August 4, 2009

Hubby's Birthday Cake & Family Dinner

Last Friday, the family came together to celebrate hubby's and my FIL's birthdays. Their birthdays are only 2 days apart from each other (although technically speaking, my FIL's birthday is not today but another day... but that is another story).

My FIL has gout and he chooses not to indulge in rich foods. Hubby is not big on sweets, chocolate, coffee nor any alcohol. Hence I began searching for the recipe of a cake that I have not made before... I suddenly remembered that I have some pistachios in my freezer... and I found an orange pistachio cake on Taste. Along with some other cake ideas I have, hub got to choose and he chose this orange pistachio cake. I thought I will add a crumble to it and also make some candied oranges to go with it. BUT all that was reduced to a dream when my cake mix spilled all over the oven door and the floor. I was so devastated! For the next hour, hubby patiently and lovingly cleaned up most of the mess I created (looked like someone's vomit). The oven door has to be removed to properly clean up the mess. We managed to salvage part of the cake batter (you wouldn't want to know how we did that) and went ahead to bake it after the clean up.

However after looking at the sad state of the baked cake, I figured that it is not good enough for a birthday cake. So even though I was very busy, I still made time to bake a sponge cake with fruits. That did not started well. That little bit of egg yoke in my bowl with egg whites caused the egg whites not form stiff peaks even after I had whisked it for ages. In the end, I decided to redo the entire thing and the end result turned out pretty good!

That Friday, I also made the teochew 扣肉包 'kong bak pau' to contribute to our family dinner gathering to celebrate the birthdays. With this recipe that I followed, I made 2kg worth of pork and prepping the dish 2 days ahead (the blanching and frying of the pork) and hence was marinated for 2 days instead of just a couple of hours. Hence can you imagine the really good flavours after 2 days of marinating?

It took me 3 hours in total to steam the entire lot (I steamed them over 2 batches). Even though you can see a layer of oil on top of the sauce, when I used my fingers to pick up a piece to taste, it does NOT leave behind any grease on my fingers at all! I was so surprised! The whole bulb of garlic was popular with my 2 BILs, who loves garlic. It was so soft and just melts in your mouth (having said that, I still do not like it. I almost threw the bulbs away after cooking but I remembered that at least 1 of my BIL likes garlic).

The family had our biggest feast ever, with homemade kong bak (with homemade pau), homemade 算盘子 'abacus beads' , homemade egg noddles, homemade 菜头糕 'asian carrot cake', homemade shark's fin soup, amidst some other dishes, making it on par with a 10-course wedding banquet!

And last but not least, we rounded up the dinner with the birthday cake!

1 other thoughts:

pablopabla said...

Thank you for trying out the recipe and sharing it with your family members during such an important occasion :D

Hope it was worth the effort :D

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