Monday, 28 November 2011

Honey Dew Sago

A quick post about a truly Asian dessert...

If you like coconut, if you like sago...wait till you add sweet honey dew melon balls and syrup!

One of my all-time favourite dessert is this Honey Dew Sago!

I used the recipe from 'My Wok Life' blog.

Serves 5 - 6 bowls
1 medium-sized ripe honey dew, peeled and deseed. Cut half of the melon into big chunks, and use the other half melon to make small honey dew balls (using melon ballers) or simply dice into small cubes
5 tablespoons of tiny sago (about 60 grams)
5 tablespoons of sugar
200ml of water, plus 50ml more for cooking sugar syrup
200ml of coconut milk (cream)
3 - 4 leaves of pandan leaf, tie into a small bundle

1 pot of water (for boiling sago)

1) Pre-boiling of tiny pearl sago: Place sago into a pot of water, and place the pot on stove to boil over medium-high heat. Let the sago boil for 5 - 7 minutes, or until it turns almost transparent. Stir occasionally. Heat off and cover pot with lid to let it stand for another 5 minutes. Thereafter, drain sago on a fine sieve over running tap water. Place the cooked sago in a bowl of half-filled boiled water (about 50ml). Set aside.

2) In another pot, place sugar, pandan leaf bundle and 50ml of water. Cook sugar into syrup over low heat. Remove pandan leaf. Set sugar syrup aside to let it cool.

3) Place chunky honey dew and 200ml of water into the eletrical blender and blend into honey dew juice. Pour juice into a large serving bowl. Stir in sugar syrup and coconut milk. Then, spoon sago into the coconut milk solution. Lastly, add in honey dew balls. Stir gently to well combine all ingredient. Place honey dew sago dessert in the refrigerator to chill. Serve chilled.

Honey Dew Sago

Extremely easy to make but with amazing results!

The dessert is best served chilled. Each mouthful comes with sweet, fragrant coconut flavour, then you get the melon-like honey dew to chew on. Then comes the slightly chewy sago adding another dimension of texture to the dessert.

Simply delicious!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Christmas Cake

Sing:"Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive Her King......"

Thank you Jesus for coming to the earth 2011 years ago to save us all!

Christmas is coming soon! The cold wintry weather has started and perhaps we will have a white Christmas this year!

This year, I am attempting to make my very first Christmas Cake with lots and lots of fruits and of course brandy!

I first got the idea of making this cake when I was flipping through my monthly subscription of deliciousmagazine. There were many, many wonderful dessert and cake recipes like the chocolate Christmas Yule Log in the December issue and it was the beautiful Christmas cake that caught my attention!

I never liked the Christmas Cakes I had many years ago back home as I found them too sweet and all they tasted of was sweet, sweet and sweet sugar. However, one of my housemates made one 8 years ago and I fell in love with Christmas Cake as it had so many wonderful flavours in it with all the different fruits soaked in brandy and the fragrant spices like cinnamon, clove and nutmeg - the wonderful taste of Christmas!

So hopefully, my very own Christmas Cake will turn out perfect and I will know in a month's time!

You can find the recipe in the December issue of deliciousmagazine.

You can also find a slightly different recipe in the Tesco Real Food Magazine.

Just by looking at the many wonderful ingredients made me want to have a taste of the Christmas Cake ASAP!

Dried Fruits

Mixing almost 1.5kg of different dried fruits with self raising flour,nuts and the spices, I thought that must make a HUGE cake! And that was before I even added the creamed butter with sugar and eggs!

Spices and Brandy

The rest of the ingredients and Self raising flour

There was so much cake mixture that I had to use a big mixing bowl and my baking tray to mix them thoroughly but it was still super fun making it!

When I finally added the brandy to the cake mixture, the aroma was so wonderful and I couldn't wait for the cake to finish baking!

Preparing Baking Tin

Making the cake mixture was the easy part, what I found tedious was preparing the baking tin!

The recipe calls for a DEEP 20cm round baking tin lined with 2 layers of baking paper then wrapped on the outside with another two layers to prevent the cake from burning.

I have two 20cm round baking tins but they were shallow ones. I put my cake mixture into both and was still left with quite a bit of the cake mixture, so I took out a loaf tin and put the rest of the mixture into it.

After 4 1/2 hours of baking at low temperatures, the cakes are ready!

The aroma of fruits and brandy filled the warm kitchen, it was absolutely wonderful!

Sneak peak


Unwrapping the cake was like unwrapping Christmas presents! Such beautiful things!

Because my cakes were not made in a deep cake tin, they were not as tall as they should be, so I hope that they will be moist on the inside when we eat them in a month's time.

Two Christmas Cakes!

After the cakes were completely cooled, they were wrapped in baking paper and foil then stored in a cool, dry place.

Brandy will be poured over once a week for four weeks, and it will be just in time for Christmas!

Christmas Cake!

When the cakes are ready in a month's time, I will be decorating them with icing and Christmas watch this space!

Seafood Tagliatelle

Looking for a quick and simple dinner to cook on a cold Saturday evening, I went for this simple yet delicious Seafood Tagliatelle in Creamy Sauce!

I was not joking when I said that it was simple to cook, it was super easy!

Not only was it easy to cook, it only requires a few ingredients which are very easy to prepare. All I used was a bag of frozen mixed seafood from the supermarket, dried tagliatelle, chopped flat leaf parsley and double cream.

The tagliatelle was boiled in salted water for around 9 minutes or until al dente.

While doing that, caramelise some chopped garlic in olive oil and butter on a hot pan, then add the mixed seafood to fry. Then add the double cream and some chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper then let it shimmer for 3-4 minutes.

Lastly, drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Mix them together and the pasta is ready to be served!

I like the rich creamy sauce with tasty mixed seafood of squids, small prawns and mussels. Silky tagliatelle that has absorbed all the goodness of the sauce. The chopped parsley added some depth to the flavour of the sauce -  lovely!

PS: The sauce I made was a little thick and rich, if you like a more diluted sauce, add some of the water used to cook the pasta. Also, it would  be even nicer if you have some white wine at home that you can add to the sauce!

Seafood Tagliatelle in Cream Sauce

A nice, hot meal ready in less than 30 minutes and absolutely delicious!

I have made something similar before, and you can find it here.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Peanut Drumsticks

A recipe inspired by an amazing cookbook published almost 30 years ago - The Colour Library Book of Creative Cooking.

One Saturday in work, my colleague brought this cookbook into work. As we were not that busy, I went through the entire 470 pages and tagged quite a few recipes that I would like to try.

The Peanut Drumsticks was one of the recipes that I tagged and it was the beautiful photo of these crunchy and delicious looking drumsticks that drew my attention.

As my housemate bought two packs of drumsticks the other day, I decided to try this recipe today.

The recipe (from cookbook):-

8 Chicken drumsticks, skinned
75g Peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
1 Egg, beaten
75ml Milk
200g Plain potato chips
50g Plain flour
Salt and ground black pepper
Vegetable oil, for greasing


First, coat the skinned chicken drumsticks in the flour.

Peanut Mixture
Then coat with peanut mixture.

The peanut mixture is made by mixing peanut butter with the egg and milk then seasoned with salt and black pepper.

Crisps crushed in freezer bag

Finally, coat in the crushed crisps.

PS: Since it was quite impossible to find plain potato crisps in the UK, I went for the lightly salted bag.

Once the drumsticks were evenly coated, line them on the greased baking pan then put into the oven for 45-50 minutes at 190 Degree C until crisp and lightly brown.

Crisp and lightly browned drumsticks

Peanut drumstick

The peanut drumsticks can be served hot with some side dishes or cold with a relish.

I served the drumstick hot on a bed of sweet potatoes mashed with grated cheddar cheese, butter, milk, salt and pepper.  Also with a side of buttered, boiled green peas.

The drumsticks were delicious. Crunchy and crisp outside with a succulent and juicy meat. The slightly salted crisps added saltiness to the slightly (but not sickeningly) sweet peanut coating. The peanut butter was not over-powering, instead gave the drumsticks a smooth texture and added some sweetness and richness to it.

As it was the drumsticks of a chicken, the meat was very juicy. The coatings also protected the drumsticks from drying out in the oven with a rather long cooking time.

This recipe is old fashioned cooking style but still fashionably delicious. It fulfils most criteria of a delicious dish - combinations of few different textures, tastes and look.

As I am writing about drumsticks, another recipe I ate couple of days ago was definitely worth mentioning.

Drumstick - Chinese style, through and through.

This was what happened to the other pack of chicken drumsticks that my housemate bought.

The Chicken Drummet with Rice Ball Onigiri

Chicken Drummet with Rice Ball Onigiri

The chicken drumsticks were steamed to get the inside cooked, dipped in garlic and soya sauce mixture, then shallow fried until lightly browned.

The rice was boiled then mixed with sweet chilli sauce shredded carrots, shredded courgettes and diced red chilli.

Then the rice was wrapped around the chicken drumsticks until they look like rice balls.

The chicken drummets were absolutely delicious with the refreshing carrots and courgettes, sweetness and spiciness coming through, and the rice absorbing all the wonderful flavours.

The drumstick inside the rice ball was amazingly tasty from the garlic and soya sauce marinate.

Different ingredients and flavours that definitely compliment each other very well. A simply delicious dish!