Friday, 20 November 2009

Chocolate Cherry Trifle

Sebak dada, jiwa many things are playing in my mind. Yusof got her first major exam's result yesterday. The results weren't very good in the eyes of many people, however, I think it is the best result he could have asked for! For him and for me!

I came home yesterday to find him, burying himself under his duvet, he wasn't sleeping. When the azan for maghrib went off, he came out, took his shower and performed his salat...looking very remorse but calm. Then, while I was icing my cakes to be delivered today, he uttered to me that he wanted to take up the tahfiz program in school and pursue the o levels syllabus next year. It's tough, however, deep down I know he will do well!

And me, a few days ago my new boss commented that I have been doing my job very well, however, he wants me to be more visible in the company, instead of just lying low! Lying low has been done by choice for reasons only known to me! But, the question is whether I should take up his advise or still thinking.

Let's put that aside and let's see what we can do to please our taste buds and those of our loved ones.....Chocolate Cherry Trifle or Black Forrest Trifle! The chocolate custard recipe belongs to Ms Nigella Lawson, however, the chocolate sponge cake's recipe, I had picked up on the net!
Chocolate Cherry Trifle

Chocolate Custard
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, I used Valrhona, double boiled and set aside to cool
1 1/3 cup heavy cream
11/3 cup fresh milk
8 egg yolks
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cocoa powder
11/2 tsp vanilla

Mix the yolks, caster sugar, cocoa powder well with a whisk, set aside. Scald the milk and heavy cream and vanilla until almost at boiling point. Take out 1/3 of the milk, cream mixture and add to the yolks, sugar cocoa powder mixture and mix well, pour this back into the remaining milk and cream mixture. On medium fire, stir using a whisk until mixture thickens, be sure to avoid lumps. Remove from fire, add in the melted bittersweet chocolate, cover with a cling film, let cool.

Chocolate Sponge Cake
11/2 cup all purpose flour, sift with baking powder and bicarbonate soda
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
2 tsp vanilla
2/3 sour cream, this stabilises the baking powder and bicarbonate soda
180g butter, soften at room temperature
1/3 cup cocoa
2 large eggs

Beat the butter and sugar until light and pale, add the vanilla. Fold in the dry ingredient and sour cream. Bake in 2, 20cm x 5 cm cake tin at 160 degrees Celsius, leave to cool before turning out the cake of the cake tin.

Okay, this is how you assemble the trifle....I usually prepare the above the night before putting the entire trifle together...

In a large bowl, arrange chocolate cake sandwiches with black cherry jam (I used St Dalfour's) on the base of the bowl, pour the juice from one can of morello cherry, just to cover the cake. Pour the morello cherries on top of the chocolate cake, chill for at least 5 hours, to set. Then, pour the chocolate custard on top of the morello cherries. To serve, I usually arrange summer fruits like raspberries, strawberries on top of this and covered with whipped cream. You may want to grate some chocolate to make it look nicer!

Have a go at this recipe and have a brilliant weekend :O

Monday, 16 November 2009

And some cakes that I baked....

Happy Birthday Ayin, cakes ordered by sarah for her 15 year old sister's birthday! Thank you Sarah.
Chocolate and vanilla cuppies for tea, thank you Zira for repeated orders!
Vanilla cuppies for doa selamat, thank you Aini!

Aberystwyth...down memory lane...

The Constitution Building (used to be the main university building), the seafront and the new campus.
The many forks and spoon and knives that I am not used to now!
The Constitution Building...I loved this building and the quaint seafront!
From left: Radzwill, Mastura, me, Najmi (Mas and Najmi got married when they returned), Fariz (Wati of Sugarflours' eldest brother), Johan, Farrah and Liza Hanim...where else would a Kitchen Guardian be if not for the kitchen!! Picture taken Farrah's Court Mawr kitchen.
My father figure in Aber, Pak Sahar!

It has been ages since I last attended a formal dinner, the last I remember was when I attended the Bar Council Ball in hubby's early days of practice. And I had not been to any of my uni's alumni gatherings ever since I returned in 1991!

So, after many many invitations from the Club, I have decided to attend a Congratulatory Dinner held in conjunction with the new Yamtuan of Negeri Sembilan's ascending the reign of Negeri Sembilan, last Saturday. I went alone as hubby decided to take care of my brood, also to allow me to have some me time.....
I valet parked...sebab takut cari parking tak jumpa!! As I entered, I was greeted by Datuk Mazlan who used to be the CPO of Selangor and Melaka and now a CID Chief, who was my course-mate then. He is still the same, cakap with loghat utara..."Yani, you haven't aged, anak dah berapa oghang...err 6, Datuk", kembang sekejap dapat pujian, he he!!
Then, I headed towards the registration table, there were so many mature graduates, think they studied in Aber after I graduated, but not many young ones came. I was later greeted by a group of then and now very accomplished lawyers, Vazeer, Akhbar, Stanley and the present Bar Council Chairman Ragu...all looked the same except for their bellies and white hair..kesian!! "How come you are not in practice, Yani?", they asked. "Ahh, after I got my eldest, I decided that I'd devote my time for the kids, and I have 6 children!" They all tersedak-sedak, gelakkan I. But, they haven't changed at all, and all throughout the night we spoke about our children, and none actually talked about their achievements and their high profile jobs! I am so lucky to have such friends!
During the dinner I sat next to my course-mate Johan with his new wife, Vijay, whom I couldn't recognise, but he recognised me, and a few mature graduates who went to Aber to do their pHDs. These mature ladies and gentlemen actually talked about their anak was indeed a life enriching night that night when I hear all their stories!
I also met for the first time after all these years, my mentor in Aber Pak Sahar, who picked me from the bus station when I first step foot in Aber on that cold rainy night, and he housed me in his farm house about 3o minutes away from the town...I thought I was not going to uni afterall that drive that night and 6 hour trip from London!! I was served with assam pedas rhubarb and smoked mackerel for dinner, you all...sedaapp!! Pak Sahar is still the same, carrying the same humor and wit! Tapi belly dia dah besar sikitlah...I told him to kurangkan makan nasi..."Apalah orang Melayu kalau tak makan nasi!", he replied. He is now the Principal of Kolej Keduabelas Universiti Malaya, his eldest girl is an engineer, second a doctor and the then thumb-sucking little Amelina is still a student. And Kak Nordi, his wife is still teaching!
I also met Pak Suffian, whose wife Kak Munirah did her phD, and I tunpang their house during my graduation day!
There were slight shows about the university, the forest, the seafront, the high waves, the Constitution Hill and the days when Yamtuan spent his student days there. When I saw those pictures I realised that I actually I miss Aber so much. Those days, especially in my first and second year were spent mostly in Nottingham. I only "lived" in Aber in my third year, diligently studying to get an honours degree. Now I will dig and find more pictures of Aber and post here!
I didn't really eat that night, because I was busy chatting and catching with old friends, and left at 12 and make a promise that I will make an effort to join this gatherings in the future!

Monday, 9 November 2009

Friendship at a different level....

Vanilla cuppy with lemon curd topping for my lovely friends!
I bekalkan a pack of Shan's bombay spice for the ladies to bring home, so, now all can try make the dish!

I came to office today looking fresh, even though I have been lacking sleep for the past few days, no, It's not due to preparing dishes for "the" Sunday lunch, but have been doing a lot of thinking....pikir macam-macam. But, after meeting the lovely ladies, Mrs N, Kak Ezza, Mimi, Madam Tai Tai, Ida Scent of a Woman, Yatt Tireless Mom and Shila Superwomanwannabe...things are more focused and falling into perspective! Am not there yet, but, closer, I must say!

The idea for this lunch thingy came about after Gina MTT hinted that she wanted to rasa my Beryani Udang, and later BJ Mrs N nak merasa pavlova and choc trifle.

So, I thought I might as well gather a few other new friends I made aka blogger friends, all of whom now I call friends at a different level for lunch. I made Beryani Udang, Dalca Daging Tetel with red lentils, Cucumber and Cherry Tomato Raita, Ayam Goreng Rempah, Sup Ekor with freshly baked Herbed Loaf from The Bakery, and desserts Chocolate Trifle using valrhona chocolate and my own baked chocolate sponge, and DH kindly made Pavlova nests for fresh fruits! DH also took all the other kiddos, except Muhammad, out for a movie so we could have the house all to ourselves, thanks Long!
SW, Ida, MTT, Mimi and TM

I don't usually enjoy eating what I prepared, but somehow I ate all that I prepared! I can tell you it must be the warmth of companionship by the ladies, the wisdom and wise words, the laughter...also the Jeruks brought by Kak Ezza and Tapai Pulut prepared by TM. Think at the end of the day, the title superwoman should really go to TM, an accomplished career woman who travels a lot and yet manage to get her household all put together nicely! And, after talking to her, I know I have a new set of listening ears, apart from Mrs N's!

Kak Ezza's daughter, Kak Ezza, Mimi and TM

Kak Ezza is so lovable and huggable...suka akak! and her sweet daughter dok kerenyeh aje listening to our chats. MTT arrived looking so polished and elegant even in her casual attire! Mimi is like the Mimi I know from KPP days except now she has her glasses and her tudong, and Ida...a true scent of a woman, lovely and very her! And, the wise Mrs N and witty SW!
Mrs N and SW!
Whilst talking to these ladies I realise that they are what you read from their blogs, very special because there is so much lessons you learn from them and I guess that is why I can "click" with them and them too, I hope!! It's a friendship so pure, so different from the one that I know and yet so you all ladies, we must do this again, and I tell myself that I must also keep up with the other bloggers in the circle by visiting them even though time is a real challenge for me. It's my other life! Thank you...
Ida and her daughter Sarah
Nizar tak nak ambik gambar.....Nizar said!
Chocolate Trifle!
SW with her chocolate trifle
Kak Ezza makan pavlova!
Tapai Pulut made by TM!
Mrs N enjoying her pavlova!
PS: Sorry for the quality and arrangement of pictures, am not very clever with posting and arrangement! I will post the Choc Trifle recipe, soon!

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Shortbread first attempt at fruit tarts!

It has been quite a while since I last posted recipes here. I have been running around like a headless chicken especially since Muhammad is around. At work, it's work, pump, work, pump, work and pump before I head home. My weekday routine is usually like this: on Monday till Wednesday, life is usually pretty calm, but the chaos starts on Thursday right up till Saturday...when i do my orders....penat, tapi happy!

A few days ago Mrs N called to ask for tips to do beryani udang, and she successfully prepared the dish last so happy! Because, my first attempt at beryani udang, the rice was a bit soft, everyone ate, but my husband complained that the rice was a soggy.....I have improved since!!

I have always liked fruit tartlets, however, I haven't the slightest idea of how to make them before! Last week, I had booked a place at Saf's pastry class to learn to make quiche and various tartlets! But, before that, I decided to try this recipe, after comparing so many is simple, no brainer, hit it and go and you'll have this beauties....
The shell together with the philly cheese and condensed milk (??) and fruits, crumble and melt in your mouth!
The beauties without the glaze, after I attended Saf''s pastry class, I realised how the tartlets were glazed...and there are different types of shells depending on how you make posting ok!

The recipe... from the

Shortbread Tarts

227 g unsalted butter, at room temperature...I used salted Tatura
72 g icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
210 g all purpose flour, I added a bit more when mixing until the dough does not stick to my fingers
30 g cornflour, to "lighten" the dough
a pinch of salt, I didn't add as I used salted butter

Cream Cheese Filling

227g philly cheese, I used Tatura
390 g condensed milk, this is the twist that attracted me to this recipe!
80 ml lemon juice, I agak-agak mine
zest of one lemon, I omitted this, still waiting to get my microplane grater!


Shortbread Shells

Prepare 36 miniature muffin tins (about 5 cm) with baking spray or butter, set aside. Preheat oven at 170 degrees celcius.

Cream butter and sugar until pale and all incorporated, beat in the vanilla extract. Mix the flour, salt using your hand until dough forms a ball, do not knead the dough.

Divide the dough evenly into 36 balls, place them in the muffin tins. Using your thumb press into each ball to create an indentation in the centre, work up the sides of the tin. Once done, place the unbaked shells in the freezer for 10 minutes to rest and firm! I also poked the centre shells using a fork, to prevent them from puffing up. Bake for about 20 minutes or until lightly golden colour.

Cream Cheese Filling

Beat the cream cheese until fluffy, add the condensed milk, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla, process until smooth, set aside to cool.

To serve: I piped the filling into the shells and top it off with cut fresh fruits, I chose a mixture of sweet and sour combination...and wulla, there you go!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

An afternoon in Seksyen 9, Bangi

On Wednesday night last week and on the way home from work, I decided to visit the dentist to get rid of one of my tooth that has been giving me agonising pain for the past 2 years. The dentist allowed me to be on medical leave the next day. So, I decided to visit my gynae, which was long overdue and allowed him top do the necessary procedures which were also long overdue!!
The wound in my mouth was still raw and painful, but I decided that since it was my off day, I was going to Sugarflours (you can read about Sugarflours at here : in Bangi. I fetched Khadijah from school, and off we went....
I was not very familiar with the area, so I had to make many turns until we spotted Vanilla Pastri and Yumie (you can get read about Vanilla Pastri and Yumie in one of Wiz's posting at here: We also spotted Bangi Kopitiam.
The first time we went to Bangi Kopitiam was when it was first opened, in fact we were approached by one of the owners to join their venture, I turned it down due to some reasons. Khadijah had Tomyam Beehoon and Roti Bakar, whilst I had Iced Lemon...sakit gigi tak selera nak makan!! Anyway, we spotted some pictures taken at my house that decorated the wall of the kedai.... These were taken in front on my house, my FIL reading newspaper and sipping kopi, yes, the kopi that is served in Bangi Kopitiam...we had a food tasting session at my house that day!
This is a picture of Umar (left), Ibraheem (middle) and one of the owner's son, taken in my open air kitchen where my cooking hiatus takes place everyday!
Khadijah's Teh Ais and my Air Limau.
And, believe it or not, Sugarflours is just next to Bangi Kopitiam, well, the other end of the same block...dejavu!!! What is this suppose to mean to me??? Am still pondering and putting things together to complete the picture that has been playing up here all this while.....
Khadijah at the entrance of Sugarflours. Actually this trip was also a date with my sifu Wiz, that had been planned many months before!
Looking at the shop alone made me fell in love with Sugarflours. It is "cute" and reminds me of the little speciality shops in quaint Aberystwyth, where I studied before. In fact, like I always say that this world is small, one of the owners of the shop is my fellow college mate's sister Watie, in Aber! I did not meet Watie but I was greeted with warm hospitality by Lisa whom you would fall in love immediately once you speak to her! So sweet...
Sugarflours had almost all the cutters, tools and colours that I have been eying on the net! My my, had Wiz not been there, I would have borong-ed all the cutters and tools...after I gadai my ring that is!! Now, i have to save up to enroll in their PME courses! Yes!
Some of dummy cakes on display....
Cutters and tools...oh I had to choose...wish I could have them all...
Inside the shop!
Fariz, Watie's brother studied law with me!
Hmm, you can tell that all these really liven up my days, especially lately....

Monday, 2 November 2009

Happy Anniversary Kak Jee!

Kak Jee said the bears resemble Muhammad, chubby ;)
At home and due to the call of responsibility as a wife and mother, I cook for my family. But outside, it is Kak Jee whom I usually turn to for my makan. Kak Jee makes nasi goreng kampung and kueh teow goreng just the way I like it, her husband knows my style of Nescafe' either black or white! My children loves her nasi lemak bungkus, sekali beli 10 bungkus sometimes are not enough! Kak Jee was a comedian, actress, journalist, now she does script writing while sitting on her kerusi malas when she is not preparing dishes for her regulars!
So, it was Kak Jee's anniversary last Saturday, 9 years with the present husband. She had requested for a carrot cake, I threw in the toppers to liven up the mood....thanks Kak Jee for the order!

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