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.