Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Dark Chocolate Banana Fudge Cake

Moist and dense with a deliciously crusty top, this easy-peasy fudgey concoction features not only the classic pairing of chocolate and banana, but the added rustic bite of roughly chopped nuts.

If you prefer making it in brownie form, feel free to double the recipe and use a larger rectangular pan. Yummy served slightly warm on its own, or with a scoop of ice cream.

Dark Chocolate and Banana Fudge Cake
Makes a small 8" round cake

Melt together and let cool:
100g dark chocolate, chopped
100g butter
150g sugar

*I do this by microwaving at 20 second intervals, stirring in between- feel free to use the more traditional bain-marie/double boiler method if you prefer.

Stir in:
2 small eggs (or 1 large egg), beaten
1 ripe banana, mashed
A handful of nuts, roughly chopped (I like walnuts/pecans but use whatever you like)

Sift and fold in:
50g self-raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cocoa powder

Pour into an 8" round cake tin lined with greaseproof paper and bake at 160C fan-assisted (180C without) for about 30 mins or until firm.

Let cool until slightly warm before slicing.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Spiral Curry Puffs (Epok-Epok/Karipap Pusing)

SAM TAN'S KITCHEN HAS MOVED! Please visit the new website/online store at www.samtanskitchen.com. You can also follow Sam on InstagramFacebook and Twitter. Thank you!

Crispy and golden on the outside with a spicy savoury potato filling, this scrumptious Malaysian snack is sort of a cross between a samosa and an empanada and is usually found sold freshly fried at roadside stalls. Some versions don't bother with the spiral crust, but I can assure you it adds a delectable flaky crunch that completely elevates this traditional teatime treat to another level.

The recipe below is easy though a little tedious with the multiple steps, but creates a pastry that stays crispy even when the puffs have cooled down. Form them as large or small as required- they also freeze well, so make ahead of time and fry straight from frozen when needed.

Spiral Curry Puffs (Epok-Epok/Karipap Pusing)
Makes about 30 small puffs

Firstly, The Two Doughs You Need For Spiralling

  • Water dough
Combine and knead with your fingers until soft, pliable and non-sticky (or if you prefer, use a dough hook attachment on an electric mixer like I did, then finish off by hand):
300g flour
½ tsp salt
½ cup lukewarm water
1 small beaten egg
1 tbsp of oil

Divide and roll into two equal balls, then cover (otherwise it will dry out) and leave to rest for 30 mins.
  • Grease dough
Knead 75g softened butter into 150g flour until shiny and smooth (I used to do the shortcrust pastry thing by cutting in cold butter cubes, but I've discovered room temperature butter actually works much better!). Divide and roll into two equal balls.
Water dough on the left, grease dough on the right

Next, The Potato Curry Filling

Finely chop and saute over medium heat until fragrant:
1 large onion
2 garlic cloves
2 dried chillies, soaked (omit if you don't want it spicy)

2 tbsp good curry powder (I like Baba's)
2-3 large potatoes, cut into small cubes
Salt and sugar to taste
About 1 cup water
Optional: a sprinkling of curry leaves if you have it

Simmer, stirring occasionally until all moisture is absorbed and potatoes are tender. Leave to cool thoroughly before using.

Assembling the Curry Puffs: A Step-by-Step Picture Guide

Enclose one ball of grease dough neatly in a ball of water dough.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out into a very thin oval with a rolling pin,
then roll up tightly from one end to the other like a Swiss roll.
Turn the rolled up tube 90 degrees (so one end faces you) and repeat the previous step- flatten it thinly again lengthwise into a long oval , then roll up tightly like a Swiss roll.

With a sharp knife, slice into 1cm discs (or thicker if making larger puffs).
The spiral layers should be clearly visible.

Flatten each disc into a thin circle with a rolling pin (as thin as
you can get it without the layers splitting apart).

Place the rolled out pastry onto a curry puff mould (or use your palm if you don't have one).
Fill with just enough potato curry in the middle- not too much or it will burst!

Fold the mould over carefully to enclose, peeling off any excess pastry from the sides.
If you prefer to crimp manually, pinch the edges flat and fold in at
a 45 degree angle to form a rope as pictured.

The assembled curry puffs- one manually crimped, one made with a mould behind it

Deep fry in hot oil over medium-high heat, tossing continuously until golden brown.
Remove with a pair of wooden chopsticks or a slotted spoon, shake off excess oil
and drain on kitchen towels before serving.