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

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.