Food. Lifestyle. Love

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Rhubarb and Strawberry Crumble Pie - Recipe & Ramadan Mubarak

I had conversation with my sister before about the things that she wanted to eat, things that not common in Malaysia and pretty hard to get our hands on - fennel (the bulb), radish (the European radishes - Raphanus sativus), rhubarb, and many more. I was not that interested before, not until I have seen them fresh and aplenty at the Wageningen market. I'm curios how these common temperate climate vegetables/fruits taste like. Asking my hubby who is not into culinary doesn't help either even though he grew up eating them. So each week I'm planning to buy these 'uncommon' (uncommon for me who grew up in a tropical country that is) vegetables/fruits and experimenting them at our kitchen.

There were many rhubarbs at the market today, which were sold pretty cheap. Looking at them reminds me of celery, but they are from different family. My hubby warned me the sour taste of rhubarb, and I told him I'm going to make pie out of it mix with strawberries. He was keen with the idea, as long he is not helping me out with making the pie (geez thanks).

I had not prepared my favorite pie dough beforehand (which you guys can get the recipe from Majalah Rasa July issue which I had written), so making crumble pie is the next best thing (or even better).

A bunch of rhubarb - cut into 3 cm long
250 gm strawberries - cut into quarter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 tablespoons of castor sugar
A dash of cinnamon powder and nutmeg
1 tablespoon of corn flour

1 cup flour
2 tablespoons castor sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
6 tablespoon cold unsalted butter - cut into small pieces 
A dash of salt

1. Place the rhubarb, lemon juice and sugar  in a deep dish (I used square 8' x 8') and cover the dish with foil and bake at 180 °C until the rhubarb is tender. 
2. While waiting prepare the topping - mix everything in a large bowl (or you can use food processor) and mix until the dough becomes sandy (or crumbly). Place the dough in the fridge while waiting for the rhubarb to cook.
3. After the rhubarb becomes tender, mix with strawberries and corn flour and cover the filling with the topping and bake for 30 - 40 minutes or until the crust becomes golden brown. Serve with powdered sugar and whipped cream. 

As for the experience goes, the pie was good, but I had to put lots of powdered sugar to complement with the sour taste haha. I should have put more sugar in the pie, but then again I like the fact that I can control the sweetness by using the powdered sugar. As for my hubby, he said he likes it and can't imagine he would have eaten rhubarb again after all this year.

Owh, have a great and wonderful Ramadan. Ramadan will be a challenge for those living at the Northern hemisphere so hope we can go through it :)

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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Recipe: Vegetarian lemon tea cake with berry sauce

The unstable weather in Wageningen drives me crazy sometimes. Davis has unpredictable weather too, but only in few seasons (and not all four of them). I can experience all hot, cold, sunny, cloudy, windy and rainy weather in one day here in Wageningen. Looking at the weather forecast website is an hourly routine, and it is my new best friend. Good thing I have bought new rain jacket so I can bike to the campus without being irritated when it suddenly rain (maybe haha).

On a good note, the crazy weather is the only thing that I don't like about Wageningen so far, the rest is awesome! People are friendly - strangers greet me whenever I pass by them, sometimes they even greet me in Bahasa which I find adorable.The nature is so pretty, and this place is calm and peaceful. Fresh produce is a lot, and you can even buy it for cheap.

Owh talking about local produce, I was going gaga over the fruits sold at the market. Lots of summer fruits and I can't help buying many varieties. We bought 2 kg of fresh cherries last week, and was planning to make cherry pie but had to change my plan as 'dear' hubby ate 1.8 kg of them (literally!) *speechless* -_-!!! We didn't buy any cherries this week though but I managed to grab few berries for my own use.

I baked vegetarian lemon tea cake as I wanted something refreshing, and lemon goes well with blueberries, or even with other berries. I have a lot of Greek yogurt left so I used that to make delicious and moist vegetarian cake. The recipe below is something that I created myself, it might not be perfect but I find the cake to be not that sweet (just the way I like it), has light flavor, moist and taste delicious. A perfect tea cake to serve to quests plus easy to prepare :D

Vegetarian Lemon Tea Cake with Berry Sauce (Click to print the recipe)

Vegetarian Lemon Tea Cake 

125 gm unsalted butter
4 tablespoon castor sugar (you can add more if you want)
200 ml Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup flour (cake flour is better)
2 teaspoon baking powder
100 ml corn oil
Finely grated  zest of 1 lemon (you can add/reduce this if you want)

Berry Sauce (Serving: Two people)

7 large strawberries, cut into quarters
15 pieces blueberries
1/2 tablespoon sugar (or more)
1 cup water
A dash of salt
A dash of nutmeg

For serving: 1 cup whipping cream - beat until fluffy (I don't like to put sugar in my whipping cream, you can do that if you want it to be sweeter)


1. Preheat oven to 180°C
2. Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl until fluffy. Add Greek yogurt and vanilla extract and mix until combine. Put flour, baking powder in the mixture and mix, add oil and lemon zest and continue beating for one more minute until everything is combined. Pour the batter in 8' x 8' square pan and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool off the cake to room temperature.
3. To make the sauce: Combine everything in a medium pot on a medium to high heat, mash the berries using potato masher and cook until the sauce is thicken (you can add or reduce the water if you want, and you can also add corn flour to thicken up the sauce).
4. To serve: Cut the cake into square pieces, serves with berry sauce and whipped cream and garnish with fresh berries. This cake is delicious serving warm or cold.

p.s: Sugar in Europe is less sweet than the one in Malaysia, so I advice you to reduce the amount of sugar if you follow this recipe and adding more little by little if you want it to be sweeter. 

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Sunday, 15 June 2014

Recipe: Black and white pudding

It's been almost two weeks since I came to Netherlands. It's a beautiful country and I can't stop saying pretty since the day I arrived. Wageningen is a small and pretty city, it reminds me a lot of Davis (maybe it's prettier here haha). Our apartment is surrounded by parks and nature and we enjoy walking to the arboretums nearby. The campus is small, and I like the fact that my office, lab and greenhouse is all at one place. The idea of cycling from one end to another is not really fun. Albeit Netherlands is known for its flat land, this place is a little bit hilly and cycling from campus to home can be quite challenging for me.

Grocery shopping is awesome as the market has fresh local produce, even finding fresh halal meat is easy. Baking supplies on the other hand is another story. It's pretty hard to find few ingredients  here (baking soda and cream of tartar for example), not to mention the price is not compatible with my wallet. I will buy the baking stuff one by one, and yeah seems like I have to buy most of the things online (read: 'cheaper').

I haven't tried much of the local sweets, but the honey and nut cake from one of the local bakeries is yummy! I was searching for the recipe but couldn't get my hand on it. Seems like it's their very own special recipe. Owh well, maybe I can try making something similar later. Stroopwafel is to die for. I know few people don't like it because of the sweet caramel filing, but the cookies taste great when you complement it with coffee and tea (without sugar please!).

Anyway, there was a Malaysians get-together few days ago for sunset viewing and watching football match of Netherlands vs Spain (wasn't it such a great match! haha), and I prepared simple pudding which I find awesome. It's a combination of chocolate and vanilla pudding and I put chocolate ganache and stroopkoeken (a butter cookies version of stroopwafel) for extra flavor. You can use other cookies if you want, but I find having the cookies gave that extra crunch to the pudding. Owh yeah, this is American+British pudding thus the texture is different than Malaysian type of pudding.

Black and White Pudding (makes 12 -16 pudding in ramekins)

Chocolate pudding (recipe source from Nigella with few modification)

    100 grams dark chocolate (I used IKEA's dark chocolate)
    100 grams unsalted butter
    4 tablespoons of caster sugar (you can use more if you want, I love my desserts less sweet)
    4 large eggs
    50 grams plain flour
    ¼ teaspoon baking powder
    1 pinch of salt

2-1/2 cups milk, divided
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons of caster sugar (you can add more if you want)
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

For filling and chocolate ganache

12-16 stroopkoeken (or you can use other butter cookies)
180 gm dark chocolate (I used IKEA's dark chocolate)
200 gm cream (I used 30% cream)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Break up the chocolate and melt it with the butter in a bowl in the microwave or in a double boiler. Once it's melted, sit the bowl on a cold surface so that the chocolate cools.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale and moussy, then gently fold in the flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  4. Fold in the slightly cooled chocolate and butter mixture and then put 1/3 in each ramekin and bake for 20-25 minutes. While waiting for the chocolate pudding to be cooked, prepared the vanilla pudding.
  5. Place 2 cups milk and salt in a saucepan. Sprinkle sugar on milk and do not stir; heat over medium-high. Quickly combine cornstarch with remaining milk and mix well. When milk comes to a full boil, remove saucepan from the heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Pudding will begin to thicken. Return to the heat and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla and butter. 
  6. To make chocolate ganache, break chocolate in small pieces and put it in a bowl with cream and  microwave or double boiler until the chocolate melts. 
  7. To assemble: take out the chocolate pudding from the oven, put stroopkoeken on top of it and cover with vanilla pudding. Let's everything cool and set, and put chocolate ganache on top of the vanilla pudding. You have to make sure the vanilla pudding is set or it will mix with the ganache. 
  8. Put it in the fridge and let it cool for 2 hours or overnight. Garnish with raspberries or anything you desire.

The sour taste of raspberries complements well with dark chocolate. 

Hope you guys love this recipe! 
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