Chicken and Mushroom Pizza on Crispy Pizza Crust

My boy was supposedly joining the children camp for 3 days when he got sick on the second day, so he missed day 2 and day 3 of the camp. One of the thing that he was waiting from the camp was actually the pizza night on the second day. He joined the camp previously and they had a fun pizza and ice cream night.

Parmesan Cheese on top of the topping was his favorite

So when I asked him if he was sorry for missing the pizza night with his friends, he just simple answered: “Nah, it’s okay. You can always make the pizza for me.” and I was flattered because it meant that he loved my pizza and waiting for me to bake another batch of pizza for him. So that was how we ended up with 3 pans of pizza……………On the bright side, there was no pizza and ice cream on the camp this year……………..

Anyway, as I have guessed, he asked for a thin and crispy pizza crust because that what was he liked the most. So I followed a recipe from homecookingadventure.com (I have shared with you that this is one of my favorite site for cooking and baking) and I must say that we all really loved the result.

The crust was really crisp just like crackers (then again, this might no be everyone’s favorite). I usually made a big batch of pizza, kept them in the fridge, and just reheat it in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes for breakfast (the fastest and easiest breakfast to make in a hectic morning like………………..hmmm, let’s see……….everyday??? and yes, I prepared breakfast everyday from Monday to Sunday including school holiday except when we were back to my parents house, and it is simply because I don’t like having breakfast outside). 

Thin and crisp pizza crust

For the topping, I chose chicken and mushrooms which reminded me of a meat lover pizza back home that we used to buy. I changed the beef to chicken since my husband is not allowed to eat red meat by his doctor (the saddest thing ever……….). 

This time, to fasten the proofing process because I was in a hurry, I let the dough rise in a preheated oven (let me share how to do it below).

Generous topping on top of the pizza

For the chicken and mushroom topping, they have to be precooked. We don’t want to risk eating undercooked chicken and mushrooms because it’s very dangerous. My husband once ate undercooked mushrooms and he had to spend a large amount of money (most of it was for the test to find out what caused his allergy and it turned to be undercooked mushrooms!) to finally get cured. As for the tomatoes and paprika, they don’t have to be precooked.

For me, this topping could be a healthier option instead of ham, pepperoni, sausage, salami, or smoked salmon which are very salty and probably contain MSG and preservatives.

For the tomato based pizza sauce: you can in the recipes that I posted previously under the category: Type of Food: Gravy and Sauce.

For the toppings:

Ingredients:

  1. 150 gr chicken, minced
  2. 3 shiitake or brown button mushroom, cut in thin slices
  3. 1/2 large onion, minced
  4. 2 garlic, minced
  5. salt and pepper, to taste
  6. 10 cherry tomatoes, cut into 2
  7. 2 tbsp. olive oil

Method:

  1. Heat a pan with 2 tbsp. olive oil and add large onion and garlic. Stir fry until fragrant
  2. Add chicken and cook until chicken turns color into white
  3. Add mushrooms
  4. Lightly season with salt and pepper
  5. Continue cooking until the chicken and mushrooms are cooked through
  6. Turn off the heat, then add cherry tomato and mix well
  7. Set aside the topping

For The Pizza Dough:

Ingredients:

  1. 3 cups all purpose flour
  2. 1 tsp instant yeast
  3. 1 cup lukewarm water (more or less depending on your flour, but you can start with 3/4 cup of water first than increase the amount of water if the dough is too dry)
  4. 1 tsp sugar
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 2 tbsp. olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 100 Celsius
  2. Grate the mozzarella cheese and keep the grated cheese in the freezer until you are ready to use it (this method will make the cheese not burn easily) in the oven)
  3. Prepare a stand mixer or hand mixer with hook attachment
  4. Add all the ingredients for the pizza dough to the mixer bowl
  5. Start kneading in low speed with the mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic (for about 15 minutes in my mixer). Pizza dough is different than bread dough because however, the dough will not be as smooth and elastic as bread dough. For me, if the dough is not too sticky when I touch it with my finger, then it’s done. Another way is to poke the dough with your finger and if it slowly bounces back, then it’s ready, and if not, just keep kneading
  6. Once you finish kneading the dough, transfer the dough to a bowl that has been lightly coated all around with olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and clean cloth
  7. Turn off the oven and let the dough rise inside the oven with the door closed for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until double in size (this is to fasten the proofing process, and you can always proof the dough outside the oven which will take longer time)
  8. When the dough has doubled in size and your finger mark stays when you poke the dough, punch the dough to release the air
  9. Divide the dough into 3 (use a spatula or pastry cutter to divide the dough) and roll each dough into a smooth ball. Place the dough in a baking tray lined with parchment paper and cover with clean cloth. Let the dough rest for another 30 minutes
    Bring all sides together
    Roll the dough for a smooth texture

  10. Start preheating your oven (me: 260 Celsius fan forced). The best is to preheat the oven 30 to 60 minutes before baking the pizza (the longer the better to make sure that all sides of the oven is super hot, the dough is cooked through and crispy while the topping is not overcooked)
  11. Start shaping the pizza dough. Wet your hands with olive oil if the dough is too sticky (I usually didn’t use olive oil or extra flour as the dough was easy enough to shape)
  12. Place the dough on a pizza pan and gently stretch the dough with your 4 fingers (not including the thumbs). Try not to use a rolling pin
    Picture taken by my boy who was already on holiday
    Gently stretch the dough

    Pinch the sides for to create outer crust
  13. Gently poke the surface of the dough with your index fingers or a fork to prevent the dough from bubbling
  14. Lightly brush all the surface of the crust with olive oil to prevent the topping from getting soggy
  15. Spread pizza sauce with a spoon, then spread grated mozzarella cheese, then chicken and mushroom and cherry tomato topping, and you can also add fresh basil (I used fresh small celery leaves) and paprika if you like
  16. Bake in the lowest rack for about 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown or a bit burn if you like it that way. Few minutes before I turned off the oven, I usually added a handful of mozzarella cheese on top to get extra flavor and white color on top of the pizza
  17. Take out the pizza from the oven and generously brush the outer crust with olive oil 
  18. Let it cool slightly for about 3 minutes before cutting and serving the pizza (the pizza crust will be crispier once it’s not too hot)

 

Advertisements

Chicken Rice With Fried Chicken and Eggs in Soy Sauce, Spicy Potatoes, and Shrimp Paste Chili Sauce / Indonesia Traditional Chicken Rice

I saw a food blogger posted on her Instagram about a different type of chicken rice originated from Medan, a capital city of North Sumatera, which is a big island in Indonesia known for its delicious local food and beautiful tourism objects such as Lake Toba.

The chicken rice was different than the usual chicken rice because the rice was brown and there were also brown or caramelized chicken and hard boiled eggs, accompanied by special sambal, spicy potatoes and shrimps, and Indonesian pickle or acar. They looked so delicious.

Unfortunately, the picture didn’t come with the recipe. So I looked in the internet but it was so difficult to find, until I saw one person posted the way she made the rice and the chicken only, but the recipe wasn’t complete and the instructions were very minimum. So I was kinda guessing of how to made a complete set of the chicken rice, and since I have never seen and eaten the real chicken rice from Medan, I will not say that this the authentic version. So I didn’t name my post Chicken Rice from Medan, Sumatera Utara because this is a completely modified version from the original one.

Nonetheless, we still loved the outcome. It was top notch and so delicious, and even with 500 gr of rice, I was only able to eat 1 plate as both my husband and son finished the rest (not in one go of course). I especially loved the caramelized chicken and I never thought that I could actually cook chicken in that way.

The rice was brown because of the use of sweet soy sauce. For the amount of sweet soy sauce used in this recipe, it will be depending on your preference. For some brands that are very thick and sweet, you can reduce the sweet soy sauce. To me, this was just prefect because the sweetness of the rice balance the spiciness of the sambal (chili sauce) and the potatoes, the saltiness of the chicken and egg, and the sour taste of acar (I skipped this because we stopped consuming vinegar years ago, so I replaced with fresh cucumbers). The side dishes for this chicken rice might be uncommon, but when you eat them together, they will compliment each other very well.

It definitely took time to make everything together at once, so I made the shrimp paste chili / sambal one day ahead. I have posted the recipe of this sambal previously.

Chili sauce with shrimp paste / sambal terasi

I also have posted the recipe to make the spicy potatoes with shrimps and red bean in my previous post. It was a healthier version without coconut milk, fried potatoes, and chicken liver and gizzard.

Spicy potatoes, shrimps, and red bean

And now, we are going to make the chicken stock first. 

Ingredients:

  1. 1 whole chicken (preferably free range or kampong chicken), cut into 8 or 12
  2. 2 thumbs of ginger, cut into thin slices
  3. 1 large red onion, cut into 8
  4. 5 garlic, crush
  5. 1 large onion, cut into 8
  6. 5 salam leaves
  7. 5 lime leaves
  8. a handful of small celeries
  9. 2 L of water

Method:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a big wok and bring to boil in medium heat
  2. Then turn to low heat and let simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked
  3. Discard all the herbs and spices and set aside the chicken stock as we’re going to use this to cook the rice
  4. Set aside the chicken

After we make the chicken stock, we are going to cook the rice:

Ingredients:

  1. 500 gr rice
  2. 3 tbsp. cooking oil
  3. 1 large shallot, minced
  4. 5 garlic, minced
  5. 1 thumb ginger, cut in thin slices
  6. chicken stock (please follow the instruction on your rice package for the ratio of rice to chicken stock)
  7. 2 tbsp sesame oil
  8. 3 tbsp soy sauce
  9. 5 tbsp sweet soy sauce
  10. 1/2 tsp pepper

Method:

  1. Heat a wok with 3 tbsp. of cooking oil and add shallot, garlic, and ginger. Stir fry until fragrant
  2. Add rice and all the seasoning, then stir fry for about 2 minutes
  3. Add chicken stock and cook (while stirring occasionally) until the rice has absorbed all the water 
  4. Turn off the heat and prepare a steamer
  5. Steam rice and cook for about 45 minutes or until the rice has cooked through

And now, for the last part, we’re going to cook the chicken and eggs in black sauce:

Ingredients:

  1. The chickens that have been boiled to make chicken stock
  2. Cooking oil
  3. Hard boiled eggs
  4. 2 tbsp. oyster sauce
  5. 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  6. 50 ml water

Method:

  1. Deep fry the chickens until golden brown in both sides and set aside
  2. In another pan, add water, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chickens, and eggs
  3. Mix carefully and stir occasionally until all the sauce is absorbed by the chickens and eggs

How to serve:

Prepare a large plate and add the rice, fried chicken and egg, spicy potatoes, chili with shrimp paste, and fresh cucumbers. Serve hot.

 

A Healthier Version Of Indonesian Spicy Potatoes, Shrimps, and Red Beans in Herbs and Spices / Sambal Goreng Kentang

This is another very popular dish in Indonesia. This dish comes in so many versions as each family probably has its own twist. Originally, the complete version of this dish would contain fried potatos in cubes, shrimps, stinky beans or petai (which I love so much), chicken liver, and chicken gizzard (hati dan rempela ayam). My mom used to cook the complete version of this dish back then, and I remember that it was one of my favorite food. Now we don’t eat chicken livers and gizzards anymore (for healthy reason and my son  also doesn’t like both of them) plus stinky beans are definitely very expensive in where I live now, so I just used whatever ingredients that I could find easily in the wet market.

I made the healthier version of this dish, which means I didn’t fry the potatoes, but just cook them with the herbs and spices. I didn’t use coconut either, as my husband is not allowed to consume coconut milk, but taste wise, I still liked the one without coconut milk, because it was lighter and healthier.

I also added red beans so there would be more vegetables inside the dish. Just like most Indonesian food, this dish also has strong flavor because it uses lots of herbs and spices. Just serve this with a plate full of hot steam rice and keropok, and you will definitely can’t stop eating.

Ingredients:

  1. 20 medium shrimps, peel and wash
  2. 600 potatoes, peel and cubes
  3. 150 gr red beans
  4. 1 large red onion, minced
  5. 3 garlic minces
  6. 5 salam leaves
  7. 1 lemongrass, take the white part only and cut diagonally
  8. 8 lime leaves
  9. 1 tsp palm sugar
  10. 1 tsp sugar
  11. 2 tsp salt
  12. 1/2 tsp pepper
  13. 200 ml water (more or less)

Process in a blender into a paste:

  1. 1 large red onion
  2. 5 garlic
  3. 4 candlenuts
  4. 10 red chili
  5. 1 tsp shrimp paste, pan fried until fragrant (reduce to 1/2 tsp if you don’t really like the smell and the taste. I reduced the amount of shrimp paste when cooking this for my boy)
  6. 1 thumbs ginger
  7. 1 thumb galangal
  8. 3 tbsp. oil (add oil if necessary so the blender can process all the ingredients)

Method:

  1. Transfer the paste to a wok and add minced red onion, minced garlic, salam leaves. lemongrass, lime leaves and stir fry until fragrant the paste becomes dry and a bit burn on the sides of the wok

    This is a non spicy version of the herbs and spices. My boy didn’t eat spicy food, so I added the chili separately at the end of the cooking process
  2. Add shrimps, potatoes, and red beans and cook until the shrimps change color into pink
  3. Season with salt, pepper, sugar, and palm sugar
  4. Add water and cook until the potatoes are soft (you can add more water to cook the potatoes), the water has reduced, and the mixture becomes thick
  5. Turn off the heat and serve with hot steam rice

Indonesian Chili Sauce With Shrimp Paste / Sambal Terasi

I love sambal so much and most of the time, I can’t eat without sambal. Sambal or chili paste is very popular in Indonesia as Indonesian people really love to eat spicy food. There are many types of sambal in Indonesia, and my favorite up to know is sambal terasi or Indonesian traditional chili sauce with shrimp paste. This kind of sambal goes along very well with almost any kind of dishes, such as Indonesian traditional fried chicken, grilled chicken, fried fish, grilled fish, spiced beef dish, fried rice, fried noodle, tempeh and tofu, sweet and sour and spicy Indonesian traditional soup, etc.

I have a special way to make this sambal which is probably different than many people, but I have learnt this from my mom and it is guaranteed that the taste is so much better. It is so good as it is pan fried twice with lots of herbs and spices. The smell and the taste are so wonderful and it will definitely increase everyone’s appetite and you will want to eat more and more if you pair any kind of dishes with this sambal.

My husband who didn’t usually eat spicy food also loved this sambal so much, and although he couldn’t eat as much as I did, but he began to add my homemade sambal every time he ate lunch or dinner.

So, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

  1. 200 gr red chili
  2. 1 large shallot, cut into 6
  3. 1 large onion, cut into 6
  4. 5 garlic, crush
  5. 2 medium tomatoes, cut into 8
  6. 1 tsp shrimp paste or belacan or terasi, pan fried until fragrant
  7. 5 lime leaves
  8. 3 tbsp cooking oil
  9. 1 tsp salt
  10. 1 tsp palm sugar
  11. 2 tsp sugar
  12. 2 thumbs galangal
  13. Lime juice from lime juice, plus the skin
  14. 2 tbsp fried shallot

Method:

  1. Heat a wok with 3 tbsp. of cooking oil
  2. Add chili, shallot, onion, garlic, tomatoes, and shrimp paste, and lime leaves
  3. Stir fry the mixture until fragrant (you can really smell the spiciness of the chili at this point) and chili, shallot, onion, garlic, and tomato turn softer
  4. Transfer all the ingredients to a blender and process until they reach the smoothness of your preference (I just like them to be roughly chop with the chili seeds are still clearly seen)
  5. Transfer back all the ingredients to the wok and add salt, palm sugar, sugar, galangal, lime juice plus lime skins and cook until  the water has reduced (the water comes from the tomato juice)
    Add galangal and salam leaves

    Add lime juice and the lime skins
  6. Add fried shallot, mix, and cook again for 2 minutes

    Add fried shallots
  7. Turn off the heat and let it cool in room temperature
  8. Keep in air tight containers in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months

Pumpkin Pao with Minced Chicken and Vegetables / Bakpao Labu Madu Isi Ayam dan Sayuran

I’ve made pao several time, but so far, this was the best one in term of texture and softness. Unlike any other pao, this one was still very soft even after several hours in room temperature, which really surprised me. I purposely wanted to test the pao, so I ate the pao when it was no longer hot, and the texture didn’t change at all. This pao contained no preservatives, MSG, whitening agent, or bread improver which could help the pao stayed soft and moist after several hours, so taste wise, it was so delicious, healthy, and safe to eat.

As I read in some websites before, adding potato, pumpkin, and sweet potato will make the texture of the bread and cake to be very soft and moist. Bread that contain one of those three ingredients will be able to stay soft even after few hours in room temperature and even when it is cold (from the fridge). They are very natural and healthy to be added to bread and cakes, so I always love baking with these three ingredients.

I am still not good at shaping or plating the pao, so I just made it into the easiest shape that I could make. This was a good way to finish my butternut pumpkin in my fridge, although actually I still had a lot of them even after making the pao. So now, I have to think really hard and browse for another recipe to finish all my butternut pumpkin………………hmmmm………….any idea?

The original recipe was taken from nasilemaklover.blogspot.com and I doubled the recipe to make this pao. As usual, I couldn’t just have minced meat inside the pao, so I added carrot, mushroom, and spring onion so it would be more nutritious.

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  1. 200 gr pumpkins, cubes and steam until soft, then mash until smooth with a fork
  2. 300 gr cake flour
  3. 1.5 tsp dry instant yeast
  4. 60 gr sugar
  5. 1/2 tsp salt
  6. 60 gr cooking oil
  7. Water, 5 tsp (more or less). The mashed pumpkin already contain water, so the amount of water use in this recipe is depending on the pumpkin

For the filling:

  1. 200 gr minced chicken
  2. 1 carrot, grated
  3. 3 brown button mushroom, minced
  4. 10 spring onion, minced
  5. 1 tbsp sesame oil
  6. 1 tbsp rice wine
  7. 1 tbsp fish sauce
  8. 2 tbsp soy sauce
  9. 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
  10. 1/4 tsp pepper
  11. 1/2 tsp salt

Method:

For the filling:

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and mix until they form a paste. Set aside

For the dough:

  1. Prepare a stand mixer with hook attachment
  2. Add all the ingredients to make the dough (except the water) into the mixing bowl. Start kneading and add water 1 tsp at a time
  3. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth, elastic, and not sticky (do a windowpane test to check whether the dough is ready or not). It took 15 minutes for my stand mixer to finish kneading the dough
  4. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with cling wrap and a clean cloth and let rise in warm place for about 45 minutes to 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. To see if the dough has risen enough, simply poke your finger into the dough, and if the finger mark stays, then it has finished rising
  5. Knock down the dough to release the air, and divide the dough into 50 gr each
  6. Roll each dough into a ball and flatten it
  7. Add filling in the middle of the dough

    The dough was extremely smooth and very easy to shape
  8. Bring all sides together and pinch to seal
  9. Place each dough in a parchment paper or cupcake liners
  10. Let the dough rise for another 15 minutes
  11. Prepare steamer and wait until the water boils
  12. Steam the buns in medium to high heat in batches for 15 minutes for each batch. Check the amount of water in the steamer before steam another batch of the pumpkin bao

Spaghetti Alfredo

This dish was so creamy and cheesy……………..and we totally loved it! Best of all, it didn’t give a bad aftertaste even though we ate a big plate of this spaghetti dish. Usually, when we dined out and ordered something creamy and contained a large amount of cheese, we had this bad taste in our throats and stomach, but this time we were completely fine. Well, that is the good side of home cooked food, we always use the freshest ingredients and good quality cream and cheese.

Although spaghetti alfredo doesn’t usually add vegetables, but I added mushrooms and cherry tomatoes because if you know me, I couldn’t stand serve something without at least 1 kind of vegetable inside. I planned to add carrots and paprika too, but didn’t have enough time to peel and grate and dice, so I just stick to mushrooms and cherry tomatoes.

The boy and daddy each ate 1 big plate of this spaghetti dish twice, when I was happy enough with whatever left on the pan, hahaha……..luckily, the boy was willingly finished all the cherry tomatoes in his plate (and without complain!), but basically, adding the cute little tomatoes really added the overall flavour of the dish and a smart way to make everyone eating tomatoes voluntarily.

Surprisingly, my husband who didn’t usually eat anything creamy or has cheese inside, loved this too and even agreed to have the second plate. The sauce was so good that I couldn’t stop scooping the leftover sauce on the wok and plates.

By the way, it is best to serve this with garlic bread fresh from the oven which is everyone’s favorite at home.

Ingredients:

  1. 350 gr spaghetti (or for 5 portions)
  2. 100 gr chicken fillet, minced
  3. 5 slices breakfast ham, bite size cut
  4. 20 cherry tomatoes, cut into 2
  5. 2 king oyster mushroom, bite size cut
  6. 1 large onion, minced
  7. 4 garlic, minced
  8. Salt, to taste
  9. Pepper, to taste
  10. 2 tbsp. olive oil

For the sauce:

  1. 500 ml cooking cream or mix with plain milk (I combined half and half of the cooking cream and milk)
  2. 100 gr unsalted butter
  3. 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  4. 1 cup parmesan cheese
  5. Spaghetti water
  6. Salt and pepper to taste
  7. Minced coriander leaves

And now, let’s cook this simple yet delicious dish:

Method:

  1. Boil water in a large pot and add salt to the water, the salty water adds flavor to the pasta. Pour spaghetti into the boiling water. As the pasta starts to cook, stir it well with the tongs or wooden spatula so the pasta don’t stick to each other (or to the pot). Follow the cooking time in the package. Drain and save several the pasta water
  2. Heat a large wok with 2 tbsp. of olive oil and add minced garlic and large onion. Stir fry until fragrant and soft
  3. Add breakfast ham and chicken, cook until the chicken turn color into white
  4. Add tomatoes and mushrooms, cook until the mushrooms and chicken are thoroughly cooked. Set aside
  5. Add cooking cream, milk, and butter to the same wok. Stir occasionally until the butter has melted completely
  6. Add mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Stir until the mixture becomes smooth and thick. The cheese will thicken the sauce
  7. Season with salt and pepper
  8. Bring back the mixture of chicken and mushroom to the wok and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes
  9. Add the spaghetti and mix to combine well. Add some of the spaghetti water if the mixture if too thick. Don’t worry if the mixture becomes too watery, once you turn off the heat and remove to plates, the spaghetti will absorb all the sauce
  10. Transfer to plates and garnish with coriander and mint leaves. Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top of the dish (optional)
  11. Keep the spaghetti water just in case you want to reheat the dish on the wok, you can add some of the water to reheat the dish
  12. Serve while it’s still hot with garlic bread

Step By Step Chocolate / Cocoa Chiffon Cake

So, I could’t resist to bake another batch of chiffon cake. I get so addicted making chiffon cake lately, hahaha……. and I can’t stop until I really master the techniques of making good chiffon cake. My problem now is actually not how to make the cake, but how to bake.

I have a new oven and it’s fan forced which sadly, I can’t switch off, so sometimes, I’m still struggling a bit when baking in my oven. Very few recipes use fan forced oven to bake the cake or bread, so I have to do some trial and error and adjust the baking time every time I try a new recipe. Plus, it’s a big oven, so I also have to be really careful of where to put the baking tray, especially when baking cakes.

So, back to the chiffon cake story. This time, I chose chocolate chiffon cake, just simply because I love chocolate so much. There are many variations of chocolate chiffon cake: using chocolate milk, using cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and the last one that I made is using cocoa powder.

I combines cocoa powder and chocolate chips altogether, to give a strong flavor of chocolate. I think this recipe is good to try if you don’t want to invest in dark chocolate, which can be quite expensive if you want to buy good quality dark chocolate for better result of baking.

The using of chocolate chips is optional, you can choose not to add them. I also added orange zest to replace the vanilla essence, and I really loved it. It’s more natural and healthier option to replace vanilla essence, plus you’ll get extra fragrance in your cake. I only used orange zest from 1 orange, so although the orange smell was so obvious during the baking process, the trace of the orange smell was gone when the cake was done. The smell of chocolate overpowered the orange.

The good thing was, the orange played an important part and even better than the vanilla essence to get rid the egg white smell which we sometimes get from a cake after baking. I’m very sensitive to egg white smell, so it is very important for me that my cake is free from this kind of smell.

The cake was so soft and moist, and I just loved it so much. The texture was very light, not so sweet because I reduced the amount of sugar used from the original recipe, and it was still so soft and light even after I ate it directly after I took it out from the refrigerator.

I personally satisfied with the result of this cake, and the not so strong chocolate flavor suited my lil boy’s taste who was not a big fan of chocolate. For my husband who liked strong chocolate flavor, the cake was not chocolaty enough. He said he wanted a strong taste of chocolate from the cake. So next time, I will use dark chocolate to make another batch of chiffon cake……………more reason the bake chiffon cake again, hahaha……..but this is up to your preference, whan kind of ingredients you want to use and how strong or light you want the taste of chocolate to be.

For me, I’m fine with this recipe since I don’t really like strong chocolate flavour (I used to, but not anymore since I started reducing eating chocolate to loose weight), but for my husband although he liked the softness and lightness and moistness of the cake, he still wanted the cake to have a richer chocolate flavor.

I decorated the cake with the leftover cream cheese frosting in my freezer (I had to finish the cream cheese before we went for holiday, so I thought this was perfect for my chocolate chiffon cake). Sadly, I forgot to take picture of the cake before I spreaded the cream cheese frosting (well, as usual, I was in a hurry to fetch my son from school and also to prepare lunch).

So, there are no before and after photos (except when the cake was still in the oven), but here is the final result and also the complete recipe:

Ingredients:

A:

  1. 100 gr egg yolks (about 5 large eggs or 6 medium eggs), in room temperature

    Perfect yolks………………I bought an egg separator in Giant Hypermart which made this separating process easier for me
  2. 100 gr caster sugar
  3. 85 ml oil (I used canola oil)
  4. 130 ml plain or fresh milk
  5. orange zest from 1 large orange

    freshly grated orange zest
  6. 160 gr cake flour
  7. 130 gr cocoa powder
  8. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/4 tsp salt

B:

  1. 200 gr egg whites (from 5 large eggs or 6 medium eggs), in room temperature
  2. 1 tsp lime juice
  3. 100 gr caster sugar

C:

  1. 4 tbsp. chocolate chips

For the cream cheese frosting, you can check the recipe in my previous post of Butternut Pumpkin Butter Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Method:

*My oven is a fan forced, so the way I baked and the timing is different than the non fan forced one, so I reduced the temperature by 10 Celsius degree. Original recipe was to bake in 170 Celsius for at least 50 minutes, but for my oven it would be 60 to 75 minutes for 23 cm chiffon cake pan

* I used 23 cm chiffon cake pan as the recipe stated, but in my opinion this would be fine if you want to bake in smaller size pan  (21 cm should also be fine, but baking time would be different)

  1. Start preheating your oven together with the chiffon cake tube pan
  2. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set side
  3. Cream egg yolks and caster sugar (from ingredients A) in a mixer in high speed (speed 3 is the highest speed in my mixer)  for about 5 minutes or until it is light and triple in volume
  4. Add cooking oil, milk, and freshly grated orange zest to the mixing bowl and mix in low speed until well incorporated
  5. In low speed, mix the flour mixture with other ingredients just until well combined. Do not overmix. Use a spatula to scrape the flour from the sides of the mixing bowl to fasten the mixing process. Transfer the batter to a bowl
  6. The batter should be nice, light, and double or triple in volume, so it will be easier to fold it into the egg white meringue
  7. Wash and clean and dry the mixing bowl and the whisks thoroughly before using them to beat the egg whites. Make sure there are no yolk, oil, or water left before start whisking the white
  8. Add egg whites and lime juice and start to mix in lowest speed then gradually increase the speed
  9. When the mixture start to foamy, gradually add sugar and increase to highest speed
  10. Beat the egg whites and sugar until they are silky and glossy and reach firm peak and just before it reaches stiff peak stage. If you are not so sure, when the mixture start to look smooth and glossy, turn off the mixer and check. Continue mixing if the stage is not there yet but check every 5 seconds so you do not overbeat the egg whites

    Firm peak stage and this is what happen when you lift the whisk: when you turn the whisk upside down, the peaks will hold but the tips fold back on themselves
  11. Now it’s time to mix the egg whites batter with the egg yolks batter. Take 1/3 of the meringue and add it to the egg yolk mixture. Whisk gently until well combined (don’t worry that you will deflate the batter, this method will make the batter lighter and easier to fold later on)
    Gently whisk to combine

    Whisk until well incorporated
  12. Add another 1/3 of the meringue to the egg yolks batter, and this time, fold gently with a spatula or a wooden spoon (my tip: it is easier to use a wooden spatula). Fold the batter in clockwise direction using one hand while the other hand turning the bowl in clockwise direction. See the pictures below:

    Finally, gently mix the batter on top with spatula
  13. Add the last 1/3 of the meringue to the batter, and again, fold gently with a spatula until well combined
  14. Bang the bowl 4 to 5 times to the kitchen top so the big bubbles can rise to the top and burst
  15. Pour half of the mixture into the cake pan slowly from one side of the cake pan and don’t turn the cake pan at all. This will help to get rid of big bubbles
  16. Add 2 tbsp. of chocolate chips (or more depending on your preference) and swirl the batter with a chopstick to release any bubbles that are still trapped on the bottom side of the cake pan, the smoothen the surface of the batter with a spatula
  17. Pour the remaining batter to the cake pan and add another 2 tbsp. of chocolate chips (or more depending on your preference)
  18. Using a chopstick, swirl again several times round the cake pan to release any bubbles that are still trapped on the bottom side of the cake pan, then smoothen the surface of the batter with a spatula
  19. Put the cake pan  in the lowest rack of the oven
  20. Bake for at least 60 minutes (again, every oven is different, so know your oven well)
  21. When it’s done, the top should be brown and springy and will slightly bounce back when you tap with your finger. You can also check by inserting a skewer which should come out clean when the cake is done
  22. Once baking is done, overturn the cake and let it cool. Try to put the cake as far away form the table top because the hot steam will spoil the surface of the cake
  23. Using a thin knife or spatula, separate the cake from the sides of the cake pan by pressing the knife as firm as possible to the cake pan
  24. Slice with bread or serrated knife. The cake was soft so it was easy to cut
  25. Store the uneaten cake in an airtight container for 3 days, then keep in the fridge after that. It was still soft and fluffy even after I put in the refrigerator

Indonesian Street Vendor Style Vegetable Salad With Peanut Dressing / Gado Gado Jakarta Ala Abang-Abang

I love this dish so much, and this is absolute my favourite salad and salad dressing up to now. In Indonesia, we know this vegetables salad with peanut dressing as gado gado.

This dish is very popular in my hometown, and you can find it easily in big hotels, big and small restaurants, food courts, and even from the street vendors. In my opinion, the best dish has to be the one from the street vendor which only sells gado gado in the afternoon. This is not a morning or night street food, the sellers only make this dish during lunch time, and before evening comes, they will close their gado gado stalls. When I came home, this is usually what I bought for my first lunch after I arrived from the airport. That was how much I love gado gado.

There are more than 1 version of gado gado in Indonesia, and usually, different city has different recipe. There are recipes that using coconut milk for the sauce, others using sweet soy sauce, and there even recipes that use cashew nuts (of course this one is more expensive when you buy outside).

This recipe that I will share is the one that almost resembles my favorite gado gado in town (the one near my parents house). The seller only uses a small cart and he only sells gado gado and nothing else, but this one is still my favorite for years.

If you buy an authentic gado gado dish, the seller will make the dressing (usually for 4 to 5 portions) in huge mortar and pestle made from stone. Then, he will mix all the vegetables with the dressing in the same big mortar before dividing it to some plates. So this dish is made to order. We can choose how many chili that we want, what kind of vegetables that we like, with or without egg, etc.

I like to eat my gado gado cold, so I usually keep the vegetables and salad dressing mixture in the fridge for at least 1 hour. By the way, gado gado always comes with keropok or Indonesian crackers such as rice crackers, shrimp crackers, or melinjo crackers………………..so crackers are must have items when you eat gado gado.

Since it’s very troublesome to make the dressing with mortar and pestle, let’s just use a blender or food processor instead…………..

So, here is the recipe…………………

Ingredients:

For The Dressing:

  1. 100 gr peanuts, pan fried until soft and thoroughly cooked (the peanuts are soft when hot, but crunchy when already cool in room temperature)
  2. 100 gr cashew nuts (or you can use peanuts only), pan fried until thoroughly cooked and a bit burn
  3. 2 garlic
  4. 5 gr tamarind / asam jawa, soaked with 3 tbsp. water and squeeze to get the juice
  5. lime juice from 2 small limes
  6. 1/2 tsp shrimp paste / belacan / terasi, pan fried until fragrant
  7. 15 gr palm sugar (I always use Javanese palm sugar in blocks and not powder) / gula merah
  8. red and green chili, as much as you want
  9. 50 ml water (or more, depend on how thick you want the sauce to be)
  10. 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  11. 2 tbsp. fried shallots

Vegetables:

  1. corn kernels from, steam
  2. chayote / labu siam, steam and cut into smaller parts
  3. cucumbers, bite size cut
  4. white firm tofu, fried
  5. tempeh, fried
  6. potatoes, peel, cube, and steam
  7. hard boiled eggs
  8. fresh lettuce
  9. any kind of vegetables of your choice, such as bean sprouts, iceberg lettuce, long beans,  etc.
  10. keropok or crackers (usually rice crackers) and this is a must have item in gado gado

Method:

  1. Using a blender, process all the ingredients (except fried shallots) for the sauce until smooth. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and add fried shallots, then mix well. Add water if the sauce is too thick
  2. Prepare the vegetables (divide into several plates) 
  3. Pour and mix the sauce in each plate only when you are ready to serve (also suitable to be served as cold salad which is how I always eat my gado gado)

 

Thick and Fluffy Salami Pizza With Cheese Crust

This was actually my first time making thick and fluffy pizza. I made this before I made the salmon and cream cheese pizza which I have posted previously. Salami and pepperoni are my lil boy’s favorite pizza topping, and I never bother to add anything else on his pizza because he just won’t eat it.

He was clearly asked for pizza crust with cheese sticks just like what he used to have in one of the famous Pizza restaurant. Well, cheese sticks are expensive, so it took me months to finally decided to buy and make my own cheese crust pizza.

The cheese sticks melted nicely inside the dough

Since this was my first time making thick and fluffy pizza (I usually make thin crisp pizza crust and I have shared the recipe in my previous post), so I browsed the internet to find the right recipe. The one that interest me the most was the recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com which was complete with explanations and step by step. And yes, I really loved the result as the crust was fluffy and thick but still crisp on the edges and on the bottom side.

Brown at the bottom

For step by step and full explanations of how to successfully make thick and fluffy pizza crust, I have posted in my previous post, but I will also write down the methods in this post.

Some might like thin crust pizza, and others like thick crust pizza, so it is up to your preference of which pizza crust that you would like to have, but even for my son who was not a big fun of thick pizza crust, he also liked this pizza so much. He even finished one whole pizza pan by himself plus another slice from the other pan. So that was how good the pizza was.

Ingredients:

For The Pizza Dough:

  1. 440 gr / 3 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  2. 2 and 1/4 tsp dry instant yeast
  3. 320 ml / 1 and 1/3 cups lukewarm water
  4. 30 ml / 2 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 3/4 tsp salt

For The Topping:

  1. homemade pizza or pasta tomato sauce, you can the recipes for homemade pasta sauce in my previous posts
  2. pepperoni or salami
  3. grated mozzarella cheese
  4. 5 stick cheese / cheese strings
  5. olive oil to brush the crust

Method:

  1. Prepare a stand mixer or hand mixer with hook attachment
  2. Add all the ingredients for the pizza dough to the mixer bowl
  3. Start kneading in low or medium speed (I always use lowest speed) with the mixer until the dough is smooth and elastic (for about 15 minutes in my mixer). Pizza dough is different than bread dough because however, the dough will not be as smooth and elastic as bread dough. The dough can be a bit sticky which is fine. Just poke the dough with your finger if it slowly bounces back, then it’s ready, and if not, just keep kneading
  4. Once the dough is smooth and elastic, transfer to a bowl that has been lightly coated all around with olive oil. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and clean cloth and let it rise for about 1 hour
  5. When the dough has doubled in size and your finger mark stays when you poke the dough, punch the dough to release the air
  6. Divide the dough into 2 (use a spatula or pastry cutter to divide the dough) and roll each dough into a ball. Let rest in 2 separate bowls that had been lightly covered with olive oil. Cover the bowls with clean cloth and let the dough rest for another 15 to 20 minutes
  7. Start preheating your oven (me: 260 Celsius fan forced). The best is to preheat the oven 30 to 45 minutes before baking the pizza (the longer the better)
  8. Grate the mozzarella cheese and keep the grated cheese in the freezer until you are ready to use it (this method will make the cheese not burn easily) in the oven)
  9. Start shaping the pizza dough. Wet your hands with olive oil if the dough is too sticky
  10. Place the dough on the pizza pan / or parchment paper and gently stretch the dough with your fingers (index, middle, and ring fingers). Don’t use rolling pin
  11. Place the stick cheese around the edges of the dough and wrap the cheese sticks with the dough. Pinch to seal the dough around the cheese sticks
  12. Lightly brush the crust with olive oil
  13. Gently poke the surface of the dough with your index fingers to prevent the dough from bubbling
  14. Let rest for another 10 minutes before topping
  15. Add pizza sauce for the topping (not too much or the dough will be soggy), then , spread grated mozzarella cheese, then add salami or pepperoni
  16. Bake for about 10 to 20 minutes (I used the lowest rack to prevent the top from burning). The time of baking is depending on your oven. Keep checking after 10 minutes if the crust is already start to brown or not
  17. When the crust starts to brown (after 10 to 15 minutes), spread 1 tbsp. of mozzarella cheese on top of the pizza and continue baking until the cheese is melted (this is optional, but I like adding extra mozzarella cheese on top)
  18. After you take out the pizza from the oven, generously brush the sides of the pizza crust with olive oil
  19. Slice and serve the pizza hot

Indonesian Traditional Black Fish Soup / Rawon Ikan

Rawon or beef black soup is a popular dish from East Java, Indonesia. Yes, originally, this dish is using beef as the main ingredient and to give flavour to the broth. There is actually another version of this dish which use chicken as the main ingredient, but this dish is originated from Central Java and known as pindang ayam or black chicken soup with herbs and spices. You can check the recipe in my previous post here.

The black color of the soup comes from  a football shaped black nuts that is well known as “keluwek” or “keluak” in Indonesia. It is fruit that comes from a tall tree native to Indonesia and has a special flavor and gives dark rich color to dishes. If it is raw or not cooked yet, you will find that the smell is rather sour and the taste is rather bitter, but it is delicious once it’s mixed and cooked with other ingredients.

Keluwek

The fruit has a very hard shell outside and we only use the soft part in the inside, and this is how you break the shell to get the black fruit inside:

Break the outer part with mortar and pestle
Crack with you hands
Take out the black fruit inside

Recently, I just found out (well, through the internet, of course) that I could actually substitute the beef or chicken with fish…………..something that I have never ever had thought before. I was not certain of how the taste would be, but I was willing to take a risk since I had 3 big plastic bags of fish bones, heads, and carcasses in the freezer. So, if you have the same problem like me, and you don’t know what to do with your fish bones, don’t throw them away…………………and here is another alternative of how to use them.

I really loved the outcome of the dish and in my opinion, fish stock, when you know how to make it in the correct way, taste much better than chicken or beef stock. Fish stock is also healthier than chicken or beef stock. Just use lots of herbs and spices, and don’t use too much water when you boil the fish bones, and  you’ll get a thick and delicious fish stock.

Ingredients:

  1. 800 gr fish filet, cut into 2 x 2 cm (I used king snapper fillet)
  2. fish bones and carcass from 1 big fish (I used bones, head, and carcasses from 2.5 kg batang fish)
  3. 2 L water
  4. 4 keluak / kluwek
  5. 1 large red onion
  6. 10 small garlic
  7. 10 candlenuts, stir fry in a non stick pan without oil until fragrant and a bit burn on the sides
  8. 2 thumbs of ginger
  9. 1 tsp shrimp paste / terasi (pan fry with very little oil until fragrant))
  10. 2 tsp coriander powder
  11. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  12. 1 tbsp. salt, or to taste
  13. 1 tsp sugar
  14. 4 to 5 tbsp. cooking oil
  15. 1 tsp pepper
  16. 10 lime leaves
  17. 10 salam leaves
  18. 2 lemon grass, take the white part only and cut diagonally in this slices
  19. potatoes, cubes
  20. red beans
  21. green beans, cut into 2 cm length
  22. fried shallots
  23. fried garlic
  24. spring onion, cut into 2 cm length
  25. small celery, minced
  26. lime juice from small limes
  27. any other vegetables of your choice, such as bean sprouts

Method:

  1. Clean the fish bones and carcass and also the fish fillet, then squeeze some lime juice to get rid of the fishy smell. Keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
  2. In a blender, process: keluak, large onion, garlic, candlenuts, ginger, shrimp paste, coriander powder, and turmeric powder with cooking oil until they form a paste. Don’t use water to process the ingredients in the blender, use cooking oil instead. Transfer the paste to a large wok
  3. Stir fry the paste until fragrant and dry and a bit burn
  4. Add the fish bones, head, and carcass together with lemon grass, lime leaves, and salam leaves. Stir fry until the fish change color into white
  5. Add water and bring boil in medium heat
  6. Once it boils, turn to low heat and simmer for 1 hour
  7. Turn off the heat and let cool slightly before straining the soup. Transfer the soup to another wok and discard the herbs and spices
  8. Add fish fillets, potatoes, red beans, and green beans and cook until all the fish and vegetables are cooked through
  9. Turn off the heat and add minced spring onion, celery, fried shallots, and fried garlic. Add lime juice in each bowl before serving
  10. Serve with how steam rice, shrimp crackers, and chili sauce (you can check the recipe for the chili sauce in here).