"The only stumbling block is fear of failure.
In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude." - Julia Child

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Sings heaven, I'm in heaven.... follows by a happy dance.... eats another slice, yet another, and another.

As I read this from Almost Bourdain - "it has to be the richest, moistest, butteriest and yet lightest orange cake in the world." - I am sold! The ingredients are all so basic and you probably have it sitting in your kitchen right now. If you do, go whip up this cake. You won't regret it.

I ate almost the whole entire cake! I got too carried away with the light texture and forgot that it contains more than a block of butter. So, be warned!

Recipe adapted from Almost Bourdain

Makes 1 x 22-cm cake, to serve about 8


250 g lightly salted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
250 g caster sugar (I reduce to 180 g)
4 medium eggs
1 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
250 g self raising flour
85 ml freshly squeezed orange juice (about 2 oranges)

For the icing: (I omit this)
125 g icing sugar
5 tsp freshly squeezed orange juice


1. Preheat the oven to 170C. Grease and line a 22-cm clip-sided round cake with non-stick baking paper.

2. Using an electric whisk, cream the butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until very pale. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating very well between each one, if necessary adding a spoonful of flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture from curdling. Beat in the orange zest. Add the flour all at once and mix in well, then slowly mix in the orange juice.

3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 45-50 minutes or until a skewer, inserted into the centre of the cake, comes out clean. If it starts to brown too quickly, cover loosely with a sheet of lightly buttered foil.

4. Leave the cake, in its tin, to cool on a wire rack, then carefully remove the sides and base of the tin and peel off the paper. Put it onto a serving plate.

5. For the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and stir in the orange juice until you have a spreadable consistency. Spread it over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides, and leave to set. Serve cut into slices, and store any leftovers in an airtight container.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Ah! Fond memories of eating siew pau (baked buns) from the bakery in Seremban (a town in Malaysia) which created the famous "Seremban Siew Pau". These paus are so delicious that you can't stop at one. Sadly, I can hardly find good siew pau in Singapore. I am deprived.

Thanks to the world of blogging that I managed to find a couple of good recipes and step-by-step guide to making the pastry. I have the knack of combining recipes and the result is very satisfying. I will definitely make this again.

I got too carried away and made these pretty round ones exposing the spiral-layering of the pastry. I got the inspiration from Corner Cafe.

Hmmm... why not try the parallel-layering too? Great tips from Corner Cafe.

Here are the recipes.

Pastry recipe adapted from Jo's Deli & Bakery

Water dough:
235g all purpose flour
80g cooking oil
35g sugar
7g golden syrup
120g water

Oil dough:
125g all purpose flour
75g shortening

Water dough:
1. Rub oil with flour until crumble.
2. Dissolve sugar and syrup in water and add to the above. knead dough until smooth and rest for 15 mins.
3. Divide dough into 20x23g pieces.

Oil dough:
1. Sift flour on the table and blend in shortening. Using the plams, rub in gradually to form a soft dough.
2. Divide water dough into 20x10g pieces.

Make up:
1. Wrap oil dough into water dough and pin it out into a thin rectangular sheet.
2. Roll the sheet down ino a swiss roll shape. Turn 90deg and repeat once.
3. Press dough with palm and roll out into a circular sheet.
4. place filling in the middle and pleat pastry upwards towards the centre.
5. Egg wash and bake at 190 degC for 20-25 minutes.
6. Egg wash again halfway through baking.

(I got a little bit of here and there, and honestly I don't know the links anymore. If you see anything familiar, please let me know the links. Tnx!)

1 cup char siew (BBQ meat - either pork or chicken) - cut into small cubes
1/2 cup frozen peas
2/3 cup onions - minced
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp dark soy sauce
2 Tbsp tomato sauce
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp Shaoxing wine
1 Tbsp oil

1. Heat oil and saute onion until slightly brown.
2. Add char siew and stir fry for about one minute.
3. Reduce heat to low, add wine and mix well.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook till thick and bubbly.
5. Remove and let cool.

Monday, August 8, 2011


I think we all have our favourite chocolate cake recipes (ahem, am referring to those who love to bake). I would like to share mine with you. The result of this cake is super moist and keeps well in the fridge and the best part of it all it requires no complicated techniques. A balloon whisk is all you need.

What makes this so magical? (excerpts from Chef Tallyrand, here)

1. The correct ingredients are easily and readily available

2. The techniques and methods used are very simple. There is no complicated whisking over bain maries, there is no doubling of volume through aeration . . . in fact this is a no fuss, no nonsense recipe

3. The final cake is soft and moist in texture, and that texture will hold for at least two weeks! Not that I can imagine anyone wanting to hold a cake for that long. But it does mean if you make up a batch for the family's lunch boxes etc you know its going to be there when you need it

4. The flavour is just so decadently chocolate and rich

5. The end result is all but guaranteed with no complicated techniques to master

Recipe adapted from here


300 gm castor sugar (I reduce to 160 gm)
175 gm flour - soft (hi-ratio)
50 gm cocoa powder - Dutched (I use Valrhona and reduce to 35 gm)
5 gm baking powder
5 gm baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs - small
100 ml olive oil
2 tsp vanilla essence
165 ml milk
165 ml water - boiling

1. Combine dry wet ingredients and sieve at least three times (to evenly distribute ingredients)

2. Combine all wet ingredients (omit the water)

3. Pour the wet onto the dry and combine together thoroughly using a balloon whisk

4. Add the boiling water and combine

5. Pour into a prepared cake tin (22cm round)

6. Bake at 160°C for 75 to 90 minutes approximately

Chef's Tip for making Chocolate Cake:

All cooking times are approximate only and variables will always have to be factored in. No two ovens are the same so the temperature will vary slightly form oven to oven.

Individual tube moulds will take approximately 25 - 35 minutes

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Pies is something that I hardly bake and yet love eating it but yet can't eat it often, simply because a good-rich pie is never a healthy option. However, baking your own pie from scratch is definitely healthier than the frozen ones, which gives me a good reason to indulge, ha!

What makes a good pie?

#1 The pastry. Soft and flaky with the clever addition of yogurt.

#2 The filling. Great short cut to a creamy yummy filling by adding a can of soup.

I may have found the best combination (yet).

adapted from Baking Mum

200 gm butter (I reduce to 180 gm)
250 gm plain flour
110 gm plain yoghurt (I reduce to 90 gm)
1 tsp sugar
1 egg yolk
A pinch of salt

1. Put all the ingredients into the mixing bowl except yoghurt, and mix to a crumble.

2. Add in yoghurt and mix to a dough.

3. Dough will be very soft so need to keep it refrigerated for at least 30 mins.

Chicken Filling
adapted from My Kitchen Snippets

2 cups of cooked chicken meat
2 carrots - cut into small cubes
2 stalk of celery - cut into small cubes
1 cup of green peas
1 potatoes - cut into cubes
1/2 onions - finely diced
1 cloves of garlic
1 can of low sodium cream of chicken or mushroom soup
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg - beaten

1. Heat up the pan and lightly brown the onion and garlic. Then add in the celery and carrots, saute for 2 minutes.

2. Add in cream of chicken or mushroom soup and add in about 2 cups of water. Mixed well and bring to boil and add in the potatoes. Continue to simmer until potatoes soften and add in the chicken and green peas.

3. Stir well, cook until sauce thickens. Check seasoning. Dish out and let it cool.

4. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degree F. Prepare a pie dish. Roll out the pastry 1" larger than the pie dish.

5. Put in the filling and cover the top with another piece of roll out pastry and crimp the edges. Cut a few slits on top of the pastry for venting air.

6. Brush the top of the pastry with beaten egg and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes or until filling is bubbling and the crust is golden brown.

7. Let it cool down for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I have wanted to make spiral curry puffs a year ago but kept putting it aside as I thought of the challenges ahead! I mean preparing the curry fillings ahead, then the two types of pastry, then the technique of rolling out the pastry, then the crimping edges of the pastry, then the deep frying - pretty challenging I'm telling ya!

But after this attempt, I am definitely doing it again. It is really not that difficult after all. I have so many recipes on hand, but finally decided on this one which is lip-smacking good.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Crave

Puff's Fillings Recipe:

150 g chicken breast - diced, marinate with some salt and curry powder
200 g potato - diced
20 g carrot - chopped
30 g tomato - diced
250 g shallots - minced
1 stalk lemon grass - crushed
5~6 piece curry leaves
2 tbsp spoon curry powder - mix with some water
sugar and salt to taste
some water
2~3tbsp thick coconut milk (I use low-fat evaporated milk)

Dough Recipe:

Water Dough:
350 g all purpose flour/plain flour
40 g margarine
180 ml hot water
1/3 tsp salt

Oil Dough:
120 g all purpose flour/plain flour
60 g margarine


Puff's Filling:
Heat the wok/pan with some oil, stir in the minced shallot and cook until it's fragrant.

Add in lemon grass, curry leaves and curry powder, stir for about 2 minutes.

Add in potato dices, carrot and tomato, stir and cook for another 5 minutes or until potato sightly tender.

Slowly add some water for better cooking.

Add the chicken and cook until they are done

Sugar and salt to taste.

Stir in coconut milk and cook for another minute or two.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Prepare the dough:

Water dough:
Melt the margarine, salt in the hot water.

Make a well in the middle of flour and pour in the margarine salt water

Mix well and knead to form a smooth dough. Let it rest for 15 minutes. If it is too dry to handle, rub your hands with some water to work on it.

Divide the dough to 8 portion.

Oil dough:
Rub margarine into flour until they mixed well, divide to 8 portion.

Wrapping the puffs:(for 2" diameter curry puff mold)
Wrap the oil dough with water dough.

Flatten it to a 4" X 6" piece sheet using the rolling pin.

Roll it up lengthwise like making swiss roll

Repeat the step #2 and # 3.

Cut the roll into 6 piece portions.

With the cutting edge facing down on your work surface, roll it to a "2.5~3" circle skin.

Place the skin on the mold, fill up with the curry filling, fold the mold and trim the extra skin.

Remember to keep the sealing edge clean and oil free, or your curry puff will "pecah"/breaks when we fry it.

Fry the curry puffs until it's golden brown.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


How do you eat your marble cake? When I was growing up I would chomp away the vanilla portion and save the chocolate portion for last, taking small bites and hoping it does not come to an end. Of course this has changed, now I simply enjoy the combination of the two flavours altogether.

The humble cake has come a long way. There are so many versions now with the inclusion of yogurt, melted white chocolate, ovalette, Grand Marnier and the list goes on.... and I believe it all tastes good.

As for me, I prefer the old-fashioned approach by using basic ingredients but of good quality. Just give more love to the two main ingredients butter and cocoa powder and you are guaranteed of a great cake.

This lovely recipe is adapted from Rachel Allen.


8 oz butter, softened
8 oz caster sugar (I reduce to 6 oz)
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (I use pure vanilla extract)
8 oz plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
50 ml milk
Scant 2 oz cocoa powder - sifted (I use Valrhona and reduced to 1 oz)

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4. Butter and flour the sides of a 20cm (8in) diameter spring-form/loose-bottomed cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

2. Cream the butter in a large bowl or in an electric food mixer until soft. Add the sugar and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Whisk the eggs and vanilla extract together in a small bowl. Gradually add the eggs to the butter mixture, beating all the time. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in gently to mix, then add the milk and mix gently to combine.

4. Tip half of the cake mixture into another large bowl and, into this bowl, fold in the sifted cocoa powder.

5. Place the cake mixtures into the prepared tin by alternating spoonfuls of the vanilla batter with the chocolate batter, then with a skewer or similar implement, gently draw swirls through the cake mixture to ‘marblelise’ it. Don’t overmix or you won’t have that wonderful marble effect. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

6. Turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow to cool.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


Mamamia! These buns are absolutely to-die-for. Very soft and with the perfect sweetness - you will end up feeling proud of yourself for making it. If you have never made buns before, this recipe will be a great one to start off with. It is very easy to make, but all you need is patience!

I used a dough hook to knead the dough, which really helps! The instructions below is by hand.

Adapted from happy home baking

(make around nine 60g portions)

150g bread flour
150g cake flour
5g active dry yeast
3g salt
125g milk
1 egg
60g castor sugar
50g butter
(1 egg, beaten for glazing)

1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add in milk, egg and butter. Mix into a dough.

2. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough until the gluten is fully developed (see tip below) and the dough is elastic, smooth and non-sticky. It will take about 25 mins to knead the dough by hand. Initially the dough will stick on to the work surface. Do not be tempted to add more flour or even give up kneading! After continuous kneading, the dough will no longer stick to the work surface.

3. Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp towel or cling wrap to seal in the moisture. Allow the dough to ferment(or proof) until double in bulk. This will take about 1 hr. To test whether the dough has been fully proofed, press a finger into the dough and withdraw quickly. It should leave a deep impression and spring back very slowly. For an insufficiently proofed dough, the impression will spring back instantly.

4. Take out the dough and punch out the gas produced. Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.

5. Divide the dough into 60g portions. Shape and add fillings as desired. Arrange dough in a greased or lined pan. Let the dough proof for the second time for about 30-45mins. Cover with a damp towel or cling wrap.

6. Brush the top with egg wash. Add almond flakes on the top of the buns, as desired.

7. Bake for about 15 minutes in a preheated oven at 190 degC. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

To check whether the dough is fully developed, take a small piece of the dough and stretch it with your fingers. If it can be stretched into a thin layer without tearing easily, the dough is fully developed.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Corn muffin is synonymous to Kenny Rogers Roasters. It is the first impression you get when eating at KRR, and of course the mac and cheese and roasted chicken too.

The dense texture with a hint of honey is just right and makes these muffins to-die-for. This recipe calls for frozen corn, but I used Del Monte's Fresh Cut Whole Kernel Corn instead.

Adapted from Food.com

makes 18 muffins

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup frozen corn (I used Del Monte's Freshly Cut Whole Kernel Corn)

1. Preheat oven to 200C.

2. Mix butter, sugar, honey, eggs and salt into a large bowl.

3. Add flour, cornmeal and baking powder and blend thoroughly.

4. Add milk while mixing.

5. Add corn to mixture and work into mixture.

6. Do not mash corn, the whole kernel is baked into the muffin.

7. Fill the muffin pan with muffin cups and fill 2/3 full with batter.

8. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until muffins are light brown.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Home made buns are simply irresistible. These raisin buns are delicious on its own or toast these buns and smothered with butter and you got yourself a wholesome breakfast, which reminds me of the raisin toasts that I dearly miss in Australia.

Making breads/buns needs a lot of patience, but the outcome is surely satisfying. I used a mixer with the hook to knead the dough, but you can knead it with your hands by following the instructions below.

Recipe adapted from Her World Cookbook Vol. 53
by Rohani Jelani


100ml water, at room temperature
1 level tsp sugar
2 level tsp instant yeast
550g high-protein flour
1 level tsp salt
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 level tsp allspice (optional)
100g sugar
70g softened butter
130g raisins or sultanas
150ml cold milk mixed together with 50ml cold water

1. Mix the room temperature water and tsp of sugar in a cup and stir in the yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes until the mixture is frothy.

2. Measure the flour, salt, cinnamon, allspice (if using) and 100g sugar into a bowl and mix in the butter with your fingers. Add the raisins, the frothy yeast liquid and almost all the milk/water mixture. Mix with your hands to get a soft dough, adding the remaining liquid only if the mixture looks dry.

3. Once dough comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well until smooth. Cover and leave to rise until double in bulk - about 1 1/2 hours. Then punch down the dough and leave to rise for a second time. This should take 40 - 60 minutes.

4. After the second rising, turn out the dough and knead for a few minutes to expel any large air bubbles. Form into 2 loaves or small buns.

5. Place the loaves in lightly greased loaf tins or arrange the buns on lightly greased baking trays, leaving enough space around the buns for them to expand. Set aside, for 20 - 40 minutes depending on the size of the loaves/buns, until they feel well-risen and spongy to the touch.

6. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 220C. The tops of the buns can be brushed with a little milk or beaten egg for a shiny brown finish, but they look just as nice and more 'natural' if left unadorned. Sprinkle the loaves/buns liberally with water and bake in the hot oven.

7. After 10 - 15 minutes, turn heat down to 190C and continue baking (timing depending on size of loaves/buns) until the loaves/buns sound hollow when tapped on the underside.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


I have a weakness for egg tarts. Period. It comes in either puff or shortcrust pastry. Although I like 'em both, but I gotta admit I prefer the shortcrust version. These tarts are satisfaction guaranteed, and I could not believe I ate almost all of 'em.

I chose an egg custard recipe which used fresh milk instead of evaporated milk. It is a matter of preference, and I think the latter will yield a delicious egg custard too.

Pastry recipe adapted from Christine's Recipes

225 gm plain flour
125 gm butter
55 gm icing sugar
1 egg, whisked
a dash of vanilla extract

Custard filling adapted from Aunty Yochana.

280 gm. fresh milk
160 gm. sugar (I reduced to 140 gm)
3 nos. eggs
1 tsp. rum (I omitted it)
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence

For pastry:
1. Place butter at room temperature until softened. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer over medium speed until the mixture is smooth, fluffy and light in color.

2. Add in whisked egg, half at a time, beat over low speed. Add vanilla extract, mix well.

3. Sift in flour in two batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions with a spatula, and make sure all ingredients combine well. Knead into dough.

4. Roll out the dough to a 1/2 cm thickness. Cut dough with a cookie cutter that is just a bit smaller than your tart tin in size. Line dough in the middle of tart tins, one by one. Lightly press the dough with your thumbs, starting from the bottom then up to the sides. While pressing the dough, turn the tart tin clockwise/anti-clockwise in order to make an even tart shell. Trim away any excess dough.

For egg custard:
5. Heat sugar and milk together. Once sugar dissolves, off heat.

6. Whisk eggs and pour into the milk mixture. Do not whisk till frothy.

7. Add in rum and vanilla essence.

8. Sift the egg custard and pour into tart moulds and bake at 175C till egg custard sets.

Baking tarts:
9. Preheat oven to 200C. Position rack in lower third of oven. Bake tarts for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges are lightly brown.

10. Lower the heat to 180C. Keep an eye on them. Once you see the custard being puffed up a bit, pull the oven door open about 2 to 3 inches. Bake for another 10 to 15 minutes until the custard is cooked through. Just insert a toothpick into the custard. If it stands on its own, it’s done.


Who wouldn't love short cuts especially when it tastes good? These sardine puffs are just what I am talking about.

If you do not want to go through the hassle of making pastry, use frozen parathas instead. It is a great alternative to the store-bought puff or shortcrust pastry. There are so many varieties of frozen parathas out there, and the best part of it is that you can choose any flavour you want to go with your favourite fillings.

I chose the parathas with green onions - can you see those tiny green spots on the puffs? For the sardine filling I chose Happyhomemaker88's, which has a mixture of sardine and potatoes.

I tweaked the recipe by adding 2 cili padi and a squeeze of lime juice to add a punch to the taste. Try it and you know what I mean.

Recipe adapted from Happyhomemaker88

Ingredients for the sardine filling

2 Tbsp oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
200g canned sardines, mashed coarsely (I used Ayam Brand)
1/2 cup of tomato sauce from the canned sardines
250g potatoes, cut into fine cubes and boiled until cooked
1 Tbsp curry powder
2 bird's eye chili (cili padi)
1/2 lime juice
salt, sugar and pepper to taste

1. Heat up oil and fry onions until fragrant.

2. Add the rest of the ingredients and cook for a few minutes until they are incorporated.

3. Set aside to cool down.

4. Divide the paratha into half, wrap with the sardine filling and use a fork to seal the edges.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


This is a traditional savoury meat bun I grew up eating and I could eat two at a time. The baked buns are soft and sweet which goes well with either chicken or char siew (BBQ pork) fillings. Perfect for breakfast or tea time. Try it!

Recipe adapted from No-FrillsRecipes

Ingredients for Filling

300 gm chicken fillet, diced
4 shallots, diced
3 pips garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp light soya sauce
1/2 tsp of - salt and dark soya sauce
2 tsp cornflour + 1 Tbsp water to thicken
Dash of pepper


1. Heat up a pan with the sesame oil, saute the chopped garlic and diced shallots till fragrant.

2. Toss in the meat, stir-fry, add in the sauces, sugar, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup water, cook till meat is cooked.

3. Fine tune taste to your liking and add in the thickening.

4. Dish out and cool before using. (Best to cook this a day before and keep refrigerated).

Ingredients for Bun

300 gm high protein flour
50 gm superfine flour
1/4 level tsp salt
15 gm skimmed milk powder
50 gm caster sugar
25 gm butter/margarine
1 egg, about 50 ml Egg glaze - 1 egg yolk + 1 Tbsp water + a pinch of salt

1.1/2 flat tsp dried yeast
1 tsp sugar
150 ml lukewarm water


1. Combine lukewarm water and yeast in a small bowl, sprinkle over with sugar, stir till dissolved. Set aside for 10 mins for it to ferment.

2. Sift flours together, mix in salt, milk powder in a mixing bowl. Mix with the dough hook for about 10 -20 seconds.

3. Pour frothy mixture into the combined flours, add butter and egg.

4. Beat @ low speed for 10 - 15 mins. or until a soft pliable dough is formed and it doesn't stick to the sides of the mixing bowl. Remove the dough hook.

5. Cover the mixing bowl with a damp cloth and let dough proof for 50 mins. till double in bulk.

6. Dough is ready for shaping once an indentation of a finger is left. Place dough on a floured top.

7. Gently knock back the dough and divide into 12 equal pieces, around 2 oz each. Let dough rest for 10 mins.

8. Flatten a piece of dough, wrap up with some filling, plait the seams, place seams down onto a paper lined tray. Continue with the rest of the dough.

9. Cover with a damp cloth, let rest for another 30 mins. or till double in size.

10. Brush with egg glaze and sprinkle on some sesame seeds.

11. Bake in preheated oven @ 180 deg C for about 15 to 20 mins. till golden brown.

12. Remove from oven and let cool on wire rack.

Friday, April 15, 2011


As the name suggests, you have to try making these cupcakes. It is easy to make which guarantees light, moist and rich looking cupcakes that you have been looking for all these while. Use good quality cocoa powder, and need not cut down the sugar. As the cupcakes are not so sweet, it allows you to top off with your favorite ganache or frosting, without feeling the guilt. Wicked!

Recipe adapted from Anncoo Journal

Makes 18 cupcakes

100g Butter, softened
200g Sugar
2 Eggs
3/4 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk (125ml)
1 tsp Baking soda
1/2 cup Boiling water (with 1 tsp Nescafe Classic Instant Coffee powder)
190g Flour
1/4 tsp Salt
3 tsp Baking powder
40g Cocoa powder

1. Sift flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa powder in bowl. Dissolve baking soda in milk.

2. Cream butter and sugar until light. Add essence and eggs, continue beating.

3. Add in the rest of the ingredients (milk, coffee liquid and flour ingredients), beat till smooth.

4. Spoon batter into greased paper cases to 3/4 full.

5. Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for about 20 mins or until skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6. Leave to cool on rack before icing.

7. Ice with whatever type of icing you prefer or dust lightly with icing sugar.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


Homemade cookies are such pleasurable morsels. This is yet another lovely cookie I enjoy eating. Do get good quality raisins which gives a plump and juicy texture to the contrasting crisp cookie.

Recipe adapted from Her World Cookbook Vol.53
by Rohani Jelani


120g soft brown sugar
100g softened butter
1 egg
180g plain flour
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 level tsp ground nutmeg (I omitted this)
1/2 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 level tsp salt
50g raisins
2 Tbsp roughly chopped almonds (I used walnuts instead)

1. Cream the sugar and butter together until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat well until incorporated. Mix the flour, spices, soda and salt together and stir into the mixture, along with the raisins and almonds.

2. Using two teaspoons, drop small dollops of cookie dough onto a lightly greased baking tray, arranging them in neat rows. Leave a little room in between each cookie to allow for slight spreading.

3. Bake in an oven preheated to 190C for 15 to 18 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.


Curry puff, karipap, epok-epok, whatever you choose to call it, this local snack is sure to stay for a long long time to come. This is possibly the only snack which stays true to the test of time and accompanies us from childhood to adulthood. I felt a great sense of achievement for making my own curry puffs for the first time, finally!

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen

makes 24 pcs

250g all-purpose flour
50g rice flour
50g tapioca or corn flour
50g butter
50g vegetable oil
130ml icy cold water + pinch of salt

600g potato, peeled and diced
1 large onion, diced
2 Tbsp curry powder (for seafood)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
some curry leaves
1 cup water (+/-) salt to taste

1. Heat oil in wok, add in curry leaves and onion. Stir-fry onion until translucent then add in potato.
2. Cook until potato has changed colour on the edges then add in curry powder. Cook for 1 minute, add in water and bring to boil.
3. Add salt to taste, then turn the heat down and cook with lid on until potato is softened and the liquid is reduced.
4. Cool completely before use.

5. In a large mixing bowl, bring 3 types of flours together and mix well. Set aside.
6. In a small sauce pan, melt and heat butter with oil.
7. Pour hot oil over flours in the mixing bowl. Then, mix thoroughly with a wooden spatula or chopsticks.
8. Add in water and knead to form soft dough. Cover dough with plastic wrap and rest for at least 15 minutes.
9. Divide and shape dough into 24 equal balls. Then roll out each ball into a 8 -10cm circle, wrap in a heap tablespoon. Pinch edges to seal, then deep-fry in medium hot oil until golden brown.

Friday, April 8, 2011


This is an extremely light and fine cookie, and it really melts in your mouth. The easiest way to shape the cookie is by shaping into teaspoon-sized balls, and press lightly with a fork. But I got a little more adventurous and used a cookie pump with a flower-shaped nozzle. The bake results turned out so pretty.

Recipe adapted from Small Small Baker


125g butter
40g icing sugar, sifted
125g potato starch
80g superfine flour (I used plain flour, which is just fine)

1. Beat butter and icing sugar till fluffy and lighter in colour.

2. Sift in potato starch and flour, mix to form a soft dough.

3. Roll into small balls (about 2cm in diameter), arrange on lined baking pan and press lightly with a fork (dip the fork in water after each press to prevent cookie dough from sticking to the fork).

4. Bake in preheated oven at 170C for 15 mins, upper rack (need not bake till cookie turn brown).

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I dig oatmeal cookies big time! It is my favorite on-the-go breakfast before I hit the gym in the morning. I will make sure I have enough stocks in the pantry all the time... but this time round, I decided to make it my own. Wholesome homemade cookies, all natural and free from preservatives. C'mon and get it, baby!

Recipes adapted from Her World Cookbook Vol. 53


200g plain flour
1 level tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 level tsp salt
200g soft brown sugar
200g softened butter
100ml milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
250g rolled oats

1. Sift the flour, soda and salt together.

2. Cream the sugar and butter until pale and fluffy, gradually adding the milk until it is incorporated into the mixture.

3. Add the vanilla, oats and sifted flour. Roll cookie dough into 1cm balls and place them well apart on lightly greased baking trays. (I just used greaseproof paper to line the trays)

4. Using the base of a glass dipped in water, flatten the cookies until they are quite thin. (Alternatively, you may use a fork dipped in water to flatten the cookies)

5. Bake in an oven preheated to 190C for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


If you are looking for a good old-fashioned chocolate cake which guarantees you perfectly rich and moist texture, look no further. Give this recipe a shot and you will agree with me. If you are a first time baker, you may ditch those ready-mix and try this one. As what Nigella Lawson says, "The fact that it is scarcely harder than making one out of cake-mix (only worlds better) is an added joy."

I had omitted the frosting as I was craving for just a simple chocolate cake to go with during my coffee break. But please remember to include sour cream. This is the secret ingredient to having a moist cake.

This gorgeous cake is adapted from Nigella Lawson. For the complete version which includes frosting, hop over to Nigella's website.


For the Cake:
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar (I reduced to 170g)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
40g best-quality cocoa (I used Valrhona)
175g soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 tsp real vanilla extract
150ml sour cream

1. Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C and line and butter two 20cm sandwich tins with removable bases.

2. Now all you have to do is put all the cake ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream - into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.

3. Divide this batter, using a rubber spatula to help you scrape and spread, into the prepared tins and bake until a cake tester, or a thin skewer, comes out clean, which should be about 35 minutes, but it is wise to start checking at 25. Also, it might make sense to switch the two cakes around in the oven halfway through cooking time.

4. Remove the cakes, in their tins, to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes before turning out of their tins.

Note: For Step #3, I used a 9" round cake pan and baked one whole cake without separating it.

Friday, March 18, 2011


Made these lovely cookies and gave out to my colleagues on my last day at work. How could anyone say no to chocolate chip cookies? This is a cookie which everyone is familiar with.

I was glad that I decided to make cookies instead of cupcakes as it was more convenient to bring to work, simply because the cookies are lighter in weight and easily wrapped up in cute little bags. Yup, each of my colleague received a personal gift. I could have done it easier by going around and offering them in a big container.... but this is not my style.

Naturally, I turned to My Kitchen Snippet as I did not have the time to try-it-out-if-it-works. I needed a one-time successful recipe, so that I could cool down the cookies and wrap it all up in just one night! My aim was to give out freshly baked cookies.

Of course it was a success. The expressions from the faces of my colleagues were priceless.

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Snippet


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup of sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp of vanilla
3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped macadamia nuts (I used walnuts)

1) Preheat oven to 325F / 165C.

2) Cream butter and sugar until well combined and creamy. Add in eggs one at a time.

3) Stir in vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl.

4) Add in the flour into the butter mixture and then nuts and chocolate chips.

5) Drop a spoonful of dough into a greased baking pan and bake the cookies for 15 - 18 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


This is not your regular sweet-cookie cookie, however a lovely alternative if you are looking for something different in taste and texture. Let me warn you, this is a cookie which you either love it or hate it. My mom and I love it especially to go along with a mid-afternoon tea. On the other hand, my galfriend thinks that the rosemary overpowered the cookie. So, you be the judge.

Recipe adapted from Piggy's Cooking Journal


50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
30g castor sugar
1 Tbsp milk
120g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
30g walnuts, toasted and chopped into small pieces
1 tsp dry rosemary

1) Preheat the oven to 170C.

2) Using an electric mixer, whip butter and sugar until the mixture turns pale and fluffy. Add milk to the mixture, whip until combined.

3) Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour, baking powder and salt until well combined. Add in rosemary and walnut.

4) The dough will be quite crumbly, knead until the dough is smooth and forms a ball. Keep it in the fridge for 30 minutes.

5) Using a rolling pin, roll the dough on a lightly floured surface into 5-mm thickness. Cut out cookies with a 5-cm round cookie cutter. You should be able to get about 15 pieces.

6) Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and let the cookies cool on a wire rack. Serve.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


I was in for a surprise with this biscuit. So easy to make, and big on taste ! You could not find anywhere else!

I was clearing my bookcase and found this old edition of Her World Cookbook Volume 53 (Malaysia edition) - Baking Simplified by Rohani Jelani. This is a rare gem and boy am I glad I kept it all this while with me. I guess I was preoccupied with all my latest, pretty, glossy cookbooks that I had forgotten my old ones.

This is an adult biscuit, rich in coffee and nuts. It has a light cruchy texture to it, which strangely gives me a nostalgia feeling.... the kind of biscuits which are sold at old-fashioned bakeries.

Recipe adapted from Her World Cookbook Vol 53
by Rohani Jelani


1 round tsp instant coffee
1/2 Tbsp hot water
40g walnuts or hazelnuts (I used walnuts)
100g butter
80g fine granulated sugar (I used caster sugar)
150g plain flour

1) Dissolve the coffee in the hot water and set aside to cool. Finely chop the walnuts or hazelnuts.

2) Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Beat in the coffee. Fold in the nuts and flour.

3) With the aid of a teaspoon, scoop out small portions of the biscuits mixture and roll into small balls with floured fingers.

4) Arrange these neatly on lightly greased baking trays, allowing plenty of room in between for spreading.

5) Dip the prongs of a fork in flour, shake off the excess flour and flatten each biscuit with a criss-cross pattern.

6) Bake in an oven preheated to 190C for 12 to 16 minutes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I am not very keen on handling pastries as there is too much worries in me - make sure butter is cold, make sure I work on the dough as quickly as possible, do not over-knead the dough, use ice water, put the dough back in the fridge, roll the dough quickly... oh, and the worries go on and on.

The more I read about instructions and precautions, the more I apprehensive I became. But look at those beautiful tarts out there, at the bakeries, and on the glossy pages.

I have to overcome this, I told myself. I cannot rely on store-bought pastry all the time. So, I googled with the key word "simplest tart" and found Smitten Kitchen's Simplest Apple Tart. Are you kidding me? There is such a thing as simplest tart afterall!

Verdict: The pastry is pretty easy to make and it turns out great with a light crumbly texture. This is a good basic tart recipe and you can substitute the apples with any fruits you like.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Ideas: can make into tart or galette style


1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, just softened, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
3 1/2 Tbsp chilled water

2 pounds apples (Golden Delicious or another tart, firm variety), peeled, cored (save peels and cores), and sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
5 Tbsp sugar (I reduced to 3 Tbsp or less)

1/2 cup sugar

1) Mix flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl; add 2 Tbsp of the butter. Blend in a mixer until dough resembles coarse cornmeal. Add remaining butter; mix until biggest pieces look like large peas.

2) Dribble in water, stir, then dribble in more, until dough just holds together. Toss with hands, letting it fall through fingers, until it's ropy with some dry patches. If dry patches predominate, add another tablespoon water. Keep tossing until you can roll dough into a ball. Flatten into a 4-inch thick disk; refrigerate. After at least 30 minutes, remove; let soften so it's malleable but still cold. Smooth cracks at edges. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 14-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Dust excess flour from both sides with a dry pastry brush.

3) Place dough in a lightly greased 9-inch round tart pan, or simply on a parchment-lined baking sheet if you wish to go free-form, or galette-style with it. Heat oven to 400F (200C). (If you have a pizza stone, place it in the center of the rack.)

4) Overlap apples on dough in a ring 2 inches from edge if going galette style, or up to the sides if using the tart pan. Continue inward until you reach the center. Fold any dough hanging over pan back onto itself; crimp edges at 1-inch intervals.

5) Brush melted butter over apples and onto dough edge. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons sugar over dough edge and the other 3 tablespoons over apples. (I used a total of 3 tablespoons only.)

6) Bake in center of oven until apples are soft, with browned edges, and crust has caramelized to a dark golden brown (about 45 minutes), making sure to rotate tart every 15 minutes.

7) Make glaze: Put reserved peels and cores in a large saucepan, along with sugar. Pour in just enough water to cover; simmer for 25 minutes. Strain syrup through cheesecloth.

8) Remove tart from oven, and slide off parchment onto cooling rack. Let cool at least 15 minutes.

9) Brush glaze over tart, slice, and serve.

Monday, March 14, 2011


What shall I do with the remaining over-riped bananas? Banana cake it is! Yeah, I made two cakes with bananas in a week.

Banana cake is one of those old- fashioned cakes easily loved by many. I had baked this cake for a couple of times but kept forgetting to take a snapshot of it. So, here it is... and this recipe is a keeper!

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Snippets


2 stick/226g butter
1 cup sugar (I used 3/4 cup)
4 eggs
4 Tbsp condensed milk (I used 3 Tbsp)
4 bananas (about 1 3/4 cups) - mashed
1 tsp vanilla or banana essence (I used vanilla)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1) Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Greased and line an 8" round baking pan or 8" x 8" square pan. In a bowl sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set it aside.

2) Beat the soft butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time and mix until smooth. Mix in mashed bananas, vanilla and condensed milk. Mix well.

3) Lower down the mixer speed, slowly add in the flour mixture and blend just until smooth.

4) Pour batter into the baking pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

5) Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing it. Let the cake cool before serving.


I have a bunch of over-riped bananas and I needed a good recipe right away. It did not take me too long to google as I clearly knew what I wanted i.e. a combination of chocolate and bananas.

I found this recipe at Hearty Bakes and I agree that this cake is addictive. I used a round cake pan instead (I know it is about time that I bought a square cake pan), and I omitted the chocolate chips as I prefer the rich Valrhona cocoa powder as it is.

Recipe adapted from Hearty Bakes
1/2 cup butter - 113g (softened)
1 cup sugar (I reduced to 3/4 cup)
1 egg (lightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used Valrhona)
1 cup chocolate chips

1) In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.

2) Drizzle in the eggs, vanilla and mashed bananas, beating thoroughly.

3) Sieve flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the creamed mixture in above step and mix it well.

4) Divide batter into half. Add cocoa powder to one portion of the batter. Spread that portion in the bottom of a greased 9" square tin.

5) Spread the remaining plain batter on top the cocoa batter, swirl gently with a knife and sprinkle top with chocolate chips.

6) Bake at 180C for about 30 minutes or test batter done with a toothpick. Cool and cut into squares to serve.

Thursday, January 6, 2011


Just take a look at the cookies, these babies are each packed with the goodness of choc chips, macadamia nuts and dried cranberries. The three combination is so cleverly put together which yields a fantastic flavour. Please try this and you would probably give yourself a perfect score on the taste-o-meter!

Recipe adapted from My Kitchen Snippet


3 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks/226 grm butter – room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup chopped toasted salted macadamia nuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Sift flour, salt and baking powder into medium bowl. By using electric mixer, beat butter, sugar and brown sugar until combined and slightly fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time and then vanilla. Mix well.

3. Add in the shifted ingredients and mix just until blended. Using spatula, stir in cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts.

4. For large cookies, drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, as for smaller cookies, drop dough by level tablespoonfuls onto sheets. Bake cookies for 20 minutes of until golden brown. Remove and cool the cookies before storing.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I am so glad I made these tarts for Christmas. I found this wonderful recipe from Gertrude of My Kitchen Snippet - one of my favourite blogs. I am sure you have one or two blogs on top of your list which you go to faithfully simply because you have found a connection to it. It can be a common interest in tastebud, ingredients, measurement, etc. I have tried quite a few recipes by Gertrude, and it always, yes always turns out successfully. I found my 'connection'.

I managed to snap this before the tarts were gone. Aren't they a pretty thing to look at?

I took the easy way out to make the tarts. I used store bought shortcrust pastry which came in prepared sheets. All I did was to cut it out and place in mini tart pans. As for the seafood fillings, no worries at all because it was so easy to make.

However, if you prefer to make the pastry yourself, hop over to My Kitchen Snippet for the recipe.

Here's the recipe for the seafood fillings, adapted from My Kitchen Snippet

2 cup of cooked shrimp – roughly chopped
1/2 cup of artificial crabstick – roughly chopped
1 stalk of celery – cut into tiny cubes
3 spring onions - finely chopped
1 egg
1/2 cup of low fat cream cheese
1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
1 tsp of chili powder
1/2 tsp of sugar
2 tbsp of lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a mixing bowl mix all the filling ingredients together until well combined. Set it aside.

2. Roll about the dough to about 1/8” and line the pastry into little tart moulds.

3. Fill it up with the filling and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree F for half an hour or until the crust is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


This is the third cookie which I made for Christmas. This is also widely known as sugar cookies - the all time favourite cookie during Christmas, especially amongst the kids! I omitted the icing decoration part.

adapted from Nigella Lawson

6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 tablespoons just-boiled water
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Food coloring, preferably pastes
Special equipment: cookie cutters


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Form into a fat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you're using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.

Remove the cookies with a flat, preferably flexible, spatula to a wire rack. When they are fully cooled, you can get on with the icing. Put a couple of tablespoons of not-quite-boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved confectioners sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Color,as desired. I think pastes are much better than liquid, not just because the range of colors is better but because they don't dilute the icing as they tint. Ice cooled cookies, as desired.


Some like it crispy, some like it soft and some like it chewy. Yeah, I am talking about chocolate chip cookies - the all time non-stop debate if soft is better than cripsy, vice versa. So to cut the chase, I have found one recipe which caters all, adapted from Smitten Kitchen . Even the title of this recipe suggests that you should look no further but try this one now, pronto!

I made this cookie for Christmas give away, and here's the recipe which I had promised in my earlier entry.

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen


2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar (I reduced to 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time (for giant cookies) or a tablespoon at a time (for smaller cookies) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake larger cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re done; depending on your scoop size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

For Step #4 - I used 1 teaspoon to make bite size cookies.


New year, new hope, new beginning. May peace and happiness be with you all.

This is a late entry, but nonetheless I am excited to show you what I had baked for friends and relatives. I have made three types of cookies for Christmas and packed it in small cute goodie bags.
Picture above from left: Polvorones, Chocoloate Chip Cookie and Sugar Cookie.
The Polvorones were very popular amongst the adults. As for the kids, they kept reaching out for more chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies. Afterwards, friends and relatives were asking for recipes!
I had posted the Polvorones recipes dated 31 Oct 2010 which you can refer to that anytime. I will be posting the other two cookie recipes soon. Watch out for it!