Quick And Easy Minced Beef Spaghetti

Two weeks ago, while I was away for holiday in Singapore, I received text messages from my youngest son, asking me how to cook spaghetti, so I briefly gives him instructions over whatsapp on the cooking instructions.   When I come back, I decided to type out this step by step guide for him, so that he will be able to cook this if I’m away for holiday again.   

Serve 4 

Ingredients:
500g minced beef

1 bottle (500g) of Bolognese sauce

1 large onion, slice 

Fresh or canned mushroom

350g spaghetti 


Direction:

1. Slice the onion and mushroom and set aside.


2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non stick pan then pan fry the onions till lightly brown (about 2 mins)

3. add in the minced beef and fry till cooked (about 2 1/2 mins)


4. Add in mushroom, Bolognese sauce and mix well, bring the sauce to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 mins, remove to a serving dish.


5. In a large pot, bring 2 litters of water to a boil

6. Add in 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon oil and the spaghetti and cook on high heat till the spaghetti is cooked to your liking (about 15 min), stir occasionally.

7. When cooked, drain in a colander 

8. Put cooked spaghetti to a serving plate and pour enough sauce on top the spaghetti, add some shave Parmesan cheese (optional) and serve immediately 

Apple Cake

This is another no fail, quick and easy, stir and bake recipe.  Even though the ingredients are simple, it is very moist and yummy, great for days when you are just lazy (like me) or days that are time poor. 

Ingredients:

100g plain flour 

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 eggs – room temperature, lightly beaten 

100g caster sugar

80g corn oil

130g apple (shredded or cubes)

30g raisins or chop chips
Method:

Grease and line a baking dish

Preheat oven to 175C

Sift flour, baking power, bicarbonate soda, cinnamon powder and salt in a mixing bowl

Add in eggs, sugar, oil into the flour mixture with apple and raisin until well blend 

Pour mixture into mould and bake in oven (for cupcake is 13-15 min) (for baking dish is 35-40 mins) or till stick comes out clean 

Leave to cool in the pan for 5 mins, then unmould and leave to cool completely 

Optional:

Decorate with apple slices. Dust with cocoa powder.

Orange Sweet and Sour Crispy Pork 橙汁咕老肉


Serve 4 – 6


Ingredients:

600g pork shoulder, cut into cubes

5 tablespoons cornstarch 

2 cup oil for deep frying 

1 large onion, cut into cubes

100g red bell pepper, cut into cubes

100g cucumber, cut into cubes

Marinade:

1/2 teaspoon Bi-carb

2 teaspoon light soy sauce

2 teaspoon shaoxing wine 

50g corn flour

Sauce: – mix well in a bowl

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 tablespoon corn flour

100g ketchup

200g fresh orange juice

15g brown sugar

30g water

Direction:

1. Cut pork shoulder into bite size and mix well with 1/2 teaspoon bi-carb, leave in the fridge overnight (this is to soften the meat)

2. One hour before cooking, add in the remaining (except the corn flour) In the meantime, cut the vegetables into bite size and set aside

3. Heat oil for deep frying
4. Coat the meat with corn flour, shake off the excess flour and deep fry till golden brown, remove to a plate and set aside


5. Heat wok with 1 tablespoon oil, and fry onion till fragrant
add in the vegetables and fry for a while


6. Add in the pork, follow by the sauce and cook till sauce is thicken, dish up and serve with rice.

Marble Butter Cake


Been craving for some cake to go with my coffee when the weather starts to get cold, so decided to give this no fail Mrs Ng SK butter cake recipe a twist by making into a marble cake instead.
I also add another 10g of milk so that batter are easier to mix.
For a good butter cake, the brand of butter you use does make a differnt in the outcome of the cake. Just only recently. I fall in love with Capel Traditional Churned Butter and it tastes so good even on its own 😁.

Ingredients

4 large eggs

250g salted butter, softened at room temperature (I use Capel Traditional Churned Butter)

150g caster sugar

200g self raising flour, sifted.

70g fresh milk

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

50g caster sugar (for egg white)

10g cocoa powder, sifted


Method:

1. Preheat oven at 170°C

2. Line the base of a 8 inch square pan and grease the sides 

3. Separate the eggs white and egg yolk, put the egg white into a mixer bowl and the egg yolk into a small bowl


4. Use a K-beater, speed 6, cream butter and 150gm sugar until pale and fluffy. Put in vanilla essence and and beat for a while. Put in egg yolks one by one and beat well after each addition.


5. Put in half the flour and mix on speed 2 until incorporated. Put in milk in 2 additions and mix until well incorporated. Mix in balance of flour.


6. Transfer 200g of the batter into a bowl, and add in the cocoa powder and mix well


7. Use a ballon attachment, beat egg whites in speed 6 until soft peaks


8. gradually add 50gm sugar and beat until stiff. 


9. Use a spatulas and add 50g of the egg whites into the cocoa batter and mix till very well. (It will be very thick)


10.  Fold in gently with the remaining egg whites into the white batter 


11. Use half of the cocoa batter and place spoonfuls of cocoa batter around the the sides and middle of the cake.


12. Pour in half of the white batter around the cocoa batter, use a chopstick to make circulate motions to create swirls 


13. Repeat for the remaining coca batter and white batter, use a spatula and smooth the top


14. Bake for 30 minutes then reduce to 150°C for another 15 mins or until skewer comes out clean.  Let it stand in the mould for 5 min, then unmould and leave it to cool completely.

Tuna Mayo Buns – Thermomix or Stand Mixer Method

 

   

(Straight Dough method)

Ingredients: 

(A)

1 egg

300g fresh milk or water

480g  bread flour 

120g plain flour

110g sugar

10g salt

4 teaspoons yeast

11/2 teaspoon bread improver (optional)
Ingredients for the fillings: mix well in a bowl

400g flakes tuna

100g chopped onion

120g mayonnaise 

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper

Stand Mixer Method:

1. Add all the ingredients into electric mixer bowl and use a dough hook and knead until gluten is fully developed, i.e. Elastic, smooth, non-sticky and pull away from sides of mixing bowl.  Stretch a piece of dough for testing.  This dough should form a thin membrane before it breaks

  
2. Spray a thin layer of oil on the cling wrap and cover the mixing bowl, and leave to prove for 45 mins.

  
3. Remove from bowl, punch down the Dough to release the gas.  Divide the dough into 50g portion and shape them into balls. Leave them to rest for for 10 mins

 
4. Lightly flatten the dough balls with palms of your hands. Put some filling on the dough and wrap the dough round the fillings and shape into ovals. 

5. Put them on a lined barking tray.  Spray a thin layer of oil on the cling wrap and cover them loosely and leave to prove till double in size, about 45 min

6. Brush with egg wash
7. Preheat the oven at 190°C for 20 mins before putting the bread dough in it the oven.
8. Bake for 15min or till golden brown 

Thermomix method:

Add ingredients (A) into TM bowl 2 min / knead

  
Add in (B), 15 min / knead function and knead until gluten is fully developed, i.e. Elastic, smooth, non-sticky and pull away from sides of mixing bowl.  Stretch a piece of dough for testing.  This dough should form a thin membrane before it breaks

  

2. Put on the measuring cap and leave to proof for 45min or till double in size

  
3. Remove from bowl, punch down the Dough to release the gas.  Divide the dough into 50g portion and shape them into balls. Leave them to rest for for 10 mins

  
4. Lightly flatten the dough balls with palms of your hands. Put some filling on the dough and wrap the dough round the fillings and shape into ovals. 

5. Put them on a lined barking tray.  Spray a thin layer of oil on the cling wrap and cover them loosely and leave to prove till double in size, about 45 min

6. Brush with egg wash  

7. Preheat the oven at 190°C for 20 mins before putting the bread dough in it the oven.

8. Bake for 15min or till golden brown 

Desiccated Coconut Bun – Thermomix Method

  
There are a few ways of making sweet dough bun, today I’m using Tangzhong method which adapted from Christine’s recipe. And for kneading of the dough I’m using the thermomix method, of course you can use a bread machine (set to dough function) or use a stand mixer to make the dough.

Ingredients of tangzhong (湯種 The amount is enough to make two loafs): 

50g bread flour 

250g water (could be replaced by milk, or 50/50 water and milk) 

Method of making tangzhong: 

1. In a saucepan add flour and water and use a hand whisk and whisk until smooth (no lumps) Cook over medium-low heat, stirring consistently with a wooden spoon.

  
2. The mixture will becomes thicker and thicker. Once you notice some “lines” appear in the mixture for every stir you make with the spoon. It’s done. You get the tangzhong. Remove from heat. 

  
3. Transfer into a clean bowl. Cover with a cling wrap sticking onto the surface of tangzhong to prevent from drying up. Leave it to cool. The tangzhong can be used straight away once it cools down to room temperature. Just measure out the amount you need. The leftover tangzhong can be stored in fridge up to a few days as long as it doesn’t turn grey.

  
Ingredients of buns

120g milk 

1 large eggs 

120g tangzhong  

350g bread flour 

60g caster sugar 

1 teaspoon salt 

7g milk powder (optional) 

1 1/2 teaspoon bread softener (optional) 

2 teaspoon instant yeast 

30g butter (cut into small pieces, softened at room temperature)

1 egg beaten for egg wash

Some white sesame seed

Method for making the bun dough
:

1. In the thermomix bowl, put all the ingredients (except the butter) according to the list, put on the measuring cup, mix 2 min / knead

  
2. Add in the butter, 10min / knead until gluten is fully developed, i.e. Elastic, smooth, non-sticky and pull away from sides of mixing bowl. Stretch a piece of dough for testing. This dough should form a thin membrane before it breaks

  
3. Put in the measuring cup, and leave to prove till double in size (about 30 mins depending on the weather

  
4. In the meantime prepare the coconut filling.

Ingredients for coconut filling
:

200g (1/2 pkt) ​Frozen Grated Coconut or fresh grated coconut

110g​ good quality Gula Melaka – cut into small pieces (or to taste)

1 pandan leaves

Method for the coconut
:

Heat a non stick wok, put in the Gula Melaka and fry in low heat till melted

  
Add in the coconut and pandan leaves and fry till the coconut has fully absorb the Gula Melaka, taste and make sure it is sweet and damp before turn off the fire and leave to cool

  
Note: if it is not sweet enough add more Gula Melaka, if is too dry add some coconut milk

When the dough has doubled in size

5. Punch the dough down to release gases produced in the proving process. After punch down, do not knead the dough

  

6. Take 50g dough shape into round and wrap with coconut fillings

7. Put into the baking tray, spray a thin layer of oil on the cling wrap, cover with the cling wrap and let it prove till double in size 

  

8. Pre heat oven to 190°C
9. Apply egg wash then sprinkle, some white sesame seed on top and Bake for 15 mins till golden brown
10. Let cool slightly in the pan then brush with some butter then transfer to cool on the wire rack

Popiah (Fresh Spring Rolls) 薄饼

  

Popiah is a Fujian/Chaozhou-style fresh spring rolls, which is very common in Singapore hawker centre and food court

The popiah “skin” (薄餅皮) is a soft, thin paper-like crepe or pancake made from wheat flour, you can get the freshly made popish skin in some wet market or hawker centre in Singapore.  

During my last trip back to Singapore, I “introduced” my youngest son to eat popiah, he loves it so much that he will ask me buy him for supper whenever I’m at the hawker centre. One day, he ask me, “mummy, are you able to make this when we go back to Perth?” So, I bought a bottle of the sweet flour sauce from Singapore supermarket as I have never see it in Perth Oriental shop before. The sauce has been sitting in my pantry since January, yesterday, I finally kick myself and went out to buy the ingredients and start preparing it. In Perth, I can only use frozen yam bean, shrimps and popiah skin as fresh ingrdients are not available or rarely come across.  

It took me a few hours to prepare and cook this but is really worth it as it is delicious, it will be prefect if the skin is the fresh type not the frozen ones though, well, what to do? Welcome to Perth!

Make about 20 pieces 

Ingredients:

2 packet frozen stripped Yam Bean (about 454g each), thawed (available in Chinese Oriental shop)

100g carrots, shredded 

200g frozen coral prawns

300g belly pork

200g green beans, diced

150g cabbage, finely shredded

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic or 2 clove fresh garlic

2 tablespoons brown bean sauce (taucheong),

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste 

1 teaspoon Knorr chicken seasoning powder or to taste 

1 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce or to taste 
Condiments: (any of these of your choice) 

3 chinese sausage (lup cheong), halved and sliced thin, fried till lightly crispy

1 cucumber, julienned (if very seedy, remove seeds then julienne) 

 3 eggs, boiled and chopped 

100g peanuts, roasted, cooled and crushed 

250g beansprouts, blanched

1 heads Cos baby lettuce, leaves individually picked, washed clean and dry

1 bulb of garlic, peel and pound till paste 

Chilli sauce

Sweet flour sauce

20 pieces Popiah skin (fresh or frozen)

1 bunch Coriander leaves, wash and cut into section

1 Firm tofu, pan fried then julienne (optional)

20 Medium size prawns, cooked and halved (optional)

Direction

1. Pound the garlic and taucheong into paste.

  
2. In a wok, add 600ml of water and bring to boil, add in the pork belly and cook till meat is cooked, dish up to a plate and rinse in cold water and then leave to cool, cut into small cubes and set aside, reserve the stock.
3. Using the same stock, add in the prawns and cook till prawns is cooked, dish up to a plate and rinse in cold water and then leave to cool, remove the shell and cut into half and set aside, stain the stock into a bowl and reserve the stock.
4. Heat the wok with 1 tablespoon oil. Add in the pounded garlic and taucheong and stirfy till fragrant

  
5. add in the cabbage, green bean and 100ml of the stock and fry for a while

  
6. add in the yam bean and fry till well mix and soft, lastly add in the carrots, pork belly, prawns, 300ml stock and bring to a boil. When boiled, reduce heat and simmer till vegetables are soft, about 20-30min, stirring to prevent burning at the bottom.

4. Add in seasoning to taste.

  

To serve:
Place each ingredient into small serving bowls
Strain the vegetables filling on a strainer
Take a piece of the skin and put it onto a clean chopping board
Put sweet flour sauce, garlic paste and chili paste (if any) onto the skin and spread in the middle of the skin
Place one piece of the lettuce onto the sauce
Put enough vegetable filling on top
Add the condiments on top then wrap up tightly, slice and serve immediately.