… Birthday batch… Yusuf (9) & Maryam (3) 5th Oct , dad (..) 15 Oct & Umar (16) 29 Oct.. Happy Birthday !!!
It’s almost six months since my last post. I’m sharing some photos from our not-so-recent trip to Perlis, north-end state bordering Thailand. We were there at the end of May to send our daughter to matriculation college in Arau. Photos below were taken as we left Perlis. Except for some shots taken at the college ground, we did not take many snap-shots of Perlis as there were not much time for us to tour round the state. We planned to head for Padang Besar after leaving our daughter at the college. We drove through Chuping..Malaysia’s largest producer of sugar. But saw only empty plains. There was no sugarcane in sight. They’ve probably chopped down all the crops and send them to the factory… ha..ha.. just kidding.
Vast empty plain are kind of alien to us. We commonly see plains of paddy fields or pass through palm oil plantations elsewhere in Malaysia but theses are not common.
In Padang Besar, we hoped to do some shopping at the duty-free shopping complex. We drove for almost 40 km only to discover that the complex at the borders are closed at 6 in the evening much to our disappointment. But luckily some shops and eatery outside the complex are opened. Padang Besar is just a small border town. There are both of Malaysia and Thailand here. Both currency are accepted. Asam manis or sugar-coated tamarind, pickled fruit, different types of rice such as fragrant rice, glutinous rice or black glutinous rice and fresh fruits like mangoes and guavas are among the popular items that local tourists like us will bring back home. Items like good grade rice are difficult to be found elsewhere at a good price. So we packed home some before going back to our home-stay in Kangar. We left Kangar the next day, making a turn into Penang Island on a ferry.
This is the holiday awaited by my kids.. a good splash by the sea-side. They really enjoyed themselves, while mom (me) thoughts flew to the daughter she left behind in Arau. I missed her then and still misses her now.
This is Feringghi Beach. Just a short stretch left for public picnickers. The other stretches are private beaches taken up by hotels, apartments and resorts.
I don’t know if it’s right to translate it.. The cake has been known ever as kek batik (in malay). This cake started some 20 years back when I was still in high school. I remembered my kaklong(eldest sister) was so excited trying it out for eidulfitri back then. The cake got it’s name from the pattern when sliced. It’s not a bake cake. It’s a mix of biscuit and chocolate custard. There are varied recipes around and none uses flour but Marie Biscuit instead. Not sure if there are marie biscuit in other places but it’s known here locally. Sorry..forgot to snap any pictures of the wrapping. I have used up all the biscuit from the 2nd try..which is also the cake delivered to my customer. I’ve passed through a recipe using Arnot’s Digestive though.
Actually, I was not enthusiastic to try it out myself until I got this order from a customer. Ho..ho, never put aside any orders.. it’s not that she’s asking me to make a 3-tier wedding cake.. So make my try.. a recipe from xxx.com. My cake testers says OK but ehhemm..a little bit too sweet for my tastebud. Need to watch out for my sugar level too.. After going through a few blogs on kek batik recipes, I merge and modify and came up with the recipe below..
Kek Batik Recipe:
150g Marie biscuit or just enough..I used Tesco’s Mini Marie Biscuit
3 large eggs (beat till evenly mixed)
1 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup water (I’ll try with evaporated milk/creamer next time)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp instant coffee granules
1 tsp vanilla essence
Line a tin with baking paper well up above the rim. Mix all ingredients in a non-stick pan except biscuit. Cook on low until mixture thickens and grainy but not dry. (You don’t want the biscuit to be mushy nor too crumbly.) To put up the cake, there are 2 ways:-
1) Mixed in the biscuits before turning off the heat. Mix well until all biscuits are coated. Then spoon and pressed into lined tin. Pressed and glide evenly with the back of a spoon at all corners. OR
2) Thinly fill the bottom of the tin with the cooked chocolate custard and arrange biscuits. Cover with custard mix and arrange another layer of biscuits, and so on alternating custard and biscuits until all are used up. I used this method from wendyink.blogspot which has the illustration.
Refrigerate overnight before slicing. I had topped my cake with melting chocolate ganache.
These are just photo updates as I was really hooked up with so many things lately. Also, I’m on my own managing home, kids and everything…as hubby’s away for work for the next two months. So, its just pictures. Maybe I’ll update the recipes when there is time to spare..
Chocolate Dadih..by darling daughter
Strawberry jam filled muffins
Here’s a recipe for gumpaste which I had tried out recently. Actually, this is the first time I tried decorating using other than chocolate ganache, buttercream or whipped cream. It was surprisingly easy to make up the dough and working with it. The difficult part is looking for the gum. This recipe actually calls for tragacanth gum but I couldn’t find it in the baking supplies store. Instead they have this xanthan gum. If you couldn’t find these gums, look for others such as arabic gum or guar gum etc.
60 g cornflour
400 g icing sugar
22 g tragacanth gum
Sift the above three times and put into a mixing bowl.
60 g water
22 g glucose syrup
Add in water and glucose syrup into the above sifted flours and mix it until everything comes together. I used my hands. You can use the mixer.
22 g shortening
Now add the the shortening and mix well and continue kneading till everything comes up to a nice ball. Keep tightly in plastic wrap for 24 hours before using. The gumpaste will harden and you will need to knead it again.Take a little at time as you required, add colouring and shape as you want. Keep unused portion tightly wrap.Lightly grease your hands when working with the gumpaste and dust icing sugar on the working table. When you have made the cut-outs, dust with more icing sugar for easy handling. Leave on a flat sieve or you can use it straight away.
I started out with alphabets using alphabet cutters but need to practice to make other shapes. I had sourced my recipe from suzinor.
School holiday has started and most parents in Malaysia, took this time to get our son circumcised. The school holiday is six week long and this will give time to the boys who got circumcised to recuperate without taking leave from school.
My son, Yusuf, 8 years old was all jittery when he knew he was going to be circumcised. He knew and every Muslim boys here knows that they will have to ‘bersunat’ sometime before they enter their teenage phase. We told Yusuf about ‘bersunat’ many months back, but the excitement started when the school holidays starts. He kept asking how it’s done.. not once, not three but so many times. First, the explanation goes sanely, then when the brothers started chipping in , there comes in the Rambo knife, the parang and so on and so on. But of course, he knows that all the three big brothers survived with all their ‘thing’ okey.
Most mosque nowadays put up ceremony to celebrate the boys.
Yusuf having his nasi lemak for breakfast.
All the boys are summed up then given a cold bath before they go in.
The fire truck was specially called in to give the boys their bath.
Yusuf after the bath.. all ready with sarong and a smile 🙂
Pinning the number.. 36. There were 65 boys who got “bersunat” that day.
Yusuf was quite calm throughout the procedure. His father took the footage of the whole process but, 🙂 I think we’ll just keep the footage. We got his friends to come over that evening.
Read more stories on circumcision,
For the next four weeks, I will need to list down all the recipes I’m going to make. I made pancakes recently and it was a hit. They kids asked me to make them again and I tripled it and made a big bowl of chocolate sauce. Fluffy pancakes from Allrecipes.
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- cooking spray
- Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to “sour”.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into “soured” milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.
Day before idul adha, at Ulu Langat. Families from hubby’s side gathered later in the evening for a barbeque.
There was a big spread.. barbequed chicken and beef, accompanied with blackpepper sauce and salads.
Grilled ikan keli (fish) with a pungent dipping of sliced shallots, red hot chilli and stinging bird’s eye chilli, mee rebus etc…..
There’s a lot more food.. I think I’ll jump off to the dessert. Served with chocolate sauce are baked apples and grilled bananas. And my chocolate cake which recipe I’m posting here today.
More pictures below..
There are so many versions of death by chocolate cake, devil’s food cake, chocolate moist…I’ve tried out so many chocolate cake recipes. Most have turn out well but I would rate this one the topmost best chocolate cake. But of course, everyone has their own preference. Some prefers fudgy cake, while others prefer their chocolate cake just moist.
This one is not fudgy but just moist. I had actually made 3 cakes. I only planned to make 2. One for my niece birthday and one to be brought over to the barbeque gathering. I thought the batter was all ready when I put it in the oven. It was half way through baking when I remembered that I had missed the one cup of boiling water to be added lastly. So I saved this cake for later dessert at home. This one was slightly fudgy and dense, whereas the 2 later cakes was soft, fluffy yet moist.
Mrs Dayat “Death by Chocolate Cake” – Source: Myresepi.com
2 cups flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 cups caster sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup boiling water
Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and baking powder together in a bowl. Set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat together eggs and sugar till white and fluffy about 4 – 5 minutes. On low speed, add in evaporated milk, vegetable oil and vanilla essence. Fold in flours. Finally add in one cup boiling water. Pour into prepared lined and greased pan. Steam or bake 175 -180 deg C for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Bananas again! Banana are abundance here. Most of the time, bananas at home are not store-bought. Neighbors frequently passed over some bananas. Hubby brought back a whole tandan* of bananas two weeks ago from our ‘kampung’ (village). *( I do not know what is the word used for tandan in english. The description is bunches of bananas sticking to its stem.)
There were about 8 bunches. They were still green then. The lower ones were much too young to fry into banana fritters. So they were deep-fried to thinly sliced banana chips. The rest were kept a few days more till it is ripe and turns yellow, then deep-fried into pisang goreng with a coating of rice flour mix.
I saved some aside till they were really soft for the muffin. They were soft and fluffy. Really lovely. These muffins are really easy to make. Just put evcrything into the mixer and mix on high speed till its thick and white. It will take about 5 minutes. (Ignore my molten lava top. It’s the oven.) The link to Sofinar’s Kek Pisang Sempoi. It’s in malay. I’ve translated it here.
Easy Banana Cake
180g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
* Sift together the above into mixing bowl, then add in the following ingredients.
180g fine granulated sugar (reduce by 20-30g if the bananas are really sweet)
150g banana – mashed
120 ml vegetable oil
1 tsp ovalette*
Whisk at high speed for about 5 minutes until thick and white. Pour into greased and lined baking tin. Baked 180 deg for 40 -50 minutes until done. If you’re using muffin tins, reduce baking time to 15-20 minutes.