Fried Fishcake From Sumatera, Indonesia / Pempek Dengan Adonan Biang (Resep 1)

This fishcake is absolutely one of our favorite Indonesian dish. In Indonesia, we call this dish pempek. Pempek was originated from Sumatera, one of the big island in Indonesia which consists of many cities. Although it came from Sumatera, but this dish is well known almost everywhere in Indonesia and many people like it because it’s just so different from any other fishcakes and it’s so delicious.

There are many kind of recipes for pempek, and each recipe will result in different kind of taste of the fishcake. There are also many variations of this fishcake, such as lenjer (long shape fishcake), adaan (round shape fishcake, usually made with coconut milk), kapal selam (or submarine fishcake because the shape looks like a submarine with egg yolk as the filling), kulit (made from fish skin), keriting (curly shape fishcake made using special fish cake mold).

Pempek is usually eaten with the spicy, sweet, and sour black sauce which we known as kuah cuko. For my son and husband who don’t like spicy food, I made the non spicy version, but it’s not as delicious as the spicy version. We also eat this fishcake with cucumbers, egg noodle, dried shrimp powder, and my favorite sambal ijo or Indonesian green sambal / super spicy green chili sauce. Oh, I love it when it’s very spicy.

It’s very easy to fine this dish in Jakarta, even in my parents neighborhood, there are several restaurants originated from Sumatera which sell this dish.  Each restaurant has different taste of pempek. It’s very difficult to say which one is better, because it depends on each one’s preference. Even my husband, my son, and I have different taste, but my favorite is the one which starts with S…………..

I usually bought at least 50 pempek whenever I came back to Jakarta and I would put them freezer here (and yes, that was how much we loved this dish). Then I was thinking of why not trying to make it my own.

The first time, I didn’t like the taste but my husband and my son were actually liked it a lot (the taste reminded me of pempek from the restaurant that starts with B, and I didn’t like pempek from this shop, but this shop was very well known). My second try with different recipe, my husband and son said it wasn’t good but I actually loved it so much. The third time (with another different recipe), was the most successful one because everyone loved it……………….yeay………..! I made pempek twice with this recipe that I will share below, and it was always spot on. We loved it.

To make this fishcake, there are 2 different techniques, one using a starter dough, and the other one not. The one that I will share is using starter dough. The dough is easy to shape and it wasn’t so difficult to add egg yolk compare to the one without the starter dough (I still failed adding egg yolk if I used the recipe without starter dough).

The left side had egg yolk inside, while the right side didn’t

You can also use different kind of fish, but this time, I made it using batang or tenggiri fish. Also, many people said it is best to use fresh fish, but since fresh fish is not that easy to find here, I used frozen fish which was fine for me, the result was still delicious. Just remember that the amount of water used when using fresh or frozen fish is different).

I had to try several times before I finally knew the technique to add egg yolk as the filling of the fishcake. Practice makes perfect

Ingredients:

For the fishcake:

  1. 30 gr all purpose flour
  2. 170 -220 ml water (If the fish is fresh, use 220 ml water. If the fish was frozen, reduce the water to 170 ml)
  3. 5 garlic, mash with mortar and pestle
  4. 2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp sugar
  6. 300 gr tenggiri / batang fish
  7. 250 gr tapioca flour
  8. egg yolks for the fillings

For the sauce / “kuah cuko”:

  1. 300 gr gula jawa / Indonesian palm sugar or any kind of brown palm sugar
  2. 1 L water
  3. 5 garlic, mash with mortar and pestle
  4. 50 gr asam jawa / tamarind (add 30 ml of water, then squeeze the tamarind with your fingers to get the juice. Discard the tamarind and use the juice only)
  5. 1/2 salt
  6. 1 tbsp dried shrimp powder
  7. 2 gr tongchai or Tung Chai or Chinese Pickled Cabbage (optional, you can skip this if you don’t have)
  8. red and green chili padi (the amount depends on how spicy you want the sauce to be) , mash with mortar and pastle

Others:

  1. Egg noodle
  2. Cucumbers
  3. Dried shrimp powder

Method:

To make the fish cake:

  1. Boil water in a big pot
  2. First, we are going to make the starter dough. In a small pan, combine all purpose flour, water, salt, and sugar. Mix well with a wooden spatula
  3. Cook in low heat while continuously stirring until the mixture is very thick and you see some bubbles appear. Turn off the heat. Let cool in room temperature

    Few lumps are fine, the dough doesn’t have to be very smooth
  4. In a big bowl, combine fish and mash garlic, mix well
  5. Add the starter dough into the bowl, and mix again using a wooden spatula
  6. Add tapioca flour little by little (4 to 5 times), and in each addition, gently mix with a wooden spatula. Don’t knead the dough. I used my hand because it was easier to mix by hand, but I didn’t knead the dough. I just brought them together gently until they were all combined into one big dough. If you over mix, the fishcake will become hard, so just mix gently (wooden spatula would be the best choice to use)
  7. Remove the dough to the kitchen top (I usually used silicone mat on top of the kitchen top because the dough didn’t stick to the mat). Sprinkle some tapioca flour if necessary
  8. Shape into long shape, round shape, or fill with egg yolk in the middle. To make fishcake with egg yolk:
    Take some of the dough, make a round shape, and flatten it
    Start making a well
    Make a deep well
    Carefully add the egg yolk
    Another way to add the yolk
    Seal tightly and immediately cook in boiling water

    Make a round shape and roll to make a long shape / lenjer
  9. Cook in boiling water until the fish cake floats. If you fill the middle with egg yolk, add another 10 minutes in the cooking time to make sure the egg is cooked thoroughly
  10. Once it floats, remove from the hot water and wash with cold water
  11. Deep fried until golden brown in both sides

To make the sauce (make the sauce one day ahead and it will taste better):

  1. In a medium sauce pan, add all ingredients to make the sauce
  2. Cook in low heat and bring to boil
  3. For stronger flavor, cook in low heat for another 15 minutes
  4. Let cool in room temperature and keep in the refrigerator

How to serve:

  1. Cook egg noddle in boiling water and discard the water
  2. Cut cucumber in small slices
  3. Serve the fishcake with egg noddle, cucumber, and pour the sauce
  4. Sprinkle some dried shrimp powder (optional)

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Baked Cheese Tart

I actually had other recipe to share instead of this baked cheese tart, but it was my first success story of making these tarts and I was so happy and I couldn’t wait to share it in my blog.

Honestly, I usually don’t eat cheese tarts or cheese cake. I’m more of a chocolate cake person than cheese cake person. I love chocolate cake so much and I never have any cravings of cheese cake. So, I never care if there are new stores that sell cheese cake or cheese tarts just open and many people queue to buy to try the new products. Anything that has cream cheese inside as the fillings never attract my attention.

My son, on the other hand, is completely different. He loves cheese so much, and he can eat big portion of cheese cake all by himself. So, I made these tarts especially for him. If you ask me how close it was compared to the store bought ones, I can’t really tell because I had no comparison since I never eat other famous cheese tarts, but I can assure you they were delicious enough that my son could eat 2 servings as his dessert after his big dinner and for his snacks in between meals. He said it was so good, and it was enough for me, hahaha…………

I also tried and actually it was good. I used strawberry yogurt to balance the flavor and it worked really well. We loved them when they were cold and not warm (a bit strange since many people like their cheese cake warm…………). I also made the tart quite plain (I only used very little sugar and salt) to balance the strong flavor of the cream cheese. I do think that all the combination really worked well. The best thing was, I still could eat one piece of the tart and there was no strange after taste in my mouth after that which I usually had after eating store bought cake cake with cream cheese fillings, and I still wanted more…………………it was hard to admit, but I actually loved it too……………….I finally started to like the cheese tart. Even my husband, who likes chocolate more than cheese, also said the tarts were very delicious and he was quite surprised when I said I made them myself. He could ate two servings at once.

The structure of the filling was gooey and not runny. My son preferred gooey fillings because it was easier to eat (very simple reason, hahaha…………).  The gooey structure fillings resemble the Japanese Cheese Tarts, but if you want the tarts to be more authentic, you can use Hokkaido Milk which my son said taste better than any other milk (but expensive and not easy to get here). Anyway, the baking must go on and you use whatever brand (cream cheese, butter, milk, yogurt) that you have and you can still get delicious home made cheese tarts fresh from the oven.

I’ve made tart shells several times before, but I consider this as my big first success. I found new recipe that was so easy to make, and I didn’t even have to use a rolling pin (I’m not good at rolling the dough). This time, the tart shells didn’t even shrink and I was so happy with the result. This tart recipe was so awesome and I am certainly going to use this recipe and method next time. It was very easy to make and no need to keep the dough in the freezer before using it which saved my time.

If you see the black spots on top of the tarts, they actually came from my strawberry yogurt (see in the picture below of the texture of the strawberry yogurt that I used), but if you use plain one, you will not have the black spots.

If you find that buying cheese tarts is very expensive but you like them a lot, why not trying to make them at home? It was actually easier than I thought.

Ingredients For The Custard Cheese:

  1. 250 gr cream cheese
  2. 30 gr unsalted butter
  3. 30 gr grated cheddar cheese
  4. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  5. 100 gr plain yogurt (I used strawberry yogurt to add flavor)
  6. 20 gr full cream milk
  7. 36 gr sugar
  8. 2 egg whites (about 80 gr)
  9. 1/8 tsp salt
  10. 3 tbsp corn starch

Method To Make The Custard Cheese:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine cream cheese, yogurt, milk, butter, sugar, and cheddar cheese
  2. Cook in low heat (whisk continuously during this process) until all cheese is melted, then remove from the stove
  3. Add egg whites little by little while quickly stirring the mixture with a whisk
  4. Add vanilla essence and salt, mix well
  5. Add corn starch, and whisk until smooth
  6. Cook again in low heat while stirring continuously until the mixture thickens (which will happen very quickly) and you see few bubbles appear, then immediately turn off the heat
  7. Remove the mixture to a medium bowl
  8. Cover with cling wrap and keep in the refrigerator while we’re making the tarts

Ingredients for The Tarts:

  1. 115 gr butter, in room temperature
  2. 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  3. 1 tbsp castor sugar
  4. 1 small egg (about 30 gr)
  5. 225 gr cake flour
  6. 1/4 tsp salt

Method To Make The Tarts:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius
  2. Lightly brush the pastry mold with butter (I used 15 molds for this recipe)
  3. Using a stand mixer, cream butter, sugar, and vanilla essence in high speed for about 2 minutes
  4. Add egg and mix until well incorporated
  5. Turn the mixture into low speed, then add flour and salt, and mix until they are crumbly but easy to form (take about 20 to 22 seconds in my mixer)
  6. Roll into a big dough

    Form a big dough and place it in the mixer bowl (save time and bowl to be clean)
  7. Divide the dough into 25 gr each and place each dough into the  pastry molds
  8. Using both of your thumbs, press the dough on the base and side of the mold until it fits exactly into the mold (this method is much more easier than using a rolling pin)
  9. Poke the bottom of the crust with a fork, to avoid bubbles while it is baking, and also to avoid the dough to shrink
  10. Bake for 20 minutes and remove from the oven
  11. Wait until the tart is cool enough, then carefully remove tart shells from the molds (as you can see, the tart shells didn’t shrink at all)

As you can see here, the texture of the tart was perfect and crunchy.

The tart didn’t shrink and stayed in its mold perfectly, which was a good sign
Remove carefully from the molds
Crunchy with plain taste which suited perfectly with the rich flavor of the cheese fillings

How to assemble:

  1. Preheat oven to 230 Celsius
  2. Using a soup spoon, scoop 1 tbsp of the custard to the tart shell and smoothen the surface of the tarts using the back of the spoon
  3. Brush the top of the tarts generously with egg yolk
  4. Bake for 10 minutes
  5. Serve warm or cold (by keeping them in the fridge for few hours)

 

Spaghetti Aglio Olio

Spaghetti Aglio Olio………………..a very simple dish but yet so delicious. What can be simpler than cooking the pasta with garlic and olive oil and season it with salt, and voila…………….within minutes you already serve a delicious meal on the table.

This dish is one of me and my husband’s favorite thing to order when we dine outside, and I was very glad when I knew that my son started to like it too. As usual, he never orders this when we dine outside, and he is only willing to eat this when I cook this dish at home. How did I know that he loved it so much (since he never said anything about my cooking unless we asked him how was the taste). Well, he asked me to make this dish again in less than a week. He said that aglio olio thing (yes, that was literally how he named this dish) was delicious when I asked what he wanted me to cook for him when his friend came over for lunch, and it was one of my happiest day for me, hahaha…………….a mother’s biggest joy is when she finds out that her family loves her cooking, no matter how simple it is. 

Actually, I knew why my son started to love this dish. I used a different technique to cook this aglio olio. I marinated the olive oil with lots of minced garlic for 3 days until I could really smell the strong smell of garlic in the oil, the I fried the garlic with the oil in low heat until golden brown, and then I strain the oil, and I got a lovely fragrant garlic oil. I used the fried garlic for other purposes, and only used the garlic oil to cook the spaghetti. In this way, I reduced the strong taste of garlic in the dish while still having the strong flavor and aroma of garlic, and apparently, it suited our family’s taste. This technique of making garlic oil is quite common to use in Indonesia actually.

The best way to enjoy this dish for me and my son and I is to sprinkle lots of grated Parmesan cheese on top of the dish and mix it when the dish is still hot, but my husband never likes adding cheese to his pasta aglio olio (maybe to him, adding cheese will be ruining the authentic taste of the dish…………..), but either way, you can have it with or without cheese. Adding chili is also optional, but I love eating with chili, so it is a must for me to add chili in all my dish.

This recipe is for 4 portions

Ingredients:

  1. 500 gr spaghetti
  2. 20 garlic, minced
  3. 250 ml olive oil
  4. salt and pepper, to taste
  5. prawns, peel and devine, and butterfly the prawns
  6. shiitake mushrooms, cut in thin slices
  7. red chili padi, cut in small round shape
  8. coriander leaves, minced
  9. grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Method:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix garlic and olive oil and let it sit in room temperature for at least 1 day
  2. Then fry garlic with the olive oil until garlic is golden brown (stir the minced garlic all the time to make sure the garlic doesn’t get burn)
  3. Pour the fryer oil into the strainer. Separate and keep the fried garlic for further use (I use the fried garlic to make soup). We will only use the oil
  4. Put the oil back into the pan and fry the prawns until they turn into pink. Set aside the prawns
  5. Boil water in a large pot and salt the water with at least 2 tbsp (more is fine), 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 8 tbsp of pasta water
  6. Divide the spaghetti into 4 portions, I usually cook each portion separately, but you can always cook all at once
  7. Add 40 ml of garlic olive oil into a medium pan
  8. Add shiitake mushroom and chopped chili padi and stir fry for about 1 minute
  9. Add spaghetti, salt and pepper, and 2 tbsp of the water that was used to cook the spaghetti
  10. Cook, tossing, for 2 to 3 minutes or until combined and heated through. Serve sprinkled with grated parmesan and minced coriander leaves

Soya Beancurd Pudding With Sweet Brown Sauce / Puding Tahu Hua Dengan Saus Gula Merah

This was the first time that I made this pudding, and it became my husband’s favorite dessert……………..

He was having gastric problem that day and he came home early from work, so I changed my plan from making another dessert to make this one, as I happened to have soy bean milk in my fridge.

This pudding warmed his stomach and he felt much better after eating 2 servings of this pudding at once, and yes, he even finished all the pudding that I made by himself in the next few days. My son, as I predicted, didn’t like it because it had strong ginger flavor and smell in the sauce. Surprisingly, I also loved this pudding, although I never liked anything that smell and taste like soy milk, but when it was combined with the sauce, it was perfect and delicious.

The sauce taste a bit spicy because of the ginger, but at the same time, it was also good to cure stomachache. The softness of the pudding combined with hot spicy brown sauce was perfect to make your body feel warm.

Some like to eat this pudding cold, but my husband still preferred the warm version of the pudding.

There is no exact recipe of how much milk and agar-agar powder you should use in the recipe. For my husband, this ratio was the best, but others might want to have a softer pudding, so you can always increase the amount of soy milk to 1.5 L.

This brown sauce, which use special Javanese palm sugar, is very popular in my hometown, and we pair it with many kind of desserts, and we usually add fried peanuts in the sauce, and believe me, it adds flavor to the sauce and make the sauce more delicious.

Ingredients:

For the pudding:

  1. 1.3 L soy bean milk (unsweetened)
  2. 1 sachet of agar agar powder (7 gr)
  3. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  4. 4 tbsp sugar
  5. 5 pandan leaves / screwpine leaves (optional)

For the sauce:

  1. 500 ml water
  2. 100 gr Javanese palm sugar (or any kind of palm sugar, but the Javanese one gives different flavor and sweetness to the sauce)
  3. 50 gr ginger
  4. 2 lemongrass

Topping (optional):

  1. pan fried peanuts without the skins

Method:

To make the pudding:

  1. In a big pot, combine together soy bean milk, agar-agar powder, vanilla essence, and pandan leaves
  2. Bring to boil in low heat (keep stirring all the time so there will be no lumps)
  3. Turn off the heat and and pour into porcelain/ glass bowls/ heat resistant containers
  4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or more if it’s still too wobbly

To make the sauce:

  1. Peel ginger and crush using mortar and pestle
  2. Take the white parts of the lemon grass and crush using mortar and pestle
  3. In a medium pot, add all sauce ingredients and bring to boil in low heat. You can either turn off the heat or continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes for a stronger ginger flavor (the timing is depending on how strong you want the ginger flavor to be in the sauce)

How to serve:

  1. To serve it cold, refrigerate the sauce and pour the sauce on top of the pudding
  2. To save it warm, reheat the sauce and pour over the cold pudding
  3. Sprinkle with fried peanuts for the topping

 

The Laughing Steam Cake……………Again and This Time With Different Recipe / Bolu Kukus Dengan Air Soda

This recipe is using:

  1. All purpose flour
  2. cake emulsifier
  3. soda water

This is my second recipe of Indonesian Traditional Steam Cake. For more explanation about this cake, you can check my previous post before which also includes similar steam cake but with slightly different ingredients and techniques.

I made this steam cake with my mom when she came to visit us. As she was a pro in making this steam cake (although it was more than 25 years ago since the last time she made the cake, and she said that she had forgotten some of the steps, but it was still considered a big success for us), she shared some of the tips and tricks to make sure that the cake would blossom nicely. I did some of the things wrongly before, but she corrected me at that time, and so I already shared with you all the steps of making this traditional steam cake in my previous post.

The final patterns of the cake looked different, but that was because each of us was filling the cup independently, so we had our own style, hahaha……………….

My mom also preferred not to fill the cups until full, she only filled until 3/4 of it, but surprisingly, the cake still blossomed nicely, but in smaller size, which is suitable as light snack.

This recipe was using soda water and cake emulsifier without baking powder. Some people say that you have to steam the cake in one go if using soda water, because the second batch might not blossom nicely because the effect of the soda water has gone. Well, actually that is not true. I had no problem steaming the cake in several batches.  As long as the batter reach ribbon stage consistency, thick, pale, and airy, the batter can wait to be steamed for up to 1 hour. So once again, it depends on the consistency of the batter.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 200 gr castor sugar
  3. 1/2 tsp cake emulsifier (I used TBM)
  4. 250 gr all purpose flour
  5. 155 ml soda water (I used sparkling water)
  6. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  7. 1 tsp pandan paste

Method:

  1. Put cupcake liners in steam cake molds

    Special cake molds for this traditional steam cake
  2. Prepare a large or medium size steamer and fill with water about 1/3 deep
  3. If you’re using cake molds with holes, place a heat resistant plastic bag on top of the first vessel of your steamer. This is to prevent the boiling water to reach the bottom of the cake which will make the cake soggy and will not rise properly. If you don’t have cake molds with holes, you can try other alternative like what I have showed you in my previous post about making this traditional steam cake

    Cover the holes in the steamer with heat resistant plastic
  4. Slowly bring the water to boil (in medium heat) while we start preparing the cake mixture
  5. Prepare a stand mixer and add eggs, sugar, and cake emulsifier to the bowl. Mix with high speed (speed 3 in my mixer) until the mixture increase in volume, pale in color, airy, and thick (about 15 minutes with my mixer). in ribbon stage consistency

    End result of the batter
  6. Turn to low speed (speed 1 in my mixer) and alternately add flour and sparkling water. Mix until well incorporated and very thick

    Ribbon stage consistency: the batter should fall slowly from the spatula or mixer attachment, slowly forming a ribbon
  7. Divide the mixture into 3 parts, add cocoa powder in 1/3 of the mixture, and pandan paste in 1/3 parts of the mixture
  8. Alternately add each batter to the cake molds (white, chocolate, white, green, and repeat again)
  9. Cover the lid with of the steamer with kitchen towel to prevent condensation from the lid from falling on to the steamed cakes (don’t skip this step, if the water falls down to the cake, the cake will not blossom)
  10. Steam for 15 minutes in high heat and do not open the lid during the cooking process
  11. Turn off the heat after 15 minutes and immediately remove the cake from the steamer and take the cake out from the cake molds. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cover with clean towel
  12. Place in an airtight container for 2 days in room temperature and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

Potato Doughnuts With Chocolate and Vanilla Glaze / Donat Kentang

The sweet doughnuts………………….who doesn’t like them?

Well, to be honest, I’m not a big fan of eating doughnuts (and any other kind of bread), but my husband loves doughnuts very much since he was young. Doughnut was absolutely one of his favorite (or maybe most favorite) snack back then, and his favorite was the classic sugar doughnuts or the ones with chocolate rice sprinkles.

In the other hand, my son was exactly just like me, he never really liked doughnuts. Even when we went to the mall and I offered him to buy doughnuts, he would refuse. Up to now, there was only one time that he accepted my offer and as I could predict, he chose doughnuts topped with grated cheddar cheese. Although he loved bread so much, I still don’t understand why he didn’t like doughnuts.

One day, when I had leftover bread dough, I decided to make into doughnuts (which was just crossed my mind suddenly), and to my surprise, my son loved it so much (don’t ask about my husband, he was definitely loved it because he hadn’t been eating doughnuts for a very long time). Although the doughnuts were good, but they weren’t as soft as when they were still hot.

So I tried to find another recipe, and found out that many recommended to add mash potato into the dough, and it was a big success to me. The doughnuts were still very soft even after 3 days. Even my husband commented on how soft the doughnuts were even though they were already cold. He said that he always experienced eating not so soft doughnuts when they were cold, but mine were not. I was so glad that both of them loved the doughnuts, and this recipe is really worth to keep.

Even until now, my son only likes homemade doughnuts, and yes, he still refuses to buy doughnuts at the mall. Although what mommy made didn’t look as beautiful or perfect as the doughnuts from the big bakeries, but they were made with love and good quality and fresh ingredients that made the taste even better than when we bought the doughnuts outside.

Best of all, my son loved making the little hole in the middle of the dough before I fried them, and he already said that whenever I make doughnuts, he wants to make the holes and will not let me do it.

To shape the doughnuts, you don’t need rolling pin and doughnut cutter, we will do it with the kampong style (this is what we usually call in Indonesia), and best of all, you can always use your finger to make the small holes in the middle.

Look at the very soft texture of my potato doughnuts

For the toppings, I made chocolate and vanilla glaze, but you can always use any toppings that you want.

Ingredients:

For the doughnuts:

  1. 200 gr bread flour
  2. 50 gr all purpose flour
  3. 50 gr castor sugar
  4. 25 gr milk powder
  5. 1 medium size potato (about 115 gr), peel the skin, steam until soft, and mash with a fork. Set aside and let cool in room temperature
  6. 6 gr instant yeast
  7. 2 egg yolks
  8. 50 ml cold milk
  9. 40 gr butter
  10. 1/8 tsp salt
  11. oil to fry the doughnuts

For the chocolate glaze:

  1. 45 gr powdered sugar
  2. 3/4 tbsp milk
  3. 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  4. 1/4 tsp vanilla essence

For the vanilla glaze:

  1. 45 gr powdered sugar
  2. 3/4 tbsp milk
  3. 1/4 tsp vanilla essence

Method:

  1. Preparing the chocolate glaze: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until silky and smooth
  2. Preparing the vanilla glaze: In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and whisk until silky and smooth
  3. Prepare a stand mixer with dough hook
  4. Add bread flour, all purpose flour, mash potato, sugar, milk powder, instant yeast, egg yolks, and milk into the mixer bowl and start mixing with the lowest speed
  5. When dough clings to the hooks and cleans sides of bowl, add salt and butter
  6. Continue mixing until the dough is smooth, elastic, and not sticky (it took about 10 minutes for my stand mixer to finish kneading the dough)
  7. Cover the mixer bowl 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
  8. Punch dough down and divide into 50 gr each (I made 12 doughnuts)
  9. Shape each dough into a round shape ball
    Take one of the dough
    Make a smooth ball by bringing all the sides to the center

    Roll with the palm of your hand for smoother texture
  10. Let rise for another 15 minutes
  11. Using a pastry tip, make a hole in the middle of each dough (see picture below). If you don’t have a pastry tip, simply use your index finger to make holes)
    If you don’t have a pastry tip, you can always use your index finger to make a hole
    Easy way to shape a doughnut
    and voila…………………..even my son could do it

    Easy and fast, and don’t waste the small holes, you can also fry them
  12. Shallow fry the doughnuts until golden brown in each side (do not deep fry the doughnuts, they will be very greasy and you will not get the pattern of lovely rings around the doughnuts)

    The oil only covered 1/3 of the doughnuts. You can either use medium heat or low heat to fry the doughnuts. The doughnuts will be golden brown once they’re done with pale ring surrounding the doughnut in the center area
  13. Dip each doughnut in the chocolate or vanilla glaze while it is still hot to create shiny crust
  14. You can also add sprinkle or grated dark chocolate and let rest to harden slightly

Enjoy the doughnuts……………….

Swedish Meatballs With Thick Brown Gravy

Yes, I finally made a copycat of IKEA Swedish meatballs with its brown gravy faster than I thought. Last time, I posted about making chicken meatball with white sauce which was absolutely different than IKEA meatball, and I said that I really wanted to try making the one that was closest to the Swedish meatballs, and I finally did it.

My husband doesn’t eat red meat, so I usually don’t cook pork and beef when he’s at home, but last week, he said that he would not have lunch and dinner for 3 days in the row at home. So, it was the best time to cook using beef and pork and the same time.

This dish was smothered with the brown sauce that was so creamy and delicious. I loved it when I ate it with pasta (I only had macaroni that time, so I used macaroni, but it would go well with other kind of pasta as well). My son also loved eating macaroni with the meatballs and the creamy gravy.

Macaroni and broccoli topped with meatballs and brown sauce

This dish also goes well with mash potato, but we just ate mash potato few days before, so I substituted the mash potato with baked potato in garlic oil and salt, but to be honest, mash potato was actually the best option because we were so used to eating this dish with mash potato. I cooked another batch or mash potato using the recipe that I’ve posted here before and ate it with the leftover meatballs and the sauce, and it was spot on. We really loved it.

Baked potato and meatballs in creamy gravy

For the meat, I used the combination of pork and beef  which was of course delicious (to me, nothing can go wrong when you cook with pork, hahaha………….). I also added mash potato in the mixture (it is optional) just to make the texture softer (I usually add mash potato whenever I cook meatballs using beef). To us, it was still the better option than IKEA meatballs and my son ate a lot…………………which proved that he loved the meatballs and the gravy.

I added a little bit of sweet soy sauce in the gravy, but it is optional. I added it just to make the color much nicer and to add a little sweetness to the sauce, but you can ignore it and the sauce will still taste great. My boy loved the sauce so much that he ate it just like he was eating soup………….

So, here is my recipe of Swedish meatballs with brown sauce which is worth to try:

Ingredients:

For the meatballs:

  1. 200 gr minced beef
  2. 200 gr minced pork
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 2 potatoes (about 220 gr), peel, steam until soft and mash with a fork
  5. 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  6. 1 tsp salt
  7. 1/2 large onion, minced
  8. 5 garlic, minced
  9. 5 tbsp milk
  10. 30 gr breadcrumbs
  11. 5 tbsp minced coriander leaves
  12. 5 tbsp butter and 3 tbsp garlic oil or olive oil to shallow fry the meatballs

For the gravy:

  1. 2 tbsp Butter
  2. 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  3. 500 ml (2 cups) beef broth
  4. 250 ml thickened cream
  5. 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  6. 1 tsp sweet soy sauce (optional, I used this to add sweetness to the sauce)
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Method:

To make the meatballs:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir until fragrant and soft . Set aside in a big bowl
  2. In the same bowl, add all other ingredients to make meatballs (except butter and oil to fry the meatballs). Mix until well combined
  3. Roll into meatballs and set aside in a plate
  4. In a large skillet butter and garlic oil (or olive oil). Add the meatballs and cook until brown on each side and cooked throughout. Transfer to a plate
  5. Use the remaining butter and oil in the skillet to make the brown sauce

To make the brown sauce:

  1. Add 2 tbsp of butter into the same skillet that you used to brown the meatballs with leftover butter and oil. Melt the butter in medium heat
  2. Add 3 tbsp of flour to skillet and whisk until smooth and brown
  3. Add beef broth, heavy cream, Worcester sauce, sweet soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer until sauce starts to thicken
  4. Add the meatballs back to the skillet and simmer for another 2 to 3 minutes
  5. Transfer to a plate and add minced coriander leaves or fresh parsley. You can also serve over pasta, noodles, or with mash potatoes like the IKEA style or even baked potatoes

The Curse of The Laughing Steam Cake / Bolu Kukus Coklat Mekar Anti Gagal

This steam cake is using:

  • All purpose flour
  • Cake emulsifier
  • Baking Powder

Oh yes, there is such thing as “The Curse of the Laughing Steam Cake” or Kutukan Bolu Kukus in Indonesia.

This nicely blossom steam cake is a very popular cake in Indonesia. It is a sweet dessert, comes in different colors, easy to get especially in the wet market, and also quite cheap. We use to eat it for breakfast or as snack whenever we feel hungry in between meals.

To make the cake blossom or as we call it in Indonesia : laughing hard, is not an easy thing to do. Many people have tried making this cake at home and failed. Instead of a laughing hard, what we get is a pouty cake (or smile a bit but not laugh).

That is why, for some people who have tried to make this cake so many times but still fail, people usually say that they get cursed by the steam cake, hahaha..…………….well, this is just to cheer up and encourage us to try again………..and again………….and again.

Well, I’ve tried making this cake several times with only 10% of success which almost made me lost hope and gave up, but I believe that we all learn from our mistakes, so now that I know exactly the steps and the batter consistency that I have to reach before steaming the cake, I am confident that my cake will blossom nicely. Oh, and there is also a special technique to steam the cake to make sure the cake laugh hard or blossom like flowers.

I’ve tried 5 different kinds of recipes so far, and I must say that the one works well is the one that use the combination of cake emulsifier, baking powder, and soda water. One recipe only calls for emulsifier and baking powder, other uses emulsifier only, and the other one uses soda water and cake emulsifier.

There are several methods of making the cake, and one of it is the all in one method where we mix all ingredients together at the same time in the mixer. It wasn’t a success for me and so for now, I am not using the all in one method.

A healthier recipe omit cake emulsifier, baking powder, and soda water and use egg yolks as the replacement, but somehow, the texture of the cake was not so soft and once it turned cold, the cake became hard, but I am still curious of what I did wrong, so I will definitely try again for a better result.

The one recipe that is well known in the internet and people often say that you will not fail if using this recipe, is a recipe created by Mrs. Lim, a famous Indonesia chef. You just need to follow the ingredients and the steps exactly as what I will write down below, and it’s a guarantee that you will succeed in making the steam cake blossom nicely. This recipe is good to try especially if you are a first timer of making this steam cake.

I also write some tips and tricks of how to make sure that the steam cake will laugh hard and blossom nicely. In Indonesia, we usually use a special cake molds for this kind of steam cake, but I tried using other type of cake molds and it worked well too. Next time, I will try to use foil cupcakes to see whether it will work or not.

Ingredients A:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 170 gr castor sugar
  3. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  4. 160 ml milk

Ingredients B (mix and sift):

  1. 200 gr all purpose flour
  2. 25 gr chocolate powder
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder

    Sift all the dry ingredients

Ingredients C:

  1. 10 gr cake emulsifier (I used TBM)

Ingredients D:

  1. 2 tbsp chocolate chips

Method:

  1. Put cupcake liners in steam cake molds
  2. Prepare a large or medium size steamer and fill with water about 1/3 deep
  3. If you’re using cake molds with holes, place a heat resistant plastic bag on top of the first vessel of your steamer. This is to prevent the boiling water to reach the bottom of the cake which will make the cake soggy and will not rise properly (kue menjadi bantat)
    Special Indonesian steam cake molds with holes. Place cupcake liner in each mold

    Place a plastic bag to prevent the boiling water to reach the bottom of the cake
  4. If your’re using cake molds without holes, then skip step number 3

    Steam cake molds without holes
  5. Slowly bring the water to boil (in medium heat) while we start preparing the cake mixture
  6. Mix all ingredients A in a stand mixer with high speed (speed 3 in my mixer) for 5 minutes
  7. Reduce the speed to the lowest speed (speed 1 in my mixer) and gradually add ingredients B. Mix until well combined
    Gradually add flour mixture

    Scrape the sides of the bowl with spatula and mix until well combined
  8. Add ingredients C and mix in high speed for another 5 minutes
    Add TBM (cake emulsifier)

    Mix in high speed for exactly 5 minutes
  9. Turn off the mixer. End result: the batter is thick, airy, slowly dripping from the spatula, and in ribbon stage consistency. Look at these pictures to see what the batter should look like in the end:
    the batter should fall slowly from the spatula or mixer attachment
    slowly forming a ribbon

    the ribbon will hold it’s shape for a few minutes
  10. Add ingredients D and mix with a spatula
  11. Divide the batter into the cupcake liners
  12. Fill each cupcake liners until full so the steam cake will blossom nicely
  13. Once the water in the steamer is boiling with lots of steam, place the steam cake molds on the steamer with some space in between the molds
  14. Cover the lid with kitchen towel to prevent condensation from the lid from falling on to the steamed cakes (don’t skip this step, if the water falls down to the cake, the cake will not blossom)
  15. Cook for 15 minutes in high heat and do not open the lid during the cooking process
  16. Turn off the heat after 15 minutes and immediately remove the cake from the steamer and take the cake out from the cake molds. Transfer the cake to a cooling rack and cover with clean towel

    The bottom of the cake should be like this (nice and flat). If it is not, then probably the water has reached the bottom of the cake during the steaming process which result in the properly baked cake
  17. If you steam the cake in batches, add water again to the steamer and bring to boil. When the water is boiling, place the second batch of the cake molds and cook for another 15 minutes in high heat. Cover the lid with a new clean cloth (don’t use the cloth that you used earlier in the first batch)
  18. Place in an airtight container for 2 days in room temperature and keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days

 

Chicken Meatballs with Mash Potato and White Sauce

This dish was absolutely inspired by IKEA meatballs that my boy loves to eat. He loves to eat IKEA Swedish Meatballs with mash potato and brown gravy (and no, he doesn’t like the the lingonberry sauce). He just started to like it recently, and I still remember clearly that he didn’t like it when he was smaller. As for me, so sorry to say, but I never like the IKEA meatballs. I don’t like the gravy and the red sauce. As for the meatballs, I thought they were a bit dry and lack of seasoning (maybe because they were frozen and then reheat?).

Some say that the halal version of the meatballs is not as delicious as the original version because they don’t contain pork. I don’t know about that since I only taste the ones with pork, but to me, if you make it right, meatballs without pork will also taste as delicious as pork meatballs.

This time, I only used chicken for the meatballs (and no beef since my husband doesn’t eat beef and I didn’t want to cook twice), but we all loved them so much because we could really taste the meat. Although we thought that the taste was much better than IKEA meatballs, we couldn’t really compare since this was only inspired by IKEA meatballs and not a copycat of IKEA meatballs. I’ll make a copycat of the IKEA meatballs one day using pork and beef including the brown gravy and hopefully it will taste great too.

The sauce was a white sauce with shiitake mushroom which thankfully, although different from the brown IKEA meatballs sauce, but still very yummy and we all loved it. I didn’t expect the boy to eat the mushrooms, but he did it without complaining which made me very happy. I will certainly make the brown gravy next time when I copycat IKEA meatballs and compare it to this white sauce.

And for the mash potato, I baked it for around 25 to 30 minutes and the process really added the flavor of the side dish. Absolutely delicious! I also served this with fresh salad and extra hot chili sauce (just because I can’t live without chili………………). My boy, who is a potato lover, could eat 5 to 6 scoops of this mash potato plus 5 to 6 meatballs and the sauce in each serving (even one scoop of potato already made me full, so it was a mystery of how he could eat so much and stayed skinny).

So, if you do not eat red meat like my husband, you can try this chicken meatballs recipe which is just as delicious as beef or pork meatballs. If you’re too lazy to make the sauce, you can always skip the sauce and eat the meatballs with ketchup or chili sauce over hot steam rice.

Ingredients:

For the chicken meatballs:

  1. 500 gr minced chicken
  2. 3 eggs
  3. 2 potatoes (about 280 gr), peel, steam until soft, then mash
  4. 2 tsp salt
  5. 1/4 tsp pepper
  6. 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
  7. 3 tbsp minced coriander leaves
  8. 8 garlic
  9. 1/2 large onion (bawang bombay)
  10. 1 cup of breadcrumbs
  11. 5 tbsp milk
  12. 120 gr butter (we will use this to shallow fry the meatballs)

For the mash potato:

  1. 1 kg potatoes, peel, wash, and steam or boil until soft, then mash with a fork or a pestle
  2. 120 gr unsalted butter, in room temperature
  3. 50 ml milk
  4. 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  5. 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
  6. 1/2 tsp pepper

For the gravy:

  1. Butter
  2. 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  3. 200 ml milk
  4. 10 shiitake mushroom, cut in thin slices
  5. salt and pepper, to taste
  6. 400 ml chicken stock

Method:

To make the meatballs:

  1.  Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and stir until fragrant and soft . Set aside in a big bowl
  2. Add all the other ingredients (except butter) into the bowl and mix until well combined
  3. Shape the mixture into medium size round balls
  4. Melt 120 gr of butter until it covers the bottom of the pan
  5. Fry the meatballs slowly until the color turn into brown in all sides
  6. Set aside the meatballs and leave the remaining butter in the pan to make the gravy

To make the mash potatoes:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius degree
  2. Combine all the ingredients to make mash potato in a big bowl
  3. Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, take one spoonful of the mixture and place it on a small cupcakes liners
  4. Bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes (I liked to bake it longer until the bottom side turned into brown color because it was so delicious)

To make the gravy:

  1. Heat the remaining butter in the pan and add all purpose flour and stir
  2. Add milk and stir until smooth
  3. Add mushroom, salt, pepper, and chicken stock and bring to boil (add more water if the gravy is too thick until it reaches the consistency that you want)

How to serve:

  1. If necessary, you can heat the meatballs in a preheated oven (180 Celsius degree) for 10 to 15 minutes
  2. Serve the meatballs with mash potato, fresh salad, and the gravy
  3. Sprinkle some parsley or minced coriander leaves

Pindang Ayam / Black Chicken Soup From Central Java, Indonesia

Pindang ayam or black chicken soup is a dish originated from Kudus, a small town in central Java, Indonesia. It is about 2 hours ride from Semarang which is a capital city of Central Java. I have an aunt who lives there with her family, so my dad, although not very often, still visit her sometimes. Me and my three sisters were born in Semarang, so we are familiar with Javanese food, especially from Central Java. I still miss some of the food that I have known so well since I was a little girl, so I have learnt to make them from my mom all these years.

My dad was actually the one who introduced this dish to me, and we usually bought this dish from a restaurant that specialized in Central Java food near our house, but I never satisfied with the taste. So I tried to search for the recipe in the internet, and it was actually very easy to make.

I’ve made this dish several times and just like other kinds of soup, we always eat this with vegetables. The common vegetables that I use are usually potatoes, bean sprouts, red bean, green beans, cabbage, or even iceberg lettuce (any kinds of vegetables that I can find easily in the wet market at that time).

The appearance of this soup might remind you of rawon, which is a very famous black beef soup from East Java, Indonesia. Well, actually, the only different thing from this dish is the meat, one uses chicken, and the other one uses beef. All the other herbs and spices are pretty much the same. Since the main ingredient, which is the meat, is different, the taste of these two dishes is completely different. Well, it’s up to your preference, whether you like beef broth or chicken broth.

Since my husband is not allowed to eat red meat temporarily, my first option is of course to cook the black chicken soup, although I also like the black beef soup so much too (basically, the three of us like both dishes so much).

By the way, if you wonder where did the black color came from………………well, it didn’t come from the use of sweet soy sauce, but it was from a football shaped black nuts that is well known as “keluwek” or “keluak”. 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

This dish is usually accompanied by another dish which we call telur pindang or dark brown hard boiled eggs cooked with herbs and spices, but it would take a very long time to cook the eggs and a totally different method and ingredients, so I just used the short cut but cooking the eggs together with the chicken………………and the result was……………… dark brown eggs, hahaha…………..almost resembled the black egg that used to be eaten with this black chicken soup.

So, after my long introduction to this dish, here is the recipe for Indonesia traditional black chicken soup and I hope you will enjoy it as much as we do.

*There is no substitution for keluwek, this dish has to use that specific ingredient to give black color and special taste to the soup.

Ingredients:

  1. 1 whole chicken (preferably kampong chicken), cut into 8
  2. 1 large shallot / big red onion
  3. 10 garlic
  4. 5 candlenuts, stir fry without oil in a non stick pan until fragrant
  5. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  6. 1 thumb of ginger
  7. 1 thumb of galangal
  8. 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
  9. 1 tbsp salt, or to taste
  10. 1 tsp sugar
  11. 4 keluwek
  12. 2 lemongrass, take the white parts only and lightly crush with a pestle
  13. 10 lime leaves
  14. 10 salam leaves
  15. 2.5 L water
  16. Potatoes, peel
  17. Hard boiled eggs, peeled
  18. Minced spring onion
  19. Bean sprouts, wash and cook in boiling water
  20. Fried shallots
  21. Limes
  22. Keropok / crackers
  23. Sambal / Indonesian chili sauce for soup (recipe can be found here)

Method:

  1. Using a food processor or a blender, blend shallot, garlic, candlenuts, coriander powder, ginger, galangal, turmeric powder, salt, sugar, and keluwek until smooth and they form a paste
  2. Heat a wok with 2 tbsp of oil and add the paste and lemongrass. Stir fry until fragrant
  3. Add lime leaves, salam leaves, and chicken to the wok and stir until all the chickens are coated with the black paste
  4. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes
  5. Transfer the chickens and the black paste to a large pot or a slow cooker (I used my rice cooker which could also be used to make soup) and add 2.5 L of water

    I used my Philips Rice Cooker which could also be used for making soup
  6. Add potatoes and hard boiled eggs and cook in low heat until the chickens are soft and tender (about 4 hours in my slow cooker and 3 hours in my rice cooker). Take out the potatoes from the pot in the middle of the cooking process if they are already thoroughly cooked then cut into cubes

    I just had to put everything in my rice cooker and press cook, and the cooking process was very fast compared to my slow cooker
  7. Once the chickens are cooked, turn off the heat and take take out the chickens from the pot. When the chickens are cool enough, shredded into small parts and discard the bones
  8. Arrange the shredded chickens, cut potatoes, eggs, bean sprouts, fried shallots, and minced spring onion in some bowls and pour the soup. Squeeze lime juice in each bowl and serve hot with crackers, chili sauce, and hot steam rice
Yummy…………………..