Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas parties... never too many


After we returned from our HK trip on last Friday nite, time seems to be running too fast. There's no time for xmas shopping for family and friends, no time for preparing food for xmas parties, no time for tiding up the house for the festive season. However, i managed to do a couple of things within three days.

For the office xmas party, we planned to have a potluck, and i chose to make cream puff. It was quite a daring choice cos the last 2 times i did cream puff, i didn't have much luck! Although the outcome was not fantastic, i was lucky that it didn't flop!

The chocolate cookies and lemon custard cookies i planned to pack as little gifts for my family and friends turn out to be disaster! All end up in the trash after 2 (late) nites of last minute baking! My contingency plan was to replace it with chocolates bought from supermarket. I think i won't be able to get them ready on xmas eve without the help of T. He's kind of sweet isn't it?

We had two family parties, one on the eve and the other one just yesterday. I actually wanted to bake something for the xmas eve party, but there's simply isn't any time for me to do anything. For the Sat party, i managed to do a dessert and log cake ( that looks like a 'block' cake instead). Nevertheless, the 'block' cake got rave feedbacks. As for the cream, i've got the idea from HappyHomeBaker, and true enough it tasted very nice and it's a quickie.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Corn & raisin bun, & a bad sore throat

I've been wanting to bake a simple bread for the longest time, but has put it off as bread making seems to be the toughest thing and most time consuming in the baking world. I've tried looking at many bread recipes, and the steps always seem daunting. Couple of days ago, Kitchen Corner did a Onion Sweet Corn Roll, which i thought, at last a recipe which looks simple enough. And since Monday was a public holiday, i can afford the time to try a bread recipe.

There's alot of waiting time ('proofing') in making bread, and i decided to brew some cooling drink cos i've just got this very sore sore throat. What a bad timing, as we are flying off for our holiday this saturday. Anyway, this chrysanthemum ginseng and "luo han guo" drink is what my mum used to brew ever so often when she was around. She would fill them up in various water bottles like 'recycled' soft drink bottle, or mineral water bottle, or her tupperware, whatever that could be used to store the drink and let us bring home. There's no specific recipe for this herbal drink, just put in whatever quantity of 'ingredients' you like, plus a small cube of rock sugar, and you get a very nice flavoured drink.

Back to the bread making, it was a total flop! Look at the pictures, they say a thousand words.....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kueh Dadar

Recently, there's a new show on tv8 "The little nyonya" which is very entertaining, educational & informative, especially on the peranakan traditions and their food. I'm one that sadly do not support local productions, but this is one show that i would not want to miss. The show is always 'promoting' their kueh-kuehs, amongst other things, and they really look yummi-licious on tv.

Maybe i'm under influence of the tv show, i was contemplating to do either kueh dadar or oneh-oneh for the past week. Also, i've some left-over coconut milk which has to be consumed by this weekend. I've got both recipes in my 'old recipes file', and decided to make kueh dadar since i've not did these for a very long time (should be more than 10 years ago). Don't mistaken me as an old hag, just that i started baking/ cooking very young... hahaha

Here the recipe for kueh dadar with some modifications, but i can't remember where the source is as i didn't jot it down.

Ingredients/ Method:

200gm grated coconut, without skin
6 tbsp gula melaka
4 pandan leaves

10 pandan leaves
350gm coconut milk

3/4 cup flour, sifted
3 eggs
1 1/2tbsp oil
a pinch of salt

1) Melt gula melaka with some water in non-stick pan over low flame until dissolved.
2) Add in grated coconut milk and pandan leaves and stir fry until almost dry. Set aside and allow to cool before use.
3) Blend (B) and squeeze out the pandan coconut milk.
4) In a bowl, beat eggs lightly, add in coconut milk, flour, cooking oil, and salt. Work into a smooth batter.
5) Heat a non-stick pan and grease with a little oil. Pour 1/4 cup batter onto pan and spread thinly. Cook over low flame. Repeat with the remaining batter. (*Amount of batter depends on size of pan.)
6) Fill each pancake with 2 tbsp coconut fillings. Fold in sides of pancake and roll into a spring roll.
7) Best to consume when completely cool, or few hours later.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another attempt... Pandan Chiffon Cake

Since i baked my first pandan chiffon cake 2 weeks ago, i've been thinking of baking it again as i wanted to better it. Initially i had wanted to use the same recipe, but after flipping through my old recipe file, i found another pandan chiffon cake recipe, which i gamely decided to try.

Many years ago, when i was still in my teens, i used to cut out recipes from magazines, or copy them from recipe book, and some of the recipes were typed out and have some cute pictures accompanying them. When i see these 'art works', i couldn't help but think why i did such childish things in the past, but nevertheless, it did put a smile on me and brought back sweet memories. Counting back, the recipe file should be at least 15 years old!

The last pandan chiffon cake i baked was lacking in pandan flavour and pale in colour. I'm almost inclined to use artificial colouring and flavour, but decided not to since my little baby will be eating it. In most of my bakes, i always try to stay away from artificial addictives, if possible. So instead of what the original requires, i use about 13 pandan leaves to obtain the extracts. Actually this is the balance leaves left from my previous bake.

The cake did turn out more flavourful and the green colour is more distinct. But i'm not very satisfied with the texture, but i guess it's possibly due to my folding of egg whites, which I'm still unable to totally grasp and maintain a constant standard.

Ingredients/ Method:
100g top flour
1 tsp baking powder
100ml coconut milk
Pandan leaves (at least 10)
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp corn oil
5 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
100g caster sugar
Pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
2) Blend coconut milk together with pandan leaves. Squeeze and extract the juice. Set aside.
3) Whisk egg yolks and sugar. Add (2), oil and salt and whisk well. Add in sifted flour.
4) In a clean bowl, whisk egg white and cream of tartar until frothy. Slowly add in sugar until egg whites are stiff.
5) Take 1/3 of egg whites and add into (3), and mix well.
6) Fold in remaining egg whites with (5).
7) Pour into ungreased tube pan. Bake at 180 deg C for 45-50 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
8) Invert pan and let the cake cool before removing from pan.

The next time i bake this again, there are a few things i will modify - 1)reduce the sugar to 75g, 2) lower temp to 170 deg C, 3) pay 101% concentration when folding the mixture!


This is what i did with my remaining batter that didn't fit into my 1 and only tube pan... and i prefer the texture and taste of chiffon cake in muffin cup, actually.

I brought the chiffon cake along when we went out for our breakfast on Sunday, and with a cup of nice aroma black coffee, it tasted perfect ;-p

When i ate the cake on Morning morning, it is still very soft and somehow the pandan and coconut flavour is more intense than on Saturday. The cake still keep well after 3 days...kekeke

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Chilled Mango Cheesecake

Monday was Ah Boy's birthday, and although we didn't have a 'real' celebration, i made a cake for him over the weekend. Ah boy is my younger brother, and we have been calling him ah boy for last twenty over years. Now he's 2 baby nephews, almost getting married (hopefully), a grown-up man, but the name still stuck with him. We used to tease that when he's a old man, we'll still be calling him "Ah boy", weird isn't it? And since he has proprietary right to the name, neither the 2 baby nephews can use it. Coincidentally, my 40-over-year-old uncle is still fondly addressed as 'di-di' (little brother) by all my aunties, uncles, almost everyone.

After my quite successful blueberry cheesecake, i tried out mango cheesecake. I just replaced the blueberries with fresh mango. Perhaps i didn't get the best mango in town, i bought those Malaysia mango from ntuc fairprice at 39cts per gm, the taste wasn't very prominent. Neither the cheese flavour stood out. Since I used fresh mango which i also used it as toppings, i thought of covering these mango topping with jelly. After i finish doing the jelly, i realised i've seen it somewhere.... mirror cake. The result of my 'mirror' is not near perfect, and it got worse when i blast my fridge to the lowest temp. The mirror crystallised and didn't defroze enough when the cake was cut and served.

PS. Ah Boy, pardon me for this lousy birthday cake ;-p

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pandan Chiffon Cake

These days i can't really live to the name of my blog; sometimes it made me depressed, other times it made me angry. Not because i start hating baking, or writing a blog entry. It's really personal, and i'm hesitating to pen it down here, in my little diary. I believe that emotions affect the things we do, and when people eat your bakes, they get the 'bad vibes' too! Even the photos turn out ugly. What should i do next?

Anyway, i did a Pandan Chiffon Cake using Rei's and baked some lao po bings (for the 3rd time) during the weekends. In terms of texture and making it look like a chiffon cake, i'm almost there. But i need to work very hard on getting the right flavour, mine tasted just a hint of pandan and coconut, you would probably be able to tell from the colour of the cake. I will attempt to do a better one, hopefully soon. Here's how my pandan chiffon cake looked like:-

My 17cm chiffon tin is too small for the entire batter, so

i pour the balance batter into a 7" cake tin. They looked

fine and pretty when just of the oven.

Thank goodness, the cake didn't collapse. It still hold
the shape and height. Colour and smell is lacking, though.

What happened?! Both are baked at the same time, using
the same batter! Could it be due to the cake tin used?
Texture is very dense. A classic failed chiffon cake.

I like this picture best! It shows the softness and fluffiness. See the nice hole-y holes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Seven vii

When i first saw this meme passing on, I thought to myself that 'how i wish i've been tagged'. So when i received a message that Kitchen Corner has tagged me, i immediately said to my hubby "this makes my day!" Silly me, isn't it?

Here is 7 little things about me:-
  1. The lunar year 2007 is my happiest and saddest year, Happiest as i've had my bundle of joy, Saddest as my beloved mum has left me. It all seems like a cycle.
  2. I used to think blogging is a waste of time, until i'm hooked to it. But that's all because of baking and the generous sharing of information and tips from fellow bloggers. I felt that I'm in a exclusive community.
  3. I started helping out my mum in the kitchen since very young, and probably get her 'genes' for churning out food. Mum's food is always the BEST!
  4. During one of the school holidays in my teenage years, I worked part-time in a confectionary at Hougang called "Cherry Blossom". Wonder why i didn't copied down all the recipes then? The shop has since closed down or shifted elsewhere? Anyone out there knows?
  5. When we first shifted into our new house, i got my hubby to agree to install a built-in oven. He used to complain about the low/ no-usage of oven. Now, he complains about the high electrical bills due to my high usage.
  6. I've got phobia of cockroaches, flying beetle (the brown one), rats esp. with hairy tail (i ever saw one and the image still edged in my mind), and strands of wet hair when they are not on the scalp (including hair that belongs to me!)
  7. Like all piscean, i love to day-dream and sometimes imagination goes wild or hay-wire.
7 bloggers that i'm passing this meme:-

  1. Baking Mum
  2. Cook Bake Legacy
  3. Do What I Like
  4. Sweet Indulgences
  5. Precious Moments
  6. My Kitchen
  7. Pure Enjoyment

The rules for tagging is link to my blog (tagger) on your blog. Give seven facts about yourself then tag another seven bloggers by leaving a comment on their blogs and letting them know they were tagged and listing them (and their blogs) on your blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blueberry Cheesecake

When i saw this beautiful blueberry cheesecake from Rei's All That Matters, i was almost mesmerised by the picture. I can't imagine how a simple fruit mixed with cream cheese and whipped cream can actually create such an attractive colour.

I wasn't too sure initially whether i can afford the time to make this cake as my ah gong was not feeling well and was hospitalised. Nevertheless, i did squeeze out some time and sacrifice some of my sleeping time to make this cake for my A colleague's mini birthday party last Thursday. Luckily my ah gong has since recovered and discharged, and hence today i've got the time to update my blog.

My piping skill sucks!

The cake is easy to put together, but the taste is not compromised. It tasted refreshing and delicious 'oishii'. Many thumbs-up from my colleagues (hopefully it is not polite compliments). I will attempt other flavours such as kiwi, strawberry, mango, durian, chocolate, etc.

Ingredients/ Method:

120g Digestive biscuits, crushed finely
40g softened butter

100g cream cheese, bring to room temperature
100g yogurt (Paul's set yogurt)
60g fine sugar
200g blueberry puree**
200ml non-diary whipped cream
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp gelatine powder + 3 tbsp boiling water (Mix and dissolve the powder. Keep warm)

Topping (optional)
4 tbsp blueberry pie filling
1.5 tbsp lemon juice

1) Mix crushed biscuits and butter evenly. Press the mixture into 7 inch loose base round tin. Chill in fridge for later use.
2) Whisk cream cheese, yogurt and sugar till smooth and no lumps. Add in gelatine using a hand whisk to incorporate well. Add in blueberry puree and whipped cream, mix well.
3) Pour mixture into prepared cake tin. Level and smooth the mixture using spatula. Chill for at least 3 hours.
4) Remove from tin and ready to serve. Decorate as desired.

**To make blueberry puree, use 220g blueberry pie filling and add 20g water, blend well and sieve.

This is what happened when a small cake is shared with 30 people

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lao Po Bing (Wife's Biscuit)

Click here for link to step-by-step of making this pastry.

I always look forward to Saturdays as that seems to be the only time now that i can do my baking. Although i can do it during the weekday, i have to ensure i reach home earlier. Also, these days my little one insists that i sleep with him, otherwise, he will be wide awake and running around the house til the wee hours. Most of the time, i will fall asleep at the same time as him, or sometime 'knock-off' before he does!
Lao Po Bing is a must when we go Hong Kong, and i used to be able to consume at least 2 at one go. So when i got the recipe from Florence's blog, you bet i was pretty excited! Finally got the chance to do it yesterday, and it is real good! I didn't wait for the pastry to cool down, and almost gobble down one immediately after i took the pictures ;-p What can i say.... something i will definitely do it again and again.

Egg-washed dough ready to be baked

Freshly baked pastry just out of the oven ... delicious!

Two of the better-looking ones... though not that pretty

I will only list down the ingredients used, but not the method, as the detailed and pictured step-by-step in Florence's blog is what all first timers need.

The filling is simply yummy


Water dough
100g cake flour
25g icing sugar
25g butter (cubed) or shortening or margarine or lard
40g water

Oil dough
100g cake flour
45-50g shortening or lard

50g candied winter melon, chopped to bite size
55-60g castor sugar
70g commercialised glutinous rice flour (koh fun)
18g shortening
15g white sesame seeds, roasted
12g dessicated coconut
120g boiled drinking water, room temp.

Egg Wash
1 yolk + 1 tsp water + a pinch of salt

Shouldn't a traditional pastry be served in a traditional bowl

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Banana Crumb Muffins

Although banana is not my favourite fruit on its own, i like to use them for baking. They are cheap but once you buy a bunch, you got to consume them within a few days, if not they will turn 'black' and too soft for consumption. In order to 'save' them, i will keep the bananas in the sub-zero and use them whenever there's time to bake something with it. Previously, i peeled the banana skin and kept it in the ice-box. This time round, after reading somewhere that it is easier and better to freeze the banana with the skin, i did it and had a difficult time to remove the skin.

With a quite a few bananas in the freezer, i want to experiment with different recipes so that i could get 'THE" best banana cake! I got this, this, this, and this; not forgetting i had did this and that before. My search for banana cake recipes show one thing in common: all of the bakers have tried more than one banana recipes! I finally decided to try out the Banana Crumb Muffins, which is "a basic banana muffin made extraordinary with a cinnamon-and-brown-sugar streusel topping".

I'm on my lucky streak during these 2 baking days, the muffins turn out soft, moist, fluffy, flavourful, etc.... all i could ask for a banana muffins! However, i know it may not strike a cord with those who doesn't like spices - cinnamon & nutmeg. Also, i'm not very sure whether i got the streusel topping right cos i didn't exactly get the coarse cornmeal texture, and i'm left with half the mixture after topping all the muffins. Anyway, it didn't really matter on this occasion.

Ingredients/ Method:

A) Muffins
190g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 bananas, mashed
50g brown sugar
100g fine sugar
2 eggs
75g canola oil
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

B) Toppings
15g butter
15g all-purpose flour
75g brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder

1) Preheat oven at 160 deg C.
2) Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
3) Beat the eggs until light yellow, add in oil, and slowly add in sugar till well mixed. Add in mashed banana.
4) Add in flour to the mixture till well combined, but do not overmix.
5) Spoon the mixture into muffin cups upto 2/3rd filled.
6) In a small bowl, mix Topping ingredients till it resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
7) Bake in oven for 20 mins, or until skewer inserted comes out clean.

For the above, i used mini muffin cups and achieve about 30 little muffins.

Another keeper!

Cotton Soft Japanese Cheesecake

Actually this recipe has been on my "must-do" list for the longest time, yet I've always have some other things that will crop up and stop me from baking this. It could also be some of the not-so-successful reviews that I read about this recipe that made me 'procastinate' and hesitate to try it. But I'm very glad that I finally baked it today, as it turned out to be my almost-perfect baked cheesecake!

I followed closely to one of the reviewers' comments that gave a very clear step-by-step preparation, and it works well!

Ingredients/ Method

140g fine sugar
6 eggs, separated
1/4tsp cream of tartar
50g butter
250g cream cheese
100ml fresh milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
grated lemon zest (optional)
60g cake flour/ superfine flour (i accidentally used self-raising flour)
20g cornflour
1/4tsp salt (again, i accidentally omitted)

1) Melt cream cheese, butter and milk over a double-boiler. Cool the mixture.
2) Sift the cream cheese to avoid lumps and to achieve smooth texture.
3) Add in lemon juice and egg yolks using wire whisk, mix well.
4) Add in flour and corn flour into the cream cheese mixture, a little at a time, until well mixed.
5) In a separate bowl, beat the egg white till foamy, then slowly add in cream of tartar.
6) When egg white mixture reaches soft peak, add in sugar slowly and continue to beat until you reach stiff peak.
7) Take 1/4 egg white mixture and add into cream cheese mixture, mix well.
8) Fold the remaining egg white mixture into the cream cheese mixture, do not overmix.
9) Pour mixture in 8' cake tin and lined the bottom and side with baking paper.
10) Bake at 160 deg C for 1 hour 20 min in water bath. (PS. The last 10 mins, I switch to bottom heat only, to prevent the cake top from over-brown.)

The cake lives up to its name - cottony, soft. I've got rave feedbacks and for once, I gave myself a 'band 1' pass! Definitely a keeper!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Dates Tea Cake

You may notice that during the Ramandan, there's always alot of dates available in the supermarkets. I love these dates as they are usually very sweet, juicy and fresh, unlike those red dates that's sold all year round. Not too sure why, but i think it must be something to do with our muslim friends' diet as they will fast for a month.

I was on leave on Friday to visit some of the childcare centres open-house. By Friday morning, we were already done with the 'selection' and registration. Actually we have sort of made our mind on the childcare centre, since we have did some pre-homework. Time really flies, and my l'il baby is ready to be sent to school. By Jan 2009, he will be in school uniform and attending classes, playing with his peers, etc, and i hope he can really enjoy himself and grow up to be a fine am i thinking too far?

Anyway, i had the Friday afternoon and with the baby taking his nap, i started preparing for the bake. The dates were in the fridge for quite a while and I was thinking of how to bake with them. So when i flipped to one recipe that uses prune, i thought i could replace them with dates. This tea cake is not the cake that you have in the afternoon tea, which happyhomebaker mentioned, it is a real tea cake. However, my tea cake does not have any aroma of tea, possibly i used a rather mild one - chamomile. Anyone can suggest the type of tea to use to make a teacake? When i had the cake, it is still warm and i think it will definitely go very well with a cup of hot coffee or tea in a lazy afternoon. The texture is soft, and you could still taste the sweetness of the dates, and bites of walnuts. Nothing beats freshly baked cakes!

Ingredients/ Method:

3 eggs
80g sugar

100g dried dates (I used 130g)
1/2 tsp baking soda
80ml hot tea

150g plain flour
50g walnut, toasted

30g melted butter

1) Pit and chop dates. Pour in hot tea and baking soda. Soak for 2 hours. ( I soak mine in half an hour.)
2) Beat ingredients (A) for 10-15 mins until thicken.
3) Pour in tea with dates and mix well.
4) Fold in sifted flour into the prune mixture.
5) Pour in melted butter and roasted walnuts. Stir gently.
6) Bake in 7-inch cake tin at 170-180 deg C for 35-40 mins.

Soft Cake with Carrot & Raisin

After my long hiatus, i finally did my baking, but sadly it's a flop! Blamed it on the.... recipe? stupidity? It's a steamed cake, and should be the easiest cake that anyone can make, right? I must be too complacent and not thinking at all. The title is soft cake, but mine turned out as hard and chewy than anything else. After a while, i realised where my mistake is ...... i didn't beat the egg mixture enough at all. I missed the word 'fluffy' that is called for in the recipe... sigh!

I've 'borrowed' this recipe book from my brother, and I've not returned him ever since....kekeke. Bet he doesn't need to use it anymore? This recipe book is all about low-sugar desserts and cakes, so there's no need to cut down on the sugar level, which i used to do for some of the recipes that i use.

I will try this again, since it is really a easy one. It probably takes less than 30 mins to prepare and wash up.

Ingredients/ Method:

2 eggs
80g sugar
1 tsp cake emulsifier
200g superfine flour
1 tsp baking powder
120ml milk
100g carrot, grated
1/3cup raisin

1) Sift flour and baking powder, and set aside.
2) Combine eggs and sugar until fluffy.
3) Add cake emulsifier, flour, baking powder and milk. Beat together for about 5 mins or until the mixture is fluffy.
4) Put in grated carrot and raisin and mix well.
5) Spoon into mini paper cups.
6) Steam over medium heat for 5-7 mins.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Simon's Birthday Cake (cont'd)

I know i'm totally slack and very slow in putting up this continuing post following my earlier one. I thought i had the time and energy to complete this post before i depart for my 2-weeks trip, but too many things just crop up, i was almost drained. I very much wanted to do it immediately i return 1 over week ago, but it didn't happen. Now i'm writing this post, and it's with very strong determination to get myself out of the slumber, and that i've this nagging part of me which constantly remind me of the outstanding post. It is the same fate for my baking endeavours, except that i still have not warm up my oven for a month! Don't get me wrong, i still have deep passion for blogging and baking, but time and energy (the lack of it) forbid me from doing it. Most importantly, i wanted to really spend quality time with my little baby, to make up for the 'lost' time. The 2 weeks away from him is really not a nice feeling.

Back to the earlier post, if you have guessed that it is a sexy lady with voluptuous assets, then it's a bingo! It was for my Uncle Simon, and though he's nothing near lecherous, i was thinking more of a 'fun' cake for him! I like how the decorated cake turn out and feels proud of myself, for churning out something like this. Of course, this kind of standard is only meant for family members, and far far far to be comparing with cakes you buy from the shops or other bloggers.

The cake was using Amanda's Banana cake recipe, which was supposed to be a cupcake, but i baked in my usual cake tin. I used the same miracle cream cheese frosting, which i did for my earlier muffins. I actually planned to add cinnamon in the cake, but totally forgotten until the cake was half-way baked. Anyway, the banana cake tasted good without the cinnamon, but the frosting is a tad too sweet. Perhaps i got the measurement for icing sugar in the frosting wrong, but there's no way to tell unless i try making cream cheese frosting again. I reckon this would be a rather long wait....., but hopefully not too long.

Ingredients/ Method:

225g cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
150g butter
150g castor sugar
2 eggs, large
50ml milk
3 large bananas, mashed

1) Preheat oven to 175 deg C.
2) Sift flour and set aside.
3) Cream butter until light and creamy, about 5 to 8 minutes.
4) Add sugar and continue to mix till light and flufffy.
5) Beat in eggs, one at a time.
6) Beat in mashed banana and milk.
7) Fold in sifted flour into mixture.
8) Bake for 50 to 60 minutes.

Will start getting my oven warm again, let's see how this weekend turn out to be!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sunday, September 7, 2008

More mooncakes

There are a few variety of mooncakes that i wanted to make, those baked ones, cheesecake snowskin mooncakes, chocolate snowskin mooncakes, durian snowskin mooncakes..... but alas i only have so little time to do either of them. Since i have some left-over ingredients from my earlier moonies, i decided to finish up all of them. There's also a pack of red bean paste that i bought a few months ago, supposedly to bake this, but i never had the chance/ courage to try out bread-making. For bread-making, it seems you need alot of time for proofing, which i don't have the luxury since i usually do my baking almost in the 'wee' hours. I also made some custard filling, which i initially thought would be quite effortless to prepare. Things are easy until sieveing the custard, ohmigod, i started to regret preparing it.

Ingredients/ Method for custard filling:

2 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
40g superfine flour
40g corn flour
30g custard powder
100ml coconut milk
150ml milk
50g butter

1. Mix all ingredients except butter till well combined.
2. Stir in butter.
3. Steam for 15 mins or till cooked.
4. Sieve the custard paste and leave to cool.
5. Scale custard paste at 15g each.

I had 2 types of fillings, custard with white lotus paste, and custard with red bean paste. Hands-up for the low sugar white lotus paste. The red bean paste is a tad too sweet.

The snowskin is using the same as my previous bake. However, i tried added a few drops of pandan paste and strawberry paste this time round to give me more 'colorful' moonies. Yields 24 mini mooncakes, which i shared with my family members.

Blueberry Yogurt Cake

I've been trying to find a recipe that uses yogurt as the tub in my fridge will be expiring soon, and i definitely have to use it up by this week as i'll be away for 2 weeks from this saturday. Went back to the usual blogs, and found one "Another Yogurt Cake" by HappyHomeBaker.

The result of the cake doesn't turn out what i expected it to be, as it was rather dense and heavy. Other than that, the cake is very flavourful, and of course, you can't go wrong with fresh blueberries. Not too sure whether i did anything wrong in the preparation, but i will attempt this yogurt cake again when i return.

Ingredients/ Method:

125ml yogurt
100g caster sugar
60g brown sugar
3 eggs
95g ground almond
140g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
125ml olive oil
some blueberries

1. Preheat over to 180 degC. Grease and line 8" round pan with baking paper.
2. Mix yogurt, sugar and eggs.
3. Add ground almongs and sieve over flour and baking powder. Mix till combined.
4. Fill 2/3 of the batter in the pan, arranged blueberries on the batter and pour the rest of the remaining batter over the blueberries.
5. Bake at 180 degC for 40-50 mins or until skewer comes out clean.
6. Let cool in pan for 20mins before unmoulding.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Strawberry Chiffon Cake

My cousin, Sandra, birthday happened to fall on Malaysia's National Day. For couple of years, there was no birthday 'party' for her as i think the date is near/ the exam period. So the next time if anyone were to plan for a baby, timed it to holiday season so that your kid would not be 'deprived' of birthday parties! This year, however, is an exception and it was a rather last-minute decision that there'll be a celebration for my cousin. Not too sure whether my cousin would like a home-baked cake, i actually sought my aunt's permission to bake a birthday cake. I thought my cousin like cheese or chocolate, but no it wasn't; it's strawberry, perhaps this is all (little) girl's favourite??

There wasn't much time for me to search the internet for strawberry cake recipe, so i dig through my rather-thick stack of recipe print-outs that i've accumulated so far. Since my sponge cake has not been very successful, i was thinking of using other sponge cake recipes, but i eventually found one recipe that is exactly what i intend to bake - Strawberry Chiffon Cake by Little Corner of Mine. The batter is little too much for my 8' cake tin, and pour the remaining batter to a smaller cake tin. I bake these 2 cakes at the same time. I would say the small cake is a success as it did not sink after cool. But i can't say the same for the big cake, it shrink quite a fair bit and has a sunken top after cool. Weird? Why 1 is ok but the other is not, when they are being bake at the same time, same temperature, same batter, same level in the oven? Anyone can advise?

We ate the small cake for our breakfast, and i like the texture, although the next time, i will cut down on the sugar. The big cake is to be decorated as a birthday cake. I like the simple decor. The verdict from T is that there is enough fresh strawberry for the cake and too much whipped cream. In my baking journey, T and my aunt Cat has given me alot of valuable feedbacks, which i appreciate. I hope i can improve a little step at a time (^..^)

Happy Birthday, Sandra

Ingredients/ Method:

(some modifications were made as most of my measurement is in gm instead of cup)


230g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

100g sugar (to reduce sugar the next time)


1/2cup canola oil

6 egg yolks

185g strawberry puree

1 tsp strawberry paste


6 egg whites

1/2tsp cream of tartar

125g sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170 degC.
2. Sift (A), stir to mix. Add (B) and use an electric mixer till well incorporated. Set aside.
3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another bowl until soft peak, then gradually add in sugar. Beat until stiff peak is formed.
4. Fold 1/3 of the egg white mixture into yolk batter gently but thoroughly. Then, add 1/3 egg white and do the same until all the egg whites is used.
5. Pour batter into cake tin, and igive it a knock on the table.
6. Bake for 45-50 mins or until toothpick inserted come out clean.
7. Invert the pan and let the cake cool inside the pan. When cooled, loosen the edge and remove the cake to cool completely on wire rack.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Snowskin Mooncake

My baking experiment is getting more interesting and little bit varied. Have you ever wondered that sometimes those goodies that you thought you will never know how to do it, is actually so simple. Of course, all these cannot be accomplished without the generous sharing of good and easy to follow recipes by fellow bloggers. It's kinda weird that i can spend almost everyday blogging or simply catching up blogs of other homebakers, to T, he just lamented that "i don't understand why you want to spend so much time on this, i find it a waste of time!" I suppose you must be in it, to understand this world of blogging, and baking (~0~)

The 'craze' now is my office is making snowskin mooncakes, and everyone ('exaggerated', only the usual group bakers) seems to be trying it out, sharing different recipes found from the world-wide-web, and our baking experiences and experiments. Since this is my 'virgin' moonies, i did a fare bit of surfing to sift out the recipes, and at the same time, to 'hear' from other bloggers' experience with making mooncakes. This was narrowed to this from Held by Love, Bake from Scratch, who like me - is the first time trying out mooncake, and bought the mooncake moulds from Elyn from e's joie.

These moonies were the 1st few that i did, see the skin
is quite uneven and ugly.

Ingredients/ Method:

100g koh fun (commercial fried glutinous rice flour)
70g icing sugar
30g shortening
120g cold water

1. Sift koh fun and icing sugar.
2. Rub in shortening into the flour mixture.
3. Slowly add in the cold water, until soft dough forms.
4. Weigh 20g dough each, and 30g filling each, and set aside.
5. Flatten the dough and put the filling in the centre and wrap.
6. Press into mould.

*Note: I put the dough in between a plastic bag and flatten with rolling pin. The wrapping is also done using the plastic bag. This method was 'invented' as the dough keep sticking to my hand, and i don't wish to use more flour to coat the mooncake. It made handling of the mooncake very easy!

Although these mooncakes are never near perfect nor in comparison with commercial ones, personally i like it just because it is home-made with love...kekekeke. This is another 'spirit' of my baking endeavours!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Again.... muffins & mini butter cake

I'm back to baking the 'same old stuff' - muffins and butter cake. The only difference is the little frosting that i did on both the muffins and mini butter cake to freshen up the look, and baking the butter cake in muffin cups. I suppose these changes qualify this post to be put up as i don't wish to appear repeating my post. But of course, with my limited baking experiences and skills, doing things different can be quite a challenging feat.

For these last couple of months, ever since i started this blog, i seem to be addicted to - either baking or blogging, or possibly both activities! Other than honing my baking skills, i'm brushing up my english and some story-telling ability at the same time...kekeke! To fast-forward another 10, 20 years, if i'm still posting on this blog, i will be able to publish a Biography, if not, at least this is still some-kind of MY 'valuable' legacy.

Back to baking, this batch of 'goodies' were done over the weekend, where T's company had the 7th month prayers and mini buffet. Another opportunity for me to satisfy my baking craving..... The muffin is using this recipe, and mini mixed citrus butter cake this.

The chocolate muffins were frosted with more chocolate ganache, and whipped cream which was some left-over that i kept in the freezer. There is no need to thaw, and it was almost ready to use right out of the freezer. The mini mixed citrus butter cake was frosted with Taste Goblet's miracle cream cheese frosting.

Double Chocolate Chips Muffins

Ingredients/ Method:

150g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
1.5tsp baking powder
3/4tsp baking soda
75g sugar
1.5 eggs
90g olive oil
135g milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bow, and set aside.
2. Add egg, oil and milk into the bowl, mix till just combine. Add chocolate chips.
3. Spoon into muffin cups 2/3 full and bake in preheated 170 deg C for 20 mins or till skewer comes out clean.
4. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

Miracle Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients/ Method:

1/2 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1. Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.
2. Add vanilla and cream.
3. Add in mascarpone cheese straight from the fridge and beat gently until thick, about 10-15 sec.
4. Gradually stir in the icing sugar and beat on low speed to combine for about 30 sec. (Do not overbeat.)
5. Frost immediately or store in fridge.

I love the muffins and cakes with the frosting; like all men and women, it's the clothes that maketh them; or they maketh the clothes?!