Sally Lunn Muffin

Better to eat bread in peace, then cake amid turmoil.
~ Slovak Proverb

Hi Rosy, this blog is for you!

Rosy blogged on making Sally Lunn’s Muffin here. Her pictures looked so nice that Ben asked that I try to make it using her recipe. Her muffins looks better — tall, nice and even have a blop on the top.

Sally Lunn’s muffins are bread said to have originated from Bath, England. There is actually a museum in Bath that is said to have been the home of Sally Lunn. If you want to find out more, here is their website.

This is what mine looks like. Kind of burned on the sides and also flat. Arkensen’s friend, Henry, pop over and had the muffins — he likes it very much. My own boys just took it for granted. Grrr …

So Rosy, where did I go wrong?

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup light cream (half & half)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (whipping cream)
  • 3 eggs, beaten

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Char Siu Bao (Part 2 of 2)

Even the best cooking pot will not produce food.
~ African Proverb

I am back with Part 2. This is where I use the filling made in my previous blog to make the buns. Sally commented in my first blog that she prefers the baked type. Oh yeah, that brings a point that there are two types of char sui bao (or char siu pau) — steamed and baked. The steamed ones like those shown below are the more common ones.

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Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon shortening
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 pkg active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1 cup warm water

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Char Siu Bao (Part 1 of 2)

To hit a dog with a meat-bun.
~ Chinese proverb

Here it is, the Char Siu Bao recipe as promised in our Xiao Long Bau blog. Char Siu Bao is translated as BBQ Pork Bun. The word Char Siu is cantonese for BBQ Pork. You can either buy the char siu from chinese restaurants or chinese BBQ meat shops. Alternatively, you can make it your own. It is not difficult and I have briefly blogged on how to make this in the Char Siu Wanton Noodle Soup blog.

In this first part of my blog on Char Siu Bao, I will focus on making the char siu filling. I normally prepare the filling in the morning. This is because the filling has to be chilled in the refrigerator for at least 2 hrs before making the Char Siu Bao. This will firm up the filling for easy handling. You got to try this one out because I am 101% sure that everyone in your family will love this.

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Char Siu Filling

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster-flavoured sauce
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or canned chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 lb (about 2 cups) diced Char Siu

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Egg Florentine Version 1.0

A chicken is hatched even from such a well-sealed thing as an egg.
~ Chinese Proverb

LOL! Believe it or not, but I have never seen Egg Florentine in real life before, let alone eat it or make it. But the name sounds fancy and I have seen some nice pictures of it. So, I gave it a try … trying to follow the recipe closely. This is how mine turns out!!

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Is this right? Honestly, tell me. It sure did not closely resemble some of the images I googled.

It looks terrible but does taste quite OK — trust me, the boys told me so. If you let me know where I went wrong, I’ll try again and post my Eggs Florentine version 2.0.

Ingredients

  • 9 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 4 eggs, soft-boiled
  • 1 oz. butter
  • 1 oz. plain flour (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk or cream
  • 6 oz. cheddar cheese, grated (1 cup)
  • Salt and pepper

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Pearl Balls

A pearl is worthless as long as it is in its shell.
~ Native American Proverb

Here is the other dish that Winnie showed us how to make in our cooking class this week. She called it the Pearl Ball, which is basically meat ball wrapped in glutinous rice. The dish derives it’s name from the translucent appearance of the glutinous rice in a ball shape.

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Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb fish paste
  • 2 tablespoons dry shrimp, soaked and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced carrot
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shiitake mushroom
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped scallion
  • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup glutinous rice, soaked in cold water for at least an hour

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Bean Curd Rolls

Paper can’t wrap up a fire.
~ Chinese Proverb

Today, Winnie showed us how to make Bean Curd Roll in the cooking club. The Bean Curd Roll can be eaten hot from the steamer or deep fried.

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Ingredients

The Pork Mixture/Fillings

  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup carrot, finely diced
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, finely diced
  • 1 cup black wood ear, soaked and finely diced
  • 2 tablespoon five spice powder
  • 2.5 tablespoon chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Maggi seasoning sauce
  • 1 teaspoon spice salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet potato starch

The Wrappings

  • 2 pieces bean curd skin
  • 1 cup chopped scallions

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Sweet Soy Pudding (Tou Foo Fa)

Tou Foo Fa or Douhua (in Mandarin), is a soft and tofu dessert. Tou Foo Fa is made by coagulating soy milk into curds. Tou Foo Fa is usually served warm in sweet syrup but many people also like it chilled.

When I grew up in Malaysia, it was a very common hawker food where the vendors walk from house to house screaming “Tou — Fooo — Faaa — Tou — Jeong — Sui”. We look forward to this which they usual come around in the afternoon. These days no one sells it this way anymore. It was quite common that this pudding is made in a big wooden barrel.

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In Canada, you may find Tou Foo Fa only in specialty tofu stores. However, the more common soy milk can be found in many groceries stores like Safeway, the Superstore, and Save-On-Food. I learned how to make Tou Foo Fa from soymilk from a friend in a home bible study group and have since made Tou Foo Fa for the family. Arkensen is a great fan of Tou Foo Fa. He enjoys it cold.

The biggest challenge in making Tou Foo Fa is that almost all steps must be followed correctly or else it would turn out too watery. Tou Foo Fa is supposed to be soft and smooth like puddings.

Ingredients
  • 1 litre of sweetened soy milk
  • 1.5 teaspoons of gypsum powder (熟石膏粉)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of hot water

The above ingredients is sufficient to make servings for four.

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Rice Krispies Squares

A good breakfast cannot take the place of the evening meal.
~ Chinese Proverb

This week, Nanzaro wanted to make something for his brother’s birthday party and decided to make Rice Krispies Squares for him. We bought some “Christmas Special” package of Rice Krispies which comes with red and green rice krispies last Christmas and did not use it until now. Anyway, it makes very pretty Rice Krispies Squares, much better than the single brownish rice krispies.

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Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 250g package regular marshmallows
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

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Frosted Cupcakes

Words are sweet but they can never replace food.
~ Nigerian Proverb

Arkensen’s birthday coincidentally fell on spring break. He invited a few friends over to celebrate his birthday with him. So, instead of buying a cake from the bakery as we normally do in the past, I baked him some cupcakes instead. Cupcakes go very well with kids celebration like birthday parties or classroom celebrations. Because they are baked in a paper cup container, they do not require plates or utensils for serving — no dishes to wash!

BTW, do you know that cupcake is also known as fairy cake?

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Ingredients
  • 2.5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola or corn oil
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream

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