Saturday, April 25, 2009

Butterfly cupcakes & Little nutella-filled cakes

Most of the Saturday morning, I would laze longer in bed with my little baby actively awake and playing on his own with his toys. Seeing that I'm still sleeping, he would either climb over my body umpteen times, or pestering me to read a book to him, or just to wake up and play with him. This morning is not unusual, except that I took out the recipe book which i have left at my bedside table few days ago, and flipped through the pages with my little baby. Am I inspiring him to be a baker or chef? Nothing of the sort, though I will not object if he chose this path... then i can be celebrity baker/chef's mommy ;-)

The cute butterfly cupcakes caught my eyes. My little baby likes it too! After I told him that I'm going to bake it for him, he can't stop asking me for it and I've to explain to him that I can only do it in the afternoon. Okay, he got distracted for a while and start asking again. Finally got him to take his afternoon nap, and have time to start preparing to bake the cupcakes. The recipe is easy but before I could finish baking, my little baby woke up and started asking for butterfly cupcake again. He got impatient and asked me to seat him in the baby chair; that's his usual tea-time place. I've to rush through decorating one cupcake and immediately give it to him. He's that demanding! The only rewarding remark given by little baby on the cupcake is "very nice", and makes all efforts worthwhile! He had 2 butterfly cuppies ;-) I like the cupcake texture too, soft and smooth, when fresh out of the oven!

Butterfly Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Baking a Commonsense Guide)

Ingredients/ Method:
120g unsalted butter, softened
120g caster sugar (original recipe use 180g)
185g self-raising flour
125ml milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (original recipe did not add this)

1/4cup whipping cream. whipped
some strawberry jam
icing sugar, to dust

1) Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
2) Beat egg, sugar, milk, butter and vanilla essence with electric beater. Add in flour and beat till mixture is smooth and pale.
3) Pour mixture into lined baking cups, 2/3 filled.
4) Bake for 30 mins. Transfer to wire rack to cool.
5) Cut shallow rounds from the centre of each cake using point of a sharp knife.
6) Spoon 2 tsp whipped cream into each cavity, top with some strawberry jam and position 2 halves of cake tops in the jam to resemble butterfly wings. Dust with icing sugar.

I used half of the above recipe to bake Little nutella-filled cakes. Pour batter into lined baking cups, 1/3 filled. Top with 1tsp nutella and cover with batter upto 2/3 of baking cup. I've greedily add too much nutella and T says it overwhelmed the cake.

Added lemon juice and zest to left-over whipped cream

to decorate the little nutella-filled cakes

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


My poor baby is suddenly down with lung infection on Saturday and although he's still as active as ever, we have to constantly monitor his temperature doesn't shoot up and that his breathing is okay. Actually we were negligent in picking up from his constant coughs and runny nose for the past weeks, and had administered the usual cough and flu medication. T & me each took a day off this week to take care of little baby, and luckily everything went well and his condition seems to be stable so far.

My aunt ivy is very kind enough to prepare lunch (and our everyday dinner) especially knowing that little baby requires a very strict diet during this period. Her house is a 15 mins walk from where we stay. The route to my aunt's house used to be very unpleasant as it's extremely hot and seems never-ending. But since about 2 years ago, there are very nice trees, plants and flowers planted along the route, and these provided good shades and nice scenery. Whilst walking today, we discovered mimosa (touch-me-not) and this got my little baby fascinated and it was fun playing with it for a good 5-10mins. Although little baby still can't remember 'mimosa', he can tell his daddy 'touch leaf and close', which is good enough for his age ;-p

Since there are some time to spare this afternoon, i asked my aunt whether i can cook 咕嚕肉 for dinner. This is one of my favourite dishes. I remembered my mum learnt this dish from the community centre when i was in primary 3 0r 4, and thereafter she cooked it so often knowing that we all like it very much! Although i was her kitchen little helper then, i didn't master her skills in cooking. Here's how my 咕嚕肉 fare:-

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Marbled cream cheese brownie

Overall the weekend, i finally managed to find some time to bake something. When breaking the eggs, I was caught by surprise and got excited by the sight of..... a twins! Then i realised that Mrs. Kwok have got twins on the same much of a coincidence! Actually I don't mind to have a real twins (real baby), and so does Mrs. Kwok!

I thought the rare sight of twin egg would mean a smooth and successful baking, but it was not meant to be. I had so many blunders, even though the recipe seemed so easy, that I almost gave up half-way. As expected, my marbled cream cheese brownie didn't look appetising, and in fact does not really look like a brownie, unlike the one did by smallsmallbaker. The only thing is that it tasted good, though not the usual creamy & fudgey texture we used to eat for our brownie.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hazelnut cocoa bread

These days I've not been using the oven that often, partly due to my rather busy schedule, which gets me tired easily (or age catching up), my boy is seeking more attention from me and i tuck him to bed every night (and sometimes fell asleep before he does), I've got the BM which satisfy my baking-crave, or am i getting lazy? Actually, there's couple of recipes which i'm dying to try out, and ingredients have been bought, but things are not moving. I envy other bloggers who seem to be baking or cooking something almost every other day.

After the successful Crunchy Peanut Butter Loaf, I wanted to do the same recipe again, but thought of modifying the recipe to see how it will develop. I'm one person who's not systematic and do not like the 'same old thing', and my baking follows this trait. I've been toying the idea of replacing the peanut butter with nutella for the last couple of days, and did it yesterday. Unfortunately, the aroma and taste of nutella is not distinct, in fact not evident at all, in the loaf. Nevertheless, the bread is still soft, so soft that it made slicing them so difficult. It looks like those bread you see at coffee-shop, and may taste good toasted and spread with kaya and thick-sliced butter.

We had the bread this morning for our breakfast. And everyone of us have our 'preferred' spread. Little baby has strawberry jam, daddy has nutella, mummy has peanut butter.

The cheese slice is for little baby's growing needs and calcium intake, and shared with mummy.

Hazelnut Cocoa Bread

Ingredients/ Method
300ml water (i use 2/3 fresh milk, 1/3 water)
3 tbsp nutella
1 tbsp oil
450g bread flour
1 1/2tsp salt
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 1/4tsp instant yeast

1. Pour water into BM. Add in nutella, oil and half the flour.
2. Sprinkle salt, sugar and milk powder. Cover with remaining flour. Lastly make an indent on the flour and add in the yeast.
3. Set the BM at Basic mode, Light crust and 900g size.
4. I turn off the BM 7 mins before the pre-set time.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Qingming Festival (清明节)

Yesterday was the actual day of Qing Ming (清明节), the time where we pay our respect to our loved ones who have gone to a better place before us. It is also called tomb-sweeping (掃墓), but these days because of land scarcity, these tomb or graves are mostly shifted to columbarium.

On all occasions, I love to prepare food that my mum liked to eat. Since I didnt take leave this time round, I can only prepare things that are simple and do not require alot of cooking time. Not elaborate, but good ol' stuff, i hope. Old-style 鸡蛋糕 and fried bee hoon with canned pig trotters, plus grilled drumstick. We used to have the fried bee hoon ever so often as supper whenever we played mahjong on Saturday nights, thus this dish always bring back many good (and tasty) memories. Although fried bee hoon seems easy enough, i'm not really good at cooking it. The bee hoon turned out 'brittle', which i think is due to too much frying or too much water, must remember these 2 points the next time i cook this dish again.

Old-style 鸡蛋糕

Ingredients/ Method
3 large eggs
300gm plain flour
300gm sugar (will reduce to 200gm the next time)
170ml F&N orange juice

1. Sift plain flour and set aside.
2. Beat eggs and sugar until mixture turns pale and thick, about 20-25 mins using the mixer.
3. Fold in flour into egg mixture gently, until well mixed.
4. Pour in orange juice into the mixture and stir in one direction gently, and until well mixed.
5. Pour mixture into prepared cane basket with plastic suitable for steaming. Steam on high heat for 1 hour.

*To have your cake smile at you, sprinkle sugar across the mixture before putting into the steamer.

* This 鸡蛋糕 tasted better than my earlier one. The aerated orange juice acts as an rising agent, as people in the old days hardly use commercial stuff like baking powder or soda.

Since we were going out early in the morning, I baked a loaf of Crunchy Peanut Butter bread and packed this as cheese sandwiches, just in case my little one gets hungry before the prayers end. This bread turned out really soft and fragant, and by far the best loaf the breadmaker has churned out. I would definitely baked this again!

Crunchy Peanut Butter Bread
(Recipe adapted from Happy Homebaker)
Ingredients/ Method
300ml water
3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp oil
450g bread flour
1 1/2tsp salt
2 tsp caster sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 1/4tsp instant yeast

1. Pour water into BM. Add in peanut butter, oil and half the flour.
2. Sprinkle salt, sugar and milk powder. Cover with remaining flour. Lastly make an indent on the flour and add in the yeast.
3. Set the BM at Basic mode, Light crust and 900g size.
4. I turn off the BM 10mins before the pre-set time.