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

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Happy Birthday KC!

KC is someone I might say I get to know due to fate. When I first came to KL to study, I came with a 1984, and then we bunked in a Convent senior from basketball team, temporary until we find a place to settle on. Then, KC was my senior’s boyfriend, therefore we get to know each other. From there, after shifting, we sort of keep in contact loosely until I shift over here to our place now, he so happen to have broke up, needed a place to shift and voila, he became our housemate once again.

As a friend, KC is amazing. He will do anything at all for his friends, always there whenever any of us needed help. He took care of me and my fellow 1984 housemate like sisters, protective and loving. We three in the house had once even named ourselves family.

Well, last monday was our dear KC birthday, I had decided to bake him a cake, although I know he does not really like one, but well, what’s a birthday without a cake. So, as I had put it at the weekly drools for so long, I decided to make Swee San’s

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

I made a few changes due to the unavailability of some stuff, and also due to a hunch to make things come together after certain changes. Ah, you bakers out there would understand.

At first look of the recipe, I had decided that the amount of sugar is too much, so I cut down quite an amount, and besides, we could not get white sugar in Tesco, imagine that, so we bought more of the brown sugar. I warn that even my amount of sugar is too sweet to my liking. Cut down more if you don’t want to have diabetes. Since having more brown sugar than white (in oppose to original recipe), I worry it would be too wet, thus I mixed all-purpose flour to the cake flour, in hope to make it drier, tell me if I’m wrong. Then, as Swee say, the corn flour addition is to make the cake fluffier and softer; I’m getting texture crazy here. I had also change the cream cheese frosting bit, since I don’t have enough butter, I added more cheese, partly also because I love cheese, so I want it to be more cheesy.

Anyhow, a few flops happened. First after baking at designated time and the toothpick came out clean in the middle. I took it out. Once cool, I remove from pan and found the sides all sticky and gooey and superbly sweet. All the sugar somehow formed a candy there. So I cut the sides all off and made a mess, with craters here and there. One lesson learnt: ONLY cut the cake once it is completely cooled! Then another mistake came with my impatience. Once the cake is semi-cooled, I attempted to frost the cake, partly because I’m impatient and partly it is late and I just want to get it done with. That is when disaster strikes. The frosting started melting as I starting spreading it. It became too hard to handle, steaming down the side. Second lesson learnt, ha-ha. I stopped at once, salvage what I can back to the rest of the frosting and chuck it into the fridge. After chilling few hours (yes I have yet to sleep), I frosted it with more luck, but sadly found the frosting with residue of icing sugar. Sigh; there goes my first cake frosting.

Ingredients
1 cup vegetable oil
500g brown sugar
200g coarse sugar
3 eggs

3 cups sliced carrots (2 large or 6 medium)
1 ½ cup coarsely chopped/bashed walnuts (roasted in 200C for 10minutes)

Sift:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups (375g) cake flour minus 1tbsp
1tbsp corn flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoons mixed spice

Method:
Preheat oven to 180-190C
Grease deep 23cm (9 inch) round loose-based cake pan (line base with baking paper if you do not have loose-base one)
Beat oil, sugar and eggs until thick and creamy
Transfer mixture to large bowl
Stir in carrot and chopped walnuts
Then mix in sifted dry ingredients little by little till incorporate
Pour mixture into prepared pan, bake in moderate oven about 1 1/4 hours
Cover cake loosely with foil halfway through cooking
Stand cake 5 minutes; turn onto wire rack to cool.
Spread with cream cheese frosting and decorate as desired.

Cream cheese frosting:
25 g butter
120g cream cheese, softened
250g icing sugar mixture

Method:
Beat butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy
Gradually beat in icing sugar bit by bit

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Worth the Search

Well, after reading the Klang pork ribs at KY, I had mentioned it to J that I would like to try it out someday. Sweet J decided to bring me there today, despite that he had no idea where it is. Usually KY would draw a map of the place he reviewed but just so happen he did not do so for this one and he only gave a vague direction that it is between the old bus terminal and an Indian movie cinema. Well, we took many turns around the bus terminal in Malaysia crazy heat and saw no cinema in sight. J was cursing KY all the way, sorry KY, but in the end we took one round, because there was a road block for fixing (which could explain why we did not get there in the first place) and then I spotted the cinema and shouted in delight. We took a U-turn at the roundabout and finally got to the place. The food better be good.

We sat down, and ordered the Pai Guat (pork ribs) straight due to recommendation, and J having been there once long time ago (his friend took him that’s why he do not know the way) and remembered that the curry was good. So he ordered the mutton curry and then I ordered Chai Sim (Chinese Flowering Cabbage), for good measure. J poured the dark sauce all around my rice, saying this is the Klang way. Well I kinda like the idea of blending into the culture and eat the way the people here do.

Then we dig in. Burp. The meal was great! Thanks KY. The pork ribs were really and I mean really tasty; the outer skin is crispy and the meat was juicy, done to the perfection. The sauce was sweet and paired really well with the ribs.

The mutton curry was also not to be left out as the meat was really soft while the curry was, just like how I remembered eating my Indian friend’s mum’s home cooked mutton curry. It is like the real authentic Indian curry. The veggie taste, well, just like veggie.

We also ordered the home made soy bean, served in a huge glass bottle, which every table seem to have it. no regrets here as the soy bean is fresh, certainly taste without preservative, not too sweet, I like it. We finished the whole bottle!

So if any of you decide to go there when you’re in Klang, I can only give a vague direction too, you can curse me that time I understand. At the huge roundabout in Klang town, take the direction towards Hospital TAR Klang, then turn left on the second turning and you will see an old cinema (Panggung Wayang Seri Intan) in front, and on your right is the row of stalls. The one we went was the one with all the big colourful umbrellas, kind of in the middle, you can’t miss it. Look out for this guy chopping the pork ribs.

We talked to the lady who served us, she was really nice. She was really amused when I took the food picture and asked whether I am taking her picture or the food. She surprised us at the end of the meal by speaking English (she must have heard J and I speaking in it) and chatted with us. J spilled me out and says that I would be putting up her food on the Internet for promotion and she was really happy, smilling ear to ear and telling the others about it. I would be going back again, as J said the fish is good too; we saw it at another table. With good food and good service and at reasonable price, the lady can be sure to see me again!

Friday, May 19, 2006

You Gotta Be Cool

Just like how Boo from masak-masak complained bout the weather, I am here to do so too. Luckily recently the weather is cooling down, but few days before it was like living in the middle of volcano. The sun was so scorching hot I sometimes believe my hair would sizzle if I stay any longer outside. The air was like the oven heat after a lovely muffin bake. The only think one can think of every time we are out, even in the car, is something really cool, better yet icy to drink. At times I would go for ais kacang, but for this time, we are attracted to another local icy drink, cendol.

Oh yes, cendol is actually a type of dessert, I believe from Indian origin, very popular and authentic to Malaysia culture. It usually consists shaved iced, with green cendol (this is the thin worm like pandan flavoured flour noodles) drown in coconut milk and drizzled with gula melaka (this pair seem to be in every local dessert). The usual fillings would be red beans, cincau, jellies, kacang and sometimes glutinous rice. Cendol is really unique in taste, the gula melaka (the most important ingredient here in my opinion) and coconut milk blends real well, along with the smooth worm-cendol and the rest of the fillings is great. The shaved ice completes this drink to be the ultimate thirst quencher and body cooler.

As for the one I’m talking about is the one at Taman Megah. We were just driving home on Sunday midday, cooking in our Proton oven (our national car) and we just had to stop by this stall to cool down before out insides boil over. The cendol here is really good, but I have yet to try the pasembor or rojak. Compared to the one in Taman Bahagia, this is more superior, but according to J, the rojak in the former is better. Oh well, you cannot get the best of everything at one go.

After our cendol fix, we head home with smiling faces, and paid no heed to the crazy weather.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A Day Without Food Blog

I had read this earlier on at Tigers and Strawberries and then at Chez Pim, which then dawn on me the severity of the matter. I remember vaguely that I had read about this issue before earlier this month (or last month, I’m not sure) on the newspaper at the Tech section, and had thought it was totally baseless. I thought it was just an issue that came across the service providers’ mind, but now it seems this crazy idea could actually be the next thing of the future.

For this matter, I would join in with the rest of the
food-gang against this and make today a day without food blog!

Tagged with: +

Friday, May 12, 2006

Two Girls on Food Hunt

L had came up to KL for her internship and so it only means two things, bad news is there would not be any Penang food reviews BUT the good news is there would be more PJ/KL food review, by us of course! Well today we manage to meet up for dinner and L had a sudden craving for pizza, yes this dear friend of mine always have cravings of some sorts at some time.

So we head on to Vivo at The Curve, which we had a celebration last month for one of the 1984, which got us to remember the pizza offerings there. Besides, we remembered the nice lady boss, who when learnt of my friend’s birthday, gave us a complimentary Blueberry Pizza served a dollop of vanilla ice-cream. It was really thoughtful of her, and very good customer relationship management I might say.

They had this set promotion for one person, which is a personal pizza with mushroom soup for RM 9.90. Seems like a good deal so L and I each ordered one, so that we can try two types of pizza.

L ordered the Bed of Mushrooms (on the left in the picture) which was really nice. It was topped with various mushrooms, some black herbs (we cannot seem to identify it but it was good), crumbled feta cheese, splashes of olive oil and a very surprising but wonderful addition which is almond flakes. We both agreed it was exotically good. As for me, I ordered Romeo and Juliet (right) which was pizza topped with turkey ham, tomatoes, pineapples and olives, not too bad but it was overshadowed by the earlier one. Overall, the pizza base was good, thin enough to be crunchy yet still with some chew.

As for the mushroom soup, it was good enough for us, slightly creamy and flavourful, certainly not like some other pizza outlets which are those like out of the can and watered down.

There is some collection of cakes at the dessert section, but I have yet to try that, but the earlier mentioned Blueberry Pizza was good. This picture was taken by the birthday girl during our last visit.


Do give it a try if once you are in The Curve and have nothing to eat. But to my humble opinion, other than the pizza, the other various foods were just so-so.

Vivo
The Curve
Mutiara Damansara

Friday, May 05, 2006

Satisfying a Craving

I wanted to post this up for the Jihva by Mahanandi, but I was off to Taiping, having fun and forgotten about it. But since this is a really cooling and refreshing dessert, that I sort of made up, with inspiration from sai mai lou that we have here in Malaysia, I decided to share it anyway.

Sai mai lou is actually sort of like ais kacang in Malaysia. Ais kacang is actually shaved ice swirled with sweet syrup (sometimes Gula Melaka) and evaporated milk then topped with various stuff, like mini jellies, red beans, peanuts, sweet corn and lots more. As for sai mai lou, the similarity is that it also has shaved ice, swirled with evaporated milk and fruit juice then topped with the cubed fruits and sago pearls. Of all the varieties, I always like the Mango sai mai lou best, as it is rich in taste and goes really well with the light milky ice and sago. The best one I ever had, which was the first, that got me hooked to sai mai lou is the one at Petaling Street (Malaysia's Chinatown). I’m not sure of the location but I remember is at one end of the street opposite a bank, and with a bookstore nearby. This roadside stall is manned by a lady, which has all sorts of sai mai lou, from honeydew, strawberries to of course, Mango.

As for my own version, I was craving for something alike, but of course I have to do away with the shaved ice, which needs a machine-like-device to shave a huge block of ice, and poor me as my blender could not take ice (yea a cheap one), and so came about this dessert that I call

Mango Sago Lou

1 mango:
1 cup cubed mangoes
1 cup chopped mangoes

1 cup milk
¼ cup sago pearls

Method:
Boil the sago pearls to translucent (a tip is to only put in the sago pearls when the water is boiling hot, in order to get clear looking sago in the end, stir once a while as the sago will stick to the bottom)
Once done, pour the sago into a colander and quickly run through with cold water to stop the cooking.
Scoop the sago into a bowl
Blend the chopped mango and milk together
Pour onto the sago, and then top with cubed mangoes
Chill for about an hour or a while in the freezer (like the lazy me) then devour cold

Satisfies 1

Note: I forgot to mention that my mangoes was really sweet and if yours are not so, do add some syrup (sugar water) to taste. Bon apetit!
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