhough I knew it was easy to make I didn't dare try it until I had a recipe. 

Lo and behold I came across this recipe in a book called "The Manna - Gastronomical Delights". (A recipe book made up of contributions from Christian women from the Diocese of West Malaysia.). As my camera is not in working mode at the moment (damn!) I can't show off the book cover.

This particular recipe was contributed by a :
Catherin Cheong of St. George's Church in Penang. I have since amended the recipe slightly.

Stir-fried bean sprouts (taugeh)

What you need:
300g bean sprouts - tail removed (I skipped this step ok - no judgement!)
2 red chillies - sliced 
3 pips garlic - sliced
1 bunch spring onions - cut
Salt - according to taste
Cooking oil

What to do:

1) Heat a small amount of oil in a wok
2) Put in the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
3) Add the bean sprouts, spring onions and chillies.
4) Stir-fry for a minute or two.
5) Add a pinch of salt to season. Turn off heat and serve.

This is all you need besides the bean sprouts itself, salt and cooking oil.

Simple and delish. Recommended to serve with rice and black pepper beef.

1) If you prefer the stir-fried bean sprouts with chunks of salted fish then cut 1 piece of salted fish into small strips and pre-fry. Add it into the stir-fried bean sprouts towards the end.

2) I did not de-seed the chilli. I threw in the sliced chillies with the seeds as we liked the bites of heat that it came with. If you prefer it mild, I suggest removing the chilli seeds.

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