Friday, July 30, 2010

Baked Fried Rice n Cheese

I am so glad to be back! :)
Thank you my fellow bloggers and visitors for your well-wishes! :)

Home alone today, so lunch would be 'lonely table just for one'! (A refrain from Engelbert Humperdinck!)

Grab a sandwich?

Instant noodles?

Wait a minute! There's leftover fried rice!

Let me work on it!

What I used and did:

1 bowl of leftover fried rice (It was corned beef fried rice)
Enough grated cheddar cheese
Sprinkle of oregano
Sprig of sweet basil (from my potted plant)

Place rice in a bowl and sprinkle some cheese before filling up with more rice.
Then top up with more cheese and some thinly sliced sweet basil.
Bake for 5 to 10 minutes.
I used the toaster oven as I didn't want to crank up my oven which would be wasting energy just for a little bowl!
It was good, it was sweet complement by basil!

Gosh! It is sooo good to be able to taste food!

Speaking of taste, I finally got to taste the chocolate cake I did.

Err.... while it had a melt-in-the mouth texture, I felt that something was missing which I couldn't pin it down yet. Have to eat more to find out.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Gone Are The Days When My Heart Was Young And Gay

Indeed my post title, a line from a folk song, is so befitting my present stand today. I guess I am feeling so because never in my life have I been beaten by two 'bugs' consecutively that have left me so tired and listless. I will take a breather and hope to be back with more baking and cooking!
Meanwhile I can only read blog postings and drool, drool, drool.............! :(

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chocolate Cake

This recipe was bookmarked many months ago. I was browsing for a super moist and super chocolate cake recipe and came across this site: which featured the "Ultimate Chocolate Cake" by Angela Nilsen.

Her recipe:

  • 200g good quality dark chocolate , about 60% cocoa solids
  • 200g butter , cut in pieces
  • 1 tbsp instant coffee granules
  • 85g self-raising flour
  • 85g plain flour (I used self-raising)
  • 1⁄4 tsp bicarbonate of soda (I used 1/8 tsp)
  • 200g light muscovado sugar (I used 150g dark )
  • 200g golden caster sugar (I used 150g caster sugar)
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 75ml buttermilk (5 tbsp)
  • grated chocolate or curls, to decorate

For the Ganache:

200g good-quality dark chocolate , as above
284ml carton double cream (pouring type)
2 tbsp golden caster sugar

Her Method:

  1. Butter a 20cm round cake tin (7.5cm deep) and line the base. Preheat the oven to fan 140C/conventional 160C/ gas 3. Break the chocolate in pieces into a medium, heavy-based pan. Tip in the butter, then mix the coffee granules into 125ml/4fl oz cold water and pour into the pan. Warm through over a low heat just until everything is melted - don't overheat. Or melt in the microwave on Medium for about 5 minutes, stirring half way through.
  2. While the chocolate is melting, mix the two flours, bicarbonate of soda, sugars and cocoa in a big bowl, mixing with your hands to get rid of any lumps. Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the buttermilk.
  3. Now pour the melted chocolate mixture and the egg mixture into the flour mixture, stirring just until everything is well blended and you have a smooth, quite runny consistency. Pour this into the tin and bake for 1 hour 25- 1 hour 30 minutes - if you push a skewer in the centre it should come out clean and the top should feel firm (don't worry if it cracks a bit). Leave to cool in the tin (don't worry if it dips slightly), then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. When the cake is cold, cut it horizontally into three. Make the ganache: chop the chocolate into small pieces and tip into a bowl. Pour the cream into a pan, add the sugar, and heat until it is about to boil. Take off the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.
  5. Sandwich the layers together with just a little of the ganache. Pour the rest over the cake letting it fall down the sides and smoothing to cover with a palette knife. Decorate with grated chocolate or a pile of chocolate curls. The cake keeps moist and gooey for 3-4 days.

        I tried this plain chocolate piece without the ganache. I couldn't get the full chocolate flavour due to a blocked nose. (I caught the flu bug this time after the tummy bug. I'll try to catch the ladybug next time. :P)
        The texture sort of 'melts' in the mouth. I wouldn't recommend making a big cake cos it would be difficult to assemble the layers as it breaks easily.

        Friday, July 23, 2010

        Blueberry Muffin

        One packet of blueberries in the fridge waiting to be used. The recipe does not require butter. Sounds healthy!

        What I used:

        2 large eggs
        60ml corn oil
        1 1/2 cup yogurt (I used Marigold blueberry non-fat)
        1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        1 teaspoon butteroil
        90g caster sugar

        250g plain flour
        1 teaspoon baking powder
        1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
        1/4 teaspoon salt

        150g fresh blueberries

        What I did:

        1. On low speed, combine A in a bowl.

        2. Sift B together and add to A, in 3 parts.

        3. Add blueberries, do not over mix or the fruit will burst.

        4. Bake in cupcake cases in pre-heated oven 180 deg C for 20 minutes.
        (Fill cupcake cases up to 2/3)

        Wednesday, July 21, 2010

        Laksa Yong Tau Foo

        I have not cooked laksa for a very long time and wanted to make it on Monday. The image of laksa remained in my mind and I felt that if I didn't make it sooner, I'll probably have nightmares about it. ;P
        Now, the question is which version should I cook - the usual 'lemak' or healthy one???
        The difference lies in the gravy.

        I went with the first choice. :) :)

        For the health-conscious, plain soya bean milk makes a good substitute for coconut milk in cooking.
        I used soya milk when I did a cooking demo on healthy laksa a long time ago. It was good!

        What I used:

        250g onions
        2 cloves garlic
        1 thumb-sized turmeric
        4 to 5 slices galangal
        6 dried chillies, soaked to soften
        1 teaspoon belachan
        5 candlenuts
        1 6cm-lemongrass stalk, sliced
        30g dried prawns, soaked and drained
        2 teaspoons coriander powder

        2 packets coconut milk (Kara) or 500ml unsweetened soya bean milk
        400ml water or prawn stock, more or less depending on choice of gravy consistency

        salt to taste

        laksa leaves, finely chopped

        Assorted yong tau foo

        What I did:

        1. Grind ingredients A.

        2. Heat some oil and saute A till fragrant.

        3. Add stock, coconut milk and yong tau foo. Stir to mix.

        4. Bring to a boil, add salt to taste.

        5. Serve garnished with laksa leaves.

        The gravy is not too spicy. You may add more chillies.

        Pesto - Where to buy?

        The website is here :
        You will find that they produce other food stuffs too.
        Happy shopping to my dear blogger visitors who are residing in Singapore. :)

        Tuesday, July 20, 2010

        French Toast

        We had french toast for breakfast. I used up all the leftover bread. Yippee!

        What I used: (For about 5 slices of bread)

        2 large eggs
        2 teaspoons honey
        pinch of salt

        butter or canola oil for frying (I used a mixture of these two)
        5 slices of bread, halved

        What I did:

        1. Beat egg, honey and salt together lightly.

        2. Heat skillet and grease with some butter or oil.

        3. Dip bread slices in egg mixture and coat both sides with it.

        4. Place the bread slices onto skillet and let it brown on one side before turning over.

        5. Serve hot. As the toast is not that sweet, you can drizzle some honey, maple syrup or any other topping on it.

        Monday, July 19, 2010

        Fried Bee Hoon with Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

        A meal for the two of us - Me and my daughter!

        I had planned to cook laksa but shelved it. So it's fried bee hoon instead.

        What I used:

        1/3 packet bee hoon (rice vermicelli) I used double-chilli brand, soaked in water for 1/2 hour
        1/2 carrot, cut into strips
        1/2 can button mushrooms, sliced
        1/2 large white onion, chopped coarsely
        1 clove garlic, chopped
        a small piece of fillet meat, sliced thinly (I used pork)
        stock, enough to cook to soften the bee hoon
        salt to taste
        2 heaped teaspoons sun-dried tomato pesto

        What I did:

        1. Heat a little oil in pan, saute onions and garlic for a short while.

        2. Add meat, carrot and mushroom and stir to mix.

        3. Add tomato pesto and stir fry to mix. Then add bee hoon and some stock.

        4. Stir fry to mix, lower heat to simmer to cook bee hoon.

        5. Add a pinch of salt to taste. Mix and it is done.

        6. To serve, place a teaspoon of pesto on top of bee hoon, mix and eat. Yum!

        I bought this pesto at a factory in Woodlands. Besides producing different types of pesto, the factory churns out cakes, brownies, cookies, bread etc and supplies the goodies to hotels, restaurants etc.
        This pesto is made of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, black pepper, almond, apricot, salt and canola oil. Sounds healthy! That's the reason why I bought one to try.

        I like the taste of this pesto. It's not salty, yet it's flavourful. I couldn't help it and had two helpings!
        I might end looking like a tomato. ;p

        Friday, July 16, 2010

        Fruit Pastry Cake

        There are quite a number of postings about it and I'm dying to try it out.

        Oh darn!! I don't have any canned peaches, only a can of sliced pineapples. Pineapple-Upside-Down cake??? Nah! Stick to my original yearning!

        So I decided on a fruit pastry cake.

        What I used: (see my original lemon cake recipe, tweaked for this cake)

        170g salted butter, softened
        110g caster sugar (original 200g)
        3 large eggs
        2 tablespoon sour cream (I used Bulla's light)

        30g ground almond
        1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

        150g plain flour sifted with 1 teaspoon baking powder

        1 can sliced pineapples, halved
        125g fresh blueberries
        20g dried cranberries (optional)

        What I did:

        1. Cream butter, sour cream and sugar till light and fluffy and then add eggs one at a time.

        2. Once the eggs are combined, add vanilla and ground almond and mix well.

        3. Then add in flour in 3 batches and mix well.

        4. Pour into greased 10-inch/26-cm round tin. I used two oval tins. The batter should be about 3 cm high.

        5. Arrange fruits and bake at 180 deg C for 40 minutes or till skewer comes out clean.

        I find the pineapple slices rather pale. I should have sprinkled some sugar on them before baking so that it will caramelised and give the golden look. OR I should have gone out to get a can of peaches - they would have given a more handsome look. :p
        Tastewise, the cake was not sweet nor cloying because the pineapples were slightly tangy. The little cranberries added did not make a difference in flavour. I will omit them next time.
        The blueberries were good, bursting out in their juices when I bit into them. Hmmm..........

        Wednesday, July 14, 2010


        This was my lunch with a bowl of plain porridge. I 'm trying to nurse Tummy back to health so that she can return with a vengeance on all that she had been missing. Grrrr............

        My thanks to all you dear blogger friends and visitors for your well-wishes. My to-do list gets longer with each lingering day as I can only visit food blogs and drool over the delicious food posted.
        But like what Arnold What's-his name said, "I'll Be Back!"

        Angled loofah - one of my favourites. I love it in soups or stir-fried.

        I simply sauteed 1/2 teaspoon of chopped garlic in 1 teaspoon oil and added in the loofah, followed by some prawn stock (I keep it frozen). While it's cooking, I lightly beat an egg with some salt and drizzle it in and let it cook for a minute or two. I added some leftover tomato and seasoned it a little. And lunch was ready.

        Tuesday, July 13, 2010

        Food Thickener

        For cream soups, stews or some other dishes which require the gravy to be thickened, I usually use corn flour /cornstarch. The corn flour has to be mixed with water before adding it into the gravy. If I am not careful, I end up getting lumps in the gravy.

        I have stopped using corn flour to thicken gravies. Instead I have been using a food thickener which is easy to use. Though it is slightly heavy on the budget, I like it in that the gravy stays thick without turning watery and I don't have to use much.

        It can be obtained from any pharmacy located at the hospitals.

        Sunday, July 11, 2010


        A mean bug
        Intervals of tummy cramps
        Frequent loo visitor
        Woozy head

        Cross out oily
        Cross out spicy
        Plain and light
        Tasteless on the buds

        Desist no more
        Visit doc
        Tomorrow to say

        I'll Be Back!

        Thursday, July 8, 2010

        A Savoury Moment

        What do you do with near-expiry bread?

        Think, think, think..........

        Ah ha!



        Nowadays, bread comes with expiry date. My family could hardly finish a normal loaf of bread before its shelf life. What do I do? I store the remaining 2 to 3 slices in the freezer.

        Then comes another fresh loaf and the same happens to it.

        Eventually I have a new loaf of 'expired bread' in the freezer.

        I thought I would keep it for my grandsons to feed the fishes at a nearby pond but I remembered coming across a recipe by Mochachocolata-Rita and changed my mind.

        A Savoury Bread Pudding! It got me excited. I have eaten the dessert type of bread pudding which is sweet and I would drown it in vanilla cream! YUM!
        But a savoury one - this I had to try!

        What I Used: (I tweaked the recipe to suit my taste)

        2 slices wheat bread (I used 3 slices wholemeal), buttered and ripped
        2 eggs (I used 3 eggs)
        1 cup milk (I used low-fat milk)
        1/2 cup grated cheese (I used 3/4 cup cheddar), keep some for topping
        1/2 tin cornbeef (I used 1/3)

        1 medium white onions, coarsely chopped
        2 red chillies, thickly sliced

        1 teaspoon mixed herbs
        1/2 teaspoon parsley
        1/2 teaspoon black pepper

        What I Did:

        1. Beat eggs and milk lightly. Mix in cornbeef.

        2. Add in spices, some cheese, onions and chilli. Mix well.

        3. Grease and line tin. (I used a 20-cm round tin and lined with foil.)

        4. Pour mixture into tin and sprinkle top with remaining cheese.

        5. Bake at pre-heated oven 180 degrees C for 40 to 50 minutes.( After 25 minutes, I covered the top with a foil as it was getting quite brown and left it on till end of baking time.)

        6. Cool slightly and serve while still warm.

        As I did not grease the foil well, it was quite difficult to remove the pudding without getting part of it stuck.

        I had it for dinner with some greens. Satiation was the feeling!

        Wednesday, July 7, 2010

        R.U.M B.A.L.L.S

        Do you have leftover cake?

        Don't know what to do with it?

        Here's a solution......




        I love to bake and I have this perennial problem of finishing up the products. Not that my family doesn't like cakes or other baked stuffs, it's the calorie count that bothers them. ;p

        Sometimes I give away, sometimes I freeze, sometimes I 'recycle'???

        I MAKE RUM BALLS and it never fails - they are snapped up within a day or two....hmmm.....

        What I used:

        About 250g leftover cake
        50g cherries (I omitted this - didn't want the extra sweetness)
        80g walnuts, chopped (I used walnuts only)
        80g almond, roasted and chopped

        2 teaspoons cocoa or less, diluted with a little water to paste (I used 100g cooking chocolate, melted)
        1 tablespoon rum or rum-flavoured paste (for those who can't take rum)
        Some condensed milk enough to bind the mixture (I used some leftover buttercream)

        Some chocolate rice or desiccated coconut

        What I did:

        1. Put everything into a mixing bowl and mix till combined.

        2. Roll mixture into balls.

        3. Roll in chocolate rice or coconut.
        If you want a more chocolatey taste, roll the balls in some melted chocolate and then roll in chocolate rice. (The chocolate rice sticks better)

        4. Refrigerate to store. Serve any time.

        Mini Rum Balls

        Monday, July 5, 2010

        My Latest Addition

        Oh gee!
        Another restless night!
        So I am back to playing with fondant.
        This time - it's flowers!

        Saturday, July 3, 2010

        Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce

        After drooling at Ju's pics of the chilli sauce, I couldn't wait any longer. I got the recipe from She Simmers posted on Ju (The Little Teochew). But I adjusted it a little and increased the portion.
        It's a very-easy-to make chilli dip. Oooh, can't wait to dip kropok into it. Yum!

        What I used:

        To be blended together:
        14 red chillies and 4 chilli padi (for that extra heat)
        6 cloves garlic
        2/3 cup sugar + 2 tablespoons more
        1 1/2 cups water
        1/3 cup vinegar
        3/4 tablespoon salt

        1 1/2 tablespoon cornflour mixed with 3 tablespoons water

        What I did:

        1. After blending the ingredients, place in a pot and bring it to a boil on medium heat.

        2. Then simmer for about 10 minutes, then stir in the cornflour mixture and continue stirring to prevent lumps from forming. I used a whisk to stir.

        3. Simmer on low heat till it bubbles, stirring all the time. Check for taste and consistency.
        If too thick, add a little water at a time to get your preferred consistency.

        4. Store in a clean glass jar and let it cool before keeping in the fridge.