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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fried Pastel - Indonesian Pastry (Pastel Goreng)

I'm curious to try something different today. Pastel is one of my favorite indonesian pastries. It's basically just a crispy pie filled with chicken, carrot, and rice vermicelli filling. The only thing that I would do differently from this first attempt is to roll the dough more so it's thinner. The filling was good, though. I had some left overs of the filling and I gladly added it to my lunch menu. 

The recipe

For the filling:
1 cup ground chicken
1 cup square-chopped carrot
25 gr of rice vermicelli, soak in hot water
3 eggs, boiled and square-chopped
3 tsp minced garlic
6 onion cloves
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt or to taste

Add butter, garlic, and onion in medium heated wok until fragrant
Add chicken and carrot
Reduce the heat to low, add salt, soy sauce, pepper, sugar
Add rice vermicelli

For the dough:
2 Cups All-purpose flour
1 Egg
3 Tbsp butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup water

Beat egg and melted butter
Add flour and water, slowly until it comes together
Roll the dough to the desired thickness, use a glass or bowl to make a circle
Cut the circles, fill half part of each circle with the filling, cover that part with the other part of the circles. Use the fork to make the pattern on the sides, as shown in below pictures
Fry in medium to high heat
Serve with chilli

Black Pepper Beef (Sapi Lada Hitam)

Again from the blogchef. I'm so happy that I'm eventually able to make this dishes. The taste is precisely what I've expected.

Because I'm a moslem, I'm not allowed to drink alcohol. So I substituted the rice wine with apple juice. And I also substituted sesame oil with olive oil, just because I don't have the sesame oil in my cabinet.

So here it is.

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine (or apple juice)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (or olive oil)
garlic cloves (minced)/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Black Pepper Sauce-
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon rice wine (or apple juice)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil (or olive oil)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
1/2lb flank steak (sliced into thin strips)
1 cup broccoli florets (optional, I don't use it)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: In a medium bowl or sealable bag combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, ½ tablespoon wine, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and 2 minced garlic cloves. Add steak, toss with the marinade and cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Step 2: In a medium bowl mix together 1 tablespoon oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon water, ½ tablespoon rice wine, 1 tablespoon sugar, ½ teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
Step 3: Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet to high heat. Remove beef from the marinade with a slotted spoon and add to the wok. Stir fry for about 3 minutes or until the steak is fully cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Step 4: Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok or skillet. Add broccoli florets and stir fry until they have reached your desired tenderness. Return the beef to the wok. Add the sauce to the skillet and cook until heated through. 
*If you feel that the beef has not tendered enough, you may add additional water to the wok and cook it through again until you reach the desired tenderness.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bourbon Chicken

Love this website.
I've always got a good recipes of chinese chicken. After honey chicken and orange chicken, I was quite confident to try bourbon chicken. The result? Among the three, this one is my favorite!

2lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
oil (for frying)
cornstarch (for dusting, optional)
1 garlic clove (minced)
¼ teaspoon ginger
¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ cup apple juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar (my preference, add 1/8 cup more of sugar)
2 tablespoon ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
½ cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce

Cooking Instructions:
Step 1: Cut chicken breasts into bit sized pieces, and if you choose lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in your wok and fry chicken bits in batches until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Step 2: In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Pour into wok and bring to a boil. Add chicken bits back to the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes (or more, until the sauce is caramelized)

Thai Ice Tea

2 glasses of Thai Ice Tea: One for me and one for him

Thai Ice Tea always makes my day! The absolute drink that I would order every time I go to the Thai restaurant. So when my friend, Oliv, had the baby shower party at her house and served this drink, I was really curious on how she made it. So apparently, she had the tea leaves from the local asian store, and it is not that difficult at all to make.

Recipes for two glasses of Thai Ice Tea:

Tea extracts:
1/3 cup thai tea leaves
1/2+1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar

Mixture for the tea extract:
1 cup evaporated milk + 1/4 cup of water + 8 ice blocks

- Make the tea extract: Boil water with tea leaves and sugar
- Pour the evaporated milk and water to the tea extract. Add ice box

You may store the tea extract in a container, keep it in the fridge, and break it out whenever you want, adding the evaporated milk, additional water, and couples of ice blocks at the time of serving.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

His Birthday Cake

Yesterday is my husband's birthday. I made him a birthday cake, first time for me. The initial plan was to create a basket of roses. But I wasn't able to get the perfect consistency of the buttercream, and I had to get the birthday cake done soon, so I substituted the roses with flower drops. It turns out really nice and girly. But I'm still really curious on a perfect recipe to make the buttercream, so I'm gonna try to make and decorate a new cake later, for a different occasion ;)

So here's the recipe for the birthday cake

For the cake:
Classic White Cake, adapted from here
The recipe says that the batter should fill less than 1/2 full in the baking pan. It really IS should. I made two batches of the white cake. One with less than 1/2 full and one with almost full. The one with almost full had small part of batter which is still uncooked in the center bottom of the cake.
And the cake was a bit too sweet for me. I will reduce the sugar to 11/4 cups next time.

2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into measuring cup and level to rim)
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt 

4 large egg whites 
1 large egg
3/4 cup whole or 2% milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract 

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cold from the refrigerator 
1 1/2 cups sugar 

1. Position the oven shelf to the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 9- x 2-inch cake pans or one 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan, and line with greased parchment paper. Set aside. Light colored, heavy NOT nonstick pans are preferred. (If you use dark, nonstick baking pans or ovenproof, Pyrex glass pans, be sure to reduce the oven heat by 25 degrees F). 

2. In a medium size mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a large measuring cup or a bowl with a pouring spout, combine the egg whites, egg, milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
3. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, on low until softened. (If the butter is cold, cut it into tablespoon size pieces, and then beat it; it will warm quickly from the beaters - taking about 60 seconds). Add the sugar in a steady stream at the side of the bowl. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes until light yellow and fluffy.
Stop the mixer and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.  
4. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture in 3 equal portions, alternating with the milk mixture in 2 equal portions, beginning and ending with the flour. (If the milk is cold, the batter will curdle slightly. It's ok. It will come together when you add the flour.) 
Add the flour and liquid ingredients slowly at the side of the bowl. The minute you have finished adding one, begin adding the other ingredient type; do not wait in between additions too long as you don't want to overmix the batter. 
After completing the last addition of flour, stop the mixer, and scrape the side and bottom of the bowl with a large rubber spatula.  
Then, let the mixer run for 30 to 45 seconds on low. The batter should look light and fluffy. Then, STOP the mixer. Do NOT overmix. 
5. Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer. With a large rubber spatula, give the batter ONE or TWO quick folds to incorporate any stray flour or milk left at the sides and bottom of the bowl. Then, STOP! 
6. Divide the batter in the prepared baking pans (should fill less than 1/2 full) and lightly smooth the tops. 
7. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top feels firm and gives slightly when touched and will shrink slightly from the side of the pan. The cake will be slightly browned. If you insert a toothpick in the middle and remove, there should be a few moist crumbs attached, but not batter. The cakes will have a slight dome and small cracks on top right when it comes from the oven, but as the cakes cool, they will flatten on top and the tiny cracks will disappear.  
Cool in pan on a wire cake rack for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper. Invert right side-up and let cool completely.  

For the buttercream:
Recipe is adapted from here
This recipe can be used for filling, crumb coating, and making the basket weave or flower drops, but NOT for the roses.

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!) Ideal texture should be like ice cream.
  • 3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
  • 1/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • up to 4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  1. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cinnamon Rolls

One of the rocking rolls
I'm so glad that I've finally finished this. I've been watching laura vitale's video on how to make cinnamon rolls,  on and on, but I always ended up making another bread, considering that it seemed requiring quite some time to get done. But today I've got the whole afternoon doing nothing. Perfect time to make these rocking rolls.

Four missing holes already :D

The process indeed took quite a long time - had to wait for the dough to rise twice, before and after rolling it. But it is worth it! The cinnamon rolls is delicious. Next time I'm doing it again, one thing that I would change is the baking pan. I would just go with a wider pan, so the rolls would have wider spaces to rise.

Adapted from Laura's Vitales Recipe:


1 Package of Dry Yeast
¾ cup of Whole Milk
¼ cup of Granulated Sugar
¼ cup of Water, warmed up to 115 degrees
¼ tsp of Vanilla Extract
1 Egg
1 tsp of Salt
¼ cup of Unsalted Butter, melted
4 cups of All Purpose Flour
¼ cup of Melted Butter, to brush over the top before baking

For the filling,

1/3 cup of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
¾ cup of Brown Sugar
¼ cup of Granulated Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp of Ground Cinnamon

For the glaze,
¼ cup of Cream Cheese, at room temperature
1 Tbsp of Butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups of Powdered Sugar
½ tsp of Vanilla Extract
3 to 4 Tbsp of Warm Milk
I don't have the cream cheese, so I use this recipe for the glaze:
o    Icing sugar – 1 cup
o    Melted Butter – 2 tbsp
o    Vanilla essence – 1/4 tsp
o    Milk/Water – 3 tbsp 

1) In a small bowl, combine the warm water and 1 tsp of the granulated sugar, sprinkle the yeast over the top and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
2) In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix the egg, milk, salt, sugar and melted butter. Add 2 cups of the flour and the water, vanilla and yeast mixture, mix until its all incorporated and slowly add about 2 more cups of flour. Turn the speed up to medium and let it mix for about 5 to 7 minutes or until you have a smooth dough.
3) Oil a large bowl with some vegetable oil and set aside. Take the dough out of the mixer and pull it together with your hands to form a ball. Place it in the oiled bowl and oil the top of the dough with a little vegetable oil. Cover with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot to rise for about 2 hours.
4) In a small bow, mix together the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon for the filling, set aside.
5) When doubled in size, punch the dough down and roll it out onto a floured surface into a 15x9” rectangle. Spread the soft butter over the top and sprinkle evenly over the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Cut into 14 to 16 slices (make sure they are even) and place them cut side down in a well buttered 9x13 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let put them back into a warm spot to rise for another 1 ½ hours.
6) Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
7) Once risen, brush them with some melted butter and bake them for about 30 or until golden brown.
8) While the cinnamon rolls cool for a few minutes make the glaze. Mix all the ingredients of the glaze in a bowl except for the milk, once the cream cheese is all mixed, slowly add the milk until you get a runny glaze consistency. Immediately pour the glaze over the cinnamon rolls and enjoy!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chips Muffin

Today's project is to make muffin. First time for me, so I'm very excited!

In the beginning, I wanted to make a classic chocolate muffin. But there's this site, which shows the recipe of peanut butter chocolate chips muffin, with all those pictures that look sooo pretty and sooo yummy. Peanut butter and chocolate chips? Who could resist that! So I decided to go with this recipe. Classic chocolate muffin can wait.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar
6 tbsp or 3/4 sticks butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Prepare a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners/bake cup and set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the butter, peanut butter, eggs, and milk.
Gradually mix in the dry ingredients with the peanut butter mix until just combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop the batter into the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

After getting busy in the kitchen...
Pretty crack on the top, a bit crumby
Moist inside
I'm so happy with the result! The muffin looks so pretty. It's moist inside and a bit crumby on the top. Not too sweet also, just what I like. I really really LOVE this muffin. There's nothing that I would change from the recipe. It's perfect.

The recipe says it makes 12 cups of muffins. It makes 14 cups for me. 

Something to boost the mood while studying for the exam :)

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Teriyaki Chicken

This is the 3rd attempt of me finding teriyaki chicken recipe on the internet and cooking it. Usually I got disappointed with the result. 

That's why I only cooked 1 chicken breast this time..

The recipe is ultimately simple, and it only takes minutes - no need to marinate the chicken for hours. Somehow, with all that simplicity, the dish turns out perfect! It's just like the one you have in the chinese restaurant. Yeayy. No more teriyaki chicken-recipe-searching. This is absolutely the one :) :)

I got excited. I took a picture of the chicken while it was still on the frying pan.
Recipe is adapted from here with a little modification.

1 Tbsp. oil
1  boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1/4 cups water
1/12 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp. of light brown sugar
1/2 tsp. of dark brown sugar

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir 5 to 7 min. or until cooked.
Add water, teriyaki sauce, butter, brown sugar and minced garlic; stir. Bring to boil. Let it simmer until the sauce lessens a bit.
Serve it with steamed rice.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Banana Chocolate Brownies

Before powdered with sugar

Recipe is adapted from
To be honest, I like the classic rich chocolate brownies better. This is good, though. And healthier, ofcourse. My husband likes it a lot!

Powdered with sugar.. Ready to eat!

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Mini Apple Pie

Personally, I don't really much into apples. But 'apple pie' is a different thing. Apples, cinamon, and lemon juice is just the perrrfect combination. Craving for apple pies, I decided to make it, but in mini size. 

You may want to make apple pies with many different types of topping. Mine is the webbing on top of the pie. A little tedious. And somehow you're gonna ruin the whole pie while you're eating it. But honestly, the moment I enjoyed most while making this pie was creating the webbing. Haha.

Pie Dough
Just to make life easier, you may want to buy ready pie crust mix. But really, it's not that complicated to make the pie crust. You may create the dough in less than 10 minutes, using the food processor.

1 cups flour + some for rolling the dough
1 stick butter (chilled in freezer and diced)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water

1/3 sticks of butter for frying
4 medium apples (diced)
1/4 cup sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Lemon juice, squeezed from 1 lemon
1 tablespoons cornstarch
1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water to make an egg wash (optional)

Melt 1/3 sticks butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the apple wedges and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the white sugar and brown sugar to the sauteing apples and stir until combines. Add the cinnamin and nutmeg, stir. 

In a small cup, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the sauteing apples. Stir and remove pan from the heat. Let cool completely.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes.

And.. you can snack your mini apple pie while watching the tv as I did!


In Indonesia, you can buy tempe for 1000 rupiah (+/- 1 cent USD) per pack. But in US, you don't get that kind of luxury - it is around 2,5 dollars per pack. And the taste is not that good. Maybe it's the result of being refrigerated too long.

So our friends, Iday and Olive, told us that they had successfully made home-made tempeh, and they generously shared some of their tempe starter (ragi tempe) to us. Good thing they did, because now my husband and I get to eat our fresh home-made tempeh!

- 1/2 cup whole dry soybeans
- 1/2 teaspoon tempeh starter (ragi tempe)
- 1 plastic bag quartz size
- water for soaking and boiling the soybean

Soak the soybeans for 1 day. If you use whole soybeans you should split them by squeezing them with a kneading motion. Stir gently causing the hulls to rise to the surface, then pour off water and hulls into a strainer. Add fresh water and repeat until most hulls are removed. Don't worry if a few hulls remain attached.

Put the beans in a cooking pot and add enough water to cover them. Cook for 30 min. Drain off the water and dry the soybeans by continue heating them in the pot on medium heat for a few minutes and until the beans are dry. Allow the soybeans to cool down to below 35°C.

Sprinkle the soybeans with tempeh starter. Mix with a clean spoon for about 1 minute to distribute the tempeh starter evenly. It's very important to mix the tempeh starter very well: it reduces the risk for spoilage and the fermentation will be faster.

Take 1 plastic bag quartz size and perforate them with holes at a distance of about 1 cm by a skewer. This will allow the mould to breathe.

Put the soybean into the plastic bag. Press them flat, making sure that the total thickness of the beans is max 3 cm. Place the packed beans at a warm place for about 36- 48 hours during which the tempeh fermentation takes place. Then the container should be filled completely with white mycelium and the entire contents can be lifted out as a whole piece.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Chinese Honey Chicken

Who doesn't like chinese food? Chinese food is popular, not only in asian, but as well as in US. When I go to the mall, and get to stuck in it during lunch, I would really prefer to go to the food court for one reason - chinese food. And the best thing about food court (in US) is, there will be one waiter standing in front of each tenant, offering the customer a free dipping of the chinese fried chicken with many different sauces - mango chicken, honey chicken, or else. And they are all delicious. 

Recently, I found one of those chinese chicken recipe in here
Out of curiosity, I really wanted to know how the recipe turned out. So why not give it a try?

Turns out the recipe is quite simple. Basically just deep frying the chicken, making the sauce, and pouring it into the chicken.

I didn't have the sesame seeds. But somehow, the minced garlic gave it quite a good look, don't you think so? And my husband, he claims this food as his favorite. So I'm happy with the recipe. Definitely will make more of the chinese honey chicken :)