Sunday 29 January 2017

Mandarin Orange German Cookie 柑香德国酥饼

I like this simple German Cookies recipe whereby I can use to prepare some freshly baked cookies for my guests within a relatively short span of time. To give the biscuit a festive mood, I added a little Mandarin orange zest to it for added fragrance 😊

Yield: 18 pieces

60g salted butter, softened

20g icing sugar

1 tsp Mandarin orange zest

60g potato starch

40g top/cake flour

1. Wash Mandarin orange with vegetable & fruit wash. Pat dry and peel a thin strip of orange skin. Chop into fine bits.

2. Mix potato starch with top/cake flour in a mixing bowl. Store both the potato flour mixture and the Mandarin orange zest in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Cream softened butter with icing sugar till pale and fluffy.

4. Sift in the potato flour mixture and fold in using a spatula.

5. Mix in the Mandarin orange zest.

6. Take about 10g of the dough and roll into a ball.

Roll the dough ball in a small cup of fine sugar to form a sugar coating round the dough.

7. Place the dough balls over a lined baking tray. Allow about 1.5 cm space between dough balls.

Use a chopstick to creat a well in the middle of the dough ball.

Use a dough cutter to cut a shallow cross "X" over the top of the dough ball.

8. Bake in a preheated oven at 170°C, middle rack, for about 15 minutes, or till the base of the dough becomes brown. Let the cookies stay in the oven for about 5 minutes after the baking ends.

9. Let the cookies cool down completely before keeping in an air tight container. Enjoy 😁

Saturday 28 January 2017

Abalone Scallop Congee 鲍鱼干贝粥

Abalone has never been in my lunar New Year grocery list as my family is not a great fan of this auspicious ingredient 😬 However, this precious ingredient is still able to find its way into my kitchen - through the hampers my husband's company received 😌

After googling for the methods to prepare canned abalone, and dried scallops, I finally was able to put together the abalone, scallops, mushrooms, and rice into a yummy pot of congee for the family 😁

Servings: 4 persons


1 can abalone in stock 罐头鲍鱼, 425g

2 dried  shiitake mushrooms 干香菇

3 dried scallops 干贝

1 tbsp rice wine 花雕酒

1 cup rice 米

1 tbsp multigrains 五谷米, optional

800↝1000ml water 水

2 tsp chopped ginger 姜

1 stalk white scallion 葱白

1 tbsp chopped carrot 胡萝卜粒

1 cube chicken stock, optional 鸡晶块

1 tbsp green scallion and coriander leaves for garnishing 青葱和谐5tg。

1. Place 1 can of unopened abalone in a rice cooker. Fill up with water to about 1/2 the can's height. Select "soup" function, set the "cooking time" to 1 1/2 hour, and start the heating process.

After the process ends, let the can of abalone sits in the closed rice cooker untill it cools down COMPLETELY.

I heated the can of abalone in the evening, and let it sat overnight in the rice cooker.

The purpose is to soften the abalone. Some references I came across suggested to steam or boil the can of abalone for 4 hours.

2. Rinse, and soak rice for about 1/2 an hour or more.

Rinse and soak shiitake mushrooms in hot water for about 20 minutes. Cut the shiitake mushrooms into julienned strips after they have softened. Keep the shiitake mushroom water for later use.

3. Break dried scallops into pieces. 

Soak with rice wine or 花雕酒 for about an hour. Let the scallop submerge below the rice wine.

4. Steam the shredded scallop with rice wine, and julienned shiitake mushrooms for about 20 minutes. Let both ingredients stay in the steamer for another 20 minutes. Set aside.

After the scallop has cooled down, rub or tear the scallops into fine threads. Cover and set aside.

5. After the can of abalone has COMPLETELY cool down, trim away the dark tentacles* and slice the abalone into thin slices.

Keep the abalone soup for later use.

Keep the trimmed tentacles for cooking later. Store the abalone slices in the fridge till needed.

*I think it it called the tentacles 🤔

6. Pour about 1 tsp of canola oil, chopped ginger and white scallion, into the rice cooker. Select "Congee" function and set the "Cooking Timer" to 1 hour. Start the process.

When the ginger becomes fragrant, add in the soaked rice and chopped carrot. Stir-fry for about 1 minute.

Pour in about 800 to 1000 ml of water, close the lid and let the ingredients cook for about 15 minutes.

7. After 15 minutes of cooking, add in julienned shiitake mushrooms, shredded scallops, abalone tentacles, abalone soup, and mushroom water.

Close the lid and cook for another 15 minutes.

8. When the second 15 minutes is up, add in chicken stock cube and stir briefly. Close the lid, turn off the power, and let the ingredients simmer for about 30 minutes. 

If you prefer a grain-less or gluey type of congee, you can continue the cooking process of the rice cooker without cutting off the power supply. You may have to add in more water.

End of the 30 minutes simmering.

9. Serve the hot porridge with abalone slices, and garnish with green cut scallions and coriander leaves 😋

Monday 23 January 2017

Lemon-Choco German Cookie

Making a slight variation to the popular German cookies - I added lemon zest and cocoa powder to the dough to create a marble pattern. The crunchy sugar coating not only brought crunchiness to the cookies, but also helped to hold the soft cookies firmly together 😁

This was almost my last-minute Chinese New Year cookies baked - only 4 days away from CNY. I only managed to bake 18 pieces. Yes, only 18 pieces 🍪 for our own craving 😉 This is my way of preventing overeating during the CNY period. As the maker of these cookies, I know best how much butter and sugar we are gobbling down our system from these delicious cookies 😱

Yield: 18 pieces 3cm round cookies


60g salted butter, softened
20g icing sugar
1/2 tsp lemon zest

60g potato starch
40g cake flour

1/2 tsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp fine sugar for coating


1. Mix potato starch and cake flour in a mixing bowl and keep in the fridge for about 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Cream butter till smooth, then mix in the icing sugar. Continue to mix till pale and fluffy.

3. Add in the lemon zest.

4. Sift in the the cold flour mixture from (1). Fold using a spatula.

5. Take about 120g of the dough and place in a plastic bag. Use a dough cutter to scrap and push the dough towards the end of the plastic bag.

6. While for the remaining dough, blend about 1/2 tsp of cocoa powder to it.

Place the cocoa dough into the same bag as the original dough.
Similarly, push the cocoa dough to join the first dough.

7. Keep the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes to harden the dough slightly.

8. Use a spoon to take out about 10g of the dough from the bag.

Shape the dough into a ball and roll in a small cup of fine sugar.

9. Arrange the dough balls over a lined baking tray. The dough will flatten slightly after baking, so leave about 1.5 cm gap in between the dough balls.
Use a chopstick to create a hollow well in the middle of the dough ball.

10. Bake in a preheated oven toaster at 170°C for about 15 to 20 minutes.

11. Let the cookies cool down before keeping them in an airtight container. Yum yum 😋