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Cream cheese buns with kaya filling

>> Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Creamcheese buns with kaya filling

The morning after Ramadan. The air was crisp and cold. Out of habits in the past month, we still woke up way before sunrise. We waited for the morning birds to sing and break the night silence. It was a moment of transient and peace. Something I would miss dearly outside the holy month.

The morning of Eid was busy. After a cup of hot tea and a few dates, the men in my house prepared to go to the communal prayers. This year I stayed back and prepared breakfast while waiting for them to come back. Each Ramadan has been a different experience for me, someone who is still relatively new to this faith. I am learning the patterns of the fasting month, discovering the new tradition, and occasionally invented a few new things. Say, pho for Ramadan? Yes, it’s me :-)

This year we had small buns for breakfast, in stark contrast to last year baguettes and stew. Eid, I learned, is the time of celebration. Food wise, it is crazy. We visit our friends and relatives, and stuff ourselves with more and more delicious food. So much so we get tired of eating after just one day. So, the simpler the breakfast, the better.

{Kaya is a delicious thing}

Sweet buns and tea, and we were happy. The dough was enriched with cream cheese, and the filling was kaya, a favourite around here. Kaya is a spread made with eggs, coconut cream and pandan leaves. It is firm custard, which is popular in Southeast Asia. I don’t care for it much still, but it is nice with toast.

My dear friend Kulsum from Journey kitchen is hosting a monthly mingle with the theme of yeasted dough. These are for her :).


Cream cheese buns with kaya filling

I saved this dough recipe a long, long time ago without a link reference (talking about bad practice!). Just want to thank the author of this recipe, because it rocks!

You can substitute the kaya with jam, nutella or chestnut cream. The buns are best eaten the day they are made.
400g flour
160g cream cheese (at room temperature)
200g milk
2 eggs
35g sugar
7g dried yeast

Filling: kaya as needed

In a stand mixer, mix together the flour, cream cheese, milk, eggs and sugar until a dough forms. Continue to knead until the dough is elastic and smooth.

Put the dough in a bowl, and cover with a damp towel. Leave to rest at room temperature, until the dough is doubled in size.

Divide the dough to 12 portions. Cover and leave to rest for 20 mins or so.

Preheat the oven to 185C. Line a large baking tray.

Wrap each ball of the dough with 1 tablespoon of kaya, and form a ball. Place the seamed side down. Repeat the process.

Brush some beaten eggs onto the buns. Bake for around 20 mins or until golden brown.

Serve warm.


Simple Asian Chicken Salad with fried vermicelli

>> Saturday, August 27, 2011

Simple Asian Chicken Salad with fried vermicelli

Allow me to share my happiness. The weather has been rather good, and I can feel spring in the air. So close!

Last weekend we spent as much time outdoor as possible. It was a nice change to walk around the park in front of my house. During in winter, I even forgot about that space since I was almost always home after dark.

With the warmer weather, I feel like cooking something nice again. This grapefruit syrup cake. A simple chicken salad with Asian flavours. Fruit salad!  With ice-cream. It is even better! During this fasting month, I don’t do much creative cooking but stick to simple things that make us feel good.

Fruit salad in lemon bowl

Simple Asian Chicken Salad with fried vermicelli

A kind of chicken larb I make quite often, inspired by a recipe in Marie Claire a while back.

50g thin vermicelli
500g chicken mince
2 Asian shallots, peeled and mince
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
125ml lime juice
Salt, pepper
2 bird eye chilies, minced
1 bunch of coriander, 2-3 bunches of laksa leaves (Vietnamese mints), 1 bunch of Thai basils – leaves picked and washed
2 lime leaves, cut into thin strips
Oil to fry (about ½ cup)

In a small wok, heat up the oil and fry the vermicelli until puffed. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in another wok, heat up 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Add in minced shallots until fragrant, then the chicken. Stir-fry until the meat is cooked.

Next, add in the seasoning – fish sauce, sugar, lime juice. Taste the seasoning to make sure you have that sweet-sour balance.

When the meat cools down, add in the chili, herbs, lime leaves and mix well.

Just before serving, fold in the fried vermicelli. Enjoy!


B&W wednesday #6 Going Vintage

>> Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It is Wednesday, and I am happy :). Cannot wait for the weekend to arrive, with nicer forcasted weather.

B&W wednesday is an event founded by my dear friend Susan, the Well-Seasoned Cook. And this week, I went through my archive, and digged out a simple photo of a vintage spoon that I like :) I picked them up in my last trip to Daylesford. Hope to return to that beautiful town soon.

Vintage Spoon


Matcha Bubble Tea

>> Saturday, August 13, 2011

{Spring, please come sooner!}

Matcha bubble tea

Melbourne weather is strange! Just last week, the warmer sunny weather gave me so much hope for spring. And then, it got cold and windy all over again. I feel a bit betrayed (!) actually.

Despite the weather, we got some progress in organizing our gardens. The front garden was almost there! I planted a lot of roses before the end of July, and hopefully they will grow and blossom this summer. While I am patiently waiting for that moment, the camellia tree is blooming with the most beautiful flowers I have seen. So. Pretty!

Camellia love #1

Enough about the weather, gardening and B&W photos! Today I actually have something to share. It is one of my personal favorite drinks – bubble tea, with matcha flavor! This is more of a warm weather drink which I will serve up more often once spring and summer come back. Can’t wait!

{I realize bubble tea can be strange to several people. :) Here’s the link to a nice article about it!

Matcha bubble tea

Matcha Bubble Tea (Matcha Pearl Milk Tea)
Ingredients – for 2 or 3 serves
50g large tapioca pearls
750ml milk
2 tablespoons matcha powder
80g sugar
Cook the tapioca pearls in a large pot of boiling water. The cooking time will vary depending on the brand. There’s a quick cook variety in Asian shops, which I have used here. Once the pearls are cooked, drain well and keep them in a bowl.
Bring the milk to the boil and add in sugar and matcha powder. Stir until everything is dissolved. Taste to see if you are happy with the level of sweetness.
Cool the milk mixture in the fridge. Serve cold in a glass with the cooked tapioca pearls and crushed ice if preferred.


B&W wednesday #5 - caffè latte

>> Wednesday, August 10, 2011

caffè latte

It's Wednesday, again. And it's time for B&W Wednesday!

This time, let's celebrate something I love - coffee. I have a thing for coffee, you know :-)

If you have a chance to visit Melbourne, sample our coffee! It's that good.


B&W wednesday #4 - Woodgrain

>> Thursday, August 04, 2011

It's all about wooden props today. I certainly enjoy exploring the idea of creating aged B&W photos via photo editing tools... B&W seems to bring out the texture of these props, which i love.

B&W wednesday is a culinary photo event hosted by Susan of the Well-seasoned Cook.

 Woodgrain #2

 Woodgrain #1


Weekend Herb Blogging #294 - The Recap

First of all, my apology for a late recap of Weekend Herb Blogging #294. I started my new job this week, so time has been very tight for me. So, let’s start our recap without any delay! I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Raw Mixed Berry Crisp - The Taste Space

From Toronto, Canada, Janet brings us raw mixed berry crisp. She gives us a lot of hints and tips on how to make better raw crisp, which I find helpful and intriguing.

Pickled Jalapenos – the blog Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with herbs)

I really hope that my future chilli tree(s) will provide large and healthy fruits as Graziana’s! The pickled jalapenos she made sound simple but totally delicious.

Coconut konnyaku jelly - No-Frills Recipes

One of my favourite dessert! Konnyaku is a traditional Japanese flour derived from a taro/yam plant. It produces popular jelly in Asia! You can learn more about this and the jelly at Chea’s blog.

Watercress and Upland Cress - teczcape - an escape to food

Are these two different? Tezcape’s article provides us useful information! She also shows us how to enjoy these lovely veggies.

Cherry amaretti cheesecake - nutmeg, seven

Here is lovely cheesecake version with cherries as a main feature.from Elly. I am sure it can win anyone's heart!

Liquorice Elixir - Cindystar

Cinzia always comes up with simple but utterly delicious food. Today she joins us with a magnificent drink - liquorice elixir. I like the deep brown color of this!

Little pumpkin cakes - Cook (almost) anything at least once

Aren't these cakes cute? Add butterscotch icing,and  I am in heaven! Thanks to Haalo for contributing such beautiful cakes!

Orange Fennel Quinoa Salad - Melle Cotte

Being a big fan of orange and fennel salad, I am delighted to see Chris using this combo for a beautiful quinoa salad. The color looks so fresh and vibrant, you just want to dig into the bowl.

Broccoli and zucchini soup - Briciole

What a beautiful soup! I can see myself making this soon, with the abundance of broccoli in winter. The added basil can certainly lift the flavours up here.
Corn milk drink – A food lover’s journey

I bring corn milk drink to this recap. This drink is well loved in Vietnam right now, and from the readers’ comments, I know that it is also popular in South America. Spread the love!

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