Buttermilk Roasted Chicken

I had leftover buttermilk and I was thinking of what to do with it. Then as usual, I searched on the internet and found this interesting recipe that used buttermilk to marinate roasted chicken. Since I used buttermilk to cook crispy fried chicken previously, this time I wanted to roast the chicken which was also healthier since I didn’t have to deep fry the chicken.

I combined some recipes that I found and added some ingredients like shallots, garlic, ginger, cilantro, and lime leaves. I always use basic herbs and spices like garlic, shallot, and ginger to cook, so I thought that adding those three ingredients would increase the flavor of the roasted chicken. Lime leaves would give nice smell too to the dish.

I also placed carrots and potatoes below the chicken, and the vegetables taste so delicious because the juice from the chicken dropped down and gave extra flavor to the vegetables. It’s an easy dish that you can try too……………….

Ingredients:

  1. 6 chicken thighs
  2. 1.5 cups buttermilk
  3. 8 garlic
  4. 4 shallots
  5. 2 tbsp salt
  6. 1 thumb ginger
  7. 10 cilantro, chopped
  8. 10 lime leaves
  9. 2 carrots, cut in round shape for about 1 cm
  10. 2 potatoes, cut as big as the carrots
  11. 2 tbsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt to mix with the vegetables

Method:

  1. Place chickens in a medium bowl / plate
  2. In a blender or food processor, process buttermilk, garlic, shallot, salt, and ginger until smooth. Pour the mixture and chopped cilantro into the chicken and mix until the chickens are well coated
  3. Remove everything in the bowl to a Ziploc plastic bag (or just a plastic bag) and seal tightly 
  4. Refrigerate and marinate for 24 hours
  5. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius
  6. Place cut carrots and potatoes in the bottom of a non stick pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil and 1/2 tsp of salt and mix well
  7. Place 5 lime leaves on top of the vegetables
  8. Remove chickens from marinade and place on top of the vegetables, then add another 5 lime leaves on top of the chicken
  9. Cook for 1 hour in one side, then flip the chicken and cook for another 30 minutes to brown the other side (that was the time I needed to cook the chicken in my oven)
  10. Serve with garlic bread and fresh salad

Indonesian Fried Fish Cakes / Otak Otak Goreng

This fried fish cake was one of my favorite food when I was still living in Jakarta, and even when I was still a little girl. Usually, my mom would buy this delicious fish cake from the wet market, but unfortunately I had to share with other family members, so I never had enough of fish cake, hahaha……………….

The fish cake was so delicious especially when it was still hot, and we would dip it in chili sauce and ate it with hot steam white rice………………so yummy………….and I remember I could eat 2 to 3 plates of rice with this fish cake (and I was so skinny back then even though I ate a lot…………..).

When buying fish cake in the wet market or in the supermarket, the more dominant ingredient usually would be the flour and not the fish (of course, because tenggiri fish was usually quite expensive), so we couldn’t really taste the fish when we eat it.

It was different when I made this at home. I used 1/2 kg of fish (although I had to spent $16 just for the fish only) and only a small ratio of flour. I also added lots of cilantro and spring onion (which made the texture not so smooth) because I loved the smell and flavor of those cilantro and spring onion. So, I could really taste the fish (and not just the flour) in every bite. This was definitely delicious……………..

I also cut the fried fish cakes and mixed them with fried noodle or fried rice or stir fry vegetables.

Ingredients:

  1. 500 gr batang / tenggiri fish fillet (no skin, no bones), squeeze 2 tbsp of lime juice and refrigerate for 30 minutes to remove the fishy smell
  2. 1 large shallot
  3. 5 garlic
  4. 2 egg whites
  5. 1.5 tbsp salt
  6. 2 tbsp UHT coconut cream
  7. 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  8. 5 tbsp tapioca flour
  9. 10 cilantro, minced
  10. 20 spring onion, minced
  11. ice cold water

Method:

  1. Prepare a large bowl and fill 3/4 of the bowl with ice cold water
  2. In a food processor, process batang fish, shallot, garlic, egg whites, and salt until smooth and they form a paste
  3. In a large bowl, mix together coconut cream, all purpose flour, and tapioca flour
  4. Add fish paste, minced cilantro, and minced spring onion to the bowl and mix until well combined
  5. Shape the paste mixture into long shape with the palm of your hand (makes about 13 fish cakes)
    First, make a round shape
    Then roll in with the palms of your hands

    Place in a tray (dust the tray with flour)
  6. Boil water in a large pot (fill the water only until 3/4 of the pot)
  7. Add fish cake to the boiling water one by one and wait until they float
  8. Once they float, immediately transfer to the bowl with ice cold water
  9. Remove from the ice cold water after 5 minutes
  10. Dry the fish cakes with paper towel
  11. Deep fried until golden brown

Chocolate Milk Buns / Roti Coklat Susu Ala Rotiboy

Wow look……………..it’s Rotiboy (also known as Mexican coffee buns)………………..one of the very famous and well known bread in Jakarta back then when I was still in school. This bread was so famous that people needed to queue (and it was such a long queue) every time just to get this exotic round shape bread fresh from the oven that smelled so good…………………(and we could smell it even thought we were still so far away from the bread shop). I mean, who doesn’t like the smell of  a fresh coffee bun?

Well, although I like the smell so much and I have no problem eating Rotiboy, but actually I’m not a big fan of this bread because I don’t like coffee. I love the shape and the color of the bread so much but never intended to make this bread because none of us liked coffee. Then, suddenly I thought of why not making a different version of this bread, and instead of using coffee, why not using chocolate. The shape and the color would be the same, although the smell and the taste would slightly be different.

I baked this last Friday and my husband brought this bread to church and everyone loved it. This bread is best eaten when it’s still hot, but you can always reheat the bread in the preheated 170 Celsius oven for about 5 to 7 minutes.

I used the killer bread recipe just like what I made for my sausages and ham and cheese bread, but this time I only used milk instead of water, and the bread turned out very soft and went well with the topping. Even my son who was not a chocolate lover, loved this bread so much.


Ingredients:

For the bread:

  • 260 gr bread flour
  • 30 gr sugar
  • 2 gr salt
  • 15 gr milk powder
  • 3 gr instant yeast
  • 1 egg + milk = 170 ml
  • 30 gr unsalted butter

For the topping:

  1. 50 gr unsalted butter
  2. 50 gr caster sugar (or grind granulated sugar in a blender into finer granules)
  3. 1 egg
  4. 60 gr cake flour
  5. 15 gr milk powder
  6. 2 tsp cocoa powder
  7. 2 tsp chocolate paste (the recipe of making chocolate paste can be found here)

For the filling:

  1. cold unsalted butter (cubes), other options are chocolate paste or chocolate rice sprinkles for the filling

Method:

For the bread:

  1. Prepare the food processor with the steel blade assembled.
  2. Place flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast inside the food processor (put the salt and instant yeast on the different sides of the food processor bowl). Close the lid and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix the ingredients
  3. Add egg and butter
  4. Pulse again 2 or 3 times to combine all the ingredients together and until butter is no longer bigger than peas
  5. With the motor running, pour water through the feed tube in a steady stream as fast as the flour absorbs it until the dough form a ball in 15 to 20 seconds
  6. Let the machine run to complete the kneading process in about 2 minutes (this was the time needed in my food processor). End result: dough should be smooth, bouncy and not sticky
  7. Transfer the dough to a big bowl that has been lightly oiled. Turn the dough over to coat completely with oil. Cover the dough with a cling wrap and clean cloth
  8. Let rise until double in size (about 15 minutes in Singapore very hot weather). 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
  9. Transfer the dough to the counter top
  10. Cut dough into 40 gr each (make about 13 bread) and shape as the instructions below, then place on the baking tray
    Roll each dough into a small circle
    Flatten the sides with the palm of your hand, leaving the middle side slightly thicker than the edges
    Flip the dough bottom side up and place about 1 teaspoon of cold butter into the center of each bun. If the butter is not cold, it will melt and bery difficult to seal the dough
    Bring all edges to the center
    Twist to seal tightly

    With the seal at the bottom side, smooth the dough by rolling it with your hand
  11. Cover the dough again with clean cloth and let rise again for about 30 minutes
  12. Meanwhile, prepare the topping and preheat oven to 200 Celsius:

For the topping:

  1. Mix flour, cocoa powder, and milk powder in a medium bowl with a spatula or a spoon
  2. Beat butter and sugar, either by hand or using a mixer in medium speed until very smooth and pale in color
    Beat butter and sugar

    Pale and smooth
  3. Add egg and mix until well incorporated
    Add egg

    Mix well
  4. On low speed, add in the mixture of flour, cocoa powder, and milk powder and mix until smooth. Scrap the mixture on the side of the bowl with a spatula
    Add dry ingredients

    Mix until smooth
  5. Add chocolate paste and mix again until well combined

    Add chocolate paste and mix again until well incorporated
  6. Place the topping into a pipping bag (I used a small star nozzle, but this is not necessary) and snip off the corner to make a small opening
  7. Pump out the cream in circles around the bun, keeping each circle close to the one before it
  8. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes

How To Make Pandan Paste / Membuat Pasta Pandan

I use green food coloring a lot when making cakes, but I never want to use store bought food coloring, so I decided to make one myself. This is actually very easy and the ingredients are also not difficult to get. I use pandan leaves or screwpine leaves which are very common in Indonesia and Singapore. There are lots of these plants in my parents house and I used to have some of them too here, but I cut them all because I didn’t have time to take care of them.

Homemade pandan paste has a very nice and fresh smell, but unfortunately, it doesn’t last long even though I keep it in the refrigerator. So I have to make it quite often at least once every month, but all the hard work of making pandan paste is paid off when I see nice green color in my cakes. You can use it to make chiffon cake, sponge cake, pandan bread, or even one of our favorite Indonesia traditional blossom steam cake.

So, here is how you can make your own pandan paste at home………………

Ingredients:

  1. 25 pandan leaves
  2. 5 suji leaves (daun suji). This one is optional, use 10 pandan leaves to replace if you can’t find any
  3. 450 ml water

Method:

  1. Wash the leaves thoroughly (one by one) under running tap water
  2. Use scissors to cut the leaves into small pieces (around 2 cm in length)
  3. Blend the leaves with 250 ml of water till fine
  4. Pour the mixture into a fine strainer, then using a spoon, squeeze out the juices
  5. Pour the pandan juices into a tall glass or jar
  6. Don’t throw away the leftover pandan leaves on the strainer, and return them back to the food processor. Process again until fine with 200 ml of water, then strain again to squeeze out the juice. Place the juice in a separate container or glass from the first one

    Process this leftover with 200 ml of water and strain again to squeeze the juice
  7. After 2 to 5 days, you will see a thick dark green layer formed at the bottom of the glass (it took my first glass 2 days to form a thick layer, and 5 days for the second glass to form a thick layer)
  8. Pour away the upper layer of water and retain the pandan paste
  9. Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 or 3 weeks. Check the smell  if you want to use it, you can still use it if the smell is still nice and fragrant

Homemade Chocolate Spread (Chocolate Paste)

Since I started my baking journey, I realized that I needed some ingredients to make cake, bread, or other sweet desserts, and one of the very important thing was the food coloring. Some colors that I needed are red, green, pink, and of course…………..chocolate. Well, especially chocolate since I’m a chocolate lover. Fortunately, my boy already started to like chocolate too and now I can make chocolate bread or cake and he would gladly eat them all.

If you know me through my posts, then you will know that I prefer anything natural or homemade if it is possible. To be honest, I don’t like to buy food coloring because I don’t know what are the ingredients inside those small bottles, and mostly………..I never likes the smell of store bought food coloring.

So far, I’ve made green color from pandan leaves (and the smell was so good and I will definitely share the recipe later) and this chocolate paste. This is actually chocolate spread, but can also be used as chocolate paste to give the lovely chocolate color in cakes and bread. Some of the desserts that I’ve made with this homemade chocolate paste are: swiss roll, Indonesian blossom steam cake, and Mexican buns.

The taste so good that I can’t stop licking the spoon every time I’m going to use it for my cakes and bread. You can also spread this on white bread and croissant and believe me, it will taste so good…………………….I didn’t do that because I knew I would never be able to stop before the I finished the whole chocolate spread inside the jar………………..

*Original recipe was taken from sugarhero.com with some modification

Ingredients:

  1. 1/4 cup water
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. a pinch of salt
  4. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  5. 1 tsp vanilla essence
  6. 100 gr unsweetened dark cooking chocolate, chop into cubes
  7. 140 gr unsalted butter

Method:

  1. In a small saucepan, add water, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt
  2. Place on low heat and stir until smooth and no lumps from sugar and cocoa powder. Keep stirring until reaches a simmer
  3. Turn off he hat and immediately add vanilla essence, dark cooking chocolate, and butter. Stir with a wooden spatula or whisk until the mixture is completely smooth
  4. Refrigerate the mixture until it thickens, and let it sit in room temperature for a while before using it

Sausage, Ham, and Cheese Bread (Killer Soft Bread Recipe)

I’ve been making various kinds of bread now so my son and husband can bring homemade fresh bread to school and office. My son usually bought bread from the bakeries to be brought to school for his snack during recess time, but now he brings his mom’s bread to school. Thankfully, he never asks to buy bread anymore now. Homemade bread is always the best no matter how it looks, hahaha………..

Besides cheese bread, his other favorite bread is sausage and ham and cheese bread. He would alternately buy sausage or ham and cheese bread from the bread store every week. So I intended to make this at home too.

I have been reading about this killer soft bread recipe in the internet for some time. So I thought of why not give it a try and see what the result would be. Although the recipe said that proofing only needed to be done one time, but I still did it two times.

For this recipe, it is said that the dough would rise very quickly, but it wasn’t what happen when I made this bread. Singapore is usually very hot and temperature can go up to 32 or 33 Celsius, but the day when I made this bread, it was raining heavily since morning and when my son checked on my phone, the temperature dropped to 25 Celsius. That was why it took longer time for the dough to rise, but when I made another bread with this recipe the second time, it took only 15 minutes for the dough to rise (but it was so hot that day).

For this bread, I used only water without milk, and although the bread texture is softer when using milk, but I liked it this was as it was more suitable for sausage and ham and cheese bread. I don’t like if the sausage bread is too soft. This was a big hit in my house as everyone liked it a lot.

For the sausage bread, I learn to make flower hot dog buns which was actually easier than I thought.  You can just follow my instructions below to be able to make this shape too. To differentiate the shape, I made another shape for the ham and cheese bread. For the sausage bread, people usually also add ketchup and mayonnaise, but since no one in the house liked it, I just added grated cheese on top of my sausage bread. It is very fun to try making different kind of shapes of bread, and I try to make different shape for each bread (chocolate, cheese, chicken, ham, sausage, and banana will all have different shape).

 

Ingredients:

  1. 260 gr bread flour
  2. 30 gr sugar
  3. 2 gr salt
  4. 15 gr milk powder
  5. 3 gr instant yeast
  6. 1 egg + water = 170 ml
  7. 30 gr unsalted butter
  8. sausages, ham, and cheese slices or grated cheddar cheese

Method: (if making the bread dough with a food processor)

  1. Prepare the food processor with the steel blade assembled.
  2. Place flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast inside the food processor (put the salt and instant yeast on the different sides of the food processor bowl). Close the lid and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix the ingredients
  3. Add egg and butter
  4. Pulse again 2 or 3 times to combine all the ingredients together and until butter is no longer bigger than peas
  5. With the motor running, pour water through the feed tube in a steady stream as fast as the flour absorbs it until the dough form a ball in 15 to 20 seconds
  6. Let the machine run to complete the kneading process in about 2 minutes (this was the time needed in my food processor). End result: dough should be smooth, bouncy and not sticky
  7. Transfer the dough to a big bowl that has been lightly oiled. Turn the dough over to coat completely with oil. Cover the dough with a cling wrap and clean cloth
  8. Let rise until double in size. 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
  9. Transfer the dough to the counter top
  10. Cut dough into 8 (around 50 gr) and shape as the instructions below, then place on the baking tray
  11. To shape sausage bread:
    Roll the dough flat keeping its diameter equal to the length of the sausage and put the sausage in one end
    Roll the dough
    Pinch to seal and flip the dough so the seal is at the bottom side
    Cut the top of the dough and the sausage into two. Don’t cut the bottom side of the dough. Look at the picture below for end result:
    End result: the bottom side of the dough is uncut
    In the same way as the instructions above, cut the dough into 4 then into 8
    Twist and place the sausages as shown to form a flower: bring the first cut to the front, the second cut to the left, the third cut to the right, the fourth cut to the left, the fifth cut to the right, etc
    End result

    How to shape ham and cheese bread:

    Roll the dough flat keeping its diameter equal to the length of the ham and cheese, and put ham and slice cheese in one end
    Cut the bottom side of the dough into several parts
    Roll the dough
    Bring the left side and the right side together in the middle
    Join the left and right sides together

    Seal tightly
  12. Cover the dough again with clean cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes
  13. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius
  14. Lightly brush each dough with milk and top the sausage bread with grated cheddar cheese
  15. Bake 180 Celsius for 15 to 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (my sausage bread needed 20 minutes but the ham and cheese bread only needed 17 minutes)
  16. After the bread is baked, lightly brush with unsalted butter for soft crust, then transfer to a cooling rack
  17. Cover with clean cloth (so the bread will not dry), and wait until the bread is cool enough before keeping it in an airtight container

Roti Keju / Cheese Stuffed Soft Buns with Cheese Toppings

I like making this soft cheese bread. It’s so easy and one of my son’s favorite bread (because he loves cheese so much). The good thing about making my own bread is that I can always decide of how big or small I want the bread to be, how much cheese I want to put inside the bread, and the toppings that I want to use for extra flavor.

Although the bread recipe was actually the same as my Chicken Stuffed Bread and Cheese Stuffed Bread Rolls, but this time I made bigger bread with more cheese and extra cheese again for the toppings.

This is one of my favorite bread recipe and you can see why by looking at the picture of the bread……………….it’s so soft. This time, I used only milk which made the bread even softer than before, but this will be to each one’s preference, whether you like soft bread or not.

By the way, I believe that homemade bread doesn’t have to be prefect or has the size and shape, because in the end, it’s the effort and the love that we put when making the bread that is count.  Homemade bread taste different than the ones for the bread store, and once you know how to make bread at home, you will never want to buy bread from the bakeries anymore.

Ingredients:

  1. 200 gr bread flour
  2. 50 gr all purpose flour
  3. 30 gr sugar
  4. 1/4 tsp salt
  5. 6 gr instant yeast
  6. 2 egg yolk
  7. 50 gr butter
  8. 125 ml cold milk
  9. grated cheddar cheese

For the brushing:

  1. liquid milk
  2. unsalted butter (melted in room temperature)

Method (if using food processor):

  1. Prepare the food processor with the steel blade assembled.
  2. Place flour, sugar, salt, and instant yeast inside the food processor (put the salt and instant yeast on the different sides of the food processor bowl). Close the lid and pulse 2 or 3 times to mix the ingredients
  3. Add egg yolk and butter
  4. Pulse again 2 or 3 times to combine all the ingredients together and until butter is no longer bigger than peas
  5. With the motor running, pour milk through the feed tube in a steady stream as fast as the flour absorbs it until the dough form a ball in 15 to 20 seconds
  6. Continue processing until dough cleans the side of the work bowl in about 15 to 30 seconds
  7. Let the machine run to complete the kneading process in about 60 seconds (or more, depends on the food processor). End result: dough should be smooth, bouncy and not sticky
  8. Transfer the dough to a big bowl that has been lightly oiled. Turn the dough over to coat completely with oil. Cover the dough with a cling wrap and clean cloth
  9. Let rise for about 40 to 60 minutes. 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
  10. Transfer the dough to the counter top
  11. Cut dough into 8 (around 60 gr) and shape as the instructions below, then place on the baking tray
    With a rolling pin, roll each dough into an oval shape
    Add grated cheddar cheese at the top side of the dough
    Roll twice and pinch to seal the dough
    Seal the left and right sides too
    Cut the bottom part of the dough into 5 parts like the picture above
    Seal all the five legs of the dough to the counter top by pressing each leg to the counter top
    Then roll
    and place the seal on the bottom side in the baking tray

    Place the seal on the bottom side in the baking tray
  12. Cover the dough again with clean cloth and let rise for another 40 minutes
  13. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius
  14. Lightly brush each dough with milk and top with grated cheddar cheese
  15. Bake 180 Celsius for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown (the size was bigger than my previous cheese bread, so it took longer time to bake)
  16. After the bread is baked, lightly brush with unsalted butter for soft crust, then transfer to a cooling rack
  17. Cover with clean cloth (so the bread will not dry), and wait until the bread is cool enough before keeping it in an airtight container

Ayam Goreng KFC / Crispy Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken.……………….isn’t it just every child’s favorite food? Not just children, even fried chicken can be a comfort food for adults. I feel happy and satisfied after eating crispy fried chicken and always feel that it is the most delicious food in the world and that I could eat it every day (but it’s not healthy to eat fried chicken everyday, so let’s forget about that thought). Fried chicken and french fries are my best friends when I’m bored and need something good to lift up my spirit.

Fried chicken and french fries are also two of my boy’s favorite food besides pizza (although I would be much happier if he chose broccoli and spinach as his favorite food). He likes fried chicken and fries from McDonald’s the best. If you haven’t known it yet, in McDonald’s Indonesia, there is fried chicken and fries package that I never find in other countries that I’ve visited so far. The chicken is crispy and not spicy (unlike KFC). There are not chicken nuggets, they are real chicken and we can choose from chicken wings, breast, drumstick, or tights.

Compared to any other fast food restaurants, we all say that the fried chicken and fries from McDonald’s in Indonesia are still the winner. The boy always asked to go to McDonald’s whenever we came back to Jakarta for this reason. Unfortunately, the last time we came back to Jakarta, we didn’t have time to go to McDonald’s due to the limited time that we had. so I promised him that I would make fried chicken and fries for him once we went back to Singapore. Well, anyway, home cooked food even though it’s fried chicken and fries are still healthier than the ones from the fast food restaurant.

By the way, in Indonesia, when we talk about this kind of crispy fried chicken, most of the time people will say it’s the KFC Fried Chicken Style. KFC is the most popular brand name for fried chicken probably because it was the first one who established the fried chicken business in Indonesian long before McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Texas Chicken, etc. I still remember that my parents would sometimes take me and my sisters to the KFC for dinner once every few months and that was the time that we waited so much as children………………………..I even still remember where was the first KFC restaurant located near my house although it was 30 years ago.

For the fries, I always cook from raw potatoes and never buy the already cut ones that comes in packaged from the supermarket. For the chicken, it is best to buy the fresh ones from the wet market.

I marinated the chicken for few hours before dipping into the flour mixture, so the chicken itself already taste so good. The one bad thing about eating fried chicken from the fast food restaurant is that I always feel that the chicken is tasteless. My son and I only like the crispy skin, and most of the time we can’t finish the chicken flesh. But when I make this at home, I always want the chicken to taste as good as the skin, so I marinate it with salt, garlic, shallots, and coriander powder. Even my son agreed and said that the chicken also taste so delicious and yummy and it wasn’t difficult for him to finish at least 2 chickens in one go with a plate full of my homemade fries. See……………..home cooked food always tastes better no matter what……………….

Ingredients:

  1. 3 chicken thighs (cut into 2), 2 chicken wings, 2 chicken breasts, or any parts from the chicken of your choice
  2. 5 garlic
  3. 2 shallots
  4. 1 tsp coriander powder
  5. 2 tsp salt + 1 tsp salt
  6. all purpose flour : tapioca flour or corn flour = 5 : 1 (I used 15 tbsp of flour and 3 tbsp tapioca flour)
  7. 1 tsp baking powder
  8. 75 to 100 ml very cold water
  9. oil for deep frying

Method:

  1. With mortar and pestle, mash garlic, shallots, coriander powder, and 2 tsp of salt until they form a paste. Marinate the chicken with this paste for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator
  2. In a bowl or plate, mix together all purpose flour, tapioca flour, salt, and baking powder. Take 5 tbsp of this mixture and transfer to a small bowl, and add cold water to this mixture. Test the flour and water mixture by dipping 1/3 of your finger into the mixture and take some of the batter. The batter should just slightly coat the finger. If it is coated heavily, add some water. If it is not coated at all, then add some flour
  3. Dust each chicken with dry flour mixture
  4. Then dip into the wet batter and allow any excess to drip off
  5. Coat the chicken thoroughly with dry flour mixture again (coat the chicken by pinching the flour mixture into the chicken body until they form big crumbs)
    Pinch the flour until it is separated and form big crumbs

    The flour mixture should look like this when you pinch repeatedly. This texture is the one making the chicken crisp when deep fried
  6. Add oil to a wok(the amount of oil should be able to cover the chicken) and set to medium heat. Test the oil if it’s hot enough by doing this: take 1/2 tsp of the wet batter and put in the hot oil. If it’s make sizzling sound immediately, then it is hot enough
  7. Cook until both sides of the chicken are golden and crisp
  8. Serve hot with fries, salad, and chili sauce

Pastel Goreng / Indonesian Chicken and Vegetable Fried Puff

Pastel goreng or chicken and vegetables fried puff pastry is one of the very famous Indonesian snack. It’s a savory snack that I love so much since I was a little girl. I actually like savory snacks better than sweet snack like cakes or donuts. My favorite Indonesian snacks are risoles, pastel goreng, kroket, and lumpia goreng. Although I already made some them many times, but I was always too lazy to document the recipes and to take pictures. Well, maybe next time I’ll encourage myself to write down the recipes and post them in here (most of the time, I don’t cook based on recipes or do any kinds of measurement for the ingredients that I use, I just use my feeling when adding herbs and spices ).

The same thing now happen to my son as he likes savory snacks better than sweet cakes. Pastel goreng is his number one favorite snack that we can’t get in Singapore. Yes, there is Malaysian curry puff in Singapore which resembles pastel goreng and we can find it easily at the malls or wet market, but none of us likes curry, so we never buy curry puff in here. To us, the Indonesian version of fried puff is much better because that was what we ate since we were little and we are very used to the taste (the same thing might apply to curry puff lover). The filling is also very light with not much herbs and spices and sometimes I just add salt without any sauce to the chicken and vegetables mixture (but for this recipe I added soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil too, but you can always add only salt).

For the filling, you can use whatever you want to and whatever is left in your fridge. You can make it vegetarian version by using carrots, potatoes, green beans, rice vermicelli, and spring onion only. You can substitute the chicken with beef or sausages, etc. Hard boiled eggs are very common to use as fillings, but my son usually would leave the egg on the plate so I didn’t bother to add any eggs for the fillings.

My mom would always say that one of the criteria of good fried puff skin is when you can see small transparent bubbles in the skin after it’s being fried, and this is what we call in Bahasa Indonesia as “ngeprul”. (see the picture below).

This recipe was inspired by  Nikmatul Rosidah youtube channel and I love her videos so much (I did some modification so the steps and outcome weren’t exactly the same). Her recipes are easy to understand and the steps are clear. In fact, I learnt how to pleat the edges of the fried puff by watching her video. I had watched several videos before with no luck in making nice pleats, and her video was the only one that worked for me…………………….

By the way, I only made half of the recipe because I didn’t want to freeze the leftover dough (plus, I had time to make a fresh dough). The fillings is for 1 recipe, so I refrigerate half of it and made a new dough the following day.

Now, let’s make this delicious snack that goes well with a cup of hot tea in the afternoon……………….

Ingredients:

For the fillings:

  1. 100 gr chicken, minced
  2. 3 carrots, cut into cubes (0.5 x 0.5 cm)
  3. 1 potato, cut into cubes (0.5 x 0.5 cm)
  4. 5 garlic, minced
  5. 2 shallots, minced
  6. 1/2 large onion, minced
  7. 1 tsp salt
  8. 1 tsp sesame oil
  9. 1 tsp fish sauce
  10. 1 tsp soy sauce
  11. 2 tbsp olive oil
  12. water (about 10 to 20 ml)

Method:

  1. Heat a wok with 2 tbsp of olive oil
  2. Add garlic, shallots, and large onion, stir fry until fragrant and the large onion turn into translucent color
  3. Add minced chicken, stir until the chicken turn into white
  4. Add salt, sesame oil, fish sauce, and soy sauce
  5. Add carrots and potatoes, mix all ingredients and add 10 to 20 ml of water to cook carrot and potatoes (the amount of water will depend on how long you need to cook the vegetables). Cook until the vegetables are thoroughly cooked and the mixture is really dry (wet mixture might tear the dough)
  6. Set aside the fillings

Ingredients for the puff pastry (half the recipe):

  1. 200 gr all purpose flour
  2. 87.5 gr unsalted butter, cubes and put in freezer for 30 minutes
  3. 87.5 ml very cold water
  4. 1/4 tsp salt

Method (using food processor):

  1. Prepare the food processor with the steel blade assembled
  2. Add flour, salt, and cold butter into the bowl of the food processor
  3. Pulse several times until butter is no longer bigger than peas
  4. Press pulse again while slowly adding the water through the feed tube (should take about 4 to 5 seconds), then stop to check the dough
  5. The dough should come together as crumbs and stick together when you press it with your fingers. If not, pulse 2 times, stop, and check again
  6. Transfer the dough to a plate, smear using the heel of the hand to distribute the fat, then bring the dough together, roll to make a ball, then flatten the dough to make a disk shape
  7. Cover with cling wrap and put in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes. Chilling the dough will make the dough easier to shape. Do not take out the dough from the freezer in less than 30 minutes as I did , because it will be easily tear
  8. Cut the dough into 8 (don’t cut the dough into more than 8 because it will be too thin and again, will crack easily when you shape the dough, and yes, I said this because I made this mistake too)
  9. Put half of the dough back to the freezer (I also learn from experience that it’s easier to work with cold dough, and as I needed time to roll and add filling and finally wrap it, it was better to keep half of the dough back to the freezer)
  10. Take one dough, make into a ball, then flatten with the palm of your hand
  11. Roll into 10 cm diameter round shape (don’t worry if you can’t make nice round shape, you can always use scissors to cut the dough into nice shape later
  12. Put 1 tbsp of the fillings in the center of the dough, then fold to make a half circle shape
  13. Pull and pinch edges to seal, and if necessary, shape the edges to make a nice round shape with scissors
  14. Pleat the edges (repeatedly pull and pinch the edges to seal)
  15. Put each puff into a floured tray
  16. Deep fried until both sides are golden brown
  17. Let the puffs cool for few minutes as they will get crispier when it’s not too hot and serve with chili padi or chili sauce

Zebra Cake

One of my favorite website to search for dessert recipes is homecookingadventure, and I literally went page by page diligently to look for recipes that I might be able to make (aka. easy enough for my “not so good baking skill”).

I have to admit that this was the first time that I made a cake, the first time that I owned a mixer, and the first time that I used a mixer in my whole entire life. All was because of this zebra cake recipe that really caught my attention, and I immediately made this cake the next day after I bought my mixer at 10 pm the night before. But hey, everyone says life begins at forty, so I decided to begin my baking adventure just months before I turn forty, hahaha………………..

Zebra cake was one of my favorite cake and I really loved the zebra or marble pattern of the cake. I really wanted to make this beautiful cake since long ago but was never really brave enough to try. My mom was very good at making cakes and she made us desserts, snacks, and even birthday cakes when we were little girls, and I always thought that it was a very difficult thing to do (there was no bread machine, food processor, or stand mixer back then), so I guess I was just to lazy to try, hahaha……………..

So now, back to the zebra cake recipe. One thing that I love from homecookingadventure is that the steps are explained clearly one by one, so I knew exactly what to do and when. I would skip recipes that were too difficult at that moment and only concentrated at the easiest thing to do (and that did not include recipes that asked to beat the egg white until soft peak or stiff peak because I still had to learn about that). Hey, one step at a time is better than nothing, rite?

Anyone wants a bite?

Or two bites maybe……………?
When I brought this to church, my friends admired the pretty stripes and one of them who also did a lot of baking said that he found it difficult to create such layers. Actually, if you follow the recipe exactly step by step, this cake is not that difficult to make, but you have to be patience enough to create beautiful layers. For amateurs home baker like me, it is a big no no to try to modify recipes , and it is better save than sorry………………so just follow the recipe exactly as it is.

I love stripes……………..
For the recipe, even the batter already tasted so good and I couldn’t stop licking the leftover batter in my spatula, especially the chocolate one because I loved chocolate so much. Although the batter was very sweet when I tried at first, but it was perfect after I finished the baking process and tried the cake. It was not too sweet which was just how we and most of our friends liked it.

During the baking process, I couldn’t wait to see the cake cracked at the top and I was so nervous………………..and finally……………………..look at the beautiful crack on top of the cake…………..it’s just perfect. I just love if the cake cracks at the top………………..

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 200 gr butter cut in cubes, should be at room temperature and still in cubes (not melted yet)
  • 4 eggs in room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 cup milk

For the chocolate batter:

  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Method:unt

  1. Preheat oven to 180 Celsius (you should start preheating the oven at this point)
  2. Lightly grease with butter a 9 inch cake pan and line with parchment paper
  3. In a medium bowl, mix well 3 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/4 cup milk, and 1 tbsp sugar until the batter is smooth and has no lumps. Set aside
  4. In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Mix well with a spoon or a whisk. Set aside
  5. Mix butter with sugar until creamy with a hand mixer or stand mixer (I used speed 1 or the lowest speed on my stand mixer during the whole process)
  6.  Add eggs one at a time and mix until well combined and the batter is smooth (look at the pictures below of when to add the eggs)
  7. Add vanilla extract to the batter
  8. Add 1/4 of the milk, mix for few seconds
  9. Add 1/4 of the flour mixture, mix for few seconds
  10. Repeat the process by alternately adding 1/4 part of the milk and 1/4 part of the flour mixture
  11. Continue mixing until all is well incorporated. During this process, scrape any flour mixture in the sides of the bowl with a spatula
    End result
  12. Remove two cups of the white batter into a small bowl, then add 3 tbsp of this batter to the chocolate mixture and mix well
  13. Add the remaining 2 cups of white batter in this bowl to the chocolate mixture and gently whisk until there are no lumps and the batter is smooth (it is easier to mix the batter and the chocolate mixture in 2 steps like this)
  14. To create the marbled effect, take 1 tbsp of the white batter and pour it in the middle of the pan. Over it, add 1 tbsp of chocolate batter. Repeat these steps all batter has been used
  15. Before placing the cake pan in the oven, tap the pan on the counter top 3 to 4 times to let the air bubbles pop
  16. Bake for 50-55 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
  17. Tap the pan on the counter top again 3 to 4 times
  18. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from the pan
  19. After cutting the cake, cover the plate with clean clothes or keep in an airtight container

So lovely…………………