CNY Bakes 2015 三羊开泰新年年饼

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Happy Chinese New Year! Oh my goodness, tomorrow is already the last day (15th day) of the Lunar New Year celebrations! The past 2 weeks have really gone by in a flash, and I have been so busy with visiting, cooking and hosting. Should be written this post long ago but seriously no energy :p

This year, I was rather ambitious in my bakes and decided to come up with three flavours in line with the CNY theme. Besides baking for my own consumption, I invited some close friends to place orders if they were interested.

My CNY Bakes 2015 三羊开泰新年年饼
  • Salted egg yolk cookie "金"玉满堂
  • Hae bee hiam cookie 喜"虾"(哈)大笑
  • Salty chewy chocolate chip cookie "朱"光宝气
What is the similarity between these 3 cookies? They are all savoury cookies! Haha. Somehow I prefer savoury cookies with a tinge of saltiness, as I tend to get sick of sugary sweet cookies very quickly.


One of my favourite cookie recipe, the Salted Egg Yolk Cookie. Baked this cookie last year and received very good feedback so decided to include it in the baking list this year. The salted egg yolk was procured from Hong Kong; got a few packs when I visit Hong Kong last December. In Hong Kong salted egg yolk is sold on its own (without the egg white) in vacuum packs.

Love this melt-in-the-mouth cookie which is very slightly sweet with a tinge of saltiness and with an added fragrance from the salted egg yolk.


The hae bee hiam cookie is something new. I love the mini hae bee hiam rolls so making it into a cookie is something different. A little sweet, a little salty, a little spicy and very fragrant. But somehow I got mixed reviews about it, some people liked it while some don't. Hmmm, maybe I still need to refine the recipe further.


Another of my favourite cookie recipe, the Salty Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie. Made with Valrhona Chocolate Perles and topped with Maldon Sea Salt, the exterior is crispy while interior is chewy. I love how the sea salt breaks the monotonous sweetness of the chocolate and the different texture of the cookie. Simply addictive!


Besides packing the cookies in tubs, I also offered them in sampler boxes.


I must say that baking cookies is more tiring than baking cakes, because it's tedious to produce hundreds of cookies ensuring they are of the same quality, size and shape. Really need to think twice whether or not to take orders for next CNY! Well, I have a year to ponder, till then :p

Ipoh/Cameron Highlands Jun 2014 (Day 5)

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Continued from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4.

*Phew*! We finally came to the last day of our trip. Our flight home was in the late afternoon, so we had ample time in the morning to cover a few more places.

First up, breakfast! Based on research, there are two old school coffee shops that sell excellent food at the Ipoh Old Town area - Restoran Thean Chun and Kong Heng.



Heard that both are equally good so just randomly selected Thean Chun. And our breakfast feasting began, ordered a plate of everything in the coffee shop. LOL!

The Chee Cheong Fun here was slightly different from the ones we are used to having.  The Cheong Fun was cut thinly and drizzled with a mushroom sauce and topped with fried shallots and sesame seeds. Interesting and tasted not bad. Loved the texture of the cheong fun, very smooth and soft.


Next, some Char Kway Teow and Popiah.

One original roll and one deep fried. Love the deep fried one. The chilli sauce was good! The Char Kway Teow was ok, once again the texture of the Kway Teow was the star.


There's this satay stall located in the lane in between the two coffee shops and patrons from both shops could order from the stall.

Ordered a mixture of the pork satay and intestine. The pork was very tender and juicy, and the intestine was crunchy. Love the thick and fragrant peanut sauce. Yum!


Not forgetting, Sau Hor Fun, a must eat in Ipoh. Somehow, the Hor Fun here has this velvety smooth texture that couldn't be found elsewhere.


Last but not least, the famous caramel pudding  of Thean Chun. The caramel sauce was slightly too sweet for my liking but I loved the almost melt-in-the-mouth texture of the pudding.


After the sumptuous breakfast, we headed towards Gunung Rapat town in search of the famous Heong Peng, a must-buy traditional snack of Ipoh. The "bakery" shop is actually a terrace house located in the Rapat town. Passed by a wet market and decided to pop in to take a look first.

The wet market is quite big scale selling all sorts of fresh food, dried food and condiments.


Came across many sundry shops with this interesting little machine that's used to grind tapioca.

As well as grated coconut. Cool!


My mum and MIL bought a pack of fresh Sar Hor Fun each as they really loved the texture of the Hor Fun here.


Next we proceeded into the housing estate and found our target house number 177, Seng Kee Heong Peng.


Sacks of coconut husks, used as fuel so that the Heong Peng would have a distinct flavour. Apparently this is the traditional method of baking Heong Peng but only a few bakeries use this method now as it's very tedious.


These are the wooden/clay urn burners used to bake the heong peng.


Heong Peng waiting for their turn in the burner.


The boss of Seng Kee, "sticking" each piece of Heong Peng to the sides of the burner.
It takes about 15 mins for the heong peng to be fully baked. This looks very similar to the way naans are cooked right?

After the heong peng is cooled, it's either packed individually into single pouches or into bags of 8s or 10s (not sure coz I bought the individually pouch one). I must say that the Heong Peng here is really good! The biscuit is light and crispy and the caramelized filling not too sweet and very fragrant.


We also dropped by the other famous Heong Peng shop, 189 Heong Peng.

Not sure if the method of baking is the same, as we could only see part of the making process.


After buying the Heong Peng, we still had some time and decided to visit another cave temple which was nearby.

The Perak Tong Cave Temple.

Although this cave temple is of smaller scale, there are many interesting limestone formation and intricate wall murals.


Decided to ascend to the highest point via the long, winding and steep stairways.

Tough climb indeed and we had to take breaks every now and then. The little rascal fared much better than us. Luckily there's a pavilion at the mid point.

Pathway to the viewpoint.

Viewpoint. Not sure if this is the highest point, but good enough for us. Quickly made our descend in search of some drinks to quench our thirst.

Fresh coconut juice to the rescue!

After resting and quenching our thirst, we headed back to the hotel to pack our bags and check out.

Decided to have our lunch at Plan b Cafe, which is located beside Kong Heng. Spotted the cafe when we were at Kong Heng and Thean Chun. Loved the brick walls and hanging lamps very much!

The whole place is converted from a warehouse and cleverly design to fit into the infrastructure. Loved the industrial feel yet stylish and chic.


There's alfresco area and indoor A/C area.


Of course we dined indoors, the heat was unbearable!


Drinks - hubby ordered a Lychee Lime Ice blended and I added an Iced Turkish Mint tea. The mums ordered coffee.

MIL ordered Nasi Lemak.
Mum ordered Nasi Ayam.

 Hubby ordered a DF buttermilk chicken.


The boy wanted sandwich (actually he was more interested in the fries) and we had a club sandwich to share.

I ordered another Plan b salad for myself.

As usual the little rascal couldn't finish his food but still insisted on ordering a cake. No choice, a slice of red velvet cream cheese cake for him. It was not bad, but a tad too sweet for me.

The food portions here were very big and all of use couldn't finish our food. Taste-wise was not bad.

As we were too full and there was still some time before going to the airport, we strolled in the vicinity. Sekeping Kong Heng is a neo-classical 3-storey building, the ground level is Kong Heng coffee shop itself and the upper levels are rooms available for booking.
Most of the building is preserved in the original state, and this historical place has been attracting many avid photographers and visitors.






Next to Plan b cafe, there are some interesting shops selling quirky stuff.

Bits & Bobs selling lots of retro stuff, and old school snacks, and Iced Balls!




There are also a few other cafes like Missing Marbles and Burps & Giggles which I found out served very good food as well. Too bad we were too full and no time to explore further. If we were to visit Ipoh again, will definitely put more cafes into our must-try list.


With that, we proceeded to airport for our flight back home.

This marked the end of our Ipoh and Cameron Highlands vacation, which was yet another fulfilling and fruitful trip!