Homecooks Spotlight: Edleen Sim

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Hello my name is Edleen. I’m a proud SAHM to both my energetic & lovely boy and girl aged 5 and 18 months respectively.  I’m temporarily residing in Idaho due to my hubby’s work trip for 2 years.  Being away from Singapore gave me ample time and opportunity to learn and pick up new culinary skills that i will never have a chance to do so back home (because we are so pampered with all the good food around us!) Thus, cooking & baking has been my hobby ever since!

Interview Questions –
1. What do you enjoy about cooking or baking?
I should say that being in the kitchen alone cooking/ baking something allows me to relax and most importantly destress! From preparing the ingredients to cooking and seeing the end result gives me a sense of satisfaction and achievement that acts like a DE-STRESSER for me!

2. Where do most of your recipes come from?
From my dearest mummy to cookbooks and food bloggers! The recipes found on the interent are endless!

3. What is your favourite kind of food to make?
One-pot rice cooker meal.  All I need is to throw in my choice of meat, vegetables, seasoning and rice and let the rice-cooker do the job! This also means less washing to do! I simply love the rice-cooker version of Claypot Chicken Rice.

4. Do you plan a weekly menu? If so, what inspires your menu?
I try to plan ahead but I usually end up cooking something that is not in my list or whipping up something extra that I had a sudden crave for. I usually surf the net for cooking inspiration, ie, look into my favourite food blog and see what pops out. Sometimes, food pic uploaded by my friends via Facebook do gave me ideas too.

5. What is your favourite kitchen tool/appliance?
Definitely my Pink KitchenAid Mixer. This was a surprise Christmas present from my hubby last year. The pink machine has been on “working” mode ever since.

6. What is your best tip for getting dinner on the table?
I usually try to dish up all that I have cooked onto my serving plates and start washing all the big pots and pans before dinner is served.  This not only saves time but makes cleaning up much lesser and easier. (Ironically, i usually would end up with many other “non” pots & pans to clear)

7. What kind of food did you eat growing up? Do you cook the same kinds of things today?
My mummy is a Cantonese and everyone knows that Cantonese never fail to serve soup on the dinner table. I especially love my mum’s “lao huo tang” (soup cooked over long hours) as I know she brew the soup with lots of love.

After I got married and started setting up my own family, I try to follow my mummy’s Cantonese footsteps, making sure that my love ones have a bowl of nutritous lao huo tang at least twice a week.

Kitchen

8. Will you show us your kitchen? What is your favourite thing about your kitchen?
This is a picture of my kitchen back in Singapore.  This was taken before handing over my flat to my present tenants.  I love the kitchen island the most as it not only gives me ample space for cooking preparation, kneading my dough etc, it also serves as a breakfast table for me and my hubby.

9. What was the first dish you’ve ever cooked?
It was my son’s first food – Fish porridge with carrots cooked in slow cooker.

I left the cooker on and went ahead to run my errands only to find a pot of dried and almost burnt fish porridge when i returned.  I realised I didnt put enough water.  Well, the cleaning up and scrubbing of the pot was indeed a good lesson learnt.

10. Which are your favourite food blogs/ websites?
Giada de laurentiis, Noobcook and Honeysuckle Catering. The food picts featured in their blog were already a winner!

Recipe to share:
I love all chiffon cakes but I fell in love with Pandan Cake since I was a school girl.  I have tried numerous Pandan Cake recipes but the outcome was either too dry or too wet.  This recipe, shared by my mother in law is by far the best. It yields the right texture and most importantly my hubby and children loves it!

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake
Ingredients:
6 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
A pinch of salt
125g self rising flour
5 tbsp corn oil
1/2 tsp pandan paste
125 ml thick coconut milk
6 egg whites
100g caster sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Method:
1. Begin by creaming 6 egg yolks with 80g of caster sugar on medium speed for 5 mins.  The volume of the batter will triple and the colour of the batter resembles pale yellow.
2. Mix corn oil, pandan paste and coconut milk together using a fork.  Reduce the speed to low and add the coconut mixture to the egg batter.  Ensure that everything is well-mixed.
3. Sift in the flour and the salt to the mixture above in 3 additions.  On medium low speed, combine the flour to the batter. Set aside.
4. Using the wire whisk, whisk the egg whites at low speed for 1 min till foamy.  Add in cream of tartar.  Switch to medium high speed, and add in 100g of caster sugar gradually and whisk till stiff peak.
5. Add one third of the meringue to the green mixture and mix well with spatula.  Add the rest of the meringue and gently fold into the mixture with a manual whisk. By using a manual whisk instead of a spatula helps to introduce more air to the batter, thus giving you a more light and airy cake.
6. Once all the meringue has been combined, give the batter bowl a few bangs on the table to release air bubbles.  Pour into a 23cm tube pan gently.  Using a skewer, go around the batter to release more air bubbles.  Smooth surface with spatula to prevent cracks on the top of the cake.
7. Bake the cake at the lowest rack of a pre-heated oven at 170C/ 335F for 55-60mins.
8. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and turn it upside down and place it on a cooling rack.
9.  Once cooled, unmould the cake and serve! Enjoy!

For more of Edleen’s wonderful bakes and food check this link

All photos courtesy of Edleen Sim

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