Bits & Bites · Recipes

My ganache glazed chocolate cake, lesson learnt

This winter has been crazy, many countries are affected by the climate change.

Hong Kong has as low as 6ºC. Some days as cold as here in Basel.

Sochi has warm temperature up to 16ºC making the snow condition very slushy for Olympic Winter games …..

Snow condition in Switzerland also not great this Winter so far.

Yesterday the weather was horrible, stormy and rainy the whole day. Nothing else better than staying at home and do some baking.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s day, not a big thing here in Switzerland, it is not a day that we always celebrate. I am happy already if hubby is not on business trip.

Anyway I was in a mood to bake a chocolate cake, after browsing and browsing, I finally settled on this Chocolate Sour Cream Bundt Cake by Two Peas and their Pod. Sounds easy enough for me. It says foolproof, so let see!

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Recipes

Lotus Root Green Salad with Sesame Dressing

Last week I found lotus root in the local Asian grocery store. Chinese New Year is approaching, lotus root is a popular vegetable during this time as it keeps well for quite a long time. I remembered my mom would buy this and chinese leaves to keep at home as during New Year, in the past, people will not go to market for the first 2 days and therefore you will have enough vegetable at home. Lotus root is called “年耦” We have a saying 年藕年藕, 年年都有. Of which the pronunciation of lotus root sounds like you will have it every year, and we meant food and wealth keep coming every year, and therefore you won’t have shortage of food, money, etc. My parents kept reminding me that in their old days, they don’t have as well food supply as we do nowadays, and remind us not to waste food.

Last year I have made panfried lotus root with minced pork and shrimp and a red bean curd dipping sauce. Another common dish to make is Lotus root and pork belly stew with Red bean curd. I have made this last week. The lotus root I bought comes in 4 sections, so I can probably prepare 3-4 different dishes. I wrap each section with kitchen paper and then place them in a ziplock bag, so far they keep well.

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Recipes

How to master perfect Chinese steamed eggs (蒸水蛋)

Not sure how many of you are familiar with Chinese Steamed Eggs, but if you are Chinese, this surely will not be strange to you. Steamed eggs was one of my all time favorite childhood dishes. It is a simple and delicate dish which goes well with steamed rice and I find it suitable when you don’t have much appetite or just want something light and simple. Having said that it is simple, yet it took me a long time to master it perfectly, we have a Chinese saying “易學難精” which means easy to learn but difficult to master it perfectly.

When I was studying abroad in the UK, I needed to cook for myself. So steamed eggs came to my head, as it is supposed to be easy. Whisk eggs, add water, mix and steam, how difficult could that be?! But I failed for the first time. I asked my mom, she told me the instructions, after some time I tried again, the eggs solidified and was edible but the appearance was not smooth and pretty. Then I have not tried again for years until I came to Basel. Made occasionally, results were better but not quite consistent until these last 2 times. I don’t even need to measure the water required or sieve the egg mixture to get rid it of air bubbles as some people suggest nor I need to turn the heat from high heat to medium high. And I do not need to worry that it may be overcooked, exactly like how my mom does it. Every time I told my mom that it didn’t work perfectly, she teased me that I cannot master this simple dish. When I was in Hong Kong a few months ago in last November, she showed me that she didn’t even need to cover the plate anymore and the steamed eggs would still come out smooth with no bubbles. I suppose this is really a matter of practice, experience, and experiments with trials and errors.

So these last 2 times, with an interval of 6 months, I am able to repeat the perfect steamed eggs. I posted an iPhone photo in Facebook, unexpectedly that has generated a lot of comments and a lot of time asked me how to do it. It’s really no secret, so I take the chance to share my experience with you.

The above picture is the most basic version which contains only normal eggs.

As I grew up,  my mom has made us many other versions namely:

  • Steamed egg with salted egg (咸蛋蒸蛋)
  • Tricolor steamed eggs (三色蒸蛋) which consists of normal eggs, salted egg and thousand years egg
  • Steamed eggs with dried scallops (瑤柱蒸蛋)
  • Steamed egg with minced pork or beef (肉碎蒸蛋)
  • Steamed egg with fresh fish (魚片蒸蛋)
  • Steamed egg white (蒸蛋白), mom’s latest version, to minimize the cholesterol intake.

 

Luxury version :

  • Steamed egg white with crab leg or whole crab (花雕蛋白蒸蟹鉗), latest luxurious version. This is much more challenging, better leave the restaurants to prepare for us, haha.

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Recipes

Chinese Turnip Cake (Lo Bak Gao, 蘿蔔糕)

Chinese Turnip Cake, Lo Pak Gao 蘿蔔糕,  is my all time favorite, you can find this all year round in Dim Sum restaurants. Yet, you can never compare with homemade ones, as they are far more tasty than the commercial ones, the ones in the restaurants usually are rather stiff and do not have enough turnips and taste too floury.

I am actually reposting this recipe, I hope to post some nicer photos. I haven’t made it for a long time. I am very happy that this is is very successful which proved this recipe truly works. Just remember the 5:1 Radish : Rice Flour ratio, the amount of stock is same as the amount of the rice flour. e.g. 350g white flour, you will need 350ml of stock. Of course, you may need to adjust the amount of flour and or liquid if necessary to get the correct consistency.

Long story cut short, as I hope to post this in time before the Year of Wood Horse arrives. I wish you all a very successful and healthy year !!!!!

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Recipes

Bircher Muesli – gluten & dairy free version

This is my first post after refreshing my blog with a new blog template. Thanks to Parveen for a quick turn around which saved me from not killing my blog by fiddling around. New year, new begin, I have transferred all my old posts to  janetskitchenlab.wordpress.com.

As some of you may have aware that I am in the path of attempting to eat less meat and to divert my diet to more plant-based. I started in mid-July 2013 with juicing and green smoothie, and have been able to go jogging regularly. The efforts are paid off, I am happier now after finally almost losing those stubborn extra pounds. However, it is too cold lately to keep up with jogging outside and drinking green smoothie. Therefore after long consideration, I have signed up in a fitness centre. Surprisingly, I am liking it, I am adding on some resistance training on top of the cardio-training. As for green smoothie, I am drinking much less recently due to the freezing cold winter. I am trying to keep drinking enough fluids which is my weakest link. But this has not stopped me from eating healthily. And today I want to share with you my other version of Bircher muesli inspired by Tibits, the popular vegetarian restaurant in Switzerland and London.

You can find my previous version of Bircher Muesli here which was posted in 2010. The main difference is that I am not using dairy milk but plant milk and have incorporated some superfood and the nice color immersed from the frozen raspberries.

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