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

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.