Tag Archives: Recipe

Cooking and Baking Classes for June 2016

Rolled Pineapple Tarts

Sunday June 5th  2 pm to 5 pm

I’m doing two types of Rolled Tarts now  only because I have a nice recipe. You will learn two types of Rolled Tarts.  Please look at the photos.

You will learn;

  1. Two types of Pastries
  2. Two types of Rolled Tarts
  3. Pineapple Jam

This is a fully hands on class.  Please expect to do some work.

Price Per Person: $95 (Class will commence once there are 5 students)


Sunday June 12th 2 pm to 5 pm

Zaku Zaku Croquant Puff with Salted Egg Crème


I was asked to do this class for a student who had tasted this in Japan.  I made it and he loved it and all but I didn’t think much of it. So I decided to take it to different heights.


So here it is.  Come learn to prepare Zaku Zaku Croquant Puff and the Salted Egg Crème.


Price Per Person: $90 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)


Puff Pastry

Saturday June 18th  2 to 5 pm

Learn to make Puff Pastry from scratch.  It is quite easy once you get the hang of it.  You will learn;


Sausage Rolls

  1. Puff Pastry
  2. Sausage Rolls – the real ones
  3. Tuna Foldovers
  4. Old Fashioned Sardine Rolls


Price Per Person: $100 (Class will commence once there are 6 students)


Nasi Dagang Class

Wednesday June 22nd 2.30 to 5.30

Learn to make Nasi Dagang and its accompaniments.

You will learn to prepare;

  1. Nasi Dagang
  2. Ayam Percik
  3. Sayur Loteh – A wonderful spicy sweet salad
  4. Gulai Ikan Tongkol

Price Per Person : $110 Class will commence once there are 6 students

Please email cookingwithnicholas@gmail.com to book a place or whatsapp 0166827465.  Classes are held in 70 Road 14/24 Petaling Jaya.



Today’s Special – Macaroni Medley…

Today’s Macaroni dish is something a little different. It is like a Kung Poa with a lot less punch so to speak and I actually used black sauce. I bet when Carol reads this, she will just fall off her chair.

My Macaroni today even has chicken pieces, luxury compared to the last few days. So it’s kind of a complete meal so to speak with my carbs, my vegetables and my protein. And today’s dish has sauces like oyster sauce, and the two types of soy sauce, dark and light, and sesame oil as well.

I must say the last few days I just tend to feel a lot lighter then usual. I don’t have that horrible gluggy feeling that I have been going through for a while now and just now I tasted some Nasi Lemak Rice that Eda made for one of our food suppliers, the feeling came back almost instantly.  Also I like everyone to note that I eat these macaroni only once that is around 2 pm.  At night I eat whatever leftover vegetables my mum has leftover from dinner. So I am still eating but a lot more vegetables.

So before I waffle on, here is today’s recipe.

Macaroni                                              1 cup – boiled with a little salt till al dente

Chicken Meat                                       200 gms – marinade with some soy sauce, pepper and salt


Red Capsicum                                      1 cut into large cubes

Carrot                                                  1 small – sliced

Onion                                                   1 – o be cut into segments

Long Cabbage                                      5 leaves – to be roughly chopped

Garlic                                                   2 to be sliced

Sauce Mix – to be mixed separately

Oyster Sauce                                        1 tbsp

Dark Soy Sauce                                   1 tbsp

Soy Sauce                                            2 tsp

Oyster Sauce                                        2 tsp

Pepper                                                 1 tsp

Olive Oil


  1. Heat oil, throw in onions and sauté till it is slightly browned. Do not use on high flame, just strong enough to color it.
  2. Add in chicken, sauce mix and sliced garlic.  Sauté till chicken is slightly cooked.
  3. Add some water to the bowl and clear out any leftover sauce.  Pour into wok.
  4. Add in carrots and leave to simmer for about three minutes.
  5. Add in Capsicum and give it a quick stir.
  6. Add in Macaroni and Cabbage. Stir quickly. Season if necessary.
  7. Remove and serve.

Wasabi Beef Roll

I had this wonderful Beef Roll in Daikoku Japanese Restaurant in Fiji, and although the one they served us was nice I felt it lacked a little something more.  So here is my recipe.

Beef Fillet or Scotch Fillet                                 500 gms – to be sliced thinly into       one big piece. Get the butcher to do this because I know if I had to do it would be minced beef as you need a very sharp knife.

Lay the meat out onto a flat slightly greased tray and chill thoroughly

Other Ingredients:

Garlic                                                               2 cloves – to be finely minced

Green Onion                                                     ½ – to be minced

Wasabi Paste                                                   about 1 tbsp or a little more to be spread

Pepper                                                             just a sprinkle

Sugar                                                               ¼ tsp

Mix the above and spread it over beef just before cooking.

Method for pan frying:

  1. Heat a pan that is big enough for your beef, so work backwards. Make sure the meat spread out fits into the pan
  2. Pour in a little olive oil and gently scrape the meat off the tray onto the pan.  Gently press one side of the meat to make it stick to the pan and then glide the rest of the meat out by slowly pulling away the tray.  Hence the importance that the meat is very cold.
  3. Once the side of the beef starts to cook, start rolling the beef. Do not leave it too long or it will dry out. Roll gently and keep the meat tight.  Make sure the roll is of equal size to ensure even cooking.
  4. Roll as shown.  Leave to cook for a few minutes. Keep turning to ensure equal cooking.  Cook depending on how rare you like your beef. Cut it with a sharp knife whilst still in the pan and serve.  Serve it with good old Kikkoman Soy Sauce.  Eat it while it is hot as it does not taste nice once it is cold.




You may add a slice of cheese in the roll to give it that extra flavor. Use a full flavored cheese, I would like to use Camembert or Brie actually.

Kek Sarang Lebah – Bee’s Hive Cake

I have never made this cake in my life because all the time I have tasted it I never liked it as it was not fluffy, dense, and sometimes too much of certain ingredients.  Mum, has often hassled me I think since as long as I can remember to make this cake, so after nearly 20 years (Yes, Patience is a virtue) I made it.  All because I was in a good mood and the fact that the butter I needed to try out some cookie recipes was hard as rock.

Anyhow, this is a Malay recipe and I am sure in the beginning there was no use of ovens and all. So I am sure too the end result would be different.  While we use all the modern amenities around, I am sure the ladies back then used a hand whisk.

So here is the recipe:

Castor sugar                                         ¾ cup

Hot Water                                            1 cup

Butter                                                   ¼

Self Raising Flour                                  1 cup

Bicarbonate of Soda                             1 tsp

Eggs                                                           4

Condensed Milk                                   1 cup

A pinch of salt


  1. Place sugar in a pot and heat it on low flame.  The sugar will slowly start to brown.   This stage is crucial as you do not want burnt sugar that could result in a rather bitter cake.  This will take about 6 to 8 minutes and let the sugar brown slowly as you stir it
  2. Pour in hot water little by little and let it boil. Always be careful as the reaction of the hot sugar and water can result in pure hot sugar splashing on your hand.
  3. Let it boil lightly and throw in the butter. Do not melt the butter completely, remove from flame and leave to cool. Stir it from time to time.  You should have a nice butterscotch taste.
  4. In the mean time, beat the eggs, add in a pinch of salt. Eggs should be beaten till it is a light yellow and very fluffy.  It is best to use a mixer if it is available.
  5. Pour in condensed milk and carry on mixing till it is fluffy.
  6. Sieve in the flour and the bicarbonate of soda.  Fold in gently. Ensure there are no lumps. If there are lumps then whisking.
  7. Pour in the butter sugar mixture and whisk it with a hand whisk.
  8. Leave the batter to rest for about 1 hour.
  9. In the mean time, prepare a cake tin.  I used a 20 cm x 14 cm.  I think a slightly smaller tin would be better so the cake will look thicker.
  10. Line the tray carefully with aluminum foil as shown.  Brush with butter.
  11. Preheat the oven to 160 to 170 C.
  12. Before pouring in the batter into the tray, whisk it to mix it up one last time. Pour into cake tin and bake for about 40 to 60 minutes depending on the thickness.
  13. Once a skewer comes out clean, then cake is done.
  14. I ate it straight away. You are suppose to wait till it is cold. Remove it from the tray and leave it out. Cut it when it is firmer.  So they say.

Decadent Chunky Orangey Chocolate Muffins

Rich Chocolate Muffins all Boxed up and ready to go

Today we had to attend a funeral of my students my father in law, so I thought I’d take something for the wake. I pondered a while and since it was going to be an afternoon affair, I really could not be bothered lugging hot mee hoon or other foods, so after digging around my digging around my fridge, I thought I’d try a recipe of muffins using my hardened chocolate ganache from my class yesterday, and believe me I had quite a bit from other classes as well.

So I decided instead of normal chocolate chips, why not make it super chunky chocolate pieces.

So I chopped up all the hardened chocolate ganache and placed it in the freezer.

I weighed out the flour, 3 cups, 8 tablespoons of cocoa powder, then I remembered the oranges in the fridge, so I used the skin of three oranges, 1 cup of brown sugar, I ran out of milk so I used 2 cups of cream plus 1 cup of water, and I added in 2 cups of oil because I ran out of butter after yesterdays class, and 2 eggs.

add the oil

Mix all the dried ingredients, then add in the wet stuff.

Add the Cream

I mixed everything together and then added in the frozen chocolate chunks.  Cupped all the muffin batter, got exactly 30 cups and baked it at 180 C.

The result was a rather photogenic muffins with chunky chocolate pieces and speckles of orange peel.  I had a tablespoon full, because my brother ate two of it as soon as it came out of the oven.

Well hopefully these rather Happy Muffins will take away some sadness today.  Sometimes when someone passes on let’s remember they are in a better place and let’s make a sad moment into one with smiles.

all cupped and ready to be baked

Rose Petal Jam – Step by Step

I have been wanting to make rose petal jam right from the firs time I saw the recipe when I was a kid. I remember it like it was yesterday, mum had her Australian Women’s Weekly opened and I was watching TV and she put it down and there was a commercial and I saw the recipe. I remember looking at it and trying to figure out how rose petals might taste like, and trust me over the years I have plucked rose petals and eaten them raw, in fact once I ate a whole rose just like that, because is smelt nice and had a tinge of rose taste. The reason I never ever made it was because I ever had enough roses to make the weight, and when I did I never thought of it and when I did have some roses, I did not have the recipe. So today I had everything. Roses, Recipe and Time! By the way… my mother has not noticed her roses in the garden are all gone. If she does tomorrow, we’ll just blame it on the rain tonight.

So here is my recipe:

Rose Petals            350 gm any color or a mixture

Sugar                        2 cups

Water                       4 cups

Lemon Juice about ½ cup or more

So here goes.

Step 1 – Plucking and Soaking the roses.

Now do not use fresh roses because I feel it’s a waste, use a few day old roses. Now I have read about pesticides and all, and trust me I have eaten raw roses before with no side effects, so just in case, soak it and wash it three or four times. Do not soak it for a long time or all flavor and smell could be gone. Soak it for a few hours. Pluck it, soak it, do your stuff and once in a while wash it, drain it and re soak it.

Step 2 – Sugar Bruising

Yes, you read right, Sugar Bruising. After Draining the water as shown in the photo,  take a bit of the sugar and rub through the rose petals. So now the once fluffy petals will be all settled and look like a lump of petals. Just like the photos I have taken. Eda is helping me here. She still cannot understand why I am doing all this. Leave the Sugar Bruised petals for about 30 minutes or so.

Step 3 – Boiling

Boil water and sugar.  I had a lump of rock sugar lying around so I used it. Let the sugar boil and add in the lemon juice. Finally, add in the Sugar Bruised rose petals. Leave it to simmer on a steady but low heat. Remember do not use normal cooking pots. Find a pot with a thick base so the heat spreads out evenly and it will not burn. Stir from time to time. This process could take about 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Step 4 – Sterilizing Jam Jars

While this boiling is taking place, preheat the oven to 100 C. Wash Jam Jars and then place it in the oven. I was baking a chocolate brownie so I just placed the jars in the hot oven. Leave it to be sterilized for about 45 minutes or so. It should be just in time to fill it with jam.

Step 5 – Simmering

Do stir the Rose Petal Jam from time to time. Taste it, you may need more sugar or lemon juice. To test the jam, just drop a teaspoon of jam onto a saucer and leave it awhile. If it becomes a little sticky and gummy, then your jam is ready.

Step 6 – Jarring and Storing

Pour Jam carefully into the sterilized bottles. Be careful as the jam mixture is hot and can singe your skin and leave a scar. Clean bottle and leave it to cool before covering. Refrigerate. Remember this does not have any preservatives, so do consume quickly and always use a dry spoon or knife. Enjoy…

It’s Done!! Limoncello – The Epic Ends!

It’s finally done! My first batch of Limoncello is cooling as I am typing this half drunken with lemon alcohol fumes.  Even Eda is walking around looking quite dazy unlike her usual no nonsense perky self.

The fumes can really get to you, and you could end up teary eyed and it shoots right up the brain.  I am burping alcohol now and all I tasted was 2 teaspoons, once before the sugar syrup went in and another time after the sugar to ensure the taste was fine.

It’s fine by the way. Not that I am a Limoncello expert but I think its good enough.

The Final Day Look

This is how the 8 day old Limoncello looked before the mixing. Note the color change of the Lemon Skin, it is almost a creamy white today.

So here is what I did on this final day:

Step 1

Wash Bottles and dry it, place it in the oven at 100 C for about an hour or so, then leave it in the oven to cool down.  This is to make sure the bottles are disinfected and kept clean.  You can buy these bottles in bottle shops. Sent the mother and somehow got these not so nice looking bottles.

Step 2

Boil 6 litres of water and once boiled add in 4.6 kilos of sugar. Leave to boil on high and let it cool for a while.  Sugar should be boiled properly as sugar that is not boiled properly can ferment.

Step 3

Use a large ceramic bowl, the old fashion mixing bowls is a good choice here.  Use a metal mesh strainer and cheesecloth.  Fold the cheesecloth a few times but make sure it covers the metal mesh strainer.  If you need to buy cheesecloth, in Malaysia you may need to say the Tau Foo Fa cloth, because we do not make cheese here in this country.

Step 4

Shake the bottle a little and then strain the 8 day old Alcohol Lemon mixture.  Be careful with the fumes as it can cos you to be teary eyed, and I even got goose bumps for some reason.  Must be a trite virginal in a way to be affected like this. What can I say?  Squeeze out the excess alcohol lemon from the cloth.

Squeezing the last bits

Step 5

Pour in sugar syrup and let it cool further before bottling.  Limoncello has to be thoroughly cooled down before you pour it into the bottles.

Step 6

Store in the freezer, as Limoncello has to be drunk when it is slush like.  So store it in the freezer a few days before use.

Step 7                                                                                                                                               

Drink away or watch others get hit by its innocent looks yet potent content.  please forgive the ugly bottle tops, trust my mother to get the wrong thing. It is better to get screw top bottles. So keep your screw top bottles if you are going to make it.

By the way…. It makes a great gift!

Limoncello Day 7 – The Last Day so please pray!

Today is the last day of my Lemoncello – alcohol and lemon soaking together. It’s a nice tinge of yellow I might add, a nice golden, so let’s hope today’s final day of soaking will make that change.  What change I still do not know but nevertheless, change in taste, change in color and whatever change that may occur.

I have never made this before and suddenly I am making ten bottles of it is a little daunting because if the recipe I have is anything but, then Saturday night our guests are going to get something else. If it fails, the chef thing has to come out and we’ll just have an alcoholic lemony dessert… hmmm an Alcoholic Lemon Meringue Pie does come to mind. Just imagine all the old foggies eating it and falling all over the place in drunken stupor.  Priceless Moments I am sure.

Ok enough of letting the imagination run wild. I will make sure it works. Lemoncello here I come – I hope!

Soup Day 16 – Today I need light soup

Yesterday was a rich kind of soup, then I ate a bit of nonsense… ok maybe too much nonsense, so today I feel like eating something light and easy and no fuss but must be tasty since the last few days I have been having tasty soups.

I was looking for the Tau Foo Fa man last night, the one who cheated me off RM1 the other day. I will tell him off just you see, but I needed Tau Foo Fa but he was not there.  I am sure he will be there later.

Today I want to make a soup using Tau Foo Fa because it is a lot smoother then then soft tofu, and it will be with a green vegetable which I have not picked, and I was thinking of adding some Nam Yee (Fremented Bean Curd Paste) just for some kick.  Nam Yee is nice, it stinks and can make you sick as is most Asian foods that we all like but its versatility in Asian cooking is yet to be untapped.  You can make wonderful fried chicken, even in prawn dishes, a light coating mixed with this and that and fried like fritters is simply wonderful.  It can be added to vegetables as well, so dull insipid veggies is given a new life.  It can be used to make interesting dips as well.  Well enough said, here is today’s recipe.

Green Veggies with Silken Bean Curd

Green Vegetable Preferably Leafy                     1 bunch

Tau Foo Fa                                                      1 bowl

Nam Yee                                                         1 tiny bit according to your taste

Garlic                                                               1 clove – to be minced

Pepper to taste

A little Water


  1. Boil Water and Garlic, add in Vegetables.
  2. Once Veggies are soft, add in Nam Yee and gradually add in Tau Foo Fa without adding the water.
  3. Do not stir too much or the Tau Foo Fa will break up. Season and leave to simmer gently for about 2 minutes.
  4. Eat immediately.

Soup Day 15 – Lumpy Spicy Pumpkin Soup

After yesterdays Spicy Vegetable Soup, to day I feel like something a little bit similar so  I’ll go with pumpkin, Just a piece of pumpkin not a big one.  Pumpkin is a versatile vegetable both in the east and in the west.

Mashed pumpkin made exactly like mash potatoes is really nice and rich and has a nice sweetness.  Pumpkin made into a pie is just as good; in fact I have a few orders already lined up to Thanksgiving this year.  Then Pumpkin cooked as a thick curry and without coconut milk as it thickens itself is really so so nice. That is the base of my soup today actually.

Pumpkin is also used as a dessert in Thailand.  So its versatility is boundless.  You could make a cream of pumpkin soup with this recipe by just adding some cream to it later, but today I am going to have lumpy pumpkin soup because I really cannot be bothered taking out the food processor and all as I have a few cakes to make today and lots of preparations to organize for orders on Friday and Saturday as I have two classes on Saturday so I have to make sure the girls can organize the staff.

I am talking so much about the good of pumpkin and just a few years ago I would not even touch it because I hated it, it was punishment food to me…. I suppose when you’re younger your appreciation to food is different and anything that looks orange and in pieces is yucky.  But not anymore…. I can just eat pumpkin curry on its own, as long as it’s not too spicy.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin                                   ¼ piece depending on size

Green Peas                               ¼ cup

Onion                                       1 to be blended

Garlic                                       2 – to be blended

Curry Powder                          ½ tsp or a little more

Salt and Pepper to taste

Water                                       1 cup or so


  1. Boil onions, garlic and pumpkin together till pumpkin is soft.  You may need more water, but don’t add too much.
  2. Add in curry powder and seasoning. Simmer on low flame till pumpkin is soft and pulpy.
  3. Lastly add in Green Peas.  Serve hot.

Easy isn’t it. And it will be tasty for sure.

Photos will follow later today