Friday, April 30, 2010

Lychee Butter Cake

The weather today is unbearable. It is definitely the wrong day to do any cake decorating. After baking a cake and while waiting for it to cool, I went about preparing a ganache. Woe is me! Somehow I misread the recipe, and the ganache turned out very runny. Okay, what now? I had to ice the cake. So I whipped up some fresh cream and proceeded to ice it. The heat was unrelenting and the cream was weeping!!!! To add to my woes, even my MM fondant figures had begun to 'slide'.
Boo hoo hoo! My kitchen was like a furnace and I was 'sweating'! Eventually I managed to complete a disastrous- looking cake. My apologies to the car enthusiast.
The cake is now 'safely' stored in the fridge.
Driving along the edge of the cliff requires skills.........

Recipe for Lychee Butter Cake


3 egg whites
120g caster sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

3 egg yolks
100g chopped lychees
120ml melted butter
1/4 teaspoon lychee essence

170g plain flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder


1. Sift flour and baking powder.
2. Whisk egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar at high speed until it peaks.
3. Then add in the egg yolk, one at a time and mix at medium speed.
4. Add in the chopped lychees and essence.
5. Then add in the 1/3 butter alternating with flour.
6. Bake in greased and lined 7-inch round tin at pre-heated oven 160 degrees C for 40 minutes.

MM Fondant Cars

Yup, the car enthusiast's birthday is tomorrow i.e. 1st of May. I managed to make three 'sports cars' out of MM fondant. Alas! Our humid climate has made the cars soft and sticky. Though it has been advised by many fondant experts not to store the sculpted fondant in the fridge, well I did the opposite. The cars are feeling cool, and not soft and sticky before I decorate the cake.
Here is a picture of the cars. As usual, my picture-taking is never up to mark.

Just completed baking the cake and waiting for it to cool before decorating. I also made some ganache to go with it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Today's Lunch - Otah

I used one packet of otah. I added a little coconut milk and water and some sliced polygonum odoratum Lour which is also known as Vietnamese coriander or in Malay, daun kesom or locally, laksa leaves. I mixed it up and microwave covered for about 4 and a half minutes.

Besides adding coconut milk, you can add in one egg, lightly beaten. Instead of laksa leaves, use kaffir lime leaves (daun limau purut). Instead of microwaving, the otah can be steamed for about 6 minutes depending on thickness of otah.

JB Visit

Last Friday, I went to JB for seafood and a visit to an ostrich farm. The visit to the farm was an eventful one 'cos one of us lost a diamond ear stud to an ostrich. The 'culprit' took a peck on her ear when she wanted to pose for a photo with it. It was certainly an expensive snack for the ostrich! LOL! The owner of the farm was kind enough to drive the earring owner to the police station to make a report so that she could claim from insurance. Hmmm.... I am not sure how it works.

As usual wherever we go, it's typical of us Singaporeans to shop, shop, shop! Well I ended up buying some 'otah' which our tour guide did her best sales pitch to convince us of how 'deliciosa' the otah is. Anyhow I ordered 6 packs at about five ringgit plus per pack which was much cheaper than the ones I used to buy in Singapore.

Well I had one pack for lunch today. I'll post about it later after work.
Hasta luego!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cheese Logs

Something savoury and these go well with a nice cold glass of shandy or beer!


1 packet Kraft Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
250g butter
About 350g plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)
50g sugar (optional)
1 egg for glazing

1. Cream butter and grated cheese for 4 to 5 minutes.
2. Add in flour in portions till you get a soft dough.
3. Fill a cookie press and pipe out a long 'stick' and cut to lengths preferred.
4. Glaze with egg and baked at 160 degrees C till golden brown.
5. Cool before storing in an air-tight container.

For a spicy taste, you can add chilli powder, black pepper or paprika before creaming.
Add garlic powder or any of the dry spices for a preferred taste.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Apple Cake


3 green apples, cored, sliced and soaked in salt water for a few minutes, then drain

2 eggs
130g caster sugar

180g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder

100g butter
150ml milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

30g sugar
50g raisins
ground cinnamon


1. Melt butter in milk over medium heat and bring to just before boiling and remove. Leave to cool.
2. Sift flour and baking powder.
3. Whisk eggs and sugar at high speed till thick and fluffy.
4. Lower speed and add butter and milk mixture and essence slowly.
5. Add flour and fold in till well mixed.
6. Pour into greased and lined 9" round tin.
7. Arrange sliced apples and sprinkle raisins, cinnamon and sugar on top.
8. Bake at pre-heated oven at 160 degrees C for 40 to 50 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.

I used an 8" tin which gave me a high cake. Ideally the cake layer should be about slightly more than an inch high so that with each bite of the cake, you will also bite into the fruit.
The cake is supposed to be very sweet as the original recipe called for 200g of sugar.
Use green apples which are a little sour as this will give a tangy taste to balance the sweet cake.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Fried Hairy Gourd ('moh kuay')

I love this dish, so does my younger daughter. It's a kind of gourd or loofah. I'm not sure of its name in English. But in Hokkien it's known as 'moh kuay'. It's slightly hairy and dark green. Gee! I should have taken a picture of it before I had it sliced. Anyway it's easily obtainable at the market.


1 hairy gourd ( 'moh kuay' ), skinned and cut into strips
1 egg omelette, cut into strips
2 red chilli, seeds removed and sliced thinly
4 to 6 medium prawns, shelled and diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
200 ml prawn stock or any stock


1. Heat oil in pan and fry garlic till fragrant but not brown.
2. Add the gourd and stir fry till the garlic is mixed with it.
3. Add prawn stock and cook for 5 minutes and then add in the prawns.
4. When the prawns are cooked, add omelette and sliced chilli and salt to taste.
5. Stir fry to mix for a couple of minutes.
6. Serve hot with rice.

You can add sliced meat or chicken.

Beef Rendang

I learnt to cook this dish from a friend's aunt who was an Indonesian Chinese. In fact I learnt a lot of cooking and baking from her way back in the late 1960s. I shall be reviving her recipes on this blog. Keep a look out for it!


500g beef, cut into cubes (size is up to you)

8 to 10 slices galangal ( 1cm thick ) ( lengkuas)
8 dried chilli or more, soaked to soften
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder (ketumbar)
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder ( jintan putih )
2 stalks lemon grass ( serai ), sliced
2 tablespoons thick tamarind juice ( assam )

Grind all the ingredients together until fine.
Marinate the meat overnight and store in the fridge.

B ( to be ground)
5 slices ginger (1cm thick )
10 small onions
3 cloves garlic

1 lemon grass, bruised
1 turmeric leaf ( daun kunyit)
5 Indonesian bay leaves ( daun salam )
2 tamarind skins

Thick coconut milk from 1 and half coconut ( add 100ml water to squeeze )
Thin coconut milk ( add 500ml water or more )
salt and sugar to taste

1/4 portion of a white coconut ( skin removed and grated )
Stir fry in wok till brown and dry. Grind till fine and put aside.


1. Put marinated meat, B, C and thin coconut milk in a pot and bring it to boil.
2. Lower heat and simmer for an hour or more, stirring occasionally and checking for water level.
3. Then add half of the thick coconut milk and salt. (Do not add sugar yet)
4. When meat is about done add the remaining coconut milk and cook at medium heat till done.
5. Add sugar to taste and add ground coconut. This helps to thicken the gravy and makes it fragrant.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Will the 'real' car, please stand up ?

I had some leftover yellow fondant and didn't want to mix a new colour.Trying my hands at modelling fondant cars for a car enthusiast whose birthday is a couple of weeks away. You can see it's quite crudely done, so there's room for improvement.
Currently I can't decide what to do - to bake a car cake or decorate a cake with car models! Making a car cake requires shaping a cake and icing it whereas with fondant modelling, I can simply put the little cars as cake toppers.
Hmmm.... tough decision because it's my first time doing a car. And I really want to put my skills to a test!

"Going Bananas"

Three Delmonte bananas
Over-ripening in this heat!
Let's do the mash
And have a bash!

Ingredients for Banana Muffins:

3 ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs
125 ml olive oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/4 teaspoon banana essence (optional)
250 g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
100 g caster sugar
150 g chopped walnuts or choc chips (I used white choc chips)
1 not so ripe banana, sliced for topping


1. Beat eggs and oil lightly till well mixed and add in essence.
2. Sift flour, baking soda and baking powder in a bowl.
3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in egg mixture.
4. Mix for a short while (don't overmix) and add bananas and walnuts etc.
5. Spoon mixture into cupcake cases and top with some sliced bananas.
6. Bake at 180 degrees C for 20 minutes.

Verdict : Moist and soft

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

"Home Alone"

My good husband is away on a 5-day fishing trip in Malaysia at some obscure island called Pulau Dayang. I went there last year in April. Heat aside, the fishing was fantastic - I had never caught so many fish in my life. There are chalets on the island for fishing enthusiasts and divers who would usually stay for 3 days to a week. It is beautiful, unspoilt and idyllic except for the chalets. The water around is crystal clear and from the jetty (my favourite part of the island) I could see the corals and the fishes swimming around (see pics) - something we can never get in Singapore any more (way back in the 1950s, the water at Changi Beach was similar). And mind you, the islanders there do not litter!

So what have I been up to? Nothing much, except to turn the house upside-down, 'junking' stuffs which I am going to send to a donation centre at Waterloo Street. My meals are simple since my younger girl doesn't come home for dinner. Been trying to finish whatever food I have in the freezer because I have to free up space for the fish my dear husband will be bringing home Friday night. Oh no! I dread all the cleaning and scaling!!!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Is This A Hat?

As I have mentioned previously how much I love flowers.

Of Roses and Frills

I was overdecorating it. But I had a blast doing it! Very therapeutic!
Top tier - Super Chocolatey Cake (It had a texture of a brownie. Heehee! I missed out the buttermilk)
Bottom tier - Rich Orange Butter Cake