Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Kabocha Squash Mushipan / Pumpkin Steamed Cake

I am trying to catch up on my postings :p These Kabocha Squash (Japanese Pumpkin) steamed cake were made yesterday.

Was focusing more on cooking for the past weeks / months, and neglected my oven. I did not feel like lots of work in the kitchen but wanted to eat some cakes. Saw this simple recipe on Cookpad and steamed these cakes.  I topped the mushipan with black sesame seeds. I was inspired to use pumpkin as my mom was into pumpkin lately - making Chinese pumpkin desserts. Pumpkin actually has quite a few health benefits.

I steamed the pumpkin and mashed it with a fork. This cake is soft and fluffy. Personally, I prefer the Chocolate Pumpkin cake I made today :D

More tarts!

M-I-C-K-E-Y... :D

I had been quite lax in updating this blog :p Here's the tarts I made last week for my family. My nieces and daughter are a fan of this tart crust, which I have made many times. This time, I topped the tart with grapes, which are in abundance at the supermarket now (and my fridge :D). The girls enjoyed the tarts - especially the crust and the custard. This time, I used 200g of the unbleached all-purpose flour and 50g corn flour. The result is also a crunchy crust :) The rest of the recipe remains unchanged.

I filled another tart crust with bananas.

And finally, the third one with chocolate shavings. This is hard work as I manually shaved the chocolate bar using a fruit peeler.

Here's my nieces' request - simply crust and custard only!

Rice Cooker Cake - Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

I just bake this Chocolate Pumpkin Cake in my rice cooker this morning, and rushed to post it in order not to miss the Rice Cooker Cake Challenge  #1 organized by Everybody Eats Well in Flanders, which closes today :D

This recipe is adapted from Miss B's Super Moist Chocolate Banana Cake. Instead of bananas, I used Kabocha Squash / Japanese Pumpkin instead :) Please refer to Miss B's blog for the original recipe.

Here's how I prepared the pumpkin:
1. peel and cut into small pieces (1cm cubes).
2. steam on medium high heat until soften. Test with a fork and check that it has turned soft.
3. mashed using a fork when it is hot.

I am using Hitachi rice cooker, 5.5 cups, which comes with a Cake function. I reduced the sugar (dry demerara sugar) to 160g. This is indeed a very easy recipe! And the best part is, I did not have to keep checking on the cake like when I baked using the oven. The rice cooker finished "cooking" the cake after approximately 55mins. The cake came out easily. Only thing is that my cake has the shape of my rice cooker :D

This is a great recipe to try for novice bakers. I have recommended it to my friend who is new in baking :) Thanks to Miss B for the recipe! :)

I am submitting this to the Rice Cooker Cake Challenge  #1 - Are you game for it?   hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Samgak Gimbap - the easier way of wrapping

Very innovative design. The plastic keeps the seaweed crisp.
Our trip to Seoul has been very fruitful :D I found these individually wrapped seaweed easily at Lotte Mart. I could not find this in the local or Korean supermarkets here in Singapore. Maybe it is always out-of-stock? Anyway, this seeweed has made packing samgak gimbap for my girl such a breeze. Check out Maangchi's video on Samgak Gimbap for steps on how to wrap it, as well as correct way of unwrapping it :D You may think it's funny but it can become a mess if you unwrap it in your own way :D

Apologies for lousy photo, just to show the inside of my samgak gimbap.

Japchae & Multigrain Rice

Recently I have been reading up on cooking instead of baking, hoping to learn to cook a few more dishes for my kid and hubby. As I am into multigrain rice since my samgak gimbap / onigiri / rice roll making adventure, I've gotten my sis to buy a packet of purple rice from Taiwan for me. I am still confused over purple rice and glutinous black rice. They look similar, and different sources on the Internet seem to suggest different thoughts about their relationship to each other. There are several health benefits to purple rice, do read up on wikipedia if you are interested to find out more.

During our recently family trip to South Korea, I bought a packet of multigrain rice from the Lotte Mart. Multigrain rice is expensive in Singapore's supermarkets. After checking with my Korean friend,  I understand that this multigrain rice need no soaking. This is convenient! I usually have to soak the other brand of multigrain rice for 3 to 4 hours before cooking.

As I was running out of idea on what to cook for lunch one Saturday, I decided to cook this multigrain rice to go with Japchae. I have cooked Japchae several times, but the result varies each time. This time, I decided to follow Maangchi's recipe. I am grateful to her for the many videos she has made and shared with novices like me :) Please refer to Maangchi's blog for full recipe and video. All her videos are very clear and she makes cooking Korean food looks so easy!

Instead of beef and white mushrooms, I used pork and enoki mushrooms. I think this is probably the yummiest Japchae I have made so far.

The multigrain rice smells and tastes great. I love the texture, especially the beans. Unlike my kid, who did not like the beans (which is fine as I got to eat more hehe). Fortunately, she loves the Korean purple-colored rice like me. She loves rice and in order to maintain her weight, I have switched to healthier rice. A word of caution though, I always cook 3/4 cup Japonica rice (from ntuc, supposed to be low in fat & cholesterol free) with 1/4 cup of purple rice or multigrain rice, as not everybody can digest multigrains well. So my suggestion is to start a lower ratio of multigrain rice and increase if your stomach agrees with it.

Stay healthy! :)