Friday, March 30, 2007

Bubur Biji Salak (Sweet Potato Porridge)

Making this dessert brings my childhood memories. I used to help shaped the sweet potato --mouth-watered,still fasting-- during fasting month afternoon. It was not that fun, as far as I recall, because I got my palms all sticky after that. But imagining what it would be like after it is done really helped the process.

After having some sips of warm sweet tea, this is definitely my favourite break-fast dish!

Bubur Biji Salak (resep Yasaboga)

1 kg sweet potatoes, steamed, peeled, and divided into 4 parts
125 tapioca/sago flour

1/2 tsp salt

900ml water

200 gr brown sugar/gula jawa/melaka

2 tbsp granulated sugar

3 pandan leaves

1 tbsp tapioca flour diluted with a little water

For the coconut milk sauce

350 cc thick coconut milk

1/2 tsp salt

1 pandan leaf


Take 3/4 part of sweet potatoes, mix with tapioca flour and salt, knead until even and form into oblong pellets.

Boil water, and gula jawa/melaka and granulated sugar and pandan leaves, put in pellets and cook until they float. Add the remaining 1/4 part mashed sweet potatoes and tapioca flour and stir.

Remove from heat, serve in bowls and pour thick coconut milk sauce on top.

Coconut milk sauce: cook coconut milk with salt and pandan leaf, stirring on low heat untul the mixture boils.

Pennylane Brownies

These brownies was once the talk of the town, well, in NCC town that is. Riana, who shared the recipe, claimed this as her 'killer' brownies. And yes, she's right. I have been trying so many brownies recipes and so far, nothing beats this. The texture is dense but not too fudgie. Crisp in the outside and sort of chewy in the middle.

Making brownies was my first baking experiment back then when I was still in school. It is easy, like not making sponge cake which might sounds intimidating. The failure percentage in making brownies is only 2%, I guess :)). If you do it exactly as instructed in the recipe, you will get those addictive bars. Even if somehow you failed, I guarentee, they still taste good anyway.

The recipe is in NCC's book. So go get one :))

Bread Fritters With Banana and Chocolate Stuffed


I'd say, Indonesians are quite creative in inventing foods, especially snacks. Back in early 2000, hawkers in the streets were selling piscok= pisang coklat (fried banana and chocolate wrapped in a crepe).
Well this is an adaptation of piscok. The crepe is subtituted by bread, and the chocolate rice is subtituted by cooking chocolate.
Very easy to make, a good companion for an evening coffee.

Bread Fritters with Banana and Chocolate Stuffed
4 slices of bread,trim the brown skin and flatten slightly with a rolling pin
2 bananas, peel and halve lengthwise
30 gr cooking chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla powder (optional)
flour for dregding
oil for fying
Mix egg with vanilla. Dip each bread into egg mixture and place a slice of banana on one end of the bread. Put some chocolate along the length of the banana. Roll up the bread into a tight roll.
Dregde in cornflour and deep fry untill golden brown.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Fish Curry With Brinjals and Pineapple

As long as I could remember, I never liked curry when I was younger. I just thought it tastes so heavy because of the thick coconut milk and all the spices.

When I got married and moved to Singapore, I fell in love with Indian cooking, surprisingly, despite the strong aroma and heavily flavoured dishes. Masala, tandoori, any kind of curry,even the sickly sweet dessert gulab name it I like it...haha...greeedy greedy me.

I never had a courage to cook Indian food though, mainly because I didn't familiar with the spices. Fenugreek, mustard seeds, saffron..not sure what is what. Plus I am worried that the food will taste weird, y know those times when you had such an enthusiasm to try out a new recipe but it turned out to be a big failure and all the sudden you feel like catastrophe moved into your kitchen :0

But I feel I have to try to cook curry since my four year old loves curry very much. Often, when he gets home from school and pass through our Indian neighbour's house, he smells curry and says ...I want curry...! And we always end up getting some in the nearest hawker center. That happens many time.

So enough is enough :), I have got to learn to make curry. After borrowing Indian cooking books from the library and educating myself a bit, finally, tatata-daa..I'm cooking curry!

I found this recipe from Malaysia's Female Appetite Magazine. Avoiding any mishap, I followed the exact (well sort of) amount and ingredients stated in the recipe. I found this is a good method for first timers, works every time with me.

The curry doesn't taste that heavy, thanks to the tamarind juice that makes it lighter. And the addition of brinjals and pineapple chunks makes the curry more complete. Next time my son wants curry, mommy's ready to cook :))..

Fish Curry with Brinjals and Pineapple

650 gr siakap fish

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cm ginger, chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp fenugreek

2 tsp tamarind mixed with 1 cup water and strained

2 sprigs curry leaves

2-3 tbsp fish curry powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tomatoes, diced

2 chillies, sliced

2 cups water

2 small brinjals, sliced

3 sliced of pineapple cut into 1 cm rings and diced

3/4 cup thick coconut milk

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt to taste


diced tomatoes, diced pineapple, corianderleaves and spring onions

In a deep pot, heat oil and saute onion, ginger, garlic, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek until frangrant. Add tamarind juice, curry leaves fish curry powder, turmeric powder, chilli powder, tomatoes, red chillies and water, and bring to a slow boil. Add brinjals after 10 mins. Add the fish chunks and simmer until the fish is cooked. Add the diced pineapple and coconut milk. and bring to a slow boil. Pour lemon juiice and season with salt. Garnish with tomatoes, pineapple, coriander leaves and spring onions,

Putu Mayang

Putu mayang, as it is called in Central Java, is called Petulo in East Java. It is one of Javanese traditional desserts. Made of steamed rice flour mixed with hot water and shaped like teenie tiny noodle. What makes it special is the sweet sauce made of coconut milk with brown sugar/gula jawa/gula melaka.
So the plain taste yet enchanting shape of putu mayang combined with the sweet sauce, they're just perfect for my cup of tea pairing.
It takes an hour to steam the glutionous flour, and after the dough is shaped, it will take around 20 mins to get them done. But I have to go several batches because the steaming pan couldn't fit them all in once. I don't really like that part though, so time consuming and full of hassle.
I remember one time when I made putu mayang late at night while watching the-oh-so-fine Wentworth Miller and his con buddies escaping from jail in Prison Break series. I guess I must thank him for making that particular late-at-night-putu mayang-making- bearable.
Now I dont know who or which is yummier, Wentworth or my putu mayang :)).
But one thing for sure, the next episode of Prison Break, I'd rather sitting in the couch with hubby,eating brownie (or two) with a cup of coffee.
Don't be discouraged with my writing though. If you are an Indonesian dessert lover, you should try this one. The outcome worth all the hassle.
Putu Mayang aka Petulo
What you need:
For putu mayang:
250 gr rice flour
550 ml boiling water
1-2 tsp salt
red and green food dyes
For the coconut milk sauce:
500 ml coconut milk from 1 coconut
200 gr brown sugar, finely sliced
1/4 tsp salt
2 pandan leaves
Line basket for steaming with a clean napkin, put in the dry rice flour, steam about 1 hour.
Put the rice flour in a bowl. Pour boiling water on the rice flour, add salt and stir well.
Allow to cool, then knead to a fine texture. Divide the dough into 3 parts to be dyed red, green, and one third to remain white.
Put the dough in putu mayang mould and press into the desired form. Steam about 25 mins till done. Serve with coconut milk sauce.
Coconut milk sauce:
Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil, stirring constantly.

Black Forest Cake


This ever tempting cake is an example of German baking tradition. Originally called Schwarzwaelder Kirschtorte, Black Forest cake typically consist of three layers of chocolate cake filled with whipped cream and cherries between each layer.
These layers are topped with whipped cream, chocolate shavings and once again, cherries.

Traditionally the Germans spread Kirschwasser (some kind of liquor) in each layer. Rhum is often used outside of German, including Indonesia.

I remember the time when Black Forest cake was such a hit in Jakarta. Black Forest cakes were elegantly packed as exclusive gifts or served in Chrismast Eve.

Back in early 90s when I when I was in high school, American Hamburger (AH, as it was well known as) restaurant was one of the resto-bakery that served good -and affordable- Black Forest cakes. One of the reasons why, is the taste of the rhum. They used real rhum (I asked the waiter myself if they used real or merely rhum essence).

Well I don't use any liquor anymore in my cakes . Good thing Phoon Huat has halal Rhum flavour, which is not bad the black forest did not lose that 'zing' sensation of the liquor :)).

This is NCC's recipe. What so special about this recipe is, it is using cinnamon in the filling. It adds special flavour to the cake.



8 eggs

60 gr chocolate powder

40 gr cornflour

100 gr flour

1 tbsp emulsifier

100 gr melted butter

200 gr sugar

1/4 tsp vanili powder

whipped cream

100 gr dark cooking chocolate

10 red cherries ( I used strawberries)

1 can of black cherry

2 tbsp of cornflour, mix with a little amount of water

1 tsp cinnamon powder


Mix flour, choc powder and cornflour.

Beat eggs, sugar and emulsifier until thick, sieve flour into the batter. Mix with rubber spatula.

Mix in melted butter. Bake.

For the filling:

Sieve and seperate black cherries from the water. Cut into halves.

Bring cherry water into slow boil, beat in cornflour and cinnamon powder. Boil it again.

Put inside halved cherries, bring to boil again. Remove from the stove and cool off.


Cut the cake into 3 layers horizontally, spread each with simple syrup.

Put one layer, spread it with black cherries, whipped cream. Put the other layer, fill with black cherries and whipped cream, put the last layer on the top.

Spread all the surface with whipped cream, decorate with chocolate shavings and red cherries. Enjoy!