Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Chocolate and Cheese Love Affair

Chocolate was my love at first bite. Then it became my temptation, a craving. It then turns to addiction. We have always been together. It accompanies me when I’m down or celebrate with me when I’m happy.

Chocolate graces in various sweet treats including cookies, muffins, brownies, and of course cake. I even use it in toppings and even include it in my yoghurt. I could never resist a hot chocolate.

Cheese had always been his love. He eats it with practically anything. In eggs, on pasta, pizza, bread, and fish and in of course his most loved dessert – cake.

I wanted to bake cake for J and could not think of any perfect pairing other than chocolate and cheese. Hence a love affair was created. Yes, my love and his love – having affair.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake

Baking it the first time proved to be hard. First obstacle was I could not find chocolate flavoured digestive biscuits for the base on the original recipe, therefore I googled and used another cheesecake base using digestive biscuits with cocoa powder. Perfect. Then I found that the recipe yielded for 1.2 kg of cheese! The ignorant me thought that one block of cream cheese is enough for all cheesecakes in the world. Therefore I freeze the prepared base and got another block of cheese the next day. Finally I divide everything by 2.4 to get the exact measurement and voila, a short but definitely decadent chocolate cheesecake is made.

120g dark chocolate
500g (2 pkt) Philadelphia cream cheese
83g sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 eggs
73ml soured cream
½ tbsp cocoa powder

175g (6oz) digestive biscuits
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) ground cinnamon
15ml (1 tbsp) cocoa powder
75g (3oz) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing

Make the base first so it's ready when you need it. Put the biscuits, cinnamon, cocoa into a food blender and break down to a fine crumb. Melt the butter and pour it onto the crumb and mix it in until evenly distributed. Line a spring form tin with baking paper or butter thoroughly and scatter the crumb onto the tin gently, lightly press down and set aside or leave it in fridge.

Preheat oven at 180C. Grease bottom and sides of a 9 X 3 inch springform tin.
Melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler, or heatproof bowl over hot water.
While chocolate is melting, beat cream cheese until smooth, then beat in sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time.

Stir the soured cream into the cocoa powder to form a paste. Add to the cream cheese mixture. Stir in the melted chocolate.

Pour onto crust. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool in tin; remove rim. Refrigerate before serving.

Serves 4-6

Pardon the picture as I do not have a decent camera and have to make do with my PDA.

This entry could have been fit for SHF-dark chocolate edition, but I guess I can always participate in the next one! Oh I can’t wait. I am also looking forward to many other events especially IMBB.

J reported that he simply love the cake. He might be converting to chocolate-cheese lover soon. I could not deny the same for myself.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

For the Love of Food

My first food blog! I am so excited. I had been a serial lurker since beginning this year on various food blogs from all over the world and even locally from Malaysia. I had hold back a long time in food blogging due to the fact of the need of constant updates and of course, trying and sharing new recipes and reviews diligently.

I love to cook and love to write. What more is needed for me to convert into a foodblogger. But of course, photography is also a part of this. All I need is a decent camera. For due time, I had to make do with my PDA camera.

Please do continue to come back for more of my reviews on Malaysian food and also my trial and errors on cooking and baking.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

My Recipes

Light but Delightful
First Thing in the Morning
Whole Wheat Oat Pancake

Of How I Became Tham Jiak

Nearing to a year of the inception of Tham Jiak, I think it is about time to introduce the girl behind it all, ME. I find this the really probable time to start depicting my life here, as I have just started a new phase in my life. If you have the time, let me rant right from the beginning.

I was a really chubby little girl when I was young, and that is not due to my tham jiak-ness, in fact I was once a picky little eater. I was always unable to finish my food, and my poor nanny or her daughters would have to persuade and entice me to take a few more bites, usually the most common household method is the promise of no more eating after 3 spoons. At that point, they would be hoping that I lose my attention and eat more than that, but the cheeky me would be counting with my fingers, poking each out with every mouthful. But the really amazing part was I was able to stay chubby or grow even rounder, and they would always joke that I have all the air inside me.

At 5, I no longer go to my nanny’s and was back at home, starting to go to school. I continue to stay chubby till nearly 10, and that time everyone, including all my relatives, would call me ‘fei po’ (fat girl) and being young and oblivious, it was not really a matter at that time. During those times too I get to enjoy my grandma’s cooking (we stay right next door to each other) and learnt to be less picky, though still a bit of a pain, but I was starting to try things out. Come to think back, I am really sorry to all those who tried to make me try some new food, knowing that it’s tasty or it’s good for me. Then nearing to 10 years old, my grandma migrated to Australia, which she only manage to stay a few years where she then came back, missing her life in Malaysia. Since her return, her children insist that she enjoy life and not do any household work at all, including cooking. Thus, since then I was subjected to catered food everyday, which sometimes, ok most of the time, were not too appetizing. So you can guess, including with my growing age, I managed to become quite slim by the time I hit my teens.

The time I discovered the joy of cooking and that I had it in me is quite an accident. That time my mum was working over time for two weeks, and so I would be waiting for her for dinner every night. Those were the time of our catering days, and I pitied my mum for working late, so I thought of the idea of coming home to hot and yummy food would be a comfort to her. So nearing the time of her return I would fire up the rarely-touched stove and heat up the catered food. You must be thinking you call that cooking? Well, not yet but I am getting there. Then when my mum comes home to those piping hot food and eat, I am happy that she is at least enjoying the not-so-appetizing catered food. Then after a while, I started to do some tinkering. I remembered they use to give us this sardine dish right out of the can, which is, let’s just say not so delectable. During heating up I decided to do some modification and added chilli sauce, sugar and some other things that I can find in my scant kitchen and voila, it started to smell nice, in fact, delicious! When my mum came home, I eagerly waited for her to try the sardine, and when she moan in pleasure and commented that the sardine was good, I was more than happy, I was ecstatic. Oh yes, you cooks out there would understand what I meant, the joy of someone appreciating and reveling in your food is just so, so good. From then on I never look back, I knew it that I would learn to make good food, I would cook for myself and all my loved ones. I would never ever subject my family to second grade food in the future.

Anyway, teens breeze pass in a blink and then I was suddenly thrown to live in KL on my own. That time I ate out most of the time, living in a food haven (Wangsa Maju) and inevitably put on quite some weight, since when weight is a matter? Since we are no longer in our sweet 16 I guess. Sigh. At that time I did some cooking, not really serious but some dinners once a while and have dreaming of grander feasts all the time. My kitchen that time was really small and congested, shared by 7 girls, so you can imagine how little cooking can be done there. When we finally moved to PJ, Y and I, we have been living with each other since we ever live in KL, finally got the kitchen to ourselves, mini it is but I can start stocking up on my utensils and all.

Finally, after few years of cooking here and there, some hard-rock muffins and burn pots, I finally went full blast in cooking after I discovered food-blogosphere, which had been a real source of encouragement. I read so many people’s trials and errors, rejoicing with their success and empathizing with their food flops, while learning from their mistakes along the way. That is when I know, I, as an ordinary girl can also make extraordinary food. The exchange of recipes and vast information in the blogosphere is simply amazing. Thank you all, wherever you are, you had changed a life of a girl.

Now, I have shifted to a new home, with a larger kitchen, but lesser time to cook as I had just graduated and started my full time job. Coupled with my tham-jiakness, I would still venture out to try some good food when I was too busy while still learning to cook up some good fare for myself, J and also my friends; and not to forget continuing to write and surf the food-blogosphere!

Till then, happy eating!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Where to Eat?


KL, PJ and Klang Valley


My Catalog

For Indulgence
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
Lemon Sour Cream Cheesecake
Chocolate Chip 'Orange' Cookie
Pandan Kaya Frosted Cupcakes
Pineapple Tarts
Egg Tarts
Chocolate Cheese Cake
Cream Cheese Bites
Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Mini Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes
Farewell Bread Pudding
Extremely Chocolatey Chocolate 'Kou'
Black Bottom Cupcakes with ‘Icing’ and Chocolate Love Letters
Chocolate Gelato
Chewy Chocolate Chunks Cookies
Chocolate Cake with Sliced Peaches
CNY: Dragon Cookies
CNY: Peanut Cookies
CNY: Green Pea Cookies

Light but Delightful
Hak Lor Mai (Sweet Black Glutinous Rice)
Chocolate Blueberry Cake with Chocolate Soy ‘Ganache’
Chrysanthemum and Ginseng Tail Drink
Coconut Macaroons
Sago Gula Melaka
Mango Sago Lou
Green Tea Chiffon Cake

First Thing in the Morning
Whole Wheat Oat Pancake

Ginger Molasses Cake
Whole Wheat Banana Chocolate Muffins
Granola Version 1.0
Pukkolla My Version 1.0
Banana Bread-Fin

At the Dining Table
Chickpea Chappatti
Chicken Korma
Cheese Baked Rice
Ikan Assam (Spicy Fish in Tamarind)
Roasted Rosemary Paprika Chicken
Potato Salad
Teochew Steamed Fish
Beef Rendang
Char Kuey Teow (Stir-fried flat noodles)
Pongteh (Chicken Stew with Preserved Soy Bean Paste)
Chinese Fried Rice
Bak Chang

Pad Thai
Sambal Chilli

Have a Break, Have a Snack
Masala Vadai
Cinnamon Caramel Popcorn
Young Papaya Pickle

Scouring for Food
KL, PJ and Klang Valley

Oriental Cravings
Chee Cheong Fun: The Breakdown
Taiping-like Chee Cheong Fun in PJ
Vivo, The Curve
Cendol, Taman Megah
Klang Pork Ribs
K3K Kopitiam
Rojak TTDI
Mama's Kitchen
Mama's Kitchen Pt.2
Sri Paandi
Best Yu Tau Mai
Yat Yeh Hing
Avanti, Sunway
Tai Thong, Damansara
Vienna Bagel, KLCC
Grandma's Kitchen
GreenWood Cafe Cuisine Cafe & Bistro
Nasi Lemak, Stall by Roadside Port Dickson
Bonjuk, Sri Hartamas
Lui Cha, Various Places
China Treasures
Fu Kua Restaurant
SS3 Western Food
Char Siew, Various Places
Al Nafourah, Le Meridien
Souled Out, Sri Hartamas
Toh Yuen, Hilton PJ
747 Kopitiam (SFS), Sunway Mas
Pan Heong Restoran, Batu Caves
Village Park Restaurant , Uptown

Passions of Kerala
Sany Cafe

Hongkie Kopitiam
Penang Best Laksa (Kek Lok Si)
Pintail Restaurant
Penang Food Diary: Part 1
Penang Food Diary: Part 2
Penang Food Diary: Part 3
Blue Diamond Inn (Mexican)

Yut Sun Restaurant
Seremban, Port Dickson & Pahang
Kedai Kopi Saudara
Stall by Roadside, Glory Beach Resort
Bukit Tinggi BBQ
Sabah Filipino Market

Will Travel for Food

Hong Kong Food Exposed
Hong Kong Food Still in Exposure
Bangkok: Street Food
Bangkok Market
Bangkok: Som Tam
Bangkok: Cooking School

Food for Thought

What Blogging Did to Me
In the Term of Food

Malaysian Floggers

A Self-proclaimed Foodaholic
Babe in the City - KL
Audrey Cooks
Eat First Think Later
Kampung Boy City Gal

Everything Else

Mexican Girl
Merry Christmas
You Are What You Eat

Me me me
BBM #4: Thanks Rorie
Myriad of Tastes for CNY
Contributing Recipes

1984: Birthday 2
Comfort Food from Home
A Foodblogger's Meme Around the World
A Day Without Foodblog
Ah Ma's Cooking
With Love, L
Happy Birthday to Me!
Boozy Chocs
Christmas Dinner
New Year 2007
Apples & Thymes - Celebrating Ah Ma
Kor Tong
Best of 2007
Chinese New Year 2008
Me, Myself and My Food
Bridesmaid in Need
Yakitate, Japan!!
Passions, Dreams and Italian Cooking
We Came, We Saw, We Conquered, We Cook!
Feast on Durian Fest

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