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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hybrid Ice Cream Sandwich / Cookie

@ Sin Ming Cookhouse / Bakery / Whatever

I love a good sandwich, here in Singapore the ubiquitous ice cream sandwich (flavored ice cream encased in a colorful piece of sweetened bread) is the perfect solution to the sometimes stifling heat.  Case in point I wanted to try my own take on the ice cream sandwich, and after finding a recipe for an ice cream sandwich: “The Real McCoy Ice Cream Sandwich” from Elizabeth Falkner I decided that it was time to head to the kitchen and get a baking!

Ingredients - Fudgy Sandwich Biscuits

  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of water

Directions - Fudgy Sandwich Biscuits

  1. Over a double boiler melt the chocolate until smooth
  2. Sift cocoa powder, flour and baking powder
  3. Cream butter, brown and white sugar until light in color, add the egg and beat until combined
  4. Add melted chocolate to butter mixture and combine
  5. In a separate bowl mix baking soda with water then slowly incorporate to the chocolate mixture
  6. With the mixer on slow setting incorporate the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture
  7. Separate dough into smaller potions, flatten slightly and refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  8. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  9. Remove from the fridge, place on a floured tray, roll until 2cm thick and use a cookie cutter to cut cookie shaped biscuits
  10. Place cookies on oven trays and bake for 5-10 minutes

Ingredients – Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream

  • 1 cup of heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups full cream milk
  • 1 cup of mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup of spinach leaves (for color)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon agar agar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

Directions – Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream

  1. Blend milk, cream, mint and spinach leaves until a puree
  2. Strain into a separate container
  3. Pour about 1 cup of the ‘milk’ back into the blender and blend with sugar, corn syrup, salt, agar agar and milk powder until everything has been combined
  4. Pour the remainder of the “milk” into the blender and blend for another minute
  5. Place mixture into ice cream machine and freeze as per machine instructions
  6. 1/2 way though the freezing cycle add some chocolate buttons

Assembly – The Ice Cream Sandwich

  1. Take one cookie place it on a place
  2. Add a generous scoop of ice cream (ensure it has been taken out of the freezer for a least 5 minutes)
  3. Put the second cookie on top of the ice cream
  4. Take the biscuit/sandwich and roll (or sprinkle) the exposed ice cream in chocolate
  5. To finish I added a toasted marshmallow on top!

Bon Appétit – Sidney

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu–Reinvented

Sin Ming Cookhouse / Bakery / Whatever

When I was but a young boy I remember my first ever trip to a “fancy” formal dinner being someone’s year 12 high school graduation in the city.  Looking back there I was young and naïve being all dressed up in a penguin suit, but I still remember to this day it being the first time I was introduced to eating a tasty Chicken Cordon Bleu.  Although it sounding very French the dish invented in America!

Anyways I found myself in the mood to try and recreate this dish (I’d previously cooked this here) but with a twist.  Instead of placing the bacon and cheese inside a chicken breast and rolling it, I thought of mincing the chicken meat then encasing the bacon and cheese with the minced meat.

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Slices Swiss/Emmental  cheese
  • Slices cooked ham/bacon
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Directions

  1. Place chicken breasts into blender and puree, or until there are no more lumps of meat
  2. Season chicken paste with salt and pepper
  3. “Pour” three table spoons of chicken paste to a chopping board and flatten to approximately 2cm thickness to resemble a rectangle
  4. Place cheese slice and  ham slice on top of rectangle
  5. Carefully fold over / roll the chicken paste around the bacon and cheese so it looks like a “spring roll”
  6. Take the “spring roll” and coat it in bread crumbs
  7. Shallow fry until golden all over or bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink

IMG_1038 [1024x768]

The end result it a delicious piece of evenly encased bacon/cheese to chicken meat, totally worth the extra bit of effort!

Bon Appétit – Sidney


Chicken Cordon Bleu on FoodistaChicken Cordon Bleu

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Durian on Ice

Sin Ming Cookhouse / Bakery / Whatever

I have to admit it, I’m getting really addicted to eating durian again!  A contraband item at home I had to rely on the generosity of my mom (in law) to whip up a batch of homemade durian ice cream; and by the side indulge in a little durian feast with mom, dad and yes my dog Sarah!

We acquired our Mao Shan Wang goodies not from 717 Trading but from Combat Durian along Balestier Road.  The place was crowded!  I think we are nearing the end of the Durian season so there were loads of people buying and eating; basically they were getting their durian fix.

Combat does live up to it’s name in that the durians were of high quality.  Having bought 3 Mao Shan Wang and 1 ‘sweet’ durian (and after eating numerous ‘samples’ happily given to us by the vendor we headed back for the main event.

The main reason for the durian was to make ice cream, but somewhere along the way we took a detour and we started eating some of the main ingredient.. not that anyone was complaining!  with our stomachs filled to the brim, ‘twas timed to get ice cream making.  So without further adieu..

Ingredients

  • 4 to 6 segments fresh durian
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 cup light cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla essence

IMG_0602

Directions

  1. Remove the seeds from the durian. Use an electric mixer to mix the flesh into a paste. Press the paste through a fine sieve. You should have approximately 180grams of durian paste at this point. (If not, use more durian!).
  2. Chill the durian paste until ready to use.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the vanilla essence and sugar.
  4. Bring the milk and cream to a near boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low. Pour in the egg mixture, stirring constantly to thicken. Take care not to let the mixture boil, or the milk will curdle
  5. Allow the custard to cool, add agar-agar then gradually stir in the durian paste, a tablespoon at a time
  6. Either continue freezing, stirring several times throughout, or finish the ice cream in an ice cream maker.

After leaving the mixture to properly set in a container you’ll find yourself with a tub of fragrant, smooth silky yellow goodness!  As my mom said to me the day after she ate her share “the durian ice cream is very yummy, can taste the pulp and once you start you cannot stop Smile“.  If that is not a glowing review then I don’t know what is!

Bon Appétit – Sidney

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Trip to the Beach

Leong Kee (Klang) Bak Kut Teh

Address:Leong Kee Rating Meter

321 Beach Road
Kampong Glam Conservation Area
Singapore
Opening Hours: 11am - 9pm

 

It’s been a long time since I’d last had herbal clay pot bak kut teh, the heady aroma of stewing pork ribs in a clay pot is usually reserved for when I head north of the border to Jalan Imbi in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Since it has been a while since I’ve had the herbal clay pot style, I jumped at the opportunity to have it when a good friend of mine extend an invite out for lunch.  So off we bounded to Beach Road to Leong Kee’s Bak Kut Teh coffee house.

Nestled in Kampong Glam conservation area you’ll find Leong Kee; a quaint old coffee shop serving clay pot bak kut teh.  For those of you who are wondering what the difference is between the Singapore and Malaysia pork rib soup here’s the break down:

Country

Pork Type Soup Type Additional Ingredients
Singapore Short Rib, Whole Rib Clear, Garlic and Pepper base None
Malaysia Short Rib Thicker Herbal base Bean curd skin, Mushrooms, Chye sim.  Served in a clay pot

After a short wait it finally came, a smoking hot pot of pork short rib goodness, it smelled similar to those that I have in KL, though sadly it didn’t look as good as what I usually eat up north, but beggars cannot be choosers (it is really hard to find Malaysian style bak kut teh in Singapore). 

So with chopsticks in hand I began to take my portion from the clay pot.  My mouth started to salivate, I think my lunch company could see I was getting excited!

The perfect condiments to Bak Kut Teh

The soup was not quite as velvety as what I’m use to having and the contents of the clay pot a left me looking for more, but on the whole it still was rather tasty, a good detour from the pepper with pork ribs that I am used to eating here.

I finished off the meal with some stewed pork leg.  This was I have to say was disappointing, there was way too much oil, despite it being a lean pork leg and the sauce was lacking sufficient soya sauce.  One other little gripe that I had with the place was the service; sure it’s not a Michelin Star restaurant, but please ensure that you know what the table had ordered and what was already paid for.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Oh No, More Durian

The Goodwood Park Hotel

Address:Goodwood Rating Meter

Goodwood Park Hotel
22 Scotts Road, Singapore 228221
Tel: +65 6737 7411

 

It happens but once a year, the Goodwood Park throws open it’s doors for it’s Durian Fiesta; an endless supply of durian inspired deserts for one to eat!  Since I'd been barred from eating durian at home I decided to get my durian fix here with some colleagues from work!

For SGD26.80++ you can enjoy sumptuous regulars like:

Durian Puffs

Who could ask for more.. choux pastry filled with durian and cream?  Ok I have to admit that the choux pastry could have been a little less dry, but the durian more than made up for it.

Durian Mousse Cake

I didn’t really like the sponge with the durian, it kind of left the mouth a little dry and parched, a cup of nice hot black tea would have hit the spot with this slice of cake!

Durian Crepe

I was disappointed when I ate this.  Sure it was freshly made, but the crepe tasted more like a pancake!  It was just way too thick and it felt as though I was chewing on a tyre.  The durian filling itself was yum!

Durian Pudding

This was delicious, not runny and not too thick!  There were large chunks of durian in the pudding that you could sink your teeth into.  Bliss!

Durian Oreo Cake

Another dish that was more a miss for me, sadly the whipped cream took over the desert, I wasn’t able to really taste and appreciate the durian.

Durian Cappuccino Cake

This was a new addition to the menu this year!  And as weird as it sounds; combining durian paste with a cappuccino cream went so well together (I went back for seconds)!

All in all I had a blast, it was a good thing I played tennis prior to going for this buffet, I was well and truly stuffed!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Bak Kut Teh.. “Gesundheit”

Ng Ah Sio Pork Ribs Soup Eating House

Address:bah kut teh Rating Meter

208 Rangoon Road Singapore
218453
Phone: 6291 4537

 

Tired of waiting queue for ‘The Founder” Bak Kut Teh along Balestier Road?  The chili padi has been talking about this place for the longest of times; so when the opportunity finally presented itself to sample the Bak Kut Teh at this place I jumped at the chance.

Amongst all things Ng Ah Soh is rather infamous for the fact that they’ve managed to turn away international politicians, be it good or bad it’s more a case of free advertising, and the amount of people that flock to this place (there were as many tourists dinging here as locals) could for a moment make you wonder whether it’s all just hype.

After a short wait under the hot morning sun, we were finally able to get ourselves a table.  Honestly I was beginning to wonder whether we were bonkers; eating hot pork rib soup with tea and other what-nots.

The first thing that impressed me was that the serving staff were all wired up, meaning they were all armed with wireless devices that magically took your order and send the tickets to the kitchen (you generally don’t see that type of thing in a place such as this), secondly, the speed at which our food arrived, it was all still piping hot!  Thirdly, I have to say the food was delicious (despite the hot weather).  Every spoon full of rice soaked soup (notice it was rice soaked soup!) went down with wanton abandonment; the intestines were crunchy to the bite (though the only downside to eating them here is that they’re not entirely cleaned out, some like it that way), the pickled vegetables were nicely done, the stewed pork leg soaked in soy and tenderly juicy; and the you tau (crispy dough fritters) acted like a sponge to soak up the seemingly bottomless bowl of soup (yes folks you can drink as much soup as you can stomach).

I’ve since been back to this place for more porky goodness; and it still tasted as good the second time around, so yes it is a good as it has been made out to be!

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