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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Second installment - Tea sample

Produced in Taiwan, this Superfine Taiwan Qing Xiang Dong Ding Oolong Tea is grown in the area higher than 1000 meters.

It's raining outside, and what better time to drink hot tea than a cold wet day?  This is the 2nd sample that I am reviewing from the tea samples sent to me by Teavivre.

First brew, the color is pale golden with a very nice floral note
Second steeping was longer, producing a darker colour.  Smell is much stronger but slightly astringent after taste probably due to the longer steeping.
I was enjoying my light spongecake while seeping on this fragrant tea.  Paired very well indeed!

Good things do happened once in a while:D Want to join me for a cuppa tea? I would throw in that piece of cake too! 

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Tea samples from Teavivre


I was sent several different types of tea to sample by Teavivre a couple of months back but because of the busy time preparing for CNY and also lots of procrastination, I finally got down to sampling some of the tea.
Silver Needle White Tea (Bai Hau Yin Zheng) originated from Fuding, Fujian, China

I was given 5 types, Superfine Taiwan Oolong Tea, Silver Needle White Tea, Jasmine Silver Needle White Tea, Bi Luo Chun Green Tea and Da Hong Bao.  Tried them during the long new year break; went very well with all the rich food, cakes and cookies being served:)

This is the first installment of the teas that I am going to review, the Silver Needle White Tea or Silver Hair White Tea according to Wikipedia.

More from Wikepedia: quote "Amongst white teas, this is the most expensive variety and the most prized, as only top buds (leaf shoots) are used to produce the tea.[2] Genuine Silver Needles are made from cultivars of the Da Bai (Large White) tea tree family. There are other productions that look similar with downy leaf shoots but most are green teas, and as green teas, they taste differently and have a different biochemical potency than the genuine white tea Silver Needle.[3] It is commonly included among the China famous teas."unquote.

Very light and fragrant, leaving a nice after taste in the throat. Wonderful! This is my favorite
Thank you Teavivre for the chance to sample such wonderful teas:)

I will update this post once I have more time to write a comprehensive review on the teas.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Moist Banana Cake


My first post here after the Chinese New Year!  Oh my! Time really flew! I wonder if it's just me or are you experiencing the same feeling too?  So happened I was baking this banana cake and was surfing the internet when I saw Joyce's post for Little Thumbs Up which is themed banana.  Talk about timely coincident! Now I can link up too!

Here's the recipe with reference from Ellena's post here.

Ingredients:
250g salted Butter, soften
140g Brown sugar
4 large eggs (65g)
270 self raising flour
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
240g Ripe Bananas, mashed and mix with a tablespoon of lemon juice
Banana (slices) for decoration


Method:-
1. Preheat the oven to 165°C (degree Celsius), grease and line a 8″ round cake pan with baking paper.

2. Beat butter and sugar using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until well mixed. Scrap in between each egg to get a well mixed batter.

3. Next fold in half portion of the sifted flours (flour, baking soda and salt) then add in mashed banana and stir till combined before adding the remaining flours.

4. Pour batter into prepared cake pan, top with sliced bananas.

5. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 50 minutes until a skewer in the middle comes out clean. (For my oven it took 70 minutes for the cake to be fully cooked).


This post is linked to Little Thumbs Up (March 2015 - BANANA) event organised by Zoe of Bake For Happy Kids and Doreen of My Little Favourite D.I.Y and hosted by Faeez of Bitter Sweet Spicy.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Gong Xi Fa Cai ~ Happy Chinese New Year!

Wishing all who celebrates a Very Happy Chinese New Year! Let's usher in the year of the Goat with health, happiness and togetherness!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ginger Chocolate Cookies


This recipe is very easy and delicious. Only need to use a large mixing bowl to mix.  The end result is a very moist, chewy and spicy cookie that is a delight to eat! It is a bit on the large side so I would reduce the size of the cookies if I were to bake this again. It's yummy if you like ginger and spice and of course, chocolate!
Make sure they are spaced well apart, these cookies spread a lot!

Ginger Chocolate Cookies mostly adapted from Pastry Studio
Makes 3 dozen cookies - I would make it smaller the next time I bake these, I tend to over eat large cookies!

2 C flour
1 T cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
2 t powdered ginger
2 t cinnamon
1/2 t salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
4 oz (8 T) butter, melted
3/4 C dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/4 C molasses (I melted my hardened molasses with a bit of water and measure out 1/4 cup)
1 egg
2/3 C crystallized ginger, finely chopped
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped - I used semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F (175C).  Line baking sheets with parchment or silpats.

Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, spices, salt and pepper.

Combine the melted butter, sugars, molasses and egg until thoroughly blended.   Stir in the flour mixture.  Add the chopped ginger and chocolate.

Scoop the cookie dough into 1 tablespoon portions and form into balls.  Place 12 on each baking sheet.

Bake for 10 - 12 minutes (I bake mine for 15 minutes as I find it still a bit on the soft side).  Cool on a wire rack before removing from pan.  Store in an airtight container.
Ugly but yummy!



I am submitting this post the Little Thumbs Up Event hosted by Grace who blogs at Life Can Be Simple and organised by Zoe and Doreen.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Almond Cheese Squares



Almond Cheese Squares shared by a FB Group member,Cecilia Chia, who adapts this recipe shared by Shalin Poon which was published in Sin Chew Newspaper.

Since I still have some cheese powder, I gave it a try and found it to be quite delicious. Not quite the normal cookies which is sweet, this one is saltish with only a hint of sweetness. The cheese definitely stands out. If you like to try something different from your usual repertoire, try this.

Almond Cheese Cookies - ingredients below is my own changes
Yields about 40-50 pieces depending on size and thickness

A
55g butter - softened (salted)
15g oil - need to add a couple more drops if dough is too dry
10g icing
30g Parmesan powder 
1 1/2 teaspoon honey

B
120g plain flour
15g potato starch (original was corn)
25g ground almonds

Egg wash - yolk + some white

Method:

Mix A to form a thick paste before adding B and mix into a smooth dough. Add more oil if dough is too dry.

Cut with cookie cutter of your choice and transfer to a tray lined with baking paper. Brush egg wash and sprinkle some almond powder or finely chopped almonds if you wish.

Bake at 150C for 20 mins. (I used 140C with fan for 15 mins)

Monday, January 26, 2015

Palm Sugar (Gula Melaka) Chiffon Cake


I love palm sugar and incorporating it into chiffon cakes sounds exotic and delicious! As soon as I saw Mel's Chiffon I knew I will try this recipe too! It's so delicious and the flavor of palm sugar really comes through, in fact I have baked this cake a few times already but forgotten to post it lol! So here it is..

no cracks! :D

Palm Sugar Chiffon Cake
Adapted from Mel of Through The Kitchen Door

Ingredients
(A)
6 egg yolks
150g palm sugar or gula Melaka (I used Gula Anau another type of palm)
100ml coconut milk
4 tbsp vegetable cooking oil (corn oil/canola/sunflower)
140g plain flour
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt

(B)
6 egg whites
40g caster sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar

water at the hottest spot in the oven

Method

In a small saucepan, melt the palm sugar together with coconut milk over low heat till the sugar dissolves.  Remove and pour into a bowl, leave to cool.

Sift the plain flour and baking powder together.  Set aside.

In another bowl, lightly beat the egg yolks, then add in the vegetable cooking oil and salt and whisk till all well combined.  Add the palm sugar coconut milk mixture into the yolks/oil mixture.  Mix till all well blended.
With hand whisk, add in the flour and mix till all combined well.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, beat egg whites with medium speed till frothy, add in cream of tartar. Continue to beat until the bubbles become fine soft peak, gradually add in caster sugar and continue to beat until stiff peak.

Fold in 1/3 of the meringue into egg yolk batter to lighten it then fold in the balance in 2 portions, scooping from the bottom of the bowl and folding up until well blended. I find it easier to start with a handwhisk then switch to a spatula to finish off the blending.

Bake in pre-heated oven on lowest rack,at 150C for 45-50mins. I baked at 140C for 60 mins with a bowl of water on the hottest spot in the oven. On the same rack as the cake.  Could be the reason the cake didn't crack.

Remove from oven, immediately invert cake until completely cooled.