Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bake Along #74 Hot Milk Cakes With Strawberries & Cream

Very interesting recipe where a mixture of hot milk & butter poured in the batter, I must try :)
It yielded a tasty cake but to me, the cake is too dense. Luckily it's meant to eat with cream and strawberries with its juices, helps a lot to moisten the cake. In the end, it's pretty enjoyable, and my family didn't mind either :)

Recipe is from Bon Appetit Dessert Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild

What you need:
(I followed the modification from Joyce from Kitchen Flavours)

2 large eggs
1/2 cup + 4 tbsp caster sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract, divided
1 cup + 2 tbsp self raising flour
2/3 cup fresh milk
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1 pound strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced lengthwise
I/2 cup whipping cream (I used 200g)
1 tbsp icing sugar (I used 2 tbsp)

  1. Preheat oven to 220degC and grease 6 ramekins. Place them on baking sheet
  2. Beat eggs on high speed til thick for about 3mins. Add in sugar (1/2 cup) gradually and beat til pale and yellow about 1min longer. Beat in vanilla (1/2 tsp)
  3. Add in flour (sifted) and beat for 30secs. Bring milk and butter just to boil in a small pot, stir til butter melts. Beat hot milk mixture into batter and continue to beat for 30secs
  4. Divide batter mixture into ramekins and bake til firm to touch and pale golden, tops form rounded peaks in the centre, about 16mins. Cool them in the ramekins for about 20mins at least
  5. Toss strawberries and 4tbsp sugar, let stand for about 20mins
  6. Beat cream, icing sugar and vanilla extract (1/4tsp) til peaks form
  7. Remove cakes from ramekins, cut off the rounded tops and spoon cream and strawberries. Cover with top part of the cake, garnish the top with more cream and strawberries and some of the juice
  8. Serve immediately


Friday, January 30, 2015

Roasted Garlic Pasta With Egg (Donna Hay)

A simple yet yummy one dish meal, particularly loved by Ian :)

Recipe is from HERE

What you need:

1 head of garlic bulb
3 eggs (original recipe used quail eggs)
250g spaghetti (original recipe used angel hair)
125ml pouring single cream
25g grated parmesan cheese (I used 30g)
salt and black pepper

  1. Separate garlic bulb into cloves, do not peel, roast in the preheated oven of 200degC til soft
  2. Remove from oven and discard the skin, lightly mash them
  3. Prepare eggs into soft boiled eggs by putting them in boiled water (remember to off the fire) and leave it in there for about 7 to 8 mins (mine was almost 10mins to make it almost hard boiled)  Remove from water, peel and halved
  4. Prepare pasta as instructed, cook til al dente
  5. Heat pan, pour cream and let it heated up, add in cheese, stir well and when it starts to boil add in spaghetti and garlic. Stir quickly, add in salt and black pepper to taste
  6. Transfer to serving plate, garnish with the eggs and serve immediately


This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up  organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by My Bare Cupboard

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Garlic Noodles With Honey Chicken Chop

This combination goes well together. Yummy yummy! :)

Honey chicken chop recipe is from Peng's Kitchen
What you need:
2 boneless chicken legs (about 300g each)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp light soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
  1. Discard excess fats from the chicken, mix in marinade sauce mix and leave in the fridge overnight
  2. Heat about 1 tbsp of oil in a non stick pan, pan fry chicken each side about 5mins until cook through and golden brown
Original recipe includes orange vinaigrette but I didn't make it :)
Recipe for garlic noodles is from Rasa Malaysia
What you need:
500g egg noodles as needed, prepare according to the instructions (original recipe used 600g yellow noodles)
1 heaping tbsp of Parmesan cheese
Garlic sauce:
110g unsalted butter
3 heaping tbsp of minced garlic (original recipe used only 2)
1 tbsp Maggi seasoning sauce (I used concentrated chicken stock )
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sugar
  1. For the sauce: heat pan, melt butter and add in garlic, sautee til fragrant but not browned. Add in seasonings, stir well. Transfer into a small bowl
  2. Toss noodles with the sauce, add cheese and toss well to combine well. Serve immediately
This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up  organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by My Bare Cupboard

Simple Fried Udon

A simple one dish meal I always love, so does my family
I found this recipe sometime back and I wrote it down but only now I managed to cook this dish
I am totally clueless where the source is, I tried to remember but couldn't recall, so my apology for not including the source link this time

Here is the recipe...
What you need:
2 packets (400g) of fresh udon noodles
1 pc boneless chicken breast - removed skin and sliced thinly
about 15pcs of medium prawns  - peeled and deveined
4 cloves of garlic - chopped
3 shallots - sliced
1 carrot - peeled and julienned
about half a can of button mushrooms - quartered
1 yellow pepper - sliced
a handful of sugar snap peas - halved
1 green chilli - sliced thinly (I skipped)
2 tbsp light soya sauce
3 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soya sauce
salt, pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
Marinade for chicken:
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp light soya sauce
1 tsp corn flour
pinch of pepper
  1. Marinate chicken breast meat with the marinade sauce mix, set aside for about 15mins
  2. Heat about 3 tbsp of olive oil in a wok. Sautee garlic and shallots til fragrant and lightly browned
  3. Add in chicken, stir fry til no longer pink and add in prawns, carrots, mushrooms, pepper, chilli and sugar snap peas. Continue to stir fry til vegetables are nearly done
  4. Add in noodles and all the seasonings. Drizzle in the chicken stock. Continue to stir and mix well
  5. Dish out and serve immediately

This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up  organised by Zoe (Bake for Happy Kids) and Mui Mui (My Little Favourite DIY) and hosted by My Bare Cupboard

Friday, January 23, 2015

Economical Lapis Surabaya (Less Eggs)

Lapis surabaya (Spiku) is an Indonesian origin delicious cake mostly popular during festive season, especially Chinese New Year, besides thousand layers cake (lapis legit). It's basically a 3 layered sponge cake with filling of your choice, either cream or jam. Aside from that, this cake is commonly used as cake base for decorated wedding or birthday cake, too
This cake is infamous for the use of high number of egg yolks, talking about cholesterol, my friends! :)
I usually make this yummy, soft, rich and moist cake only around Chinese New Year time, I think it's alright to indulge once a year, isn't it :)
My two favourite lapis surabaya recipes I always use can be viewed HERE and HERE
Both use 30 egg yolks in 1 recipe, giving me headache each time on what to do with the egg whites, especially when I have quite a number of friends ordering this cake, I think I can soak myself in the egg whites after that LOL

Now, this version of lapis Surabaya cake has been around for quite some time among Indonesian bakers. It's the economical version of the cake where less eggs are used, only 10 eggs to be exact, 1/3 of the original version
It's basically a 3 layered sponge cake with filling of your choice, either cream or jam
Taste wise, it's light, airy, soft and fluffy. Sweetness is just nice to my liking. Yum!
While the original version of lapis Surabaya gives a soft, rich and super moist cake, the economical version is light, airy, soft and fluffy, not as moist but it's not dry either, perfect. Sweetness is just nice to my liking. Yum!

I have 2 recipes I'd like to try and this is the first one, and I'm very happy with the result :)

In terms of being soft and fluffy, this cake gets 5 stars! It's so soft that I had to be extra careful when inverting and transferring it to the cooling rack. However I still got some dents on some parts. See the first picture below, there is a few dents at the top of the cake

What disturbed me a little was both recipes use emulsifier. Somehow I don't really fancy putting it in my bakes. After doing some googling and reading, I learnt that it can be substituted with letichin, and natural letichin can be found in egg yolks, and/or condensed milk, yoghurt or mayonnaise
So I just went with my gut, omitted the emulsifier and added plain low fat yoghurt in the batter. And hurray, I still got a really nice cake :)
Another thing was, the butter this recipe used. It uses 3 types of butter - Hollman butter, room butter and margarine
I never see Hollman butter here in Singapore, nor using it. Btw it looks like this:
Room butter, that's how Indonesians call it, is actually Dutch butter, creamier type of butter. I think I saw this butter before in Singapore, but I never use it in any of my bake. This is how it looks like:
Well, to simplify everything, I just used SCS butter to make this cake :)
Here's the recipe...
Original recipe is from a famous chef in Indonesia named Yongki Gunawan. I saw his recipe HERE
What you need:
10 egg yolks
5 egg whites
10g emulsifier (I omitted)
150g caster sugar
100g plain flour
1 tbsp full cream milk powder
1 tbsp corn flour
50g Hollman butter
50g room butter
50g margarine
(to replace the 3 butters, I used 150g SCS salted butter)
1 tbsp sweet condensed milk
1 tbsp plain low fat yoghurt
1 tbsp chocolate paste
  1. Preheat oven at 175degC. Grease and line 3pcs of  22x10x4cm pans (or you can use lapis surabay cake pan like what I did to save the trouble)
  2. Melt butter in microwave, add in condensed milk and mix well
  3. In a bowl, beat in high speed eggs and sugar til thick, fluffy and expand triple the size
  4. Lower the speed and add in yoghurt, sifted both flours and milk powder
  5. Add in about 1/4 of the batter to the melted butter and mix well
  6. Pour in the mixture into the remaining batter and fold in gently
  7. Take 1/3 of the batter and mix in chocolate paste
  8. Pour the chocolate batter in 1 of the pan while dividing the yellow batter in 2 pans evenly
  9. Tap all the pans gently before putting in the oven to release the trapped air bubbles
  10. Bake for 20-25mins or til skewer test comes out clean
  11. Remove from oven immediately invert to cooling rack. Invert back 1 of the yellow cake (this is for the top layer). Let cool
  12. Spread jam on the inverted yellow cake, top with chocolate cake, and spread jam on it, top with the yellow cake meant for the top part of this layered cake
  13. Ready to cut and serve. Keep in the airtight container


I will try the other recipe of this economical version of the cake, and do some comparison

Having tried the economical version, it will not stop me baking the cholesterol laden version, cos even though both are nice, but one can't replace the other, it's just different, even though they look the same. So yes, I will still make the 30 yolks cake for this coming Chinese New Year :)

This post is linked to "My Treasured Recipes #5 - Chinese New Year Goodies (Jan/Feb 2015)" hosted by Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Bake Along #73 Strawberry Mille-Feuille

Today I baked a French dessert with a name I do not even know how to pronounce LOL
I've eaten this before somewhere but this was the first time I prepared it in my own kitchen

Looking at the name, the impression I got was this dessert could be such a pain to prepare. But I was wrong, this is considerably simple. And it's yummy, too. Light and refreshing, a combination of sweet from the cream pastry, and tart from the strawberries, with a slight saltiness from the puff. Love it :)

First, I prepared the pastry cream filling. Recipe as follows..
What you need:
600ml fresh milk OR 200g sweet condensed milk mixed with water to reach 600ml
2 egg yolks
30g corn flour and 20g plain flour
enough sugar (only when fresh milk is used, I used 8 heaped tbsp)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp butter
  1. Mix all ingredients except butter til smooth and even (if necessary, sift)
  2. Cook til bubbling. Add in butter and stir til glossy
  3. Let cool by covering it with cling wrap. Let the wrap touches the surface of the pastry cream with no space in between - to avoid the surface getting dry

I used store bought puff pastry, rolled it up to make it thin about 5mm, and cut into rectangles
Arrange on a lined baking tray, poke holes with fork
Cover with baking paper and another baking tray, then bake in preheated oven of 180degC for 15mins
Remove the baking tray and paper and bake again for another 15mins. Let cool
Assemble by placing 1 puff on a serving plate, spread pastry cream on top and arrange strawberry slices over it. Top with another puff, spread pastry cream and arrange strawberry slices, top with another puff. Before serving, dust some icing sugar over it
Typically mille-feuille comes with pastry cream which has a slightly runny consistency
Mine was thicker than it's supposed to be, as I prefer it that way LOL


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

ABC January 2015 Double Chocolate Banana Muffins

One of my New Year resolution is trying my best not to miss out any event I have decided to join previously as I didn't do a good job last year - keep my fingers and toes crossed :)
Avid Bakers Challenge (ABC) hosted by Hanaa's Kitchen is one event I have been absent for longest time, hence my participation in the first month of 2015 :)
Furthermore, this month's bake is one of my favourite :P
So, here it is...

Double chocolate banana muffins - who can say no? Oh, I know a friend who doesn't like anything with banana, but it's like one in a million, I guess? LOL

 Chocolaty, soft and moist muffin with melted chocolate chips and tiny chunks of banana in every bite. Am I making you drool now? :)
This year, we will be baking using recipes taken from Scientifically Sweet, a blog by Christina Marsigliese. I never heard about her before, I never tried any recipe from her blog before, but this recipe is a good one to convince me that this is gonna be a year long yummilicious  stuff I'm gonna bake :)

You may view the recipe HERE
I made some changes as follow..
  • I used whole wheat pastry flour instead of all purpose flour
  • I replaced sour cream with low fat plain yoghurt
  • I chose brown sugar than granulated sugar
  • And lastly, I used rice bran oil instead of canola

Chocolate and banana lovers, you MUST try this :)
This post is for Avid Baker's Challenge January 2015, a baking event hosted by Hanaa from Hanaa's Kitchen 

Monday, January 12, 2015

My Xmas 2014 & New Year 2015

Hi everyone!
OMG, I finally blog again! :)

As some of you know, my mum lost her battle with cancer and passed away after some complications in early November - without regaining her consciousness after spending a week in ICU
She has been fighting for 5 years, we always wished for the best but we have to surrender to God's will
I, my sister and brother were devastated. We're always very close to each other and constantly in touch. She's just 67 years and we still have so many plans ahead
I felt like my whole world came crushing down, I felt like doing nothing but crying and mourning for her passing. Last Christmas, was one tough time to go through, as we're usually together celebrating
This is really the darkest time in my entire life. Something that I usually only watched in the movie happened to me, it took a while for me to accept it

I am thankful to have my big family member so close together, strengthening each other. I also appreciate and feel so thankful for many support I got from many of you - you know who you are :) Emails, messages, sms-es, calls, and even your presence. Thank you!

I am glad now I can write about this and share with you all without making my face soaking wet in tears, even though my eyes is now still full of tears. Just like the saying, only time can heal - which I started to find the truth in it
I believe my mum is now in heaven, happy and pain free. And I know she wouldn't want me to let myself drown in sorrow for long

I have been have actually started cooking and doing some baking too since the last couple of days in the month of December to welcome New Year, but I still don't find the mood to blog. I tried but each time my fingers and mind just froze
Until today, I really kicked my butt and told myself to better start now. It's New Year after all :)

Okay, just to share the food I enjoyed on Xmas day in my sis' place. Her DH was the chef of the day and I brought tiramisu and chocolate pudding for dessert
I made a mistake on making the tiramisu this time. I froze the mascarpone cheese, it ended up giving me grainy cream in the dessert eeewww... But aside from that, the taste is as great. Luckily my sis and her DH didn't find it disturbing while I grumbled in every bite I took LOL

Here is the yummy spread... Shrimp & smoked salmon bruschetta, meatballs, stir fry chicken with cashew nuts and pineapple, homemade egg and tomato noodles and blanched greens. Fresh watermelon juice and other tetra pack juices for the drink. Of course we have beers and coffee (not in the picture) LOL

The picture below is the more complete version, see the chicken bitterballen (bottom centre).. yum yum..

Chocolate, authentic Dutch meringue, candy canes and Port :)

We were so stuffed that day we couldn't finish it and I brought back some home :P
Thanks to the chef for feeding us well :)
We had some gift exchange too that day :)
Such a great time we had :)
Coming to New Year, this was what I cooked on the eve at home..

Super easy roasted chicken I ever made on Xmas two years ago.
You may view HERE for the recipe
This time I was really happy with the result, how it looked like. Believe me, do not skip the pan searing part. I skipped that last time, and it didn't look pretty :)
My family liked it so much it's only left bones in no time. My kids enjoyed eating the crisp and tasty skin we were left with naked bird after they tore the skin apart and munch them LOL
Another thing I made was this...
Somehow I felt quite guilty for not baking anything for Xmas, so I baked this simple yet yummy swiss roll and covered them in chocolate buttercream to resemble log cake. Just a simple one, but it's really loved by the whole family :)

Below is the picture taken the next morning...

This delicious cake used recipe from Anncoo Journal
Here's the recipe...
What you need:
70g cake flour
20g sugar
4 egg yolks
30g oil (I used rice bran)
30g fresh milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 egg whites
50g caster sugar
  1. Prepare baking tray (I used 10"x 12"), line and grease. Preheat oven to 170degC
  2. In a bowl, mix egg yolks, vanilla extract, sugar, oil, milk and mix well with hand whisk
  3. Add in sifted flour, mix again
  4. Beat egg whites til foamy, add sugar gradually and mix til smooth peak form
  5. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into egg yolk mixture and fold in the remaining egg whites
  6. Pour on the tray and level the surface, gently knock on the tray and bake for 15mins
  7. Turn cooled cake on a plastic sheet. Peel of baking sheet and invert so skin facing up. Trim one end 45deg and the other end too
  8. Spread filling (I used Nutella) and roll (place a tea towel underneath to prevent plastic sheet slip)
  9. Wrap with cling wrap and chill for one hour
I used recipe from Brown Eyed Baker for the chocolate buttercream:
What you need:
227g unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup icing sugar (original recipe 2 1/2 cup which I find is way too sweet to my liking)
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g semi sweet chocolate chips / chopped dark chocolate
  1. Beat butter with mixer on medium high speed for about 5mins, scrape the bowl once or twice
  2. Lower the speed to low and add in icing sugar, mix well
  3. Increase speed to medium high and add in vanilla extract, mix well
  4. Add in melted chocolate and beat about 2mins til light and fluffy
The buttercream tastes nice but I don't really find the colour dark enough and texture was a little too runny (I guess it's because I reduced lots of the icing sugar) but it's still manageable
Perhaps I should have added some cocoa powder for the colour and texture, let me try next time :)
After taking photo of the swiss roll the next morning, it's gone during breakfast time LOL
So, that's what I had during the festive season last December
My first Xmas and New Year without my mum around, but I'm sure she's watching over us celebrating from up there with a big smile...


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