Sunday, August 21, 2011

Coffee Date Loaf

My friend, Sue emailed this recipe and a picture of the date loaf she had made a couple of weeks ago.
Since I have 2 packets of dates bought from JB recently, I thought I should give it a try.
I used sun-dried dates which are not preserved with sugar, so they are naturally sweet. These dates are usually available during the Muslim fasting month and it's the best time to buy them. At other times, the dates available would be those that are preserved with added sugar.

This date loaf is healthy, moist, soft, not-so-sweet and delicious!

This brand of dates is by far the best that I've tasted.
The dates are still attached to the branches.

Ingredients: (23cm x 13cm or 9" x 3" loaf tin)

1 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1 cup hot water mixed with 1 heaped teaspoon nescafe

1 large egg
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cup Self-raising flour
1/4 cup fine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Place dates in bowl and sprinkle bicarbonate soda over it and pour hot water. Set aside.

2. Mix butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and flour and add in dates. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed.

3. Pour into greased and lined loaf tin and bake in preheated oven at 170 deg C for 35 to 40 minutes.

4. Cool, slice and eat it on its own or spread some butter or cream cheese. Yum!

Unbelievably soft and moist!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Prawns in Coconut Milk

This is one of my MIL's recipes. She learnt cooking from her MIL who hailed from one of the Batak tribes in Sumatra. Hence my FIL is a descendant of the Bataks. Hmmm.... interesting!

I used to cook this quite frequently before. I had actually forgotten about it until my hubby's friend gave us some freshwater blue prawns. Some of them were really huge and had very long 'pincers'.
Since freshwater prawns are not as 'sweet-tasting' as saltwater ones, I thought that it would be better cooked in spices. So what better way to cook them was in "Udang masak Lemak" as my MIL would term it!

They sure have long nasty-looking pincers!


Large prawns, about 10 or more

To be ground together:
14 candlenuts (buah keras)
2 medium-sized onions
5 or more fresh red chilli
4 chilli padi
1 thumb-sized turmeric (kunyit)
1 pce 6cm-lemon grass (serai), sliced
30g belachan

3 medium potatoes, cubed to preferred size

1 litre water
1 fresh coconut milk (obtain 250ml 'first' milk & 1 litre 'second' milk

2 pces 10-cm lemon grass, bruised
Kaffir lime leaves (optional)

Salt to taste

1. Heat enough oil and saute ground spices bruise lemon grass till fragrant.

2. Add 'second' coconut milk and potatoes. Add salt and cook till potatoes are soft. Remove from pot.

3. Add prawns and 'first' coconut milk and bring to boil until prawns have just curled up nicely.
Turn off heat and serve with rice.

Not so nasty but tasty!
Check out the bulbous head!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Moist n Soft Chocolate Cake

This is a very easy-to-bake chocolate cake. It takes about 10 minutes to prepare and bakes in about 12 minutes in cupcake cases. In total, it took me about half an hour to produce 16 cupcakes from half of the recipe!


1 3/4 cups plain flour
2 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa (use good cocoa for a good chocolatey flavour)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate soda
1 teaspoon salt

3 medium-sized eggs
1 cup UHT milk or chocolate milk
1/2 cup oil (I used canola oil)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water
2 1/2 teaspoons Nescafe, dissolved in boiling water


1. Place all dry ingredients A in mixer and mix well to combine.

2. Mix all liquids in B before adding to A. Beat at high speed for 2 minutes.

3. Remove and stir in boiling water pre-mixed with Nescafe by hand. The consistency of the mixture is not thick but runny.

4. Fill cupcake cases 3/4 full and bake in preheated oven at 160 deg for 12 minutes.

This recipe bakes about 30 to 32 cupcakes or 2-layered 9-inch round tins for frosting.

The cake would go well with some chocolate ganache or frosting.