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Make Your Own Ingredients

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Make Your Own: Caramelized Biscuit Sauce

Have you guys ever tried Llaollao frozen yoghurt?  It’s absolutely divine when you have it topped with their signature Lotus caramelized biscuit sauce. Must. Try.

Aizat gave me the brilliant idea of stuffing plain roti paung with Lotus Biscoff Spread, which is pretty much the same thing used in Llaollao’s biscuit sauce.  The reason I love Llaollao’s froyo so much is because the rich, sweet biscuit sauce went so well with the tangy creaminess of the froyo, so I decided to simulate this wonderful flavor combination by also adding a cube of cream cheese on top of the biscuit spread.

While waiting for the rolls to finish baking in the oven, a thought occurred to me.  The filling is so fancy, yet the rolls look so plain on the outside.  What if I drizzled it with the caramelized biscuit sauce to jazz things up a bit?

Since pretty much everything can be found on the internet nowadays, I looked it up and found a recipe by The Cafe Sucre Farine.  I cut the recipe by a lot, and subbed with ingredients I had on hand, but the results were quite amazing.   I botched it a bit and heated the Biscoff Spread together with the rest of the ingredients instead of stirring it in at the end, which may have effected its texture, but I’m not sure.  Will try to get it right the next time.

Glad I still have quite a bit leftover after drizzling the rolls! Need to get some ice cream to use this sauce as a topping…

My original creation: Roti paung with cream cheese and Biscoff spread, drizzled with the caramelized biscuit sauce.

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For Your Spice Rack: Eman’s Saudi Spice Mix

I’ve been meaning to try out Eman’s kabuli rice recipe for a while now, but that dish requires Saudi spice or baharat, which I didn’t have on hand nor can easily get at stores.  Finally got around to making it over the New Year’s Day long weekend.

I only toasted the spices for about 5 minutes, because I noticed my cumin seeds were getting really brown.  I wonder if it would be better if I toasted it for a full 10 minutes as suggested.  My spices were a bit lumpy after grinding, and I wonder if it was because I didn’t dry the grinder jar well enough, or if it was because there was still some moisture in the spices.  In any case, I stored this in my freezer to make sure it keeps longer.

Can’t wait to try out the kabuli rice.

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For Your Spice Rack: Meghazlia Spice Mix

It took me a while to finally make Eman’s Lamb Meghazlia, mainly because I needed to mix the meghazlia spice mix myself.  Since I have some lamb in the freezer I really needed to get rid of, I set aside some time today to make this spice mix.

What took me a while to figure out was the “besbasa Indian” listed in Eman’s ingredients list.  After some research I thought what she was asking for was bisbas, a spicy Yemeni spice mix, and that was what I used to make my current batch of meghazlia.  While sitting around researching this spice a bit more, I realized that besbasa was another name for mace.  So my meghazlia spice mix is most probably going to be quite different from Eman’s.  Sigh.  Anyway, I’ve noted down both my version and Eman’s version, for my future reference.

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Make Your Own: Basic Pan Pizza Base

When making my Pull-apart Stuffing Rolls, I originally just wanted to use ready-made pizza dough, and bought some from the store.  I thought nothing of it, but when I finally took the dough out from the fridge, to my horror the stuff I bought turned out to be pre-baked pizza crust, and was therefore unusable.  Trying to find other store-bought options led to more disappointment, and finally I caved in and decided to make my own pizza dough.  This small crisis disrupted my cooking schedule a bit for that day, but luckily I discovered this problem in the morning, and so had enough time to still make things happen.

I’ve used this recipe for all my home-made pizzas, based on the recipe from the book, 500 Pizzas & Flatbreads.  This makes about 450 grams/1 pound of dough, enough for two 9-inch round pizzas, or one 11 by 15-inch rectangle pizza.

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For Your Spice Rack: Taco Seasoning

I mixed this a while back, so I don’t have pictures, but this is the taco seasoning I used in the Taco Salad I made recently.  You can always find the ready-made ones in grocers, but if you have the ingredients on hand, why not $ave$ome$ and make your own 🙂

To make enough just for the taco salad, use half the following recipe, based on the recipe by AllRecipes.

I usually keep my spice mixes in the freezer, especially the ones containing garlic or onion powder.  This humid Malaysian weather always makes my spice mixes all clumpy and gross.

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For your spice rack: Mandy spice mix

Am trying out Chef Ammar’s Lamb Mandy with Rice tonight, but I didn’t buy his Mandy Spice Mix when I got his Bukhari and Kabsah spice mixes the other day, so I had to make my own.  I found a few seemingly highly rated recipes online, and scaled it up to make 1 cup, with a few tweaks here and there.

Can’t wait to start cooking!

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For Your Spice Rack: Baby Bam

I’m trying out Emeril’s Perfect Roast Chicken today, which requires this Baby Bam spice mix.  Looks like this spice mix is used in quite a few more tasty looking recipes I wanted to try, so I decided it was worth the trouble to make a batch.  The only spice I didn’t have on hand was the celery salt, but I actually happened to have the ingredients required to make my own, so I did just that.  You can probably find celery salt in grocers such as Village Grocer, B.I.G., etc., but you can just simply substitute, since the amount needed is just too small to merit buying an entire bottle.

Recipe by Emeril Lagasse.

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Make Your Own: Ricotta Cheese

A good lasagne recipe usually calls for ricotta cheese.  The Manly Man Lasagne recipe I made needed almost 4 cups, and let’s face it – even if you can get it from the upmarket grocers in Kuala Lumpur, a 200-250 gm tub (about 1 cup) would cost at least RM 20, and I’ll need four tubs! Adoihh!

After weighing my options and doing some digging around on the Internet, I discovered that ricotta is one of those cheeses one can easily make at home, using common ingredients easily obtainable from hypermarkets. Booyah!

So try it out, and $ave$ome$ in the process!

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten.

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