Thursday, 26 September 2013

{spiral curry puff in hermie}

I like puff pastry. What's not to like? It's crispy, flakey and can be used in so many different ways that the ideas are endless. One of these ways is the cheat's way to an easy curry puff. Up until recently, I always used puff pastry for a curry puff because I thought that making them the traditional way was too hard and time consuming. Also, because you could just bake them in the oven and that was it. However, with my sister's kitchen tea looming, I thought I'd give these babies a go and surprisingly, they're not that hard.

These spiral curry puffs are found all over Malaysia and Singapore and I love devouring them when we visit. The fillings are always similar yet different so everyone has their favourite 'best' place to go. Now that I have made my own, I have a lot more respect to the people that make them day in and day out. Another thing to note is that they are deep fried hence the crispiness of the pastry but probably not so good for those thinking about their health. Also, I'm not sure that they store well (frozen or not) when making a double batch, so for me there will always be a place for the puff pastry curry puffs in my freezer. Enjoy!

This dough recipe is from the "Taste of Asia" Thermomix cookbook with some tweaks.

Water Dough:
210 grams plain flour (plus extra to get the right texture. I found my dough was too wet & sticky so needed more to be able to work with it)
pinch of salt
100 grams warm water
1 egg
60 grams butter

1. Place all ingredients into TM bowl. Mix 4secs/ speed 6.
2. Knead the dough 1min/ closed lid position/ knead button.
3. Wrap in cling wrap and set aside in the fridge.

Oil Dough:
150 grams plain flour
100 grams butter

1. Place all ingredients into TM bowl. Mix 4secs/ speed 6.
2. Knead the dough 1min/ closed lid position/ knead button.
3. Wrap in cling wrap and set aside in the fridge. Meanwhile, make the filling.

500 grams beef / chicken mince
half an onion, peeled
1 small potato, peeled & cubed 1cm
20grams vegetable oil
2-3 heaped tablespoons curry powder
50 grams water
salt to taste

vegetable oil for deep frying (e.g. rice bran, canola)

1. Chop onion, 3secs/ speed 6. Scrape down the sides.
2. Add cubed potato and oil. Saute 8mins/varoma/ stir speed/ reverse.
3. Add beef mince, curry powder, salt and water to TM bowl. Cook 8mins/ varoma/ stir speed/ reverse. Cool entirely in fridge before filling curry puffs.

NOTE: when you taste the filling with the salt already added and it is just right, add just a bit more. This is so that the filling of the curry puff will be delicious and flavoursome when only a small amount is used in each curry puff.

Curry Puff Assembly:
1. Get doughs out ready for rolling. Separate each ball into 4 lots. Lightly flour rolling surface. Place oil dough in water dough and wrap water dough around oil dough.

2. Working with one portion, roll water dough piece into a large circle. Place oil dough in the middle and wrap up.

3. Roll this into a long flat rectangle and then roll this into a 'swiss roll' style starting from the short end.

4. Turn the dough 90 degrees and roll into a thin long rectangular shape again. Roll up into a 'swiss roll' again.
5. Cut across the roll in slices so you see the cross sectional layers

6. Flatten each piece into a round disc and place filling in the centre.

7. Fold over pastry to cover filling and pleat the edges. If you need help with this, I learnt from this youtube video.
8. Put aside and complete all other puffs.

9. After curry puffs have been made, heat oil in deep fryer or wok to about 190 degrees. Fry a few (I can do about 6) at a time until golden brown.

Makes about 30.

Bon Appetit xx

Notes: Store these in a dry air tight container. If you want to reheat, place them in the oven on about 180 for 10-15 minutes.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

{garlic, prawn & spinach pasta in hermie}

If you follow me on facebook you would know that I'm a big fan of meal planning. This is so that I know what we're eating during the week as well as spending the least amount of time shopping for food during the week. It also means that if I'm buy a special ingredient, I try and make other meals that will incorporate the rest of the ingredient so there's less wastage.

Having said all of that, this week I have done the complete opposite and have lived 'by the seat of my pants' without planning any nights meals. It has just gotten away from me whilst juggling a sick Miss A, consultant training to become a Thermomix Consultant, blogging, driving Miss I around to activities and everyday chores around the home. 

Last night, it had already reached 4pm by the time I even thought about what to have for dinner. That's pretty late for us as we usually have dinner by 5:30 to 5:45ish. Yes, we eat at an early bird time but it works for our family! So, I scratched my head and looked in the freezer to see what meats/seafood we had. I usually start with this for the basis of a dish and then the rest comes naturally. I came across some recently bought prawns and then half a packet of baby spinach that I had been using to practice some Thermomix demonstration dishes. As soon as I had these 2 ingredients, this dinner was formed in my head. All the other ingredients are pantry staples that are always on hand for most cuisines. 

The sauce is whipped up in Hermie and the pasta cooked normally on the stove as per the packet instructions. If you like, you could add water to the TM bowl when cooking the sauce and then cook the spaghetti in the TM bowl if preferred. Enjoy!

3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
3-4 spring onions, cut into 10cm lengths
20 grams olive oil
400 grams canned chopped tomatoes
12 prawns, deheaded, shelled
chilli flakes (optional)
50 grams baby spinach
salt to taste
spaghetti for 2.5 people

1. Place saucepan filled with water on stove to boil. 
2. Place garlic and spring onion into TM bowl. Chop 3-4 secs/ speed 6.
3. Add olive oil to TM bowl and saute 2mins/ varoma/ stir speed/ reverse. Scrape down sides of bowl.
4. Add tomatoes (chilli flakes if using) and salt to TM bowl and cook 10-12mins/ 100C/ stir speed/ reverse.
5. Add prawns and cook 6-8mins/ 100C/ stir speed/ reverse.
6. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in prepared saucepan as per packet instructions.
7. Finally add spinach and cook 1mins/100C/ stir speed/ reverse.
8. Serve over cooked spaghetti with a drizzle of olive oil over the top.

Serves 2 adults and 1 child.

Bon Appetit xx

Thursday, 5 September 2013

{strawberry jam in hermie}

When there is an abundance of fruit and you want to take advantage, making jam is a great way to use up all the cheap, in season, juicy fruit. I always thought that jam making was a laborious task but I think that's because most people always make large quantities and it involves quite a bit of manual labour. With Hermie, it is quite a different story and my part only took less than 5 minutes to perform. 

Here in Adelaide, we are experiencing a strawberry frenzy at the moment and this recipe below is my adjusted version of the "Everyday Cooking" Thermomix cook book using about one and a half punnets (as my children love to eat them as is!). My husband's Aunty if great at making jam and in particular, apricot jam. When they are in season, this is one of the things I'm going to attempt in Hermie. I would really like to see what her opinion is of this jam compared to doing it the traditional way.

rind of 3/4 of a lemon
30 grams lemon juice
350 grams fresh strawberries, washed & hulled
200 grams sugar (can be adjusted to taste)

1. Place rind of lemon in TM bowl. Zest 45-60secs/ speed 9.
2. Place all other ingredients into TM bowl. Cook 60mins/ 100C/ speed2.
3. Store in a steralised jar (I put them in the oven to steralise) and then keep in the fridge. Serve with freshly made crusty bread and if you're feeling naughty, a dollop of cream on the top!

Make about 275 grams.

Bon Appetit xx

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

{review: pandan chiffon cake in hermie}

There are cakes and then there are chiffon cakes. Until recently, I didn't know that they are also referred to as Angel cakes. Anyway, I first came across this mysterious cake quite a number of years ago as a child when my Aunty made an orange chiffon cake. It was light, citrusy and a nice orange colour. Then, when I was shopping with my mum in an Asian Grocer shop, I noticed that they had for sale another chiffon cake that was green! It was flavoured with pandan leaves and tasted sooo divine. Since then, I have wondered how this cake was made and if I could do it myself.

Before I had the Thermomix, I had attempted to make a pandan version using another bloggers recipe. It was only half successful due to getting distracted when the cake came out of the oven and not turning the tin upside down fast enough. I just didn't realise that this was so important. It was slightly squashed but nonetheless, it tasted moist with pandan and coconut flavours. I was however very disappointed in myself because I like to think that I can cook anything!

So, this time round I was determined to get it right as this was going to be one of the yummy morsels of food at my sister's kitchen tea. Even though I hadn't tried the recipe from "A Taste of Asia" I decided to give it a go as it was very similar to the previous recipe used... I'm so glad that I did because the results are fantastic. I did however watch the last few minutes of baking like a hawk so that when the cake left the oven, I turned it upside down straight away to 'stretch' out the cake. It is definitely going to be a favourite 'must have' at family gatherings from now on.

Pandan Juice Extract:
This is best done 5-7 days before making the cake
20-30 Pandan Leaves cut into about 1cm lengths
200-250 grams water (to cover leaves)

1. Add all ingredients above to TM bowl. Blend 1-2mins / speed 9. What you are looking for is a pulpy green puree. If this is not enough, I just use the turbo button with closed lid position to keep going until it is done.
2. Strain the pulp into a jar and store in the fridge. Do not move as you want the dark green concentrate at the bottom of the jar. This is mine after 5 days. Pour away the lighter green liquid into something else (it can be used to make other pandan flavoured food) and you're left with the extract.

Pandan Chiffon Cake:
7 egg whites, room temperature
1 pinch cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
180 grams icing sugar (can reduce to 150 grams)
6 egg yolks
110 grams plain flour
30 grams oil (can reduce to 20 grams)
130 g coconut cream
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp Pandan Juice extract

1. Pre-heat oven to 170ºC.
2. Clean and dry TM bowl thoroughly. Heat empty bowl for 2 mins/ 50ºC/ speed 2.
3. Insert Butterfly. Place egg whites, cream of tartar and salt into TM bowl and whip for 3 mins/ 50ºC/ speed 3.5.
4. Add icing sugar through hole in lid, 1 tsp at a time for 2 mins/ 37ºC/ speed 3 until fully incorporated. Set aside in separate bowl.
5. Without rinsing Butterfly, reinsert into TM bowl. Place yolks into TM bowl and beat for 6 mins/ 37ºC/ speed 3 until lemon in colour and doubled in volume.
6. Add remaining ingredients except egg whites and blend to form a batter for 8 seconds on speed 3. Remove Butterfly.
7. Place 60g of the egg white mixture into TM bowl and with dial set to closed lid position, incorporate for 20 seconds on Interval speed.
8. Pour yolk mixture out into egg white mixture and fold in gently using a large spoon until well blended.

8. Pour into chiffon tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until done.
9. Remove from oven and invert tin to cool completely. Cake should just fall out once it is cool enough to release from the tin.

Bon Appetit xx

Notes: Make sure the tin is inverted immediately after removing from the oven. Apologies for not including a picture of a slice of cake... I forgot to take one at the kitchen tea! Also, my cake is a bit 'rough' around the outside because for some reason, I decided to use a skewer to 'help' the cake fall out. If I needed to do it again, I would use my head and use a serrated knife. This recipe is available on the recipe community.