Beyond 100th postings

Amazingly, I have posted beyond 100 of my amateur bakes and cookings since 2007.

Though there aint any winter wonderland in Singapore, but the recent downpours with cold breeze and winds, tis the season to indulge in foodies and drinks that warms the body.

Somehow with a twist in one's fate in life, changes are inevitable and my decision of change 4 years back has made a difference to the kitchen much to Mom's delight.

Yes, more cookings and bakings on the way, embarking this hobby, passion marking deeper love for home cooked food, freshness brought forth with patience and love to display the skills learned from many talents near and faraway.

Kitchen my domain.



Well, other than the early morning tang yuan making, I managed to squeeze in time to bake light fruit cupcakes as well.
Why not the traditional fruit cake in a round pan loaded with generous amounts of mixed dried fruits? Truth is I am not a fruit cake fan, perhaps 'overwhelmed' by the ones sold out there in the supermarkets where the richness is too sweet for my subtle tastebuds.

So here is my cupcakes version, receipe from Aunty Yochana's blogsite. You would notice that there are limited visible bites of mixed fruits with zest of an orange added.

And yes, I have soaked the dried mixed fruits with 3 tbsp of Meyer's rum over night. No intent to make anyone 'drunk' was my initial thought. Then again, its the festive season right, so I have added a spoonful of rum to the baked cupcakes to give it more moisture and of course, the extra 'rum' kick.

Cheers !

Tang Yuan @ Dong Zhi Festival @ Winter Solstice

For the first time, well, for the longest time, I 'committed' to be in charge of home made colorful tang yuan with a twist.

Got my Mom to buy a pack of ready made 12 frozen Sesame tang yuan yesterday and the rest are hand made pinks, greens and whites added into the pot. If you can spot the bigger ones, they are filled with peanuts, yes, hand rolled by none other than me.

Always enjoy the whiff of fragrant aroma from boiling pandan leaves with slices of ginger, and with few tablespoonful of fine sugar, that is the simple syrup for the tang yuan that warms the body.

Festive celebration with a twist, colorful indeed.

Enjoy the bowlful sweetness with awe.


Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Its been a long while since I last baked or updated my blog. Working affairs have drained and disheartened me quite a fair bit. Alas, work and life continues as we awake to every new day light.

Anyway, I have had this receipe from the Betty Saw's baking book for the longest time and finally, while flipping through the many pages of drooling bake receipes, I decided to bake this pineapple upside down cake on Monday.

The ingredients are simple as the looks of it too. Basically, our tropical canned rounded pineapple, eggs, flour,butter, sugar....... ingredients we will have as we bake regularly. right ?

And tadah ! Heres my cupcake version with tiny bites of pineapple on the base. Neat, soft, moist, cutey and delish. It was supposed to be in the traditional, conventional round pan with the red cherries... but simple it is for my attempt.

Yums indeed.


Zebra Cake

Viewing foodgawker has become a daily affair for me since I chanced upon it from Aunty Peony's blogsite some time back. Theres no turning back. International bakes and cookings from the multitude of talented ladies out there are amazing too. Our endless quest for home cooked / home baked food bonds us in sweetness pursuit to delight the palate of our loved ones indeed.

When I spotted the zebra cake uploaded by one of the foreign blogger, I was wondering if I should attempt it again. I did a trial last year, the receipe was from Aunty Lucy's blogpage, Fly African.

The main difference is that this latest receipe only requires 4 Large eggs which kind of simplified the whole process coz otherwise, I would be 'stranded' with the egg yolks for next few days until the weekend comes around again for my next weekly bake.

It was fun with slight impatience as the afternoon heat almost got the better of me as I was doing the preparation stage for the mixing and blending. The layering created by the alternate scoop of plain and then chocolate layer. Obvious unevenness has resulted a natural flowy arty look which nevertheless turned out pretty.

Even Mom was captivated by the arty look, that which also brings much pleasure to me.

The cake texture was moist and soft, and it is a simple receipe for keeps indeed.




Borrowed this Hamlyn Published baking book from the community library over the last week and decided came across this receipe of Raspberry and Coconut Friands.

I was like, hmm, what are friands, and heres the link
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Financier_(pastry), the extract " The friands that have become popular in Australia and New Zealand appear to have been based on the French financier; however, Australian and New Zealand friands typically have additional flavorings such as coconut, chocolate, fruit, and nuts. Australian / New Zealand friands are traditionally baked in oval shapes. The French friand (puff pastry wrapped around a sausage) is not related to either the financier or the Australian/New Zealand friand.
Financiers are somewhat similar to
madeleines." Interesting.

Then again, how is it possible to buy raspberries in the west end HDB area, and hence, I had to tweak the receipe to Rum Raisin and Coconut Friands instead.

And finally found the the cuppies that fit my muffin tray in this little HDB shop. Its about 50pcs for $1.20, abit costly but now I know where to get the stuff. For all you know, well, its just that I have not found the right sized cuppies and had to compromise on the shape and volume of the intended end product.

Soaked the raisins in dark Myes rum for about 2 hours and had these nice little cuppies. Topped some of the cuppies with 3 rum soaked raisins so as not to have anyone 'drunk' from eating the muffins of mine.

Just look at the zoomed up 4th picture, aint it a cutey, sweet smilely face. ..

Another sweet touch to another weekend.



Chocolate Cheesecake Cuppies

This receipe is from Aunty Peony's blogsite. Rather than baking it in baking pan, i made it into cuppies for easy of sharing with friends and colleagues.

1st batch was 'distorted' due to my greed and as it overflowed and oozed out of the paper cups, and as I had extra cream cheese which was delicious, I scooped a tsp over to camouflage. It does seem better looking after that.

2nd batch turned out better as I moderated the proportion abit better and therein, a little wiser. This batch was shared with friends of mine whom I have not met for quite awhile due to our hectic work schedule. Hope they enjoyed it. Well, they received it via my sister who met with one of them to hand over to the rest of them. They are all staying in the north east whereas I stay in the west, the only best meeting place is the central where my sister is working, good reason aint it ?

Reminder again for me is more patience in baking coz over zealous greed can result in not perfect end product. Yes, patience indeed.

Cheers !


Burnt Almond Torte

It had been a roller coaster at work for the last 2 weeks. Mentally draining. Well, that has to be shelved aside for now....

Last week, for the very 1st time, up close with the renowed Chef Sam Leong at Shermay's last Sun. Attended his culinary class for his new cookbook which I bought and had his autograph as well. He is indeed a very humble chef despite his popularity and reputation, theres no airs about him. He's got good sense of humor too with boyish shyness and genunine friendliness in his mannerism. Ya, finally got to see my idol ! So happy, I feel girlish ... hahha... Gotta try his cookbook receipes one of these days too....

Well, better not digress. Heres my 1st attempt at baking this Burnt Almond Torte which I had been eyeing to bake for the longest time, ya, other receipes just swings before my eyes and this receipe is set aside.

Love the aroma of the almond baking, in fact, I was initially 'concerned' when I witnessed the uneven rising of the cake while it was in the oven, however, it turned out quite alright afterall.

The generous sliced almond toppings with the almond meal goodness...with sunflower oil instead of melted butter, a healthy cake to delight indeed.

Sweet weekend again...


Lemon Meringue Pie

99cts for 3 lemons, that was the price tag and i bought 6 lemons straight off from NTUC a week ago. i had been hesitating what to do with the lemons in the fridge as there are many receipes from various blogsites of Aunty Lucy, Florence from HK, HHB, All Receipes etc on lemony cakes. And for me, lemon cakes has this tangy taste that whets up my appetite so very muchie.

Finally decided on the receipe to follow, cant remember from whose blogsites, pardon me, but heres my 1st trial of Lemon Meringue Pie.

As you can see, the sides are kinda burnt due to the 'overflow' from the melting process from the hot humid hazy weather of ours in tropical Spore,and the natural 'demolition' that follows once it enters the oven. Ah yes, now I know.

Interesting attempt nonetheless. My 2nd sister enjoys the tangy lemony taste with the subtle meringue layer. And in fact, she prefers this Lemon Meringue Pie over the other bakes I have done so far. Hmm.... how should I measure up to that .....

Anyway, baking is leisure.... more experimental receipes will follow.... and thats how the passion continues..... lovely.....

Blueberry Yoghurt Butter Cake (BYBC)

This is a delayed posting which would not have been made possible if not for Small small baker's information to 'unwrangle' the blogger.com 'crisis'. Thank you Small small baker. =D

Bought 2 punnets of blueberries from NTUC 2 weeks ago while it was on sale, i.e. 2 punnets for less than $5. On that same weekend, I baked this blueberry yoghurt butter cake.

I love the softness and moistness of the cake and blueberries are great antioxidants for us all too. The pictures says it all.



French Sponge Cake

I happen to be at the Community Library the other day and spotted a Alex Goh's cake baking book and upon flipping the pages, I am amazed at the bakes within. And yes, I will try to get my hands on the books for my own mini library too, soon hopefully.

Meanwhile, rather than just baking chiffon cake, I was eyeing the receipe for French Sponge cake and thought it looked simple for me to try and hence I whipped up and baked the cakes in muffin cups rather than cake tin in less than 1.5hrs.

The sponge cake are spongy, soft,light and just the right sweetness. This is a better and easier receipe to follow than the regular sponge cake receipe which I had attempted earlier.

My siblings and Mom's likes this cake and even my sister's colleagues enjoyed the sponginess and looking forward to more bakes from me to please their palate. Its free sampling for them coz I have baked quite a fair bit.

Sweet bitez.


Orange Pineapple Cake

Came across this receipe of a flavour mix of orange and pineapple cake with sour cream or yoghurt from a library book which I borrowed from the National Library and decided to give the receipe a baking trial today.

Though the receipe calls for orange extract and pecan nuts, which were omitted, the bake turned out rather moist probably due to the extra liquid which was added during the final stir.

If you zoom in abit more, you can see the orange zest and the cubey pineapple slices within the texture.

Interesting mix nevertheless. Enjoy!


Abacus Beads (Chinese Yam Gnocchi) @Shuan Pan Zi

Its been some time since I last did this home made Abacus Beads, Shuan Pan Zi, a festive delight for Hakka or Canto during CNY. Its symbolic for good fortune, prosperity... of coz... ker ching.... $$$$ abundance....
Mom and younger sister has been nudging and craving for this dish. Those sold outside were costly and not as delightful compared with the generous servings of ingredients and flavour which I will usually dish up.

So, over the weekend, I bought a round yam from NTUC and the tapoica and rice flour and minced meat freshly purchased this morning. And all in all, I spent 3 hours in the kitchen today. Yupz, there was a slight mess of flour on table and the kitchen floor coz I was abit 'rough' when kneading the dough and it was kinda windy today.
But it was funny coz I enjoyed the messed up look. Probably deprived of masa masa kitchen during child hood days.... its 'payback' time. Well, the cleaning up was done by myself as well, so nothing gained... but more work to do after the mess I made.

After the slicing, pounding, boiling, marinating, soaking, frying etc, heres the end product of 2 plateful of fresh home made abacus beads with lotsa minced meat, dried shrimps, Chinese mushroom.

Mom had 2 bowlfuls and was full of praise with compliments that pleases me very much. It was delightful to see that she enjoys the dish as much as I enjoyed the process of making even though I had to skip lunch just to complete this dish to satisfaction.

Mom had asked me to prepare this dish for next CNY coz this is a festive dish.
Well, I will definately try.


Peach & Mango Yoghurt Cake

And ever since the first whiff of strong delish from a can of Australian Golden Churn Butter which I chanced upon when contemplating on the ingredients to get for my next bake, theres no turning back. The rich, strong buttery taste gives much 'umph' to the bakes. I have yet to lay my eyes on President butter which I hear is as good, then again, it is not available from the nearby NTUC, hence, its Australian Golden Churn butter for now.

With 2 cuppas of Peach and Mango Yoghurt sitting in the fridge, it got me thinking to re adapt the Lemon Yoghurt Cake receipe for Peach & Mango Yoghurt instead. A good alternative replacement I would say. If you look closely, you can see the bite size peach and mango within the cake. Healthy way to get my siblings and Mom to eat yoghurt in the cake indeed.

Though there are obvious bubbles in the texture due to my overmix, but otherwhich, the texture is moist, soft, delish cake which goes well even with plain Japanese Matcha green tea.

Nice. Really enjoy the moment of indulgence into bake and space away from the work hazards.


Chilled Mango Cheesecake

I was not in the mood to bake in this heat, but just itching to do 'something'. And as usual, noticed a bottle of Mango puree sitting in the fridge, and instantly, the idea sparked on.

This receipe is from HK Florence's blogsite. And this is the 2nd time I am trying the making.

Patience indeed is needed, chill the biscuit layer, then chill the cream cheese layer and finally the topping layer.

It is nothing close to the lovely chilled mango cheesecake in Florence's blog... well, it is delish nonetheless. Even my Mom who is not a cream cheese fan is 'won' over by this.

Yes, I hope to resume my weekly bakes... indeed therapeutic.


Mango Yoghurt Chiffon Cake

Just baked marble cake few days back and my sister was commenting about the heaviness of the butter, which I had to agree coz I had done an estimation of the proportion rather than using the weighing machine to get it right. Wrong gauge it seems.

The weather was terribly humid today and it will be insane to make a trip downstairs, no matter the distance, it was unthinkable. Bought 6 large eggs from NTUC a couple of days back, it rested comfortably in the fridge. Seeing a pack of Mango Yoghurt Drink in the fridge, instantly it inspired me to bake Mango Yoghurt Chiffon Cake.

Following the receipe of the Orange Chiffon Cake from Aunty Lucy's blog, I replaced the orange juice and water to reduced sugar Mango Yoghurt.

As mine is a convectional oven where the standard baking temperature is 200 degrees celsius, at about 25 mins, seeing the browning sides of cake in the tin, I assumed it was ready to be out of the oven.

However, when I lifted the bake out of the oven, and upon 1st bang, the centre portion sunk and begin to wrinkle. And when I inverted the cake on the wire rack, the centre not fully cooked portion was oozing onto the wire rack.

Briskly, I inverted the cake back into the tin and baked it for another 13 mins or so. I had to clean up the slight mess on the wire rack.

Yes, my swift act saved the cake. Looking at it, the bounciness, softness, lightness and deliciously healthy too.

Seeing is believing.


Marble Cake

It has been awhile since I last baked. And the craving for something chocolatety is a must.

And so, this is the marble cake baked today. The swirl is unattractive as those you see in other blogs. Yes, I have got lots to learn in the swirl and gentle moves to create the look.

Then again, this is a simple, soft cake for a humid hot day.


Chocolate Brownies

After the over indulgence into chiffon cakes baking previousy, its about time for some baking changes.

I have had this All receipes chocolate brownies for the longest time. The last chocolate brownies receipe was from another blogger.

As the afternoon heat was overbearing, I was not in the mood to travel to get the baking ingredients. And so I went to the nearby NTUC and grabbed Hersey's baking chocolate and chocolate powder for this chocolate brownies receipe.

In the midst of the baking, I forgot to add the vanilla essence, something which I usually would have generously added.

Nevertheless, this bake turned out simple, soft and just right for our taste buds.

Another sweet bake for the weekend. Nice.


Dessicated Coconut Chiffon Cake

Mom was curious why the recent craze over chiffon cake baking recently by me and even queried the 'neglect' of the other baking tins in the cupboard.

As a matter of fact, I was just wanting to bake light spongy cakes and chiffon was the best option to go with.

We had just finished up a lovely yoghurt mango cake from Cedele recently for my younger sister's birthday. It was tasty, nice combi of sourish taste with tinge of sweetness. Interesting richness with yoghurt cream mix with mango jello.

For this receipe, it was from Jo's blog. Her receipe called for coconut powder and guess what, i thought i did grab a pack during my last NTUC shopping trip, but it was not to be.

And so, I replaced coconut powder with dessicated coconut and the final product was as good as it gets. Mom loved the aroma from this bake. And so do I.

Gonna start baking other versions of cake soon manz coz otherwise, I'll be chiffon baker only.

Cheers !