Big Bill gets Hot for Chinese New Year

On the weekend, I got Big Bill the clay oven fired up and piped out 6Kg of bread and 3 big pots of stew ready for my family visiting over Chinese New Year.

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I fired up Big Bill around 11am, and made some pizzas for Kiwi Bird and I for lunch. We kept the pizzas simple, just topping them with home grown tomatoes and basil, with some grated cheese and feta.

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We had a leisurely lunch followed by a little dessert pizza made with cherry jam, rum and raisin chocolates, cashews and bananas.

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I made 4 different kinds of dough around noon on the previous day. I let them rise until nearly double, then put them into the fridge over night. Continue reading

Good Fortune Cake for a Great Chinese New Year!

Happy Chinese New Year!

There are many “must-have” traditional dishes for Chinese New Year. Good fortune cake (fa gao 發糕) is one of them. They are sweet little steamed cupcakes. They HAVE to have the split top to symbolise good fortune (the word “rise” is a pun with good fortune).

Chinese New Year good fortune cakes, flavoured with green tea and longan, decorated with cranberries.

Traditionally, they are made with rice flour (not the sticky/glutinous type). They tend to go hard very quickly, so these days many people are making them with wheat flour. I make them with mostly wheat flour, but still add some rice flour to give it its traditional characteristic “gooeyness”. You can completely use wheat flour if you don’t think you’ll like the addition of rice flour.

For plain good fortune cakes, you’ll need: Continue reading