Monday, March 9, 2009

A Fruity Affair Christmas Cake
Recipe by Amy Beh

200g butter
200g soft brown sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g self-raising flour
200g flour
1 tsp ground mixed spice
175g sultanas
250g black raisins
50g mixed peel
50g dried apricots — coarsely chopped
50g crystalised ginger — coarsely chopped
3 tbsp CointreauTopping:
Apricot gel
5 pecan nuts or walnuts — toastedApricot gel glaze:
225g apricot jam
55ml water
1 3/4 tsp lemon juice


Grease a deep 20cm round cake tin and line the base and sides with a double layer of greaseproof paper.Sift the flours with the mixed spice. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and adding a little flour if the mixture shows signs of curdling.Beat in the essence. Fold in the sifted flours in batches, alternating it with a tablespoon of cointreau each time.Mix fruits in a mixing bowl and add in one to two tablespoons flour. Stir fruits into the creamed mixture.Spoon the mixture into prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula.Knock tin lightly on a flat surface to break up any air bubbles.Bake in a preheated oven at 160 ºC for an hour, lower the temperature to 150 ºC and continue to bake for another hour or until a skewer inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean and dry.Cool cake in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

To make topping:

Brush apricot gel over cake. Arrange the pecan nuts in the centre of cake and brush with more gel to give the cake a beautiful sheen. Allow cake to dry before dusting with icing sugar.To make Apricot gel glaze: Put all the ingredients in a saucepan and stir well until it is thoroughly blended and mixture is smooth. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes then force the mixture through a fine wire sieve. Brush the warm glaze over the cake.You can keep the rest of the glaze in a covered container in the refrigerator. It will last for a fortnight.
Recipe by Amy Beh

125g butter dice
50g castor sugar
1/8 tsp almond essence
75g ground almondsSift twice:
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt

Line baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Preheat oven to 170 ºC.Beat butter until smooth and soft. Add sugar and continue to beat until creamy. Add almond and vanilla essence.Stir in ground almonds gradually. Add flour and blend well into a dough.Take small pieces of dough, roll them lightly into 5cm lengths and form crescent shapes. Place them on the baking sheet and flatten lightly. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until golden or almost yellow in colour but not brown.Leave cookies on the baking tray for 10 minutes. While still warm, dip cookies in castor sugar. Keep sugar-coated cookies in airtight jars.

Note: This cookie tastes better one or two days after baking.
NASI LEMAK (Rice in coconut milk)

1 cup rice, washed
2 cups thick coconut milk
1 shallot, sliced
1 cm ginger
3 screwpine leaves
Salt to taste

Mix rice, coconut milk, shallots, ginger, screwpine leaves and salt in a ricecooker and cook. Serve with hard-boiled eggs, sliced cucumber and Sambal Ikan Bilis. (Serves 4-6)

Blended Ingredients
½ chicken, cut into serving pieces
1 onion, diced
1 onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic
2-3 stalks curry leaves
2 cm ginger
2-3 cardamoms
1 cinnamon stick
5 cloves
3 tbsp curry powder
2-3 tbsp coconut milk (can be substituted with milk)
2 potatoes, cubed
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Blend onion, cloves and ginger and set aside. In a deep pan, fry remaining onion in 2 tbsp oil. Add curry leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and fry until fragrant. Add blended ingredients and curry powder to the pan and fry until fragrant. Add chicken and ½ cup of water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Add potatoes and pour in enough water to cover potatoes and chicken. Cover and simmer until potatoes are tender. Add coconut milk and water to desired consistency and cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste. Serve immediately with rice or roti canai. (Serves 4)
NASI GORENG (Fried Rice)

2 cups rice, cooked and cooled
4 shallots
25g dried anchovies, cleaned and washed
2 cloves garlic
2 red chillies
2 long beans, cleaned and chopped
2 eggs
2 tbsp sweet soya sauce
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Pound anchovies with shallots, garlic and chillies. Heat oil in a frying pan and fry the mixture until fragrant. Add long beans, stir-fry over a medium flame till cooked. Add in the rice and fry evenly. Break in 2 eggs and mix well. Season with sweet soya sauce and salt to taste. (Serves 4 - 6)

Sunday, March 8, 2009


1.5kg chicken, deboned and cubed
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
8 shallots, diced
1 tsp coriander
2.5 cm piece fresh turmeric
1 tsp sugar
1 stalk lemon grass
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
Salt to taste
2 tbsp cooking oil

Pound coriander, cumin, turmeric, peanuts, salt and sugar. Add cinnamon, shallots and 1 tbsp cooking oil and mix well. Marinate the chicken in this mixture for several hours, preferably overnight. Thread the marinated strips of meat through satay skewers. Grill over burning coal until meat is evenly browned on both sides and cooked through. While grilling, sprinkle cooking oil over the meat using crushed lemon grass. Serve immediately with peanut sauce. (Serves 6-8)
Fish Curry (serves 5)
Recipe by Nutritional Society of Malaysia

500 g (5 medium size pcs) tenggiri/kurau fish
60 g (2 tbsps) fish curry powder, mixed with a little water
10 g (1/2 tsp) mustard seeds
10 g (2 tsps) fenugreek seeds
10 g (1 stalk) curry leaf
15 g (1 1/2 tbsps) vegetable oil
50 ml (1/4 cup) low fat milk
100 g (1) tomato, sliced into 6 pieces
70 g (5) lady's fingers, sliced into 2 inch length
salt to taste
10 g (7 cm) ginger
40 g (8 pips) garlic
60 g (6) shallots
30 g (1 tbsp) tamarind
50 ml (1/4 cup) hot water

Heat oil.
Saute mustard and fenugreek seeds. Add curry leaf and blended paste. Fry until golden and fragrant.
Add curry powder mixture and stir fry until crisp.
Stir in tamarind juice and salt. Bring to boil.
Add fish and lady's fingers. Allow to cook.
Add tomato and cook for 5 minutes.
Stir in low fat milk, and bring boil for 1 minute.
This dish can be served with rice or bread.