Monday, October 13, 2014

Salt Baked Flower Crab

Ordered some crabs from over the weekend and decided to bake them in salt.

The crabs were delivered alive and the young man even helped to keep the crabs alive in my sink with some salted water.

We usually put the crabs in a 1-pot-wonder but this time round, I thought I'd bake them in salt.


Coarse sea salt - enough to line the pane and cover the crabs (I used 2kg worth)
Chinese wine (I used Hua Diao.  Try to avoid those labelled as "kitchen use"橱用as they often come with added salt)
Ginger slices (optional)
Crabs - best to use live ones.  Wash them in clean water to make sure you clean off any dirt on the shells


In order not to shock the crabs (and have their legs fall off when baking), I make them drunk.  Line them in a container and pour in enough wine to submerge them to just beyond their mouths so the wine can go into their system.  You can also put a few slices of ginger at the bottom of the container.  Leave the crabs to get drunk for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220 deg C.  Line the baking tray with a thin layer of salt.  When the crabs are ready, remove them one at a time from the wine and line them on the salt layer in the baking tray.  Cover the crabs completely with the remainder of the salt and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes depending on the size of your crabs.

Once done, gently scrape away the salt and remove the crabs from the salt pile and they are ready to be served!

Note: the crabs are baked whole and you can peel away the lungs and all the inedible parts when you open up the top and bottom shells.  I would also ensure that the salt used is of very large crystals so they won't fall into the cavities of the crabs and make the crabs too salty.  It also makes removing them from the crabs easier too.


PS: You can use the wine to dunk live prawns, if you are eating them on the same day :)  I've also forgotten that I could actually bake eggs (quail eggs, shell and all) in the salt at the same time!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Classic Belgian Waffles (and my new waffle maker)

Because my BFF and her little darling will be visiting us for tea, I needed to test out a recipe that will make them happy.  That, and testing my new waffle maker.

First, let's meet the new soldier in my kitchen army.  Bought off Taobao, this gadget is made in Germany (surprise, surprise!) and is really easy to use.  It makes those thick, Belgian waffles with the really deep dimples, something that would make substantial breakfast / lunch / tea / dinner (depending on your mood).  

More on the waffle maker later on.  Now, let's get back to the recipe.

I used the Classic Belgian Waffles recipe found on Food & Wine.  It's something from Thomas DeGeest.  I was a bit surprised that it contains no sugar (but of course, what do I know about real Belgian waffles?).  The sweetness would come from the icing sugar, chocolate sauce, Nutella or whatever you want to put on it.  Here's the list of ingredients:

  1. 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  2. 1 cup warm water
  3. 3 cups all-purpose flour
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 1 cup whole milk
  6. 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  7. 2 large eggs, separated
  8. 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  9. Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

I used only half the portion as I wasn't sure how it would turn out.

Simple instructions:

1.  Separate egg whites from egg yolks and whisk egg whites till soft peaks form and keep cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients

2.  Melt butter and let it cool 

3.  Mix yeast with the warm water, set aside

4.  Mix flour with salt

6.  Whisk yeast, cooled melted butter, milk, vanilla extract into the flour till smooth

7.  Fold in egg white and let the batter stand for 20 minutes

As for making the waffles, please follow the instructions for your waffle maker.  For mine, I find that I had to fill the pan to the brim so the batter would flow into every cavity, allowing the batter to touch the pan on all sides so the surface would crisp up.  Once done, you can put in a heated oven to keep warm if you are not eating immediately (or you intend to serve everyone together).

Sprinkle icing sugar over the waffles before serving, together with your favourite sweet sauces, whipped cream or fruits (or all of the above :P )

Bon appetit!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rainbow Cake

Yohei's having a little tea party to celebrate his birthday.  As with our past tradition, we have prepared all the food from scratch.  It is my first attempt at making a rainbow cake and after reading through several recipes online, I settled on the one featured in Lady Iron Chef's blog.  She adapted this recipe from Whisk Kid.

I didn't have too many colours at home, so I ended up with only pink, yellow and white. I used a chocolate ganache (Nestle Cappucino Chocolate 200g + IKEA dark chocolate 100g + 200ml Emborg Whipping Cream).

Here's what they look like:

It past the taste test of my guests :)  This recipe's a keeper!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Bought some organic blueberries from the fruit shop downstairs and thought I'd try a new recipe.

Found a Lemon Blueberry Bread from the website of Joy Of Baking.  For once, I stuck to the original recipe and didn't change a thing to the ingredients' quantity but instead of baking in a loaf, I baked them in muffin cups.  Here's a sneak peek

Verdict?  Not bad I'd say.  More cake-like than bread, it's not overly sweet and the lemon glace adds a nice aroma and flavor to the bread.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Onde Onde

Been seeing friend on FB making these little sweet potato poppers and have been itching to try.  Finally got all the ingredients and used the recipe from this blog.

It's not difficult to make.  Just tedious (to me, at least) and I declared immediately after making my first batch, "The next time I want to eat Onde Onde, I should just go out and buy some."

I didn't follow the recipe fully.  I used more sweet potato and eyeballed the amount of water for the dough.

Here's what it looks like

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pandan Bread

Managed to get my hands on a simple Pandan Bread recipe and decided to make some this morning.

Recipe adapted from here.  I didn't turn it into the checkered bread like the writer and made replaced the pandan paste.  Instead, I blitzed about 100g of pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) with the milk and strained it.  Colour came out great but I think I could use more pandan leaves the next time round to enhance the taste.

Didn't use a loaf pan either.  Hubs rolled them up...

And here's the final product.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Sandwich Loaf

Thanks to wonderful ex-colleagues, we now have a smart looking bread maker sitting in our kitchen. Here's the first sandwich loaf from the machine. Recipe's taken from the booklet that came with the machine.

Water 250ml (I replaced with fresh milk)
Butter, melted 1.5 tbsp
Sunflower oil 1.5 tbsp (I used Canola)
Sugar 3 tbsp
Salt 0.5 tsp
Strong white bread flour 3 cups
Fast action / instant yeast 1 tsp

The texture is not bad. More dense than store bought bread.  I'll reduce the yeast the next time round though. Don't fancy the yeasty taste.