Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Asinan (Indonesian Style Fruit Pickle)

Asinan is Indonesian style pickle of fresh vegetable or fruits. The term asinan comes from the word asin, means salty. It is actually not only salty. But sour and spicy too!

If you are not into spicy food, you can easily adjust the level of spiciness by reducing the amount of chilies, or you can remove the chili's seed, it will help to reduce the heat a little. Or else, you can use other type of chilies that is not too spicy. Me and my hubby love spicy food, and we choose the type of chili that is famous in Indonesia as "super spicy". It is probably around the same level of jalapeno and habanero pepper.

3 cups of water
6 red cayenne chilies
3 bird eye chilies
2-3 tbsp vinegar
lemon juice from 1 lemon
1 and 1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp sugar

2 cucumbers
1 jicama/yam/mexican turnip
1 pineapple
2 handful of peanut, deep fry

How to :
1. Cook the chilies with boiling water about 5 minutes. Remove from the water and grind until smooth. You can use mortar and pestle or blender.
2. Mix the chili paste with 3 cups of water, salt and sugar. Add the vinegar and lemon juice, have a taste, correct it as your prefer. As different type or brand of vinegar might not taste the same. Adjust the level of sourness. It should be salty-sour and a little sweet.
3. Put in all the cucumber, jicama, and pineapple pieces to the sauce. Let it cool completely. Put it in your refrig, and your asinan is ready after about 1-2 hours.
4. Sprinkle the fried peanut before you eat it.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Triple chocolate layer cake

I feel so sorry that I haven't upload this cake from last month. This was my little boy 3 rd birthday cake....

You see, this is my very first time baking birthday cake! Never in my entire life have I done this before. All this time, when it comes to birthday cake, we always buy from our favorite store :D  The thing is, I dont have the tools to make pretty looking cake, nor the baking pans! I have a 20cm round pan and a 20cm square pan. Sigh....however, I decide to continue my plan to make the cake. There is always a first time for everything. I don't know what to do with the different shape's pan, but heck...lets just do it! When the cake is ready, I then cut all the square edges of my chocolate cake to be stack with the round cake. Ohhh my gosh it was disastrous. Haha! So I did everything I can to cover the mess. For more, they are not even on the same height. The round cake is thicker than the square. 

As for the taste, it rocks! So very moist, and rich and chocolatey. Just the way I  like it. And the birthday boy? he looooooves it! Yeayyyyyy. I'm planning to share the cake with my nephew and nieces who regularly visit our home on the weekend, that is why I make the cake on Friday, a day after my boy's bday. Hoping that it will still be enough cake to share on saturday. Too bad they don't get a chance to taste it :D All the cakes are gone before they came :D My two boys looove it so much they even lick the homemade buttercream. Which they never did before! Of course I'm super happy, despite the cake appearance look a bit horrible, they are fantastic!

The cake use oil, and I think its perfect. You don't need butter smells to make this cake more delicious. And for more, oil always make cake more moist than butter!

Cake adapted from Ina garten, via Sally's baking addiction

 1 and 3/4 cups (220 grams) all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cup (350 grams) granulated sugar (I use 300 grams of sugar)
3/4 cup (95 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (240 ml) buttermilk
1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil 
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (240 ml) freshly brewed strong hot coffee

1.25 cups (2.5 sticks or 290 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (I use 1 cup)
3-4 cups (360-480 grams) powdered sugar (I only have 1 and 3/4 cup powder sugar)
3/4 cup (95 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (I use 1/2 cup chocolate powder)
3-5 Tablespoons (45-75 ml) heavy cream 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 - 3/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)

1.       Preheat oven to 180C degrees. Butter & flour two 20cm round cake pans, or use non-stick spray.
2.      For the cake: Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium sized bowl. Set aside.
3.      Using a handheld or stand mixer on high speed, mix the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low. Add the coffee. The batter will be VERY thin. This is ok.
4.      Pour the batter into prepared baking pans and bake for 23-27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
5.      For the frosting: Cream the butter with a hand mixer on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. This will create a nice creamy base for the frosting. Add 1 and 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and 1/2 cup of cocoa powder. Mix on low. Add 4 Tablespoons of heavy cream and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. If your frosting is too thin, add up to 1 more cup of powdered sugar. If your frosting is too thick, add up to 2 more Tablespoons of heavy cream. Add at least 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Taste the frosting and add more salt if the frosting is too sweet. Add more cocoa powder if the frosting is not chocolate-y enough. _Frosting recipe is forgiving. Add more/less of each ingredient to obtain the consistency and taste you desire._
6.      Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a plate. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with anything you desired.
7.      Cake stays fresh, moist, and soft at room temperature (covered) for up to 4 days. Cake may be refrigerated (covered) for up to 7 days.

 Sorry for the horrible pictures, I promise to post better photos if I bake this cake again :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Napa Cabbage Stir Fry

Very simple stir fry. One of my family's favorite dish :)

Ingredients :
1 napa cabbage (Indonesian : sawi putih), cut into 4-5 cm squares
4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
4 onions, thinly slice
2 chilies (optional), cut 
150-200 ml water
3 tbsp of cooking oil
1 tbsp of light salty soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp of fish sauce
1 tsp of salt
pinch of sugar

1 handfull of fried mini anchovies for garnish.

How to:
1. Heat oil in a frying pan, sautee the garlic and onions for about 2 minutes, add the chilies. Wait until fragrant.
2. Add the napa cabbage, saute for a minute, add the salty soy sauce, fish sauce, salt and sugar.
3. Pour water, stir and bring to the boil. Turn off heat. Transfer to serving plate and garnish with fried mini anchovies

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Corn Fritter

Deep fry foods somehow is very much enjoyed in Indonesia. There are so many street vendor with their cart selling this yummy deep fried foods, in my country, we call it "gorengan". Despite the fact that it wasn't really healthy (its a deep fried thingy) , still....I'm addicted! To make me feel less guilty, I prefer to make my own gorengan at home. Much safer as I'm using good quality vegetables or ingredients. And of course, I use branded cooking oil. You know, some of the street vendors is a little naughty by using low quality cooking oil, or worst....some said they actually sees the vendors add clear plastic bag to the hot oil. It makes the gorengan more crispy, I heard. Sick!

So, this corn fritters is one of the most wanted gorengan. Including vegetable fritters, vegetable-stuffed tofu, fried banana, fried cassava and so on. When you make it yourself, you can use lots of corns! yum yum yum

I mashed half of the corn to get the juice, and the rest of the corn is perfect to get the texture.

Ingredients : 

- 2 large corns, peeled (or 3 small-medium size corn). Mashed half of the corn with mortar and pestle
- 2 bunch of spring onion, thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, diced (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper
- 200gr all purpose flour
- 2 tbsp white rice flour
- cold water
- optional : 1 egg (if you want the soft texture fritter, add 1 small egg..but if you prefer the crunchy fritter, omit the egg)

Grind the following :
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 red onion

How to :
1. mix the peeled corns and mashed corns, add diced carrot, sliced chives, garlic and onion paste. 
2. Add in the flour and pour cold water little by little, the batter should not be too thick or too runny. 
3. Prepare the wok and pour vegetable oil for deep fry. Make sure the oil is hot. Drop a spoonfull of the batter. Deep fry until golden brown, appx 2 minutes each sides with medium heat.
4. Remove from the heat, drain with paper towel

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ikan Acar Kuning (Fish with yellow pickles sauce)

Very simple recipe. Commonly found in Indonesian's dining table. The taste is spicy, a little bit sour and of course delicious! You can use any kind of fish that you like with this sauce. 

4 pcs of fresh water fish appx @150gr-200gr (i'm using kembung layang fish)

for marinate :
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 cm fresh ginger, mashed
30-50ml of water

Grind the following into paste :
6 shallots
4 garlic
3 cm fresh turmeric, pan friend without oil 
2 candlenut, pan fried without oil
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 tbsp of cooking oil

1 stack of chives
1 tbsp of lemon juice
1 cm fresh ginger, mashed 
1 cucumber, cut into sticks
1 carrot, cut into sticks
some chili
250ml water 

How to :
1. Marinate the fish for at least 15minutes
2. Deep fry with pre-heated oil, medium heat
3. Stir fry the paste with medium heat, until fragrant. Put in the carrot, cucumber sticks and chilies. Cook for about 2-3 minutes
4. Add in the water, sugar and salt. Bring to the boil.
5. Add the lemon juice and put in the fish and sliced chives. Mix thoroughly.