Monday, 29 August 2011

How to Make: Japanese Chocolate Truffle Sponge Cake (チョコレートケーキ)

Yesterday, almost all the shops were closed in the city because of Hurricane Irene.  So what to do when you have the extra time to stay in all day?  Well I baked a Japanese-style chocolate cake!  It is my moist, dense, and fluffl-y at the same time, Chocolate Truffle Sponge Cake.  Beware thought, it is extremely rich. You really only need a tiny slice of it to get satisfaction.  If you have a huge piece, you might actually throw up. Since this is a sponge cake, the amount of butter or oil in the cake is much much less and the texture is lighter which contrasts with the dense chocolate ganache.  I baked mine in a 16 cm (6 inch) cake tin, to make a smaller cake but if you're using a 20cm/8 inch tin, just multiply it by 1/3.  I use 70% chocolate for the frosting. You can always use semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips for this cake.  This is my favourite type of cake, which is also known as Japanese style, because it tastes like chocolate, not sugar, and is not too sweet all. Japanese cakes don't use buttercream frosting recipe because it's way too sweet. Instead they use what I made a ganache which is just chocolate and cream, like a truffle.  I see these types of chocolate cake in Asian Supermarkets all the time, so I thought of giving it a go!  It is the best! The finishing touches are the dusted cocoa powder and the piped whipped cream, it makes it so elegant! It's best to use the metric system when baking (actually for any cooking), but for those people that have not converted, I've listed the imperial measurements on the right side of the page.  There's no reason for you not to try it now!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

How to Make: Hainan Chicken Rice-海南雞飯 (Hainan Zi Fan) Mother's Recipe

Today is a special day. My mother cooked her absolutely delicious Hainan Chicken Rice pronounced Hainan Zi Fan (海南雞飯)! It's my favourite meal from my mother! Hainan Chicken Rice originated from the Island of Hainan, China. However, it is also closely associated with Singaporean cuisine. In Vancouver, near where I'm from, it is commonly sold at fast food restaurants in shopping malls, selling usually at $6.99-$7.99 CAD a set. The chicken is slowly poached in water and salt which makes the meat especially the breast incredibly tender. The rice is then made from the leftover stock of the chicken and fat, making the rice rich, fragrant and absolutely delicious. But you can't have Hainan Chicken Rice with out the onion-y ginger oil sauce! That is the best part!
This dish is not the fastest dish to make, but it is easy if you're organised.
and... the best thing is, it's relatively inexpensive to make!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

How to make: The Best Banana Chocolate Chunk Loaf/Cake Recipe

Having bananas that have too many brown spots is not the most appetising thing to eat, but they're super for making banana cake or bread! I had 3 bananas that had would not be so pleasant if eaten as is, so I used them to make a cake! The addition of chocolate and nuts make this really stand out! This recipe is one that I made up right on the spot too, and it better than all the other recipes I've tried out before.  Give it a go and you'll be happy you did.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

How to Make: Emperor Pork 皇帝豬肉- Father's recipe-Traditional Chinese Recipe

Today, I didn't cook.  My dad did, and he made his signature, "Emperor Pork."  He would always cook this dish whenever we demanded.  It's a traditional Chinese dish that he grew up with, but has a slight Malaysian twist to it with the Kecap Manis (Sweet Soy Sauce).  Kecap Manis is soysauce that has been boiled down and sweetened with palm sugar. You can get this at most Asian markets nowadays, or you can find it on Find Kecap Manis on  If you don't want to go through the trouble of doing this you can just use 50 mL of dark soysauce with 30 gm of brown sugar.
It is a fairly simple dish to make, and it is sooo delicious on some white rice!  It's sweet, salty, sour and very delicious!  The preserved mustard is a very common sight at Asian markets, just be sure to ask the local storekeeper, because most probably, it won't be translated into English.  The preserved mustard are the leaf of the mustard plants, that have been drenched in salt in the packaging process to preserve it, giving it a unique sour and salty taste.  Be sure that you rinse it very well before adding it to your dish otherwise your dish will come out very salty!

Here is what my dad calls, "Emperor Pork"!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Tutorial:How to make Instant Ramen Noodles

Rainy Philly, PA, USA
Being in my apartment in Philadelphia, USA, I had no food.  I arrived late because of a delayed bus, missing the train from Newark to Philadelphia.  All I had was a packet of Neoguri noodles and some dumplings in the freezer.  Since I haven't written on here for a while, I thought I might as well just write a tutorial on how to make the easiest thing in the world.  It's not the healthiest thing in the world.  That's because the deep fry the noodles before the package them to extend their shelf life.  Then you add a flavouring packet which is full of sodium, MSG, dead fish (not that it's that bad).

But heck, whatever, It's only once in a blue moon.  So here is....

 How to make Instant Ramen Noodles from a packet.  I had the Neoguri Udon Spicy Seafood flavour (the best).  

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