Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hueys in the kitchen #1: Power yam cake

It's been almost 1.5 months since I've left corporate, to take a break and also focus on my store
Well life is short and I believe in the below quote, Do it now, sometimes "later" becomes "never" . 

Nothing's gonna change if there's no change. And to prevent myself from being overly obsessed with my store, I've set myself a target to learn one new dish every week.

So in any case I have to go back to corporate, at least I've picked up new skills (:

First up on my list would be Yam cake. I'm more fond of chinese food as compared to western, and thus my choice to kickstart the self-assumed cooking genes with this dish. It's so hard to find quality yam cake around nowadays. It's pretty much just rice flour from the standard coffeeshops. And I really miss the luxurious yam cake my mum used to make.

So generous with ingredients(: The bonus of making them yourself

Credits of the awesome recipe: Kitchen Tigress.

Five spice powder (for flavouring of the yam), chicken stock (to enhance the flavour of the yam cake) and rice flour (for the yam batter)

Didn't want to go through the hassle of to brew my own chicken stock thus opted for the pre-packed.

Ingredients for the expensive yamcake :x, roughly chopped shrimps, sliced shallots, sliced mushrooms ( I liked them sliced vs diced for a better chew), chopped chinese sausages/ lap cheong ( not from the original recipe), and of course, diced yam. 

Shrimps and mushrooms have been soaked before cutting them up. Keep the water for the yam stock later.
Yam was bought from Ntuc. They were sold in halves, making the chopping easier. Cut off the layers until the red veins could be seen generously on the yam

Yam: 300g
Shrimps: 40g
Mushrooms: 30g
Lap cheong: 1 stick

Chopped my yam in chunky pieces, as that's the way I love them vs smaller diced portions in the original recipe. I like my ingredients chunky as it makes the whole nom-nom texture more enjoyable.

Oh baby, you are so fine you make me cry

Now, that's for making me cry.

Fried the yam, and tossed in five spice powder and salt for a good mix when it's still hot. Totally agree with the recipe hands down that this step is crucial to bring out the flavour of the yam. And you must do it when it is still hot.

I added in quite a couple of dashes of five spice powder, as I wanted to create a power yam cake (:

Stir fry the shrimps till fragrant before adding in the mushrooms for a good fry. Add in soya sauce and white ground pepper. The poor shrimps were popping non stop during the fry. 

Mix all the ingredients together

Measure and sieve about 200g of rice flour for preparation of the batter.
Sieve them into the heated mix of shrimp and mushroom stock.
I messed up this step as I didn't read the recipe properly- "Turn on heat to low. Stir continuously, scraping sides and bottom of wok. Reduce heat to very low as batter gets hot. If lumps appear, turn off heat immediately,"

This is really important as my whole mixture got so lumpy. It's as if a monster was lurking beneath the thick waters and blowing out bubbles.

Added in the boiled chicken stock separated out from earlier on (part of the steps in the receipe) but it didn't seem to help in the consistency.

I was so distraught that I didn't take a shot of it for illustration. It was really gross looking. Desperately searched for measures to salvage it. Apparently the lumps will melt into a perfect Hazeline consistency if you use a handheld blender to mix it. But sadly I didn't have it.

The monster in me wanted to just abandon the whole dish, as I couldn't remake the stock as they consisted of shrimp and mushroom essence and I didn't have extra supplies for them. But I didn't want to give up.

I added in hot water to make the solution less thick and started stirring vigorously. Things turned out slightly better with the batter thinning out, but the lumps could not be dissolved. They seemed to have solidified.
I ended up pouring the mixture through the sieve to salvage the remaining smooth batter.


Maybe I should get a handheld blender for emergency use

Steamed for ~1.5hours. It took much longer than the expected 40mins probably because of the thinned out yam batter, and the filled-to-the-brim pan (see the almost overflowing yam batter above) as I didn't want to use, and clean 2 pans.

Top up with shallots and spring onions.

Scooped them straight out from the pan piping hot and topped it with Sing Leong sambal chilli and oh boy, it tasted so good.

I guess the taste is pretty good since Daddykins and I kinda ate up half of the yam cake when it was steaming hot, in the paste form. He says, its the salty version of teo chew dessert Orh Nee :x

After cooling, and being refrigerated, this is how it is. 
The yam batter had firmed out, so I guess, this is considered a success?(:

I was expecting a perfect first try as everything seemed to be going the way I wanted it to be. 
Until the final step- Batter. 
It turned out to be the most crucial step, which I messed up. Though I was quite disappointed it didn't turn out perfect, at least the taste was great thanks to Kitchen Tigress!

Only 1/4 of the cake left now(:

Eat Yam