Friday, November 30, 2007

Double chocolate muffin with yogurt

Tried this simple recipe shared by Zu here.

Easy to prepare but it sticks to my paper cup that I use with my
mini muffin pan. Almost 1/3 of the muffin is "wasted". Luckily
those in aluminium foil cup did not really stick. Must buy proper
muffin cup to see if it is still so sticky.

The muffin taste a little chewy. Not sure have i over stir the
batter or is it meant to be the way. But it is indeed tasty since it
is chocolate milk with cocoa powder. My girl ate 3 in a go and
another 2 for night snacks!

Here's the double chocolate muffin with yogurt.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Chocolate Cheese Cake

Has been a long time since I last baked Here's what I hv to share

Got this recipe from Zu's kitchen. Thank to Zu for this tasty recipe.

I used a 8 by 8 square pan to make this cake. Made a mistake
when I beat the mixture A by adding in the egg and beat
all together instead of beating the cheese and sugar then add
egg. Not sure how it had affected the final product.  I expect the
mixture B is of a pouring consistency since the recipe says "pour"
the mixture into baking pan, but mine is not and that gets me
worry a little.


Anyway the final product is soft and tasty when I eat it while its
warm. As the cake has a cheese part, I decide to put it into the
fridge. However, the chocolate cake portion taste dry when I eat
after it has been fridged (ya I ate a total of 4 pieces liao).


hmm .. now i m thinking of having another piece.

Update on 30th nov. Saw from the comments of the original post
that I shd leave the cake in room temperature before serving cos
the cake harden in the fridge due to the butter content in the
chocolate cake.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Purplish Lariat Necklace


Did this long necklace from 2 plus to 4 plus (am) on thursday so
the whole of thursday I am so zombie.

I got the design and steps from the book "Bead fantasies", but the
beads used are slightly different. Its really difficult to get the same
beads. I hope I get the chance to wear it.

The dimention given in the book is too long for me, so I altered it. 
Looks pretty to me thou. All comments welcome (for
improvement mah :-) ).


Death by chocolate cake

This cake attracts me cos the preparation does not require mixer.
Wet ingredient into dry ingredient. This is how it suppose to look.
 Picture in the book
I only did half a recipe since I hv a small family.
As usual I ignore the icing since its quite fattening already.

The cake rose beautifully( there is a final height of abt 4cm) in the
oven, and collapse a little when cooled, so I think that explains the 
small layer of darker coloured cake beneath the crust. Since the
 recipe say "beat well..." I really use all my might to whisk the
 final batter with chopstick, and I guess that explains the many 
holes. Infact, before I even place the cake into the oven, I already
see alot of air bubbles in the batter.

The cake is very soft inside. Taste is just right, not too sweet (I
reduce the sugar). However, I think the texture somehow
resembles a little to the huat kueh. Hubby also feels the same,
Anyway, we both find the cake nice. Though I did not
do up the icing, but I strongly believe that the cake will taste
much much better with the icing.


Here's the recipe, taken from "Simple Cakes" by Mary Berry.

Death by chocolate cake
Preparation time : 40 minutes
cooking time : 35 minutes
tins needed : 2 loose bottomed 20cm (8in) sandwich tins,
                        4cm (1 1/2 in) deep

Ingredients :
275g (10oz) plain flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda
215g (7 1/2 oz) caster sugar
3 tablespoons golden syrup
3 eggs, beaten
225ml (8fl oz) sunflower oil
225 ml (8 fl oz) milk

For the icing :
450g (1 lb) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
200g (7 oz) unsalted butter

For the chocolate waves :
about 50g (2 oz) each white and plain chocolate

1. Lightly grease the tins and line the bases with non stick baking
    parchment.  Pre heat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark3.
    Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking
    powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar and mix well.

2. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the
    golden syrup, eggs, oil and milk. Beat well, using a wooden
    spoon, until smooth and then pour into the prepared tins.

3. Bake for about 35 minutes, until the cakes are well risen and
    spring back when pressed lightly with the fingertips. Turn out
    on to a wire rack, remove the lining paper and leave to cool
    completely. Cut each cake in half horizontally.

4. For the icing, put the chocolate into a bowl placed over a pan of
    hot water. The water in the pan must not touch the bowl or the
    chocolate may overheat. Place the pan over a low heat until the
    chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally, then add the butter
    and stir until the butter has melted.

5. Put half the cake for the bottom layer on a wire rake and place
    a baking tray underneath to catch the drips. Spoon a little of
    the icing on to the cakes, spreading it evenly to the sides.
    Repeat with the remaining cake layers, then pour the
    remaining icing over the top of the cake and use a small palette
    knife to smooth it evenly over the top and sides of the cake.
    Leave to set.

6. For the chocolate waves, melt the white and dark chocolate in
    separate small bowls over a pan of hot water. Spread the
    chocolate on to a strips of foil about 4cm (1 1/2in) wide and
    35cm (14 in) long. Lay the stips carefully over 2 mugs or tins,
    placed on their sides of a baking tray, to give a wavy shape.
    Allow to set in the fridge, then carefully peel of the foil and use
    the chocolate waves to decorate the top of the cake.

Slept this morning at 5am, after doing my beading. I hope there
are no mistakes above. Double check liao.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


What's this?

The baking book says "A superb rich, very densely textured cake,
named after the Sacher hotel in Vienna."

This cake uses ground almond instead of flour.

Y this cake is chosen to be baked today? Cos my mother bought a
pack of almond nuts by mistake and she ground them into 
almond powder. So to use up the almond powder sooner (she say
she bought the pack for a long time already), I chose this recipe.

Lots of mistake made baking this cake.
1. Missed out an egg.
2. Oven temperature too low (temp lower by accident)
3. Top burnt as too busy preparing dinner and the doughnut.
4. Egg whites not beaten thoroughly. Saw liquid egg whites at the
     base of the mixing bowl. Cant be beaten egg white turning bak
     to liquid state after leaving it around for too long?

Anyway, I don't like the cake. It taste so much like the macaroons 
that I bake before I started this blog. Too chewy but my hubby
eats even thou he hates almond, all thanks to the high chocolate

Here's a picture showing the texture.

So if anyone tries this, please share with me your outcome.

Here's the recipe taken out from "Simple cakes" by Mary Berry.

Preparation time : 30 minutes
cooking time : 40 - 45 minutes
tin needed : A deep round loose bottomed 23 cm (9 in) cake tin

265g (9 1/2 oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
6 eggs, 5 of them separated
215g (7 1/2 oz) caster sugar
150g (5 oz) ground almonds

For topping and icing : ( I left out the icing as usual)
about 4 tbspn apricot jam
150g(5oz) plain chocolate, broken into pieces
150ml (5 fl oz) double cream
25g (1 oz) white chocolate

1. Lightly grease the cake tin and line the base witha circle of non
    stick baking parchment. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas
    mark 4. Put the chocolate into bowl placed over a pan of hot
    water. The water in the pan must not touch the bowl of the
    chocolate may overheat. Place the pan over a low heat until the
    chocolate has melted, stirring occasionally. Allow to cook a little.

2. Whisk the 5 egg whites in a large mixing bowl until stiff but not
    dry. In a separate large mixing bowl, use a hand held mixer to
    whisk together the 5 egg yolks, whole egg and sugar until thick
    and pale. The mixture should be thick enough to leave a trail on
    the surface when the whisk is lifted from the bowl.

3. Whisk the ground almonds, melted chocolate and 1 tablespoon
    of the whisked egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.

4. Carefully fold in the remaining egg whites using a large metal
    spoon or a straight edged spatula. Turn the mixture into the
    prepared tin and gently tilt the tin to level the surface. Bake
    for 40 - 45 minutes, until the crust that forms on the top is firm
    and the cake has begun to shrink away from the side of the tin.

5. Allow the cake to cook in the tin for about 10 minutes before
    loosening it around the edge with a small palette knife. Turn
    the cake upside down on to a wire rack covered with a tea
    towel, remove the lining paper and leave to cool completely.

6. For the topping, gently heat the apricot jan in a small pan and
     then brush it evenly over the top and sides of the cake (heating
    the jam makes it easier to brush).

7.  For the icing, put the chocolate into a bowl with the double
    cream and melt slowly over a pan of hot water. Stir occasionally
    until smooth and glossy. Allow the icing to cool and thicken
    slightly, then pour it into the centre of the cake. Spread it
    gentlely over the top and down the sides with a palette knife
    and leave to set. To finish, melt the white chocolate slowly in a
    bowl over a pan of hot water. Spoon into a small paper icing
    bag or polythene bag and snip off the corner. Pipe 'Sacher'
    across the cake and leave to set.

Doughnut, doughtart?

Got this doughnut recipe (baked version) from"Young Families"
 magazine that is distributed to my boy by his school. Looks 
simple so tempted to try and sure I did, despite that time is tight.

This is the recipe.

Simply Doughnut
100g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cup flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
a pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup milk

  1. Cream or blend butter and sugar until light and creamy.
  2. Mix in beaten egg followed by dry ingredients and milk.
  3. Fill greased muffin tins 1/2 full and bake at 180C for 20 to 30 minutes.
  4. To assemble, brush doughnuts with a little melted butter and roll in caster sugar.
Easy? Use muffin pan somemore (that is the reason I die die want
to try since I hv not invested in a doughnut pan. So I used my
mini muffin pan that makes 12, then spoon the rest into egg tart
mould. Near dinner time, so cant be so fanciful.

Whats the end result? Well, the look definitely don't pass (as all
of you should be able to guess). The taste, I would say it taste
alot like cake. I think I hv read that the baked version of
doughnut is more of a cake like texture. However, I left out the
 salt and nutmeg in a hurry ... its just a pinch, wonder what is 
the effect if they had been added.

Would I try again? Ya I will, simple, and quite tasty, but will not
treat it as a doughnut. Simply will treat it as a mini
cupcake or muffin.

Here's 2 pictures to show how my baked doughnut look like.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Cookies and cream cupcakes again

Baked cookies and cream cupcakes today agian.
Why am I baking the same thing again and again? Because my
kids like to eat these (think is because of the oreo biscuit). If I
don't bake things that they like to eat, then who will help me
finish them? :-)

This time, half of the recipe gave me 12 mini muffin and 9 "big"
ones (I used those foil cups). Used hand to cream the butter and
sugar again. So tiring. Next time must not be lazy, use mixer!

Here are some pictures to share. Added 6 oreo cookies
(minus the cream, ie 12 single pieces) cos I use the convenient
pack. I think I still overbaked them cos was busy attending to
boy (he down with fever).


 the big and small pac man :-)

chocolate and vanilla marble loaf again

Wasn't blogging cos not really in the mood for the past few days
(many days infact).

Made the same cake again on Nov 15 because boy likes to eat it.
Gave some to my friend and she commented that it is a little dry
and advise me to add more eggs. So this time round, i added 3
eggs (i did half recipe cos not enough margarine). Let her try
again cos hubby and her work in same building, so he helped to
deliver. This time she say just nice. :-)

Anyway the cake is gone after a day. Boy simply like it and
always eat 2 piece in one go, somemore this time is only half loaf.

Here are some pictures to share.

 picture from the baking book


It cracked a little this time, and it is flatter since half recipe, same
size pan. Hiaz, but i never get that nice swirl look as shown in the
first picture i took from the cookbook.

Anyway, this time round, i use the mixer to beat the batter.
It seems that it did not make any difference in the cake texture
be it by hand or mixer.

However, my mother used the same recipe, but she uses rice
bran oil instead of margarine. I am not sure if the look of the
texture is consider the same, but it tastes differently. The one
using margarine is soft, crumbly but the one uses rice bran oil
taste like huat kueh. My hubby like huat kueh texture thou.

 close up of "my" cake

 My "mum's " cake

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Egg Tarts and a chocolate and vanilla marble loaf

Wasn't in good mood these few days. People say if mood not good
better don't bake. Anyway even thou mood isnt any better, I still
went ahead to bake egg tart and try out a new recipe from a book
I borrowed from library.

Was craving for egg tarts, so were the kids. This time I used cake
flour  instead of top flour. The same recipe used, full portion for
 crust, 3/4 portion for the filling. Makes 12 tarts instead of 10 thou
tart base is too thin for my liking. 26g of pastry dough per tart.

Hubby said taste not as good as the previous batch (some time
back) but is still good. My boy took 2 in a go for snacks just now.
No picture to show since am rushing in cooking process the whole
day. Imagine, pizza (bread base) for lunch, sushi for dinner, plus
the egg tart and cake, so busy.

As for the cake, its from a book called "simple cakes". I find the
steps of those bakes are pretty simple. This one that I tried is a
all-in-one method cake using a mixer, but my mother (ya she 
was helping cos i need to go off and put kids to nap) even omit
it and uses hand mix.  After an hour, the cake is ready.

Taste wise is fine, look wise, far from the one pictured in the book.
However, after eating it, i find the funny feeling that you will get
when you touch the back of your bottom teeth after eating not
so ripe bananas. Is that the result of too much baking powder?
My mother is the one who noticed the excessive use (in her
opinion) of baking powder even thou self raising flour is used.
Can anyone tell me is there any harm in having too much baking
powder in a recipe ? My mother says its not good for health.

I will hv to try again with mixer to see if there is any vast
difference in using hand mix and mixer.

Here's my cake.

Here's the recipe from the book "Simple Cakes" by Mary Berry.

Chocolate and vanilla marble loaf

Preparation time : 30 minutes
cooking time  : 1 - 1 1/2 hr
tin needed : a 900g (2 lb) loaf tin, 17 x 9 x 9 cm base measurement

Ingredients :
225g (8oz) margarine, soften
225g (8oz) caster sugar 
( I use 200g sugar only)
275g (10oz) self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp hot water

For icing :
(I did not use this since cake already fattening)
25g (1oz) margarine
15g (1/2 oz cocoa powder, sifted)
1-2 tbsp milk
100g (4oz) icing sugar, sifted
abt 25g (1oz) white chocolate, melted


1. Lightly grease the tin and line with a wide strip of non-stick
    baking parchment to go up the wide sides and over the base of
    the tin. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas mark 3. Put the
    margarine, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, milk and vanilla
    extract into a large bowl and beat with a hand held electric
    mixer fir about 2 minutes, until well blended. Spoon half the
    mixture into another bowl and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder and hot water together
    until smooth. Allow to cook slightly, then add to one of the   
    bowls of cake mixture, mixing well until evenly blended.

3. Spoon the vanilla and chocolate cake mixtures randomly into
    the prepared tin until all of the mixture is used up and gently 
    level the surface. Bake for 50 minutes - 1 hour, until the cake  
    is well risen, springy to the touch and beginning to shrink away
    from the sides of the tin. Allow to cool in the tin for a few
    minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack, remove the lining
    paper and leave to cool completely.

4. For the icing, melt the margarine in a small pan, add the cocoa
    powder, stir to blend and cook gently for 1 minute. Stir in the
    milk and icing sugar, then remove from the heat and mix
    thoroughly. If necessary, leave the icing on one side, stirring
    occasionally, to thicken.

5. Spread the cake evenly with the icing, then drizzle the melted
    white chocolate over the top. Leave to set.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mother of Pearl motif ring

Suppose to go holland village to get some beads but hubby need
to work from home, so I had to change my plan. As the dinner
is planned to be an easy item, more so with my mother helping
to prepare and cook,so when the kids nap, I tried to make a ring
which I fancy using whatever beads i have in stock.

Used a cat eye bead instead of a pearl. The outcome is not as
pretty as what is shown in the book. Maybe the beads just do not
match. Anyway, I think I would prefer the ring (not the motif)
to be made of wire instead of the seed beads.

Here are the pictures.

 Please pardon the old lady hand.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Altered bracelet for my girl

Beading is one of my other hobby. I hv learn the skills through 3
courses conducted in CC. So far, i did not put it to good use
because, its so difficult to hv accessories with kids. Furthermore,
I seldom dress up since I need to handle kids. But I like this
hobby too, so i made a few for my girl. Made another few pieces
that i like (following patterns from books i borrow from the
library or from web).

This bracelet used to be strung up by elastic fish line. Easy for kids
to wear on their own, but my girl likes to pull, so she has stretched
the band and I decided to do a "clasp" for her now. May not be
pretty, but it serves the purpose.

 The "clasp"

The other 2 designs.

She did not like the design with flowers thou I find it quite pretty.

I hope I learn to dress up and use some of the accessories that
i make.

If you do drop by, feel free to make comments.

Coffee cake for the sake of whip cream

Mum bought a whole ltr of whip cream for the sake of her mango
mousse cake. The staff from PH told her shd be used up within
2 days so I thot of using it to practice piping deco on cake.  
I tried my hands on a coffee cake since this uses margarine
rather then butter ( i ran out of butter). I do not wish to serve
my kids coffee, but I thought, its just a small amount.

Suppose to make 2 layers but since i just want to practice
piping deco, i only do one layer and half the square piece to
make a layer oblong cake.

A very easy to do cake. Just sift (infact i triple sift), beat everythg
together. This is how the batter looks. Its not runny at all.
I hv to smooth it out in the pan.

However, my mother is trying out baking her bread bun and so
I did not hv time to play piping. I just whipped the cream, add a 
portion with melted chocolate. Use the chocolate cream to
sandwich the 2 pieces. Then whipped up another portion (cos
not enough) to cover the cake. The cream seems very runny
(thou in freezer for a while after whipped) and quite a bad job
done in covering the cake. Well first try, so got to do more
"research" on how to make whipped cream.

 would be good to keep the crumbs away but no time for pretty
just now. Sprinkle on choc chips to help cover crumbs
in cream. hehe

Taste of the cake is good. Quite crumbly thou. Not too sweet,
texture quite soft, accept not moist enough to my opinion.
Will try again without coffee next time.

Here's the recipe taken from book "complete cookery BAKING" 
by Ann Nicol.

Cappucino Coffee Cake
(20 minutes preparation, 20 minutes baking, serves 8)

Ingredients :
- 1 tsp instant coffee granules
- 150g/5oz self-raising flour
- 25g/10z cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 175g/6oz soft tub margarine
- 175g/6oz caster sugar
- 3 eggs

Filling and topping :
- 300 ml/ 1/2 pt double cream
- 1 tbsp coffee essence
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 2 tbsp chocoalte sprinkles or cocoa

1) Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Grease two 20cm/8
inch sandwich tins and line the bases with non stick baking paper.
Dissolve the coffee in 1 tablespoon of boiling water and cool.

2) Sift the flour, cocoa and baking powder into a large bowl. Add
the margarine, sugar, eggs and cold coffee. Beat together for
about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth.

3) Spoon into the tins and spread level. Bake for 20 minutes, or
until risen and firm in the middle. Turn out to cool on a wire rack.

4) To make the filling and topping, whisk the cream until it forms
soft peaks, then fold in the icing sugar and essence.

5) Spread half over the top of one cake and place the other layer
on top. Spread with the remaining cream and scatter the chocolate
sprinkles or cocoa on top just before serving.

Some notes :-

- Baked cake on 8 inch square pan.
- I did not follow the topping cos i wanted to use up the whipped
- Not sure how to make a pipable whipped cream so just try my
   luck. Used 150ml of cream, and it only whips up quite a small
   amount, enough to sandwich cakes. Then I whip another
   portion to cover the cake. I whip till soft peak but gets runny
   after sm time while still smoothing the cream out on the cake.
- Could be not having enough egg, cos I used small eggs. Maybe
   thats y the dryness.

My 2nd attempt on Pandan Chiffon Cake

Its only yesterday that I bake the cake but i realised I hv forgotten if 
there are any impt notes that i shd take down. Was very happy when 
I see the cake rises in the tube pan, but still unsure why the cake 
rises above the tube.
It keeps rising and rising happily till almost reaches the top of the oven.
I know its gog to get burnt on top.  Shd not hv so greedy buy such a big pan. Its a 21 cm pan.

Tested at 30 minutes cos the cake is so sky high.
Got crumbs stick to stick, so allow it to cook to stated time. At 45 minutes, test, still got crumbs, but mum
 says its dry crumbs, so I just took it out, invert it. I hv prepared 
for it to sink since it rise so high.

Boy, it took so long to cool down. Anyway its dinner time.
Rush through dinner preparation, feel so bad that i bake
and neglected dinner (I anyhow cook the dinner).
After dinner, cut the cake and taste it. Hmm heavenly.
So soft inside, besides the compressed part. 
Taste just right as I mentioned in my previous post.

So I am still wondering the part on how come the cake rise so high ..
could it be due to too much batter? 
I forgot that the recipe is for 9 inch pan and and i used the full recipe! Could it be due to the reason that I forgot to add 
cream of tartar when i beat egg whites ?

Notes : Not sure if I hv over beaten the egg white by little
bits, cos when folding into the yolk mixture, I can see some of
them separates into little balls of beaten egg white. Hv difficulty
blending them into the yolk mixture.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Cookies and cream cupcakes

Tried my hands on this recipe from Elyn's blog on last friday. Thanks Elyn for sharing.

The cupcake is so soft and fluffy that it taste like chiffon cake. Kind of sweet thou.

I am lazy to use the electric beater (cos lazy to wash) so i hand cream the butter and sugar, then add in the other ingredients in order (ya i follow Elyn's preparation method).
 See the creamy batter?

then  all ready for oven.

The output

I think i will try the recipe's method of beating everythg together and see wat happens.

Gave 3 good looking ones to my friend to try. When I mentioned to my mother that i want to share with my 
friend, she discourage me.   *sigh*. Anyway, my friend mentioned
it is not as fluffy, which might be due to the oreo inside , or has
been 2 days later liao.

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