Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Thank You For Your Guidance"

That was the subject heading of an email I received recently.

It was a mail from Joyee, a visitor to my blog. She had written to me previously to asked for tips on decorating a cake with sugarpaste as she wanted to make one for her son's year old birthday.

All I did was to share some of my past experience on how to give sugarpaste the ''tender loving care'' needed to give the cake a smooth finish.

She wrote to thank me for the tips and attached some photos of the beautiful cake she made. Joyee did a wonderful job of decorating a two tier cake with Anpanman figurines, insects and fencings. I tell you, for a first timer, she blew me away.

So appreciative is she that she had to send me 'Thank You' pressie. It was a pack of Basler Lackerli cookies which she had asked her husband to bring back for me from Switzerland. She had read from one of my earlier posting

that I have not tasted the real cookie before and to quote from what she wrote on the gift card: "Here's a treat for you to show my appreciation". Wow! It is really a great treat. The cookie is really good. It is sweet, but not cloying sweet and it has the nicest citrusy flavor from the dried citron.

I just want to say to Joyee again, you are the one that made it happen, not me. You have a hidden talent which you are just discovering.

Okay now to the cookies. Hmmm...comparing what I have made to this, I would say I am pretty close to it in taste except mine was sweeter from the too thick sugar glazing ontop (a comment that was also given by my niece). It is addictive! For me, the chewiness just makes me want to eat one, two and then three cookie. Thank you Joyee.

Here is the Real McCoy

The cookie. You can see that the sugar glazing is much thinner than mine.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cashew Chicken Cheesecake

What a whole lot of Cs?
Chicken; Cheese; Nuts; Cakes;
A Cashew Chicken Chessecake that has even more Cs:~ Cream Cheese, Cheddar Cheese and Parmesan Cheese. Yup there are three kinds of cheese in this very unique cheesecake.

And there three layers to the cake too!
Chicken; Cheese; Nuts; Cakes;
Layer one at the bottom has chopped roasted cashews in the cheesecake batter.

Layer two is a filling of minced chicken, mixed vegetables, button mushrooms, onions and parmesan cheese.

Layer three is cheesecake topped with grated cheddar cheese.

What an explosion of taste! It is savoury, sweet, cheesy and nutty all at the same time.

Japanese Style Belly Pork

A couple of Sundays ago, Tan Hsueh Yun in her weekly food column Hunger Management (The Sunday Times, March 7, 2010), wrote about this belly pork from Japanese cook, Yoko Arimoto. Unlike the usual Hokkien Kong Bak which is braised in dark soya sauce with aromatic cinnamon bark, anise seed and cloves, this version is cooked with Japanese sake and whole garlics till meltingly tender.

I am not a lover of belly pork but what made me try this dish is the fact that it was cooked over two days. Day 1 is simply braising the parboiled sliced pork in cooking sake and water with a whole head of garlic for two hours. It is then left to cool and refrigerated overnight. On Day 2, Japanese shoyu and sugar is added to the pork and braised for a further 45 minutes.

The result? A very tender pork that is garlicky and 'sweet'. Not sweet sweet from the sugar but sweet from the condensed sake and the garlics. If you do not care for the taste of cinnamon etc from the Hokkien kong bak, then this Jap Style Belly Pork is for you.

Pork; Meat;

Served with steam Leaf Buns
Pork; Meat;