Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Handmade cookies

Christmas is over. I did not even wish anyone Merry Christmas here through my hobby blog .. Sorry my friends.

I was planning to make Christmas cookies, those frosted one with my kids, but then again, 泡湯啦!I always wanted to bake birthday cakes for my family members during their birthdays, or cookies for CNY and Christmas, but never once, done it. What a shame!

I have been tidying up the study to create more space since my girl is stepping into Primary One next year. So one thing lead to another (clearing of storeroom space) then .. now the school holiday is over and I have yet to write names on their textbooks. Luckily I have scheduled tomorrow for ironing their uniforms and that school starts a day late next year. Time just passed like that!

After Christmas, the kids are still asking about making cookies, so I quickly googled for a recipe online and get the dough out to chill. I got it chilled overnight but I still have problem getting it done in one go as the dough soften rather fast (ok, I am slow). The kids love the cookies, and no, I did not do any icing again cos I am rushing to bring the kids out. Am happy to at least attempt the cookies, not totally 遺憾 lor.

My oven, as usual took a little long and since rushing for time, did not have much patience, so first batch came out not brown enough. However, can see little specks of darker brown .. not sure are those the sugar crystal again. This is really handmade - I used my hand to cream the butter and sugar manually, so maybe not done enough.

Cooling on a rack
After baking these, I fell ill and I dare not try out another recipe that my friend, Pris Goh has shared with me (Thanks Pris). Must wait liao, cos school re opening, stuffs not done and I am going away - back to my dh's hometown till school reopens.

Sigh, just this holiday, I have gained a few kgs.

This aside, I must share with my friends too, that I am happy to have won a giveaway by Sugar Inc, Singapore. It is a cookbook. I would like to thank Anna for passing it to me personally.

Then, the happiest thing that happened to me this month is to receive a mail addressed to me shortly after I came back from a four day trip to Sabah. It's from a friend I knew through blogging. 我很感動. However, due to the backlog of housework and "don't know what others", I received her email before I even sent her one to thank her for the present. I am quite ashamed of myself.

Let me share the pictures of the lovely present.


My dear friend, 希望我不會辜負你的這份心意。I hope you are having a very good time bonding with your closest family members there.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Brioche, my "half handmade" bread

Like I said in the previous post, I held on to this bread book for 6 weeks and more... manage to encourage myself to try out the bread recipe by using the maker to make the dough and my hands to shape it.

Nothing is too difficult with the intervene of machines. Follow instructions, put in the ingredients in the correct order, switch on the machine and wait for the beep beep sound. The challenging part is to me trying to complete my swiss roll before the machine beeps. Anyway I made it. I have still time after swiss roll is completed.

This is the first time I am handling bread dough with my hand. I am really afraid of deflating the dough (like that of a cake) but I still have to follow instructions and have the dough split into 8 buns. I am trying to do buns with chocolate filling but in case I fail, I decide to leave the filling to the next round.

Kind of fun handling the dough by hand. Sticky yet not so sticky, and not too easy to pull it apart. I finally managed to have 8 buns into 2 trays, wraped both with cling wrap then put aside. I am worried they will not rise at first since they doesn't look much difference after 10 minutes. Slowly I see them grow, and by 80 plus minute (I purposely put a longer time) they are ready for "make up" (ie apply egg yolk wash). I have to tent the bread as the top gets brown easily and finally times up for the bread to come out.

They looked perfect and taste perfect when they are just out from the oven. I am so so so happy with the outcome. The bread is so soft and fluffy that I dare to sell this bread that I made. The kids also gave the bread thumbsup. However the happiness is shortlived. The bread taste a little dry after 3 hours despite me putting into air tight container (not suppose to?), but still tasty lah. I am going to make this bread again, this time with filling and into smaller buns.

Lovely soft warm breads

Try it with this recipe from "Hamlyn - 200 bread recipes"

Ingredients (Makes 1 loaf)

3 eggs, beaten
75g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
250g (8oz) strong white bread flour
25g (1 oz) caster sugar
1 teaspoon fast action dried yeast
egg yolk, to glaze


  1. Lift the bread pan out of the machine and fit the blade. Put the ingredients in the pan, following the order specified in the manual.
  2. Fit the pan into the machine and close the lid. Set to the dough programme. Thoroughly butter a 750ml (1 1/4 pint) brioche mould or a 1kg (2 lb) loaf tin.
  3. At the end of the programme turn the dough out on to a floured surface and cut off one quarter. Shape the larger piece into a ball and drop it into the brioche tin. Push a deep, wide hole into the dough with your fingers. Shape the remaining dough into a ball and press it gently into the indented top. (If you are using a loaf tin shape the dough into an oval and drop it into the tin.)
  4. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place for 50 - 60 minutes or until almost doubled in size. Mix the egg yolk with 1 tablespoon water and gently brush over the dough. Bake in a preheated oven, 220 degree Celsius (425 Fahrenheit), Gas Mark 7, for 20 - 25 minutes or until deep golden and firm. (Cover the loaf with foil if the crust starts to over brown.)
  5. After baking leave the bread in the tin for a few minutes, then shake out on to a wire rack to cool. 
  7.  For baby chocolate brioche buns, make the dough as above and divide it into 8 pieces. Push 15g (1/2 oz) plain dark chocolate into the centre of each piece and seal the dough around the chocolate. Space the buns well apart on a greased baking sheet. Cover loosely with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size. Glaze and bake as above, reducing the cooking time to about 15 minutes.

  1. Now I have finish up my posts, all thanks to the 4 cups of coffee.

    Swiss roll

    Two days ago, I attempted two baked items in an afternoon. I made brioche and swiss roll. My friend June made cute little brioche for her kids and they love it. I asked the recipe from her but now it is lost. Sorry June. So one day I went looking for bread making book in the library and found this book and it has a brioche recipe.

    Not sure where did the courage came from, but part of the reason is to use up some whip cream so I want to make a swiss roll. Of course, I did that when the bread machine is mixing the brioche dough for me. While bread machine is busy, I googled for Rachel Allen's swiss roll recipe. No butter swiss roll, so no need to wait for butter to soften. The eggs are whipped together with the sugar into a very light mixture, then I use the scrapper to mix in the flour. I think the mixture got deflated a little but after trying my best to remove traces of flour, I pour the mix into baking tray and sent it into the oven.

    While waiting for the cake to be done, I had a taste of the batter. It is taste very foamy and light, very tasty. I did not do skewer test this time, as Rachel says the cake will be done when the sides pull away a little and we should not over bake swiss roll. However, after I took it out, it doesn't look pretty at all. It is rough looking with all the holes. I had trouble peeling the baking paper away as it sticks onto the baking paper. My fault for not following Rachel's instruction of greasing the paper and flouring the sides. I also have trouble rolling it and unrolling it to put the cream because the sugar coating melts and my roll sticks together! Ok, lesson learnt. Follow instructions. I am suppose to put the cream before rolling! This is the first time I attempt a sugar coated roll.

    Anyway here is part of the ugly looking roll with whipped cream (too lazy to add mango puree) which my kids love more than the cake itself. Infact, I don't like the cake too, and I think I still prefer swiss roll made with normal sponge cake recipe or one with butter.

    In which way do they resemble swiss roll, ya? Haiz.

    Brioche comes next. ;-)

    Cream puff (with cream this time!)

    The last time I did choux pastry is in 2008 ( this post ). I did custard one. Back then, it was a 2nd try already but the base still stuck to the foil I used unless I grease it. This time I use the baking paper from Glad, and no more stuck bottom! Yay.

    I went to a demo in Mayer, who has teacher Ms Crystal Kuek demo-ing the choux pastry in a form of fruit basket. I am not so hardworking, so I just followed her recipe but just spooned the mixture onto the baking sheet instead of piping it.

    It has been so long since I last did choux pastry, I cannot really remember how the batter should be like, and I am not paying much attention to the texture during the demo, but I am sure the batter should be a little semi liquid (sigh, not sure how to describe it). However, after adding the eggs and beating all into the mix, I got quite a firm ball of batter. I remember my friend describing one stage of the batter like chewing gum .. but mine is not. Anyway, I just spoon it into "puff" and bake them. However, Ms Kuek told us to sprinkle water around onto the tray before sending into the oven. This is to increase the moisture while baking. The end result looks similar to what I have done before.

    I manually whipped a 100gm of non diary cream and mixed with mango puree to make the mango cream filling (according to the recipe) and it is a hit with the kids. They keep asking for the cream and a few days later, I made swiss roll with mango cream.

    Here are my puffs. This recipe is different from what I used to follow. This one has no milk. Wonder what is the difference. Milk and no milk.....

    Quite happy with them and guess will try to make them more often since the baked puffs can be freezed.

    There, the mango cream filled puffs.

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Easy non bake chocolate pie

    I must thank my friend Cindy for sharing her recipe. She posted a picture of a pie sitting in her fridge and it tempted me. She said it is easy and share her recipe and so I went ahead to buy the required ingredients and get my hands on it after my hubby came back from business trip.

    The pie is easy for old baker (started baking like 2 yrs ago and an old auntie too lah) but newbie (cos I do not bake that often and never learn from mistakes!) like me. Only four ingredients are required and I do not need to bake it too. Best of all, the pie crust is "broken down" by the help of a machine (my grinder) and it is the first time I use it for this purpose. Why did I use my hand to crush the oreo biscuits when I made my cheese cake the last time round?

    Anyway, I lined the pie pan, poured the sandy and moist looking digestive biscuit into it, press the crumbs as evenly as I can with patience and put it into the freezer. Then I cooked the nestle cream and pour it into my chocolate buttons and stir with my hand whisk.

    The completed product went into the fridge while the kids crowd around me, what else, but for the chocolate coating around the mixing bowl.

    Here's the complete pie and a slice of it. I will get my friend's permission before I post her recipe here. Meanwhile, do enjoy the pictures. Hehehe.


    Yum! My kids love it and keep asking for it! Now you want to do that for your kids?

    After gotten my friend's permission, here's the recipe. She mentioned it is from a Food and Travel Mag. Thank you again, Cindy. Here it is :-

    For the crust :

    180g digestive biscuits
    90g butter, melted

    Blitz biscuits into fine sand using food processor. Stir in melted butter. Press mixture into a 24 cm tart tin. Chill in fridge while you prepare the filling.

    Filling :

    280g dark chocolate, chopped
    260g cream

    Bring cream to boil in a saucepan. Remove from heat and pour over your bowl of chopped chocolate. Stir it until cream and chocolate combined into a smooth and shiny mixture.
    Fill tart tin with the chocolate mixture and chill at least for 4 hours.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    A quick bead item

    My girl came back from school one day to say that her classmates like her bracelet and has ask her to do one for them. So while she is beading for her classmate, I did a quick one too.

    This rectangular bead is from a bracelet that is done during one of the beading lessons a few years back. I pair it up with bicone beads. This earring reminds me of a simple chinese lantern.

    There, simple enough.

    I hope I get more chances to bead and bake in this coming school holiday. Holiday starting soon .... 

    Friday, November 12, 2010


    It has been more than two months since I last did any baking. But I still borrows books on baking and beading from the library. Recently I borrowed a book titled "Crave" which has all these recipes using cream cheese. I marked a few to be tried but after 6 weeks (I extended the deadline) I still have no time for them. I quickly did a "photo"copy of the easier recipe by snapping the recipe using my phone camera before I bookdropped it unreluctantly. Did I violate any copyright law?

    So now that the exam is over, I decided to give it a try. Not only my skills (if I had any) are dusty, the mixer is also dusty, so I had more preparation work. I wiped the mixer clean, prepare the bowls that I need, weight the ingredients, blah blah blah. It took me 2 hours from preparation till the end products "emerge" from the oven. Luckily I am not cooking dinner.

    The little thing I baked this time is called Volcanoes. They look like this (picture taken from the book).

    Nice ya? But mine did not look like this at all. The cheese part of my cupcake sank all the way to the bottom. My volcanoes are dormant ones. :-)

    The cheese part is pretty easy to mix, all done by hand, and I used icing sugar instead of caster sugar. I am not sure what is superfine caster sugar anyway. I added 10g more of icing sugar because I have understood from a baking class trainer that we can add 10g more if we want to replace caster with icing sugar.

    The cake batter part is not that difficult either. However, my batter has this grainy look which I am not sure if that should be the case. It kind of look like the egg is not fully incorporated into the batter. The recipe called for large eggs, but since my eggs are small, I used 1 instead of 1/2 for the cream cheese filling and 2 instead of 1 and half for the batter mixture. Was it the extra egg? Or the shortage of cocoa powder? I tried to make up with flour thou.

    Assembly time. The "assembling" instruction says that a cavity should be made with the back of the spoon, but my batter is not of that consistency and the cavity "cave" in rather fast and so I have to be quick. I use one spoon to try make the cavity and the other hand quickly pour the cheese mix in. Actually, the cheese mix still kind of stay at the top. In the end of the assembling process, I have alot of cheese mix left and I have to create little cupcakes of cheese mix with chocolate cake base.

    After 35 minutes of baking (5 minutes more than required, kiasi lah), I took them out. They looked puffed up and baked. However upon cooling, I noticed they shrunk. No matter how they looked, they passed the taste test. The cake is very soft and very moist (fudgy a better word?). The kids like it, I like it and now, 2nd day after the volcanoes are baked, they are all gone. I ate at least 5 of them, for taste test and QA (on the 2nd day) etc. However, something puzzles me. On the 2nd day (ie today) I noticed the top of a few cupcakes are glossy, and the cross section shows a layer of frosting lookalike at the top. I hope I have a teacher ready for me to ask these kind of questions.

    Here's how my volcanoes look.

    And now, here is the recipe. (Makes 12 cupcakes)


    Cream Cheese Filling

    Cream cheese 115g (4oz)
    Caster (superfine) sugar 70g(2 and half oz)
    Vanilla Essence 1/4 tsp
    Egg 1/2 large, lightly beaten

    Fudgy Chocolate Cupcake batter (Now then I realise cupcake is of fudgy nature)

    Cake flour 100g (3 and 1/2 oz)
    Cocoa powder 5 and 3/4 Tbsp
    Baking powder 3/4 tsp
    Salt 1/3 tsp
    Butter 100g
    Castor (superfine) sugar 70g
    Light brown sugar 70g
    Vanilla essence 2/3 tsp
    Eggs 1 and 1/2 large, lightly beaten
    Milk 140ml


    Prepare cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, blend cream cheese, sugar and vanilla essence until smooth and creamy. Gradually add egg, beating until smooth. Set aside.

    Preheat oven to 180 degree Celcius. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with paper cups.

    Prepare cupcake batter. In a medium bowl, stir together cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until well blended. Set aside.

    Wtih an eclectric mixer, cream butter, castor sugar and light brown sugar at medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Gradually blend in vanilla essence and eggs until well incorporated.

    Lowe speed and add flour mixture and milk in 3 separate additions, starting and ending with flour mixture. Make sure each addition is fully incorporated into batter before adding the next.

    Divide batter evenly among paper cups, Create a cavity in the centre of each cupcake with the back of a spoon. Fill cavities with cream cheese filling.

    Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tops are lightly browned and spring back when gently pressed. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes.

    Remove cupcakes form bing and leave to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. The cupcakes can be stored, covered, at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the regfrigerator for up to 1 week.

    Now you may want to have a go at it.

    p/s : I used another editor and do not know how to have the recipe type out in proper spacing. Sorry.
    p/s : Since I have so much of the cheese filling left, I think I should have added more to each cupcake and then the cheese mixture will not sink down?

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Beading works

    I still have 45mins before battery of the laptop goes flat. I shall do a quick update on my beading hobby.

    The challenge that me and my friend started up has stopped midway .. the previous/last challenge is to create something antique, as decided by my friend. The only item I have that fits the antique theme is the antique looking butterfly charm. I paired it up with a black square bead to make this simple earring.

    I seriously think this is quite a nice pair, at least the design is not copied from somewhere. But then again, simple designs are everywhere, so I am sure someone else would have already made this design before. Still, I think this is a lovely pair. I made it all by my own mah. Even the twisted wire above the black bead is handmade.

    Besides this "black beauty", I have another pair of earring that "majors" in black. The design is inspired by the lightings used in store (I think in Jurong Point). Simple, but that is what I like.

    Enough of black yet? Black is one of my favourite colour. I like that it has slimming effect. So if you do not need the slimming effect, then go colourful. I made a bracelet (cannot remember where the inspiration came from) with bicones in the few colours I have. Yet another simple piece, and I hopes it can go with many different outfits.

    I love making jewelries, but I usually do not wear them .. I hope one day these pieces I made will find someone who will be able to appreciate them.

    Friday, September 3, 2010

    Nigella's Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins

    I can't believe I told Small Small Baker that I will bake Nigella's Chocolate Chocolate Chip muffin when I get hold of the bicar and baking powder then forgot all about it (because I did not diligently update my to-do-list). I chanced upon it again when I got hold of the bicar few days ago. How coincident.

    I love making muffins because of its easy preparation. Furthermore, this recipes uses a number of regular ingredients that most bakers will have -- cocao powder, milk, chocolate chips, plain flour. Not sure if my observation is correct, but usually bakes without whipping egg whites , without creaming butter and sugar, or without whipping full eggs uses bicar and baking powder ... I should be right to say they are raising agents ... but it seems their combined pressence are common to bakes not done with those 3 method mentioned.

    I have used this recipe 3 times for the past 1 week. I made a trial batch because I wanted to use this recipe for Teachers' Day gift, then the batch for actual gifts and the last batch is for own consumption plus Teachers' Day gift to the yamaha teacher.

    I finally got hold of the pretty ikea paper cases that I first see in HHB's blog and I can't wait to use it. Not sure why, the paper cases did not fit my waxed cases very well and the paper cases folded up at some places, resulted in cases "eating" into muffins.

    And look at this :

    the "burnt" chocolate chip

    The chocolate chips inside the muffins are all darker in color then the ones at the top (can see the comparison side by side?). This "burnt" chocolate chip also happens in my Double Chocolate Cupcakes.

    I have tried using different brands. For the 1st and 2nd batch I used Hersley minis while the last batch Phoon Huat's housebrand. All the same result. So it is not the chips problem, then why? Perhaps the timing? I baked longer than what the recipe called for. No choice, the muffins are not baked at the required time. I extended the time by 10 minutes.

    The 2nd batch were dressed up by the kids for their teachers. I used the white cups because I wanted the kids to write the message on the cups .... but since I baked it in the night ( have to involve the boy who is in PM session), the kids have to go to bed before the muffins are totally cooled so the notes are written separately when the muffins are cooling. I even wanted to include an ingredient list so that the teachers will know what is used (incase teachers are allergic to any ingredients), but I could not find an appropriate way to include it. I also purposely asked the kids not to mention names of teachers in the message so that they will not squash the other
    muffins while trying to find the right one for the right teacher. Just fish out and give.

    Having baked two batches, I find that it is rather plain to have chocolates over choclates, look all dark dark ... thus the third batch, I sprinkled strawberry flavoured chocolate chips instead. The strawberry choc chips did not go very well. They deformed a little from the high heat. This time I used the ikea paper cases and got 9 muffins again. Guess what ... two are wrapped for teacher and the kids finish the rest of the 6 (I ate 1 for testing) on that very day! There is nothing left for the next day.

    So, I made the chocolate chip oat meal muffin on the next day. I now end this post at 3.50am and the picture of yesterday's bake. I just ate one. Yummy.

    p/s 1 : It seems that only the white pokka dot cases seemed to be too big but the red ones fit nicely.
    p/s 2: That night I forgot to add that the Nigella's recipe muffin has a taste similar to 發糕,those brownish coloured ones. Maybe I should bake for other people to try, and also to try others to see if they taste similar.

    Wednesday, September 1, 2010

    Chocolate Hazelnut Bread (2nd trial)

    It has been a long long time since I use the bread machine. So, since there is no bread tomorrow, and it is a saturday the next day, I decided to stay up and start the bread machine at 3am, so that I can have fresh bread at 7am.

    This is the first time I stayed up and start baking at middle of the night. I always wanted to try, especially when my hubby is not in town, cos I would not have to worry about waking him up .. but that very day, they slept in air con room, so I just close the kitchen door and start working. But I was still concious about the noise I made when I gathered and measured the ingredients, so the preparation work took quite some time.

    I initially though that I would be able to sleep once I set the machine working .. but I forgot that I must put in the ground hazelnut and chocolate chips at the beep after 2nd kneading cycle .. so I had to stay awake for a little while more.

    Finally after I poured in the hazelnut bits and chips, I went to sleep and woke up after 3 hours to turn off the maker. We finally ate the bread around 9am.

    The top of the bread is still not smooth looking. I cut the bread into thick slices, hoping to finish it sooner hahaha.

    This time round, the bread is soft but very dense. Eating it is like eating bao skin. There is no mention about the inside of the bread being dense in my previous try. Anyway, I did not like the bread this time round, and my boy did not give it the thumbs up (but my 饞嘴猫 girl did). My hubby did not taste the bits this time but he also did not like the bread as much. So I think this is the last time I am doing this bread. I got to find more breadmaker recipe.

    Here are how they look after I sliced them into thick slices.

    The thick crust, swirly insides and all.

    Saturday, August 21, 2010

    Sliced cheese cheesecake

    I am very happy to be able to fulfil my wish of trying out this recipe from Blessed Homemaker. It is a baked cheesecake recipe using NOT philly cheese but sliced cheese. I am sure parents with kids will always have sliced cheese in their fridge.

    I read about her try on this recipe for a few times, even the comments, and finally 鼓起勇氣, have it done last friday afternoon when the boy is not having school (due to PSLE oral). Blessed Homemaker doesn't have problem in getting the cheesecake done in a short time, but I almost took an hour, from measuring all the ingredient to putting the final product into oven, that includes whisking the 4 egg whites with my hand whisk. *sigh* really regret not using the mixer... 4 egg whites! So tiring, but I manage to have medium hard peaks (but egg whites did not fall when I turn mixer bowl upside down) after like 10 - 15 minutes with lots of short rest in between. My arm ache for 3 days after that, and I even have problem brushing my teeth. (goes to show how much exercise I lack)

    I have to note, when sifting the flour inside the egg, milk, cheese, butter mixture, I can see specks of flour floating around, so I do worry about getting balls of flour in the end product, but luckily, no, no trace of flour. :-)

    Blessed Homemaker advise me to lengthen the baking time since I am using a 8 inch pan. As I see dark patches forming, I did not follow the recipe's 20 minutes 170 degree Celsius. I only bake 15 minutes and turn it down to 140 degree Celsius and further bake the standard 40 + my extra 15 minutes.

    The cake rose beautifully in the oven after 30 minutes. See this.

    Finally, I off the oven and wait for it to cool inside ... and also to see it shrinking from the sides, sinking as well and ended up like this.

    So sad ... I am already expecting Kueh, not cheesecake, but after I cut, hmm still look reasonable ok, and very tasty. As expected, the cake has a dense layer at the bottom (caused by the sinking) and that layer taste saltish, but my kids say it is still tasty. My hubby even volunteer to share the last piece with me cos he feels that it is tasty. The cake is all eaten up on the 2nd day. I think I have to try again, using the KA to beat the whites. However, I still feel that my skill of folding the whites into the batter needs lots of practicing. But I like the idea of using balloon whisk to fold in the whites. Let's hope I get the time to try again.

    Sharing with you how the "cheesecake kueh" looks like.

    Do not be deceived, the cake is still very soft.

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Easy Peasy Scones

    I am complaining in FB about having excess Bulla Pure Cream and don't know what to do with it. My friend then share with me her friend's recipe on scones which helps me use up the cream, today where it is suppose to be expiring. Thank you to Cindy, and her friend. And thanks to FB too.

    It is only mixing up of 3 ingredients and off to the oven, and 15 minutes later (I use 20 minutes just to be sure), I got the crusty exterior, soft interior scones. I did not roll out and cut using moulds. I just take a lump randomly, roll it up then flatten it and down it goes to the baking tray. How lazy.

    I have heard of scones, but not sure of the taste nor the look (forgetten even thou I read about scones in other blogs). So after baking I asked my friend to verify the result. She said looks ok but a little flat. Silly me, thinking that it will cook easier if it is flatter, so I purposely flatten them.

    My girl ate some when they are just out of the oven, and she sings praises. My boy ate it 4 hours later when he came back from school, and said that he like it but then he also does not like it. My hubby said tasteless, while I said they are very salty. I think the "saltiness" is actually the taste similar to some yellow noodles. Perhaps I should say the 澗水 taste?

    Here are how they look like ..

    the dough
    waiting to be baked

    Fresh out from oven
    The crusty inside and soft outside

    very tired now ... cut cut cut ..

    Thursday, August 12, 2010

    3 Flavours from one mix - nutella cupcake (try 2)

    I want to bake something for the kids to bring to school again. I want something small, mini and easy to pack, so I decided on the nutella cupcakes since I have done it in the mini paper cases before.

    Actually I really hope for a bigger oven... I have to wait and wait for the batches of cupcakes to be done. 12 mini one is not enough .. you see, I also do taste test .. so I hv to eat one on the first day, one on the 2nd day to make sure it is still safe for consumption, and more if the cakes stay more than a day or two, and my girl usually eats 3-4 at a go if the cupcakes are nice!

    With this batter, I am able to make 3 batches, almost .. total of 35 of them. Rachel Allen said that once the baking powder is added, I should be quick, but no choice, my oven can only bake a tray of 12 at a go.

    I am one who like to have a variety, so this time, I decide to play around with the stuff I have at home. I made a batch of original nutella flavour, a batch of kaya flavour and the last batch, I just leave it "vanilla" with chocolate rice topping.

    Here are the 3 different babies.

    The mix is made using the nutella cupcake recipe which I have used previously, but would like to retype it here for the sake of "filing". The original recipe can be found here.


    140gm butter, softened
    100g white sugar
    3 eggs
    1/2 tsp vanilla
    200gm sifted plain flour
    1/4 tsp salt
    2 tsp baking powder
    Nutella, approx 1/3 cup


    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Line paper liners into muffin tray.
    2. Cream butter and sugar until light.
    3. Add in eggs one at a time, until fully incorporated. Add vanilla.
    4. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder until batter is uniform and no traces of flour.
    5. Fill liners till 3/4 full. Top each batter with nutella and swirl it around with toothpick, making sure to fold a bit of batter up over the nutella.
    6. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove to cool on wire rack.

    This time, I am using brown sugar, and I remembered brown sugar is sweeter than normal sugar, so I reduce the sugar by half! Not sure if this is the reason, but my butter sugar mix did not incorporate with my eggs even I cream for a long long time. The ending mixture after adding 3 eggs one at a time still looks like this :-

    Perhaps I mess up the sugar and butter ratio .. I guess I can only bake one more time with 100g brown sugar to try if I get this again. Luckily, after I add in sifted flour, it came together and I manage to bake the cupcakes. This time I hid most of the kaya inside the batter because I am worried of it burning if I swirl it on top. Now I think it is fine to have the kaya exposed on top.

    Can't wait to try again. Now I just want to try to sleep away the four pimples in a row at the side of my left cheek.

    My First Award (two at a go)

    I do not know much about traditions of awards .. but I do see awards being given to blogs that I read closely and I usually do not get those. Today, finally I can say, I got awards! hehe. Thank you Esther for passing on these lovely awards to me. Have been so busy recently since hubby is away more often than last time.

    So following what Esther says - must copy and paste awards on blog - done (as below).

    Then I must list 10 things about myself, who is interested anyway but tradition ... (1) I am a SAHM , (2) I have two kids, (3) They are a boy and a girl, (4) I stay in the West, (5) I love to bake, (6) I love to eat, (7) I love to bead but do not like to wear, (8) I love to read blogs (otherwise I do not have friends), (9) I love to stay up late and (10) I loves HK drama.

    Then I must list 10 things that make me happy ..but I have more than 10! ok , (1) I have unlimited time, (2) unlimited money, and with these two, I can do alot of others that make me really happy ...hiak hiak hiak ..

    Thanks again Esther, and sorry for responding so late.

    Thursday, July 29, 2010

    Back by popular demand

    This is the 3rd time in such a short period that I have bake the same thing. The kids love it so much that they keep requesting me to do it again but actually they love the icing more! So today, the only day in the week with no housework planned in the routine, I set up everything and made them - Rachel Allen's Lemon Cupcakes.

    I still have not got my oven thermometer (and now GSS is over... sigh) so I just rely on the manual but the cupcakes still took abt 40 minutes to be brown to my satisfaction. I timed, it took about half hour to get the batter ready to be scooped to cups. I hate to waste these waxed cups, but I have no chance to visit ikea yet.

    The process is not of any difference from the previous two. I think I will scribble down the steps I took and the ingredients that I used in this post.

    Ingredients for about 12 (I think 10 or 11 will be optimise)
    1. Butter (soften) 125g
    2. Sugar 125g
    3. Eggs 2 nos
    4. Lemon rind of half a lemon
    5. Plain flour 150g
    6. Baking powder 1/4 teaspoon

    1. I creamed the butter till soft before adding in sugar.

    2. I then further cream the mixture to pale and light, but not sure why the sugar really do not melt. Can still hear the grains rubbing against the stainless steel bowl! Why ah, sigh.

    3. I grated in half a lemon's rind. (oh my broken english)

    4. I added in the eggs one by one, 2nd egg after the mixture comes together again after the 1st egg. (Rachel says that adding eggs a little by a time allows the sugar and butter mixture to fully absorb the egg. She said that when she need to add 4 eggs into a mixture for marble cake.)

    5. When the mixture comes together again (The mixture took sometime to come together after this 2nd egg for this time), I sifted in 150g plain flour (with 1/4 tsp baking powder).

    6. Hand stir the mixture to incorporate the flour. Rachel says must be fast in this stage because baking powder will start acting once come into contact with liquid.

    7. Scoop the completed batter into cup cases and send them into oven at 180 degree celsius. They are suppose to be done 18 to 20 minutes, but mine took 30 minutes to look cook and 10min more to be brown.

    The first two times also took a long time to get brown, so I suspect it is due to the different cases. Rachel uses paper liner that is shallower and wider than my waxed cup that is smaller and taller. I suppose the waxed paper is thicker than paper liner. Isn't that a good reason for the delay in getting them cook?

    Upon cooling, I noticed that the cakes shrunk. It became lower and came away from the sides of the cups. Have not tasted them yet, cos I made the sandy butter icing (ya hand stir again) and covered the top so that the kids can decorate the cakes (which are in the fridge now).

    Here are the decorated ones.

    Oh .. tired liao ...and still got the old post not posted. :-(

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010

    Chocolate chip Oat muffin

    This is going to be a short one but I have 2 more bakes and 3 beading items not blogged yet... sigh .. old liao, cannot stay up too late.

    Today (already yesterday when I finish the blog) I am very happy. I managed to do my morning routine of sweeping the floor and breakfast of course. I added in cooking of barley and washing of towels (of course hanging them). I even prepared lunch, two dishes! With all these, I squeeze in making of muffin with my boy, all before 1145am. I must admit, some of the tasks do not need my attention lah.

    This poor boy has not been baking much with me (not that he asked for it), but I thought, instead of doing tablework with him, I can sacrifice the time for that to bake with him (since he has finish his school work over the weekend) . Also, the girl did not eat the blueberry version, so I customised this to chocolate chip for her (after checking with my "recipe source owner" ).

    This muffin recipe is a super easy stir and bake one (ya all muffins are), and the ingredients are regular ones that can be bought at my supermarket. I especially love that I can feed them the oats!. Anyway, I have the only special one that is not stocked up often since I had used it previously for the similar bake (that I have not blogged about).

    I had him helped me stir the flour, sugar, oat evenly, weight the chocolate chips (yes, I replace the blueberries with this). His skills in stirring wet ingredients are not so good yet, so I mix the oil, yogurt and egg. I let him have a go to stir the "wet into dry" mixture and told him the baking powder is acting up, so I finish the stirring and have him put the batter into the cups. Oh yes I let him lay the cups too.

    I must make a note that I should only use 10 cups next time. The blueberries are taking up the space but not chocolate chips. so my cups are mostly slightly more than half filled only. What a waste of the cups.

    Here's sharing the pictures of those little "hills" taken with my phone.

    The moist, fluffy inside.

    Please see the full recipe from

    Thanks HHB for another awesome, easy recipe. Now I must go sleep and blog about the rest soon, hopefully.

    p/s : I can write messages on those white white cases when the kids bring the muffins to school later today. ;-)

    Thursday, July 15, 2010

    A try on Nigella's Cherry Cheesecake

    This is an overdue post too.

    This block of cheese has been sitting in my fridge for ages. I bought it when the cheese is on sales and now it is near expiring again. Looks like expiring food will always be my motivation to bake.

    This block of cheese is initially intended for a baked Japanese cheesecake recipe which is found in a copy of Popular magazine. However, Nigella says that Japanese cheesecake is like a new born baby, very difficult to "look after" ... so I tried out her version of non baked one first - Cherry Cheesecake. By now you should know that I got the recipe from watching her show.

    Making the base is a breeze, because the digestive biscuits are much more easier to crush then oreo one. She did not mention in the show that I need to freeze the base. The steps from her site did not mention too. Good, save some time. So I went on with making the filling.

    The filling gave me some "problems". Recipe asked for 300g cheese, I only had 250. Recipe asked for 250g of double cream, but I had no time to go cold storage to buy it, so I can only make do with Bulla Pure cream from my nearby NTUC. It comes in 200g tub! So I went to buy two tubs. It cost $4 a tub and now, this homemade cheese cake becomes more expensive than store bought!

    It is almost to completion, then I realized I have only put in 250g of cheese. I guess this will slightly affect the height of the cake.

    Here's the final output.

    My kids love Sara Lee's cheesecake .. so what do you think they have to say about this one. Nothing but just equally loving it even though I did not put any topping.

    No doubt it is a nice cake, but I do not like the oily feeling I had while eating it. It is like you are eating an oily plate of kway teow. Now I still have that tub of cream, waiting to be used on making scones.

    Chocolate cake

    This is a very very long overdued post.

    I have to use up my expiring chocolate buttons (they are meant for brownie but I never made it). Not purposely looking but happened to see this chocolate cake recipe from Olivia's blog and seems quite straight forward, so went ahead with it.

    I love that this cake has the height but mine sinked slightly in the centre. This one that I baked also shrinks at the side, wondering if it is due to me"buttering" the side of the cake pan.
    "crater" in the centre of cake.

    Cake cooling on the rack bottom up! Looks nicer, ya?

    I am too lazy to do any frosting as usual, but the chocolate buttons are not all used up, so instead of making a big fuss, I just melt the chocolate with milk and pour it over the cut cake before eating.

    It really looked alot more appealing with that dripping chocolate sauce .. pity I lost that picture that I took.

    The kids love the cake. Although my taste bud is not sensitive, but I still feel the funny feeling of "metallic surface" when I run my tongue over the back of my lower front teeth after I eat it (wonder if you know what I mean). I will always have that feel when I bake with that certain brand of cake flour which I avoid now, but now also with self raising flour? Is baking powder the culprit? Got to bake more and pay more attention to find out.

    Since I can bake this cake with this height this time, next time when I need to have layered chocolate cake, I think can try this out, cut this into two halves, frost it and decorate. Maybe for my girl's birthday?

    I think I better note down the recipe here since it is a keeper .... I am suppose to jot down separately the recipes that I want to use again and again (incase broken links in future and can refer it offline) ....


    115g plain chocolate
    50ml milk
    150g unsalted butter
    150g light brown sugar
    3 nos eggs
    200g Self raising flour
    1 tbsp cocoa powder


    1. Grease a 8 inch cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
    2. Place the chopped chocolate and milk in a bowl. Place the bowl over a simmering pan of hot water. Leave for 3 mins until chocolate softens. Turn off heat and stir the mixture till smooth.
    3. Cream the butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the chocolate mixture until well combined.
    4. Sift the flour and cocoa over the mixture and fold in batches until evenly mixed. Pour the prepared batter into the cake tin and bake at preheated oven at 180dC for 35 - 40 mins or until cooked.
    5. Cool cake in tin for 5 mins before removing from tin and place on cooling rack to cool completely.
    6. Slice cake into 2 layers. Spread a thick layer of ganache on the 1st layer. Spread the remaining ganache over the whole cake.

    Thanks to Olivia again.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    3 works combo post - Chocolate mousse, chocolate coated cornflakes, lemon cupcakes

    I am still making and baking but too lazy to blog. What have I done?

    I made Nigella's instant chocolate mousse. I spent quite some time finding mini mashmallows and gave up after awhile and bought big ones to cut into smaller pieces. I think the reason behind using mini is for easy melting? Anyway, I got to try reduce mashmallows to see if it affects the final product. The mousse is oh sooooo sweeeet.

    Not sure what got over me, but the process in making did not go so smooth. First, I am not sure if I measured the chocolate chips correctly. I am using my going to expire coverture chocolate buttons. I totally forgot how much did I measure out just 5 minutes after measuring (blame it on pregnancy). I also over whipped my Bulla Pure cream, and even thou I sourced for recovery way (which is to add more cream and whip somemore - according to internet searches) but I did not have enough "raw material" to try. So in order to try bringing it back to a more liquid state, I try adding milk. Sorry, that doesn't quite work. So in the end, I still go ahead to add the melted chocolate and then just stir and fridge the final product. You may click her website to get the recipe or refer to below.

    Nigella's Instant Chocolate Mousse (Serving Size : Serves 4–6)


    150g mini marshmallows
    50g soft butter
    250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
    60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
    1 x 284ml tub double cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    1.Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan.
    2.Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat.
    3.Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture.
    4.Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml each in capacity, or 6 smaller (125ml) ones, and chill until you want to eat. The sooner the better!

    Here is sharing my Nigella's Instant Chocolate Mousse.

    I still have marshmallows, and I hope to try again since I did not whip my cream properly. It still taste very much a mousse thou. I hope I can get a 284ml double cream too. The Bulla Pure Cream is 200ml only and I have to adjust the recipe according.

    Next in line, I made Chocolate coated Cornflakes cookies (ya, trying to use up the expiring chocolate buttons). My son got 2 packets of K-diet (I think so) cornflakes from his school's health event. Cornflakes sure do not go well with coffee that I need every morning. I google for recipes, and some uses butter, some just use chocolate. So to simplify my job, I chose one with just chocolate.

    I melt the chocolate over hot water, and crushed the cornflakes a little before I pour them into the melted chocolate. After much stirring, I put them into the paper cups, then put them into the fridge after the kids sprinkle the color balls. I think without the colours, the chocolate cornflakes are so boring.

    (Sad annoucement : the cornflake cookies turn moldy the next day in the air tight container. Likely reason (after much discussion with friends in FB) : condensation happened after I took them out to room temperature as advised by the recipe, so the mold. Damage : half portion gone.)

    In remembrance of the tasty chocolate coated cornflakes cookies.

    (Maybe I used wrong chocolate too? Perhaps the normal eating chocolate will do better.)

    Besides the above, I baked the lemon cupcakes again. It is still a hit. Just out from oven, the kids ate two each, and today (2nd day) they ate 2 each again. They still say the cupcakes are yummy. I did not have time to do the frosting, but previous batch, I did the frosting. Here are the frosted cupcakes.

    Very pretty with the color balls though the frosting are not well done. Has sandy texture in the mouth perhaps due to the icing sugar as it is just whip by hand. My friend advised me to whip by mixer, so I hope to try again and have the extras on swiss roll or something. The kids love the frosting!

    So back to the 2nd try. This time, not much different from the previous. I am not busy today so I can witness the whole baking process. The batter starts to "melt" about 5 minutes into baking, and starts rising about 15 minutes into baking. The cakes finally looked baked with brownish top after 30 minutes. I think I must buy a new oven thermometer to test the temperature of my oven.

    Ta Da! The cupcakes. This time, the batter is nicely distributed (by luck and chance!) resulting in a good shaped cupcake.

    My kids asked for frosting, but I really do not have time. Hmm... now I am hungry.

    Thursday, May 20, 2010

    Rachel Allen's Lemon Cupcakes

    Tada! Very on recently hor, baking and baking.

    I have been watching Rachel Allen's and Nigella's show. So the recent episode has Rachel teaching her students lemon cupcakes and I have lemon at home, so .....

    I involved my girl in my baking recently, but after the works, while baking, I have to carry on washing and preparing meals so my girl is still neglected.

    She helped me to sift in the flour and read the readings on the weighing machine.

    My kids had a bite right after the cupcake cool off and they say yummy. Let's see what they say tomorrow.

    The steps for this cupcake are simple and since I have them all done in a mixer, the time taken is not too long. However, I do not have a oven thermometer now, so I set the temperature according to the table on the oven manual. The cupcakes took much more longer to bake to a brownish top. Almost 10 minutes into the 20 minute baking time, the cupcakes still not risen. It is almost 20 minutes before I see the cupcakes rise and I think my batch took almost an hour to get the brownish top. The brownish top of individual cupcakes are also not even in colour and I see specks of brown (I assume they are sugar) too. Perhaps I should soften the butter longer, or to cream the butter and sugar longer? The sugar just doesn't melt into the butter. Can creaming melt the sugar into the butter anyway? Any experts out there want to answer the question?

    As usual, I did not do the frosting (but an improvement, I measured out the butter for the frosting) today, not sure if I will do it tmr. I do not know how to store the cupcakes if there are frosting.

    Here is how mine look and as for the recipe, I can't provide one because I copy as I watch the show. I tried googled and a few links came out. So maybe you can google and follow anyone of them?

    Non fancy lemon cupcakes.

    Perhaps I will update the taste after I taste them.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010

    I am still baking - Honey Cornflakes

    Wonder if you would consider me cheating if I tell you I am still baking but they are honey cornflakes.

    I have four packets of cornflakes sitting in my cupboard for a long long time. I got them when I had Mcdonald's breakfast in Mcdonalds Malaysia. I had always wanted to try honey cornflakes but it make no sense to buy a packet just to try for once, so I reserved those for the purpose. It is not until I see Aimei's post on her attempt on the honey cornflakes that spurs me to try it. Thanks Aimei.

    So on this weekend evening where I did not cook, and not heading anywhere with the kids, I quickly set to try this out. I promptly use my phone to keep her page in sight, measure out the ingredients and start working. (Oh, actually I also read the comments in the post that she took the recipe from.)

    I added about half a teaspoon more of honey since I am worried the flakes may not stick. I also purposely scooped the sweet sticky mixture sticking on the base of the saucepan into the cases for the same reason. Then, I send the little cuppies into oven. I am suppose to bake for about 5 minutes, but I did not see any changes to the flakes so I thought, perhaps a little while more and soon, I see changes. There are bubbling liquid filling in the cases. I started to panic and switch the oven off. I still see the flakes half submerged in the bubbling liquid when I took it out. However, after it cooled down, I did not see it anymore. I happily think that I have successfully done it.

    So when I tried on one after it cooled down..... I find that they stick very well and am so happy until I find them sticking to the paper cases as well. I have to play tug of war with the flakes because there is a layer of thick sticky yellowish honey like substance underneath the flakes.

    See that? Not sure if that is alright, but I certainly do not see such "remains" in those that are sold during the Hari Raya or was it Haji?

    Anyway, the kids love the honey cornflakes. They bring them to school for snacks. Don't you find them sweet looking, esp with the colourful sprinkles.

    Here are some other stuffs that I am busy with (thus cannot find time to bake) ..

    Making snacks/simple "bento" for kids

    recess bentos
    snacks (must remember not to use orange - 2nd pic, in agar agars)

    Doing crafts with and for kids

    The routine cooking

    ok ... end of sharing ... and hope to shorten my to do list in baking (not forgetting beading too). :-)

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