Monday, April 29, 2013

How-Dark-Can-You-Go Chocolate Cookies

The combination of final test, 30 more unread (yet) BORING chapters, the low blood pressure, and the sinusitis is DEADLY. I wish for steak but no steak would wanna come to momma. I got my period this afternoon and that only added up to my already pounding headache. That explains the mood swings and the endless need to munch something. But then again, mood swings and excessive munching are legal when you’re a mom.

Anyhow, I don’t easily take medication to ease my headache. I prefer to eat something hot like a piece of toast slathered with Sambal so hot it can make a grown man cry or a cup of joe to relieve the pain. Sadly I ran out of Sambal so coffee it was. Then I realized I had no snack whatsoever to accompany my coffee. How undignified!

So I went to the kitchen with the coals burning hot in my heart over a puny yet urgent matter, turned on the oven, and started making a batch of chocolate cookie dough to calm my nerves.

Do I wanna measure the ingredients in grams? Duh!

Do I wanna use the mixer? In your dream!

Do I wanna wash tons of dishes after baking it? Heck no!

So let’s not do those!

Makes 7 cookies
2 Egg whites
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup icing sugar
A pinch of salt
A handful of dark chocolate chips
A handful of your favorite nuts, sliced or chopped
Marshmallows (optional but delicious)

Mix ‘Em All!
-Preheat the oven and set for 175C
-Mix the egg whites, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. 
-Add the chocolate chips and nuts. I use almonds.
-Spoon them on the baking sheet.
-Add the marshmallow, if using.
-Freeze them while waiting for the oven to reach 175C
-Bake for 13-14 min.

I love that it takes less than 30 minutes to have fresh cookies. I also love that I literally use no fat and yolk. I promise you won't be missing the butter and the yolk here. That, my friend.. is perfection.

For those of you who love dark chocolate, then it is the cookie for you. It has a subtle sweetness yet too subtle I might just call it shy. It's rich yet it doesn't leave you with a heavy bloated feeling. But if you have a very, very, very sweet tooth, you can find the recipe at Fifteen Spatulas. 

The fact that this recipe only yields seven cookies also makes sure that you'll have enough happiness for one jolly afternoon. Good for the heart, good for the waist. Personally, I prefer to bake any sweet treats just enough to last for three days at the most because they taste better if consumed within that time span.

Have it warm and you'll be rewarded with a soft and chewy cookie. Have it cooled then you will have a delectable crispy edged cookie. Either way, you can have it anyway you like.

Try this at home. Bake it for your kids, your spouse, when it rains, when you're feeling blue, when you need to pamper yourself, or just bake it for the love of baking.


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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Murgh Masala

After I purchased Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution: Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals sometime in last year, Indian food has been on our speedy dinner's list. Since it was meant to be speedy then it's quite impossible to grind your spice and cook everything from scratch. One of the brand of Indian spice paste that I love to use is Patak. No, I'm not the marketing of that brand. It's just that Jamie mentioned it in his book and it happens to be available at the nearby stores.

The price is just about $5-7 a bottle depending on the flavour. Not too expensive, but it's not cheap also. Sadly, after the lid is opened, it won't stay fresh for long. Two weeks and you'll get really sour spice paste, which if you think about it, it is a proof that it is really using good ingredients and less preservatives. 

Now here's where my problem arises. I do not cook Indian food everyday of the week. Two out of seven days is still acceptable but it'll have to be a different dish e.g: Tandoori chicken on Tuesday and Tikka Masala on Saturday.  So if I have four jars of different spice paste then I am bound to spoil some.

So after spoiling some jars over time, I switched to an equally yummy Indian spice paste from Asian Home Gourmet that is sold in small sachets. Yummo! But as a geeky mother, sometimes I face a time when I  have to cut down our meal budget because I fancy some books on Amazon. I just gotta have 'em!

Bad, bad momma!

Well, that's when I take out Indian food and meat  from a week dinner's list and all of us go vegetarian for a week. Surviving on tofu & tempe is not only good for detox but it's good for my bookcase. Besides, no matter how good the famous brands' spice mixes are, they're still pricey compared to homemade spice mixes. I just need to spend some more time prepping. That's the prob.

Now it has been a good two months since Indian food is out of weekly dinner rotation because of 'The Wedding', not because I shopped for books too much, mind you. It's only normal that Amiko craved it to the level of whining and  has stopped touching her pasta. 

She did make a request I simply couldn't resist, "Can you make the spice from scratch? I want the one like we had at Kinara. It tastes good like rendang."

I knew what she meant by it tastes good. For Amiko, tastes good means tastes clean. Her rendang is not one of those you'd find in some Padang restaurant in Jakarta. Either it's cooked by my mom, the preservative-loather, or we get it straight from Padang where they still cook it using fire woods. nothing beats it. So I browse a Murgh Masala recipe and found a simple one from Journey Kitchen

I used everything needed in the recipe but I added the amount of the spices and some garam masala  because I only have the powdered version of several of the spices, hence the addition. I also use skinless chicken breast instead of thigh with the skin on. Uncrispy chicken skin turns us off. Besides, cooking is not like baking. Add a little bit of this and that to your liking, but only.. Only after you have cooked it to a T with the original recipe. 

1 big skinless chicken breast, cubed
10 almonds
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp Sauf aka Fennel powder
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 green  or red chilies
2 green cardamom pods
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp Garlic Paste
2 tsp Ginger Paste
3 tbs Garam masala
2 tbsp Olive oil
Coriander to garnish
Salt to taste

How It's Done:
-Marinate the chicken in yogurt, chili powder, turmeric, GG paste, green chilies and two pinches of salt for at least 4 hours in the fridge, preferably over night. 
-Grind the almonds, coriander, cumin, cardamom pods, and fennel seeds. 
-Heat oil in a wok or saucepan. Add the chopped onions and let them soften. 
-Add the almond spice mix. 
-Add the tomatoes and let them reduce to a paste. 
-Add the marinated chicken along with the marinate. 
-Cook with low fire until the chicken is done and do add some water to thin out the paste. Add salt to taste.
-Garnish with coriander.

My kitchen smells Dee-vine! The only thing I regret, but I didn't care about it anyway, is that my tomatoes weren't red enough so the end result wasn't too reddish. But holla! Once you take a bite of the absolutely aromatic and tender chicken.. Poof! All your miseries are history.

Serve this with some Soft Indian Roti that only takes less than an hour to make and you won't wanna spend a dime on Indian Spice Mix at the store anymore. I know I won't.

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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Soft Indian Roti

Amiko hasn’t been in the best of mood lately.

Her school hours are definitely overwhelming for a child her age. But me and my husband are those rare parents that allow *cough* skipping *cough* school once in awhile. We believe a day off from hectic routine will actually refresh the mind and she’s barely 8 years old. She deserves more holiday. More holidays means I have more time to enjoy my bed in the morning and not thinking of what to eat for breakfast. Such a win-win situation, right?

Sadly, with the school term coming to an end and summer holiday is one and a half month away, she can’t afford to bail plus we spent too much time in Bali last March. So the only thing left for us to do is to make each weekend fun with enough time to rest and provide her with nutritious snacks which she can nibble whenever she wants for extra energy. As for meal, I personally love to cook something special every mid-week and weekends. What I mean by special is soul food. Not chicken soup, though. It is great only for when you’re having a cold and as a book title.

So since one of Amiko’s favorite food is Indian food, anything with garam masala is absolutely welcomed on our humble table. But what’s Indian food without something edible to scoop it with? Surely I don’t like using spoon and fork when I have my curry. So a speedy roti recipe is a good way when you want a quick flat bread to accompany your curry.

120gr cake flour
5-10 gr poppy seeds (optional, but makes pretty rotis)
1/2 cup warm water
a pinch or two of salt
1 tsp oil
1 tbs melted butter

Let's knead!

Mix all of the ingredients except the melted butter. Knead it well until it's soft. The better you knead, the softer roti you get. You can add water if you think that the dough is too dry. Form a ball.

Roll the dough flat then brush with melted butter. Roll the flattened dough like you roll a roll cake then cut into four pieces... or six if you want smaller size of rotis. Take each piece and roll it flat.

That's it?

Yea.. that's it.. just get your non stick pan or griddle, heat it and cook the roti. Each will puff up nicely and you'll be a happy gal, or boy.

Serve these beautiful rotis with your favorite Indian food. 


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Thursday, April 11, 2013

No Yolk, Less Sweet Prol Tape

Tape is loved by many people in Indonesia.

Made by fermenting the cassava, the once hard and starchy roots become soft and sweet and totally heavenly. Used as an addition or the main ingredient in many desserts and drinks, Tape has never failed to please its many fans.

One of the Tape dish that I love for as long as I can remember is Prol Tape. It is a dense, fudgey bar whose texture will remind you of flourless chocolate cake without the chocolate. Funny and rather enigmatic isn't it?

But wait till you have a bite...

Traditionally, Prol Tape is made with many, many egg yolks and heaps of sugar. Boy, it is such a sinful indulgence! Tape itself is sweet already so I try to bring out its original flavor and make it easier for our consciousness by using zero yolk and Tropicana Slim Low Calorie Cane Sugar.

The result is a very light, clean tasting Prol Tape.

But if you are worried that it wont be a Prol Tape without the creaminess that the yolks give, I also make the 'Less Yolk' version but still uses Tropicana Slim Low Calorie Cane Sugar to satisfy your craving and give the Prol a bit of creaminess without going overboard and rise your cholesterol level significantly.

Order up!
Price: Rp87.500,-
Size : 30x10cm
Choice of batter: No Yolk/Less Yolks
Choice of toppings: Raisins/Sliced Almonds

Call/text us at 081.219219139
BB Pin is available by request.

ACHTUNG! This bar is highly addictive.

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