My two older grandsons come over every Friday after school for a stay-over.
Their dinner request is simple with little fuss and it's their all-time favourite. They have named the dish, 'Grandma's noodles' which I would prepare when I don't have a ladies' meeting.
For breakfast, I will always try to give them something different whenever they are here. Their breakfast would sometimes be pau, siew mai, bread with nutella spread, chocolate cupcakes, chocolate chip cupcakes, hotdog buns, bread with pork floss or chocolate cake, etc.
My grandsons love anything chocolate, so I decided to make chocolate chip pancakes.
The recipe is from Edith of Precious Moments which I bookmarked some time ago.
I made some changes which is indicated in brackets.
200 g plain flour
33 g cake flour
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
a large pinch of salt (used 1/2 teaspoon fine salt)
Lately I have been into steaming my cakes instead of baking them.
There are two reasons why I am trying out steamed cakes.
For steamed cakes, I used oil instead of butter.
I am trying to bring my bad cholesterol level down by eating right and exercising. My medical test revealed that I have a 'fatty' liver. Thus by watching what I eat and coupled with exercising, I hope it will work. It certainly worked that I have shed about 3 kilograms in about 8 weeks. Next is to find out if my 'naughty' cholesterol has gone down which will be known next week. Though the doctor prescribed cholesterol pills, I refuse to take them. I want to try to do it the natural way. I don't like to be dependent on life-long medication if I can help it.
The other reason is that I'll be going to Cambodia next month to teach some baking skills to a group of young women staying at a women's centre. As most of them come from the villages, it is most likely that they do not own an oven. Thus steaming cakes would be an appropriate option and using oil would be cheaper than using butter. Besides cakes, they will be learning to make kueh kueh as they have abundant sweet potatoes, tapioca and palm sugar!
As I try out the various steamed cakes, I am making adjustments in the ingredients used because what can be bought here may not be available in Cambodia.
Though I used chicken floss in this cake, it can be substituted with whatever I can obtain there.
The Recipe:(Adapted from A. Goh's)
1/4 chicken flavour granule
35 ml oil
95g plain flour
1/2 tablespoon double action baking powder
10g chicken floss + extra for topping
1. Whisk egg and sugar till thick and creamy.
2. Beat in the salt and chicken granule.
3. Pour in the oil and mix well.
4. Sift in the flour and baking powder and mix well.
5. Add in the chicken floss and mix.
6. Pour into a greased and lined 6" or 15-cm round cake tin. Sprinkle some chicken floss on the top.
7. Steam for 30 minutes.
The cake texture is like the typical 'kai tann kou'!
I finally visited ToTT with my sister yesterday. As my hub needed to use the car to take my grandsons to lunch, we took a bus from Tampines Interchange. It took us almost 2 hours to reach our destination.
The moment my sister stepped into the store and took a quick glance, she commented that the things are similar to those found at Sia Huat, a shop at Temple Street. They are the suppliers of all kitchen and food equipment.
I asked my sis to check out SH's pricing to see if it's any different from Tott's which is rather pricey!
Anyway, I bought a packet of vanilla beans at Toque, a store next to Tott that sells baking and cooking ingredients. On display are two packets of the same brand vanilla beans. One packet has Iran printed on it and the other Papua New Guinea. The vanilla pods from Iran are about 3cm shorter than those from PNG. Both packets weigh 250g each and they are vacuum-packed. I asked the sales rep about the difference between the two packets with regards to the countries, he told me that they are of the same quality. Okay, but I wasn't convinced because (1)they are different in length and (2)they smelled different.
I could smell the sweet aroma of vanilla from the PNG packet despite been vacuum-packed in quite thick plastic whereas the Iran packet (similar packaging) yielded a faint aroma. So how could the two packets be of the same type.
I know that there are a couple of varieties of vanilla beans and some give off better aroma than others. So guess which pack I bought?
Obviously I bought the one from PNG. After 10% discount, I paid $49.50 for 250g of vanilla beans. Now what needs to be done is to buy a bottle of vodka to make vanilla essence and maybe a bottle of rum to get vanilla rum! I have no regrets buying the PNG pack because my kitchen smells of vanilla essence even though I have not opened the pack!