Thursday, December 18, 2014

Winners of Giveaway

Three lucky winners are drawn for the Christmas and New Year Cookbook Giveaway sponsored by Tuttle Publishing Company:

1) Sushma P
2) Alex Hui
3) Christine Lui

Congratulations ! Please send me ( your mailing address. If I do not receive your address within 48 hours, you will be replaced by another participant.

Merry Christmas to all of you !

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sriracha Honey Popcorn 是拉差爆谷

The popularity of this hot sauce is quite the phenomenon. There are not a lot of products that only rely on word of mouth and reach such a level of success. People who love Sriracha put it in almost everything they eat. There are even Sriracha mayonnaise and ketchup in the market.

So when I was flipping through the pages of a new cookbook named The Kitchn (without an "e"), this recipe for Sriracha popcorn caught my eyes.

According to some statistics, America is the country consuming the most popcorn in the world. This particular recipe makes crunchy, sweet and spicy popcorn--the perfect companion while watching TV or movies.

If you have a hot air popcorn maker, making this treat is a breeze. Pop the kernels, pour the sauce on and bake. Follow the instructions below if you don't have one.

Recipe modified from: The Kitchn Cookbook by Sarah Kate Gillingham & Faith Durand. I reduced the amount of butter used from 1½ to 1¼ stick.




食譜參考:The Kitchn Cookbook


½ cup unpopped corn kernels 爆谷,未爆
1 tbsp vegetable oil 菜油

Warm a few corn kernels with the oil in a 4 quart or larger pot over medium heat. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels. Shake to coat with oil. Put the lid on and let the kernels pop. Remove from heat when you hear the popping stop. Empty the popped corns into a large mixing bowl.


141g/1¼ stick unsalted butter 無鹽牛油
¾ cup/254g honey 蜜糖
1-2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce 是拉差辣醬
1 tsp kosher salt 鹽
1 tsp vanilla extract 雲呢哪香油
¼ tsp baking soda 梳打粉

1) Preheat oven to 250°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
2) Put butter into a 2 quart pot and melt over medium heat.
3) Add the honey and let it come to a rolling boil for 4 minutes. Adjust the heat so that it does not boil over. Keep stirring continuously when it boils.

4) Remove from heat and add Sriracha, salt, vanilla extract and baking soda. The sauce will bubble and foam after the addition of baking soda. Stir well.

5) Pour the hot sauce onto the popped kernels and mix well to coat evenly.

6) Spread them evenly in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheets.

7) Bake both sheets in the oven for an hour. Stir and rotate the sheets every 15 minutes.
8) Let them cool completely. Serve the same day or store in an airtight container for about a week at room temperature.

1) Use a pot large enough to make the sauce because it will expand while bubbling and foaming.
2) Adjust the amount of hot sauce to your taste. The original recipe calls for 2 tbsp for mild and 3 for spicy. My tongue can only take 1½. Other brands of hot sauce can be used.
3) For people with more of a sweet tooth, increase the amount of honey to 1 cup.

1) 預熱焗爐至250度,將兩個焗盤鋪上焗爐紙。
2) 將牛油放鍋內加熱至溶。
3) 加入蜜糖,滾四分鐘,其間要攪勻及調校火力,以免滾翻。
4) 熄火後加入是拉差、鹽、香油及梳打粉。
5) 立刻將醬汁倒入已爆的爆谷內,攪勻。
6) 將爆谷倒入兩個焗盤上,鋪平。
7) 放焗爐焗一小時,每十五分鐘翻動一次。
8) 待完全冷後便可享用,或密封可保存約一週。

1) 煮醬汁用的鍋要夠大,以防滾翻。
2) 是拉差份量要自行調教,原食譜中辣用兩湯匙,大辣用三湯匙,我用了一湯匙半。其他牌子辣椒醬也可以用。
3) 想甜一點的可用一杯蜜糖。

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Christmas and New Year Cookbook Giveaway 食譜免費送贈活動

I should say this giveaway is killing two birds with one stone. The holidays are approaching, making it a great time for a giveaway. This event is also a way to reward my readers who have been so supportive in following my blog. I was so busy lately that I forgot to celebrate my blog's fourth anniversary.

What have I been busy with? Here are some pictures (visit my facebook page for more):

During the last week of November I was honored to cater a wedding with over 200 guests. It was a great challenge and I am thankful that it went well with very good responses from the hosts and guests.

To celebrate the holidays and my blog's fourth anniversary, I am giving away Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low and The Ancient Art of Tea by Warren Peltier, courtesy of Tuttle Publishing Company. Three winners will be chosen to receive one copy of each book.

1) Easy Chinese Recipes by Bee Yinn Low. Bee is also a Southern California blogger ( This cookbook has a lot of easy-to-follow recipes and many tips for novices in making Chinese food.

2) The Ancient Art of Tea by Warren Peltier (Chinese name: 夏雲峰) Mr. Peltier is an expert on tea. He spent years in China studying the history and culture of tea. In the book, he will show you how to brew an amazing cup of tea. 

For more information on the books, click on the links.

Instructions for the giveaways:
1) Like my blog page on Facebook (skip if you already did)
2) Follow my blog either by directly subscribing or signing up for updates by email (skip if you already did)
3) Comment on this post (with your full name) on what you like about this blog.

Deadline for submission: 12/17/14 midnight PST

I will generate the results on and announce the winners on 12/18/14. There is no geographical limitation. The publisher will send the books to the winners worldwide.

Disclaimer: I am not compensated for reviewing the cookbooks or holding this giveaway. The giveaway is courtesy of Tuttle Publishing Company.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Walnut Cinnamon Swirl Bread 核桃肉桂麵包

I always get excited about learning, no matter if it is new knowledge, technology or, of course, new recipes.

Until recently, I did not know about this kind of bread, called Povitica. It is a Croatian sweet bread. For Croatians, Povitica is a very common gift between friends and families. This culture is very similar to gifting of mooncakes during Mid Autumn Festival for the Chinese.

Although Povitica is similar to cinnamon rolls here in America, it has its own characteristics. The dough needs to be rolled out as thin as possible and it does not need a lengthy second rise as in making regular yeast bread.

And the filling is decadent: lots and lots of ground walnuts with cinnamon and cocoa powder, all of my favorites. Perfect choice for the Holidays.

Please read the recipe and the notes at least once before you begin for best results.

我對於學習新的知識、科技及食譜都十分興奮,今次這款麵包對我而言是完全嶄新的,所以便第一時間與大家分享。它名叫Povitica ,出產於東歐的克羅地亞,當地人在喜慶日子便會互相送贈,與我們中國人在中秋節互送月餅一樣。



Recipe modified from Passionate About Baking

Ingredients to make a 9x5 inch loaf:

Dough 麵團:
280g/2 cups all purpose flour 普通麵粉
120ml/ ½ cup milk 牛奶
43g/3 tbsp sugar 糖
6g/1½ tsp instant yeast 即溶酵母
¾ tsp salt 鹽
1 large egg 大蛋
½ vanilla bean seed, optional 雲呢哪籽
30g/1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened 室溫無鹽牛油

Filling 餡:
280g/ 1¾ cups walnuts, ground 碎核桃
60ml/ ¼ cup milk 牛奶
58g unsalted butter 無鹽牛油
1 egg yolk 蛋黃
½ vanilla bean seed 雲呢哪籽
100g sugar 糖
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 可可粉
1 tsp cinnamon powder 肉桂粉

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer, put all the dough ingredients except salt and butter and mix on low speed until no dry flour is seen.
2) Add salt and knead for about 5 minutes (10 minutes if you are kneading manually). Add butter and knead until incorporated.
3) Put the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise until it doubles in volume.
4) While the dough is fermenting, prepare the filling. Add milk and butter in a small pot and bring to a boil. In a large bowl mix the rest of the filling ingredients. Pour in the hot milk mixture and mix well. You should have a spreadable paste.
5) Lay out a large piece of cloth on a large work surface (I used a large, clean pillow case). Sprinkle flour on it.
6) When the dough is ready, take it out and roll it out on the cloth. Roll it out as thin as possible. When it resists and shrinks back, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and continue. 

7) Spread the filling on the thin dough.
8) Lift up the long side of the cloth and roll up the dough.
9) Oil a loaf pan and put the dough in. Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.

10) While the dough is resting, turn on the oven to 350F.
11) Brush the dough with egg wash (whole egg, beaten). Bake the bread for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300F and bake for 45 minutes.
12) Take the pan out from the oven and onto a rack. Let the bread stay inside the pan to cool for about 30 minutes.

13) Unmold the bread and continue to cool on a rack. Cut into thick slices with a serrated knife. Keep in room temperature for a few days or frozen for longer storage.

1) The dough has to be rolled out as thin as possible and baked immediately after a brief resting time.
2) A long baking time at a lower temperature is used to ensure the dough is properly baked through without browning too much.
3) Let the bread cool inside the pan after baking. The bread is heavy with all the filling. Taking it out while it is still hot may risk breaking it.
4) I strongly recommend using a large cloth for easy rolling of this long dough (over 2 feet).

1) 搓麵團:將麵團材料 (鹽及牛油除外) 混合成團,搓成球狀後加鹽,再用機搓約五分鐘,或手搓約十分鐘。再加牛油搓勻。
2) 蓋上保鮮紙待其發酵至一倍大。
3) 做餡料:牛奶及牛油放小鍋內煲滾,其他材料放大碗內攪勻,將熱牛奶倒入攪勻,待用。
4) 準備一塊大布(我用一個乾淨的大枕頭套),灑上麵粉。
5) 將麵團放布上,按扁後捍平,盡量捍薄。如麵團回縮,便讓它靜待幾分鐘,讓麵筋鬆弛,然後再捍。
7) 平均地塗上餡料。
8) 將布長的一方提起,使麵團卷起。
9) 小心地將卷起的麵團放入已塗油的焗盤。靜待十五分鐘。
10) 預熱焗爐至三百五十度。
11) 塗上蛋液後放入焗爐內焗十五分鐘,然後降低爐溫至三百度,焗多四十五分鐘。
12) 出爐後放架上待凉三十分鐘,之後小心脫盤,繼續放架上待凉,才可切厚片,然後放膠袋封可保存三、四日。如有須要可放冰箱。

1) 麵團要盡量捍薄,卷好後只須靜待十五分鐘後便要入爐,才會做出又薄又多層的效果。
2) 因有很多餡料,所以要用低溫及長時間焗以確保焗得熟及不會焗焦。
3) 焗後切記不要立刻脫盤,這款麵包比沒有餡的重,要待稍冷後才脫盤。
4) 用一塊大布對卷起這超過兩尺長的麵團有很大幫助。

Friday, October 24, 2014

Raspberry Tart with Almond Cream 紅桑子杏仁醬撻

Raspberry is often referred to as the king of berries. It is often used to make all kinds of yummy desserts. When it is paired with the other king of nuts--almond, it makes a superb tart.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Purple Rice Bread 紫米麵包

If you are like me who eat bread on a daily basis, do you get bored with white toast or whole wheat bread? Here is something different: whole grain bread, not only with whole wheat flour, but also with rice.

This is my first time using rice to make bread. I should have made it earlier! It stays soft for 3-4 days in room temperature, just like tong zhong bread.

Purple rice is also called black glutinous rice or sticky black rice. It is one of the fragrant type of rice. Cook it in a rice cooker and cool before adding to the bread dough.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Banana Flavored Roll 香蕉糕

Glutinous rice balls, mochi, Chinese New Year steamed cakes and boba all have something in common. They are comprised of glutinous flour as the major ingredient. It is what gives them their chewy, gummy texture. Banana rolls are also one of these foods which fit the description. But it has a misleading name (just like bo lo bao/pineapple bao without pineapple). Anyhow, how I have missed this glutinous flour roll! Besides Hong Kong Style Waffle and Chinese Steamed Cake, this is my other favorite childhood snack.

It only has a few major ingredients--water, sugar, glutinous flour, and banana flavoring--but the right ratio is important to bring out the best texture. I have been searching and experimenting a long time for a good recipe. Some make it by steaming raw glutinous flour while others use cooked flour to make the roll without further steaming. The following recipe from another blogger has the best texture with the right ratio of glutinous flour, wheat starch, and tapioca flour and it is super easy to make.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Matcha Ice Cream 綠茶雪糕

Summer seems never end in Southern California. Mid Autumn Festival is over but it still has a few weeks before official Fall (Sept 23) arrives. This Asian flavor matcha ice cream is refreshing and full of green tea flavor. It greatly helps to relieve some summer heat.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Godiva's Chocolate Mooncake 巧克力月餅

The Mid Autumn Festival or August Moon Festival is the second most celebrated holiday in Chinese culture. If you live in an area highly populated with Chinese people, there will be some sort of celebration around this time of the year. This holiday, to the Chinese, is like Thanksgiving to Americans; the first thing that pops up in your head when it is mentioned is, most likely, food.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Custard Moon Cake 奶皇月餅

These exquisite moon cakes are created by innovative bakers from Hong Kong. A box of eight reportedly fetches almost HK$500 (~USD$65-70)!! The cake is filled with moist and rich custard with a nice coconut flavor. The recipe is straight forward but it takes some tricks and a lot of practice to create a nice and distinctive look.

I tried different recipes and finally came up with this one with modifications.

這款近年風靡香港的奶皇月餅,身價越來越貴,據報一盒八個要港幣近五百大元 !!


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