Almond Bread Biscotti


Happy Sat peeps.. as promised this is the biscotti that i managed to prepare bef we went to JB yesterday.. it needs to be refrigerated for a night bef u can slice it and baked again for everyone to enjoy munching on it non stop.. hehe yes yes.. whats with biscotti that once u start to eat u can never stop munching on it.. healthy? fattening?? who cares ey.. its the weekend.. arent we supposed to be eating what we feel like eating?? no?? hehe


Almond biscotti is an excellent accompaniment to desserts such as mousse, sorbet or even ice cream.. we prefer to hv it with our cuppa.. hb has been asking me to bake him biscotti for as long as i can remember lol.. i guess its norm for him to hv this in his pantry back then and when i received a few emails (think it was maybe 4 months ago) asking me if i hv a biscotti recipe to share.. hb thought its abt time i baked it for him :op


Recently i bought myself two recipe books fm Australian Womens Weekly.. one is called Macaroons(sic) and Biscuits and another one is called Little squares & slices.. there are a few biscotti recipes that i can try .. the one that caught my eyes were almond biscotti, rosy apricot and pistachio biscotti, triple chocolate biscotti with hazelnut and also apple, cranberry & white chocolate biscotti.. hopefully i am able to bake all the biscotti that i mentioned and share the recipes with all my dearies!


Ingredients
3 eggs white (120g)
1/2 cup superfine sugar (110g)
1 cup all purpose flour (150g)
3/4 cup almond kernels (120g) - i used almond slices



Method
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease 10cm x 20cm (4" x 8") loaf pan.
- Beat egg whites in small bowl with electric mixer till soft peaks form. Gradually add sugar, beating until dissolved between additions.
- Fold sifted flour and nuts into egg white mixture, spread mixture into pan, bake abt 30mins.
- Cool bread in pan. Remove bread fm pan, wrap in foil, stand overnight.
- Preheat oven to 150C/300F
- Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the bread into waffer-thin slices. Place slices in single layer, on ungreased oven trays. Bake abt 45 mins or until dry and crisp (i baked mine under half an hr)


So ok.. i got to run.. why am i always running to somewhere lol.. i hv tons of stuff to do tdy and i better get going.. u guys hv a good weekend ok.. be good and take care!

Hokkaido Chiffon - A quick cake


Hey peeps.. its late and we just got back fm JB.. i know i promised a few girls fm JB that i would let them know if i am heading there to deliver their orders but unfortunately today's JB outing was unplanned.. we had to run a few errands and was only there for 6hrs.. ahakss.. ONLY 6hrs Rima??!! hehehe



With the unplanned trip i had to quickly whip up what i had planned to bake bef hb got home.. am so glad that i didnt plan to bake a layer cake today or else...

Anyway.. I managed to bake this simple chiffon cake that i had been thinking of for the past couple of days.. I also managed to bake a type of biscuit which i had promised someone i would try to find sometime to bake and share the recipe of.. hopefully i am able to update it tmrw since we are gonna hv a full on wkend.. hb's family friends are here fm Austria and come next Monday Sue n family will be in town.. cant wait to see them again!!



So back to this hokkaido chiffon cake.. at first i had wanted to bake it in my new chiffon pan but decided to follow Jessie and bake it as cuppies.. the cake itself is supersoft and tastes just like ur typical chiffon cake.. unfortunately the cake is not sweet enough for my liking.. I will definitely add more sugar the next time i bake this hokkaido chiffon n will probably be baking it in a chiffon pan.. err to those that are not a sweet tooth like me.. maybe u shud not adjust the sugar measurement in this recipe ..

Ingredients:
4 Yolks
70g Sugar
1 tsp of Vanilla Essence
80ml Fresh Milk
60ml Corn oil - i used canola
135g Cake Flour
4g Baking powder
6 Whites
50g Sugar

Method:
♥ Preheat oven 180°C
♥ Arrange paper liners on baking tray
♥ Hand whisk yolks with sugar untill pale in colour.
♥ Add drops of vanilla essence
♥ Add in Milk, follow by oil, manually whisk till combined.
♥ Sieve in Cake flour and baking powder. Stir till well-mixed.
♥ Whisk whites till foamy, add sugar. Whisk till medium peak.
♥ Take 1/3 whites fold in with yolk mixture.
♥ follow by folding in the rest of white
♥ scope batter into pre-arranged paper cups about three-quarter filled.
*Jessie's note: this cake will shrink after cooled. However, do not over-filled up the liners as batter will over flow.
♥ baking time est. 20-25mins.



Ty Jessie for sharing this supersoft chiffon cake recipe.. u were right when u mentioned that this is the sort of cake that u can whip up when u are running short of time.. like me today hehe


Basic scones


I am not complaining.. i am not complaining BUT grrrrr after using netbook for years.. i am back using a notebook.. yes yes its bigger and i will need to do some adjustment.. no longer lightweight netbook for when i travel and urghhhh look at all my watermarks.. its hideously ugly... blueeekkk I cant wait to see changes that will be done to my blog.. I am not complaining OK! ahaks

So ok hb got me a new notebook.. its in white (suci gitew haha) and its huge.. part of me.. come to mama notebook.. another part of me.. i hate going thru the same routine of getting to know a new lappy.. just like when someone gets a divorce and falls in love again.. err i know it cos i hv experienced it muahahahaaa


After our Beijing trip.. we hv been out and abt eventho its been raining non stop here.. we did take Sonia to the zoo yesterday and spent half of our day there.. got home and right after Sonia's nap we took her out again.. i hv been eating Indian bee hoon goreng for the past two days.. see i told ya i missed eating my fav local food hehe and hv been trying not to eat rice.. i lost like 3kg while in Beijing and if possible i dont want to gain it back.. read me.. IF POSSIBLE yah hehehe

This morning i had this ugly craving of having scones for brekkie and u know how it is between me and scones.. i just loveeeeeeeeee creamy scones.. the craving got worse after i kept on thinking of Miss Marple's Tearoom Devonshire scones.. sooo the first thing i did today was to prepare it.. i ran out of double cream as the bakery supply shop that i went to last night was closed due to public hols..whipped up a simple recipe that uses milk and voila.. i got what i craved for... cranberry scones!



Ingredients
plain flour, for dusting
3 cups self-raising flour
80g butter, cubed - i used scs unsalted butter and added 1tsp of salt
1 to 1 1/4 cups milk - i used 1 1/4 cups of milk
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
jam and whipped cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C. Lightly dust a flat baking tray with plain flour. Sift self-raising flour into a large bowl.
Using your fingertips, rub butter into flour until mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add cranberries. Make a well in the centre. Add 1 cup of milk. Mix with a flat-bladed knife until mixture forms a soft dough, adding more milk if required. Turn onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently until smooth (don't knead dough too much or scones will be tough).
Pat dough into a 2cm-thick round. Using a 5cm (diameter) round cutter, cut out 12 rounds. Press dough together and cut out remaining 4 rounds. Place scones onto prepared baking tray, 1cm apart. Sprinkle tops with a little plain flour (i brushed milk and sprinkle a little sugar). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and well risen. Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm with jam and cream.



So how abt baking urself scones to go along with ur cup of hot tea and pretending ur on Mt Dandenong hahaha.. thats me.. right now! ahaks - a woman can only dream huhu

By the way... good scones should go with good jam... when buying commercially made jam, what I like a lot and I usually get it from TESCO in Malaysia... are the SCHWARTAU branded jams.. goes well with scones and croissants as well as just on normal bread... (the best in my opinion is the wild berry jam)...

Recipe fm Taste.au

Happy Diwali - Pandanus Coconut Jelly


I cant stay long.. i hv to get ready cos we are heading to the Zoo!! muahahhha.. sorry folks.. us and our zoo is like an everlasting love haha.. we have to take Sonia there cos we promised her that we will take her there.. shes been complaining that her papa hardly takes her there..


Sooooo anyway... here wishing every Hindu.. Happy Diwali and to the rest... hv a fun day with ur family yah.. cheers and enjoy this simple recipe..



Ingredients
Pandan layer

250ml water
1 tbsp jelly powder
225g sugar
500ml pandan water - i added 1/2 tbsp pandan paste to 500ml water

Coconut layer
250ml water
1tbsp jelly powder
2 tbsp sugar
500ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
5 pandan leaves

Coconut sauce
500ml coconut milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp corn flour

Method
Add pandan paste to water and pour it into a pot .. add sugar and also jelly powder and cook it over low heat till sugar dissolves - set aside (i had it on low fire all the time)

Add jelly powder, sugar and salt into coconut milk.. cook it over low heat with pandan leaves.. stir till small bubbles appear - set aside.

Prepare 4 moulds volume 250ml each or whatever mould that u wanna use.. pour a layer of pandan mixture.. let it slightly set bef pouring coconut milk mixture.. repeat same method till u get 5 layers.. if ur using a mould that has a volume of 250ml.. each layer weighs 50ml ok.. let ur jelly set in fridge for 2hrs bef serving it with coconut sauce.

Coconut sauce
Boil coconut milk and salt.. add corn flour.. stir till thicken.



Recipe adapted fm a book that i bought in Jkt - Primarasa Pencuci Mulut ala Asia Terlazat

Niu Jie Mosque


This will be my last entry about my Beijing trip.. i am not usually like this when it comes to updating my travel entry but i guess this time around i was a little lazy.. all i wanna do all day long with my little Sonia was chill.. i guess my Beijing trip was a well needed break.. am contented... :o)

So ok lets get on with this last entry... right after visiting The Great Wall of China.. our driver took us to the oldest mosque in Beijing.. all u need to do is to google up the address and show it to ur driver.. we didnt hv to do that with our driver cos he knew exactly where it was...

Took us almost 3hrs to get there and first thing that i noticed while on our way there was a big tour bus full with chinese muslim women.. i knew our driver was sure of where he was going after i saw a couple more muslim ppl walking down the road..

Niu Jie (Ox Street) mosque... built in 995 is Beijing's largest and oldest mosque..



According to wikipedia.com, Islam was brought to China by an envoy sent by Uthman, the third Caliph in 651 AD.. less than 20yrs after the death of prophet Muhammad saw. The envoy was Sa'd ibn Abi Waggas, the maternal uncle of the prophet. Emperor Gaozong, the Tang emperor who rcvd the envoy then ordered the construction of the Memorial Mosque in Kwantung, the first mosque in the country, in memory of the prophet.

Theres a small courtyard on the south side that contains two Muslim preachers who came fm ancient Persia.. tomb of Ahmad Burdani built in 1320 and also tomb of Ali in 1283 bear Arabic inscriptions.



When we got there.. it was an hr bef Asar prayer and there were already a few local men waiting around the courtyard.. there were also a few tourists around the museum area..



The prayer hall.. it has a courtyard and consists of five major areas..



Hb got the chance to sholat zohor and also sholat asar berjemaah there.. lucky him!


There is a two storey obelisk in the centre of the couryard (calling tower).. its for the imams to call Muslims to prayer..

A small garden next to the prayer hall.. i stayed here with Sonia while hb was praying.. (dont gv me that look.. i am excused ok! hehe)

Around the NiuJie street there were a few halal restaurants namely Donglaishun, Jubaoyuan and also Zhengxingde Tea Hse.


There are many muslim snack shops here as Niujie is popular with snack food.. we had our so called late lunch aka early dinner here.. queuing just to buy back their cooked sheep and beef..


Yep the pic on the left was obviously the food that they queued for.. Dessert counter on the top right.. tofu jelly, fried tofu, candy, fried bagel, pancakes, honeycomb cake etc etc etc which i didnt even feel like trying lol.. the pic on the bottom right is the food that hb ordered.. fried noodles (flour noodles) with beef.. i ordered soupy beef noodles which i ended up not eating.. honestly?? i dont even know why i couldnt eat it.. the smell of beef and sheep is too overwhelming and the noodles.. urghhhh i wished they served rice noodles or even our typical yellow noodles instead :o(

Sonia and hb finished all the food.. am so glad that Sonia wasnt as fussy as her mama tsk.. tsk.. bad example Rima!! grrr



Bef i go.. anyone wanna buy an industrial KA mixer for under S$700..(before tax-back!) yep hb nearly got me one... i had to keep on reminding him that i dont own a cafe so no need for the industrial type of KA aahhaha.. reason reason.. typical me.. i hate it if money goes out of the window.. am happy with my KA for now and if i do wanna get an industrial KA.. i will definately be buying it fm HEC Beijing hahaha (any kitchen lover will love HEC cos they got everything... its a 3 storey outlet and when i say everything.. i mean E V E R Y T H I N G hahaha.. they even got all sorts of hotel detergents lol) .. i walked out of HEC "only" S$150 poorer :op

Day 7 - The Great Wall of China - Updated!

As promised.. here are the pics taken while at The Great Wall of China... we didnt walk all the way of cos! we decided to tell our driver to send us straight to the cable station at Mutianyu where we had to climb up a pretty steep slope.. yikes! (and i thought my legs were used to it since i had to climb all the stairs in my house!)

We started early at 8am.. had a quick brekkie and off we went.. it was an hour and half drive by car and the road that lead to the great wall of china was bearable.. dont know why for some reason on this trip.. whenever we saw something.. be it the scenery or the weather or even the smell of the day.. we seemed to compare it to other parts of the world that we have been..

zzzzzzzzzzz

Err .. hmmm is it ok if i continue this entry when i am a little awake.. i am half asleep and am really really kaput.. we hv to get up at 5am to catch our 8:30am flight.. so enjoy the pics first and i will continue with my ramblings when i am all settle yah.. see u guys back in S'pore!

Anyway back to where i stopped last night.. The weather on that day wasnt that good.. not much visibility and we thought our Great Wall of China pics would turned out to be blahhh.. well we were right.. we didnt get to capture super duper pics but we sure managed to take good pics of our little Sonia!


Guess what were they doing? hehe they were husking corn.. u see corn fields just abt everywhere! We decided to go to Mutianyu instead of the more typical and touristy Badaling to avoid the crowds - and it paid off. Anyway, the Mutianyu section of the wall (1404) is older than the Badaling section but it takes a bit longer to get there.

Cable car ride.. Sonia calls it "the orange thing" and enjoyed every min of it.. she came home later and kept on repeating that she had a fun day at the wall.. hmmm.. You can either walk up to the wall or take the cablecar... as we wanted Sonia to enjoy the wall and not "the walk up to the wall" and then getting too tired.. we opted for the cable car...

Pic on the left are stalls lining the route to the entrance to get cable car tickets.. u see lots of vendors selling souvenirs..

We spent like 2hrs there.. walking up and down.. Sonia kept on saying .. "I love castle mama" hahaha.. papa had to explain not only to Sonia but to me too the history of The Great Wall of China.. ahhhh see i dont need a tour guide to see the world.. hb is my dictionary.. hes my encyclopedia and also hes got the answer to every question that i can think of hehe...in case anybody wants to know..the actual wall is 6,259km long...

Sonia loves the camera.. each time we say.. ok photo time.. she will gv her best look and smile.. well that if shes in the mood lahhh...here she was so happy as she was running inside the "palace"...which in fact was just a watch tower...but who cares ay?!

No words can describe the feeling when ur walking on The Great Wall of China...and to think it was built over centuries....always serving the same goal.. and built by hand...how did they get the stones and rocks up the steep slopes?! But standing there you know you have seen a true world wonder... Sonia is too young to understand...but I will surely bring her back here again...


We caught her doing this all the time.. checking..checking....are mama and papa looking at me..... and then.....


... sticking her small head into the embrasure.. at first. i thought they used it to stick guns through to shoot their enemy.. hb later reminded me that back then the soldiers of the Chinese Empire only used bow and arrow during war to defend against the nomadic invaders.. hmmm

After 2hrs of walking up and down we decided to make a move to the oldest mosque in Beijing..and that will be the next entry...


Day 6 - Forbidden City

Peak Agenda: My bad.. my laziness.. shud i blame it on the weather?? noooo... why not blame it on the laziness :o(

We are still here in Beijing.. after my one and only blog entry there was not much to write abt.. Sonia and i hv been contributing quite a bit to the China economy so thats good right?? hehe

Yesterday and today was the first day hb got to spend time with us and oh boy.. u shud see the way he made us walk! .. am kaputt.. am tired.. we did the Forbidden city.. we did the Great Wall of China and also we visited the oldest mosque here in Beijing.. will load pics of forbidden city first yah.. tmrw we will be doing our last min shopping and also if given the chance i would love to go to HEC (i read somewhere that u can get all sort of baking pans fm them).. see how!

Oh and guess what.. i hv been eating sheep and beef at several Muslim restaurants for the past two days and i am getting sick of it.. the first day i ate it i couldnt even sleep properly.. am craving for spicy food.. am craving for mee goreng.. am craving for malay food! Why cant the muslim people just sell seafood or normal mee.... hb says that is because they are Hui Chinese.... from the west of China...where got SEA...? And if no SEA.. where got salt - cos their soups are so tasteless... we had sheep steamboat and the soup was so tasteless! So we asked for soy sauce and chilli and we made our own tom yam out of that! hahaha.. This is where we ate: Dong Lai Shun (very close top Wangfujing).

OK so here come the pictures... these were taken yesterday (Friday)..hubby made us walk to Tiananmen Square and from there into the Forbidden City.

The Forbidden City is in the middle of the city.. we walked there from our hotel. It was the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.... they began building in 1406 (so over 600 years)... the construction spanned over the lifetime of 24 (!) emperors who ruled for over 500 years.

There are so many halls, pavilions, palaces as every emperor wanted to make something of their own... so there is lots to see... with Sonia in tow we of course couldnt cover all... but we did the major stuff..


The wall surrounding the Forbidden city... behind this wall comes a 52meter wide moat which is 3.8km long


Tiananmen Square, The Tianan Gate with the famous Mao Portrait

Wumen Gate entrance to the forbidden city - from this point onwards you have to pay :)

Bridges leading across the Jade Ribbon River, heading towards the Hall of Supreme Harmony

Sonia sitting outside the Jingren palace (completed in 1420 during the Ming Dynasty)

Little model posing :)... Well outside the palace.. "papa..why no water?"

The Hall of Preserving Harmony on the right..

The middle picture are three stone carvings..each one 1.7m thick! Each one weighs 250 tones! Each one is just a single piece of stone... Bottom right is the only "square" hall... its the Hall of Middle Harmony (duh..)... It was used for Emperors to 'rest'... next time when I finish baking I come and rest here boleh?... hahahah

The ceiling of The Gate of Supreme Harmony (the highest ranking gate)...

The 2000m long Jade Ribbon River decorating the square and the gardens of the forbidden city

Only by walking... u get to explore the city well...

Especially when u are into taking pics.... best way to get a good shot is by walking.. "ouch" my legs are aching!

Hopefully i will be able to blog one more time bef we fly back to Singapore...


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