Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Here's wishing all fellow bloggers and friends,

"A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2013!"

                                             (pic fr

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Crunchy Rice Crispies Jumbles

These are really crunchy and one piece is not enough! I baked these for my grandsons who are cookie 'monsters'. Hmmm.... which kid isn't?


115g butter
90g caster sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
175g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
75g rice crispies (I used Kellog's)
50g mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
a few glaced cherries, optional

1. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

2. Add egg and vanilla essence and cream well.

3. Add flour sifted with bicarbonate soda and mix well.

4. Add rice crispies and chocolate chips and mix well.

5. Spoon mixture onto lightly greased tray, spacing the batter to allow for spreading.

6. Bake in preheated oven 150deg C for 25 to 35 minutes. Slow bake to get the rice crispies crunchy.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012


What is a Rugelach?
It's a cookie made with cream cheese dough, rolled around a filling of a variety of nuts, dried fruit, chocolate and jam.

I came across this recipe from Dorie Greenspan book. I wondered what it would taste like.
No wondering anymore! I baked it today and had a yummy time savouring a few pieces!

Ingredients: (from Dorie's)

For the Dough:

4 ozs cold cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces
1 stick butter (8 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Let cream cheese and butter softenn slightly.

2. Put flour and salt in a food processor and scatter cream cheese and butter and pulse the machine for 6 to 10 times or until the dough forms large pieces. Do not let it form into a ball.

3. Gather dough into a ball (no kneading) and divide it in half. Shape each half into a disk and wrap in cling wrap individually and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 1 day.

For the Filling:

2/3 cup raspberry jam/ apricot jam/ marmalade, microwaved for 20s to liquefy
2 tablespoons sugar, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used pecan)
1/4 cup moist dried currants (I used mixed fruit which is soaked in liquor meant for fruit cake)
4 ozs mini chocolate chips

Set aside until dough is ready.

For the Glaze:

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon cold water
2 tablespoons coarse sugar for sprinkling

To shape the cookies:

1. Take one piece of dough and leave the other piece in the refrigerator.

2. On a floured surface, place a plastic sheet over the dough and roll it out into a 11 to 12 inch circle.(I rolled a 10-inch). Dough tends to soften quickly and get sticky.

3. Spoon a thin layer of jam over the dough and sprinkle half the sugar mixture. Scatter half the nuts, currants and chocolate chips. Place plastic sheet over and gently press the filling into the dough.

4. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut into 16 pieces. ( Easier to cut into quarters, then cut each quarter into 4 pieces)

5. Starting from the circumference, roll each piece to the centre. Remove and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

6. Glaze with egg and sprinkle some coarse sugar.

7. Bake in preheated oven 160deg C for 20 to 25 minutes.

All for Rugelach!


Glazed and baked! They look like grilled ribs!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Tauhu Goreng / Fried Beancake with Peanut Sauce

Lunch was tauhu goreng. It was easy to prepare just as long as you have the ground peauts at hand, an essential ingredient for this dish.
I do not have specific quantities for the ingredients used. I just estimated the amount of this and that and go by taste with lots of finger-licking!


Tau Kwa, pan-fried or deep-fried and cut to size
Tempeh, optiional (fermented soya beans), sliced and deep-fried
Taugay (beansprouts), scalded
Cucumber, sliced

Peanut Sauce: (to be prepared before frying the tau kwa etc)
Ground peanuts (I used store-bought)
Sugar and salt to taste
Lime juice to taste
Dark soya sauce to taste and colour
Garlic, minced, preference of how garlicky 
Chilli padi, preferred spiciness

1. Place garlic, chilli, lime juice and a little water and mix well.

2. Add ground peanuts, sugar and salt and mix together and add some water and soya sauce while mixing to the consistency and colour preferred.

3. Taste and add more of whatever you feel is required. Spoon a portion of the sauce over tau kwa and other veggies and tuck in!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Classic Country Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe caught my attention when I browsing one of my bake books. Although I have baked cinnamon rolls many times before, the pictures in this book are so attractive and inviting that I couldn't resist trying out this recipe.

I should have either halved the recipe or used a bigger baking pan and greased and lined it. The rolls were all squeezed in the pan. The filling got stuck to the bottom of the pan after baking! And I was testing my new oven! Grrrrr......
Nevertheless it tasted good!

Ingredients: (I used three-quarters of this recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma)

780g plain flour
4 teaspoons active dry yeast (about 3 and 1/5 teaspoons instant yeast)
90g granulated sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt

250ml hot milk

90g unsalted butter, cut into pieces

3 large eggs, at room temperature

Canola oil for greasing

90g raisins / cranberries soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
60g pecans, chopped

1 and 1/2 tablespoons milk for glazing

Streusel filling:

Combine 220g light brown sugar, 60g plain flour, 3 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon in a bowl. Work 125g cold butter with finger tips into the mixture until it resembles bread crumbs. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

1. Mix all dry ingredients and yeast in a mixer.

2. Add in hot milk and beat on medium speed for a minute using a paddle.

3.  Switch to dough hook and mix in butter and eggs and knead for 8 to 10 minutes.

4. Shape dough into a ball and lightly grease with canola oil and let it proof in a deep bowl covered with cling wrap for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles its size.

5. Turn dough on a lightly floured top and roll out into a 35 x 25-cm rectangle.

6. Spread out the streusel filling evenly and then sprinkle the raisins and nuts. Press them to the dough to adhere .

7. Roll up like a swiss roll and seal by pinching the edges. Cut the roll about 4 cm thick.

8. Arrange in a 33 x 23 cm well greased and lined pan.

9. Cover and proof for an hour or until puffy.

10. Glaze with milk and baked in preheated oven 190 deg C for 20 to 25 minutes.

What a tight squeeze and uneven tan! 
Should have used top and bottom heat instead of the fan!

 I ate these up fresh from the oven!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fruit Cake

Christmas is round the corner. Those celebrating Christmas would have started soaking the dried fruits in brandy, rum or whisky for a week or two before baking the traditional Fruit Cake!

I used to do that for many Christmases to just pour the liquor over the fruits and let them soak for two weeks. It would taste heavenly, fragrant and moist after the cake is baked.
This year, I have decided to boil the fruits to soften them. Once cooled, liquor would be added to them to soak for a couple of days only. I find it easier to slice the cake without it breaking so easily because the fruits remain soft even after baking. Previously I had to chill the cake before slicing.


200ml water
700g mixed fruits (raisins, currants, orange peel, cherries etc)
100ml brandy/rum/whiskey (optional)

200g condensed milk
170g butter

230g plain flour, sifted with spices and b. soda
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder

90g walnuts, chopped (optional)

2 eggs

1. Prepare the day before baking -  Boil fruit and water together. Set aside to cool.  Add liqour once cooled and cover.

2. Melt  butter and mix in condensed milk. Add the mixture to the soaked fruits and mix well.

3. Lightly beat the eggs and mix into the fruits.

4. Lastly add flour to the fruits and mix well.

5. Bake in a greased and lined 18-cm round tin in preheated oven at 150deg C for 1 hour or till skewer inserted comes out clean.

6. Let the cake cool in the tin. Remove and place on a piece of foil big enough to wrap. Use a satay stick to poke a few holes in the cake and with a teaspoon pour the liqour into the tiny holes. This way the liqour gets to seep into the cake.  Wrap up cake with foil and keep in an air-tight container for a day or two. Remove foil and slice to serve.

 All in - fruits, liquor, butter and condensed milk

Soft and moist and not so sweet!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Another Butter Cake

After trying out Mrs Ng SK's butter cake recipe, I dug out my own recipe which I used to bake decades ago. I compared the two recipes and found some difference in the amount of the various ingredients. In brackets are the amount from Mrs Ng's recipe.

So here's my version:


200g Self-rasing flour, sifted (200g)
225g butter (230g)
175g caster sugar (50g +150g)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
4 egg yolks (4)
4 egg whites (4)
2 tablespoon evaporated milk (60 ml)

1. Preheat oven to 170deg C

2. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

3. Add in the egg yolks, milk and vanilla and beat well.

4. Whisk egg whites until soft peaks and fold in alternately with flour into the butter mixture.

5. Bake in a greased and lined 20 cm tin for 45 minutes.

Baked in a silicone pan which is bigger than the recommended tin size.
Just wanted to try the silicone pan purchased months ago.

Waiting to be sliced!

Waiting to be eaten!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Another Baked Curry Puff

Rainy days are good days for baking. The kitchen won't be as warm as on a sunny day. What better time to bake and bake I surely did!

My grandsons love to eat curry puffs and they would always persuade their Grandpa to buy some for them. He would buy epok epok which is the fried version. Commercially produced curry puffs tend to be a tad spicy for the boys and they would gulp water in between bites.

I am not fond of the deep-fried ones because they are doubly oil-laden, - oil or fat in the pastry plus oil soaked up during frying! Hence I made some baked ones. The curry filling is the potato and chicken type and less spicy for my grandsons.


230g plain flour, sifted
120g butter, cubed (should be firm to touch)
About 7 tablespoons iced water or more (depends on dough texture)
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 and a half teaspoon water for glazing

1. Place flour in a food processor. Add in butter cubes. Pulse twice and check for breadcrumb-like texture. If not, pulse one more time.

2. Add 5 tablespoons of iced water and pulse once. If dough doesn't come together, add 2 more tablespoons of iced water and pulse once. Pinch dough and if it sticks, it is ready.

3. Gather dough and just stick all loose parts to form a ball. Do not overmix or knead. Wrap dough in cling warp and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Roll out dough on lightly floured table top into a rectangle and do a letter fold. Roll out into a rectangle again and do another letter fold. Do this for the third time and wrap with cling wrap and refrigerate for about 15 minutes

5.  Roll dough to preferred thickness and cut circles to size. Place filling in the centre and fold, pinch edges.

6. Glaze and baked in preheated oven 180deg C for 25 minutes.

Alternatively, roll dough into a rectangle and then roll up like a swiss roll. Cut the roll into 24 equal parts or more depending on preferred size of curry puffs. Flatten cut dough with the swirls facing upwards and roll out into a circle, place filling, fold, pinch and bake.

 How pale we are!

Ahhh... tanning!

Gorgeous tan!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Banana-Nut Loaf

For the past 6 months I had been busy packing, discarding, giving away, planning, moving out, moving back, unpacking, shopping, discarding again, giving away again and FINALLY settled down to start baking.
I love the new look of my humble 4-room flat. I am in love with my new, extended kitchen. I love the roominess and storage space. Good excuse to buy more kitchen gadgets!
With a new kitchen comes a new hob and a new oven. I decided to move away from my favourite brand Ariston to Bosch. No regrets to that change because it bakes beautifully!

And now for the recipe:


90g unsalted butter at room temperature
200g caster sugar

3 very ripe bananas, mashed
3 large eggs, lightly beaten

125 ml buttermilk

300g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg powder
half teaspoon fine salt

90g walnuts, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 180deg C. Grease and line loaf pan 23cmx13cm.

2. Cream butter and sugar until creamy on medium speed. Add bananas and eggs and beat until smooth. Then add buttermilk and mix until combined.

3. Sift all dry ingredients together and add to the banana mixture with walnuts. Just mix until combined. Mixture should be slightly lumpy.

4. Pour mixture into pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes.

5. Cool and slice to serve.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Mrs NgSK's Butter Cake

It's on Wendy's blog and also on Peng's blog!
I love the look of the butter cake.
I haven't baked a butter cake for a long, long, long time.
B'cos there wasn't a demand for it!
My recipe is almost, almost similar to Mrs Ng's.
But I decided to try hers!
All went well except for............
There's a story behind the disastrous result!
Shame on me, playing the blame game!
But it wasn't entirely disastrous!
It tasted good....soft.....flavourful.....and
my hubby says it's good!
Oh yes! The story:
It always happens when the phone rings at the moment when you are doing something that requires some focus! Well, it did happen to me! Just as I was cranking up my oven to preheat, the phone rang!
Okay, it's only preheating, no harm done? But it did! My oven temperature was preheated at 220 deg C!
 I only realised that something was wrong when the cake began to smell nice after a mere 5 minutes!
A quick check showed an almost brown top! My eyes shifted to the temperature knob! Oh my gosh! I couldn't believe what a boo-boo I had done! Barely ten minutes in the oven, I took the risk, quick as lightning, I slipped in an aluminium foil to cover the top. Whew! Saved by the gong, I thought so!
Alas, when it was almost time to put in the skewer to check, to my horror, the top of the cake was stuck to the foil. Very gingerly, I tried to remove it but I snagged the top. Grrrrrrr..... I was angry with myself!

Just look at those "fault" lines! Haha! Fortunately no tsunami!

 After a bite, I was appeased!

Standing tall and proud?

 My thanks to Wendy for sharing and if you are reading this, please send my compliments to Mrs NgSK.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Monkey Bubble Bread

I came across this interesting bread recipe in one of the books I bought online last year. In fact it was the name, "Monkey Bubble Bread"  that intrigued me. I googled to find out about the origin of the term but there wasn't any . It is also known by a string of names - sticky bread, African Coffee cake(there's no coffee used), golden crown, pinch-me-cake, bubble loaf and monkey brains! This bread is sticky, gooey and sweet and is eaten in the United States for breakfast. In fact one does not eat it in slices but pinch off from the whole loaf, hence one of the terms - 'pinch-me-cake'.

Ingredients (Adapted from Baked Explorations)

For bread dough:

1 1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons instant yeast

4 cups plain flour
5 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
70g unsalted butter, melted

For the Cinnamon sugar coating:

1  cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
125g unsalted butter, melted

1. Grease a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.

2. Warm milk to slightly room temperature and add yeast and whisk to mix well.

3. Place flour, sugar and salt in a mixing bowl and use a paddle to mix well.

4. At low speed, mix in beaten egg till combined.

5. Slowly stream in milk and mix till combined. Then add melted butter.

6. Replace paddle with dough hook and continue to mix on medium speed for about ten minutes. if dough is too wet, add a little flour. If it's too dry, add a little water.

7. Remove dough, roll into a ball and place it in a greased bowl, covered with plastic wrap. Let it prove for an hour or till dough double its size.

8. Prepare sugar coating by mixing cinnamon powder and sugar in a bowl. Melt butter and let it cool.

9. After proving, remove dough and punch out air. Pinch or cut with scissors the dough to roll into  4cm diameter balls. Balls need not be perfectly round. There should be about 50 to 60 dough balls depending on the size.

10. Dip each dough ball into the melted butter, drain excess butter and roll into the sugar mixture.
Place balls in the bundt pan in the manner of building a wall.

11.Cover the bundt pan with plastic wrap and prove for one hour or till dough balls have doubled in size.

12. Bake in preheated oven 180 deg C for about 30 minutes.

13. Cool bread for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a serving platter and serve warm.

Cinnamon sugar

Proving in progress in the bundt!

Out of the oven!

What a crown??

Pinch me now!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Thai Green Curry Prawns and Salted Egg Spinach

These were part of Saturday's dinner with my daughter's family.
I cooked braised belly pork in dark soya sauce, fried chicken wings in sweet sauce, green curry prawns and salted egg spinach.

I have a container of green curry paste prepared some time ago. I always make huge batches of different types of spices and freeze them. It makes cooking easy and convenient. I don't have to 'crack my head' as to what to cook as the various spices are ready at hand. Just thaw and cook - sambal, assam, curry, lemak and what have you!

Spices for Thai Green Curry: (approximately 1 1/2 rice bowl)

1 tablespoon coriander seeds (ketumbar), roasted
2 teaspoons cumin seeds (jintan puteh), roasted
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons blachan
8 large green chillies
1 cup shallots
5 cm galangal (lengkwas)
12 cloves garlic
1 cup coriander leaves including roots
6 kaffir lime leaves
3 stalks lemon grass (serai)
2 teaspoons grated lime rind
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoon oil

Just place all the ingredients and blend. Store and freeze.

For the prawns, I use 3 tablespoons of the paste and saute in a little oil before adding the prawns and stir fry a little before adding some coconut milk and sliced chilli padi. There is little gravy, so the prawns are cover with the paste. I didn't use salt as the stock is already flavoured.

Salted Egg Spinach

3 salted egg
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
600g spinach, use more leaves with the thinner stalks

Boil garlic in stock. Add 3 yolks and drizzle a little egg white. Do not use all the egg whites or it will be too salty. When the yolks are about to cook, add the spinach and boil till just cooked.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Aparagus Soup

This was my lunch a few days ago - Asparagus soup!
I bought twenty asparagus shoots from the market. They were fresh and thick.
Here is my bowl of soup!

20 asparagus shoots (thick ones)
4 shallots
1 stalk celery
100ml chicken stock
150ml light cooking cream
150ml milk
15g butter
salt to taste

1. Chop up asparagus, celery and onions and blend them together till fine. (I did mine a little coarse as I like to bite on the asparagus bits.)

2. Melt butter in a saucepan and pour in the blended veggies and stock. Cook over medium low heat and stir.

3. When it is about to bubble, add cream and milk and salt to taste and cook till it bubbles and then it is done.

4. Serve hot with plain toast or toasted garlic bread.

I don't use any flour to thicken the soup as the amount of asparagus used make up for the thick consistency.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Jello Roll

Calling all sweet tooth people! This is the stuff for you!
I bet all the kiddos will respond to this call!

This is a very easy gummy roll to do. All it takes is 10 minutes!
I chanced upon the recipe when I browsing some blogs. As usual I forget to note the blog, hence I am unable to credit the blogger. My apologies!


1 pkt Jello, any flavour (I used Tortally, raspberry flavour)
1/2 cup warm water
12 large plain marshmallow


1. Dissolve jello and warm water in a bowl.

2. Microwave for a minute.

3. Add marshmallow and stir to coat and microwave for about one and a half minutes until the marshmallows are puffed up and melty.

4. Whisk marshmallow mixture till well mixed with a hand whisk.

5. Pour into a greased 8-in square pan with non-stick cooking spray.

6. Refrigerate till the mixture is well set and firm.

7. Remove by loosening the edge. Roll like a swiss roll with lighter shade inside.
Slice to thickness.

8. Pop one into your mouth!

A lesson to learn from the picture - Use a sharp knife to cut!

Great for children's party!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Award Thrill and Healthy Banana Cupcake

I must apologise to Eelin and Chris for the late, late response in accepting the awards!
Thank you very much my friends. I'm indeed honoured!
This is indeed double joy which I ought to share with others.

I would like to pass this award to:

Baking Library
Blessed Homemaker
Keep Learning Keep Smiling
No Frills Recipes
Table for 2 or more
Wen's Delight
Honey Bee Sweets
Baking on Cloud 9

From Eelin

From Chris


Something happened while I was out yesterday. My whole comb of "ang bak chio" dropped from the hook which I use to hang the comb of bananas. How it happened, I had no idea. Anyway, whenever a banana or any fruit that has been knocked or bruised, it turns brown or black.
Sob! Out of ten bananas, I could salvage about seven of them. They weren't that pretty to eat and so they ended up in the oven and emerged in cupcakes!

Ingredients: ( adapted from Anncoo's )

50g Cake flour
75g Plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda

1 1/2 medium- sized eggs
60g caster sugar
100ml oil
30ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

5 medium-sized bananas, coarsely mashed


1. Preheat oven at 175 deg C.

2. Sift dry ingredients together.

3. Whisk egg and sugar till thick and creamy.

4. Add in milk, oil and vanilla and mix well.

5. Mix in mashed bananas and finally fold in the sifted flour.

6. Fill up cup 2/3 full and bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending on the size of cups.

These are moist and soft!