I’m still not confident enough to bake european style bread again so last weekend I picked another chinese style bun recipe. Most of the chinese style bun features a sweet bread dough, but I didn’t really want to eat sweet buns for the rest of the week, so I made sure the bun I baked would have a savory filling. Meat floss bun fitted the bill and it also has a pretty cone shape.

The recipe for the sweet bread dough I’ve got is intended for a bakery and uses fresh yeast. I made a few adjustments with it to suit home baking, the recipe can make approx. a dozen good size buns.

500g Bread flour
100g Sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbp Active dry yeast (less for instant yeast)
30g Soften butter
2 tbp Milk powder
1 egg
260g Warm water

The amount of yeast used for this amount of flour is relatively low, and it took a total of 6 hours for the buns to be ready to go into the oven. Melbourne is pretty cool now and this also lengthened the time taken to proof. My baking sheet was not big enough to place 12 cone shell shaped bun so I turned in the ends and turn them into shape of a croissant. 😀

Even though I said I don’t want sweet bun, I made one bun with sugar cinnamon filling and see if this bread dough work well with a sweeting feeling too. It turned out great! I think next time I can use this bread dough to make 12 buns with different fillings … meat floss, coffee, chocolate, custard, jam, cinnamon, meat sauce, ham, cheese, red bean paste, coconut, bacon…

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This soup tastes similar to the canned mushroom soup. How flavoursome this soup would be depends on how much ingredients you are willing to add to the soup. My recipe is the light version because I don’t like the taste of cream. You can add stock to enhance the flavour and add cream to increase the creaminess. However without these 2 ingredients the soup is still equally tasty and enjoyable.

As this is a mushroom soup of course it would require A LOT of mushrooms, I used just ordinary button mushrooms this time but other type of mushrooms would work too. I think adding some wild mushrooms would bring a wonderful flavour. Experiment yourself!

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This festival was truly a weekend festival since it’s from 23th to 25th. I went to the festival alone on Sat 24th, which has been the International FLOUR Festival. There’re a number of bakeries from different cultures, such as Mayan, Italian, Danish, Afrian and middle Eastern just to name a few. I had my lunch before visiting so I didn’t buy anything there, but I did try some of the samples and took the cards of a few bakeries. 🙂

Mr. Pig came back on Sunday morning and so he, little kid and I went to the Sunday festival together. First we went to the Crown Promenade by the Yarra River for Melbourne Longest Cake.

This was a money raising event for the Cerebral Palsy and Medical research. The cake was 100 metre long, which was about the length of the promenade. It has been displayed on 5 super long tables. We bought a slice of the cake, which turned out to be carrot cake. The recipe for the cake can be found at the Melbourne Longest Cake website.

It was noon when we finished the cake so we went for lunch. After that we headed to the Food and Wine festival, and the day’s theme was “wicked sunday”. We saw a lot of chocolates, many of them in forms of eggs and bunnies as Easter is coming soon. There’s also many stalls selling coffee and icecream/gelato. In the end I only bought an honey and walnut icecream, since I was quite full from eating the cake and then lunch. Little kid bought a ginger and cinnamon gelato, I’ve tried it and it tasted really nice…

Check out the photos taken during the festival here.

My weekend started off by visiting the Osaka Festival held at the Waterfront City, Docklands. It celebrate the Melbourne Osaka Cup, which is a double-handed yacht race that is held every 4 years racing between Melbourne and Osaka. The festival includes traditional Japanese cultural activities and entertainment including a Japanese tea ceremony, music, dancing and martial arts. Since I stayed for only 1/2 hour (I also wanted to visit the Food and Wine Festival at Federation Square), I don’t get to see most of those activities but I’ve taken some photos…

Oh, and I also receive this fan as a souvenior… nice.

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Last week I haven’t baked anything and I’m itching to baking something this week. I didn’t want to making spend a lot of time and energy to bake bread just for myself (well I have to hand knead the dough). After going through the pantry and fridge I settled on making egg tart. I thought I’d make the more elebrate type, one with puff pastry.

My history of making egg tarts wasn’t all that well. For some reason I couldn’t get the consistency of egg fillings right regardless of which recipe I used. It’s been over a year since I’ve made egg tarts, so I pull out all my recipe-books and browse the internet to determine which recipe I should use. At the end I haven’t chosen a particular recipe, but adopted the ingredients and measurements from 3 recipes.

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Needless to say, the result didn’t turn out as well as I hoped for, well… they’re edible, but the puff pastry weren’t as puffy as it should, the egg filling were a little too creamy. In total I made 2 batches (each 10 tarts), the first batch was pretty “concentrated”, the shell was rather crunchy, and the filling like custard than steam egg. I made some modification on the second batch and they turned out much better. The consisteny for this batch’s filling was perfect, just a little too creamy for my taste.

Anyway, for the puffy pastry I kinda followed the ingredients and measurements stated in the recipe from Leisure Cat, but I’ve also added 1 tbp of sugar to the “water dough”. This time I’ve used the english folding method, and the “oil dough” spill over the water dough a little bit. Next time I’ll try using the french method and see if it gives a better result.

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The fillings… I still could’t work out the ratio for the eggs and liquid. I used 5 eggs this time, since the puffy pastry recipe seemed to make a few dozens of tart shells. 60ml of evaporated milk seemed to make the filling too creamy, but that’s how much the recipe from Leisure Cat used (and it only uses 3 eggs!). Maybe I’ll try milk next time.

Next time I make puffy egg shell I’ll use 1/2 the amount states in the recipe (I think even 1/2 the amount would make 20+) and also try the filling recipe too. I think my attempt to come up with my own egg tart recipe would likely to fail than succeed. 😦

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I think this name sounds better than soybean spring onion hot cake… anyway, this is a dish that popped up in my mind when I was thinking what to do with the soybean puree that’s left after making soybean milk. I tried making soybean patties with the puree before, but they were rather tasteless, and soybean itself is pretty hard to digest. There are a lot of bread recipes that used soy flour and so I thought, why don’t I use it in a dough? I also happened to have a large bunch of spring onion sitting in the fridge that begged to be used. So combining the two ingredients together and you have this wonderful snack (or starter or main dish)!
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I kept thinking about 粢飯 ever since my cousin mentioned it after their trip back from HK. It’s one of the food that I can’t find in Melb (even thought there are heaps of shanghai restaurants around), so if I want to eat 粢飯 I have to make it myself. 粢飯 is rather like sushi (or the other way round? I don’t know which one has a longer history…), but it’s made with mostly glutinous/ sticky rice and with meat floss, fried bread stick 油條 and preserved vegetable 炸菜 as fillings. Traditionally it is eaten during breakfast but I like it anytime I want, it’s my type of comfort food.

salty_soymilk.jpg粢飯 is always eaten with a bowl/glass of soybean milk, just like eating cereals with milk. The soybean milk can either be the sweeten version (served hot in a bowl or cold in a glass) or the hot savory version 鹹豆漿. I got hooked onto savory soybean milk the first time I tried it several years ago. It doesn’t look nice (in fact it resembles something like vomit, or bean curd pudding that fail to set properly) but it tastes awesome. There are only a handful of places that serve savory soybean milk in Melb, but the one I come across with only serves them during breakfast hours.

So with my sudden urge to eating 粢飯, I come up with my recipe to make it as well as 鹹豆漿. It may not be as authentic as what the shanghaiese makes, but it’s better than not eating one at all 🙂 . Read on for the recipe…

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The eggplant dip has always been the favourite dip out of all the dips I’ve purchased from deli. As the eggplant season has arrived there are of plenty fresh young eggplants around for making this healthy and tastey dip. When choosing eggplant go for the ones that are firm and glossy. I used globe eggplants for making the dips, it has a tougher skin so the flesh can be scooped out easily after roasting. Apart from making sure the eggplant is fresh I also try to pick ones that are slender, because as an eggplant gets rounder at the bottom the more seed it has, and the more bitter it becomes.

I roasted the eggplant over stovetop, which works out cheaper for me than using an oven. The eggplant can also be roasted over hot charcoal, and roasting it this way would give you a wonderful smoky flavour. Use whichever roasting method that suit best for you.

Here is a recipe for 2 version of eggplant dips, one is the middle eastern Baba Ganoush and another one I found at my deli Eggplant Mayonnaise. Both dips use eggplant puree as a base. The measurements for ingredients I listed are only a guide, I like my dip super garlicy… feel free to change the measurement according to your taste.

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Last night after dinner (we had indian food for dinner) I made a pitta tea. Both Clement and I are pitta dosha so I make pitta tea from time to time. My cousin liked the tea very much and asked me for the recipe, so I thought I’d drop down various ayurvedic tea recipes I found on the internet here for anyone who’re interested.

According to ayurveda, each human being has a primary element of nature — kapha, vata or pitta, the 3 doshas. If you like to know which is your dominant dosha, take a dosha test. There are different ayurveda teas for different dosha. Most of the ingredients in the tea aid digestion. Read on for the recipes…

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My cousin came over for dinner last night. She likes indian food so I thought I would make something indian for a change. Altogether I make 3 dishes served with basmati rice (and also pappadums!). One of the dish is a lamb gravy stew. I like slow cooking diced lamb with indian spices so that the meat is always tender and without the “muttony” taste (I don’t know how it’s called in english, in cantonese we call it “So”). My cousin didn’t even realise it’s lamb until I told her!

Here is the recipe for my version of lamb gravy stew. I’m not an indian to I cannot say this dish is an authentic indian dish… it’s definitely not authentic this time I made it because I ran out of tomatos and had to use pasta sauce as a replacement! 😀 My cousin said it tasted a bit like the rogan josh she orders at restaurants, just not as spicy. I’m not a fan of hot spicy food so I’ve never ordered this dish before and don’t know if the one I cooked tasted similar. This lamb gravy stew is mild to medium spicy, but you can always put more chilli if you want it more spicy! (or change the chilli to sweet paprika if you don’t want it hot at all)

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