It was Sunday morning. Nobody else is in the kitchen, I have it all for myself, so I can try making things that I would not do when the kitchen is full of people. My aunties (yes, plural) always visit on Sunday morning. They like to come and check out what I am making on Sundays for this little blog. They would stay for lunch, sometimes staying all day. I have always tried to cook dishes that they love and they are good at so I can pick up some tips. So to have a quiet kitchen is quite rare, I decided to bake the chocolate wafers that so many bloggers raved about. I could almost hear them screaming at me, complaining how much sugar I used and how dark the dough is.
It turned out wonderful. For my first try. I am sharing all the things that I think I did wrong. But it turned out wonderful. Really. Alice Medrich has revised the chocolate wafer recipe on her newest book. So this is the Chocolate Wafer 3.0 recipe.
Combine milk and vanilla extract in a bowl. Set aside for later use.
I made a mistake by using a stand mixer. I don’t own a food processor. The mixer is just too hard on the batter. Now I know that I should have worked the dough by hands. I combined all the dry ingredients in a mixer bowl.
I hope nobody is bored of me talking about my love for ice cream. I really love my ice cream machine that comes with built-in compressor, which is a dangerous splurge. I hardly have time to do my hair most mornings, but since I feel so guilty for such impulse buying, I make ice cream regularly now, at least twice a week.
The machine needs to be plugged into electrical outlet with ground feature thingy, otherwise it would give out tiny electrical shocks. It freaked me out the first time it did that. There are only two electrical sockets in the whole house that have that feature, one in the kitchen right outside my parents’ room and the other one is in my bedroom. Since I churn ice cream very late at night and the machine is pretty loud, I have no choice but to move it into my bedroom. The thing with the built-in compressor machine, it is probably not wise to keep on moving it around. So now it is a permanent electrical gadget in my room.
One of my most favorite ice cream out of my blue book is chocolate ice cream. The quality of ice cream you make depends on the quality you use. It is not easy to get good quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder. So the quality of my ice cream depends on the quality of cocoa powder I could lay my hands on at times. Again, for a country that export a lot of coffee beans, I am very unimpressed at the lack (or non-existance) of good quality cocoa powder.
This recipe is using custard-based mixture. My attempts with custard-based anything had always been disastrous, but lately, I got a hang of it. Besides the ninety nine extra dishes, including saucepans and bowls and spatula, that I need to wash at the end of the cooking period, I really enjoy it, especially people I love who love my chocolate ice cream.
The thing with making ice cream is that you need to prepare everything in advance. Not only the ingredients need to be weighed properly and laid out in the order they are going to be used, an extra pair of hands could be heaven-sent. All the bowls, strainers, ice-bath need to be prepared too. I hate being panicky running in and out of kitchen to look for certain sized-bowls.
Lengko rice is a Javanese rice with mixed vegetables and crackers and all, soaked nicely with spicy peanut sauce. They have it for breakfast or brunch. My partner is from Java and he loves the rice. I have never had it, and people here I talked to never heard of it. Since it gives me an idea to over-style it with my cone mould, I made it to make him happy and for me to get one more post up for Royal Selangor.
Javanese loves to eat their rice with crackers and kecap manis. They apply those two on everything. Coming from a whole different island, he enjoys totally different dish from us. But he is a good sport and he eats like an old lady. He loves sour dishes, preserved cabbage, preserved mustard cabbage, salted eggs, etc. My mother loves him since they have the same palate for oldies Chinese dishes. And he has to eat rice for his meals. I make him eat pasta from time to time. He would sneak to the kitchen and fill up his rice bowl with rice and fry some omelette in the middle of the night. With kecap manis.
The ingredients are deep-fried to crunchiness bean curd cubes, blanched bean sprouts, chopped cucumber, chopped spring onions, and crackers. The crackers are supposed to be two types, prawn crackers, which is to be crushed to smaller bits and mixed into the vegetables and noodle-shaped crackers, to be served whole. No noodle crackers to be found, so I omitted it. Then I forgot that tempeh wasn’t meant to be in there. I deep-fried them to crunchiness too. A bit of bonus is okay.
This is what the final dish looks like, when it is properly mixed and stirred. The rice should be nicely wet and all ingredients are properly mixed. Looks like cat food, no? But it is finger-licking good.
Icebox cake. It is not a new thing, but it is for me. I saw this on SmittenKitchen’s blog and it looks so pretty. So I made the wafers from scratch, whip some cream, and fill up the cone alternately with cream, wafer, cream, wafer and cream again. Okay, it might be the ugliest icebox cookies you have ever seen. I prefer to call it ‘rustic’ style. I made wafers with varying sizes and tried to fit them into the cones. Then I finished it off by dusting some cocoa powder on top. Easiest dessert in the world. Minus the homemade wafer part, of course.
I am off the Royal Selangor challenge, as I found the challenge to be too overwhelming and with work commitment, it was a bit too much. And I am 6 recipes short to fulfill the 30 day challenge. My hats’ off to those who complete. And I would love to know how they manage. I tried waking up in the morning and make some jellies, went to work, rushed home to take pictures before the sun went off. Err.. that didn’t work. At all.
But, it is quite an achievement, on my part, to do it first half of the challenge.
It is another agar recipe. If you wonder why I never post jelly recipe using gelatin, it is because I don’t really know how to work with it. I grew up eating agar for our version of jell-o and it is what I am doing again.
One more agar recipe, with palm sugar, grated coconut and corn. This is a simple and homey dessert often served at home. It is easy, delicious and non-fussy. All three main ingredients are crunchy, it is a dessert with serious bite. The agar is not that sweet, the main sweetener is palm sugar, which gives it an earthy kind of sweetness. The brown color depends on the quality of the palm sugar (or gula melaka) used. The darker the palm sugar used, the more brown it would be. Do taste before pouring into mould. Add more sugar if it is not sweet enough.
Grate fresh coconut flesh as coarse as possible.