Thursday, January 28, 2010

Ribena Konnyaku Jelly

This is another no-brainer sweet desserts by adding Ribena to make jelly :P

Ribena Konnyaku Jelly
I packet Konnyaku Jelly Powder  (10g)
150 grams Caster Sugar *
850ml Water
100ml Ribena blackcurrant juice cordial *
1 packet of Natadecoco

  1. In a small bowl, mix konnayku powder and caster sugar together. 
  2. In a medium pot, bring water to boil.  Pour the konnyaku mixture into water gradually and stir till sugar dissolved.
  3. Turn off flame and keep stirring for about 5 mins, till the bubbles dissipates and the mixture becomes clear.
  4. When the mixture is slightly cooled, add Ribena and stir well.
  5. Put pieces of natadecoco into prepared moulds, then pour the Konnyaku solution into the moulds.
  6. Leave to cool and chill in fridge before serving.
You may adjust the sugar/Ribena accordingly.

MY WAY Sandwich

I saw HHB's Deli-cious post and was reminded that I've made a similar sandwich for our dinner just a few nights ago.  It's a great idea to pair off SPAM turkey with mushrooms but I did mine with honey baked ham and bacon instead.

As it was another of my lazy days, I didn't bother to bake the bread but used Gardenia focaccia bread.  I used to eat alot of focaccia bread when I was working but this is the first time I introduced it to my kids and I'm glad they like it :)

I do not like to feed my children with too much processed food but since it's only once in a blue moon, I don't see much harm done.  Also, it beats eating deep fried stuff :P

The bread was sliced into half, topped with some slices of cheese, ham and bacon (pan-fried till slightly charred) and I popped them into the oven for a few mins to crisp the crust.  Next I added butterhead lettuce, japanese cucumber and tomatoes.  Finished it off with tomato ketchup/chilli sauce and mayonnaise.  Yum!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Pumpkin Swiss Roll with Chocolate Chips

I'm falling in love with swiss roll making for one simple reason - baking time is merely 10 mins!  With some leftover pumpkins, I made this pumpkin swiss roll from Kang & You Favourite.

I was trying to replicate an effect like this one here but unfortunately, the chocolate chips were stucked onto the parchment paper when I tried to peel it off.  The cake turned messy and ugly.  It didn't occur to me that chocolates melt.  I need to give myself a slap *piak*

DS2 loves this cake and requested for me to pack some for his school teachers but I explained to him I'll bake a nicer swiss roll for his teachers next time, I promise.

The texture of this cake is soft and fluffy.  DS2 had 2 slices and DD1 ate 1 as she had just finished her lunch.  DD3 is still taking her nap so no chance to try it yet ;-)

Pumpkin Swiss Roll with Chocolate Chips
4 Egg Yolk
40ml Oil
100g Cake Flour
100g Pumpkin Puree
50ml Water

5 Egg White
35g Castor Sugar
1/8 tsp Cream of Tartar

  1. Combine (A) together until well blended, leave aside.
  2. Beat egg whites with electric beater till frothy, add in cream of tartar and whisk till soft peak.
  3. Add in sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks are formed.
  4. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  5. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  6. Sprinkle some chocolate chips on the tray and pour the batter into tray.  Bang the pan to release air bubbles.
  7. Bake in preheated oven 200°C for 10 - 12 minutes or till cooked.
  8. When the cake is cooked, leave to cool completely.
  9. Spread a layer of whipped cream/butter cream/jam onto the sponge cake. Roll it up and chill in fridge before serving.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

Have I been neglecting my son lately so much so that he is turning violent just get to my attention?  Of late, he is always teasing his little sister, sometimes to the extend of kicking and pulling her hair.  It didn't occur to me as attention-seeking as I thought that is how a 4 year old boy behaves (fearless 5 year old) until DH highlighted his observations.  I need to review my priorities and really think through how to proceed from here.

A minor accident happened this afternoon while I was walking the dog with the 2 younger ones, waiting for DD1's school bus to arrive.  DS2 loves to carry DD3 but I've reminded him upteem times not to carry her and walk around.  The green light is only on the bed but then again, still no walking around as I know he couldn't support her weight.  Not that DD3 is heavy but with DS2 weighing only 15kg, I cannot imagine him carrying a 9kg toddler.  Using myself as a benchmark, DS2 is about 1/3 of my weight but I already feel the strain when I carry him for merely a few seconds.  Anyway, as I was walking the dog, the 2 children waited at the void deck.  When the school bus arrived, DS2 got really excited and carried DD3, then he started to run.  He managed a couple of steps and fell flat onto his sister.  DD3 is not a crybaby but it must have hurt alot as she was crying non-stop, even till we got home.  She bled a little on her upper lip but kept putting her fingers into her mouth.  After some coaxing, she finally stopped crying and allowed me to look into her mouth.  Her two front teeth chipped!  Sigh..  Things just didn't turn out right for the rest of the day and I suddenly felt very lousy.  I just need to get this off my chest to feel better, and after a good night sleep, it will be a better day for us tomorrow.

Back to baking.  I saw this chewy cookie here and requested for the recipe.  I remember having a chewy cookie recipe some time back and after searching for it, I found out it was shared by mycoffee in Kitchen Capers.  Coincidentally, they happened to be the same recipe!

I have made this once when I was still using my microwave 3-in-1 oven then.  The cookies were crispy but it didn't occur to me that I might have overbaked them.  Upon seeing the recipe again, I decided to give it another try.

Instead of using all chocolate chips, I added some almond flakes and dried currants too.  I baked them for 15 mins and these cookies turned out chewy and soft with a slight crispy edge.  Cannot quite pose them off as Subway's but they are good substitutes.

I do not know if omitting the egg white makes any difference but as I've halved the recipe, I was lazy to separate the eggs and measure out 1/2 egg and 1/2 egg yolk so I used an egg to compensate.  Despite reducing the sugar, I still find it sweet.  I may just omit white sugar the next time I make this and add some cocoa powder for that extra "omph" ;-)

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie
Recipe adapted from allrecipes
Makes 11 cookies (10cm diameter)

100 g all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
85 g unsalted butter, melted
80 g packed brown sugar
20 g white sugar
1 egg
200 g semisweet chocolate chips/currants/almond flakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
  3. Beat in the egg until light and creamy.
  4. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  5. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
  6. Drop cookie dough 3/4 tablespoon at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets.
  7. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  8. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.
  9. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Pineapple Tarts - Disney Characters

This is my first attempt in pineapple tarts making.  Sis E was supposed to pass me some of her cutters but there was no chance for a meetup.  My hands were itching to make some pineapple tarts so I decided to use my disney cutters to make them as closed tarts, somewhat similar to Taiwan's Pineapple Tarts (凤梨酥).

Choosing a recipe was tough as there are simply too many recipes online.  I could have asked my sisters for their recipes but I chose not to as Sis E bakes without a recipe (she can mix-and-match any leftovers and create her own recipe without any exact measurements for she cooks/bakes with her eyes).  To get recipe from Sis C will take weeks...  Anyway, I googled and shortlisted 2 recipes from the numerous, one from Delicious Asian Food and another from Florence's Do What I Like.  I was keen to try the first recipe as it is a mother-in-law's recipe (I always go for elderlies' trusted recipes) but 2 things deters me :- recipe uses 2 - 3 eggs and not in metric measurements.  Finally decided on Florence's as I was plain lazy (again) to do the conversion and prefer to use 1 egg yolk recipe.

I didn't bother to cook my own pineapple filling so I used store-bought.  As usual, my 2 older children wanted to help so I got them to help roll the pineapple fillings into balls.

DH is still on reservice and he was on duty last night when I made these.  I only had time to bake 1/2 the dough so I kept the balance dough in the fridge.  Weighing a total of 40g, these are hugemongous pineapple tarts :P

The imprints were obvious before baking but faded when they were out of the oven :-(

After my failed egg wash here, I added more water to the egg yolk but this time round, it was too diluted.  My egg wash failed again :P  Don't know why but I just can't seem to get it right.  Maybe I'll just give egg wash a miss since I've no luck with it.

A cross-section of the tart loaded with pineapple filling.

Despite the ingredients used were all very basic, the pastry was relatively easy to handle and has a melt-in mouth texture.  This is definitely a keeper!

Pineapple Tarts
340g Plain Flour
1 1/2 tbsp Icing sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

200g Cold butter, cut into cubes

1 Egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence or brandy (I used Martell)
*lightly beaten

25ml ice cold water

Egg glaze: Lightly beat1 yolk with 1 tbsp water

Pineapple fillings

  1. Lightly beat egg yolk with brandy.
  2. Sieve flour, baking powder and icing sugar into mixing bowl. Stir in salt and blend well.
  3. Cut in butter until it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  4. Add egg yolk and ice water into flour and roughly work it into a ball.  Do not overwork the dough.
  5. Divide dough into 3 equal portions and chill in fridge for 1 hour.
  6. Remove 1 portion of dough from fridge and divide dough to portions of 20g each.
  7. Wrap pineapple paste (20g each) with dough and shape into rounds.
  8. Place dough into cutter and flatten with stamper.
  9. Place tart onto baking tray lined with baking sheet.
  10. Bake at 200C for 10 minutes, remove from oven, apply egg wash and lightly press the pineapple filling onto the indentations of the tarts. Bake again at 180C for 10 – 15 minutes or until the golden colour that you desired.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Almond Crisps

This is another quick and easy recipe that requires no mixer!  Also, it is a low cholesterol cookie as there's no egg yolk in this cookie.

Gina of Kitchen Capers shared this in her forum and many bakers gave thumbs up when they tried it.  However, Gina warned that this is a very tedious bake although it's really yummy.

I used my frozen stash of egg whites and instead of doing the full recipe, I halved it.  Sugar was also reduced to cater to my family's need and vanilla essence was omitted.

You are supposed to use the back of a spoon and spread the mixture into rounds.  I did that for the first 5pcs and gave up.  Simply too time consuming and I don't have so much time to waste.  So I spreaded the mixture with a spoon and lay some almond flakes onto the mixture.

This is how it looks like when baked.  Just break up into pieces, so quick and easy ;-)  However, one baker feedbacked that she had problem removing the cookies from the parchment paper.  The trick is to remove the cookie while it is still warm.

Almond Crisps
1 egg white
30 g sugar (I'll use 20g next time)
25 g plain flour, sifted
Almond flakes

  1. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Add sugar to egg white, stir to mix and dissolve sugar.
  3. Add sifted flour to mix. Mixture should be creamy.
  4. Pour the mixture onto the prepared tray and using the back of a spoon, spread it out thinly.
  5. Lay almond flakes in a single layer onto the mixture.
  6. Bake in preheated oven 180 C for 12 - 15 mins or golden brown.
  7. Remove to cool slightly outside the oven before removing cookie from baking paper.
  8. Break the cookies into random pieces and enjoy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Simple Tomato Stir Fry

I saw this dish in Annie's blog and since my kids love tomato, I reckon they'll like this too.

I may have overcooked the tomatoes as they simply released too much juices.  Nevertheless, it tasted pretty decent.  Unfortunately, DS2 doesn't like it.  The good thing about my son is, even though he doesn't like the food, he will still try to finish/eat as much as he could.  I'm definitely going to cook this again, but probably not so soon.

Simple Tomato Stir Fry
4 medium globe tomatoes, chopped into large chunks
2-3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3-4 shallots, halved then thinly sliced
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

  1. Heat wok/pan to medium high heat and add vegetable oil.
  2. Toss in garlic and shallots and stir-fry till fragrant and a light golden brown on the garlic.
  3. Add tomatoes. Give it a quick stir.
  4. Add oyster sauce. Mix it into the tomatoes. Tomatoes should be releasing some juices at this point but still retaining some firmness. Do a quick taste. If needed, add more oyster sauce.
  5. Plate up and enjoy! 

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Strawberry Swiss Roll

Auntie A tried my sugar roll recipe but failed.  She tried a few other recipes online but they didn't turn out well too.  So she returned to her regular recipe which she claimed was the "perfect" swiss roll, soft and fluffy.  I asked for the recipe and made it last Sunday.

I was over the moon when the skin remained intact while I was rolling it, BUT I realised the texture of the cake was crumbly.  My heart sunken :-(

If you give one recipe to 10 bakers, they may all churn out different results.  And this was exactly what happened to us.  Auntie A tried my recipe but it didn't turn out well.  Now that I'm using her trusted recipe, I couldn't get the soft and fluffy texture.  Maybe it's just me, when it comes to sponge cake recipe, I just couldn't get it correct.  I still feel more confident doing the egg separation method.

Anyway, I'm posting the recipe for my own records and for those interested (and probably better luck than me), do give it a try and let me know how the cake turns out.

Strawberry Swiss Roll
4 eggs
80g sugar
80g self raising flour, sifted
40g corn oil
Strawberries, hulled and halved
Whipped Cream

  1. With an electric mixer, whisk eggs and sugar on HIGH speed until the batter double in volume and is ribbon-like (the beater should leave a ribbon-like texture when the batter is lifted up). Turn to LOW speed and whisk for another 1 to 2 mins. Whisking at low speed helps to stabilise the air bubbles in the batter.
  2. Add sifted flour into the batter. With a spatula, gently fold in the flour until well blended. Take care not to deflate the batter. (To ensure proper folding in of the flour, you can add the flour in three separate additions.)
  3. Add corn oil and fold with spatula until well blended.
  4. Pour batter into 11" X 14" baking tray (lined with parchment paper) and bake at pre-heated oven of 200C for about 10 - 12 mins.
  5. When the cake is cooked, leave to cool completely.
  6. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream onto the sponge cake and lay the sliced strawberries evenly on top of the cream.
  7. Roll it up and chill in fridge before serving.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Matcha Cookies

I was trying to transfer my pictures from the SD card to my harddisk and I always have the habit to "cut and paste".  But after cutting, I may have clicked onto some other buttons accidentally before clicking on "paste" and now I couldn't locate my pictures!  Thank goodness the lost pictures were just what I've baked/cooked and not my children's photographs.  Anyway, since I've just baked the matcha cookies today, I took some more pictures again.  But my matcha cream puffs pictures that I took last week were gone before I even had a chance to blog about it.  There were a few other bakes, stir-fry vegetables and pan fry salmon photographs that I took.  There were a total of 89 pictures, gone!  Lesson learnt, never to ""cut and paste", do an extra step to "copy and paste", then go back to the removable disk to delete.

Back to these cookies.  I was trying to finish up my matcha before expiry and googled, and found a simple recipe here.

MO was really helpful in getting more matcha for me from Japan and he passed me 4 packets of matcha (between 20g and 30g) and a pudding mix.  I've been really fortunate to receive more matcha from him.  In fact, he asked me again last week if I needed more matcha but since I have 2 unopened packets, I kindly decline his kind offer.  Thank you pal!

The recipe originally calls for 20g matcha but I reckon it will be an overdosed so I used 5g (approx 1 tablespoon) instead.  Also I've reduced the sugar slightly and the sweetness is just right for us.  My children (including DD3) love these cookies and kept asking for more ^-^

Makes 49 cookies (3cm x 4cm)

160g butter, room temperature
70g sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten

180g all-purpose flour
5g matcha (green tea powder)

50g sliced almonds


  1. In a large bowl, blend the butter until smooth.*
  2. Add the sugar and blend until pale and fluffy.*
  3. Add the egg gradually and mix well.*
  4. Add the sifted Matcha-flour mixture and stir lightly with a rubber spatula, just long enough to make the dough smooth.
  5. Gently mix in the sliced almonds.
  6. Form into two rolls on waxed paper and chill overnight.
  7. Slice thinly (approx. 5mm thick) and placed on prepared baking sheet/tray.
  8. Bake in preheated oven of 180C for 12 - 15 mins.
  9. Remove cookies from cookie sheet to cooling rack and let cool.
It is recommended to use a mixer for Step 1 - 3 but I just used a wooden spoon as I was plain lazy to bring out my mixer.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Steamed Milk Cake

Fresh from the steamer!  Yes, I just made these like 20 mins ago for our tea today.  This is really a very simple recipe and the best thing is, no mixer needed!

The last time I made these, I filled the cup to 3/4 full and had a dome shaped cake.  Today, I filled up to 4/5 full and they smile very nicely to me :-)

I should have used paper liners instead of muffin cups as the cups seemed to have puffed up a little due to the heat.

Steamed Milk Cake
(Recipe adapted from Aunty Yochana's blog, makes about 6 cupcakes)

170 gm. Fresh Milk (I used a mixture of Full Cream and Skim Milk)
60 gm. sugar
100 gm. cake flour
20 gm. rice flour
2 tsp. double-action baking powder

  1. Use a hand whisk to whisk fresh milk with sugar until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and stir well.
  3. Spoon into small cups lined with paper cups.
  4. Steam at high heat for 10 - 13 mins. or until cooked.
  5. Remove and cool on wire rack.

Mixed Herbs Roast Chicken

It's that time of the month again, yes, time to change bedsheets!  I make it a point to change my bedsheets fortnightly because we've got a dog that sheds 365 days a year.  Though we're only a family of 5, we've got 8 pillows and 4 bolsters.  It is indeed a chore to change these frequently.

If you have been following my blog, you know I like to involve my children in my baking.  In addition, I get them to help out in simple household chores too.

DD3 pooped just when I was about the change the bedsheets.  DS2 was bored and asked "What should I do?".  I made a causaul remark for him to change the bedsheets and when I came out of the bathroom after washing DD3, I saw a busy boy :)

He is such a sweetie pie :)


I bought a frozen bird last week and I cooked it for our dinner.  The important thing about roasting chicken is to PAT PAT PAT the chicken really dry to get a nice crispy skin.

Rubbed some sea salt onto the chicken, sprinkled with mixed herbs and fresh ground black pepper.

Stuffed with loads of garlic, and more garlic and sweet potato wedges on the pan to elevate the chicken.  I've tried using the rotisserie once but never again.  Although it browned the chickren really nicely and the skin was really crispy, my oven was splattered with oil all over and cleaning up was a chore.  So now, I'll elevate the chicken on some hard/root vegetables and garlic so the chicken doesn't get soaked up in the drippings.

This should go well with lemon but I ran out of it.  Made a trip to the local supermarket to buy some but the shelves were empty!  Not a single lemon to be seen!  Doesn't matter, we just make do with the dried herbs, salt and pepper, it still tasted great.

Mixed Herbs Roast Chicken
1kg chicken
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into wedges
Sea salt
Dried mixed herbs
Ground black pepper
Butter/olive oil

  1. Wash, clean and pat the chicken dry with paper towels all over, including the cavity.
  2. Rub sea salt all over the chicken and inside the cavity.
  3. Sprinkle dried mixed herbs and ground black pepper over the chicken.
  4. Gently separate the skin and rub the leftover mixture on your fingers onto the chicken breast.
  5. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  6. Thaw chicken to room temperature (around 30 mins), then brush some olive oil/butter all over chicken.
  7. Stuff as many cloves of garlic into the cavity of the chicken.
  8. Line the roasting pan with aluminium foil (this is for easier clean up later).
  9. Toss the sweet potatoes with some salt, freshly grounded black pepper and olive oil/melted butter.  Arrange the sweet potatoes and balance garlic in a single layer on the prepared pan.
  10. Place the chicken breast side up, on the prepared pan.
  11. Bake in preheated oven of 250C for around 40 mins.  Turn the chicken over and roast for another 15 - 20 mins.
  12. Turn the chicken over again, breast side up, and roast for another 10 - 15 mins, or till chicken is cooked.
  13. Allow to cool for at least 10 mins before serving.

To check if the chicken is cook thoroughly, pierce a satay stick/skewer between the drumstick and the thigh. It is cooked if the juice runs clear.  If there are still streaks of blood (pink liquid), cook the chicken longer.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Matcha Milk Agar Agar

I can't quite recall where I've seen this recipe and didn't add the link to my favourites then.  When I tried to google for it, I can't find it now.  Anyway, I didn't want to spend too much time searching for it so I came out with my own version.

Matcha Milk Agar Agar
1 packet (12g) agar agar powder
1000ml water
180g caster sugar
200ml evaporated milk
1 tbsp matcha/green tea powder

  1. Dissolve one packet of agar agar powder in 1 litre of water.
  2. Add 180g of sugar, stir and bring to boil over medium heat.
  3. Add matcha and stir till all sugar has melted.
  4. Sieve mixture and let it cool down slightly.
  5. Add in evaporated milk and sieve again.
  6. Pour mixture into moulds/tray. Chill well before serving.

Totoro Cream Puffs

Are you in love with cream puffs?  I'm a hardcore cream puff lover, and so is my Dad.  Maybe I inherited the love from him?  Hahaha!

I chanced upon these cute Totoro Cream Puffs by Fatmum and finally made some yesterday for our afternoon tea.  The concept came from Anna's blog with step-by-step pics to guide you on how to make Totoro cream puffs.

To save time, I piped the eyes onto the choux pastry but it was a mistake.  As the pastry was not flat, the icing slided backwards and the shape got distorted.  My children ain't bothered with the flaws and gorged them down within seconds ^-^

Instead of following the cream puff recipe, I used back my trusted recipe here which was originally from Florence's blog.

Totoro Cream Puffs
Choux Pastry
Ingredients (8 puffs)
85ml water
50g butter
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla essence (I omit)
50g bread flour
20g cake flour
2 eggs (lightly beaten)

  1. Cook water, butter, sugar and salt in a saucepan till bubbling hot. Turn the heat to low.
  2. Add in the flour mixture in one go and mix with a wooden spoon till a dough is formed.
  3. Still on low heat, cook the dough for 1 - 2 minutes till a thin white film is formed at the bottom of the saucepan.
  4. Transfer dough to a mixing bowl and beat till it is lukewarm.
  5. Add in egg by thirds and mix till well blended and smooth.
  6. Place batter into piping bag and pipe it onto a lined pan in rounds of about 5cm in diameter. Spray some water on it.
  7. Bake at 200C for 25 minutes then 180C for 8 - 10 minutes or till dry and golden brown in color. Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven for 30 minutes.
Creme Patisserie

240ml skim milk
4 tbsp castor sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg + 2 yolks
2 tbsp cornstarch

  1. Mix 60ml of milk with the cornstarch till smooth.
  2. Add the beaten egg and yolks into the cornstarch mixture.
  3. Boil the remaining milk with sugar in a saucepan till bubbling hot. Pour 1/3 of this hot milk into the egg cornstarch mixture. Stirring all the time.
  4. Now pour the egg cornstarch mixture through a strainer into the rest of the boiling milk. Stirring constantly till mixture thicken. Do not burn the custard.
  5. Cling wrap custard with glad wrap with the wrap touching the surface of the custard (this is to prevent a hard film forming on surface of the custard) and chill till ready to use.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Santa Claus Cake

This blogger, Happy Home Baking, has inspired many to bake and I'm one of them.  I must say she has a wonderful blog and all her bakes and cooks look fabulous!  Upon seeing her Santa Claus cake (the idea came from Japanese Meiji website with a self explanatory video demo on how to decorate the cake), I told myself I just have to make it one day.

Since Dad's birthday falls on 31 December and he's usually away for holiday this period, we usually have an early celebration for him.  This year, we celebrated his birthday at Bro J's house again.  My kids love such gatherings, and so do I.  The barbecue was great though I didn't get to eat much as DD3 was extremely clingy that day (she missed her afternoon nap).

The only strawberries available from my nearest supermarket were from Korea and they ain't delicious red.  I had to pick out the darker coloured ones for this cake.

Frosting the cake was horrendous as I must have under-whipped the dairy cream and it was melting on me.  It was no easy feat shaving the chocolates too.  I tried HHB's method ie to use a plastic spoon (for dispensing medicine) but that didn't work.  I used my cookie scoop and peeler too but none worked.   I didn't want to waste too much time on that so I just scrapped and get bits and pieces here and there, just enough to use as Santa's beard.

I did the decoration the night before and when I took it out to show my kids the next day, I realised the M&M chocolate melted on me too.  The eyes smudged!  Since I have some leftover whipping cream in the fridge, I tried to salvage the eye by removing the frosting and piped a new "eye".  Put new "pupils" onto them and it looked almost perfect.  But when we got to the venue, the chocolate smeared again!

Using a chiffon cake base, I sandwiched the layers with some cream and diced strawberries.  I was "stingy" now and didn't add too much strawberries as my previous cakes were all loaded with fillings and the cake collapsed upon slicing.  Nevertheless, the cake was well received.  The only complaint from Dad was the strawberries came in odd numbers.  He wanted even numbers, not odd numbers....  So I just picked up 1 strawberry and popped it into my mouth and rearranged the balance 10 :P

Santa Claus Cake
4 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
30g castor sugar

60ml corn oil
125ml milk/water

150g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
*sifted together

4 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
30g sugar

  1. Mix ingredients (A) well with a hand whisk.
  2. Add (B) into yolk mixture, stir well.
  3. Stir (C) into yolk mixture and mix well.
  4. Whip egg whites in a clean mixing bowl until big bubbles are formed. Add in the cream of tartar and whip until white in colour. Add in sugar over 3 times and whip until egg whites is stiff.
  5. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  6. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  7. Pour the batter into a 8" round pan. Bang the pan on the table to get rid of bubbles.
  8. Oil a piece of aluminium foil and cover the pan loosely.
  9. Bake in preheated oven of 170C for 15 minutes.
  10. Turn down the temperature to 160C and bake for 20 - 30mins.
  11. Remove the foil and reduce the temperature to 150 deg.C and bake for a further 5 to 10mins to brown the surface.
  12. Remove from the oven and invert the pan. Remove the cake from pan when it's completely cooled. The surface will feel abit wet but it will be dry after exposing to the air.
  13. Cut cooled cake into 3 layers and decorate accordingly.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oreo Cookie Bread

This was baked a long time ago and I totally forgotten about it. 

I've never thought of adding cookies into a bread recipe but when I saw this recipe in Irene's blog, I went to buy a pack of Oreo cookies just to bake this.

The bread was soft but I didn't think it was creamy enough.  Nevertheless, my children love this bread.

The recipe originally calls for margarine but I substituted with butter.  As usual, I doubled the recipe and kept 1/2 portion baked bread in my freezer for future consumption.

Oreo Cookie Bread
(adapted from
500g bread flour
340g fresh milk
1 egg
40g sugar
6g salt
110g oreo cookies (crushed)
20g butter
2tsp yeast

  1. Add fresh milk into your bread machine.
  2. Add the crushed oreo cookies into your bread machine.
  3. Add the remainings ingredients into your bread machine and set to Dough function.Let the machine knead for 15mins, stop the cycle and re-start the machine and let the dough knead for another cycle.
  4. Let it proof in machine for 1 hour or till double in size.
  5. When proofing is completed, punch down the bread dough to release the air.
  6. Divide dough into 5 equal portions and shape into balls. Let the dough rest for 15 mins.
  7. Roll out each portion into a long flat oval shape, then roll up lengthwise, swiss roll style. Pinch to seal all sides.
  8. Place dough (seam side down) in lightly greased bread tin/pan. Proof for another 1 hour or until dough is double in size.
  9. Bake at pre-heated oven at 180C for 20 to 25mins.
  10. Remove bread to cool on rack completely.
  11. Slice and enjoy.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

White Christmas

I've been really busy the past 1 week and didn't have much energy to blog.  Here I am with another over-due post :P

I made this upon the request of SIL LY.  Tried a new recipe and I thought the texture seems better than my previous logcake.  It was originally a chocolate swiss roll recipe but I just omit cocoa powder and substituted with flour to get a basic swiss roll.  Also I didn't follow to bake at a lower temperature for a longer time.  The end result was satisfactory despite not following instructions ^-^

Bought a can of blueberry pie filling for this log cake but unfortunately my kids didn't quite like it (only DD3 enjoyed the cake).  Also, I didn't manage to roll up the swiss roll tightly so it became oblong instead of round.

Swiss Roll
4 Egg Yolks
40g Corn Oil
100g Cake Flour
80ml Water
4 Egg White
40g Castor Sugar
1 tsp Lemon Juice (optional)

  1. In a bowl, using hand whisk, whisk yolks, oil, water and sifted cake flour until well blended.  Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat till the whites are frothy. Add in lemon juice and beat till soft peaks.
  3. Add in sugar gradually and beat till stiff peaks.
  4. Fold in 1/3 of the whites into the yolk mixture using a rubber spatula till incorporated.
  5. Pour the mixture to the remaining egg whites and fold in gently till incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into 11" X 14" and bake at pre-heated oven of 200C for about 10 - 12 mins.
  7. When the cake is cooked, leave to cool completely.
  8. Spread a layer of whipped cream/butter cream/jam onto the sponge cake. Roll it up and chill in fridge before serving.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Tang Yuan (湯圓) for Winter Solstice

Oops, I've been lagging again...  this was made so long ago but I clearly forgot about it until I saw Sonia's post here.

I kneaded some glutinous rice flour with water and sugar and added colourings to 2 portions.

DD1 helped to roll out the pink dough, DS2 the green ones and I did the white lot.  The kids enjoyed the rolling process and enjoyed eating it too :)

I didn't measure out the ingredients as my mom only vaguely explained through the phone to knead some glutinous rice flour with water and knead into a dough.  I prefer to add gula melaka to the soup as it enhanced the taste and fragrant of it.  However, I'm posting Sonia's recipe here for those who are interested.

Tang Yuan (湯圓)
200g Glutinous Rice Flour
1 tbsp Sugar
150ml Water (add more if the dough is too dry)
Colourings, optional

Syrup Soup
Gula Melaka (or you can use brown sugar/rock sugar)
Some pandan leaves
1 thumbsize ginger (I like mine with extra spice so go easy on this one)

  1. Mix glutinous rice flour and sugar in a bowl.  Add in water gradually until the mixture becomes the texture of dough.
  2. Divide the dough into 3 portions, add desired colours to each portion.
  3. Pinch off pieces from the dough and roll into small balls.
  4. Drop the balls into boiling water and cook them until they float.
  5. Bring a pot of water to boil.  Drop balls into the boiling water and cook them until they float.
  6. While the balls are cooking, prepare the syrup soup by putting all ingredients into a pot and brings it to boil.
  7. Put the cooked balls into the soup and serve.