A Belated Xmas and A Happy New 2013!

I hope you had a good year end holiday. I had a lovely but short one.

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We made our own Christmas tree. I mean, we all went to buy the tree, but Pinkydoodles and I made the decorations of cinnamon sticks and orange slices. Got some candy to put it up too so the tree is quite edible :D.

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Oh yeah, made gingerbread people and gave them away as Christmas gifts.Image

 

For Christmas, we drank this marvellous wine. Galatrona 2008 Petrolo. Lovely. That’s my cousin happily posing with this wine (and she said she didn’t mind being in the picture).Image

 

I made this white looking cake for New Year.

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It’s a cherry chipped cake! I know it’s not perfect…

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We celebrated the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 on our balcony overlooking KLCC and spectacular fireworks… with lots of wine!

Happy New Year, everyone. May the year bring lots of happiness!

 

-M.

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Sarawakian fruits

I was back in Sibu again recently. Though it is end of the year, I’ve learnt that the fruiting season is almost the opposite from that on the Peninsula.

SibumarketGone to Sibu market in the early morning to see what I can find. I found that the local durian was in season. My, some of the kampung varieties are so small and looked like a green sea urchin!

Duriansibu

Oh yes, when there is durian, there is also duku/langsat/dokong. The tangy and sweet flesh of that small round yellow-skinned fruit is just so contrasting to the creamy durian. Perfect, right?

Oh, there is of course the all year round banana, but take a look at the price.

pisang

During my trip, I’ve been introduced to a very particular fruit seasonal around November/December.

dabais

Apparently this fruit ripens at the same time on one tree. Dabai, as it is called, is also known as “Black Olive” here.

DabaicookedDabai doesn’t keep well so you will need to eat it within a few days of purchasing. I am told not to buy any wrinkly ones. I’m not sure if you can have it raw, as I was also instructed to “cook” it – buy exposing them to hot sun for a while or soaking them in warm (not boiling) water for about 30 mins or until soften. Then, douse the dabai with soya sauce and sprinkle some sugar to taste.

DabaiSeed

I really don’t know how to describe the taste… a little bit sweet, and… oily? Anyway, it is definitely an acquired taste. The large seed in the centre is like an American football. How odd.

Matakuching

I’ve also spotted some Sarawakian variant of the mata kuching (longan). It’s got green skin with sharp bumps, something like a lychee but tougher. The inside is very much like a longan, though the seed is a paler brown and the flesh more clear. The flavour was intense and so sweet. Much better than any of the commercial longan I have tried.

-M.

Recipe: Orange and Carrot Cupcakes

I always buy carrots in half kilos ready-packaged in the supermarket. Sometimes, we couldn’t finish the pack. This time, to use up all the carrots, I baked this lovely orange and carrot cupcake with yoghurt icing. So good, and best of all, something we can have for breakfast (Well, “we” here may just refer to us Teambudu… but if you can have a muffin for breakfast, why not this cupcake, right?

Looking good fresh out of the oven!

Lovely fluffy orange yoghurt icing on top with a fondant carrot. I’m not good at using fondants, but gimme some credit for effort here, okay?

The cake was moist with a lovely crumb. I’m happy with the outcome.

Now, for the recipe!

 

For the cake:

2 eggs

75g white sugar/ vanilla sugar

75g brown sugar (my brown sugar was very dark, that is why I mixed with white sugar to make it lighter)

100g cake flour

100g all purpose flour

150g carrots, grated

1 – 1 1/2 orange zest

3 tbsp orange juice

1 tsp cinnamon powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 baking soda

150ml vegetable oil

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 celcius. Beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda and baking powder together.

3. Add the flour mix into the egg mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the vegetable oil. Mix well after each addition (but don’t beat the heck out of it).

4. add the cinnamon, carrot, orange zest and juice. Mix with a spatula to combine.

5. Divide the batter into 12 cupcake liners in a cupcake pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Test to doneness by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake. It is done with the skewer comes out clean.

 

For the orange yoghurt icing:

100 ml of greek strained yoghurt

100 g of unsalted butter, slightly soften

100 g of icing sugar

Zest of half or 1 orange

method:

Beat unsalted butter with the icing sugar until smooth. Add in the yoghurt in three batches, blending the yoghurt into the mixture well each time. Blend in the orange zest. Chill slightly to firm up the icing and there you have it.

Enjoy!

– M.

The humble half-boiled eggs and kaya toast

 

Ah, this seems to be my default breakfast menu while I am traveling for work and doing work in the field this past two months. If you  are in Malaysia, chances are you had this as breakfast in a kopitiam somewhere: Half-boiled eggs (crack into a saucer and add soya sauce and pepper to your taste) and some butter & kaya toast. This gets me going up to lunchtime.

Oh and it’s mid-autumn festival today, hope y’all having some lantern fun. Team budu have been stuffing themselves with mooncake goodness as always… then Pinkydoodles found out that a mooncake can have about 1000 kcal per cake! err…. once a year, right?

– M.

A chocolate cake for Papa Salvatore

Sunday was our dad’s birthday. The parents flew down to KL on Monday and we gave him this cake for his belated birthday celebration with us.

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I got the recipe from Sweetapolita’s blog here. She makes gorgeous cakes. I didn’t use the buttercream icing recipe though, I used her chocolate meringue icing recipe instead. It is lighter, which is perfect for our after dinner binge. Dusted the top of the cake with cocoa powder and added some chopped walnuts around the side. Oh, and a little sugar heart to finish the look.

Here’s with the candles on and blown:Image

Happy birthday, Papa Salvatore!

– M (with Pinkydoodles, Sugamama and EggTart).

Ramadhan Special: Ayam Perchik Wakaf Bharu

The fasting month means the abundance of food and never seen before coloured drinks around the country for breaking fast. One special stall in Wakaf Bharu will be opened during this month: The Best Ayam Perchik Stall. Yes, I gave it a name since I have no idea what’s the real name (if any).

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My mother just refer this as the “Ayam Perchik Stall near the Wakaf Bharu Train Station”. Well, that’ll give you some idea as to where to find it.

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MMMMmmmm, ayam perchik being freshly grilled and sold. You get to pick your stick. It sells out really fast. It is so well spiced and balanced out with the coconut.

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You may find ayam perchik in a few places in Kelantan and they are sold all year round. But not this special stall.

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Don’t like chicken? There is also fish. But my favourite is the chicken, really.

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Nearby stalls will also sell other foods such as soups and traditional sweets. I found the smallest onde-onde there!

Happy Raya/Eid to those celebrating!

-M.

Sarawak Laksa

Hi all,

Been to Sarawak for work recently.

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Such a beautiful place.

I got to meet up with a cousin of mine that I haven’t seen for many years. He took me to lunch of Sarawak Laksa.

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So good. The noodles look like vermicelli but it is slightly thicker and chewier. Love it.

– M.

 

p.s.: btw, what’s with the new wordpress drop down box to add a new post thing??? don’t like it at all.