Jun 10, 2021

Two-Color Madeleines 雙色瑪德蓮

There were a few madeleine recipes from my blog before. However, most of them, the images are now broken and showing blank right now, which I will explain why in the end of this post. The madeleines I've made before were more of a simple approach. Meaning that I mix the dry ingredients with wet ingredients, with no waiting time, simply pour the batter to the mold then bake right away.

This time, I'm going to try something that requires a bit more patience, with extra waiting time for the batter to rest, and see if it'll make any significant difference in texture and consistency.

Two-color madeleines - 





Ingredients (about 12 pieces)?
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder

Simple honey glaze:
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon drinkable water


How?

Remove the eggs from the fridge and use it when they warm up to room temperature. Melt the butter in a lowered heat oven, just to the point it resembles melted ice cream consistency.

Sift 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt to a bowl. Whisk till blended.

Prepare a stand mixer with whisk attachment. Simply use the big bowl attached, break in two room temperature eggs. Whisk under medium speed and slowly add in 1/2 cup of granulated sugar, a little bit at a time.

Switch to higher speed and whisk till doubled in volume. It can take few minutes.



Take out the bowl and mix in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Also pour in sifted flour mixture, half at a time. Fold with a spatula till incorporated. 



Evenly divide the batter in half to separate bowls. Leave one batter as it is. As for the other batter, sift in 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and mix till incorporated. Cover both bowls with cling foil and let them rest in room temperature for about 30 minutes.



Back to the melted butter, save about 2 tablespoons on the side, which will be used in brushing the madeleine pan.

For the remaining butter, evenly divide that to each batter. It might seem too buttery or too wet in the beginning. Just go ahead and mix till smooth, the batter will start to take in or more so absorb the liquid butter. Covered with cling foil and let both batter rest again for another 30 minutes.



Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius. Prepare two small Ziploc bags, scoop each batter to each bag. Seal and made a small cut on the corner as our piping bags. Simply use piping bags if available.

Brush the madeleine pan with saved melted butter. Carefully fill the mold with half of the plain batter and half of the chocolate batter. I tend to overfill the space, but the madeleines will turn out fine still. Tap the pan, like dropping the pan down to the countertop to help even out the batter. Do that a few times.



Into the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or till the edge turns slightly golden brown. You can also check by sticking a toothpick to the center and see if it comes out clean. But usually if the edges start to brown, the madeleines should be ready, judging from my past experiences.

Remove the madeleine pan from heat and let it cool for couple minutes. 



Remove the madeleines from the mold to a cooling rack.



You can serve as it is, or brush the top with some simple honey glaze. The glaze can be done in no time by mixing 1 tablespoon of honey with 1 teaspoon of drinkable water, a few drops if you prefer a thicker glaze consistency. Brush the glaze on madeleines. Wait till the glaze sets then ready to serve.



I personally enjoy the chocolate side even more, so when I eat these madeleines, I tend to bite the plain part first then savor the chocolate flavor in the end. Guess I'll just have to make full on double chocolate madeleines in the future and write a recipe about it.



About the extra waiting time, I think it was well worth the wait. This batch of madeleines was slightly more moisturized then the ones I've made before. Also a wee bit more buttery in taste too. However, it does require some extra work instead of my old blend and bake method. Give and take, if the madeleines are going to be dipped or covered in extra sauce, go with the easier route. If you would like to enjoy the madeleines without much "decors" on top, perhaps give this "waiting method" a try and find out which one you prefer the most?


By the way, I was checking through some of the older posts and found out that all the images were broken, like they are not showing at all. The reason is that I used Photobucket for my earlier blog images, but their service has become extremely unreliable these past few years. Besides reliability, the storage fee has gone up to a point that I think it's totally not worth the money for the service I get. 

Even though I don't like finding any broken images on my blog, but since most of these posts were from at least a year ago, I've decided just say goodbye to Photobucket once and for all. I've got (hopefully) better recipes and reviews nowadays. So the old entries, should just let it go instead of paying again for worse than mediocre image hosting service just for my pictures to show again. Imgur, another image hosting platform, works like a charm on the other hand.


Other western dessert recipes (with photos not yet jeopardized by Photobucket):

Jun 7, 2021

Spicy Mahi Mahi with Asian Seasonings 麻辣鬼頭刀魚塊

I've always enjoyed a nice piece of mahi mahi fillet back in the states. Mahi mahi's somewhat firm and lean texture makes it a great candidate for heavy seasonings, which I adore. Here in Taiwan, mahi mahi are usually sold in smaller chunks instead of a big fillet, but still hearty and boneless. 

So this time, instead of simply searing the fish or my favorite may, blackened mahi mahi, I'm going to use smaller chunky pieces of mahi mahi and turn that into a well-flavored Asian dish, with a kick from the chilies too.


Spicy mahi mahi with Asian seasonings 麻辣鬼頭刀魚塊 -




Ingredients?

  • 300 grams mahi mahi 
  • 6 dried red chilies
  • 1 fresh red chili
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 slices ginger
  • 1 stalk scallion
  • 1 teaspoon aged Chinese Shaoxing wine
  • Some olive oil or preferred cooking oil
  • Some corn starch

Simple marinade -

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 egg white
  • Some white pepper powder 

Sauce - 

  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar


How?

Cut the mahi mahi into large bite size chunks. Massage the fish pieces with all the simple marinade ingredients, including 1/8 teaspoon of salt, some egg white, and a tiny pinch of white pepper powder. Set aside and marinate while preparing other ingredients.



Mix together all the ingredients under the sauce section. Stir and set aside for later use.

 

Peel and slice the garlic cloves. Peel and slice the ginger. Destem the fresh red chili and slice it diagonally. Destem and section the scallion, but do save some green parts for a fine chop. The chopped scallion will use as a garnish sprinkle on top in the end. 


Prepare a small bowl fill with some corn starch. The fish should be marinated for about 10 minutes by now. Dip the fish chunks and make sure to evenly coat all sides with corn starch. Separate the fish pieces and set aside for later use.



Use a non-stick pan, drizzle some oil to coat the bottom, but do a bit more than usual amount. I used 3 tablespoons here. Turn to medium high heat. Once the oil warms up, add in corn starch coated fish chunks one by one. Sear till both sides turn slightly golden color, scoop out and set aside first.



Continue to use the same pan, also use a kitchen towel to wipe out excess oil if needed. Only leave enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan.


Turn to medium high heat. Add in ginger slices and scallion sections. Sear for about 30 seconds.


Add in dried red chilies, fresh chilies, and garlic. Mix and cook for 30 seconds. Pour in some aged Chinese Shaoxing wine, let the heat to further release its aroma. Cook for another 30 seconds.



Mix the sauce again before pouring to the pan. Also transfer seared fish back to the pan. Give it a few tosses to help the sauce cling on the fish. 



Cook till slightly thickens, plate, and garnish with some chopped scallion on top.



The actual cooking process is pretty quick. Most of the steps only require about 30 seconds, which can be even faster if you can maneuver your way in the kitchen quick enough under very high heat. You'll either get that great wok hei or burnt mess in the end, want to test out your skills?



That's why I usually only put "medium high" heat for my blog recipes. It takes quick hands and experience to fully control such high fire power in the kitchen. So the safest way, and without much sacrifice on the taste, is by toning down to medium high heat instead.  


Extended reading:


Jun 1, 2021

Cilantro and Lime Basmati Rice

What do you usually serve with a big protein meal? Perhaps steamed or roasted veggies? What about something for carbs? Instead of the usual potatoes, let's try this basmati rice with a little aroma boost.


Cilantro and lime basmati rice -




Ingredients (about 5 portions)?

  • 2 measuring cups basmati rice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lime or lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
  • 1 big bundle cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups water 


How?

Peel and fine chop the garlic cloves. Fine chop the cilantro, including the stems. Aim for about a total of 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves and stems. Zest the lime or lemon first then squeeze the juice after.



Take a large pot, drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to evenly coat the bottom. Turn to medium high heat. Once the oil warms up, add in basmati rice and give it a few stir to evenly coat each grain with oil. The grains will turn solid white color in the beginning then starts to brown soon after. Continue to cook the rice till slightly browned. 



Add in chopped garlic. Stir and cook for another minute.



Pour in 3 cups of water along with 1 teaspoon of salt and all the lime/lemon zest. Bring the whole thing to a boil then lower the heat. Cover with lid and let it cook for about 15 minutes.



Remove the pot from heat but still remain covered. Let it rest for another 10 minutes. Once ready, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork.



Mix in half of the lime or lemon juice along with all the chopped cilantro. Fluff and gently blend the basmati rice with these two ingredients. Taste and see if sour enough for your taste, pour in the other half of lime or lemon juice if needed. Fluff till incorporated then serve while still warm.



I especially love having cilantro and lime basmati rice alongside some grilled meat. That tiny touch of citrusy aroma does a good job balancing off the fats and grease from the meat. On top of that, I simply enjoy having my protein with rice.


In fact, for this batch of cilantro and lime rice, I seared up some steak and serve the rice as one full combo.



By the way, once you put on the lid when cooking the rice, please, please do resist any curiosity and not to take a peek inside, otherwise the heat will escape and I can't guarantee what would happen to the final result in the end. Just have some faith and treat it like a surprise in the end. It'll be good as long as you followed the amount of ingredients listed.


Other rice recipes: