Yelly Writes

Published!

So in 2016 I posted this photo on Instagram:

I loved the photo because it has one of my favourite London building icons, the Elizabeth Tower, aka Big Ben (which actually is the name of the bell that’s inside the tower).  I was quite pleased that the photo came out pretty well.  It probably didn’t have as many likes on Instagram as I would have wanted, but in the end, it’s not necessarily about the likes.  I was really proud of the photo.  It showed textbook depth of field and I was really pleased with how it turned out.  It was a perfect representation of how pretty springtime sunshine in London can be.  The Marketing girls of the firm I worked for loved it so much too that they used it on the firm’s website for springtime themed posts.

And two years later, my lovely little photograph of the Queen Elizabeth Tower and the daffodils in the gardens at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital has been featured in the Essex Chronicle business supplement in a two-page spread in the that my firm contributes to.  I am grateful to the Marketing department at my firm because they want to support and promote home-grown talent, as it were.

What’s even better is that I get credited for the photo!

I, of course, did what any self-respecting, modest person would do – I posted stories on Instagram about my photo in the paper and added the same videos on Facebook.  I’ve bought a couple of copies of the paper to send to my mum and sister in Manila, too!  Oh, and if you’re in Essex, it’s in this week’s print edition of the Essex Chronicle!  Of course, I would also recommend you reading the brilliant business articles that my colleagues at Rickard Luckin have written as they provide really good business insights!  I’ve tried to play it really calm, cool and collected but of course in true giddy-giggly Bridget Jones-esque fashion, I failed miserably.  I was far too pleased with myself!  It was quite the event in my life!

 

Yelly Writes

How to cook rice…perfectly

This was another post that was originally on our blog Pan-Asian Kitchen.  For anyone who fears cooking rice via the absorption method, I hope the the infographic helps you along! 

How to cook riceI thought an infographic would be useful.

Cooking rice has always been a daunting task to a lot of people.  But if you’re Asian, rice is a staple, so cooking rice is a skill that (should be) learned early.  There are various ways to cook boiled rice.  Some people boil rice and then drain the liquid.  My mom taught me early and most Filipinos will use what is known in the rice bowl circuits as the absorption method.  I love this method because, despite a lot of disbelief, the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan (even if you don’t use a non-stick pan).

The steps are simple and I hope the infographic helps!  Any questions, please leave them in the comments section.  I’m definitely happy to help.

This infographic is also downloadable!  Click here.

Yelly Eats

How To Make Chinese Bakery Style Milk Bread

This post was originally posted in our Pan-Asian Kitchen blog.  The text and photos by Alan.

When we go into Chinatown, our trip isn’t complete without getting buns from the Chinese bakery. There are a great variety of buns to choose from but we always seem to come home with the baked char siu bao (also known as BBQ pork bun or honey roast pork bun). All of the bread products that the Chinese bakery has to offer is generally made from a single type of bread dough called Milk Bread. Milk bread is an enriched dough which means that it contains butter, sugar and eggs and is softer than normal breads.

I am going to show you a basic milk bread recipe that can be made into loaves or other tasty baked treats that we will be writing about in future posts. What I love about this recipe is that it requires standard plain flour and milk rather than bread flour and cream that other recipes call for. Also, it is relatively easy to make (especially if you have a stand mixer) as there are fewer steps to follow.

If you are using sachets of quick dried yeast, they will normally come in 7g packets so it may be easier to double up the recipe and do two loaves or you could even do one loaf and one of the other milk loaf recipes that we will be writing about (please follow the instructions up to step 6 to prepare the dough for those recipes).

Chinese Bakery Style Milk Bread

Ingredients:

65ml milk
35g granulated sugar
60g unsalted butter

1 teaspoon granulated sugar
60ml milk
3.5g quick dry yeast

1 egg (beaten)
1/4 teaspoon salt
275g plain flour

Instructions:

1. Put 65ml milk, 35g granulated sugar and 60g of butter in a saucepan and heat until the milk starts to boil. Turn the heat off and stir the mixture so that the butter melts and the sugar dissolves into the milk.

2. In a microwaveable jug or bowl, put the 65ml of milk and 1 teaspoon of sugar and heat in the microwave in full power for 30 seconds so that the milk is lukewarm. Stir in the yeast and leave for 10 minutes until the mixture foams up as the yeast activates.

3. In a mixing bowl, add the yeast mixture, the butter mixture and the egg. Mix the wet ingredients together and then spoon in the flour, mixing as you go along.

Keep going until all the flour has been mixed in and the mixture has turned from a batter into a dough. If you are working the dough by hand, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and kneed for about work the dough for about 12 minutes. If using a stand mixer, mix for 6 minutes on a medium-low speed. The dough is ready when you can pinch some dough and stretch it quite far without the strand breaking.

4. Oil a bigger mixing bowl and tip the dough into it. flip the dough over in the bowl so that the top of the dough is also covered in oil. Cover with cling film and place in a warm place like an airing cupboard or proving drawer for about an hour so the dough will rise.

5. Once the dough has risen, it should have roughly doubled in size.

Knock back the dough by punching it so that it deflates back to its original size.

Tip out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and kneed for a couple of minutes (If you are using this dough for one of our other recipes, the dough is ready for for filling/shaping).

6. Divide the dough into three equal sized balls and roll each one in your hands until smooth. Place each dough ball into a greased 2lb loaf tin and cover with cling film.

Allow the dough to prove for a further hour in a warm place where it will double in size.

7. Preheat the oven to 170°C/340°F (160°C/320°F fan oven) and bake in the oven until golden brown.

Remove the loaf from the tin as soon as you can and place on a cooling rack so that the sides and bottom do not go soggy. Once cool store in an airtight container.

Yelly Writes

Rice bowls at the ready!

About 2 years ago, whilst we were completely obsessed about the London food scene and because we wanted a project to do together, Alan and I started a blog, Pan-Asian Kitchen.  Unfortunately, after starting the blog, writing a few entries and actually buying a domain, it has fallen by the wayside and real life has allowed us to fall into some sort of blogging inertia.  The last post on the blog was in January 2017!

We’ve taken the brave decision to, unfortunately, stop writing for that blog and concentrate on this blog.  Alan will be guest writing for me sometimes on the blog.  This way we’re still sharing our passion for food and photography with everyone and we’re still doing this together.

The next thing I’ll have to figure out is how to move the media files from that blog to this one!  Wordpress boffins, I need your help!  Is there a quick way to move posts from one blog to another?

Thank goodness it’s the weekend soon.  I’ll have time to figure out what to do!

Yelly Eats

So Fuwafuwa!

So apparently, according to a google search, fuwafuwa means fluffy, airy, light – like a pillow or foam.

A few months ago, I noticed an interesting photo on Ed T’s (@onehungryasian) instagram feed.  He said he had a recipe for fluffy Japanese soufflé pancakes and I wanted to look at the recipe.  I was on the verge of perfecting my version of a Japanese matcha cheesecake and I was curious about the pancakes, whether they would really be soufflé-esque.  I noticed that one of the comments was this guy saying they were  opening a pop-up for Japanese soufflé pancakes.  I thought it would be good to find out where it was to try it so I knew what I was aiming for.  I followed the Instagram account and thought I’d look through the feed later.  And then I promptly forgot about it.

© by @onehungryasian

Then Ken Mok (@kingken_photography) wrote that he finally went to try the pancakes and they looked fabulously soft and pillowy.  Exactly what the name of the purveyors of these heavenly pancakes meant: Fuwafuwa.

© by @kingken_photography

So since then, I’ve been thinking about these gorgeous pillows and wondering when I can go and taste them and find out for myself how they felt in my mouth!

Yesterday, we were going to London to see a friend who was going on a trip at the end of the month and we wanted to spend time with her before she flew off on her adventures.  Alan suggested we stop over at Westfield in Stratford where Fuwafuwa (@fuwafuwalondon) had their pop up shop.  It was just before 9AM and on Saturdays they open from 9AM until 9PM.  I was looking forward to ordering the matcha pancakes, but they weren’t on the menu.  So I settled on Nutella and banana and Alan ordered S’mores.  But they changed the menu at the last minute and said they had the matcha pancakes and the lovely manager of Fuwafuwa allowed me to change my order from the Nutella and banana to the Matcha Love pancakes.

I absolutely LOVED them.  They are as airy, soft, cloud like, light, pillowy and soufflé-esque as I built them up in my head to be.  The matcha cream that accompanied my pancakes were generously flavoured with matcha and you could really taste the green tea, which I loved.  They were also VERY generous with the red bean paste that was served on the side.

Alan’s S’mores pancakes were yummy with marshmallows and chocolatey goodness that reminded me of childhood memories of marshmallows and chocolates melted and sandwiched between two pieces of graham crackers.  Alan’s pancakes were topped with a dusting of icing sugar and a couple of pretzels.  Knowing I loved pretzels, Alan very generously shared one with me!

I need to know what the name of that lovely manager of FuwaFuwa is.  He asked if he could take photos of our pancakes because, apparently, they were so busy that they rarely had time to photograph their heavenly creations.  We, of course, obliged.  I had brought my little Olympus EPL7 on this trip (I wanted to capture the cherry blossoms in London) so I was also busy snapping away with the sole purpose of posting it on Instagram.  I was also determined to write about it on the blog.  I offered to take photos of the pancakes with his phone.

He had a surprise for us though.  There was a Salted Caramel Miso and Popcorn pancake option on the menu.  I loved salted caramel.  I loved popcorn.  I loved miso soup.  I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted them all together on a plate.  So I was more than a little dubious and didn’t order this particular flavour.  He came back to our table and he gave us a double stack of the salted caramel miso and popcorn pancakes.  To say thank you for waiting for the pancakes (they opened late) and for taking photos.

It was absolutely gorgeous!  It was sweet and fabulously savoury with the crunch of the popcorn for brilliant texture.  I know miso was good but I didn’t know that it would be a great flavour that could be used for sweet treats as well.  You learn something new everyday.

Fuwa Fuwa London (@fuwafuwalondon on Instagram) is currently at their pop up at Westfield in Stratford City and according to Westfield’s website they will be open this week (16 April to 22 April) Monday to Friday from 10AM to 9PM, Saturday from 9AM to 9PM and on Sunday, 12PM to 6PM.  They’ve just announced that Matcha Love will now be available on weekends too!  I’d recommend going when you can and bringing a bag of patience with you because if you can’t get there early and be first in the queue, it might be a substantial wait.  The pancakes are made to order and can take until 30 minutes to make and if they’re busy, the wait will be a little longer. I know 30 minutes might seem to be a bit too long to wait for pancakes, but they are very definitely worth it.  It’s a heavenly party in your mouth!

Yelly Writes

So, what’s new?

“In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.” ― Howard Schultz, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time

So I’m getting my act together and seriously considering my blogging direction (for the nth time!).  But I love the energy the thought of reinvention injects in my lethargic creativity veins.  I’ve changed my blog categories because this time it makes better sense to me.

I love that I am evolving and the blog is growing with me.

I’ve also changed the blog’s header image.  I’ve added spring daffodils because, well, frankly, I am desperate for springtime weather!  England has not been blessed with warmth and sunny days lately.  I’m hoping that Mother Nature nudges Spring into action so that we can have warmer days, more sunshine and better looking plants (so I can photograph them!).

I have several things planned in the next few months, so please watch this space!❤

 

Yelly Eats

Sunday lunching

It’s nearly 6pm on a Sunday and I’ve had a busy day.  I woke up after sleeping in, made mushrooms on toast for breakfast for Alan and me, chatted to my mum, sister and dad via FaceTime, cleared some of the mess in the kitchen and then batch cooked food for the week.

I’ve got bolognese slow-cooking on the hob right now but Alan and I have had lunch already.  I had smoked haddock leftover from when I made fish pie so we thought it would be a good idea to have kedgeree.  We wanted a fish meal as we’d been having so many meat meals and we, well, maybe me, more than anything else. wanted a fish meal.  So I dusted off my kedgeree recipe (I wrote it over 2 years ago now!) and cooked kedgeree.  It was lovely and comforting and always so photogenic (aided by a strategically placed sprig of coriander).

If you’d like to try your hand at cooking kedgeree, please try my version of it – the recipe is here.  And if you do, please let me know how you get on!