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

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