Sunday, August 15, 2010

Banana Choc Puff Pastry

I made them this afternoon after we cleaned our unit. Having done the housework for the week is always a relief for us. As a reward, I sometimes prepare little snacks or fruits for us to be recharged.

The idea of banana choc puff pastry came from Master Chef Challenge competition we had in Arlene's bridal shower yesterday. It is very addictive and that's why I made more today!

  • 1 puff pastry sheet
  • 1 banana
  • 70% cocoa lindt chocolate
  • a handful of ceres meises
  • a handful of almond flakes
  • a pinch of white sugar


Cut puff pastry into 8 cm wide strips.

Slice banana into small pieces. Add banana and lindt choc pieces onto half side of the puff pastry strip.

Fold the puff pastry strip and press along the edges well. Transfer the strip to a plate with ceres meises and slightly press.

Add some almond flakes to each strip and sprinkle with white sugar.

Put in the oven at 160 deg for 15-20 mins or until they turn golden brown.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bubur Kacang Ijo (Indonesian Mung Bean Porridge)

There were spare mung beans in the cupboard. What should I do with them?!? I thought it would be nice to have a warm bubur kacang ijo. It's perfect for winter... although people in Indonesia tend to serve them with shaved ice and it is called es kacang ijo (mung bean ice). Either way it still tastes good!
  • 2 tbs white sugar
  • 100 gr gula jawa
  • 5 pieces pandan leaves
  • 250 gr mung beans (soaked in water overnight)
  • 1 small can of coconut milk
  • a pinch of salt

Wash soaked mung beans and transfer them into a pressure cooker. Add 2 pieces of pandan leaves and water until it is about 2 cm above the mung bean surface. Cook mung bean in the right setting (depending on the pressure cooker you use).

Slice gula jawa thinly and add 1 cup of boiling water. Keep stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Heat coconut milk. Add a pinch of salt and a piece of pandan leave. Keep stirring until it boils.

Once the mung bean is cooked. Open the pressure cooker carefully. Add 2 tbs white sugar and 2 tbs of gula jawa. Mix well.

Here is my bubur kacang ijo station! Add mung bean, coconut milk and gula jawa to a dessert bowl. Decorate with pandan leave for an extra aroma.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Green Star Apple

Green Star Apple (vú sữa)

We found this interesting fruit in Marrickville last weekend. This suburb is our favourite place to do Vietnamese groceries. They have complete Vietnamese herbs and spices selection at low prices. The butcheries also provide fresh meats.

Although we have been to Marrickville many times before, we saw this fruit for the first time. Thu said that it is rare and we should try it. He remembers that it's nice and sweet. We bought one and it was $3 (quite pricey I thought). Just found an information from Google: green star apple tree bears fruit year around after it reaches about seven years of age. It's truly a rare fruit!

Anyway, I couldn't wait any longer to eat this fruit when we reached home. I have never tried it before. I cut in half and it was very pretty.

I asked Thu how to eat it?!? He said it's like eating kiwi but leave a bit more flesh near the skin as it will be a bit bitter. And... I loved it! Not much fragrance but the texture was unique. Here is the picture when I enjoyed my half of Vietnamese Green Star Apple.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Es Sarang Burung (Bird Nest Ice)

This weekend was very special since we invited our close friends to celebrate Ave's birthday. I was so excited to prepare the food. Most importantly, all of us had a great time together sharing our stories. Yeah...we joked a lot about Tea Inn boarding house where Thu, Ave and I met. The dodgy entrance door with graffiti, rat in the kitchen and crickets in Thu's bedroom door!

Theme for the dinner was Indonesian. So, we had es sarang burung for the drink; deep fried soft-shell crab, sambal terasi, lalapan, pepes udang, pepes tahu, and soto ayam for the mains. I also baked kue pandan for the birthday cake. Here is a photo of our dining table with the food prepared (the cake was still hiding in the kitchen).
Es sarang burung is one of the easiest Indonesian drinks to prepare. I actually planned for es cendol but cendol dough was overcooked so it completely failed. Well... it didn't matter since I decided to serve es sarang burung instead.

  • agar powder
  • white sugar
  • Indonesian basil seeds
  • two fruit cans of your choice


Make the agar based on the instructions given. I usually reduce the amount of water and sugar required to 70%. This agar will be much easier to grate later on.

Soak basil seeds in cold water for at least 1 hour. Leave the boiled agar at cool temperature for 3-4 hours.

When the agar has completely cooled down, grate the agar.

Mix all the ingredients together. Use the syrup from the fruit cans. Add more water and ice to adjust the sweetness.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Beef and Mushroom Pie

Thanks to my best friends who gave Westfield/Myer vouchers as my birthday presents. I spent some of the amount to buy this pie maker. It is called Pie Magic 4 by Sunbeam and costs $69.95 in Myer (came with a recipe book).  When I saw it in the store, I knew that I wanted it so much since Thu loves eating pies and I always oppose the idea of buying pies from supermarkets or any bakery shops. Why?!? The reasons are stated in the nutrition information. I also want to make my own apple pies one day. 
I just made 17 beef and mushroom pies today. I planned to freeze most of them for our busy days, when pies and fresh salad will be our dinner. I was very surprised with the results. We both really liked these homemade pies. The pie crust was also perfect. For those who like pies, I strongly recommend this pie maker. It made the best pies I've ever had in my first attempt of using it.

Recipe that I tried: Aussie Bushman's Pies from page 14 in Pie Magic 4 recipe book. Delicious!! I doubled the amount of mushrooms and didn't add water since mushrooms were juicy enough for the pie filling.

Ingredients (for 4 pies):
  • 200 g beef round steak, diced
  • 200 g flat mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbs plain flour
  • 1 tsp beef stock powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground blackpepper
  • olive oil
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
  • shortcrust pastry for the pie base
  • puff pastry for pie top


Prepare the pie filling: toss steak in combined flour, stock powder and pepper. Heat oil in a wok, cook steak and onion until browned.
Add mushrooms and worcestershire sauce. Simmer until mushroom is cooked (approx. 7 mins).

Prepare pie base: Using the pie base cutter provided, cut each pie base from the shortcrust pastry. Using both hands, overlap the pastry slits by approx. 1.5 cm.
Prepare pie top: Using the pie top cutter provided, cut each top from the puff pastry. Arrange the pie parts in the pie maker. Leave it closed for about 8 mins. All done!!
Serve the pie with fresh salad and tomato sauce. If you make some extras, you can keep the remaining pies in freezer for up to 2 months.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Kue Pandan (Pandan Chiffon Cake)

Kue Pandan is my favourite cake since I was a little girl. My mum used to bake this cake once in a while or I used to buy it at school canteens. As I remember, a slice of kue pandan was around 1000 rupiahs (A$0.12).  Incredibly cheap!

I recently baked this cake to celebrate my birthday with friends. I practiced a week before to ensure that the recipe worked. Well... first attempt was slightly burnt on top but cake rose as expected. Second attempt for my birthday was perfect and I was very happy.  I think it's a nice birthday present to be able to bake my own pandan chiffon cake. Thanks Tata for letting me know this recipe and suggested me to use 5 eggs instead of 4 eggs.

Here are some snapshots for baking kue pandan:

I used vegetable oil instead of corn oil and it worked fine.

Prepare pandan leave juice and coconut milk. I added two drops of pandan paste until the colour was right.

Mix egg yolks, salt and half amount of sugar.

Add pandan coconut milk, then stir in self-raising flour.

Add vegetable oil and blend well.

Beat egg white until big bubbles are formed, add cream of tartar.

Beat further to soft peak, add sugar little bit at a time. Beat to stiff peak.

Pour half egg white to the flour mixture. Fold with spatula. Pour the rest of egg white and mix well.

Pour into the baking tin. Even the cake surface using a spatula and put into pre-heated oven at 180 deg for 30-40 mins. Test with a skewer if the cake is fully baked before pulling it out from the oven.

Cool the cake up side down for at least 1 hour.

Gently pull the cake from the baking tin. Cake is now ready to be served!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Coconut Pandan Pudding

I made these mini puddings for my birthday dinner tomorrow. I want them to be served with pandan chiffon cake. I used basil seeds, pineapple and rambutan for the topping. An Indonesian style pudding with the use of coconut milk and pandan paste.

  • Basil seeds
  • Pandan paste cap koepoe koepoe
  • Coconut milk
  • A can of any tropical fruits
  • Sugar
  • Agar agar powder
  • Water


Soak basil seeds in cold water for 20 mins.

First layer of pudding: 3 gr of agar powder, 3 tbs of coconut milk, 300 ml of fruit can syrup. Bring to boil and cool for 10 mins before pouring it to mini pudding containers.

Let the first pudding layer to cool for 20 mins. Second layer of pudding: 3 gr of agar powder, 3 tbs of coconut milk, 2 drops of pandan paste, 300 ml water. Bring to boil and cool for 10 mins before pouring it to mini pudding containers.

Let the second pudding layer to cool for 20 mins. In the meantime, prepare fruit topping. Once the second pudding layer has completely set, arrange the fruit topping and add soaked basil seeds.

Last layer of pudding: 2 gr of agar powder and 100 ml boiling water. Mix well in a bowl and heat for another minute in microwave (until all agar powder completely dissolved). Pour the agar layer using a teaspoon to cover fruit toppings so that they are settled in each container.